Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Pumpkin Needs A Tail

It's still half term and so I find that I am blogging about my children instead of students! Today, we have had loads of children around for pumpkin carving.  My husband usually takes this job as he has an eye for detail, is quite a good artist, and likes things to look as they 'should'. He has all of the children drawing exactly what they want before making a cut.  They will use the precision kit for a nice finish. They all look like a carved pumpkin in a picture would look. Except one.  When all of our guests and children are finished, my husband proudly lines them up and admires their work. (under his supervision)  Once all of the children are back on the trampoline (again), my husband says to me in an exasperated tone- "All of these look wonderful except Claudia's which has been cut to bits.  She says that it needed a tail." I picked up her pumpkin and burst into laughter.  On the front, a nice pumpkin face and at the back, a large zig zag hole. Even if it was an accident this is a great example of flexible thinking! The first thing that I felt was proud! She is always the one that is in the most trouble but always gives us the most giggles and is always looking for a way to be a nonconformist.  I said to my husband that I thought the pumpkin was wonderful and at least it would give off lots of light- we agreed that we shouldn't always expect the normal and to celebrate her creativity.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Half Term Boredom

With half term upon us- the dreaded word- Boredom! However, determined not to fill my children's schedules up with holiday clubs, camps etc, I heard the word bored today. Despite the two children that my daughter had over to play and the endless hours on the trampoline (I call this our extension because the kids spend so much time on it), cookie baking, trips to the library...the word finally came today.  This is only on day 4 of half term and there are three more to go.  When the girls came in and said that they were bored, I decided to try a few Crames with them.  Out to the trampoline I went, with three pencils, three pieces of paper, and three Crames written on one.  The first, was a Give me 5 challenge.  The girls had to challenge each other to write the shortest sentence possible with 5 words that didn't go together at all.  The second challenge was to Invent a secret handshake to show friendship.  The third Crame was also from Invent- something for a book that has never been invented.  It took me less than 5 minutes to prepare and kept the girls busy for ages! They loved the challenge and I found myself really interested in their answers.  It was a great way for me to interact and keep my daughter and her friends from saying that dreaded word! If any of you have time to try these, please let me know how they go! It was a success today- bring on tomorrow!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Boys against Girls

Just started my first blog! I am really excited about my new book which will be published in September! It is a guide on how to be a creative thinker in only 5 minutes a day- I have been practicing these 'Crames' with the kids that I teach and with my own. My 9 year old daughter loves them. She is even beginning to make up her own.  Today, I decided to give one to my Year 5 class. Their task was to brainstorm as many songs and books that had a colour in the title.  Well, they really enjoyed it- and of course I had shouting and general excitement as the ideas came into their heads! Then, I took the challenge further and put girls against boys, and the team that ran out of ideas first could not win.  You can imagine the competition. We had Purple rain, Yellow Submarine, Yellow (Coldplay) Blue Suede Shoes, Blue Moon, Greenfingers, The Colour Purple and many many more.  The most fun was when the ideas began to run out and the teams became desperate. We call this our mindshower time- the brain has run out of ideas and you must try to let it rain again! The teams both recalled their nursery days at the end with Blue Train, Red Train and more. We were laughing so much by then, that the lesson was over and we all agreed that we could not pick a winner! I left school to go and collect my own son with a smile on my face because I knew that  I had lots of happy children leaving my class and their brains in gear! It was a great session!