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

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:

a-e

e-e

I-e

U-e

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….

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/literacy/literacy-phonics?utm_source=teachertalks.blog/&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=blog_referral_teacher

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

#MissPinnock

Uncategorized

Sir John Jones – The Magic Weaving Business

This book is AMAZING. It brings me back to my first year of teaching. I got a job as a teacher quite early on in my last year of University. The feeling of receiving a call back saying congratulations we would like to offer you the job was the most amazing joy yet!

My very first training day was at a Spa hotel and it was filled with cute Easter Eggs on each table with a seating plan. This day allowed me to meet all of the staff old and new. The head teacher invited everyone to the training day from catering staff to the care taker. I thought it was such a good school ethos. Anyway… there in front of us was the man himself – Sir John Jones.IMG_5793

He filled the room with laughter, tears, motivation and the love and passion of being a teacher. His stories were amazing and I was honored to be given a signed copy of his book afterwards.  He describes teaching as a magic weaving business,  I particularly like his point of how children forget what teachers make them think but always remember how they have made them feel.

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If you haven’t read his book yet I really recommend that you do! There are too many great parts, I could talk about it forever.

Here are a few of his videos / links below too!

https://www.raisethebar.co.uk/speaker/sir-john-jones/

In this video he describes how children being happy increase there engagement. Its all about the emotional experience.

 

Please add your thoughts below!

#MissPinnock      tweet: @misspinnock2