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

Have you tried…Marshmallow Dough?

abc doesDough Gym17 Comments

At the moment I am working on the finishing touches of 'Ready to Write' which is a book all about how children develop physically and cognitively on their journey to becoming a 'writer'. At different stages of development, children need to experience materials of different malleability. During the  early stages of development, 'classic' dough alone doesn't offer enough malleability and dexterity to develop essential muscles.  As children become more proficient in their fine motor development then 'classic' dough doesn' t offer enough resistance for the further development of their palm arches and finger joints. Although there are a million things that you can add to generic dough to make it a different colour, give it a different smell or change … Read More

Child Led Learning in Display

abc doesEnvironment1 Comment

I said in my previous post that Joanne at Chester Blue Coat had used display really effectively to illustrate how the team were feeding objectives into children's interest. So I just thought I would share a couple. This one that starts with Harvey is fairly self explanitory. It also shows how one child's particular interest can spark a much bigger learning trend. What it shouldn't do is to send us into a 'topic' planning frenzy and lead us to theme everything for half a term on magnetism!  Not all of the children will be swept along in the wonderment of the magnetic world but lots will. As a result  we would plan the 'next steps' objectives of what we needed … Read More

Sewing in Pre-School

abc doesChild Initiated Learning, Continuous Provision, Creativity2 Comments

I know that I said that I would post some objective led planning next (and I am on it), but I just wanted to share a little moment of pre-school joy that I experienced recently. Acorns  Nursery in Oakly has historically always had a separate area for their 2 year olds to inhabit within the larger space. As part of the work that we are doing together we have released the 2 year olds 'into the wild' and they now roam the space with all of the other children. This move in itself has proved very successful but has had a significant impact on how the provision across the setting is organised. Now ALL areas have to provide opportunities for … Read More