With the end of the year coming up and my moderation date from the authority getting closer, I knew that I needed to get more independent writing from my children to support and backup my judgements. Trying to prove that my GLD will be 58% (a dramatic improvement on the school’s 0% last year) I was conscious the moderators would want to see some independent writing, thus the cave of wonders.
Previously, the space was used as our ‘investigation station’ which gave the children opportunity to discover and talk about natural found objects and objects that I thought would interest them (exotic fruits, shells, stones, crystals, magnets, bark, melted wax etc). Another main purpose was to get some vocabulary out of them, as speaking and listening was a priority for me at the beginning of the academic year, however, as the year went on the children lost interest in this space and I was aware it was becoming a wasted learning area, leading to the successful idea of ‘The Cave of Wonders’. Â It took one hour and a half to revamp the area during the Easter holiday but I was confident about the potential it held.
When children came back after Easter they were in awe of the classroom revamp as I also created a read and response wall and changed our role play area to a space ship (3,2,1 blast off).
Every two days the children are aware that the object inside the cave will change, so far we have had gold spray painted bark, a message in a bottle, locked treasure chest, hair gel in a dish, mysterious pictures and the children have loved it. The amount of independent writing has definitely increased with the use of capital letter, fingerspaces and full stops too. I have been able to confirm that children can use high frequency words independently in their writing too such as he, she, we, me, the, some, like, was. The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland had nothing on my smile at this point.