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This is where you will find photographs and videos of our Autumn Adventures
AUTUMN TERM 2
The festive season descended upon Owls Class with a spot of tree decorating 'Owls Style' and preparation for our Nativity. We have learned that there is so much more to Christmas than chocolate, presents and Santa! For Christians it is an important point in the year when the birth of Jesus is celebrated and we have retold this important story in Owls Class with the help of our Dormice friends through 'Our First Outdoor Nativity'. We have explored different Christmas traditions from around the world ... some people leave out shoes not stockings ... did you know that?! And, discovered that 'Santa' has many different names. In Ms Hayward's house he is called Father Christmas! We even found the time to write a letter to Santa and, following our maps, took a short walk to the post box to post them. With the help of Auntie Mabel and Pippin we discovered the journey a letter that we post goes on and how it reaches the recipient. Above all we have talked about the importance of spending time with the people that we love at this time of the year and with this in mind have spent time creating special 'gifts' for those we love
The children have all impressed us with their approach to talking about Remembrance Day. They were clearly familiar with the symbol of the poppy. We have talked about the significance of this and why it became such a symbol and the significance of the purple, black and white poppies respectively too. Together, we watched the CBeebies Poppies animation, breaking it down into sections, using our fantastic 'word collecting' skills to retell the story in our own way, building one or two sentences each day until we had a whole story. Our sentences/story are hanging proudly alongside our poppy creations on the windows of the classroom. We explored making poppies in a variety of ways having watched a short clip telling us how the real poppies and wreaths are made (the children asked how they were made). We used play dough, paper plates and tissue paper and whole range of loose parts to make our own versions. Visiting our Remembrance Garden in school (and doing our bit to get it ready) allowed us to make connections between our conversations and the animation we had watched ready for our observance of the silence on 11th November 2021. Our visit to the community centre after Remembrance Sunday allowed us to make further connections too.
With a little help from Jessica and her family (CBeebies) we have been learning how Diwali is celebrated. Before this we talked about how we prepare for a special occasion in our families and came up with ideas like ... balloons, cake, music, presents, fireworks, songs. As we watched and listened to Jessica we were able to see that the preparations for Diwali were not dissimilar to some of our preparations. In fact some of us could not believe our eyes We enjoyed talking about and acting out the Diwali story of Rama and Sita, marvelling at the ten headed Demon King and enjoying the idea that Hanuman the Monkey King was in possession of the superpower of flying. Recognising the significance of diva lamps to the story we 'had a go' at moulding our own, decorating them and lighting them too.
Not wanting to waste our pumpkins we took them to the woods with us and with a sprinkling of seed, and a handful of fruit (chopped by our fair hands) we transformed them into feeders for the birds and other wildlife that may pay our woods a visit. Most were chosen by the children to be placed high in the trees (as high as we could reach anyway!!) but the largest pumpkin was just too large and heavy to find a suitable spot. We didn't want it falling on Mr Timms' head!!
AUTUMN TERM 1
The latter part of our first term together was spent being a wee bit 'spooky'. There were pumpkins and spiders, eyeballs and skeletons and a spot of 'witchy tea' too The obvious thing to do with a pumpkin is of course to carve a face into it but it is rare that in Owls Class that we do the obvious! So we started with a spot of mark making, followed by some painting and then and only then did we dare to peek inside. We found that the flesh inside both our ghost pumpkin and our orange pumpkin was much the same colour as the other ... this is not something that we predicted at all!! The seeds as we flicked them onto the paper allowed us to practise our maths skills ... subitising in particular. Did you know that the ability to subitise is a skill which we are all born with?! It is the ability to instantly and automatically recognise the quantity of a group of objects without the need to count them (conceptual subtisising) and/or to see the smaller quantities within the larger quantity (perceptual subitising). We use the phrase 'What do you see? How do you see it?' in Owls Class to promote this and the children are doing incredibly well now they have moved passed replying "with my eyes" when we ask them how they see something. Armed with their pens they could be heard saying "I see a 2" or "I see a 3" whilst circling the seeds into a group on the paper. Marvellous Maths in action right there Owls! Well done!
We created spiders using potato mashers which was met with much hilarity (apologies if you find your masher at home being dipped in paint ) and pretended to be a spider ourselves learning that a spider has the ability to coat its legs and feet with a substance to avoid sticking to its own web. How clever is that?!
We suspect that we may well return to the spooky fun post half term as we put our pumpkins to even more uses and we hear all about our 'trick or treating' adventures over our mid term break!
All too often we are told by the children "I can't do it!". We do not accept this at all! In actual fact Owls you might just not be able "to do it yet!" We have shared Tom Percival's story 'Tilda Tries Again' (See link to story video below). The story introduced the concept of developing a mindset of 'keeping on trying' and 'not giving up'. We do not have to know everything or how to do everything all at once but what is great is if we can 'give it a go' We have seen so many examples already whereby you have all 'been like Tilda' ... putting on your own coat ... cutting your own food at lunch time ... taking off/putting on your own shoes and socks before/after PE. The first time we went out to the 'purple track' to 'do our daily mile' how you all moaned. I thought we had a class of wolves, you 'huffed and puffed' so much at the thought of running around the track. I had to keep checking for the Three Little Pigs and their houses Fast forward to the present day and already your attitudes are changing ... we can now complete half our daily mile (2 laps) with increasing speed. I think we need to up the challenge, don't you?! In the woods we have witnessed so many of you persevere with climbing the trees and using the rope and tyre swings ... we are so proud In the classroom you are overcoming challenges daily ... finding ways of solving problems ... using your name cards to support you to write your name on your works of art and so much more. You are developing your resilience skills. Keep it up Owls!
If you take the time, engage your 'noticing' eyes and simply take a look you will find so many mathematical opportunities around you ... in your home ... on a walk ... when you visit the supermarket ... and of course in our classroom. The colourful Numicon shapes in our classroom support us to make connections between numbers and how they are made up of smaller numbers, the concept of 'odd and even' numbers and even counting in 2's. When we use the junk modelling on offer to us we are using our measuring skills ... how long will my tape need to be to connect these two things together? ... as well as our understanding of how different shapes fit together ... what will a straight sided shape do for me or would I be better with a curved shape? Our magnetic shapes allow us to explore the concept of shape too. Natural materials offer so many opportunities to practise noticing similarities and differences ... What is the same and what is different? ... "this leaf is purple and that one is green ... they are different!" ... as well as 'noticing' small quantities of objects within a larger group instantly ... "I see a 2 and a 1!" (indentations on the coconut) ... What do you see and how do you see it? In the instance of the conkers they fit perfectly in our ten frames. Who needs counting when you have a ten frame? The use of five frames and ten frames support children to recognise relationships between numbers. Take a close look what mathematical things can you discover around you?!
One of our young Owls discovered a snail shell which is not uncommon in the Woody P Woods. However, it having something inside it is! How to entice it out?! What did we think?! "I know let's put it on your hand Ms Hayward" send our little Owl Always up for a challenge Ms Hayward provided her hand and low and behold it worked ... from inside the shell emerged a tiny snail! Evidence was duly secured on our iPad for all to see. As it moved across Ms Hayward's palm it felt like the snail was tickling her. Being respectful of the fact that it was a living creature we explored this further and noticed that it left a trail of slime behind it as it moved across our hands ... it could even 'hang upside down' on our palms too. We were able to observe at close quarters how it uses its tentacles to 'test' its surroundings to move safely and find food. One pair allow it to see and the other pair of tentacles allow it to smell. We noticed that the snail was moving its tentacles quite a lot, sometimes they contracted them and at others they extended them. We talked about where the snail might be happiest and the conclusion was somewhere "dark and damp" so off to the area under the slide we went. Who'd of thought that such a small creature could keep us occupied for the whole afternoon
Having control over our bodies is of such importance now and in the future. Much is involved when sitting, standing, walking and running and climbing and that is all before turning the pages of a book, picking up a pencil to write and draw. There is so much for a little person to do in this area of our development and learning. Sitting still, be it on a chair or the floor, is not as easy as you would think. It takes so much control over all our muscles in order for us to remain balanced etc. In Owls Class we are provided with many wide and varied opportunities to develop our gross (large) and fine (small) motor skills. Ripping and cutting herbs for our potions ... moulding and manipulating playdough .... exploring connecting junk model pieces and even making a 'party bus' ... connecting pieces of Duplo ... climbing in trees and working out how to pull and swing ourselves on the rope and tyre swings ... all contribute to the development of our motor skills. For us we are simply playing and exploring, doing the things we like, working out things work and what we need to do to be successful. Without even realising it we are slowly but surely developing our motor skills. Big movements, whole body movements ... running, climbing, swinging, kicking and throwing a ball or bean bag ... are the most important thing to gain control over. There is no point in trying to hold a pencil to form letters if we have not gained control over our large movements. We can do it but it may well be more tricky and can prove frustrating for us! So .... get climbing and running, throwing, catching and kicking balls, just move in a 'big' way Owls! It will help you so much