Product Review – My Mood Stars

In this video Glenn (AKA The Male Practitioner) reviews a new resource from Wendy Woo called “My Mood Stars” to help children discuss and label emotions.

You can visit the website here: www.mymoodstars.co.uk

A bag of 8 plush mood stars is priced at £25.99

If you would like the board it’s £39.99

The workbook is £5.99

Exploring Personal Pedagogy – Sally Wright

In the first of this series of interviews Glenn discusses the journey into Early Years and the influences behind her practice with Sally Wright, author, trainer and founder of The ark Groups

You can visit Sally online at https://www.facebook.com/TheArkGroups/

If you would like a copy of her book “50 fantastic ideas for Tuff Trays” then click our affiliate link below:

The next interview in this series is Vanessa Dooley from Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy.

Sustained Shared Conversation video

This isn’t a video I’ve created but one I’ve seen a few times and have found it a joyful inspiration to watch. This shows how, by being an unobtrusive practitioner, you can use carefully thought out questions and prompts to promote deeper learning and thinking from the children.

Facebook Live today!!

I’ll be talking early years things this morning over on my Facebook page. Join in the chat at www.facebook.com/themalepractitioner

Guest Blog: Optimum self-care and wellbeing in the Early Years

Is it time for Savasana yet?

How often do we focus on our teams ‘wellbeing’ during the week. Have we all now got the ‘wellbeing’ shelf . The thought of wellbeing has become placement in the lives of practitioners. A small selection of goodies or toiletries to temporarily lift the mood of others. But is this really helping wellbeing in the long-term. If we help our teams to focus more on their wellbeing and self-care then wellbeing areas become an enhancement to their lives not just a feature of the workplace.

There should never be a time ‘for’ savasana. It should be part of unconscious routine. The idea of savasana is to relax one body element at a time. Savasana is a type of yoga and relaxation that does not require ‘out’ time to be able to complete it. So instructors believe that savasana is the pose of stillness. The pose of the corpse. Where you lie as still as possible and maintain the pose of utter stillness as if you were dead. The art of Asana, yoga is a relaxation technique from northern India. If you begin to feel tense or stressed for any reason, focus on the area that has begun to feel tense. If you are struggling to take deep breath then focus on the action of breathing. Put the stress to one side and breathe in and out slowly. To begin with this art is very hard as focus is what people lack in times of stress. The more we maintain focus, breathe and move forward the more savasana will become part of your everyday life.

If we can begin to instil ideas such as these into our team’s lives then we can begin to eliminate the sources of stress in the workplace.
Self-care is the art of looking after yourself. Savasana is part of self-care. It’s the ability to be able to self-regulate feelings and be more balanced and relaxed. The more often we can promote self-care to our children in settings the more we encourage the future adults of our world to be able to understand not only their feelings and struggles. If young children are supported in learning about their bodies and minds in the correct way, they will strive to do more educationally as they will be more at ease with their own feelings and feel more confident to carry on and try new things.

This post was written by Lyndsey Slessor, a Nursery Manager at a 55 place private day nursery setting.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

On Saturday I attended a training session on Understanding the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) hosted by the York branch of Early Education. The trainer was none other that Early Years legend Helen Moylett (the same co-author of the original Development Matters).

Helen spoke passionately about the current state of Early Years and about how we have the power to truly harness a child’s curiosity and really bring their learning to life. I came to a realisation whilst on this training, even making a solid connection to the #JigsawEPOP North Conference I attend just a couple of weeks back. The Characteristics should be our foundation when planning for the children and we grow from their natural ability to learn and become the scaffold/support on this exciting journey.

Too often we plan everything within an inch of its life that the opportunities for curiosity have been drained for the children, relax folks for goodness sake!

Fairly recently I gave the children the opportunity to explore something new, however I didn’t dictate what happened. Instead I just provided a commentary about what was happening with maybe a question said out loud. The activity was crushing cocoa beans in a pestle and mortar. The sensory experience was brilliant for the children and really fulfilled many of the COEL – Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.

After attending #JigsawEPOP North I wanted to start an #EYRevolution and now, after listening to Helen Moylett talking about COEL and how much it can impact our everyday work in such a positive way for the children, I now have that solid foundation to start the revolution!

If you would like a copy of Helen’s book then please do click on our affiliates link below:

Meanwhile, in Next!

Now, how exciting was this discovery whilst browsing round Next?

A solid wood dice, ok it’s meant to be a doorstop by that just means it should last!

I saw this on a shelf and instantly thought if maths games, counting activities and talking about numbers.

Wish I’d bought it now!

#regretsinlife

Fine Motor Threading

I was having a wander round Home Sense today and saw this pasta on the shelf. I think this would be amazing for threading, working on fine motor control and hand/eye co-ordination.

A bargain at £2.49 as well!