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! 

Egg rolling- a tradition 

I have the fondest memories of egg rolling as a child. 

We would always take a BBQ and head up to Grizedale Forest in The Lake District, with a basket of freshly painted eggs and big smiles a plenty. 

I have always wanted to recreate this magic with my own children, and today we did! 

 We started the day with dippy eggs and soldiers (of course!) 

  
The kidlets then decorated their eggs 

    
    
   
Once all the eggs were good to go, we packed the kitchen sink (literally ) and headed north.

Only a few loo and “I’m gonna be sick” stops and we arrive at our woodland retreat. 

It was just as I remember, even down to the sound of the rushing water fall splashing over the mossy rocks! Isn’t it funny how evocative smells and sounds are. I was suddenly transported back to being a pickly 6 year old! 

   
  
There’s something quite special about eating in the great outdoors even if at times we had to flick a few bugs off the colslaw that dropped in for a nibble 

   
 
So everyone is fed and watered, and so we go in search of an “eggcellent” (sorry) rolling hill. 

    
Enroute we find a very lonely wood cutter and a money tree (I’m sure my folks always said money doesn’t grow on trees- well here is the proof that they were wrong!

  

  
And so the rolling competition began, although I use the term rolling very loosely… It was more of lobbing! I pulled the short straw and had to be at the bottom of the hill- I’m sure they hatched a plan and were aiming directly at my head! 

Despite their best efforts I came away egg free, the kids shrieked with laughter, argued about who won and who didn’t, ran around in the fresh air, but best of all made memories that I hope like mine… Will last a lifetime! 

  

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) 

Job Applications 

So it’s at this time of year that many peeps begin to think about interviews, whether it’s your first job, or you fancy a change. My advice would be the same…

Be yourself- if they love you and you are who they are looking for, you’ll get it, if not it wasn’t right! I am a firm believer in right place right time. You may not realise at the time why you didn’t get the role, but in time you will begin to realise. 

A good friend of mine who happens to be a life coach once said “Be that person your dog thinks you are!” Even if you don’t have a dog (pretend you do!) 

Your dog greets you every day with a big waggy tail, you can see the delight in his face as you unlock the door each evening, to him you are the bees knees! 

Be that person in an interview. 

Of course don’t be cocky, talk from the heart about everything that you believe in. The interview is your chance to shine, your chance to show how much you will bring to the school, and what they’ve been missing until now. 

  

  • Always visit the school before you apply. You need to ensure it’s the right place for YOU! 
  • Dress to impress, even when you look round. Obviously not in Formal interview attire but ensure you look smart and professional. This is your time to ask any questions that you haven’t been able to glean from the website or application pack. 
  • Ensure you understand the school’s vision, and that it fits with your ethos to teaching and learning. If you are successful it is critical that you have the same common goal as the leadership team of the school. 

  

  • When writing your letter of support ensure you use the job spec (most/ if not all schools will use this in the shortlisting process) 
  • Ensure you mention the school and what drew you to the role- a generic letter won’t make you stand out from the crowd 
  • Don’t bore your audience- get to the point (they shouldn’t need a blanket and a cup of Horlicks after reading it!) 

  

  • Stick to the word count- if they specify two sides of A4 that’s what they mean 
  • Get a critical friend to read your letter to check for obvious spelling, punctuation errors
  • Ensure the letter arrives in plenty of time before the deadline (don’t fly by the seat of your pants)

  

  • Ask if they can email with proof of receipt 
  • If you are unsuccessful on short listing ask a senior colleague or course tutor to give you some advice on how to improve it further (or send it to me- I’d be happy to help!) 

So… Be confident, but not cocky! Remember to be professional yet warm and friendly. Be that person your dog thinks you are. 

  
Please also pop back soon for our interview question examples! 

If I can be of any help, just message me! 

But most of all… 

 

Never, repeat Never teach children to lie!!! 

So off we went to swimming this morning, for those of you that follow my blog you’ll know it’s NOT my favourite past time! The kids literally have to bribe me so I’ll take them. I hate getting my hair wet (I’ve got a huge beast of a Barnet that takes hours to dry), and I cannot see a thing without my glasses! Anyway off we trot- we have a conversation in the car about how my littliest could go on the flumes if we told a little fib and said he was 8years instead of 7. He’s 8 in a couple of months, is taller than average and can swim like a fish. That aside- we still needed to fib! The kids convince me… 

So we get to the desk, the receptionist asks how old the kidlets are “10 and 8” I say through gritted teeth! She then dutifully gives us our flume bands. 

  
As we walk away- My littliest (also the one with the loudest voice may I add) shouts “Ha Ha- I can’t believe she fell for that!!!” 

Cue bright red face, and me scuttling into the changing room! 

  
Being a firm believer in Karma- I know at some point this will come back and bite me on the bum! 

  

Kidlets Captions!

So here we have the first in our new series of “Kidkets Captions!” 

For the past few months I have been keeping a note of the blinking hilarious things that my children say to me on a daily basis! 

Some will make you cry with laughter, some will make you wince, but I guarantee all are fab, and came out of the mouth of babes! 

If you would like to share your funny quotes with us, please comment below- we would love to hear them x 

But for now I leave you with “Kidlet Caption” número Uno…

  

Love the child, dislike the behaviour 

We’ve all been there I’m sure, we’ve always had that one little poppet who just knows how to press those buttons. 

  
Even the best, most outstanding teachers amoungst us, will at some point had moments of self doubt! Fear not… Here are some great tips to help restore calm and order, and remove those barriers to poor behaviour. 

  
Always remember… There is usually a reason behind the poor behaviour. Our job is to unpick, and find solutions and strategies to help each child achieve their best. 

  

  • Every day is a fresh start- Always Meet and greet at the door – the best early intervention in behaviour management is at the door. Smile, show you care! 
  • Relationship build- this is the biggest tool in the tool box! We need to build trust, and mutual respect. Although at times it may be tough, you need to show you care, and that you are there. You could potentially be the only person this child can fully trust. You may be the only constant in this child’s life. 
  • Make sure you catch your little one doing the right thing – ensure you give the praise that this deserves- be careful not to use insincere praise, it’s sometimes easy to catch children doing the wrong thing so develop the ability to catch those more challenging pickles  doing the right thing is invaluable. 
  • Model good behaviour- use your school behaviour policy rigorously and ensure you follow through any sanctions. Be fair but firm- remembering all the time that it is the behaviour that you dislike and not the child
  • Ensure you inform parents of positive behaviour rather than just negative. You need to be transparent but ensure you have parents on side to work together. 
  • Find common ground, what do they love doing? Tap into this- if they love Lego (for example) use this as your carrot. Bring in lego comics from home “I saw this- and thought of you!” Show you really care about them and want them to achieve 
  • Talk- communication is so so important. Use comic strips to work out where the outcome could have been different. Encourage children to recognise how their behaviour affected the situation. If appropriate keep a Log of anti-incident, incident, post incident. Is there a pattern? 
  • Encourage children to reflect on their feelings as colours, use mirrors to look at themselves, show pictures of emotions to help them recognise how they are feeling.
  • Never alienate this child, create an ethos in your learning space where ALL children are valued- work together to help
  • Talk to other colleagues- a problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Be careful not to “give the dog a bad name” but download on critical friends who you respect  and value and ask for their help and support. 

  

Everyday is a new day- “A new beginning always allows us to wipe the slate clean” 

  

Play is just play… It needs no explaining!

I found this awesome quote from Fred Rogers whilst surfing around the net this morning! (Cup of coffee in hand- my favourite way to spend a lazy Sunday morn!)

Too often some practitioners will ask… “But what are they learning- they look like they are just playing!!”

Hands up if you’ve ever experienced this?

I tend to get my ikea fold out soap box out, and explain that although they are “just” passing a ball to each other, two months ago that little 4 year old there used to spend the whole time hurting other children because he/she hadn’t learnt YET how to use their words to convey feeling, that most of their time was spent being changed by a grown up because they hadn’t yet developed an understanding of personal care. That two months ago they wouldn’t have been able to catch the ball yet with two hands, because their hand to eye co-ordination wasn’t developed enough.

I then put away my fold out ikea soap box, and disappear in a puff of smoke to the thick of my learning environment to watch children at play, and extend their learning!!!

20160207-100340.jpg