Friday, 1 May 2015

May Day 5 for Friday

Where has April gone?
I can not believe this is the first day of May!!! 
I love this month- we have lots of  Birthdays and our 6th Anniversary to celebrate plus a Half Term break to look forward to!

Speaking of breaks- TGIF and this weekend is a long one! I love Bank Holiday weekends… spending time with family, having fun with friends and a big lie-in on Monday! If the weather holds then we will probably go for a walk around one of the lakes and then we've been invited over to a friends for a BBQ on Sunday- woohoo! What do you like to do on long weekends?

This week I got to pay a visit to a lovely Foundation Stage unit at a local school to see how they run their Funky Fingers/ Dough Gym session. The development of both fine and gross motor skills is a major issue for our children and has a massive knock on effect for handwriting so we have been looking at ways to address this for quite some time. After lots of research and trials we are planning on adopting Alistair Bryce-Clegg's approach as a whole Key Stage. 
There are many elements of Funky Fingers/ Dough Gym we already do but it was great to see how a school facilitates a discrete session and we have come away feeling amazing! If you would like to know more about Alistair Bryce-Clegg and his work then click here to visit his website which is jam packed with fantastically creative ideas for foundation stage and KS1 classrooms. I'm sure there will be a future post dedicated to our progress so watch this space!

Our Staff Meeting this week was all about using iPads effectively in our classrooms rather than just an add on. Our wonderful and very technically minded Deputy did a 10 minute highlights lesson with us taking on the role of the children. The lesson focused on using the Epic Citadel and Tag Cloud Apps as a creative stimulus for writing- it was fantastic! Although I am quite happy using presentation Apps such as 30hands and PicCollage with the kids, I have to admit that building my lessons around the iPads is something I am yet to master. Anyway, this 'lesson' inspired us and after chatting with my lovely co-teacher we came up a way to use Tag Cloud as the main forum for collecting descriptive language in our next lesson.
The Lesson
Each group was given an envelop and had to secretly open it. Inside was a Galapagos animal from our current book- 'We're sailing to the Galapagos'. The children were given some thinking time and then asked to 'silently discuss' appropriate word choices using Tag Cloud. The only rules were 1. each cloud must include at least 1 verb 2. they must not mention the animals name and 3. they could not repeat words. Once they had collected all of the words they had (they could input more than 1 each) then they could choose a cloud which matched the appearance of their animal. Using air server each group then took it in turns to share their cloud with the class who had to guess which animal they had been given- if they guessed correctly then the group had successfully made appropriate word choices. 
It was fantastic to see how the children co-operated and used facial expressions/ gestures to support each other-during the 'silent discussion' you could of heard a pin drop! We then built on this lesson to create descriptive passages about the Galapagos animals. 
I know this is not the most jazzy lesson in the world but I was so proud of my little friends and myself- if you have any Apps you think I should try or blogs I should red then please let me know.

Whilst we're on the subject of Galapagos animals…. to link with our Tag Cloud lesson I decide I would try to make some craftivities for our kiddies. I'm not the most talented graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination and I don't have any real graphic design programs just good old PowerPoint but I am very proud of the results-
Some of my creativity elements
The giggle- inducing Blue Footed Boobie
A finished Lava Crab

I loved taking part in the Stop, Swap and Roll blog hop last weekend- did you visit any blogs involved? I entered loads of give-aways and gained lots of inspiration. I was overwhelmed by the amount of readers I recieved and the give away to win Anchored in Learning's 'Button Task Card Center' was swamped but as always there must be a winner! 
 Teresa L. YOU ARE MY WINNER!!! 
I'm excited to be a part of future blog-hops and getting to know some of you lovely people better.

Here's to a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend friends


  1. This year my school district went 1:1, and I have had to completely reinvent myself as an educator to using these iPads in my classroom, so I am right there with you on learning to implement them in the classroom effectively. It is so easy to use them as substitution for paper work, but it is a struggle to learn ways of taking it a bit further. I have been using apps such Book Creator and iMovie a lot here lately for my students to show what they have learned in a week about whatever our theme is. I highly recommend the Book Creator app to you! There is a free version, but the paid version is definitely worth every penny! I look forward to checking out the ways that you have been using iPads in your classroom! If you ever need iPad ideas, browse through my blog. I try to blog about the ways that I am incorporating technology in my classroom. :) I hope you had a great weekend! Have a great week!

    Miss Law's Kinders

  2. Oh thank you so much for your comment- I've just taken a peek at your (adorable) blog and loooooove the iMovies your little ones made about looking after the Earth- we are looking at non-chronological reports on Galapagos animals in groups this week so I think I am going to get them to make a little movie version just like yours- inspired! I will show them your videos as a model of what a good one looks like if that's ok with you? Looking forward to your next 5 for Friday Xx


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