Friday, January 18, 2008

We're off, We're off, We're off in a Motor Car....


What a fantastic week the children had last week as we developed our topic further to look at Space Travel. They particularly enjoyed the symmetrical underpants they made after reading the story ‘Aliens love Underpants’. Our rocket role play area is now ready for lift off which will make the children very happy, as well as our rocket reading corner. At the end of last week I asked the children take a vote on what they would like to learn about this week. It was a close call but the children asked if they could learn about travelling on the LAND.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Why does a car have an engine?
Why does a car have a steering wheel?
How do you make a car go?
These are three of the questions asked by the children about things that travel on the land at the start of the topic. It is my aim to answer these questions for them by the end of the week. CRIKEY!!! In order to do this, my car will be driven onto the playground for the children to see under the bonnet and how the steering wheel works. Needless to say, Health and Safety is our priority. Mmm…may need to clean my car out this weekend. the text Mr Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham will be out inspiration this week for role play and writing.

Creative Development
Unfortunately we did not have sufficient time to do our Van Gogh pictures last week so guess what’s on the agenda for this? In addition to this, the children will be developing their drawing skills. They will be drawing pictures of modes of transport that travel on the land. You may wish to have a practice with your child before Monday. They will draw them using a permanent pen onto acetate. Then use oil pastels to colour them in. Using different collage materials, the children will work in teams to create landscapes surrounding their vehicles. Yes, another chance to work as part of a team. You may begin to hear your child talk more about team work.

By the end of the week:
MUST be able to recognise the sound and name for ‘ck’, ‘e’, ‘u’, and ‘r’.
SHOULD be able to use the letters they have learned to segment and blend words when reading and writing.
COULD be able to read and write captions containing words with these letters.

NEW - this is a brilliant game. Choose the vowel you want to have in the middle of the words and then put the flags on the sandcastles to make the word said by the computer.
NEW - a good website for matching lower case and upper case letters. - The children are doing amazingly well with their letter sound and name recognition so why not try out the vowels at the bottom of the page to help them use them in words. - 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.

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

MUST be able to add one more to a given number to 10;
SHOULD be able to add two numbers to make a total of up to 6 by combining the two sets;
COULD be able to add two numbers to make a total of 10 by combining the two sets.

To make the vocabulary of addition more memorable to the children I have created a character called Mr Adder (get it? Add and Adder) Actually this was Mrs Bethell’s idea in the ‘Land of the Giants’. You should have received a copy of Mr Adder in your child’s diary this week for you to see the sort of language we aim to help the children use and understand. The acquisition of the vocabulary associated with addition is the class target for this week.

We use a mantra which goes like this:
COUNT, COUNT, TOGETHER, COUNT. The children will be able to tell you the actions to the mantra on Monday after the teaching. This is a hook on which the children can hold on to in order to facilitate their learning.

Here are some fabulous websites to help make their understanding of addition appear to be FUN! - this game asks the children to select the number to add to the given number to make magic number 10. The strategy the children need to use is the counting on from the number given to 10; - the children have to choose two numbers to make the target number given. - the children must select two numbers that make the magic number 10. - good website for rapid recall of adding one more.

Physical Development
Yes, more apparatus this week with the children looking at imaginative ways of travelling along the benches, etc using the different parts of their bodies. We now have a World Record to beat for getting changed. The children are going to be timed getting ready for PE, as apparatus work is time consuming and the longer they take to get dressed the less time they have on the equipment. So…each session they will be timed and they have to beat their record. ANY HELP you can give in this department at home will be much appreciated.

Here I Am
We continue with the RELATE part of our topic on Celebrations. This week the children will review their learning about the visit to the temple made by Jesus. They will further discuss the different artefacts found in church and learn about what they symbolise.

Museum Visit
Your child may have already told you about us visiting the museum. It has now been booked along with the coaches. We have a workshop in the planetarium with Barnaby Bear. Can’t wait!! A letter will be going out this week with further details. If you are able to accompany us on the visit please call in and see me.

Other bits and bobs
Please could you ensure that the children have a label on their water bottles as over 50% do not. Thanks.
Handwriting homework is to be handed in on Mondays to go out again on Wednesdays.

You may have noticed Mrs Higgins’ absence. Unfortunately, she is unwell. We miss her very much and I am sure you join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.

I think that’s all for this week.

Have a good one.

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

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