Dinosaur Museum

What a fantastic morning we had at the dinosaur museum! [exclamation  😉 ]

The children were wonderful throughout, behaving outstandingly and showing no limits to their enthusiasm.  Indeed, we had to drag a few away when it was time to leave.  Thankfully, we all returned intact, albeit with a few bite marks from a very hungry T-Rex and still recovering from the smell of dinosaur breath.

Times Table Hopscotch

What lovely weather we had today! [exclamation 😉 ]  We certainly couldn’t miss the chance to get outside and do some multiplication on the playground.

After looking for patterns in times tables by standing on our huge 100 square, we then played times table hopscotch.  The further you threw the bag/toy the more points you scored, but you did, of course, have to do your times table up to that number to make sure you got those points.

Do you have some chalk?  Do you have a hard surface?  Why not play at home too!

Multiplication & Division

Many children can find the leap from addition/subtraction to multiplication/division quite mind-blowing.  Playing games and using equipment can help it to be fun and to make sense.

Being able to quickly recall doubles and halves is an invaluable skill that makes more complex maths easier.

Arrays make it much easier to understand the concepts of multiplication and division, as well as multiplication commutativity (6 x 3 is the same as 3 x 6).

A Squash and a Squeeze

It will come as no surprise to many parents, but the children’s drama skills are absolutely fabulous!

As part of World Book Day, this afternoon they acted out Julia Donaldson’s & Axel Scheffler’s beautifully illustrated and hilariously written “A Squash and a Squeeze”. With only one quick rehearsal, they quickly got into character (method acting comes so naturally when there are farm animals involved) and prepared to enter stage left.   Our cloakroom seemed the perfect stage and, as can be seen below, we even had a beautiful highland cow to energise us.  By the time the whole class was in there, it was definitely a squash and a squeeze, but the goats were still able to nibble on the table’s leg (hence the look of pain!)  “How squashed we are!” exclaimed the children. [Ask the children if that sentence type is a genuine ‘exclamation’ or not.]

[No pressure for future birthday cakes, btw, but the bar has been set very high 😉 ]

A Squash and a Squeeze - 6

Louis Braille Week

The children have really enjoyed learning about Louis Braille this week, and getting a better understanding of visual impairment through a range of fun, practical activities as well as learning about the life of the man himself.  Many thanks to Cathryn and Lydia from the Somerset Vision Support Team for their endless and invaluable guidance, support and enthusiasm.  😎

Finding matching textures or shapes when blindfolded wasn’t too tricky.  But what about when one of the pieces wasn’t easily within reach.  How do you know it’s even there?  Where is it?

Listening for the ball was quite hard, even though the bell inside was quite noisy.  In a busy classroom, catching the ball was much, much harder.

There are many, many kinds of visual impairment.  We borrowed these very special glasses that helped us to understand… then tried to do some writing!

Louis Braille’s system is so fantastically simple, we were able to use the braille machines without only a few instructions.  It did take a very long time, though, to write our names, and reading them back was another matter altogether.

We used lots of braille resources to help see how it’s used to write numbers as well as letters and punctuation.

Moving around can be quite tricky when you have a visual impairment, even in a familiar place.  We learned how to respectfully act as a guide for someone with a visual impairment who wanted some assistance.

Measuring Jumps

For our maths this week, the children have been considering length and height and have been measuring and comparing all sorts of strange things, as well as themselves and each other (apologies for the Year 2s being wrapped in masking tape yesterday… they hadn’t been naughty, they just needed a 1 metre reference point 😀 ).

This morning the Year 1s did a thorough, considered and professional job of measuring jumps.  First they decided together how to make it a fair test, agreeing the rules.  As they were doing standing jumps (taking off with both feet without a run up, and landing on both feet), I gave them only a 1 metre ruler (“That’ll be fine” I said confidently to Mrs J).  But they’d clearly all had quite a few shredded wheat this morning, as they quickly needed a couple of 30cm rulers too!

Measuring Jumps - 1

Measuring Jumps - 3

Measuring Jumps - 4
Measuring Jumps - 2