* STARRY, STARRY NIGHT *
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.
As the nights draw in and the weather gets cold and frosty, we have been looking at the different festivals that people celebrate in the run up to Christmas, and conducting scientific experiments into light and dark, using torches and the dark tent in our classroom.
We learned that white light from the sun is actually made up of all the colours of the rainbow. We are investigating this by making flitter jars and experimenting with torches and water. We made goggles with different coloured lenses. Bella, Abigail, Hosanna, Henry and Ferdy loved imagining what the world would be like in different colours!
We have been talking about light, shadows and materials all morning thanks to our homemade flitter jars. Flitter jars mimic the snow domes that have been popular since Victorian times, which contain objects in a swirling snowstorm. For ours, children brought in an empty jar, filled it with water, used pipettes and food colouring to change the colour of their water and spooned in glitter and metallic confetti. ALL BY THEMSELVES!
The children enjoyed learning about how shadows are formed; used and explored the meaning of key vocabulary - liquid, patterns, shadows, light, movement and change; made and explored an object and observed it closely; explored phenomena and looked for patterns and change; described, talked about and recorded what they observed; became aware of cause and effect and offered explanations.
Õ PUMPKIN SOUP Õ
One of our books of the week is Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper. Cat, Duck and Squirrel live in an old, white cabin in the woods with a pumpkin patch. Every day Cat slices up some pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in some water and Duck tips in a 'pipkin of salt' to make perfect pumpkin soup for a cold evening. We tried it ourselves. First Leo found a pumpkin in the garden; Hosanna got all the cooking equipment ready; Jack tied his apron all by himself; Michael got to work with the peeler and then chopped up the pumpkin with a VERY SHARP knife!
Next France-Fontaine chopped up a carrot and cut it into ten pieces. Chopping onions made him, Henry and Jack cry! Emi and Emilia helped out, pouring in the water and stirring the soup until it was ready. We added a pipkin of salt and Antoni tasted it and gave it the thumbs up.
Hands-on cooking activities help the children develop pride and confidence in their skills and abilities. It develops their small muscle control and eye-hand coordination, inspires their curiosity, offering new opportunities to make predictions and observations. It also offers a great opportunity for mathematical and language development and allowed us to act out a story that has an important message about friendship, loyalty and teamwork. Plus we got to show off our skills to local celebrity Kitty AND eat the end result.
Some of us are now going to make a missing poster to help Cat and Squirrel find Duck and others are to going to write some simple instructions for how to make pumpkin soup.
At the beginning of the year we thought about different aspects of our lives, our families, our homes and ourselves. We brought in baby photos and thought about what we can do now that we couldn't do then. We talked about what we liked, what we didn't like, what made us happy and what made us sad. We looked at how our amazing bodies worked, and explored our senses.
Throughout the year, play is an important vehicle for fostering mathematical concepts and developing positive attitudes to maths and problem solving. Look at Austin, Ferdy, Benjie and Zuzanna, all following their own mathematical fascinations during play. When we gather daily to do our formal mathematical focus, the children have had crucial, practical experience.
In religion, the children are learning that they are special to their family and to God. They are beginning to understand that when we help others we are pleasing God.
Year 6 buddies
We have an amazing team of around ten Year 6 buddies who regularly give up their lunchtimes to practise reading with individual children, teaching them turn-taking games and encouraging them to become articulate and confident.
We all wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2017.