Talk for Mark Making and Writing – Granny’s teeth!

abc doesBoys Learning, Child Initiated Learning, Mark Making, Talk4 Comments

At the grand old age of 93 years, my Granny passed away last year. She will be sorely missed and has left behind the great legacy of a long life well lived. She also left a number of things for us to remember her by  – but one unexpected (and unintentional on her part) heirloom was her teeth! Not her everyday set, you understand. Theses were her ‘spares’, her ‘just in case’ set. Kept in bubble wrap at the back of a drawer – just in case… I was really chuffed when I found them, because I knew I would be able to put them to good use! Imagine coming into your setting to find these in a jar in … Read More

Dough Gym Week – Gross Motor Physical Development

abc doesBoys Learning, Dough Gym, Environment, Mark Making22 Comments

Even though it is called ‘Dough Gym’, it is about much more than the Dough. Before we get onto palm grips and pencils, we need to consider the other essential elements that children need to have to enable them to be successful mark makers and writers. These are the things that children who find the early stages mark making easy, learn quickly. Alongside the development of their muscles, children also need to develop their sense of proprioception and balance. Proprioception is the brain using all sorts of information from different parts of the body to help it to move effectively within its given space. An essential part of this movement is being able to maintain balance whilst still and in … Read More

Get a Grip for January!

abc doesBoys Learning, Mark Making22 Comments

I have blogged a great deal about all of the things that you can do to prepare children to become successful writers. I think our aim should always be not just to get children writing, but to get children wanting to write. It is undoubtedly true (especially for some boys) That without the will  they will struggle to master the skill! But often how we approach the teaching of writing doesn't take 'will' into account. It seems to be all about the end result and not the process. The stages of physical writing development can be tricky and different children show different levels of dexterity at different times.  When it comes to 'writing' as opposed to 'mark making' I think … Read More

Hierarchy of talk in Early Years

abc doesMark Making, Phonics, Talk1 Comment

I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of talk in Early Years. It really is the key to effective learning and personal development in children. Yet, quality talk development is often missed out or overlooked by pressure to show attainment in other areas. The ability to talk is simple enough for most children but how they talk and what they talk about is a far more complex thing that needs to be effectively modelled and regularly practised. Such is my passion for the importnace of talk I was asked to write  ‘Get Them Talking, Get Them Learning’  where I am able to take a more in-depth look at some of the more common types of talk that … Read More