dijous, 22 de desembre de 2016

Christmas Performance

This week the children have been very excited about Christmas. We have had a very relaxed week, doing Christmas activities. The children have finished their Christmas envelopes and Christmas cards and they now all have a fantastic envelope, filled with all the Children’s Christmas crafts and cards.
The children continued to consolidate their focus Christmas vocabulary- reindeer, snowman, star, snow ball, sleigh, presents, elf. They have coloured in pictures of all these different Christmas objects and we focused on colouring the objects the correct colours. We talked about the different Christmas objects and the parts they play at Christmas time.
We had a relaxed morning watching ‘Home Alone’ and it was great to see that the children understood most of the English and were able to laugh along at the jokes in the film.
We had an afternoon baking Christmas biscuits in the classroom.  We created our own Christmas stencils, in the shape of a bell, Christmas tree and a snowman. We worked together to create dough and then used our stencils to shape the Christmas biscuits. The following morning we created two different types of icing and decorated the biscuits with lots of shiny balls, stars and hearts. The children then enjoyed eating the biscuits as a late breakfast snack.
The children had a great morning creating sock snowmen with Jo. They were all keen to cut the bottom off the sock to create a hat for their snowman. The children then filled their sock with rice and made their snowman big and fat. They then used an elastic band to create a head and body but they all needed help as the band was tricky to tie. The children then had a great time sticking on buttons, eyes and creating a scarf and nose out of felt. All of the children’s snowmen looked very individual, especially when they all drew different mouths , which gave each of the snowmen real character.
The children performed their Christmas songs and dances to their families. They did an absolutely fantastic job and I was so proud of how confidently they performed and how they remembered the song words and dance moves so well. The children had a great time and it was great to see their big, smiling faces. Everyone enjoyed watching the performance and the children absolutely loved being on the stage.  They are already discussing what they want to do for the Summer performance.
The children had a great time visiting the mechanics garage. They made the mechanics very happy by singing their Christmas songs to them in the mechanics’ office. The children then had the opportunity to watch the mechanics change a tyre and they were introduced to all of the different tools, which are used by a mechanic. The children had the opportunity to ask lots of questions and they managed to learn a lot about how mechanics help people by fixing their cars. 
Sara and Judit chose some of their favourite Christmas poems from various web pages. They read them all and focused on the key features of each poem – the rhyming pattern, use of metaphors, similes and adjectives. The children then chose which poetry features they wanted to focus on and use within their own poems. The girls wrote their own Christmas poems, using the poetry styles of their choice. They created their own paragraphs, checked their spellings and added their own illustrations.  They were then very proud to read their poems to me and explain how they had developed their ideas. They did a fantastic job and really enjoyed being little poets.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year. 

dilluns, 19 de desembre de 2016

Ready for Christmas

This week we have had a full week of Christmas activities. We have been preparing lots of things for our Christmas performance. The children have been decorating our big papier mache sleigh with gold paint and lots of glitter. It now looks fantastic and is all ready for our nine naughty little elves to jump on in the  Christmas performance. We have also continued to make papier mache to create a big chimney for us to use as a prop for the song ‘Santa got stuck up the chimney’. The children worked fantastically to construct the chimney from cardboard boxes. They then cut up lots of squares of paper and stuck them onto the chimney.  Once the papier mache had tried we painted the chimney and use sponges to create gold brick shapes.  The chimney looks fantastic and the children  love using it as a prop when practising the performance. Finally, the children were all keen to make a background for the ‘stage’ as we decided that we should create a night sky of stars and snowflakes . Once the children had covered the cardboard with papier mache, they mixed lots of different colours to make their own grey paint to create the night time scene. We then had lots of fun making stars from tinfoil and working together to find out how to make snowflakes by folding and the n cutting into the white paper. We had to practise a lot before we were able to make the snowflakes small enough for the display. Once we had mastered the method, the children had great fun creating their own snowflakes and it was great to see how unique and individual each  of the snowflakes were. It was a great activity and it really helped to reinforce the mathematical concept of symmetry, as we identifies that each snowflake was exactly the same on both sides. 
As well as preparing for the props, we have been practising our Christmas performance a lot this week. The children have enjoyed using all of the decorations they have made for each song and they are now confident to know which decoration they need to use for each song. We have been singing and dancing to all of the songs and the children are now all very confident and excited to perform to their families.
As well as preparing for the performance, we have been working hard to make lots of Christmas crafts for the classroom. The Elves workshop and Christmas topic area now looks lovely and is decorated with reindeer spoons and lollipop stick stars. The children have also had fun creating big, fluffy snowballs by sticking lots of cotton wool onto polystyrene balls. They look very festive displayed in our Christmas topic area. The children  have also had the opportunity to use their imagination and be very creative. They were given lots of cardboard, glitter, paint, pens and sticking materials to create a present to put in our elves workshop. They had a great time and loved having the opportunity to be independent and free to use a wide range of materials. All of the children were very focused and motivated and they each created a very colourful and individual present. They are all now displayed in our elves workshop, ready for the elves to deliver at Christmas.
In phonics this week, we have been learning the ‘g’ sound. The children have enjoyed learning the action associated with this sound, as they need to create the gurgling sound of the water going down the plug hole. We have done lots of work on this letter, focusing mainly on the words ‘glitter’ and ‘green’. The children had fun decorating the letter g with glitter and lots of green materials . We have also had lots of opportunities to practise the formation of the letter. It is great to see the improvement that Luke and Sergi are making with their pencil control and letter formation. To end the week, we focused on the word ‘goat’. The children coloured in the goat and we focused on using appropriate, goat colours. I was very impressed with how much Kai is improving his presentation. He is now able to colour very well within the lines. He was very perseverant and focused on the task until he had finished. I was also very proud of Marcel and Amrita as they worked independently to sound out and write the word goat, independently on their work.
Sara and Judit have been focusing on proof – reading their Christmas stories to check that it makes sense and that they have spelt the words correctly . They then read the stories to the rest of the class and the other children thought they were very funny.  They especially enjoyed them because both of the stories featured all of the preschool children, getting involved in lots of mischievous adventures. The girls were very proud of their stories and Sara was super confident when reading it aloud. The girls have then focused on the spellings which were incorrect within the stories and have taken home the list of words to practise. At the end of the week both girls completed a spelling test and I was very proud of how well they could spell the words. They had obviously worked hard to practise them and they were keen to do well.
In maths, the girls have been working on solving word problems. Both girls found it difficult to solve the problems, particularly because they were unsure of which information to select from the problem and how to use this to find the answer. During the week, Judit became more confident to solve the problems independently, but both girls need to have more practise at solving word problems and this is something we will continue in the new year.

To end the week, we had a very special Christmas craft morning. Luke’s Mum very kindly prepared lots of Christmas themed gingerbread biscuits for the children  to decorate. She brought different coloured icing and lots of sweets and chocolate treats to decorate the Christmas biscuits. It was so great to see lots of the children’s family come to join us for this activity.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and the children  especially enjoyed the end result when they were able to eat the biscuits they had created. Thank you to all those who were able to come and join us- it was great to see you all!

dilluns, 5 de desembre de 2016

Creating Elf Hats

This week we have continued our topic of ‘Christmas’. For the upcoming weeks leading up to Christmas we are going to focus on one element of Christmas each week, linked to the songs we are learning for our Christmas performance. This week we have been learning about elves and we have had lots of fun decorating our elves workshop. The children have had a great time decorating presents with glitter and different materials. They have also practised their wrapping skills by wrapping different types of paper around cotton reels. All of the children have enjoyed helping to create elf hats, using the sewing machine  and they have all been keen to try and feed the felt through the machine. We have also all worked together to create a large sleigh for our Christmas performance. The children  had a great time ripping up paper and then mixing it with glue and water to create paper mache. The children have all decided on the colours they would like to use to decorate the sleigh and we are all looking forward to making the sleigh look very beautiful next week.  
We have spent lots of time this week, practising our Christmas performance. The children can now confidently sing and dance to the songs. We just need to practise reading our Christmas poems. The children love our performance practises and they ask everyday if we can practise it more than once each day. We have now made almost all of our costumes and the children are all so excited to show the performance to their parents and grandparents.
In phonics this week we have been working on the h sound. We worked together to select the different h flashcards and the children enjoyed identifying the different things which begin with the letter h. We started the week by creating a large letter h for the display. The children enjoyed filling the hand by painting their hands and creating handprints within the h. We then focused on the word ‘horse’. The children needed to concentrate a lot when creating a horse jigsaw. Each child decided how many pieces they wanted for their puzzle. They each then cut up their puzzle into their desired number of pieces and every child managed to reassemble the pieces to create the original horse picture. It was great to see how organised the children are becoming! Next, we focused on the word ‘heart’. The children used lots of different coloured materials to create a collaged heart picture. The  children needed to concentrate a lot to fill their heart. Amrita, Jordi and Marcel really impressed me when they were able to independently sound out and write the word heart on to their work. Finally, we focused on the word ‘happy’. All of the children enjoyed creating their own happy face picture and we also enjoyed learning the song ‘if you’re happy and you know it’.
In maths this week we have enjoyed learning about symmetry. We have used a range of Christmas pictures, such as presents, stars, Santa, baubles and snowflakes. The children have loved learning how to create a symmetrical picture and they now all fully understand the importance of drawing and colouring the exact same image on each side, to ensure that the picture is symmetrical. It was a very tricky skill as we had to really think how to draw the same image but in the opposite direction.  The children have loved learning about symmetry and we now have a very colourful display of symmetrical pictures up in the classroom. All of the children have asked if we can do some more symmetry so we will continue this within our maths lessons next week.
In reading comprehension this week, the girls have continued to work on the genre of fictional stories. We have worked on the themes of characterisation, inference, paragraph structure, mythical stories and legends. Both girls have become confident to identify the different elements of a fictional story. Towards the end of the week the children had the opportunity to create their own fictional stories, using all of the elements they have learnt about during the previous two weeks.  The children have decided on the content, characters, setting and title of the story. They have loved having the opportunity to use their own imagination and they have been extremely motivated to work on their stories independently. The girls have enjoyed creating their own illustrations and they are both really proud of the books they are creating. Both girls have been focusing on their spelling and I have encouraged them to use the dictionary  to check any spellings they are unsure of. We have also been working on the technique of proof – reading to ensure that what they have written makes sense when read aloud. We are all really looking forward to the girls reading their stories to us next week.
In maths this week, we have been learning about the order of operations. Both girls found the BIDMAS method very difficult to understand and we needed to spend a lot of time together working out how to use the method to ensure that we had the correct answer to the number problems. Once we had worked out the method, Judit became very motivated by the problems and she wanted to try to solve more problems, using the method, on her own. Sara found the method very difficult to understand. Therefore, we spent this week revising her multiplications, using her knowledge of the times tables to find the multiples of factors of different numbers. We also worked on the concept of prime numbers.  Both girls are now becoming very confident to identify whether a number is or isn’t a prime number, using the knowledge they of their times tables. They are now both becoming much more confident to work out the  multiplication problems in their heads. We will continue to work on BIDMAS next week to ensure that both girls understand and can use the method independently. 

In punctuation and grammar this week,  Sara has continued to work on direct speech. The activities she completed required her to insert the correct punctuation and insert the speech marks in the correct place within the sentence. Sara found this very difficult and was unable to re-write the sentences correctly. When correcting her work, Sara was able to recognise the mistakes she had made and by the end of the activity she was able to self-correct her work. We will continue to work on direct speech particularly the concept of starting a new line every time a new person speaks.  Judit has been learning about noun phrases,  with a particular focus on subordinate clauses.  Judit was very confident to identify which parts of the sentence were subordinate clauses and she was able to re-write the sentences and insert her own subordinate clause,  which made sense within the context of the sentence.