Sunday, 3 November 2013

Eric Carle...'Animals Animals'

Eric Carle...the one name that every teacher...loves/fears (delete as appropriate) hearing!

As I see it there are two ways of thinking about Eric Carle...the first is the joy of teaching the very hungry caterpillar again and getting your kids to fall in love with such an iconic book (lets face it, it is probably the first book most people would name when hearing the name). The flip side of this is the dread of teaching the very hungry caterpillar again and having to try to get your kids to fall in love with a book you have taught time and time again!!!

Well...I rebelled when I was faced with the topic 'Books and Authors'. Instead I went for a lesser known collection that wasn't actually written by Eric Carle but instead it is a collection of poetry from different authors and the artwork is done by Eric Carle (kind of the best of both worlds - I don't have to teach the very hungry caterpillar for the Millionth time but I still get to enjoy the fantastic artwork!)
Animals Animals - Eric Carle
It was such a fantastic topic and the kids loved every Monday morning as we introduced a new animal each week - we started with the poem in English, we learnt about where they lives and what they ate etc in wider world and we did some animal themed music based on that animal each week in Music! It was great! We also fed in some ICT collages and research about the animal and also some artwork in our art lessons!

Here are some links to some resources I uploaded to TES:
Eric Carle Collage Making Instruction Sheet -

Animals Animals PowerPoint Poetry, Sensory Poetry, Symbol magazine and Vocab cards -

Animals Animals Songbook and Planning -

So please be inspired to do something different! Don't just think you have to recycle the hungry caterpillar year after year - although it is a pretty awesome book!

Enjoy teaching this fantastic text!

Sunday, 30 June 2013


Twinkl...possibly the most colourful and exciting resource website known to man! But seriously the site is pretty inviting and full of great colourful, child friendly resources! It's easy to navigate and has nearly everything you could want where resources are concerned!

I particularly like the parents sections of the site - I'm not a parent (and can't see myself being on any time soon) but I know decent resources and here there is just about everything you will need to support your child's learning at home. Also if you need support that doesn't come in paper based form head over to the forum where you can tap into a world of support from teachers, parents and other professionals.

Other sections I particularly like are the -
Story Sacks - This is a fantastic starting point for schools to build on to create some really interesting story sacks!
Phonics (Letters and Sounds) resources - There are tons of phonics resources and can easily link to different topic areas or support the topic!
Topic Sections - There is an endless number of topic resources which again are a great starting point for schools to use to complement teaching. Some of my favourite topic resources are 'Under the Sea', 'Jungles and Rainforests' and the ton of special days resources on the site!

One area that is under construction is the SEN sections and I am sure this will end up with a host of great resources! I would love to see more secondary based resources which are age appropriate but simplified (as this would be quite unique) e.g. maybe in the literacy section some simplified Shakespear resources, which would be great for those of us who work in Secondary special and try to run more age appropriate lessons while still tailoring teaching to a EYFS/KS1 level!

BUT...Twinkl is more than just resources...check out the 'handy tools' section for display ideas and more, the blog, the store and the forum and remember...these sections of the site are what you make of them so without people like you posting and getting involved it would be pretty boring so consider it a free CPD opportunity!

There are loads of free resources which are well worth downloading but there is also a premium subscription as well which can be bought personally, for someone else or by schools. This is 29.99 a year which may seem quite pricey when there are so may free resources out there but the premium resources are very good quality and ENDLESS so it is well worth buying into and comes highly reccomended!

So look for the little yellow bird and get downloading!


And as I take my first breath out for a whole year my tutor signs my final appraisal form and says "Congratulations, you have passed your teacher training, you are now a qualified teacher". Well I have to say it was all worth it, the long days, the tears, the hair loss, the grey hairs!

I feel like I should do something significant with my file seeing as I put so much work into it...maybe paper my walls with it? Turn it into Christmas decorations or papier mache a statue from it! But I am sure that it will just end up stuck on a shelf in my store cupboard or in the loft!

This may be a bit of an egotistical blog post but in the end I passed with all 1's (outstanding) so needless to say I had a bit of a hangover the next day after celebrating! A word of advice to anyone considering doing the Schools Direct (New GTP) or PGCE...DO IT! But be realistic and know that it is going to take over your life for the entire will lose sleep and hair and gain wrinkles but you will not regret it!

I have been doing this for some years in an unqualified state and that did make it easier...the more experience you can get pre GTP/PGCE the better and easier it will be!

So I may try and post on here more often now...

Monday, 8 April 2013

Felt Art

So while I was on placement the teacher covering my class and the Art teacher in school ran a great little project with my class on RE day - it was a story about a spider (A muslim story) and they used felt to create a spider scene. Each student had a square to decorate and they put it together to create a large hanging.

Looks pretty great!


Story Plays for EFYS/KS1 and SEN

So I stumbled along these really great story plays in a tiny (and awesome) children's book shop in Sheffield. I am going to buy some and give them a whirl, they are a really great way of introducing plays to young children or children with SEN.

You can see that it is split into 4 parts so would be great for small group work and each part is colour coordinated so it is easy to follow!

Were going on a bear hunt
Colour coordinated pages with original book images

The Gingerbread man

Jack and the beanstalk

Farmer Duck

There are 8 in total - here are just 4 of the story plays and they are all based on popular books/traditional tails - excellent for shared reading!

You can find these on or in your local independent bookstore (I didn't manage to find them in Waterstones or WHS)!


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Colour by Numbers/Pencil Skills

Colouring activities could be great for developing fine motor skills, or maybe you need help encouraging students to change colour within a picture?

These great colour by numbers could be just for you (courtesy of @TES_SEN)!

Colour by Numbers -

And some lovely Christmas colour by numbers activities -

And here are some Pencil Skills activities which would be great to build students fine motor skills - 

Chirstmas Pencil Skills Activities -

Pencil Skills -

Dinosaur Themed Pencil Skills -

Space Themed Pencil Skills -

Easter/Spring Themed Pencil Skills -

All of these activities are great TEACCH/Workstation resources and could help you start to build a great bank of resources! Make these your holiday laminating project!

Enjoy :)

TEACCH actvities for workstations

I spend at least 2 days in every holiday designing workstation tasks for students and I have been able to create a huge bank of resources over the last 3 takes some doing!

So take a look at these resources and take the stress out of designing workstation tasks!

TES Autism (@TES_SEN) Has designed some fantastic workstation activities which can all be found here - just print, laminate, Velcro and they are ready to use! Well worth the time and effort to put them together as they are top quality resources that you will be able to use again and again! - My favourite resources are the Counting or 'How many...' resources. These are incredibly simple and well made resources. So...I had a go at making my own and you can find mine here -

How many Cubes -

How many People (Paper Chains) -

How Long (Cubes) -

How Long (People - Paper Chains) -

I have also designed a template (using Widgit symbols) for Independent Reading Comprehension - Have a look, it could be just what you need for your workstation:

Enjoy the resources - Hope they help to cut out some of the work in the holidays and I will post more ASAP!