Sunday, 30 March 2014

PLANNING WEEK BEGINNING 31st March 2014


This weeks planning mainly focuses on minibeasts and our Frogspawn..... which is now Tadpoles!

Last week the children found great interest in feeding Toothless, our Lizard. They wanted to see his mealworms and Cockroaches. Some of the children wanted to hold them too! They ran off to get magnifying glasses and played with the plastic bugs. I thought this would be a good time to introduce a minibeast topic. Hopefully the warm weather is here to stay..... or at least not vanish completely!

We have lots of fun ideas to explore over the coming weeks. For a sneak preview I have included our medium term ideas plan.


Friday, 21 March 2014

PROJECT TADPOLE!

This year we are learning about the life cycle of a frog, first hand. We have been given some frog spawn and we are very much looking forward to watching it grow!

I asked the children what they already knew about frogs and their life cycle. The after school children drew me some lovely pictures which we have added to the playroom wall. 

We are looking at both fiction and non fiction books about frogs and tadpoles.


You can see in this picture that they have passed the black dot stage and are beginning to look like little "Commas".


I set up some small world toys which I thought might be a nice tool for consolidating the new information that we learn and initiate some small world play.


LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:

  • To learn about the life cycle of a frog.
  • To observe and talk about the changes we see as the tadpoles grow and change.
  • To take care of living creatures.
We will read fiction and non fiction books, enjoy small world play, observe, note, draw and talk about the changes we see. We will look at how these creatures move and how these movements change with their bodily changes. At the end of this project we will have also built a small, shallow pond in an enclosed flower bed, to release the frogs in to.


Thursday, 20 March 2014

MAKING BUTTER AND SODA BREAD.

A fun and yummy treat to eat but you have to work hard to get it!

We used thick fresh cream and added it to empty jam jars..... then we shook them and shook them and shook them some more. We jumped.... bounced...... wriggled.... danced..... jumped a bit more. Eventually the children (Who normally have SOOOOOO much energy) told us they were tired. So the childminders had to do the hard work!


After a lot of shacking we had butter and butter milk! We squeezed the butter to get as much butter milk as we could to make the soda bread.




Once we had enough butter milk we set about making the soda bread.  Little "R" worked hard at mixing and then kneading the dough. This was quite hard work and really worked the finger and arm muscles. After all the butter making our arms were a little bit like jelly!




Once the bread was glazed, we cooked it. The children all took one home with a little pot of butter to share with their families!


LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:

  • To make soda bread and butter from scratch.
  • To understand the process of making fresh food.
  • To use tools and be aware of food hygiene and safety in the kitchen.
I will offer more opportunities for cooking and using kitchen utensils. The children are always very focused and keen to cook and it is an important life skill!

LINKS TO PAST OBSERVATIONS: 

CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Little "R" is very keen to cook and this interest in the activity means that she is focused, engaged and motivated. Even though the butter making was hard work, she wanted to see the "Magic happen". Even when her arms hurt too much she cheered the rest of us on. Asking if it had happened yet!!
The stirring and kneading was hard work, especially after all the butter making, but she kept on trying to work the dough and shape it in to a roll. She remembered regularly used ingredients from our past cooking activities and asked if she could do jobs that she was anticipating in this cooking session. She was often surprised when we said that bread did not need a certain ingredient, like eggs.  She was using links from past knowledge to and activities to predict what would happen next.
She was keen to share her bread and show her mum what she had made at collection time that evening.

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding the world
  • Mathematics
  • Language and communication

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014

LITTLE "B" BECOMING MORE MOBILE!

Little "B" has started to walk! She has been so close for a few weeks now and has been slowly building up her confidence.
She is really enjoying making her way around the house and joining the older children in their play. This is not always welcomed by the older children... especially when she crawls off with a doll or knocks down a tower., but on the whole they love having her join in with their play and give her a role in their role play games.

Early years Outcomes- 
 Physical Development (Moving and handling) 8-20 months 
  • Takes first few steps independently. 
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-confidence and self-awareness) 16-26 months
  • Explores new toys and environments, but ‘checks in’ regularly with familiar adult as and when needed. 

We have started to get a lot of tummy showing!
"Where's you tummy gone?" and up comes the top!
She also holds the top up and smiles at me waiting for me to tickle her tummy so that she can giggle and cover it up again. When I move away, she repeats the actions and makes vocal sounds and holds my attention by making eye contact. Waiting and communicating to me that she wants me to do it again.

Early years Outcomes- 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-confidence and self-awareness) 8-20 months 
  •  Enjoys finding own nose, eyes or tummy as part of naming games. 
  •  
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-confidence and self-awareness) Birth-11 months

  • Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions. 
  • Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention. 




Now she is more mobile she enjoys following toys around the floor. Especially cars and balls. Sometimes she squeals and looks to others around her to push the toy back to her. Engaging them in her play.

Early years Outcomes- 

Understanding the world (The world) Birth-11 months
  • Repeats actions that have an effect, e.g. kicking or hitting a mobile or shaking a rattle. 
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-confidence and self-awareness) Birth-11 months
  • Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention. 


She is loving the freedom that comes with her new walking. She has started to spend time in the garden, exploring a more natural environment and is loving watching the chickens and trying to stroke them when they fly out of their run.

Early years Outcomes- 

Understanding the world (The world) 8-20 months
  • Closely observes what animals, people and vehicles do. 
  • .




She is able to be more involved with the other children in the setting and works hard to get their attention.


LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:

  • This observation was made to assess how little "B"'s new found mobility has effected her current developmental level in Physical Development, Personal, Social, Emotional Development and how she is interacting more with the world around her.
I will offer more opportunities for outdoor play and giving her the space to explore and move using her whole body. I will provide more toys that can be moved around the house such as dolls buggies, wheel barrows, pull along toys and balls to encourage movement and walking.


CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Little "B" is active and involved in her play and likes to join others who are playing near her. She is social and keen to engage others in what she is doing. Her new found mobility has given her the freedom to explore new spaces and reach things that were previously out of reach. She can find out about her environment and explore things more hands on. She likes to climb on things to reach items that she can see but that are not within her grasp. She Thinks critically and problem solves so that she can get to these things. Making her own choices and learning through trial and error. 

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding the world

VISITING THE VILLAGE LIBRARY BUS!

We had a lovely visit to the village library bus today! We were heading to the park and noticed it parked in the lay-by. We always forget when it is due to visit so were really excited to see it. The children were keen to get on and look for books!
We were on the hunt for any books that linked to our frogs and frogspawn.
Each of the children chose books that they could take home to read with their parents.

The lady in the counter was fantastic with the children, She let them stamp all of their own books! There were lots of older villagers on the bus as well and they chatted to all of the children. Asking them about their books and saying how nice it is to see little ones enjoying books. It was a fantastic example of the children being a part of their community.




Monday, 10 March 2014

A LITTLE MORE OF THAT TRAJECTORY SCHEMA!

After a few posts about little "X" and his Trajectory schema, I have started to notice this style of play in more areas. While we were outside this week, playing Garden Centres, Little "X" was more interested in transferring the water from the tray to the pan. 
To start with I assumed he was "cooking". Making something yummy. After about 15 minutes I noticed that he was still very much involved in this process of transferring and only stopped to ask me for more water. 



I decided to spend a few minutes observing him more closely and noticed that he was having a wonderful time filling the pan with water and then adding more to make it overflow. Every time the water shot over the edge of the pan he laughed. He watched as it splashed up and then ran off the table and on to the floor.


LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:

  • This observation was made to watch how little "X" was using the water and what was keeping him so engaged for so long.
I will offer more opportunities for outdoor water  play and offer water toys that move water, such as water wheels, tubes, funnels etc.

LINKS TO PAST OBSERVATIONS: 

CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Little "X" is active and involved in his play and was totally absorbed and lost in his self initiated exploration of moving water. He repeated the actions so he could continue to watch the effect over and over. He was playing with what he knows about how water behaves and moves and challenging this knowledge with new experiences. He was concentrating so much and clearly enjoying what he was doing. 

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding the world

MOTHERS DAY GIFTS AND CRAFTING!

Making our lovely cards and gifts for Mothers day!

Happy Mothers Day to you all! 










Friday, 7 March 2014

VISITING THE GARDEN CENTRE

Today we visited a local garden centre with our friends at "looking out for the little people".  We thought it would be a good way to introduce the children to Spring, gardens and plants. These are the things we will be looking at over the Spring season.

The children had a lovely time looking at the garden buildings, fencing, trellis, water butts and compost bins. They asked questions about things that they saw and we answered them as best we could.


The garden ornaments held their attention for a long time. Especially the bird baths. We explained that birds need to drink and that they like to have baths like we do. This is a special bath for the birds which we can put in our gardens.


There was lots of finger dipping. They told me it was cold! Little "R" didn't seem to mind the cold and dipped her hands in as many bird baths as possible.


Little "I" chatted with the stone animals. She gave this dog a little kiss. Sadly I missed that with the camera.



We found lots of lovely colourful flowers. I asked the children which they liked the best. They chose differently to each other. Little "R" liked the lilac and white ones because they were pretty. Little "I" chose the purple and white ones because they had yellow middles. I told them that the pink ones were my favourite as pink is my very best colour!


We had told the children that they could all choose a pack of seeds to grow, while we were here. They were very keen to find the seeds and spent quite a while choosing which ones they would like. We talked about whether they wanted to grow a plant or a vegetable to eat. They told me the vegetables that they enjoy eating and the ones they do not like. Carrots seemed to be a big hit many of the children. I chose some colourful Kale as I thought it would be nice to see the rainbow colours and that might encourage the children to try it once we had grown it.



After a really good look around, paying for our items and then a walk through the bird feeder section, we made our way to the cafe for a drink and slice of chocolate brownie!



This was a really lovely social time where the children talked about their seeds, looked at each others packets, talked about the things we had just seen in the garden centre and what we were going to do with our seeds over the next few weeks.


LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:

  • This outing was offered as a fun and hands on introduction to gardens and growing plants. We thought that it would give the children the chance to see what we needed to grow seeds and to make some choices about what they would like to grow.
  • This outing also gave the children the opportunity to learn about the process of purchasing items from shops, making selections and then paying for our goods.

I will follow this outing up by setting up a role play Garden Centre and introducing magnifying glasses and minibeasts. I will offer a selection of fiction and non-fiction books for the children to look at to support their learning of this topic. The role play area will have a till and play money so that children can recreate the shopping process and take turns to be customer and shop keeper.
We will plant our seeds and then tend to them. Noting how they change and grow. Exploring the parts of a plant. Roots, stem, leaves, flower, petals.
I will offer some muddy sensory play with seeds and pots as well as garden tools so that the children can practice planting seeds.


CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
All of the children enjoyed our trip to the Garden centre.They listened to the rules we set in place to keep them safe. Stay together and do not run around. They were engaged and interested to know about the different things that were sold in the garden centre. Asking what a compost bin was for and how a water butt worked. They made their own choices and selections when choosing seeds and shared their personal likes and dislikes. All of the children were focused and interested in learning about gardens and planting. 

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Understanding the world
  • Mathematics


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