Tuesday, October 25, 2016

10 timid Little Ghosts - Props

We have been reading 10 Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell for the past 2 weeks in the classroom. The children love this story. I guess the story has mesmerised them because it represents everything scary about Halloween: witch, ghosts, cats, rats, vampires, skeletons etc.. It is spooky without being frightening and it got their attention straight away. The rhyming and repetitive prose is catchy and easy  to memorise making it fun, while the illustrations are really colourful and detailed. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Naming clouds...

As we were berry picking the other day, a little boy stood quite still in the middle of the field, looking up to the sky. I asked him what he was looking at. He said he could see a funny cloud shape in the sky. I looked up and asked him what it was shaped as. He simply said it looked like a big marshmallow!! Other children joined in when they saw us and we all had a game of "guess what my cloud looks like"! We saw dogs, circles, superheroes etc...Imagination had no limit. The following day, at circle time, I showed the following video to the children. It is based on a book called "it looks like spilt milk" by Charles G. Shaw. The children loved it as it was an extension of what we had done the day before. 



Friday, October 14, 2016

We are going on a bear Hunt

One of the children's favourite books in our classroom is We are going on a Bear Hunt. They love the chanting rhyming tone of the text, the pictures, the repetitive and therefore predictive actions.. So we often use this story to introduce our topic on bear and hibernation. Here are a few examples of our classroom's activities based around the book.

Language /Communication:  Using props 

At circle time, once the children were familiar to the story, we introduced the props to add another twist to the story telling experience. 


                     

The Hundreds Languages of Fabric




Two years ago, we have introduced the Reggio Emilia approach into our classroom and our curriculum. I didn't really know if it would work.. It has! Don't get me wrong, I am still learning and there are many errors along the way. Things I thought would be a great hit among the children turned out to be an "epic failure" (as my own children would say!). Activities that never really appealed to me became so so popular... It has left me baffled at times. The main thing is not to have any preconceived idea, I guess. Try everything and you will eventually get there. 
What I can say now, is that you will notice centres of interest. And I assume that these interests will differ or evolve from year to year as new groups of children pass through your door or as children grow older (never a dull moment in teaching!). So far, thanks to the Reggio inspired teaching method we are using, two interests have emerged from the children, one being a serious love of glue and the other being an equally intense love for fabric. I took these two interests and planned possibilities and provocations.
Children have developed new skills since September and used many different media to communicate their understandings of the world around them, their emotions etc.. As an adult, we may not always get "it". I often see Mams winking at me when their child show them proudly the "blob" they painted earlier on. Mams may ask "what is it honey?". And the child gets frustrated and sighs, explaining what he tried to convey on paper. I taught many parents to comment on the composition of the painting or the colours used when they are not sure what it is representing. The child usually automatically forwards a clue of what it is but his feelings have been saved and he/ she feels valued by the praise they received. Children are quite good at using many "languages" to express themselves. The possibilities for dialogue are endless then, as long as we (teachers and parents) provide them with appropriate tools and means. And I believe that it is my privilege as an early years teacher to support the children who come through my door in discovering, appreciating and mastering the different "languages" available to express themselves and convey their ideas. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Berry picking and cupcake baking!

We read "Rufus and the Blackeberry Monster" by Lisa Stubbs to the children last week.



Shortly after, 2 little girls got very inspired and decided they were going to bake a pie too, just like Rufus's Mam in the story. I watched them getting busy in the home corner.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Our Hedgehog House

We read the Leaf Man story by this week in class. I made the story simple by saying that in every pile of leaves outside hide a leaf man. The wind blows him off across the world sometimes and he meets lots of other animals. I asked the children to recognise as many animals on each page (rabbit, squirrel, fish, turtle, chicken, etc..)