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Christmas Celebrations Part 4- Giving Presents

The last week of school was one of our busiest yet….. in between the party and Father Christmas’s visit we had some special jobs to do. We’d looked at the Christmas story and talked about the gifts given by the kings and also how Christians believe that Jesus was a gift to the world from God. Everyone was very excited to talk about the gifts they would be receiving. Miss Parker and the teachers asked us what gifts we would be giving. We decided to use the TASC wheel to help us plan our activity and work out what we needed to do if we wanted to make gifts for our grown ups. After talking about it and all the possible ideas the children all decided they wanted to bake something. They did however want to bake different things so we got into groups based on what we wanted to bake. There were buns, gingerbread men, mince pies and jam tarts baked.

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Once we’d done the baking some children needed to decorate their baking as well making their own choices about why that looked like.

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To go with our gifts we also made some cards. We had to draw something that we thought about linked to Chrsitmas and our grown ups. Everyone thought of their own idea and drew it themselves. We even wrote the inside of our cards indepedently so our grown ups could see how much progress we’d made during Autumn term. Here are just a few of them for you to see.

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We also went to find different people who worked in school to give them a Christmas present to say thank you.  We talked about the different reasons we give presents and how giving people presents made them feel. We were pleased when we made people smile.

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Then on our last afternoon we were all a little bit sad because we couldn’t find our elf but he had left us a surprise. It soon cheered us up and we were exicited to see what it was. Santa had sent us a present early because we’d been so good while the elf had been with us. We got a copy of the book Zog by Julia Donaldson and also our very own Zog toy for the classroom. The elf told us Zog was on TV over the Chrsitmas Holidays so he thought we’d like to read the book first. Everybody loved it! 🙂

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A Gingerbread Man Hunt

There was a strange message when we came into school the other Friday morning. We weren’t sure who it was from so we decided to follow the clue and see if we could find out more. First stop was the school library. When we got there we found another clue. We all had to do good listening and see if we could finish the rhymes to help Miss Parker work out where to go next.

After a few clues we’d worked out that it was the Gingerbread Man that had left us the clue and we had to be really quiet so we didn’t let him know we were coming. By the time we had finished we’d been all round the school, including the MUGA outside and past all of our older brother and sisters classrooms upstairs, and met lots of important people, like Mr Sieczkarek and Miss French. Following the clues meant we’d been upstairs and downstairs, inside and out. When we got back to “the room that is best”, we found the Gingerbread Man had left us a special treat to say well done.

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The following week we did lots of learning about the Gingerbread Man. We checked that everyone knew the story and what happened at the beginning, the middle and the end of.  Some children enjoyed retelling the story in their own words. Some children enjoyed trying to write it on a BIG story map like they’d seen Miss Parker do.

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What have we been learning? 

  • Where places and people are in our new school. This is particularly important for the children who came to us from different settings. 
  • The purpose of reading to find out more and help us solve problems. 
  • To remember a familiar story and retell it in a variety of ways. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Retell the story of the Gingerbread Man and other stories your child is familiar with. 
  • Ask your child to retell stories in pictures and using words. 
  • Point out to your child when you are finding something out by reading or reading for pleasure to help them understand why reading it so important. 
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Mince Pie Maths

We’ve had an elf visiting us during the month of December. He’s come to visit from the North Pole to help Santa out before Christmas. We’ve been busy showing him what superstars we are in Onyx Class.

On Friday, Mr Elf brought us a special treat. He must have heard us talking about mince pies earlier in the week after we saw a picture of some. We knew that they were a special Christmas food but not many of us had tried them. We predicted what they would taste like. Jayden said he thought they’d taste like chocolate, Mateo said they would taste like sugar because looking at the picture on the box he could see sugar on the plate and Adam predicted they’d have raisins because the picture had raisins.

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There was a problem though…

We saw there were 6 mince pies in one box. Mateo worked out that meant there would be 12 in two boxes. We opened the second box and checked to find out he was right. That left us with 12 mince pies and 28 children! What were we going to do? Someone had the idea of cutting them in two but when we counted them in twos (with Miss Parker’s help) we released that was still only 24 and not enough pieces. We decided to share each mince pie into three! With some help, we counted the mince pie pieces in three and found out that we’d have enough with some spares left over.

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Everyone got some mince pie to try. We were really pleased that everyone tried the mince pie even though some of us weren’t too sure what it would be like. Some of us really liked it and some of us really didn’t! Jayden found out it didn’t taste like chocolate at all and Mateo and Adam found out they were in part right. Can you remember what your piece tasted like? Parents/ Carers- you can look in our Floor Book to see what else we had to say about them.

Gracie-Mai did an amazing job of being our photographer and took lots of photos on the iPad while we tried them.

While we were trying our mince pies Mrs Hoyland came to say hello. We decided to see if she liked mince pies as well. Some children took her a piece to find out then took a picture to show us her answer. Do you think she liked it?

We’re really glad Mr Elf brought us some mince pies. I wonder if they’ll be any more surprises next week before he heads back to the North Pole to get ready for the big day!

What have we been learning? 

  • to share objects so it is fair. 
  • that sometimes you get some objects left over. 
  • to count objects. 
  • to count in two and threes with support. 
  • to try new foods that we might not be sure about. 
  • to predict what something might taste like from looking at it. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • count out other objects during meal times, e.g. How many chicken nuggets do you have?
  • share out objects at home to make it fair, e.g. Does everyone have a sweet? If there are 6 sweets and 3 people, how many do you get each? 
  • try new foods. If you try and special Christmas foods let us know on a Wow moment.
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A Gingerbread Man Hunt

We had a special visitor come to our new school. He left a clue for us and we had to work out where to go next to find out who he was. It was a fantastic chance to have a look round our new school as we went upstairs and downstairs, along corridors and outside too! Do you think we found him in the end? Read on to find out….

Look at the pictures with your child to see if they remember where we went and which rooms we had to go to.

The first clue we found in the classroom said to find a room with lots of books. Off we went to find the Library…. We have a library in school as well as the visits we make to Manor Top Library. You can issue books for your child. Please ask for more details.

imageWe found another clue in the Library so couldn’t stay to read. We didn’t want the Gingerbread Man to get away from us. Next we had to go to the place where people answer the phones before finding the room we eat in- the office and the hall of course!

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We found out there is only one hall in our new school where we have dinner, do PE and have all our assemblies. We can’t wait to do PE for the first time. Our next clue said to go where they are 3 so it was off to Nursery next to see the three year olds there.

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From Nursery we had to go outside and all the way down to the MUGA (multi-use games area). The Gingerbread Man did well did get down there and back without anyone seeing him. Next we had to go where the teachers drink their tea which meant the staff room. The staff room is back upstairs but this time we used the yellow stairs. Did you know there’s a blue staircase and a yellow one?

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We asked Mrs Ainsley if she’d seen the Gingerbread Man and she hadn’t but he’d left another note. After checking in Miss French’s office too we followed the clue the Gingerbread Man left to go to the room which is best. Valerie said straight away “our classroom!”

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We all had a great time chasing the Gingerbread Man and although we didn’t find him we loved eating the gingerbread men he left. It was a great way to get to know our new school.

We hope the Gingerbread Man comes back again soon.