An Aveley Primary Blog

As the end of the term draws even closer, we’re starting to think about that time of year when we get to spend all day eating as much chocolate as possible.. and no, it’s not Christmas again just yet! This chocolate will be in the shape of eggs, not Santa! Can you guess what we’re talking about?

That’s right… it’s nearly EASTER!

In R.E. we have been thinking about the meaning behind Easter for Christians. They use this time as a celebration to mark the time that they believe Jesus rose from the dead (after having been crucified on the cross).

This means that Easter is about new life, which is why it tends to make us think of Easter bunnies delivering eggs round our gardens!

Now some of you might be slightly confused as to why an egg would have anything to do with new life and re-birth. Don’t you worry that is exactly what 1S has been eggsploring!

An egg is like a seed, the first sign of a new animal that is going to be born… and out of an egg comes….

 

  
    
    
    
  

You got it! Chicks!

Reception have spent the past few weeks carefully looking after some eggs, which have now hatched into chicks!

Once we’d had a careful look at the chicks in their home, we had the chance to meet one!

Take a look at the chick we met (we named him Peck!):


  
  

This half term we have been exploring movement in gymnastics. This week we had a new challenge in which we had to move like monkeys!

This didn’t mean running around making funny animal noises! We had to think carefully about how we used our bodies to hang from and carefully climb the apparatus:  

    
    
  

March 14th, 2016 at 2:06 pm and tagged , , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

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You won’t believe what we’ve been up to in literacy the last few weeks! We’ve made some new alien friends who have come to us with some important writing missions. This has meant we have had to take on all sorts of challenges, to help them out as special writing agents to tackle “Operation Rocket Squad”!

Take a look at some of the missions we have completed as we have rocketed through our writing adventure:

Mission 1: Recycling Reminders 

Our friend Fizz sent us a video message in our mission inbox, telling us about the horrible mess he had found by a recycling area. After doing some research on what exactly recycling is and why it is important, we created posters to remind people how to recycle carefully:

  

Mission 2: Up-cycling art

As well as recycling, we have learnt about how we can upcycle materials. This means that we can reuse different everyday objects that we would normally throw away in our recycling bins (such as milk bottles and egg boxes) creatively, to make artwork. That way, rather than HARMING our environment by throwing them away, we can IMPROVE our environment by using our art as decoration!

     

Mission 2: Super Spaceships

Fizz’s friend Zag came all the way from Planet Zupton to visit. Now that 1S’s writing agents had helped out by creating some fantastic posters and pieces of upcycled art, it was time for Zag to say goodbye and return home.

But where is his spaceship!?

We got another message from Fizz and Zag asking us for some help! Zag needed 1S to use some recycleable materials to build a spaceship for him to fly home to Planet Zupton.

So 1S quickly got building..

  
    
    
    
    

Fantastic building 1S! Zag will definitely get back to Planet Zupton safe and sound!

 As Operation Rocket Squad continues, we have created a display in the Key Stage 2 corridor of our work so far:

1S transformed into a whole host of different characters this week, as we joined lots of other schools around the country in celebrating World Book Day.

Have a look at us in our costumes. How many characters can you recognise?!

  
    
   

  

Not only did we take on our favourite characters for the day, and share some our favourite stories, but we also had a very special visit from 5H!

Coming over from KS2 was just the first part of 5H’s journey.. When they arrived, we took them on a reading adventure and together we transported ourselves to the sunny Kalahari.

The Kalahari desert? Sound familiar?.. That’s right – we told 5H the story of ‘Meerkat Mail’, sharing with them Sunny the meerkat’s adventure.

Once we had told the Year 5s the story, we thought about Sunny’s home. As I’m sure you remember, Sunny decides that ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and ‘there’s no place like home’. Thinking about this message, led us to discuss the setting of the story.

Looking at lots of African landscapes helped us to think about how we could work with our partner to create a painting of Sunny’s home. Take a look at us working together:

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Have you ever felt upset because of something that one of your friends has said to you?.. Or perhaps found yourself on your own because your friend won’t play with you?.. 

I’m sure lots of you are nodding to yourself as you read this, recalling those tricky times when you feel like your friend is more interested in someone or something (anything?!) else than playing with you as normal.. may as well give up, right?

In 1S, we have been thinking about friendship and how the choices we make can hav a big impact on those around us.

The Calming (or Stilling) of the Storm

What could a storm have to do with friendship? Well, to get us thinking about friendship we have turned to the Christian Bible, to look at a story about Jesus. The story tells of how Jesus used his supreme power to save his friends when they were scared and in danger. This is a story about making the right choices to help our friends and make sure everyone around us is happy!

Don’t worry if you’re not too sure about this story. We ordered pictures of the different parts of the story, so you can see for yourself what happened:

 

  

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Jesus showed kindness and commitment to his friends by waking up from a deep sleep and calming down the stormy seas.

Take a look at us enacting the story. Can you match our freeze frames to different parts of the story?

“But I can’t stop a storm like Jesus!” I can hear lots of you exclaiming. Well don’t you worry we can still learn a lot from this story about how we can make the right choices to care for our friends.

We have spent some time in PHSEE passing the smile (it’s amazing how happy simply giving or receiving a smile can make you feel!) and thinking about what actions can make us or our friends feel certain ways.

We acted out different times we might need to make the right choice to make sure our friends are happy. Take a look at some of our freeze frames – what kind or helpful acts do you think we are performing?

  
  
In 1S we have given ourselves a chilli challenge to take with us outside of our R.E and PSHEE learning:

  1. How many of these acts of kindness to show good friendship can you perform in the playground?
  2. How many times can you pass the smile in the playground?

Join us in our challenge and let us know what you achieve!!

Ahoy there!!

This week we have been investigating map work. This hasn’t been to join Captain Hook and sail the seven seas, but instead to learn some exciting new computing skills. We have become technology pirates!!

Step 1: Instructions (and direction)

In order to make sure we can make the most of maps to locate different things (like treasure!) we have to know how to move around them – and importantly how to direct people towards the right place clearly.

In order to develop our understanding of instructions, we worked in pairs to guide each other around the room, using instructional language. In order to do so we had to be quite bossy (!) and use our bossy (Imperitive) verbs, such as ‘go’ and ‘move’.

In order to make sure that our partners ended up in the right place and didn’t bump into anything on the way, we had to make sure our instructions were really clear. We did this by adding how many steps they needed to go at a time, and in what direction!

Once we’d thought about all of these different features of instructions, we recorded them in special short hand (F1 = Forward 1 step / TR = Turn Right).

Take a look at us at work using our understanding of position and direction to create instructions:

  

Step 2: X Marks the Spot

Having spent some time looking at instructions (and using these to programme beebots!) we have created our very own maps of treasure islands.

In order to do this, we had to think about key map features. Making our maps really clear has been especially important so that we can use our programming and instruction skills to guide beebots around them!!

Take a look at us creating some maps.. Can you spot any keys?

  
  

 What is a chair made out of? Chair material?..
..Or how about a bench? Bench material?..
..And what on earth is a brick and an old piece of drainpipe doing in our classroom?!

This half term we put our scientist hats on and took on a new learning challenge, addressing the question of:

‘What material should the Three Little Pigs have used to build their house?’

 

To get us started on this topic, we spent some time exploring some everyday objects. This is where we can now help you answer some of the questions above…

Looking closely at different objects, we discussed the different materials that they are made from. Investigating a variety of different objects has helped us to realise that materials come in many different forms: different shapes, sizes and even colours!

We used lots of everyday objects (including a bit of a drain!) to discuss their appearance and how they feel. We then used this to help us sort the objects based on the material from which they are made:

    

    

Having realised that materials can come in many forms we decided we needed to find a way of recognising them, even when they are ‘disguised’ as different objects.

So, in order to recognise what materials different objects are made of, we have experimented with materials to discover their unique properties and characteristics.

As well as helping us to recognise these materials, deciding whether they are hard or soft, strong or weak, flexible or brittle, has helped us to think about why we might use materials for different purposes.

We have been set a whole lot of different challenges (by some of our favourite story characters!), which have required us to investigate the properties of different materials..

CHALLENGE 1: The Three Bears

Following Goldilocks’ visit, the Three Bears are keen to sort their house out! They called upon the help of the science team in 1S to help them to find out what material would be best to make new curtains.

We explored lots of different materials, investigating whether they are opaque or transparent. Once we had decided that, we thought about other properties that curtains might need (such as whether the materials were strong and light). After all, even though wood is opaque, it would be a silly material to use for a curtain!

Why do you think we decided that?

1S decided that fabric would be the best material for the bears, as it has the following properties:

  1. It is opaque so wouldn’t let any light in.
  2. It is light so could hang over our windows easily.
  3. It is soft an flexible so we could open and close the curtains easily.

The three bears were very happy with this decision and now have some lovely new fabric curtains! Well done 1S, great investigation skills!

CHALLENGE 2: Winnie the Pooh

In all of the horrible rainy weather last week, we had a phone call from Winnie the Pooh, who was very sad! He needed a new material to fix a great big hole that Piglet had made in is umbrella! Once again 1S’s scientists were ready to help find the right material to fix it.

We created an experiment to work out what materials are waterproof or absorbant.

When creating our experiment we thought about the variables we would need to change and what we needed to keep the same to make sure our experiment was a FAIR TEST.

We decided water needed to be kept the same. After all it wouldn’t be fair to pour a bucket on one material and a tiny teardrop on another would it!?

We spent time carefully desgining our experiments, thinking carefully about the methos we would use to test the materials:

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Then, we made PREDICTIONS (good guesses of which materials we thought might be waterproof based on what we already know about their physical properties). There can be no right or wrong answer with a prediction, because it is just your guess – how cool is that?!

We recorded these on a table, which we then used to record our actual results during our experiment:

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Once we had thought carefully about our experiment, we got investigating. Not only did this require us to carefully observe and ask questions about what had happened to different materials, but we had to use our teamwork skills to work together to make sure everyone got a turn and we were following our steps carefully.

This wasn’t a problem for us in 1S – we are fantastic teamplayers! Take a look at us investigating:

Once we had dried of our hands, we took a look at our results and decided, based on these, which materials are waterproof and which would be suitable for poor Pooh’s umbrella:

Our results led us to conclude that plastic would be the best material for the umbrella, because it is not only waterproof, but also flexible and light (we want Pooh to be able to carry his umbrella easily!).

Just when we thought our experiment was over and we could move on from helping out Pooh, Miss Stephenson told us bout the importance of evaluating our experiment. This meant thinking about which areas of our experiment went well and were fair, and what we could improve next time. We each gave ourselves 2 stars (things that went well) and a wish (something we will do next time) in order to do this.

Another character’s problem solved. 1S are getting very good at science investigations!

So What Materials should the Pigs Use?

Having explored the properties of different materials, we returned to our learning challenge question and decided on what materials we thought the pigs should have used to build their house:

      

Not only have we been doing all sorts of scientific work for this learning challenge, but we have been busy with our paintbrushes to! We thought about how we could use our hands and paint to create textures to represent different materials.

Some of these are up on our materials display in the KS2 corridor! 

In 1S, storytime is one of our favourite parts of the day, and I’m sure many of you are nodding along as you read this!

When we get to story time we’ve worked hard all day, busily listening to Miss Stephenson, listening to and having learning conversations with our friends, and putting that 100% effort into our independent work..

So when it gets to story time, we can breath a sigh of relief, and give ourselves a pat on the back for everything we have achieved that day! Not to mention the fact that some of us (if we’ve been on the green face) get to sit on a cushion, and sometimes Mr Monkey even comes and joins us!

So why are we suddenly talking about story time? It happens every day right? Nothing out of the ordinary?

That’s right, we do listen to a story every single day, but this week is very special, because it is:

NATIONAL STORYTELLING WEEK!

For us in 1S, this couldn’t have come at a better time! This week we have just finished writing our very own stories based on our non-fiction focus: ‘The Three Little Pigs’.

To celebrate our well-structured and imaginative stories (and of course to take part in National storytelling week), we spent our literacy lesson having an unusual storytime..

This involved getting into groups, and becoming ‘storytellers’. We took it in turns to sit on a special storytelling cushion and read our work to the rest of the group.

Look at us using our listening skills to listen to our friends’ stories:


  
  
  

  
  

  

We all made great storytellers, using lots of expression to make those stories come to life! I bet you want to read some of our stories now..?

Let me tell you, ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is nothing compared to some of our characters’ wild adventures!

Watch this space and we’ll post a few for you to have a look at!

As time has rolled on, and the hands have continued to tick clockwise round our classroom clock (which we can now tell you all about because of our fantastic clock reading skills!), we have begun a new maths topic..

This week, 1S could be heard loudly chanting “2D SHAPES ARE FLAT NOT FAT!” as we began our exploration of 2D shapes.

“Naming 2D shapes? That’s easy!” I can hear you all saying.. But in 1S we are always challenging ourselves to further our learning! This means we haven’t just been naming different shapes but we have also been thinking about their properties

How many sides does the shape have?… Are these sides straight or curved?… Are all of these sides the same length?… How many corners does the shape have?…

We began by sorting some shapes altogether, according to what shape they were and then worked together to record their name and properties.

Take a look:

Counting the sides and corners also gave us some practice on our number ordering, and writing our numbers accurately (making sure they were the right way round!)
  

Of course, all of our learning is linked, and not only did we need to record our shapes using our number knowledge, but in order to write their names we worked together to segment words and apply our phonics to write these words accurately:


Once we had discussed our shapes together, we went off to our tables to explore our shapes. Look at our fantastic teamwork:


  
  
  
  
  

When asked by Miss Stephenson: “What’s the time 1S?” many of you might expect the cry of “Dinner time!!” in response.

However, although we have been asking each other about the time a lot recently, we haven’t simply spent our learning time playing our own version of ‘What’s the Time Mr Wolf?’.. Well… not exactly…

We have been learning all about different units of time, from the largest (years) right down to the specific units that we split a day into.

1. Using a Calendar: What day are we on?

We started by thinking about calendars, and how a year is broken down into months:

How many months are there in a year?

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Then we looked more closely at months, and how they are broken down into weeks and the weeks into days.

Do you know how many days there are in a week?

We have been using our class calendar every day. As well as using our weather symbols that we made last term to tkeep track of the changing weather, this helps us to keep track of what day of the week we are on (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc.) and what number day this is (1st, 2nd, 3rd..) in which month (January, February, March etc.).

Take a look:

 

2. Using a Clock to be more Clear

Although we have got very good at using time language (such as first, next and then) to order events and naming different parts of the day using morning, afternoon and evening, we decided that we needed to be more precise when telling people when we do things.

After all, if we say we have break ‘in the morning’ surely that could mean as soon as we wake up?! That could be very confusing!

This has led us to investigate time further, discovering that time is broken down into special units: hours – minutes – seconds.

Do you know which is the smallest unit of time?

Do you know how many minutes there are in an hour?… Or seconds in a minute?
We do!

In order to get ourselves used to telling the time, we have made our own analogue clock faces:

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We have used our clocks in ‘What’s the time?’ games, challenging our partners with times we make by turning our ‘hands’ clockwise to point them at different numbers.

This has helped us to get very good at telling the time – we can even read and write “half past” times – and if you don’t believe us, just try testing us!

Oh no.. look at the time 1S! We’ve spent too much time talking about time! Better be off – catch you later (at another time)!