Saturday, March 01, 2008



We had a great time last week learning about how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. However we were a little disappointed to find that when the butterfly garden arrived there were no caterpillars in and we had to send off for them. Not to worry I’m sure they will arrive soon. This week we will be answering the question: Does a frog start off life as a frog? If anyone has access to any frog spawn I wouldn’t say I’d love to have it but will take it off your hands for the children to observe the changes over time. I will be using a lovely book called ‘The Teeny Weeny Tadpole by Sheridan Cain and Jack Tickle.

Here are some websites to look at. - this is a good cyclical diagram to explain the life cycle and the length of timescale of each stage of growth.

This week we focus on the use of ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘th’ and ‘ng’. The children are familiar with the sounds through their POPAT work but use of two letters for one sound is often difficult to grasp. Nevertheless I have total confidence in the fact that the children will achieve them by the end of the week.

I have been so pleased with the children and their enthusiasm for learning. Many children have brought in books that contain the spelling patterns we have been working on e.g ‘ck’. ‘ss’ etc. Perhaps getting a newspaper and being word investigators for sh, ch and th is a worthwhile exercise, especially if you have a magnifying glass! - this is a great website that you will need to play with your child. It helps them to hear the sounds in simple three letter words. If you give your child a word like ‘pet’, ‘man’, ‘hen’ and then they can make it on the daisies. You can extend this to including four sounds and having words such as ‘clap’, ‘jump’ etc. Perhaps you could use this to try out spelling the three and four letter high frequency words. - good for supporting blending of words using the patterns we have already looked at. - good for blending three letter words together.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Number
In this area of the curriculum we begin our work on subtraction. The children do understand addition well and this is where the children may have a little confusion. The thing to remember, if you give them any written calculations to do, is to look at the ‘-‘ symbol. A good way is to write it in red to start with then it is more obvious. By the end of two weeks, the children:
MUST be able to identify one less;
SHOULD be able to understand that subtract means ‘take away’ and carry out the operation practically;
COULD be able to independently subtract one number from another, and understand the vocabulary associated with subtraction.

As you can see I have placed the objective of finding one less again. This is just to refresh their memory about the vocabulary of subtraction. In your child’s diary I have sent a sheet with a subtraction flower on it. This works in a similar way as Mr Adder with each flower petal having a different word associated with subtraction for them to learn. I have made each petal a different colour to help them to remember them.

You can get outside if the weather is fine and play skittles, writing the sums down each time.
Alternatively here are some websites they can have a go at over the next two weeks: - a good website for reviewing one less but you will need to play it alongside them. - this works in the same way but subtracts two. - this is a great website for problem-solving with subtraction and it has a real visual element to it. - this is a great game of skittles if the weather is bad! - another great website with a problem solving element. - I would really recommend this website as they can do addition and subtraction on it as well. -probably the only time that England will beat Brazil! The number of players on the Brazil team can be used to help work out if the subtraction fact is true or false. If it is false click on next and if it is true then click on the England player. - good for once your child has mastered the concept of subtraction and wants to have a go at larger numbers.

The domestics…
On Thursday our Year ¾ children will be hosting their annual fundraising afternoon. Your child can buy little trinkets, sweets, enter competition, etc. They would probably need between 50p and a £1 each. Please ensure it is in an envelope or purse with their name on. Thanks.

As it is World Book Day, there will be a sale of second hand books for adults in the hall after school. If you have any books you would like to send in for the sale that would be great. Thanks.

As a class we too are going to be doing some fundraising whilst we are in Lent. In order to support our Good Shepherd Appeal we are going to have a Sponsored Boogie!! The sponsor forms will be sent out on Monday and the Boogie will happen on Monday 17th March.

I hope you all liked your card and gift for Mother’s Day.

Take care
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

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