Week Beginning 13th November 2017
This week was not only poetry and non-fiction writing week but also anti-bullying week and Children in Need! A busy week. The children rose to the challenge and managed to pack in lots of super learning as well as having time to explore skills during self selection (continuous provision).
In English we wrote poems using our senses (science link) that were based on our bonfire night experiences. Then the focus shifted to non-fiction writing and creating sentences that shared information about the first chimp in space. We watched the film about Ham the chimp who set off into space in 1961, an experimental mission to check that humans could survive in space. A lively discussion arose about the ethics of sending a poor defenceless animal into space, especially after snatching him from his family as a three year old wild infant on the continent of Africa. The children were thrilled to see he arrived back safely and lived to good old age after his adventure. We played a true or false game in teams and had to sort the real facts from false facts - this demonstrated how easy it is to change history! Luckily we had film evidence of the event as it is in living memory of some of our older relatives. Ham's bravery allowed the space race to begin in earnest. On Friday's big write we used the research and adapted it to make our own fact sheet about Ham. During the week we also drew our families to celebrate difference as well as create a poster that showed what a good friend and a bad friend might behave like. If we always do our best to be a good friend then we can stop bullying.
n maths we looked at ordering random numbers to 100, as well as consolidating our learning about place value, the value of both digits in a two digit number. We also looked at ordinal numbers, as numerals and words. we continue our work on our class targets; 'to know the pairs of numbers to 10'. Some children have been working on these at home and are now getting quite confident! They could try ; 'to know the pairs of numbers to 20' challenge.
In History we ordered a space timeline - key events in the race into space and in more recent history. Can you remember the name of the last Englishman who travelled into space? You could research him with your chilren at home.
The aliens have been blamed for the repeated blocking of our Year One toilets with mounds of clean toilet tissue! It would be awful to think that a child in Comets or Shooting Stars could be capable of such a thing! The tissue costs the school a lot of money to replace and those funds would be better used on writing pens or glue sticks. We have spoken at length to both classes - could you please discuss the need for care with school resources to ensure that it doesn't happen again!
As autumn begins to fade and winter sends its chilly fingers across Nottinghamshire, we are all donning our warmer clothing. Our cloak room is cramped and difficult to keep tidy! Please ensure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled and that your child tries their best to keep them on their peg.
If a costume list for 'A Wriggly Nativity' have not reached you yet then it soon will, we are sure you will be creative and work with your child on their specific characters outfit! Thank you in advance for your support with this.
Week beginning 6th November 2017
The aliens are ever present in our classes, leaving us messages to decode and urging us to translate our names into alien using the code breaker. We have been sharing lovely picture books that involve aliens and expanding our vocabulary. We will continue to look for clues as to where they are hiding and what they are up to!
In English this week we have been focusing on retelling the story of Beegu, orally and in written form. The week saw us progressing our skills until the big write on Friday. Everyone had a go and gave it their best. This piece of writing will set our writing targets for the next few weeks. It may be capital letters, finger spaces, full stops, spelling common exception words correctly or adding exciting verbs or adjectives. Knowing the text so well helped us develop our vocabulary as well as help us think of sentences to write.
In Maths we looked at counting in tens, up and down to 100. We then tried counting in tens from any given number using a hundred square to support us. Did you know that tens get bigger as you go down the columns? They then get smaller as you go up the columns! The ones digit stays the same too! We noticed and discussed these patterns. On Friday we started to count in twos, these will help us with our odds and evens as well as counting larger amounts of objects reliably. We are all becoming more confident with our numbers to 100.
In science we recapped on materials and described their qualities. We looked at the most common materials and uses. If you have time, spend some time with us at home to help us recognise how materials are used in our homes. Watch out for wood, metal, plastic, fabric, stone and glass. How many bowls do you have made of different materials, or drinking vessels? Which materials do we use most for decoration in our homes and which are more practical?
In phonics we looked at the phonemes oy, ir, ue and aw. We did practical activities, read sentences and wrote down words using these phonemes. Help us spot them in our reading and encourage us to say them as a phoneme and not break them into single phonemes. For example the word 'draw' should be sounded as d-r-aw. We also looked at the words Mr Mrs looked going and said.
In music we have been exploring alien songs that encourage us to use different pitch as well as working on our Christmas production songs.
In our geography we have been exploring the solar system and trying to remember the order of the planets, which ones are largest and which ones smallest. Do you know where Earth is in the order of planets from the sun?
We had our very first spelling check (replacing the words by sight work) and it was evident that a lot of work has gone on at home, so thank you for your support. New words will be coming home every Friday for you to work on daily, as well as mixing in some of those that have been done already to ensure they have been remembered. If your child picks them up quickly then test them with dictated sentences. If they are struggling a little then play snap with the words, put them around your home and play find the word, pop them on the stairs and as you go up and down they can be said out loud. Encourage the use of letter names (alphabet) rather than phonemes when sounding out.
We are looking forward to another exciting week of learning and wonder what exciting things our teachers have planned for us!
Week Beginning 30th October
In English this week we received a recorded coded message from some visiting aliens. The universal translator on our computers translated the message and we found puzzle pieces around our classes. We pieced them together and discovered a photograph of a flying saucer hovering over our playground trees! There was also a piece of text from a book on our shelves all about a visiting alien who needed friends. We think it is the aliens telling us they are friendly. They promise to visit again - we wait with baited breath! We looked even closer at the book (Beegu) and have begun to sequence the story and give actions to each part. We have created word banks of WOW words and hope to use these in our own retelling of the story next week. We have also written about one illustration from the book, sharing what we can see, what we think about Beegu as a character and her motivations.
In Phonics we have now moved on to phase 5 and looked at the first four digraphs; ay as in h/ay, ou as in ou/t, ie as in t/ie and ea as in ea/t. We have played games making words using the phonemes, helping us segment and blend more confidently. We have made alien words and real words and read sentences full of words using these digraphs.
In Maths we have looked at place value; what each digit in a two digit number represents. We have been building on our maths from last half term where we ordered numbers and used more than and less than. We have used numicon, arrow cards, ten sticks and ones to help us understand 0 as place holder. We even looked at alien numbers using 'chips and peas' ll :: = 24. We ended the week with trying to fill in a 100 square, hoping to show our confidence in place value as well as knowing our numbers to 100. We will come back to this so we can see how much we have improved!
We have begun our new topic, 'Moon Zoom' and our rooms have begun to grow into space and alien themed areas. There are alien notices to decode as well as new role play and small world to work with in the afternoons during our continuous provision. In science we have started looking at common materials such as wood, metal, glass, plastic and clay, this will carry on throughout the half term. We have also been painting, creating stripes and adding water to cause a bleeding effect. This is being turned into planet mobiles, watch out for them in our classrooms, they look space-tacular!
On Tuesday we began working our our Chr*****s production (ssshhhh its a secret) and learning our class songs. In our second PE sessions we will begin choreographing our class pieces for the production. Costume details will come out soon so that you can prepare in good time.
We sent home the first set of spellings on Friday, if for any reason they didn't make it home - the book bag goblin likes munching messages - please ask and we will give you another copy. The spell check will be on Friday 10th November and new spellings issued on the same day. Please work with your child so that the words are read by sight and spelt correctly and consistently. Put them into simple sentences, hunt for them in books, play pairs games with them etc.
We are constantly working on our afternoon timetable to facilitate continuous provision, guide reading sessions, topic work and two afternoon plays a week (these are when we have music on Tuesday and PE on Thursday, which both leave little time to engage in topic studies). It is a delicate balance between delivering a play based curriculum and making sure we have coverage and breadth of study.
So far the children have worked well with our changes and there have been no grumbles, if anything they have risen to the challenge and are showing greater maturity.
Please sign up for parent evenings, details on parent mail.
Week Beginning 16th October
In English this week we have continued our learning about Robin Hood. We sent a detailed message to Robin Hood to let him know that the Sheriff of Nottingham had captured Maid Marian. Luckily, he received the message in time and rescued her. We also created some sentences about a sequence of pictures where Maid Marian fought off a guard who tried to take her away again. She managed to flip the guard over and put him in a pig sty which the children found very amusing! In handwriting this week, we have focused on vowels. If you could reinforce what the vowels are at home that would be very helpful.
In Phonics we have continued to explore phase 4 by spotting phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs in words to help us segment to spell and blend to read. We have made our own alien words using phase 3 digraphs and phase 4 clusters. We also read and matched labels about real-life superheroes.
In Maths we have started to learn about subtraction. We discussed the different vocabulary for subtraction and also explored strategies to solve it. To begin our learning, we practically subtracted using uni-fix. Then we moved onto using drawings and crossing out. Finally, we used a number line to count back.
In our Topic this week we have been very busy! On Wednesday we had our superhero dress up day where we created our own healthy fruit smoothies. The children understood food hygiene and were fantastic at carefully chopping up the fruit. On Friday we had a visit from real-life superheroes. The fire service let us sit in the fire engine and use the hose. They taught us that if there is a fire we need to get out of the building, stay out and then call 999. We also learnt that if there is a lot of smoke it is best to get low to the ground and if fire gets onto our clothes we need to ‘stop, drop and roll’. The children were very polite and listened to the fire fighters brilliantly even though they were very excited.
On Tuesday we also performed our harvest songs at the church. I’m sure you will agree that the children sang beautifully and were impeccably behaved.
When we return to school our topic will be different so watch this space and have a lovely half-term break.
Week Beginning 9th October
In English this week we have been learning all about Robin Hood.
On Monday we acted out the story of Robin Hood and explored using our body language and facial expressions to create freeze frames. We have written sentences about Robin Hood and Little John meeting on the bridge and debated about whether we think Robin Hood is good or bad.
We have continued to do daily handwriting to practice our letter formation. This week we have focused more on the zig-zag monster letters.
In Phonics we have continued to explore phase 4 by spotting phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs in words to help us segment and blend to read. We have also looked at the tricky words he, she, we, me, be, said and so. We have written a sentence dictated by the teacher focusing on reading our work back and checking for capital letters, finger spaces and full stops.
In Maths we have continued our learning about addition but we have primarily focused on counting on. We have introduced number lines and modelled how to count on by accurately jumping up. We have used this to solve addition number sentences such as 6+3 but we have also started to look out how to use number lines to solve missing addition number sentences such 6 + __ = 9. Some of us have also used numbers up to 20.
In our Topic this week we have been outside to spot the signs of Autumn. We collected leaves that were different sizes, shapes and colours and used this to decorate a giant arrow thinking about composition. We also had a go at making leaf rubbings, Robin Hood finger puppets, and paper straw arrows.
In Year One we have started to set up ‘zones’ for when we have continuous provision in the afternoons. We have a sand zone, water zone, junk modelling zone, puppet/theatre zone, construction zone, small world zone, and role play zone in the cloakroom/ shared area. Within the classroom we have a maths zone, writing zone, reading zone, computing zone, colouring zone, and creative zone.
Each zone has a mission set for the week e.g. to create a LEGO bridge for Robin Hood to cross the river in the water tray.
This week we have sent out a letter for you to access class dojo from home. We are hoping to use this to communicate more with you to share classroom moments, photos and updates. So if you haven’t already please sign up it is completely free. If you have lost the letter just let me know and I will reprint it for you.
Don’t forget Tuesday 17th is Harvest Festival and Wednesday 18th is our Year One Superhero dress up day.
Week Beginning 2nd October
In English this week we have been continuing to explore rainbow grammar. We created our own rainbow grammar sentences using pictures of Evil Pea e.g.
Evil Pea hid on top of a cake.
Some of us used adjectives to add detail, the three-star challenge was to use two adjectives with a comma e.g.
Evil Pea hid on top of a delicious, pink cake.
We have continued to do daily handwriting to practice our letter formation. This week we have focused more on the one-armed robot letters.
In Phonics we have started phase 4. We have continued to spot phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs in words to help us segment and blend to read and we have also practised reading the tricky words ‘said’ and ‘so’. We had to segment to spell words containing digraphs in order to break a superhero code. The next day we were sent a top secret envelope with clues inside. After reading the clues in our learning teams we discovered that some real-life superheroes were coming to visit us! It was very exciting.
The fire service came to visit us on Wednesday but unfortunately there was an emergency so they had to leave. We are hoping to rearrange the visit soon so the children can learn all about fire safety and ask the firemen the brilliant questions they thought of. Watch this space!
On Thursday some children reached 18 points on the class dojo for reading at home. They got their own certificate and can bring in a book from home to share in class next week (thank you for reading so much at home).
In Maths we have been learning all about addition. We have discussed the different vocabulary for add such as plus, altogether, total, sum, make etc. We practically made our own addition number sentences using + and = symbols with unifix. We have also started to record the number sentences on white boards and have also introduced ‘counting on’ as a strategy rather than counting all.
All the adults in Year One have been really busy setting up the learning environment to make it the best we can for the children. You may notice that a few things have changed around following our inset day.
Week Beginning 25th September
In English this week we have been learning all about nouns. We matched the names of our body parts to an appropriate verb.
We also started to learn about ‘Rainbow Grammar’:
Subject- who/what (green), Predicate- what it did/what happened (orange), Stop- . ? ! (red). We matched the subject and predicate to create sentences that made sense. We also started to make our own sentences on coloured card based on our super bodies. Some of us even used adjectives to add detail e.g.
I chew with my sharp, metal teeth.
We have continued to do daily handwriting to practice our letter formation. This week we have focused more on the one-armed robot letters.
In Phonics we have continued to revisit our phase 3 phonemes. We have filled in phoneme frames to match the pictures and named aliens using phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs. We revisited phase 3 tricky words (he, she, we, me, be, you, are, her, was, all, they, my) by playing bingo which the children really enjoyed. When you are reading at home encourage your children to instantly recognise the tricky words and see if they can spot any phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs.
In Maths we have been learning all about number bonds. We have used the part-part-whole method to split numbers up into different parts to create number sentences. We have modelled using a systematic method to ensure they have found every possible way, this has encouraged the children to spot patterns and check their work. We have particularly focused on number bonds to 10 as children in Year 1 are expected to instantly recall these. To practise this we have used numicon, multi-link, games, and ladybirds. It would be great if you could practice number bonds to 10 more at home so they can quickly recall them, we will continue to revisit this throughout the year.
You may have noticed that we have opened a ‘S.P.I.D.E.R Investigation Station’ in Comets Class. The children have loved being secret agents researching about superheroes and looking for clues with the magnifying glasses and torches.
We need your help!
We desperately need your help to develop our KS1 outside learning spaces. We want to try and create outside ‘learning zones’ with lots of outdoor play equipment as well as access to creative/writing resources.
We need people who will be willing to run and organise a couple of fundraising events where all proceeds would go towards this cause. Please get in touch if you can help!
Week Beginning 18th September
On Monday a surprise letter arrived from Evil Pea saying he had captured Supertato and all the vegetables! Luckily all the children in ‘Comets Class’ are undercover superheroes so they found the vegetables and saved the day. Thankfully we managed to rescue Supertato and capture all the Evil Peas as well. We decided to freeze the Evil Peas so they could not escape and commit more terrible crimes. Some of us also wrote letters to Evil Pea to tell him about our successful mission. We had so much fun!
In English this week we have been learning all about verbs. We have ‘magpied’ verbs from stories, worked in teams to select missing verbs to make silly/ real sentences, and we have been on a verb hunt around the room. We have also been doing daily handwriting to practise our letter formation.
In Phonics we have been revisiting our phase 3 phonemes. We have sorted words into nonsense and real words and we have also had a go at making our own. We have been revisiting phase 2 tricky words (I,no, the, to, go, into). When you are reading at home encourage your children to instantly recognise the tricky words and see if they can spot any phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs.
In Maths we have been ordering numbers by their size sometimes this has been ‘smallest-largest’ and other times it has been ‘largest-smallest’ so we have had to look carefully at the words. We have been identifying one more/ one less than numbers to 10 using cubes and number lines to help us. We have also investigated odd and even numbers by exploring whether we can share them equally. We started to spot patterns and discuss rules to identify odd and even numbers.
Mr Peat has started to take some children to do a bit of gardening once a week. Everyone will get the chance to have a go and I know they are very excited about it.
'We are Comet Class, we are cool,
We all go to Westdale School,
Learning powers as our guide,
In our work we can take pride.
A new year has begun. New class for the children, and a new school for Mr Hedges. Settling in has gone quite well for all of us, only a few tears in the morning (mostly mine), and everyone has chuckled, giggled and tried their best.
Our starting topic is 'Super Heroes' - please check out the attached newsletter for extra detail.
We have been exploring the book 'Supertato' and Evil Pea has been spotted in the school building. The children remain ever vigilant! We have discussed super heroes we admire, be they real (mum, dad, nan etc) or imaginary (Batman, Super girl etc) and the children have been showing us their writing skills. Lots of speaking and listening has been happening, with ideas being shared and questions being asked. We have labelled parts of 'Supertato' and 'Evil Pea' which led on nicely to labelling the human body (science).
Our maths focus has been to secure our knowledge of the numbers to 10, their numerals and word names. We have counted out various amounts to 10, compared them using words such as greatest, least, fewer, more, less etc. We have played team games to encourage the use of mathematical language and explanation. We even counted back from any given number! That was a little tough for some of us but we will keep returning to it throughout the term.
A six week break is a long time and some of us have fallen back in to old habits with our letter formation, so there will be a lot of focus on letter formation as well as numeral formation and orientation. It is vital that we get these correct at this stage so that we can share our ideas with a wider audience as we go through school. You may be asked to work with children on this first thing in the morning or even as a little home task. If you are unsure of our handwriting policy just ask a member of staff.
Across Year 1 we are providing continuous provision as best we can in the afternoons, offering the children the opportunity to self select tasks as they did in F2. Our curriculum is quite full and a year is not really enough to cover everything in depth as it is, so we do run more structured mornings. So far nobody has downed tools and demanded time to 'play' and all the children have risen to the challenge of working on a task together instead of small isolated groups. This does allow greater coverage as well as aid maturity and responsibility for learning.
Don't forget 'Meet the Teacher' this coming Thursday, where we will inform you of the Reading Dojo award scheme as well as topic over views, homework, how you can support at home etc.