Book Review: 50 Fantastic Ideas for Tuff Tray Mathematics by Sally Wright.

So I’m hoping that you get this feeling too? That feeling that a new book you’ve been expecting arrives and it’s just brimming with inspiration. Today I got that feeling when Sally Wright’s latest edition to the “50” series, 50 Fantastic Ideas for Tuff Tray Mathematics.

Now this isn’t a huge tome that requires your devoted attention (and that isn’t a criticism, it’s certainly an advantage), this is most definitely one to dip in and out of and be inspired each time that you do.

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If you compare this book to Sally’s previous book, 50 Fantastic Ideas for Tuff Trays, then you can see that she has also been on a journey or learning and development in her practice. The activities in the new book are very much based around the way the children have interpreted them and not necessarily with a fixed purpose from the adult.

The book is also organised into some great sections which feature in daily nursery life such as schemas (transporting), small world play, mark making and creative play to name a few. One of my favourite sections was “use what you’ve got” as it really didn’t require anything that any reasonably resources early years setting would have.

I’m reading this book while on a week off at home (no abroad holiday for us this year!) and it’s frustrating. No, not the lack of abroad holiday, but the fact I’m at home and really want to go to Nursery and get out all the scales we own and pile on the porridge oats and scoops (You’ll need to look at page 28 to see what I’m burbling on about), however I can use this time to prepare my plan of attack with the tuff tray.

I’m not mathematically minded in the slightest, physical play and storytelling are my specialities, however this book doesn’t require you to be Carol Vorderman (or Rachel Riley depending on how old you are!) it just wants you to set up an inviting tuff tray that the children can come along to and not feel pressured into doing an activity carefully curated by you to crowbar them into completing an outcome of the EYFS.

If I have to say one negative thing about this book it’s this, 50 activities aren’t enough. I’ll have gone through them in a week if I have my way!

Sally, HELP!!

Product Review – Outdoor Activity Cards from Cosy Direct

In this video. Glenn (AKA The Male Practitioner) has the opportunity to review two sets of outdoor learning cards from Cosy Direct. The Waterproof Mud Pie Recipe cards and Creative Star’s Messy Maths 50 Things To Do Before You Are 6 And 3/4.

You can find the Mud Pie Recipe Cards by clicking HERE

The Messy Maths Cards can be found by clicking HERE

You can also explore the whole of the Cosy Direct range by visiting their website at www.cosydirect.com

Cosy are also on social media here:

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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

Sorting and matching

One of my very lovely colleagues brought in a set of graded storage containers she bought from Morrisons and added them to the home corner as a maths activity. The children have to sort them into the correct size with the correct lid in order to put the final bug kid on. It’s kind of a domestic Russian Doll.

I happened to comment how awesome that was, next thing I know I come in to find a set of them in my locker. She knows me only too well!

No idea of the cost as they were a present but worth having a look in your nearest Morrisons!

Product Feature: Resource of the Week

I’m delighted to be able to partner up with Daniel Larson, AKA Mr Early Years, to feature something from his wide range of downloadable and printable teaching resources.

MrEarlyYears

This week: An Intervention Pack designed for TAs or other classroom assistants to grab. It includes activities for finger gym, numeracy, and writing. Allow the TAs to deliver targeted support without the stress of them having to plan it. It is also great for NQTs or new to Early Years teachers!
These activities are designed for children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 but mainly focuses on Reception.

Download from here: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/intervention-planning-for-early-years-targeted-support-for-finger-gym-numeracy-and-writing-11637546

Number Fun February – Practitioner resource books.

In this post in looking at a few of the books around that I’ve found benefited my own CPD and practice which, therefore, has a positive impact on the children.

First up:

I’ve been lucky enough to have gone to a day training with Juliet based around this book (I literally had to stop myself being a fanboy and asking her to autograph my copy!)

This book is such an amazing “dip-in” resource and certainly fills you with confidence to take maths outdoors. 

(Just click the picture to purchase your copy via our Amazon affiliates link)

Next we have:

I feel it’s important to have displays that inspire and motivate the children for maths. Although this book is pretty old (I know the feeling!) It can still be found at various online second had book retailers or auction sites.

Then:

This is a recent addition but gives some great ideas and support. This is available online from the Preschool Learning Alliance (soon to be Early Years Alliance.)

In addition:

Also from the Preschool Learning Alliance is this one which also includes ideas for maths at home so it promotes some strong learning links.

What are your must have resources? Feel free to share them on here or our social media pages.