Introduction to Floorbooks

A Very Warm Welcome

It is wonderful that you have chosen to join us in our exploration of Floorbooks.

The name "Talking and Thinking Floorbooks" reflects their purpose, which is to encourage thinking skills through talking and listening together in a group, so that children are consulted and have involvement in progressing their own learning.

Children need to develop higher order thinking skills, to challenge their thinking throughout their lives. Various strategies are used to bring children’s voices to the forefront of learning. Children can track their own learning pathway and staff can track children’s progress and evaluate the teaching process.

An introduction to Floorbooks

Talking and Thinking Floorbooks

Talking and Thinking Floorbooks

Claire Warden developed Talking and Thinking Floorbooks over 25 years ago with an aim to match child’s needs, interests and desires with the curriculum.

Children can be underestimated if we don’t discuss and work alongside children to clarify their knowledge, understanding and capabilities. Alternatively, staff may overestimate children’s capabilities, working too quickly through a subject, not allowing children time to reflect on new learning. 

A Floorbook takes time to work through a subject using children’s voice to evidence their understanding and the progression in learning.

[This isn't the correct video - you can't upload video in the free month trial version - this is a youtube link of a public video]

Children need to move to think....

 “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”   - Friedrich Nietzsche

About Floorbooks

This book has been carbon dated in the 1980’s! In the days before digital technology, so the focus is on diagrams, drawings and of course children’s voice. 

This first floorbook shares the children’s voices through transcription, we now write directly into the book as it is a working document. The first Floorbook was also based around a key question, Floorbooks now flow along a line of enquiry.

 As was the case then a Floorbook still allows the adult to really listen and consider the theories and frameworks children have to understand the world.

The Flow of a Floorbook

Encouraging children to tell you what they think

There are many myths around Floorbooks as people become aware of the approach.  A Floorbook has a clear definition in the way that is used.

There should be a line of enquiry that flows through the floorbook, with moments of real depth and fascination .  A Floorbook is NOT a journal recording unrelated moments in time. A Floorbook flows like a river with the occasional whirlpool, revisiting moment and meanders down side streams (sub-themes) that may or may not return to the main river body (interest or theme).

Floorbooks flow with the help of talking tubs to stimulate children’s ideas and thoughts about a subject. Ideas and learning can be documented through 3d Mind-maps, Talking and Thinking Trees, drawings, discussions, activity, observations, objects, creations,  video or children’s own research.

Questions should encourage children to think and reflect.

Staff record PLODS (Possible Lines of Development) to support our planning and document next steps in learning. These PLODs can be ticked and dated, if and when they are achieved.

[this is where the "what is a talking and thinking floorbook" video goes]

“Everyone, everywhere and everything has got potential"

Key Elements of a Floorbook

  • Floorbook covers are completed last summarising the learning
  • Children  and staff ‘sign’ the book – they are the authors, illustrators, researchers etc….
  • A floorbook flows through a line of enquiry using photographs, child voice (in the moment or reflective), drawings, articles, research etc to document learning……..
  • Flow and the focus of our learning is supported  by talking tubs, 3d mind maps and talking and thinking trees
  •  Adult documentation is at the back- a 2d summative mindmap indexing learning and the curriculum coverage.

Image Gallery

[we can't have a slideshow like pagetiger, we could either layout the photos as I have below or we could create one using another piece software]

Floorbooks encourage co-operative learning and develop social skills

Older children title, draw, annotate, select photographs and can identify curriculum links on their own.

Reflection on previous learning experiences is vital.

Visual representation in Floorbook of learning.

Real items can be placed in a Floorbook.  A tactile representation of clouds. 

Talking Tubs to stimulate ideas and help children find links in learning.

The Floorbooks Toolkit

Box of Bits

Preparation is the key to working with children.

This toolkit is prepared so that everything is at hand when you start your session.  Consider brain function theory – some children are drawn to exciting think bubbles, glittery paper and pens or pencils made of twigs. Other children prefer functional  lined or grid paper, which perhaps is numbered or bullet pointed.

 Consider  the preferences of the children you work with.

[toolkit video below]

Talking Tubs

Strategies such as Talking Tubs are designed to appeal to a range of learners so that everyone reaches their potential.

- 3D objects stimulate the senses and therefore 'switch' on the brain.

- Related objects can be used to create connections in learning.

- 2D images can show the potential of an area/possibilities of play for adults and children.

- Visualisation can boost the brain's ability to remember information.

 All children have a motivational button. Practitioners need to find it in themselves and the children they work with.

More reasons to use your Floorbooks

Floorbook Documents

Floorbooks document:

- Children's ideas and thoughts

-  Use open ended questions or comments

- Model and demonstrate higher order thinking

- Show depth of learning

- Ensure collaborative learning in groups

- Use a variety of methods of presentation

- Collates child centred ideas that are taken forward by the group

 - The books are available to children at all times

Adult Interaction

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Successful adult interaction involves adults appearing open, interested and motivated by the opinions of children. 

The floorbooks share:

- Ideas

- Thoughts

- Plans

- Reflections

- Actions

- Desires

- Challenges, solutions & failures

 - Observations

Floorbook Quiz

Quiz example 1: Text Matching

Match up the correct answers by dragging and dropping the pieces on the right hand side. 

Once you have the correct answers you will be given a link to download your certificate of completion. 

  • Name something a floorbook should include.
  • Which part of your Floorbook should you complete last?
    The cover and title
  • What should you use in tandem with a Floorbook?
    Talking tub

Quiz example 2: True / False

  • Floorbooks should not include photographs
  • The cover and title are completed first
  • Talking tubs are used in tandem with Floorbooks

Quiz example 3: Multiple choice - How old are floorbooks?

  • 10 years old
  • 20 years old
  • 30 years old