Blog 12th January

Happy new year everyone!
It was lovely to welcome all Plums back on Monday morning ready for a new term.  I can report that the children have come back to school eager to learn, discover and explore!
We've delved straight into winter this week and it was certainly wintry on Monday!  On a winter scavenger hunt around our school, there was so much to see, touch and hear.  We were all particularly interested in the leaves that had been frozen in a thick sheet of ice on top of the black tray in our garden.  Then as the ice began to melt, we used our fingers to move the air bubble that had formed between the ice and the water underneath.  We discovered many examples of evergreen leaves on our school field and we noticed that these felt smoother and looked shinier than other leaves.  We learnt that evergreen leaves are some of the toughest, strongest leaves in nature and can keep living and growing even in frozen temperatures. 
We saw and heard lots of birds on our school field and we learnt that life as a bird in winter can be tricky.  We've given the birds a helping hand by making some bird seed cake and putting nuts and seeds out for tasty treats. 
We looked at pictures of many different birds and identified the things that all birds have in common.  Ask us and we'll tell you!  Then we chose a bird that lives around our school and made a careful drawing using charcoal pencils and then oil pastels to add some colour.  We've put these birds up on our winter tree in the classroom. 
We've begun to keep a log of the weather, temperature and rainfall each day and we'll use the information we gather to make comparisons, charts and for general discussion. 
A lot of our self-chosen activity has been winter themed too.  The children have been making winter palaces, gorgeous winter collages and exploring warm and cool colours in their own way, in their own time. 
In our number work, we've been learning number bonds of 10 this week.  We discovered that there are 11 number stories that you can write about adding to make 10. We had fun exploring number bonds of 10 with the numicon, by making 10 biscuits in play doh, by sharing 10 pieces of pasta into two pots and by using our fingers.  
We've also been exploring 3D shapes this week.  We looked at the properties of cubes, cuboids, cylinders and pyramids and we are trying hard to remember their names!  We completed a shape challenge with a partner by choosing 8 3D shapes, making them into a tower and then recording how many of each shape we had used.  You could look for these 3D shapes around your home.  In their self chosen activity, the children were fascinated by trying to make a cube with match sticks and blue tac.  This was an infuriatingly tricky job, but very satisfying once completed!  The children also enjoyed using clixi to make a variety of 3D shapes. 
I hope you all have a great weekend, see you on Monday.