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! 

I spy with my little eye… 

We had great fun this week making this lovely I spy game…

  
We filled a litre coke bottle full of rice using a funnel… Lots of lovely talk about capacity and measure came from this. 

The children then hunted around the classroom to find items to pop into the bottle. It was fascinating to see how they were guessing whether their item was small enough to fit through the bottle neck, and then testing out the size. Cue lots of talk about size and weight! 

  
We then placed all the items on a sheet and photographed these so we knew what to look for. The children loved adding tiny items such as paper clips, split pins and even a rice crispy (“no one will ever spy these” they shrieked!) 

The items were then popped into the bottle and shaken profusely. Then the game began.

Great for…. 

Sounds 

Phonics 

Making relationships 

Resilience 

Speaking 

Listening 

Shape/space/measure 

Turn taking 

Have fun… I’d love to hear of any games you have made. Please add comments below x 

Linked Provision 

  
I get asked lots about our time table and planning. We have started “Table Top Activities” this year. This is linked provision using gap analysis to really develop those skills that our children struggle with. Careful and considerate assessment is done to really get to grips with what our children need to move them on in their learning. This is done purely through observation based assessment. 
  
  The activities change on a weekly basis, and are put out for the first session each morning. This session lasts from 8.50-9.40am. The activities are then packed away in storage boxes and popped under the table. 

  
On each activity is a card which details the skill we plan to cover using the resources set out. The outcome of the activity is absolutely up to the child, we are teaching the skill not choosing the outcome. There are three adults in our setting, and during table top time, each adult is stationed by a table to model, and help move the learning forward with affective questioning and focused guidance. This is also the time that we hear any readers that we have identified as “Every day readers” (this hasn’t started yet as we feel it is a little too early, and are knee deep in baseline!!) 

  

Physical Phonics

Children learn best by doing… We all know that. In my teaching/modelling of skills I try to make my sessions as active as possible. I hate sitting still, so I can only imagine how tricky it is if you are  four or five! (My mind starts to wander after about 7minutes flat!!!)

I “borrowed” this idea I think from a Twitter friend. 

Basically I used a sharpie pen to write our weeks digraph sound onto balls…

   

Our session started with me throwing the balls around our outdoor area and the Chdn running around to collect a ball. They needed to show me the ball and tell me the digraph before throwing it into the tray! 

Game two… Same as above but once they had told me the digraph they had to hold this in their heads, and go and write it on their white board! 

Game three… Two Teams- each player has to run to end of assault course, read the digraph, then go and root in the tray to find the matching digraph and roll it down the tubes. At the end of the game we looked in the tray and counted up how many correct balls ea h team had! (We realised we get a little confused between ‘ie’ and ‘oi’ 

   
   A great phonics session was had by all. 

I loved the fact that later in our “free explorer time” I saw my little phonics group teaching other children in the class!