Sunday, February 08, 2009

Heavy or light?

Hi there!

Can you believe your child is half way through their first year in school?

I hope you all enjoyed the snowy weather. I was so excited for all the children when I thought of all the fun they could be having!! Ms Sammon said that it helped to reinforce the mathematical language related to weight as they were able to get out the sledge and do some practical activities outdoors. Fantastic!! - I found this the children may like to play on!

Can I also thank those of you who supported the book fair last week. I look forward to seeing the photographs of all the children dressed up. The fair raised over a thousand pounds, of which we receive 60% commission to purchase books for our school library. I am sure you join me in thanking the hard working staff who ran the book fair every night. Many thanks also for the generous donations to our class book area. I can’t wait to read them!

Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
As the theme of weight was touched on last week, the children will continue to develop their understanding of this form of measurement this week. Therefore, by the end of this week, the children:

MUST be able to recognise objects which are heavy and light;
SHOULD be able to use and understand the mathematical language such as heavier and lighter when comparing two masses;
COULd be able to use and understand the mathematical language such as heavier and lighter when comparing three or more masses, ordering objects from heaviest to lightest.

This is a website you could use but nothing beats actually using household objects to measure weight. You will not have the pan balance we have but if you choose obviously heavy and light objects then holding one in each hand will give the children experience of heavy and light. I would suggest that you focus on the language as much as possible. - this is a great website. Click on the questions at the bottom and then use the scales to find the answer.

Communication, Language and Literacy
In this area of learning the children will be focussing on writing sentences. This does not happen easily for children and as a parent I would suggest you focus on ensuring your child always answers in a sentence. If you would like to support your child in writing a sentence then first of all get them to rehearse it orally aloud. I often use the mantra ‘THINK IT, SAY IT, WRITE IT’ as a means of helping the children to know the sequence for writing.

In phonics, by the end of the week, the children:

MUST be able to say the name and sound of the letters they have been taught so far and identify them in words;
SHOULD be able to hear and recognise the diagraphs ‘sh’, ‘th’ and ‘ch’ and the ‘ng’ sound in words;
COULD be able to hear and recognise the diagraphs ‘sh’, ‘th’ and ‘ch’ and the ‘ng’ sound in words and use them in their writing. - this focuses on ‘th’ - this focuses on ‘sh’ - this focuses on ‘ch’ - this is a great game. The children must fire at the phonemes ‘ch’, ‘th’ and ‘sh’. You can also go to the home page and select the letters your child needs to work on. My little girl, Faith, loved this and played for hours leaving time for me to do the ironing! Mmm… - download the bingo cards and have a play with the words. This is great for developing blending skills.

High frequency words

After half term there will only 7 weeks until I finish my maternity leave! How fast it has flown. What I’d love to see on my return is the children doing really well with their high frequency words. Ideally I would love for the children to be able to read and spell the words from the term one and term two list at the least. I know children are at different rates so DO NOT panic if your child will not achieve this. However, little and often practice is best. Here are some websites that may make life easier. - there are some harder words for those children capable of reading more than the first two terms. - if you type in the key words you wish your child to focus on then it can be personalised to your child’s learning

Please be aware that as a parent of a reception child I too have the task of getting my child to learn the high frequency words. Sometimes it requires medication afterwards!! Please stick with it as the words are the foundations of your child’s reading development.

Handwriting Homework
Thank you to all the parents who support their child every week in the formation of the letters. This can often be a difficult task for the children to do and finding the right time to do it with them is equally as taxing. I would suggest one line per night rather than it all in one sitting. Perhaps practice on paper first or on an etcha-sketch if you have one. Please keep at it as this will help your child develop their writing skills. Imagine trying to write with your left hand if you are right handed. Have a go! A child who struggles with their pencil control encounters that frustration every time they write so it’s well worth the effort. Perhaps play with playdough or do some colouring to build the muscles to support pencil control.

Here I Am
We move onto the next topic of ‘COMMUNION’. This week the children will learn to:
Recognise that being together makes people happy.
Reflect on all that they do with others which makes them happy.
Respect Appreciate how many things they do with others, the happiness this brings them.

I think that is all for this week. Enjoy the last week of the half term.

Take care

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xx

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