After a few day’s Inset back in school, we’ve started planning for the first week back with our new classes. With one of my inspiring partner teachers, Katryna Robertson, we’ve been thinking up some creative ways to help the children to settle in, make friends and begin our learning powered year. Here are some ideas we had:

– Teach the children about respecting their classroom and working as a team. Our plan is to get some “naughty” puppets (I have previously had a puppet called Trixy the Pixie) to “mess up” areas of the classroom, then take photos of them and show them to the children to spark a discussion about caring for the classroom. I couldn’t resist ordering the Cornish Pixie from Harry Potter (can’t believe you can actually buy these!):

– Make “Alien listening ears” with the children to wear around school and notice the sounds they hear as they walk around. This could lead into a discussion about good listening (perhaps using the Chinese symbol for listening which includes engagement with the heart), then leading to a collaborative poster about what good listening looks like. I have previously referred to and built on these posters through the year to remind children what they said good listening looks like.

– Kind hands potion! See “learning environment” page.

– Teach children independence and resourcefulness and begin to introduce the idea of challenge by allowing them to explore the classroom and its areas. Review and build on the childrens’ discoveries as a class, using photos to help bring their ideas to life. Teaching this well at the beginning of the year pays back dividends because the children know how to use their classroom and to independently challenge themselves with minimal support from you (just a bit of “nudging”!). This is great for wet plays too! The children actually relish them because it means they get extra “Planning Time” in their class.


2 thoughts

  • Of course:

    – the listening ears were great. We had a really useful circle time about good listening and made a poster of the children’s ideas which we refer back to and is working well. It’s still early days though and some of my class have only just turned 5 so there’s plenty of work still to do! Listening is something we can all get better at and we will build on their listening skills throughout the year.

    – the children LOVED the Pixie. It really sparked their imaginations. They are full of stories about what the pixie has been up to in their homes and they are really paying attention to where things go in our classroom. The Pixie will definitely be getting up to move mischief …

    – they were also inspired by the kind hands potion. This will really come into its own when we get the kind hands wall going (therefore making kindness part of our daily dialogue and integral to our class values) which will be sorted very soon!

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