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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 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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World Book Day 2019

We had a wonderful time celebrating World Book Day last week. We had to decorate our door with our favourite book. Miss Mohammed asked all the children and they had a vote to decide which book Onyx class should recreate. We had read all the Love Monster stories by Rachel Bright when it was Valentine’s Day and loved them all. It was difficult to decide on a favourite but we decided on LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE 🙂 

Everyone worked hard together to make the different parts we needed for our door. First we needed to make a Love Monster. We had to find a lot of different red materials so we could make him the right colour.

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Then we made the chocolate box look like the purple one in the story. We added a sign which said ‘chocolates’ by looking at the book and copying what it said. The Love Monster also needed some extra details like his arms and eyes.

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After that we decided to make some chocolates for the chocolate box and to add to the decorations. To do this we had to make salt dough and then make it look like chocolate shapes which fit in the chocolate box.

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Before we could use them they needed painting the right colours.

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Finally we put it all up on the door and some children helped Miss Parker decide what went around the door. We even added a sign asking, “Would you share your last chocolate?”, when people lifted the chocolate box up.

Do you think you would share your last chocolate? Can you remember what the Love Monster did? 

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We all enjoyed making our door and also getting to see the different doors around school.

We also found a surprise for us in the classroom. The Love Monster came to visit and brought us the special World Book Day book, Ten Little Bookworms. You’ll soon be getting a special World Book Day token which you can exchange for this book for free. Or  you can get £1 off the books at our Book Fair which is in school next week. 

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After we’d read the book tried to work out where the rest of the chocolates had gone and what we should do with the last chocolate. What would you do with the last chocolate? 

Thankfully the Love Monster found them in the end 🙂

 

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Zooming Zog and Friends

If you remember our elf gave us a couple of presents before Christmas- a copy of the book Zog by Julia Donaldson and a toy Zog as well. Click on this link to see the full post

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We were all very excited when we came back to school after Christmas because we’d seen Zog on the television during the holidays. We began to talk about Zog and what we knew about him. We read the book again and watched the animation. Everyone loved Zog so much we decided to try and learn the story for ourselves. Miss Parker helped us make a story map which helped us remember what came next. We also made sure we remembered to use the repeating text, “Now that you’ve been shown, you can practise on your own”. Can you remember the words and tell your grown up? 

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When we were outside some of us had a go at learning to fly like Zog had done. It was a little bit risky but we talked about how to keep ourselves safe and look after our friends.

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Some children also helped Zog out by helping him free animals, people and other objects which had got frozen in the ice. We had to try and work out the best way to free the objects in the quickest way. Can you remember how to melt the ice quickly? 

You can see what we said about it in our Floor Book and also see some conversations from the rest of the week.

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When we watched the animation of Zog we also talked about how some of the other Julia Donaldson books which we’d been reading had been turned into animations as well. the children loved reading the books and watching the animations.

When we were watching Stick Man we made an important discovery: the animations had been made by humans. Even though we were watching them on the computer a person had to make it first. We wondered whether we could be animators too. We found out that we could.

Miss Parker found a programme which meant we could be animators called 2Animate on Purple Mash. We collected some ideas about what our animations could look like and after trying some as a class we made some of our own looking at the books to check. We had to work together in teams to make sure our animation was a joint effort.

Parents/ carers- your child has now been given their own password to use Purple Mash at home. Can you remember how to make an animation and show your grown ups? 

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All week we had been reading more and more Julia Donaldson books. We couldn’t believe how many books she had written. Can you remember some of the other books that Julia Donaldson has written? There is a clue here! Have you read them all? Don’t forget to look in the library if you’ve not read them all. 

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We decided that we wanted to find out more about Julia Donaldson. You can see some of our questions in the Floor Book here.

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You can also see what we found out and also how we found it out. Some of our questions were answered by reading Julia Donaldson A Biography, some them we asked Google and some of them we answered by asking Siri when some children suggested this as a possible way of finding out information. We did talk about making sure we stay safe when using the internet and Siri or Alexa.

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We had such a good time learning about Zog and then animation and then Julia Donaldson. Miss Parker and the teachers loved seeing the children’s ideas flow from one week to the next developing into the next focus. The following week we asked if Julia Donaldson was the only author and started to look at different authors whose books we might like. The children keep returning to Julia Donaldson though- she really is a favourite 🙂

The teachers were all really impressed by the children’s writing in the Floor Book and how their confidence is growing all the time at writing more independently. Well done everyone!

What have we been learning? 

  • to retell stories we have heard. 
  • to make animations using 2Animate. 
  • to investigate what happens to ice. 
  • to think about how things get onto the computer and tv screens we watch
  • to find out about an author by asking questions. 
  • to use books and computers to find out information.

How you can continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit the library and find some Julia Donaldson books to read together. 
  • Use your Purple Mash password and try to make an animation or picture of your own. Don’t forget to save it and let us know its there. https://www.purplemash.com
  • See if you can find out about a different author- Which books have they written?

 

 

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Christmas Celebrations Part 4- Giving Presents

The last week of school was one of our busiest yet….. in between the party and Father Christmas’s visit we had some special jobs to do. We’d looked at the Christmas story and talked about the gifts given by the kings and also how Christians believe that Jesus was a gift to the world from God. Everyone was very excited to talk about the gifts they would be receiving. Miss Parker and the teachers asked us what gifts we would be giving. We decided to use the TASC wheel to help us plan our activity and work out what we needed to do if we wanted to make gifts for our grown ups. After talking about it and all the possible ideas the children all decided they wanted to bake something. They did however want to bake different things so we got into groups based on what we wanted to bake. There were buns, gingerbread men, mince pies and jam tarts baked.

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Once we’d done the baking some children needed to decorate their baking as well making their own choices about why that looked like.

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To go with our gifts we also made some cards. We had to draw something that we thought about linked to Chrsitmas and our grown ups. Everyone thought of their own idea and drew it themselves. We even wrote the inside of our cards indepedently so our grown ups could see how much progress we’d made during Autumn term. Here are just a few of them for you to see.

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We also went to find different people who worked in school to give them a Christmas present to say thank you.  We talked about the different reasons we give presents and how giving people presents made them feel. We were pleased when we made people smile.

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Then on our last afternoon we were all a little bit sad because we couldn’t find our elf but he had left us a surprise. It soon cheered us up and we were exicited to see what it was. Santa had sent us a present early because we’d been so good while the elf had been with us. We got a copy of the book Zog by Julia Donaldson and also our very own Zog toy for the classroom. The elf told us Zog was on TV over the Chrsitmas Holidays so he thought we’d like to read the book first. Everybody loved it! 🙂

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Phonics in FS2

We have started daily Phonics sessions with the children.

We have started teaching the children the sounds that the letters make so they are able to recognise them both in books and around every environment they go in. We will also expect them to start using them in their own writing.

This video will help you know the exact sounds which each letter makes. It is important that these pure sounds are used. Listen in particular to n, l and m.

We use the Jolly Phonics actions to support the children while they are learning the sounds each letter makes. We sing the song and do the action to make it easier for the children to remember them.

 

When we teach the letters and their sounds we teach them in an order which makes it easier to make words. First the children will learn s, a, t, p, i, n. Then they learn m, d, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss. These are all the letters and sounds they will learn in Phase 2.

Although it is important for the children to know the sounds the letters make it is also just as important for the children to be able to blend sounds together to make words. This means when you say to them the sounds they are able to make them into the word. At first the children will do this when they just hear the sounds. Children are expected to to be able to do this when they start Reception (FS2). As they get more confident with the letters they are expected to be able to read the letters themselves and blend them into words.

Examples of this:

c– a– t  is cat                  s–a–t  is sat

p–i–n  is pin                    g–o–t  is got

We also teach the children to read alien words which they are able to blend but make no sense.

Examples of these are:

s–e–c is sec                    h–i–b  is hib

d– u–p  is dup               l– e– c  is lec

Once the children are able to read words with Phase 2 sounds and also sound out to spell them we move onto Phase 3 letters and sounds, which include vowel digraphs (two letters, one sound). Children should be secure in reading and writing with Phase 3 sounds at the end of Reception (FS2)

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Picture taken from www.twinkl.co.uk

What can you do to help the learning at home?

  • Complete the Phonics homework each week. This will tell you which letters and sounds the children have been learning that week. 
  • Play the games on www.phonicsplay.co.uk which will help your child with their phonics skills. Good games to practise blending are Buried Treasure, Obb and Bob and Dragon’s Den. 
  • Look for letters everywhere and see if your child knows which sound they make. If you see words with the sounds they have learnt ask your child to help you read it. You can do this when you’re reading school reading books but also sometimes in other books you read together. Your child won’t be able to read the whole book but they can begin to help you. 

Please ask in school if you would like more help or there is anything you’re not sure about. We’re happy to help 🙂 

 

 

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Celebrating Bonfire Night

On our first day back at school everyone was very excited about Bonfire Night and all the fireworks we’d seen the night before. We did lots of talking about the different fireworks that we’d seen. Miss Parker and the other teachers noticed we used the word BANG! a lot but found it hard to use different words to describe what we saw and heard. We spent a lot of the week looking carefully at fireworks and even being fireworks in PE so we could develop our vocabulary and use many more words to talk about them. By the end of the week we’d got much better and we’re using a variety of different words.

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We even had a go at writing in our Floor Book ourselves. We’ve been working really hard to do more writing and mark making by ourselves and by writing in the Floor Book we get to see the value of our efforts. It’ll be great to be able to look back and see how much progress we’ve made during the year as well.

Can you remember any of the exciting words we learnt to talk about the fireworks? 

It was very exciting one day because we got to do some Forest Schools with Miss Deighton and go to a real fire. We learnt how to stay safe near the fire and also got to enjoy marshmallows that we toasted on the fire ourselves. We also watched the sparklers with Mrs Murch and enjoyed hot chocolate. It gave us another chance to think of all the exciting words we could think of to describe what we saw, heard and tasted.

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Did you enjoy going to the Bonfire? Tell a grown up what it felt like. 

In Maths we decided to make fireworks from 2-D shapes. This helped us to think of different ways to describe the firework shapes we saw. Look at some of the amazing creations we made…

We had to make sure we could talk about the properties of the shapes as well as know their names.

Can you remember anything about the different shapes? 

We had a wonderful Bonfire Night Week at school 🙂 A big thank you to Miss Deighton for helping us with the Forest School Fire.

What have we been learning? 

  • to think of interesting and exciting words to describe fireworks. 
  • to stay safe near fires and also about the way the heat from fire will melt objects. 
  • to describe the properties of 2D shapes and use them to make pictures and representations. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Encourage your child to use new and interesting words. For example, don’t let them refer to every big object as just big. Talk about huge, enormous and massive as well and decide which is best. 
  • Encourage children to manage risk, such as being near a fire, and teach them how to make themselves safe. 
  • Look for 2D shapes around your house and do a 2D shape Hunt. Can your child tell you how many sides or corners the shape has?