Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Role Play

Hours of work for just a few weeks!

Here is a photo of my Christmas role play area. It’s a Santa’s workshop.

role play area

I put some construction materials into the role play area along with a wooden tool box and some wooden tools. I explained that the children need to wear some elf ears if they’re doing construction in the role play area because the elves help Father Christmas to make the toys.

I’ve put lots of writing activities of various levels including letters to the children to thank them for their letters, naughty or nice lists and drawing toy designs.

There are also lots of dressing up opportunities and wrapping presents in a tough spot.

It will all be destroyed by 9:05am tomorrow morning, but the effort was there! lol

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Gruffalo Lesson Plan: Rhyming

Going a Bit Gruffalo

As promised, a Gruffalo lesson plan. It’s not my best lesson plan and not my most ‘wow’ starter.

The children do enjoy reading the Gruffalo. If the focus of this story was different, if we were looking at retelling the story rather than rhyming, I would start this story outside in a forest area where the children could act out the story in the forest where the story is set.

gruflesplan Rhyming Lesson Plan based on The Gruffalo book

Hopefully this will help anyone looking for a Gruffalo rhyming lesson. Like I say, it’s not got my best wow starter but it does cover all the literacy areas (speaking and listening, reading and writing) uses ICT and has the option of working outside.

Download the lesson plan here.

Don’t forget to buy your copy of the Gruffalo! Normal paperback is available here. Big book of the Gruffalo available here.

Friday, 16 November 2012

It’s All Gone a Bit Gruffalo

I am Gruffalo Mad!

I’ve been a huge fan of the Gruffalo from the first time I read the story. It’s different and unique and sparks the children’s imagination. There are thousands of lesson plans you can use from the Gruffalo, and I’ve gone a little bit Gruffalo Mad!

Gruffalo Mad

My husband will say I don’t need an excuse to spend money, but with a Gruffalo lesson week coming up, I couldn’t resist!

I am teaching a rhyming lesson, but I didn’t want the children to only be involved in rhyming, I wanted them to have a rounded experience of the Gruffalo so the resources I have are:

  • Gruffalo role play
  • Gruffalo story sequencing
  • Gruffalo large pairs matching
  • Gruffalo small pairs matching
  • Matching the written description to the picture (that’s to challenge my highers)
  • Matching rhyming pairs, so ‘snake’ would be paired with ‘lake’ for example
  • Making a Gruffalo’s child puppet
  • Writing the roasted fox, owl icecream, scrambled snake and Gruffalo crumble recipes
  • A maze (for fine motor skills)
  • Story writing frames if the children would like to write their own Gruffalo story
  • And a Gruffalo puppet

  • I also have in my classroom a matching rhymes game that isn’t Gruffalo related

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Letter to Santa

Lesson Plan Coming Soon!

I was looking up Letters to Santa lesson plans and I couldn’t find anything that said ‘wow’ to me, so I’m going to write my own.

I’m using elements from other plans but mainly designing my own so called ‘wow’ starter.

Watch this space for a week’s worth of thematic resources and a lesson plan to go with them!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

High Frequency and Tricky Words

Bingo Bongo

The best way to teach reading, in my opinion, is repetition. I’m trying to learn to read Chinese and the only way I’m remembering the words is by seeing them over and over again.

For little ones, learning to read is similar. They have the sounds but to translate them into written form is difficult.

Bingo is a fun way to be repetitive. The children see it as a game and don’t realise they’re learning! When I’ve left the bingo out in the classroom, the children have even chosen to play this activity by themselves!

All my resources are available online to download.


All the High Frequency Words Bingo

The high frequency words in Reception are 100 words that children are expected to be able to read by the time they go to Year One.

Download the High Frequency Word Bingo
Autumn High Frequency Word Bingo

These are the words children are expected to learn by Christmas.

Download the Autumn High Frequency Word Bingo


Spring High Frequency Word Bingo

These are the words children are expected to learn by Easter.

Download the Spring High Frequency Word Bingo
bingo 4
Summer High Frequency Word Bingo

These are the words children are expected to learn by the end of the school year.

Download the Summer High Frequency Word Bingo
bingo 5 Tricky Word Bingo

Tricky words are those words which cannot be sounded out. Good examples are ‘the’ and ‘what’.

Download the Tricky Word Bingo

I hope you enjoy these resources, however if there’s any way I could change them please feel free to contact me.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Learning Through Play Manager

It’s More than Just Playing

I talk a lot about a Learning Through Play Manager. It’s an important role in any foundation stage classroom as the children will learn using activities but sometimes they can go a bit off task, as we all know.


Picture from

The Purpose of a Learning Through Play Manager

There of many purposes of a Learning Through Play Manager, each of them importing.

  1. Assessment
    While we can assess the children in test situations, it is not until the children use the learning in their own independent play that they have truly assimilated the knowledge.

    The Learning Through Play Manager is in a perfect position to observe children using their knowledge in their play. The LTPM can use observation sheets, post it notes or magic moment cards to capture these fantastic displays of knowledge.
  2. Moving Learning On
    Sometimes children can retain misconceptions in their learning. They may continue to miss out the number 4 when counting, or write their ‘s’ backwards. The LTPM can correct miss conceptions.

    When children are playing in the role play area or are writing a story or even counting, the LTPM can ask ‘what happens next?’ or ‘what comes next?’ This encourages the children to think about and develop their play. Asking open questions is a fantastic way to move children’s learning on.
  3. Crowd Management
    Most teachers know that when the children are left to their own devices things can get a bit silly.

    While one adult is working with a focus group, the Learning Through Play Manager can ensure that children stay on task and focused on their activities. The LTPM can control the mood of the classroom and prevent children from becoming too silly.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


The Festival of Light

It’s always difficult to find good resources for religious festivals (except Christmas) online so I’ve gathered some resources I’m using for you to share.

These are some lovely resources, many of them interactive for your white boards or for the children to use independently on computers in the classroom.

As I’m sure you know, it’s important to share different cultures and religions with the children to given them an idea of beliefs shared by different people around the world. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Newspapers pt 3

Group Paper

The writing lesson. Hopefully children will have had lots of writing opportunities before this point, writing down their notes and interview tips, brain storming and writing in the classroom during independent activities.


Go again through all the children’s notes. You could even make it into a competition, to see who can write the best news paper with the best stories, the most interesting stories. The winning group could have some stickers.

Show children the front cover of popular newspapers. Point out the newspaper name, the headlines and the stories. Look at the different type faces and sizes of print.

Main Lesson

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Newspapers pt 2

The Second Lesson

To find the resources for this lesson and the first part of the lesson click here.


  • Digital cameras
  • Interviewer notes
  • Reporter notes
  • Press badges


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Newspaper Lesson

An Observed Lesson

One of my favourite lessons that I’ve done incorporates a lot of child independent work and a lot of good resources (if I do say so myself!).

Resources for this lesson:

newsp Blank News Paper Writing Frame

Print this out A3 sized and it will be your display final piece of work. Children can stick on photos they take into the boxes and editors can write the stories.

Download here.
press Press Badges

Each child will have a job and a press badge to go with their job. The badges are all colour coded so that you know which child is in each group. Also helps the children to remember!

Download here.
interview Interview Sheets

These interview sheets are for your lower attainers. The children write the name of the person they are interviewing and then draw a picture of that person.

Download here.
reporters Reporters Sheets

These are for your middle and higher attainers. They can write some notes about the news stories they see, ready to report them back to their editors.

Download here.
word bank Newspaper Word Banks

For those groups who are working independently in the classroom, children can write their own news stories in the classroom in their child independent time.

Download here.
stories Blank Stories for Independent

For those groups who are working independently in the classroom, children can write their own news stories in the classroom in their child independent time.

Download here.

You could also put out some My News templates from Twinkl, turn your Role Play area into a news room for independent work and leave some fine motor skill activities out for the children.

Lesson Plan:

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Number Bingo Cards

0 – 6 and 0 – 20

I’ve just realised that I should have made some 0 – 10 cards, but I think I already have some of those in my classroom somewhere so that’s probably why I haven’t made them.

0 - 6

0 – 6 Bingo

This document contains 11 bingo boards and the calling cards for 0 – 6 on page 5 of the document.

Download here.

0 - 20

0- 20 Bingo

This document contains 20 bingo boards and the calling cards for 0 – 20 at the end of the document.

Download here.

Remember all resources are free to download and use in classrooms, or at home.

I’d suggest laminating the cards and using white board pens to tick off the numbers so that you can use and reuse the activity.

The kids do enjoy the competitive nature of the bingo game and it’s a good, sneaky way of helping them to recognise numbers.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Phoneme Flash Cards

Phase 2 and 3 of Letters and Sounds Grapheme, Digraphs and Trigraphs

Click here to download the phase 2 and 3 graphemes, digraphs and trigraphs.


A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound, like s or t and ch or igh. A grapheme is a one letter sound, like s, a, t, p. A digraph is a two letter sound like ch, sh, ai and oa. A trigraph is a three letter sound like igh, air and ear.

This download contains flash cards for the phase 2 and phase 3 phonemes, which includes graphemes, digraphs and trigraphs. I’ve made them all by myself so there’s no copyright or anything on them. I’m sharing them for everyone to use.

The order for the 23 phase 2 phonemes is..

s a t p i n m d g o c k ck e u r h b l ll f ff ss

The order for the 25 (26) phase 3 phonemes is…

j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, (ng), ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

It is important to always teach to the children’s local accent. For example, when I speak I do use the /ng/ phoneme. So that the word ‘wing’ is broken down into w – i – ng.

However, in my local area, the ‘g’ sound is pronounced at the end of words so ‘wing’ is broken down into w – i – n – g.

If your local area pronounces the ‘g’ at the end of words, I would suggest not teaching the /ng/ phoneme as it won’t be used. It isn’t needed for spelling words at this stage.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I’ve Been a Busy Bee!

The Laminating Day

It’s half term so that means one thing and one thing only: laminating! I am one of those sad teachers who has their own laminator at home. Well, it means I can get my work done in front of the TV!

I have been making literacy and numeracy resources, ready for the lessons I planned for next week. And behold!


I’ve made a high frequency word bingo I downloaded from Twinkl, medium sized number flash cards, 0 – 20 number bingo, 2 sets of phoneme flash cards, large number flash cards, and 0 – 6 number bingo. I’m yet to cut out the cvc word cards, also from Twinkl. All the rest I made by myself!

I don’t always agree with flash cards, but the children seem to respond well to them when used for a quick recap session. Also, the children can use the number flash cards for ordering numbers and the phoneme flash cards for building words.

All resources are available to download for free!

Friday, 2 November 2012

CVC Word Pairs

Consonant Vowel Consonant

While ‘dog’ is a cvc word, don’t forget that ‘kick’ is also a cvc word as the /ck/ phoneme counts as one consonant sound.

The Letters and Sounds website, which also has a lot of free resources, is fantastic and can explain phonemes if you need any clarification.

A phoneme is basically one unit of sound, like t or c, or sh or th.


Here is the dog phoneme card with it’s clear 3 phonemes.

Interestingly, ‘wing’ is always debated about over a Baileys and Hot Chocolate on cosy nights in (not). Wing has 3 or 4 phonemes depending on where you’re from. Those people in the Midlands would say there are 4 phonemes in wing, but those in the south would say only 3, counting ng as one sound.

Right, enough chatting.

This post is about a cvc matching pair game. Children need to use the phonemes they have learnt (phase 2 of L&S) to read the words and match with the pictures.

cvc game pic To download the cvc pairs matching game click here.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Suggested Time Table

Just a Suggestion

Different schools have different ways of working. I would never suggest that everyone should follow the same time table or routine in their classroom.

As Early Years practitioners we should always work to our children’s levels.

The time table below is a suggested time table for those schools who teach Literacy and Numeracy as discrete subjects. It could also be applied to schools which work on a thematic structure, incorporating literacy and numeracy into topic headings.

suggested time table

This is more of an Autumn time table, but it could be suitable for schools where children are working below the national average. The longer sessions in the morning give children the opportunities to really get stuck into what they’re doing without having to change to a different subject or activity.

Shared Resources Coming Soon!

I Have my USB’s!

Now that I have my USB’s back, with all my work on them, I can start uploading resources to share with everyone!


I want parents to know that this blog isn’t just for teachers, you can download and use the resources too! For free!

Everything you’re downloading I’ve made myself. I’ll also include links to good resources I’ve found online too.

I will spend the weekend uploading resources and hopefully it will be useful to other teachers and parents!