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In Literacy in spring , we have been focusing on digraphs, high frequency and tricky words and the skills to enable us to apply these in our reading and writing. We have really enjoyed revisiting familiar stories including “we’re going on a Bear Hunt” and “The three little pigs”, using talk for writing to help us retell the story. We also became writing innovators by changing characters and settings for the stories. We have also introduced new genres of writing in preparation for become storytellers in the Summer Term. We particularly enjoyed “Almost Anything” as part of Achievements week and thinking about the things that we could not do yet and writing about what we would like to be able to do. Within the continuous provision, there have been more opportunities for us to develop our oral story telling skills and many of us enjoy role-playing scenes from the book. As part of our writing focus, the children have started self-assessing their work and are always so excited when they have achieved their targets.
Our Maths Learning
The children continue to enjoy our maths lessons and it has been great to see their reasoning and fluency skills developing. In the spring term we continues to focus on addition and subtraction of single digit numbers including using the vocabulary of ‘more’, ‘fewer’. We began to introduce teen numbers with the focus on these numbers having ‘one lot of ten’ and the children are able to use a variety of resources, including tens frames to support their understanding of this concept. We will continue to explore these numbers in depth including partitioning, place value and addition
We have enjoyed practical activities to support our learning of ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd) including describing where our friends are in the line. We began thinking about different ways of counting to make it quicker. We have started counting in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s and learning when it is more useful to count in these ways for example when we are lining up and counting how many children are present in the morning by using tens frames. We have enjoyed using our continuous provision to explore length, capacity and weight during child-initiated contexts. Children really enjoy using the tape measures and rulers to help compare the length or height of different objects and they are using the vocabulary associated with this more frequently including ‘taller’, ‘shorter’, ‘thinner’ and ‘wider’.
Expressive Art and Design
In the spring term, we all completed a self-portrait. We looked closely at our facial features using mirrors and then tried to copy them onto paper. We then thought carefully about using colours for a purpose and chose the correct colours for our skin, eyes, hair etc. The teachers were incredibly proud of the work we produced. Following on from this we have improved our colour mixing skills, and are much more confident in using a variety of colours within our independent work.
Some of us have become ‘experts’ in using specific tools and resources within the EYFS2 unit and have loved being great friends and helping peers to develop these skills too. Outdoors, we have used our large construction to create our own role-play scenes including banks, restaurants, cars and lorries, to name a few.
A few highlights from Understanding the World.
On a Friday afternoon, we have been taking part in a focus session for ‘understanding the world’. We have particularly loved carrying out various experiments and the focus of these were on comparing different materials. We worked in teams to create houses linked to ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and tested them out to see which material was the strongest. Following this, we used cardboard as a shelter for our class mascots Tilly the Tiger and Nellie the Elephant and investigated what happened when it got wet!
We have taken part in several walks outside to consider the environment around us. We have looked at the changes of the season and what happened to our school grounds in winter. There were also some lovely conversations about the changing weather. Our sound walk encouraged us to tune in to the environment around us and think about what is happening in our local area. We were surprised about what we could hear when we listened carefully.
As part of ‘People and Communities’ we discussed Chinese New Year and how it is celebrated. We cooked some noodles, which led on to another experiment linked to how water is absorbed to make the noodles soft. Children loved seeing our giant sponges fill up with water and discover that the water made them heavier.
In Maths, we have been using resources including ten frames and part-part-whole models to help us understand numbers. As part of this, when we do our attendance each day, each class uses magnetic faces to represent their classmates. We are becoming more confident at recognising the amount as well as developing our addition and subtraction skills when a friend arrives or leaves “we need to add one more”, “we need to take one away”. Our reasoning is improving as the teachers ask us to “convince them” when we share our ideas.
This term, we have focused on improving our outdoor provision for maths. We have added many new resources such as numerals, timers, ten frames, part-part-whole models and many other things. This is to encourage mathematical thinking in a variety of areas in the unit, as we can choose where to work when we get busy.
Children now understand the vocabulary; represent, partition, count, altogether, add, take away, whole, part, equal, more, less as well as lots of language linked to weight, height, capacity and time. We are becoming more fluent with number.
Take a look at the photos below for a little insight into Maths in Reception...
This term in Literacy we have loved exploring a variety of books during individual, guided and shared reading. However, the tigers and elephants particularly love Friday mornings when their grown-ups stay and read with them. Practise makes perfect so we keep practising! As well as two reading books each week, we have also taken home high frequency words to practise to help us become more confident.
Some of our highlights this term were…creating story maps for the gingerbread man, discovering a new book in the ‘Pooping Dinosaur’ series (The Dinosaur that Pooped a Princess) and reading the messages left by our cheeky Christmas elf!
We have worked hard on our writing, too. We have been practising writing in phonics but also each week we post our super writing in the box to show our friends and share what we have done well independently. Our teachers have been very proud of us – we can all now write our names and some of us are even working on sentences using finger spaces and full stops!
Have a look at some of the photos below...
Understanding the World is a curriculum area in the EYFS that incorporates many strands including; People and Communities, The World and Technology.
This term the Tigers and Elephants have had some great opportunities to learn through exploring within school and the school grounds to also having visitors in school.
We learnt about the roles of police and firefighters and how they help our community in a multitude of ways. We loved exploring the vehicles, too! These opportunities inspire us to help the community in our own ways as well as developing the children’s understanding of job roles.
Looking after our class hamster, Coco enables us to see how animals are different to us, the children have enjoyed helping to clean her out, feed her and keep her tame by holding her gently. We have asked interesting questions such as “why does she have sharp claws?”, “why does she sleep all the time?”
Our visit from Freshwater Theatre Company provided the children with a multi-sensory experience when exploring the story of Diwali. They were active participants in the story as they learnt all about Rama and Sita and the Festival of Light. This provoked discussions about the differences between us, our beliefs and celebrations. Children were eager to get stuck into activities linked to Diwali, particularly enjoying Rangoli patterns.
Using the iPads has widened our understanding of how technology is used in a range of places and for a variety of purposes. We had great fun applying our skills by using the mathematics apps. We also loved using the camera to take photos.
We loved our STEM theme week linked to The Gingerbread Man! The biscuit experiment made us think carefully about different materials and how they change. It was great to hear vocabulary such as “melting”, “solid”, “gloopy”, “soggy”. When our Christmas elf visited, we could then make links to think about how our snowman had melted, and a few weeks later think about rescuing our elf from Elsa’s ice blast. Khaylan said:
“We could put it under the dryer" when we discussed our elf being frozen by Elsa and how he would be free.
"Why would it help to put it under the dryer?" I asked.
"It will, ‘cause when my things are cold I put them under the dryer and they get warm and melt. If we put him under the dryer he will melt faster ‘cause dryers are hot"
The excitement of Christmas has been huge and it was a magical moment for the tigers and elephants to see our Christmas tree and help to decorate it. This prompted many discussions about how Christmas is celebrated in our own homes and which other celebrations we may enjoy. The nativity performance ‘I Spy Christmas’ deepened the children’s understanding of the Christmas story and the true meaning of Christmas.