# Green Recycled Paper

Dear parents and guardians,

In the upcoming weeks we will be discussing recycling in class.

If you come across green coloured pages in a magazine or a piece of wrapping paper which you are going to throw away can you kindly send it in your child’s folder please.

Ms.  Geraldine   🙂

# The Square

In the topic work blog I mentioned that we read a book in class called Square Cat.  This was the introduction to our numeracy lesson tackling the square shape.

The children learnt that shapes have their own properties or to make it simpler they have their own rules to give them the shape they have.

Wilf helped us see these square rules:

• A square has four sides.
• These sides are all of equal size. There are no sides which stretch out.
• A square has four corners.
• A square cannot roll over.

With these properties in mind the children were able to look around the classroom for square objects.

Their treasure hunt was successful as they found these square objects, different blocks, books, cushions, the light switches, flashcards, boxes, lunch boxes amongst other things.

They also distinguished square blocks from other different shapes.

The children worked on their shapes workbook where they had to colour in the square shape amongst other shapes.  They sponge-painted squares onto the same workbook.

The children also created a craft representing the Square Cat which is hanging outside our classroom.   They also created square shapes with blocks and other manipulatives.

The Square Song

# Term 1 Week 5 – Letter k

The following day we took a closer look at the letter k sound and its formation.  We briefly revised the ck concept mentioned in the previous literacy blog.

It was mentioned that cats have their babies which we call kittens, these too eventually grow up.  We played games on the interactive whiteboard to reinforce the difference between the c and the k.

We proceeded to words which start with the k sound.  We came up with these words, kite, key, kangaroo, koala, king, and kite.

Pictures of every word discussed were put up on the board to help those children who have limited English vocabulary.

The jolly phonics story for the letter k sound is the same for the c sound.

A family is visiting a castle in Spain.  While they are sitting outside a café’, some Spanish dancers appear in the courtyard.  The ladies wear brightly coloured dresses and click castanets going saying, /c,c,c,c/. (As you can see there are no words starting specifically with k because the emphasis is on the sound not on the written word at this level.)

Action of the letter k sound (Is the same for the c sound).

The action done when saying the k sound is associated with the picture story like all the other letter actions are.  Raise your hands and snap your fingers together as if you are playing castanets saying k,k,k.

Jolly Phonic Rhyme Letter k sound

Formation

• Step 1 – Start at the top
• Step 2 – Go down
• Step 3 – A small bounce
• Step 4 – Make a loop
• Step 5 – And kick

As you can see we use the above k formation and not the one we commonly see in books (k).  I showed the difference to the children. It is important that you use this formation of letter k.

Using the curly k as we call it helps the children when they come to join letters together in the future.

Practice Game Ideas For Home

• 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 k
• Look for things around you which start with the k 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 k.  This is a skill which needs loads of practice, so don’t get worried if they are not understanding as yet what this means.  Praise at this point is very important to build their confidence J

The children practiced the formation of this letter on their literacy scrapbook using crayons.  They sorted out letter beans, they also practiced the k formation using large flashcards.

Three Little Kittens Song –

# Term 1 Week 5 – Letters ck and c

As I mentioned in the topic work section we worked with two special sounds the ck sound.

As you can see these are two letters but they have the same sound.  There are three points which make them special

• They have the same sound
• They can be stuck together like in back, neck, sock. (At this level we just make them aware that these letters can stay near each other.  We do not go into detail.  This is done in grade 1).
• They can be written apart in words like cat and k So although they have the same sound we can use them in different words which mean different things.

We started by looking at the difference between a cat and a kitten as animals.  Their first letter sound is different too.

The children played a game on the interactive whiteboard where they had to highlight one letter from the other.

We then took one of the letters c for cat just like our cat character in Room on the Broom and went into detail just like we usually do with every letter sound.

We started by thinking of other words which start with the c sound.  We came up with these words cat, Christmas, concert, cloud, cake, car, carrot, castle, cow, card and cupcake amongst others.  Some of these words were discussed in the jolly phonic story found below.

The jolly phonics story for the letter c sound is this.

A family is visiting a castle in Spain.  While they are sitting outside a café’, some Spanish dancers appear in the courtyard.  The ladies wear brightly coloured dresses and click castanets going saying, /c,c,c,c/.

Action of the letter c sound

The action done when saying the c sound is associated with the picture story like all the other letter actions are.  Raise your hands and snap your fingers together as if you are playing castanets saying c,c,c.

Jolly Phonic Rhyme Letter c sound

Formation

• Step 1 – Start at the top , make a curve
• Step 2 – Stop

Practice Game Ideas For Home

• Letter Treasure Hunt – One of the games I like to give the children in class is that when we have library time, they look out for the letter sounds we have done so far, point at them and say them. This exercise applies to the ck, c, and k letter sounds as well.
• 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 c
• Look for things around you which start with the c 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 c.  This is a skill which needs loads of practice, so don’t get worried if they are not understanding as yet what this means.  Praise at this point is very important to build their confidence   🙂

The children practiced the formation of this letter on their letter scrapbook using the rainbow technique.

As you saw from a previous blog they also created square cat with square eyes, a square nose and a square tail.

Extra Story – Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes written by Kimberly and James Dean.

The k sound was tackled on a separate day.

# Term 1 Week 5 – Halloween (Part 2)

We dedicated the second part of the week talking and discovering the world of cats since these are the preferred creatures of the witch.

The children enjoyed watching the below power point with facts about these little creatures.

Cats

The children followed the story, The Square Cat written by Elizabeth Schoomaker.   The cat in this book is different from the cat found in The Room on The Broom or even the other cats in the same story.

Eula feels different and tries desperately to be like its friends.  However at the end it realizes that it is okay to be different and this might have its advantages.

Square Cat –

By means of this story we introduced another alphabet letter c for cat.  However we also spoke about another special letter which also has the same sound, k for kitten.

The children created two crafts related to this topic, a square cat and a kitten.

More details about the ck sound in the literacy section.

The children also learnt about the properties of a square and revised the big and small concept.

# Term 1 Week 5 – The Triangle

This shape was linked to the witch’s hat already mentioned in previous blogs since it has a triangular shape.  Like other shape, the triangle has its own properties or rules.

Wilf helped us see these triangle rules:

• A triangle has three sides.
• These sides all touch each other.
• A triangle has three pointy parts.
• A triangle cannot roll over.

With these properties in mind the children were able to distinguish triangular shaped objects from other shapes on the interactive whiteboard.

These are some of the objects they came up with: a slice of pizza and watermelon, flat cone, hat, bat wings, a clothes hanger, and one side of a pyramid.

The children worked on their shapes workbook where they had to choose and colour in the triangle shape amongst other shapes.

They also sponge-painted triangular shapes on the same workbook.  During one of their play session they practiced the triangle formation by putting bottle caps onto different sized triangle shapes.

The lesson came to a close with a craft which linked this entire concept to our topic work Halloween.  The children created a nocturnal animal which has triangular shaped wings – the bat, (see topic work).

They counted the three sides of a triangle.  They also stuck 5 bats, 5 stars and 5 magic glitter blobs onto the witch’s hat, thus practicing their counting  skills 1-5.  (The numbers we covered so far).

Triangle songs

Practice Ideas for Home

• When you are out and about you can play the game, Spot the shape, with your children. They have to look out for and say the various shapes that are made by the objects around them.  This week emphasise on the triangle shaped objects.

# Term 1 week 5 – Letter h

Letter h was the first letter we tackled during the week which goes hand in hand with the hat the witch wears in The Room on The Broom hhat.  Here is a little game you can play with the children at home.

• First say the story – Harriet the Witch is flying on her broom high up in the sky; she has orange hair, a hat on her head, a pet hen and lives in a house at the top of a h
• Emphasize the h sounds as you go along.
• Then ask your child so what can you see which starts with h.
• Point to the objects if they do not associate picture to sound as yet.

We also mentioned other words which start with h.  We then moved on to other objects starting with h, such as hill, hand, hair, hedgehog, hot, horse, heart and helicopter.

Some of these words are found in the jolly phonics picture story below.  We also mentioned the two Hailey’s we have in class.

The jolly phonics story for the letter h sound is this.

It is the school’s summer fun day.  Some children are in the hopping race.  It is a hot day and by the time they have finished, the children are huffing and puffing, saying, /h,h,h,h/.

Action of the letter h sound

The action done when saying the h sound is associated with the picture story like all the other letter actions are.  Hold up your hand in front of your mouth and pretend to pant, saying h,h,h.

Jolly Phonic Rhyme Letter h sound

Formation

• Step 1 – Start at the top , go down
• Step 2 – A small bounce up
• Step 3 – Tunnel
• Step 4 – And tail

Practice Ideas For Home

• You can play the game above or choose other pictures and use the same concept.
• 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 h sound.
• Look for things around you which start with the h. 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 h.  This is a skill which needs loads of practice, so don’t get worried if they are not understanding as yet what this means.  Praise at this point is very important to build their confidence   🙂

# Parents’ and Students’ Conferences

As previously advised in one of Ms. Karen Galea’s circulars, parents’ day will take place on Friday 17th November.

The children do not have school on that day however we are asking you to bring your child along to the meeting so that he/she will participate as well.

We believe that their opinion is very important in their scholastic journey.

You will be given a 10 minute appointment in the morning.

We will give appointments at random, however if you have a valid reason  to request a specific time please let me know by tomorrow morning.

I will do my best to accommodate you on a first come first served basis.

Ms. Geraldine

# Term 1 Week 5 – The World Around Me: Halloween (Part 1)

Another week has flown by, a week jam-packed with activities now that we are gearing up for Happy Halloween on Tuesday.

In fact topic work during our 5th week topic evolved around Halloween.  The day started with the children listening in to the story Room on the Broom written by Julia Donaldson.

They animated the story themselves by doing various sounds and actions related to the story.

Room on the Broom Story –

We made a list (mind map) of the things we associate with this festivity such as costumes, hats, brooms, magic wands, sweets, ghosts, stories, dragons and animals.

Through this story they learnt that there is a group of animals which witches prefer such as cats, bats, mice and owls.  Witches love these animals in particular because like them they prefer to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

We expanded on this in class where we took a closer look at these nocturnal animals.  All these animals usually wake up at night to hunt for their food.  Some of their senses are very well developed.

For instance cats and owls have a very good sense of sight whilst bats do not.  Instead their sense of hearing is very sharp and they use sounds to catch their prey.  These little animals sleep upside down which the children found very funny  🙂

Most of these animals love eating insects and other small creatures such as worms.

We developed the topic further by taking a look at other creatures of the night but which are not necessarily related to Halloween.  Animals like the mole, the skunk, the snake, the aardvark etc.

We all played a game on the interactive whiteboard where the children tried to guess the sound associated with the various animals.  You can go through the list of animals at home and expand even further because the children were very interested in this topic in class.

Learning Nocturnal Animals Sounds and Names with Color Trains –

Nocturnal Animal Song –

All throughout the week the children created many crafts found in the story.

They made a bat by using toilet rolls, black kite paper and triangular wings linking us to the numeracy topic and triangles. You will find more information under the numeracy section.

They decorated a witch’s hat also linking us to the numeracy topic due to its triangular shape.  We also associated this craft to the first letter for this week letter h.  You will find more information under the literacy section.

The witch in the dark song –

# Title – Developing Hand Control

Throughout these last 5 weeks the children have been slowly reinforcing their hand muscles to eventually be prepared to hold a pencil properly and start writing.

These are the various pencil strokes which we have been practicing so far interlaced with our topic work: vertical lines, horizontal lines, circles and crosses.

They have used various fun media to form the above such as shaving foam, sand, paint, rice, buttons, bottle caps and thick crayons whilst drawing on their workbooks.

Here are some pictures during such activities: