Thursday, 29 December 2016

Farewell 2016... Bring it on 2017!

Well another 6 months have passed without me managing to post even a throwback... no excuses apart from Life!

Updates from 2016...
* I changed year groups to teach Nursery (Pre-K to the non-UK based world?)
* Teaching 3 year olds is a whole new world for me, how can one year smaller make such a difference?!
* I moved flat (again!) which makes 4 moves in 5 years (twice country) but hoping to stay in this flat for a couple of years at least as I've made it quite homely now.

Will hopefully post early in the New Year with some resolutions both professionally and personally!

Until then,

Saturday, 18 June 2016

More 5 for Friday-ing

Managing another link up for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching, somehow keeping going through the end-of-term madness!

Last week my kids were looking at dinosaurs as part of our Fantasy Lands theme. Here is some independent free writing from one of my boys. So proud of his phonic skills (and dino knowledge!). 

Using our small world dinosaurs to do some printing in clay, even a week later, they are the most popular 'exhibit' in the Investigation Area.

For pirate week, a game of pin the patch on the pirate was the source of much hilarity!

Ready for when we learn about Superheroes, this website by DC Kids is going to be the hook for our guided writing next week!

And somehow in-between all this fantasy learning, we squeezed in a quick Father's Day craft!

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, 10 June 2016

Five for Photo Friday

This week I am linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday and I am going to be showing five of my recent displays (did I mention the super regular display schedule my new school has?!) for our minibeast and garden topic...

Beginning of topic research, the children looked through information books and each chose a different minibeast to paint.

After reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' we made paper plate lifecycles of a butterfly.

Moving onto frogs, the children researched and wrote facts. Of course, we painted jumping frogs too!

For snail week, we used Kandinsky's Concentric Circles and Matisse's Snail to inspire our artwork. I highly recommend the book 'Snail Trail' by Jo Saxton to set up this project.

The result of a recent Zoom In using spider's webs. In front are some junk models of minibeasts.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

June Pinning

It's only been a month, but I'm already missing Currently! So I thought I would try and find some different link ups instead. Today I am going to link up with Pawsitively Teaching for her June Top Pinterest Picks for summer. Click on the images for the original pins.

This looks like loads of fun to have outside! Though maybe will need to choose where to set it up carefully!

This is a craft that I am definitely going to do with my class next year! 

This looks great, although given the temperatures over here, I fear the experiment will be over in 5 minutes!! 

Why not check out my Pinterest page for more of my favourites?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Zooming In

So in a previous post I mentioned using a technique my colleague learnt from a course and adapted to suit our age group. 'Zoom In' is basically a technique used to stimulate the children's interest and language about a topic. We usually use a picture thats vaguely related to the topic we are looking at but not too obvious as we aim for the children to use their imaginations when they discuss what they can see/think they can see.

The way I've been using 'Zoom In' with my class roughly follows the same format each time.

Choose a picture with lots of detail and different parts that can be focused on in detail, such as the one below.
Using the zoom tool on the interactive whiteboard, I focus on individual parts and ask the children what they think they can see. I try and choose parts of the picture that are very different and/or have lots of open possibilities. The key thing to remember here is that any idea can be correct and I give no positive/negative responses. To help language development, I will repeat their sentences back and aid them with the grammar if necessary.

Examples of responses: I think it is waves. I think its under the sea. I can see clouds. I like the red. It looks like flames. I think its fire. It's a lizard. I think its the ocean. It's like the body of a fish. Maybe it's a dragon. I think its a snake. 

Each child has their own whiteboard. At this point I usually use one of two options. Either a) reveal the picture and ask children to draw their version of it OR b) ask children to draw the different parts they have zoomed in on and never show the full picture.

This step can also be adapted, but a favourite is to photocopy their whiteboards and the children then colour it in with pastels/water-colours/paints/crayons. (Apologies for the quality of this photo!)

The children drew their interpretation of the dragon picture. Some focused on the clouds, others on the shapes the dragon made. Lots of the colours used were similar to the picture, but they were allowed free rein on how they wanted to draw and paint it. 

Some favourite pictures to use for this activity have been:
The Garden Paintings by Joan Miro

Chinese dragon wallpaper

Tree House

Little Red Riding Hood

Spider Webs

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