Blog week ending 6th of November

*Next week we will be sending out your child's reading bug passwords. ALL children will start off with wordless books. Having spoken to some parents, I am aware that some children can sight read already, but these books are crucial in developing communication and language skills by working on comprehension, re-tell and vocabulary. Obviously continue to stretch your child if they are already beginning to read by allowing them to read (physical)word books alongside the online wordless bug club books. 
Please encourage your child to talk about what they think is happening in the story and speak about how the story is structured - setting, character, problem, solution and ending. In the next term we will be working on these skills in school but we would really like to embed this literacy skill before we move children along to decoding words.
 
*From next week we will also be introducing individual sticker charts. These will be used as opposed to us giving the children stickers to put on their clothes. We are finding children are becoming upset when they fall off as they no longer have a record of how well they have done to show parents at the end of the day. This way, we believe the children will be able to share their achievements throughout the week and then keep it at home, as we know these mini achievements are important to children in Pear class and they are often lost in transit so to speak!
 
What a lovely week we have had in Pear class! The children have returned from our break with bags of enthusiasm and confidence! 
 
This week in our RWI work we have learnt three new sounds and one new red word and there has been lots of Fred talk! Our first sound was very special, as it was a 'special friend' sound - 'sh'. We already knew how to form these letters but we worked on saying this sound being careful not to wake the baby.  We also learnt the sounds 'j' and 'r' and enjoyed creating sheep masks, jungle pictures and firework rockets saying the sounds as we worked! Our red word to add to our bank of knowledge this week was 'we'. Thank you for practising these red words at home, it is clear that some children have been working hard to learn them! 
    
In our mathematical work, we've explored number 6 this week.  We looked at different ways to represent 6 and spotted representations that weren't 6!  We've learnt to form number 6 by saying "down we go and make a loop, number 6 makes a hoop!"
Later in the week, we thought about 1 more and 1 less and discovered that 1 more was always the next number on our number line or on our fingers and one less was always the number that cam before the number we had. We have been doing lots of rocket counting, counting forwars and backwards to improve our place value understanding. We also enjoyed making cakes and adding one more cake than our partner and then finding out what number was one less by taking one cake away.  It would be great if you could practice finding one more than a given number over the weekend. For example "Put 4 grapes in your bowl.  How many would there be in you added 1 more?"
 
As part of our shape, space and measure work, the children have been introduced to 3d shapes as Mrs Horne-Smith was able to blow up some 2d shapes in her magic box. We put in a circle and a triangle, said a magic chant and out came a cone! We then put in two circles and an oblong and out came a cylinder! Using these shapes we produced some firework rockets. It always helps children to remember shapes if they think of everyday objects. We talked about the cone as being the same as the cones we have for our ice-cream and the cylinder as being a tin of beans - it would help if you encourage your children to find some items around the house in the shape of a cylinder to try to consolidate this learning. 
 
In our topic work we have participated in Parliament week, learning all about the traditional festival Bonfire Night and the story behind this night. We enjoyed listening to the story all about Guy Faulkes and his plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Although we thought this was a very nasty and dangerous thing to do, the children offered their opinions on King James and they did not feel he was a very nice man, as he did not let Catholic people have their own beliefs.  
 
We decided having looked at The House of Parliament, that we would like to see inside, so we watched a video tour of the building and had a go at building our own House of Parliament using different materials. We discussed how big votes took place here and so had our own Pear class votes for the different books that we would like to read.
 
Bonfire night discussions were a huge hit this week - we all enjoyed sharing things we had done to celebrate this night in the past . It seems we all like to toast marshmallows around the fire, although some of us are scared of fireworks as they are very loud! We produced bonfire pictures, built our own bonfires and created transient art to explore the different colours and textures that we have seen on this night. To finish off we enjoyed watching several fireworks displays and bonfires and thought about the different things that we could do to keep safe - turning our home corner into a fire station where we could make sure that people did not get hurt on bonfire night.
 
In our literacy this week, we discovered a huge wow word- onomatopoeia! We learnt that this is a word that describes a sound and after watching a firework display, we created our class list of words to describe the sounds the fireworks made such as whoosh, bang, crash, whizz. We then used musical instruments to create firework sounds and described our sounds using onomatopoeia! When reading with your child this weekend, see if they can identify onomatopoeia in their stories - The Runaway Pea is a great one for this as it is a class favourite and one that the children all have so it is a great starting point.
 
In our physical work we used the Boomwhakers to create some firework music and danced around the bonfire as if we were fireworks! We also enjoyed working our gross motor muscles creating powder paint process art outside, using large sweeping brushes. Process art allows children to explore and self-regulation - it is not about the finished product, it is about allowing children freedom of expression - sometimes in Pear class, our art work may not look recognisable, but it is definitely valuable!
 
*Well done to Ayva Sheil who is this week's Star of the Week for remembering some important facts and her increased confidence and resilience!
 
We hope that you have a wonderful weekend, 
 
Laurie Horne-Smith
 
Magic maths!
Literacy - describing our firework sounds using onomatopoeia!
Building The Houses of Parliament!
Bonfire Night exploring!
Creating firework music in PE using Boomwhackers!