Dough Gym Week – Creating a Dough Gym

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Now that you have assessed your children in relation to their gross and fine motor dexterity, you can set up your Dough Gym. What is Dough Gym? Dough Gym is a gym for children where you work out with dough – Simple! Dough Gym is a specific daily intervention – If it is going to have impact it has to be regular and consistent. Dough Gym is directly linked to assessment and attainment. Dough Gym is exclusive – You need to make the children who need this intervention feel special and chosen for all of the right reasons, not just because they are failing. I usually work with a maximum of 8 children, not a whole group. It is not … Read More

A Week of Dough Gym…

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I have had loads of requests for more information about Dough Gym recently so, rather than do one GIGANTIC post, I am going to do a Dough Gym post every day this week. By next weekend you will all be experts! I first started doing Dough Gym as a Reception teacher way back in the Early 1990’s. In those days it was the policy of the school that I was working in, to start each day by getting children who couldn’t write their names to copy it through tracing paper. It didn’t take me long to realise that there was a core group of children that were really struggling to hold their pencil, never mind recognise and write their name. … Read More

Reading, phonics, boys and interfering parents!

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When I talk to delegates about the teaching of reading and writing I am always saying that there is no quick fix to a complex process and reading and writing are both VERY complex! What is good is that we understand far more about effective methods of teaching reading and writing than we have ever done. To teach them well requires a great deal of knowledge and hard work. Ideally the children shouldn't feel like they are having the process done to them, rather that they enjoy being part of it. Still reading and writing are the main markers of success for lots of parents, and some practitioner and this often results in some important first steps being missed out … Read More

Buzz Lightyear Laser Challenge – Mark Making for Space Heroes!

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Firstly, thank you to Jane, her the team and all of the delegates for making me SO welcome at the conference today. It has to be said that I am now more than a little hoarse – too much shouting and too much laughing! It really shouldn't be so much fun to work on a Saturday! I am giving this blog post over to Ferliene who contacted me a while ago after attending a conference… Thank you for all the great ideas following the 'Raising boys achievement' course, many of which I have put in place and the children love. I am going to attempt a spin on your jedi writing etc and have a 'Buzz lightyear lazer challenge' using light pens and a powerpoint letter slide … Read More