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Chinese New Year Celebrations

Last week we saw on the calendar it was Chinese New Year and decided that we wanted to find out more about it.

We saw on the picture and on the front of the Chinese New Year book in our classroom there was dragon. We went to look at the Y6 dragon on the staircase in school. It made us decide that we wanted to make our own. We watched a video of a dragon dance and thought we could do a dragon dance of our own. We talked about what we saw.

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There was another discussion about Chinese Food. Lots of the children said they’ve not tried it before so we decided that is what we should do.

We also thought what else we wanted to know about Chinses New Year and wrote some questions. Some of us wrote it by ourselves, some of us wrote shared sentences with teacher help.

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During the week we did lots of learning about Chinese New Year. We watched some videos to find out more. You can watch them here.  There is one about preparing for Chinese New Year, one about celebrating Chinese New Year and one with the Chinese New Year Story.

We enjoyed having our own races outside and seeing which animal came first, second and third when we ran.

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When our dragon was finished we did what we said we wanted to and took it to the Hall to do some dragon dancing. Some of us made the dragon dance and some of us played the instruments for the music.

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One of our favourite things we did during the week was we tried Chinese Food. Miss Parker said we had to cook it ourselves so we went to the oven and the microwave to cook it before we could eat it.

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You can see more about what we thought about our food in the floor book. You can also see we found out the answers to our questions.  We also loved trying the fortune cookies.

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You can see the questions we wrote and the answers we found out here…

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We have loved learning about Chinese New Year!

What have we been learning? 

  • about how different people celebrate. 
  • some of the ways that Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year. 
  • to think of questions about what we could find out. 
  • to find out the answers to our questions. 
  • to order numbers and use ordinal numbers such as first, second and third. 
  • to taste new foods and talk about how it tasted. 
  • to move to music and create our own.

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Watch the videos again and see if you can find out anything new. 
  • Have some races in the park and see who the winner is. 
  • Think of some other things that you’d like to find out and look in books to find the answer. 
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Our Fabulous Volcano

We had a great time learning about volcanoes recently. It actually came about due to a misconception that one of the children had when they confused the cave in We’re Going On a Bear Hunt for a volcano.

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It started is thinking what is a volcano and could we make our own. First we watched a video about volcanoes to find out more.

You can watch the video by clicking on this link.

Then we started to think if we could make our own volcano which would erupt.

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It took a full week to make as we had to do the paper mache and wait for it to dry before we could paint it. We had to look at lots of books and remember the video to find out what they looked like. We went to our school library to find some volcano books.

 

Finally our volcano was ready to see if it would erupt. We were all very excited to see what would happen.

Our volcano did erupt but it also spent some time when it didn’t so we talked about when volcanoes are dormant or extinct.

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We also shared our learning with some of the children in Garnet class and showed them our videos.

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Mateo wanted to know when we were going on a Volcano Hunt!!! Do you know where we’d have to go to find volcanoes? See if you can find out.

What have we been learning? 

  • What is a volcano. 
  • How to make different shapes so we can make a volcano. 
  • To be careful when doing Science investigations. 
  • To share our learning with our friends. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Watch the video on the link above- what can you find out about volcanoes? 
  • Find some books about volcanoes at the library- where do you find volcanoes?
  • Answer the following question- Would you want to stand on a volcano? Why? 

 

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Fabulous Fireworks

When it was Bonfire Night we had lots of fun learning about fireworks. There were lots of activities to do in our classroom to really get us thinking about what the fireworks looked like and sounded like. We even had a go at moving our bodies like the fireworks.

 

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Once we’d done all the different activities we turned our ideas into poems on the computer. Miss Parker found a programme which meant the words moved and made sounds! We had to sound out to spell the words and think carefully which letters made those sounds.

Look at some of our finished poems… Can you read them back looking at the sounds and letters?  

Pictures of the poems are coming soon!

You can look in our floor book to see some more of our learning.

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What have we been learning? 

  • To think about Bonfire Night using all of our senses. 
  • To think about how we can move like fireworks. 
  • To make pictures and models of fireworks looking carefully what we want them to look like. 
  • To sound out to spell new words and find the letters to make the sounds. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Talk about different sounds and what makes the sounds. You can look on the Phonics Play website on the Phase 1  Sound Starters. Look in your homework book for the password. 
  • Try and sound out to spell some other simple words. Do you know what the letters look like for each sound? 
  • Think about the different times of year we have fireworks. Which celebrations often have fireworks? 

 

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Our Family Poems

After Grandparents Day, we started talking about our families and who is in our family. It sparked lots of learning about our families and people we know.  We brought photos in from home of our families to share with everybody. It was also National Poetry Day in the same week so we combined the two and wrote our own poems. We had to tell the grown ups our ideas and they helped us to make them into a poem.

Look at our Anthology here….

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Didn’t we we do a marvellous job? Did you find your poem? You can find the actual book in our classroom in the Book Corner.

You can see some of the other learning we did in our Floor Book here…

imageWe talked about the babies in our family and what happens as we grow up and get older. imageWe thought if it was better to be a kid or to be a grown up! I wonder if our grown ups think the same as we did?!?imageMiss Parker brought her teddy bear which she got when she was only a few days old. We looked at it to see how much she had grown and also talked about what had happened to the bear since then. image

We talked about teddy bears and wanting to go to Build A Bear Workshop at Meadowhall. We’re hopefully going to go in the New Year so look out for the letter.

What have we been learning?

  • Who is in our family and how everyone is related. 
  • To talk about our family and to say what is important to us about them. 
  • To put our ideas into a poem. 
  • To recognise our names in the Anthology and names of people in our family. 
  • How people grow up and change. 
  • How objects change as they get old. 

How can you continue the learning at home?

  • Talk about who is in your family and how everyone is related- the children often get this confused. 
  • Show the poem your child wrote to the people in your family and ask them what they think. 
  • Try and write your own poem about something different- favourite animals, places you go etc- and bring it to school to show us. 
  • Look at any objects you have from your childhood with your child. Talk about how it is special to you and how it might have changed 
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Our Fabulous Floor Book

You might have seen our Floor Book in the classroom or have heard your children talking about it. There have also been a few photos on this blog of some of the pages from our Floor Book.

Here is a page from our floor book back from when we went to Cannon Hall…

We talk about what we want to learn on a Monday morning and then again on a Friday afternoon.

We start thinking what we want to learn in a  Friday session. We are able to talk about the learning from the week previously and then decide where we want to take it next. By Monday we’ve been able to think about it some more and really focus in on what we want to learn. Miss Parker helps us think of some questions that we can answer and use as the focus for our learning that week. Our floor book time can happen at any time though. If we start having an interesting conversation it will go in our floor book to record our thoughts and learning.

Sometimes someone will have said something during the week which gives us an idea. This is how we started thinking and learning about Camouflage when Lacey made a comment about her camouflaged maths book.

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Sometimes someone will have said something a few weeks ago and that leads our learning. This is how we knew we were going to be learning about Ramadan when we talked about when Eid was.

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Sometimes we think of a totally new idea about something that we find interesting. This is like when we learnt about Stickers.

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Sometimes we read a story and it give us another idea. This is like when we read the story of The Hueys and the New Jumper and it triggered the idea of costumes in Aissata’s mind.

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Sometimes someone brings something to school and this starts us thinking about something new. This happened when Miss Parker brought the Tadpoles to school.

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Sometimes there is a themed week in school and we have to think about the theme that our year group has been given. We try and make it as interesting as possible, like when we learnt about Chocolate for Fair-trade Week and Wall-E for Environment Week.

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Sometimes our learning is linked to current events, such as EURO 2016 when we did lots of learning about football and the different countries the teams came from.

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Who knows what we’ll learn abut next! It will be up to the children though…

We love it when our parents and carers look at our floor books with us and we can talk about what we have been learning. Its a really good way of finding out what your child has been learning and doing when they come home and they tell you ‘nothing’!

We love it even more when our parents and carers make comments about our floor book and link it to our learning at home.

PLEASE COME AND LOOK AT OUR FLOOR BOOK ANYTIME AND SEE WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING.

ITS BEEN A BUSY, BUSY YEAR! 

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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? 

 

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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.