Tag Archives: ks2

Merry blogging Christmas

It is the school Christmas fare today. Am really quite excited. The only downside is that it will be my job to supervise the kids. Let’s hope the sugar they ingest doesn’t kick in until they get home!

As its a Christmasy day I thought my new festive jumper would be in order. It has all the right elements for a wonderful Christmas garment. List time…

1) it is knitted. It may not be hand knitted or made by my Granny, but it is knitted none the less.

2) it is immediately identifiable. It is in no way subtle, it screams Christmas at the top of its woolly lungs. Here I am, be festive or leave my presence.

3) it is a once a year deal. I could not get away with it in either November or January. It will be nearly packed away on December 26th 2011 and I will be in anticipation of its return in from November 2012.

4) it is worn with a sense of irony. It’s cheesy as hell and I know it! I believe, or hope, that at 32 I am still young enough to say ‘check out how cool I am, I have a Christmas jumper’. I am sure that in the next few years I will have to revert to ‘look at me, I’m trying to be cool but I just look like an old man in a christmas jumper’. In a way though, I look forward to that day.

5) I can spill anything down it and no one will know. Kinda explains itself that one.

Any way, take a look. Is it awfully cheesy, or is it in fact cheesily awful?
I am sure the kids in my class will have an opinion. 20111209-073603.jpg

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School trippin

Going on a school trip is a lot like childbirth. Bear with me here and I will explain. The school trip, like having a child, involves planning, anticipation, worry, lots of information, a risk assessment,  but above all else, the ability to forget the pain.

If you speak to a woman just after child birth they can’t even think about doing it again. And yet, we don’t have a nation of single child families. After a couple of weeks the pain subsides, the memory fades, and you are left with a wonderful feeling.

With the school trip, you ask a teacher who has just returned how it went and they will tell you that the are exhausted, that they didn’t get a break, and that they will never take that bunch of little terrors out again. A couple of weeks pass and the kids talk about the trip with fond memories, remembering facts and information that you have forgotten. It’s one of those ‘why I became a teacher’ moments. The making a difference in society kind of thing. So you start to think about the next trip and the cycle starts again.

Now I’m not silly enough to believe a link much past my silliness, but the thought tickled me.

So, our class trip was a huge success. The kids loved the interactive elements as well as the reading and thinking parts. I would have to say that it was one of the best I have been on. Here is why (bring on the list) …

1) the journey was pretty short and on the  DLR (docklands light railway). This was fantastic as they had plenty to look at.

2) no parents(we took student teachers). I have been in classes where the parents come along and they might as well bring a massive bag of cotton wool to wrap the kids in. “it’s raining, he might get sick”, “such and such called my daughter a name”. They also spend a fortune on their child in the gift shop, even though the other kids have been told to bring a maximum of £2.00.  Which brings me onto…

3) we avoided the gift shop. Children spending half an hour trying to decide if they want to buy an overpriced pencil, eraser or badge. All being followed around by a security guard, ready to pounce on any dangerous 10 year old pen thieves.

4) we had lunch early. This meant that no child had the chance to ask when lunch was or moan constantly about being starving. Something about having a pack lunch on your person seems to do this.

So, a good school trip with a large class, 4 trained staff members and a fun time had by all.

We even managed to ‘deliver’ all the children back to school safely. The mums will be happy!

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Bestselling Author?

Strange as it may seem, and odd as it may feel, I am charting in both IBooks and Amazon Kindle and actually selling my books.

Let explain the oddness of this. Last year I had 1 book out, a publisher, an editor and an illustrator. This to me was odd. How could I, a hyperactive teacher, have all of these things? The book did really well, but that, I told myself, was because we were giving it away. Still, it did 50,000 or so and I felt a real pride of accomplishment.

Fast forward to this year. I was out with the lads yesterday (a very stereotypical gathering of men whose wives, girlfriends etc… had gone to a baby shower) and they asked me how the book was doing. A very simple question, but I froze in answering. What I should have done is go on a 10 minute sales pitch about the http://www.squidgeelf.com, or this website with all the links to the books, the kind of ‘tell all your friends and tell them all to tell their friends’ thing, but I didn’t. I told them that it was doing well, asked if they had read it, answered any questions, and left it there.

I think that because the book is selling, because it seems to be doing well, and because they are my mates from way back when, I was worried about sounding a little up my own backside!

I am very proud of what I and the proving house team have done but I do find it difficult to see myself as an author.

Andrew Thomas

Author?

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Elf poems

As promised, here is the poem for my first book. It’s available on IBooks and amazon. Just type in squidge and look for the little elf on the front cover.

I also included the first paragraph so it all makes sense.

 

There once was a time, long, long ago,
When toys were simple, and making them slow,
The elves would carve and chop and sew,
But that was a long, long, long, time ago.
And now, every year, as we get the first snow,
Santa opens his letters, but he does not know
What the children have asked for. He says: ‘Ho, ho, ho!
‘Such new fangled things, with screens all aglow!’
And so our story starts: ready, steady …

 
‘Go and fetch me the laptop!’ shouted an elf. Santa’s workshop had changed a lot. So much so that Santa was still trying to catch up with all these new-fangled hoojamaflips and wotsits. The workshop was still run by the elves,
but instead of toy soldiers and dolls, children now wanted all manner of things. Santa had tried to get most of the stuff made abroad and delivered to his workshop (like MP3 players, Plasma TVs and handheld games consoles) but
he still had lots of things that he made right there in Lapland. Santa still remembered the days when his workshop was full of elves hammering and sewing, but now they all worked on big machines and it looked more like a factory than a tidy little workshop. Santa had moved with the times and updated, but that didn’t mean he had to like it.

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All hands on deck

As my title suggests, a very busy week this week. We are striving to release the next 3 Squidge books plus a new education pack. The education packs are based on the books and are aimed at primary school with a focus on literacy and writing.

The great thing about them is that the publisher proving house and I are in agreement that they should all be free.

It’s a mammoth task putting together all the resources, plans and flipcharts but I believe it is well worth it.

The Squidge books themselves all start with a poem (will try put some up when am back at my computer, iPhone at the mo) which leads into the story of a little elf with a nose for trouble. The next 3 books are a trilogy, with Squidge meeting a new friend.

I hope you enjoy reading them.

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Simple Poems

So much depends
upon

a small white
envelope

sitting in the post
box

waiting to be
read

Just a little William Carlos Williams.

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More Street Music

Here is my attempt to capture the sounds of East London. Mainly used as an example for the kids in my class (year5 – 9 and 10 year olds). They seemed to like it. Inspired by Arnold Adoff.

Street Music

My city:

the always shouting

screaming

noise of the park at night.

The bad boy racers

V   r   o   o   m    v   r   o    o   m   v    r    o    o    m

Ding

goes the

bell of the nearly run over cyclist.

Shake

rattle

rattle trains

screeching down the track with their

chugga                                                  chugga                                                 wheels

The low planes in all

V             o             c              a              b             u             l               a              r              i               e             s

of rumble

whoosh

noise.

My city: the never ending barking of wanna be gangsters dogs and jingle of their leads.

Bark                       bark                                      bark.

Shhhhhhh.

And finally sleep.

 

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Street music

Just another quick note about ‘love that dog’ by Sharon Creech. Just finished marking some of the poems based on street music by Arnold Adoff. It’s amazing the things kids in a inner city school hear and are immune to. Things that would have made me run a mile as a kid. Some amazing poems, full of onomatopoeia and set out in wonderful ways. You can almost hear Deptford while you read them.

20111125-111454.jpg

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A week of poems

We have been writing poetry all this week using the Sharon Creech book ‘love that dog’. It’s so easy to get lessons from and introduces children to classic poets in a fun way. In the book, we learn how to write poetry with a boy who believes that poetry is for girls. Anyway, here is my poem about someone who inspires me. It’s the kids turn later. Hope you like it.

Inspired by Roald Dahl.

An author I love who goes the extra mile, the fabulous, wonderful, great mr Dahl.

Squishy things wriggling that look just like pasta, enormous peaches and kids who learn faster. Orange men dancing while making their sweets, children called George concocting his treats. Giants that take away all your bad dreams and foxes fantastic with eyes all a gleam. Stories to listen to over again, with characters funny and some round the bend.

An author I love who goes the extra mile, the fabulous, wonderful great, mr Dahl.

With so many books it’s hard to chose which, the one about tortoises, no let me switch. The one about chocolate, yes that’s the one. Whichever you read it’s guaranteed fun. No wait, I can’t make up my mind let me switch. Ah yes, the best one, all about the high witch.

An author I love who goes the extra mile, the fabulous, wonderful, great mr Dahl.

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New to blogging

So here I am, a teacher/writer attempting to be a writer/teacher. This blog is an early festive introduction to my character Squidge. A little elf with a nose for trouble, but being a teacher, I have to get the learning angle in. Squidge, and his Christmas adventures, come with a variety of resources (free ones) that are suitable for ks1 and ks2. For ks1 we have colouring pages and letter heads for letters to Santa and for Ks2 a more comprehensive pack filled with lesson plans, flipcharts and all the resources you need for a weeks literacy lesson. It even comes with its own success criteria. No strings, all free. Who wants to plan in the run up to Christmas anyway? All at www.SquidgeElf.com or on the TES website and type in squidge in the resources search or click here. Enjoy

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