Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Starlights and Snowflakes

Week beginning 27th November 2006

This is our final week of practising the Christmas Production ' The Christmas Rose'. The children have been amazing! We are so proud of them and they have all been eager to take their position on the stage and take part. I would recommend that you get your tissues at the ready, for you will cry with amusement as well as pride. Mrs Higgins, Mrs Latham and myself have been prone to the odd tear or two so far, and they aren't even our little angels.

In order for you to see a performance fit for 'The Palladium', much of this week will be taken polishing our performance in the hall with the year one and two classes. However, we will be keeping to the basics of reading, handwriting and mathematics throughout the week.

Here I Am
As our topic develops about GIFTS we ask that the children bring a treasured gift in to school to share during Circle Time. The children will need to be able to say WHEN they received the gift, WHO gave it to them, and WHY it is so special to them. Please place your child's gift into a labelled bag and send it in on Friday. We promise that it will be returned the very same day. As a stimulus to this, and a build up throughout the week, a mystery gift with a label saying 'To Tina Tinsel from Gordon Glitter' (oh believe me it gets worse as the year goes on!) will be left in the classroom for the children to guess what is inside. On Friday, Mrs Higgins will be in character for our Mantle of the Expert as Tina Tinsel. She will come in to see the problem-solvers because she was expecting a parcel from her friend Gordon Glitter and it hasn't arrived. Of course the problem solvers will know where the parcel is, but when Tina Tinsel opens the box the present has broken and she is unsure what it was. The children are to use the pieces throughout the week to support their learning in Knowledge and Understanding of the World.

Do you have those Advent calendars at the ready? Although the chocolate is scrummy and delicious, please be sure to explain to your child that Advent is a time when we await Christmas, the celebration of God's gift of Jesus. Throughout the next few weeks we will be sharing the Christmas story with the children and changing our home corner into the stable in Bethlehem. A lovely electronic book telling the nativity story can be found on the following website:

We will be having our own home-made Advent calendar. Inside each numbered pocket will be a deed the children have to accomplish for the day e.g say somthing nice to someone or help a friend, etc.

Communication, Language and Literacy
As we are doing 'gifts' in Here I Am, we have decided to concentrate on labels this week in Communication, Language and Literacy. On the writing table the children will have tags to write on for gifts they wish to send. We will be looking at the different external parts of the human face and body and labelling them. This will enable the children to start using the initial letters in words as a cue to supporting their word identification when reading.

We will also be looking at the sounds that appear at the beginning and end of words. The children are now rapidly starting to hear these words and therefore, we are focusing on communicating the sounds they hear into their writing.

Whilst on the subject of writing, can I express our pleasure at how well the children are coming on in their handwriting skills. Your support at home completing the handwriting homework enables the speed the children progress through the letters to be much faster than if we were only doing it at school.

Any of the previous letter recognition websites detailed in this blog are suitable for this week's tasks. The sooner the children know their letter sounds and letter names, the quicker their reading and writing develops.

Mathematical Development
We did not get as much of our work on symmetry done as we would have liked last week. Therefore, we are going to spend this week on it as well. The children will be dip-dying fabrics to make a symmetrical square, investigating which letters and shapes are symmetrical, as well as making funky symmetrical masks.

Alongside this the children will be continuing to focus on finding one more and one less than a given number. - you may wish to go over the term 'less' with your child to enable them to find one less.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Time is limited due to the rehearsal of our Christmas production. However, to elaborate on the Mantle of the Expert for this week, inside the gift will be a selection of construction pieces. The children are to use the construction equipment to make a gift for Tinal Tinsel. As each child makes a model, they will take photograph with the digital camera.

In ICT, the children will be developing their hand-eye coordination further through the use of an art package called Dazzle. They will create a friend for Elmer by selecting a colour from the palette and then clicking on the outline of a patchwork elephant. This will be further developed by the use of the text icon, when the children will be asked to type in their name as a label for their picture. Finally, the print button will be introduced to the children.

Here are some great websites for your child to practise their mouse skills: - select a colour by clicking to paint a picture like Lecky's. - click and drag parts of the body to make a 'scary spud'.

On Friday the children are allowed to come into school in their own clothes in exchange for a contribution to our Christmas Tombola. The school council are holding a bring and buy sale and any toys and games in good condition that you need to clear room for before Christmas would be greatly appreciated.

As you may be aware, only one ticket per family has been given to you for each performance. This is for the health and safety of your child as well as fire regulations. Please feel free to swap your tickets with each other if you wish. Unfortunately, prams will not be permitted into the hall on the performances due to lack of space as the children require access around the side and back of the hall during the performance.

I think that is all!

Have good week!

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team x


jacqui thelwell said...

you are doing a wonderful job preparing the children for teh production. we know most of teh songs already!!
jacqui thelwell

jacqui thelwell said...

have you noticed I can't spell THE

Mrs Narraway's site said...

Thanks very much Jacqui. We've had a great time this year. We can't wait to see the final product. Perhaps you can sing along with the words! Thanks Jayne