divendres, 13 de gener de 2017

Happy New Year

Welcome back and happy new year! We have had an extremely busy week, welcoming seven new children into the class. The children were very excited to meet Ona, Thais, Arlet, Tatiana, Arnau, Blanca and Sofia and they were keen to help them settle into the routines of our class. Now that we have sixteen children in the class, the children are now working in three groups to ensure that all of the different aged children are accessing activities which are most appropriate for their age. The children have enjoyed completing the activities and they are really happy that we now have Jo working with us for the whole morning. This week, we have started our ‘space’ topic. The youngest children (Ona, Kai, Luke and Sergi) have had a great time learning new space vocabulary. They have learnt about astronauts and have had lots of fun using the astronaut masks in the roleplay area. They have also enjoyed making their own alien masks and they loved having the opportunity to colour the faces in many different colours. The children were also very imaginative when using the plasticine and were able to create super aliens, using googly eyes and pipe cleaners to add lots of eyes, arms and legs. I was particularly impressed with Sergi’s design as he tried really hard to include all of the relevant features on the aliens’ face. They have been working hard to decorate our space area. There are now lots of shiny, glittery stars hanging within the dark night sky. The children also had fun learning about the different planets. We looked carefully at the eight planets in the solar system and then coloured in planet pictures, using the correct colours. Ona worked really hard at this and I was impressed with how well she was able to control the crayon when trying to colour inside the lines. The children then hung the planets up within the black background. They now look at the planets and try to remember the correct name for each one. The children have also had lots of fun creating rockets from a range of box modelling materials. At the beginning, they found it difficult to think of ideas of how to create the rocket but after a little help from Jo they were able to create some great designs. All of their rockets are now flying around in our space area. The KS1 children (Jordi, Arlet, Marcel, Noa, Thais and Joana) have been working very hard with Jo. This week we have focused lots on phonics, both learning the set one sounds and focusing on different objects which start with the letter ‘c’. The children have been really challenged this week to use the phonics they know to help them write words. They have had lots of fun learning ow to write lists when writing down the different presents they had for Christmas. They also continued to practise list writing when exploring the farm with Jo; writing down everything they could see in the farm. All of the children enjoyed this and were motivated to sound out and write down the things they could see. Thais and Arlet have been introduced to new set one sounds and Jo has been very impressed with how many sounds they already know. Unfortunately, Noa and Marcel have been too unwell to join us this week. We are looking forward to seeing them next week and continuing our challenge of sounding out and writing words. In maths, the children have been working hard to create lots of new number displays for our classroom. They have been colouring in rockets, with the numbers 0-20. They then needed to draw the correct number of stars to match each of the numbers. Joana worked very hard and was super concentrated when counting out how many stars she had drawn. They also worked on counting down from ten to zero. We ordered the numbers and then played a game of ‘blast off’, before working together to place the rockets in the correct order within the role play area. I was impressed to see how well Jordi could count backwards and he was able to select the correct number in the order every time. Finally, they all worked very hard to order the alien numbers from 0-20 and then match each numeral to its number word. This was a new concept for each of the children and they all tried really hard and were concentrated when trying to select the correct number word and stick it alongside the correct numeral. The KS2 children (Blanca, Sofia, Judit, Sara, Arnau and Tatiana) have been working very hard with me this week. We have been working a lot on their tablets and this has really motivated them in their reading comprehension tasks. When completing comprehension quizzes about recounts, past tense, first person and adjectives they were all keen to read the information and then answer the comprehension questions within the quiz. The children did a fantastic job of working in pairs to read and then answer the questions. Judit and Blanca did an excellent job and scored very highly on all of the BBC quizzes they completed. When learning about adjectives, Arnau and Tatiana were motivated by picture cues. They enjoyed looking at and drawing pictures of different objects. They then worked hard to think of relevant adjectives they could use to describe each of these objects. When researching different emotions words, Sara was very motivated to write a long list of words. She then worked hard to draw the corresponding face for each emotion. When working on our spellings, the children were very motivated to learn through a game, whereby they had to identify the correct spelling for many words, including plurals and past tense words. All of the children did very well and were able to complete the game. However, Sofia was especially confident and was keen to explain to the others how to play the game and find the correct spellings. In maths, we have been working on fractions. Blanca and Judit have been very perserverant when creating a fractions puzzle. They worked very well together to add up and subtract many fractions. They then had to be very organised when finding the answers and had to check their answers many times to ensure that they were joining the correct pieces, as they needed to form a rhombus when completing all of the fractions problems. Both girls found the organisational aspects of this activity difficult but by the end they were both confident to explain to me how to add or subtract two fractions. Sara and Sofia have been working on recipes. They have been provided with recipes for different foods. They then needed to work out how much of each ingredient they would need if cooking half, a quarter or three quarters of the original recipe. Both girls were extremely confident in finding out the answers and it was great to see them working together and supporting each other so well. Tatiana and Arnau have become very confident to find half, a quarter and a third of different amounts, using pictures to help them. Tatiana impressed me with how quickly she could work out half of the different two digit numbers, without the use of pictures. We have also been doing lots of fun activities altogether as a class. The children had a great time learning the difference between walking, jogging and running when playing the baked bean game and ‘red rover’. They all listened very carefully to the instructions and were able to change their movement dependent on the word I shouted out. When cooling down after our gym lesson, all of the children were able to suggest a way that we could ‘cool down’ and stretch out our muscles. Blanca was especially good when teaching the class different breathing exercises, we can use to calm our bodies. We also enjoyed our music lesson and had a great time creating rhythms, using different parts of our bodies, bells and maracas (which we made ourselves). The oldest children did a fantastic job of creating a musical performance, using the different instruments and they did a great job of continuing the rhythm, alongside their friends. Within our art lesson, the children enjoyed learning about the different sizes and colours of the planets in the solar system. They then worked really well in pairs to create their own planets by wrapping the correct coloured wool around their cardboard planet. All of the planets are now displayed within the role play area, using the correct order to show how close each planet is to the sun. We have had a great week and I look forward to doing lots more fun things next week.

dijous, 22 de desembre de 2016

Christmas Performance

This week the children have been very excited about Christmas. We have had a very relaxed week, doing Christmas activities. The children have finished their Christmas envelopes and Christmas cards and they now all have a fantastic envelope, filled with all the Children’s Christmas crafts and cards.
The children continued to consolidate their focus Christmas vocabulary- reindeer, snowman, star, snow ball, sleigh, presents, elf. They have coloured in pictures of all these different Christmas objects and we focused on colouring the objects the correct colours. We talked about the different Christmas objects and the parts they play at Christmas time.
We had a relaxed morning watching ‘Home Alone’ and it was great to see that the children understood most of the English and were able to laugh along at the jokes in the film.
We had an afternoon baking Christmas biscuits in the classroom.  We created our own Christmas stencils, in the shape of a bell, Christmas tree and a snowman. We worked together to create dough and then used our stencils to shape the Christmas biscuits. The following morning we created two different types of icing and decorated the biscuits with lots of shiny balls, stars and hearts. The children then enjoyed eating the biscuits as a late breakfast snack.
The children had a great morning creating sock snowmen with Jo. They were all keen to cut the bottom off the sock to create a hat for their snowman. The children then filled their sock with rice and made their snowman big and fat. They then used an elastic band to create a head and body but they all needed help as the band was tricky to tie. The children then had a great time sticking on buttons, eyes and creating a scarf and nose out of felt. All of the children’s snowmen looked very individual, especially when they all drew different mouths , which gave each of the snowmen real character.
The children performed their Christmas songs and dances to their families. They did an absolutely fantastic job and I was so proud of how confidently they performed and how they remembered the song words and dance moves so well. The children had a great time and it was great to see their big, smiling faces. Everyone enjoyed watching the performance and the children absolutely loved being on the stage.  They are already discussing what they want to do for the Summer performance.
The children had a great time visiting the mechanics garage. They made the mechanics very happy by singing their Christmas songs to them in the mechanics’ office. The children then had the opportunity to watch the mechanics change a tyre and they were introduced to all of the different tools, which are used by a mechanic. The children had the opportunity to ask lots of questions and they managed to learn a lot about how mechanics help people by fixing their cars. 
Sara and Judit chose some of their favourite Christmas poems from various web pages. They read them all and focused on the key features of each poem – the rhyming pattern, use of metaphors, similes and adjectives. The children then chose which poetry features they wanted to focus on and use within their own poems. The girls wrote their own Christmas poems, using the poetry styles of their choice. They created their own paragraphs, checked their spellings and added their own illustrations.  They were then very proud to read their poems to me and explain how they had developed their ideas. They did a fantastic job and really enjoyed being little poets.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year. 

dilluns, 19 de desembre de 2016

Ready for Christmas

This week we have had a full week of Christmas activities. We have been preparing lots of things for our Christmas performance. The children have been decorating our big papier mache sleigh with gold paint and lots of glitter. It now looks fantastic and is all ready for our nine naughty little elves to jump on in the  Christmas performance. We have also continued to make papier mache to create a big chimney for us to use as a prop for the song ‘Santa got stuck up the chimney’. The children worked fantastically to construct the chimney from cardboard boxes. They then cut up lots of squares of paper and stuck them onto the chimney.  Once the papier mache had tried we painted the chimney and use sponges to create gold brick shapes.  The chimney looks fantastic and the children  love using it as a prop when practising the performance. Finally, the children were all keen to make a background for the ‘stage’ as we decided that we should create a night sky of stars and snowflakes . Once the children had covered the cardboard with papier mache, they mixed lots of different colours to make their own grey paint to create the night time scene. We then had lots of fun making stars from tinfoil and working together to find out how to make snowflakes by folding and the n cutting into the white paper. We had to practise a lot before we were able to make the snowflakes small enough for the display. Once we had mastered the method, the children had great fun creating their own snowflakes and it was great to see how unique and individual each  of the snowflakes were. It was a great activity and it really helped to reinforce the mathematical concept of symmetry, as we identifies that each snowflake was exactly the same on both sides. 
As well as preparing for the props, we have been practising our Christmas performance a lot this week. The children have enjoyed using all of the decorations they have made for each song and they are now confident to know which decoration they need to use for each song. We have been singing and dancing to all of the songs and the children are now all very confident and excited to perform to their families.
As well as preparing for the performance, we have been working hard to make lots of Christmas crafts for the classroom. The Elves workshop and Christmas topic area now looks lovely and is decorated with reindeer spoons and lollipop stick stars. The children have also had fun creating big, fluffy snowballs by sticking lots of cotton wool onto polystyrene balls. They look very festive displayed in our Christmas topic area. The children  have also had the opportunity to use their imagination and be very creative. They were given lots of cardboard, glitter, paint, pens and sticking materials to create a present to put in our elves workshop. They had a great time and loved having the opportunity to be independent and free to use a wide range of materials. All of the children were very focused and motivated and they each created a very colourful and individual present. They are all now displayed in our elves workshop, ready for the elves to deliver at Christmas.
In phonics this week, we have been learning the ‘g’ sound. The children have enjoyed learning the action associated with this sound, as they need to create the gurgling sound of the water going down the plug hole. We have done lots of work on this letter, focusing mainly on the words ‘glitter’ and ‘green’. The children had fun decorating the letter g with glitter and lots of green materials . We have also had lots of opportunities to practise the formation of the letter. It is great to see the improvement that Luke and Sergi are making with their pencil control and letter formation. To end the week, we focused on the word ‘goat’. The children coloured in the goat and we focused on using appropriate, goat colours. I was very impressed with how much Kai is improving his presentation. He is now able to colour very well within the lines. He was very perseverant and focused on the task until he had finished. I was also very proud of Marcel and Amrita as they worked independently to sound out and write the word goat, independently on their work.
Sara and Judit have been focusing on proof – reading their Christmas stories to check that it makes sense and that they have spelt the words correctly . They then read the stories to the rest of the class and the other children thought they were very funny.  They especially enjoyed them because both of the stories featured all of the preschool children, getting involved in lots of mischievous adventures. The girls were very proud of their stories and Sara was super confident when reading it aloud. The girls have then focused on the spellings which were incorrect within the stories and have taken home the list of words to practise. At the end of the week both girls completed a spelling test and I was very proud of how well they could spell the words. They had obviously worked hard to practise them and they were keen to do well.
In maths, the girls have been working on solving word problems. Both girls found it difficult to solve the problems, particularly because they were unsure of which information to select from the problem and how to use this to find the answer. During the week, Judit became more confident to solve the problems independently, but both girls need to have more practise at solving word problems and this is something we will continue in the new year.

To end the week, we had a very special Christmas craft morning. Luke’s Mum very kindly prepared lots of Christmas themed gingerbread biscuits for the children  to decorate. She brought different coloured icing and lots of sweets and chocolate treats to decorate the Christmas biscuits. It was so great to see lots of the children’s family come to join us for this activity.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and the children  especially enjoyed the end result when they were able to eat the biscuits they had created. Thank you to all those who were able to come and join us- it was great to see you all!