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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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Books at Bedtime Week 3

For the last week of Books at Bedtime we had a whole celebration day in school. We were all allowed to come to school in our pyjamas! There was a special assembly which Miss Varley held in the main hall with all of FS2 and KS1. Our Grand Prize Winner was announced and she chose a whole collection of Julia Donaldson books as her prize. IMG_0371

We had a storytelling session with our school storyteller Andy Messer which everyone loved. We were all laughing out loud at the story although one part was much scarier.

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We also got to have a storytelling session with hot chocolate in the classroom and share some of our favourite stories. One of our friend’s favourite books was in Polish so we had to ask his sister to come and read it to us because Miss Parker struggled with all the pronunciation! We noticed there were lots of books on dinosaurs- maybe we’ll have to learn about them soon…

Thanks and well done to all who took part in the Books at Bedtime competition. Don’t forget to keep reading bedtime stories with your children every night as part of your child’s bedtime routine.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Storytelling

During the last week of half term we had our Storytelling event for parents and carers. We’d been practising the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as part of our learning about caterpillars and butterflies so decided this is the story we wanted to tell our grown ups. (Click here to find out more about our caterpillar and butterfly learning)

We went to the Hall first with Diamond class (Nursery) and Garnet class (FS2) and used the Story Map and Makaton actions to help us tell the story. Our grown ups who came were very proud of us and gave us a big clap at the end.

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Then we headed back to the classroom. Our focus this year has been on Maths so we took the opportunity to do some Maths with our parents and carers based on the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We practised knowing and ordering the days of the week. We could then use this to help us retell the story. Some of us didn’t have grown ups there to help us so we had to be independent and complete it on our own. Some of us even took it a step further and used the pictures to help us write the story ourselves on the back.

This is sheet we had to complete and then take home so we could keep on practising the story.

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We also got to take home the story map and the words so we could keep practising. We asked our grown ups what they thought so we can make it even better next time.

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It was lovely to see lots of parents and carers there again. Thank you for coming, the teachers and children really appreciate your support 🙂

What have we been learning? 

  • To confidently tell a story to an audience of adults. 
  • To say the days of the week. 
  • To use the days of the week to help us order the story. 
  • To be independent and cut out and organise an activity ourselves. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Retell the story together using your story map and story words. 
  • Practise using a big voice and tell some different family members the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You could even use Skype or FaceTime to tell people you don’t see all the time. We’d love to hear who you’ve been telling the story to, don’t forget to tell us on a Wow moment. 
  • Can you change the story to the story of The Very Hungry Tadpole? What might he eat each day? 

 

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Beautiful Butterflies

We’ve had some visitors in our classroom for the last few weeks. It has been wonderful watching our tiny caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies right before our eyes.

Look how tiny the caterpillars were when they first arrived.

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This is what we had to say when our caterpillars first arrived.

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They ate and ate and ate and grew and grew and grew! Quickly the doubled and trebled in size. Can you see all five caterpillars in there? 

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Soon they were ready to spin their cocoons and start becoming butterflies. We knew they were ready because they hung upside down.

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While our caterpillars were growing and getting ready to become butterflies we decided we wanted to learn about caterpillars and butterflies. We talked about how they’d got bigger and what would happen to them next. We also thought about if we knew any stories about caterpillars. Everybody remembered seeing The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle before.

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We decided we’d like to try all the fruit just like the Hungry Caterpillar had done. Miss Parker set us a challenge though…. we had to think of as many words as we could to describe the taste of the fruit instead of always saying nice or yummy. Miss Parker wanted to know why it was nice and yummy. We also found out our favourite class fruit. Can you remember which fruit was the most popular? 

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We tried to retell the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in words and in writing. The children decided they’d like to tell their families the story at our next storytelling workshop. Look out for the date coming soon. We are starting to write more and more and Miss Parker tried to trick us by making mistakes when she was writing. We were just too clever though and managed to fix them all.

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We had such a busy time learning about caterpillars and butterflies. Look what our families had to say when they looked in our floor book.

We’d loved having our caterpillars then butterflies in the classroom and really enjoyed watching them as they moved and began to fly more and more.

Finally it was time to say goodbye to our butterflies and let them go and fly out in the real world. Although they loved our classroom it was time to let them see the rest of the world. I wonder where they are now? Keep looking to see if they come and visit you in your garden.

What have we been learning?

  • About the life cycle of Caterpillars and Butterflies. 
  • To retell a known story using story language. 
  • To think of as many words to describe taste as possible. 
  • To try new foods we might not have had before.
  • To look for patterns in stories and the environment around us. 
  • To look after animals who need us to be careful and considerate. 
  • To write our ideas in sentences. 

 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Look for butterflies in your garden. What do they look like? Can you find out which species of butterfly they are? 
  • Can you explain the life cycle to a grown up? For an extra challenge can you draw or write about the Butterfly Life Cycle. 
  • Can you remember the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and tell it to a grown up? Remember to use the special story language we used in school. 

 

  • We will be holding our storytelling event in the last week of the half term. Look out for more information coming soon. 
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Wonderful World Book Day 2016

We had a wonderful time celebrating World Book Day this year. There was lots going on. Our school library officially opened so we went for a look round and to borrow our very own school library book. It was great to see all the books we could borrow and choose our favourite to take home.

We all got dressed up on World Book Day and wore costumes of our favourite book characters. Look how fantastic we look. Can you guess who we are?  

We went to a whole school assembly with Andy Messer who is a storyteller. He told us a wonderful story although we all thought it was gross when the monster was being sick! It was great to be able to see everyone’s costumes in school as well.

We also went to a special session just for Onyx and Garnet class with Andy where he told us another story just for us. We then got to ask Andy some questions about the stories he tells.

And we weren’t finished there! We decorated our door with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with everyone working hard to complete their part of the tree or the their letter to climb up the tree. We had a look at everyone else’s doors round school as well.

What a busy day! We loved it though and enjoyed all the books and stories.

What have we been learning?

  • To enjoy stories and books.
  • To listen to stories.
  • To talk about the stories we hear and the books we read.
  •  To talk about our favourite books and stories. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Look at your school library book together and share the story. 
  • Visit the library at Manor Top and take a book home. 
  • Make up some stories of your own together. What’s the silliest story you can make up? What’s the scariest story you can tell? 
  • Go to the Book Shop with your World Book Day £1 book token and swap it for a free book

 

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Mr Wolf’s Pancakes Storytelling & Chatterbox Challenge

Last week we had our joint Storytelling and Chatterbox Challenge session for our Parents and Carers.

Our families were invited to hear us tell the story of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley and the rhymes we’d been learning for the Chatterbox Challenge. We’ve been taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge to raise money for the ICAN charity which works with children who have Speech and Language difficulties.

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We worked with Nursery and Garnet class to tell the story to our families who had come.  We then sang the Chatterbox Challenge rhymes we’d been practising at home and at school.

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This is the storymap we used to help us remember the words. We had Makaton actions for each of the pictures as well. It is also very similar to the storymap we made when we got back to the classroom with our grown ups.

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Lots of grown ups came to help us make out story maps. We had to cut out pictures and put them back in the right order to tell the story. Then we could take our story maps home to continue telling the story to everyone there.

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It was lovely to see so many of you there. Thank you for coming and supporting the children. We hope you enjoyed the Storytelling workshop.  If you still have sponsorship money to hand in after the Chatterbox Challenge then please return it to school as soon as possible. ICAN organise the Chatterbox Challenge every year to highlight the challenges children with speech and language difficulties face.  Good communication skills are vital to a happy, successful childhood so we place a lot of importance on these skills in school, especially while your child is in Nursery and Reception.  If you want to find out more about why we’re raising money please look on the links below. Please ask if you have any questions.

I CAN       Chatterbox Challenge

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