Monday, 17 June 2013

EYFS - Using tablets to record observations

I presented to an e-learning conference today, sharing my experience of using mini-iPads to record observations. If this is something you are interested in, you may find the following slides useful...

Update : Early Years FSF produce a system called Tapestry...well worth a look...Link

The Edgazette

Monday, 10 June 2013

EYFS Role-play: Flight to Africa and Safari (downloadable resources)

I participated in the  forum on twitter last week (every Wednesday from 8-9pm), the theme for which was 'journeys'. Lots of great ideas were shared, so I'd recommend giving it a try.

A few people were interested in the 2-day African role play that I used in Nursery (it would work equally well in Year R or even Year 1/2), so I thought I'd give a bit more detail and share the resources that I used...

Day 1 - Flight to Africa

We started by making passports and thinking about what we'd need on holiday and on safari. The parents had been pre-warned that the children would need to dress for a safari on the following day.

The passports were simply made by folding over sheets of A4 and stapling them together. The children then stuck their own photo's to the front and wrote their names (with support as necessary).

Next we made toilet roll binoculars for the safari, and worked out how to make a hide so the animals wouldn't be scared of us. A few old carpet roll tubes and our new den making kit came in handy (obviously we had to take them on the plane with us!)...

Finally we made sandwiches and packed our snack time milk on the plane...we were role playing airport workers at this stage. Once we had made our aeroplane (chairs lined up in front of the interactive white board), we went back to being passengers and checked in at the airport. My TA dressed up as a flight attendant and checked their passes as they boarded, whilst I donned my Captain's hat and joined in the role play.

I showed the following video on the whiteboard, adding a sense of realism for the children. The video has audio as well, so the children could hear the pilot talking to the control tower and the engines revving up...

The adjacent image is a screenshot.

Click here to download pushback and engine start up video

Once everyone had settled into their seats, I showed the safety video. I downloaded Thomson's video from youtube which features children and is very engaging...

We were now ready for take-off, so it was time to play the next video...

Click here to download take-off video

Now was a good opportunity to listen in to the children's conversations, and support them in developing the role-play.

After a while some children became a little restless in their seats, so it was time for the in-flight meal and entertainment. Out came the sandwiches and milk, to be served graciously by my TA. I took care of the in-flight episode of Octonauts on iPlayer. We have never seen such depth in the children's role play, and even had to convince one or two children that it was safe to leave their seats and walk across the classroom to the toilet.

I brought up google earth on the whiteboard and showed the route we were flying before asking everyone to return to their seats for landing...time for the final video...

Click here to download landing video

Day 1 ended as we left the aircraft and found our hotels...went home!

Day 2 - Safari

Up early for the safari. The children came in dressed appropriately and off we went. A few helped build the carpet tube hide, whilst others prepared their binoculars and gathered pencils and passport books in preparation for recording what they might see.

Everything was ready now. Some children occupied the hide, and others crept around silently with binoculars at the ready. The only noise was that of the savannah...

I edited the following soundtrack myself, including an elephant, lion, monkey, rattle snake and tiger...

Click here to download savannah soundtrack

The powerpoint file below contains pictures of the above animals that can be printed and displayed for the safari...

Click here to download African animals.ppt

We gathered in and around the hide for our snack, and set about recording the animals we had seen.

There is a clear opportunity to extend this activity into writing for Year R/1.

Day 2 ended, and the children went home full of stories and souvenir binoculars and passports. The feedback from parents was excellent, so we snatched the opportunity to collect some home observations the following morning.

Follow up activity

Over the next few days we used the following African animal templates to make collages with sand, twigs and paint...

Click here to download African animal outlines.ppt

It was then time for the adults to take a back seat, observe, intervene and collect evidence of the children's was a joy.

The Edgazette
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