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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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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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Environment Week 2017

Every year in school we have an Environment Week. 2017 was no different. In Onyx class we had a couple of visitors in our classroom. First Michael Recycle came to visit and then Litterbug Doug. Litterbug Doug left a total mess which we had to sort out. It turned out that he was just trying to trick us and teach us about recycling. We learnt how to sort out rubbish and make sure it all went in the correct bins.

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We didn’t stop there. A couple of weeks ago Jayden had asked if we could make paper in Onyx class. We gave him a couple of books to see if he could find out to do it and in Environment Week we gave it a go. It took a couple of days to do everything but worked out really well. Can you remember how we made paper? 

We watched the film Wall-E to find out more about how to keep our planet safe and why it was so important. It made us think about plants and how important they were. We talked more about this when we went to tidy our allotment which was looking a mess.

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We talked about the weeds as we dug them up and started to talk about the roots and the leaves. It surprised Miss Parker how few children knew about the different parts of the plants so look out soon for some learning on plants. The good news is we knew more about how to grow plants so hopefully the sunflowers which we planted will be growing really tall soon. Keep your fingers crossed! How tall do you think they’ll grow? 

We also had a go at making a model of Wall-E. What do you think?

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We had to be able to talk about the shape of the recycled materials that we were using and the properties of the shapes. It was hard to get the round bottles to balance on the neck because they had round faces not flat. We solved the problems and made Wall-E stick. Can you see any other shapes- 2D or 3D- on Wall-E?

What have we been learning? 

  • Why we need to take care of our environment. 
  • What makes a nice environment. 
  • What we can make from rubbish to make it even better. 
  • To sort materials and recycle them. 
  • That a film can teach us important things about the environment. 
  • Why plants are so important to our planet. 
  • To build robots like Wall-E using a variety of different materials. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Recycle materials at home using the blue bin and blue box. Ask your child to help you sort the rubbish. 
  • Encourage children to turn the lights and other electrical equipment off as they leave rooms to save energy. Talk about why this is important. 
  • Buy a plant and let your child look after it at home by watering it regularly.
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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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A Dinosaur in the Classroom!

We had a special visitor last week….. at first we only saw footprints and we didn’t know what had been in our classroom. Some of the children had an idea and started to investigate further. They found a dinosaur in a classroom and started to make links between the two.

It was a few days until we saw anything else but a few days later we noticed more footprint and the giant egg had hatched! This time there were two sets of footprints. Again we had a to get busy thinking what they could possibly be. There were dinosaurs in our giant egg which confirmed what we thought about it being a dinosaur.

We looked in books to see if we could find out more.

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Some of us were a bit sceptical and thought there couldn’t have possibly been a real dinosaur in our classroom. Miss Parker set up a special camera in the classroom over night and the dinosaur came back!!! We got to see it on the iPad.

The dinosaur also left us a note and a present which was very exciting.

We decided that we wanted to paint our dinosaur but that gave us a problem.  Lots of people couldn’t remember how to make the right colour green that we needed to paint the dinosaur. We decided that we needed to refresh our knowledge of colour mixing before painting our dinosaur.

It was so exciting to have a real life dinosaur in our classroom and we hope he comes back again soon!