Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Sunday Scoop

Wow what a few weeks it has been. I am so sorry for my absence but between long hours at school and DIY in our new house I haven't had much online time. However a thoughtful mention by the lovely Year2tastic made me realise how much I was missing this space and so I thought 'The Sunday Scoop' via The Teaching Trio was an ideal chance to say hello again. We have just finished assessment week at school and so I am nervous and excited to see how they have done this term. There just seems to be so much to do at the moment but I guess that is always the case in this job isn't it!

Have a good week, I will be back very soon with some updates!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Book Wednesday- 12/11/14

Happy Wednesday! Oh my goodness I am already feeling the pressure for this half term and a week and bit in I am exhausted! Parent consultations, IEP reviews, MTP planning due, observations, visits to other schools, work with consultants etc has left me feeling a little bit argh! But I have still managed to sneak in a bit of reading!

One highlight of parent consultations has been the wonderful feedback from so many about how much more their child is actively reading, sharing books at home and coming home raving about the books we have been reading at school. That just makes everything worth it!

Anyway onto the reading for the week!

Currently Reading

I am still reading Sleuth on Skates by ClĂ©mentine Beauvais and the Reading Workshop book from last week.

I started reading Baby Aliens Got My Teacher with the class today and they love it already. Perhaps they like the possibility of aliens getting the teacher a little too much...

I like to take part in the Red House Children's Book Awards with the class and last year we loved reading the shortlist and voting. This year will be the same. Have a look here and it would be great if you managed to share with your class and take part! On a side note I also read them the The Pirates Next Door that I wrote about last week and they loved it. I read it as part of a lesson on inference and they did fantastically picking things out of the text.

Read This Week

Good Dog, Bad Dog by Dave Shelton- This was a cracking read. A canine detective story with a real element of fun which had me laughing out loud quite a bit! Take a look at what Dave Shelton himself says about the book!

Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre- I adored Oliver and the Seawigs by this super pair and so it was with great excitement that I grabbed a copy of Cakes in Space at the school book fair I had organised. The children were pleased too as they were fans of Oliver when we read it (they still keep asking to draw pictures of sea monkeys) but I was mean and nabbed it to read over the weekend. Bad teacher! I thoroughly enjoyed Cakes in Space and really cannot recommend it enough.


Blizzard by John Rocco- I have read Blackout by John Rocco which I (and the kids) loved and so I was pleased to read there is now Blizzard to add to the collection.

So that's my reading for the week! What have you read this week? Please do share in the comments below!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Silly Billy by Anthony Browne

For the first week of each new half term we have a PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) focus at my school. This past week the focus was on our emotions and worries and helping the children develop strategies to deal with them. I always like to bring in some texts to support our learning and this week I thought that Silly Billy by Anthony Browne would fit perfectly.

For those that don't know the story Billy is a bit of a worrier. He worries about hats, birds and all manner of other things. They keep him lying awake at night. His parents try and reassure him but sadly the worries still persist. Eventually after a stay at his grandma's she introduces him to Worry Dolls and things start improving. 

The text was a fantastic way to begin talking about worries. When we first learnt that Billy worried about hats a few of the children giggled so it was an excellent opportunity to highlight that different people worry about different things and whether laughter was the best thing. How could we help a friend who had a worry we couldn't understand? What ensued was a super discussion about worries, the type of worries children their age had (a very revealing discussion) and what to do if you had a worry and who your support network would be. Then we made our own Worry Dolls. 

I was so proud of my class in this task, both for their discussion and the worry dolls they made. All I gave them was a peg and some yarn and used it as an opportunity for them to show their independence in finding other materials to use. What happened as a result was a fantastic selection of Worry Dolls that the children took home and could use as a basis for talking about worries with family. Some of the children also learnt how to tie knots and solve other tricky problems whilst making them! All in all a really lovely lesson that had my class discussing, being creative and working together to share ideas. 

Have you ever used Silly Billy or any other of Anthony Browne's books before? I think he is a wonderful writer and illustrator and I know if I use one of his books the children will love it. I would love to hear how you have used some of his books in the comments below!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Book Wednesday- 5/11/14

Ah the heady days of half term are over and the second part of the Autumn term is in full swing! I have had one INSET day and one teaching day (and a parent consultation evening) and I am exhausted already!

Currently Reading
Sleuth on Skates by ClĂ©mentine Beauvais- I love reading books set in Cambridge and this is an interesting tale of a super sleuth on skates. 

Revisiting the Reading Workshop: A Complete Guide to Organizing and Managing an Effective Reading Workshop That Builds Independent, Strategic Readers by Barbara Orehovec and Marybeth Alley- I am very interested in enhancing the teaching of reading at school and in my classroom and I am intrigued by the reading workshop approach I have seen mentioned a lot online.

Read this Week

First Light by Rebecca Stead- This was a random purchase in Heffers and I am quite glad I did as I couldn't put it down. The story tells of a parallel world hidden under Greenland and shows what happens when two worlds collide. I loved the fantasy elements of the story as well as the science commentary on global warming. A great read for upper key stage 2.

The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle- a visual feast of a book that shows pirates aren't that bad after all!

Lots of fantastic teaching blogs- so much inspiration out there! If you have a education/ children's literature focused blog please feel free to leave your link below and I will come and visit!


Witch Wars by Sibeal Pounder and Laura Ellen Anderson- I saw Robin Stevens mention this on Twitter and so had to add it to my wishlist but it looks like it isn't out until March! Argh the wait!

What has been on your reading list this week? Do you have any recommendations to share? I can't wait to read your comments!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Currently- November (and some reading thoughts)

Currently... is something I have seen around for a while and I thought it would be a lovely way to share sneak peeks into the life of a paper obsessed teacher. This is hosted by Oh Boy Fourth Grade and I cannot wait to go and see what everyone else is up to!

This week I have had a week off for half term and as usual I had grand plans but illness at the start of the week meant I haven't achieved everything I wanted to. But never mind as I had a bit of a rest and managed to work some more on my home office/ craft room in the new house. I don't know any other teacher who has as much teaching stuff as me (hoarder perhaps and an explanation for where my money goes!) so please I would love to see pictures of your work areas at home! I cannot help that books are my weakness!

My soundtrack of the week has been a playlist I created on Google Play and I love the mix of Dolly Parton, Span, McFly (ssh don't tell anyone!) and Caro Emerald!

I have been reading with interest some blogs about Reading Workshops and because a personal professional development target is to look closely at my teaching of reading this term I thought it might be something to investigate so I ordered a book focused on Reading Workshop and look forward to reading. I am also interested in the ways people are teaching whole class reading and guided reading so if you have any links to share please leave them in the comments!

Have a good week!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Literary Dinner Party- The Children's Book Edition

A few weeks ago I was tagged by the lovely Emma from Mab is Mab to complete the Literary Dinner Party tag on my main blog Paper Obsessed. However I couldn't help but wonder which children's book characters I would invite to my Literary Dinner Party. You are allowed to invite 10 characters who fit the categories. So here goes!

1) Character who can cook or who likes to cook- Well this character can only really make one type of food and that is the confectionery type. It would have to be Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Image the dessert he would provide and the after dinner sweet treats we could munch on. Yum!

2) A character who has money to fund the party- Well as long as I get my timing right it would have to be Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton Trent by Lauren Child. I would then feel really bad that he had paid for it all once the events at the end of the book occur.

3) A character who might cause a scene- The Saucepan Man from The Faraway Tree. Wow he would be noisy and I get easily embarrassed so he would be a difficult one to have visit. Imagine trying to eat your starter with him clanging around and what the fellow diners would feel!

4) An amusing character- at the moment I find any member of Elys Dolan's Nuts in Space crew amusing. (if you haven't read any of her books read them now!)

5) A character who is super social or popular- Prince Charming. I want to know how exactly is he so charming?

6) A villain- The Thurlstone in Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. How dare he try and steal my wonderful hair piece whilst we eat dinner!

7) A couple (do not have to be romantically linked!)- Marge and Lola from Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat because I really want to be able to have their dance abilities. Seriously.

8) A hero/heroine- Ruskin from Krindlekrax because he faces up to bullies, follows his dreams and sees off Krindlekrax. Go Ruskin!

9) Under appreciated character- The Bear from A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton. It isn't until the end of the book that the boy starts to be more aware of what the bear has done and I just want to have the bear for dinner and tell him how super he is. And maybe get him a new map!

10) Character of your choosing- The Jolly Postman so I can get lots of fantastic letters!

I tag Year2tastic and Growing Little Learners and anyone else who wants to join in!

Who would be invited to your Literary Dinner Party? I would love to know, whether it's children's fiction or adults please leave a me a comment and if you do a blog post leave me a link!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Book Wednesday- 29/10/14

Hello there! Over the week I read a lot of books and I thought having one weekly blog post where I share what I have read (with and without the class) would be a good way to keep track of books and hopefully share with you some fantastic reads! Also due to people constantly dangling recommended books in front of me (I am not complaining at all!) I will share some of my wishlist items as well. So here goes!

Read this week

The Firework Maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman- this is the book I am basing our topic work on this term. We finished it on Friday and the children actually begged me to finish it before we finished for half term.

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre- this was our just for fun class novel and as soon as we finished it the children demanded (very nicely) another one by Reeve and McIntyre.

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton- For my Children at Heffers book group. An interesting read but oh my goodness that ending! What do others think?

The Grunts in Trouble by Philip Ardagh- An enjoyable read that will immediately go in my recommends box in the classroom as I know my children will really like it. Reminiscent of Dahl's 'The Twits' but the Grunts aren't quite to horrible. I adore the character of Sunny and can't wait to see what happens next.

Fairy Tale Twists by Katie Dale- We had Katie Dale visit our school and as a result I (and the class) have nearly devoured all of the series.


Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais.

Good Dog, Bad Dog by Dave Shelton. A graphic novel by the author of A Boy and a Bear in a Boat. I am looking forward to a comparison of the two books.

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. This was highly rated at my book group and I really want to read it!

What have you read this week? What is on your wishlist? Please leave a comment and share! Happy Reading!