Saturday, June 09, 2007

What did Jasper find at the top of his beanstalk?

Welcome back to our final half term! Let’s make this the best yet! Mmm…may be a very tough challenge but hey, we’ll give it a go!

This half term our topic is ‘LIVING THINGS’. Aaaghhhhh!!! It will soon be the dreaded minibeast hunt where we all have to be as brave as Mrs Latham, who actually let a snail slither across her palm leaving a slimy trail last year. Let’s hope she washed her hands, as she will be baking this week.

So here goes with this week’s learning.

Here I Am

This week, we continue with our topic on ‘Freedom and Responsibility’.
The children will review their learning on:
RECOGNISE the need to take turns;
REFLECT on what happens when children don’t take turns;
RESPECT – appreciate taking turns is an important rule.

They will then RELATE this to learning about a rule that Jesus gave – to love one another. This fits in nicely with the children developing their understanding of our school mission statement ‘To Love and Serve as Jesus shows us’.

Communication, Language and Literacy
The text that will review and further develop the children’s learning regarding plant growth and conditions for growing shall be Jasper’s Beanstalk. This is a lovely book, with the ending leaving the children’s imagination to extend the story, as he climbs the beanstalk in search for giants. The main focus for the text is to develop the children’s story telling skills, in preparation for them writing their own story towards the end of the half term. Therefore, by the end of this week, the children:

COULD be able to write a series of sentences that contain a connective, a full stop and capital letters;
SHOULD be able to use a capital letter and a full stop in their writing;
MUST be able to sequence the story and tell a friend about what is happening.

In addition to this, the children will be working on their individual reading targets. Through the reading of the text, the children will be developing the skills of using the illustrations and, sounding out and blending sounds together to support their word identification. A new skill will be taught this week. This is the strategy of covering the unknown word in a sentence, reading on and seeing what would make sense within the context of the sentence. This is a very hard strategy and does take some time to master.

As always the high frequency words help the children to scaffold their reading, and daily practice of these words are vital. Hence the class target of learning five new high frequency words in one week. - a great website for those reception high frequency words. - a good website for learning the year 1 and 2 words. - a challenge for those avid readers. - lovely!

The children have amazed us this year with their phonological development. This week, some children will have the remaining letter sounds or names they need to recognise. By the end of this week, the children:

COULD spell and read words containing the double consonants ll, ss, ck, ff and zz;
SHOULD be able to spell and read three and four letter words;
MUST be able to identify at least five new letter sounds and names.

The following websites may be of use to you. Some of them are new ones so please take a look. - this is a game that all the family can play. There is a need to print off the bingo cards and then press the button. A word will be formed for the children to blend the sounds together and then match. I love it!! - this is great for the spelling of 3 and 4 letter words. You need to give your child a word and then ask them to click on the ladybirds and their corresponding flower. Great!! One I will definitely be using in class. - this is fantastic website which allows the children to develop their sentence construction. - another great that allows the children to develop their blending skills. - for those children who have a few letter names and sounds to learn. - a blending game. - the old chestnut! - any of the games on this page are great! - this is a great website for those children working on sentence writing who are not yet familiar with the capital letters and what they look like.

Mathematical Development

This week you will have details of the remaining numbers your child needs to learn stuck in their diaries.

We begin this half term with a revisit to the topic of addition. Our assessments at the end of last half term indicated that the children have a real understanding of addition. Some children are even working beyond the Early Learning Goals, and automatically counting on from the biggest number when asked what the total of 4 + 6 is. We obviously want to continue this great understanding. Therefore, by the end of this week, the children:

COULD be able to find out different ways in which a total can be made.
SHOULD be able to add two numbers together, developing their ability to count on from the larger number;
MUST be able to combine two sets of objects and find the total.

In order to help your child to achieve the COULD objective. Have a go at this.
You will need:
Ten sweets – with wrappers on to avoid stickiness.
A pot
Ask your child to count how many sweets there are altogether. Please remind them to line them up to ensure reliable counting. Then place some in the pot. How many in the pot? How many out of the pot? How many altogether? Record this as a sum e.g 3 + 7 = 10. See how many ways they can find to make 10. There are 11 altogether.

Here are a ‘few’ websites to help also. - this is a fantastic website that will help the children to count on from the larger number to make a total of ten. The children must look at the number on the pipe at the top and then see how many more are needed to make the total ten. They then select the pipe and attach it by clicking and dragging. If they make a total of ten, then more water is poured into the well, saving the whale, who shouts ‘I’m free!’ A touch of the Mr Humphries from Are you being served? I think. - one you have just got to have a go at. I was laughing my head off! Although this looks at number bonds beyond a total of ten, the children can use the strategy of counting on from the larger number to work out the answer. Go on give it a go! - this is an extension of the one above and provides a challenge. The children must work out the missing number to make the total. - great! The children must choose two numbers that add up to a total of ten. You’ve got to get it wrong at least once just to see what happens!?! - to extend the children’s learning of more and less with larger numbers; - another for more and less

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

As we begin our topic on Living Things, the children will compare the habitats of different animals, their similarities and differences. You may wish to support your child by visiting the local library and looking at books linked to animals. By the ed of the week the children will be able to describe the differences and similarities between two animals, with reference to the number of legs, patterns etc;

Creative Development

The children will be transferring their knowledge and understanding in the above area of learning by the designing of their very own animal mask. The children will select an animal they wish to make a mask for and then design it. They will need to decide on the materials and tools they will need in preparation for the next week, when they will make their masks.

In addition to this, the children will be focusing on their role-play and imaginative play with the use of the sand tray, the water tray and the small world table, which will have different animals from the different habitats.

Physical Development

The children have done amazingly well in their physical development skills this year, which is a credit to Mrs Latham. So much so, that I have had to plan for activities this week, which enable the children to exceed the requirements of the Foundation Stage curriculum. The aim of the next two weeks is to enable the children to link a sequence of movements together which they can practice and refine before demonstrating it to another child. They will be involved in self-evaluation of their movements as well as the evaluation of their peers. I can’t believe they are working at this level. Although, the team did set the target of achieving beyond the early learning Goals in physical development this year.

Hopefully, our fine motor skills activity of sewing sea life animals will come to an end this week. The children have loved doing them and they are fantastic!

Mantle of the Expert

This week, the children will receive a package from Fifi of Fifi and the Flowertots. She has a problem in that she can’t remember what a plant needs to grow. She can’t remember if they need water, sunlight or both. She asks the problem-solvers to find out what happens under the different conditions. Throughout the afternoon, the children will split into teams to provide information to go back to Fifi. She will send text messages, emails and make phone calls to me with various problems along the way. Let’s see what happens!!!

And the domestics…
This week is a somewhat jumbled week as we go and visit the new intake children in their settings prior to their visit to us later in the month. I can’t believe we are at this time of year again. Although there is a feeling of anticipation of getting to know our new children, it saddens me to think that there are only 6 weeks left with this class! Mrs Higgins will be carrying out the visits to the nurseries and the main bulk of the visits are on Tuesday, so please bear with us, as it is book-changing day. If anyone can spare half an hour on the Tuesday morning to help change reading books, that would be fantastic!!

And the sun!! Although it is lovely to have sunshine, the children's safety and protection is our main priority. outdoor play is an entitlement of your child in the Foundation Stage. please ensure, your child has suncream and a sun hat in school. Please label them clearly. thanksxx

Believe it or not, this blog has taken me three hours and nine minutes to do, and it is now complete!! Needless to say, the time playing on the new website caused many delays. I must discipline myself!

Welcome back!

Take care

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxxxx

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