Designing playgrounds for small spaces
Play is fundamental to the needs of children, especially in the early years, but schools built on smaller sites have a particular problem in providing adequate space for play. Prue Walsh explains how to make the absolute best of what you have.
Starting school activities for the early years
If you are a KG or Early Years teacher with new children starting school this term/semester, why not download this free PDF and send it to your new parents? If you are a parent, with a little one about to start school, here are 10 things to think about that will help make the transition easier.
Collaborative schools project
Maree Timms describes how a group of educators in country Victoria, Australia collaborated on a project to overcome the “stigma” of STEM subjects and make them more appealing, particularly for girls. Students have dully taken up the challenge!
#ReadforEmpathy on June 13th!
A new UK based organisation, EmpathyLab, has been working in 11 pilot schools with children aged 4 – 11 and their teachers, exploring the idea of empathy. They will all be celebrating Empathy Day on June 13. EmpathyLab’s founder, Miranda McKearney talks to ITM’s Andy Homden.
Dawn of the Makerspace era?
Despite widespread concerns over declining library usage, the impact of instant access technology and budgetary constraints, Uma Shankar Singh believes libraries are of vital importance and are set to remain exciting and innovative areas in school.
Third Culture Chinese
Children’s book reviewer Kate Shepherd looks at three very different stories about the experience of Chinese children. Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim is a dramatic story for young adults, based on true events at the end of the Cultural Revolution, while two thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated picture books for younger children by Sally Rippin examine the issue of cultural identity of Chinese children living in Australia.
Planning a stimulating outside learning environment
For play specialist Prue Walsh, effective outdoor play learning in early childhood is the key to later social, emotional and cognitive development. Providing the right kind of natural and stimulating spaces in which play can progress and develop in the early years is therefore essential.
TANZANIAN DIARY, PART 3
During September 2016, Matias Hynynen, an IT teacher from Helsinki working as a volunteer in Arusha kept a blog during a two week training visit to his school by 2016 Global Teacher of the Year Finalist, Maarit Rossi. Here Matias looks back at the visit and considers how things had changed.
A resource for Early Years from Jan Homden
Click on the images below to download your free PDF for Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part A & B
Part A focusses on communication, literacy and the development of language through play. Fun ideas for role play, the activity trays and the writing area to stimulate the children’s imagination and conversation. Dinosaur picture books are reviewed through Amazon and there are links to songs and stories on-line.
In Part B the focus is on exciting ideas for mathematics especially in relation to shape, space and measures, as well as links to dinosaur resources and information about Natural History or Dinosaur Museums in the UK, Australia and the US. Amusing action/counting songs to sing and rhymes to chant for a special dinosaur assembly?
April 22 resources for Primary and the Early Years
Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 and is the perfect occasion to get the school community together to raise environmental awareness. Jan Homden has compiled ideas & resources in a free PDF suitable for children from the Early Years through Upper Elementary / Primary
Early Years Resources
Click on the images to download Jan Homden’s free PDFs for Fun with Water Part A & Part B.
Part A – Get on your rain gear and join Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk. Display ideas for your classroom and fiction/non-fiction books to share. Water play activities and simple experiments to encourage prediction, observation and language development.
This is the first selection of recommended books reviewed by Kate Shepherd to be published monthly in ITM. Kate has specialised in reviewing books recommend for international schools and the IB’s PYP. Kate regularly reviews for Gleebooks, one of the oldest independent bookstores in Sydney.
A guide to strategic planning
Paul Cabrelli recently explored the idea of “sustainability in schools” as a speaker at the COBIS conference for for Bursars, HR Managers and HR staff at St. Julian’s School, arguing that this is a 21st Century issue that must not be ignored.
3 articles from 2016
Technology in the classroom – as everywhere else – is just a part of everyday life. Apps are more powerful, flexible and easier to use. But there are so many, and recommendations are useful. Neil Jarrett is a teacher first, techie second: his ideas about tech in the classroom are worth listening to – he also keeps it simple. Blended and on-line learning is no longer a novelty, but some practice is more effective than others. If you are thinking about introducing on-line courses, learn from the experience of Rod Murphy at AIS Guangzhou, while Jackie Harden’s ideas about on-line safety are a great starting point.
For children, by children.
A fanciful dream that became a phenomenon – Cat Lunjevich relates the story of how three students created and developed a highly respected museum, now recognised by Museums Aotearoa – New Zealand’s professional body for museums and museum workers!
All profits in support of WaterAid
by Sally Flint, illustrated by NokIsme. Review by Jan Homden
What is the family to do? It is a Saturday morning and the wi-fi is broken. Everyone is distraught except the cat and Grandpa William who saves the day by suggesting that today they do things a little bit differently.
This is the ultimate teaching and learning resource. Students of French, history, literature, media studies, science, biology, the environment . . . . and leadership will be totally absorbed. The winner of the 1987 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, is based on the original book by Jean Giono, also reviewed in ITM.
Jan Homden reviews the 2016 edition of Prue Walsh’s innovative and influential book which provides a wealth of ideas for the creation of an inspirational outdoor leaning environment and remains as relevant today as it was when it was fist published.
Humans are competitive, writes Neil Jarrett. Learners are competitive. Appropriate challenges and healthy competition are motivational and gamification in the classroom is testament to this. Setting up an inter-school competition is the perfect way to introduce a fruitful level of competition and engage and inspire pupils.
Information management technology is inextricably interwoven into the fabric of most schools. At its best it allows schools to manage data efficiently and effectively for the benefit of students, staff, leaders and parents. At its worst it can be a source of frustration for all sections of the school community. Greg Martin shows how to ensure your system suits your needs.
Six essential steps to take: it’s all about people
With the growing competition for students and staff, it has never been more important for a website to be noticed and read properly by the people you want to reach. Andy Homden looks at what you should be doing to give your website the edge.
I was in a park in England with my children in the summer and I was a little mystified why so many students were flocking like starlings at sunset. My daughter knew what had them hooked to their digital screens – it was Pokémon Go. Neil Bunting has his eyes opened!
K-12 maths starters on line
What is the smallest number to contain the letter ‘a’? Is a square a rectangle? What is the hardest multiplication fact to recall? John Tranter reveals the answers in a new maths resource available free on line for use in your lessons!
“Personalised Learning is hard” – (Michael Feldstein, 2015)
Neil Jarrett writes that personalising the learning of every student in the primary classroom is not easy. Until recently, he had frequently tried to juggle too many activities and rushed around attempting to support too many students. However, he has found a way forward.
Whilst we all recognize the opportunities the Internet offers, keeping children safe online is a constant source of concern often exacerbated by the gap in online proficiency between child and parents/teacher.
Encouragingly, Jackie Harden reports that support is available and easily accessible. If you feel able to recommend other sources of support, we would love to hear from you.
A resource for Early Years
Click on the ladybirds below to download a free PDF for Part A and Part B
Part A – Where to look for Minibeasts; Minibeasts and EYFS Learning Goals; Visits and Trips; Role Play; Beasties in the Activity Tray and free downloadable Minibeast Resources to complement classroom spaces indoors and out – just a click away.
Resources for the Early Years
‘Arrr . . . . Arrr . . . . Me Hearties!’ A fun topic to end the year.
In Part A, role play pirate ships and ideas for dress-ups. Add to that, treasure maps, pirate flags and a Ship’s Log Book. Get started with sea shanties and you’re all ready to set sail!
Click on the pirate to download your free PDF
Engaging with number
Teachers at two schools in West Lothian, Scotland have started to use Izak9, a new Maths resource for 9 – 13 years olds, while also applying Carol Dweck’s ideas about “Mindset” in their teaching. The initiative is part of an imaginative campaign to help children engage with number, and to change the way they approach a new challenge.
Early Years Resource
Click on the images to download your free PDF for Under the Sea Part A & B and The Rainbow Fish.
Under the Sea PART A
Create the wow factor at your classroom door! Take your children to Sea Life to introduce the topic and in the active world tray develop ideas based on a fishy theme. Play fishing games that have a maths/language focus plus explore on-line themed links that are just a click away.
This course is designed to give an awareness and understanding of basic Duty of Care in the International Schools Sector. To learn more about the one and two day courses offered by Philip Jones, Co-Owner and Operations Director of VPJ Solutions Limited.
Click on the image to download your free PDF
Get Teddy Outdoors!
In the Northern hemisphere schools are almost halfway through the summer term and perhaps beginning to consider those jobs that will need attention during the weeks of the summer holiday. On your list you may be thinking about redesigning or upgrading your Early Years playground.
Or, you may just want to add something new to your current playground to excite the children as they enjoy the benefit of warmer weather and being outdoors more.
Jan Homden gives us a few ideas to consider in this free downloadable PDF.
Click on the image above to download the PDF