Term 2 Week 2 – Writing Number 4

During week 2 the children started writing number 4.

We practiced its value, said its name and saw which animal character helps us remember its shape.  We also saw were 4 stands on the number line.

numicon

Writing number 4

As we do with every number we revise the work done during the first term.  The children recalled that mummy caterpillar and baby caterpillar help us remember the shape of number 4.

4 caterpillar

However our main focus is more on the rhyme at this point because it guides them with the formation.

four.jpg
It is very important that the proper steps are used for writing 4.  The children have to say the steps that are in the rhyme or use language which is close to this rhyme, whilst writing.  Here is how our number writing pages look like.

four-2

After we finished working with number 4 we worked on a mixed page were the children had to count objects and circle the correct corresponding number.  Here is what the page looked like.

Number 4 Songs –

 

four 3

 

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Term 2 Week 2 – Letter w

From the topic work blog you could see that the other letter for this week was w – wool.

Jolly Phonic Letter w story

We started with a story based on one of Aesop’s fables.  The sun and the wind are competing who will manage to keep on or take off the jacket a man is wearing and so show who is the stronger of the two.

The wind blows strongly and the sun shines hotter and hotter.  I gave the story our own ending by saying that the wind won (since we are working on letter sound w.)  The man remained with his jacket on!

w youtube.jpg

We even acted the story out in class and the children had a good laugh when Olda being the man in the story was given my jacket to wear to protect him from the wind, which obviously was too big for him.

Here is the photo   🙂

wind photo.jpg
As usual the children also came up with their own w words.  They mentioned words like wind, word, window, wolf, win, wand, watch, which, when, where, why and wall.  They also played the magic window game on the white board which showed some of the words above.

Jolly Phonic Rhyme Letter w sound

The children pretend to be the wind and blow on their own hands saying / w,w,w,w,/.

Letter w formation

w formation

  • Step 1 – Start at the top, slide down
  • Step 2 – and up the hill
  • Step 3 – slide down again
  • Step 4 – and up the hill once more

Important point – I pointed out that this letter has two points at the bottom for them to differentiate it from the letter v which we will be doing shortly.

The children practiced the usual w formation using crayons on their scrapbook.  They also created their own craft.  They created a patterned web using wool and a circle shaped cardboard.

cardboard


Practice Ideas for Home

  • You can give them a handful of magnetic letters which they stick on a board. Then they have to remove the letter of the day from the batch.  In this case letter w.
  • You can practice the letter formation by using a white board and colourful washable markers using the steps above.
  • You can place about 5 objects or pictures on the table, amongst which you have objects starting with the letter w
  • Say the name of each object emphasizing and exaggerating the first letter sound of each object and ask your child if that object or picture starts with the letter sound w. This is a skill which needs loads of practice. Praise at this point is very important to build their confidence    🙂

 

Term 2 Week 2 – Patterns and Animal Coats – Part 5

The second topic for this week was also related to animals.  This time we looked at sheep, rabbits and goats.  All these creatures have something in common.  They do not grow fur but wool on their body.

sheep

The children were really interested in this topic.

  • They got to know that this wool protects these animals against the cold in winter months.
  • However wool grows just like our hair grows on our head and so this wool needs to be sheared (cut off).
  • I stressed that these animals do not hurt when the wool is sheared off. On the contrary some of them might be relieved because the wool would weight a lot on their backs.
  • They learnt that humans as always found good use for this wool.
  • Sheep’s wool is made into jumpers, socks and blankets.
  • Rabbit’s wool is made into angora coats and hats.
  • Goat’s wool is turned into cashmere coats.

sheep-2

The children were fascinated when they watched a video clip of sheep being sheared.  Some even said that they wanted this job when they grew up!!!

Shearing Sheep –

The children also observed the patterns created in the wool after it was woven into the various garments.

Wool was the link to our next letter for this week, w for wool.  You will find more information in the literacy blog.

 

Term 2 Week 2 – Writing Number 7

This week we started writing another two numbers.  The first number for this week is 7.  The children were very eager to start putting pencil to paper.  Before every session we go through the work we would have done in term 1 on that number.

We practice its value, say its name and see who helps us write it.  We also look at a number line and see where the number stands on the line since we are not writing the numbers one after the other.

numicon

Revision – Number 7

Ms. Giraffe helps us shape 7.

7 giraffe

However our main focus is more on the rhyme at this point because it guides them with the formation.

seven
It is very important that the proper steps are used for writing 7.  The children have to say the steps that are in the rhyme or use language which is close to this rhyme, whilst writing.  Here is how our number writing pages look like.

Number 7 songs –

 

seven-2

Other important points

  • I always remind the children that we start writing from the line at the top left and proceed to the right side, than we go down to the next line and start from the left hand side at the very edge. Usually whilst explaining I physically show them on paper as they might not know right from left.  Also children at this age have a tendency to just pick a box and fill it in and then choose another at random.
  • “Across the sky” starts from the left to the right. They need a reminder for this at times because they might write the mirror image of number 7.
  • For number 7 we do not cut the number at the middle like some people are used do.
  • I also remind them from time to time to remain in the box whilst writing.
  • If they have just a dot in a box, that is not a mistake but they have to use their imagination and remember how to form the number. At times they would need guidance from where to start and to where they need to proceed.

After finishing writing number 7 we worked a mixed page were the children had to count 1 or 7 objects, stick the corresponding number as well as fill in a number line which had numbers 1 and 7 missing.  A page sample is shown below.

seven 3

 

Term 2 Week 2 – Letter z

As you might have guessed from the topic work blog one of the letters for this week was z – zebra.

We used the book we read in the circle time Zack the Zebra to find other words which start with this letter sound.  The words that the children found were the following: zebra, zig zag, zoo, zucchini and Zack.

With the help of the magic window they came up with their own list of words: zip, zero, zebra crossing, They definitely did not forget to mention Zara   🙂

The Jolly phonics story for the letter z sound is this:

A girl (we called her Zoya) is playing outside with her toy zebra.  She watches a bumblebee which is buzzing around the daisies.  As it goes from flower to flower, it makes a loud buzzing sound /z,z,z,z/.

buzz

Jolly Phonic Rhyme Letter z sound

The children pretend to be the bees.  They tuck in their elbows and flap their arms like wings, making a continuous / z,z,z,z,/.

Letter z formation

z formation

  • Step 1 – Start at the top, go across
  • Step 2 – slant down to the left
  • Step 3 – Go across

As is the usual routine the children practiced their letter z formation in the scrapbook.  The craft associated with this letter was a z cutout.  This was the body of the zebra.

They then added a pattern using black strips of paper as stripes (7 in all). They also added the eyes, mouth and the mane which had a pattern in itself.

Z songs –

 


Practice Ideas for Home

  • You can give them a handful of magnetic letters which they stick on a board. Then they have to remove the letter of the day from the batch.  In this case letter z.
  • You can practice the letter formation by using a white board and colourful washable markers using the steps above.
  • You can place about 5 objects or pictures on the table, amongst which you have objects starting with the letter z
  • Say the name of each object emphasizing and exaggerating the first letter sound of each object and ask your child if that object or picture starts with the letter sound z. This is a skill which needs loads of practice. Praise at this point is very important to build their confidence    🙂

 

Patterns in Nature and Animal Coats – Part 4

zebra 1.png

The next patterned animal we spoke about was the zebra.  The children followed a story called Zack the Lazy Zebra written by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.

You can follow the story in the link below.


We discussed the story and gave it our own ending.  The children were asked to mention all the words which start with z in the story.  We then took a closer look at zebras as an animal.

The children observed the stripes on a zebra’s body.  These are some of the facts we went through and which you can use as a spark to start a conversation.

  • They learnt that although the zebra stripes are white and black or black and white no two zebra patterns are alike. Each zebra has a unique pattern.
  • These animals form part of the equidae family along with horse and donkeys.
  • Experts say they have stripes for camouflage just like the jaguars have spots.
  • Wild zebras live in Africa.
  • Zebras are very fast-moving animals.
  • They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.
  • Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly different types of grass, but they also eat bark, herbs and shrubs. Zebras prefer full green grass that is short and near the ground.
  • Zebras only sleep when they are in large groups so that they can be alerted of danger.
  • A typical zebra family consists of a male, called a stallion, several females, called mares, and their children called foals.

Video Clip – Zebras for Kids


For each difficult word which the children might not understand like bark, shrubs and herbs they are shown a picture on the board to help them understand further.

The children created their own zebra craft which was linked to both our literacy lessons and numeracy lessons as well.

Further details are found under the respective blogs.  The zebras are hanging outside our door.

They are similar to the zebra picture below.

zebra 2

 

 

Term 2 Week 2 – Patterns In Nature and Animal Coats Part 3

This week we explored this topic further.

We looked at many other patterns in nature as well as man-made ones keeping our main focus on animals.   The children eagerly come to tell us which patterns they might have seen the previous day or what they can observe in class, books and out and about.

Some of them mentioned the following sweaters they wore with stripes; insects such as the bee which has stripes too; the repeated colours they had in them; water ripple effects when they played in the bath; the lava that oozes out of the volcano when it erupts; flowers with endless pattern work and food in various shapes.

Here are some pictures of the patterns they mentioned.

nature1.png

The children started getting their little pattern cutouts from home and showing the patterns they chose in front of the class.  Well done Jeanmarie, Sophie, Zara and Neil.

I encourage all the other children to do the same and get a small cutout from a magazine or wrapping paper which has a pattern design on it so we can hang them up on our topic wall outside the classroom.

After this general overview we continued working with the jaguar theme which we started last week.  The children learnt some general knowledge about this fascinating animal.   These are some facts we went through which you can discuss with them at home or develop the topic even further through book reading and watching videos.

nature2

  • Jaguars form part of the cat family. In fact it is the 3rd largest of the big cats after the tiger and the lion and it is the largest of all the big cats in the Americas.
  • They are solitary animals and live and hunt alone.
  • They usually hunt at night and drag their food up a tree to keep it safe.
  • Like all members of the big cat family, jaguars can roar.
  • Unlike other cats, the jaguar loves the water — it often swims, bathes, plays and even hunts for fish in streams and pools.
  • Jaguars are carnivores, they prey on over 80 species of animal of all sizes, such as deer, pigs, capybara, foxes, fish, frogs and even large anaconda snakes.
  • The jaguar often leaps into water or from a tree onto its prey.
  • The jaguar has a very powerful jaw; its bite is more powerful than that of a lion.
  • Finally they got to know that the spots on the jaguar are slightly different than that of their cousins the leopard. Those of a jaguar have a black spot in the middle of most of their pattern.

Video Clip – Roar! Meet the Big Cats! –


J – Jaguar song –

 

Our work with letter j came to an end with some hands on exercises where the children had to sort out letter j beans from assortments of other letters and different sized beans and bottle caps.  They also played various interactive whiteboard games white focused on this letter sound.

Here are a few photos of the letter j activities.

 

 

Food

food

Dear all,

Most of you know by now know we are currently working on eating issues in class.  It is very normal at this age that children choose certain foods as opposed to others.  The reasons many be many.

They might not like the sensation of the texture when handling the food or whilst tasting in the mouth, they do not like the smell of a particular food, or they think they do not like it even when you say the item name etc.

So I am rewarding the children with points on our interactive funny chart on the board, stamps and stickers as well as honey loop cereal (Lidl brand) depending on how much willing they are to eat the undesired food.

I am so proud that when I asked the children to get a small bite sized food which they do not particularly like from home to taste it at school they were eager to comply.

So we had children trying cheese, kiwi, ham, olives, tuna, bread, tangerines, apples, bananas, crackers, honey loops etc. all for the first time!

If it is possible can you send in the same food they dislike from home next week too so we will work with them and help them understand that this food is okay to eat?

We will move on to other foods slowly according to their individual reaction.

Thanks for your constant co-operation

 

Term 2 Week 1 – The Story of the Epiphany

One of the lessons this week was dedicated to religion.  All those who follow this topic heard the story of how the three kings visited Jesus and offered him beautiful presents such as gold.  We noted the expensive style of clothes that these rich three kings were wearing.

The Story of the Epiphany –


We discussed that although gold and other very expensive presents are nice to have, Jesus prefers simple presents but which are very important for each and every one of us such as love, hugs, sharing a toy or a book, helping others, being kind to each other etc.

At this point all the children in the class joined in where they coloured in a patterned present picture.  I went around each child asking what they would personally give to Jesus as a present and in the case of those who do not follow the religion lesson what is the present they would give to their mummy and daddy.

jesus christmas.png

This lesson brought the Christmas activities to a meaningful end. It also linked us to patterns topic we are currently developing.

We Three Kings –

 

 

Term 2 Week 1 – Letter j

The second letter for term 2 week 1 was letter j – jaguar.  The jaguar is another animal which has a pattern on its body as I blogged in the previous topic work section.

As usual the children were enthusiastic to try and come up with words which start with the j sound.  The words like jump, jacket, juice, jeans, jam, jelly,  jewel, jaguar, jug and juggle are the words that they came up with based on the jolly phonic picture story below as well as thinking whilst just listening to the letter sound.

They also mentioned a few children in class and people they know whose names start with this letter: Jake, Joshua, Julian, Jean, Jeanmarie, Jessica and James.

They also played games on the white board such as the magic window game.

The children also followed the Jolly phonics story for the letter j sound:

A mummy and her daughter are making some jelly.  When it is read they tip it onto a plate.  The jelly is tall and red and has four layers.  As they carry it to the table it wobbles and wobbles.  The girl laughs and pretends to wobble just like the jelly, saying /j,j,j,j/.

j letter
Jolly Phonic Rhyme Letter j sound

The children pretend to be the jelly and say /j,j,j,j,j,j/.


Letter j formation

j formation

  • Step 1 – Start at the top, go down
  • Step 2 – And hook
  • Step 3 – Lift and dot

As is the usual routine the children practiced their letter j formation in the scrapbook.  We will doing more hands on activities with this letter beginning of next week.

Practice Ideas for Home

  • You can give them a handful of magnetic letters which they stick on a board. Then they have to remove the letter of the day from the batch.  In this case letter j.
  • You can practice the letter formation by using a white board and colourful washable markers using the steps above.
  • You can place about 5 objects or pictures on the table, amongst which you have objects starting with the letter j sound.
  • Say the name of each object emphasizing and exaggerating the first letter sound of each object and ask your child if that object or picture starts with the letter sound j. This is a skill which needs loads of practice. Praise at this point is very important to build their confidence   🙂