The life of me

A trip to the seaside!

What great way to start the half term with a trip to the SEASIDE! This really helped to kick start our seaside theme, the children were amazed and loved seeing the clear blue sea, the soft sand and the seagulls of course!

It may seem surprising but to many children in my class this was there first ever experience of the seaside. This is what certainly made the exhaustion of the trip worthwhile!


After an amazing trip the learning of Geography and some aspects of History have been transferred within the classroom. The use of twinkl resources have really helped to support the vocabulary links of the seaside. I created an ice cream shop in the classroom to introduce coins and money. I also used real ice cream cones and twinkl’s key words to reinforce reading and language.


Twinkls resources for this was amazing! The pictures and text for the seaside range is both appropriate and accessible for all learners. But certainly as a teacher balancing the children’s development in year 1 and supporting the National Curriculum, the WORK LOAD of the resources are certainly worthwhile!

The children also found a crab at the seaside. They were full of fascination and questions too. As a follow up activity I have found a great crab paper plate craft on twinkl too!


Image result for paper plate crab twinkl

I like the way it comes with instructions which reinforces children’s independence to read for purpose in order to make it.


Take a look or download it here:

Twinkl Crab Craft

I am looking forward to carrying out this activity and there will be more pictures to follow after completion!


Let me know your thoughts!




The life of me

The three little pigs!

I recently planned a lesson of the three little pigs – with a twist! I started off by using a story map to recap the events of the three little pigs…

Here is my lovely art work of course πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚. I think showed the children a letter which we read together. It was from the big bad wolf! Explaining that he was going to come back and he was now bigger and stronger!

The children had to make their own houses using a range of materials including lolly pop sticks, tissue paper, foil and plastic.

The children then tested their houses using a big bad blow dryer! (This was inspired by Pinterest).

Through this activity children learnt the names of different materials and started to understand the properties of them. They also worked together with their partner to problem solve, linking to design and technology objectives too!

The engagement of the children was amazing and a planned follow up activity linked to writing for purpose as the children wrote a letter back to the the little pigs explaining what they should do!

A perfect year 1 lesson,


The life of me

Phonics & Writing with Twinkl Resources

I always start the day off with a morning activity with my class. For this half term most of the morning activities consisted of a focus on reading to help embed any sounds children struggle with. I have used twinkl’s phonics activity to help with this.

When you download this from twinkl you will find a folder full of all the phase 1-5 sounds with real and nonsense words in!

My class absolutely love colouring in the read words and nonsense words. It has been a fun way to start the day and I can definitely tell it has had a positive impact on my classes ability to grasp certain sounds they struggle with.

The split sounds such as:





This was my main focus as children always find them harder and it has really helped! After a crazy week of phonics screening, I am sure that the twinkl resources for phonics has helped make a positive impact on children’s consolidation of sounds.


Twinkl is also great at other morning activities to hit those strange KS1 objectives. For instance, my class have easily reached the objective of spelling days of the week through the simple, already prepared resource meaning all I had to do was press print!


Activities like these are also great to send as homework or use for extra interventions too.

Twinkl has a huge range of resources online that can are of easy access and are affordable too! Take a peak….

Please note thatΒ I have been given a free subscription in return for the review – but all thoughts are my own.



Alison Philipson – Spelling

I was amazed by the ideas I received from Alison Phillipsons writing session and I recently had the opportunity to learn more with a focus of spelling.

Alison Phillipsons spelling ideas have really brought enjoyment to my class! My class love this simple phonics game!

First of all I pick out some sounds for them to create words with. I usually focus on some sounds that they struggle with and some that will also challenge the advanced pupils.

Every child picks up a whiteboard and pen after lunch whilst I do the register. They then sit and write as many words as thecan using the words.

The amount children come up with is amazing!! It is so open ended and it fits right in with meeting the needs of all children!

Struggling learners spelt simple CVC words like sat, nap, fat and even nit! πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ

Whilst advanced pupils spelt words like snake, phone, shape and fake.

You can easily add more sounds and reduced the sounds if necessary too! Give it a try it is great!



The evidence of success!

I have been researching about action research as part of my MA in Education recently and I decided to take on some action research after coming across the problem of children not being secure with their phonics sounds despite daily phonics sessions.

So after shear frustration disappointment in myself after feeling like iv let down my pupils. I decided to create a timetable full of 10 minutes phonics interventions.

We follow the Read Write Inc program (as previously mentioned) and they recommend 10 minutes a day to help struggling learners. The only problem was I could count about 12 children that needed it, which meant that we would need 120 spare minutes every day!

I worked creatively and came up with my action plan:

1. More phonics morning activities for all children.

2. Inform parents! Some parents will help and that communication is vital.

3. Interventions run through the day with the TA and I. Luckily I also have a student this half term so it’s all go from the second children enter the doors!

4. Record progress of children and persevere!

Then the lightbulb moment appeared and the children begun to make rapid progress!

Isn’t it amazing when you see how much you hard work is making a difference! For me the success of the children are worth the blood, sweat and tears that come with the job!

Of course, it’s assessments that have actually made me realise how much progress they have made! Action research is a reciprocal cycle so my next steps are informed by it, let’s get the children fluently reading now they can identify all the sounds in words securely.

I can highly recommend the 20 minutes phonics based plan of read write inc and the support and intervention advice that come with it.

Teach a child to read and you can change everything. And I mean everything.

Ooh and thank you to ‘fred’ for helping us to look for special friends and use ‘fred talk.’πŸ˜‚πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

The life of me

Work life balance!

Whether you have been teaching 1 year or 20 years there’s always that talk of never having enough time and a work life balance!

As a teacher in my third year of teaching.l, I often find myself so engrossed into a topic that I sometimes spend a very long tome thinking and planning it! But you definitely need to switch off and enjoy your life too!!!

We are juggling like crazy through the day…

So here are my top tips!

  • My first rule – is never ever ever ever do work on a Saturday! I have always stuck to this rule, because you need at least ONE day off! So Friday evening the books, laptop and everything else are stored and Its time to catch up with family and friends! I have done this since my NQT year and it works a treat.
  • Never mark books at home! For me marking at home is super depressing, so I would much prefer and early start in the morning than a big pile of books in the evening!
  • Whilst we are onto the topic of marking, evaluate the effect of marking. Will it impact learning? If not Don’t do it!! Your wasting your time. For me instant feedback and self marking where possible works a treat.
  • Plan effectively and when needed… my smart boards are my plan. If you know wha you’re teaching and all the little steps of it, who is a typed up plan for??!
  • Leave early on Friday! It makes you feel refreshed and energised ready for a good well needed rest!
  • Organise days out away from home to avoid sitting in doing work / chores. I am always out 80% of the time on a Saturday.
  • No when to stop. A teachers to do list is never ending, so prioritise your workload, share workload through team work with others and no when it’s time to sit down and relax!

I hope it is a helpful blog post! Although teaching is an amazing career it can be super time consuming if you don’t work creatively.

Let me know your thoughts.



What really makes young children happy!

Have you ever been frustrated after buying a young child an expensive toy with a million fancy buttons but really all they are interested in is the box? Haha!

Young children really don’t need a million fancy musical toys to learn and enjoy, it’s the simplistic of things that really engage them and develop their language and social skills.

I recently spent some time with my nephew and it was amazing to see how much new words he learnt from playing with sand and water!

Although he made my house a complete mess and I felt like I was eating a sand sandwich, it was all worth it!

This sand tray came from the toy store,

Smyths Toys

And it was only Β£14.99! What a bargain.

I purchased the sand on offer at Tesco’s for around Β£3.00 too!

Through playing with sand and water my nephew who is 2 in May, learnt the words

Pat pat – when making sandcastles and the word turtle after creating sand shaped turtles and that was in the space of around 30 minutes!

He didn’t want to put it away and was devastated when I mentioned the word bed time!

The easiest and simplest things are definitely the most engaging!

Give it a try and ditch the super expensive toys!