Monday, January 01, 2007

Feliz Ano Nuevo

Weekly update week beginning 1st January 2007

Happy New Year to one and all! What an exciting half term we have in store too!

This half term the theme of our work is TRANSPORT.

So what is happening on Thursday and Friday?

Although we only have two days of this week, they will be action-packed as usual.

Here I Am
We begin our new Here I Am topic titled 'Books'. On Thursday, the children will introduced to the topic by enabling them to recognise that there are all kinds of different books. The children will explore a selection of books, including story, picture, information, workbooks and big books. They will be encouraged to answer questions such as:
What kind of book is it?
What is it about?
What is it for?
What does it tell you?
How does it begin?
How does it end?
Which books do you like and why?
Which books don't you like and why?
On Friday, the children will experience the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with props and a story board to support their love of books and stories. This will be closely linked with our Communication, Langauge and Literacy work. You may wish to support this by look at and sharing different types of books in the home with your child.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Now that the Christmas carol service and production practices and performances are over, the weekly PE sessions will resume. Yes! You've guessed it! So it's back to fastening buttons and getting dressed independently again. Our aim is to have EVERY child dressing and undressing independently by the end of this half term. Please can you check that your child's PE kit still has their name in it and that their pumps fit?

In addition to this, we really focus on developing the children's attention and concentration skills now. We do expect the children to develop rapidly from Christmas onwards and good attention and concentration skills are vital.

In order to develop the children's turn taking and sharing skills, I would like to set up a 'games workshop' on Wednesdays from 2.30pm. The children are to come in from playtime and then be split into small groups to play games like, snakes and ladders, number games, dominoes etc. The timing of this is to make it more accessible for parents to become involved in a small way in supporting the work in class. If you would like to become a 'games master' please call in and see a member of the team. Once we have enough adults we will be able to start the workshops.

Communication, Language and Literacy
After a very successful first term the children are doing extremely well with this area of learning. We have been amazed at the speed at which the children have developed their letter sounnd/name recognition. This good foundation of basic phonics will be the key that opens the door to your child's love of reading and writing. Thank you for all your support in this. If your child knows most of the letter sounds and symbols then maybe try boosting their high frequency words as now they know the letters the initial letter can give them a clue to the high frequency words. This half term the children will be experiencing the magical world of traditional fairy stories. On Thursday and Friday, the children will use the text Golidlocks and the Three Bears in preparation for the following week's surprise! I shall say no more!!!

The children:
MUST be able to identify the main characters in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears;
SHOULD be able to identify the main events in sequential order;
COULD be able to retell the story in the correct order using the appropriate story language.

If you would like to share the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears on the computer, then the websites below are good. However, nothing beats a cuddle and a story with Mummy, Daddy, Grandma or Grandad. - this is an animated version

This website is also worth a look at: - This is a great website. The children can play snap with high frequency words, letters amd lower and upper case.

Mathematical Development
As we only have two days, the children will work on WEIGHT (after an indulgent Christmas and New Year, very topical!) and CAPACITY.

The children:
MUST be able to order two objects by capacity;
SHOULD be able to use language such as more, less, full, half full and empty to compare two quantities (then more than two) by making direct comparisons of capacities;
COULD be able to compare two or more capacities by direct comparison, measure using uniform non-standard units (e.g. yogurt pots), or standard units (e.g. litre jugs) and understand and use the vocabulary related to capacity.

MUST be able to order two objects by weight;
SHOULD be able to use language such as more or less, heavier or lighter to compare two quantities, then more than two, by making direct comparisons of masses;
COULD be able to compare two or more masses by direct comparison, Measure using uniform non-standard units (e.g. wooden cubes), or standard units (e.g. plastic weights) and understand and use the vocabulary related to mass.

The children will receive a parcel from Mr Measure. Inside the parcel will be some measuring items - a pan balance, scales, objects for measuring, bottles, jugs, funnels etc. A letter will be enclosed asking the children to help him answer some very difficult questions. Can they help? (Yes they can!!) They will set about comparing objects by weight and capacity. The children always enjoy this type of mathematical activity but each year the stubling block is the VOCABULARY used to compare the objects being measured. Any support you can give to this at home would be greatly appreciated.

What langauge do the children need to develop?

WEIGHT - weigh, weighs, balances, heavy, light, heavier, lighter, heaviest, lightest, scales - please note that children do mix up the term 'lighter' with that associated with colour and light.

CAPACITY - full, half full, empty, holds, container, holds more, holds less

Here is a great website to support this area of learning. - If you click on the Kindergarten/Reception link then on 'mass' and 'capacity'. I loved this website but think the children could have a go at the Year 1 level. Feel free to make use of the other games too.

Although this is a fab website, the best way of learning these concepts is through play and activities around the house. An opportunity for comparing weight may arise when you are putting the shopping away in the cupboard, which is heavier/lighter the beans or the rice? Likewise for capacity, bath time is the most obvious time to support language development. Take plastic container and compare which holds more/less? How many cups does it take to fill the larger bowl? Believe me, this does stick because it is a different environment for learning.

The rest of the Curriculum
The children will learn to program the programmable toy called a Roamer and will be working in the ICT suite playing on the website to support their letter recognition. They will also talk about the different types of transport they know and possibly learn about some new ones too. The children will be asked to complete either a painting or collage of a mode of tranpsort. - This website allows the children to create modes of transport using 2d shapes. They can change the shape, colour, size and orientation of the shapes being used.

Goodness me! What a lot to fit into two days!

Finally, could we please ask that you encourage your child to come into school on their own from now on. For any child who experiences dificulties still, just take it step by step.

Thanks and here's to another great term!

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

No comments: