My Jamaican Christmas Cake!

So this isn’t an educational post but it was too delicious not to share!!!

I love baking when I feel like I have the time, so making this Christmas cake was great. It also tasted amazing! I have decided to make another one for New Years too!

I soaked sultanas in a bottle (yup a full bottle!) of sherry. After a week or so I added some Jamaican rum not too much! I left this soaking for 2 weeks in total, the rest of it is still there in the fridge ready to be baked!

Ingredients:

  • 250g (9oz) butter
  • 250g (9oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g (4oz) glace cherries

1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 3 (160c). Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix until smooth.

2. Gradually add in the eggs and a little bit of flour if it starts to curdle.

3. Stir in the flour and spices. I added cinnamon, nutmeg and glacé cherries too!

4. Spoon out the mixture into a large cake tin

5. Place in the oven and bake for up to 60 mins. Smell the delicious flavours as it bakes!

6. Leave to cool down and taste the delicious cake! You may decorate it but I didn’t think it was needed!🤣 I added custard to mine for a great Christmas Day dessert.

Enjoy!

Do you bake for Christmas Day?

#MissPinnock

DIY Christmas Gifts….

I love how creative children are. They see things in a completely different way to us.. I decided to encourage the creativity of my nephew’s love of cars this Christmas. Not only is it reusing resources and stopping them from being dumped in landfill.. it is loved by my nephew and pretty easy to create!

I purchased a wooden reel from a local scrap store. If you haven’t visited one then you really should they are amazing!!

 

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I also purchased some black chalk paint from Amazon. I love this stuff… it can be used to paint most surfaces and drys as a chalkboard. I thought this was the perfect way to paint the reel, that way my nephew can draw and create whatever he wants on it using chalk!

 

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Kindly enough I received some AstroTurf free from a local scrap store. I used this to decorate the top of the reel and added  a few dinosaurs purchased from Amazon too! I created a city using some chalk pens from Amazon. These are great and easily wipe off tables and wooden surfaces, as well as this chalk board paint too.

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The most open ended presents are the best right?!

I hope you had a great Christmas…

As always let me know your thoughts!

#MissPinnock

 

 

7 Fun and Educational Ways to Pass the Time Indoors with the Kids this Winter

I am excited to post this written by a guest blogger:
Carrie Spencer created The Spencer’s Adventures to share her family’s homesteading adventures where she shares tips on living self-sufficiently, fruit and vegetable gardening, parenting, conservation, and more. She and her wife have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 goats, 32 chickens, and a whole bunch of bees. Their goal to live as self-sufficiently and environmentally-consciously as possible.
blog2019
Image via Pixabay

 

When the weather outside is frightful, the kids can get rambunctious and bored. On those inclement weather days, you might need a few tips to help keep your children engaged, entertained, and occupied. In this article, we discuss seven kid-friendly activities best enjoyed indoors, to offer fun and educational relief this winter.

 

Cooking and Baking Lessons

Bust out the old cookbooks or find an easy-to-make dessert online for baking lessons in the kitchen. Don the aprons and enjoy some quality bonding time over a mixing bowl. The kids will learn about ingredients and following directions. As a reward, they’ll get to enjoy their creations.

 

Virtual Travel Learning

Make use of screen time by creating a digital adventure. Consider choosing a new country and encourage your little ones to learn about its geography on a map, native wildlife, and culture. Create ongoing activities by having your children draw their favorite animals from other parts of the world, or play dress-up to reflect the cultural garb to celebrate worldly traditions.

 

Herb Gardening

Sometimes, kids need a little dirt in their hands. Consider creating a small herb garden and let them cultivate their minds, too. They can learn responsibility while watering and maintaining the health of the garden. After your herbs have fully grown, you can use them to create delicious dishes for the whole family.

 

Family Time Capsule

You may not be able to go outside to bury a family time capsule right now, but you can certainly take advantage of the indoor time to create one. This is a great way for the kids to reflect when they’re older and return to the time capsule. Have them create lists of their likes and dislikes, decide what toys or trinkets to include, and look for newspaper clippings. Pick out family photos together and add them to the capsule.

 

Reading

Encourage your children to read, whether it be a book, magazine, or on a device. Reading is one of the best resources for developmental learning and can also be one of the toughest to convince your kids to do. Let them have their screen time if it helps; you can download apps and e-books for your kids to use. Be mindful to always keep your devices protected, as well. The little ones may cozy up to your smartphone with snacks and hot chocolate, neither of which you’ll want to end up all over the device. Consider a LifeProof case to protect your phone from water, slobber, drops, and crumby fingers—all while giving your kids complete access to the phone’s functions. You’ll rest assured knowing they’ll be enthralled in a reading activity and have the ability to scroll and navigate properly without damaging the device.

 

Old-Fashioned Board Games and Puzzles

Your children may spend much of their time with video games and online funny cat videos. So, the old-fashioned board games might be a source of new-to-them entertainment. Introduce siblings to Battleship or play a friendly game of Sorry as a family. Even the only child families can enjoy new versions of solitaire card games. Learning a new game or engaging thoughtful patience over a puzzle can be wonderful in skill development.

 

Kid-Friendly Workouts

If your little’s are bouncing off the walls and brimming with energy with nowhere to put it, consider some family aerobic exercise. Have everyone sport their best workout gear and get moving! You can walk them through a video or two of dance routines or have them use hula hoops. It’s also a great opportunity to teach them the importance of proper stretching. Whichever workout you choose, the kids are bound to burn off energy and have fun at the same time.

 

If playing in the great outdoors isn’t an ideal option, there’s plenty of educational and fun activities the kids can enjoy inside. In case they come out to tell you they’re bored, have a roster of learning and entertainment ideas ready for them. You’ll not only help them pass the time, but you’ll also be fostering an environment of learning at home.

 

Spellings!

Spellings always seem a bit of a boring session when teaching but there are ways of making it more fun!

Tricky words

I often use these tricky words songs on YouTube. They are a great fun way of children learning how to spell lots of tricky words.

Beware they will get stuck in your head for days!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TvMyssfAUx0&feature=youtu.be

Spelling Shed

If your school can invest in this then they really should! Spelling shed is great for practising spellings through fun games that are played online. All children are given a unique username and password so they can access it from home too!

You can assign spellings for your class and they will learn them through the games on spelling shed. I often have a group of children practising spellings whilst me and my TA teach a group of children.

How do you teach spelling?

#MissPinnock

Simple activities are sometimes the best!

My class loved entering the classroom this week and seeing a selection of Christmas books, a Christmas tree and advent calendars too.

I created an activity of wrapping boxes for Xmas presents and they absolutely loved it! The children dressed up like elves and wrapped the presents carefully. It also linked into the English lessons of using the language of first, next, then and finally!

I found this idea on an Instagram page so I tweaked it to fit our class puppet Gertrude. A simple assessment of finding out who can write their numbers and letters the write way around. It’s been a huge focus this week as some children are still finding it tricky.

Check out the link of this resource and download it for free on my resources page on Sunday!

I was amazed at how many children chose to sit and do this activity!

Dojo points definitely helped.. some children received 10.

The children have also been busy creating repeated patterns and using an iPad to capture it. The use of technology is great in provision. I often use them when the children build models too!

Just a few more weeks of the festive fun, we can do this!

#MissPinnock

Anything is possible!

When I first started this blog I was just starting my Masters in Education. What a journey it has been! Stressful days, laughs in lectures and I sometimes sat and questioned myself! The work load of teaching as a full time teacher is demanding in itself, but adding a masters degree in the mix is hard to describe!

I’ve definitely had to make sacrifices. Spend weekends in the library at times. Sometimes I’ve felt drained as if I’ve hit the wall… but it had been an amazing and rewarding journey!

I did it!!! 3 years of strict(ish) time management and typing until I’m blue in the face. 🤣

My key message is aim high!

Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I have learned so much through this degree and it has helped me gain many opportunities.

If you have a goal or even a dream job that you keep holding off. Just do it. Life’s too short to say hmm I should of…

Just go for it as you never know where it might take you!

Ooh how can I miss this video clip out!🤣

#MissPinnock

Teaching phonics

The teaching of phonics can be done in so many ways!

Here are my top tips on what has worked well for the classes I’ve taught.

Partner work

I always have parts of my lesson with children learning / consolidating sounds with a partner.

We play a range of phonics games with a partner such as roll and read and bingo and they love working together to read and play the games.

A great activity children seem to love is one I use with a timer.

All you need to do is create a grid of words (up to you how many words you would like children to read) and then children using a lollipop stick with their partner to take in turns to read the words down and then across the page.

The winning partners are the ones that manage to do it before the end of the timer. So simple and easy to prep yet the children love it!

Always consolidating

Some children need to see the words or sounds up 40 times before they are able to remember it. Consolidating sounds and reading words you have previously read is key. I read and spell 3 previously learnt words with my class and 3 words with the new sound in every day to help embed them.

High frequency words are also important to practise throughout the week. Each day we read 3 high frequency words- discussing why they are tricky words and then I spend Fridays practising spelling the words too.

Frequent assessment to inform planning

Assessing the children regularly helps to gain a real understanding of the sounds they have remembered. That way you can use this to reteach or introduce new sounds that are needed to meet the needs of the children.

Routine

My phonics lessons have the same routine each day so that children are aware of the activities, what’s coming next and what we will be doing. The use of whiteboards and pens are great for phonics and works well too. I often use these at the beginning of the lesson for spelling before moving onto games and writing/ reading.

Self assessment

I always think it’s a great idea to get the children to self correct their writing band spelling as soon as we have don’t them. Instant feedback is effective and enables the children to see their mistakes and find out how to improve instantly too!

After spelling a word the children tick each sound and check alongside my writing. We repeat this for writing sentences too.

Continuous provision in year 1

It’s the first time I have carried out continuous provision throughout the day every day in year 1 and I have to say it’s great!

It has allowed time for children to get the scaffolding and differentiation needed to meet their needs whilst the rest of the children are working at their level with carefully challenged enhancements and play opportunities.

I am so glad that I purchased open ended scrap resources for play from scrap magic and scrap store. This has helped children to develop their own creativity and ideas whilst i’ve been in the background adding further suggestions when needed to further their learning.

The children have really enjoyed creating and building their own castles in the small world as part of our castle topics.

They also create their own stories and add enhancements of their own to our castle role play. The children have created recipes, magic spells and menus linked to their own interests.

Play is definitely valuable in year 1, it’s just about getting the environment and enhancements to a good level for the children! Purposeful play can certainly be created without an an adult having to constantly stay in provision with the children too!

Let me know your thoughts.

#MissPinnock

Continuous provision in year 1

It’s the first time I have carried out continuous provision throughout the day every day in year 1 and I have to say it’s great!

It has allowed time for children to get the scaffolding and differentiation needed to meet their needs whilst the rest of the children are working at their level with carefully challenged enhancements and play opportunities.

I am so glad that I purchased open ended scrap resources for play from scrap magic and scrap store. This has helped children to develop their own creativity and ideas whilst i’ve been in the background adding further suggestions when needed to further their learning.

The children have really enjoyed creating and building their own castles in the small world as part of our castle topics.

They also create their own stories and add enhancements of their own to our castle role play. The children have created recipes, magic spells and menus linked to their own interests.

Play is definitely valuable in year 1, it’s just about getting the environment and enhancements to a good level for the children! Purposeful play can certainly be created without an an adult having to constantly stay in provision with the children too!

Let me know your thoughts.

#MissPinnock

Continuous provision in year 1

It’s the first time I have carried out continuous provision throughout the day every day in year 1 and I have to say it’s great!

It has allowed time for children to get the scaffolding and differentiation needed to meet their needs whilst the rest of the children are working at their level with carefully challenged enhancements and play opportunities.

I am so glad that I purchased open ended scrap resources for play from scrap magic and scrap store. This has helped children to develop their own creativity and ideas whilst i’ve been in the background adding further suggestions when needed to further their learning.

The children have really enjoyed creating and building their own castles in the small world as part of our castle topics.

They also create their own stories and add enhancements of their own to our castle role play. The children have created recipes, magic spells and menus linked to their own interests.

Play is definitely valuable in year 1, it’s just about getting the environment and enhancements to a good level for the children! Purposeful play can certainly be created without an an adult having to constantly stay in provision with the children too!

Let me know your thoughts.

#MissPinnock