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

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Teacher Appreciation Time

A cheeky blog post today to promote the Teachers Pay Teachers sitewide sale that is going on today. This one is timed to coincide with Teacher Appreciation (a concept that is not celebrated in my part of the world, but enjoy to the Americans!!). I've joined in by putting up my shop for 20% off for the two days, add in 10% extra off you can get with using the code CELEBRATE and you could save yourself 28% off everything I'm selling. You will find many many popular teaching shops will be doing the same, so definitely a great time to treat yourself to something off your wishlist!

Monday, 2 May 2016

It's a last Currently!

So it was with a heavy heart I read Farley's announcement that May 2016 would be the last time that she hosted the Currently link up. It has been without question, my favourite link up over my years blogging right from my very first time participating when I'd never joined in any link up before. It was the first time that anyone had commented on my blog and was the beginning of attracting some regular readers. The 'Rule of 3' has not only introduced others to my blog, but allowed me to find many of my favourite blogs to read.

Anyway, for one last time, here is my Currently...

Listening - Reminding myself of the greatness that was the first series of the Matt Smith era (compared to the latest doctor, who unfortunately has not been a good replacement imo).

Loving - It's Labour Day, so I've had an extra day off today. I was persuaded to go on a hike up a mountain though so not quite as restful as I'd planned!

Thinking - I am going to ache tomorrow after the unaccustomed exercise! 

Wanting - A magical fairy or someone to have done all the housework that I should have done over the weekend, yet I somehow haven't!

Needing - To get started on the end-of-year reports as there are only a few weeks until the deadline and it takes me ages to write them and proof-read!

Truth - I am genuinely worried about how I'm going to keep my blog going without this monthly link up. I've just about managed to post twice each month, but one has always been a Currently! Wish me luck folks!!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Earth Day

On the 22nd April it is Earth Day. I thought I would join in with Teaching Trio's Favourite Things Linky by sharing my favourite Earth Day inspirations.

by NutureStore

by Crafty Morning

by Gift of Curiosity

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Easing into April

I am having the laziest of Easter breaks at the moment, but thought I would drop by to post April's Currently link up with Oh Boy It's Farley.

Listening - The IT Crowd, a show I've never really watched before but caught the odd episode over the years. It's quite funny (in a very British way) although one of my class mentioned how she loved the show... given the amount of mild swear words and sexual references, I'm not sure its appropriate for a 4 year old!

Loving - That holidays last another week! Whoop whoop! I've got friends visiting and I get to do loads of touristy things that I've been too busy working to do so far.

Thinking - That March's throwback post was probably cheating and I need to get my act together and try a little harder if I'm to stick to my blog schedule of twice a month posting.

Wanting - To stay relaxed and zen-like. Work is stressful and social life is hectic, so for the last week I've been looking at views like the one below to de-stress. Unfortunately am back home now, but trying hard to hold onto the zen feeling from holiday!

Needing - To do some housework before my visitors arrive!

Whatever - To extend the housework into actual spring cleaning! I need to do some serious downsizing of my belongings.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Throwback - St. Patricks Day

With the Irish patron saint's day fast approaching, I thought I would share a post I did 2 years ago sharing some of what I did in my classroom for St.Patrick's Day called 'Let's Go Green'. The freebie is still available!

Original Post - 16th March 2014

And celebrate St.Patrick's Day!

What are you doing with your class? 

We made leprechauns that I found from a pin from Theme Party Palace.

We also made a different type of leprechaun adapted from one I saw on I {heart} crafty things

Next week during our Reading Roundabout we are going to be using the sight word board games from Make, Take and Teach, but with some little counters that I made from some St.Patrick's Day clip art from My Cute Graphics.

The Challenge Area is equipped with my Leprechaun Number Bonds to 10 (grab this freebie from my store!).

I'm also quite tempted to make the children watch Leprechaun Gold because its a classic!

Happy (early) St.Patrick's Day to you all!
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