The life of me

Play dough fun and fine motor skills!

This week I made some yellow, ginger spiced play dough for the children and I collected a range of enhancements to develop their fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills are such an important skill for children to develop in Reception to get there fingers moving ready to grasp pens and pencils correctly…

The children have really enjoyed creating different animals that link to jingle animals using pasta, pom poms, googly eyes, straws and a range of tools.

Because I left it open ended some children also enjoyed making delicious play dough cupcakes too! Yummy!

I have also used play dough to develop maths skills and children have enjoyed counting out the right amount using play dough too.

How do you use play dough?!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Work life balance!

This is always a topic for all teachers in education! Having a good work life balance is tricky at times. You may feel that school is on your mind on weekends, or your working so much you hardly have one day off a week! But I think it really is down to your head teacher and how they support teachers to have a better work life balance! Little things can actually make a huge difference….

Such as emails! Emails can cause so much anxiety because it usually means another thing to add to your to do list! I never ever look through emails on a weekend. This is my weekend off so no way am I going to start increasing my to do list.

Moving schools has made me feel like I have a much better work life balance! I’m not sure if it’s due to changing year groups? Now I’m in the early years there is no never ending need to mark books. I often marked 90 books in a day at times in year 1!

Secondly, I finish work at 12.30 every Friday! How refreshing? The afternoon is my PPA time but I also get 2 hours PPA through the week with my year group partner which means we can discuss the plans together and go off and get things done.

Team work is also key! I have a great team that helps to get resources together for the following week. So this weekend my to do list is literally 2 things that shouldn’t take more than an hour of my weekend time!

This means I feel refreshed on Monday and I spend great time with my family and friends this weekend too!

I also live much closer to my school a 10 minute drive! This has helped me stick to my gym goals and have more time to myself in the evenings!

Small changes make a huge difference! How are you managing your work life balance?

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Footprints….?

To encourage excitement and talk today on the early years the children found footprints and ivy. What is it? How did it get here? Who do they belong to? Is it an animal? Or is it a person?

So many questions and predictions led from this. The children helped me read the letter and we found out it was a baby monkey! It had lost his mummy and he wanted our help.

The children discussed ideas throughout they day. Tomorrow we will introduce the story monkey puzzle and we will begin to retell and find out more!

We even meausred another childs shoe against the prints to find out if it was hers!

Creativity is key in the early years!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Classroom and Teaching Resources!

After a few weeks back at school, its almost like summer has been forgotten and I cant remember lazying about in my pajamas watching netflix! The school year has started and we are all busy settling children into new rules and routines.

I am so excited for the year ahead. Watching my class grow and learn will certainly make me proud.

I had a summer panic when I saw lots of ‘pinterest’ ready classrooms on twitter ready for the school year, especially because I was changing school and didn’t have one thing prepared!

But I have managed to set up my classroom with a great help from resources supplied by twinkl. Twinkl has over500,000 resources, from classroom display titles and labels. To activities.

As I am teaching jolly phonics this year, I used twinkl to create my display of sounds.

 

phonics

 

twinkl also has a twinkl create section, so you can use templates to create your own resources such as word mats, labels, posters, bunting and more!

I am looking forward to creating new wordmats linked to a range of stories I will be teaching. These can be added to mark making areas etc! There will be more pictures coming soon…

#MissPinnock

The life of me

The life of An Early Years Classroom

I started my new chapter in a new school. New faces, new places and new year group! But my face may of looked a little bit like a shock horror when I walked through the gates to see a huge building site sitting in what was before the huge Reception classroom area!

I wondered how I was going to transform dusty blank walls and a few tables and chairs into a welcoming classroom for new pupils to walk into tomorrow… but of course I am pretty resilient and an hour in I was stuck in with moving furniture around. My brain filled with ideas and I began to forget about how panicked I was!

The staff are so welcoming which is great and my class are learning the rules and routines. It is definitely like hurding sheep in the first few weeks. Making a line and walking to lunch took 20 minutes but we will get there!

I have been inspired by many teachers on both Pinterest and Facebook this year as soo many ideas have been shared for early years classrooms. And I have created a classroom based on the children’s photographs and work rather than spending hours on a display made by and only appreciated by the teacher that put it up.

At the moment I only have half of my classroom as there is still a lot of building work going on…but I have made the most of as many areas of provision as possible and the outdoors is a huge space with a range of amazing learning to be fulfilled!

The children love the challenge area that’s displayed along some table tops:

here are some of my displays too!

Our displays are designed as working walls. As soon as children complete the work- hang it up for them to be proud of instead of spending a million years backing it all… Less workload too!

How are we all settling into the school life again?

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Ready for Autumn?

I love a good clear out and a tidy of the office before i’m back to long days and nights. Being in my final year of my MA in Education this year and starting a new year group and job – I know I will need to work super hard! But I always love a challenge. So  I thought I would start to prepare my mind today by having a deep clean and clutter in the office!

I love having a space to work, a quite place that is pretty relaxing too!

laptop

So whilst clearing out and making everything super tidy.. I stumbled across some cute baby socks and items! During University I sold a range of baby items on my own baby website and I have a small amount of stock left.

I have decided to sell these on ebay for around £1 each as it is currently listed for £3.49 for 3 socks – you can pick your own design and free delivery. So any mummy bloggers fancy a cute bargain take a look!

#MissPinnock

 

 

 

 

The life of me

How to survive your NQT year!

I thought I’d do a survival blog posts for any upcoming NQTs that are feeling a bit nervous at the moment for the year to come!

First of all I remember my NQT year like it was yesterday! I lost loads of weight, I was completely exhausted, I felt like I lived in a little teaching bubble as all that I could think of is work and I had days where I just cried!

But….

I come out stronger, inspired and so excited to not only start my second year but to start my masters too!

So here are some top tips that got me through the year. Hopefully it will help some of you NQTs.

1. Find something you enjoy and do it every week! Something to help you switch off. I loved going to the gym so that got me through my year for sure. Such a great stress relief without thinking of anything.

2. Book a holiday or short break every half term! This really kept me going as it was something to look forward to!

3. Never bring marking home. Just don’t bring any books home no matter what. Make sure you mark in school you will feel so much better!!

4. Go to that staff room at lunch time! Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Talking to others and getting out of the room your in all day will make you feel better for sure.

5. Let go of the workload. Priorities what you need to get done straight away and leave the bits you don’t need to to urgently for another time. I’d always spend Saturday meeting friends, family and shopping and Sunday for a FEW hours only I’d take out some time to do planning.

6. Share the workload with your colleague. You can’t do it all so team work is key!

7. The holidays are your holidays so again don’t spend more than a day doing work in any of them to! The more refreshed you are the better.

8. Enjoy it, enjoy the moments you have with your class and the laughs and memories that can be made too.

I hope this helps some NQTS out there. Any more top tips? Feel free to comment.

#MissPinnock