Autumn Term 2018
Using ideas from ‘Sunshine circles’, as well as her work with ‘what’s in my box?’ play as a student, Sophie has been helping our younger children appreciate and learn the value of being an individual whilst working as a group. Sharing together the anticipation and joy of finding out what the adult is going to show them uses aspects of midfulness sessions in which the children get to ‘pay attention to the present moment’. Sensory experiences of passing a ball of foam around the circle or sharing the tickle of a feather on them allows the child and the adult to share this moment with no expectations on them, with no prescribed results or outcomes. Watch this space for more examples of mindful moments at Little Star.
We’re going on an active bear hunt!
The strategies behind active story making are designed to make story telling come alive to children and make meaningful connections in their development and learning. To this end, the Rising Star team have been finding a variety of different means and methods with which to bring the story of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ alive. As well as the standard reading of the story, we add actions and write the story by drawing and making meaning of our marks (see below) but in addition they have been on a whirling swirling snow storm by using shaving foam and had to go through a deep cold river, swishy swashy grass and oozy mud on their walk down the lane. Such ways of providing ‘multi modal’ choices of play ensure that every child can shine in choosing their preferred methods of play and learning.
We’ve discussed earlier on this page and on the main What have we been doing? page the merits of scribbles and making marks in various forms and in order to do this, and develop a love of “writing”, children need to be given a variety of different motivations to make their mark and also different resources and impetus. So in our Rising Star room we ensure they have mark making resources available throughout their continuous play: in the home corner, when playing with trains and trucks, in response to story (as they have been this week, drawing and “writing” after reading and listening to the story of ‘Bear Hunt’) and with our new addition of a baby and toddler height easel. Writing in a vertical manner and with big movement also helps develop muscles in the arms and down to their hands and fingers and so works towards a good pen control as they get older.
The Rising Stars have had a busy start to the term with us welcoming many new faces as they have made the transition from Little Star Babies in Paulton as well as other new faces amongst our youngest of babies. It has been heartening to see though that they have all made a fantastic beginning and have launched themselves into all that Little Star Farrington has to offer, including trips out to the woods and exploring the outdoors in the garden.
Whilst the main “learning” focus for the Rising Stars are the “Prime” areas of the EYFS (Personal, Social and Emotional’ Communication and language; physical development), on evaluating our practice it was evident that we may not be documenting as much as we could the specific areas of literacy and mathematics. However this is not to say that they are not doing it (and for those who checked in last term we discussed in more detail how babies and toddlers explore mathematical and literacy ideas through messy play, painting, and general play).
One specific method of exploring literacy skills that is used with the Rising Stars as well as their older peers is the methods of Active Story making and this term’s story of ‘Dear Zoo’ has allowed the children to bring the story alive with a range of props and telling the story with each other as well as emergent writing and reading as they use the story maps.