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Sunday 24 March 2013

...what a crazy few weeks!

These last couple of weeks have been a bit manic - I'm also meant to be writing my master's dissertation at the moment, but I am (unfortunately) the queen of procrastination and updating my blog is far more interesting to do!

So the last couple of weeks our literacy focus has been information texts;

We made an anchor chart as a class - the children had a variety of non-fictions texts to look at and we discussed all of their features and added them to some large paper - it's really helped them and also filled up my working wall too!


                    Ta - da!


We also made a poster for all of the cool facts that we found out from reading our information text books;

In the afternoons we have been doing lots and lots of art - I taught them how to draw a portrait and we then use lots of different media (such as paint, oil pastels, pencils using our newly learnt shading techniques) to draw a portrait of our friend. We practised really hard because we had a special visitor coming to visit us, King Charles II wrote us a letter asking if we could draw his portrait - he had a big space on his wall in his palace that he needed to fill.

He wasn't wearing the most regal of clothing, but the children were very excited that a real King came to visit us, especially as we had read lots about King Charles II in our information text books, and they produced some beautiful art work that I'm in the process of turning in to a Royal Art Gallery - so pics will be added when I finish it.

On Monday the children came in to a very messy classroom indeed...




Someone had turned all of our chairs the wrong way, our signs on the board upside down, there were four leaf clovers drawn on our carpet and poor Mr. Potato head was looking very silly indeed! We found a letter on our board from a tricky leprechaun called Lucky...

Most of the children had never heard of St. Patrick's Day, so we watched some videos about celebrating St.Patrick's Day and listened to traditional Irish music during our lessons that morning - they had such a great time!

Snack time was the best part of the day because Lucky had sent us some delicious treats to say sorry for making our classroom messy!

We had lucky charm cereal (at a hefty £5.00 a box, owch!!) and delicious green milk! Some of the children even began designing traps for how to catch Lucky;

 On Tuesday we went on a school trip to The Commandery Centre in Worcester - it's a 17th Century Museum, mainly focusing on the English Civil War - but they adapted it a little for our topic 'The Great Fire of London' which wasn't too far after the Civil War...

We looked at typical Tudor buildings and walked down a typical Tudor street... it was very different to the houses we live in today.

We were also lucky enough to read another person from The Great Fire of London that we had been reading about - Samuel Pepys. He told us all about the Plague and the fire, and he even read a little bit from his diary! 

Some of the children were lucky enough to try on the plague mask, which I found extremely creepy!

The next session on the trip surprised me the most - candles and quills. The children got to make their own beeswax candle, which they loved - and really tested their fine motor skills;

 Then they got to use a quill, practising to write how Samuel Pepys would have during the 17th Century....



...the room descended into a deafening silence!! I was astounded! ...even my most reluctant of writers sat there without muttering a word, concentrating on using their quill to write the alphabet.. and then even more shockingly, asking for BLANK PAPER so that they could write letters!!!

I'm going to make a trip to the park soon to collect some feathers and make my own quills - anything to get them writing!!

So that's it for now.. the last few days have been a bit crazy because we have no heating - the school was closed Thursday afternoon and Friday.. it's been snowing practically non-stop for 3 days now so I'm not even sure we will be in school tomorrow... we will have to see!

I've been making the most of spending time with Charlie, he's had so much fun in the snow...

Whilst the other half has been making the most of storing his beers in his new favourite way...

The snow may not look much to my American followers, but by British standards this is a lot of snow! With Easter beginning on Friday, it doesn't look as though we're going to have much of an Easter holiday...

Dani x

Sunday 10 March 2013

Great Fire of London

So our topic this half term is 'The Great Fire of London' and the children are absolutely loving it!!

We have a life size King Charles II outside the classroom (the first 3 weeks of our half term have been focused on measuring) so they can measure themselves in cms (standard form) and there's some crowns they can measure themselves against for non-standard;

                                               The crowns are in the background on my door


This is our numeracy working wall that we've been adding to for measure throughout the last couple of weeks.

I've also put out a numeracy interactive display which the children have really enjoyed - I placed some numeracy picture books related to measuring around the display and they have loved reading these in their free time - I'm definitely going to try and use story books more for my maths lessons. 

Another new thing I've added now I've finally found space for it in my room is a role play area - after being in the Early Years for 2 years I really missed having a role play section in my room, and I think the kids did too - they're so excited to use the bakery!! There's lots of numeracy and literacy opportunities in there for them - they don't even realise they're learning!

This is our Great Fire of London display - at the start of the term children came up with questions they wanted to find the answers too and we're going to add the answers to our display as we go along.


My phonics has also had a bit of an overhaul - I found towards the end of last half term my kiddos were getting a little bit bored of the same games.. (and so was I) so we have some new phonics games which they absolutely adore!!

I'm teaching alternative spellings at the moment for sounds, which I'm finding a little tricky myself.. so if anyone has any great ideas for teaching this then link me up.. I'll also share the things I'm finding that are working as I go along and I'll do a blog post specifically for phonics ideas.

Next week we're covering time and we're starting information texts for literacy so my working walls are up and ready for that

This is our class clock that's been given a bit of a makeover courtesy of my lovely student.

This is the start of our numeracy working wall that we will add to throughout the week;


 These are some clocks I made so the kids have some times that they are familiar with and can begin to recognise.

...and finally this is the start of our literacy working wall for information texts, I introduced information texts to them in Guided Reading last week which they loved - so I'm sure they'll enjoy making a class book on the Great Fire of London!

That's all for now - I promise I will no longer neglect the blog. Take care and Happy Mother's Day!

Dani x

Monday 4 March 2013

All is (eventually) well..

... sometimes you fall off the horse.. and you fall hard. So hard you don't think you can ever pick yourself up again, and everything you thought you were ever good at and loved becomes a questionable haze.

...but I have picked myself up, dusted myself off and I am back on the horse. I don't want to reveal too much on here,  but I have fallen back in love with teaching.. and that is how I want it to remain.

Teachery type posts will resume very shortly.

<3 lots of love to all who still follow