Happy New Year to all of our families!
It was Mrs Ware's first day with Oak class since Christmas so she was really impressed with how independent and settled the children were on Monday which continued throughout the week!
Our phonics lessons now include 'ditties' or short stories for many children. The children are in small groups and spend a lot of their lesson reading short words (story green words), learning red words (words that can't be sounded out using Fred talk such as the) and we are also introducing 'hold a sentence', where the children have to remember a short phrase and write it down. These are all brand new skills for our children and they have started off very well! We spend a lot of time in these lessons, listening to the children read, which is wonderful to see the progress they are all making.
We also started 'Drawing Club' which is a blend of picture books, tales and animations, it involves a short period of 'time together' as a whole class followed by 'time with children' exploring their ideas and creativity that can be adapted to suit the children's preferences. This week we read the Night Pirates which the children loved. Drawing club is about developing conversation and using rich language to enhance imagination and creativity.
In our maths lesson this week the children used their perceptual subitising skills (seeing the quantity without counting) in increasingly complex arrangements, moving from dots in a line and arrangements of 2, to a focus on standard dice arrangements. We then focused on dice arrangements up to 6 and ended our week by playing games on a numbered track, rolling the dice, counting the jumps and seeing who could reach the end first. We are also working hard to learn the order of the days of the week and counting how many children are in our class, how many are away, what day of the month we are on, how many are having school dinners etc etc etc. Maths is always happening!
As our theme this half term is adventures and travel we have been learning about the continents of the world. On Monday we tried to remember the name of the seven continents with the help of a catchy song. In PE we used some apparatus to practice our fundamental movement skills by pretending to be jungle animals moving in different ways.
On Tuesday, we travelled to South America and started learning about the Amazon Rainforest. The children enjoyed making cut and stick rainforest scenes - great practice for their motor skills as well as learning about which animals live in the rainforest. Not everyone likes the cold weather but lots of children enjoyed rescuing the trapped pirates and jewels from the ice which had formed in the tuff tray overnight.
On Wednesday we continued learning about the Amazon Rainforest and we focused on the animals and plant life we might find there by completing a sorting activity. The children then painted an animal of their choice for the display board. they began using the role play area to act out and imagine where they might like to travel to around the world.
On Thursday we had a very busy day! We continued with phonics, drawing club and maths as usual but also had a special visitor. Arlo's mum, Marion, came into school to teach us a new language! French! We listened to a wonderful story, with brilliant and exciting actions, we learnt about a French tradition and we learnt about the month of January. The children were very excited and listened very well. It was such a treat! After this we looked at the trees in the Amazon rainforest and the different animals that live in different layers. We had a discussion about camouflage and why so many animals are brightly coloured!
Next week we change our focus to learning about the Sahara desert in Africa!
Have a lovely weekend.
Miss Ruby and Mrs Ware
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