Blog week ending 22.10.21

It is the end of a successful first half term in Reception for our Pear Class Friends!

We are incredibly proud of how the children have adapted to the learning environment in Reception – they have all made great strides towards becoming independent and resilient learners and we look forward to seeing the foundations that have begun this term continue to be built on throughout the course of the year. Our children have taken the first steps to becoming readers and we hope you are as excited as we are to see the progression of these skills!

In our RWInc sessions this week we have been focusing on the new sounds ‘u’, ‘b’ and ‘f’ and creating umbrellas, flowers and balloons as well as working on our Fred talk with green words and Fred talk games. Alongside this, we have introduced the children to the red words ‘I’ and ‘the’ as well as creating sentences using these words. It has been really impressive to hear the children form their own sentences independently. It would be helpful if you could work on sentences at home with your children using these words, as it helps to lodge them into the children’s long term memory. Our rule is that you can’t Fred a red! These are the words that cannot be sounded out and need to be rote learnt.

I have sent home a pack complete with our red word wall 1 included, as well as a sound mat. It may help your child to cut these into flashcards and practice them at home daily to help instill the sounds and red words that the children will need to know as we begin to introduce them to decoding words in books after half term. A week without sound practice is a long time and children do tend to forget if we do not continue  to practice daily so this is a homework focus for the holidays.

In our maths work our number of the week has been number 1. The children enjoyed singing the song ‘one finger, one thumb keep moving’ and watching the Numberblocks number one episode as we talked about the ‘oneness of one’.  The children worked hard to think about and compare the number one with representations. We had to sort these representations according to whether they showed 1 or 2. For example some children saw a nose and thought this showed 1 nose, whilst others could see that his nose had 2 nostrils therefore it could represent both 1 and 2. We have also started to look at the number line developing our understanding of place value and think about what comes before and after our number. We did this by jumping forwards and backwards. We know that zero comes before 1 but we had lots of discussion about zero being from a Latin word that means empty or blank. When we talk about zero we mean there is nothing in that set. It is important that children understand and use the term zero when building up their knowledge of the place value of number.

Alongside making the number 1 and creating our own wonderful worlds for 1, we looked at the shape of the number block number 1. The children described the shape of his face as being a square and we know that a square has 4 sides, not 1. This led to the introduction of the magic shape box that we used to blow up the flat 2d square shape into a 3d fat shape called a cube. This looked a lot more like the number 1 numberblock and we could now see 1 cube but this cube has 6 faces! Ask your child over the weekend what shape is numberblock number 1 - can you challenge them to find some items around the house that are cube shaped?

In our topic work this week we have been consolidating our learning on the seasonal changes of Autumn. We discussed the changes in weather, the darker skies, the changes to the seeds and trees, the celebrations taking place in Autumn such as Halloween and Bonfire night, the animals like squirrels and shrews beginning to store food and get ready for winter and the birds who will begin to migrate to warmer climates. The children produced beautiful collages to present their understanding of the differences they have observed over the last few weeks.

Drawing club this week was a roaring success! We read the story Not Now Bernard a story about a monster who gobbles up a little boy and his parents do not seem to notice! We decided to draw our own monster and the children used some fantastic vocabulary and imaginary story telling to describe their characters to me. The progress in our children's vocabulary and fine motor skills just over the course of the last few weeks is fantastic!  Drawing Club is merely an opportunity to allow children time to respond to text through images they create from their own perceptions.  You can do this at home with your children to help them to develop these skills. Rather than teaching children to draw through direction - "your character needs feet and a nose" etc, try to do it through conversation with sentences like "I wonder how your monster/character is going to get into the house? how do you think your monster will reach people to gobble them up? what password will your monster need to help him to grow monstrously large?" This is a wonderfully fun way to develop our children's listening and communication skills as well as vocabulary acquisition through what they perceive as play rather than enforced drawing. If you call something a club, all children want to join... Why not introduce Home Drawing Club-  we would love to see your family designs!

In the latter part of the week we have focussed on the story of Handa's Surprise to celebrate Black History Month.  The children have enjoyed tasting the different fruit in the story (such as mango, passion fruit, pineapple and avocado) and we talked about healthy eating.  Have they told you which was their favourite fruit?  Some of us have been retelling Handa's Surprise and playing with the characters in the story.  This has helped to develop our language skills and our understanding of the world.  We've also enjoyed creating repeating patterns with the animals and fruit found in the story.

Handa's Surprise is set in Africa so we have had a look at Africa and African culture.  We talked about the desert, jungles, waterfalls and mountains that are found there, as well as the different animals that can be seen.  We enjoyed looking at some photos from Africa too and saw some banana plants and some mangoes growing on the trees.  We have been creating some African patterns, like the ones we saw on some of the clothes, and I have been very impressed with the concentration and care taken with these!  We have had fun listening to some African songs too!

We hope that you all have a wonderful holiday and a well earned break after a busy start to Reception,

The Pear Class Team


Magic Maths!
Autumn Topic Exploring!
Handa's Surprise