Maple class Term 3, 2021/2022

Welcome to Maple class’s Term 3 blog!

We were happy to welcome new friends into our class.

We have thoroughly enjoyed playing and exploring, learning and investigating, building and creating masterpieces.

Our theme for this term was “Inventors and explorers”, and Maples have really given it their all! We have learnt about different types of professions, made our own rocket ship that we loved to play in, and shared with each other ideas on what we want to be when we grow up. We built a house in the forest, created a camp site where we could sit and discuss things, both serious and funny. We performed our own plays in the classroom and used clay to form letters and even write our names.

Every morning we sing our welcome song, learning each other’s names and sharing news. We are starting to remember the days of the week and months of the year as we sing our songs.

We have worked very hard on our Maths, through a variety of different activities. We are learning to add up to twenty confidently, using cubes, dominoes, chestnuts … anything! We really enjoy playing with the number mats and are learning to sequence numbers using the number mats in various games – both inside class in circle time and outside on the large playground. We are learning to recognise and create simple patterns and we can count from 0 to 20 and backwards from 20 to 0! Maples are also starting to notice that there is math all around us, even in everyday activities, like dividing our snacks, the number of steps to the canteen, the number of days in a week or months of the year. Everywhere we look, we can identify shapes, whether these are triangles and rectangles in a house with windows and a door or in the toys we bring for show-and-tell (eg the book is square or rectangular, the shields are round or oval). We are discovering and exploring different materials and textures of things around us (plastic for storage bins, fabric for soft toys or clothing, wood used for a toy hammer or metal for a toy police car). It is interesting to expand our vocabulary when discussing the differences and similarities, using our senses to discover and discuss the qualities we observe.

Literacy is awesome and we have loved to listen to stories, including “The most magnificent thing”, “Izzy Gizmo”, “The Gruffalo”, “Whatever next”, “How to catch a star”, “When I grow up” and others. We have shown that we remember many key details, we can predict what can happen next and we are very good at sequencing events and empathising with characters in the story. We are sharing the joy of storytelling by bringing our favourite toys into class and telling our friends about it, answering their questions, sharing and comparing with each other. We also have the pleasure of various people reading stories to us, including students from Walnut class. As well as reading, Maples are learning Phonics through the Jolly Phonics method. We are learning our first sight words through different exciting and interactive play – card games, sand-box tracing, writing with crayons outside, are just some examples.

 Our class loves Art, and they put a lot of effort into everything they do. The children have enjoyed drawing cat faces on paper plates for their kitty hospital and making a colourful cat collage with colourful tissue paper in teams of two. The rain and muddy puddles encouraged us to re-look our tree display board in the entrance and we decided to make our own mud to paint with. Our art easels were the trees in the forest with paper fixed on them. We used our mud mixtures to create different textures and once dried, we used these for decorating the tree trunk of our display board in the school entrance – please have a look on your next visit! The class put a lot of thought and effort into making a large rocket ship, represented in some of our books this term, for exploration of the moon and catching a star. Maples loved making their own valentine cards (practicing our heart patterning) and tracing and cutting stars for our displays.

Maple class loves to learn new songs and learn different actions to move to the music and words. They are learning about tempo and how we can express ourselves through music by dancing, acting, drawing, and singing. We did a whole group drawing project, listening to the song Le Printemps – Vivaldi and feeling the music and hearing the tempo and cadence and then interpreting this onto paper. Another project we really enjoyed was learning the song Castle on a Cloud, planning, and designing our costumes, set space, and performing the song (song attached below). We went to the forest to find large enough sticks to be strong horses, and back at school we added eyes by hammering 2 golden pins in each and adding fabric and decorations of choice. Everyone helped with the sewing of the white maidens’ costumes, and we constructed and painted our own set for the show. To see their excitement as the project developed, with their input and imagination, was truly inspiring.

 We love exploring both the forest and the orchard, collecting natural materials found on our daily visits to use in class for art projects. We also use nature to help us count, compare, and trace in the mud. This term we did a lot of work on balance, using the balance beams in the forest, both thin and thick tree trunks. We had a lot of fun playing balloon tennis in the orchard, practicing our hand-eye co-ordination. Maples love free play and exploration, and they adore climbing trees! They are learning that thin branches are not necessarily the safest to stand on, and they must be very careful when taking risks. They also built a wooden house in the forest this term, applying their learning from the previous term’s house to make the structure more secure and big enough to allow them to play inside. This required strategic planning, teamwork and physical power. When not in the forest or orchard, we also went outside to play with our new friends, learning how to work together as a team to manoeuver a ball on the parachute  – a lot of teamwork, concentration and listening skills needed for success. We also had a fun session using the sticks we collected in the forest, together with string, to make very large bubbles!

Et voici ce que Maple ont fait ce trimestre, en français.