The life of me

Can I go and play now?!

If you are a teacher within the Early Years or KS1, there must have been a time when you have called a child to the table to complete some work with you and they have replied with – can I go and play now?

I was lucky enough to meet the amazing author, Greg Bottrill, who has written the book ‘Can I go and play now?’ Listening to part of his talk was extremely inspiring and linked to all of the reasons and values of why I became a Primary School Teacher.

Greg discussed the importance of inputs and hooks for children’s learning – ‘learning should be like poetry,’ with children’s interests woven into how we teach the curriculum.

I love Greg’s idea’s about the magic door. Greg’s suitcase is the planning, and he walks through the magic door into children’s adventures. He provides the skills children need within that adventure and then he lets them continue with their adventure.

No child wants to go on your adventure! Just like us, as adults we are more interested on going on our own ‘adventure.’

Everyone wants to go on a journey, but their own journey. Children learn so much more from going on their own adventures.

When having a discussion with Greg he pointed out a really interesting fact.

Every Roald Dahl books shows the importance of children. Children are portrayed as the ‘magical characters’ and the adults are less important. It gets you thinking right?

Greg also speaks about the ’emotional connection.’ I talk about this a lot in my blog. Children need that emotional connection with others.

Building that emotional connection with pupils is something I really ensure I do. Having a sense of humour, listening to the child, having empathy and showing care is all so important. As recently shown on my blog, I remember packing away all the things in my classroom and a child gave me this card. She waited patiently until I opened it and my eyes filled with tears as I read it. My mission was complete. I had built an emotional connection that will be remembered forever.

‘Children don’t learn from people they don’t like!’ – Rita Pierson

Children don’t always remember what you have taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Greg discusses the constrains of the curriculum demands, school assessment policy, Ofsted…that get in the way (known as the grey area).

He discusses the Yellow area – children’s curiosity, creativity, the skills needed for the unpredictable jobs and future ahead.

Unfortunately this yellow area often gets covered by the grey area.

Greg also talks about the emotional connection known as the black area. Emotional connection in learning and through building positive relationships. Children sense the energy of a teacher and the enthusiasm. Throughout my year of teaching Reception every few minutes a child is proudly showing me a model. I constantly hear:

Miss Pinnock come into my castle or would you like some tea over here? Come to my party , its about to start – I will give you cake!

After talking to Greg I have realised that the children are inviting me into their magical world. Their own adventures linked to their interests and that’s the moment I can use my skills, to get down to their level and provide them with further skills before letting them continue in their magical world.

Children are magical. Children see things completely different to us. They are magic and learning needs to be magic – not like robots. -Greg Bottrill

To enhance the learning in maths this week I have planned a shape hunt that consists of 2D and 3D shapes. Letting children move away from the ‘focus table’ and explore their surroundings by searching for shapes in the environment brought so much creativity, curiosity and interests. Children found shapes in objects I would have never even seen as an adult. As we grow our imaginations get squeezed out of us but a child see’s the world in a completely different way.

This activity meant that all children were engaged and learned the skills needed to name each shape – 2D and 3D. A child picked up his shape hunt sheet at the end and said – “Can I bring it home?” And I never heard the words.. ‘Can I go and play now?’ Why? Because to them they were playing and playing was valued!

Greg is such an inspirational person. He has lots of talks and visits to offer schools.

Take a look at his blog for more details:

Can I go and play now

As always let me know what you think!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Every kid needs a champion

This week I went on some maths lead training and mindset was linked into the topic.

They played the video by Rita on TedTalks and although I have watched it a few times before I would watch it again and again.

It saddens me to see teachers who teach but don’t show love for the pupils.

having respect and listening to children is so important.

I remember being at school , I must have been in year 3 or something and I had the most miserable teacher. She was old, mumbled a load of stuff under her breath and never smiled. I always wondered why she was a teacher. I even thought

Do you even like children?

But of course I never asked her this!

I remember a visitor at a training session shared a quote with us

Children won’t always remember what you have taught them but they will never forget how you made them feel.

This is so true! I respect every single one of my pupils. I will smile and say good morning to every single one even on the days I am exhausted and can’t wait for the holidays. I will apologise if I make a mistake and model good behaviour.

Rita clearly explains the reasons why teachers play such an important part of a child’s life. You can make a huge difference and I always finish watching it with a tear in my eyes.

https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion/up-next

Rita is a great inspiration for all and has made a huge impact on so many educators. I inspire to be like her one day. Rest in peace💕

Let me know your thoughts.

#MissPinnock

The life of me

All set for Year one!

After a super busy holidays, my classroom is finally ready for the year one children tomorrow.

After an amazing chat with Gregg, the author of the book ‘can I go and play now?’ I was eager to set up open ended provision for children. Children are imaginative, extremely creative and see things completely different to us adults. So why discourage this with closed activities and themes?

I have aimed to create a natural classroom, with open-ended play activities to encourage and value creativity and independence in play – whilst also meeting the objectives of the national curriculum!

I will be blogging about it throughout the year so I will keep you posted!

So this marks the first post. I am just going to post an insight into each area of provision I have created, with a bit of reasoning behind it….

My Notice board!

This has a few bits of useful information on such as a timetable and rota’s, along with some lovely motivational teacher gifts which I have previously received!

As a safety procedure it’s important to know the number of children in the class am and pm each day. I decided to link this into place value and maths. The children will count how many children are here in different ways and help write and discuss the amount too!

Maths talk is so important in building up understanding in mathematics, so having it as part of a routine is an easy way of children developing greater depth.

The maths area contains a range of resources that children can independently access.

There are challenges on the table tops for children to explore.

I have prepared the maths area as an assessment to see who can order numbers, recognise them and understand number bonds to 10.

As the children move on throughout year one, there will be written challenges based on maths mastery lessons and linked to the the White Rose maths schemes of work! This scheme has amazing ideas for developing understanding in maths.

I am really encouraging the fact that writing should be everywhere this year, and the children will be encouraged to use clipboards, create books and stories, write lists and letters in any area of provision linked to their own interests.

I have also created a stationery stop to influence children to pick up stationery and use it anywhere… as long at they tidy up too!!

I am super excited to have enough space in Year 1 to create a DT area. The children will independently set up their area with either junk materials or paints and create whatever they wish!

I am looking forward to displaying their artwork too and encouraging their creativity.

The construction area has developed over time and I am excited to enhance children’s creativity with loose parts, as well as blocks and Lego.

I have got some shelf space for children to display their models and further space on another unit for them to display their models too!

I know how frustrated children get when another child breaks their model, so hopefully this will help, as their model will be celebrated by the rest of the class before being destroyed!

The start of year one will begin with a home corner.

Children will relate to a familiar environment, but hopefully a more up levelled version!

I have added weighing scales, real life objects such as cornflake boxes and tin cans of soup. I have also added pasta and potatoes too! Which will link in well with our soup making later on in the half term.

I am eager to see how children play and respond to real life objects….

As part of a daily routine and another opportunity for maths talk, children will come in and vote for the book they would like to listen to at story time.

We will discuss the groups of more and less to begin with and move onto discussing ways of counting them linked to 2s, 5s and 10s.

This has been a tricky corner to think about.. I am starting off by encouraging fine motor skills and building up their development from EYFS.

As we move on into the year, this area will progress into investigations and research where iPads, books and resources will be used!

I strongly believe in writing being available in all areas of provision. So this time I have only considered a phonics area near the reading area.

I have tried to encourage reading by creating a cosy area for children to quietly read a book.

I have also added loose parts and wooden people to encourage children to creatively make up their own story in the small world area.

This week is a focus on getting to know the children and setting high expectations in provision!

Good luck to all of those going back…

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Holidays are nearly coming to an end!

Well the holidays are nearly over!

I have been the most busiest this holiday and I am still working hard now, but all for future goals and achievements!

I hope everyone has had a lovely summer and if you’re a teacher – feel a little bit refreshed!

I purchased this teacher diary (classed as a lesson planner) on amazon …

and it has lovely motivational quotes on each page.

I also purchased this cute notebook from Wilkinson’s too!

Hopefully it will be used as a way of getting through the bumpy ride that teaching brings!

I am looking forward to sharing photos of my classroom on my next blog post! I have really focused on a curiosity approach with natural learning environments!

#letskeeprelaxing

#netflixdaybeforeschool!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, either way you’re right!

I am aiming to instil a positive mindset into my class this year!

Growth mindset for learning is so important. No matter how many fancy displays you have or creative themes and strategies for learning – if the children do not have that ‘can do’ attitude then what’s the point?

Children need to be intrinsically interested in what they are doing to learn well.

I have a few ideas in mind to do this and I will share classroom ideas shortly. But the best time to build on this growth mind set is within those first few weeks of teaching, when you are building in the rules and routines in the classroom.

Enjoy the rest of your summer holiday

#moreplaylesswork!

#itsstilltheholidays

#enjoy!!

The life of me

Day1&2 Barcelona!

Well after a hard working year full of laughter, stress and hope… it’s great to sit back, relax and enjoy some sun!

After a count down for the girlie holiday it has finally arrived! We are spending a week in Barcelona, exploring and enjoying cocktails by the beach.

So far we have walked over 20 miles! So not very relaxing yet!

But we have seen some amazing views!

Delicious cocktails

And food!

Lots more to see tomorrow!

#dontworkallholidays

#enjoyyourself

#lovelife

#theworkloadsneverending

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Writing writing writing!

Looking at my blog I’m in shock with the long break I have had from blogging!

It’s been a super busy month including leaving a school and clearing out to moving to a new school and meeting my new class!

If summer term isn’t busy enough, I’m also working behind the scenes typing up my masters dissertation (which I underestimated) this year!

I am also getting ready for a break away in Barcelona!

whilst I have a break from uni work and the normal routine on holiday, I may do a few travel blogs.

It’s so important to switch off at some point in the holidays and although I have some uni work to complete, I am not letting it take over the summer!

Make sure you spend some time with friends and family if you’re now on holiday.. and also make time to relax!

Have a lovely break and il be back at it soon!

#MissPinnock

Ps this is my current mood!😩

The life of me

Tidy up time!!! Is every second for early years teachers…

It’s been a while since my last blog as I have been busy relaxing from all things teaching this holidays and grafting away at my masters dissertation…

But I just came across a great post that jogged my memory about the EYFS which I’m dying to share with everyone.

It’s quite easy to look around the early years classroom and think- what a mess! Go and tidy up your mess, why have you moved the play dough into the home corner and why are there bowls all over the book corner floor???

But actually if you zone into what children are actually doing and engaged in it’s pretty amazing.

A children will make connections using their imaginations in provision that will be more amazing than any adult could think of.

They may see the yellow play dough as a delicious bowl of porridge and place it in the home corner to cook and play with. They may have transferred bowls in the book corner to imitate a story they have been inspired by. The may have decided to pick up a boat from the water area to help build their bridge and lake in the construction area…

By telling children to put things back and instantly tidy up during their play will actually crush their creativity and stop their ideas of play from flowing.

My message is before you tell a child to tidy up, look around and observe what they are doing with the ‘mess’ you may be more amazed than annoyed….

After all the early years is messy and learning is messy too!!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Maths mastery in The early years!

What’s the best way to learn addition and subtraction other than with real life objects?!

My class have really enjoyed adding pieces of fruit, comparing and sorting different sized buttons, counting magic beans and even different shaped pasta!l this year.

Counting real life objects is a must in the early years before moving into abstract concrete objects just as cubes.

Children will then be able to problem solve by turning the ‘real life object’ from a problem into cubes to work out their answer.

My Reception class have spent a lot of time this year counting different amounts onto 10 frames and exploring the part whole model. This has significantly increased their understanding of number.

For instance the 10 frames have enabled children to realise double facts and number bonds.

I can simply say:

What can you tell me about this number?

The children will come up with a range of responses such as:

8 and 2 make 10

4 and 4 make 8

1 and 1 make 2

8 is more than 2

2 is less than 8

The part part whole model has also helped children with their number bonds and understanding.

The children can explain different ways of making numbers up to 10 and some children now can automatically say the facts and use them in different problems – they have mastered it!!!

Introducing 10 frames, real life objects and part part whole models can really embed the essentials needed for children to reach great success in maths in year 1 and beyond.

Completing maths mastery means you allow time for the children to practise and you continue to review what is needed despite the curriculum content.

Would you rather continue to embed and practise the skills or just move on with children only gaining little knowledge of it anyway?

I am completing a masters dissertation this year all about the impact it can have on children in the Early Year’s, so keep posted!

The NCETM and maths hub also have a range of great resources that you can use for free too.

https://www.ncetm.org.uk/resources/52060

The bbc number blocks are also great and I will be separately blogging about that too. Keep an eye out on these little people!

#MissPinnock