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Pumpkin Madness!

We had lots fun this week exploring pumpkins in our classroom. We started talking about pumpkins when we talked about Halloween.

“I were drawing a pumpkin, a monster.”- Elijah

“My Dad’s going to get a pumpkin. Its going to be small, not that big of a giant monster”- Kiefer

“You scoop the top off, then scoop the face, then put the candle in.”- Taela-Rose

“Its really heavy because you can’t really hold it. It might drop out of your hands.”- Mia

We put some pumpkins in our class to explore and investigate.

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We looked carefully at the pumpkins inside and outside. We had to tell each other and the grown up what we could see, smell, feel, taste and hearimage

We also tasted some pumpkin soup because most of us had never tried pumpkin before. Some of us thought it tasted nice but some people weren’t so sure! Can you tell who liked it from looking at our faces? Can you remember what it tasted like to tell your grown ups at home? imageWe also learn how the pumpkin is a plant and how it is a fruit. We knew that if we planted the seeds we might get a pumpkin next year. We planted a few to give ourselves the best chance. We’ll have to take care of them by watering them regularly and put them in the BioDome over the winter. Keep your fingers crossed the seeds grow. imageCan you see our amazing writing as well? We had to listen carefully and write the sounds we heard to write the word pumpkin.

What have we been learning? 

  • To describe the pumpkin using our senses to generate as many interesting words as possible. 
  • To taste new foods even if we weren’t sure about it to begin with. 
  • To feel different textures and think about how to describe them. 
  • That pumpkins have a life cycle and the seeds can turn back into a pumpkin. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Look for seeds in other foods- such as apples, pears, tomotoes etc. 
  • Grown some seeds in your garden such as wild flowers. 
  • Try different and interesting foods at home. 
  • Try and write some words at home using the sounds that you can hear- if your child hears the sound they might still need help knowing what that sound looks like as a letter. 

 

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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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Making Our Own Paper

Do you remember when we told you about the paper we’d made? We made it during Environment Week after reading a Charlie and Lola book called Look After Your Planet. Some of the children decided they wanted to try and make paper themselves by recycling old paper. You can read more about Environment Week by clicking here.

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Miss Deighton made a Learning Story all about the paper that we made and you can read it below.

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We had such a good time finding out how to make our own paper and it generated lots of language and conversation.

What have we been learning? 

  • To follow instructions. 
  • To talk about what we see and feel happening. 
  • To observe the changes to materials. 
  • To recycle paper. 

How can you continue the learning at home?

  • Look for the materials you can recycle in your home and sort them into the correct recycling bins. 
  • Find lots of different papers and talk about the different types. Which types of paper are good for what? For example, would you use writing paper instead of toilet paper? Why not? 
  • Have a look at these instructions and try to make your own paper at home. As you’ll see in the Learning Story, we didn’t have a window screen to squeeze the water out, we used a piece of thin fabric instead.  
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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. 
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How to Melt Ice and more…

A wonderful thing happened last week….. it got really really cold and the children found ice outside. Some of them brought it inside and began talking about it. Here is their Learning Story…….

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The ideas didn’t stop there though. We began thinking about where the ice came from and how we could possibly get some more.

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Sadly the water we put outside never froze because it didn’t get cold enough again. We got very excited when it snowed though!

We did start talking about frozen food in our freezers at home. Then we had a fabulous idea!

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We looked for a recipe and got busy making ice cream.

The children had lots to say while they were making and tasting the ice cream they’d made.

“Are we making chips or ice cream? Oooh, its right freezing.” Harvey S

“We need a dish to mix it, you have to mix it?” Dalton 

“We’re making ice cream and we’re going to taste it.” Pheobe

“Because we have to mix it up” Narla

“It looks like a cup o’tea” Grace

“My hands is freezing” Retaj

“Double bag, that means two. We wanted to try frozen food.” Corey

“Its yummy, its cold. Can we have some more?” Raghd

“My mouths getting cold because I drink ice cream, so yummy” Ya Qing

“More please” Logan

“It was nice. It look like milk. It was leaking at the side” Aiva

Everyone loved making and trying our ice cream. Maybe you could try and make some at home. Its easier than you think and you don’t need a fancy ice cream machine- just some plastic bags, ice and salt! Look below for the recipe. 

 

What have we been learning?

  • About how ice melts and how it is formed. 
  • Different words to describe the ice other than just cold. 
  • About looking for changes in the things that we observe and how to describe them. 
  • To use the ice we were so interested in to make ice cream. 

How can you continue the learning at home?

  • Try to make ice cream at home. There is a recipe if you click here. We bought a bag of ice from the shop to save us spending a long time freezing ice cubes. 
  • Talk about the different weathers when you wake in up a morning. How many words can you think of to describe them other than cold and hot? 
  • Look for other types of frozen food in your freezer. What can you find? Can you eat it straight from the freezer? Why not? 
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I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man…

At our Christmas party, Father Christmas brought us a copy of Stick Man as one of our presents. He must have known it was going to be on the television during our Christmas Holidays. Even Millie Ethel watched it when she went to Miss Parker’s house for Christmas.

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When we got back to school everyone was talking about it……

“He went in the fire. He laying in the snow cos he wanted a rest from looking for his family tree.”  Harvey S

“I watched it.” Lacey

Yeah, but I only seen a bit of it. I seen it when these kids builded a snowman. They stuck Stick Man in the snowman” Harvey M

“I didn’t watch all of it because I didn’t like it when Stick Man went to the bottom and die” Corey

That made us wonder, would Stick Man float or sink? 

We predicted and 5 children thought Stick Man would sink and 18 children thought he would float.

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“Put them in the water tray,” said Michael. So that is what we did. We tested some other objects as well. 

“I went in the water tray and the sticks were floating and the conkers were floating. But the rocks were sinking” Ruby

When we asked the children again 0 children though Stick Man would sink and 24 children thought he would float .

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All the talking about the Stick Family made us think about our families. We talked about what a family was.

Lucas said, “its a home when your family is together like adults and kids, mum, dad, brothers, sisters.”  “And babies and pets”, added Pheobe.

We had a go at making a Stick Family of our own. We had to think of who was in our family and find a stick which was just perfect to be them. The children thought really carefully to find the right sticks for their family.

” Mummy, Daddy, 2 big brothers, me” Ya Qing

“Grandad and Nannan and my Auntie and my mum and my uncle” Alfie

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There was all sorts of amazing conversations which were prompted by this activity but you’ll have to ask to look in our books to see them.

Stick Man became lots of different things throughout the story. We thought what we might want to turn a stick into after we’d read another book called ‘Not a Stick’ by Antoinette Portis. We turned our ideas into our own class book. Some children produced the pictures and others wrote the captions. It was a real team effort.

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Look in the book corner to see if you can see it and read it all. What would you turn a stick into if you could?

Here are some example of other activities we had out in our classroom to enhance our independent learning.

 

What have we been learning? 

  • about floating and sinking in the water tray. 
  • about our families and how they compare to others. 
  • to be creative about what we could do with a stick. 
  • to represent our ideas in pictures and writing. 
  • about a story we are interested in- Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Try out some different objects in the bath. What can you find which floats? What can you find which sinks? Can you predict what something will do before you test it in the water? 
  • Talk about your family and your extended family. Does your child know who everyone is? Can they draw the people in their family? Can they write the names of some of the different people in their family? 
  • Look for some more Julia Donaldson books. There are lots and lot to choose from. Which is your favourite Julia Donaldson book? What do you like about it? Julia Donaldson has a website where you can find out more information or you could look in the library for more books. Click here to go to the website

 

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Birds, Birds, Birds!

We started talking about birds the other week when we were talking about camouflage (another child initiated idea). The children got very excited about looking for birds and loved being outside with the checklists looking to see what was about.

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Some of the children even built themselves a small hide so they would be camouflaged from the birds and they might see more.

We talked about what the children could see…..

“When it were dinner, I see some birds”- Harvey S

“I was camouflaging myself with my coat”- Lucas

“It flies”- Grace

“It got black and white”-Elisha

“Magpie!”- Lacey

We started to think how we might encourage more birds into our Outdoor Area.

“With some food”- Dalton

“Seeds, but I got a good plan to get the birds to come. Get a tray, fill it with seeds then get a hide out. Then get camouflaged”- Corey

We talked about if anyone had heard of special bird cake…

How do we make bird cake? 

We found some instructions in a recipe and got busy making the bird cake.

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We’ve hung the bird cake up on our trees and now we just have to wait and see if it works. Do you think it will work? 

What have we been learning? 

  • About the world around us and the animals which live in it. 
  • To talk about the different animals (birds) we see and describe them. 
  • To follow a recipe measuring out the ingredients in the correct order. 
  • To feel different textures when making the bird cake and talk about how they feel. 
  • To observe the natural environment and comment on what we see. 
  • To think about the feelings of others (the birds) and what they like. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Look for birds you see when you’re at home and out and about. 
  • Talk about the birds you see at home and out and about. 
  • Talk about the different foods that animals eat and compare them to our foods- would you like to eat the bird cake? 
  • Use this recipe for Bird Cake and make some at home.