Three bookish things tag…

Well hello there tag! It has been a while since I did a tag… however when Charlotte Somewhere tags you, you do not ignore the calling. 

I’m taking on the ‘Three Bookish Things’ tag today! Check out my answers, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Three Read Once and Loved Authors

Queen Mel – we all know I have a STRONG LOVE for Melinda Salisbury books. I just think she is wonderful: human and author. 

Matt Haig – I first read Reasons to Stay Alive and it changed something for me. Once I’d read that, I read all of his other books in the space of a few months and man am I glad. His books are INCREDIBLE. I can not recommend enough. 

Maz Evans – when I read Who Let The Gods Out? I knew that I had found an authoir of kids books that was going to entertain me for many many books to come. Plus, she’s an absolutely stellar human!

Three Titles I’ve Watched but Haven’t Read

The Hobbit – well.. I read it when I was younger, so literally no recollection of the book when I saw the films. 

Les Miserables – HAVE YOU SEEN HOW LONG THAT BOOK IS? I am not going to pick that bad boy up.

The Jungle Book – I totally forgot that was a book! I have not read it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Disney film.

Three Characters You Love

Kaz Brekker – because he’s Kaz Brekker

Luvian Fen – because he’s annoying, charming, handsome, clever, wily… he’s like the most villainous secret softie you could ever come across.

Izzy O’Neill – she’s brave, bold, hilarious…

God… I am predictable.

Three Series Binged

Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom – I read these MANY MOONS after everyone told me I needed to and my golly gosh, they’re BRILLIANT.

The Paper Magician trilogy – GUYS STOP SLEEPING ON THIS SERIES. It is SO SO GOOD. 

Coco Pinchard series – ME TALKING ABOUT BOOKS THAT AREN’T MG OR YA? Who am I? In all seriousness, these books are REALLY bloody funny. I loved Coco Pinchard so much.

Three Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Harry Potter isn’t life – I didn’t read them til I was an adult… so while I appreciate them, I’m not an obsessive.

Katniss Everdeen can DIAF – I have a REAL dislike for this girl. I don’t know why. I think she’s ungrateful and entitled. Please don’t @ me on this. I can’t be bothered to talk about it haha.

GIMME DEM SPOILERS – I genuinely don’t mind a spoiler. It takes away the anxiety from what is coming in a book. 

Three Favourite Book Covers

Three Goals for this Year

Ensure I keep reading wherever and whenever I have time.

Only blog about things that bring me joy.

Stop worrying about EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME (lol ikr?!)

And that’s it! I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do it, please feel free! 

Do my answers shock anyone?
Would you have guessed these things for me?
Do you have any different 3 questions for me to answer?

S x 

BLOG TOUR: Anna and Evan meet Charles Dickens

Hello!

Today is my stop on the Anna and Evan meet Charles Darwin blog tour. This new book promises to engage and educate children, and is ideal for encouraging curiosity and interest in the natural world and science.

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“Join Anna and Evan on a magical adventure to the Galapagos Islands where they meet Charles Darwin, discover unusual animals and learn some interesting scientific facts.”

Today, I get the joy of sharing 2 extracts with you! I can’t wait to share this book as I think it will go down brilliantly in both KS1 and KS2. 

Extract 2Extract 1

A massive thank you to the publishers and Faye Rogers for the invite to the blog tour and again I can’t wait to share this with school – I think it will be a big hit!

Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour below! Find out what they think of the book and so many other delights! 

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Monday 25th February – Rosie Writes…

Tuesday 26th February – Heavenly Good Books

Wednesday 27th February – Big Book Little Book

Thursday 28th February – A Bibliophile’s Book Blog

Friday 1st March – Bound 4 Escape

Saturday 2nd March – Black Books Blog

Sunday 3rd March – An Awfully Big Adventure

Monday 4th March – Amazeball’s Book Addict

Tuesday 5th March – Jazzy Book Reviews

Wednesday 6th March – Fantastic Feathers

Thursday 7th March – Librarian Laura

Friday 8th March – Donna’s Book Blog

Saturday 9th March – Short Book and Scribes

Sunday 10th March – Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!!


Information about the Book

Author: Tanya Hutter and Lina Daniel
Illustrator: Karin Eklund
Release Date: 28th February 2019
Page Count: 30
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link: Clicky click
Amazon Link: Go on… treat yo’ self!

Bio of the authors Tanya Hutter and Lina Daniel

As a young girl, Dr. Tanya Hutter couldn’t imagine that she would end up being a leading scientist in nanotechnology and chemical sensing, and a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Currently, she lives in Cambridge with her husband and their two curious children that inspired the book.

Lina Daniel has been always interested in science and medicine, eventually becoming a chemist and a pharmacist, and currently working in the pharmaceutical industry. With her husband, she is raising three enthusiastic boys. They all share a passion for scientific experiences, engineering novelties, fun historical facts, travels and adventures.

Tanya and Lina have been close friends for over two decades. The fact that they are both raising young children enhanced their desire to encourage kids to learn about science, and finally, drew them to write their first illustration book for small children. Hopefully, this will be the first one in a series of books about notable scientists and engineers.  

TeachTreat Subscription Box

Last week, I got a very excited email from our school business manager that there was a box in my pigeon hole that looked quite exciting. When I got to my pigeon hole, I found this quite exciting looking package. 

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It’s roughly the size of a graze box. As I read through the letter, I realised that it is a teacher subscription box. WHOEVER it is that sent this to me KNOWS ME WELL. I am a sucker for a subscription box and I’m a sucker for anything teacher-y. I love my job, proper loads. A monthly dose of something to make me smile? YES PLEASE. 

I managed to withold the temptation and waited til I got home to open… and MY WORD WHAT A JOY IT IS.

This was the inside… AND LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE GOODIES.

First up was a very handy little notebook with some tips on having a productive PPA time… I can always do with some tips on having a more productive PPA. They’re also pretty bloody brilliant tips too!

I BLOODY LOVE THIS PENCIL. “I’m only Greater Depth with coffee”. I love a teacher joke me man. I got 2 of these pencils and they’ve kept me proper chuckling.

These “Straight Outta Assembly” badges might be my favourite thing in the box though… just such a lol. I put one on my lanyard the other day and so many of my collagues commented on how brilliant it was!

The other thing that was inside was some postcards. ALWAYS handy to have in the classroom. I use more postcards than I care to mention, so seeing them was a BRILLIANT addition!

There was a bottle opener, some hot chocolate and coffee and a brilliant lanyard also included in this box!

So how do you get one?

Having done some tip tapping on the interwebs, I have found where you can get this box AND the items separately! What a proper joy!

Click me if you’d like the box…

You can buy a one off (£10), a box as a gift for someone else (£10), a box for a term (£40) or a monthly box for the year (£120)!

How exciting… I am PROPER tempted to go and treat myself! 

Click me if you’d like the items…

I really like that you can buy the items separately too. I imagine items will be added as there are more and more boxes released!

A massive massive thank you to WHOEVER sent this to me! It’s so incredible to get a surprise in the post. 

I’m off to go and get myself a subscription… sorry, not sorry!

S x

#BrewEdToon

Last Saturday, I had the absolute joy of going along to the most recent of the #BrewEd events. If you’re unaware of what #BrewEd is, well, it’s a bit of a mini CPD day. You’ll find a whole host of teachers/leaders/speakers getting together to talk about things they’re passionate about. It’s teachers and people passionate about education getting together to talk about teaching and education. All of that for like £6 too – a PROPER bargain. You’ll have a laugh, you’ll learn something, you’ll question some things, you’ll meet faces old and new. (I don’t really know how better to describe it. Ask Twitter, you’ll get some must better answers!)

The Toon edition of #BrewEd was held at the Cluny. I was there early (because obviously!) so I just decided to wait outside until I saw people going in. I mean, there are worse views to admire as you wait for something to start:

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#BrewEd was brought to the Toon by the amazing Paul Watson and Colin Grimes and it was an incredible day. #BrewEdToon hosted some faces I knew well and some brand new faces to me. I’ll be honest, when I went in I was TERRIFIED. It was only my second ever teaching event (Reading Rocks being my first) and I felt like a PROPER fraud being in there, surrounded by some people who I completely admire. Once I was in there I realised that I was in a room of people just like me: people who loved teaching. There’s something so bloody refreshing about being in a room of people who have a passion for something that you also have passion for. We all gave up our Saturdays to go and listen, learn, talk about this wonderful world of teaching… and that is INCREDIBLE. (I could go on now about how much I love my job and it’s so wonderful to have a positive spin on something that there’s quite a lot of negativity around… but I’ll save that for another day!)

There were so many incredible speakers throughout the day talking about a whole host of things that I knew I needed to make notes. I won’t take you through all of my notes… but I will give you my biggest take aways from the day!

Here’s some TERRIBLE photos I took through the day:

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One of the common themes that came from almost all of the speakers was:

What’s my why?

Why do I want to do this job? Why did I become a teacher? What is it that I want to get out of being a teacher? Knowing your why is important because teaching can be BLOODY HARD. Knowing your why will keep you going on those days when you feel like you’re pushing sand uphill. 

Something that I’ve recently started banging on about, which was spoken about a lot at #BrewEdToon was:

The importance of vocabulary

Whether it’s in Maths, English, Science… if children don’t have the words for the thing they can’t talk about the thing. Give children the tools to talk about this Maths thing and they can talk about it; give children the words to talk about how they’re feeling and eventually they’ll start talking about it. Our language has so many incredible words and words open up so many doors. Give your children as many opportunities as you possibly can. 

Another brilliant message that came from a few of the speakers was:

Give things a purpose

If you’re doing something just for the sake of it, if you’re doing something only for your eyes then you needn’t bother. There was a brilliant discussion around giving purpose to the children’s work – share it with the world and the kids will want to do their very best… this is something I’m such a proponent of. Things need a purpose, otherwise what’s the point?!

Another lovely thread that went through the day was:

The importance of having a voice/giving your kids a voice

I think this is something that we need to ALWAYS consider in the classroom. As adults, if we feel ignored or not listened to, we hate it… so it’s the same for our kids. Our kids are the most incredible teachers, so they can teach us a lot about what it’s like being a kid (we’ve forgotten cause we’re adults). Kids want to be heard in your classroom, just as we want to be heard as teachers. If there’s any conversations to be had about children, include them as often as you can. Not only children, include the parents too. Parents hold the keys to their children, so include them and it can have such a brilliant impact. 

Some of the things I’m taking away from this to either try and action this half term, or to ponder over the next few months are:

  • Try to use Twitter more widely for sharing work and giving work a purpose
    I go through phases doing this, I need to be better at this.
  • Create a glossary for Maths and start talking about Maths words more often
    We do this in RE and we do it in SPaG, so I’d love to give this a go in Maths.
  • Start making positive phone calls home
    Now this is something I always think about doing and I would love to start, so I’d like to start that from next week… but don’t hold me to it!
  • Start thinking of myself as a leader
    As teachers, we are leaders and I’m not great at thinking of myself as a leader… so yes. I’m going to try!
  • Trying to include children in conversations about them as often as possible, and with that, including parents in decisions about their children
    I’m not saying that I DON’T include my children and their parents in decision making, but I think I can always do better.

I can honestly say that #BrewEdToon was such an incredible way to spend a Saturday that I will, when possible, try and attend as many as I can. It was such a welcoming and positive environment to be part of. It made me very proud to be a teacher, particularly a teacher in the North East.

If you check out #BrewEdToon hashtag on twitter, you’ll find a whole host of tweets from the day too. It was such a brilliant day! I would recommend following everyone on there – I haven’t named names here… but honestly, the speakers were all incredible. 

If you’d like to know more about #BrewEd, follow the hashtag on Twitter… there’s constantly new events being announced and check the blog (#BrewEd) for more information. 

S x 

S4S – LGBTQ+ TBR

Hellooooo…

Today is the last #SixforSunday celebrating all things Pride. But let’s be honest, my life is all about celebrating pride, so expect to see some more things about it in the future! 

A quick thank you from me to say thank you to everyone who has suggested books for me to read, or characters for me to discover, in the past month or so. I’m all about diversifying my reading pile, so please keep suggesting me books! 

Today’s #SixforSunday is:

What’s still on my LGBTQ+ TBR pile!?

So these are either newly recommended books to me, or books I own that I still haven’t got round to reading!

I already own 2 of these, I need to get to buying/borrowing the others! 

See you next week for March’s #SixforSunday theme of  ‘An ode to…’, starting with your favorite author. 

S x 

BOOK BLOG: Sinead O’Hart

The Star Spun Web: what would you do if you discovered you held one of the most incredible pieces of scientific gadgetry in your hand?!

img_4853(Star Spun Web kept me company on the train to London recently… and it gripped me STRAIGHT away!)

“With her passion for scientific experimentation and her pet tarantula Violet, Tess de Sousa is no ordinary orphan. When a stranger shows up at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings, claiming to be a distant relative come to adopt her, Tess hopes to find some answers to her mysterious origins. But as she adjusts to her new life at Roedeer Lodge, it becomes clear that Norton F. Cleat knows more about Tess – and the strange star-shaped device left with her when she was abandoned as a baby – than he’s letting on. And when Tess discovers that the Starspinner is the gateway between her world and a parallel world in which war rages, she realizes she may be the key to a terrible plan. A plan she must stop at all costs…”

The Star Spun Web is the second book from the brilliant Sinead O’Hart – author of the wonderful Eye of the North – and man, it’s A TOTAL RIDE. 

The Star Spun Web tells the story of young Tess, who is living at an orphanage, having been left there by her father in strange circumstances. Tess knows very little about her family, only that she was left at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings when she was a baby and has lived there ever since. There are family secrets aplenty for Tess to discover, but when an ominous ‘uncle’ appears out of nowhere to claim her, she has to upheave her life and move to his MASSIVE mansion. 

Now this all sounds wonderful, moving away from an orphanage to a massive mansion… but Tess loves her life at Ackerbee’s. She’s got friends, there’s adults there who genuinely love her – she doesn’t want to leave with this strange man who has appeared out of nowhere. If you pair these emotions with a strange gadget that is handed to her before she leaves, Tess is well and truly confused. All she knows about this gadget is that it was left with her when she was left at Ackerbee’s… so it must have been important. 

Once Tess has moved from the orphanage, what follows is a complete and utter rollercoaster of science, finding your feet and fighting for what you know is right. 

I loved Tess. She’s such an incredible main character. She’s intelligent, witty, charming. She thinks for herself. She stands up for herself. She fights for her friends. She isn’t afraid to be brave and do her own thinking – big or small thinking, it’s all scary at the end of the day! I loved Violet too… I know… me! Saying positive things about a spider! I think it’s the thing that Violet represents for me that I love. We all need a “constant” in our lives – be it your mam, dad, brother, a friend, a cousin – to keep us grounded, and that’s what Violet did for Tess. 

A brilliant main character, some friends who help her along the way, and some baddies. Oh the baddies. They’re clever and wily. I don’t wanna spoil it too much… but obviously things don’t end up being what they seem. People have ulterior motives. There’s SHOCKS aplenty with some of the characters (one of them floored me at one point). 

I absolutely adored all of the science of this book too. It’s accessible and out there, but it’s explained in such a way that it won’t go over the top of kids’ heads – if I can understand it, then you’ve got a winner! 

This is a brilliantly meaty book to get your teeth stuck into. It’s pretty long for a MG book, but it’s perfect for Year 5s and 6s. It’s gone down wonderfully with my 5s so far. A few quick snippets from 2 children who’ve read it so far:

“It’s a load of fun because it’s really clever. Plus Tess is a great character. I’d love to be her friend”

“Imagine moving to a mansion but then someone wanting to use you to do something terrible? I don’t wanna be in Tess’ position ever, but she’s clever and makes the right choice”

My goodreads review:

I loved this absolute ride! The brilliant characters, the fascinating science, the incredible plot and the brilliant sidekicks. Man, I REALLY hope there’ll be a second one!

Thank you to the brilliant publishers at Stripes for my copy. I’ve since bought 2 more copies for school!

Thanks for coming along! Speak to you all soon! 

S x 

BOOK BLOG: C.G. Drews

The Boy Who Steals Houses: stealing homes and hearts without a second thought!

img_4936(this is the gorgeous proof copy that the brilliant publishers sent me! For the final cover, check the bottom of this review!)

“Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie. 

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.”

When I heard that the brilliant C.G.Drews (who we all more famously know as @PaperFury) was writing another bookI needed to get my hands on it. I had seen the cover and heard bits and bobs about it, but I went into it relatively blind and my word. It blew me away. 

Now, we all know I’m quite an emotional reader (I know, I know, SHOCKER) and having read Cait’s first book A Thousand Perfect Notes, I was MORE than prepared for a book that would RIP OUT MY SOUL because that’s exactly what ATPN did to me. (If you haven’t managed to read it yet, you really really should… it is just exceptional). What you get with The Boy Who Steals Houses is sheer brilliance. It’s sharp corners and rounded edges; it’s light and dark; it’s love and hatred; it’s yellow flowers on Summer’s days; it’s bruises and smiles. 

The Boy Who Steals Houses is about young Sam – a very troubled and brilliantly flawed young man, who “steals” houses. He doesn’t steal the belongings, more the feeling of owning a house. He goes into houses to sleep in the beds. He goes into the houses to have somewhere comfortable for the night. He has no interest in stealing the expensive things in the house… he just wants somewhere to belong. For so long he hasn’t felt like he belonged, and that’s what he is DESPERATELY seeking. Sam also has to look after his older, autistic brother Avery. Avery, who constantly causes Sam to worry, is always getting himself into scrapes and situations that Sam feels he needs to save him from. You see through the book the scale of the problem when Sam does something pretty bad to show much he’s willing to protect his brother. Sam does some really bad things, but he thinks it’s because he’s doing it for the right reasonshe wants to protect his brother. It’s his job to protect his brother. There’s definite anger issues going on with Sam – he has a violent streak. I wanted to hug Sam after chapter 1 and I continued to want to hug him throughout the whole book. 

So you have this brilliantly complex and endearing main character, who is just trying to find himself somewhere to stay, and then BAM, throw in a house he thinks is emptywhich isn’t. (When I read this bit, I GENUINELY gasped). He meets an incredible family – the De Laineys – and things start to change. It’s a warm, noisy, chaotic, welcoming family unit, who initially don’t know of Sam’s circumstances. He’s welcomed as a “friend” of one of the boys. You get an INSTANT warmth from the De Laineys. They’re this wonderfully charming family, who of course have their problems. I loved the De Laineys… like A LOT. I don’t want to spoil too much about the De Laineys… but guys, I just love them. There’s so many wonderful scenes between Sam and the different family members that I just glowed. There’s a beautiful scene at the end of the book with Sam and Mr De Lainey that just broke me. I think everyone needs a Mr De Lainey in their life – someone who will accept you for who you are and who will stick by you, even when you do some TERRIBLE things. 

Of course, this is a story and it isn’t ALL PEACHES AND RAINBOWS (although there is a VERY funny scene with glitter that made me chuckle…), there’s some HORRID villains in this book. There’s of course Sam and Avery’s abusive father, who doesn’t deserve ANY space in this review. Then there’s their Auntie Karen, who they end up living with when Dad ditches them. She’s JUST as bad as their dad. There’s Viv – oh Viv. You did a TERRIBLE thing. There’s a moment where something HAPPENS and I was heartbroken for Sam. 

(I realise this review so far has just talked about characters, but guys… I just think it’s something Cait writes so so brilliantly. That’s not to take anything from the plot, because I think it’s a wonderful story, I just need to talk about characters because I love them OK?)

There’s a constant battle in Sam’s head between wanting to be invisible and wanting to be seen. He’s hiding from the police and worries that if he is found, he’ll be taken away and then his brother will have no one to look after him. I feel like we’ve all been there (wanting to be invisible and be seen) in our lives, so it makes Sam relatable. 

The scenes with the De Laineys are some of my favourites in the book. There’s so much colour, so much life, so much food that it’s a barrage on the senses, but for Sam it’s a lovely comparison between the cold, empty, grey life that he lives every night. I loved their influence on his life. There’s so much love, laughter and forgiveness with the De Laineys that you can’t NOT love them. 

This book made me cry. It made me laugh. It made me want to shout. It’s SO SO incredibly brilliant. I can’t wait to see what C.G.Drews writes next.  

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This is the finished cover and I LOVE it so much. Keys play a significant part of this story, as does the colour yellow, so I really appreciated making those links once I’d read it. 

My goodreads review:

Deary me. Sam – what a pickle you find yourself in. This book is just magnificent. I am a crying mess. This book is hard edges and summers days. It’s light and dark. It’s love and hate. It’s everything I needed. The thing that really makes this book is it’s characters. I just adored every single thing. 

A massive massive thank you to Hachette Kids for sending me a copy for review. Also a massive thank you to Cait for allowing me to live DM as I read along with the story – I HAD to talk to someone about this book! 

Check out a Q&A Cait did with herself on her website here: Q&A

Check out my review of A Thousand Perfect Notes here: BOOKBLOG: CG Drews

Thanks for stopping by! Speak to you all soon, I’m off to console myself and have some hot chocolate for my heart!

S x 

BOOK BLOG: Nicola Killeen

Ollie’s Magic Bunny: a beautifully illustrated and charming story, perfect for bedtime!

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“Ollie and her toy Bunny have been waiting for the day that the rain would stop and they can play in the puddles… Finally that day has arrived! But when a magical breeze of blossom turns Bunny into a real rabbit, Ollie’s day takes an unexpected turn. After Bunny runs off with the other rabbits, Ollie has to find and save her beloved pet toy!”

Ollie’s Magic Bunny is a wonderfully charming tale about Ollie and her bunny rabbit, who one blustery day ends up turning into a real rabbit. When Bunny turns into a real rabbit, it runs away from Ollie, and she must find different, ingenious I may add, ways in which to save Bunny! 

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Lots of children have a teddy that’s special to them, who they carry around with them constantly, so this will appeal to them. It would make a brilliant rainy day read, or a bed time read. It would make for a brilliant question: what would happen if your teddy came to life? Kids will come up with some weird and wonderful answers! 

Ollie has to be clever to follow her bunny as he goes across a big puddle of water, and jumps into the air – transforming her brilliant yellow umbrella into a boat and a parachute at different times!

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The colour palette for this book makes me so happy. It’s all yellow, green and grey. I’m particularly fond of Ollie’s bunny onesie and her yellow boots. The simplicity makes this so much more appealing. There’s cut outs and some beautiful gold foiling on the pages too… to make it even more pleasing to the eye! 

This is a gorgeous and sweet story that would go down brilliantly at bedtime, or any kind of story time. I look forward to reading it to my own bunch of wonderful kids at school! 

Thank you to the brilliant publishers, Simon and Schuster, for sending me a review copy! 

S x 

BOOK BLOG: Ana Seixas

Are you looking for an interactive book about the human body? Look no further than Scratch and Learn: Human Body!

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You can’t beat a good bit of non-fiction… but WHERE do you start? And how do you make it accessible to kids? How do you make it appealing? And how do you make it fun, without it taking away from the SCIENCE? 

This Scratch and Learn: Human Body book is BRILLIANT. 

Now, confession time: teaching Science isn’t where I think I excel. It scares me a bit. There’s a lot of facts, there’s a lot that I don’t know… so for me, books like this help me learn, as well as my kids LOVING them. A double win, if you will! 

JUST LOOK AT THAT.

There’s pages about all sorts of parts of the body, as well as facts and things for the kids to do as they read. (We have since scratched the black bits off and winner!) I love how all of the pages are simplistic, without being babyish. It’s totally child (and teacher) friendly!

Each double spread comes with some information (see left picture) and then some element of scratching and discovering (see right picture). This double spread on the brain I particularly enjoyed because it shows how complex the brain is without a total barrage of information.

There’s ALL SORTS of different topics covered in this book: you’ve got senses (perfect for KS1), muscles and the skeleton (KS2), digestion (KS2). 

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There’s loads of these brilliant activities jotted about through the book too. They’re such engaging, but small, activities for the kids to do to think scientifically and talk about science and what they notice. 

A massive thank you to Quarto for sending me a review copy of this – it’s a brilliant book that would sit beautifully in any classroom or home library for budding scientists! 

S x 

WOOOOOOAH WE’RE HALF WAY THERE…

The title for this blog has LITERALLY just come to me as I start to type. It is ironic in that it is both true and one of the things I’m going to be mentioning in this blog post.

So… we’re HALF WAY THROUGH THE ACADEMIC YEAR. 

Ahem. Yeah, that’s a thing. I’m half way done being an NQT. What a half a year it has been. I’ve laughed a lot. I’ve cried a bit. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve loved every second. I thought I’d share a happy post kind of thing about all of the things that have happened in my first half of my NQT year. Don’t get me wrong there have been some tough moments, but I’m all about celebrating the good.

So here goes, happy memories of my first half of the year:

Being poorly and my kids listening. Working with my brilliant colleagues. Every time we receive a letter from an author and seeing their joy. Singing Livin’ on a Prayer at the school disco. Watching my kids at the Christmas play, having worked their arses off for 3 weeks of rehearsals. Pictures and poems “for you Miss”. “Miss, can I show you this I did last night?”. Watching them go home at night with smiles on their faces. Delivering two whole school collective worships and them just being brilliant humans. Seeing them start to share their opinions. Watching them grow in confidence and comfort. The amount of progress they’ve made in half a year. Working on Greek myths with them. The confidence with which they use mathematical vocabulary. Putting up my first Christmas tree. The sheer dogged determined-ness of some of them. Their brilliant attitudes. Asking them what my 3 most used phrases are and laughing at their responses. “I love being in your class Miss, you’re dead funny… sometimes”. How quickly they embrace change. Learning Mandarin together. Having an opinion that is not only listened to but encourages. Making mistakes and learning together. Building our very own Nowhere Emporium. Watching them create their own dance routines and seeing some of them just shine. Seeing their enthusiasm for EVERYTHING. Encouraing them to question everything and watching them get to grips with it. Their incredible resilience. Their love of singing. Listening to the radio. Every time they catch me out. Saying good morning every single morning. Every time we have laughed together. Having 200 children sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. Seeing them take on some BIG questions and embrace it. Looking to the future. Talking about books and them devouring everything. Meeting Lisa Thompson and my kids’ faces just lighting up. Challenging myself. Challenging the children. Positive feedback about my books. Struggling. Knowing I work with some of the most brilliant people. Growing as a person and a teacher. Laughing about dating advice. Laughing in the staff room. My terror every time I’m observed. Constantly learning and striving to be the best teacher I can possibly be. Listening to new artists with them. Story time. Hearing lovely things about their progress. Seeing their progress with my own eyes. Knowing that every day I get to go into work and work with them. Challenging their thinking about themselves and others. Allowing them space to be who they are, without judgement. Being the teacher I am, without them judging me! Listening and being heard. Allowing reading and writing for pleasure to be a thing, and for them to ASK for it. Going in every day and smiling.

I am grateful EVERY SINGLE DAY that I get to do the one thing I know I was meant to do for the rest of my life. Bring on the second half of this year – whatever challenges you have to throw at me, I will embrace them. Year 5 and I will get through them together.