Are you a puddle parent?

I am a definite puddle parent, my children at school know if its raining more often than not we’ll grab our wellies and waterproofs and head on out!

Last friday it was absolutely tipping it down, we donned our wellies and waterproofs and spent a delightful afternoon splashing in puddles and hunting for snails and slugs!

We had a few minor incidents, one of which consisted of me dropping my iPad in a puddle, but apart from that all was grand!!

I didn’t see one littley with a sad face, what I did see though was big huge smiles, giggles, whoops to be free of the stuffy classroom! Children jumping, chasing, hoping, running, discovering, chatting, squealing with delight!

So…. Are you a puddle parent? Or do puddles get you in a muddle? Would love to hear below!

20160207-094636.jpg

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket…

As today is National poetry day, we embraced poetry, grabbed it with two hands and ran with it! 

My year group colleague is the Literacy co-ordinator at our school and found the most fantastic ideas based around twinkle twinkle little star. 

We began by playing our children this beautiful animation by my good friend Jim! http://youtu.be/ata6QbvRQpc

We then talked about all of the words that rhyme within this song. The kidlets were just fab at hearing the rhyming words. We talked about how a poem is just like this with lots of rhyming words. 

During fruit time we read “How to catch a star” by the utterly fabulous Oliver Jeffers. The children adored the book, it truly is magical! 

 
We had lots of children who “just got it” but others who didn’t quite understand the concept of reflection. We talked together about what activities they would like to do. It was agreed they’d love to create the night sky with twinkly stars. 

We set to to create this. We used inks and pipettes and straws to blow the ink across the paper. 

   
    
   
Once the art work is dry, the children would like to add their own stars. 

It was fantastic to see lots of examples of COEL in fact I am pretty confident that I observed every characteristic at some point during this little activity. The children were wowed with their finished masterpiece and each one was as individual and special as them! 

We then decided to try and make some glitter stars in laminated sheets….

When I say it was a complete and utter disaster I am kidding you not- lets just say I now realise that my scrumptious little lot have a secret love affair with glitter (who doesn’t)and I think I owe our cleaner a big box of chocolates! Ooppsssss

You know you’ve had an interesting day when you find glitter in your bra!!!

Ta ta for now, whilst I shimmer off and say Toodledooooooo!!!

Arty Party!!!! 

  I’ve decided to write this this week for two reasons… The first one being I  need to get better at my questioning when chatting to kidlets about their artwork, and secondly I know our new intake this week will be creating lots of lovely pictures,so hopefully this post will be helpful in reminding us about the comments to make! 

  
I kind of cringe when I realise that in the past I’ve said to a child “oh wow that’s a lovely dinosaur/dragon ” and they reply with “It’s not a dragon, its mummy!” I’m sure we’ve all done it at some point!! 

Instead of guessing what they have drawn or painted it’s much better to use open questioning where they can explain what they have done and why! 

  • ASK them to tell you all about their drawings and artwork 
  • COMMENT on the lines or colors, etc. that they are using (Wow, I see that you are making lots of orange stripes. I like how the Orange paint is mixing with the yellow paint there.) Can you tell me any other colours that mix together to make a different colour? 
  • ACKNOWLEDGE how hard (carefully, enthusiastically, long) they worked on their artwork

It’s so important to show how amazing you think their work is by either sending home to mummy/daddy or displaying on the wall in your classroom for all to see!

I love looking backing back at my own children’s paintings from when they were dinky, and just seeing how much development they have made! 

  
Have fun 

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 

Coloured Pasta

I really wish you could have seen my kitchen half an hour ago… It literally looked like we’d been burgled by the food colouring police! It was one of those moments (I’m sure we’ve all had them) where I thought “How the heck am I going to get out of this mess?”

For those of you that know me well, you’ll know I always bite off more than I can chew… Instead of just dying one lot of pasta I decided to not only make and dye spaghetti but also alphabet pasta and stars! I could literally start up a pasta parlour with the amount of pasta we have in our house at present! 

The reason being… I want to provide my children with an exciting, engaging opportunity to investigate capacity this week. The pasta will not only be a fab sensory experience but will give them a great resource to develop mathematical thinking. 

Here’s how I got into the mess I did…

  1. Cook your desired pasta (my advice, just stick to one variety!         
  2. Drain as normal and pop into a large mixing bowl  
  3. Add a glug (technical term!!) of Olive oil to coat the pasta  
  4. Now add a few drops of food colouring (I needed more than I thought I would!)    
  5. Find a little person to help mix the colour through the pasta   
  6. Lay the pasta on a baking sheet to dry!          

Et Voila there we have the worlds largest amount of coloured pasta! 

Whilst I was making the black stars it did make me think how fab this would look set in jelly as “frog spawn” if I had the energy I’d do this, but for now all I have the energy for is popping the kettle on and having a cup of tea and a nice custard cream! 

Happy Sunday Lovlies x