Monday, 27 May 2019

Phonics Fun with Mrs Mactivity: Phase Five Activity Pack

(Review / Gifted)

I can't believe the school year is almost over! My son is quickly coming to the end of Year One and will soon be taking his Phonics Screening Check. As I also teach Year One, revising all we have learnt in phonics is high on the agenda both at home and at school!

Phonics is the systematic approach to learning to read and spell, with the 44 phonemes (sounds) being taught in different phases throughout Reception and Year 1.

By the end of Year 1, children are given a Phonics Screening Check to assess whether they have mastered the basic phonics system, and identifies any areas they need help with as they go into Year 2. It checks that your child can:
  • Sound out and blend graphemes (the letter/letters that represent a sound) in order to read simple words.
  • Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
  • Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as pseudo (or alien) words.
When your child learns phonics, they will also be taught "tricky words." I wrote a post explaining why these words are classed as tricky, and how you can help your child learn tricky words in a fun, multisensory way, which is full of easy ideas.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Happyface Family Rave: A Preview

(Ad / Preview)

Get your glowsticks out and your neon facepaint on, because on Sunday 9th June Happyface Family Rave is coming to town... and we can't wait!

I'm always on the look out for fun, family events that we can all enjoy, so when I saw this one I instantly knew it would be right up our street! I spent many a Friday and Saturday night during my teens and twenties, raving the night away, glowsticks in hand, dayglow trousers and fluffy boots on, dancing to club classics! I'll have to dig you out a photo...(or not)!

So what is the Happyface Family Rave all about? Nick, the event organiser explains;

"With a nod to the smiley culture of the 80s and 90s, Happyface Family Rave embodies the spirit of a rave experience but with that ‘fun for all the family’ festival vibe; where adults and kids alike can get down and bust some moves on the dancefloor in a nightclub environment!"

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Bloggers Behind the Screens: "Our Blogs" Featuring Dirt, Diggers and Dinosaurs

Bloggers Behind the Screens is a monthly interview series, where fellow bloggers come together to answer a series of questions on a specific theme. This is a chance to get acquainted with a whole range of bloggers, some of whom you may not have encountered before, and learn a little more about them!

This month, we’re talking to bloggers about the very thing that makes them bloggers. Their blogs. I’m hosting Emma from Dirt, Diggers and Dinosaurs.

1. When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging on a hormone induced whim in Aug 2018 when I was 7 months pregnant. I needed a creative output as I'd recently gone on maternity leave from my little craft business. I have always enjoyed writing and thought I would give it a go in the hope it would stop the baby brain…it didn't!

2. How did you come up with the name for your blog?

As I was writing from a parenting perspective I wanted something that summarised what being a mum of young boys was really I glanced down at my living room carpet and low and behold Dirt, Diggers and a lot of Dinosaurs were looking back up at me.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Wonderful Woodland Fun with Well Natured - Explore. Learn. Outdoors

(Review - Gifted)

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise! Hidden away, just off the beaten track in the beautiful grounds of Rudyard Lake (in the Staffordshire Moorlands), you'll find a miniature woodland wonderland waiting to be explored!

Well Natured - Explore. Learn. Outdoors is run by Nicola, who has a background in education and working with children. She has recently taken the brave step to put her lifelong passion and dreams into action and create a magical, outdoor, multisensory learning experience for young adventurers.

I asked Nicola what her motivation was for starting up her woodland stay and play sessions (suitable for early walkers up to 4 years of age) -

"I have always had a love of the great outdoors, having had lots of exposure as a child on long country walks and bird watching with my parents and nana. Something I continued to do once I had a family and in schools setting up nature clubs. It was whilst completing my degree I discovered forest schools and the benefits of outdoor learning. Since then, I have continued to read more research and discover the benefits to children’s well being. More than ever now children spend much more time using technology and children’s access to outdoors is decreasing because of this. I feel that children are so much happier and creative when the walls are removed!"

We had the pleasure of joining Nicola on one of her exciting sessions this week, to try out all of the activities she had on offer - and we were not disappointed! I'll let the photos tell the story of our afternoon...