Category Archives: Literacy

Creative with play dough!

Today in the Home Room the children were delighted to make playdough.  They decided to make green and yellow playdough which smelt of “lovely lemons”. The children were very creative using pretty shells, buttons and other materials to decorate their playdough. Adding props to playdough helps to support the children’s learning. They used their imaginations and produced some brilliant creations. Along with being great fun, playing with playdough helps to develop the children’s fine motor skills. It strengthens the muscles in their fingers which they will then use to write. The children find  playdough calming but were very excited to keep their own piece throughout the day and take home with them to play with.


 

Reading is fun

We have been reading lots of books in the discovery room. We have been talking about book week and the importance of looking at books. We have discussed how books are full of information for you to learn new things, find out lots of facts and listen to a enjoyable story’s.

We enjoy listening to stories together at group times. We like to join in with the story and guess what happens next? When we read familiar stories we even get to help read along and recall the next part of the book.

We use books in areas of our discovery room, in our cosy area where we can have some time to look at books when we want some quiet time.

At our writing table to help us explore letters, words and an a special interest to inspire our pictures we make.

In our science area where we can explore fun facts and investigate science experiments.

Even in our building/construction area we look at books to help us learn about real life construction.
Books are such an important part of learning. We learn so many important skills from books. What are some of your favourite stories at home?

When I grow up – Book week Scotland

You will have seen from the November Newsletter that next week is Book Week Scotland. As this year’s theme is the future, we ordered a time capsule that we are going to bury in the nursery garden and we’d like all the children in the centre to contribute to this.

After reading “When I Grow Up” The children have drawn a black pen drawing of what they would like to be in the future so we can then add them to the time capsule.

 “I want to be a baker”


“I want to be a doctor”


“I want to be a painter”


“I want to be a princess”

We can make our own stories…

Recently the children have been enjoying using wooden small world figures to create roleplay scenarios.  This helps to fuel their creativity and extend their social skills

Witches, forests and potions

Roleplay is fabulous for promoting literacy skills and helps to develop language and expand thought patterns.

Over time the children have wanted to use the small world figures to tell their own stories.  They have been developing their confidence through acting and performing their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

This story had Mummy, Daddy, the child and a pet frog

Roleplay and storytelling help children to explore and experiment through different scenarios, it can break down the walls of reality allowing them to explore something or someone different from themselves and it can also help them to make sense of or celebrate situations that happen in real life.

Princesses are a favourite character for the stories we are hearing just now

In the past, some of the children of Cartmill have taken part in Helicopter Stories (in a group setting a child makes up their own story, a teacher scribes it and reads it back to the group and then the child and their peers act it out).

This led to one of the children asking me to write down their story that they had made up with the small world figures – they wanted to share it with their family.

This first story spurred other children on and they have been asking to have their own stories recorded to take home aswell.

We have all enjoyed sharing stories with each other and hope any parents who have had some home have enjoyed them as well.

I can’t wait to see where our children’s imagination takes us next…

Traditional Tales

This week in the Home Room we have been learning about traditional tales.  We have enjoyed listening to the stories about Goldilocks and the three bears, Jack and the beanstalk and the Three little pigs.

We have also been learning how to re-tell the stories in different ways such as using the character puppets or using role play to act out the story.
We have even been using our imagination to add new parts to each story when acting out different parts of the books, using our creative thinking, deciding what can happen next in the story? What would Goldilocks do when she got home?  Would the Three Bears make more porridge? What would Jack and his mummy buy at the shops with their golden egg?

What do you think would happen next?

We have had had lots of fun using our skills to re-tell and re-call our traditional tales. We have been using these skills to read the story to our friends.


I wonder what adventures our story book characters will get up to next week.

Fun with numbers!

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Today in the Home Room the children were focusing on counting and identifying numbers to 10.  After counting the spots on the wooden steps the children were able to put the steps in order from one to ten. They then had great fun jumping up the steps whilst shouting out the number as they stood on it! The children also helped the ladies to make number lollipop sticks. They counted aloud how many dots were needed on each stick and then sorted them in the correct number order! What great number helpers we have at Cart Mill!!

Sign a Rainbow with Fiona -BSL

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well and coping with being indoors. I know it can be tough but I am very much looking at the positives of getting to spend more time with my son. My little boy, Arlo, is deaf and has developmental delays, so we are using this time to brush up on our BSL skills. We are only beginners ourselves but I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some basic signs with you.

Sign language is vitally important and it makes such a huge difference to the deaf community when people know just a couple of basic signs to help deaf children and adults feel included.

I would be happy to make more videos if people are interested.

Anyway, to keep things simple, I thought we would start with “good morning”, “good night”, “please”, “thank you” and for a bit of fun, I have signed “Sing a Rainbow” as well.

Good morning

 

Good night

 

Please / Thank you – It is the same sign for both please and thank you but the lip pattern (simply saying the words) is different

 

♬ Sing a Rainbow 

 

I hope you enjoy, please stay safe and I am looking forward to seeing you all soon

Bookbug at Home

Hello everyone, hello everyone glad that you could come!

Everyone enjoys a Bookbug session did you know you can download the Bookbug app to do your own sessions at home.

Children love stories and singing this helps to support your child’s language, learning and social skills.


Why not try it today, there is a great selection of songs on the app in both English and Gaelic if your feeling brave.


In these unusual times just have fun with it.

Goodbye everyone, goodbye everyone glad that you could come!

Helicopter Stories

Over the last few months at Cart Mill the children have been using the ‘Helicopter Stories’ approach to develop their story telling skills.

Helicopter Stories is an Early Years approach to communication and literacy skills based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of  Vivian Gussin Paley. MakeBelieve Arts company has been pioneering this work in the UK since its conception in 2002.

  Helicopter Stories lets children dictate their stories which are written down exactly as they are told by the  adult.  The children then gather around a ‘stage’ and the stories are acted out by the children.

The  Makebelieve Arts website highlights some of the benefits of Helicopter Stories as being :

  • An inclusive approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore early literacy and the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of creative writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.

The children take turns to share their stories with the adult who is leading the session. As you can see below there  are always lots of children who are super excited to share their stories with their friends.

     

        

After the story has been written, the author choses what character from their story they would like to play and with the help of their friends, the story is acted out. Performing the story is always met with lots of great actions,  fun, and laughter.

Here are some of or stories from today, written then performed by the children.

Title : My Chocolate

“A minion was trying to catch a monkey. Minions are funny. And that was a bad minion and he caught the monkey and he putted him in the bin. And then a crocodile eated the bin and the minion and then the crocodile was sick.”

Title : Tilly

A rocket and a race car and a monster came along. Then the monster was going to stop the race car. Then the rocket was going to stop the monster. A bird was going to scare the monster.

Title: Nothing

A robot catched a monkey. A crocodile try and catch the monkey.

     

Title: Lewis

A tiger and then a lion comed and catched him. And then a gardener comed and catched them again.