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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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Planting Tomatoes

Do you remember in Environment Week when we went to look at our allotment? Miss Parker decided we needed to learn about plants because lots of us got confused when looking at the roots, leaves and stems on the weeds and weren’t sure what to call them. We decided we would plant some seeds so we could watch them grow and talk about what we could see.

We were lucky in school to receive some tomato seeds from the National Schools Partnership.

We got busy planting making sure we had enough soil for the seeds and that we covered them up. Garnet class came to make sure everyone in Reception had one.

And then we had to wait…….

We are looking very carefully to see if we can see the stem and the leaves starting to grow. Can you see them? Why can’t you see the roots?

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We’ll continue to watch them grow and talk about what we can see happening. How long do you think it will be before we see a tomato?

Keep coming back to see how much they have grown.

 

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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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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…….

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Chicks, Chicks, Chicks….

What an amazing last day of term we had…. after waiting such a long time for our chicks to hatch, they did! We’d had them in the classroom keeping them warm in the incubator for 21 days (Click here to see the post)

Everyone was so excited when we came to school on the last day and one chick had already hatched. It was then very exciting when we got to spend the rest of the day watching the others hatch as well, by the end of the day we had 6 chicks. Some of our parents and carers even got to see the chicks hatching at our Easter Workshop.

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In the afternoon we said a special hello to the chicks and everyone had a chance to hold a chick. Miss Parker and Miss Deakin were really proud of how sensible everyone was and how they held the chicks really carefully. After we all had to wash our hands remembering what we learnt at Cannon Hall about always washing our hands after being near animals.

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We LOVED having the chicks in our classroom and are going to be sad now they’ve had to go back to their farm.

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What have we been learning?

  • About the life cycle and how chicks come from eggs. 
  • To observe animals talking about what we can see, hear and feel. 
  • To care for animals and treat them with respect. 
  • To make sure we follow hygiene rules after handling animals to keep ourselves safe. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit Graves Park or somewhere else with hens and chicks so you can continue to observe the animals at different stages of the life cycle. 
  • Look for other birds when you are out and about and in your garden. Can you find out what they are? 
  • Find out about different life cycles, such as tadpoles/ frogs, caterpillar/ butterflies or  even for plants. You can use books at the library and internet searches to help you. 
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Fabulous Frogs!

We’ve been very lucky this year in Onyx class as we had some frogspawn arrive in our classroom way back in April.

It was very exciting after Miss Parker spotted some frogspawn in her pond and asked if we’d like to have some in school. Everyone said yes of course! Everyone already had a good idea about what would happen to it.

We watched our frogspawn as the tadpole began to hatch and thought what we might like to learn more about.

As we continued to watch the tadpoles grow we got an email from Miss Hulme and Diamond class in Nursery. They wanted to know if we could teach them more about our frogspawn and tadpoles. We decided that we would make them a book but as we find out lots of information on the computer that we’d make an ebook on the iPad for them. We had to find out some more information first so we knew we were teaching them the right things.

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You can read our book for Nursery here. If you look at the book on the iPad it even has videos of our tadpoles in it. Please ask to see it in school.

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Everyone was very excited about the tadpoles and waited to see if they were frogs yet. Some of our parents and carers even stopped off each morning to see what was happening.

Finally after waiting a really long time our tadpole started to get legs at the front then the back. Eventually they turned into frogs! Can you see they still have a little bit of their tails left? 

We shared our learning with our parents and carers in our floor book and some parents commented on how they’d been continuing the learning at home. We love to hear when this has been happening.

Unfortunately we couldn’t keep the frogs at school forever. Miss Parker had to take them back to the pond where they came from so they could continue to grow. Maybe next year they’ll be the ones to lay the frogspawn and we’ll have some more at school.

 

What have we been learning? 

  • To watch animals and see how they move and change over time. 
  • To learn information from different sources and transfer this to telling others.
  • To care for living creatures and make sure they are fed and the water is clean.
  • To talk about our observations of living creatures.
  • To describe the life cycle of a tadpole/ frog.
  • To be patient!!!

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • It will be too late for this year now but next Spring do the same as Corey’s mum and look for Frogspawn in the local ponds. 
  • Talk about life cycles- How is the frog lifecycle the same as the butterfly? How is is different? 
  • Can you find any books at the Library (school or Manor Top) which have information in about life cycles? What else can you find out about?