Friday, 28 December 2012

Traditional Tales

I am in the throws of planning for my upcoming topic on Traditional tales for my reception class. There are so many great traditional tales and fairy tales out there, that I am having a difficult job deciding which stories to cover and in what order to cover them.  Whilst the internet is a fantastic resource, I find that I can spend literally hours jumping from one great website or resource to another without really achieving much. In fact I have spent the past few weeks happily pinning fairy tale links to my pinterest board.  Now whilst pinterest is fantastic it can be frustrating when you can not pin, due to no image being available.  With this in mind I am now jumping onto my blog so that I can link to some non pinnable websites.

Jack and the Beanstalk

My class really enjoyed joining in on the refrain 'Fee Fi Fo Fum,' and enjoyed acting out the story with this themed basket that I put together.

Teaching Resources:

When introducing a new topic/book to the class it is invaluable to have access to as many different resources as possible, just as children are individual the more different activities at hand means that you can interest even the least interested child in your topic.

The following links, take you to downloadable teaching resources to help with the teaching of this unit.  The teaching english link is particularly good.

teaching english org

I thought that I would introduce my new topic with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

So that the children can follow up on this story, I have found some video retells and story read alouds for the children to follow on the computer for our listening centres.

jack-and-the-beanstalk story by 
cbeebies jack and the beanstalk
Jack and the beanstalk video retold through song

I like the cbeebies and the singing version best.

Online Game links:

design the giants castle drag the pieces into place to create your own individual castle.

The Gingerbread Man

I asked the children to help draw around one another and then they turned themselves into giant gingerbread men, by colouring and decorating themselves.  This task kept the children busy for most of the afternoon and I was really pleased to see how they focussed.

Stories to share:

Teacher led story

Reading links:

make 'an' words words that rhyme with 'man'

Online games for children to play:

Decorate a Gingerbread Man online game

I found a great free printable on line, which allows you to write in the middle of the gingerbread tummy.  This will be great to play a game of word or sound match or even rhyming words.  You could place the gingerbread around the classroom.  Give the children a matching word and they have to pin it next to the gingerbread man with the matching word.   gingerbread template

Little Red Hen

I set up a sensory play whereby children could plant seeds in little red hen's garden - which was really sand.  Children really loved burying the seeds and finding them again.


Stories to share:

Little Red Hen, click the button to hear the words

Reading links:

make 'en' words - website to make words that rhyme with hen,

peg the hen, reading activity online

Goldilocks and the Three Bears:

Stories to share

British Council goldilocks-and-the-three-bears video story

Monday, 26 November 2012

Woodlands Junior School Website

Woodlands Junior School is a Primary School in England with a wonderful user friendly website.  Since first using a Smartboard back in 2007, I have frequently called upon this website, for both my own reference and as a great starting spot for many of my topics.  British teachers are well aware of this top notch site, but for those outside of the U.K. this may be new.

The website is divided into subject areas and covers the entire primary range from pre-reading upto Year six (Grade 5). 

I have used this website to teach topics on Non Fiction text - the pages are set up just like a book, with an index down the left side of the page.

I have also used the website as a starting point for online activities from pre reading skills to math on line games. website

Check it out, I promise you, you won't be disappointed.

CVC free worksheets

I happened upon these great free downloads today from the BBC schools website and wanted to share these links with you.

There are a range of print and do worksheets covering the five vowels and a few other letters of the alphabet.  The sheets also vary from unscrambling words, re-arranging sentences to finding the last sound in a cvc word.  These are great worksheets for both early years teachers (Kindergarden) and home schools.  I like the initial and end sound sheets as they can be used on a cookie tray or magnetic board with magnetic letters to fill in the missing sounds.

For all the cvc links from BBC

This is the 'g' worksheet - get it here g worksheet from BBC

get the 'u' worksheet here.



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

colours and number conservation

A great activity to reinforce colour, number conservation and hand eye co-ordination in one.
 Children were asked to pick a colour leaf and then to roll the dice.  They then had to thread the correct number of reels, buttons etc onto the thread using only the colour on their leaf.

Simple yet effective.

The Scarecrow who didn't scare

As part of our topic on Autumn I have been using the story sack, 'The Scarecrow who didn't Scare'.  This is a great resource and comes with a large stuffed scarecrow, birds, rabbits and mice as well as scarecrow matching cards.  My class are loving this book.

The book lends itself to many cross curricular areas, including pre writing skills.  We divided our whiteboards into 6 sections and as the story was read aloud, children were asked to draw the scarecrows hat, the farmers fields, the corn, seeds, trees etc.  I modeled each picture first and the children copied.  This gave the children the opportunity to practice drawing, straight, curved and wobbly lines.

I also got a great number link to this activity.  Children were asked to pick a number from a bag and then plant the correct number of seeds in the field (i used blue sorting trays for the field).  Children thoroughly enjoyed picking and counting the seeds.  I will definitely use this activity again.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Phonic Centres

I have just begun to teach my reception class, the sounds of the alphabet.  We have only covered s,a,t,c, and d so far.  I wanted to create a fun game to reinforce these sounds so i have just created two games, which will teach both the sounds taught and 2D shapes simultaneously.
The games can be used as lotto/bingo cards or as a fishing game.  I will print out two sets of each game.  One set will be laminated as base cards whilst the second set will be cut out and laminated and then paper clips can be attached, so that the children can fish out the words.  Hmm, i can not seem to figure out how to upload a file here.  I will take pictures when i use the activity instead.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


As the weather gets colder, it's time to think about the changing seasons.  What a perfect time to take your class on a nature walk.  My kids loved collecting leaves, twigs and conkers.

Back in the classroom we sorted the leaves by size, and used the leaves for other math work.

We caculated how many letters were in our names by creating a bar chart. We then went outside and found the correct number of leaves to match our name.  Children then wrote there  names on the leaves.

Another fun activity was the making of scarecrow faces - thank you to pinterest for supplying me with this cute idea.

Community Helpers

Being new to Reception age children, I have found myself spending many hours surfing the net trying to find inspiration for the topics I am working on.  I recently completed my first topic of the term 'Community Helpers'. Below is rundown of my favourite activities which inspired both myself and the children in my class.

Play Areas:  During the topic we set up a hospital/doctors surgery in our classroom.  Key words were stapled to the wall to help the children whilst they play wrote.  I also gave them laminated copies of a doctors form, where the children were able to draw circles and mark the patients ailments,  The class really enjoyed circling the body parts.  Children loved dressing up as doctors and nurses and fixing the class teddy bears.

 Another favourite play area, was the setting up of a 'fire' area in our outdoor space.  Children drew flames on the wall and had a fantastic time dressing up as firemen and dousing the fires with pretend hosepipes (plastic tubing).  They also loved riding in the pretend fire - engine.

We visited the local fire station and this really added to the children's excitement.  We also had a visit from the local police who drove the children around our playground in their police car.

I found some great art resources on including a 'Make a disguise' cut out worksheets.  The class creating a disguise for the baddy, it was a great activity for their fine motor skills.

Children also created fire trucks, buildings on fire and drew pictures on their visit from the police.