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Our Trip to Build a Bear Workshop

We had a wonderful visit to Build A Bear Workshop on January 31st. We did lots of talking about our visit and reflected on what we had seen and learnt when we got back. This has been turned into a Learning Story which you can see both in the classroom and below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

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After the February half term Charlie will start to come and visit the children at home. Please make sure you look after Charlie and bring him back to school. We’d love for you to complete the special diary so we can share your child’s experiences with the whole class. We encourage the children to write in the diary themselves rather than have you do it for them. Look out for Charlie coming to a house near you soon!

A huge thank you to the Parents/Carers who came with us on our visit. Without you we wouldn’t be able to take the children on these important visits.

How you can continue the learning at home? 

  • Go on visits to other places in Sheffield.  Talk about how they are the same as Manor Top and Meadowhall and how they are different.  
  • Go on visits on public transport, such as the bus or tram, and allow your child to help paying for tickets. It will help them understand money and how the different coins work. 
  • Allow your child to take small risks (with your close supervision) such as going on escalators. It will help them develop their self confidence and ability to manage their own safety. 

You can send us pictures of your visits or complete a wow moment in class.

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FS2 Reading Workshop

We held a workshop for parents and carers to come and find out why and how we do reading with children in Reception. There was also a discussion about how parents and carers can help their children at home and develop a daily reading habit.

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It was wonderful to see so many of our families there. Each family who came received a special Reading Bag full of goodies to take home. There was information to help with reading at home, some brand new reading books to keep at home, a phoneme strip to keep and other goodies. All children also received their Booktime book from the Book Trust.

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This year’s Booktime book is The Bumble Bear

There was also a special finger pointer in the reading pack to help children learn to track the writing left to right and point at each word in turn. We talked in the presentation about making reading as fun as possible, this is one of the ways we use in school.

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During the presentation we talked about a few different aspects to reading:

Why we need to read? 

  • Better life chances
  • Makes life easier
  • Helps with all subjects in school
  • Because you enjoy it
  • Research shows that children who read for pleasure do better at school

Different types of reading

  • Reading storybooks and information books for enjoyment and bedtime stories
  • Reading school book band books for learning

What are Book Band Books? 

  • Levelled books designed to help support children learn to read
  • Emphasis is on the children reading
  • Adult supports the reading
  • Some are decodable phonics readers, some are not
  • The adult needs to:Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 21.14.04

What about Storytime books? 

  • Books for enjoyment at any age
  • Doesn’t have to be a story, could be any book
  • Emphasis is on the adult reading
  • Child supports the reading and talks about the pictures
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We talked about what to do if your child won’t read with you because its not because they can’t read and its not because they can’t sit still. Some ideas for motivating your child are:

1.You have to make it exciting, be interested and impressed by whatever your child is reading

2.Make it funny- reinvent stories and find funny books to share.

3.Think outside the box- try ebooks, comics, letters and even chalk letters outside.

4.Read for a purpose and make it interesting.

5.Copy and collect- link reading to interests, such as Peppa Pig, dinosaurs and recommendations from other parents/ children.

Taken from https://blog.oxfordowl.co.uk/five-ways-to-encourage-reluctant-readers/

We also talked about what to do if you as a parent find reading more difficult:

–1. Have a go- the children will enjoy their time with you and appreciate your efforts.

2. –Look at a book yourself before looking at it with the children so there are no surprises.

–3. Work out difficult words together.

–4. Come and ask in school if you’re struggling. We are more than happy to help. 

We shared the Oxford Owl website where you can find more reading books to read at home. You can find it here: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page/

For Onyx class the username is Onyx and the password is Onyx123

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Please come and ask if you’ve got any questions in school about reading and how you can help your child.

Happy Reading! 

 

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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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Anti-Bullying Week 2017

A couple of weeks ago in school it was Anti-Bullying Week. We did lots of talking about what a bully is and what to do if we think we see someone who is a bully. We also talked lots about how to be a good friend and make sure we are not a bully.

At the end of the week we collected all our ideas and made a book. You can read it here…

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We acted out our ideas and took photos to make our book. We only pretended to be bullies though. After we made our book we put it in our reading corner so we could keep on reading it. We really enjoyed reading our book. We hope you like it.

Parents/carers- you can read the book again at home with your child and make sure they understand what a bully is and what a bully does. It is important for your child to understand that for these behaviours to be bullying it happens frequently and is targeted at the same child or children. 

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Phonics in Reception FS2

We have started daily Phonics sessions with the children.

We have started teaching the children the sounds that the letters make so they are able to recognise them both in books and around every environment they go in. We will also expect them to start using them in their own writing.

This video will help you know the exact sounds which each letter makes. It is important that these pure sounds are used.

We use the Jolly Phonics actions to support the children while they are learning the sounds each letter makes. We sing the song and do the action to make it easier for the children to remember them.

 

When we teach the letters and their sounds we teach them in an order which makes it easier to make words. First the children will learn s, a, t, p, i, n. Then they learn m, d, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss. These are all the letters and sounds they will learn in Phase 2.

Although it is important for the children to know the sounds the letters make it is also just as important for the children to be able to blend sounds together to make words. This means when you say to them the sounds they are able to make them into the word. At first the children will do this when they just hear the sounds. Children are expected to to be able to do this when they start Reception (FS2). As they get more confident with the letters they are expected to be able to read the letters themselves and blend them into words.

Examples of this:

c– a– t  is cat                  s–a–t  is sat

p–i–n  is pin                    g–o–t  is got

We also teach the children to read alien words which they are able to blend but make no sense.

Examples of these are:

s–e–c is sec                    h–i–b  is hib

d– u–p  is dup               l– e– c  is lec

Once the children are able to read words with Phase 2 sounds and also sound out to spell them we move onto Phase 3 letters and sounds, which include vowel digraphs (two letters, one sound). Children should be secure in reading and writing with Phase 3 sounds at the end of Reception (FS2)

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Picture taken from www.twinkl.co.uk

What can you do to help the learning at home?

  • Complete the Phonics homework each week. This will tell you which letters and sounds the children have been learning that week. 
  • Play the games on www.phonicsplay.co.uk which will help your child with their phonics skills. Good games to practise blending are Buried Treasure, Obb and Bob and Dragon’s Den. 
  • Look for letters everywhere and see if your child knows which sound they make. If you see words with the sounds they have learnt ask your child to help you read it. You can do this when you’re reading school reading books but also sometimes in other books you read together. Your child won’t be able to read the whole book but they can begin to help you. 

Please ask in school if you would like more help or there is anything you’re not sure about. We’re happy to help 🙂 

 

 

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Our First Visit to the Library

This week we had our first visit to Manor Top Library. We had to leave school and walk with our partner across all the busy roads to get there. Everyone was very sensible and walked safely to the Library. Miss Parker was very impressed.

 

When we got to the Library we got to have a look at all the books they have there. It was great to look at some new books including some we don’t have in school. We really enjoyed looking at the books and listening to our grown ups tell us the stories.

We will go to the Library every fortnight on a Monday in the afternoon. We will be able to start taking books home next time we go if your child has returned their Library Card form or you’ve already given us their Library Card.

We will also need parents/careers to come with us so look out for the sign up sheet in the classroom. We can take as many parents/careers as want to come but we do ask that you leave younger children at home.

 

 

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Celebrating Eid

It was a very exciting weekend for some of the children in Onyx Class over the weekend of the 24/25th June because they celebrated Eid in their homes. They couldn’t wait to tell us all about it.

They wanted to show us the way that Muslims pray so came to the front and showed us.

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We decided to get the prayer mats out so everyone could see them and they continued to show us how to pray the Muslim way. We found out in our information books that it is called Salah. It is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam and Muslims must pray 5 times a day.

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We also found some books written in Arabic writing and learnt that in Arabic you read the writing right to left not like in English which is left to right. We already know some Arabic from when we do our register in different languages but we learnt how to say Happy Eid as well.

Assalamu alaikum- Peace be unto you (Hello)

Eid Mumbarak- Happy Eid

We were very lucky because one of our families brought us in some Eid treats to try. Can you remember which one you tried? 

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We also read lots of books from our school library about Ramadan, Islam and Eid. Some of them were non-fiction books, some of them were fiction like this one. They all taught us all more about Eid though. We also watched the CBeebies programme Let’s Celebrate to find out what else happens at Eid. Click here to find the clips we watched. 

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While we talked about Eid and Islam we also talked about some of the other children’s experiences of religion. We found out some children prayed in different ways and went to Church instead of Mosque.

What have we been learning? 

  • About celebrations that are important to children in our class. 
  • That different people celebrate different religious events and festivals to us. 
  • What happens at Eid and some of the ways which Muslims practice their religion. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Talk to your child about the celebrations which are important in your family. 
  • Look for different religious buildings in Sheffield, such as churches and mosques. 
  • Use books from the library to find out more about different celebrations.