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Books At Bedtime Week 1

Every child in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One was given a Books at Bedtime card last Wednesday. They had to read a Bedtime Story with their grown up every night this week and write down which one they had read. Today was the day we had to bring them back to school. We put them all in a big pile, closed our eyes and picked a winner. Look who won!!!

She got to go and see Mrs Ainsley and choose a book from the box. It was hard choosing from so many great books but finally she settled on a dinosaur book.

Don’t forget to read your Bedtime Stories this week and you’ll get to go in the prize draw next Wednesday if you bring your card back to school. Then the week after its the big Prize Draw.

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NSPCC Big Board Game Day

We invited our parents and carers to school on Friday for Big Board Game Day in aid of the NSPCC. You can find out more about the great work that they do for children here.

We love playing board games because they are such a fun way to help us get better at Maths and counting. All the counting on a board game going backwards and forwards and counting the dice makes us much better at understanding number order, number lines and the concepts of more and less. The extra bonus is we’re having so much fun we don’t even know we’re doing Maths.

We all made our very own board game which we got to take home at the end of the day. Everyone had to order the numbers 1-20 themselves and then decide which messages to put on their game. Every single game in the class is different. Then we had the tricky job of cutting out the dice and folding it to make a cube.

Some children made a different board game with Mrs Brown at Parent Workshop on Thursday. One child brought his to school and very kindly let his friends keep it in the Maths Area. The children had a great time playing the game following the rules themselves and reading the cards which told them what to do.

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As well as being great for making us great Mathematicians, board games are really good for helping us take turns and think of others as there are winners and losers.

We loved having our parents and carers come to help us in school and are really looking forward to playing our games again and again. Thanks for coming and for the donations that you made for the NSPCC.

Parents/ Carers- Don’t forget to let us know how your child has been getting on with their game on a Wow moment. You can send us an email of you all playing it on the class email. Let us know about any other board games you have and play at home. I heard one child talk about playing Monopoly already! 

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Settling In

The Summer is over and we’ve all now started in Onyx class and have been doing a fantastic job of settling in. Miss Parker, Miss Morris and all the other teachers have been so proud of us and how grown up we’ve been. We’ve been having loads of fun exploring our new classroom and the outdoor area. For some of us there haven’t been that many differences from Nursery at Prince Edward but some of us have had to get used to everything being different.

Look at the fun we’ve been having…

 

We’ve also been learning to use the self serve snack area where we can choose between water and milk each day and have a piece of fruit. We have to remember to wash our hands and put all our rubbish in the bins ourselves.

 

We also had chance to explore the new outdoor ‘park’ on one of our first days. We’ve been talking about how to make sure we stay safe when we are playing on it and what to do when we can’t reach the next bit. There were lots of determined faces as they children really challenged themselves to be successful. We also talked about how the equipment is only for use in school time when school adults are supervising. Please remember not to allow your child to play on the equipment at the beginning and end of the school day. 

At the end of last week we went to the Dinner Hall for our dinners. It was very exciting to be like the big kids and eat our dinner in the Hall. Jayden even said, “School dinners are the best” and Mateo said he was going to have a dinner at school everyday! All the teachers, including Mr Sieczkarek and Mrs Ainsley, were impressed at how well the children coped with all the new routines. We loved seeing some of our older brothers, sisters and friends in the hall and we’re all super excited to go and play outside after our dinner with them next week.

 

Well done Onyx Class on a fabulous start to the school year! You’re the best! 🙂

Keep checking back to see what we’ve been doing in school.

 

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FS2 Graduation 2016

We had a wonderful time at our Graduation back in July. We showed this video to show everything we’d done during our year in Onyx Class.

Please click on this link to see the video https://youtu.be/LzQ8OvwYuYo

We hope you enjoy it and it brings back happy memories.

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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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A Huge Thank You!!!

Do you remember our Chatterbox Challenge back in February? Look on the blog post to remind yourself if you’ve forgotten by clicking here.

We managed to raise an amazing £106.50!!!! Thank you to everyone who attended, sponsored our children and those who collected all the money in. We’re really proud of you all.

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Remember all the money raised goes to help children with communication difficulties. You can find out more about the Chatterbox Challenge and the I Can charity by clicking on the links.

Thank you again! 

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Our New Writing Journals

You might have heard about our new Writing Journals which we keep in our drawers in the classroom. If not ask your child about theirs and have a look in their drawer. Now we’re into the Summer term and starting to get ready for Year One we are practicing our writing more. Every week we have to write in our book at least once, although we can write in it every day if we want to. We can choose to write about anything we want. Every time we write in our book we get a special ‘writing journal’ ticket and it goes in the special box. On Friday we pull out a winner and they get a prize to take home. The more times you’ve written the better your chances of winning!

As you can see we have lots of things to help us when we write. Miss Parker and the other teachers don’t just expect us to have everything saved in our heads just yet!

  • We use a phoneme strip to help us remember our letters and sounds, especially the digraphs we have learnt. Digraphs are sounds with 2 letters such as ai, ee, ow, ar and or. We also learn trigraphs with 3 letters such as igh, ear and air.
  • We use tricky word books marks to help us remember the tricky words we have been practising in our reading such as I, go, no, the, into, she, be, me and my. If we’ve learnt to read them already then our reading can help us to write.
  • We use a sentence hand to help us remember fingers spaces and full stops. These can be hard to remember at first so the hand means we can use it make the space for us, this can be particularly helpful if you are left handed.
  • Finally, we use a sound button which means we can record our sentence before we try and write it. There is so much to remember when were trying to write out ideas down that it helps if the sound button can read our sentence back to us.

If you would like copies of any of these please ask in school and we’ll be able to get you copies of them all apart from the sound button. You could use the voice record function on your smart phone instead though.

At first the writing you see from your child might not look as you expect. This does not mean it is not ‘good’ writing. At first your child may just write letters they know and tell you the words they have written. To you they might not seem to have any links at all. Encourage them to read their writing back to you and praise them for mark making with meaning.

As writing skills develop, children will start to listen to the sounds in words and write the corresponding letters they know. They may miss a lot out to begin with but again this is developing their skills  in the correct direction. They may copy some words they know, such as their friends names.

As the children’s writing skills develop further you will be able to see how they are using some of the tricky words they know and beginning to use finger spaces in their writing. They will still be relying on their phonics skills to sound out (segment) and spell. They may know some other words which they are able to use.

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By the end of the year the age related expectation (ARE) is that FS2 children are writing sentences which can be read back by others. They will still be reliant on phonics to spell but will be showing a better use of tricky words and using more digraphs/trigraphs more accurately. Children will be using finger spaces more and in the correct place. Their sentences will relate to the same subject and continue the story or information. Every child is different though and although these are examples of what children might be writing they are not the only way of doing it. 

If you would like to know more please ask the teachers in school and we can show you more examples and also some of the statements we use to asses writing in Foundation Stage.

What have we been learning? 

  • To write with more independence. 
  • To use our phonics skills to write. 
  • To use the other resources we have in the classroom to write. 

How can you help at home? 

  • Encourage your child to write. If your child is a reluctant writer try to make it relevant, such as them helping you to write the shopping list or writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy or other favourite character. 
  • Allow your child to write independently and then ask them what it says instead of asking them to copy write what you have written. 
  • Use the different resources there are available to help your child write. There is a lot to remember when writing, especially when you’re first starting out! 
  • Bring any writing your child does at home to school and display it on a WOW moment. We’d love to see how well they’re doing. 
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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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Books at Bedtime 2016

For the 3 weeks before half term, we ran the Books at Bedtime competition at school in FS and KS1. Everyone had to read books at bedtime for three weeks with their families and record them on the special sheets. On the last day of half term we had a PJ party to celebrate and even brought our teddies to school.

Research shows how important it is for children to have a bedtime story each night and how much children value the time with their grownups. However, there are increasing pressures on time and many families don’t have a bedtime routine which includes a story. We hope you continue the Books at Bedtime even though the competition is finished.

We held a special Assembly with Mrs Ainsley where we found out who the winner was in each class. There had been 2 winners of books at the end of Week 1 and at Week 2- thats lots of new books going home! 🙂

 

Then we had a look at lots of books with our friends from Garnet class and also Year One and Year Two. It was lots of fun.

 

Don’t forget to let us know on a WOW moment if you and your child have been sharing books and stories at home! Which is your favourite book you read together? 

 

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The Dough Disco!

Since Christmas we’ve been going to the Dough Disco every day. Dough Disco is a fun way to help strengthen our fingers and hands and get them ready for writing. We also do Write Dance each week (see this post about Write Dance from last year to give you a better idea of what it is.)

In Dough Gym we all have our own pot of dough which we have to look after. We made it ourselves. Have you ever made Playdough? Its very easy and your children can help you do it.

Follow this simple recipe-

The children can help count out the cups and tablespoons and talk about the different amount between the cups and the tablespoons.

Then they will need your help because the recipe needs very hot or boiling water. Add 2 cups of boiling water and mix with a spoon until all the dry ingredients have gone. Once it has cooled a little then give it to the children to continue mixing it with their hands. You can talk about about how hot the play dough is and how it cools.

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Once we’d made our play dough we were ready to use it for Dough Disco. Everyone has their own pot and we sit in a circle so everyone can see. Miss Parker puts on the music and we’re ready to go…

We dance with the dough in our hands and practise using our fingers and hands to squash, squeeze and squidge the dough. These are some of the movements we do in time to the music.

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If you want to find out more you can watch a video of Dough Disco with Shonette Bason-Wood on YouTube by clicking on this link.

What have we been learning? 

  • To make play dough counting out the ingredients and talking about the changes we see and feel. 
  • To strengthen our hands and fingers using the dough. 
  • To move in time to the music. 
  • To listen to instructions and do the action we are being told. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Make some play dough of your own (you can colour it with food colouring if you want)
  • See if you can have a Dough Disco with your favourite music playing.