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Looking for Dinosaurs in the Secret Garden

We had been talking about habitats for our dinosaur and where he might have gone. Someone had the idea to go and look in the Secret Garden so off we went…..

On our way up there we spotted a different habitat. I wonder if there is a bird living in there?

Once in the Secret Garden we played a quick game of Where Are  You? to make sure everyone was listening, concentrating and comfortable in the new space.

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And then we had a look for some signs of life in the Secret Garden.

We found a trail in the grass, we wondered whether that was where our dinosaur had pushed through the grass. We also found a few feathers but we decided they were from the birds not the dinosaur. We also found a big muddy patch where we looked to see if we could find any more footprints. Sadly there weren’t any but it made us think about footprints.

Miss Parker showed us some different animal footprints. After we’d thought about which animal our footprint came from, we had to find a friend who had the same footprint on their card.

They we had to think of a way to record our footprint but we hadn’t taken any pencils. Miss Parker showed us how to use Mud Paint to draw our footprints.

Sadly we didn’t find a dinosaur in the Secret Garden but we did learn more about habitats and signs to look for if we’re looking for any creatures.

When we got back to class we thought about creating a different habitat. Can you tell who it is for? Which creature would like to live here?

What have we been learning? 

  • Where creatures live and why they choose to live there. 
  • Which signs to look for when searching for creatures in the Secret Garden. 
  • Different ways to record our ideas when there are no pencils. 

How you can continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit a wood or the park. Can you find any signs of creatures there? What do you think might live there. 
  • Make some mud paint in your garden and use sticks to paint. What can you do a picture of?
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A Dinosaur Came to Visit

Once we had the footprints in our classroom we had a new clue as to what had left the egg in our classroom. It generated many conversations and there was all of a sudden a lot of talk about dinosaurs.

We decided to set up the camera overnight and see if there were any visitors to our classroom. You will not believe what we saw!

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There was a dinosaur in our classroom! He walked all over the table and did a BIG roar before he left again. It made us believe we had been right when we said there was a dinosaur in the egg. Some children quickly got to work and started making a trap to try and capture the dinosaur. They thought about a fake egg to trick the dinosaur into coming and having a look, a rope to trip him up and some water to pour on his head once he was trapped. There was lots of cooperative thinking to solve their problem.

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Then Miss Deakin came back from setting up the Outdoor Are and told us she’d seen another footprint. We went to have a look. It was so much bigger than the ones in the classroom. We measured to see how long it was.

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Everyone was amazed to see how much bigger than our feet the dinosaur footprint was. We decided to measure it in some different ways.

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We then used this information to measure some smaller footprints of our own and smaller measuring units. We worked with a partner to choose a unit to measure with and then measure the footprint. We made sure we followed the same rules.

And then…..

We did a wonderful job making our dinosaur a shoe. Can you imagine how big the show shop would need to be if this is just one shoe?!?

Our parents and carers made some comments in our Floor Book. We love knowing what the children are talking about at home and which learning they are sharing.

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What have we been learning? 

  • to measure in different ways using a variety of different non-standard objects, such as cubes, bottle tops, whiteboard pens. 
  • to meet challenges and solve problems, such as how do we make a shoe for the dinosaur and how do we capture a dinosaur.

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Collect some objects at home, such as pennies, bottle tops, forks and so long as they are all the same size use them to measure some bigger objects in your house, like the table. 
  • Use footsteps to measure some of your garden. How long is the path? How wide is your doorway? 
  • allow your child to help you solve simple problems in the home, such as we have 5 people in our house and they want 2 biscuits each? How many do we need altogether? 
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A Strange Egg

So we had a strange egg in our classroom, but what could it be? We had lots of suggestions about what it could possibly be. Some children thought it was a giant chocolate egg (Miss Parker wishes it had have been! ;-)) but then we got a note which made us change our mind…..

The Easter Bunny told us it was going to hatch. That meant something was alive in there. We decided we had better learn about eggs and find out which creatures came from eggs. Some children wrote signs saying to stay away from our egg and make sure it stayed safe.

We spent the week investigating eggs and then there was a development. The egg disappeared and there were footprints. Where had it gone?

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Cannon Hall Farm 2019

Yesterday was our visit to Cannon Hall Farm. We all had a wonderful day. It was fabulous to get to visit a real farm and meet all the animals. We learnt lots about them all.

First we had to get on the coach to go to Cannon Hall. We went past Manor Top and all of the places we see all the time. Can you remember what we saw? We talked about all of the things we could see and how busy it was.

Then we went on the motorway because Cannon Hall is not in Sheffield and the motorway is the best way to get there fast. We talked about the different vehicles we went past, the places we saw and also that all the houses had started to disappear. We got very excited when we saw the brown signs which told us which way to go.

We noticed as we got closer and closer to Cannon Hall there were lots more fields and still not many houses. It looked very different to Manor Top and where our houses are.

We were all very excited to arrive at Cannon Hall Farm. We had a drink and some snack to make sure were ready to go and explore the farm and meet all the animals.

And then it was time to go and explore. We had to go to the meerkats to wait for Charlotte who showed us round the farm. She is a farmer. As we went to find the first animals some children thought it was a little bit smelly! First we went to see the pigs and piglets in the Farrowing Barn.

Next we went to the next barn and we found cows and calves. There were also some goats and horses. Can you remember which ones are which? 

Everyone was very excited when we got to the next barn as we were allowed to feed the animals. We had to hold it very carefully so we didn’t drop it and then put it in the special chutes to get the food to the animals. We then had to remember to keep our hands away from our mouths and eyes.

We then had a very special treat and we got to meet Caramel the Guinea Pig. Everybody was asked if they wanted to stroke Caramel and everybody said yes. Even the children who were a little unsure at first. Again we then had to remember not to put our fingers near our eyes or mouth until we’d washed them.

Then we went to wash our hands. We made sure we used soap and washed them really carefully to get rid of all the germs from the food and Caramel.

It was nearly dinnertime but first we went for a walk around the farm and to watch the sheep racing. We went to see if any lambs had been born yet. There were lots of pregnant ewes in the Roundhouse but not many lambs yet. Can you spot the lamb we did see?

The sheep racing was lots of fun. Everyone got a ticket which told them which colour sheep they wanted to win. We were amazed when the sheep were able to jump over the jumps! They looked really high.

And then it was time for dinner! Everyone was really hungry after our busy morning.

In the afternoon we popped to see the animals in the Reptile house.

And then it was the part of the day we’d all been waiting for…….. THE ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND!!!!!!!

We all loved the Adventure Playground and were a little bit sad when we had to come down and get on the bus back to school.

There were lots of tired children on the bus and some of them even fell asleep. We were soon back to school though and were ready for hometime.

Everyone had a wonderful day. A big thank you to everyone who helped us and came along on the visit.

If you would like to visit Cannon Hall Farm yourself every child was given a 3 for 2 voucher to bring home. We have a couple spare if you didn’t get on. You can find out more about Cannon Hall Farm on the their website here.

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Beautiful Butterflies

A few weeks ago now we decided that we would like some caterpillars in our classroom. We all knew they would turn into butterflies and were excited to see how it happened.

We were all happy the day the caterpillars arrived and were surprised at how small they were. It was fun to see them wriggling about-especially when they went up the top and walked upside down.

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The caterpillars grew quickly. We decided we wanted to do some learning about them so read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and learnt to tell the story ourselves without reading the book.

Can you remember how to tell the story?

Then we learnt some information about caterpillar and butterflies using non-fiction books and information from the computer. We had to think carefully whether or not we trusted the information from the computer as we know you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.

We continued to watch our caterpillars until they got really big and fat. Then they were ready to build their cocoons.

We put them in their special butterfly house ready for when they hatched. It took nearly a week but then we had butterflies. We all enjoyed making our own videos of the butterflies using the iPad. (Miss Parker has taken some screenshots to show you)

After we’d kept our butterflies for a few days it was time to let them go.  Because we went to the Secret Garden before we just knew it would be the perfect to place to let the butterflies go so off we went. We were proved right when on our way up there we saw a different butterfly. It was brown with yellow spots.

Can you find it in the photograph?

We were very lucky when we managed to get a photograph of one of our butterflies flying away. It came straight in front of the camera on the iPad!

After we’d let all the butterflies go we spotted one waiting on the logs so went to say goodbye on the way back to the classroom.

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Weve been talking about the environment this week because it’s Environment Week in school. We thought about how we could make the Secret Garden a better environment for butterflies so decided to scatter some wild flower seeds for the butterflies to get nectar from.

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What have we been learning?

About the life cycle of Caterpillars and Butterflies.
To retell a known story using story language.
To think of as many words to describe taste as possible.
To try new foods we might not have had before.
To look for patterns in stories and the environment around us.
To look after animals who need us to be careful and considerate.
To write our ideas in sentences.

How can you continue the learning at home?

Look for butterflies in your garden. What do they look like? Can you find out which species of butterfly they are?
Can you explain the life cycle to a grown up? For an extra challenge can you draw or write about the Butterfly Life Cycle.
Can you remember the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and tell it to a grown up? Remember to use the special story language we used in school.

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A Big Bug Hunt

We’ve been doing lots of learning about bugs recently linked to getting caterpillars in our classroom and our thinking about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Miss Parker told us we were going to go to the Secret Garden to see if we could find some more bugs. Most of us had never been to the Secret Garden before and weren’t sure where it was. Jonathan thought we’d have to leave school and was very excited to find out it was in our school grounds.

First we listened to what we could hear in the Secret Garden. We closed our eyes and listened and then played a game where we had to listen really carefully. There were lots of birds singing. We looked hard to see where they were hiding but lots of them were hiding.

After that it was time to go looking for bugs. We had to be very quiet so we didn’t scare them away. We took special containers with us and magnifying glasses so we could collect the bugs that we found.

We found lots of bugs and even managed to find some really tiny ones. We talked about what we’d seen and compared our experiences. Miss Parker and Miss Deakin were really pleased by how we used our observation skills to not only find the bugs but then to notice details about them.

We can’t wait to go in the Secret Garden again and have asked Miss Parker if we can go again really soon!

What have we been learning?

  • About the creatures which live in our Secret Garden.
  • To treat creatures with care and respect.
  • To talk about the things we find.
  • To listen carefully listen to the sounds we can hear.
  • To look for objects which interest us and talk to our friends about them.

How can you continue the learning at home?

  • Visit the park and look for creatures there.
  • Play i- spy to make people look carefully for different objects.
  • Close your eyes and listen for all the sounds you can hear. What can you hear?
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Our Day at Cannon Hall Farm

We all had a wonderful time on our school trip to Cannon Hall Farm. We looked at the photos when we got back to school and Miss Parker turned it into a book all about our day. We remembered so much about what we’d done and where we’d been. We really did learn lots not only about the farm animals but also about an environment which is very different to Manor Top and near school.

We had such a good day its hard to say what our favourite part of the day was. You’ll have to ask us next time you see us.

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If you would like to find out more information about Cannon Hall Farm you can find out more on their website.

A HUGE thank you to all the grown ups who came with us to help. We couldn’t have gone without you. And a huge thank you to Alison and everyone at Cannon Hall for a wonderful day. The children had a wonderful time 🙂