We love to hear stories from schools about how they use our resources. Charlotte Smythe, EYFS teacher at Richmond Academy, shares her ideas for using Pobble 365 in the early years classroom to promote high quality language and writing.
Pobble 365 first began inspiring young minds at Richmond Academy in 2017. It has continued to evolve and is now a part of our daily routine in the Early Years. The use of Pobble ignites a spark and takes our children into realms of imagination. As most of our children have English as an additional language (EAL), we strive to promote an environment rich in language, placing ‘talk’ at the heart of everything we do. Pobble 365 has been the perfect tool to enable high quality talk in our classrooms, and to motivate the children to write!
In our setting we have a ‘photo of the week’ which is displayed in a ‘special’ frame. Chosen from Pobble 365, we attempt to link the photo to our book of the week. Every week, we position it in different areas of the classroom, depending on the focus of the photo. The children love to find it!
We begin the week by exploring the photo, allowing the children to lead the conversation and discuss their ideas. Here is where the children immerse themselves into a fantasy world and children are inspired to speak. We record all of the children’s ideas and any WOW words are highlighted and added to our basket. The children are incredibly proud and excited when their word is chosen.
The children have begun to use their WOW words in their writing too. One little girl used the word ‘frightened’ to write the sentence ‘the mouse it frightened’. She even made her letters ‘frightening’!
This specific technique is not only motivating our children to ‘talk’ but is creating a classroom of pupils who are truly fascinated with words. The children are excited about words and are becoming more aware of them in their environment. They enjoy exploring words and finding out their meaning when they come across a word which is unfamiliar to them.
Throughout the week we develop the children’s ideas through key questions:
Many of the conversations had during ‘Pobble time’ will lead to further activities and enhancements. For example, here we explored different leaning buildings and created our own space photo as a result of our photos of the week. Many of the photos have also led to a vast amount of interests which adults have followed and enhanced.
The photo of the week is also shared with parents through ‘talk homework’. As a result of the discussions in class, the children are incredibly motivated to share all of their ideas with their parents. We have noted that it gives our children a meaningful context to talk and enables them to share their learning. Parents have been very positive in regards to this type of home learning and engagement has been great.
We are continually developing the way we use Pobble 365 and reflecting upon the most effective ways of promoting and using it within our practice. Pobble 365 has had a huge impact on our practice, but also more importantly has created an environment where children are inspired and motivated to TALK!
The power of Pobble is truly magic!