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We Love Forest Schools

We had a fantastic time on Monday morning when we had our first Forest Schools session. Matt and Sarah came from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to help us.

First we played a warm up game called Winter Dragons. We had to work hard to keep moving and rescue our friends who had been frozen by the dragons.

Then we got to go into the Secret Garden. We were excited to go into the Secret Garden because we’d loved it when we went for the Great Bug Hunt with Miss Oades. Thankfully it was a bit drier when we went today.

When we got to the Secret Garden we played a game called Ninja where we had to sneak up on each other and steal the nature treasure. It meant we had to be super quiet and use our listening ears to find out when the Ninja was coming for the treasure. It also meant we could hear lots of other sounds all around us. Can you remember anything that you heard in the Secret Garden? 

Our next game was called Woolly Worms. For this game to had to use our observation skills and look really carefully to see if we could spot the ‘worms’. Some of them were much easier to find than others. Some of us had to look for a little while to see them while others of us saw them straight away!

Matt and Sarah then told us it was time for a Bug Hunt. We had some special equipment to help us catch the bugs that we found. We talked about if it would different or the same as last time we went in the rain. It was amazing how many different little creatures we managed to find. Would you believe that we found snails, butterflies, grasshoppers, ladybirds, spiders, moths, beetles and lots of different flies and bugs? Can you tell someone about your favourite one? 

This photograph at the bottom has a baby ladybird in it and pupa which the baby ladybird uses to turn into a ladybird. This is the same as when the caterpillar spins its cocoon and turns into a butterfly. 

We were able to look at them in the special containers and we spent a long time looking at and talking about them all. Everyone was very excited to look for different creatures and we looked for nearly an hour without stopping!

After that it was time to let the creatures go and we started another fun activity. Matt and Sarah gave us special sticky strips of paper and we could go and collect whatever we wanted to stick our paper. We looked for special shaped leaves, colours which interested us and other interesting objects such as feathers. Can you see what is on our special papers? 

Finally Matt had a challenge or two for us. He sent us off to find the skinniest thing we could find. Then we had to find the softest thing we could and the most inserting shape leaf we could find.

We LOVE Forest Schools and can’t wait to go again next week!

What have we been learning? 

  • About the creatures which live in our Secret Garden.
  • To treat creatures with care and respect.
  • To talk about things which we find. 
  • To listen carefully to the sounds we can hear. 
  • To look carefully to make sure we see everything. 
  • To look for objects which interest us and talk to our friend about them. 
  • To learn and use words which describe objects, such as skinniest

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit the park and look for creatures there. 
  • Make a sticky strip (using double sided tape) and look for interesting objects to add to it. 
  • Play I-Spy to make people look carefully for different objects. 
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The Great Bug Hunt 2017

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We had a great time on the first Tuesday after the holidays going on a Bug Hunt. Before the holidays when we let our butterflies go we went near the Secret Garden and talked about going in there sometime soon. A Bug Hunt seemed the perfect opportunity!

It was a very wet day but we didn’t let that put us off. We set off to see what we could find with Miss Oades and Miss Morris.


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We used this sheet from Twinkl to remember what we’d found.

Can you remember all of the different bugs that we found? I wonder what we’d find if we’d gone on a sunny day…. do you think it would be the same or different?

Everyone loved going on our Bug Hunt. We can’t wait to go the Secret Garden again.

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Caterpillars, Caterpillars (Part 4)

This should really be called Butterflies, Butterflies because look what happened?

Our caterpillars hatched from out of their cocoons and we had 4 butterflies in our classroom 🙂 Everyone loved watching them fly and if we looked really carefully we could even see them drinking through their proboscis. Can you remember anything about their proboscis? 

After we’d had them in our classroom for a few days we decided that we needed to let them go. We had a talk about where would be the best place for them to fly. It was agreed that we would go up on to the new school field by the Secret Garden because the children said there were the most plants and flowers there.

Thankfully it was a sunny day because we weren’t sure if the butterflies would like the rain.

Miss Parker unzipped the Butterfly Garden and pulled it down slightly. It didn’t take long for the butterflies to fly off into the sky. We all clapped and cheered when they went.

We’re going to be keeping an eye out over the next few weeks to see if we can see our butterflies when they come back to visit us. We’re sure they will fly back one day and see us 🙂 Maybe they will fly to our houses?

 

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Caterpillars, Caterpillars (Part 3)

We’ve got cocoons!!!!

Everybody was so excited to see that the caterpillars have spun their cocoons and are now busy turning into butterflies. We kept looking in the books and writing our ideas down about what will happen next.

How long do you think it will take? What do you think the butterflies will look like when they come out of the cocoons? Which of these butterflies will they look like? Can you draw a picture of what you think the butterfly will look like and bring it to school?

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Caterpillars Caterpillars (Part 2)

You’ll not believe how much our caterpillars have grown!!! Look at them now….

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We’ve been doing lots of learning all about The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The children are  now really good at telling the whole story using the story map. Have a go at telling the story together at home. 

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We’ve also been learning to answer questions we have asked about caterpillars and butterflies. When we were reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar Jayden asked where the egg came from. We all had a few ideas but we decided to find out. We used non-fiction (information) books to find out the answers. Lots of the children had the right idea about what happened and where the egg came from but needed a little practise to be able to explain it in a sentence.  Can you remember something else you found out from reading the books? 

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We were all able to show we could answer Jayden’s question in the form of a life cycle. Can you explain the life cycle and what happens? 

There was a song Miss Parker knew which helped us to remember what happened. It is from the Music Express books and is sung to the tune of ‘She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain’. Can you sing the song and remember the actions? 

There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf (wiggle, wiggle), There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf (wiggle, wiggle), There’s a tiny caterpillar, tiny caterpillar, tiny caterpillar on a leaf (wiggle, wiggle). 

He will eat the leaves around him ’til he’s full (munch, munch), He will……… (repeat)

A cocoon is what he’s spinning for his home (spin, spin), A cocoon is……… (repeat)

Then he’ll be a butterfly and fly away (flap, flap), Then he’ll (repeat)

By the end of the week we’d learnt so much that we were able to write class sentences to explain what we’d learnt. We did some shared writing altogether with Mrs Murch helping us. Can you read the writing that we did together? 

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We were trying to predict when we thought the caterpillars would spin their cocoons. Some children thought it would be by Monday morning, some children thought it might take a bit longer. Everyone is excited for when we get the butterflies. Keep checking back to see when that happens…..

 

 

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Caterpillar, Caterpillar…. (Part 1)

We has some more special friends arrive in our classroom this week….. 5 tiny and very hungry caterpillars!

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Everyone is very interested in them and seeing what they are doing. Already they have nearly doubled in size. It has generated lots of talk between the children as they share their ideas. We’ve been discussing what we think will happen the caterpillars next too.

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Come back soon to see what has been happening…….