I’m sure we’ve all been there – half way through handwriting something, our hand cramps up and we wonder when exactly we last had to write so much. A few weeks ago I searched all around the house for a pen! I call myself a writer and I don’t have a pen in the house! Finding this simply unacceptable, I popped to The Works while I was in town and bought a whole handful of pens which are now all safely nestled in the bottom of my handbag, waiting for their next use.
It did leave me thinking about writing though, and about how hard it is to get my kids holding a pen and paper. Ameli, for example, is quite happy to do worksheets, as long as she doesn’t have to write down any answers. Or at least not those that require long answers. I do feel, however, despite this amazing digital age and the fact that even infants know how to swipe a touchscreen, that handwriting is an essential life skill. Read more: Letter Writing For Handwriting Practice And Life-Long Memories
We’ve been working through the year 2 English curriculum recently, as a sort of a guide for things for Ameli to learn, her being very keen to learn it all. I have to admit that looking at the curriculum I’m shocked and mildly appalled at what 7-year-olds are expected to learn! But as long as Ameli enjoys it, we’ll keep going.
We’ve been reading Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – a short story that doesn’t take very long, but is filled with all the examples of things the kids are learning in Year 2. Graphemes, apostrophes, suffixes – well, if you have a child who’s been through this curriculum, you’ll know!*
Another game review today as I’ve been really slack in getting these games online, even though we’ve been playing them for weeks! Today’s game is super for anyone who loves word building games – the game is Word Has It! by University Games, and it’s best suited to those who can actually read.
The idea of Word Has It is to build the longest word you can within the given time limit, the given starting letter and the given category. So to start, you choose a category card – say ‘something that grows’ – then you spin the spinner and get a letter – say “F” – then hit the timer and you have a few seconds to come up with a word, find the letters and stack them to create a word. The winner is the person who has the longest word in the given time.Read more: “Word Has It!” Game Review
Happy Dr.Seuss Birthday! I know this makes me sound old, because I never asked this as a kid, but where’s this year going! I just packed away the Christmas decorations, and here we are into the 3rd month of the year already. The 3rd month does start with a bang though, with World Book Day and Dr Seuss birthday on the 2nd of March.
I seem to find myself a bit gushy over books every week at the moment. I can’t help that the books we’re being sent are so fantastic though! This week’s arrival was perfectly themed for us too, because we’ve been focusing on story telling and story writing this month, what with it being both National Story Telling Week a few weeks ago, and National Haiku month and all that. So Also an Octopus from Maggie Tokuda-Hall is a perfectly timed book for us – but it’s also both funny and really sweet, and an all round fantastic concept.
We’re in the middle of National Storytelling week, so we’ve spent a fair bit of time this week doing just that. There are loads of different ways of bringing stories to life, and while something like painted pebbles might be beautiful, we’re not all quite so talented! There’s a list here of different ways to create story prompts, but one we’ve been doing this week – and you can download it or template for your own below – is story cubes.
Story cubes require a template, a printer and an on-the go imagination.
It’s National Storytelling week soon, and I’ve been looking at ways to engage the children interactively in the art of storytelling. We did story sticks last year, which was a big hit, but I want to try something else this year. Here are some exciting ideas to look at and try for National Story Telling Week:
Winnie the Pooh Day in on the 18th of January. It’s actually A.A. Milne’s birthday, which is why the date was chosen.
In it’s Disney era, Winnie the Pooh has been cast as a character for baby-nurseries and babified for toddlers, but in truth, I think this has done them something of an injustice, with the stories being much more suited to early readers. They are clever, and funny and well worth dusting off for a quick evening read.
As such, we’re learning around the theme of Winnie the Pooh, which means we’re using the topic, however loosely to underpin our learning. Below are our ideas for celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day. The list will grow and link to other pages as the day gets closer, but I’m populating it as I go along.
To give you something to get stuck into in the meantime, however, here’s a FREE PRINTABLE BOOKLETfor you to download and print. It has all sorts of puzzles, games and suggestions for your Winnie the Pooh celebrations.
I have a whole drawer full of printed games and puzzles and activities that I can pull out whenever we need something to change the narrative on our day. One of the activities that I recently added to this collection was a faces & feelings matching game (download it free here). I printed it and laminated it and keep them for a quick, five minute activity from time to time.
You can do it either way – lay out the faces and match the words, or lay out the words and match the faces to them. There are more words than faces because some faces can match a variety of words – like terrified and yelling.
You can either pull out extra words so that you can focus on the words you’re interested in, or you can leave it as is.