Sunday, June 29, 2008

Let's get ready for Year 1


Welcome to this week’s blog.

Last week we enjoyed learning lots of Spanish thanks to Mrs Higgins’ talents. So much so that we have decided to continue learning some more this week. As part of the Here I Am topic on ‘Differences’, the children will learn about how we are different from each other. In doing so they will review the different parts of the body and learn how to describe people in Spanish.

Communication, Language and Literacy
This week we begin our transition unit, which will continue when the children move into Year One. Linked also with the Here I Am topic ‘Differences’, the children will write about what they look like and then compare themselves with a friend. This will also form the basis of their final writing assessment piece to be passed up to their next teacher. The focus will be on:

Writing a sentence complete with a full stop and capital letter;
Making use of connectives such as ‘and’ to join two sentences to make them longer;
Spelling words using their phonic knowledge;
Using ambitious vocabulary to make descriptions.

The writing assessment will be levelled and form the starting point for their next teacher. I will be setting targets as a result of the piece of writing.

High Frequency Words
The children are coming along nicely with these and we urge you continue doing them every night. Let’s try and make sure all children can read and spell the Reception words by the end of the next three weeks.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
This week we return to looking at subtraction. The children do have a great understanding of addition but are getting subtraction and addition mixed up when using the symbols ‘+’ and ‘-‘. When the children move into Year One they will have a weekly number bonds test to develop their mental recall. For the next three weeks we will be focusing on addition and subtraction, preparing the children for this. Here are some websites that the children can play on to support their understanding.

We will continue to work on our dinosaur sculpture. The basic construction has been made and the chicken wire is almost covered. Then we will be able to tile it in the style of Gaudi.

Last week the children created some amazing art in the style of the Spanish artist Miro. I hope to post it on the blog at some point this week.

Parents’ Evening
Letters for parents’ evening went out on Friday. Please complete your slip and return it to me as soon as possible. You may have noticed that there are fewer choices than normal and therefore I ask that you make as many choices as possible. Due to childcare I am unable to go beyond the 5.10 appointment time. The parents’ evening is shorter than normal but it is to enable you to see how your child has done in comparison to national data as well as enabling me to discussion targets for next year.

Classes for next year
We are in the process of sorting these and you will be informed as soon as they are finalised. Please do not worry. We usually get it spot on!

Sport’s Day
Please remember that sports day is on 8th July with the 10th July being the reserve if it rains. PE bags will be sent home on Friday to allow them to be washed and ironed for the event. We can’t have them looking scruffy can we?

Book fair
Monday is the final day of the book fair. Many thanks to those who have purchased from the fair as we benefit from the commission.

I think that is all for this week.

Have a good one!
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xx

Friday, June 20, 2008

la semana espanol

Hola and welcome to Spanish Week!

Yes, we are going to have an 'estupendo' time this week learning more about the spanish culture and, of course, the cuisine! There will be lots of exciting and fun activities for the children to enjoy, including...
At the start of each day the children will recite the days of the week and complete the calendar. This way they will learn the different types of weather also.
Looking at the work of the artist Joan Miro. This is a personal favourite of mine and I have already shared examples of his work with the children. They loved them and are raring to have a go. Here are a few examples of the pieces which will inspire us.

I am sure that the work the children will produce will be of their usual high standard.

As space in school to display work is becoming somewhat of a premium, we are going to turn our attention also to decorating the outdoor play environment. We will also be looking at the work of Antoni Gaudi. After a visit to Barcelona I have fallen in love with his work and so have decided to do some mosaic tile work with the children. In addition to this, we are going to connect the work we have been doing on dinosaurs and create a large sculpture of a dinosaur in the style Gaudi. A little like the dragon of Parc Guell. Here's a picture.

We will also be teaching the children the time in spanish. Every hour throughout the day, the children will stop what they are doing to perform a task (can you tell I've been watching Big Brother?). Here is how the week will pan out.
MONDAY : Learn more colours and then sing and dance to the colour song.
TUESDAY: Count to thirty in Spanish.
WEDNESDAY: Learn the parts of the body.
THURSDAY: Learn and sing Heads, shoulders, knees and toes in spanish.
FRIDAY: Have a boy verses girls quiz!
On Friday afternoon we will be having our Spanish dance workshop. We simply can't wait!
Mrs Latham will be cooking up a storm on Wednesday to provide us with delicious spanish cuisine to taste. Yummy!
Can we fit in anything else?
Not really! Reading will continue as usual but this is a great opportunity to celebrate the great achievement the children have made this year, and so the focus will be mainly on the arts. We are very proud of them all!
Other business
On Monday and Tuesday afternnon we will be having our new starter afternoon visits. As you know this is a vital part of the induction period and so our children will be having a treat with the Year 1 and 2 classes on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon they will be having a multi-skills afternoon with a PE specialist.
We will also be hosting a book fair from Tuesday onwards. Please come along and support the school as it is the valuable commission that enables us to purchase books for our school library. The fair takes place every day after school in the hall.
Why not come along and see the school in action. On Thursday we are opening our doors for you to browse around the school and experience what it is all about.
I bet you feel like taking a week off work and helping out!
Here's to a fantastic week!
The Foundation Stage Team xxx

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Let's carry on roaring!

Hi there!

Well, what a fantastic start we had to the last half term of the school year! The children worked so hard and got so involved in the work on shape and model making that we didn’t even get round to doing any work on dinosaurs. Some children brought in some books to share with the rest of the class. This is great! I shall also read them over the weekend and swat up a little more. I feel like I’m learning a foreign language with some of the names.

Here are some websites you may wish to visit with your child to familiarise them the different kinds of dinosaurs. - this website has lots of links to other good dino websites!

Communication, Language and Literacy
As we did not get to make a start on our planned writing activities last week (not to say the children DIDN’T write at all!) we will definitely be doing them this week.
By the end of those three week, the children:
MUST be able to write a sentence independently with a full stop.
SHOULD be able to write a sentence independently with a capital letter and a full stop.
COULD write a series of sentences with developing consistency in the use of punctuation.

Here are some websites that you could use but nothing beats pencil and paper. - this is a lovely website. The children must type in their sentence and then watch the penguin write it in the ice.
CHALLENGE! You can also use the same website to develop their understanding of other punctuation such as exclamation and question marks. Yes, we do those in Foundation Stage so why not have a go! - another good site to focus on development of the capital letters and full stops. It should now be clear why we have focused on the letter names as well as the letter sounds. This way the children know what the upper case letter represents.
CHALLENGE! Have a go at the main teaching session one where you need to identify the faults in the punctuation and correct them. - Click and drag the prepared tabs to create a sentence.
CHALLENGE! Why not get some pictures from a magazine and write your own sentences to match what you can see happening.

This week will again be used to ensure that the children have retained their ability to read and spell words containing the spelling patterns taught last half term. For your information here is a list of the ones we have covered.
Ai, ee, oo, or, ar, oa, igh, ur, ow, oi and ear.

Please refer back to previous blog entries for websites to support these. Alternatively you may wish to be word detectives and locate words in books and magazines which contain the spelling patterns. I will be assessing the children’s ability to read and spell words containing the spelling patterns. Watch out in your child’s diary for details on the spelling patterns they know and need to concentrate on.

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
Now that shape is well and truly in the bag, we will move onto measure and the use of comparative language. By the end of the week, the children:
MUST be able to use the language long and short, heavy and light;
SHOULD be able to compare the weights and lengths of two objects and describe them using the correct comparative language;
COULD be able to order up to three objects according to weight and length. - select the Kindergarten and the Year 1 activities for length and mass.

This is a good website to use but nothing beats measuring for real. Compare the lengths of trousers in the home, spoons, etc. Compare the weight of different objects out of the larder. This makes the concepts real.

You may have noticed that we have not sent out handwriting homework. We would like to focus on the reading and spelling of the high frequency words more now and develop the children's ability to write them correctly with independence. Please practice these with your child up to three times a week. Thanks.

I think that is all for this week apart from to ask for any more junk modelling resources. The children have done some brilliant models but we are quickly running out of materials. Thanks.

Short and sweet but nevertheless and action packed week for us all.

Have a good one!

Best Wishes
The Foundation Stage team xxx