Monday, 23 December 2013

Lego Poetry - NEW Activity

I have been meaning to create a lego poetry activity for ages, and the Christmas holidays seemed like the perfect time to do it.  The idea is not mine.  It was inspired by @legopoetry that I stumbled upon on Twitter sometime last year. I fell in love with the idea at once, but was not sure how I might use it in my school workshops.

But I have been brave!  And two schools next year are so far scheduled to have a go with their Year 2 children.  But first, I had to make it!

I created some lists of words with the help of resources from @playbythebook , @sparklebox , @earlylearninghq and I put these onto a spreadsheet and sized them to 28pt, ordered some transparent self-adhesive paper and I was ready to go.

Unfortunatly the printed words smudged on the paper and I was too impatient to wait half an hour for them to dry, so I picked up a sharpie, grabbed an 11 year old assistant and got stuck in.

I'm really REALLY pleased with the results. 

Playing By the Book Blog on Lego Poetry 

FilthWizardry DIY Spinny Spellers and Repurposing Duplo
Sparklebox High Frequency Words

I now have six Year 7s, who have come for a sleepover, playing contentedly with Lego Duplo.  Who would have thought it?!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Princess and the Peas wins Oldham Brilliant Book Awards KS1

Last year, Ed Eaves and I won the Oldham Brilliant Book Awards with How to Grow a Dinosaur.  So I was thrilled to be shortlisted again this yaer

And guess what? We won again!  This time with Sarah Warburton for The Princess and the Peas!

We sat around tables in tru Oscars style and were treated to live performances of extracts from all the shortlisted books.

The children were dressed up to the nines and we all had a great time!

I was so surprised that we won the Key Stage One award - especially amongst such stiff competition.  It's only the second year that Oldham Council have run the Brilliant Book Awards - and they did a fantastic job.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the organisers, children, teacher and parents involved in the project - it's not just one evening, but the culmination of a whole year's work.  We were treated like superstars and very well looked-after.

It's been fantastic to be involved in these wonderful awards.  They are a brilliant way to generate enthusiasm about books and reading, and will hopefully ensure that the children of Oldham become readers for life.

I did take some pictures, but they are really dark, so you'll just have to imagine our smiling faces!

Authors for the Philippines UPDATE

If you read my last blog post about our auction to raise money for the people of the Philippines, you might like to know how we got on.

In total, authors, illustrators and publishing professionals donated a stunning 498 items and raised....

wait for it...


Thank you to everyone who donated or made a bid.  Your donations will be helping to save lives.

I'd also like to acknowledge authors Keris Stainton and Candy Gourlay, who organised the whole thing.  It was a huge amount of work but it sure paid off.  Well done guys!

If you haven't yet made a donation to the relief effort, please consider doing so now.  This Christmas, I'm sending e-cards and am donating what I would have spent on cards and postage to the Red Cross.  If you'd like to do the same, follow the link below.

Donate Now and Save Lives