The Day the Crayons Quit Term
By teacher Cristina Mirabile
Birch class has been enjoying a variety of engaging and fun activities throughout these last 7 weeks! In literacy and numeracy, we have been using the carousel technique to work simultaneously with different topic and level groups. This works well in class and keeps everybody busy and focused on their task. Here are some examples of our work.
Speaking, Listening and Drama
For speaking, listening and drama, we have been playing games such as the “Hot Seating” (to express the character’s feelings), the “Conscience Alley” (to practise persuasive speech) and “Pair Improvisation”. Children enjoyed discussing and reflecting on various books: The Day The Crayons Quit (their favourite), The Lion who wants to Love, Giraffes Don’t dance, Up and Down, The Lion Inside, How to catch a Star and also some stories from the Mr Man and Little Miss book.
Everybody, gradually, has been gaining confidence in talking and making a positive contribution to the discussion while listening attentively to the other’s point of view. Also, so many new and interesting words have been learnt!
Our read aloud sessions got more and more engaging with book talks that helped children to understand the text, the characters, the facts and the authors. We also made links to other books and/or our own experiences. It was interesting to see how many pupils linked the fear that the little mouse experienced at the beginning of the story (The Lion Inside) to their own fear when they started school and did not have any friends.
Also, children spent at least 15 minutes every day reading to another person. They are becoming indeed enthusiastic reader!
Creative writing, phonics and spelling
Creative writing has been encouraged throughout various activities in class. We started three weeks ago using our Story Books for re-telling the story that we previously read in class but also for writing our own stories. Children love writing new stories! In The Day the Crayons Quit, they have learnt how to use adjectives to describe the book characters and how they can make our story more interesting and less boring!
Kids also had guided writing session where they practiced spelling, tricky words, punctuation (full stop, capital letter, question mark and exclamation mark) and letter formation. We have been spending 15 minutes every morning with phonics multisensorial activity. We explored short and long vowel sounds, consonant blends (L family bl-cl-fl-gl-pl-sl, R family cr-br-dr-fr-gr) and diagraphs (ch-sh). To add an element of fun we have also read together short phonics stories, poems and rhymes.
Kids have been working on count, recognise and write numbers 1-10 (20 and above for the more advanced); practice using correct language, symbols and vocabulary; order a set of one and two-digit number. They enjoyed working on one more/one less, addition and subtraction facts and words problem with hand on activities in the forest, collecting and sorting acorn, leaves and sticks!
Children have been enjoying multisensory activities to practice greater/fewer, number bonds, number patterns and sequences, also Singapore Math Method has been applied to solve words problems with addition.
We had lot of fun baking apple cakes! We practiced measuring and comparing quantities and we also sold them and raised £14 for the homeless!
The following week, kids made their very own hand made Italian pizza, so yummy, they made enough for all the school’s children and staff! What a teamwork that was, well done Birch!! We also had lot of fun making a volcano-shape focaccia with the leftover pizza dough. That was one of the many spontaneous cross curriculum learning opportunities!
Following the IPC theme “Who I am?”, children have been learning about the 7 continents of our world. They enjoyed making the floor puzzle of the world map (again good teamwork!), finding the country where their families come from and playing multisensorial activities to practice cardinal direction and compass points in the class and in the forest!
During the climate change strike week, we also had an assembly on weather and climate, to introduce the global warming and learn about recycling and all we can do to help the environment. Children also made very powerful and colourful signs and posters with clear messages on climate change and we walked outside school to manifest our intention to act on the matter.
In the last 2 week of this term children have been learning about landforms and waterbodies. They made a poster and a final quiz competition to check the learning.
Most of the time, learning has occurred spontaneously: children have also been walking into the forest observing the colour change on the tree and collecting leaves and sticks to make a lovely 4 season poster for our class display.
During the last week in school, Elm and Oak class held a very interesting science museum tour. It was very exciting to see mad science in action! Kids had the chance to experiment how the hydraulic mechanism work, how the water function and so on. They really enjoyed listening to the older kids explaining all the aspect of the machines.
Kids had a lot of fun in the swimming pool! They gradually gained confidence in the water and improved their technique!
We had fun also playing Capoeira which involves coordination, strength and flexibility.
We just started learning how to play melodica! Kids in this class are very musical and love singing and playing music together.