Woodside Animal Farm

We had a great time on Friday at Woodside Animal Farm. A small farm but lots to see. The giant tortoise was a big hit!

We looked at the animals, and began our activity booklet, before our tractor ride. Great excitement and problem solving when the children realised that they  could work together and push the mini tractors that you normally have to pay for – That’s what we want – children working together and thinking outside the box!

A picnic lunch is always a hit with school children, it’s what they always talk about as one of the best bits… the ice-lollies went down a treat too.

I was impressed with how brave the children were, and how patiently they waited their turn to pet the rat, snake and chinchilla. Note: no pictures of the adults doing same – all were safely tucked away behind the children!!

Here are a few pcs:

Week of May 1st in Reception

Our caterpillars continue to hold the children’s interest, which they have demonstrated  through their art work, creativity and their daily interest in observing change, which has also led to measuring them. Most have been given a name too, lovely writing.

 

Growing plants:

Last week we made observational drawings of plants and planted beans and sunflower seeds. We have been watching a bean germinate and it’s been lovely hearing the children use this new vocabulary as they talk about the changes they have observed.

Pirates!

We have observed some pirate play this week and will be developing this next week. I bought some lovely swash buckling swords in Tiger (what did teachers ever do before Tiger hit the high street?) and the children had already made swords for St. George’s Day play. We’d love some plastic bottles for messages in a bottle….

 

2D Shapes

We have been reviewing 2D shapes this week. The children were encouraged to guess the shape from its description, number of sides, curved or straight and number of corners. They also went outside to look for the shapes in their environment and used shapes to create a picture.

A few more:

 

Next Week: 

We have been working on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. We are working on describing  the giant using wow words and the oral retelling of the story. We hope to see the caterpillars begin to change into chrysalides.

Do you have any (clean) plastic bottles or pirate that you could donate?

Save the date: Sports Day June 20th.

Week of 31st January in Reception.

Many thanks to all the donations for the Syrian appeal, and to Madison’s mummy for taking all the items to UNICEF  this weekend. We did really well and the children got an insight to the world around them.

Whilst we don’t always do ‘themes’ of work as it never  holds the  attention of every child, and we like to be very child led in their learning, we do endeavour to cover Seasons and cultural celebrations, especially those that are relevant to the children in our care. Chinese NY has been really popular  over the last two weeks. It was great to see so many visited the CNY celebrations in London last weekend. Per Henry “I went to China with mummy and daddy and I saw dragons.” Priceless! The children have been representing their new found knowledge painting willow pattern plates, making their own red envelopes, making lanterns and painting dragons.

 

Elsewhere this week we continue to be amazed at the  children’s reading progress. We are introducing ‘tricky red words’ to many children for reading and writing so if your child can read the red words in their Teddy Word book, can hey spell and write them? Have a go.

Reading: Please sign reading record books every time you read their school reading booking with them. Please keep them in the school bag.

Maths: We forgot to send out the no. 12 worksheet, so this will go out on Monday.

To support your child at home, can they recognise all four basic 2D shapes. Square, rectangle, triangle, circle by name and can they tell you why they know it is that shape? Can they talk about a rectangle having long and short side, but a square’s sides are all the same. Can they explain a triangle always has 3 sides and a circle has one curved side. If not, try to point out these shapes in your environment – Can they recognise the door is a rectangle? We will continue to support this in class too. But don’t stop there – can they recognise a pentagon, hexagon, octagon?

A few more from this week:

Lots of interest about clocks this week so we have begun to talk about different times of the day and where the hands will be.

And also – Helicopter Stories

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

— Albert Einstein

I invited Make Believe Arts to visit us for some staff training for nursery and reception this week to develop story telling in class.

Helicopter Stories is based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. At its most basic, children make up stories, adults scribe them, and then the class acts them out.

You may find your child has been asking you to write their stories. Please encourage this at home and send in their stories. Children can’t write it if they can’t think it. From past experience I have taught some exceptionally bright children, who when asked, are crippled with anxiety about ‘getting it wrong’ and find it difficult to put their ideas down on paper. We want children to allow their imagination to flourish and be able to put these ideas into words verbally, then develop into writing them. We put no pressure on the children to write at this stage. We scribe for them as thinking and writing at the same time is a challenge at 4, and I don’t want a child to thin of a great story but not tell it because of anxiety due to writing aspect.

Class rule: Each child can write a story which the adult scribes, but its maximum length is A5. Half a full page.

This form of holistic approach to education enables children to discover the world around them in their own, very personal way and explore vocabulary. We can quickly assess which children understand how stories are structures with characters, setting, a beginning, middle and an end.

Stages of Story Telling:

Children will internalise and imitate stories and you may well spot familiar plots creeping into their own story telling. Common characters and settings, good over evil. This is to be encouraged. Some of our children are at this stage.

Innovate: Children may follow a recognisable story pattern but characters and setting are changed. There is a boy and he goes into the house of three ninja’s and eats their food, tries out their swords and sleep in their beds…. Some of our children are at this stage.

Invention – They create their own new story.

The Benefits: Taken from Make Believe Arts homepage.

  • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of story writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
  • Acting out our stories…

Week of January 23rd in Reception.

We have been learning all about Chinese New Year this week. I hope some of the children got the opportunity to venture into London to see the lovely Chinese celebrations this weekend. We explored Chinese culture, made our own drums, dragons and even had a go at Chinese writing. We also tried to solve Chinese Tangram puzzles and built the Great Wall of China outside.

Next week we will continue to explore Chinese culture, making our own lanterns, Willow pattern plates and panda’s. We will also make lucky red money envelopes and try to make ice-cream, which originated in China.

If you have any spare chop-sticks/woks we are collecting please.

 

Please be sure to check out the post on our Syrian appeal, which I am coordinating with Madison’s mummy.

 

Out this week: Most children are continuing to learn new speed sounds in phonics and sheets will go home weekly. If you were given a zip wallet of pictures and words to assist word blending then please try to do this daily, but do keep them in your child’s bag. so we can work on them in school too. The aim is for your child to identify the picture from the word, blended orally, then quickly progress to reading the words at speed.

Are you practising Teddy Words at home? Well done to Holly Shaw, who can read all 100 Teddy words and is onto the next 100 words.

We also sent home a worksheet for the number 11. We are really working hard on number recognition of teen numbers and understanding that it is ten, plus one. These sheets are for you to help your child at home. They are not compulusory and do not need to be returned to us in school, unless your child particularly wants to show us what they can do.

 

 

A few more from this week.

Week of January 16th in reception

This week we managed to fit in a bit of ice exploration, observing change. We used stop watches to see how long the ice took to melt.

We wondered how long this ice would take to melt.
Long after the ice melted we continued to have fun, scooping, pouring, squeezing, transporting the water.

What have we learned about Winter?

 

Others enjoyed exploring building and making ramps. Outside we introduced the screwdriver and the saw.

We continue to be impressed with the children’s reading and writing development.

Writing with adult support to sound out words.
Finding the missing vowel.

Blending CVC words.
Helping each other to spell words.

 

We also made our own play dough – We’re getting good at this.

Too sticky or too dry?

 

Next Week:

Next week we will be learning about Chinese New Year. This is one of my favourite celebrations to explore with the children as there are so many rich learning possibilities. I lived in Hong Kong for two years so I can hopefully bring this celebration alive for the children. This year is the year of the rooster. If your child was born 2011 they were born in the year of the rabbit, 2012 they were born in the year of the dragon. China is famous for lots of things. Did you know they invented paper money and ice-cream among other things. The children will explore making their own ice-cream, writing vertically and using chop sticks.  We might even get to make our own dragon dance. Perhaps you could visit a Chinese restaurant with your child or have a take-away Chinese meal. I thoroughly recommend a trip into London next weekend to see the Chinese celebrations – take lots of photos for us please!

Reading books: Please sign the reading record book and add comments. Books are changed on Tuesday and Friday.

Uniform: I am still noticing uniform that has been previously worn by another child in an older year group, which hasn’t been renamed, which makes it impossible to find out who it belongs to.  Please label everything and we will endeavour to return lost items asap.

Mrs. Quinn