This week in the classroom...

29th February

It’s been a lovely week. The children have come back into school happy to see their friends and we have noticed that there are sins of spring in our garden! Some of the daffodils have flowers on them and we used magnifying glasses to look inside the trumpet to find out what we could see. Today, we noticed some big black birds flying with sticks in the beaks and wondered what they were going to do with them.

This half-term we will be exploring the theme of ‘Come Outside.’ The Two year olds will be using the story of ‘Titch’ by Pat Hutchins as their core text and investigating planting seeds, growing and the weather. Click here to share the story at home.

The children who are Three and Four, have begun to share the story of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. They will be learning more about how caterpillars change and exploring outside to discover other Mini-beasts, and learn how to care for plants and our environment. If you would like to share the story at home, click here.

As part of the children’s learning in the area of Mathematics, the older children have been using a ‘counting wand’ to count groups of people. This helps them to match one number to one person. We have also begun learning the days of the week song and talking about ‘what we are doing today, or what we did yesterday.’ At home you might like to draw some pictures of what you have done each day. Which day did you do your favourite thing?

To support the children as they learn the ‘Stable Order Principle’,( using number words in the correct order) we sing number songs daily and model using counting to find out how many cups we need or pieces of dough enough for each child at the table to have some. You can join in our ‘1 potato, 2 potato’ song here.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘l’. We practiced making the phoneme; ‘Open your mouth a little, put your tongue up to the top of your mouth, behind your teeth, and press, ‘lll .’ It can be a tricky phoneme to say correctly, so we used our finger to gently touch where our tongue needed to go. Lots of the children had a good try at saying it correctly. I wonder how many things starting with ‘I’ you can find?                                                          

 

15th February

Wow, what a busy week! We began by finding out about the celebrations that were happening for The Lunar New Year. We shared a video that showed the dragon parade in Liverpool and talked about the special red lanterns in the trees and the treats the children might have in their lucky red envelopes. The children were really excited by the dragon and lion dances and wanted to make their own costumes and models. At the end of the week, all the children took turns to become the dragon in a fantastic box costume Sue had made and created music for the dance using drums and cymbals, just like we’d seen in the video.

To extend the children’s experience of using paint, they had the opportunity to practice printing skills as they made their Valentine cards and talked about the people who they love. They also explored how stencils can be used to decorate paper and objects, using this skill to make their own Chinese red envelopes.

If you would like to share our learning about The Lunar New Year at home, you can click here for the link to JoJo and Gran Gran on Cbeebies. There is also a new story about a family celebrating on Bedtime Stories.

On Pancake Day, each child selected their topping for a pancake and practiced using tools to spread it across the pancake or chop strawberries. The older children then used their fine motor skills to roll their pancake. Many children pretended to mix and cook their own pancakes as they played in the role play area, having a go at flipping them in the pan! The playdough area also provided resources for rolling and pressing a flat pancake whilst singing ‘Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake.’

As part of the children’s learning in the area of Mathematics, we shared the funny number story, ‘Pete The Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons’. The older children could then use the character of Pete the cat in their play, practising counting each button, matching their count to each button (the One to One Principle) and only counting a button once. Some children could then explore how the quantity could change if a button was taken away or added on. You might like to play this game at home by using a t-shirt or top and cutting out four buttons from paper or cardboard (an old cereal box works well.)’ What happens if one button flies off? How many now? How do you know? How many will be left if another flies off?’ Try arranging the buttons into different patterns. How many different ways can you find?

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘f’. We practiced making the phoneme; ‘Open your lips just a little, put your teeth on your bottom lip and push the air out to make the sound ffff .’ It can be a tricky phoneme to say correctly, so we will practice it regularly.

This week when we played the game ‘Bertha the bus is going to the zoo’, she found lots of different animals. The children needed to remember their names and listen for the phoneme that started that word e.g. flamingo starts with the phoneme ‘f’, bear starts with the phoneme ‘b’, cat starts with the phoneme ‘c’. I wonder if you might have some soft toys or animals at your house that you could use to play the game?

 

8th February

This week we have been learning to use our voice to share ‘what is important to me’ as part of Children’s Mental Health Weeks, My Voice Matters. We watched the video of a little girl called Lucinda and her Mummy. They showed us how to sign the word ‘favourite’. We then took turns to tell each other about our favourite, colour or animal. To share the video at home, please click here. At the end of the week, we then learnt the song ‘Do you like it?’ This again gave the children an opportunity to express their preferences and realise that we don’t all like the same things. We could then use our musical and language skills, to change the words to make our own song e.g. ‘Do you like spaghetti/spiders/jumping?

The children have really enjoyed practicing their subitising skills in mathematics this week, by playing a game where they have to say how many objects they can see as quickly as possible, when a cloth was lifted off of them. We practiced recognizing groups of 1-4 objects without counting. Sometimes, the same number of objects were just arranged differently e.g. four in a straight line, two above another two. The children need plenty of practice to begin to understand, that there are still the same number and ‘four’ objects may be seen in different patterns.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘b’. We played the game ‘Bertha the bus is going to the zoo’. On her way she found a bear, bird, bus and ball.  I wonder if you could find any more things that start with the phoneme ‘b’? We also practiced listening to phonemes and blending them together to find the name of an animal. The children had to make the sound of that animal e.g. d-o-g, c-a-t, sh-ee-p. A noisy, but fun game!

All the children have been learning the rhymes ‘Down At The Station’ and ‘The Wheels On the Bus.’ As well as making the different sounds and copying the sound patterns, the older children have been listening for rhyming words. They were shown pictures of a train, rain and door. After saying the words several times, the children are asked, ‘Which words sound the same?’ Once we have found the rhyming words, we saidthem several times, the children copying the adult. Listening for rhymes is a quick game to play at home. You might listen for words that rhyme in a nursery rhyme e.g. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.’ These rhymes can be watched on the Little Wandle web site by clicking on the ‘For Parents’ button.

 

1st February

This week we shared the story, ‘Are You There Bear?’ by Ron Maris. This story takes us on a search for ‘Bear’ in a dark bedroom, but we have a torch which shines on different toys as we search. After the story, we explored ‘dark and light’ in different ways. We took turns to use torches in a dark den, noticing how sometimes we could make the circle of light get bigger or smaller. We also discovered that the light could shine through some materials, but not through others. The children also observed how dark it was one rainy morning if we had no lights on. ‘I wonder why it is so dark today?’ This encouraged them to make suggestions and begin to notice how the weather can affect us.

As part of our learning in the area of ‘Expressive Arts and Design, the children experimented with tearing and sticking brightly coloured paper on a dark background, again talking about the contrast and their preferences.

Through their play, the children were using emergency vehicles. I suggested it might be night time when they were working, when we were asleep. Some children knew someone who worked at night. To explore this further, we watch an episode of ‘Jo Jo and Gran Gran’ where we learnt more about people who work at night. If you would like to share this at home, click here.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘h’. We played the game ‘Bertha the bus is going to the zoo’. On her way she found a house, hat, hammer and helicopter. We practiced saying the phoneme ‘Open your mouth and breath out sharply,‘h.’ We also practiced blending phonemes to make the words; ‘h-a-t, hat, h-ea-d, head, and h-or-se, horse.’

All the children have been learning the rhymes ‘Down At The Station’ and ‘The Wheels On the Bus.’ We have been making the different sounds and copying the sound patterns e.g. ‘Chuff, Chuff, Toot, Toot.’ ‘Clickety Clack, Clickety Clack.’ These rhymes can be watched on the Little Wandle web site by clicking on the ‘For Parents’ button.

We remembered our story from ‘My Happy Mind’, ‘Arabella and her Friends At The Seaside.’ We knew Arabella showed she was thankful to her parents for arranging for her friends to come for a visit from the country because she said ‘thank-you.’ We continued to say ‘thank-you’ and learnt how to use the Makaton sign. The older children thought about the different categories of gratitude; ‘others’, ‘experiences’ and ‘ourselves’. So we might be grateful for having a friend to play with, a visit to the park or that we can now work with others in a team to build a bus.

 

25th January

This week we learnt a new counting song ‘1 Elephant Went Out To Play’. We acted it out, learning how to say one number for each elephant and practicing showing the total number of elephants using our fingers. You can share the video by clicking here. We have also been discovering ‘how many things in the bag?’ the children can choose a small bag, discover what’s inside and count how many there are. The older children have begun to explore ways of recording their discoveries through making marks on labels for the bags.

Through the week, many children have been using their imaginations to pretend to go on journeys. By using boxes, blocks, chairs and recycled materials, they have; created rockets, gone a bus ride to holiday and caught the train. We shared the story ‘The Train Ride by June Crebbin, joining in with the repeated phrase ‘What shall I see?’ We noticed that the ticket collector checked their tickets, so we have been busy making tickets for our journeys. If you would like to share a sung version of the story, click here .

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘r’. We played the game ‘Bertha the bus is going to the zoo’. On her way she found a rabbit, rainbow, rice and a rocket. We practiced saying the phoneme ‘Show me your teeth to make a rrr sound.’ We also practiced blending phonemes to make the words; r-a-t, rat, r-e-d, red and r-i-ng, ring.

All the children have been learning the rhymes ‘Down At The Station’ and ‘The Wheels On the Bus.’ We have been making the different sounds and copying the sound patterns e.g. ‘Chuff, Chuff, Toot, Toot.’ ‘Clickety Clack, Clickety Clack.’ These rhymes can be watched on the Little Wandle web site by clicking on the ‘For Parents’ button.

We remembered our story from ‘My Happy Mind’, ‘Arabella and her Friends At The Seaside.’ We knew Arabella showed she was thankful to her parents for arranging for her friends to come for a visit from the country because she said ‘thank-you.’ We continued to practice saying thank-you to people when they helped us and shared and talked about giving a hug or smile to show our appreciation.

 

18th January

Brrr! It’s been so cold this week. The freezing weather has prompted the children to observe changes in their environment. We have been thinking about what we know about winter and beginning to understand what it can look and feel like. The children had lots of fun exploring the snow. They made snowballs, compared their footprints and worked together to make a small snowman. They tried out different objects to make his eyes and nose but some were too big and fell off.

Later in the week, the children noticed the crunching sound of the ice as they walked outside and talked about what had happened to the small dinosaurs that were frozen in the ice. How had they got stuck? Where was the water that had been in the pots? How could the dinosaurs be set free? You might enjoy exploring what happens to water if it is put in the freezer at home. How many words can you think of to describe the ice? Where can you see winter?

On the snowy day, we shared the lovely story of ‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Butterworth. It tells the tale of what happened when all the animals in the park came to Percy The Park Keeper’s hut to keep warm one night. It did get a bit crowded and a surprise visitor gave them all a bit of a scare. You can share a video of Nick Butterworth reading the story here.

There is also an animated film of the story you could watch together and talk about which different animals visited Percy. Where did they all sleep?

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘u’. We played the game ‘Bertha the bus is going to the zoo’. On her way she found an umbrella, a girl under a table and a boy who was upset. We practiced saying the phoneme ‘Open your mouth wide and say u.’ I wonder if you have any umbrellas at your house? Perhaps you could play putting them ‘up’ and down. Listen for the ‘u’.

We listened again to our story from ‘My Happy Mind’, ‘Arabella and her Friends At The Seaside.’ We thought about how Arabella showed she was thankful to her parents for arranging for her friends to come for a visit from the country. We practiced saying        thank-you to people when they helped us and shared. We will look for more ways to appreciate what we have and how others help us.

 

11th January

Happy New Year. The children have all been so happy to return to school and see their friends. We have welcomed some new children into our group and we have been proud to observe how many of the older children have shown kindness and understanding to them as they settle and learn new routines. Well done for being such good friends!

This week we have begun our new theme of ‘Ticket to Ride’ by sharing the story ‘Whatever Next’ by Jill Murphy. This beautifully illustrated story is about a little bear who wants to go to the moon (before bath time.) He needs to work out how to get there and find out what’s there. This immediately prompted some children to make a rocket. So, over the next few weeks, we will support the children in designing and making their rockets from a range of materials e.g. big boxes, large wooden blocks, bricks, recycled materials and loose parts.

If you would like to share the story together at home, please click here.

To support their mathematical development, the older children have been remembering how to recognise up to three objects without counting them using pictures and real objects e.g a set of 2 conkers, two socks, three shells, two big shells, one pine cone. They have also practiced threading 1,2 or 3 buttons onto a thread, knowing when they have the correct quantity.

All the children have been chanting numbers in order which helps them remember which comes next as they count. We have been singing the counting song ‘2 Little Dickie Birds’ and ‘1 Little Finger’.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sounds ‘e’. We found an egg, envelope, elbow and elephant in our box. We practiced saying the phoneme ‘Open your mouth wide and say e.’ Can you find anything at home that starts with the phoneme ‘e’?

We finished the week by sharing our story from ‘My Happy Mind’, ‘Arabella and her Friends At The Seaside.’ This term we are learning to appreciate. We will be encouraging the children to notice what they are thankful for and learn how we can show it.

 

21st December

This week the children have worked hard to take part in the Christmas play. As well as learning the words and actions to their song, they have needed to be brave as they walked into a room full of adults and performed. They did a really good job and showed how grown-up they are. Well done!

To support the children with their counting skills, they have been decorating a large felt Christmas tree together and finding out how many, baubles, candy canes, gingerbread men and mittens we put on it. We also talked about the position they wanted to place their object in, the top, middle or bottom of the tree.

During the week we had a fun time learning to ‘Line Dance’ together. The children copied the movements and direction of travel and began to sing along to the very catchy ‘Hey Mr Snowman’. You might like to make up your own dance to the music at home.

Through their Christmas role play, the children have been pretending to make some Christmas food and talked about what they like to eat at Christmas. Some children decided to ‘write’ a letter to Santa and pretended to be asleep as he arrived in his sleigh. They have also been practicing using scissors carefully to cut out pictures of favourite toys for their Christmas stocking or learning to snip a border around the edge of paper.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘K’. We found a kite, kettle, kangaroo and ketchup, in our box. We practiced saying and blending the words; ‘kit, kid and kite’. We had to listen carefully to the end sounds to make sure we guessed the correct picture.

We have also played the blending game ‘Can you do the actions?’, and the children listened carefully to the phonemes and blended them together in their head so they could do the action e.g. Can you p-a-t your arm? Can you n-o-d your head? R-u-b your tummy. H-o-p!

Amazingly, it is the end of our first term.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to sharing more exciting learning next year. (I think we might be building a rocket!)

You might enjoy sharing some of these Christmas programmes and stories together at home;

Kipper’s Christmas Eve by Mick Inkpen

Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr

Topsy and Tim’s Christmas Eve -  BBC Cebeebies i-player

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Ballet  - BBC Cebeebies i-player

Bedtime Story, ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ with Gregory Porter. - BBC Cebeebies i-player

Bedtime Story, ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’ - BBC Cebeebies i-player

 

14th December

This week we have been sharing our experiences of Christmas. We have shared a variety of Christmas themed stories as a class and in small groups and this has prompted questions such as; ‘What does your Christmas tree look like?’ What is on the top of your tree? Do you remember when you had Christmas last year? I wonder what you might ask Santa for?’        If you have photos of last Christmas you could share with your child at home, this will help develop their understanding of time and begin to recognize the celebrations you share as a family.

We have also started to learn about the Nativity. We shared the story of Mary and Joseph and used small characters from the story to learn the character names and retell the events.  You might notice pictures of the characters on some of the Christmas cards or perhaps on a display. Talk to your child about who was in the story and help them remember the sequence of events.

As part of our learning through ‘My Happy Mind’, we have been recognising and ‘celebrating’ our different character strengths: Love and Kindness, Teamwork and Friendship, Exploring and Learning, Bravery and Honesty and Love of Life and our World. This week we have talked about love of life and our World. We talked about how we can help to look after our playground by picking up any paper rubbish and remembering to put litter in the bin. We also have noticed our paper recycling bin in the classroom and have learnt where the used paper goes and how it can be made into new paper.

During the week, we found we had a number of over ripe bananas in our bowl at snack time. We talked about what we should do with them if no one wanted to eat them. Mrs. Rouse thought we shouldn’t throw them away but suggested we make banana buns. The children had a lovely time practicing the skills of weighing, mashing, stirring, comparing and counting as they followed the recipe and explored the ingredients. I think every one enjoyed eating them too. Delicious!

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘c’. We found a car, cat, crown and cup in our box. We practiced making the sound; ‘Open your mouth into a little smile; make your tongue flat and move it up towards the top of your mouth to say ‘c’ ‘

We have also played the blending game ‘Blend from the box’, and the children listened carefully to the phonemes and blended them together to say the words, c-u-p, c-a-p, c-a-t and c-oi-n.

You might enjoy sharing some of these Christmas stories together at home;

Kipper’s Christmas Eve by Mick Inkpen

Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr

Pip and Posy The Christmas Tree by Alex Scheffler

 

7th December

How exciting, we have now started to count the days to Christmas! Our class has a beautiful Advent Calendar which shows a picture of animals in a stable looking at a Christmas tree decorated with lots of treats for the animals. Each child will have a turn to open a door on the calendar and discover what new object is added to the scene. So far, we have learnt about the bats hanging from the rafters, the horse brushes and the riding boots with surprises inside. It can be difficult to wait for a turn, but the children are working hard to remember we need to be fair to everyone.

We have also started to learn our song for the Christmas play. Just to remind you, the children will only be performing for a few minutes at the start of the morning performance. They are all practicing really hard and trying to remember the words and actions.

This week we have continued sharing the story of ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears.’ The children have helped to create a story environment in the play tray where they could retell the story using puppets and small world figures. They needed to think about where the story was set and what we could use to make a house, beds, chairs and bowls.

To give the children experience of a different way to tell the story, we watched the Cbeebies ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ ballet. The children needed to watch carefully to understand how the dance moves told the story and showed how the characters were feeling. When the bears came home and found their porridge eaten and the chair broken, they did an angry dance. If you would like to watch the ballet, please click here

As part of our learning through ‘My Happy Mind’, we have been recognising and ‘celebrating’ our different character strengths: Love and Kindness, Teamwork and Friendship, Exploring and Learning, Bravery and Honesty and Love of Life and our World. This week we have talked about exploring and learning. The children have been encouraged to think about what they have been learning, talking about what has interested them       e.g. finding out about otters, and what they have discovered e.g. how the frost and cold made the playground white and the water freeze.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘o’. We found an orange, ostrich, otter and octopus in our box. We practiced making the sound; ‘Make your mouth into a round shape and say ‘o’.

We have also played the blending game ‘What’s That Noise?’ The teacher asks, ‘what sound does a c-a-t make?’ The children then blend the phonemes in their heads (cat) and make the noise of a cat. It can get a bit loud!

We have been learning the rhymes, ‘Round and Round The Garden’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle.’ If you would like to join in with these, and many other nursery rhymes at home, you can find videos by searching ‘Little Wandle Parents Page’ and clicking on ‘Nursery Rhyme Videos.’ Have fun!

 

30th November

This week we have shared another traditional story, ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears.’ We have been learning about the different characters and finding out what happened first in the story, then what happened next, and what happened at the end of the story. This will help us as we retell the story and order events.

As we look at our books together, we have been finding out where the title of the book is and who wrote the story (the author.) We have also been encouraging the older children to show where we need to start ‘reading’ so that they learn we read from left to right and top to the bottom.

To encourage the children to use their senses and talk about what changes they had noticed, we made porridge. The children observed and described the oats and milk and helped to measure and count out the correct number of ‘cups’ needed in the recipe. This reinforced the counting sequence and their awareness of the ‘stopping number.’ 

Together we sang the song ‘When Goldilocks Went to the House of the Bears’. This helped the children begin to develop their understanding of the different sizes of the bears, their bowls, chairs and beds.

As part of our learning through ‘My Happy Mind’, we have been recognising and ‘celebrating’ our different character strengths: Love and Kindness, Teamwork and Friendship, Exploring and Learning, Bravery and Honesty and Love of Life and our World. This week we have talked about being a ‘good friend’. The children thought it was important that a friend shared and helped. We also remembered that a friend will listen to you. To celebrate friendship, the children can make a friendship bracelet to give to someone they notice is being a good friend.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘g’. We found a glue stick, goat, grapes and glasses in our box. We also noticed, that the name ‘Goldilocks’ started with the ‘g’ phoneme. We practiced making the sound; ‘Give me a big smile that shows your teeth; press the middle of your tongue to the top and back of your mouth; push your tongue down and forward to make the ‘g’ sound. ‘g’.

We have also played ‘blend from the box’, where the children listened to the phonemes in the word and then blended them together to say the word e.g. g-ir-l, girl, g-a-te, gate,          g-oa-t, goat. This can be quite tricky for the children and it will be a skill we practice every day.

We have also been learning the rhyme, ‘Round and Round The Garden.’ If you would like to join in with this, and many other nursery rhymes at home, you can find videos by searching ‘Little Wandle Parents Page’ and clicking on ‘Nursery Rhyme Videos.’ Have fun!

 

 

23rd Novemeber

This week we have continued to focus upon our core text ‘The Gingerbread Man.’ The children worked together making a map to use when retelling the story using small world toys and finger puppets. Many children then wanted to make their own map and this provided lots of opportunity to talk about different features in the environment that they might want to include on their map e.g. river, forest, field, flowers, road, bakers shop. We also talked about the shape and direction of the road, ‘You have chosen to draw a straight road. This road is very windy.’

To extend the children’s awareness of how instruments and music can be used to create sounds and mood through a story, they watched ‘The Musical Story Of The Gingerbread Man.’ The children really enjoyed joining in with the repeated song and listened carefully to the flute, cello and violin, noticing how their sounds could sound like an animal or slow down and sound sad. If you would like to share this programme, it can be found on CBeebies i-player or click here.

As part of our learning through ‘My Happy Mind’, we have been recognising and ‘celebrating’ our different character strengths: Love and Kindness, Teamwork and Friendship, Exploring and Learning, Bravery and Honesty and Love of Life and our World. This week we have been noticing where we have seen good teamwork and friendship. The children needed to work together in a team to play a ball rolling name game and everyday help each other to tidy away.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘d’. We found a door, duck, dog and dinosaur in our box. We practiced making the sound; ‘Put your tongue to the top and front of your mouth and make a quick d’ sound ‘d’.’ Outside, we practiced saying the sound when we ‘dipped Dotty Dinosaur’ in the mud pool and ‘dunked Dippy Duck’ in the water.

We have also played ‘blend from the box’, where the children listened to the phonemes in the word and then blended them together to say the word e.g. d-o-g, dog, d-o-ll, doll, d-e-n, den and d-u-ck, duck. This can be quite tricky for the children and it will be a skill we practice every day.

We have also been learning the rhyme ‘Insey Winsey Spider.’ We hope you have enjoyed singing it at home. If you would like to join in with this, and many other nursery rhymes at home, you can find videos by searching ‘Little Wandle Parents Page and clicking on ‘Nursery Rhyme Videos.’ Have fun!

 

 

16th Novemeber

This week we have been sharing the story of ‘The Gingerbread Man’. This traditional story, provides plenty of opportunity to join in with the repeated phrase ‘Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.’ We have also been learning about who is in the story (the characters) and noticed that in another retelling of the story, that some of the characters were different.

To support their communication and language, together with Literacy skills, the children have been remembering what happens in the story and taking turns to take on roles and act it out. At this stage, they may need an adult to support the story telling, but with practice they will start to retell with their friends. This is an activity you may like to try at home. Your child could either pretend to be one of the characters or you could use toys or drawn characters to tell the story.

Last week, as the children learnt about the festival of Diwali, they noticed the little girl in the video, decorated her home with lights. They were especially interested to see that some of the older children in school were making a clay ‘diya’ (a candle holder.) ‘We could make them’ one of the children suggested. So, this week, they have had the opportunity to explore clay, finding out how to squeeze, prod and pinch it, into shape. They made a great job and the diyas are drying and will be decorated next week.

As part of ‘Anti-bullying Week’, the children have been thinking about what ‘kindness’ means and looking out for it in our classroom.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘m’. We found a moon, marble, monkey and mouse in our box. We practiced making the sound; ‘put your lips together and make the mmmmm sound.’ We have also played ‘blend from the box’, where the children listened to the phonemes in the word and then blended them together to say the word e.g. m-oo-n, moon, m-a-n, man, m-a-p, map. This can be quite tricky for the children and it will be a skill we practice every day.

 

 

9th November

This week we have been encouraging the children to use their experience of fireworks and bonfires to link with learning across the curriculum. To support their communication and language skills, they practiced listening to what each other had to say, waiting for their turn to speak and using new vocabulary to describe what they had seen and heard.

Together, we listened to Handel’s Firework Music and used our imaginations to become fireworks, moving up to the sky like a rocket, exploding and scattering light and stars. The children made some wonderful dances.

We also have begun to learn about the festival of Diwali which is celebrated by Hindu communities around the world. It is known as ‘The Festival of Lights’ and families enjoy watching fireworks, displaying lights, making colourful Rangoli patterns and wearing their best clothes as they visit relatives and friends. We shared a video about Deeya, as she celebrated with her family. If you would like to watch it together at home, please click here

To encourage the children’s learning in the area of Understanding the World, they explored how to make chocolate apples, talking about why the chocolate from the packet wouldn’t stick to the apple and what we might need to do. Once the chocolate had been in the micro-wave for a few minutes, the children observed how it had changed. Now it had melted, it would stick to the apples!

Many children this week have also been eager to create their own firework pictures using a ‘paint programme’ on the computer. This again gave them the opportunity to express their experiences as well as practice using technology and their hand-eye co-ordination.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘n’. We found a nose, net, nurse and nest in our box. We practiced making the sound; ‘open your lips a bit; put your tongue behind your teeth and make the nnnn sound nnnn. We have also played ‘blend from the box’, where the children listened to the phonemes in the word and then blended them together to say the word e.g. n-u-t, nut, n-e-t, net, n-e-ck, neck. This can be quite tricky for the children and it will be a skill we practice every day.

Finally, it was so lovely to see both parents and children having fun during our Stay and Play session this week. We will be arranging more sessions through the year. If there is an area of the curriculum you would be particularly interested in learning more about, let us know and we can include specific activities that focus on that learning.

 

 

2nd November

 

This half -term we will be sharing the core texts; ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. These will provide lots of opportunities for retelling a traditional tale, discovering many different characters and exploring themes such as personal safety and emotions.

To encourage the children to share their experiences and observations of Halloween this week, we have shared the stories, ‘The Runaway Pumpkin’ by Kevin Lewis, ‘What’s In The Witches Kitchen?’ by Nick Sharratt and ‘Room on the Broom’ by Julia Donaldson.

We have been using lots of counting this week. Making sure that every person has a cup at snack time, counting the leaves we sorted and the number of spiders we could pick up with the tweezers or fish from the spooky water. We have also been comparing the sizes of the leaves, finding some bigger than our hands and talking together about which is ‘the biggest’ or ‘smallest,’ and how do we know?

This term we will be giving the children lots of opportunities to notice how many objects there are in a small group (up to three) without counting. We call this ‘subitising’. During this week, we showed the children 1,2 or 3, small pumpkins and asked them to quickly say how many they could see. You could play this game at home by covering a few cars, shoes, animals etc. with a cloth and revealing them for your child to quickly notice how many there are. Try using different objects and change the way you lay them out e.g not always in a straight line.

To support the development of the children’s physical skills, we are helping them to begin to use scissors. Some of the children wanted to snip pieces of paper to use as a collage, whilst others took on the challenge (with support) of cutting around their pumpkin masks and using a hole punch.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘i’. We found an igloo, iguana, invitation and insect in our box. We practiced making the sound; ‘pull your lips back and make the ‘i’ sound at the back of your mouth. We have also been practicing ‘oral blending’, where the children play ‘can you touch your ….?’ This is a short game you can play at home. Ask your child ‘Can you touch your h-ea-d?/ ch-i-n?/ n-oa-z?/   l-e-g? This helps them begin to hear the sounds through a word.

Just a reminder, that you are invited to our ‘Stay and Play’ session next Wednesday,  8th November, from 8.40-9.45 am. Come along and join in with a range of fun activities!

 

19th October

This week we discovered a new little friend in our classroom. It was a small bird (kindly made by Miss Vernon.) It lived in her own little cage and the children discussed where she had come from, ‘Maybe the zoo.’ ‘She just flew in.’ ‘I think she’s poorly.’ We didn’t know her name so I suggested the children chose a name for her. The two names they gave were ‘Birdie’ and ‘Rosie’. We then learnt how to vote for the one we liked the best. Each child had a brick and placed it next to the name they wanted. We then used our mathematical language to talk about ‘Which tower has the most bricks?’ ‘How do we know?’ ‘Which name did most people want?’ ‘Which name had the fewest bricks?’ It was clear, the favourite name was ‘Rosie’.

To welcome Rosie, we sang the rhyme ‘2 Little Dickie Birds’. We talked about one bird and another bird on the wall, 2 birds. ‘What happened next?’ ‘One flew away, so how many birds can we see now?’ You could play this game at home using any toys, biscuits, even little drawn birds. This helps the children understand how quantities change when something is added or taken away. If you would like to watch.  Mr.Tumble singing the rhyme, please click here.

At the end of the week, we used all our senses to investigate a pumpkin. The children described what they could see, touch and smell. ‘It’s orange/big/round/smooth/sticky.’

Inside they discovered seeds and discussed what might happen if we planted them.

To finish the week, we shared the story ‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper. It tells the story of a group of animal friends who work happily to make soup together. But one day, the Duck decides he wants to do a different job when making the soup, and sadly there is an argument. It is a lovely way of starting think about how to listen to our friends and how we might resolve disagreements.

During their phonics time, the older children have been listening for the initial sound ‘p’. We found a pizza, penguin, pencil and peg in our box. We practiced making the sound by saying, ‘Bring your lips together, push them open and say ‘p’. In our game ‘Bertha the Bus Is Going to The Zoo’, she met a ‘pig’, ‘panda’, and a ‘polar’ bear. I wonder what other objects you can find that start with ‘p’?

 

12th October

 

This week we have been discovering more about our world and seasonal change. We went on an ‘Autumn’ walk, trying hard to notice things around us. We found lots of leaves on the ground and decided to collect them, talking about the different colours, shapes and sizes. If you find some leaves perhaps you could sort them at home. Ask the question, ‘How are they the same/different?’

The children were very interested in the trunk of one of the trees. We all gave it a hug and described how the bark felt; ‘bumpy, rough, lumpy and smooth.’ We wondered if any little animals might be hiding in it, but we couldn’t see any.

Next, we all lay on a big tarpaulin and looked up through the branches, asking, ‘What can I see? What can I hear?’  We listened to a couple of Magpies calling to each other and a robin singing in the tree that had berries.

Once we were back in nursery we used magnifying glasses to look at the veins of the leaves and have made leaf rubbings using wax crayons.

Through the week, we have enjoyed learning and acting out the song ‘All The Leaves Are Falling Down.’

There is also a lovely episode of Jo Jo and Gran Gran’ on BBC i-player where they go on a leaf hunt. To share this with your child, please click here.

We hope to go on another walk next week to make sure all the children have had an opportunity to explore nature and understand the changes around them during Autumn.

In Phonics Time, the older children have been playing ‘What’s In The Box?’ and listening for the initial sound ‘t’. We found a tiger, teeth, a teddy and toast. I wonder what else you could find at home?

Thank-you for the baby pictures that have been sent in. It really has helped the children begin to understand more about their own history.

 

 

5th October

This week we have continued to practice our rhymes, ‘Humpty Dumpty’ and ‘One, Two, Three, Four, Five. We hope you are enjoying singing them at home. To help the children begin to ‘tune into sounds’, we have played some rhyming games by listening for two words that rhyme e.g. wall/fall, five/dive. It can often take children a long time and plenty of practice to begin to hear rhymes. Perhaps you could listen out for more rhyming words as you share the songs together.

Throughout this week, we have been encouraging the children to talk about their families and learning that families can be different from the family they know. We have been learning the vocabulary; family, sister, brother, older, younger and baby.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Rouse worked with a group of children to make some lovely, new, blue, playdough. They needed to ‘read’ the recipe cards and follow the instructions. This also included counting out how many cups of flour, salt and water they needed. Once it was cooked the children practiced rolling it into balls and sausages, comparing sizes, ‘My ball is bigger than this ball, but yours is the biggest.’

Several times through the week, we help the muscles in our fingers and wrists to become stronger and our fingers to work independently through our ‘Dough Disco’ time. We learn to roll the dough, splat it, pinch it and squeeze it. If you would like to do this at home, please follow the link here.

We would still like to invite you to send photos of your child as a baby so we can share them with the class and think about how they have changed! Please e-mail these to admin2@sandbach-pri.cheshire.sch.uk

 

28th September

Our learning this week has started with listening to, and joining in with our new rhyme ‘I,2,3,4,5, Once I Caught A Fish Alive.’ As well as helping the children to remember the sequence of numbers, it also gives them practice of moving their fingers individually, whilst holding others down. These actions, will support them as they develop their pencil grip and fine motor control.

The older children have done a great job this week in their ‘phonics’ time. I have been so impressed with their listening and attention skills! We have been finding out ‘what’s in the box?’ All the things have started with the sound ‘a’. There was an apple, arrow, astronaut and an ant. You might like to find other objects at home that start with ‘a’ and play your own game.

Some of the children have been having lots of messy fun, making hand prints. We talked about the different colours they could use and what happened when two colours were mixed together as they painted their hand. The children also used different words to describe how the paint felt, ‘tickly’, ‘cold’ and ‘smooth’. There were also opportunities to discuss the size of hands and count the fingers.

As we have been playing board games, this week. We have practiced waiting for turns and talking about ‘who’s turn is next?’ and ‘Who has had a turn?’ We have also been practicing saying ‘please’ and thank-you’ at snack time.

Next week, we will be starting to talk with the children about their families. We would like to invite you to send photos of your child as a baby so we can share them with the class and think about how they have changed! Please e-mail these to admin2@sandbach-pri.cheshire.sch.uk

 

20th September

In Nursery this week, we have been practicing saying our counting numbers in order. Singing number rhymes, like ‘1,2,3,4,5 Once I caught a fish alive’ is a fun way to help young children hear and remember the number sequence as well as starting to show quantities by using their fingers. The children have also been learning that we can find out ‘how many?’ by counting. To help them have lots of practice, they have been counting; how many cups we need at snack time, how many little pigs in the story and how many Multi grain hoops we can put on a piece of uncooked spaghetti. (This is very tricky and a great way of building hand -eye co-ordination.)

At home, you might like to count together as you walk up the stairs to bed, sing a counting song or put cans in the trolley when shopping. Many children will need to hear the numbers 1,2,3,4,5, sung, chanted, whispered and said everyday so that they begin to remember them in order.

It has also been a very exciting week for our older nursery children as they have begun their daily phonics time. Each day the children will play a few short games that will help them begin to ‘tune into sounds.’ This week they have been listening for the first sound in words that begin with ‘s’. We have played ‘What’s in the box’ and found a sock, a snake, the sun and a star. You can find out more about our learning in phonics on the Little Wandle website, where you can also find lots of nursery rhyme videos to share at home.

All the children have enjoyed singing along with ‘Humpty Dumpty’. We are sending home a copy of the nursery rhyme for you to share together. You could even act it out or make a wall for Humpty to fall from. Have fun!

 

13th September

The weather this week has been so mixed. We have used this opportunity to talk about the different weather conditions whilst developing the vocabulary; ‘sunny, cloudy, wet, splash, gushing, cooler, chilly.’

At story time, we have started share our ‘Core Text’, ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ This traditional tale provides many repeated phrases that the children can join in with, so there has been lots of ‘Huffing and puffing’ and ‘blow your house down’ being acted out in a Big Bad Wolf voice. The children have also had the opportunity to use finger puppets to act out the story, helping them remember what happens next.

During water play outside, the children were working like scientists, making discoveries when exploring what the Brussel sprouts did when dropped in the bucket. Did they float, or sink? Another group found out that they could make the sprouts come to the top of the tube by pouring water into it.

The children have really enjoyed learning our ‘Wake up, shake up’ song. We have all been joining in together, following the actions and singing. If you would like to learn this song at home, click here.

 

7th September 2023

Welcome to your nursery update. It has been so lovely to see how the children have all been so eager to come into the classroom and explore all the activities available.

This week, we have been learning how to hang up our belongings on our peg and where to put water bottles and lunch boxes.

We have also begun to practice sitting together as a group on the carpet as we share rhyme time and story. To help us remember what we need to do, Mr. Potato Head has reminded us we need to sit on our bottoms and use looking eyes and listening ears. If you would like to view our class rules with Mr. Potato Head, you can find them by clicking on the ‘Our Learning Powers’ tab at the top of our class page.

The children have also been learning how to wait for a turn as we blow bubbles, run the cars down the track and pour our drink at snack time.

We look forward to meeting new friends next week and finding out about each other.

Contact us..

Crewe Road, Sandbach, CW11 4NS
01270 918922