Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Teaching Tips: NEW BOOKS

Hello Everyone! 

I recently went to Ilkley for a day out with my friend Adeline. It was only meant to be cake, tea and a chat, however I soon started wandering into charity shops and I began to purchase books. I spent just under £10 on books that day here's what I bought. 

Where My Wellies Take Me by Claire and Michael Morpurgo

This was an amazing find! RRP was £17.99, but I got it for £1.00. This is such a beautifully presented book full of poems and pictures. It is designed like a scrapbook and I am so lucky to have found this hidden away in a charity shop. It's still in fab condition and looks brand new!   




I was definitely taken by the design inside the book. The drawings are beautiful and with the contents page there is a map to show the journey the girl in the story had taken. The poems are focused on outdoor things that she will have seen/heard/encountered. I love finding gems like this and when I saw it I simply could not leave it behind. I don't think it is suitable for early years simply because of the language used would be hard to understand but KS2 would benefit from this. I would still share some of these poems with a high Y1/Y2 class because they need to be exposed to language like this to fully appreciate poems to then be able to create their own. Not just that but the pictures and drawings are simply beautiful and I think children would love to see how beautiful this book is inside and out!

My Surprise Book of Seasons - Oxford

Yet another lucky find and a steal at 50p (RRP £6.99). A really good book to have if you're in Nursery, Reception and Year 1. It's really interactive and allows the reader to learn independently or with a partner. It's bright and colourful and just a good staple to have I think for Early Years classrooms.




Where Is Home, Little Pip? By Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

£1.99 RRP £6.99
A good book for a winter topic. I would use this to help support learning about animals in cold places as well as maybe adopting a penguin? This would be really interesting for a class so that they could learn about something personal to their class. It's obviously important to ensure that the books in your book corner match the topic as well as having other general books to satisfy other interests. This would definitely be one to include and also has lovely illustrations that would engage children during story time.


Hungry Harry By Joanne Partis 

£1.49 RRP £6.99
I saw this in my Reception class when they had tadpoles. The children really liked this book and enjoyed reading it at home time. It was also another topic book that fit into our spring theme. When I saw this in the charity shop I couldn't leave it behind. It's bright, colourful illustrations allow children to still be engaged even if they aren't able to read yet. These provoke such lovely conversations which are just as important and allow children to further develop their love of books.


- These next 3 books I didn't find in a charity shop. They are brand new but were discounted! I got all 3 for £5.00 from 'Just Books'. I could've bought more but I don't need them right now. -

I Am An Artist by Marta Alt├Ęs

This is probably my favourite book I have bought. It's funny and explains the typical parent child relationship where they constantly run around trying to stop children drawing everywhere! Really this little boy just wants to show his mum how he sees art and makes his own (very abstract art). It's a wonderfully clever book and one that I am excited to use with my own class to show them that not everyone sees art in the same way. Some may not even realise that something is art, or that art can be made through many different mediums. I think this is also something that many children can relate to seeing household objects they see everyday turned into works of art by one little boy. 


Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School By Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds

When I was in Reception I noticed how interested boys were in dinosaurs and that they didn't have any books they could read. When I saw this book I wanted to buy it because I loved the inner pages that phonetically sounded out the names of the dinosaurs, which would be so helpful to those children that wanted to know how to say the names of the dinosaurs. They can do this independently rather than a worried teacher trying to ensure they'd said the name correctly. I'll be honest it's hard to pronounce some of them so books like this are a god send! I chose the school story as I thought it would be lovely to have as a first book for the start of the year for a new class. If there was a new person understanding how they may be feeling and what we could do as a class to make them feel reassured and included. I've seen this book used in my placement school and I think it would be one my future classes will enjoy.


A Squash and a Squeeze By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

I love Julia Donaldson I couldn't wait to get my hands on one of her books. I love the rhymes and rhythm in her books and children really enjoy it too. There is humour in the book which I hope children would pick up on as well as having lovely illustrations to allow children to understand what is happening in the story. It also allows for discussion at the end of the book about the message the wise old man was trying to teach the woman. Books like this are versatile and also allow children to be exposed to another author in the book corner.


I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please let me know what you think and click on the links below to get in contact with me further.

"The rest is still unwritten"

Megan 

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Moody Monday's Volume 16:

Hello Everyone!

It's that dreaded Monday again and the beginning of the week, however it is one I am really looking forward to! I have lots of exciting things to tell you. 

Last week I spent every day with Luke and it was weird sleeping on my own for the first time in a week on Saturday night (sad face). I really enjoyed spending the week together and I really hate that I probably won't get to see him much this week as we are both really busy.

Today I have been for an interview and I'm happy to say I have sorted my final year school placement and I can't wait to start. It is scary to think that this is my final year of my University degree, however I am excited to start with a class of my own.

It is also the week I go to London with Adeline to see Taylor Swift at Hyde Park! I leave on Friday so I am already trying to think of what I am going to pack since I am helping out at my previous placement school in Year 1.

I can't wait to explore London and eat some good food and hopefully drink some prosecco whilst I'm down there too! I will be posting lots of pictures on my instagram and tweeting whilst I'm down there so don't forget to click on the links below to make sure you're following me!

I'm also getting my hair done as well this Thursday which is long overdue because quite frankly it's getting out of hand! My ponytail is incredibly bushy!

So it's fair to say I have such a busy week ahead of me but one that I am excited for. The only thing missing is seeing Luke (sad face), but I can't complain because we have spent a lot of time together recently. I just wished we lived closer.

OH! I forgot to say I've bought my own house. More to come on this as we get closer to completion and I can take some photos of my own. I'm so so excited for this new adventure! Will definitely keep you all updated on this!

Hope you're all well! Enjoy your week!

"The rest is still unwritten"

Megan 

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Teaching Tips: Facebook Groups

Hello Everyone! 

I haven't done a teaching post for a while so I thought I would use my spare time to write about something I use on a daily basis. Now Facebook is portrayed as something that can work against teachers, however when used correctly I've found it can open up many opportunities to share teaching ideas and resources. Hopefully in September I'll be starting serial days as my new placement school where I'll be training in Year 1. It will be my final placement before I graduate so I do want to do well to ensure I am able to secure a good job.

I trawled through Facebook looking for groups and I saw that one of my friends had joined the 'twinkl KS1 group'. I joined as I thought it would help me get creative when finally beginning to teach in Year 1. Groups like this are so helpful and it's really nice to be able to share ideas and talk to other teachers who have a range of different experiences. I've found everyone is so friendly and happy to offer advice and share planning in order to ensure that we are all, as teachers, performing the best we can in our classrooms. It's about sharing strengths and helping others with issues that we also might be facing. It's an extra support network to expand the one we already may have with colleagues at work. I think it's a wonderful opportunity as not all teachers are from one area of the world. Some are in different places of the UK meaning that their schools are different from the ones I am used to here in Yorkshire. Whereas in some cases there are some teachers who are from international schools sharing their own experiences and ideas.

I have definitely been in situations before where I've struggled on how best to tackle a certain lesson to make it fun and engaging for my class. This can be for a number of reasons, one being that it simply isn't a strength of mine. I've seen people use this group to ask for the members ideas on how to tackle a lesson and they get a number of responses each with a new and imaginative idea. I have saved many of these ideas and I will most likely end up using them should I choose to use this topic in my class.

If you're a trainee teacher, NQT, RQT, or have even been teaching for many years it is never too late to join one of these groups. There are groups that are specifically aimed at Year Groups so don't just write the idea off because I've just mentioned the KS1 group!

Whilst I'm on the subject of Facebook groups I will mention the benefit of Teaching Resources for sale. This group has a lot of benefit too as some teachers clear out book/games etc which are great to have if you're starting to set up your new classroom. It is also helpful for trainee teachers who are starting degrees and looking for second hand uni books off the reading list as many NQTs are selling their books after finishing their degrees. These books are still in excellent condition, but with a discounted price that won't hurt your purse/wallet too much!

I'll leave some links to the groups I have joined. Let me know if you find them helpful or if you have other teaching groups that you'd recommend! Just click on the names of the group and it should take you to the group.

LINKS: 

KS1 Teachers - specifically Year 2

Primary School Librarians Group

Teacher resources for sale

Twinkl KS1 Group

KS1 teachers - specifically year 1!

Hope you enjoyed this post, please let me know what you think! I'd really love for you to recommend any other groups that you find helpful so that we can learn and help each other!

"The rest is still unwritten"

Megan 

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Moody Monday's Volume 15: Let's have a chat

Hello Bloggers! 

Yes, I know I'm terrible at remembering to blog recently! Awful and there isn't an excuse why I haven't so I won't start by making one! A lot of exciting things have happened over the last few weeks and coupled with the beautiful weather we've been having it has made an exciting start to my Summer!

Luke and I. Nice yellow jumper  from Matalan cheers for the hole though guys! Will be taking this back!
I will aim to be more on top of posts this week I assure you! It will be nice to get back into a schedule.

I thought I would write this post early, it's Saturday and I'm watching my boyfriend play cricket however I have been blessed with wi-fi! THANK YOU THE CLOUD! So instead of sitting here pretending to understand the game, which I really don't, I thought it might be useful to do what women do best...multi-task.

Even though I've just mentioned the beautiful weather we've been having it's overcast today so I'm not loving the grey sky, although it is much better than the rain we'd had in the night/early this morning! The temperature isn't bad either so I am rather enjoying sitting in the car, window open, laptop on my knees, leisurely watching the game and praying my boyfriend's team wins (fingers crossed everyone).

Now for those who know me you'll know I am definitely not a sports fan. I despise it and would pick a Netflix day in bed over venturing out of the house to watch it let alone play any! Nevertheless, as Luke plays cricket and it has to be one of the things he possibly loves just as much as me I felt that it was only fair for me to at least try and watch/understand it. This is my third game I am watching now and I am understanding a few things. I finally know how to understand a score. How the scoring system works...I'm still terrible but I'm better than when I first started. I think that's one thing that you must try and do in a relationship, compromise. It's one of those factors that allows a relationship to succeed. I watch cricket and take an interest for Luke, however on a sunny day I quite enjoy it! So if I've done that I ask Luke to compromise and let me watch a Disney film or chick flick. This actually worked as last night I was allowed to watch 25 minutes of Anastasia before deciding to change to watch 'Morning Glory', which Luke actually liked! So yes you could say I'm incredibly happy!

I went into my old Secondary School/Sixth Form on Thursday as my Head of Year and Learning Mentor had been asking my brother if I was coming in to visit. It was nice seeing everyone and how different the Sixth Form looked since I was last there. My teachers said they could see such a difference in myself. I was more positive and definitely more confident. Its nice to hear that when A-Levels was by far one of the hardest two years I have experienced so far. I just look at how far I've come in that time and it's all because I have gone to University. I am finally doing something I enjoy and soon I'll be a fully qualified teacher with my own class. It's very overwhelming as well as exciting.

Sidenote: Luke claps a lot...more than everyone else. Now it's hard to envision this but it's very amusing. The best way to describe it is by thinking of that monkey from Toy Story 3 with the cymbals- yes hilarious.

So as I've said I have a lot of ideas for blogs it's just a case of writing them all so they are ready to be published on time. If I've got some exciting day trips planned I might vlog some bits to add to my blog, therefore it's easier for you to see my day. I will also continue to write my blogs as well as I thoroughly enjoy writing still.

I hope you're all well and enjoying this weather!

"The rest is still unwritten"

Megan 

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