This term we are exploring lots of colour through different stories and looking at the way colour is used in celebrations such as Chinese New Year. Our first book starts with the Colour Monster and how different colours can express how we feel, before we look closer at crayons and mixing colours, with the help of the two books: 'The day the Crayons quit' and 'The day the Crayons came home'. We are looking forward to lots of exploration, discovery and sharing of our learning together.
A little reminder:
Please ensure a complete PE kit is in school at all times and that book bags come into school everyday. When reading at home, please sign the reading record as this will all contribute towards ensuring your child is eligible to attend Friday Banquet, which starts on 13th January for Reception children. Please look at your letter that explains more about Friday Banquet and Book Awards and see a member of the team if you have any questions, Thank you.
Week 6, 06.02.17
Our final week of the third term has been a very productive one. The children have been showing their learning through a variety of ways and have really started to challenge themselves, which is fantastic to see, using the Chilli Challenge board. They are very excited to see who will be the Chilli Champion for the week.
In literacy, the children used their phonics really confidently to write a list of all the items that they could think of, using a pen of the same favourite colour. There was alot of phonic knowledge applied, using all the skills that they had learnt: the correct letter formation, holding a pen and using it effectively, segmenting the sounds onto their phonics fingers and counting those sounds heard, and then reading back to a friend the list they had written. All the adults were very proud of each child with the huge amount of effort they all put in and the results shown in their writing. Their next challenge is to see who can write their shopping lists at home!
Another brilliant piece of work produced by the children was their own stories about their chosen colour crayon. They had to think about what their crayon had done and then make a story board to show the events at the beginning, middle and end of their stories. They drew the characters in the story and added labels and written ideas as and where they felt was needed. Then, the children retold their stories and an adult wrote them down so they could be kept and retold to others. Here are a few to give you an idea...
In maths the children have been exploring 10's frames and dice games. There have been races to see who can fill the 10's frames up to 10/20/30 by rolling the dice and placing the corresponding amount of counters on, matching the amounts ot the numerals and looking at ordinal numbers, just like the animals in the story of the great race. We are working towards being confident to recognise numbers from 0 to 20 and different ways of making these numbers and writing them, from recognising them on doors and cars s they pass us, to those around us in the school environment. Have a go to see how many numbers you can find together when you're at home or out shopping.
The children have also been exploring their learning environment together and demonstrating their learning by helping others to have a go too. There has been lots of teachers...
...and creating their own mark making opportunities.
The Foundation Stage team wish you all a happy half term holiday and look forward to seeing you all ready for Term 4.
Week 5, 30.01.17
In Reception Class this week we have continued to explore how Chinese New Year is celebrated and also how Hindus celebrate Holi - a festival of colour. The children have used books and the internet programmes to listen and watch lots of different information about the festivals and how they are celebrated and then we had a little go of our own to create a similar events.
The children used their ideas and experiences to help to create our own Chinese Dragon and they demonstrated fantastic team work to build, paint and make it. The the class enjoyed making the creature dance around the room to Chinese music.
During literacy activities the children have been challenging themselves to use their phonics to write lists and labels as well as writing about what they would like to do when they get older.
On Friday we all enjoyed a focus on Numbers for the day for the NSPCC. We had lots of number activities that the children enjoyed taking part with and we could see how numbers are all around us and in our everyday routines: counting the children in and out, how many are having lunches and packed dinners, counting the pens, the milk into the basket etc...
We have also started to develop our learning further by challenging ourselves. This is our new 'Chilli Challenge' and there are a choice of the 'Mild Green Chilli Challenge' that everyone is working towards and the children can choose to go for the 'Red Hot Chilli Challenge' that is open to everyone to have a go to complete, and if they do, a smiley face is placed on the Chilli Chart and the person who gets the most Chilli Challenges that week and showed true perseverance in the tasks will claim the weekly Chilli pen.
Week 4, 23.01.17
This week has seen a celebration of colour which has helped lead into our Chinese New Year celebrations and a very busy week of different event that the children have all taken part in and gained new experiences and new learning.
Our first event was to celebrate all the learning form our shared book - Why the crayons quit. There were many examples of the work produced during the topic that parents were invited into school to look at and talk to some of the children about what they had learnt. There was even individually iced cakes with different colours to have to taste too.
The second main focus this week was to explore all about Chinese New Year and this included a wide range of activities:
- Learning the story of the first Chinese New Year
- Finding out about the celebrations and traditions
- Making red money envelopes for good luck, complete with golden coins
- Creating a terracotta army and learning some of the history around it
- Looking at China from a map of the world and then relate it to where we live
- Painting Willow patterns on plates
- Chinese food tasting, using chopsticks to eat it with
- Writing Chinese numerals and the symbols for the animals in the Chinese zodiac
All of these activities brought much discussion and a chance to share their experiences and learn new things too. We were extremely lucky to have had a really interesting talk about how they really celebrate Chinese New Year, from their own experiences of Riley and Jaydon's Mum, who very kindly gave up her time to show us objects from China and talk about how she and her family celebrate the New Year.
On the second day of celebrations, the Reception Class and Year 1 all walked down to our local new Lidl store to buy the ingredents for the food tasting session in the afternoon.
We had a shopping list and bought some rice, noodles, prawn crackers, sweet and sour sauce and green tea to try with some fortune cookies and rice crackers. The children were all fantastic as they walked there and back and talked excitedly about the community around them and places that were of significance to them and their families along the way. The security guard also gave a little talk about how to keep safe in a shop and who was a safe person to go to if they got lost.
We returned to school and after lunch it was time to have a taste of the Chinese foods. The children had chopsticks to eat with and little bowls to try the different foods. They all did brilliantly and for an extra treat, Riley and Jaydon's Mum kindly came to share a rice and noodle dish and some lovely warm pancake spring rolls. The food was delicious and everyone tried something using their own set of chopsticks to eat with.
Next week we will be continuing to explore China and their New Year Celebrations as well as look at the Festival of Holi, another celebration full of colours.
Week 3, 16.01.17
The children's interests developed along a scientific theme, and the first activity was to predict what happened when a balloon was placed on a bottle and if the colour monsters would inflate with different contents in the bottle.
The water made no difference and the bottle with just vinegar in made no difference, but when the bottle with the vinegar in had a balloon with some bicarbonate of soda in and the powder dropped into the vinegar; the colour monster head on the balloon started to inflate and grow bigger!
The second day of investigations took place with the ice colour monsters. They had travelled in from a cold land to see us and we task was to see how they changed over time. There were different shapes, ice with different materials and colours in it and some plain ice. The children had a range of items to support these changes, including spoons, small brushes, pipettes and water as well as spoons, small tools, sugar and salt. There was a lot of descriptive words and explanations of their ideas form the children and the language included melting, freezing, quicker, slower etc.
In Literacy the children have been refining how they write the 'Ladder letter family 'l,i,t,u,j,y'. They have also been carefully using their phonics to write shopping lists for the food their own colour monster's like to eat, which has been one of our 'Chilli Challenges' in their independent play and Bella created a fantastic list, which she read out her own writing very clearly.
In Maths we have been exploring the power of the ten's frame. The children have been looking at patterns of the numbers they can see within the bigger number and using their knowledge to create number bonds of ten (where two numbers added together make ten).
We had a bus that had ten seats and children took turns getting on and off, ice cube trays that held ten ice-cubes, as well as the classic flat ten's frame and some new counters that were a different colour on each side. There has been some fantastic discussion and exploration around these tens frames and they are already beginning to look at the numbers greater than ten by having two tens frames side by side.
The other activities this week have included a challenge to help the colour monsters to paint the playground orange, green and purple - but they had only left blue, yellow and red powder paint to use...
the art that has been created by the class and a big pack of wax crayons...
Week 2, 09.01.17
This week has been a week full of colourful activities with lots of discussion and enquiry. Each day the children have been practising their letter formation using the colour of the day, with a focus upon the 'Curly Caterpillar letter family' which consists of the letters a,c,d,g,o,e,s,f as they are all very similar in formation. This is then flowing into the children's phonics and written literacy work. We also have been exploring tens frames, estimation and counting methods in our numeracy activities as well as continuing to recognise and order the numbers.
The children have really enjoyed helping to set up our cafe area in the conservatory. They are developing their independence through self service of their snack and the free flow option now, enables them to choose the time they go to snack when they would like to, while in their exploring time. The children have been brilliant with the new way to have their snack and they have been enjoying the independence given to them (they have needed reminding about tidying up after they've finished) and the discussion and social interactions are fantastic to observe and be part of.
Our developing role play area which follows the children's interests is now combining two aspects: The home corner is still very popular and we are now adding colour through the use of new dinner sets which are sets of colour, which introduces sorting and counting and combining of items and also dolls which have different clothes to dress and beds to make - all good life skills for doing up and down buttons and zips, bed sheets etc. The other aspect is focussed around a post office and writing colourful notes and posting them. The children are enjoying the choice of the two areas and often combining them together.
The class has also been investigating and developing their exploration skills by predicting and observing changes. The experiment they di was to see if the colour monster sweets (skittles) would change if water was poured on them. The children gave the following predictions:
"I think the blue one will turn purple." "The colours won't change." "The cup of water all needs to go on to make it change." "There will be a rainbow, cos I've seen it on my Mum's tablet."
The children needed to be very patient and were very excited when the changes started to take place...
... the children decided to try it again and see if changing the order of the sweets and see if the results were the same or different. They decided after much discussion, to create a repeating pattern...
...then the children wondered if the same thing would happen with different coloured sweets...
...the children talked about what they could see happening in front of them.
"It looks like a rainbow." "I like the skittles the best 'cos it looks like a beautiful lollypop."
Week 1, 03.01.17
We had a fantastic start to our new term. The children returned to school with a brilliant attitude to learning, with great listening and attention skills and lots of inquiring minds ready to explore. The first thing we did on our first day back was to read our new story that we are using as a starting point, which was 'The Colour Monster'. This brought about lots of interesting discussions about colour, mixing it, how different colours can show different feelings and who the Colour Monster really is! From this, we have used the children's ideas to develop lots of possible directions for the children's learning and they are already producing wanted posters - incase you see a colour monster in the shops nearby (please keep a look out!).
The children used their phonic knowledge to list things they did over the Christmas holidays and any presents they had. We also started new phonic groups and are enjoying making new friends to work with within KS1 to do our daily phonic activities. We also enjoyed looking at letter families (those letters with similar actions to form the letters) this week we started with the 'Zig zag monster family' which consists of 'z,x,v,w,y,k' which will help to embed correct letter formation and neat handwriting, which is a very important life skill.
In our maths exploration, we have been revisiting recognising numbers and numicon and matching them together, as well as counting our items from a larger group to match the written numeral. The children have also been making 'teen' numbers and looking at the way the 1 represents '1 lot of 10' and then the second number shows how many more 1's or 'units' there are to create a 'teen number'. The other focus has been to revisit the names and properties of 2d shapes and the children created some fantastic Shape colour monsters and spoke about the shapes and the amount of those shapes they had used.
We have also enjoyed the dry, sunny but cold, frosty days and have been very active outside. There has been a lot of team work and the children's large motor skills and co ordination are really developing now. There is also a lot of group conversation which is developing both their speaking and listening skills too.
As well as all the learning activities the children have also taken a big step forward with their independence skills and are really enjoying the opportunity to play at lunchtime out on the big playground and are becoming completely integrated into our whole school community.
We are now looking forward to our next couple of weeks celebrating and exploring colour and the different ways we can use it.