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) 

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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 

Spilling the beans on “Rainbow chick peas!”

Happy Sunny Sunday y’all! What better way to enjoy a Sunday morning than adding a little rainbow sprinkle to our lives! 

We are knee deep in reception baseline at the mo, it’s all going pretty swimmingly apart from observations on weighing and measuring. Last week we had playdough and scales, but the quality of observation wasn’t great. We went back to the planning drawing board, and decided to include a visual, sensory delight in the form of “rainbow chick peas”

In our sensory tray with the chick peas, the children will have jugs, containers, scoops, spoons, big pots, small pots and scales. I am hoping they will adore this provision and in turn we will see some lovely maths based learning come from their play.

They are super simple to whip up, and dry really quickly…. Here’s what you need…

  

  • Chick peas (I used 3 bags,cheap as “chicks” from Sainsbugs!”
  • Food colouring 
  • Food bags
  • Drying tray
  • Grease proof paper

Empty out half the chick peas from on bag into a food bag, add 5 drops of food colouring and give a jolly good shake 

  
  

Empty coloured chick peas onto tray to dry. They dry really quickly (much quicker than pasta and you don’t need the alcohol hand sanitiser either!) 

  
Note to self… Go easy on the blue colouring and double bag when shaking….  

 

I now have hands covered in dye, I look like I’ve been trying to rob a bank!! 

  
The colours aren’t as vibrant as I would have liked, but I’m guessing that’s due to the type of food colouring I used! 

What I do know though is that I will have 30 super excited little explorers tomorrow! 

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!!) 

  

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 

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 

  

Deconstructed Role Play

I’ve had lots of people asking me what a deconstructed role play is and how it works. So here we go… 

  
I first saw the idea on an amazing blog I follow written by ABC does! If you haven’t come across his site you really must  pop its a great read for EYFS. We have used lots of his ideas as talking points in our weekly EYfS team meetings. In fact my colleagues say I talk more about Alistair than my hubby!!!! 

So what is a deconstructed role play! And how does it work? 

  
It’s basically role play that allows children to be totally in control of their own learning, for them to take ownership of their ideas, and for them to drive their learning forward with us as practitioners to help them extend their thinking with careful questioning and suggestions for higher order thinking and next steps. All of which are key to outstanding early years practice! 

  
It took me a little while to get my head around letting go… We always had a beautifully created role play, always linking to topic with key words plastered around (that the children never used) and gorgeous writing templates connected to this (that the children never wrote on- because they were our ideals and not theirs!) and went down the deconstructed route! 

  
This is simply a collection of different sized boxes. You will find yourself best friends with any delivery driver, routing through various skips and making special trips to super markets way after closing time! I have found the best place to collect locally is our “Iceland” store. They have fab boxes of all shapes and sizes which are plain cardboard allowing the children free reign on mark making and creativity. 

  
Once you are armed with your boxes, you need a space in your setting to allow your children space to create and design. I have also positioned our deconstructed role play near a white board so the children can use the board to mark make and add to their ideas. I have seen some children using this board to draw sketches of their designs (this happens less frequently but the opportunity is there non the less) if you haven’t got a white board a lovely roll of lining paper will suffice. 

Then let their little minds do the rest. Each week we add a different enhancement. These could be as follows…

  • Material 
  • Rope
  • String 
  • Tarpaulin 
  • Hats 
  • Dressing up clothes
  • Masks
  • Puppets 
  • Tyres 
  • Steering wheels
  • Bamboo canes
  • Wheels
  • Sheets
  • Branches 
  • Cable reels 
  • Logs 
  • Large/small tubes 

Just as we would do with literacy and maths , we plan opportunities to model sessions in the deconstructed role play, but ensure that our children take the lead. 

  
The one rule we have is that you don’t have ownership of your box, what may have been a car in a previous session could in fact be turned into a castle in the next! 

  
We tend to replenish boxes on a weekly basis- ensuring there is plenty of scope for new design and imagination 

I always provide masking tape, scissors, cellotape, string, marker pens and felt tips so the children can turn their boxes into anything that floats their boat. 

Often I just stand back and observe! 

The observations I have collected have been second to non- the world is your child’s oyster when it comes to plain, blank boxes! Give it a go…

I’d love to hear your outcomes!