'How to Train your Dragon’ is all about controlling our emotions, understanding where they come from in the brain and what we can do about it. It provides an accessible introduction to the brain for younger learners, and depicts the amygdala (the brain’s emotional centre) as a dragon that we need to tame!
We have found this incredibly useful across a range of year groups - EYFS/KS1/KS2. While it can seem intimidating to introduce neuroscience to young children, when it’s pitched correctly it can have enormous impact. A genuine quote from a 5 year old in my class last year: “I went on a rollercoaster at the weekend with my dad and I was feeling really scared, but then I remembered that I just had to give my prefrontal cortex some time to think and I felt much better!”
The presentation covers several topics and as such can be spread over several lessons and built upon, or taught in one. It includes:
*An introduction to the brain and 3 key players within it, depicted as characters to engage young learners. Meet PC Prefrontal Cortex, Hippocampus the memory saver, and Amygdala the dragon!
*An understanding of why it’s so important to keep our brains and bodies healthy – eating healthily, exercising and getting enough sleep – as well as a reminder to wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter, to protect our brains.
*Interactive slides for discussion, e.g. How do you feel when… you’re playing with your friends/you hear a big bang at night/you’re riding a rollercoaster etc., and an understanding that all these emotions come from the amygdala (your dragon!)
*Some ideas of how to calm down, consistent with a mindfulness approach (deep breathing, counting to 10 etc.) A discussion of why it’s so important to talk about our feelings.
The key message is that if we show ‘Amygdala the dragon’ how to calm down and wait before acting out, we will give PC Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus enough time to come to the rescue, and help us to feel better.
I hope you find it as beneficial as we have!
This pack features a CVC word list for Letters and Sounds Phase 2, as well as two files of corresponding word cards - one set with sound buttons (dots and dashes) underneath letters, and one set without.
The words are organised into Letters and Sounds sets 1-5:
Set 1 (s a t p)
Set 2 (i n m d)
Set 3 (g o c k)
Set 4 (ck e u r)
Set 5 (h b f ff l ll ss)
A selection of 9 different posters representing Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
One poster to show all 4 seasons represented as a tree
Four posters to feature a high quality photograph of each season
Four posters to focus on the senses, featuring photographs of things you can see, hear, smell and touch in each season
I got tired of rifling through Development Matters every time I needed to assess children! I created this Excel spreadsheet that features all 17 areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. You can click on an age band to view that age band’s characteristics immediately - it has saved us so much time during assessment periods.
All age bands, from birth-11 months, through to Early Learning Goal and Exceeding statements are included.
A selection of 5 different books for the number rhymes:
5 Little Ducks
5 Little Monkeys
5 Fat Sausages
5 Little Speckled Frogs
10 Green Bottles
We have printed these out, laminated them and turned each number rhyme into a book. We leave them in our continuous provision with some props, to support children to act out the rhymes independently.
Supports mathematical development and early number sense.
11 A4 posters for display in a doctors role play. Featuring doctor and patient photographs with speech bubbles, designed to provide independent reading opportunities and to promote speaking and listening during role play.
An editable script for a space-themed assembly for younger pupils.
Features two songs for children to sing and 30 separate speaking parts (though these are easily combined should you have children who do not wish to speak).
The basic premise of the assembly is that two children in the class want to go on holiday to space and so listen to some facts about the eight planets to help make their decision. They don’t want to stay on planet Earth because it’s too messy!
In the end they realise that the other planets would not be great holiday destinations because they’re too hot/too cold/too rocky/too smelly! They choose to stay on planet Earth but realise that they have to help to look after it to keep it a nice place to live.
We had great success with this assembly in Reception last year - the children (and parents) loved it - and it’s easily edited to make it work for other classes.
A complete planning and resource pack for Phonics intervention group activities - Phase 2 (Letters and Sounds).
The planning format is fully editable and features over 20 separate sessions of group activities, covering Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds. There is also space for writing dates and teacher comments on the planning format.
The pack includes both planning and resources, and as such is ‘ready to go’ - the entire pack can be printed out and handed to your teachers/TAs for a full term of intervention groups or focus group activities.
Sound flashcards A-Z (double-sided)
CVC word cards (with/without sound buttons)
Tricky word cards
CVC picture cards
CVC word trails
CVC phoneme frame cards
Handwriting practice sheets (A-Z)
Photo Caption Cards
‘Buried Treasure’ coins (real/fake/blank)
…and more! The planning template is provided in both Word and PDF formats.
A comprehensive set of planning and resources for small group Phonics intervention or focus group activities within the Early Years/Key Stage 1. Covers Phases 1 and 2 of Letters and Sounds.
The packs include both planning and resources, and as such are ‘ready to go’ - they can be printed out in full and handed to your teachers/TAs for immediate intervention groups.
The planning formats are fully editable and feature over 20 separate activities for both phases (over 45 sessions in total).