Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!!


Well…I’m still here! No news as yet. Can you believe that your child has completed their first term in school? They have done really well and I received a text of Mrs Higgins saying how sensible the children were on their trip to the cathedral last week, and how proud of them I would be.



This week at school is my favourite one as the festive spirit really moves up a notch. Having a 5 year old at home who is counting down every day (and trying to convince me that if she eats two chocolates each day Christmas will come sooner) can be some what of a headache so here are some great websites to let them have a go at while you put the finishing touches to your Christmas preparations, or even just sit down and have a rest.


Nativity stories
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/ngfl/re/b-dag/ngfl-container/re-unit1-en.html http://www.topmarks.co.uk/christianity/nativity/index.htm http://www.refuel.org.uk/curric/infant_topics/christmas/christmas.html http://ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/christmas/nativity/nativity.html http://www.snaithprimary.eril.net/nativity.htm http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/xmas/word/cross2.gif
Just for fun!
http://www.emailsanta.com/ write a letter to Santa and see the reply appear before your very eyes!

http://www.northpole.com/ a real favourite of mine! The disco dancing Santa is fabulous!http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/ a very interesting site, explaining all about the customs and traditions of Christmas.

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/meaning.htm I loved this story! Maybe one for Christmas Eve?

http://www.star28.net/snow.html?msg=they this made me giggle! Get the penguin to write your name in the snow. What about trying this to help with the spelling of those tricky words?http://www.learn-ict.org.uk/resources/rudolph/rudolph.htm Rudolf is missing! Read this lovely interactive story with your child. A great way of developing those comprehension skills.

http://www.funranch.com/games/tree/index.htm decorate the online Christmas tree

http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games/snowman_v4.html build your very own snowman...without getting your hands cold!

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/winter/ some great ideas for Christmas crafts to doat home, using all those empty boxes.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/christmas/ Christmas crafts

http://www.nevada.edu/~blake/Christmas.carols.html why not sing through some of these traditional Christmas Carols in preparation for Friday’s service?http://www.ylw.mmtr.or.jp/~johnkoji/hymn/xmas/index.html christmas carols to sing along to.
http://www.btinternet.com/~edward.caution/ oh this is just fabulous! Karaoke anyone?? Just scroll down for the Christmas songs. Go on – I’ll bet you can’t resist just singing along!
http://woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/teacher/christmas.html lots of different activities for you to try at home

http://christmas.iboard.co.uk/ lots of Christmas online activities to try. I really like the writing ideas, which use a framework and a wordbank to help. Why not print some off to bring in to show?



There is rather a lot of things going on this week so here goes with the details.



Monday

Dust off those party frocks and best clothes, as Monday sees our fantastic Christmas party! The children have worked really hard all term, so now is the chance for them to let their hair down and boogie the afternoon away. The children will be allowed to come to school ALL DAY in their own clothes, complete with hair gel, glitter and perfume!



Santa’s elves have been very busy wrapping all the gifts for the children AND organising all the party food. A huge thank you to all the elves behind the scenes who have been bagging and wrapping for the last few weeks – you can put your feet up now!!


Christingle Service
This year’s Christingle service takes place up at St. Joseph’s Church on Tuesday 16th December at 7.00pm. Although it is quite late, it would be lovely if there could be some Angels, Kings and Shepherds there, complete with their Christingle kits. We have these on sale in school for 50p.



On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we shall be putting the finishing touches to the lovely Christmas decorations that the children are making as well as completing assessments in preparation for the New Year.



Friday

The last day of term, sees a real treat. Our Christmas Carol Service, led by Years 5/6 will be held up at St. Joseph’s Church at 10am. We ask that the children arrive in school as normal, for registration. We shall then be walking all the children up to Church for the service, which should last around an hour. Please ensure that the children are wearing a very warm coat, gloves, hat and scarf for that day, as the weather is extremely cold. The children will obviously not be able to buy toast on that day, so it would be helpful if they could bring a small snack for after the service, which they will be able to eat in the Loretto Centre at Church before their return. We really do need lots of parental support to accompany the children up to St. Joseph’s, so please let any member of the team know by Tuesday if you are able to help out.



The afternoon sees the Parent’s Panto. It is always a really fantastic production and a fitting end to the year. All the children, (and staff) leave the hall in festive mood, ready to start our preparations at home.


Photographs
The children’s photographs were distributed last week and how gorgeous are they? Please do let us know if you haven’t received them and we will do our best to sort them out for you.



And finally…On behalf of all the team, I’d like to wish you a very happy, peaceful and holy Christmas. We hope that Santa brings you everything you ask for and that we all return safe and happy in the New Year.



Merry Christmas!



Warm wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

Sunday, December 07, 2008

It's Christmas!!!

Hi there!
Firstly, can I take the opportunity to thank all the children and parents for their kind gifts and wishes. I will miss you all very much but I’m sure life will be changing very soon in the Narraway household!


Here are a few domestics to begin with…

Christmas lunch
On Monday, we don our party hats and best singing voices (if we have any left!) and have our Christmas lunch. If you have asked that your child has lunch on Monday, they won’t need a packed lunch. Please also remember that there will be no toast served on Monday, so the children will need to bring their own snack.


Cathedral Visit
On Tuesday afternoon our Year 6 and our Foundation Stage children will be attending the annual Carol Service at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool. The children will leave school after lunch and will return at approximately 4pm. Please ensure that all outstanding permission slips are sent into school by Monday. Thank you.


Christmas Party
The children’s party takes place next week, but there are still a number of children who need to bring in their £2.50 contribution. If you haven’t already done so, we would be grateful if it could be sent into school by MONDAY, so that we are able to arrange the party bags. Santa’s elves are working really hard at the moment, so the more time they have the better!! Many thanks!


Carol Service
It is our annual Carol Service on Friday 19th December, led by Years 5/6. This year, it will take place up at St. Joseph’s Church at 10am. The children will arrive at school as usual at 8.45am and will walk up to church for the service with the escort of the community police for extra safety. Please ensure that any permission slips are returned as soon as possible, as we will be unable to take children out of school without them.As I am sure you will appreciate, we will need lots of volunteers to help walk our children up, so please do let any member of the team know if you will be able to help us with this. It is sure to be a lovely occasion, where we can all take time out from the hectic preparations and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas.


Now…

Just for FUN!!
Here are some lovely activities to keep your children busy whilst you get things organised.
http://www.emailsanta.com/ write a letter to Santa and see the reply appear before your very eyes!
http://www.northpole.com/ a real favourite of mine! The disco dancing Santa is fabulous!http://www.northpole.com/PersonalizedStories/ this is lovely and the children will love printing these off! Just enter a couple of pieces of information and your child will appear as a character in their very own story!
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/ a very interesting site, explaining all about the customs and traditions of Christmas.
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/meaning.htm I loved this story! Maybe one for Christmas Eve?
http://www.star28.net/snow.html?msg=they this made me giggle! Get the penguin to write your name in the snow. What about trying this to help with the spelling of those tricky words?http://www.learn-ict.org.uk/resources/rudolph/rudolph.htm Rudolf is missing! Read this lovely interactive story with your child. A great way of developing those comprehension skills.
http://www.funranch.com/games/tree/index.htm decorate the online Christmas tree
http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games/snowman_v4.html build your very own snowman...without getting your hands cold!http://www.nevada.edu/~blake/Christmas.carols.html why not sing through some of these traditional Christmas Carols in preparation for our carol service?http://www.kidzone.ws/math/christmas/index.htm although these are based on American ‘grades’, some of these Christmas themed Maths worksheets are still really useful.
http://christmas.iboard.co.uk/ lots of Christmas online activities to try. I really like the writing ideas, which use a framework and a wordbank to help. Why not print some off to bring in to show?

And now for what they will be learning this week.

Communication, Language and Literacy
By the end of the week, the children:

MUST be able to recognise and name the letters s, a, t, p, i, m, n and d
SHOULD be able to recognise and name the letters above including g, c, k and o, and begin to orally segment the words.
COULD be able to use the letters taught so far to segment and blend words;


You should have received an update regarding letter and sound recognition via your child’s diary on Friday.

I would continue to use the letter recognition websites below to support letter recognition with a focus mainly on the letters of the week or any that we have taught yet your child is unsure of.
www.starfall.com - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!
http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - this is great and the sounds are said correctly too.
http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.html
http://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

NEW!! http://www.ictgames.com/phonemePopLS_v2.html - you can use this website to focus on the letters of the week.

High Frequency Words
These are checked weekly and we do aim for the children to know all term one words by Christmas. You may have noticed that I have sent more high frequency words to work through in my absence. Here are some websites that may also be of use to you:

http://www.ictgames.com/plankgameR.html
http://www.ictgames.com/wordreader.html
http://www.ictgames.com/lcwc.html - click on the rectangular cells and type in the high frequency words to make your own grids.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
On Friday you will have received an update on your child’s number recognition via their diaries. Again the children have been making pleasing progress.


As I stated last week, for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, the children will focus on number recognition, ordering numbers and number formation. Here are some great websites to support this area of learning.
http://www.ictgames.com/nileNumbers_v2.html
http://www.ictgames.com/saucerSorter.html
http://www.ictgames.com/caterpillar_slider.html - get the children to say the number sequence in order to be able to order the random numbers
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/ngfl/ngfl-flash/numbers_eng/numbers_e.html - fantastic for supporting number formation
http://www.abc.net.au/countusin/default.htm - a range of websites to support mathematical skills and concepts.

Here I Am
The Christmas story will continue to be the main focus of this week, with the children re-enacting the nativity in the role-play area.


I think that’s all for this week.

Keep safe and I’ll let you know any news.
xxx

Sunday, November 30, 2008

IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Hi there!

Well my last week is finally here! But does that mean this week will be lacking in FUN and FANTASTIC LEARNING? Absolutely not! How fantastic is it now that we are in December? Already I am humming the Christmas tunes whilst doing my weekly shop and dusting off the Christmas tree. Now that it is officially Christmas time, it is without doubt time to get out the glitter, sequins and baubles and start preparing for the festivities.

As a treat for the children, during the time they are performing their much rehearsed and awaited Christmas Production, the whole week will be dedicated to those little keepsakes to adorn your mantelpiece and Christmas tree. No…there will be no glittered egg boxes which my mum still hangs up every year (much to my dismay). Please be very aware that the children will be very tired this week due to the performances. Tears may happen and reading time may be a challenge. For this reason there will be no handwriting homework this week. One thing to look forward to though is an early night to bed on Friday! Mr Barker also allows the children to come in by 10.30 on Thursday following the evening performance on Wednesday. Unfortunately, this does not apply to staff so if you wish to drop your child off at the normal time then that is fine. Believe me we have tried all kinds of bribery tactics!


Reading books
Please accept my deepest apologies for the delay in changing the children’s reading books last week. Time just flew! I hope you didn’t mind me sending two on the Wednesday. I promise that this week we will try much harder!


DADS!!! Please remember to hear your son read if you do not already do so. Research suggests that boys make more progress in reading if their fathers are actively involved in their literary experiences.

So what will we be learning this week?

The Nativity Story
Well…it’s actually December now. So…yes!!!! Let the glitter, tinsel and fun begin. Although we do talk about Christmas presents and cards and celebrations in school, we do feel that it is vital that the children know the true meaning of Christmas. Therefore, this week we begin by teaching the children about the birth of Jesus and the first Christmas. Mrs Latham and Mrs Lockett have worked like Trojans to create a stable in the role-play area for the children to re-enact the Christmas story. I am sure the children will appreciate all their hard work. Here are some websites that the children may enjoy to consolidate their understanding of Christmas.

http://www.topmarks.co.uk/christianity/nativity/ - this is a e-version of the story for the children to enjoy.
http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/carolrb/christmas/christmas1.html - find out about the history behind the customs surrounding Christmas.
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/ngfl/re/b-dag/ngfl-container/re-unit1-en.html- this is a wonderful website where the children can learn how to sequence the parts of the story for themselves. The children can create a nativity scene for themselves.
http://www.refuel.org.uk/curric/infant_topics/christmas/christmas.html - another lovely book. Perhaps we can make an electronic book as a class.
http://www.refuel.org.uk/curric/infant_topics/christmas/christmas.html http://ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/christmas/nativity/nativity.html http://www.snaithprimary.eril.net/nativity.htm http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/xmas/word/cross2.gif

Christmas Tree Decoration
The week begins with the children receiving a letter from Timmy Tree. This is actually our class Christmas Tree. He is really sad because all his other Christmas tree friends have decorations and BOO HOO he is bare. Can we solve his problem? Oh yes we can…Oh no you can’t…oh yes we can (sorry couldn’t resist with the panto season and all that!) The children will therefore extend their creative skills and mathematical skills by decorating their very own bauble. This is an opportunity for the children to talk about the properties of the sphere shape of their bauble and reinforce their understanding of pattern making when they stick on the sequins etc.

Christmas Cards
A class list will be sent out via the diaries to help you with any cards your child may which to send. This is the perfect opportunity to help your child write their name. We will also be starting to make our Christmas cards so please keep a special place on the mantle piece for it.


Christmas Fun!!
Here are some great activities to get into the spirit of Christmas.
http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games/snowman_v4.html - build a snowman of your own.
http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/games/advent_calendar.html - open up a space on the advent calendar every day and see what you find
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/jokes.html - Christmas jokes for all the family.

Communication, Language and Literacy
This week you should receive an update on the letters names and sounds your child consistently recognises when shown. Thank you for all your support at home with this. The children are making really pleasing progress. This week we will be teaching the children some new letters. The focus letters for this week are: ‘ck’, ‘e’, ‘u’ and ‘r’.


CK – the children need to know that when they see C and K together it is usually at the end of the word. I call them lazy letters with K being the laziest and that they are two letters that when read make one sound. More often than not the CK is used when the vowel in a word makes its sound rather than its name e.g dock, tick, back etc. If you compare them to words like ‘cake’, ‘bike’ and ‘coke’, the vowel says its letter name hence the use of the ‘e’ on the end of the word rather than the ‘ck’.

I would continue to use the letter recognition websites below to support letter recognition with a focus mainly on the letters of the week or any that we have taught yet your child is unsure of.

http://www.starfall.com/ - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!
http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - this is great and the sounds are said correctly too.
http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.html
http://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

NEW!! http://www.ictgames.com/phonemePopLS_v2.html - you can use this website to focus on the letters of the week.

High Frequency Words
These are checked weekly and we do aim for the children to know all term one words by Christmas. Here are some websites that may be of use to you:
http://www.ictgames.com/plankgameR.html
http://www.ictgames.com/wordreader.html
http://www.ictgames.com/lcwc.html - click on the rectangular cells and type in the high frequency words to make your own grids.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
This week you will receive an update on your child’s number recognition via their diaries. Again the children have been making pleasing progress.

For the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, the children will focus on number recognition, ordering numbers and number formation. Here are some great websites to support this area of learning.

http://www.ictgames.com/nileNumbers_v2.html
http://www.ictgames.com/saucerSorter.html
http://www.ictgames.com/caterpillar_slider.html - get the children to say the number sequence in order to be able to order the random numbers
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/ngfl/ngfl-flash/numbers_eng/numbers_e.html - fantastic for supporting number formation
http://www.abc.net.au/countusin/default.htm - a range of websites to support mathematical skills and concepts.

Cathedral Visit
Just a reminder about the visit on Tuesday of next week. The children need to come dressed either as a shepherd or an angel. Please also remember that the coach will only be returning to school by 4pm so please feel free to wait in the school hall for the children. They will be brought to you.

And finally…may I take the opportunity to personally thank you all for your support in your child’s first term at school. The blogspot will continue throughout my maternity leave. I am sure that the children will continue to be motivated and learn, and I look forward to seeing their progress on my return after Easter. Enjoy Christmas and see you soon!


Warmest regards
Jayne Narraway xxxx

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Countdown begins...

Hola!

Well…this is the week before our Christmas Production and believe me you are in for a real treat. Much of this week will be used to refine our performance with the children to ensure they are as confident as possible for their moment in the limelight. Costumes will need to be in on Monday so we can try them on the children and make sure they are in school for the dress rehearsal on Friday morning. Please remember to write your child’s name on them and also hanging them on a hanger is really helpful to us. Thanks.


So what will we be learning this week?

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
As time is limited this week we will be focusing on number recognition with the children. Therefore, by the end of the week, the children:

MUST be able to recognise numerals to 5 and match sets of objects to the numerals;
SHOULD be able to recognise numerals to 10, match sets of objects to the numerals and order numerals from 0 to 10;
COULD be able to recognise numerals to 20, match sets of objects to the numerals and write the numerals to 10 correctly and independently.

Here are some great websites you could use. However, car registration plates, house numbers etc are good ways of helping the children learn their numbers.
http://www.ictgames.com/caterpillar_slider.html - ordering random numbers
http://www.ictgames.com/mucky.html - to revise more and less;
http://www.ictgames.com/nutty_v3.html - ordering numbers
http://www.ictgames.com/postletter.html - number recognition
http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/online/online_downloads.htm - click on the ordering numbers game

Communication, Language and Literacy
Again, as time is limited we will use the opportunity to review and assess the children’s recognition of:
Letter sounds and names
High frequency words
Spelling and reading words containing the focus letters taught so far.


Here are some websites which will support these areas.
http://www.saintambrosebarlow.wigan.sch.uk/activities.htm - The children are to try to hear the initial sounds in words.http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - Look at the letter shown and then select the picture that begins with that letter.http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - This is an amazing website focusing on the initial sounds. Hours of fun why you do your ironing I think!http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/beginning.html - the children are to focus on the initial sounds of the picture shown and then identify a picture with the same initial sound.http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - a good website for getting the children to identify the letters of the alphabet.www.starfall.com - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.htmlhttp://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

Here I Am
We begin our new topic this week for RE titled BIRTHDAYS. The children will begin this week by RECOGNISING what a birthday is, REFLECTING on birthday celebrations they have taken part in and will take part in, and RESPECT that a birthday is celebrated to remember the day someone is born. In class we will be reading the story of Kipper’s birthday and preparing the home corner for a birthday celebration. Our imaginary giant friend Jim will also celebrate his birthday. This will be a way of encouraging the children to write birthday cards for him in the writing area.

Maternity Leave
You may have read in the school newsletter that I shall be going on maternity leave in two weeks time. Therefore, we welcome Mrs Gillian Sammon to our team this week. This week she will be getting to know the children and the systems and style of teaching we use. This will then enable a smooth transition for the children as I will still be teaching them also.

Non-uniform Day
On Friday the children can come in their own clothes in return for a tombola prize for the Christmas Fair on Saturday.

That’s all for this week!

xxxxx

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog.

There’s loads to do this week so without further a do here goes with this week’s agenda!

Here I Am
We begin our new topic this week for RE titled BIRTHDAYS. The children will begin this week by RECOGNISING what a birthday is, REFLECTING on birthday celebrations they have taken part in and will take part in, and RESPECT that a birthday is celebrated to remember the day someone is born. In class we will be reading the story of Kipper’s birthday and preparing the home corner for a birthday celebration. Our imaginary giant friend Jim will also celebrate his birthday. This will be a way of encouraging the children to write birthday cards for him in the writing area.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
The children have done really well developing their understanding of more and less and nearly all of them can find one more than a given number. However, finding one less is proving to be difficult for some of them. Therefore, this week we will be focusing more on this. In order for the children to be successful they need to have an understanding of the number system. The children understand the number system when they count from 0 to 10 and finding one more is supported by this. Therefore, to facilitate their ability to find one less they need to be able to count backwards from 10 to 0. For those who can find one more and one less we will work on problem-solving activities in different contexts. Here are some websites for your child to have a go at.

http://www.ictgames.com/rabbit2.html - for those children who can identify one more and one less this is a great website which challenges them to identify numbers more or less than a given number. You may need to sit with your child for this.
http://www.ictgames.com/nileNumbers_v2.html - see if your child can find one more than the given number before the ball reaches the bottom.
http://www.ictgames.com/saucerSorter.html - why not ask your child to arrange the numbers in reverse order
http://www.ictgames.com/caterpillar_slider.html - further develop your child’s understanding of the order of numbers through this game.
http://www.ictgames.com/nutty_v3.html - catch the acorns in number order
http://www.ictgames.com/newduckshoot.html - a good game for number recognition

Communication, Language and Literacy
By the end of this week, the children:

MUST be able to provide the sound for the letters m, i, d and n in response to seeing the letter symbol;
SHOULD be able to orally segment (sound out) the words containing the letters;
COULD be able to segment, blend and write the words containing the letters.
The children are coming along nicely with their letter recognition and this week we will continue to teach the letters Gg, Oo, Cc and Kk. Again please make use of the websites below to support letter recognition. I would highly recommend the phonic fighter one for the boys!
http://www.saintambrosebarlow.wigan.sch.uk/activities.htm - The children are to try to hear the initial sounds in words.http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - Look at the letter shown and then select the picture that begins with that letter.http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - This is an amazing website focusing on the initial sounds. Hours of fun why you do your ironing I think!http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/beginning.html - the children are to focus on the initial sounds of the picture shown and then identify a picture with the same initial sound.http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - a good website for getting the children to identify the letters of the alphabet.www.starfall.com - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.htmlhttp://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

What else?
We will be continuing with our work on animals with the children this week following our fantastic visit to Chester Zoo last week. Here are some websites about animals to support the children’s learning.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/ - help your child research more information about their favourite animal.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/wild/index.shtml - a lovely website to explore and find out about different animals
http://www.kidsbiology.com/animals-for-children.php
http://www.abcteach.com/abclists/animalbabies.htm - find out the names of baby animals

Sorting animals into sets
The children will look at the differences between animals e.g the number of legs, if they lay eggs, if they have fur , scales or feathers etc.

Model making – thanks for all the junk materials you have sent in for us. The children have had a wealth of materials to select from. They will continue to work in teams to make an animal of their choice whilst learning about the different ways in which they can join materials.

Let’s make a zoo – the children will be encouraged to help make a play zoo for the different animals we have. They will be making fences, ponds etc as enclosures and then create maps.


Christmas Production
You should have already received your ticket allocation. If you have not please call in and see me. Just a reminder that costumes need to be in next Monday. If possible could you pop them on a hanger so they don’t get creased? Thanks. The children have already been on the stage and believe me when I say you are in for a real treat! In the diary this week there will be a sticker asking for permission to apply a little face paint to your child for the production. Please just sign below the sticker if you give consent. Thanks. We will need parents to help us dress the children before the performances so if you are available please call in.


Phonics and Reading workshop
The workshop will be held at 6pm in our classroom on Thursday 20th November. Unfortunately children are not invited to the workshop, hence the 6pm start instead of the 3pm after school time. Thank you in anticipation of your valued support.

I think that’s all for this week.

Have a good one!

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

Friday, November 07, 2008

Chester Zoo Here We Come!!

Hi there!

How exciting is this week? The children are eagerly awaiting their visit to Chester Zoo and the staff can’t wait to get cracking on the activities to follow. You should have received a letter with details regarding the day in your child’s book bag on Friday. Many thanks to all of you who volunteered to accompany us. I’m just sorry we couldn’t have everyone who offered coming with us. Perhaps on our next adventure!

So what’s on the agenda for this week?

Monday will see the preparation for the visit to the zoo. We will be looking at a book about animals and their babies. You may wish to discuss the names of some familiar animals and what their baby names are called e.g cat and kitten, dog and puppy. The children will look at the similarities between animals and humans. They will complete sequencing activities involving pictures from baby to grandparent. To support this you may wish to dig out some of those childhood photographs to share with your child so they can see how you have changed and grown. Don’t worry I too will share my baby photographs with the children!!

Tuesday will be our fantastic visit to the zoo. We are armed with cameras, etc to record our visit to enable us to complete associated activities back at school.

Wednesday through to Friday is going to be just amazing! The children will learn about model making. They will be using the junk materials to work as a team to construct a model of their favourite animal from the zoo. This is a team building activity as well as an opportunity to teach the children about joining materials using masking tape, glue guns and cellotape. Please, please, please continue to clutter your homes with collections of junk materials for our model making as after this week the children will be asked to apply their new skills independently when we make rockets.

Communication, Language and Literacy
By the end of this week, the children:


MUST be able to provide the sound for the letters m, i, d and n in response to seeing the letter symbol;


SHOULD be able to orally segment (sound out) the words containing the letters;


COULD be able to segment, blend and write the words containing the letters.
The children are coming along nicely with their letter recognition and this week we will begin to teach the letters Gg, Oo, Cc and Kk. Again please make use of the websites below to support letter recognition. I would highly recommend the phonic fighter one for the boys!
http://www.saintambrosebarlow.wigan.sch.uk/activities.htm - The children are to try to hear the initial sounds in words.http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - Look at the letter shown and then select the picture that begins with that letter.http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - This is an amazing website focusing on the initial sounds. Hours of fun why you do your ironing I think!http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/beginning.html - the children are to focus on the initial sounds of the picture shown and then identify a picture with the same initial sound.http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - a good website for getting the children to identify the letters of the alphabet.http://www.starfall.com/ - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.htmlhttp://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

NEW!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/laac/words/dg2.shtml

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
We will be continuing with the unit of work on more and less we started last week. Although we were going to only concentrate on MORE last week we have been amazed at how they have picked up the concept of LESS. So we will work on both of them together this week. Here is a reminder of the learning objectives and appropriate websites you may wish to look at.
By the end of this week, the children:

MUST be able to identify which set has MORE or LESS
SHOULD be able to find one more or one less than a given number to
6

COULD be able to find one more or one less than a given number to 10
http://ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/maths/counting/random%20count.html - with this website, you will need to work with your child. They will need to firstly count the fish (they are moveable into a line) and then find one more and one less. http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/20050208/Mathematicaldev/Earlyyears/Number/Numberrhymes/Introduction/default.htm - this website is great for developing the children’s understanding of one less. As one speckled frog jumps into the pool, there is one less!http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/kidsonly/findout/counting/index.htm - these are great for those counting rhymes that involve one less each time.

Here I Am
We move into our final week on Invitations. The children will be having a ball for Golden Time just like in the story Cinderella. The girls need to come as a princess and the boys as princes. Over the course of the week they will write invitations inviting someone to the ball. I’m sure we will have lots of fun!


Handwriting homework
Please can I just remind everyone that homework does need to be back in school on a Friday with the library book. As there are so many children we need to mark them and prepare the homework and change books for the following Monday. If they are late then unfortunately, your child’s hard work will not be marked and they will not have the opportunity to change their library book which would be a shame. Many thanks in anticipation of your support.

Parents’ evening
The last few parent/teacher interviews will be held this week. I’ve really enjoyed having a chat with you all and may I pass on thanks on behalf of all the team for you support in the transition of your child into school. Here’s to a successful year.

Christmas Production
You will have received a letter regarding your child’s costume for the production. If you have any questions please pop in and see one of the team. BEWARE tights fly out of the shops at this time of year so get in early. Widnes market is usually a safe bet! You may have heard your child singing the songs we have learned already. Believe me you are in for a real treat! You will also be recieving the tickets for the productions. Please be aware that without a ticket there is no admittance so please keep them safe.

I think that’s all for this week.

Have a good one!

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxxxx

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Welcome back!!

Hi there!

Welcome back to the most exciting and most hectic part of the school year! Yes it is the build up to Christmas!!! Already I am singing away to myself the songs of our production. This half term is the best!!! Lots of singing, dancing, glitter, tinsel, more singing, more glitter etc. A half term to totally make sure you endear yourself to the cleaning staff! The production is now written and ready for learning. This week you will receive a letter regarding your child’s part in the production. It will detail the costume your child will need. I know we are early but you will be surprised how quickly tights etc run out on Warrington market! It may be worth mentioning that we operate a TICKET ONLY system for the performances. Each family will get three tickets, a ticket for each performance. This is for health and safety purposes.

I hope that your child is eager to get back to things this week. The week begins on Monday with the children receiving an invitation to a baptism of Miss Polly's dolly. No...I haven't lost the plot! This sets the children up for developing their understanding of Baptism as part of our Here I Am topic on Invitations. This week the children will learn about Baptism as an invitation to join the family of Jesus. They will learn the importance of the white shawl, the sign of the cross, the words spoken, the candle and the shell You may wish to support your child in their understanding through sharing some family photographs of their baptism or of one attended by them.So what else will the children be learning this week?

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
This will be a two week unit of work. So, by the end of this week, the children:

MUST be able to count reliably 6 objects (extending to 10);
SHOULD be able to identify which set has MORE or LESS (with an emphasis on the MORE this week);
COULD be able to find one more or one less than a given number to 6, extending to 10 (with an emphasis on finding ONE MORE this week)
My experience and assessments show that the children pick up finding one more MUCH easier than finding one less. You never really ask the children do they want less but do they want more. Thus, their understanding of the term ‘more’ is understood better. Therefore, if you are to help your child in any way then I would suggest focusing on the term ‘less’ this week at home also so as to prepare them for next week.Here are some great websites you could use to support your child in this area of learning. However, developing this mathematical understanding is better in context. For example, when eating chicken pieces at tea time, ask how many they have and then as they eat one what is one less?
http://ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/maths/counting/random%20count.html - with this website, you will need to work with your child. They will need to firstly count the fish (they are moveable into a line) and then find one more and one less.
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/20050208/Mathematicaldev/Earlyyears/Number/Numberrhymes/Introduction/default.htm - this website is great for developing the children’s understanding of one less. As one speckled frog jumps into the pool, there is one less!http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/kidsonly/findout/counting/index.htm - these are great for those counting rhymes that involve one less each time.
www.ictgames.com/mucky.html

Communication , Language and Literacy
Now that everyone is settled we start our rapid teaching of phonic skills. You will be amazed at how quickly the children learn to read and write. This week we will be reviewing the letters s, a, t and p. Some of the children already know these letters but this week, they will be required to hear them in words, read words containing them and even have a go at writing them. The words used will be:At, as, tap, sat, pat.By the end of this week, the children:
MUST be able to provide the sound for the letters a, p, t and s in response to seeing the letter symbol;
SHOULD be able to orally segment (sound out) the words containing the letters;
COULD be able to segment, blend and write the words containing the letters.
However, to prepare them for next week we will also be introducing the letters Mm, Nn, Ii and Dd.
If you have a set of magnetic letters at home then why not have a go at spelling some of the words with them. Here are some websites your child could use to develop their letter recognition and start to develop their reading of words
.
http://www.saintambrosebarlow.wigan.sch.uk/activities.htm - The children are to try to hear the initial sounds in words.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - Look at the letter shown and then select the picture that begins with that letter.
http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - This is an amazing website focusing on the initial sounds. Hours of fun why you do your ironing I think!
http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/beginning.html - the children are to focus on the initial sounds of the picture shown and then identify a picture with the same initial sound.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - a good website for getting the children to identify the letters of the alphabet.
www.starfall.com - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.
http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.htmlhttp://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

We really step up the game with the high frequency words now that we are fully settled in. Your support is crucial in developing your child’s recognition of the words. The words are so important as they provide a scaffold for the children when they are reading. The high frequency words will also be a focus for us in school.

A date for your diary!!
I will be holding a Reading and Phonics workshop for parents on Thursday 20th November at 6pm in our classroom. Please be aware that a crèche is not available and children are not able to attend. Thanks. I will send a letter this week so I know what numbers to expect.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
This week is one of my favourites because we learn about the Hindu festival of Divali. If you are a little unsure of what Divali is all about then here are some useful websites.

http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/festivals/resources/The%20story%20of%20Rama%20and%20Sita.ppt - this is a very simple version of the story of Rama and Sita.
http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/earlyict/colour_mixer.html - have a go at creating your very own mendhi pattern.
http://www.chandrakantha.com/musicpage/index.html - the children can listen to Indian music on this site. Encourage them to talk about their likes and dislikes. What instrument do they think is used to make the sound?
www.indexo.pionexnet.co.uk/elloughton13/dday.htm - this contains information about Diwali.
www.snaithprimary.eril.net/rang.htm - paint your very own rangoli patternThere will be many exciting activities linked to Divali that the children will work on this week. Here goes…
Diva lamps – this will be a lamp which will be modelled out of clay and so beautifully decorated that you will most definitely place it on your mantelpiece.
Indian Dancing – the children will learn a song about divali and learn some special movements in response to it.
Divali cards – an opportunity for the children to practice the use of the high frequency words to, mum, and, dad, as well as writing their name.

Rangoli patterns – these are symmetrical patterns using shapes. The children will have 2d shapes to place in dough to create them as well as using the school playground as a canvas. Let’s hope the rain doesn’t spoil our fun!
Role-play – the children will act out the story complete with the monkey army. Mmm...casting should be easy!
Barfi sweets – Mrs Latham will be making traditional Indian sweets with the children. Yum yum!

And much more…BUT what would a week in Foundation Stage be like without FOOD? Yes, we will be introducing the children to a variety of Indian foods. Perhaps this is an opportunity not to cook and get on the phone to the local take away for tea. Last year, we only bought a little as we thought the children wouldn’t like it. How wrong were we? They ate us out of house and home. Therefore, Golden Time this week will be tasting Indian food and having a boogie to Indian music.

BANG!! WHIZZ!! OO!! AH!!
Of course we can’t forget about Bonfire Night. On Thursday the whole day will be dedicated to learning about Bonfire Night and the traditions of the day. We always do this after Bonfire Night so they have experienced it and then what we talk about has some relevance. The children will be creating their very own firework pictures and music related to the theme as well as making movements like fireworks.


Parents’ evening
You will have received the time and date of your parent/teacher interview. I have done my very best to accommodate everyone’s wishes. I look forward to seeing you all.

Chester Zoo
You will have also received a copy of the letter regarding our trip to Chester Zoo on Tuesday 11th November. We still need three more adults to help out if you are free on that day and can help out please see a member of the team. Thanks.


Keeping Warm
As the colder weather approaches the children will need to wrap up warm. We still use our outdoor area continuously throughout the day and your child will need a hat and possibly gloves (ones with fingers please rather than mittens). As always please ensure that they are clearly labeled with your child’s name.


I think that is all for now! PHEW!!

Take care and have a GREAT week!

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team x

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue????

Hi there

We had a great week last week learning lots of Spanish. Now the children have got the 'bug' we will continue to develop the children's ability to speak a second language throughout the school year. We did begin to teach the children the spanish colour song but much to our surprise found that a large number of the children do not know the names of the colours in English. Please could you take the time to check this out with your child at home and reinforce the colours as much as possible. Thanks.

Here I Am

Last week we began our new topic INVITATIONS. Of course, this does imply party, party, party to me so...we will be developing the children's writing skills by learning about writing inivitations to their teddies for a teddy bear's picnic for Golden Time. This is another great opportunity to practise the children's name writing skills. You should have received an update of how your child is doing with regards to their name writing via their diary. Please continue to practise at home as the children do need to write their names at least four times in the day and the inability to do so is frustrating some children.

This week is ASSESSMENT and REVIEW week. This is when we assess what the children have been taught and prepare for learning after half term.

Communication, Language and Literacy

We had a really good laugh using our alliterative names this week, with the children only being allowed to call us Naughty Narraway, Laughing Latham, Lovely Lockett, Happy Higgins and Lucky Lambert.

The children are doing really well learning the focus letters and you will also receive an update on how your child is doing with regards the acquisition of the letter names and sounds for Ss, Tt, Ii, Aa and Pp. This week we will split into different groups to teach this area of learning.


By the end of the week, the children:
MUST be able to hear the initial sounds in words and match objects and words beginning with the same initial letter sound (have an awareness of alliteration)
SHOULD be able to recognise the letter names and sounds for Ss, Tt, Pp, Ii and Aa.
COULD be able to use the above letters sounds to orally segment and blend words for reading and writing.

A great way of developing their understanding of initial letters is to play I SPY. Being a mum of a four year old too I am glad to see the days of 'I spy with my little eye something beginning with T' only to find they were thinking of a window or something bizarre like that! You could also play treasure hunt where the children could hunt for objects around the house for things beginning with each of the focus letters.

Please also refer back to last week's blog for websites to support this area of learning.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

This week we will be continuing with the work we have been doing on patterns. As always I was completely over the top when I planned for the learning experiences the children would have available to them last week and so we will be continuing with them this week. Please refer to the websites from last week to support their learning.

As it is assessment and review week, you will receive an update on how your child is doing with regards their number recognition, counting and pattern making. Please do not worry where your child is at in comparison with others in their class. Each child is special and unique and therefore, starting points are always different.


A look into the future

The children have shown a real interest in the animals with patterns through our work in Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy. However, it has come to our attention that they do need to develop their recognition of some animals. Therefore, I have arranged for the class to visit Chester Zoo after half term. A letter will be sent out to you this week with the details. If you are able to assist us on the day please call in and see a member of the team. We need three more adults.

Parent's Evening

You will have received a letter about parents' evening. Please be aware that appointments are made on a first come first served basis. Please give as many options as possible and I will aim to accommodate you.

That's all for this week. Have a great holiday!

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hola!

Hola!

Welcome to la semana Espanola! Yes…this week is Spanish week.

Spanish
This week your child may begin to come out with the odd phrase in Spanish. They will be learning to say the sign of the cross in Spanish and saying Buenas Dias to the register in the morning. Thanks to Dora the Explorer counting in Spanish will be a doddle! As part of their Golden Time treat they will be having a tapas party. We will also be teaching the children a Spanish colour song which quickly becomes their favourite. For your reference here are the Spanish names for the colours with the phonetic pronunciation next to them in brackets.

Blue – azul (athul)
Yellow – amarillo (Did you start to sing then? I did. Amareeyo)
Black – Negro
White – blanco
Green – verde (berday)
Purple – violeta (bee-o-leta)
Grey – gris (grease)
Brown – marron
Orange – naranja (naranka)
Pink – rosa

To further support their colour recognition and fine motor skill development, the children will look at the work of Antoni Gaudi, a famous Spanish artist. They are going to create a large mosaic of Elmer the elephant whilst reinforcing their knowledge of the colours in Spanish. Here are some examples of Gaudi’s work.


Communication, Language and Literacy
By the end of this week, the children:

MUST have an understanding of rhyme
SHOULD be able to continue a rhyming string
COULD be able to identify the initial sounds in words and match words with the same sound.


This week we will be focusing on ALLITERATION. What is this you may ask? Put very simply, it is when words or phrases begin with the same sound, e.g Sammy snake sits on sausages. (Ooooh, you wouldn’t want to eat them after that!) This is often hilariously funny as we give the children alliterative names that we call them all week. For example, Brilliant Bethany and Jolly Jamie. We too have our alliterative names that the children can call us all week. Why not call each other by alliterative names at home?

In order for your child to be able to develop their understanding of letters and sounds, I have compiled a list of good websites but don’t forget that I spy is a great game to play to support his area of literacy.

http://www.starfall.com/ - this is a great all-rounder. Remember to encourage your child to use the letters they are unsure of. I will stick this information in your child’s diary this week.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - I love this game!
http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - activities 12 and 13 are good for helping with identifying the initial letters.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - this is great and the sounds are said correctly too.
http://www.ictgames.com/soundBingo.html
http://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

We haven’t forgotten about rhyme though. The children who need to continue developing their understanding of rhyme will have some very funny activities to do. An example that you could try at home is ‘rhyming soup’.
Collect a large bowl, a spoon and selection of objects that rhyme e.g a toy cat, a hat, a table mat. Then sing this song to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel

I’m making silly soup
I’m making soup that’s silly
I’m going to put it in the fridge
To make it nice and chilly
In goes… a cat… a hat…a mat.


You sing the song each time an object is added. Go on have a go, I know you want to. This can also be applied to the alliteration as the objects going into the soup can all begin with the same sound.


Mathematical Development
By the end of this week, the children:

MUST be able to copy a pattern in a variety of contexts
SHOULD be able to copy and continue a pattern in a variety of contexts
COULD be able to copy, continue and create a pattern in a variety of contexts.

This is the main class target for the week. Whenever your child is doing any pattern making please encourage them to verbalise the pattern as this helps incredibly with their ability to continue it. A good start may be to have a walk around the house, the garden and the local area and look for patterns all around them. Patterns can be seen on leaves, the patterns of brickwork on houses, pine cones etc. Patterns are everywhere!

Here are some great websites for you to try out too.
http://demo.iboard.co.uk/screens/thread_home.htm?thread_id=7 - select the animals sound one and see if you can make a musical pattern with the animal noises.
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/simple_patterns/eng/Introduction/default.htm - the children have the opportunity to continue a repeating pattern using colours, shapes and pictures.
http://crickweb.co.uk/assets/resources/flash.php?&file=beads - a string of beads at two levels, one with 6 beads and a second with 10 beads. The children must make repeating patterns using the colour palette provided.
http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/building_game/eng/Introduction/default.htm - in part two or three of this game the children have the opportunity to make a pattern for themselves.
http://www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/numeracy-explorer/powerpoint/patter.ppt - a great powerpoint to support the children’s learning of how to continue a repeating pattern.
http://www.rainforestmaths.com/ - click on the pattern label to enter the correct game. Remember to start on the reception level.

The end of the week will see the children receiving a letter from Jack and Jill’s mother (as in the nursery rhyme). She is concerned that her poor darlings are getting cold whilst they are in hospital. Could we design them a blanket with lots of wonderful pattern on? The children will be given calico on which to make their patterns. This will be the first time that the children will have encountered having to work as a team to complete a project. I’m sure they will do a great job.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World and Creative Development
The children will further develop their pattern making skills on the computer and we will get to use the new laptops. Fantastic! Patterned musical compositions will be completed as well as some great animal masks all linked to patterns of course.


A date for your diary
The Foundation Stage Induction Meeting is on Tuesday of this week at 6.30pm. I hope you will have lots of fun and found it informative about the way we teach your children. For those who were unable to attend, please do not fret for there will be opportunities to experience some of the activities again when I hold our reading workshop after half term. Details of this will be forwarded next week. Please do not bring your child with you to this meeting. We are holding it later in the day so child care arrangements can be met.


Reading diaries

Please could I ask that all parents write in their child’s diary when they have read with them. This helps us to monitor the effectiveness of reading outside of school. Many thanks in anticipation of your valued support.

Finally…the children are doing great coming in on their own and many thanks for your support in easing the morning chaos. Could I make a plea now not to stand for too long at the window and doors waving as this can cause upset too. Equally, last week we had lots of parents and grandparents standing at windows around the classroom when we are trying to get the children ready at home time. I know it is tempting but please try to stand back so that we can get the children ready and be on time for the end of the school day. Being on time is vital as Penketh South finish 15minutes after us and we need the traffic to have disappeared before they come out of school. Many thanks in anticipation of your support in this.

I think that is all for this week. Phew! This week was a long one.

Have a great week.

Regards
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team x

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Izzy Whizzy let's get busy!!

Hi there!

Welcome to this week’s blog. We have lots of exciting activities in store for the children this week. So…without further a do I’ll begin!

Communication, Language and Literacy
We continue our work on rhyme this week and it is hoped that, by the end of this week, the children:

COULD be able to continue a rhyming string;
SHOULD be able to identify the rhyming words in a poem, rhyme or story;
MUST be able to join in with a simple rhyme.


We will have a special visitor called Izzy Whizzy, a rhyming witch (aka Mrs Latham – have you guessed she liked to dress up?). She will add that little bit of magic to the week where she will set the children with the challenge of thinking of as many rhyming words for certain words. She will return on Friday to see how they have got on.

The children will achieve these targets by looking at tradition nursery rhymes. You may wish to check out these websites to support your child. Please remind them to join in with the actions too.

http://www.indianchild.com/nursery%20rhymes.htm
http://www.landofnurseryrhymes.co.uk/
http://www.hendersonville-pd.org/hpdnursery.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/laac/music/fdi.shtml - a good website for listening to rhymes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/laac/words/dg3.shtml - this site helps the children to match rhyming words but you will need to sit with them to read them out.

In addition to the work on rhymes we will also be developing the children’s letter recognition and ability to hear the sounds at the beginning of words. Here are some great websites that are well worth a visit. You will also receive a list of letters we will be concentrating on this week as a whole class via a sticker in your child’s diary. REMEMBER!!! We teach the letter names as well as the sounds they make.
http://www.saintambrosebarlow.wigan.sch.uk/activities.htm - The children are to try to hear the initial sounds in words.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonic_fighter4.html - Look at the letter shown and then select the picture that begins with that letter.
http://www.channel4.com/learning/microsites/H/hoobs/activities/interactiveActivities.jsp?id=letters - This is an amazing website focusing on the initial sounds. Hours of fun why you do your ironing I think!
www.starfall.com - The children love this. I had it on in class last week and they are so good at using it.
http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/beginning.html - the children are to focus on the initial sounds of the picture shown and then identify a picture with the same initial sound.
http://www.ictgames.com/phonemeFlop_v4.html - a good website for getting the children to identify the letters of the alphabet.
http://www.ictgames.com/letterlifter.html

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
The children have been fully assessed as to their starting point in counting skills and we are ready to move them forwards in their learning. Therefore, by the end of the week, the children:
COULD be able to count up to 20 objects reliably;
SHOULD be able to count 10 objects reliably;
MUST be able to count 6 objects reliably.


Counting reliably is vital to all mathematical activities in the Foundation Stage. We teach the children a little phrase to help them remember the rules for counting.
LINE, TOUCH, COUNT
This means that the children LINE the objects up and TOUCH each one as they COUNT them. The children must remember to give each object a number. Here are some good websites to support counting and also help number recognition.
http://www.rainforestmaths.com/ - select the more counting picture with the jar of frogs.
http://www.wmnet.org.uk/custom/files_uploaded/uploaded_resources/846/Teddynumbersv2.swf - This is such a cute website. The children can select the numbers they wish to work with and then select the number of sweets to feed the teddy as identified by the number given.
http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/kidsonly/findout/counting/bugz.htm - This is one of my personal favourites! I remember the first time I ever saw it and couldn’t stop laughing.
http://www.crickweb.co.uk/assets/resources/flash.php?&file=ftank2 - I really like this one as it helps to develop mouse skills as well as counting skills.
http://www.learningplanet.com/sam/cyc/index.asp - A simple but effective website.
http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/colorcount.html - Click on the pictures to make them colour.
http://www.wmnet.org.uk/wmnet/custom/files_uploaded/uploaded_resources/850/Count&Order.swf - On this website the children must identify the numbers on the leaves and then drag the ladybirds with matching number of spots. They can count the number of leaves on a stem and match the number to it or, order numbered snails and ladybirds.
http://www.ictgames.com/caterpillar_slider.html - this game works on ordering the numbers.
http://www.ictgames.com/nutty_v3.html - collect the acorns in number order.
http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks1/english/fruits/level2/l2/activity2.html - The children must count the number of pieces of fruit and then click on the matching number.
http://www.e-gfl.org/e-gfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/teacher/other/spark/downonfarm/downonfarm.html# - Click on the link Down on the Farm and follow the instructions.
http://www.abc.net.au/countusin/games/game5.htm - This one is good. Count the items on the peacocks feathers and drag them to the number.
http://www.ictgames.com/duckshoot.html - All the fun of the fair with this one!
http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/kidsonly/findout/farm/sounds/howmany2.wav
http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/jungle.html
http://www.learningplanet.com/act/rats/rats1.htm?rats_numbers - This websites needs the children to use the arrow keys on the keyboard. You can select the numbers the children are unsure of and work on them.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/numbertime/games/find_the.shtml - another great game for developing the children’s number recognition.
http://www.ictgames.com/piratenumbers2.html - For those children with number recognition beyond 10. This is a great game for them! Count the barrels in the water and then type in the number. Let’s see if you can sink the ship.

Pizza Parlour
In order to develop the children’s application of number in their play and everyday life, they have decided to change the flower shop in the classroom into a pizza parlour. They have been busy designing t-shirts for the ‘workers’ and this week, they will be designing menus, creating pizzas and setting up the parlour with the staff. If you have any old pizza menus or you fancy getting a takeaway at the weekend and could save the box for us that would be fab!


Physical Development
We will now teach the children handwriting. Children enter school at varying stages in their development but handwriting is a vital skill required to enable fluency of communication in writing. Things you can do at home to support your child’s fine motor skills and therefore aid handwriting are:

Fastening buttons
Playing with play dough
Baking
Colouring is fantastic!

In PE the children will be developing their spatial awareness and learning to stop and start on command. Getting changed for PE is increasingly difficult now that all the children are in school full time. I can’t emphasise how important it is that your child learns how to dress themselves. Please, and I know it is sometimes tempting to do it for them, allow your child to dress themselves all the time. It will be surprising how quickly they learn.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
This week the children will continue to develop their clicking and dragging skills as well as learning how to program a robot called a beebot.


And finally, a HUGE thanks to you all for supporting our aim of a hectic free morning. The children have been amazing and have really learned about the routine of the morning. We have been in time for assembly (except for the Harvest Mass!!) but it’s absolutely fantastic. Many, many thanks.

That’s all for this week.

Have a good week.

Best wishes
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And we're off!!!


Hi there!

Finally, it is time to begin on our learning journey. Before I begin explaining what your child will be doing this week could I just mention a few domestics?

The Morning
The children have settled well and are becoming more familiar with the daily routines and expectations for behaviour. The morning is still very hectic and we really do need to speed this up, as we are often late for assembly due to doing the register late. PLEASE could I ask that you allow your child to come in on their own if possible. There are five members of staff in the team, all of which can assist your child should they need it, and they are more than capable of doing everything for themselves now. Obviously, if your child is upset then do accompany them in but please allow us to take over as they do settle much quicker. Many thanks in anticipation of your support.


Coats
Many thanks to all those parents who have took my advice about the key ring on their child’s school jacket. Now that the children are using the outdoor area throughout the school day they do need to be independent in putting on their own coat and this has really helped. Also, those children who have hung their own coat up in the morning know where it is too which fosters much more independence. Lastly, please make sure your child does have a coat in school every day as they will need it to access the outdoor curriculum. Thanks.


So what will we be doing this week?

On Tuesday morning at 9.10am there will be a Mass to celebrate the Harvest. Many thanks for all your donations towards the food parcels for the St Joseph’s Welfare Centre. We were overwhelmed with your generosity. Parents and families are welcome to attend the Mass. Of course, we can not let the children take part in the Harvest Mass if they do not know why they are celebrating it. Therefore, we begin this week with our own celebration of the Harvest in the classroom. The children will explore the fruits and vegetables, grains and beans that the land produces.

A little prayer the children will learn this week and that you may wish to share as a family is:

Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the world so sweet
Thank you for the birds that sing
Thank you God for everything. Amen


Perhaps a visit to the local farm shop or grocery store to see what items of food the land produces would be a great way of helping your child to understand the Harvest festival. Here are some websites you may wish to explore with the children also.

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Harvest.html - share with your child the reason why we celebrate Harvest.

http://www.reonline.org.uk/allre/tt_nframe.php?http://www.request.org.uk/infants/festivals/harvest/harvest00.htm - this is a simple version of how the Harvest is celebrated.


The Little Red Hen

The children have worked on a lovely display for in the hall as a focus for the Harvest based on the story of The Little Red hen. However, ‘For one morning, and for one morning only!’ the children will have a live performance of the story by the team. Yes, we will be acting out the story on the outdoor stage for the children. We each have a role to play but our ‘shy and retiring’ (mmm) Mrs Latham couldn’t wait to be the hen! I’m sure the children will love it! My sewing machine has been smoking this weekend as I have made very simple costumes for the children to wear to act out the story in their play. Apologies in advance if your child comes home with any white fur on them. I looked like I’d been tarred and feathered after making the duck costume and my vacuum cleaner will never forgive me! This is all in aid of developing the children’s love of story and language skills. I’m sure it will be a real success.


Our resident baker, Mrs Latham, will also be making bread with the children to reinforce the story of The Little Red Hen. She will make the dough from scratch with them and them miraculously turn it into a wheat sheaf to accompany the Harvest display.

Communication, Language and Literacy
The children will have the opportunity to develop their story skills and role play through the props for the Little Red Hen as well as the small world table which will have a windmill and a farmyard scene. In addition to this, they can tell the story through the use of the magnetic storyboard. Of course, the staff will be listening in to observe the children as this is an aspect of the Foundation Stage Profile the children need to achieve.


Rhythm and Rhyme

The focus for this week will be on RHYME and RHYTHM. The children will be exploring different words that rhyme and playing matching games, learning rhyming songs and poems, making up their own rhymes etc. In your child’s diary, you will see that this is also their reading target that we shall be working on but you can reinforce at home also. Please feel free to make a comment in the diary regarding how your child is doing with any rhyming you have done at home with them. So, by the end of the next two weeks, the children:
MUST be able to join in with a familiar rhyme;
SHOULD be able to match two rhyming words;

COULD be able to continue a rhyming string.
As you can see, we will work on this for two weeks as rhyme is very hard for some children to grasp. Here are a few websites to help.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/laac/words/dg3.shtml - select level 1
http://www.zelo.com/family/nursery/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/teletubbies/nurseryrhymes/

In addition to this, the children will have a few surprises from our friendly giant who often leaves us gifts. On Monday, the children will have a parcel containing wrapped up books for them. These books will have a time and day of the week on them denoting when they can be opened. The stories and rhymes will have a rhythm to them. We will be reading the stories, encouraging the children to join in with the patterned language. We will even be adding percussion instruments to them.

But the fun doesn’t end there…oh no! A rhyming bag with clues to nursery rhymes will be a daily focus for the children before lunch. Can they guess the rhyme from the clue?

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
We are just completing a few more assessments of the children on entry on their ability to count reliable. There will be a range of activities available to the children to enable us to observe their counting. These will include, making sausages with the playdough for the pans, making juggling balls for the clowns to match the number given on the mat, threading beads onto a string to match the number shown on the card, playing skittles outdoors and counting how many they knocked down etc.

For those children who know all their numbers to 10, we will be assessing their ability to order them from 0 to 10 and then backwards using a washing line, pegs and numbers,


Creative Development
The children will develop their observational and drawing skills through having the opportunity to draw and paint the different fruits and vegetables they have seen. In addition to this, they will use the beans, pulses and lentils to create pictures in our creative area.

Linked with the work on rhythm, the children will explore the music area and investigate the different sounds that can be made. They will be encouraged to maintain a rhythm. The computer will also have a program on called Mouse Music which the children can explore sounds and create their own musical composition.

Our MORNING WARM UP will involve dancing and doing actions and movements to a rhythm. We will start with a march and build up to skipping and galloping.

To develop their listening skills the children will complete a listening walk and then have the opportunity to draw, paint or make a model of something they heard. If you have any boxes, yoghurt pots, kitchen rolls etc that you could send in for our workshop boxes that would be great.


Knowledge and Understanding of the World
The children have come into school with great ICT skills and therefore, we move straight onto CLICKING and DRAGGING. The children will dress the teddy on the computer screen be clicking and dragging the clothing onto his body. Again, these websites are great for the children to play on a develop these skills.
http://ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/ict/mouseskills/ted.html
http://ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/ict/mouseskills/joiner.html

In the water area, the children will explore which fruits and vegetables float and sink. This is always an interesting activity and the children love to guess why. Something you can try at home is comparing a baked potato before it is cooked and then after to see if it floats or sinks.

Physical Development
As I have mentioned, the outdoor area is a vital part of your child’s learning environment. The outdoors this week will be used to support many other areas of learning but for physical development, we will be focusing on throwing and catching. The children are fully aware of the rules for sharing the wheeled toys and where to use them. Therefore, we add challenge by placing obstacles in the way for them to manoeuvre around.

They will develop their pre-writing skills by moving with sticks and ribbons as well as making marks on the playground with chalks.

PE has gone well so far and the children are trying very hard to get changed independently. The target for this week is to learn to stop and start on command and keep control of their bodies.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
As a school, we follow the SEAL programme. The theme this half term is ‘New Beginnings’. The children will be in small groups to have circle time to talk their feelings. This will be related to incidents within the classroom when the feelings may occur.

Here I Am
The children will learn about God who knows each one by name. This is an opportunity for the children to practice the writing of their names, a skill they MUST learn to enable them to be independent when in the learning environment.
Phew! I think that's about it for this week! Have a great one, we will!
Best wishes
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx