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Forest Schools 1

Onyx Class had a wonderful time at our first Forest Schools session. We’ve been up to the Secret Garden a couple of times recently ( see this post and this post) and couldn’t wait to get back.

When we first got there we played game called 1-2-3 Where Are You? It was hard to listen to where our friends were hiding and then go and find them.  Then we all closed our eyes and listened. It was a very windy day so it was interesting to hear what we would listen to that was different to when we’d been before.

We did an activity where we looked closely at the trees. We sat under the trees and watched what was happening above our heads in the wind.

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After that we all found a tree that we would like to get to know better and used our senses to find out more. We felt the tree and listened to it, then we smelt it to see if it smelt of anything.

We all our found our favourite tree and did a bark rubbing to explore the texture of the bark further. We had to work well together as a partnership to make sure the paper didn’t fly away in the wind!

Before we went back to the classroom everyone was allowed to go on one more explore of the Secret Garden to find a special object each. We decided to take them back to the outdoor environment to do one last special job.

Miss Hukin helped use when we got back to our outdoor environment to make our special objects into a mobile. Have you seen it hanging in the Mud Kitchen?

What we have been learning:

  • To use our senses to explore the world around us.
  • About our local environment and how to look after nature.
  • About how to keep ourselves safe.
  • To find out more about trees. 
  • To talk about a windy day. 

How can you continue the learning? 

  • Visit your local green areas and talk about what you can hear, see, smell and touch.
  • Collect come objects of your own and make a mobile for your garden at home. 
  • Look at different trees on your way to school and in your garden. What is special about them? 
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Escape from the Volcano

Everyone had been talking about volcanos and playing a game called ‘Escape from the Lava’ for ages so we decided we should learn about volcanoes in class.

Miss Parker found a book which told us a bit more about volcanoes. Can you remember what it taught us?

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We also watched a video that lots of us had seen at home. You can watch it again here. Can you tell a grown up how an island grows?

Then we watched some videos of some real volcanoes and found out there were volcanoes erupting right now while we were in school. We thought about how we would feel if there was lava coming towards our homes. Miss Parker told us about when she went to an volcano but thankfully it wasn’t erupting when she was there.

We thought how we would help the people in Hawaii escape after they wrote to us asking for help. We came up with a few suggestions.

There was lots more role play and children wanting to experience what it was like to be near the lava. Outside was a popular place for this and the children loved building bridges and other ways to stay safe. They used our loose parts in all sorts of imaginative ways and even added water to be lava.

 

As the children were so engrossed in making up stories we used this to practise our writing skills. First we had to THINK IT and decide what we wanted to happen in our story. We drew a story map to help us remember it.

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Then we had to SAY IT for each sentence so we could remember what to write. Then we had to WRITE IT. We worked hard to sound out the words and think of the letters we needed to write. Here is the beginning and the middle of the story.

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When we had written it we had to READ IT to see if we’d done a good job. Can you see the ticks and crosses on our writing? We used the sentence hand to make sure we’d remembered everything putting a tick if we had and a cross if we hadn’t. On Wednesday we forgot our capital letter but on Thursdays we remembered them.

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Do you think you could write the end of the story? You could write it on paper and bring it to school or put it in a comment below or an email.

Our learning about volcanoes went over two weeks because we were all so interested and there was so much to learn and do. We decided we wanted to make a volcano of our own and see if we could make it erupt. It took us all week to make. We started with a bottle and some masking tape.

Then we had to use papier-mâché to build the shape of the volcano. It took a long time because we had to wait for it to dry in between.

 

Everyone enjoyed helping with our volcano which was good because there were still more jobs. Next we had to paint our volcanoes. First we painted the mountain and the grass before we added the lava. We used one of our volcano books to help us think what the volcano should look like.

 

Finally our volcano was ready and it was time to watch it erupt. Miss Parker used bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar to create the lava inside the volcano. Everybody loved it and said it was well worth the wait.

We loved learning about volcanoes.

What have we been learning?

  • To find out about volcanoes using videos and books.
  • To find out where volcanoes are using first hand experiences and technology.
  • To build our own volcano and watch it erupt.
  • To role play what we think it would be like near a volcano which is erupting.
  • To make up stories about volcanoes.
  • To think how to stay safe near volcanoes and send our ideas to Hawaii.

How can you continue the learning?

  • Watch the video above and talk about how the volcanoes grow.
  • Use Google to find videos of real volcanoes and watch the lava flow (Make sure before doing any Google search with children that you have the appropriate safety measures in place)
  • Continue the story above writing it either on paper or typing it.

 

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Storytelling with Andy Messer- Part 1

We had a fabulous time last Tuesday when it was our turn for some storytelling sessions with Andy Messer, our storyteller in residence. He’s been working with all the different classes in school and finally it was our turn. Andy spent the whole day in Foundation Stage splitting his time between Nursery and Reception and doing some work with us all together outside.

First we had a storytelling session inside with just Onyx class. This was a funny story about a crocodile and a monkey. Andy talked about mango in the story so brought some for us to try. Some of us had never tried it before.

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Then Andy spent some time outside. I bet you can’t guess what type of stories we were telling?!? We used some of our loose parts outside to enhance our stories and become props.

 

Everyone had a wonderful time. Our stories in the classroom have been getting better all week since Andy’s visit. We can’t wait for him to come again for our next session.

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Our Christmas Nativity 2017

We did our Christmas Nativity for our grown ups today and we did such an amazing job. Everybody remembered their lines and their acting. We all did a fabulous job of singing all the songs. Well done everyone!

You can see all the special roles here. Do you recognise anyone? 

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And here we are in some action shots….

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A huge well done to everyone! You were all superstars! 🙂 Your parents and carers thought so too. Look at some of the amazing comments they left.

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Careers Week

Last week in school was Careers Week. We had lots of special visitors to our classroom over the week. Can you remember who came? 

First we had a visit from the PCSOs (Police). They came to have a play in the classroom and see what we do in Foundation Stage Two. It was fun to be able to play with all the toys in Onyx classroom together. Then we talked to them and they told us all about being in the Police and how you get to be in the Police. Some of us want to be in the Police when we are older.

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Then Miss Parker’s mum came to visit us. We are used to seeing her in the School Library but not in our classroom. She came to tell us all about when she was a Librarian at the University. Did you know librarians have to go to Library School? They also have to read a LOT of books. If you love books maybe you could be a Librarian one day.

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Finally Miah’s mum came to visit us and tell us about her job in a Care Home. She has to work very hard and told us all about the different jobs she has to do to help keep the old people happy and safe. She came to see us in her special uniform so we could see it.

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A huge thank you to everyone who came to talk to us about their job. What would you like to do when you grow up? Maybe you could draw a picture and bring it to show Miss Parker in class. 

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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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Onyx Class Hairdressers

We had a new area formed in our classroom this week. The children asked if they could turn the house into a hairdressers! Of course we said yes but the children had some jobs to do first. They had to let us know what they thought the hairdressers would need to be the best hairdressers there had ever been.

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The very first job was to tidy away all the resources we’d had out for the house.

With Miss Morris’ help the children made all the signs they would need including price lists and posters with opening times.

 

And then the children could get busy being hairdressers! This included some good receptionists as well to take the bookings and answer the phones.

Our hairdressers didn’t just do hair. There was a nail salon as well so the theme of colour mixing (from the dinosaur) was continued and the children who were interested had a to mix the colours they thought would make the best nail varnish colours. Some children decided to draw their best nail art designs in a booklet to show customers.

We had a great time in Onyx Class Hairdressers. Lots of children from Garnet class came to visit as well. We’ve never looked so good!