Advent Activities (22nd December)

For many of us, this is the last working day before the Christmas holidays! I hope you’re having a great one! Here’s today’s fun activity:

Design a Christmas Tree

What you’ll need:

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    Image from pixabay.com

    A Christmas tree template printed on A4 paper (There are loads of these on google, or you can click to download my super simple Tree template )

  • Pompoms/ sequins/ any other little decorative items you may have

What to do:

Basically, let this activity is about allowing the children to explore patterns by arranging the items on the tree. They can look at different colours and shapes – all important numeracy skills. The wonderful thing about this activity is that it isn’t permanent so children can create a design, clear it off, and start again!

 

Have a brilliant Friday and Christmas weekend!

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Image from pixabay.com

Previous Doors:

Day 1: Paper Chains

Day 2: Reindeer Cam

Day 3: Salt-Dough Ornaments

Day 4: Letter to Santa

Day 5: Christmas Role Play

Day 6: Scented Pictures

Day 7: Christmas Baking

Day 8: Home-made Christmas Cards

Day 9: Christmas Puzzles

Day 10: Do Something Kind

Day 11: Feed the Birds

Day 12: Go for a Walk

Day 13: Festive Playdough

Day 14: Read a Christmas Story

Day 15: Paper Snowflakes

Day 16: Christmas Movie

Day 17: Ice Play

Day 18: Christmas Around the World

Day 19: Christmas Colouring

Day 20: Sensory Bottles

Day 21: Singing

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Advent Activities (21st December)

We’re into the 20’s now – not many doors left on our Advent calendar!!

Today let’s get into the festive spirit by

Singing Christmas Songs

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Image from pixabay.com

Singing is a lovely activity and has loads of benefits such as reducing stress and improving circulation! If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to break out the sleigh bells, or any other instruments while you’re singing!

Here are some of my favourite Christmas songs for children (with YouTube links in case you don’t know the tune):

Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer

Jingle Bells

We wish you a Merry Christmas

When Santa got stuck up the chimney

Twinkle twinkle Christmas star

Away in a manger

 

I’ll bet you can think of plenty more! So warm up your voice and get singing! Bonus points if you can sing for someone else – bring a little joy to a friend or family member.

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advent-calendar-1780949_960_720

Image from pixabay.com

Previous Doors:

Day 1: Paper Chains

Day 2: Reindeer Cam

Day 3: Salt-Dough Ornaments

Day 4: Letter to Santa

Day 5: Christmas Role Play

Day 6: Scented Pictures

Day 7: Christmas Baking

Day 8: Home-made Christmas Cards

Day 9: Christmas Puzzles

Day 10: Do Something Kind

Day 11: Feed the Birds

Day 12: Go for a Walk

Day 13: Festive Playdough

Day 14: Read a Christmas Story

Day 15: Paper Snowflakes

Day 16: Christmas Movie

Day 17: Ice Play

Day 18: Christmas Around the World

Day 19: Christmas Colouring

Day 20: Sensory Bottles

 

 

 

Twitter Chat Update

In an effort to ensure that our weekly #EYshare’s are relevant and engaging, I have created a board where people can post their own ideas/ suggestions for future chats. This board is open to all and does not require a subscription so I do hope that it will be used!

Here is the padlet board:

Made with Padlet

As this post will (obviously) move down and become less visible, the board will also be accessible through the ‘Twitter’ page (see top menu).

This is a little bit experimental so let’s see if it works! Thanks everyone!

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It’s Story Time!

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Image from iStock. Credit Romolo Tavani

As you probably know, on the 2nd March it will be World Book Day. Not only that, but it is in fact the 20th year of World Book Day! So, in preparation for the big day, I have been thinking of some story and book based activities and experiences.

Create a Reading-Nook

There’s nothing better than a little cosy space to get lost in a book. Why not move some furniture, lay a blanket, build a pillow fort, or just grab loads of cushions to make a really appealing space for the children to read?  You could even try making it dark, adding a few fairy lights for that magical touch! Just remember – you don’t want the children to strain their eyes, so try providing some torches or small (safe) lamps for them to use.

Read Together

This may sound obvious but it’s SO valuable and important to children. I wrote about some ideas for making story time engaging in THIS previous post – take a look!

Get Creative

Do your children have a favourite book? Why not help them to make a new book cover? You can approach this in lots of different ways (draw it/ paint it/ use ICT/ act it out and take photos…) and can use these activities to develop plenty of skills. This can also spark discussion about the key features of a book cover (title, author, picture) as well as about the story itself.

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Image from iStock. Credit: Orensila

Take a Trip

Why not go for a walk over to the local library or even the local bookshop? Choosing a new book can be so exciting for children, and it can even help to encourage those reluctant readers. Some libraries offer story sessions and other activities, it might be worth your while doing a little research!

 

I hope you have a brilliant Book Day! I look forward to seeing some fabulous activities and inspired costumes – please share! Tweet me: @EarlyYearsIdeas

 

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Twitter

Following the wonderful experience of hosting the #ScotEdChat last week, I was reminded of the potential of Twitter as a resource for professional discussion and CLPL.

However, I am aware that some people find Twitter to be overwhelming and are not sure how to make the most out of the experience. For that reason, I have decided to make a little guide which I hope will encourage others.

Getting started

Well first things first, you’ll need to create an account. This in itself requires some thought;

  • will it be a personal account or a professional one? Or perhaps a mix of both.
  • which image will you use? An appropriate picture of yourself or a picture which represents your field of work will encourage other Tweeters to engage with you.
  • don’t forget to add a little bio, telling others a little about yourself. This helps when others make the decision whether to follow you as they can see any shared interests or themes among your Tweets.

Start Following

It sounds a little creepy, but following other people on Twitter means that their Tweets appear on your ‘home’ feed.

There is a handy little search bar at the top of the page where you can look for ‘teachers’ or ‘education.’  When you click on the top result, you will be presented with a page like this:

twitter

Here you can see all Tweets relating to the subject that you have searched. Clicking onto ‘Accounts’ will allow you to see profiles of people who Tweet about the subject.

Once you have started following a few people, Twitter will begin to make suggestions of similar profiles which you may be interested in on your home feed.

Home

When opening Twitter, or clicking onto ‘Home’, you will see your home feed. It should look something like this:

home

Circled here, you can see the suggestions of profiles which are suggested for me to follow. These ones in particular have been suggested due to the people which I currently and recently follow.

Start Tweeting

‘Tweets’ are short (140 character) posts. Being able to say what you want to in such a short space is a bit of an art, but you’ll soon get the hang of it!

tweet

You might want to Tweet about an interesting article you’ve read. If so, why not add a link to that article and allow others to see it too? Just copy and past the url into the Tweet! If it is a long link, you may want to shorten it using the handy tool Tiny Url.

Retweets

Retweets are when someone  shares a post that someone else has Tweeted, making it available to their own followers. You may also choose to add your own comments to the retweet, sharing your own thoughts on a matter.

Replies and Mentions

Replies work in the same way has having a conversation with someone. An @ sign will appear before your name or the name of the person that you are Tweeting to.

In the same way, someone may mention you in a Tweet by adding the @ sign before your name.

Notifications

When someone retweets your post, replies to you or mentions you in a Tweet, you will receive a notification. These appear in the banner at the top left of your page.

Direct Messages

These are messages which are not available publicly. You may want to use these for making arrangements or sharing information HOWEVER, (as with all social media) I would strongly advise against sharing personal details such as phone numbers, your address etc with unknown others.

Hashtags

Hashtags are a way of grouping tweets and conversations under a similar umbrella. For example, if you were tweeting about education, you may want to add the hashtag #education or #teaching. This means that when these terms are searched – your tweet will appear.

Chats

Hashtags are also used in Twitter chats. These work as everyone involved includes the same hashtag at the end of their Tweets – grouping them all together in a list. For example, during ScotEdChat, everyone used the hashtag #scotedchat on each of their Tweets.

Following a chat can be difficult as they are often quick moving and very busy. A nice way to keep on top of it is to use a tool such as Tweetdeck.

You can sign into Tweetdeck using your Twitter login details. You are then presented with columns which include your home feed and notifications. You may add columns with follow your searches (the hashtag for the chat) and this will then update in real time, allowing you to see the most recent Tweets in a list. Here is a nice little guide to getting started with tweetdeck.

Some hashtags and chats which you may be interested in:

#EYTalking (This is a place where early years professionals share ideas, advice, successes and challenges. Loads of brilliant links are posted for professional reading. The chats are not weekly, however they are worth watching out for as they cover brilliant topics such as planning and outdoor learning).

#kinderchat (This chat takes place on Mondays from 8:30-9:30. There is a helpful calendar HERE which lets you know the topic of the next chat).

#EYshare (This is the chat which I host. It takes place on Wednesdays from 8-9pm and we aim to provide a friendly place to discuss a range of topics related to early years education and childcare).

 

I hope that this little post has got you feeling a little more confident about using Twitter as the fabulous resource that it is.

Happy Tweeting!

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No excuses…again!

A quick update following my last apologetic post!

I promise that lack of posts are not due to me putting my feet up! In preparation for my first teaching placement, my reading and studies have kicked up a notch!

If you would like to see what I’ve been up to, please take a look at my other blog:

http://tinyurl.com/hxn2nvl

Thank you again for your understanding!

 

 

No excuses…

Hello everyone and a very happy 2016!

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the lack of posts recently. I’ve been a very busy lady! Before Christmas I had a period of assessments and a very heavy workload which took over my life, then the holidays were been spent visiting friends family, and now I am just getting back to University while also juggling agency work to pay the bills!

However, I am not making excuses and I really will try to post on a more regular basis! In fact; I do have a half written post about some very exciting Space themed science learning which I will complete over the weekend (watch this space!)

Finally, I would just like to thank everyone who supports me by following either my blog or my twitter account. I have received some lovely feedback and I really love sharing with you all! 

 

Right, I’d better get back to work!

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