Blog 8- wb 11th November

This week in Apple class our learning has been centered around Remembrance Day. The children have thought carefully about the meaning of the poppy and we talked lots about the importance of wearing poppies on Remembrance Day. By the end of the week most of us understood that we wear poppies to remember the soldiers that lost their lives in the war. 
To consolidate our learning we decided to make our own tissue poppies. The children had to rip and scrunch the tissue (to support their fine motor development) and stick it onto the poppy. Some of us found it tricky to rip and scrunch. Why not have a go at home? You could apply this skill to any craft activity at home. If you have a go please let me know by adding pictures to your online journal!
We also made poppies using various materials (red buttons, material, milk lids shapes etc). The children had to use their imaginations and imagine the poppies growing in the fields.
As well as Remembrance Day, the children have been super busy in other areas. As you can see from the pictures, the children have enjoyed using tweezers to put the pom poms into the egg boxes. This challenge was great fun and they have loved competing to see who could fill the boxes up the quickest!
In our number work, this week we have introduced our "beast game" (see some pictures below). This game allows for turn taking, concentration and counting/ subitizing skills (knowing the amount on the dice without counting the dots). The children had to roll the dice, subitize or count the dots and take away the right amount of treasure from the beasts mouth. Some of us needed help to count the dots on the dice an some of us could subitize (without having to count) really easily which is excellent! The more we play maths games the better! Maths games allow us to develop a range of skills, not just math ones. We will continue this game next week as some children are yet to have  a go. After everyone has had a turn, this game will be left on the games shelf for the children to access independently. Please let us know on your journals which maths games your child loves to play at home.
Alongside our learning, this week we have introduced the Characteristics of Effective Learning to the children. These are: Playing and exploring, Active learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
The idea of the characteristics are to help children make links to what they are learning and the skills they are using. To do this we are using the Mr Men/ Little Miss stories. We will introduce one story per week and help the children think about how the character links to themself and how they learn. This week we have read "Mr Clever". The staff have continuously allowed time for children to reflect upon how they have been "clever" or just like Mr Clever during the week. We have a fantastic Mr Men display in the classroom and we will add photographs of the children displaying the characteristics so that they can reflect. Look out for next weeks story!
Over the past two weeks we have been recapping the Mr Tumble makaton signs we have learnt so far and as of next week we will learn some more. Look out for our next sign on the next blog.
Next week is Stay and Play. The children are very excited to "show off" their classroom. Please remember to add your name to the sign up sheet so we know who to expect. Please remember that only one family member is to attend so that we don't get too busy. Thank you!
REMINDER: As the weather gets colder please remember to bring a hat and some mittens to school (WITH NAMES ON). We go outside in all weathers! Thank you to those who are already doing this.
A huge thank you to the increase in parental engagement with learning journals. Staff love to see the learning happening at home and it is really useful for us to build up a bigger picture of what the child knows and understands. 
Next week our focus is on the story the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.
I hope you have all had a great weekend and are well rested!- Miss F