Welcome to Kingfisher Class
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Starting with a quick recap from the end of last week…Nursery had a fantastic morning on Friday, trying out new activities for our Sports Day. We moved round the carousel of activities, inspired by stories we have read, including the Fruit Relay (Handa’s Surprise), the Obstacle Course (What the Ladybird Heard) and finishing with a flat running race and the egg and spoon race. Thank you to everyone who came to support the event, we had a great time and hope you did to!
This week we have taken full advantage of the lovely weather and lots of our learning has been outdoors and based around our water topic. The children have enjoyed making muddy puddles, using spray bottles, making concoctions using freshly cut herbs from the garden (both practising their scissor skills and using their senses). Eye-hand coordination is practiced as children retrieve objects with tongs, aquarium nets, scoops, and fingers. Hand whisks, basting bulbs, and egg beaters require coordination and are fun to use. Small muscles get a workout as containers are filled through funnels, water is poured from container to container, squeeze bottles are explored, and spray bottles all help develop their small hand muscles, ready for writing. What a busy week! The children have also shown us great teamwork and cooperation this week, particularly with working together on ideas to mend a broken toy tractor and helping to repair some books in our ‘book hospital’.
Our zoo trip has been the highlight this week. What an amazing day with amazing children…their behaviour was outstanding and they were so responsible, each taking a walking partner and making sure their assigned grown ups didn’t get lost! We’ve been learning about similarities and differences in the animals skin patterns and markings and were particularly interested in animals that live/like the water.
Our story this week ‘Poo in the Zoo’ by Steve Smallman, has raised lots of smirks and giggles: teachers using the word poo in a story is just hilarious to young children. We have been focussing on the brilliant rhyming words in the story (such as the super duper pooper scooper) and of course it links with our school trip to the zoo.
With lots of sporting events on TV, such as Wimbledon and the Football with decided to play our own version of tennis this week, with balloons and fly swatters. The activity has been a huge hit with the children. They have been practising their physical skills, with gross motor movements and hand eye coordination, they’ve been learning about spatial awareness and having lots of fun playing this alone, with partners and in small groups.
All of the children have been practising really hard for our very own sports day. We look forward to seeing you all on Friday to cheer your children on in this event.
Summer is officially here, I can’t quite believe the longest day is done already this year. This week we have been reading a story called Sharing a Shell, by Julia Donaldson. The story lends itself well to this terms value of ‘friendship’: when the little hermit crab finds a shiny new shell he doesn't want to share it – not with a blobby purple anemone and a tickly bristleworm. Can the three creatures find a way to get along? We have had lots of discussions this week about what is a good friend and we have observed lots of intrinsically motivated sharing of toys, taking turns and being helpful to each other. Go Kingfishers!
We have also created beach art; painting with sand, to explore texture and using coloured beads to represent the jewelled colours of fish, coral and treasures found in the oceans. We have been able to play on our indoor beach/ocean role play to extend learning.
In the Nursery garden, we have been building a shady den to sit and enjoys books, drawing and mark making and somewhere comfortable to enjoy our lovely fruit snacks. Thank you for the donations this week, the strawberries 🍓 have been a real hit!
Our green jelly slime has been moved to the water tray outside as it was a little slippery underfoot in the classroom. It has been so much fun this week, but very messy. Another fun water activity has been making a cup of tea 🫖 the children all chose a flavoured fruity tea bag and followed the adults instructions to make their cup of tea. They were all very adventurous with trying the fruit teas, but we all agreed that they smelled better than they tasted 🤢
Lastly we explored water in it’s frozen form, with paint ice cubes on a stick. We were able to use these to do giant mark making and discovering that they didn’t last very long out in the warm sunshine ☀️
What did your child tell you about their week in Nursery?
Learning about Water…
We have been talking this week about water and what we know about it.
When asked why is water wet, the children really thought about their responses and this question led to a lovely discussion between the class. Some of what the children said can be seen below:
“because it’s made from rain- Arthur”
“Rain comes from the sky- Spenser”
“And down in the river- Benji”
“We see water in the sea- Charlotte”
“Dolphins and sharks live in the sea- Harry C”
“and like, normal fish!- Louis”
I hope you can see, from this one discussion, that we have lots to explore, using what the children already know about water? Possible lines of discovery include:
- Where rain comes from?
- The ocean habitat (and it’s creatures)
And we will look at both these more closely as our topic progresses.
This week we have introduced the ocean. We have looked at our new world map and through further group discussions, the children have learned that 70 percent of our world 🌎 is ocean. There is lots more water than land.
We have been reading stories about water, and the children particularly liked a story called ‘The Journey’ by Neil Griffiths and Scott Mann. They were able to follow a toy boat on it’s exciting voyage, when it was lost on a stream. It travelled the different water bodies; a mountain stream, waterfalls, a lake, to the river which flowed through a busy town (we were able to talk about sewage, plastics and rubbish entering the water), down an estuary and finally, out into the ocean. You will be pleased to know, I’m sure…the little boat had a happy ending, as it was swept up onto a beach and found by a little boy, who took it home.
We have also been using our bodies to move like ocean creatures, such as sideways on all fours like a crab, slithering like an eel, diving like a dolphin, swaying like a jellyfish and waddling like a penguin.
With other senses we have explored water in different forms, such as ‘touch’ exploring the texture of some green slimy jelly and ‘taste’ with a frozen ice-pop!
Lots more exploring water to do, but in the meantime, we would like to acknowledge all the men reading this, who help shape our little people. Have a lovely day on Sunday, and yes we are expecting photographic evidence of you wearing your carefully crafted neck ties
This week our task was to help the children recognise different emotions they may be feeling at home or in school.
It's important for children to learn to identify and express a wide range of feelings, while also understanding that others have feelings, too.
Learning about feelings and emotions is part of developing positive self-esteem and better relationships with others. As a child's emotional intelligence grows, they are increasingly able to use their emotional information to guide their own thinking and behaviour; in other words, to calm themselves down, share resources and use kind words and gestures.
Children who are able to name and understand their own feelings are better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of childhood.
We shared a story ‘The Colour Monster’ who had lots of mixed up feelings, we all talked about and named the different feelings, each feeling had its own colour. We asked the children to colour in their own Monsters to show how they are feeling. I think the ‘anger’ feeling was too much fun to practise, as we all got to roar really loud, stamp our feet and shout out “it’s not fair”. There were far too many smiles and laughter for it to be real anger 😡🤣
We have also been looking at the Queen’s official Birthday, coming up this Saturday and wondering what she might do for her birthday? To celebrate in Nursery, we have been having our own tea party.
Thank you again to Saddleback Farm for our delicious fruit snack donation...this week we ate a rainbow 🌈 of apples, pears, banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cucumber and kiwi fruit. The children have been creating pictures of their favourite fruits, looking at shape and colour, and using them for a purpose
We’re going on a Bear Hunt 🐻
Together we read the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (it’s a favourite). The children all join in with the chants in the story. We explore positional language, such as over, under, beside, beneath, inside, outside, on top, next to. We explore the places the characters visit (a grass meadow, river, a muddy swamp, a forest and of course a narrow gloomy cave)!
At the end of the story, when the bear chases them back home, we discussed whether the bear was a mean and grumpy bear or, was he chasing them because he wanted someone to play with? We chatted a while about our own feelings and why we do thing’s sometimes!
We explained to the children that now it’s their turn to go on a real bear hunt and find a friendly bear hiding outdoors. We had to find the bear track clues to discover the bears hiding place. The children
• worked together to explore the outdoor setting
• work together to plan a route around the space
• use their bodies to move in and out of hiding spaces and across obstacles
Hurray! We found the bear (many times)!
Using our early writing skills we’ve all had a practice at making pre-writing patterns to represent the places in the bear hunt story. These types of lines included creating both curves and loops and straight lines, such as:
Zig-zags for the grass
Waves for the water
Spirals for the snow storm
Some of the children also created picture maps using different materials and media to bring home.
Always a favourite part of the week, cooking or something around tasting food...this week we made Bear Toast for snack time before trying to join Wantage Library (Online) for their weekly Rhyme-time. The internet said no, unfortunately! So a quick rethink and we did some Cosmic Kids Yoga with a bear hunt theme and listened to Michael Rosen retell his story.
If you do have a chance to visit the local Library soon with restrictions being lifted, there is always something going on for early years and of course you can borrow lots of lovely stories to share with your children.
The only ‘homework’ we recommend in early years is regular ‘Reading’ with your child, as it exposes them to thousands of new words, new ideas and can promote a life long love of books...what’s your family favourite book to read together? Let us know by posting a photo on Tapestry and we can share with all the children in Kingfisher Class...
Week 5 - Learning about bees 🐝
We watched a video about bees, what beekeepers do and their special clothes, what the hive looks like on the inside. We talked about how important bees are and what we could do to help the bees.
The children have been sowing an area of our garden to make a wildflower garden. They have used seed bombs especially designed to help bees, these are called bee bombs.
We have been observing bees in our garden, they particularly like the rosemary (which is in flower), watching them go into the flowers and collect pollen and nectar to take back to the hive. They are very busy bees!
We have talked about the different jobs that bees have...The Queen looking after her colony, drones and worker bees. Some children noticed the shape of the cells in the hive are just like one of our friend-shapes ‘Honey Hexagon’. We have also been looking at a real wasps nest (empty of course) and reading some bee and bug stories such as ‘Bumble Bear’ and ‘What the Ladybird Heard’.
The children are all looking forward to tasting some honey at snack time Thursday and Friday, when we will make some toast and try some local honey
Week 4 - Worms
Inspired by Hadley’s love of finding worms in the garden we shared the ‘Superworm’ story together. After discussing the plot and some words that sound similar, for example ‘Lizard’ and ‘Wizard’ we set about making some play dough worms.
A challenge was set, “Who can make the longest worm?”
We had to practise rolling the worms under our hands, too much pressure and they were squashed, too little pressure and they didn’t get any longer! We talked about who we thought had the longest worm at the table, then Spenser came up with an idea of using a tape measure to check 📏
We counted the numbers on the tape measure 1-10 and some of the worms were more like snakes...above (14 inches). Louis did fantastic counting.
A plan was beginning to form and on Wednesday we made our own mini wormery. We have been collecting waste from our fruit snacks, in a new compost bin (which is not very full, as the children love their fruit!). This was added to layers of paper, sand and mud.
We had to do the worm dance in the garden to bring the worms up from underground, and then catch some. We now have some pet worms in Kingfishers classroom! The children have decided on some names. So far we have:
Peppa pig, George and Suzy, Pikachu, Jasmine, Laser, Flash, Wallace Worm, Pink Worm, Carter Worm, Hadley, Scarlett Worm and Daisy.
The children’s curiosity about nature has been sparked and they have been asking lots of questions about the things they see and the world around them. Some of the questions include “where do apples come from?” and “where does milk come from?” We have been discussing growing from seeds, and the other elements that help plants to grow, such as sun and rain and a good compost (hopefully we can see this in action, produced from our mini wormery). I am also glad to report that we have dispelled the concept that milk comes from cows' bottoms, and in fact cow's milk comes from their udders. We just love the conversation and ideas that come from the children in Nursery and do our very best to explore all of their ideas (and try to do this with a straight face)!
If you are not familiar with the story, here’s a link to a read aloud version of it, on YouTube by Story Train:
Please do remember to keep young children safe on the internet, by watching with them.
Inspired by a story called Dinosaurs’ Day Out...
We’ve been helping Dexter and Daisy find out how to prepare for a journey to visit their friend Delilah, and discussing what they might need for the trip.
The storybook includes lots of interactive maps and we have been teaching the children how to get somewhere using maps. We have all learned that we can read signs, using symbols we see (also known as environmental print), such as the signs for petrol, a cafe, toilets, a school, hospital. Also symbols/pictures on menus in a restaurant, and on the TV, for example the weather forecast (all these things were touched on in the book and we have discussed and played to further develop the children’s interests).
The children noticed signs for landmarks on the dinosaurs journey, such as a castle, windmill, bridge over the river and an Airport. We have been extending this learning by making our own maps with landmarks including ponds and forests.
We have also been practising taking left and right turns at junctions on the maps, and talking about different ways we can travel (fly, drive, rail, sail, walk, run, ride). The children have been keen to discuss their own recent journeys and places they have been exploring, past holidays and how they travelled to these places (and what they ate when there!). Some brilliant conversations have taken place and the children are learning about conversations in social situations, when to talk and when to listen.
We will be continuing with our exploring theme throughout Term 5 and will keep you posted about these adventures...