This half term in literacy we have looked at all things Autumn and woodland. We have engrossed ourselves into many books. First, we really loved the novel ‘Owl Babies’ and it created lots of factual discussions about owls. We explored the question ‘what are talons? We enjoyed story sequencing, drawing and writing about our favourite part, designing and building a home for the owls in the wild area and acting out different parts of the story.
Then we loved ‘There’s no place like home’ and this also created lots of factual discussions about woodland animals and where they live. We looked at why certain animals live in certain places. We explored questions like ‘why does the squirrel live in the tree?
Then we read ‘Percy the Park Keeper – After the storm’. The children loved listening to stormy weather and describing what we could hear. At the beginning of the story, Percy is in bed worrying about the weather. We talked about that feeling and what you can do to help feeling worried. We also looked at sentence structure and the children were beginning to understand how to construct simple sentences. Together we wrote ‘Percy is in bed.’ They also enjoyed story sequencing, drawing and writing about their favourite character and designing a new tree house for all of the animals.
Then we had a factual week and discussed facts about Autumn and harvest. We discussed the many different fruits and vegetables that farmers harvest and have loved discussing our firm favourites! We also enjoyed learning about scarecrows and their purpose, plus we designed and made our own scarecrows!
After that, we looked at one of our most favourite books. ‘The Gruffalo’. We chose our favourite character and acted out parts of the story to our friends. We sequenced the story. We thought about how we could describe the Gruffalo. Even though the book describes him well, we tried hard to think of our own descriptions. We also wrote a descriptive sentence and descriptive words about him. We had our first baking session and we all baked some Gruffalo crumble! We talked about the ingredients and the baking tools. This went down a treat!
Finally, we finished of our half term with the lovey ‘Room on the Broom’ story. This got us right in the mood for the Autumn half term festivities! We wrote captions for all of the characters in the story, we made our own potions, we dissected and carved pumpkins and we made our own witch wands! We also enjoyed our schools Halloween disco. And even on the very last day, we had a virtual visit from Janey the witch. She read Room on the Broom to us and quizzed us on all things Halloween. We loved meeting her!
Firstly in Maths, we had a focus on sorting objects into groups based on properties. We sorted buttons into colour, then size, then shape and finally how many stitch holes they had. The children soon realised that not all are the same and we had lots of discussions about differences in properties. We’ve looked at pairs and discussed what being part of a pair means, how many is in a pair, objects that come in pairs, we matched objects with their pair and played matching games.
Then we had a focus on comparing objects by size, length and amount. We ordered natural objects by length, noticed when a group has more or fewer than the other group and enjoyed a teddy bears picnic where they shared food and noticed if any of the cheeky bears had taken more.
We also looked at repeating patterns using lots of objects. Such as natural objects, shapes, painted sponges and even fruit. The children started to make patterns with just 2 objects (a,b,a,b) but now they have challenged themselves and are creating patterns that have more than 2 in the sequence (abbabb).
Then in the last few weeks we have had a focus on numbers 1,2,3 and 4. We are learning every concept relating to each number, such as time, shape, money, value, how many, how to write it, what it looks like in a number sentence and much more. So when we’ve looked at the number 1, we looked at 1p, 1 o’clock, a circle (because of it’s one curved side), number blocks 1, Numicon 1etc. With this way of learning numbers, children have a good understanding and can apply that knowledge well in all activities. As time went on, children started to use more mathematical language in their play and were problem solving really well. They were noticing more too, such as adding different fruits and vegetables together in the shop to make 2,3 and 4, but also finding different shapes with 4 sides in the construction area.
In Art we used different medias to create Autumn animals and we have collaged owls from different coloured shapes. We have also gone into the wild area to create a floor picture of the ‘Owl Babies’ from natural materials, which followed the artistic traits of Andy Goldsworthy by using a variety of artistic effects.
We also had a focus on colour mixing with paints. We talked about the primary colours and talked about how we can mix those colours to make different colours. We also talked about shading and adding white or black to make colours lighter or darker.
We then looked at different artists that linked to our maths learning when looking at shapes. We have looked at the work of the artist ‘Kandinski’ and have painted in the style of his art work.
We have looked at using different materials and we have designed and made our own scarecrows collages using felt, straw, lolly pop sticks and buttons!
In science we talked about one of our key words ‘nocturnal’ and what that means. Also, the children asked lots of scientific questions about the owls. One of the questions the children wanted to find out was what’s the proper name for owl’s feet? We discussed they’re called talons.
We have loved having lots of accidental learning experiences when we have either found different wildlife in our outdoor area or when they have noticed seasonal changes. This has caused lots of excitement and some brilliant conversations. One exciting visitor we found was a bright green Caterpillar. The children had lots of questions and know lots of caterpillar facts!
We have looked at the seasons in depth and explored the different types of weathers we may get in Autumn. We have looked at appropriate clothing for Autumn weather and explored the different autumn changes that we are noticing even more now, such as the temperature dropping and more wind.
We have looked at baby photos of ourselves and talked about the differences and similarities we have. We also talked about what we can do now, that we couldn’t do then. The children are begging to have a good concept of the past and what has happened in the past. We also looked at lots of different farm equipment and talked about why they look new and old. What do they have now that they didn’t have then.
We have explored our environment and the children can talk about how to get to different areas of the classroom. We also have talked about seasons and what the children might see outdoors in those seasons, such as weather changes and changes to the trees.
In P.E we have developed our listening skills, our ability to follow instructions, to take turns and to use P.E equipment sensibly and safely. We have used a variety of balls to throw at a target and to catch. We have climbed safely on different apparatus and have followed simple instructions to follow a small circuit of activities.
We have talked about our families and why they are important to us. How to be kind friends and what to do if someone has been unkind to you. We’ve talked about emotions and how it’s normal to sometimes feel upset, but what we can do to make ourselves feel better. We have talked about how everyone is different and how we might like different things and how that is ok.