The life of me

Can I go and play now?!

If you are a teacher within the Early Years or KS1, there must have been a time when you have called a child to the table to complete some work with you and they have replied with – can I go and play now?

I was lucky enough to meet the amazing author, Greg Bottrill, who has written the book ‘Can I go and play now?’ Listening to part of his talk was extremely inspiring and linked to all of the reasons and values of why I became a Primary School Teacher.

Greg discussed the importance of inputs and hooks for children’s learning – ‘learning should be like poetry,’ with children’s interests woven into how we teach the curriculum.

I love Greg’s idea’s about the magic door. Greg’s suitcase is the planning, and he walks through the magic door into children’s adventures. He provides the skills children need within that adventure and then he lets them continue with their adventure.

No child wants to go on your adventure! Just like us, as adults we are more interested on going on our own ‘adventure.’

Everyone wants to go on a journey, but their own journey. Children learn so much more from going on their own adventures.

When having a discussion with Greg he pointed out a really interesting fact.

Every Roald Dahl books shows the importance of children. Children are portrayed as the ‘magical characters’ and the adults are less important. It gets you thinking right?

Greg also speaks about the ’emotional connection.’ I talk about this a lot in my blog. Children need that emotional connection with others.

Building that emotional connection with pupils is something I really ensure I do. Having a sense of humour, listening to the child, having empathy and showing care is all so important. As recently shown on my blog, I remember packing away all the things in my classroom and a child gave me this card. She waited patiently until I opened it and my eyes filled with tears as I read it. My mission was complete. I had built an emotional connection that will be remembered forever.

‘Children don’t learn from people they don’t like!’ – Rita Pierson

Children don’t always remember what you have taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Greg discusses the constrains of the curriculum demands, school assessment policy, Ofsted…that get in the way (known as the grey area).

He discusses the Yellow area – children’s curiosity, creativity, the skills needed for the unpredictable jobs and future ahead.

Unfortunately this yellow area often gets covered by the grey area.

Greg also talks about the emotional connection known as the black area. Emotional connection in learning and through building positive relationships. Children sense the energy of a teacher and the enthusiasm. Throughout my year of teaching Reception every few minutes a child is proudly showing me a model. I constantly hear:

Miss Pinnock come into my castle or would you like some tea over here? Come to my party , its about to start – I will give you cake!

After talking to Greg I have realised that the children are inviting me into their magical world. Their own adventures linked to their interests and that’s the moment I can use my skills, to get down to their level and provide them with further skills before letting them continue in their magical world.

Children are magical. Children see things completely different to us. They are magic and learning needs to be magic – not like robots. -Greg Bottrill

To enhance the learning in maths this week I have planned a shape hunt that consists of 2D and 3D shapes. Letting children move away from the ‘focus table’ and explore their surroundings by searching for shapes in the environment brought so much creativity, curiosity and interests. Children found shapes in objects I would have never even seen as an adult. As we grow our imaginations get squeezed out of us but a child see’s the world in a completely different way.

This activity meant that all children were engaged and learned the skills needed to name each shape – 2D and 3D. A child picked up his shape hunt sheet at the end and said – “Can I bring it home?” And I never heard the words.. ‘Can I go and play now?’ Why? Because to them they were playing and playing was valued!

Greg is such an inspirational person. He has lots of talks and visits to offer schools.

Take a look at his blog for more details:

Can I go and play now

As always let me know what you think!

#MissPinnock

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,

#MissPinnock

The life of me · Uncategorized

Read Write Inc – The Pros & Cons

I have been teaching Read Write Inc for the last 3 years now, so below is a review based on my personal opinion of the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ or the scheme.

The Pro’s

Read Write Inc.

I think read write inc is a great scheme. I have witnessed children making rapid progress in the sessions due to the layout of it.

A lesson starts with speed sounds. This includes children reading a range of previously taught sounds and identifying them in words too.

Image result for read write inc sounds

Children are there introduced to a new sound and practice saying, reading and spelling the new sound in words instantly.

I think this is great, and it works really well with children putting what they have learnt into practice straight away.

Image result for read write inc green words

Throughout the range of colour levels children also read aa variety of books which inlcude different focus sounds.

Through these books they read it for fluency, comprehension, and expression. Which is again another plus as children gain a sense of success when they know they CAN read the book.

Image result for read write inc books

 

I think the assessments and level of support that comes with read write inc is great too. We have a lady who comes and checks all children are working at the correct level and helps to refresh staff with aspects of the training – such as how to do an intervention.

With all this in mind I think the scheme is pretty amazing, but….

 

The Con’s

You definitely need to be mindful of those children that aren’t grasping the ‘pace’ of the lesson and are always behind. Pace is seen as such an important thing within RWI, but to me this can hinder children’s progress if you are focused on getting everything done in a lesson as apposed to how much understanding and quality teaching children are getting from it.

 

I have definitely slowed lessons down to help children grasp and really understand aspects of the lesson – this really helps!

 

I also think the comprehension side of the scheme doesn’t cover as much as I would like it to. Children ask questions to their partner about the book at a certain point and the teacher also asks children questions. However, the group that I teacher are a mix of year 1/2 so I have started to get children to read and write their answers to questions. I think this is beneficial to all children but also very important for year 2 to grasp due to the layout of the SATS tests.

The books also need added resources to boost children’s imaginations and enjoyment for learning as seen and recommended by Read Write inc above!

http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/preparing-a-read-write-inc-storybook-for-teaching/

Like always, let me know your thoughts πŸ™‚

#Miss Pinnock

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through

Uncategorized

This week I got my wand out .. and waved get over it!

Teaching for me is such an amazing job! I honestly go to work bursting with energy ready to make a difference for the children.

This week has been a rollercoaster from a range of curriculum demands… to actual magical moment of a struggling learner grasping and independently completing a task in Maths!

What a roller coaster of emotions but I’m glad I’m moving onto Friday with a huge smile, laughing off the mixes of madness this week has brought!

Teaching definitely faces challenges, which unfortunately for some people are too stressful to take. But if you are a new teacher reading this completely overwhelmed, my advice is to honestly laugh it off.

Laugh it off. Do what’s best for the children and keep moving forward!

Have a lovely weekend everyone β˜ΊοΈβ˜ΊοΈπŸ’•

Uncategorized

Reading!!

As previously mentioned on my last blog post, I am trying to engage parents in reading with their children more. I have started to invite parents in on Monday mornings to listen to their child read for 10-15 minutes.

This has already started off great and children were really motivated when their parents were sat by their side in the classroom. Some children that are usually reluctant to read and really struggle were so engaged so it was great to see!

I would love you know what other reading strategies are good to implement in the classroom / whole school!

Please share your ideas.

#MissPinnock