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Chinese New Year Celebrations

We had a funny week last week with the snow arriving. However, we managed to squeeze in some Chinese New Year celebrations before the snow got us and closed school for a day.

The children loved trying the different Chinese foods and some of them tried things they’d never had before. Not everyone was quite so sure at first but they gave it a go.

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We we also decided that we wanted to make a dragon after seeing one on the Chinese New Year book in our classroom.

The children had clear ideas about what they wanted the dragon to look like.  They knew they wanted to dragon to have fire and to have red scales.

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We loved learning about the story of the Chinese Zodiac and finding out which year we were born in.

Can you remember the story of the Chinese animals? Can you remember which year you were born in?

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Cake Cake Cake!

What a week we had last week! The children had been talking a lot about cake. It has been a few children’s birthdays in Onyx class and some of them had brought cake to celebrate. Then it was a different child’s birthday and they didn’t bring a cake so we discussed how cake wasn’t just for birthdays and you didn’t ALWAYS get cake on someone’s birthday. We had also been talking about cake when we’d done learning about The Highway Rat the week before.

The children decided they wanted to make cake which the teachers agreed was a great idea. However, if we wanted to make cake there were a few things we needed to do first.

The very first thing we needed to do was write a list of ingredients that we would need. For this we had to find a recipe and find out what we needed. Once we had a list we asked some children to go to the shop and buy the ingredients. Before they went we talked about money and made sure they would be able to pay for the ingredients.

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Once we’d got out ingredients we used our recipe to make the cake mixture. We used a special recipe which we can do ourselves where we had to balance all the ingredients with an egg. We decided we wanted to add different colours and different flavours as well.

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Then we had to ask the grown ups to help us put the mixture in the oven so it could bake. We knew that we would have to wait for it to cool down and then we decorated our cake as well. Once our cake was ready we had another job to do. We only had one cake and 29 children so we had to share the cake. Miss Parker helped us by cutting the cake in half and then we kept cutting it in half until we had 8 pieces of cake. Look how yummy our cake looks…..

IMG_9871That still wasn’t enough pieces so Miss Parker made sure there were enough pieces cut from each of the 8 letting everyone have a piece.

We were excited to taste our cake. Jacob said, “Thats the besest cake I’ve ever seen!

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Everyone tried the cake and most of use agreed it tasted lovely. Some of the layers tasted of peppermint and some tasted of orange!!! We were all talking about which was our favourite bit of the cake and which bits we didn’t like as much. We decided to find out which was our favourite part. We had to remember all the different parts of the cake and then we came to put a tally next to our favourite. There was a clear winner!

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We didn’t just make a cake for ourselves. We knew the birds were outside and in the cold weather they needed to find lots of food to help keep them warm. We decided to make cake for the birds as well. It was very different to ours and we decided that we wouldn’t swap! We’ve hung it up in our outdoor area and are hoping the birds come to eat some soon.

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We had such a fabulous week making cake and loved being involved in every part of the cake making from writing lists, counting money, going to the shop,  measuring, baking, sharing and finally to eating the cake.

How to continue the learning at home? 

  • Follow simple recipes at home to make cakes and other treats. 
  • Allow your child to pay in the shop and talk about the different coins. 
  • Share other food types at home, such as biscuits or cake between family members.

Your child will be learning maths and so much more without even knowing! 

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Making Butter!

Before we went to Cannon Hall Farm we talked about the milking that we would see and talked about…

What can you make from milk?

Adam said, “You can make a cup of tea.”  Dontae knew you could make “chocolate” and apart from that we weren’t really sure.

(You can see the photos of the milking we saw on the Cannon Hall Farm post- click here)

Miss Parker said she knew of something that we could make ourselves in the classroom so we had a go. We made some butter!

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It was hard work because we had to shake the jar a LOT! We passed the jar around the circle and made the butter as a team so our arms didn’t get too tired. Lexi said, “My arms are tired.”

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After a little while we took the lid off and saw that the cream had got thicker but it didn’t look like butter yet. We put the lid back on and shook it some more. After everyone had had another turn we took the lid off again. We thought it would be different this time because the noise the jar was making when we shook had changed. Jayden said he could hear, “flump, flump, flump.” Miah also noticed there was milk back in the jar, “Its turned to milk, look!” We found out that was the buttermilk which is formed when the butter is ready.

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When we’d made the butter we had some on a cracker. We had to use the knife to butter our own cracker then we could sprinkle some cheese on it. When we read the packet we found out that cheese came from milk as well. We also had a drink of goat’s milk because we’d found out about it at the farm but no one had tried it before, including Miss Parker and Miss Morris.

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What have we been learning? 

  • which products come from milk. 
  • about turning liquids into solids and talking about what happens. 
  • to use a knife to spread butter. 
  • to try new foods and drinks which we haven’t had before.

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Find some other products which are made from milk. Which is your favourite? 
  • Have a go at making butter at home. We used a small glass jar with a marble in it. 
  • What else do you know about which turns from a liquid into a solid? Here’s a clue: What happens to water when it get really cold? 
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Chinese New Year Celebrations

Last week we saw on the calendar it was Chinese New Year and decided that we wanted to find out more about it.

We saw on the picture and on the front of the Chinese New Year book in our classroom there was dragon. We went to look at the Y6 dragon on the staircase in school. It made us decide that we wanted to make our own. We watched a video of a dragon dance and thought we could do a dragon dance of our own. We talked about what we saw.

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There was another discussion about Chinese Food. Lots of the children said they’ve not tried it before so we decided that is what we should do.

We also thought what else we wanted to know about Chinses New Year and wrote some questions. Some of us wrote it by ourselves, some of us wrote shared sentences with teacher help.

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During the week we did lots of learning about Chinese New Year. We watched some videos to find out more. You can watch them here.  There is one about preparing for Chinese New Year, one about celebrating Chinese New Year and one with the Chinese New Year Story.

We enjoyed having our own races outside and seeing which animal came first, second and third when we ran.

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When our dragon was finished we did what we said we wanted to and took it to the Hall to do some dragon dancing. Some of us made the dragon dance and some of us played the instruments for the music.

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One of our favourite things we did during the week was we tried Chinese Food. Miss Parker said we had to cook it ourselves so we went to the oven and the microwave to cook it before we could eat it.

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You can see more about what we thought about our food in the floor book. You can also see we found out the answers to our questions.  We also loved trying the fortune cookies.

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You can see the questions we wrote and the answers we found out here…

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We have loved learning about Chinese New Year!

What have we been learning? 

  • about how different people celebrate. 
  • some of the ways that Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year. 
  • to think of questions about what we could find out. 
  • to find out the answers to our questions. 
  • to order numbers and use ordinal numbers such as first, second and third. 
  • to taste new foods and talk about how it tasted. 
  • to move to music and create our own.

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Watch the videos again and see if you can find out anything new. 
  • Have some races in the park and see who the winner is. 
  • Think of some other things that you’d like to find out and look in books to find the answer. 
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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.