Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ready, Steady, GO!!!

Hi there and welcome to the start of a new fantastic year!

The Spring Term is very short but nevertheless action packed and full of fun! So here goes with this week’s activities.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Straight away we will begin our new topic on TRANSPORT and JOURNEYS. This week we will begin by finding out what the children already know about transport and journeys they have made before moving on to their new learning. Therefore, the children will look at photographs of different modes of transport and sort them according to whether they travel on land, sea or by air. A trip to the local library would be a great idea. Why not get some books out on transport to look at and discuss.

The children will look specifically this week at wheeled vehicles and how they move. There will be particular attention paid to the axles and how a simple axle can be made using straws and bobbins.

They will also be using the larger construction equipment to make models of the different forms of transport before moving on to making models using the LEGO pieces.

Mantle of the Expert
The children will set up their business as problem-solvers this week. They receive a visit form the Mayor of Little Town. They have a problem and can the problem solvers help? Basically, the mayor explains that the people of Little Town have such short legs they are taking forever to get from one place to another. Can they help to design some kind of transport for them? The children will be given a ‘family’ to make transport for. However, some families have more in them than others, whilst some are just two or one person. The aim is also to help the children understand about traffic congestion and protecting the environment. This children will then take on the role of designers in their teams. (If you think back to the induction evening in October, you will understand that all children will have a specific role to play). Therefore, we ask that you start to collecting your empty cereal boxes, plastic bottles and tubs, bottle tops etc that can help the children create their models. Eventually, the children will make a model of their own.

Outdoor Play
The outdoor play area will be in full use this week with the children learning about road safety. A road will be created complete with zebra crossings to help the children understand the need for safety. Please ensure that your child has a warm coat, gloves and a hat everyday. - This is a great website to explore the dangers of the road when travelling on foot or by car.

In the ICT suite the children will be investigating symmetry ready for next week’s mathematical development work. This is always a wonderful area of pattern to teach. We have a fantastic program in school which allows the children to paint on one side of the screen and it creates a symmetrical image on the other side. The results of their work are always excellent.

Creative Development
The children will also be sharpening up on their observational and drawing skills by making simple representations of the different modes of transport. This will then be used to produce some art work inspired by ‘The Two Cyclists, Mother and Child’ by the French Cubist Painter, Fernand Leger. Please click on this link to see the artwork for yourself.

In music, the children will use their imagination to compose music to accompany the song of The Wheels on the Bus.

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

MUST be able to recognise the letters s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c and k by sound or name.
SHOULD be able to recognise the sound and name for ‘ck’, ‘e’, ‘u’, and ‘r’.
COULD be able to use the letters they have learned to segment and blend words when reading and writing. - this is a great website. Perhaps make sure that your child focuses on the letters that they are working on for the week. - this game is great for helping your child to blend sounds together. You can select the pattern (choose those with the letters we have been working on) and then the children have to read the word and click on the tick if it is a real word. - This again is a great website for blending three letter words together. - This helps the children see how three letter words are made up of a consonant, a vowel and then a consonant. - If your child is experiencing difficulties listening to the middle sound then this is a great game for them. - a great site for blending again. Look at the picture in the machine and click on the correct word to match it.

Handwriting homework will resume this week and be given out on Wednesday as usual. We have been really pleased with the progress the children have made in this area of their physical development. Thank you for all your support at home.

Reading books will be changed on Tuesday as usual. Please ensure that you make at least one comment a week when you have read with your child. On Monday, there will be a reviewed copy of your child’s reading targets stuck into their diaries for your information.

Further Information
You will also receive an update on how your child is doing with their letter sounds/names and number recognition. All the children have made extremely good progress and we are well on our way now. Thanks again for all your support.

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

MUST be able to describe 2d shapes using the correct mathematical vocabulary;
SHOULD be able to name some 3d shapes
COULD be able to describe 3d shapes using the correct mathematical vocabulary.

These objectives will be taught through the children’s work on transport and their art work. If you think about a lorry. It has a cuboid to carry the goods in and cylinders for wheels. Last half term we didn’t manage to get through some of the shape work and so we are continuing just for this week. The children will create a piece of artwork using 2d shapes inspired by Wassily Kandinsky. This link shows the art work we are using as our inspiration.
The children will explore the vocabulary associated with the shapes as well as developing their understanding of words linked to size. They will then compose their own piece of art. Yet there is a twist. They are only allowed to use a shape if they can describe two of its properties. Here are the websites we will be using in class. - a good website for seeing how models are make up of 3D shapes. - shape sorting activity according to properties. - a good website to help the children match, find, build and discover the properties of the 2D shapes. - parts of a shape are shown and the children have to guess the shape. - this is a fantastic game to help the children develop their visual memory techniques. the children have to guess the shape as it is revealed. They can chose to use 2d or 3d shapes. - 3D shape matching game. - a good website. The children have to identify the shape that is partially hidden in sand and then click on the correct labelled picture. - identifying 2D and 3D shapes. - guess the 3D shape. -by clicking on the shapes label you will be able to make patterns with 2D shapes. If you also click on the space row under 3D and 2D shapes you will have to sort different shapes according to the given criteria.

Finally, may we take this opportunity to express our gratitude to you for the beautiful and generous gifts you gave us. Also, many thanks to all those parents who have helped us with the productions, walking to church etc last term. Your help is very much appreciated and valued. We may be calling on your help very soon as we are hoping to take the children to the Science and Industry Museum.

Here’s to another fantastic term.

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

No comments: