Term 3 Week 2 – Malta – Part 2

Our third week has flown by too.

During the beginning of the week we turned our focus on animals which live on the Maltese islands.  The children got to know that there are particular animals which live in a particular country because the environment there is best for them to live in.

The polar bear for instance lives in the Arctic because the temperatures there are very low.  We could not imagine a polar bear living in Malta with its thick fur coat.

Likewise there are particular animals which live mainly on or originate from the Maltese Islands.  Some of these creatures are the Blue Rock Thrush, the Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth, the Maltese wall lizard, the Maltese freshwater crab, the indigenous Maltese goat, the Maltese dog and last but not least the hedgehog.

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It was the turn of the last in the list to keep us company.  The children heard the story of Herald the Hedgehog.  They even learnt a lesson where we should be happy and appreciate what we have rather than always wishing for what the others might have.  This can be a point of discussion at home after you enjoy viewing the story together.  Link below:

Harold the Hedgehog by Jack Connolly and Rhianna Lewis


We also saw some interesting facts about these sweet little creatures, such as there are 17 different kinds of hedgehog families living around the world. Mummy hedgehogs have around 6 babies at one go.  The babies are called hoglets. They have a very good sense of smell.  They love living on the ground but know how to climb and swim.  Some of these fun facts are found in the clip below.

The Nature´s Amazing! Series Hedgehog Facts for Kids


Since hedgehogs are nocturnal animals they often try to cross the road in the dark.  Unfortunately they are not seen by the drivers being so small and they end up dead.

Thus campaigns take place from time to time to help everybody become aware of this fact.  We have to look out for signs like the ones below when travelling in our countryside.

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We extended the lesson to how we should cross the road.  We practiced crossing the road in class. (I also mentioned that even if we learn to cross the road we still hold our mummies, daddy’s hand or any other adult we happen to be with).  We watched these video clips about this topic.

Think, Hedgehog Road Safety-King of the Road

Song – Think! Hedgehog Road Safety-King of the Road

Stop, Look and Listen songs 

 


As we do for every letter we created a craft for this letter too.  A cute little hedgehog made out of a paper plate which the children painted brown.


We then added a fringe for spikes and added the nose and the googly eyes. Here is how the hedgehog looked like.

hedgehog
The work done on the literacy workbook can be found under the literacy section.

 

 

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Term 3 Week 1 – Malta – Part 1

The topic the pre-junior teachers have chosen for most part of the last term is Malta.  Even our sports day is based on traditions and culture which pertain to Malta too.

We started off the week by first welcoming the children and asking them if they enjoyed their holidays.  We mentioned some of the major events happening during this third term:  Sports day, Open Day and Graduation Day.

The children are very excited to start adding up, read cvc words and go on outings.  I then explained the idea of show and tell based on an activity they did during their Easter Holidays.  Below you will find the photo of the children who spoke about their Easter experience.


Other children will be doing their little presentation next week.

Besides show and tell we started talking about the topic Malta.  The children got to know that the country they presently live in is an island surrounded by a beautiful sea.


This linked us to one of the games we will be show casing during sports day – Off to the Beach for some sun and sea!  In fact we spoke about the beauty of such lovely places such as Ghadira, Golden Bay, Ramla Bay and Blue Lagoon.

However we have to take care of these beaches and not throw rubbish after having visited one of them for a swim or a barbeque.  It is also important to protect ourselves from the sun whilst at the beach by wearing a cap and applying sunblock at all times.

Back to the Malta topic –

Malta actually forms part of a group of 3 islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino.  They got a taste of the countries’ culture by looking at a power point about Malta.  They got to know that Valletta is the capital city of Malta whilst that of Gozo is Rabat.  The land is made out of hills and valleys.

In fact each country has its own specific characteristics. Each country has its own national plant.  That of Malta is called The Maltese Centaury.  Each country has its national animal. The Blue Rock Thrush Bird is the Maltese national bird living on the Dingli Cliffs.

We also looked at the flag of Malta.  They learnt that the flag of Malta is white and red with the George Cross on the white part.  In fact each country has its own flag.  They got an idea of how a flag looks like by observing a couple of videos of the different countries of the world.  This is the one they loved the most.


The colours on a flag are important.  We will go in further detail next week.  Flags linked us to the literacy lesson.  More information can be found under the literacy section.

The children created two flags.  The first flag was inspired from the above video clip where the children used their imagination to invent a new flag.  The second flag was that of Malta.

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Maltese Flag

This is only some of the information the children got to know about.  More interesting facts will be shared with the children next week.

Malta PowerPoint

 

Term 2 – In the Garden – Part 8

During this week we continued adding more creatures which can be found in our garden. Our new addition is the mouse.  We read the story, The Lion and the Mouse.  The children got to know that such a story is called a fable and that it is a story which teaches us a lesson.  Here is the online version of our story.

The Lion and the Mouse – Aesop’s Fable


The children got to know some interesting facts about these creatures.  Some of which were the following.  Mice belong to the family of rodents and there are 30 different species.  They are usually nocturnal animals.

They have poor eyesight but very good hearing and smell.  Their tails can grow as long as their bodies.  Mice use their whiskers to sense changes in temperature and to help feel the surface they are walking along.

Animated rodent characters have been used for a good number of children’s films such as in Stuart Little, Flushed Away, Ratatouille, and of course the Tom and Jerry and Mickey Mouse series.

If you have the time you might show one of the above to the children during the Easter holidays    🙂

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We also created a mouse craft.  All the mice are currently climbing one of our walls near our classroom.  They look similar to the mice below.

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Information about this letter is found under the literacy blog.

 

 

Term 2 Week 11 – In the Garden – Part 7

During this week we added another little cuddly creature to our garden – a rabbit which is also synonymous with spring time and Easter.

Besides having a cute little soft toy in class whom we called Peter the children followed several stories evolving around character of Peter Rabbit.

The main story we discussed however was the classic Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.


The story was animated with the use of soft toys in class which the children really enjoyed.  Questions time followed were the children had to put on their thinking hats and remember the various details in the story when the interactive whiteboard spinning wheel chose their name.

They really enjoyed this part and they all ended answering a question or two.  The next step was sequencing the pictures representing the story into the correct order.  They were all attentive as they tried to think and see which picture came next.

We also discussed the moral behind the story.  In fact the children came up with many ideas of how Peter Rabbit should have behaved.  They were aware that not following certain basic rules could lead us into trouble just like what happened to Peter.

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During the week the children got to know some facts about rabbits such as where do rabbits live? What are the male, female and little rabbits called. (The words are buck, doe and chick respectively).

The children got to know that rabbits in the wild live in holes they dig underground called burrows.  They learnt that these cute little creatures have many babies at one go.  We took a look at what rabbits like to eat.  We compared these facts with information in the Tale of Peter Rabbit.

The children created their own little rabbit using the rice and the sock you so kindly sent in.  Before filling in the sock the children weighed rice using their hands and small cups.  They could see that it is very difficult to count rice but we are able to feel how heavy and light it is or to see if there is more or less by weighing it.

 

During the week the children watched this other story from The Peter Rabbit series


This is another very sweet animated version of the classic story Peter Rabbit which I found after we did the topic in class


As you can imagine letter r is the first letter which we spoke about this week.  But further details are found under the literacy section.

 

 

 

Term 2 Week 10 – In The Garden Part 6

We have been exploring the topic “in the garden” for the past three weeks.

This week we are going to add another thing to our garden wall outside the classroom.  We spoke about the fact that spring time is around the corner and that it is during this time that most animals have their young.

Some of these young hatch from eggs.  Associated with this topic is the following story which is full of information about animals and their young.

Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller –


After the story we learnt why these animals or omnivores as they are also known lay eggs.  The children learnt what is the size of their eggs and why.  This also linked us to big/small and less/more in the numeracy section because some creatures have a lot of eggs at one go while others have a few. They got to know that the ostrich lays the largest eggs whilst the humming bird which is the smallest bird in existence thus it lays the smallest eggs.

They also learnt that since humans are curious beings they experimented with various eggs and realised by time that these eggs are edible and that we can cook them in various ways.

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Such eggs are also a source of food for other animals.

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Humans have also created their own version of eggs – Easter chocolate eggs.  At this point the children were jumping up and down in excitement as they were mentioning that they too are going to get Easter eggs.

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The children pretended to be eggs about to hatch by rolling into a ball on our class carpet.  Each and every one had to think which creature they would be if they were born from an egg.  They then hatched and participated in an egg treasure hunt were they had to look for big plastic eggs as compared to small chocolate eggs.  They really enjoyed searching    🙂


The children were very interested by the information provided in the book and I recommend that you have a look through it together in the link provided above.

As a craft they had already printed card board using springtime stamp cut outs which we transformed into a giant egg which is presently decorating our door along with other small Easter egg prints hanging around it.

We also had some time for an extra story related to eggs called Milly and Molly – bad eggs. Here is the online version.


All this linked us to the first letter for this week.  More information can be found in the literacy blog.

 

 

Term 2 Week 9 – In The Garden – Part 5

We explored even further into our imaginary garden and found that apart from the sunflowers we also find carrots growing from the soil.

We spoke about how good carrots are for us, especially for our eyesight.  The children watched the following and I must say they enjoyed the comical version of the story very much.  They could not stop laughing   🙂

The Enormous Carrot written by Vladimir Vagen


The Big Carrot – Oxford Owl


We had a tasting session in class were we all ate a piece of carrot.  There were children who had not tasted raw carrots and liked them.  There were others who still did not like the taste but had a bite or two!

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The children created a carrot craft as part of this topic work.

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Go to the literacy blog for more information about letter c.

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Term 2 Week 9 In The Garden – Part 4

During this week we continued developing the topic “In the Garden”.

We took a closer look at the sunflower we started to talk about during the previous week.  The children watched a story called “The Magnificent Sunflower”.  The story talks about a sunflower which grows and grows taller than anything else around her and meets the one who helped her grow so tall.


The children learnt that there are people who love to paint the things that they see in nature.  One such person was Van Gogh.

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We took a closer look at his sunflower painting.

The children then created their own little work of art.  They drew sunflowers in the garden.  Here are some examples of the sunflowers drawn in class. We will add them to our collection in our classroom.  Well done to all   🙂


Last week the sunflower was used to show symmetry, a topic which we revised again this week.  Our explanation coincided with the number 8 lesson so with Ms. Corinne’s help the children stuck 8 small black beans in the centre of this lovely flower.

Symmetry song –

 

 

Term 2 Week 8 – In the Garden – Part 3

During the second part of the week we shifted our attention to other things that can be found in the garden.

We spoke about things which grow from the ground such as flowers.  These grow from seeds.  They need soil, sun and water to grow.

These words linked us to the other letter of the week letter s. S for sunflower.  I read a book to the children called Ten Seeds written by Ruth Brown.  This is an on line version:


During the reading session the children interacted by counting the seeds that were left.  They tried to guess which creature was next in line to take the next seed and last but not least they answered questions related to the story after the reading session was finished.

They really enjoyed it because some suspense was created every time one of the seeds was being eaten or crushed. The children also watched a couple of songs related to this topic amongst them:

The Sunflower song –


We also spoke about how to plant a seed –


We will develop this topic further first thing tomorrow morning.

 

Term 2 Week 8 – In the Garden – Part 2

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We started the week with taking a look at our garden wall outside the classroom.  The children remembered and mentioned most of the creatures and things that we spoke about so far:  butterflies, fireflies, dragonflies, bees, ladybirds, seeds, plants and trees.

They mentioned the birds that live in their nests on these trees.  We then moved on to what might grow on these same trees.

They mentioned fruit, flowers and last but not least apples.  In fact talking about this fruit was the first topic of the week.  During story time we watched the sweet story called apple trouble written by Ragnhild Scamell.


The children interacted during the reading of the story by counting the various objects which kept falling on the hedgehog’s head.  We also sang to catchy song talking about apples called 10 Apples on Top by Dr. Seuss.


We took a closer look at how these fruit grow.  They start from little seeds which will bloom into lovely small white flowers.  After being pollinated by the bees these flowers will grow into juicy apples which are a source of food for many birds and other insects.

Even we humans eat this fruit.  I mentioned the saying:  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  I explained that this fruit like many others has a lot of minerals and vitamins which help us to stay healthy.

Apple tree life cycle animation


The children created an apple craft by gluing 5 little ant cutouts onto a letter a shaped apple. (Associated with the number 5 we started last week).

They finalized this craft by adding a leaf on top. These crafts are hanging in our classroom.

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We also carried out an experiment where we put small pieces of apples into various liquids.  These liquids were water, lemon, vinegar, milk and orange juice.

The children smelled these liquids and tried to guess what they were.  We then waited to see the change there was at the end of our school day.  They found out that those in milk changed colour.  The others did not.

 

Term 2 Week 7 – In the Garden – Part 1

“In the garden” is the new topic we started working on during this week.

garden

During circle time we spoke about the many things and creatures we can find in the garden.  The children managed to come up with many ideas of their own such as flowers, ants, snails, grass, birds, butterflies, dragon flies, plants and trees.

We went into detail of what might live in trees and this lead us to the word nest.  The children learnt that you can find different shaped nests.  The most common are the cup shaped ones.

Their shape varies depending on the bird which creates them.  Birds use leaves, twigs, mud, spider web threads, feathers and even their own saliva to put together their little homes.

The children also watched a video clip of how a humming bird weaves a nest for its little ones.

Nests – Many types of nests (Nature documentary) – They watched till 5’56’’.


The word camouflage featured in this topic as well.  The birds do all that is possible to camouflage their homes from bigger predators.  They watched this fact in the following video clip.

How do birds camouflage their nests?


For story time we watched, The best nest by P.D. Eastman


The children created their own nest using a paper plate.  They painted it half blue and half brown, they coloured in a cute little bird which they stuck on the plate and last but not least they glued pieces of hay for the nest.  This craft was also linked to the numeracy lesson.  You can find more details in the numeracy blog.


The word nest led us to the next letter for this week – letter n.  More details can also be found in the literacy blog.

The nest is best song –