One of the things I'm enjoying most about being back at work, is taking a class of older children for art, every Tuesday. Inspired by this wonderful non-fiction narrative by Satoshi Kitamura, the children created wonderful interpretations of prehistoric cave paintings; their artwork looks so authentic and the children (especially the boys) loved it! You can read more about the author here; as you can see from the pictures this book has lots of interesting facts interwoven into the story. It's about a modern day boy who travels back in time when he falls down a hole, to find himself... Read more →

Encouraging our eldest daughter to develop a love of reading has luckily not been too difficult for us; developing her reading interests beyond "Princess Books" has been the hurdle. You know the books we're talking about here - the pink, the frilly, the 'life is sweet' type that sometimes offer a free tiara and the like. At an education conference this month, popular children's author Lauren Child said that "as a child she felt like a sponge, absorbing information from everywhere". My daughter's preoccupation with all things princess left me wondering if we really could've applied this to her -... Read more →

I'm so excited to be a contributor in this year's Literacy Blog Tour co-ordinated by Share A Story, Shape A Future. The theme for the tour is IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A READER and launches tomorrow, at The Reading Tub with host Terry Doherty. My post will be here on Day 5, when contributors are focusing on Reading for the Next Generation. Contributors Include: The Book Chook, Reading Rockets, Literacy Launchpad, Literacy Toolbox, There's a Book, and Two Writing Teachers. Join the conversations, share your ideas and get lots of inspiration for raising young readers! (Twitter #SAS2010) Share... Read more →

We really do have a soft spot for elephants. David McKee's book Elmer has given us lots of ideas for activities this week - and inspired us to crack open the clay we'd almost forgotten about! I always find that early years children create the most successful clay models; I think it's because they start off with a big blob and see the whole picture more easily. Older children usually scrutinize over tiny details and make body parts separately - which is alright if you remember to conceal all those joins with plenty of water! We tend to improvise when... Read more →

"Finders Keepers," squawked Cedric. Have you ever been shopping, or perhaps out for a walk with your children, when you notice that one of them has dropped a favourite toy or piece of clothing? Having retraced your steps and meticulously scanned the ground, you suddenly get that sinking feeling that someone has picked up the item and pocketed it for themselves. Horrible. Now, this one is really hard to explain to an unhappy four year old. Especially if the guilt starts to creep in about not looking after belongings properly! Which is why Lizzie Finlay's new take on the subject,... Read more →