Term 3 Week 6 – Malta Part 7 – Boats

This week our attention turned to the marvelous Maltese shoreline. Besides the beautiful sea and the hills beyond we can also sea boats dotting our bays.

The children became aware that there are various types of boats: rowing boats, sailing boats, paddle boat, speed boats, ships, cargo ships and last but not least cruise liners.  They have a particular shape all starting with a pointy front part called the bow.

This has this shape to help the boat move forward in the water.  The back part is called the stern.  They saw all the above types of boats in the informative book called Brilliant Boats.  This book was written by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker.


We also discussed what distinguishes each one example the rowing boats needs the oars to be rowed along, the sailing boat needs its sails so the wind blows through them and its ropes for its direction to be changed.

They realised that there were common factors between all such as all need some type of anchor, a safety jacket, ropes etc.

However one particular boat did not feature in this book our traditional Maltese luzzu. The children became aware of the 7 different vibrant colours which characterize this vessel mainly blue, yellow, red, orange, green, white and brown.

From the video clips they watched they noticed that each luzzu boat has an eye painted on the bow side.  This dates back to the time of the Phoenician and is believed to protect the fisherman from other seafarers with bad intentions such as stealing the fish or from the rough seas they might encounter.  Each boat is also given a name.

The luzzu is used by fisherman for their work where they go out at seas to catch fish and then sell them at one of the typical Maltese villages called Marsaxlokk.  This is not an easy life to lead as they send days on end out at sea at times in rough weather and seas.

These are the videos they watched to understand how a typical Maltese luzzu looks like and what our shore line might look like.


Last but not least they clapped and created a beat to the traditional Maltese song called Lanca Gejja which refers to the trips done by the boats from one part of the island to the other.

Lanca Gejja song –

 

The craft we thought of this week was a fun boat craft which the children played with after they finished it since they could swivel it from side to side like a rowing boat.  As you will see from the pictures the children are now able to follow more complex instructions and their fine motor skills have developed further in that they can grab very small items whilst putting together their little creations.

 


Last but not least they also understood that boats are not only used for work but also to relax in by going on a trip round our shores or crossing over to Gozo on one of the big Gozo Channel ships.


Other people actually live on boats such as Cosmo the Cat in the story below.

Cosmo the Boat Cat:

 

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Term 3 Week 5 – Writing Letter l and Blending Session

The children found working with letter l easy as expected.  They came up with the usual list of words.  They mentioned words like lizard, lips, letters, ladder, lunch, leg, laugh, lion, lemon and lollipop.

Besides writing these letters on the interactive whiteboard they recorded the letter in their workbooks.  These are the pages they worked.

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Success criteria to be able to write letter l –

  • You start writing this letter from the top.
  • It has to be straight.
  • Don’t forget the tail at the end.

The children saw two video clips:

The jolly phonics letter l song –


The Letter l song –


During the week we had two blending sessions.  In the first session we blended words starting with letter l along with other cvc words.  The children used their small laminated flashcards to go through the blending steps.  (See previous literacy blogs for the steps).

Some of these words were also in the page we worked out together.

In a separate session we all blended words like cat, fat, sat, mat, hat, bat and rat.  Here are the photos taken during this session.

 

 

Term 3 Week 5 – Malta Part 7 The Maltese Wall Lizard

The second creature we spoke about this week was the Maltese wall lizard.

To help the children understand more about this creature we saw various pictures of lizards living around the world.

They were fascinated by the largest lizard in existence called the Komodo Dragon. They also saw the difference in size between this and the Maltese Lizard.

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Lizard Facts

  • Lizards are cold-blooded reptiles.
  • They lay eggs and the Maltese lizard hides its eggs in the rock crevices around it or buried in soil.
  • Lizard eggs have soft shells.
  • Their skin is scaly.
  • They have long tongues which they rapidly extend from their mouth, too fast for human eyes to see properly.
  • They camouflage to their surroundings.
  • Most lizards have like suckers in their little feet so they attach themselves to the walls.
  • The male is green and the female is brown.

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I also related the Maltese legend of the Maltese lizards having 2 tales.  The children got to know that lizards shed their tail in battle or when they are accidentally hurt.  They usually grow their tail back.

At times the first tail does not detach itself completely from the body. So it appears that the lizard might have 2 tails.  Usually the two tails fuse together.

These are the video clips we watched in class.

The Komodo Dragon video clip –


The Maltese Wall Lizard –


Lizard eggs hatching –


The lizard song –


Our lizard topic work ended with a cute lizard craft.  We are very proud of the children because they managed to follow several instructions to put the lizard together.

Here are some photos whilst they are creating their little lizard craft.  Later on in the day they also attempted at creating a lizard using playdough.

At the end their imagination took the better of them and they made many other things as well.

 

 

Term 3 Week 5 – Number 12 Part 2 The Clock

This week we continued building on the number work we had started last week for number 12.  We tackled the much awaited clock.  The children often asked me, “When are we going to do the clock?”…. and here it is   🙂

We always start the lesson with a very quick revision of sequencing numbers in this case 1-12 by using the counting song till 20.  (Found in previous blogs).  The children were reminded that this is a special number for two reasons.

  • First of all there are two numbers standing up next to each other. I played a small game with them where I pretended to say the number 12 as two-elve so they could listen to the numbers that are in the word.  Then I told them to help me fix it.  We then said twelve together.  I do this mostly with 12, 13 and 15 to help them recognize the numbers.
  • 12 are the numbers which are found on the clock.

The Clock

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In Pre-Junior we cover the following points.

  • Very simple language related to the clock: face, hands and numbers.
  • Face – The face can be of different shapes and sizes.
  • Hands – One hand is short and this is called the hour hand. This always moves to show us the o’clock. So we say 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock etc.
  • One hand is long and this is the minute hand. This stays stuck to 12. (For this year).

We brainstormed why we need the clock.  The children came up with the following ideas:

To wake up on time for school, to know when to have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, to know when it is time for bed, when we should go to the park and play, to know when we need to wash.

I explained that time helps us get organized through the day knowing what comes after what.  In fact after getting familiar with the basic components of the clock we went through a journey of how our day would be like if we had to use the o’clock as our guideline.  We used the clocks the children created themselves in class out of paper plates, foam hands and sticker numbers to show the time.

This is a just a glimpse of how our imaginary day evolved.

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Picture 1 – 6 o’clock: Wake Up and Washing Routine

Picture 2 – 7 o’clock:  Dress up time

Picture 3 – 8 o’clock: Start school, breakfast and circle time

Picture 4 – 9 o’clock: Activities: Painting, literacy, numeracy, playtime, story time etc.

Picture 5 – 10 o’clock: Lunchtime

Picture 6 – 11 o’clock: Activities: Painting, literacy, numeracy, playtime, story time etc.

Picture 7 – 12 o’clock: P.E.

Picture 8 – 1 o’clock: Home time

I explained that the time that we do things at home may vary according to family routine.  You can recreate this as a game at home.  Here are also some ideas which might help you with creating routine at home in a simple way.

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(The box contains 6 different leveled clocks which you can keep as a resource through the junior years.  It is both in English and Maltese.  It is a BDL product which you can purchase from BDL itself or from other stationery outlets which sell their products).

The children also read the time through clock games on the interactive whiteboard such as

BBC o’clock game –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/snapdragon/yesflash/time-1.htm

Interlaced with all this were video clips which the children danced to.

Hickory Dickory Dock | Super Simple Songs

https://www.google.com/search?q=Hickery+dickery+dock+super+simole+songs+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b

The Flower Song –


Tick Tock Clock Song

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3vcx7n

To understand the clock further the children became a human clock themselves. Twelve of them were numbers, others became the hands.  We also played, What’s the time Mr. Wolf? during a couple of our P.E. lessons which the children really enjoyed.

They consolidated their clock work with sequencing numbers on a clock face in their scrapbook and colouring it in.

Here are all the photos taken during all the work done with the clock in the past week or so.

 

Term 3 Week 5 – Malta – Part 6 Goats

As you might recall from previous blogs we have spoken about a few animals which are endemic to the Maltese islands such as the hedgehog and the Maltese dog.

This week it was the turn of 2 other animals one of which is the goat.  First they became aware that there are different kinds of goats.

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We took a closer look at the Dutch goats known as the Dutch Landrace Goats, the Lake District goats and a few others all of which have very long wool and large horns.  The wool is sheared just like sheep’s wool to make clothes.  These sheep use their horns to protect themselves from other animals.

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The Maltese goat on the other hand is much smaller in size.  Its colour is usually white with a black head.  It has droopy ears which turn outwards at the tip.  Each goat, whether Maltese or from another country has a stamp on one of its ears or its back to identify it from the rest since a herd of goats would look all the same.

The children were fascinated when they got to know some of the following goat facts:

  • Goats can jump high and climb trees especially the Moroccan goats.
  • Goats love to eat nearly everything even clothes.
  • It is these animals that might have discovered the coffee beans growing on a plant. After the goats ate the beans the farmers noted a change in their behaviour and started using the beans too.
  • Goat milk is good to drink. In some countries selling goat milk and their wool is a source of income.  Some Maltese farmers keep goats for this purpose.  Their milk is used to produce ricotta cheese.

Here are the video clips that we watched in class and which the children asked me ‘please miss can you put them on the blog so we can also watch them at home?’

Goat Fun Facts

 


Goats Climbing Trees

 


The children heard a story which has goats as its main characters.  This was the classic fairy tale of, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Here is an online version –


Discussion and question time took a different form when instead of the usual questions we played a different version of the telephone game. Each child said a piece of the story they had just watched and heard following what the previous child said.

At the end we ended with a different story altogether.  This showed the children that we are able to create our own stories.

We then watched the story again to see how different or similar our story was to the original one.  The goat topic work ended by each child creating their own goat face.  They first painted a paper plate, after drying up they glued 2 googly eyes, 2 ears, 2 horns and a cotton ball for a beard.

These little creatures now form part of the bulletin board outside our classroom.

Here are the photos of our little artists painting away    🙂

 

 

Term 3 Week 4 – Sports Day Event and Photos

It was a pleasure seeing you all gathered together for another event – Sports Day.  We were lucky that the weather turned out to be fine after the bad weather of the day before.

The children had great fun as you could see yourselves.  Besides practicing the games over the three weeks prior to sports day they learnt a lot about the Maltese islands and their culture.

The Maltese Ftira Game – Kulni kulni ghax bhali ma ssib imkien! (Eat me because I am Unique !)

The children got to know that bread was one of the staple foods way back when Malta was caught during the war. Housewives and bakers used to stay up most of the night to prepare the bread made out of flour, water, yeast, salt and oil.

One last ingredient made the Maltese bread special which gave it its unique texture and taste.  This was a piece of dough left to rest from the day before which was kneaded with the new fresh batch of the day.  Each day a small piece of dough was kept for the next day’s bread baking.  This bread was sold on horse drawn carts and later on the baker himself used to drive through the village shouting, “Tal-Hobz”.

They watched part of this old video clip showing a now run down bakery in Naxxar vs how modern Maltese bread is baked.

 

 


Nowadays bakers in Qormi are still well known for their delicious Maltese bread which they bake in their ovens made especially from quarry stone ideal for baking in.

Welcome Aboard, Fly Away With Airmalta!

In preparation for this game the children learnt some facts about the history of the aviation on the Maltese islands.   They got to know that shortly after the Second World War, several small private airline companies were formed in Malta.  These merged into one in 1951 to form what was eventually known as Air Malta Co Ltd.  The airline was set up with the help of the Pakistan International Airlines. Its first flight took place on the 1st of April 1974.

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Photo of 1st flight – 1974

It started operating with only 2 Boeing 720Bs aircrafts which flew to six destinations mainly to Rome, Tripoli, London, Manchester, Frankfurt and Paris.  Today 45 years later this airline can take you to over 35 major cities across Europe and the Mediterranean.

Working together with other partner airlines, Air Malta offers convenient connections to important destinations in North America and the Middle East.  The children got to know how the present logo on the aircrafts came about.

We showed them a video clip as well as some merchandise which was distributed them the new logo was launched.


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Off To The Beach For Some Sun and Sea Game!

The children could appreciate the beauty of the Maltese Islands by watching a video clip of several beaches lining the coast line.  They were also made aware that we need to take care of these places not only because we need to use them again ourselves but we also need to show respect for the people who visit the beaches after we leave.  Thus we need to clean up our things and throw any waste in bins or take them at home with us.


They became aware of the importance of protecting ourselves from the sun buy applying sunblock, putting on sunglasses and a hat.  They also learnt that we cannot play rough whilst in water or wonder off to pick a toy or talk to strangers.

All this led up to our special event.  Here are the photos taken during the big day   🙂


Last but not least I want to thank you for coming along and supporting your little ones.  They were very proud of having you there.

Moreover I want to thank all those who plucked up the courage and participated during the various parents ‘ races   🙂

 

Term 3 Week 4 – Gianpula Green House Outing

Tuesday was dedicated to the much awaited outing to the Gianpula Green House.

Despite the bad and cold weather, the wind and the rain which drizzled most of the morning we managed to arrive to our destination where we were met by a nice team of people.

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The children got familiar with what a greenhouse looks like and why it is used.  They learnt that in a greenhouse the temperature is controlled so that plants and herbs can be grown even when they are not in season.

We first visited the seed and germination room where we saw seeds of various shapes and sizes.  The children saw how these are placed one by one inside special containers by means of a machine and then taken to the germination room.

These are left here for three days under specific conditions so they germinate or start sprouting.  Usually this progress takes much longer.

 

Next these sprouts are taken out into the green house and are left to grow in ideal conditions.  They would have controlled amount of light, warmth and water thus avoiding mould or drying out.

The children were already familiar with the process of how plants and trees grow from our “In the Garden” topic so they were all eyes and ears to see how these could be controlled by humans.

In fact they saw how these plants are watered by means of vertical sprinklers.  The children learnt that in better weather conditions the ceiling of the green house is opened by means of a computer to allow natural sunlight in.

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After lunch children were offered a tasty fruit salad.  Some of them really liked it and asked for a second helping.  Others tasted melons for the first time.  They played a fruit hop scotch, drew and coloured in a healthy balanced dinner plate picture containing fruit, vegetables, protein and a dairy product.

Last but not least they planted their own petunia plant which they brought home.  They even learnt that the compost they used in the pot was special and it even contained little pieces of coconuts. Their plant needs to sleep outside, be given water and plenty of sunlight.

 

 

Term 3 Week 3 – Malta – Kites

One of the letters for this week was letter k.  What came to mind whilst brainstorming for topics which start with this letter were kites.

In fact kite flying is a popular hobby on the Maltese islands since it does get windy especially during spring time when the weather is perfect for such a hobby.  The children could themselves take it up as their own pastime.

In class we read the book Kite Flying written by Grace Lin.  In this book we saw a simple way of making a kite.  Here is an online version of it.


It is important to make a list before starting and shop for the items needed.

We also spoke about how important lists are in our everyday life because they help us stay organized.  We brainstormed what lists we might need in our everyday life.  This is what the children came up with.  Grocery list, book list, before coming to school list, school bag list, what we do every day list, colour pencil list, going to the beach list etc.

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Children can also make their own list even if they do not know how to write.  They can draw or find pictures of the objects they need.

Children love to know what they are going to do next.  It gives them a sense of security as well as satisfying their curious little minds. You can prepare general lists together; laminate them and each day mark what applies to the family or for the child on that particular day.

Back to our kite

Even we prepared our own list of items needed for making our own kites in class.  This is a photo of the items I drew on the board after a brainstorming session together.  They mentioned

  • Coloured paper in the shape of a diamond and other paper shapes for the base
  • Straws and sticks
  • Tape
  • Colours to decorate the kite with
  • Different shaped/sized coloured paper to stick onto he kite
  • Glue stick
  • Ribbon/string for the tail as well as for holding the kite from.
  • Glitter
  • Stickers of various characters such as princesses and star wars
  • Paint and paint brush
  • Wind so they can fly the kite

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The children created their own kite using some of the items mentioned above and they actually flew their kites during one of their physical education sessions.  It was great fun.   🙂

 
All the above work had been started last week.  In fact if you recall I already posted some of the literacy material we covered for revision purposes.  This week we finished all the work pertaining to this letter even in the literacy section by practicing writing it on our workbooks and working a mixed page).  I am posting the rest of the work here and not in the literacy blog for this week only.

The kite Flying Song –

 

 

Term 3 Week 1 – Basic Addition – Part 1

This week we started working with the basic addition.

As an introduction to this important concept we took a close look at why we add up numbers in everyday life, we count our toys altogether to see how many we have,  we count the plates altogether when setting the table, we add when friends share things with us to see how many we have as an end result etc.

We can add almost anything except for very tiny objects like rice and sand.  The children came up with various examples of what they might add.

We practiced counting through play.  We added various things altogether like children, blocks, beans and buttons.  As we went along the children got accustomed to the language used in addition mainly plus and add, equals and altogether.  The children used addition playing cards like the ones below to add various counters.

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The success criteria for working a basic addition sum are as follows:

  • You ask yourself how many objects do I have.
  • Count the objects in the first circle.
  • Count the numbers in the second circle.
  • Read the sum Eg 1 ball plus 1 ball equals.
  • Count altogether (I do a big circle with my hands to emphasize the altogether).
  • Say the final answer – So I have 2 balls altogether.

 

To practice the above concept besides using manipulatives we also played games on the websites www.starfall.com and http://www.abcya.com/addition.htm where the children added potatoes, animals and marbles.

They really enjoyed playing these basic addition games.  Next week we will be developing this concept further.

We also did some revision of number values from 1 to 10.  The children had different number cards and they had to roll very small balls to represent the numbers on the cards.

Here are some photos of the children in action.