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Zooming Zog and Friends

If you remember our elf gave us a couple of presents before Christmas- a copy of the book Zog by Julia Donaldson and a toy Zog as well. Click on this link to see the full post

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We were all very excited when we came back to school after Christmas because we’d seen Zog on the television during the holidays. We began to talk about Zog and what we knew about him. We read the book again and watched the animation. Everyone loved Zog so much we decided to try and learn the story for ourselves. Miss Parker helped us make a story map which helped us remember what came next. We also made sure we remembered to use the repeating text, “Now that you’ve been shown, you can practise on your own”. Can you remember the words and tell your grown up? 

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When we were outside some of us had a go at learning to fly like Zog had done. It was a little bit risky but we talked about how to keep ourselves safe and look after our friends.

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Some children also helped Zog out by helping him free animals, people and other objects which had got frozen in the ice. We had to try and work out the best way to free the objects in the quickest way. Can you remember how to melt the ice quickly? 

You can see what we said about it in our Floor Book and also see some conversations from the rest of the week.

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When we watched the animation of Zog we also talked about how some of the other Julia Donaldson books which we’d been reading had been turned into animations as well. the children loved reading the books and watching the animations.

When we were watching Stick Man we made an important discovery: the animations had been made by humans. Even though we were watching them on the computer a person had to make it first. We wondered whether we could be animators too. We found out that we could.

Miss Parker found a programme which meant we could be animators called 2Animate on Purple Mash. We collected some ideas about what our animations could look like and after trying some as a class we made some of our own looking at the books to check. We had to work together in teams to make sure our animation was a joint effort.

Parents/ carers- your child has now been given their own password to use Purple Mash at home. Can you remember how to make an animation and show your grown ups? 

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All week we had been reading more and more Julia Donaldson books. We couldn’t believe how many books she had written. Can you remember some of the other books that Julia Donaldson has written? There is a clue here! Have you read them all? Don’t forget to look in the library if you’ve not read them all. 

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We decided that we wanted to find out more about Julia Donaldson. You can see some of our questions in the Floor Book here.

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You can also see what we found out and also how we found it out. Some of our questions were answered by reading Julia Donaldson A Biography, some them we asked Google and some of them we answered by asking Siri when some children suggested this as a possible way of finding out information. We did talk about making sure we stay safe when using the internet and Siri or Alexa.

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We had such a good time learning about Zog and then animation and then Julia Donaldson. Miss Parker and the teachers loved seeing the children’s ideas flow from one week to the next developing into the next focus. The following week we asked if Julia Donaldson was the only author and started to look at different authors whose books we might like. The children keep returning to Julia Donaldson though- she really is a favourite 🙂

The teachers were all really impressed by the children’s writing in the Floor Book and how their confidence is growing all the time at writing more independently. Well done everyone!

What have we been learning? 

  • to retell stories we have heard. 
  • to make animations using 2Animate. 
  • to investigate what happens to ice. 
  • to think about how things get onto the computer and tv screens we watch
  • to find out about an author by asking questions. 
  • to use books and computers to find out information.

How you can continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit the library and find some Julia Donaldson books to read together. 
  • Use your Purple Mash password and try to make an animation or picture of your own. Don’t forget to save it and let us know its there. https://www.purplemash.com
  • See if you can find out about a different author- Which books have they written?

 

 

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Fantastic Football

We have been LOVING the World Cup in Onyx Class since it started. There are lots of children who are interested in football and they are embracing the opportunity to learn key skills through the topic of football.

We watched some of the highlights and talked about the scores in our Maths learning. We added to our classroom provision and played our own football matches of finger football. We loved when Miss Parker brought some football magazines and were motivated to read and find out about our favourite players.

In our literacy we thought about stories which were about football and wrote some of our own.

We wrote stories altogether and we wrote our own stories in our books.

Photos of stories to follow.

We’ll continue to keep watching the football I’m sure. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed England continue to do well

What have we been learning?

  • To add scores together to find out how many were scored altogether.
  • To recognise the numbers on players shirts.
  • To use our fingers with control to ‘kick’ the football.
  • To make up stories which include our favourite footballers.
  • To write our own stories.
  • To talk about our favourite footballers.

How can you continue the learning?

  • When looking at football scores, work out how many goals were scored altogether. Can you write the number sentences?
  • Make up your own stories using a beginning and middle and end. It doesn’t need to be about football.
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Escape from the Volcano

Everyone had been talking about volcanos and playing a game called ‘Escape from the Lava’ for ages so we decided we should learn about volcanoes in class.

Miss Parker found a book which told us a bit more about volcanoes. Can you remember what it taught us?

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We also watched a video that lots of us had seen at home. You can watch it again here. Can you tell a grown up how an island grows?

Then we watched some videos of some real volcanoes and found out there were volcanoes erupting right now while we were in school. We thought about how we would feel if there was lava coming towards our homes. Miss Parker told us about when she went to an volcano but thankfully it wasn’t erupting when she was there.

We thought how we would help the people in Hawaii escape after they wrote to us asking for help. We came up with a few suggestions.

There was lots more role play and children wanting to experience what it was like to be near the lava. Outside was a popular place for this and the children loved building bridges and other ways to stay safe. They used our loose parts in all sorts of imaginative ways and even added water to be lava.

 

As the children were so engrossed in making up stories we used this to practise our writing skills. First we had to THINK IT and decide what we wanted to happen in our story. We drew a story map to help us remember it.

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Then we had to SAY IT for each sentence so we could remember what to write. Then we had to WRITE IT. We worked hard to sound out the words and think of the letters we needed to write. Here is the beginning and the middle of the story.

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When we had written it we had to READ IT to see if we’d done a good job. Can you see the ticks and crosses on our writing? We used the sentence hand to make sure we’d remembered everything putting a tick if we had and a cross if we hadn’t. On Wednesday we forgot our capital letter but on Thursdays we remembered them.

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Do you think you could write the end of the story? You could write it on paper and bring it to school or put it in a comment below or an email.

Our learning about volcanoes went over two weeks because we were all so interested and there was so much to learn and do. We decided we wanted to make a volcano of our own and see if we could make it erupt. It took us all week to make. We started with a bottle and some masking tape.

Then we had to use papier-mâché to build the shape of the volcano. It took a long time because we had to wait for it to dry in between.

 

Everyone enjoyed helping with our volcano which was good because there were still more jobs. Next we had to paint our volcanoes. First we painted the mountain and the grass before we added the lava. We used one of our volcano books to help us think what the volcano should look like.

 

Finally our volcano was ready and it was time to watch it erupt. Miss Parker used bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar to create the lava inside the volcano. Everybody loved it and said it was well worth the wait.

We loved learning about volcanoes.

What have we been learning?

  • To find out about volcanoes using videos and books.
  • To find out where volcanoes are using first hand experiences and technology.
  • To build our own volcano and watch it erupt.
  • To role play what we think it would be like near a volcano which is erupting.
  • To make up stories about volcanoes.
  • To think how to stay safe near volcanoes and send our ideas to Hawaii.

How can you continue the learning?

  • Watch the video above and talk about how the volcanoes grow.
  • Use Google to find videos of real volcanoes and watch the lava flow (Make sure before doing any Google search with children that you have the appropriate safety measures in place)
  • Continue the story above writing it either on paper or typing it.

 

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Caterpillars Caterpillars (Part 2)

You’ll not believe how much our caterpillars have grown!!! Look at them now….

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We’ve been doing lots of learning all about The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The children are  now really good at telling the whole story using the story map. Have a go at telling the story together at home. 

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We’ve also been learning to answer questions we have asked about caterpillars and butterflies. When we were reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar Jayden asked where the egg came from. We all had a few ideas but we decided to find out. We used non-fiction (information) books to find out the answers. Lots of the children had the right idea about what happened and where the egg came from but needed a little practise to be able to explain it in a sentence.  Can you remember something else you found out from reading the books? 

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We were all able to show we could answer Jayden’s question in the form of a life cycle. Can you explain the life cycle and what happens? 

There was a song Miss Parker knew which helped us to remember what happened. It is from the Music Express books and is sung to the tune of ‘She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain’. Can you sing the song and remember the actions? 

There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf (wiggle, wiggle), There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf (wiggle, wiggle), There’s a tiny caterpillar, tiny caterpillar, tiny caterpillar on a leaf (wiggle, wiggle). 

He will eat the leaves around him ’til he’s full (munch, munch), He will……… (repeat)

A cocoon is what he’s spinning for his home (spin, spin), A cocoon is……… (repeat)

Then he’ll be a butterfly and fly away (flap, flap), Then he’ll (repeat)

By the end of the week we’d learnt so much that we were able to write class sentences to explain what we’d learnt. We did some shared writing altogether with Mrs Murch helping us. Can you read the writing that we did together? 

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We were trying to predict when we thought the caterpillars would spin their cocoons. Some children thought it would be by Monday morning, some children thought it might take a bit longer. Everyone is excited for when we get the butterflies. Keep checking back to see when that happens…..

 

 

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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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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. 
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Mr Wolf’s Pancakes Storytelling & Chatterbox Challenge

Last week we had our joint Storytelling and Chatterbox Challenge session for our Parents and Carers.

Our families were invited to hear us tell the story of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley and the rhymes we’d been learning for the Chatterbox Challenge. We’ve been taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge to raise money for the ICAN charity which works with children who have Speech and Language difficulties.

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We worked with Nursery and Garnet class to tell the story to our families who had come.  We then sang the Chatterbox Challenge rhymes we’d been practising at home and at school.

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This is the storymap we used to help us remember the words. We had Makaton actions for each of the pictures as well. It is also very similar to the storymap we made when we got back to the classroom with our grown ups.

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Lots of grown ups came to help us make out story maps. We had to cut out pictures and put them back in the right order to tell the story. Then we could take our story maps home to continue telling the story to everyone there.

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It was lovely to see so many of you there. Thank you for coming and supporting the children. We hope you enjoyed the Storytelling workshop.  If you still have sponsorship money to hand in after the Chatterbox Challenge then please return it to school as soon as possible. ICAN organise the Chatterbox Challenge every year to highlight the challenges children with speech and language difficulties face.  Good communication skills are vital to a happy, successful childhood so we place a lot of importance on these skills in school, especially while your child is in Nursery and Reception.  If you want to find out more about why we’re raising money please look on the links below. Please ask if you have any questions.

I CAN       Chatterbox Challenge

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