Blog 28th February

What a lot there has been going on in Plum Class this week!  It’s been such a busy and productive time as the children have thrown themselves head first into the new half term.

We began the week with a little introduction to our new topic about the continent of Africa.  In particular, we’ll be exploring the country of Uganda, where our friends from the Pearl of Africa choir come from.  We used our directional and mapping skills from last half term to locate the United Kingdom on our globe and from there we moved south to find the continent of Africa.  We then looked closely at all the countries that make Africa and found Uganda on the eastern side.  Maybe you could look at some maps of Africa at the weekend and see if your child can help you to locate Uganda. You might also like to talk about the compass points of north, south, east and west which we are becoming very familiar with. I spent some time with the children finding out what they already know about Africa and also finding out what they would like to know.  The children were familiar with many of the animals found in this continent and many told me that it was very hot there.  One Plum Class member knew that the pyramids could be found in Africa.  We’ll be using these thought boards to shape our learning over the coming weeks.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mrs Vicky showed us some pictures of classrooms at the school where the children form the Pearl of Africa attend.  She encouraged the children to identify similarities (there were many) and notice some differences.  The children did this thoughtfully and carefully.  On Thursday, Year 1 children did some research into the hippopotamus and fed back some really interesting information.  Maybe you could encourage your child to tell you about these interesting creatures and you could even do some research of your own.  On Friday morning, we read the story Hot Hippo and the children had a go at being story tellers by inventing an adventure for the hippopotamus.  Maybe you could encourage your child to re-tell this story at home.   Alongside our story writing and storytelling, the children enjoyed creating their own hippos with collage materials and made wonderful story scenes using our light boxes.

In addition to our African work, we’ve been looking forward to spring this week and we’ve been finding out about the spring flowers that are beginning to pop up.  The children have been spotting snowdrops for some weeks now and so we moved on to look closely at tulips.  We found that these beautiful flowers grow from a bulb and can come in all colours and a wide variety of shapes. On Thursday and Friday, we used our colour mixing and painting skills to make our own tulips.  The results are beautiful and will be displayed for you to see.

In our mathematical work, we’ve been learning about the ‘twenty family’ this week.  We’ve discovered that all twenty numbers are made with two tens and then some ones.  The children have enjoyed making these with numicon, tens rods and unit cubes.  Children from Reception joined their Year 1 friends this week by taking part in Big Maths.  This is a weekly challenge in which children are encouraged to beat their previous score as they complete a series of calculations.  Once the children get them all correct in the given time, they move up to the next test.  We try to make this fun and motivational for the children and I hope that your child will enjoy this on a weekly basis. 

I hope that everyone has a good weekend.  See you all on Monday.