The life of me

The little red hen!

This half term my class have enjoyed receiving bread from their teaching assistant.

Can we try some?

“No because you didn’t help me make it!”

My class have gone on a trip to Lidl and used technology to find out how to make their own bread.

The children have learnt the story of the little red hen and baked some delicious bread this week too!

This has linked into a range of areas of learning in the EYFS curriculum.

From communication and language, to reading and understanding the world.

Maths has also been included through measuring ingredients for the bread in groups and encouraging the language of heavy, light, empty and full.

In provision children have been independently retelling the story with the help of the little red hen.

They have also enjoyed a range of fine motor skills activities such as making play dough bread and rescuing the farm animals.

We will move onto orally retelling the story using pie corvette strategies and then children will write and recreate their own version too!

Creativity in the early years lenses itself to so much fun.

#MissPinnock

The life of me

The importance of play in in the early years!

As a trained nursery nurse and an early years specialised teacher I have strong views on child development and the best ways that children learn.

But I’m so shocked to see the views of many reception teachers that believe in formal type teaching for 4 year olds!

I think learning can be created in a play based way which is engaging and enriching for young children rather than children being pushed though a set of instructions sat at a table like a product on a conveyer belt!

I do feel like I’m on a bit of a rant with this rather than a blog post, but my passion for this is so strong!

I enjoy reading about the ways in which children learn and the provision teachers can plan for children to support this.

Play based learning can help children develop critical thinking, problem solving and social skills in self initiated activities with the teacher being the facilitator of this.

(Taken from the conversation).

Although research has provided that this is much more effective than adult led learning, it still isn’t looked upon as being as important in many schools?I personally think this is due to the demands of the curriculum and the pressure of the job. Teachers feel they have to get children to a certain point and the only way they can see them reach that point is through more adult input…

With the whole debate of a child’s ‘readiness’ for school it’s clear to see how teachers are pressurised into doing the opposite of what child development states.

I’m hoping one day this will change, as education is definitely not a one size fits all, and we should be creating a curriculum that fits in with the child rather than a curriculum that we try fit the child into.

I’d love to know your thoughts?

#MissPinnock

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