Summer 1 How does your garden grow?
Summer 1-Week 1
Welcome to the last term of the year! New half term means new big question. For the next 6 weeks we will be asking 'How does your garden grow?'
To start it all off, this week we have read the story of Jasper's Beanstalk' The children focused on what a seed actually needs in order to grow, they all decided mowing it would not help and that Jasper needed to be more patient. They used their phonic knowledge to write captions about different pictures from the story. They sequenced the story using pictures, made Jasper books and used their creative skills to make beanstalk pictures by drawing and collaging natural materials.
Everyone helped to set up a new potting shed role play area outside. They wheelbarrowed compost, collected resources and cleaned them so they are ready to use. On the tuff tray the challenge was to find the worms hiding in the soil, they could use the tens frames to help them see how many they could find (they quickly worked out it was just cooked spaghetti) Their fine motor skills were put to the test as they were also challenged to use tweezers to catch the worms.
In maths we explored numbers 9 and 10, we used the tens frames a lot this week to help the children visualize what 9 and 10 look like. We focused on the pattern of 2's for number 10 and 3's for number 9. The children filled their own tens frames and stuck on 9 or 10 items to show their understanding. they also used buttons on material frames and made a 9 and 10 zigzag book. The transitional art challenge was to only use 9 or 10 beads/lids to create a picture, they then used the visualizer to show their creations on the large screen.
As it is St Georges day on Sunday we learnt about St George and why we celebrate him in the UK and around the world. The children made their own St Georges flags and worked collaboratively to make a large one to decorate our classroom. We watched a video of Morris dancers and learnt what an accordion is. Mrs Ollington and Harrison had a go at creating their own Morris dance!
Summer 1-Week 2
So much has happened this week, we can not believe we actually fitted it all in!
Our big question continued with the week focusing on the story of 'Jack and the beanstalk', we read a couple of versions of the traditional tale and also really enjoyed the story of 'Jack and the incredibly mean stalk'.
We spoke about looking at the story from a different point of view and pointed out that the giant was happy living up in his castle and then Jack turned up, stole his things and ran away with them down the beanstalk. The children all wrote a letter to Jack in role as the giant, they asked him to bring his belongings back and told Jack how they felt. The children practised their cutting skills by cutting spirals which were then stapled together to create a beanstalk that goes from floor to ceiling! They also had great fun retelling the story using the castle and props.
The first of our special events was the FRED workshop. The children were entertained and taught all about having a healthy lifestyle, ask your child to explain what FRED stands for.
In the outdoor area lots of digging, planting and caring for plants has taken place. The children were asked a question, 'Do all seeds need soil to grow?' They all thought they did, so we have taken part in an experiment. The children have put their bean in a bag with tissue and water. They had to decide where they wanted to hang their bean, some chose indoors and some outdoors. We discussed the word germinate and now they are keeping a close eye on their beans to see if they germinate, we are keeping track in our bean diaries. They have also planted some tomato seeds into plastic containers with lids, we explained it was like a mini greenhouse and the seeds should germinate as it is warm and moist inside.
The second exciting event was the Irock assembly, an extremely talented musician came in, sung, played the guitar, drums and then keyboard! The children loved every minute of it, a few were then chosen to become a rock band! Your child has brought a flyer home if you are interested in them signing up to learn to play an instrument.
In maths we have been learning the number bonds to 10. The children have been learning the bonds song and using their fingers to work out the bonds, they also used the tens frames to check which numbers added together make 10.
The third special event was a visit from a freestyler footballer, he showed off his amazing football skills and then all the children took part in a small group sessio0n to learn some tricks. He was very impressed by Dragonflies, they couldn't wait to get back and out on the field to show off what they had learnt.
The final event of the week was the Mini Marathon, we had so much fun running around the course, there were bubble machines, high five stations and loud music to keep them all going. They all ran over a mile and have now officially attempted to break a world record. We will know some time in May how we have got on. The PTA ensured that every child received a medal and certificate. We are so grateful for all the hard work the PTA put in to make sure this event was fun and went smoothly for the children.
Summer 1- Week 3
This week we have been investigating sunflowers! We read the story of 'The Tiny Seed' by Eric Carle. The children learnt about the journey the little seed went on before it settled, germinated and grew into the tallest sunflower ever! They observed and investigated dried sunflowers, they discovered all the seeds and enjoyed removing them all. We looked at the life cycle of a sunflower, the children wrote captions and drew pictures to show their understanding of the life cycle.
Outside the children were challenged to create an observational picture of a sunflower, they listened to the story 'Camille and the sunflowers' and explored the painting of sunflowers by Van Gogh for inspiration, their paintings and drawings were stunning!
We also looked at the different parts of a flower and their functions. The children independently labelled the parts of a flower.
All of the children planted a sunflower seed and predicted how tall their seed would grow.
In maths we have been looking at 3 dimensional shapes. We focused on the properties of the shapes and then set 3 challenges, the first was to explore which 3d shapes can be built on or not and why. The second challenge was to investigate which 3d shape would make the best sledge. They used a slope to check out each shape and prove if their predictions were correct or if their little paper person got squished! The last challenge was to find out if it was easier to move a tyre if it was lying flat or on it's side and could they explain why?
We also had our OFSTED visitors, they spent a fair amount of time in Reception and were keen to talk to the children about all their learning.
Share the stories we have read this week at home by clicking the links.
The King's Coronation
This week we have also been learning about the new King, Charles the third. The children made placemats and streamers to take to our celebration picnic at Chennestone. The children enjoyed a tasty packed lunch, sung the coronation song and danced to favourites like the 'CHA-CHA slide, the Macarena and Baby Shark!'
We were so proud of all the children and their behaviour. Some of them met up with long lost friends from their days at Nursery, they were so pleased to see each other. We were able to play in Chennestone's Reception area before we had to get ready to go home.
Summer 1-Week 4
All our learning this week was focused on the largest plants on our planet, the trees. We started off with a tree hunt, we explored the different types of trees we have in our environment. We looked at the different parts of a tree, roots, trunk, bark, branches, sticks, twigs, leaves and buds. The children created a list of what they observed. We used the internet and books to find out facts about trees, we looked up the tallest and oldest trees. The children learnt that you can tell a tree's age by counting the rings.
The children collected interesting examples of leaves and twigs to use for observational drawings or paintings, they used their skills of rubbing to create textured pictures of leaves and bark, their creations were wonderful.
We read the story of Little Acorns (you can share the story on the link below), the children listened well and were able to join in and retell the story. They were surprised to learn how long the acorn took to grow! We watched time lapse videos to see how as tree grows and changes over each season. Everyone completed the challenge to label the parts of a tree and to make a book about their own little acorn.
In maths we have been working with numbers to 20, the children enjoyed playing games using the tens frames and number cards.
Mrs Ollington has been sharing the exciting experience of having blue tits hatching eggs in her bird box at home. The children have been having daily bird watch, learning how the parent birds feed the chicks and look after the nest.
Summer 1- Week 5
This week started with a cryptic letter sent to Reception, it was from the giant who lives on top of the beanstalk! He thanked the children for their letters they wrote to Jack and explained he and Jack are now friends but he needed our help with a delivery that would be arriving later that day. The children all tried to guess what the delivery would be and waited in anticipation until mid-morning it arrived! Dragonfly class received an incubator containing 10 eggs! They were taught how to care for the eggs and chicks when they hatched, the excitement was amazing!
We read the story of 'The Little Red Hen' and discussed why we thought the animals did not help the hen. The children were able to give lots of reasons and spoke very clearly to each other as well as listening to each others ideas. We then thought about if the animals had clear instructions as to how to do the jobs then maybe they would have helped. We looked at examples of instructions and the vocabulary used to tell people what to do. We then wrote our own instructions on how to plant a grass head. The children then used the instructions to plant their own grass head.
The children had lots of opportunities to write independently about the story and to record what was happening with the eggs. We all predicted which egg would hatch first and recorded it on a table.
The weather has been delightful this week and the outdoor learning has flourished, all the plants have been taken care of, lots of water exploration has taken place as well as fantastic building and construction.
We had a new delivery of log pieces (courtesy of my daughter's wedding) to add to our loose parts play. The children have made numerous creations with them including an ant house and a place for the little dolls. These natural materials provide endless opp0rtunity for imaginative, creative and logical thinking. Look closely at the photos and you will see how much thinking has gone into these.
Summer 1-Week 6
Chick mania continued on our last week of this half term. All 10 of the chicks hatched and the children were able to watch many of them hatch and grow into fluffy chicks. They were moved from the incubator into the warm box, from here the children were able to observe what the chicks do when eating, playing and sleeping. Now the chicks are stronger we were able to handle them. Every day we got the chicks out at least twice and the children were able to hold, stroke, observe and love the chicks. This was a priceless experience for all! The children understood they are living creatures and needed to be cared for gently and respectfully, all the children made us so proud of how they handled the chicks and looked out for their welfare.
Many observational pictures were created and every child wrote a recount of their favourite part of the experience.
It was a wonderful way to end our half term. Luckily we were able to rehome all of our chicks from both schools. 15 of them went to a friend of mine and 5 to Freya's chicken coop. Freya's parents have kindly offered if anyone wants to visit the chicks to ask them and arrange a visit, my friend is also sending videos of the chicks growing and adapting to their new home to share with the children (see videos below)
We shared the story of 'Chicken Licken' which led to discussions about stranger danger and what the children would have done if they were Chicken Licken! They all agreed they would never follow another adult without telling their parents first.
Have a wonderful week off, we look forward to seeing you all for our last half term of Reception, be prepared, it is going to be very busy!!!