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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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Beautiful Butterflies

A few weeks ago now we decided that we would like some caterpillars in our classroom. We all knew they would turn into butterflies and were excited to see how it happened.

We were all happy the day the caterpillars arrived and were surprised at how small they were. It was fun to see them wriggling about-especially when they went up the top and walked upside down.

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The caterpillars grew quickly. We decided we wanted to do some learning about them so read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and learnt to tell the story ourselves without reading the book.

Can you remember how to tell the story?

Then we learnt some information about caterpillar and butterflies using non-fiction books and information from the computer. We had to think carefully whether or not we trusted the information from the computer as we know you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.

We continued to watch our caterpillars until they got really big and fat. Then they were ready to build their cocoons.

We put them in their special butterfly house ready for when they hatched. It took nearly a week but then we had butterflies. We all enjoyed making our own videos of the butterflies using the iPad. (Miss Parker has taken some screenshots to show you)

After we’d kept our butterflies for a few days it was time to let them go.  Because we went to the Secret Garden before we just knew it would be the perfect to place to let the butterflies go so off we went. We were proved right when on our way up there we saw a different butterfly. It was brown with yellow spots.

Can you find it in the photograph?

We were very lucky when we managed to get a photograph of one of our butterflies flying away. It came straight in front of the camera on the iPad!

After we’d let all the butterflies go we spotted one waiting on the logs so went to say goodbye on the way back to the classroom.

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Weve been talking about the environment this week because it’s Environment Week in school. We thought about how we could make the Secret Garden a better environment for butterflies so decided to scatter some wild flower seeds for the butterflies to get nectar from.

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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.

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Storytelling with Andy Messer- Part 1

We had a fabulous time last Tuesday when it was our turn for some storytelling sessions with Andy Messer, our storyteller in residence. He’s been working with all the different classes in school and finally it was our turn. Andy spent the whole day in Foundation Stage splitting his time between Nursery and Reception and doing some work with us all together outside.

First we had a storytelling session inside with just Onyx class. This was a funny story about a crocodile and a monkey. Andy talked about mango in the story so brought some for us to try. Some of us had never tried it before.

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Then Andy spent some time outside. I bet you can’t guess what type of stories we were telling?!? We used some of our loose parts outside to enhance our stories and become props.

 

Everyone had a wonderful time. Our stories in the classroom have been getting better all week since Andy’s visit. We can’t wait for him to come again for our next session.

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Books at Bedtime Week 3

For the last week of Books at Bedtime we had a whole celebration day in school. We were all allowed to come to school in our pyjamas! There was a special assembly which Miss Varley held in the main hall with all of FS2 and KS1. Our Grand Prize Winner was announced and she chose a whole collection of Julia Donaldson books as her prize. IMG_0371

We had a storytelling session with our school storyteller Andy Messer which everyone loved. We were all laughing out loud at the story although one part was much scarier.

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We also got to have a storytelling session with hot chocolate in the classroom and share some of our favourite stories. One of our friend’s favourite books was in Polish so we had to ask his sister to come and read it to us because Miss Parker struggled with all the pronunciation! We noticed there were lots of books on dinosaurs- maybe we’ll have to learn about them soon…

Thanks and well done to all who took part in the Books at Bedtime competition. Don’t forget to keep reading bedtime stories with your children every night as part of your child’s bedtime routine.

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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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This Week’s Awards- Spring 2 Week 1

Our Mathematician of the Week has come back to school with a bang this week! He has been so motivated, especially in Maths, but in all areas of his learning and we are all very proud of him. He was spotted all week doing different maths activities and is showing that he is much more confident to show us what he knows. Well done!

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Our Writer of the Week used to be a bit reluctant to write and share her ideas. This week she wrote a whole story!!! She wrote the story of Frozen and using the story book was able to say what her story said and read it back. What a fantastic job! We can’t wait to see what she writes next.

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Super Space

We had a great time last week when we decided we wanted to learn about Space. It followed on from all our discussions and learning and night and dark the week before. There were lots of different activities in our classroom. One of our favourites was the special space writing! We had special UV pens which only lit up when you used the torch. We worked together because it could be a bit tricky to write and press the switch. Can you remember what you wrote or drew? 

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When we talked about space lots of us mentioned rockets so we decided to build one! This one was so big we could fit inside it. We had to decorate it so that it looked like a rocket and then design the inside so it had buttons and other functions to make it ready to fly. We made sure it had a stop and start button and also one to go faster. There was even a music player added so we could listen on our way to space. Can you see our wonderful labels for the go and stop button and for the fast button? (This is a great way to get us writing for a purpose so we don’t even know we’re doing it!)

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After we’d built a rocket for our role play area we got busy building another one in Maths. We had been talking about 3-D shapes all week so it seemed the perfect opportunity to find out what we’d learnt. There were lots of amazing ideas about what we would need for our rocket- the music player showed up again! We also talked about the shapes that we could see and practised using some of the special words that we had learnt such as face, edge and vertices. Can you remember what they mean? 

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We decided if we wanted to go to Space would have to know what to pack to take with us. Miss Parker got a collection of things together and we thought about what we’d need. Some of us tried to write a list by listening to the sounds we could could hear. This is how we learn to write in Reception. We don’t need to be able to write every letter that we need to spell it perfectly yet (That will come later!) Can you try and write a list of some of the things that you might need to take a special trip? 

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Finally, there were lots more space related activities in our classroom which we could explore to find out more. The small world area was very popular and we all loved using the rocket to tell stories about Space.

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What have we been learning? 

  • to write and mark make using our special pens. 
  • to work together completing different activities. 
  • to think how to build a rocket and what it needs to work. 
  • to talk about 2D and 3D shapes and think which shapes are best for which purpose. 
  • to write a list by sounding out and writing the sounds we hear. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Try writing the shopping list by sounding out.  Can you write the initial (first) sound in each word? Can you hear and write any of the other sounds? 
  • Look around your house for 3d shapes (cubes, cuboids, spheres, pyramids) How do you know which one is which? Can you describe it? 
  • Find books about Space. What can you find out?