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3-4 year olds' room.

This week a pirate has visited nursery and left behind some messages in a bottle for us. Everyday there has been a new challenge which has led to lots of pirate activities and even some pirate games such as 'pirate running' and 'hide the bottle' that the children have made up themselves.

The children have made telescopes, deciding what material would be best to use, what a telescope needs to do and how they might be able to join the materials. They have drawn treasure maps, thinking carefully about what features to include and they have made some treasure boxes together, listening to each other's ideas and helping each other.

One child talked about volcanoes and the children made one to show the pirate.

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Yoga

We have been continuing to practise yoga as a way to help the children to be still and focus for a moment. They seem to really enjoy the exercises that we do. This week we were lucky to have a yoga class taken be a real yoga teacher. The children showed confidence in their lesson, listening and interacting with the yoga teacher and having a go at the new exercises.

We are really looking forward to sharing them with you at our parents' session.

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The children were fascinated by a photograph of a diver standing next to an enormous whale. The things that fascinated them most was the diver's equipment. We talked about what he was wearing and how he would not be able to breath under the water without oxygen. We found some flippers and a snorkel for the children to try on. They had fun pretending to be divers and having a go at walking in the flippers.
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One day we put some fish in a bowl and a child noticed that there was not enough water to cover the fish if they were stood up. This led to the children investigating how they could cover the fish and get them to float. They were curious to find out what other things might float too. 
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Under the Sea

We have started this term with an under the sea theme. The children have been asking questions about the different animals that live under the sea. We have used a computer to find out some amazing things. Do you know how many hearts an octopus has? Do you know if an octopus has arms or legs or tentacles? Ask your child, they may surprise you with what they know.

We have also looked at some fish and an octopus close up. Naming the features and talking about what we noticed.

 

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Story Session

Our story session with parents was very well attended. This is great for your children who love to show you the different aspects of their learning. The children performed one of their favourite stories 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt'. Performing for an audience can be intimidating, even when your own grown ups are there. The children were brilliant, focusing on the story and joining in with the repeated words.

Afterwards there was lots of sharing of stories and exploring the story characters and puppets. The children were able to share the collections of books we have been enjoying in nursery too. Have a look at the photographs, they show just how much the children (and grown-ups) enjoyed the session.

Don't worry if you were not able to attend the story session, we have a sheet of tips and ideas for sharing stories. Just ask for a copy.

 

Here is a link to the Book Trust website  http://www.bookstart.org.uk/.  Their aim is to inspire a love of books in every child under five years old.  It is an excellent place to find out about books and book related events. It also has a selection of stories to listen to and other resources to download.

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We have been out in the lovely weather this week, using the wooden obstacle course. The children have enjoyed challenging themselves to try different aspects of the course and showing delight in their abilities with lots of, "I did it!" comments. As well has having a lot of fun and gaining confidence, the children were developing their strength and improving their balance, control, concentration and core stability. All of these things will help the children when it comes to mark making and drawing.

The children showed good co-operation skills too, waiting for their friends to finish and helping friends who needed it.

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Special Delivery

A special package was delivered to Nursery this week. It contained a small tube with tiny dark balls inside. The children were intrigued to think what they could be. They guessed possibly seeds, stones, balls or small coconuts.

They were stick insect eggs. The children have shown an interest in mini beasts so we hope that the stick insects will capture their interest and deepen their understanding of growth and changes over time alongside caring for living things. The eggs should hatch within a month so watch this space for updates!

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Science Week

Nursery joined in with British Science week by undertaking some investigations on the theme of changes.

In one investigation children explored the changes in cornflour when water is added to it. They enjoyed exploring the cornflour and describing it - "like snow." "like cream." "Looks like clouds."

They were fascinated when adding water to it made it initially go hard enough to hold and then to break into pieces. One child even held the bowl above his head, confident that the mixture was too stiff to fall out of the bowl - luckily it did not!

Eventually they added enough water to turn it into a mixture that they could handle and let drip back into the bowl... and over everything else.

In another investigation the children explored a salad spinner. They held it, moved the handle and made links with what they already know to suggest what it might be. One children thought it was a washing machine.

We then put blobs of paint on circles of paper and spun them in the spinner to see what would happen. The children were amazed at the results, noticing the colour changes and explaining what had happened to the paint. The children were able to use the spinner independently to make their own paint circles. We encouraged them to draw what their paint looked like before it went into the spinner and to compare it to the result after it had been spun. "It changed, it look like a butterfly." "It looks like fireworks on it." "When it spin around it went like water and it moved, It go really fast like this (wiggling body)."

During these activities, the children worked like scientists making predictions and testing them, making observations and talking about what they could see.

 

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The children are always keen to use the school Sports Hall. This week the children enjoyed using the benches to explore different ways of travelling. The children gained in confidence as they got used to the height of the benches. It was lovely to hear them clapping and encouraging their friends. Every child was able to make their way along the bench in some way, some being more cautious than others. Some children showed a real 'can-do' attitude, trying all movement suggestions and even jumping off and landing safely. Some children were able to pull their whole body along by using their arms - a great way to develop upper body strength!
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The nursery children joined in 'Numbers Day' with the rest of the school. We modified our day slightly to a 'Maths Day'.

The children enjoyed a number game identifying the number of times they had to perform an action. They found that fingers are a fun way to represent numbers. They wrote their own numbers, explored number puzzles, loved a shape hunt in the sand and used the small world monkeys to act out a number rhyme and to make comments about the number of monkeys that the crocodile ate.

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The children have been busy making marks with writing implements. They have drawn marks to represent objects, to represent themselves, to make labels, to list  cooking ingredients, to keep score in a game and to represent their names and numbers.
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The ice has been causing lots of interest this week.

The children enjoyed moving along it in different ways. They tested how carefully and slowly they needed to walk to prevent slipping and as their confidence rose, some children tried carefully sliding on it. On the field, the children noticed that they could make footprints in the ice. They looked at the places that were icy and the places where the sun had melted the ice.

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We made some ice balloons for the children and put them into feely bags for them to explore. They felt them, rolled them, dropped them, shook them and had lots of ideas about what might be inside.

Once the ice was out they enjoyed handling the balls, talking about how cold and heavy they were, watching them drip and feeling the texture of the ice in their hands. The children wanted to paint the balls of ice and noticed the colours mixing and changing and then eventually sliding off of the ice.

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By the afternoon, the ice balls had melted and changed shape leaving holes and interesting dips for the children to investigate. They  enjoyed playing with the mini-beasts in the ice shapes.

The children were not sure about how the ice had got into the balloons. Maybe the balloons had been outside in the cold? So together we filled some balloons with water to put into the freezer. One child wanted to put a mini beast into his balloon so we found a way to get the mini beasts inside and put them into the freezer for the night.

To be continued...

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Our author of the term is Julia Donaldson. The children enjoyed Room on the Broom last week and this week we have introduced Stick Man.

The children wanted to go and find their own stick man. We discussed where the best place to look might be and the children decided that under the trees would be a good place to start. Some children drew a map and off we went.

We found many stick men and as the children compared their sizes they decided which were stick men, stick women and stick children. We even found a stick baby. The children were especially excited to find a stick giant but he was a little too big to bring back to Nursery.

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The children have enjoyed playing with the tyres on the school field. They have practised jumping and landing safely and climbing in and out of stacked up tyres. Some children needed a helping hand to lift the tyres up to standing but once up had  fun rolling them to each other. When it was time to go back to Nursery the children did not want to leave the tyres behind so they brought some back with us. It took great concentration and determination to roll a heavy tyre all across the playground but they managed it and were proud of what they had done.
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