Saturday, February 03, 2007

Assessment and Review Week

Weekly update 5th February 2007

"I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!" said the Big Bad Wolf.
Well... he tried and did he succeed? NO!!! Well not for some teams. The children had a great time at the 'Huff Puff' when they found out if their team challenge of building a house the Big Bad Wolf counldn't blow down was strong enought. We dressed the programmable robot (Roamer) up as the wolf (as the hair dryers wouldn't have shifted any of them they were that solid!). We had two winning teams which built a house that would not budge! Each child in the team chose a book from the book fair as a prize. this will be awarded in our assembly on Monday. I hope to email the photographs etc to Mrs worrall over the week so remember to check out the school website after the holidays.

Communication, Language and Literacy
This week we will be assessing the children on various literacy skills that they have been taught this half term. I have already assessed the children on their letter sound and name recognition and you should receive an update of these next week for your information. Looking back at last year’s assessments at this time of year, I can’t wait to see where we get up to with these children. We seem to be moving VERY fast!

The following websites should support you in reviewing the children’s knowledge: - this is a great website which demonstrates how we form our letters of the alphabet in the cursive style. The children’s handwriting is coming on well but more practice will enable their physical skills to match their writing skills to improve even more. - this is a good activity for developing the children’s reading skills. The children must drag the initial letter and the word ending onto the remote control and then press the button. This will create an image to match the word. Can they sound the word out before they press the button and use the picture to check if they are right? - another good game to support the reading of three letter words. The children read the words in the boxes by sounding them out and blending the sounds together. They then match the illustration from the bank at the top. - yet another great game. - Jimmy’s crankphone asks the children to identify the middle sounds in words whilst the Whirlyword Machine helps them to generate new words for themselves. - if your child wants to continue with our fairy tale theme why not try this great website? You can write letters to the characters and many other fantastic activities.

Mathematical Development
This half term has been particularly successful in that the children have picked up their understanding of addition remarkably well. Many of the children even managed to start working on counting on from the larger number as a strategy for adding two numbers quicker. In addition to the information about letter sound and name recognition, you will also be informed of any numbers we will be working on with your child after the half term.

Here are some great websites to review this half term’s learning: - an old chestnut which is good for developing the children’s recognition of numbers beyond 10. - helps the children to order numbers. - this is a lovely website for developing those skills of addition. Remember the phrase: COUNT, COUNT, TOGETHER, COUNT. - although this is aimed at Year1/2 I still think some of the children will be able to access it. Why not give it a try? - by far my most favourite website for developing mathematical development. Check out the shape activities, the weight and capacity ones as well as the addition games.

Our topic work on Transport will come to a conclusion this week. We would have liked to have visited Manchester Airport, but due to the untimely appearance of chicken pox the numbers were changing on a daily basis. However, can I take the opportunity to thank Freyja's mum and dad for finding details for a visit and I hope to use them next year.

Here I Am

This week we start a new theme for Here I Am - MEMORIES. You may wish to review the children's prior learning by thinking about their favourite books and poems, and what they have learned about books and the special book, The Bible. In the course of this week we hope to help the children to:

RECOGNISE that they have a memory. For this the children will be playing a range of memory games in class. Try this one at home. It's called Kim's game. Place a tray with up to four objects on. Say and point to the objects. Cover them up and then ask your child close their eyes. Remove one of the objects. Which one is missing? As they get the hang of it you can add more objects. Aim to have up to 10 objects on the tray.

REFLECT on what they need to remember. The children will sing songs that require them to remember the order of the events. Examples of these could be:

Old MacDonald

I am the music man (my favourite!)

One finger, one thumb keep moving

RESPECT - appreciate that there is lots to remember and that remembering is important.

This week and over the holidays we have set the children a challenge of learning the 'Hail Mary' by heart. A copy of this should appear in your chil'd diary on Monday.

And finally... just a sneak preview of what we are doing after half term. Our topic is going to be 'Healthy Living'. The children will learn about the importance of exercise, nutrition, hygiene etc. I have secured a visit for the children to David Lloyd on 26th February for the morning when they will be doing little activities with them. Further details will be sent to you. If you know any dentists, doctors or nurses that could come into school and talk to the children then that would be really appreciated.

In saying all this, the first week back we will be learning all about the Chinese New Year. Remember to check this blog for details over the holidays.

Have a great holiday and can I say a big thanks for your continued and valued support.

Take care

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

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