Friday, 14 September 2012

Our class 'WOW wall' and phoneme tree

So it's been a whole week since I welcomed my first ever class into school! I have loved it but am definitely feeling it today. My displays are starting to be filled now and I thought I would share a few with you. The first is my WOW wall.

Each parent has been given a pack of post-it notes which they can fill out whenever their child does an activity at home. They can then stick the post-it on to a leaf and we can celebrate the achievements in class. When our tree is full, the leaves can be put in the children's learning journeys. So far we've celebrated a first swimming lesson and a child who had helped with the cooking at home.

The second display is my phoneme tree which is in my Literacy corner. I'm planning to add phonemes here as we learn them. 

I'm also planning to make an interactive maths display. I'm thinking numbers with a pot underneath so that the children can count different objects for the correct number. Pictures to come.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Superhero afternoon

It's days like today that make me think I have the best job in the world. It was my last transition afternoon with my new class before September so I wanted to make it extra fun. I decided that a superhero afternoon was in order (prompted by the child who turned up to his parent interview dressed as Batman).

I took a picture of each child and photoshopped it on to these Twinkl superhero pictures. We started by talking about superheroes that we knew of and what made them so super. I loved hearing the children's thoughts; Batman was a particular favourite! I told everyone that I knew some superheroes that were even better than Batman and produced my superhero bag. There was such a squeal when I brought out the first picture!

I was aiming for a PSED theme for the session so I decided to talk about what made each of the children super. I wrote the ideas that we came up with on a yellow circle behind each superhero (I will get a picture asap).

And then we coloured! The finished products looked amazing; here's my effort:

The fun didn't end there! I spent the whole afternoon wearing a superhero mask and bin bag cape running around and solving crime. I'm not sure if the parents liked being given a bin bag to take home, but the children loved it!

'Welcome to my class' postcards

Time is flying by so quickly at the moment! 1 week left of school until the summer holidays and it won't be long until I have my new class either. I plan to send the children a postcard over the summer holidays telling them how much I'm looking forward to having them in my class to try and make them feel excited instead of nervous about starting school.

I ordered this design ages ago from vistaprint and they finally arrived today. They are perfect for what I'm looking for and I only had to pay the postage fee!

I'm going to send these in August to try and combat any little worries =)

I'd really recommend taking a look at Vistaprint. They have quite a lot of free offers; many of which are perfect for the classroom. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Microwave playdough

There is no way I could have a squelchy and squidgy afternoon without playdough. I've never made it before so I had no idea how I would get on. I found an amazing microwave playdough recipe though (I'm afraid I'm not sure where I found it) and it all turned out really well. So well infact that I thought I would share it with you. 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Food colouring and glitter

I mixed up all of the ingredients apart from the food colouring and glitter in a microwavable plastic bowl. I wasn't sure what the consistency should be like but as my finished product turned out well, I presume it should look like this:

I then put the mixture into the microwave for 2 minutes and gave it a stir before putting it back in for a remaining 2 minutes. In our staffroom we have a 700w microwave so timings may vary depending on what you have.

I then shaped the mixture into balls and left it to cool for a while. Once it was cool enough to touch, I made a hole in the middle of each ball.
 I added food colouring into each ball and a little bit of glitter for some sparkle.

All that was left to do was seal the balls so that they had a pocket of food colouring and glitter in the centre. This meant that when the children started squeezing the dough, they got a colourful and sparkly surprise. I made the children wear gloves when mixing the food colouring into the dough to prevent them going home with green hands!

In the end we made cookies and cupcakes with our dough but the possibilities are endless.

Rainbow spaghetti

Children love messy play; there's no denying it! If they can get their hands on something squelchy and squidgy then they're happy. So this afternoon had to be one of those messy days.

The children loved playing with the cornflour gloop and many of them went home with white dust all over them! I also decided to make rainbow spaghetti:
After a bit of squealing at the texture, the children got really stuck in. I saw some counting and imaginative play as well as lots of communication! Next time I'm going to make loads and maybe put some numbers or letters in for even more learning opportunities.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Ideas folder

I'm very lucky that I've got this term to come up with ideas for teaching and activities in September. So many people have been giving me ideas and, of course, I am always stumbling upon something interesting on the internet. There is no way I'm going to remember all of these ideas and somewhere down the line they are going to be 'just perfect' for what I'm teaching. 

For this reason I've decided to make an 'ideas folder'. This is my place to note down any activities, songs etc that take my fancy. My folder is an A5 ring binder from Paperchase with 10 dividers. I've included the categories: CLL, Maths, Understanding the World, Physical Development, Art and Design, PSHE, Music, Outdoor Learning, Roleplay and General.

I have been known to spend ages looking for ideas so I'm hoping this will save me a bit of time.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

First transition afternoon

Yesterday was my first transition afternoon with my new class! I had a big challenge because our new Foundation unit will be in the same room as our nursery children are in at the moment. This meant that I had to somehow make the transition aftenoon new and exciting despite being in a room they were used to!

My lucky class got to see the 'secret' new layout of the classroom as it will be in September. In reality, this was just the Interactive Whiteboard being put in a different corner of the room but the children loved it.

As this was our first session, I kept it laid back and just provided the children with some of our new resources (Numicon, magnetic letters etc), their usual toys and games and an art activity. The children all decorated a card with their name on which I will use on the back of their chair in September.

The most popular activity was definitely the Numicon; the children were in awe and loved counting the circles and making patterns.

This is the Firm Foundations Numicon Kit which I would recommend if you can get your hands on it. I didn't give the children any guidance but the mathematical language that the children were already using was amazing!

The quiet critters were also a huge success. They are slightly misshapen from being cuddled and petted but the children LOVED them.

Overall, a successful first afternoon. Now I'm going to have to think of something exciting for our next session!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Post-it note 'to do' board

We all try our best to not forget anything but sometimes we just miss things. That's why I made this post-it note 'to do' board. In an EYFS classroom there are always post-it notes around meaning they are an easy thing to write quick notes on.

When I've made a note, I can quickly stick it on my 'to do' board without much disruption to whatever I'm doing at the time. You could make this with any design using craft paper or anything that you have to hand.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sticker Charts

Here is yet another thing that I've made recently for my new class! From my experience, children love stickers. Children don't, however, like it when stickers fall off of their jumper. My remedy? A sticker chart. You can find the PDF here.

I'm running with the nature theme from my 'get to know you' bags which I think works well. When children get a sticker they can put it on their chart. If that isn't good enough, when the chart is full the children get a special little prize!

'Get to know you' bags

I recently had a 'new parents meeting' to tell the parents about what I had planned but also just so they could meet me. It went really well and it was so nice to meet everybody.

One of the things that I discussed with the parents was what will be happening in the first few weeks of September. Just one of my ideas were these 'get to know you' bags which you can find here.

I can't wait to see what the children put inside and I may even be persuaded to make one myself!

Quiet Critters

So this is my first blog post! I've been doing some crafty things this afternoon ready for my transition afternoons with my new class. I decided to make some 'quiet critters' (as seen on Pinterest) as an incentive for the children to sit quietly during story time etc (a big ask I know!).

These cute little critters will creep out when the children are sitting nicely. They will then be popped in the jar and when it's full the children will get a special treat. I'm going to introduce them during our transition afternoons so that the children are familiar with them when we start officially in September. Fingers crossed they will appeal!