Blog week ending 9th Oct

What an exciting week we have had this week. It has been one big harvest celebration in Pear class!
We have been so impressed with the level of engagement from all of the children... free writing has certainly started in our classroom and we hope you can help us to cultivate this at home. Whatever the children choose to write is important, even when it makes no sense to us! The only thing we would ask you to correct at home would be the letter formation. Every letter should be started from the top and I have included a sheet with our rhymes so you can be using them with your children. 
Our RWI focus sounds this week have been 'o', 'c' and 'k'. We have been building octopus, making crowns and constructing kites. We have also introduced the children to Fred Talk. At school, we use a puppet called Fred who can only speak in sounds, not whole words.  We call this Fred Talk. For example, Fred would say d-o-g, we would say dog.  Your child is taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence to make a word.  We start with blending oral sounds, then progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word. We have been focusing on the sounds we have already learnt and working on blending these cvc words such as t-a-p, m-a-t, p-i-n, etc.  We call these words green words as they are words that Fred the frog likes to sound out. It would be fantastic if you could practise this at home using Fred Talk with your child. For example; 'it is time for b-e-d!'
In our mathematical work we have revisited 5 as this is a tricky number for the children to form - practise makes perfect so home learning for this week is to practise this number in any way - using paint, sand, rice, water or any other imaginative way you can enthuse your child to write it. Remember 'down and around with a flag on high, that's the way we make a five!'. Alongside this we have selected the number five shape in numicon as well as using  5  number one numicon pieces to demonstrate to the children that five can be made in different ways. Our higher ability children were able to take this a step further and chose some different ways to make 5 - a number 2 numicon with a number 3 numicon and a number 4 numicon and a number 1 numicon. We realised that there are 'five' representations on our body - we have five toes and five fingers on our hand. One child cleverly pointed out that we did infact just have four fingers, but after a class discussion we came to the conclusion that the 4 fingers and one thumb equalled one whole set of 5. 
Whilst exploring the textures, colours and shapes of our harvest produce, the children also worked to put these products into groups - either based on colour, the feel of the vegetables or even the different sizes.  The children enjoyed exploring the feel and texture of these vegetables and there were some very interesting discussions about tea-time at home!
We have been exploring harvest in our afternoon sessions this week, focusing our efforts into being thankful for the food we eat, that farmers work so hard to grow. We used our wonderful mark making skills to produce pictures of the food we are thankful for and many of us were able to hear/write the initial sounds in the words. 
Following on from this, we watched videos on farm machinery in action and went on to work in groups producing our own Combine Harvesters. The children were able to talk about the function of the Combine and some were even able to tell us the names for the different parts! We enjoyed exploring the vegetables in our harvest farm tuff tray, used our fiddly fingers to hammer golf tees into pumpkins and wrote invitations to our classroom Harvest Festival! Please see our video of us singing you our Harvest song!
As it was space week this week we used the story Aliens in Underpants Saved the World as our focus text. We learned that a meteorite was a huge space rock and undertook our own experiment to see what kind of a dent meteorites make in the planet. We found that stones made the biggest dent in our 'experimental planet' and that gems made the least! We thoroughly enjoyed getting very messy with flour! Alongside this, we created spotty underpants, made paper plate spaceships, split-pin astronauts, played with the small world space set and created junk model rockets - we had a fantastic time exploring space!
Towards the end of the week we enjoyed a fun session in PE navigating space as sharks, explored during Forest School and planted daffodils for Pear class garden - we will hopefully see the fruits of our labour in the spring-time!
Well done to Henry Mcardle for being Pear class Star of the Week for his insightful answers during carpet wonder time.
Have a great weekend,
Laurie Horne- Smith
Magic maths!
Exploring Harvest and building Combine Harvesters!
Space Day!
Exploring time!