Progression in Writing 

My lovely year group partner shared this from Heidi  Song with me yesterday. 

 
We have lots of parents mid year getting anxious about the quality of their children’s writing. 

However much we try to reassure them about the process, and that how all of the lovely things we do in our setting have a huge impact on writing, I’m not convinced that they truly believe their children will get there. 

I try to always back this up by explaining about my youngest, who in reception wouldn’t even pick up a pencil by choice! I probably couldn’t even tell you whether he was left or right handed before he was 6!?!!!?!! 

However because of the rich experiences he received in his EYFS he is now a proficient writer who loves nothing more than sitting down with a pad and pencil and allowing his imagination to flow freely on the page! 

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Easter Give Away 

How would you like to win a lovely “Tell by touch with clock” 

We have been given this lovely clock by the gorgeous folk over at EYPDIRECT

  

This Colourful and unusual telling the time clock comes with moveable hands and removable number pots with a different textured surface on the reverse.

The Tell by Touch with Clock is also a great early years learning resource for matching colours, patterns and counting.

Size: 240 x 37mm. Age 3+.

    The Tell by Touch with Clock is a perfect early years educational resource to support the EYFS Mathematics development area of learning within your childcare setting, it will help children practice and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

The Tell by Touch with Clock also makes a wonderful sensory resource!

  
To be “In it to win it” all you need to do is 

1. Leave a comment at the end of this blog

2. Like and share our Facebook page  Eyfsmatters

3. Follow me on Twitter @eyfsmatters 

4. Leave a comment under the Tell by touch clock picture on Instagram @eyfsmatters 

  

Good Luck xx 
(Winner will need to pay postage) 

Creativity just makes my heart sing! 

I love watching children explore and create with loose parts. One little poppety and her friend worked for a long time yesterday on this marvellous creation- I tried to stay well back whilst listening to their lovely conversation. It always amazes and fascinates me to watch friendships and relationship build and blossom over the year. The two girls who created this masterpiece have only just “found” each other over the past few weeks, but I can already see their relationship developing and growing day by day! 

   
   
I am such a firm believer in the Prime areas of the foundation stage, this gorgeous pair wouldn’t have been able to complete such a fantastic outcome had they not had a solid foundation of PSED, C&L and Physical Development.

Watching the joy on their faces as they worked together on the same theme was yet another reminder as to why I do the job I do, and also how important child led learning is! 

  
What has inspired you this week? Please leave a comment below 

Funky fingers wk beg 12th Oct 

Ive decided to write a blog post each fortnight with our Funky Fingers activity. I hope this will be useful, but will also be a great reference for me to nip back and remember what we’ve done! 

Here’s our timetable…  

Each day one group completes dough gym… I will post a video on my FB page 

Here’s  this week’s activities… 

Sorting different types of pasta- how many can you sort in a minute?   

 Placing glass beads onto numbers 

 
Rolling dice… Building a tower with tweezers to match the number on the dice  
Water Squirters 

  
(This pic is taken from Pinterest and is not owned by EYFSmatters)

We spend just approx 10mins each day on Funky fingers. The children love it, and we definitely notice and improvement and progress with fine motor control. 

What activities do you use? It would be great to hear what you do in your setting. Please leave a comment below xx 

How to help children distinguish a capital letter from a lower case

Lots of children get confused between capital letters and lower case letters. It’s so tricky isn’t it- I guess it’s like me trying to learn Greek/Chinese! I just wouldn’t have a clue. 

We try to teach each sound individually and show the children the capital at the same time, but try not to over load them with info at the same time. 

I have been having a trawl around and have found a few ideas that I think would work brilliantly. As you know, I am an advocate for outdoor learning and anything that is fun, exciting and can offer children challenge. 

A fan page I follow on facebook https://www.facebook.com/rockmyclassroom. Has some great ideas that could be adapted and used for lower case and capital letter work. 

  
Laminate lower case letters and have them on cards, children have to squirt the corresponding Upper case letter with their water gun! 

 
Another fab idea from Rock my classroom- you could have 2 buckets one lower case, one upper case, and write letters onto plastic balls. Your child can have a go at whizzing them down the Shute into the correct bucket! 

  Use pebbles to paint on upper and lower case letters and play matching games. Hide them in mud outside and dig them up! 

Love this idea… Attach lock to lower case letter and matching upper case letter to key! 

  
Good old shaving foam

  
Here’s a couple of links I found …
http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/earlyyears/snowmanalphabet.htm 
http://www.roythezebra.com/reading-games-lesson-plans/lesson-plan-capital-letter-beginner.html 

Lastly how about alphabet spaghetti or pasta letters? 

   
 Happy alphabet hunting 

Critique and Feedback 

I just had to write a post on this and share with you the fabulous “Austins Butterfly” video that I watched earlier this afternoon. 

As part of our staff meeting today we fed back on various twilight courses that we attended a couple of weeks ago. One that tickled my taste buds was entitled “Growth Minset” and how we can all change our mindset, and also help our children to become more confident in their own abilities thus have a “growth mindset” and not a fixed mindset. 

I need to do an awful lot more reading on this to fully understand it, and to be able to discus it with you further, but one link that was suggested we watch is this…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms an amazing video entitled Austin’s Butterfly. 
It really just makes such sense to me, not just for EYFS but any year group. 

Looking specifically at EYFS though, it is so poignant. Especially in the way we give out feedback and critique. I try each day to build a class of resilient rhinos that keep on trying, and find new ways to do things and different ways to approach problems , but some days I’m just not sure that I am successful in my quest. This amazing video proves the need for being resilient and keeping on going. It has made me even more determined to educate our children in the knowledge that there is always scope in trying again and achieving way more than you ever thought possible! 

I guess it’s about educating our children that critique is kind, helpful, and specific. Young children are able to do this very well sometimes they just need a little guidance from us on how to go about it successfully! 

I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did x 

  

Maths 3d shape challenge

3d Shapes using coloured marshmallows

Whilst perusing Pinterest and Google images to look for ideas on how to encourage children in their understanding of shape, in a fun and interesting way- using play and collaborative learning, I happened to come across this lovely colourful idea that I know my littlies will adore.

There was something quite special about seeing these little blobs of colour drying out on my drying boards!

IMG_3021

Theses are simply mini marshmallows that bought from the supermarket, and coloured with food colours.

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