Connecting with Emotions

Asking questions about feelings happens every day in early learning classrooms. Whether it be a conversation about moments in play, events in stories or when our young learners are unwell. We regular ask children to communicate their emotions. We are skilled at using signs, symbols and language to scaffold these conversations. There are years upon years of quality PSED resources to help us plan meaningful activities to build emotional literacy too.

“Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable.” Early Learning Goal: Managing Feelings and Behaviour

They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.” Early Learning Goal: Making Relationships

They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.” Early Learning Goal: People and Communities

They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.” Early Learning Goal: Being Imaginative

They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.” Early Learning Goal: Speaking

Emotional understanding is referred to throughout Early Years Outcomes and the goals that 5 year olds should achieve by the end of the first year of school. So this year for Safer Internet Day, let’s talk about feelings when using devices and communicate how we might feel during different uses.

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Have a Safer Internet Day with PENGUINPIG!

This year’s Safer Internet Day takes place on 11th February 2020 and even though online safety should be embedded across the curriculum all year, this event is a chance for school aged children across the country to speak up about their experiences online. For Safer Internet Day this year I have designed an activity themed around the story PENGUINPIG for our younger learners at school.

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“PENGUINPIG is the number one best-selling story about a little girl who reads of an exciting creature known as a penguinpig on the Internet. Filled with delight and intrigue, she decides that she must go and find one.

However, her parents are far too busy to take her and so she decides that she will sneak out and find the adorable PENGUINPIG all on her own. Carefully, she follows the instructions from the website – but does she find her delightful PENGUINPIG?

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Stuart Spendlow’s storybook is perfect for younger children and is a great way to begin early conversations about safety online. Stuart writes a whimsical story that early learners can relate to; they can easily spot the mistakes the little girl makes. The moral of the story gives practitioners the opportunity to talk about pop-ups, adverts in games and messages young children might see when they are using mobile devices.

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Early Years and Online Safety: my top resources!

Digital Citizenship and online safety is such an important part of the National Curriculum and confidence to teach this subject is growing amongst teachers in upper primary years. But what is happening lower down school?

In the early years we have always been good at providing children with opportunities to develop relationship skills and problem solve in their peer groups. We have access to many age appropriate resources to discuss stranger danger and bullying. Over the last year I’ve started to see good materials published to bring online safety in to our curriculum. I want to share some of these today.

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Maily! e-mail that’s possible in early years.

This year the national Anti-Bullying Week in the UK challenged teachers to bring an e-safety focus to their classroom. As an early years teacher, talking about safety online is quite tricky and modelling good practise online has always been my focus. My class regular experience positive uses of the internet and our Connected Classes are an important part of our classroom life. As a class we make FaceTime calls to other early years children around the world, we share books that we have written on the iPads with them and we often help each other out with answering questions about our localities.

For Anti-Bullying Week though, I wanted to make these experiences more personal for the children. This is how I found Maily on the App Store.

Maily.

This is a free app and it is free to set up an account and to use the service. There are no adverts or in app purchases either. Maily is designed for the travelling or far reaching family though. It’s there for the kids to be able to send a special message to mum when she’s working away, or the grandparents that live in Spain.

FullSizeRender 17It’s perfect for early years though. Maily has very little reading involved, it’s all pictorial and within a couple of taps your children have opened their inbox, scrolled their contact lists to find a friend, wrote an e-mail and sent it. All within the app, inside one secure account.

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Skype Calls in the Foundation Stage.

Today was such an exciting day.

Over the half term I organised a Skype call with a K class at Avenues School in New York City.

It was the first time that I had planned a video call with any class, let alone Foundation children, and I didn’t know what to expect at all.

The call was an incredible experience and surprised me on so many levels. I was amazed at how confident the children were (both my class and the Eagles class at Avenues). They very quickly understood the concept of the link and listened so attentively to the speakers so that they could answer the questions.

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Poster: Starting a Twitter Account

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Using Twitter has become one of the most valuable tools I use for planning and learning. I have ‘met’ so many inspirational teachers through Twitter who have impacted on my classroom by debating educational issues with me, providing other strategies for teaching and through commenting on my Class Blog.

Teachers on Twitter have given me confidence in my NQT year when I’ve had those moments that start with a thought like ‘Am I doing this right…?’.

What has also been brillliant about Twitter and networking is it’s usefulness in promoting TeachMeet. Before and after a TeachMeet, teachers on Twitter share their ideas and reflections. TeachMeet has also allowed me to meet up with the teachers who I tweet with.

Twitter has also filled that gap that university and teacher training left behind. I have missed those conversations with lecturers and other students about what they are doing in school. Twitter has provided me with even richer debates and discussions through #ukedchat. There are so many people who I could have added to the ‘Folks to Follow First’ text on the poster, there just isn’t enough space!

(@ideas_factory, @peter_obrien1, @kvnmcl, @johnmclear, @NoTosh should all be on the poster too)

For me, the question isn’t ‘Why do I need to be on Twitter?’. It’s more like ‘Why are you not on Twitter?’.

Sent from my iPad