Twinkl Green Week

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As regular readers of the blog and viewers of my Instagram will know I am all for helping kids be more green! So I was pleased to hear that educational resources website Twinkl is having a special Green Week at the beginning of March. I have always been a fan and a user of Twinkl. As a teacher it often provided me with a great range of resources to enhance my classroom. I am very pleased to say that recently I have been asked to be a blogger for them and as a teacher and a new mum I jumped at the chance to share some of the great resources they have on the website.

“It is an exciting, week-long event aimed at supporting educators and children to think about environmental issues and how they can take positive steps to lessen their carbon footprint and be more ‘green’! Twinkl will provide a wide range of green-themed, cross-curricular resources, which can themselves be used in an environmentally-friendly way.”

Here are my top 5 things about the Twinkl ‘Green Week’!

  • Reducing the use of plastic is a hot topic in the news at the moment. This powerpoint is a great introduction to plastic, its history, uses and the problems it causes. I think this would generate a great discussion about plastic usage!
  • I have never known a class that doesn’t like to make a chatterbox. Can I let you into a secret? I am terrible at making these! Luckily there would always be a few kids in the class who were whizzes so I would nominate them as chief helpers! These would be great to make in the classroom!
  • I was always slightly concerned about the amount of paper a school can get through. Twinkl Go are resources that have been designed to be used with a computer or mobile device. So just download and go! Check out Twinkl Go here!
  • OK another secret here. When I was in secondary school I made fishcakes in Food Technology. They were delicious but they were the size of a dinner plate! Using this great resource you can teach the kids how to use leftovers AND how to make a fishcake the right size!
  • Sometimes you do need to print so Twinkl have been working on making this greener. Check out their super-eco black and white and super-eco colour which will use less ink, save money and help the environment!

There are so many more resources and ideas available so if you are interested in joining in with the Twinkl Green Week, check out the website and see what will be useful for you!

 

I have been provided with an extra Twinkl Subscription in exchange for sharing ideas and resources. I have always been a fan of Twinkl (and an existing subscriber!) and would only recommend things I believe in and would use myself.

 

The Daylight Explorers

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Raymond by Yann and Gwendal Le Bec

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Meet Raymond. Raymond is a happy dog and a good dog too. He lives with a caring family who throw him surprise birthday parties and love to give him a good scratch behind the ears (isn’t that something we would all like?). However Raymond begins to yearn for more and children and adults alike will love to see how Raymond becomes more human-like throughout the story.

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Raymond eventually ends up working for top magazine Dogue and we see how Raymond really finds life as a top journalist.

This was a charming story and I finished the book with a smile on my face. It is a cautionary tale on work/life balance and I know a few people I would like to share this with! I particularly enjoyed the bright and colourful illustrations and I know children would love spotting the ways the dogs in the story are acting as humans. I particularly love the law enforcement officers!

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This is a great book for 3 years plus and is a delight to read. Dog lovers will particularly enjoy seeing what can happen if dogs can walk and talk! Written and illustrated by two brothers, Gwendal and Yann Le Bec, I cannot wait to see more from them. Raymond is published by Walker Books.

Note: I was kindly given a copy of Raymond to review by Walker Books. My thoughts about the book are entirely true and genuine!

Safer Internet Day- 6th February

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The Internet. As a bit of a geek I love the internet and think it is a wonderful tool to allow children to be creative and informed.  I am a huge believer that children should be able to use the internet but believe E-Safety is of the upmost importance. As a primary school teacher I know many schools work hard to teach children these skills but I think there are lots of opportunities for parents to do the same at home. Safer Internet Day is an excellent opportunity to bring the topic into conversation at home. Safer Internet Day takes place globally in February every year to promote “the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people” and I love the theme for this year- Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you.

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If you have a look at the Safer Internet Day website you will find a great education pack for parents and carers with lots of ideas for the family including conversation starters, pledge cards and some links to some fun activities children can complete.

Here are some other ideas for what you and the family can do at home;

– make a short film about being safe on the internet. How about trying stop motion animation?

– use Scratch to program an interactive story about being safe on the internet.

– use junk modelling to design and make a Safer Internet Day mascot.

– put on a play showing how people can be safe on the internet. Invite family around to watch!?

– if you have a subscription to Twinkl they have a range of resources you could use including powerpoints and wordsearches!

If you do something for Safer Internet Day I would love to hear all about it!

Life Lately- February 2018

So Little Miss DaylightExplorer is 5 months old!

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The little love arrived 3 weeks early (and VERY quickly!) and has kept us on our toes ever since! She has a full head of hair and the cutest of smiles (mother’s bias I know!) but she hates sleeping and tummy time. I have really been enjoying maternity leave and have made sure I get out and about to do some exploring (ok so it has been mainly local haunts but it’s a start!).

We try and go for regular walks with new friends and even enjoyed Baby Massage classes. I look forward to all the things we will do when she is a little bit older.

I have missed this blog and am planning a few changes over the next few weeks including a change in appearance and a slight change in focus. These changes will probably happen slowly and when the BIG BOSS allows it but I cannot wait to get stuck back in.

So how are you? I would love to hear what you have been up to so please feel free to leave a comment below!

30 Days Wild- Nature and Art for Kids

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Yesterday’s 30 Days Wild found me strolling around one of my favourite places, the National Trust’s Anglesey Abbey, which luckily for me is just up the road. Normally I go just to have a wander and an explore but yesterday I had a purpose. I was feeling creative and wanted to have a think about the role of nature in art, especially with children. I am a huge believer in helping children see the links in the world and I think linking art and nature is a wonderful start. Not only does it help the children be creative but it also gives them an opportunity to observe nature in a bit more detail and from a different perspective.

As I was exploring I came with these handy ideas for getting children to think about art in nature.

Explore texture/ colour / shape

Once I started looking for interesting textures, colours and shapes in the nature of Anglesey I couldn’t stop finding some gems. I even filled up my SD card with pictures! Getting children to photograph what they see would be a great way for the children to observe the nature around them. You could get them to focus on finding different shapes in nature of different colours of the rainbow? Depending on the age of the child you could give them a range of different things to look for that use their senses. These photos could then be used back home to generate their own art work using different textures. Have a look at some of the photos below for some starter ideas.

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Look at the smoothness of this bark. It just calls out to be looked at and remarked upon. Whenever I wander around Anglesey I always happen upon someone remarking on its smoothness and colour!

These pictures would be good for looking at patterns in the world around you. These patterns could then be recreated back home. Warning- pattern spotting can be quite addicting!

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You can’t beat Spring and Summer for a lovely bit of colour! (ok, ok Autumn and Winter has some beautiful colour as well!) This would inspire me to do a bit of colour mixing to try and recreate some of these stunning colours. This would also be an ideal opportunity to find out what difference it would make if you used different paints and materials. How can you create different strengths in colour?

Sketching

You don’t have to have all the art fun at home! Get the kids to take their sketchbook with them and do some on location sketching. This would also be a great task for their nature journals!

Come back later in the month when I will share some more creative ideas for combining art and nature! Have a great day!

30 Days Wild Day 1- Close to Home

 

Happy 1st June! The internet is ablaze with people sharing their Day 1 #30DaysWild adventures. I have loved seeing what everyone has got up to for Day 1. So here is my first update!

At Home- Close to Home

The past few months have been busy and as such I have barely got into the garden. So this afternoon I took the time to potter about and see some of the colour that has recently erupted. I find I rarely take photos of the garden and so I thought it would be an ideal chance to appreciate and remember what we have close to home. And that is the wonderful thing about #30DaysWild, you can explore and be wild as far or as close to home as you want. There is plenty to see in your local area!

At School- It is half term so I used my time in school to get some jobs on my to do list done as well as making a start on our Nature Table. I would love to have this up year round but I just don’t have the room in the classroom I have this year so I have had a bit of a move around and now have some space for the month of June. I will post some pictures when it is finished! I can’t wait for the kids to arrive back on Monday and for us to start our class 30 Days Wild!

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Are you taking part this year? If so please leave me a comment below and let me know what you have got up to! I can’t wait to hear!

30 Days Wild 2017

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If you have been following the Daylight Explorers for a few years you will know that we are big fans of the 30 Days Wild initiative led by the Wildlife Trust. As someone who craves a regular wander around the woods or gets excited to see a ladybird land nearby I can’t help but love another reason to get outside. So it is with great delight I signed up for this year’s 30 Days Wild. For those of you who are new to 30 Days Wild here is a very quick overview!

“Make room for nature this June – no matter where you are or how busy your life! When you sign up to the challenge, we’ll send you a pack full of ideas, encouragement and Random Acts of Wildness…
What is a Random Act of Wildness?

A Random Act of Wildness is anything that you can do in an average working day to bring a little nature into your life. They can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or if you lose yourself completely, a few hours!”

http://www.mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild/

Interested? Want to know what to do next? Go sign up!

After that it’s up to you! Below are some tips for helping you get the most out of your 30 Days Wild Experience!

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1) Make your own Nature Journal to help you keep a record of all the fantastic things you see and do.

2) Check out the hashtag on social media! #30DaysWild is a brilliant source of community and ideas!

3) Check out my ‘Nature and Wildlife’ board on Pinterest for more nature related ideas.

https://uk.pinterest.com/daylightexplore/nature-and-wildlife/

4) Read some nature related books. In the month of June I am going to be sharing some great nature themed books that can be shared with kids at home and at school.

5) Get involved with your local Wildlife Trust!

 

Tweet me or leave me a comment to tell me all about your #30DaysWild adventures! Come back through the month of June to see what the Daylight Explorers get up to!