The life of me

Whatever next?!

This half term we are learning all about space! The children heard a loud crash in the playground and found some old broken pieces of a spaceship! They also found the book whatever next and a letter from 2 aliens pip and tas!

We covered pieces of old equipment in hair gel and the children were full of aww and wonder!

What could it be?

Why is it so sticky?

Who has landed?

Whats this book?

We have started to read the story whatever next, this is a great story linked to space.

The children have enjoyed writings lists of things to pack to space and have enjoyed using props from the story whatever next.

I have created a small world area linked to space and a creative space writing area.

The children have also started to design spaceships and rockets and build them in the construction area.

Space can really spark children’s imagination and I am looking forward to continuing to build up the theme this half term.

I will blog about an updated version of my space planning soon!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Rainbow Factory Leeds – an honest school trip review!

My first school trip with my Reception class was to Rainbow Factory in Leeds. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect all though I was aware it linked to our story telling and tradition tales that we had been looking into that term.

I hadn’t really heard of the place either but I was excited to see what it would be like!

As the children filled up on the mini buses they were filled with so many questions, Will we see the 3 bears? How long until we get there? And of course… can I eat my lunch now!?

Related image

Fortunately, it didn’t take long for us to arrive and we were greeted by lovely staff. The room was very inviting and filled with story book characters quotes and a stage. We spent the first half hour in the play area whilst we waited for the rest of the children to arrive and then we were ready for the workshop!

Related image

The website also has many workshops available! It can be tailor made to a range of different topics.

We started off by watching a production of little red riding hood. The actors were amazing and engaged all children by asking questions and including them in the performance.

We then split off and created our own poems, using ideas and descriptive language that the children came up with with support.

We entered different rooms filled with resources and book characters. It looked amazingly magical and the children were drawn to everything they saw and asked so many questions.

They provided us with a seating area, so the children had their lunch and then we continued with some different workshops and another interactive story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears before setting off back to school.

We spent the whole day there and the children thoroughly enjoyed learning about the stories and I especially liked the way they brought books to life to encourage reading for enjoyment!

Image result for rainbow factory farsley

I would say it’s definitely a trip to visit. It does feel hidden as I had never heard of it before, so this is the reason I thought I would create a blog about it. For a small cost and an easy location for schools around the Leeds and Bradford area, you should really take a look!

Image result for rainbow factory farsley

#Miss Pinnock

The life of me

A new term!

As the Christmas decorations come down and we start to prepare to go back to work we may feel ready and refreshed.

However, the children we go back to might have had a completely different experience of Christmas and the holiday period. Some children may have had an amazing time. Filled with family, laughter, presents and warmth. But some children may have experienced the opposite. Its easy to enter school and ask children what they have been doing over the holidays, and ask about what presents they all retrieved, but its especially important to be mindful of those that may want to forget.

I came across this post that really got me thinking….

quote

 

 

 

As much as we may feel tired or unprepared to start the working week. Lets think about the children that can’t wait to see us for that safety and routine.

A teacher has a lot of roles, only one of which is actually giving children knowledge. A warming smile, open arms and even time to talk to any of my pupils if they want me to isĀ  what I am prepared to do on my first week back.

Have a lovely week!

#MissPinnock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The life of me

The last day of 2018!

The end of the year! As always it flies by, especially if you are a teacher as you count down each term!

This year has brought so much determination, excitement and hope. I have taken risks such as leaving a school that I was happily comfortable with to grow and develop my career as a teacher. I took on the challenge of starting at a school in a very deprived area but it has taught me so much and I throughly enjoy my decision. It has helped me continue to achieve my goals in leadership and I am very much looking forward to continuing that in 2019.

So today I will raise a glass to my achievements but also reflect on the year to come! I think that goal setting is crucial for success. The goals that I set this year helped me to achieve many things and I am going to set more goals for 2019.

These goals will both be personal and career goals. I am also going to set goals for myself that lenses itself to a 2-5 year plan. If you don’t realistically set goals then chances are you won’t reach them!

Wishing my blogger friends a lovely NYE and a happy new year ahead!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Counting is a complicated process! These are all of the steps…

When asking children to count, you may not realise how many skills you need to be able to count correctly.

After further study during my Masters in Education and experiences of teaching mastery maths… here are the real steps children have to achieve to be able to COUNT anything!

Firstly children need to know the names of numbers. Numbers are often learnt through a range of nursery rhymes such as 5 little ducks and 10 in a bed etc. This gets children remembering the number names and building up the language needed to count.

So after that children can count right?! Nope!

Children may then say:

5,6,2,1 etc

The next step is the need for children to count the numbers in the right order, this is know as the stable order principle.

So now children know the right order for counting and the number names….that it isn’t it?

Children then have to remember to ‘tag’ also known as the 1:1 principle. So children also have to touch each object too.

But that’s not it! A child has to ask remember to say each number name as they touch each object and get it in the right order which is known as synchrony.

So surely after putting all those skills together I can finally count now?!

Wrong! A child then has to track! This means they know which set has already been counted and which set still needs counting.

After all of that is in place, all children have to remember now is that the last number they say is the total of the set known as the cardinality.

Wow! Who would of thought such a simple question like count the cubes could be so confusing for a young child!

The best thing to do is to assess al children using a little tick sheet of these 7 skills to counting. This will help identify which stage every child is at and how you can help them overcome their barriers.

Pre number is extremely important for children and I will go into more detail in my upcoming blogs.

The life of me

Teaching the early years is easy… said none early years teachers!

If you have worked with children aged 3-5 years old you will know exactly what I’m talking about! When a teacher says oh do you just play all day? Or a parent thinks that this stage of school isn’t that serious….

Well in fact..,

A good start to school in the foundation stage builds the foundations of crucial learning and success in future!

Teachers have to plan creative, engaging independent play activities to develop all areas of a child. From their personal, social and emotional development to their early reading, writing, maths, creativity and physical development.

Whilst preparing provision suitable for all children to access, an early years teacher is also required to gather observations for every child based on every area. The teacher also has to make sure phonics sessions are in place for children’s early reading and writing skills and implementing ways to build and teach children early maths skills.

The early years is where children first grasp a pencil correctly, form letters and write short captions. In some schools teachers are also faced with potty training and building language and vocabulary for children with speak and language problems too!

I think every teacher needs to see a child from their very first starting points in school. In my eyes this is the place that needs to most staff and the most input and time! That way the foundations are built and there will be a minimised possibility of huge learning gaps further up in school.

What are your thoughts?!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Is technology taking over childhood?

This week our staff meeting was based on esafety in schools. A local police officer came in to refresh our minds and raise awareness of the apps and devices children are exposed to. Although I am a Primary School teacher it’s shocking to see that so many children as young as 6 are actively using phones, iPads and Xbox’s unsupervised by an adult.

I came out feeling shocked but what better way to raise awareness than to share it?!

I was born in a generation where we ran around our streets playing hide and seek, curby and having amazing street water fights. Our knees were grazed and our bike tryes were worn out and we would laugh until we cried most days!

The scary thing is.. that wasn’t long ago! But now a child’s life is extremely different.

Children are playing the latest games indoors, they are wanting everyone to see a great selfie of themselves. Online friends seem to be so popular for many children who feel like they don’t ‘fit’ in too.

Games so easily take you to online chat rooms, for some children this is a person to talk to and they try to build trust with them. But who is this person? Are they even who they say they are? Children are vulnerable and need to be taught what’s right from wrong and parents and teachers need to make sure they know the dangers of it!

first of all there are many abbreviations such as:

  • PAW (Parents are watching)
  • PITR (Parent in the room)
  • PBB (Parent behind back)
  • POMS (Parent over my shoulder)
  • KPC (Keeping parents clueless)
  • PAH (Parent at home).

Children will use this to hide and divert conversations.

I also found out about a shocking app… a secret calculator!

It looks very similar to the iPhone app, accept when you enter the password such as 4+2=6 the app unlocks and many images or other apps and conversations can be hidden behind it!

This obviously makes keeping children safe much harder. Parents especially need to be so aware of what children are doing and the kinds of apps they have.

We also discussed the addictiveness of certain games which have been created by the help of physiologists of course! Many children prefer to play on games like fortnight and despite age restrictions it is very accessible for many children. There has been a case of a child becoming so addictive to gaming they no longer leave their house and need a nappy due to holding their bladder so long to continue playing it. There are children that become anxious without their phone and new terms have been created by doctors for instance, nomophobia.

There are now centres for support and rehab for the addiction of gaming too, take a look here for more information.

So I think the curriculum in education needs a rethink too. We need to make children aware of the dangers of technology and we need to support their wellbeing. Unfortunately this can’t only be left in the hands of the parents as we will be failing many children in a new and upcoming generation of a technology dominated life!

Please share this post so it reaches as many parents and teachers as possible!!!

Let me know your thoughts.

#MissPinnock