I have recently discovered an early years lady called Kirstine Beeley through her Facebook page and her blog – www.playingtolearn.com. She has lots of great experience and amazing ideas. Her recent book ‘This Is How We Do It‘ is full of great things to do in Early Years. One of the things I really liked was how she uses metal and wood and other natural materials in her sand and water play so, when I recently spotted these great brass pots I knew I had to have them. Before using them in the sand I wondered if the children would enjoy cleaning them with some salt and lemon – they loved it. Lots of great opportunity for language and discussing the changes and what was happening as the children worked hard to make the pots all shiny! We had a great morning and now have bright shiny pots for our sand and water play.
So, it’s been a really long time since our last blog and a lot has changed. Miss Charlesworth has moved on to pastures new and has moved back to England. I have had a change of year group and I’m now working back in Early Years which, I was a little bit cautious about at first, but I love it. Lots of exciting things have happened since the last blog that it’s hard to know where to start but, hopefully, over the next week or so I will be able to add some new content. Happy New Year and here’s to more regular blogging in 2017!!
Phew!! it’s so difficult to find time to blog at this time of year but this one was too good to miss. We are working on Sound at the moment in Science and we have been learning how different sounds are made and how sound gets fainter over distance. This experiment was an enrichment activity that I knew my Year 1 class were going to love. We started by standing in a circle with one person blindfolded in the middle. As I touched someone on the shoulder they would say hello and the child in the middle as to point to where the sound came from.
This was the easy part but still lots of fun. The Science goes like this – Sound hits each ear a little differently. A sound on the right goes directly into the right ear, but it must travel around the head to reach the left ear. The left ear receives that sound an instant later than the right, and the sound in the left ear is a bit softer.Ever since the day we were born, our brains have been learning to use these small differences to locate the sounds we hear. But if you reversed the order of the sounds coming into your ears, would your brain know where the sound was coming from?
We made these ‘mirror ears’, shown in the photograph below, using flexible hose, 2 funnels and some tape. When you hold the ends of the tubes in your ears as shown, they make the sounds from each side go into the opposite ear.
Then we tried playing the game again, a whole afternoon of fun and giggles. The children loved the fact that when someone made a sound it seemed as though they were on the opposite side and, of course, all good scientists write up their experiments afterwards.
Firstly, Happy Easter to all of our followers! I thought today was an appropriate time to share some of the ‘egg-tastic’ fun we have had in Early Years.
Moving away from the more commercial chocolate egg hunt, Early Years thoroughly enjoyed a new take on the activity. With the help of the Year 3 Easter bunnies, twenty numbered eggs were hidden in some very creative places around the school grounds. Early Years worked in teams and practised moving safely around school to find them. They looked underneath, inside and on top of objects.
When the children thought they had found all of the eggs, with a little bit of help from Year 3, they ordered them by lining up on the patio.
When we had counted twenty eggs, we all went back to Early Years for a party and cake!
After yesterday’s successful ‘open afternoon’ in Early Years, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my positive experience of good working partnerships with parents and families. After all, the Early Years Foundation Stage tells us that ‘over 70% of children’s lives are spent, not in a setting, but with their family and the wider community’. Therefore, the support of families can play a vital role at all stages of education and we believe that building good home-school links when a child first begins school is vital. At AIS I am lucky enough to work with many fantastic parents and families, whose support is invaluable.
Last half term it was great to have so many parents offer their skills and expertise as part of our ‘People Who Help Us’ topic. The children thoroughly enjoyed visits to a local post office, fire station, dental surgery and police station. Even several weeks later, I continue to receive feedback from families whose children still talk about these visits with excitement and interest.
As a teacher, it is great to receive positive feedback from parents. At AIS we have been using ‘Wow Moment’ cards with our Early Years families, which recognise special moments captured at home. These moments are added to each individual child’s Learning Journey and help us to plan next steps and provide appropriate resources or experiences. The children are always so proud to show their parents their work and in turn it is so nice to see so many parents so proud of their children.
I’d like to end my post with a big THANK YOU to all of our parents and I look forward to seeing you all at our next Early Years open afternoon soon!!
Last week the children in Early Years visited the Post Office to send special cards to their families. We thought carefully about the people who help us at home and wrote a thank you message inside a personalised card.
We then went to the school office to get some stamps and (with some help) carefully stuck our stamp in the right hand corner of our envelope. At the Post Office we met the cashier who told us more about sending mail and the children took turns to post their letters.
Everyone had a great trip to the Post Office and the children are looking forward to their cards being delivered!
Back at school our Post Office role play area enabled lots more writing and maths opportunities. During their play the children used the stationary in our class writing box (items such as envelopes, note cards and stamps) to write letters and postcards to their classmates, which they posted in the post box.
They also enjoyed weighing parcels and putting the packages in number order.
So, we have our domain name and the tools we need to create our first blog. Watch this space.