Dickens Class (Year R)
Year R is also known as Dickens class. We are currently a team of 14 children and two adults, Mrs Spender, our class teacher and Mrs Martin our teaching assistant. Together we make our time at school fun, engaging and rewarding.
Moving into the second half of the Autumn term we eagerly awaited a visit from Zoolab who brought in a variety of different animals for the children to learn about and hold. Did you know that cockroaches do not have any eyes and that African snails can grow as big as a football? As you can see from the photographs the children had mixed reactions to the different animals but we all learnt a lot.
As a class we celebrated Diwali by reading the story together and then turning it into a play using puppets we made. The children demonstrated a very good understanding of the different characters and events from the story in their re-enactment and great fun was had by all. One of the children made an excellent model of Ravana's castle using the 3D shapes. The children also made their own Diva lamps from clay which are nearly ready to go home. An example of the Diwali story written by Sawyer can be seen below.
Alphabetical order has been another subject we have been looking at this term. We have been singing the alphabet song, ordering the letters, as well as completing pictures by joining the letters in the correct order. As you can see from the photograph some children have really taken on the challenge of ordering the letters and worked as a team to lay them all out across the carpet.
Maths has involved measuring each other using hands and feet. A great competition began to see who was the tallest and some wonderful discussions around why the oldest child was not the tallest and the youngest not the shortest.
The whole class has also been exploring modelling using recycled materials and the different ways that materials can be joined. As you can see this involved a great deal of concentration as well as planning and evaluation of the finished product.
Literacy this term began with the class exploring 'Funnybones' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. The story took us on a magical but slightly spooky journey around the town, through the park and into the zoo to meet all the different skeleton animals. The children looked at the skeletons and x-ray pictures and discussed how their joints worked and how their bones fit together to support their body. Together we learnt the song 'Them bones' to help us remember the different bones in our bodies. Following this we went on our own walk through the park taking pictures of all the different landmarks we past on the way. Back at school we used the photographs to plot our own route maps which we then followed to see if we had completed them correctly, which of course we had!
Maths has included estimating, ordering and counting. The children are becoming increasingly more accurate with estimating the total number of objects they can see but we are continuing to apply this skill in different areas. Counting this term has involved a very popular game requiring two teams to move their animals across the river before the other team. This required each player in turn to roll a dice and move the correct number of animals across, either their own or the other teams in order to win. The children really enjoyed the friendly competition this generated.
We ended the spring term with a class visit to Kent Life where the children each had the opportunity to bottle feed the lambs and meet the litter of piglets. We sent the day looking and finding signs that spring was finally on the way. The children pointed out birds nests, rabbit burrows and the blossom on the fruit trees. A tractor ride was another favourite experience as of course was lunch!
We have started the summer term with new additions in the classroom in the form of stick insect eggs, silk worm eggs and caterpillars. In addition to this we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of chicks which are currently in the school incubator.
Literacy has included 'The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit' by Beatrix Potter. The children really enjoyed listening to the story about all the naughty things Peter got up to. We created a story sack about the book during World Book Day to celebrate our love of books. The home corner became Mr McGregor's garden shed and the sand tray became his vegetable patch. The children had great fun exploring all the different vegetables buried there. We have also explored 'The bad tempered Ladybird' by Eric Carle which we are planning to act out in our class assembly. Each child had chosen a character and made a mask and we are busy learning our words.
Maths has included a focus on time and the children have been exploring how long different actions take to complete. This had led to a number of timed competitions and linked to place value. In addition we have been solving money problems. The children set up shops around the classroom and took turns to take on the role of shop keeper. The children are becoming more confident with adding coins to find the total and we have starting looking at giving change.
Colour mixing has been a popular activity this term with the children challenging each other to guess which colour they will make next with the different combinations of colours. We are currently looking forward to Activity week which this year has an animal focus and hoping for good weather.