Inspiring Writing! 

I am constantly trying to find ways to inspire my children to write, and in order for them to write they need to be able to talk first! 

I was surfing over the weekend and found some pictures that I think would really make my kidlets chuckle and may just get them talking and in turn  

 writing captions and sentences about what the objects are thinking/feeling/saying etc

What do you think? 

Please feel free to use them and let me know how you get on? 

   
                             

  

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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! 

  

It’s not a box…

Evening all!

Recently we have been having our bathroom “done”, is it sad that I was excited (and I actually mean really, really excited) about the huge cardboard boxes that the bath, unit and shower came in?

It would seem that I wasn’t alone in this excitement:- Number 2 son had also spotted the array of cardboard that I had tried to sneak out, and decided today was the day he was to claim it as his own! Joined by his little apprentice “Noah” (ironic they are now to build a boat!) they toddled off to “Play”

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Anna Ephgrave- Guest Blog “In The Moment”

I am very excited to welcome the lovely Anna Ephgrave this morning…

anna's pic

If you would like to read more about Anna’s work and philosophy please pop over to …

http://www.freedomtolearn.co.uk/

Introduction

If you visited the nursery class at Carterhatch Infant School, you would see 45 children who are purposeful, calm, confident and independent.  You would see adults moving to where the children are engaged and interacting with them as they play.  You would see a superb environment that is equipped to meet the needs, interests and stages of development of each child. You would see children who are making outstanding progress.

You would not see any forward planning, nor would you see any focus activities and you would not see adults telling children which activity to do.

To work in this way involves complex arrangements and yet the reasoning is simple.  After more than 25 years teaching I am confident that this child-led approach to teaching in the early years (including Reception) is best for the children. 

In summary this is my pedagogy:-

Children are born with a natural desire to explore and learn and practitioners can support them in this.  We do this by creating an enabling environment (both physical and emotional) and through the relationships and interactions that the children experience.  We do not plan ahead, rather we remain “in the moment” with the children as they explore and learn.  We observe carefully, and enhance the learning whenever we spot a “teachable moment”.  Our observations, interactions and the outcomes are recorded afterwards.

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Day 1 Mud play!

Evening Folks,

Welcome to my first of a series of blog posts about our new “Mud Kitchen.”

So this morning our gorgeous brand spanking new sparkly Mud Kitchen, sat in the grounds of our EYFS garden, untouched, unloved and unplayed with. That was until 60 little pickles entered the building…

After doing our hello’s and sharing stories of holiday and treasured times with families, discussion turned to our newest addition to our outdoor space. Our new Mud Kitchen! The children were literally itching to get outside to take a peek. We talked about the need for ensuring we washed our hands, kept it clean for the following chef, wore water proof trousers, made sure we had wellies on….

Blah, blah, blah!!!

All they wanted to do was get in there and start “baking, cooking and digging”

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Why water play?

Splish, splash, splosh!

Having written a blog earlier today on the importance of Mud Play, I started to think more about our outdoor area, and what areas the children love the best, and what skills are being developed.

I am sure you would agree that water just attracts children like magnets! As soon as my own two kidlets see water, they have an instant need to strip off and jump in! (Oh to be 6 years old again!)

Water play, both indoor and outdoor, is a unique activity for children because it’s always available, open-ended, and provides endless opportunities for extended learning.

Rub a dub dub

So they’re just splashing, and throwing water right? Nope, not at all the children within our settings are doing much more than this. Water play encourages learning in all developmental areas. It provides opportunities for children to experiment with maths and science concepts, it helps strengthen their physical skills, advances their social and emotional skills, and also contributes greatly to their language development.

So what are they doing exactly?

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Mud Glorious Mud!

Since joining Pinterest and reading lots of ideas for EYFS on Facebook, I knew I was lacking something in my life… It’s only now that I know what it is! A MUD KITCHEN!!

There are so many things we want and need to do as teachers, but during term time we are either usually too busy or damn right shattered. I had decided that this Easter holidays was going to be the time that I would devote to designing and building our mud kitchen. Well, when I say I, what I actually mean is my lovely hubbby! I would be providing the tea and cake, whilst being very good at telling him what should go where!!

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