The life of me


Spellings always seem a bit of a boring session when teaching but there are ways of making it more fun!

Tricky words

I often use these tricky words songs on YouTube. They are a great fun way of children learning how to spell lots of tricky words.

Beware they will get stuck in your head for days!

Spelling Shed

If your school can invest in this then they really should! Spelling shed is great for practising spellings through fun games that are played online. All children are given a unique username and password so they can access it from home too!

You can assign spellings for your class and they will learn them through the games on spelling shed. I often have a group of children practising spellings whilst me and my TA teach a group of children.

How do you teach spelling?


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Simple activities are sometimes the best!

My class loved entering the classroom this week and seeing a selection of Christmas books, a Christmas tree and advent calendars too.

I created an activity of wrapping boxes for Xmas presents and they absolutely loved it! The children dressed up like elves and wrapped the presents carefully. It also linked into the English lessons of using the language of first, next, then and finally!

I found this idea on an Instagram page so I tweaked it to fit our class puppet Gertrude. A simple assessment of finding out who can write their numbers and letters the write way around. It’s been a huge focus this week as some children are still finding it tricky.

Check out the link of this resource and download it for free on my resources page on Sunday!

I was amazed at how many children chose to sit and do this activity!

Dojo points definitely helped.. some children received 10.

The children have also been busy creating repeated patterns and using an iPad to capture it. The use of technology is great in provision. I often use them when the children build models too!

Just a few more weeks of the festive fun, we can do this!


The life of me

Anything is possible!

When I first started this blog I was just starting my Masters in Education. What a journey it has been! Stressful days, laughs in lectures and I sometimes sat and questioned myself! The work load of teaching as a full time teacher is demanding in itself, but adding a masters degree in the mix is hard to describe!

I’ve definitely had to make sacrifices. Spend weekends in the library at times. Sometimes I’ve felt drained as if I’ve hit the wall… but it had been an amazing and rewarding journey!

I did it!!! 3 years of strict(ish) time management and typing until I’m blue in the face. 🤣

My key message is aim high!

Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I have learned so much through this degree and it has helped me gain many opportunities.

If you have a goal or even a dream job that you keep holding off. Just do it. Life’s too short to say hmm I should of…

Just go for it as you never know where it might take you!

Ooh how can I miss this video clip out!🤣


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Teaching phonics

The teaching of phonics can be done in so many ways!

Here are my top tips on what has worked well for the classes I’ve taught.

Partner work

I always have parts of my lesson with children learning / consolidating sounds with a partner.

We play a range of phonics games with a partner such as roll and read and bingo and they love working together to read and play the games.

A great activity children seem to love is one I use with a timer.

All you need to do is create a grid of words (up to you how many words you would like children to read) and then children using a lollipop stick with their partner to take in turns to read the words down and then across the page.

The winning partners are the ones that manage to do it before the end of the timer. So simple and easy to prep yet the children love it!

Always consolidating

Some children need to see the words or sounds up 40 times before they are able to remember it. Consolidating sounds and reading words you have previously read is key. I read and spell 3 previously learnt words with my class and 3 words with the new sound in every day to help embed them.

High frequency words are also important to practise throughout the week. Each day we read 3 high frequency words- discussing why they are tricky words and then I spend Fridays practising spelling the words too.

Frequent assessment to inform planning

Assessing the children regularly helps to gain a real understanding of the sounds they have remembered. That way you can use this to reteach or introduce new sounds that are needed to meet the needs of the children.


My phonics lessons have the same routine each day so that children are aware of the activities, what’s coming next and what we will be doing. The use of whiteboards and pens are great for phonics and works well too. I often use these at the beginning of the lesson for spelling before moving onto games and writing/ reading.

Self assessment

I always think it’s a great idea to get the children to self correct their writing band spelling as soon as we have don’t them. Instant feedback is effective and enables the children to see their mistakes and find out how to improve instantly too!

After spelling a word the children tick each sound and check alongside my writing. We repeat this for writing sentences too.

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Continuous provision in year 1

It’s the first time I have carried out continuous provision throughout the day every day in year 1 and I have to say it’s great!

It has allowed time for children to get the scaffolding and differentiation needed to meet their needs whilst the rest of the children are working at their level with carefully challenged enhancements and play opportunities.

I am so glad that I purchased open ended scrap resources for play from scrap magic and scrap store. This has helped children to develop their own creativity and ideas whilst i’ve been in the background adding further suggestions when needed to further their learning.

The children have really enjoyed creating and building their own castles in the small world as part of our castle topics.

They also create their own stories and add enhancements of their own to our castle role play. The children have created recipes, magic spells and menus linked to their own interests.

Play is definitely valuable in year 1, it’s just about getting the environment and enhancements to a good level for the children! Purposeful play can certainly be created without an an adult having to constantly stay in provision with the children too!

Let me know your thoughts.