dissabte, 29 d’octubre de 2016

Funny Bones

This week we have welcomed a new friend into our class. Amrita has joined us and has settled into our class routines fantastically! She has had a great time exploring the farm and learning about the different things we need to do to care for the animals- feeding them, collecting eggs, brushing the donkeys and she is now becoming more confident to enter the chicken pen and collect the eggs with her friends. Amrita has also enjoyed collecting the peppers, aubergines and lemons from the garden and learning about the different ways in which we pick the vegetables.
This week we focused on the topic of ‘Halloween’. We listened to lots of songs about spiders and skeletons but our favourite one to dance and sing along to was ‘them dancing bones’. We focused on the story of ‘funny bones’ and did lots of skeleton activities. We had a great time decorating our classroom with skeleton masks, cotton wool skeletons and spooky spiders. We carefully painted the spiders and then counted out the legs to make sure that each spider had eight legs. We also began to learn the names of the bones in our skeleton by cutting up the bones and then assembling them to create a large skeleton. Our classroom looks very scary now!
As part of our topic we also visited the library dressed as scary witches and vampires. We enjoyed spending time exploring the ‘English corner’. Whilst there we found lots of Halloween books and used our library cards to take out books for us to read in our classroom. The children behaved extremely well in the library and recognised the importance of being quiet and calm when reading the books and exploring the toys in the infant’s area. After the library, we went to the park and had a special treat. Luke’s mum had made some fantastic Halloween cakes with pumpkins and witches hats. Everyone enjoyed eating the cakes at the park- they tasted delicious!
In phonics this week, Sergi, Kai, Marcel and Luke have been revising the first six sounds we have learnt- ‘s,a,t,p,i,n’. We have been using lots of objects and organising them based on the initial sounds that they start with. We have had fun remembering the actions for each sound and have had lots of opportunities to practise the formation of each of the letters. Sergi has been especially confident when forming the letters and he is now beginning to form them correctly and without any help!
Jordi and Amrita have been learning lots of new sounds this week, using the new sound- picture cards. They have had lots of fun creating different pictures which represent the shape and sound of the letters they are learning. They are both very motivated by their new sticker chart and have been keen to stick smiley faces on each of the letter sounds they now know. Jordi and Amrita have created a fantastic display of sound pictures in our phonics area.  
In maths, we have been consolidating our understanding of lots of mathematical concepts, through our Halloween topic. Sergi, Kai and Luke have been adding the funny bones characters together and have practised identifying and writing the number they need for their answer. Jordi, Amrita and Marcel have been creating skeleton puzzles by identifying and finding the two numbers they need to make the different number bonds to 10. This was quite tricky but all of the children were confident to use their fingers to work out how many more they needed to add to make a total. Jordi was particularly confident with this and could automatically identify the number bonds without the use of his fingers.  
In reading comprehension, Sara has been focusing on Halloween themed comprehensions. She explored various Halloween texts, which allowed her to practise lots of comprehension skills. When reading about werewolves, Sara had to identify the different homophones that were present in the text. She found this quite tricky but enjoyed learning about how words which sound the same can have very different meanings, dependent on how they are spelt. We will keep focusing on homophones within our grammar lessons. Sara has also had the opportunity to read Halloween stories, answer questions about the text and then try to continue the story, using focus Halloween words. She really enjoyed this and had some very imaginative ideas when creating the end of the story. Finally, Sara has completed a Halloween dictionary activity. She needed to read the Halloween story and then link focus words from the text to their correct meanings.    
This week, Judit has been focusing on letter writing. She was very motivated to read the letters in her comprehension book. She was especially moved by a letter written by the heroic Captain Robert Falcon Scott who wrote a letter to his wife whilst completing an exploration mission in Antartica. Judit was keen to find out what had happened to him on his mission and was very motivated to find pictures of him and find out more information about the experiences which he had. Judit also had the opportunity to write her own letter. She focused on both formal and informal letter writing and had to work hard to read the guidance to help her to include the correct information within the letter, depending on the subject for which she was sending it.  Judit particularly enjoyed writing a Halloween invitation to her friend in Scotland and she worked hard to include all of the necessary features of an invitation. Judit found it particularly hard to write a complaint letter and was far too polite to Goldilocks when writing to complain to her about breaking in to the three bears’ house. We will keep working on the concept of bossy words and will focus on the importance of using exclamation marks to make a point more dramatic when writing to another person.
In maths this week, Sara has been working on multiplication, particularly the concept of times tables. She has been working through times tables quizzes, timing herself to check her automatic knowledge of the different times tables. She is getting much faster but is finding the 6,7 and 12 quite difficult when working at speed. We will continue to work on these times tables next week when continuing to make times tables practise posters to display on her wall. Sara has also been learning how to use times tables squares as a way to work out the answers to different times tables. She has found the concept of the grids quite difficult to understand. We will continue to work on these next week, as Sara enjoyed trying to complete the grids and is keen to learn how to do this correctly.
This week, Judit has been working on the concept of square numbers. She is extremely confident to work out the square numbers and is now able to use her knowledge of square numbers to work out the area of a square. Judit now understands how to find the area of both squares and rectangles and can clearly explain how she adds the measurements of the sides to work out the answer. Judit has also become confident to calculate the perimeter of different shapes. She now knows that she needs to multiply the numbers given to work out the perimeter of the shape. However, she found it difficult to multiply two 2 digit numbers and this made it hard for her to correctly work out the answers. We will focus on the concept of multiplication next week, as this will allow her to transfer her multiplication knowledge when working on perimeter in the future.   

divendres, 21 d’octubre de 2016

Commotion in the Ocean

This week we have continued our topic of ‘oh I do like to be beside the seaside’. We have been focusing on the story- ‘commotion in the ocean’. This story has helped us to learn lots of seaside vocabulary, particularly the names of many sea creatures that live in the ocean. We have had lots of fun learning about the characters of the story and used our cutting and joining skills to create a ‘commotion in the ocean’ character headband. We have also cut out pictures of characters from the story and used lots of imagination to create our own beach scene. We have thought carefully about the things we need to take to the seaside and had lots of fun creating our own holiday suitcase. We then explored the dressing up box and decided which clothes would be most suitable to wear to the seaside.
The most exciting part about our topic this week was our school trip to the beach. We enjoyed walking down to the beach together; learning about road safety as we checked carefully for the green man before crossing the roads. When we arrived at the beach it was really exciting to have a picnic and drink our home-made lemonade. The weather was a little drizzly but we didn’t let that stop us as we instantly started exploring the beach, finding lots of shells, rocks and tiny pieces of different coloured glass. After exploring and braving a little paddle in the sea we explored the park and had a great time pretending to climb a ship’s rigging when trying to climb to the very top of the rope pyramid. It was very tricky! Finally, just before we left the sun decided to shine for us and we had so much fun in the sea, trying to jump the high waves. We all ended up very wet and tired but had such a lovely time together on our first pre-school trip.
In maths this week we have had lots of fun exploring the water trays; learning about capacity. We filled lots of different containers and talked about which one held the most water. We then had fun completing an experiment to find out whether the jug or bottle would hold the most water. We all made a prediction and then tested it out with the jugs and bottles. We were all surprised when the jug held the most water. Marcel and Jordi enjoyed the extra challenge of recording their results by colouring in and circling the amount of jugs needed to fill different numbers of bottles. We then learnt the vocabulary of ‘empty’ and ‘full’ and had to use the water to make these different capacities. We then thought about the concept of the cup being ‘half full’ but this was a bit tricky! Marcel and Jordi enjoyed the challenge of cutting out and ordering the different quantities of water shown in the cups. Jordi was particularly confident to explain how much water was in the cups, using the new capacity vocabulary he had learnt.
In phonics this week we have been learning about the letter ‘n’. We have had lots of practise forming the letter, using felt tips, air writing and creating the letter with sticks. We have learnt lots of words which start with the letter n. When learning the word nose we also learnt the song ‘Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose’. During the week the children became very confident to show the actions to the song. We also learnt the word ‘nest’. The children were very motivated to collect lots sticks from the farm. We then worked as a team to make a nest, using the sticks. The children work hard to use wool, pipe cleaners and sellotape to join the sticks and they created a fantastic nest!
This week in science the girls have been learning about animals in the environment. They have read information and completed little experiments when learning about the concepts of evolution, food chains and the effect that climate change has on animals. Both girls created a fantastic food chain to display on the wall and they are both now confident to explain the effect that the arrows have within a food chain and can clearly explain what would happen if one part of the food chain was removed.
In reading comprehension this week Sara has been focusing on non-fiction information texts. She is now very good at distinguishing between facts and opinions within a text and understands how the opinions written in a text can affect the purpose of what is written. Sara has also been learning how to retrieve information from the text by directly quoting part of what is written to help her answer the comprehension questions. Sara is beginning to understand the purpose of quotations but needs a little more practise when selecting the correct parts of the text to help her clarify her own opinion. Within punctuation and grammar Sara has been working on the concept of full stops and exclamation marks. She found it very difficult to place the punctuation in the correct place in the text but is beginning to understand the effect that a full stop has on the text when reading.  We have been practising pausing and taking a breath when reaching a full stop within her texts.
In reading comprehension Judit has been focusing on biographies. She now understands the difference between a biography and an autobiography and she has been very motivated to read the moving texts written by and about heroic people. Judit has been extremely confident when answering the comprehension questions and she is now reading the questions much more carefully and is able to provide much more accurate answers. Judit has become much more confident this week when using the dictionary and she has been really kind to understand the meanings of the difficult vocabulary written within her texts. She is creating quite an extensive dictionary of her own! In punctuation and grammar Judit has been learning the differences between  a simple, compound and complex sentence and she is now confident to identify examples of each of these sentence types,  using the subordinate clauses to help her. Judit has also been learning about contractions and how these are used to join two words together. She understands the concept of this but needs more opportunities to put this into practise.
In maths this week, Sara has been learning about decimals. She is now extremely confident to order decimals from smallest to largest and now understands how to add two decimals together, with the help of a number line. She has also worked really hard to understand how to multiply and divide a decimal by 10 and is now becoming much more confident to do this. Sara is beginning to understand how to round a decimal number up or down to the nearest whole number but she is still finding this a bit tricky. We will keep practising this skill next week.
In maths, Judit has been learning about factors of numbers. She is extremely confident to find the factors of numbers, using her timetables to help. However, this is now becoming more of an automatic process for Judit. She has also learnt that prime numbers can only be multiplied by one and themselves and she is very confident to identify whether or not a is prime and she has developed a great method, which allows her to work out the next prime number after any given number. Judit has begun to learn about square numbers but she needs to continue practising this skill next week.

divendres, 14 d’octubre de 2016

I do like to be beside the seaside

This week we started a new topic; ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’ and we have been learning about the key parts of the seaside- the beach, the sea and the sand. We have been mixing different paint colours to create our own seaside; remembering to paint both the beach and the sea. Within the topic we have been focusing on the story of ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and we have used our cutting skills to create Rain Fish stick puppets. We have also used plasticine to create the Rainbow fish; sticking different coloured pieces of pipe cleaner to create the Rainbow Fish’s coloured scales. The children also enjoyed using different blue materials to create the sea and have been very imaginative when using the blocks to create a large cargo ship.
In phonics this week, Sergi, Kai, Marcel and Luke have been learning the ‘i’ sound. Within this sound we have been focusing on the theme of insects; colouring them in and discussing the number of legs which different insects have. Within this theme we have learnt the song ‘Incy Wincy spider’. The children loved this song and have become great at miming the actions to the song.  We have focused a lot this week on the formation of the letter ‘i’, cutting and sticking the letter ‘I’ and then recognising when the letter is not placed the correct way around.
Jordi has been learning lots of new sounds this week, using his new ‘Read, Write, Inc’ phonics book. He has been learning to recognise the letters by drawing pictures within the letters, which match to the shape and sound of the letter. It is really helping him to remember the way which the letters are written and some words which are associated which each sound. Jordi is learning new sounds every day and is enjoying creating his own pictures to display in the phonics area. 
In maths this week, the boys have been focusing on the concept of size. Using seaside themed pictures, the boys have coloured, cut out and ordered the different objects by size. We have been using the vocabulary of ‘smallest’ and ‘biggest’ and all of the boys are getting very confident to identify which object is the smallest and which is biggest. Jordi has also enjoyed the challenge of being introduced to the vocabulary of ‘shorter’, ‘longer’ and ‘taller’ but we need to keep practising these words when identifying the size order of different objects. The boys have also continued to practise counting when adding different amounts of legs to their insects in the phonics area.
In reading comprehension this week Sara has been focusing on fables as a style of writing. She has enjoyed reading the various and has become very confident to identify the similarities and differences between the three texts she has read. Sara has become very aware of the fact that within each fable there is a lesson to be learned and she is very good at identifying what that is. Sara has been answering questions on a range of levels, using different comprehension skills. She was particularly confident when checking specific details of the text and could explain her understanding of the selected section of the text well. Sara was also very good at linking the events of the story to her experiences and could explain how she would feel in the different situations.
This week, Judit has been focusing on play scripts. She has been learning about the different elements of text which are featured within a play script. She can now identify and explain how the different elements are used by the actors and why they are important to allow the play to flow. We have had lots of fun adopting different and reading out the different play scripts. Judit is becoming much better at responding to the stage directions and acting accordingly when reading out her characters’ part within the play. Judit has been exposed to a range of new language and has worked hard to understand the meanings of new words. However, she found it difficult to understand the language and vocabulary used within the extract of Shakespeare. We will focus more deeply on this when next working on play script texts.
In maths this week, Sara has continued to work on fractions. She has worked really hard on finding different fractions of amounts and now understands that she always needs to divide by the denominator and multiply by the numerator. Sara has had lots of practise, reading word problems and is getting much better at identifying the mathematical information she needs within the text and the way in which she needs to solve the problem. Sara has completed many exercises which have allowed her to practise the skill of multiplying a fraction and when completing her end of week mental arithmetic test, she confidently applied this skill to solve the fractions problems.
This week, Judit has continued to work on decimals. Judit has been extremely perseverant when working on place value within a decimal number. She now understands the importance of putting the decimal point in the correct place and the effect that this can have on the value of the number. Judit has also now mastered the skill of multiplying and dividing a decimal number by 10 and 100 and understands the direction she needs to jump with the decimal point, depending on whether she is multiplying or dividing the number. When completing her end of week mental arithmetic test, I was very impressed with the ability she has now developed to convert decimals, fractions and percentages and she was keen to explain to me the understanding that she has of the importance of 100 when converting the numbers.