Saturday, March 03, 2007

Handa's Surprise

Firstly, please accept my apologies for there being no parents’ evening letter in your child’s diary this week. Mrs Cain, our school administrator, has been rushed off her feet and it was unfortunately not typed up in time for Friday. You should get it this week.

We have a very busy week this week as we have our RE inspection on Wednesday and a visit from a Headteacher of a school in Spain. I’m sure we will impress them!

This week hold even more treats as the children will complete a series of activities based around Eileen Browne’s story ‘Handa’s Surprise’.
It is the story of a little girl called Handa, who puts seven different delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend Akeyo as a surprise. However, it is Handa who gets the surprise as the animals she passes on her way steal all the fruit. So does she end up with an empty basket? Ask your child to find out.

As part of our teaching of Spanish we are going to endeavour to teach the children the names of the fruits during our Knowledge and Understanding of the World. I have also put together a programme of English teaching tools to give to our Spanish visitor as a gift from the children in the Foundation Stage.

Here I Am
In Here I Am we commence the first week of a brand new topic ‘Death and New Life’. The title does appear to be a sombre one, but we do focus more on the New Life aspect and start by linking it in with their natural environment.

Therefore, by the end of this week the children will have:
RECOGNISED the signs of new life. This will be achieved by the children taking digital photographs of signs of new life whilst taking a walk around the school grounds.
REFLECTED on the signs of new life around them. Using the digital images the children have taken the session before and other pictures the children will reflect on the various signs of new life. They will also be involved in the planting of their very own ‘seed of love’, which they will nurture over the next few weeks.
RESPECT for new life and understand that Spring is a time for new life.

Communication, Langauge and Literacy
This is a lovely text to work with as it contains many opportunities to develop the children’s vocabulary and in particular their descriptive language. As the text is read,and during their guided reading sessions, the children:
MUST be able to use the pictures to support their word identification;
SHOULD be able to use the initial letter with the pictures to support their reading;
COULD be able to start sounding out words when reading;

As always we will be focusing on the teaching of spelling strategies and, we are VERY impressed with the level of phonological awareness the children are showing to us when they are completing writing activities. These websites are good to use with your child at home to continue to develop their spelling and reading skills. - this is a great website for identifying the sounds at the beginning, middle and end of words. - the old favourite. - this website asks you to see how many words you can make - this focuses on high frequency words - this concentrates on the spelling of the high frequency words. You can simply type in the high frequency words that your child needs to work on for them to play the game with. - great for blending sounds together.
If you ask your child to spell a simple three letter word e.g hen, tin, pit many of them will be able to do it. The next step is to make sure they can read the word back to you by sounding the word out and blending the sounds together to read the word. Why not have a go!

The children will be transferring their skills into their writing and by the end of the week, the children:
MUST be able to identify the initial and final sounds in simple CVC words.
SHOULD be able to write a sentence with support, spelling simple three letter words correctly.

COULD be able to write a sentence with some degree of independence.

Mathematical Development
This week we move onto some more Shape, Space and Measure. By the end of the week, the children:
MUST be able to understand – longer/shorter, taller/shorter, full/empty/half full, heavier/lighter;
SHOULD be able to compare the lengths and masses of two objects using the correct mathematical vocabulary;
COULD be able to compare the length and masses of three or more objects using the correct mathematical vocabulary.

I would only recommend as a suitable website for this area of mathematics as nothing beats household items. Why not get out the family shoes and compare the sizes, take different sized containers into the bath and compare the capacity of them, etc.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
In this area of the curriculum the children will be learning to appreciate the importance of fruit to stay healthy. They will be introduced to ‘Victoria Vitamin’, a character who will help them to remember the important word ‘VITAMIN’. The children will begin by exploring the fruits using their senses. They will touch, smell and…YES!.. taste them. This will provide the opportunity for us to develop the children’s vocabulary also. It may be worth a visit to the supermarket for some unusal fruits to try as a family.

In ICT, the children will be learning to use a word bank to write simple sentences linked to the story of Handa’s Surprise.

Creative Development
We are really focusing on the children’s drawing skills this week. They will have the opportunity to complete observational drawings of the outside and inside of the fruits. We will be particularly focusing on oranges and lemons. The children will work collaboratively on a collage activity based around these two fruits before independently creating a collage. If all goes well, we should have a fabulous display to put up (if only we had a classroom twice the size!) In addition to this, the children will be provided with props with which they will be able to retell the story of the Handa’s Surprise both on the small world table and in imaginative play.

Physical Development
The children will be further developing their cutting skills with the creation of a basket of fruit for Handa’s basket. You may wish to practice scissor skills at home with your child. In PE the children will be continuing to develop their ball skills. This week, the children will be practicing the skill of throwing and catching a bean bag/ball with a partner and then extending this to with a team. Please ensure your child has a pair of pumps in school because if the weather is fair, then we will be going outside for PE lessons.

That’s all for this week folks!

Have a good week and take care.

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

No comments: