Sunday, April 15, 2007

Can you hear a tap dripping?

Welcome back to the final term of your child being in the Foundation Stage (their first year at school). It is now that we step up a gear in preparation for achieving those final few goals before we pass the children on to their Year 1 teacher.

One of our main goals is to make sure the children come into school on their own from now on. Your support in this would be much appreciated.

This half term the main theme of the children’s learning is WATER. This is a great topic, which is enhanced by a visit to the Blue Planet Aquarium. You should receive a letter this week with the details. Please complete the permission slip and return it as soon as possible so we can confirm numbers. Thanks.

Before I forget, please can you ensure that your child has a labelled sun hat and a small tube of sun cream to protect them in the sun. The outdoor play equipment will be used a lot now and keeping your child safe is paramount to us. Unfortunately, we can not rub the sun cream on to the children but we will ensure they put it on. Many thanks.

Communication, Language and Literacy
We being this half term with a review of the children’s understanding of non-fiction books and their features: a contents page, an index, photographs, caption and labels. This is the perfect opportunity for the children to become members of the local library. Why not loan some information books on animals that live under the sea?

By the end of the week, the children:
MUST be able to identify and name the features of a non-fiction text;
SHOULD be able to understand how a contents page is used;
COULD be able to use a contents page to answer questions.

The children will be working on a non-fiction book I created after a visit on to the Blue Planet. The children will have the opportunity to learn lots about the creatures they will see prior to their visit. In addition to this, the children will create a new page for the book after their visit.

As always we will be continuing to work on the children’s high frequency words and phonics. The children’s high frequency words will play a major role now as they begin to form sentences and develop their reading even more. Please endeavour to practice them every night for about 5 minutes at a time.

Here are some good websites to support your child with their phonics and reading: - the children must identify the medial sounds in words. - the children must make rhyming words but sound it out to see if it is a real word or not (level1), spinning the initial or the final letter to make real words (level 2) and the children could cope with level 3 also. - sounding out words and matching pictures to the cvc words; - spelling and reading cvc words; - blending game.

Mathematical Development
We have been amazed at the children’s understanding of the concept of addition and will continue to develop this through its application to real-life problems. Therefore, we begin this half term with a look at subtraction. By the end of this week, the children:
MUST be able to work out one less than a given number to 10;
SHOULD be able to understand that subtraction involves ‘taking away’ and carry out simple subtraction sums with support;
COULD be able to independently subtract one number from another.

The following websites should be a good start for you and your child. However, never under estimate the power of food to help children understand subtraction. the children must put in a number and then find one less before the machine works the answer out. - for those children who can subtract one mentally than this a real challenge for them. - this is a great website for the children to learn how to apply their understanding of subtraction to word problems. - this is a great website too with the actual subtraction sum written out for the children. They must type in the answer and then press enter to bowl the bowling ball towards the skittles. Fabulous fun but try it with real skittles!!! If you haven’t got any real skittles at home try filling plastic pop bottles with a bit of sand. As long as the ball is heavy enough to knock them over then it will work. - WOW! Once I actually worked out how to use this game I was mesmerised for ages. You have to count how many aliens and then click on the number. Then you work out how many were taken away. - great for generating subtraction sums but remember to select level 1. - for all those budding footballers out there. This is a great site for helping the children that when zero is taken away from a number then the same number remains. For those footie fans out there it may be the only chance England have of beating Brazil!!! - always a good start to review the language of ‘less’ which is a precursor to subtraction. - good for those children developing their number recognition to 20. - great for developing the recognition and writing of numbers to 20. - naughty that we are…or should we say that we are pure genius!?! The children are working on counting in tens to 100. This is a great game for those children learning numbers beyond 20 but with an adult, all the children can access this if they count in tens. - as always this websites provides really good activities for the children to do. Start with the Reception/Foundation Stage link and then as your child progresses move onto the Year 1 activities. We do have many children who will be able to access it.

In addition to all the work on subtraction we are doing, we will also be preparing the children for the work we will be doing next week on money. With Uncle Visa and Auntie Switch being very much the currency of today, children find it difficult to manipulate, use and understand the value of the different coins. I remember having 10p to go and get a 10p mix, but what can they get for that now? Anyway…we will begin to teach the children how to recognise the different coins this week. Any help with this at home would be very worthwhile.

Here I Am
We begin our new topic on ‘ENERGY’. This week the children will learn to:
RECOGNISE what energy is.
REFLECT on their energy.
RESPECT – appreciate they have and need lots of energy.
The main vehicle for teaching this will be through our PE lesson. Once again, Lazy Town comes into the play as they have a song all about ENERGY!

Physical Development
We begin this half term with a little assessment of the skills the children were taught before the Easter break. These areas will include:
Using small and large equipment, showing a range of basic skills e.g rolling, throwing, catching and kicking a ball;, balancing a beanbag on a bat and target activities;
Cutting skills

The children will also be doing some weaving. This is a great way of developing the children’s fine motor skills. We hope to be able to create a class fabric hanging using a weaving techniques which will have an under the sea theme.

Creative Development
The children will reinforce their pattern making skills with the creation of patterned sea life puppets. The children will decorate templates which they have cut out. These will then be made into puppets and have an under the sea environment created for them.

In addition to this, the children will use the musical instruments to accompany the rhyme 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I caught a fish alive.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
The children will learn to sort and classify different animals according to their habitat. Do they live in water or on land? Can they fly? Etc. The children will record their understanding in pictures and in written form. You may wish to talk with your child about different animals in preparation for this.

In ICT, the children will create a friend for the main character in the story ‘The Fish Who Could Wish’. The children will learn how to use the shape icons on the art program we have in school. Once again they will develop their pattern making skills when they can decorate their character.

The programmable robots will be out also, one with high frequency words to program the Beebot to and one with sea life creatures on.

This week, the children will learn some of the names of the different sea-life creatures. Here are some of them for you. Hopefully the phonetic pronunciation is okay.

Esto es – This is…
A fish – un pescado ( oon pescado);
A sea horse – un caballo de mar (oon cabayo dey mar)
A shark – un Tiburon
An octopus – un pulpo
A dolphin – un delfin
A whale – una bellena (oona beyena)
A jellyfish – una medusa
A starfish – una estrella de mar (oona estraya dey mar)
A crab – un cangrejo (oon cangrecho – the ch is pronounced as in loch)
A frog – una rana

Good luck!!!

And the surprise…
This week a message in a bottle will be left from a deep sea diver who has found a magical city under the sea. The children will be encouraged to use the writing table to write back to him. The children will place their message in a bottle and ‘throw’ it into the ocean to see if they get a reply. (Of course this is all make believe and the ocean is actually a piece of blue material, but hey who cares? The imagination of a child has no limits!)

That’s all for now.

Have a fabulous week!
Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

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