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!
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.
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.
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.
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/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/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.
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!
Jayne Narraway xxxx