008/366 Bookworm Babies

Bookworm Babies

Esther and William love books. They love being read to and they love looking through books themselves. We have lots of different book boxes that I get out for them at different times. They love animal books as they can … Continue reading 

Advent Book Review 12: The Big Christmas Book

big book of christmas

The Big Book of Christmas is a compilation of stories, songs, scripts and rhymes chosen by Gaby Morgan. I love her collections, Read Me 1 and Read Me 2, and read them to Esther and William every day when they … Continue reading 

Fudgy Comes to Stay: A Review

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Esther and William will be 7 months corrected age next week. Developmentally they are at the stage where they love cuddles with people and stuffed toys. They are starting to develop preferences for certain toys and stories. They are beginning … Continue reading 

What Am I Passionate About?

Kerry at Multiple Mummy is encouraging us all to take some time out from being a Mummy and share things we are passionate about. I have only been a Mummy for 9 months but I have to say that my own passions and interests are already a hazy memory. What did I do before Esther and William were born?

Drama – acting and directing
I love the theatre. I love going to London to watch a show but I also love small theatre, amateur theatre and schol plays. I have always enjoyed acting from a very early age and have been lucky enough to play some fantastic roles in amateur theatre. I have also worked with some exceptional children when directing school plays. Theatre is my main passion. I have been involved in all aspects of theatre at one time or another and know that I will be again when the babies are older. This is a passion that I share with David and I hope that we will both tread the boards again one day.

Writing – blogging and poetry
I have written poetry, stories and plays since I was a young child. I love writing! I find it easy and can write a poem very quickly. My poetry is quite childlike in format and style but it works. My writing has taken a new direction in the last year since starting this blog. When I was a teenager I went mad with my Mother for reading my diary now I am publishing it online for all to see. I find blogging therapeutic, a release, an escape and a way of making friends.

Photography – taking photos and sorting photos
My camera goes with me everywhere. I have always loved taking photos and being in other people’s. I took GCSE Design and specialised in photography but spent more time modelling for other people’s photos than taking and developing my own. Photographs are another form of diary for me, I record very milestone I can, especially since the babies have been born. I am currently taking the 365 photo challenge to try and improve my skills and if I a feel at the end of the year that I have been successful then I am going to treat myself to a proper SLR camera and deveop this passion even more.

Reading – to myself and out loud
Any regular reader of this blog will know that I love reading with Esther and William. I want to encourage them to have the same love affair with literature that their father and I share. Our house is full of books of every genre and we all love to read. I love to read aloud. When David and I first met we used to read plays aloud together. Now I read out loud to Esther and William whenever I can. We generally share at leats three picture books a day and you can read about some of our favourites here.

The West Wing
David introduced me to this series when we first met in 2007. Since then we ave watched all 7 series about 5 times. I am sure we are on our fifth go through. This is an Amrican drama set in The White House with a Democtratic president. It is fantasticaly written, superbly cast and very well acted. It is easy to watch yet challenges your thinking. It makes you laugh and cry. It feels real. It sparked an interest for me in American political systems and I have learned so much through watching it. It is great! David and I can quote many lines from it and often share them as personal jokes. It is a shared passion and a strong bond between us. We have watched it every day for years. I love it.

Planning
I am a planner. I love to make lists and tick things off. At the moment I am busy planning our wedding, before that we have Esther and William’s first birthday party to arrange and after it their christening to plan. I love researching ideas and making plans.

So there we go, seems I can remember after all! But none of these things compare to the passion I have for my children and sharing in their learning and development. None of these things compare with my love for David and my desire to make him happy, to make us happy as a family. There is nothing in the world that beats that!

But it has been nice, really nice, to take a few minutes out to write this post and remember who I am for a while, who I am when I am not being Mummy x

Book Review Owl Babies

This book by Martin Waddell I adore. It is such a simple, repetitive text but with much that can be read beween the lines. In our house this book is often performed with finger puppets! I find this text perfect for performing or reading aloud, gving each owl baby a distinct voice and character of its own. The text in parts is poetc and reads much like a lullaby. It is a classic bedtime tale.

Three owl babies, Sarah and Percy and Bill, are waiting together for their Mummy to come home from hunting. They are worried that she might not return and Bill in particular really wants his Mummy. Together they wonder where she might be and when she will be home. They huddle together for warmth and comfort until soft and silent Mummy swoops through the trees to Sarah and Percy and Bill.

This book is also perfect for use in the classroom for children aged 5 – 7.

My favourite activity is to use puppets or sequencing cards to retell the story.

You can split a class into three groups and ask each group to read the speech of one of the owls and try to imagine what that owl is thinking and feeling. The children could then extend their character profiles by using their understanding of the three personalities to try imagining how they would each respond to other situations, such as learning to fly, making a new nest and finding their own food.

During a shared re-reading of the story you can ask children to listen carefully to the babies’ speech and decide at the end of each page whether the owls are getting more nervous as the story progresses. A nerve chart/graph can be used to support visual and kinaesthetic learners. Understanding characters’ motivation for their actions is an important part of reading and understanding narrative fiction.

Ask children to think how a trio made up of their own friends and family would respond differently to various situations. Encourage children to think of times when they have been scared or excited and when they have reacted differently to a family member or friend. Think about actions, words and feelings. Role play could be used to explore different situations.

A great tool for the classroom is Role on the Wall. Draw an outline of each owl baby on the wall and then write key words about their character on to the outline. What they look like on the outside and what they think and feel on the inside of the outline. This is a good plenary activity that can be used after characters have been explored through role play.

As well as being a beautiful simple story, Owl Babies also exemplifies theuse of a full ramge of punctuation marks in context. This book is a great resource for sentence level work in literacy. How many different words, for example, can children come up with to replace ‘said’?

For a book with so few words, there is so much to be gained from sharing this story wih children in your classroom or your home.

Why not try these ideas linked to the text?

Ask children to write a set of Keep Safe rules (procedural text) for the owls when their mother is a way or for themselves in a given situation – in the playground, in the classroom etc.

Compare Owl Babies with the first chapter of The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark to compare the feelings of the Plop with Sarah, Percy and Bill.

Ask children to compose a speech by the mother owl to make the owls feel better. The Owl Mother puppet can be used for children to deliver their speech through. This could be a good paired activity.

Make a class reference book called ‘All About Owls’, use the information text included as an introduction to the text type and as a model for children’s own text.

Incorporate the use of ICT and create a web page, ‘All about Owls’.

A fantastic resource and a right good read!

Mummy and Esther and Will!

When I Grow Up

When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother,
What will I be?
Will I be pretty?
Will I be rich?
Here’s what she said to me …

From an early age I dreamed of being; never being any one set thing but each thing related to words. And now when I think about those childhood ambitions many of them remain the same to this day. I would still like to be an actress, a journalist, an English and Drama teacher. Added now to my list are the White House Press Secretary and my one childhood pipe dream, a professional ice skater, like my childhood heroine Katarina Witt.

So here in more detail are the things I would most like to be when I grow up.

Ice Skater
When I was younger I lived in Germany and I used to love watching ice skating on television. My favourite skater was Katarina Witt. She was a hugely successful skater and was jut gorgeous to watch. I loved her grace, her elegance, her costumes!! I loved watching her colour and creativity and sparkle on the screen. I used to dream of being just like her. In reality when I went ice skating as a child I had to hang on to the sides of the rink so as not to fall over. An ice dancer I was never going to be!

Actress
I tried so hard to make this dream come true. I was in every possible school production, I studied GCSE Drama and A Level Theatre Studies, I joined local drama groups and when we moved to areas that did not have a drama group then from as young as 9 I woud start one. Drama was and is my thing! I would have given anything to be a professional actress. When I was a child I was desperate to join Anna Scher Theatre School. I worshipped her and wrote her letters. I am fairly sure that she replied too. I also went through a phase of wanting to go to The Italia Conti Academy, none of this was possible as by this time we were living in Germany. I wrote to the BBC too and asked if I could be an extra. I also told the BBC about a book I liked that should be made into a TV series and I even offered to play the leading role myself. I was desperate! As I got older I realised that I needed to make the best of my amateur experiences as a professional role was probably not ever going to be mine.

Writer / Journalist
I tried hard to achieve this goal too. I was editor of our class magazine at school as a pupil and also ran the school newspaper as a teacher. At university I wrote short pieces for the TES and had an interview for ATL. In my late teens I had an interview for a job as a local news reader on BFBS Radio in Germany. They were very impressed with me at the interview but I was too young for the role. I loved the interview though, choosing what news needed to be given the highest priority and makng headlones and reading them out over the air. Such a great experience, I would have loved that job! Now as a blogger I am developing my writing skills and I also write articles about Zu3D for my fiance. I would like to write a book one day. I have been writing stories and poems for as long as I can remember. It is something that I find very easy, something that I love to do. Perhaps an educational children’s book will be in the offing one day.

English and Drama Teacher
I am half way to this one already as a primary teacher and literacy subject leader but when my own children go to school I would like to work as a secondary school English teacher. I want to be like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. That is my dream job. That is the dream I am going to strive to achieve next and I cannot wait!!

White House Press Secretary
This is my fantasy dream job after becoming a little obsessed with The West Wing. I think I could be a good Press Secretary, I would love to give it a try!! I love the patriotism and passion in The West Wing. I am not American but The West Wing makes me want to serve at the pleasure of the President. Of President Bartlett anyway!

So there you have it, what I would be, if I could be, should I ever ever grow up.

Please hop on over to Manana Mama who is hosting this week’s listography to explore other people’s hopes, dreams and fantasies.