Tag Archives: literacy

Remote Learning – Let’s Get Ready to Write…

Did you know that writing is not a fundamental skill our bodies are designed for?
So in order for us to support and enable children to become successful writers, we must first understand the physical and dexterity skills.
There are many different ways this can be done at home… and they don’t always involve a pencil and paper!
Upper body/ large motor skill activities
● Sweeping races; grab a large brush and some foam and head outside. Who will be the fastest?
● Wash outdoor walls with soapy bubbles… How high can you reach on the wall?
● Paint with a mop: can you mix the colours? What patterns can you make?
● Get green fingered; dig in the soil, plant seeds and flowers, dig up the weeds.
All of these activities will help develop your child’s shoulder pivot- the full range of motion using their whole arm, and their elbow pivot- where they can be seen ‘sawing’ back and forth as they draw and write.
Smaller/ fine motor skill activities

Let’s Get Foamy! 

Use shaving foam to make scribbles, pictures, letters and more. Why not try using different utensils like spoons, forks, sticks, straws or paint brushes.

By using fingers and different utensils, the small muscles in the wrist and hands are strengthening.

Playdough Party

You will need: dough (2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup oil, colour/scent), space to move around and music!

Moves can include: make a ball, pass and press (move the dough from hand to hand, pressing it flat) and funky fingers (use each individual finger to create a dotty pattern)

Why not challenge yourself and see how many shapes you can make before the music stops?

For more Dough Disco ideas visit YouTube here.

Other fun activities to try

  • Mark making in gloop, rice or paint – time yourself to see what you can create in 1 minute.
  • Create threading skewers with spaghetti and penne pasta
  • Make some chalk paint and decorate the patio/driveway/garden walls – here’s a recipe to try.
  • Create a cutting station
  • Make painted toast!

Let us see what you can do – Tweet us @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Block Play

When playing with blocks children are using a number of different skills. These include measuring, counting, teamwork, talking to each other, problem solving and many more.

In Glenwood we have recently started using the 7 stages of block play. We use the stages to determine what stage of development the children are at when using blocks. Our blocks are different shapes and sizes.

The Seven Stages of Block Play

Stage 1: The blocks are carried around but not used for building.


Stage 2: Blocks are placed on the floor horizontally or vertically (stacking).



Stage 3: Blocks are used to bridge the space between other blocks.




Stage 4: Blocks are used to enclose a space.

Stage 5: Complex structure: blocks are placed in patterns or symmetrically when building. Block accessories may be incorporated. Buildings are not generally named.


Stage 6: Block buildings are given names that relate to the function of the building.

Stage 7: Block buildings often reproduce actual structures known by the children. There is a strong impulse for dramatic play around the structure.

Blockplay is unique!

Blockplay is sustainable!

Blockplay is accessible!

Blockplay doesn’t require spoken language!

Do you have any blocks at home?

Remember you can share your building with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Ideas for Using Chalk

Children enjoy using chalk outside and can use it in a variety of different activities, developing many different skills.

For many children it may be one of their first experiences of mark making, allowing them to freely explore and encouraging their wonderful imagination. This will help to develop their fine motor skills which will strengthen their pincer grip essential movements for controlling and holding any writing implement.


Games such as hopscotch can help our physical well being, encouraging the development of our large motor skills, through hopping, jumping and balancing. Using numbers or letters can also help with numeracy & literacy skills.

Number Circles

Other great chalk ideas that would help to further develop numeracy skills could be, number circles having to count and place the correct amount of marbles or counters into the correct numbered circle.


Developing the ability to recognise the pattern and follow it on by drawing the correct missing shape or saying the shapes name. Encourages shape recognition and problem solving.

More games 

To develop colour, shape and number recognition, could be drawing the different shapes with different coloured chalks, writing a number in the middle then asking for the correct number and colour of marbles or counters to be placed in the named shape.

The freedom to explore different activities when using chalk will encourage more creativity, confidence and curiosity. You can help develop this by offering different learning experiences and ways to use chalk. Writing up picture idea cards might help encourage someone who is struggling to think of just what to draw.

Also by grating chalk into a fine powder and mixing it with water turning it into a paint, using a paint brush to paint with or adding it into a spray bottle will allow for different effects. Also mixing the chalk dust with shaving foam and placing into a squeeze bottle will create different textures foam paints which children love!

Don’t worry if you don’t have any chalk – you can make your own paint using cornflour, water and food colouring. Watch this video to find out how… Make your own chalk paint

Remember to Tweet  @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Shadow Puppets

Puppets can make a book come to life. They are also a great tool for teaching rhyme in early literacy development. Acting out a story with puppets captures children’s attention to help them focus on the story. Children can invent and perform their own plays giving the puppet a character voice. It can talk or sing high, sing low, sing loud, sing soft. Get your puppet helper to lead the singing with a favourite song or rhyme.
Mrs Silvester has been having fun at home making shadow puppets and putting on a shadow puppet play.
She used a piece of paper to create shadows with her phone’s flashlight.
Next she used a bed sheet with a light source.
Can guess and match objects to their silhouettes?
 Find out how to make your own shadow puppet theatre with the CBeebies Let’s Go Club here:  Let’s Go Club
You can get some more tips on putting on a puppet show here:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/watch/lets-go-club-putting-on-a-puppet-show
Remember to Tweet  @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning- Literacy

If you can only do one thing to benefit your child while they are not in nursery, it is read a story a day. This can be a new story each day or you can revisit the same old favourite every day for a week…it doesn’t matter as long as you spend some time together and share the experience. Books are not just for bedtime- they can be read anywhere and anytime. And you don’t even need a book- why not make up stories together?

You can visit our stoytelling sway to hear stories read by the Glenwood team –


Similarly, sharing songs and rhymes also supports literacy development.  Why not visit the Bookbug website for ideas-


Alternatively, why not try the BBC radio website for nursery rhymes (rather than YouTube)-



World Book Day

We celebrated World Book Day this week. We dressed as our favourite storybook character and shared our books in nursery. We invited parents and carers in to share stories with us and we used the internet to hear authors retelling their stories. World Book Day inspired us to write, draw and paint.

Michael Rosen-We are going on a Bear Hunt
Miss McCallum’s Giraffes Can’t Dance costume inspired our painters.
Orla and Miss Cunningham were both tigers who came to tea!
Anna’s Gran read Peace at Last by Jill Murphy.


Traditional Tales

We have been learning about the characters in traditional tales. We used the outdoor environment to act out some of our favourite stories.

A house of straw.
A house of sticks.
A house of bricks.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?



We made puppets to help us retell the stories.


We made our own Gingerbread Men. I hope they don’t run away!



We are going to be lighting fires at nursery to make our own charcoal to draw and write with. Before we do this we have been learning about being safe around the fire.

First Mrs Husbands showed us the safety equipment.


Then we thought about good rules: good sitting, good listening, don’t touch the fire and only come close one at a time when Mrs Husbands says it’s your turn. Can you think of any more?

We lit a candle in the fire bowl and took turns to feel how hot the flame was.

fire2 fire1We had to practise kneeling in a special way.


We know how to be safe now, so we can start to light fires soon in our new campfire circle using the flint and steel.


Are you a picture book fanatic?

Due to the success of our recent reading workshop and at the suggestion of one of our parents, Mrs Buchanan is establishing a picture book group.

All parents and carers are invited to the group where we will discuss aspects of an identified picture book including:

– your experience of the book (maybe its a favourite, maybe you haven’t heard of it before?)

– other titles by the same author

– features of the story including: illustrations, rhyme and conversation starters

– tips and ideas on how to explore the picture book with your child

Our first meeting will be on Tuesday 6th May at 9am and 12.30pm and will last no more than an hour.

On 6th May we will discuss the ‘Alfie’ books by Shirley Hughes, in particular ‘Alfie Gets in First’ (a particular favourite of Mrs Buchanan’s).

Elissa from East Renfrewshire Libraries will also come along on the day to talk about:

– Bookbug sessions

– The Library Challenge

– Her favourite picture books.

If you do not own any ‘Alfie’ books and would like to come along Elissa has ensured there are many copies of ‘Alfie Gets in First’ as well as other stories involving Alfie in Giffnock and Thornliebank libraries. We also have some copies of the books in the nursery that you are welcome to borrow.

If you are unable to borrow a copy before the picture book group meets do not worry – come along anyway!

If you would like to learn more about Shirley Hughes and her Alfie books follow this link: http://www.alfiebooks.co.uk/

Or watch this video: http://youtu.be/n3m6ibi6G0k

If you are able to come along just let Mrs Beveridge in the office know (so we can buy enough biscuits!)

We look forward to seeing you there!