Miss Parker & Miss Rhodes :Team Squirrel!
Welcome to our Squirrels class page. Here you will find information and updates about our weekly learning.
Week thirteen (7.12.18) It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
This week the classroom has transformed into a Christmas toy wrapping station where the children have been busy wrapping presents for their friends and writing labels. Also Santa’s grotto has been a place where the children can relax, decorate the tree and look at Christmas books.
We have also been practising our snowflake role in the nativity… I am pleased to report it's going very well.
The challenges this week are linked to the nativity story. We read the story and talked about how not everyone believes in the story of Jesus. The people who do believe in the story are called Christians. The challenges are:
- Can you tell a friend who is in the story?
- Can a draw a scene from the nativity story?
- Complete a word search
In phonics, we have been learning the sounds l, ll and ss. This is now the end of phase 2. After Christmas, we will start phase 3. The children have been writing their Christmas cards ready to decorate next week. The children cannot wait to give them to you!
In maths, we are learning to count objects to 10 and beyond. To do this, we have been working in pairs to pick a card with a number on and for our partner to count out that many objects. Also, we have been counting Christmas objects and using a grid to highlight to total number of objects and write the number.
Forest school - toasting marshmallows!
Due to strong winds and hail Friday afternoon, we have postponed our toasting of marshmallows to next week. Although there is no such thing as bad weather... there is such a thing as soggy marshmallows!
This will be the last week for maths games. Please can we have all maths games back by Friday 14th December so we can refresh it for the New Year. Thank you.
Miss Parker has all phonics book so please do not think you have lost them. They will be given out the last week for the Christmas holidays.
Week twelve 30.11.18 ‘Dear Zoo’
This week, our theme has been focused around the book ‘Dear Zoo’. Most of the children already knew the story, so supported Miss Parker whilst reading it.
Our three challenges this week are:
- Draw a picture of an animal and label it.
- How many animals are there all together in the story?
- Sequence the story. Can you put the animals in the order they appear in the book
To keep to our theme, the children have been role playing animals in the wild. Many children have entered Africa to be giraffes and lions while others have been to the rainforest being frogs and snakes.
In the small world area the children have put the animals in different groups. This could be groups of tigers, groups of sheep or putting them in order of size or where they may live; such as a farm or zoo.
In phonics, we have learnt the sounds h,b,f,ff (ff is a long sound for huff or cuff.)
We have completed our first piece of independent writing. The children were asked to write their favourite animal from the book. They used their ears to hear what sounds were in the word. The children did so well hearing the initial sound, some middle sounds and the final sound. Miss Parker was very impressed: they went straight up on the children’s working wall so everyone can see them!
In maths, we are learning to count objects which cannot be moved. It is trickier than it sounds as we have to make sure we count all the objects and not miss any out. To do this we have counted claps, beats in musical instruments and even counted star jumps!
The children were given a challenge to count objects such as the windows, doors and cupboards around the classroom. Using a clipboard and chart, they had to fill in the number of how many objects there were.
Week eleven (23.11.18) Stanley’s Stick!
This week our theme has been on the book Stanley’s Stick. It is about Stanley going on many adventures with different shaped and sized sticks. With each adventure he goes on, he uses his sticks for different things.
To follow on from this we have drawn our own inventive stick…
Matilda has drawn a Christmas tree stick and Joe drew a builder drilling in the ground stick.
Also, we attempted to write the word ‘stick’ as ‘ck’ is one of our sounds this week! (‘ck’ is called a digraph. It means two letters that make one sound. We will be learning more digraphs soon!)
During choosing time, some children used nothing but sticks to create a painting or to paint their own stick. The stick used was either found over the weekend or found outside in the woods.
During forest school, we collected more sticks and created people out them by making clothes out of the natural resources or felt. Here are some we made.
In phonics, we have learnt the sounds, ck, e, u, r. To support our sounds, we have been practising to write them using our magic finger, the sand and on whiteboards.
In maths, we have learnt about 2D shapes. The children became experts by picking a shape and describing the shape to their friends. The friends then had to draw the shape they thought it was. The children used brilliant language such as, sides, flat and curved.
With our super shapes knowledge, we continued some repeating patterns. Working as a team the children helped one another ensure the right shape went next.
Please can you work on page 5 and work through the first 16 sounds. Please tick off the ones they know and ones we need to focus on. Also, page 7 has the tricky words on. Do they know these words well now? Again, please tick off If they know them or need to focus on them.
To extend their learning, could they practise writing the sounds?
Thank you for your continued support with home learning!
Please remember all sponsor money for the NSPCC needs to be in by Wednesday 28th November!
Week ten (16.11.18) “I wore a poppy on Sunday and was thinking for two minutes!”
This week we reflected and discussed Remembrance Sunday. To support our learning, we talked about what we did on Sunday and where we were, to remember those who died in the war.
For our challenges this week, we used word mats to support reading and writing a key word linked to Remembrance. Also we made our own poppies using split pins.
As a class we painted poppies to make our own wreath. Come and see our poppies on our working wall in the classroom!
Thank you to everyone who went through the first 8 sounds with their child in their phonics books. They were so excited to show us what they had done! Also, it is a great way of seeing what sounds they remember in a different environment.
This week we have learnt the sounds d, g, o, c, k. To support our learning we have been reading simple words with these sounds in and also reading our tricky words. Then we build them with magnetic letters, then wrote them. Here are some great examples of how busy the children have been.
In maths, we have been looking at numbers which are significant to us. First we talked about our age, our mums and dads age (some were a little hard to believe…) and the ages of our siblings. Next, we talked about the number house we live at and any other numbers which are important to them.
To follow this we looked at individual numbers. We started with number 5.
Here are what the children said about number 5…
Matilda said, “You cannot split number 5 in half equally."
Toby said, “If you had ten, then took away a five, you would have five left."
Isabelle said, “It is an odd number.”
Joe said, “It is an important number to me because I am going to be 5 in December.”
We have had a great time in the beautiful autumn sunshine. It was blistering windy day, but that did not stop Squirrel Class being busy exploring the woods. We made dens, worked as a team to move heavy logs, climbed trees and explored the texture and sight of different trees.
We will be focusing on a book called ‘Stanley’s Stick’. Over the weekend if you are out exploring, can you find a special stick that looks like something?
Could be a musical instrument, a tool, telescope or an animal? Please label it with your child’s name so we can use it throughout next week.
Also, on Tuesday 20th November, we are raising money for the NSPCC by completing a dance-a-thon every hour of the day! Please can you bring back your sponsor forms by the end of next week.
Week nine (9.11.18) Happy Diwali!
This week we have been learning all about the festival of light, Diwali. We have learnt that people who are Hindu celebrate Diwali. We found out the festival is a time for spring cleaning the home, decorating the house with lots of lights, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts, preparing festive meals and putting on firework displays.
Throughout the week we have learnt the story of Rama and Sita. Each day the children remember the story more and more and can tell Miss Parker the characters and main events.
This weekend, see if your child can recall the story to you.
To celebrate Diwali we have made our own Diva lamps, using clay. Once dry, we painting them with bright colours. Then we put a tea light in and gathered round to look at everyone’s beautiful lamp. Also, we made rangoli patterns, designed a hand in mehndi and reinacted the story of Rama and Sita.
In phonics we have learnt the sounds i, n, m, d. We have been on letter hunts and played Obb and Bob. Obb and Bob is where the children have to segment and blend a simple CVC word, then figure out if it is a real or fake word. The children really enjoy this game and are getting good at solving if it is a real word or fake.
In maths the children have been getting into groups of 2, 3, 6, 5 and 10. They work together to ensure they have the right amount of people and support those who need more or less children in their group.
Also we have been improving our counting skills and number recognition by playing bingo. Each child has a grid with different numbers on. They have to take turns in counting the spots on the ladybird to see if they have a match. This game was played independently in a small group. They followed the rules, took turns well and showed brilliant counting skills.
Please can you continue practising the tricky words. The children come into school full of excitement sharing their knowledge of tricky words! So you are doing a great job, thank you very much!
Please can you focus on the first 8 sounds on page 5. On the top of the page is a marking code to follow. To extend their learning you could get them to practise writing the sounds or simple CVC (consonant, vowel consonant) words such as:
sat, tap, at, map, sap, pin, pam, tin, pat,
Could we please have the phonics books back Monday morning - thank you!
Week eight (2.11.18) “I can tell you the sound of the day!”
Welcome back! I hope you all had a well-deserved rest. There has not been much rest for Squirrel Class this week. We have started maths and phonics, Codie’s Challenges, made yummy Halloween cakes and had a whale workshop who shared many interesting facts with us.
During play to learn, the children have been exploring whales and the other beautiful sea creatures in the water tray in preparation of the whale workshop.
Also, the theme this week is Autumn and the children have been exploring our investigation table. Thank you to those who brought brilliantly interesting things in. We had moss, sticks, pumpkins, squashes, conkers, shells and a beautiful peacock feather. One of Codie’s challenges is to draw something from the table, making sure they look, think, draw and colour every bit of detail they see.
In phonics we have learnt these sounds: s, a, t, p. we have been finding words that have the different sounds in, regardless if it is at the beginning, middle or end of the word. We practised segmenting and blending CVC words and attempted to write the sound.
At home this weekend, look around your house to see how many objects you can find that have the sounds s, a, t, p in them…
In maths we have been ordering numbers up to 12. The children have become number spotters and work as a team to put the numbers in the correct order. We have been finding the smallest numbers first and making our way to the biggest number. Also, we have talked about odd and even numbers, understanding and explaining that and even numbers can be split equally in half. The children are able to explain the number needs to have equal amounts on both sides for it to be an even number.
As a class we made yummy pumpkin cakes. We talked about the ingredients we needed and how much was needed. Following the recipe the children independently makes some delicious pumpkin cakes ready to eat before the Halloween disco!
As part of our challenges, the children had to make pumpkins using their scissor skills, co-ordination and patience. Here is one made by a fellow team squirrel...
Life long learners
A huge thank you to the parents who came and created what they think makes a life long learner. Attached at the bottom of this page is your hard work. Please take a look as it will be something I aim to achieve throughout the year, as will you. This way, all our children can be life long learners at Langrish!
A few reminders:
In P.E bags please could we have a spare pair of white socks. This is so the children who are wearing tights have socks to wear with their trainers.
Purple mash logins – In your child’s reading records, you will find a purple mash login on the inside of the front cover. The children have been using purple mash during their ICT lessons. You can now use it at home with your child. Once logged in please go to mini mash. Have fun!
RRSA – as you may already know we are a Rights, Respecting School. Throughout your child’s time at Langrish, they will learn about their rights and understand why we have them. A pocket book of children’s rights from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been sent home for you to keep and look at with your child.
Week seven (19.10.18) All the children deserve a well-earned rest!
I am shocked to be saying that I cannot believe it has already been half a term with Team Squirrels! I just wanted to say a huge well done to each one of your children. It has been a pleasure getting to know them as individuals and to watch them grow. Enjoy the rest and I am looking forward to a term full of learning, autumn-ness and of course the nativity!
This week has been full of creative loveliness! The children used different shapes to make a picture. We had flowers, castles, boats, people and rockets!
Forest school has been full of damp and dark adventures… the children have been digging deep looking for bugs. We found some extraordinary long worms, spiders as big as the children’s hands and many earwigs.
We also made journey sticks. A journey stick is where children find a stick, which has some string attached to it. The children then go around the forest looking for things to attach to their stick, using the string. All the children took part and Miss Parker loved that each stick was very different. They looked brilliant!
Challenges this week:
- Can you make a spider? Find and use what you can around the room to make some legs.
- Can you label and describe a Halloween character?
- Can you find all 15 spiders with numbers on around the classroom?
We did a fantastic job at ordering numbers 1 - 30 as a team. Miss Rhodes then told them about odd and even numbers. They investigated what an odd or even number is by putting the correct amount of bears on the number, then finding out if it is an odd or even number but seeing if it can be split equally in half.
Meet the teacher
A big thank you to those who came to the meetings, I hope you found them useful. Please find attached a copy of the presentation and proud clouds at the bottom of the page.
Important! Please note the next meeting is on Tuesday 30th OCTOBER not November at 2:30pm.
Something to do over the half term holiday:
Go out exploring and find three interesting things to bring back to school. There will be an investigation table ready for what you find!
Week six (12.10.18) Go Team Squirrels!
For our art afternoon, we went out to the front of the school and collected the beautiful pink and red leaves and made our own hedgehogs!
This week in forest school, we explored the chilly, foggy natural environment by looking for bugs in damp, dark places. Using magnified glasses and bug boxes, we were able to look at each bug carefully noticing how many legs it has (if any) and its other features.
In P.E we played a great team game called 'fruit salad'. The children were put into their house colour team and as fast as they could, collect their coloured objects one at a time. Once all collected, they had to sit down together to show they were finished. First team to be sat down were the winners!
All the children collaborated well and followed the rules perfectly! Miss Parker was very impressed.
Play to Learn...
During 'play to learn', the children have shown an interest in writing, whether it be on the ground with chalk, using the large whiteboard outside or sat down at the table with paper and a pen. Miss Parker is taking this interest and questioning the children’s writing for a purpose. They could all explain what they were writing and why they were writing it. Many were writing lists or writing observations on the children (with a clipboard and pen in hand, with their legs crossed on the chair). They would use the resources around the room with support with letter formation.
Challenges this week:
- Can you tell someone how many people are in your family?
- Can you draw a picture of the people in your family?
- Can you label who is in your picture?
As a class, we talked about what labelling is and how to do it. To support their learning the children can use word mats. All the children attempted to complete challenge three, however to take ownership of their learning the children would ask for support in writing their family members names. They confidently copied it from a whiteboard, helping to sound out their names.
Next week is our meet the teacher at 2:30pm and 5:30pm on Tuesday 16th October! I hope to see you all there!
Please look at our class charters we made as a class for ICT and Rights Respecting at the bottom of this page!
Week five (5.10.18) Let the challenges commence!
This week we have brought something new into the routine. We have introduced Codie’s Challenge!
Codie’s Challenge means there are 3 challenges to complete throughout the week with each challenge getting slightly harder. To support the children and introduce more independence, if they cannot read what the challenges say, they can listen to the voice recorder that tells them each challenge.
All the children have taken the challenges in their stride! Once they have completed the challenges they put their name into a pot. This then enters them into the raffle to take Sid the Squirrel home all weekend AND to choose something special out of Miss Parker’s box!
This week’s challenges are:
- To write your name on a super special piece of paper.
- To find something taller than you and something shorter than you.
(There are only two challenges this week as it is their first time completing the challenges.)
During choosing times, we have had many requests to play the Greatest Showman. The children amazingly know all the words and enjoy dancing along pretending to be on stage.
To follow on from this, the children have created puppet shows using the puppets ad role-play masks. We have some brilliant showmen and women who confidently introduce the show and narrate what is going on.
We are practising our sounds by singing songs and making up actions to support and remember the sounds.
We have been blending simple CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant). Then independently, the children have used the magnetic letters to create their own CVC words to blend and read.
In maths, we are matching numicon to the number. The children are beginning to use numicon more confidently and for a purpose. Also linked to our challenge, we have been using the language and finding things that are taller and smaller than certain objects.
You will notice your child coming home with a reading book in their book bags. This is to get started on knowing the sounds and blending for simple reading. Also the word cards are 'tricky words' (words that cannot be phonetically sounded out). They are words we just need to know, so getting your child used to seeing them is a great way of getting started.
I will be talking to you more about reading at the Meet the Teacher on Tuesday 16th October!
Week four (28.9.18) “Frog, log and jog all sound the same… They must rhyme.”
The children have loved the sunshine this week, however, they have noticed it is getting a little chilly! They have been cooking dinner for each other in the role-play shed. They have also been looking after the babies by wrapping them up warm from the cold and taking them for a walk. The children have also chosen painting, play dough, lego, bikes and the water tray. Using the puppets and masks, the children have been role playing different traditional tales... Can you guess which story the children are acting out?
This week we had our first P.E lesson! We completed different activities in the hall such as balancing, dribbling balls and using streamers… Here are some photos to show you how good we are at balancing. Some were super brave and balanced on the tall beam with no help from an adult!
In our forest school session we were told the three important forest school rules. They are:
- Always stay in the forest. If you need the toilet, tell a grown up first then use the outside toilets.
- When you hear ‘3,2,1, come back everyone’, all children must come back to sit around the fire circle.
- Children must not enter the fire circle unless invited by Miss Parker.
Miss Parker wanted the children to explore the environment so they could get used to the uneven grounds and explore all the natural resources around them.
If the children wanted to, they could make forest crowns using the natural environment around them.
Phonics and Maths
We have begun completing different activities linked to phonics and maths. In phonics, we have been matching pictures to the sounds. We needed to hear the initial sound in the word to make a match. Also, we have been recapping on rhyme by looking at the pictures and making a match. Some children have even tried to sound out the word to attempt reading.
In maths, we have been using the interactive whiteboard to practise counting. We have been counting the gingerbread man’s buttons and finding the amount by pressing the correct number. We have some brilliant mathematicians in Squirrel Class! They children carefully counted one button at a time and sometimes double checked to ensure they counted them all.
Week three (21.9.18) “I can’t wait to tell my mum I went to my first assembly!”
The children attended two assemblies this week, which they were brilliant in (they showed up the rest of the school). Mrs Jones was super impressed! There was a singing assembly where we sung ‘Sing Hosanna’. The children joined in when they could and sat beautifully. Also on Wednesday, we had Cat Protection in school to tell us about how we can help cats and what Cat Protection do to help them.
It has been a great week of finding things out for ourselves and being more independent. To do this, the children have found ways to resolve problems without going to an adult as their first call. For example, using a sand timer is a great way to take turns fairly. It involved deep discussions about who would have the toy first and what timer to use. They worked out the longer the timer, the more time they had with the toy. However, the shorter the timer means they do not have to wait as long for the toy. It was tricky decisions but they got there! From this, it then encouraged other children to use the sand timers to play fairly and well.
We have had future builders building homes for people to live in, creative artists making jewellery boxes and potion makers! The children have taken a big interest in mixing water and fresh mint leaves which is found in our garden to make potions. It brings a brilliant strong smell that the children love. They use sticks and mud to add different ingredients to their potions.
We will start our P.E lessons Monday afternoon so please ensure P.E kit are in school. Also over the weekend, please allow the children to get dressed for themselves for extra practise ready for Monday afternoon.
Forest school will also start Friday afternoon. Please ensure the children have wellington boots at school along with waterproofs as the weather is changing fast!
Don't forget to bring in your food/ toiletries donations for the Harvest Festival next week!
Week two (14.8.18) “Are we really here every day…?
It is the children’s first full week at school and I think it is safe to say, they gave it their all but are totally exhausted!
"I'm the big bad wolf and I am going to blow your house down!"
"I used all the colours for my painting."
It has been a week of routines, rules and exploring. During circle times, we have been allowing the children to share their bears with one another, talking about their adventures in the summer holidays. They will be coming back home throughout the next two weeks so keep an eye out for them.
Also for circle times, we have been exploring number by going on a walk around the school looking for all the numbers we can find. They were everywhere!
As well as number, we are recapping on rhyme and early sounds in phase 2 phonics through puzzles, flashcards and songs.
By Tuesday, we had a child ask, “Are we really here every day now?” It was hard to break it to the class that they still have fourteen years to go!
The children have been coming in brilliantly to school and barely need Miss Rhodes or myself! They show a confident, happy smile as they walk down with their classmates or siblings. Well done everyone!
Date for the diary:
On Tuesday 16th October there will be a ‘Meet the Teacher’ in the Year R classroom to go through E-learning journeys and home learning with you. It is also a great opportunity to share any questions you may have about your child’s year in Reception.
The times are 2:30pm or 5:30pm so I hope to see you there.
A little gesture to help us out:
Please ensure when dropping your child off to school that parents/carers wait with their children until an adult is present, especially in these early days.
When collecting your child at the end of the day, please can you stand near the classroom so Miss Rhodes and I can see you. This will make it easier and quicker to see you. In addition, if another member of the family is collecting, could you get them to tell us who they are and who they are collecting.
Can you ensure the children have their reading wallets in their bags everyday. Do not worry about what is inside the reading wallets (reading record and tricky words) this will all be explained in the Meet the Teacher on Tuesday 16th October at 2:30pm or 5:30pm. Also, please check them daily for letters!
Week one (7.9.18) Welcome to Squirrel Class! Let the fun begin…
Miss Parker and Miss Rhodes are very proud of Team Squirrel this week! We loved visiting you in your homes, seeing what you like to play with and of course showing us the cool stuff in your bedrooms!
The children had great first days at Langrish. We went on a tour of the school meeting all the teachers, office staff and Mrs Wright. It was great finding out where everything is; such as where they go for lunch, P.E, music and most importantly, where all the toilets are around the school.
Throughout the day, the children chose what they wanted to play with. There was computers, animals, sand, role-play and much more… we also had some great games with the parachute!
Here are a few things to remember for next week:
P.E kits in a P.E bag – blue T-shirt, black shorts, hoodie, jogging bottoms and trainers.
Forest school clothing – wellington boots, waterproof trousers and jacket.
Bears – we will begin to share each of the children’s adventures with their bears! They will stay in school for the first half term.
Please ensure ALL clothes and shoes are labelled with names.
Miss Parker and Miss Rhodes will be there to meet the children at the main gate Monday morning at 8:30am. If your child has a sibling they can come into school with them and take them into Squirrel Class.
We look forward to having the whole class together on Monday!