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.
Starting school in the early years.
Jan Homden passes on expert advice for a start without tears!
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.
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
Is outsourcing the way forward for more schools?
Supporting university application is an increasingly complex and demanding service that all schools are expected to provide. Is there any support on-line that might help? ITM talked to Tim Laas-Nesbitt, Lead Mentor at Cialfo, the Singapore based university application specialists to explore the area.
An opportunity to revise colour. Have a Rainbow Day and raise money for charity. Set up an interactive colour table. Fun ideas for sand and water play and face painting,
Beautiful picture books to read and songs to sing.
Click on the image to download your free PDF
An opportunity to revise colour mixing. Lots of great activities for indoors and outdoors that will get everyone involved.
Click on the image to download your free PDF
Quality newspapers for younger readers are becoming increasingly popular. First News UK was started in 2006 and has since acquired a readership of over 2 million and is subscribed to by over 50% of UK schools. Now First News is launching an International Edition in April: First News International.
The advances in technology witnessed in recent years have been likened to the discovery of fire and invention of the wheel, such has been their impact upon society. Education has largely embraced technological innovation. Its impact upon teaching and learning is undeniable and its momentum continues apace as evinced by the forthcoming GESS technological showcase in Dubai.
Play has been called the highest expression of human development and few would disagree that it is fundamentally important to a child’s learning and social and emotional wellbeing.
Prue Walsh has a wealth of experience designing outstanding outdoor play environments and here highlights some of the key aspects to consider when planning a play area.
Ethical or cynical?
Educational technology, “edutech”, has been defined as “… the ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance using appropriate technological processes and resources” or, more cynically, as, “A set of expensive tools sold to schools purporting to improve learning but not actually proven to do so.”
Online for IB
The American International School, Guangzhou in China is one of an increasing number of IB World Schools offering some IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) subjects to their students via online courses.
Rod Murphy is the on-line coordinator at AIS Guangzhou. In the first of two articles, he explains how students at AIS get to grips with studying online.
For many years, children and adults alike have enjoyed LEGO to create all manner of wonderful imaginings. This toy, that enthralls and captivates the hearts and minds of many, has been a staple in households for decades and its enjoyment and educational value is seemingly limitless, as Maggie Green explains
From Challenge to opportunity “Wireless Headphones”
Two years ago I found myself in between “gym facilities”. The old gym was torn down and a new Sport and Community Centre was being built. All PHE classes continued in what we called “The Bubble”, a huge semi-permanent, inflatable tent located on the soccer pitches. There were no walls and often two classes were taught simultaneously. A single net divided the Bubble into different learning spaces. Instructing the students and keeping them focused was difficult; teaching using music was even more challenging for teachers and students alike.
Questioning basic assumptions and thinking critically about what many take for granted presents a challenge but can bring great rewards for the student in terms of self-fulfilment and preparation for life. The IB’s Theory of Knowledge component provides such a challenge and Anne Keeling looks at an online course which will make teaching ToK more effective in many schools
Get going with bears!
If you need some new ideas about how to set up a wide range of bear related activities, download Jan and Tony’s comprehensive guides for early years and lower primary, compiled from proven activities in the classroom and the best free resources on the net.
Join Voices Around The World this September
Download the score and audio tracks of Listen to Us for your first school assembly of the year!
You know that a new school year has really started when you hear the sound of children singing coming from the school hall or the music room as you walk past. If you are looking for something new and a little bit different for your first assembly this year, the Voices Around the World (VATW) project might just be what you are looking for.
During 2015, over 33,000 students from schools around the globe shared in a common musical learning experience – to master one of the vocal parts for a new song called Listen To Us, which united young people around the world as part of the Voices Around The World (VATW) project. This was the third year of the project and has involved over 1,400 national, independent and international schools. For details about downloading Listen to Us, how to make a donation and to learn more about how your school can get involved in the special 2016 Olympic project, click on the VATW logo.
Flipping the class with Edmodo
Independent learning, virtual learning, differentiation and many other terms are sometimes used in discussions about how we best cater for the needs of students without considering how we make things work practically. Raheela Shaikh provides a helpful explanation of how she has developed her “Flipped classroom” style to make it work in practice.
Online learning, e-learning, virtual education and computer based instruction are just some of the terms used to describe the delivery of part or all of a course using a computer. Not surprisingly, the exponential growth of online learning is a source of lively debate and, it has been suggested, explains, in part, the increase in home schooling or home education in many countries across the globe*. Charlotte Seewald, Assistant Director at the University of Nebraska High School, identifies some of the key characteristics of the successful online learner.
In life it is rare to discover a book that is truly “life-changing”. Silent Spring was just that for Dr Samia Al-Farra. Dr Samia explains how an inspired choice changed her view of the world and opened her eyes to the fragility of our planet and its resources.
An inspired choice
More than forty years ago, as part of my under-graduate course, in Science with a major in Biology, we were expected to read, discuss and write a critical account of ten evidence-based, scientific books covering topics such as drugs, pollution, and population control.
In March 2015 Californian artist David Best installed a major new work on a hillside overlooking the River Foyle in Ireland – but it would only be in place for a week before being burned. Jan Roulston visited the site and found it to be a moving experience. David Best is certainly a name to look out for on your travels.
Meet some inspirational scientists on line
If you want to encourage your students to take up science at a higher level, BBC Radio 4’s Life Scientific might just provide the inspiration. Presented by Professor Jim Al-Khalili, it is a rich resource for teachers and students of science in Grades 10, 11 and 12 (UK Years 11, 12 & 13). Teachers of ToK (Theory of Knowledge) will also find the series extremely useful. Professor Al-Khalili interviews some of the world’s leading scientists. How did they choose their branch of science? Did it choose them? What influenced them at school? Did family members encourage them? What difficulties did they overcome?