Summer Term in Reception Class
Minibeasts, habitats and life cycles.
This half-term we will be exploring the world of minibeasts. Our children are fascinated by the natural world and have expressed an interest in finding out more about some of the insects they know already, but also learning about new minibeasts. As part of our planning process we asked the children to think about what they would like to learn about minibeasts.
At the end of the input into minibeasts we looked back at the questions we asked and had a think about the answers. Some we still didn't know so we asked Alexa for some information, remembering to be clear in our speech and thinking about what we wanted to say before we asked her.
23rd to the 27th May
Key text -
We Are All Wonders
by R.J. Palacio
This amazing book tells us the story of Auggie and his dog Daisy. Auggie lives in a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he's not always seen that way. "I know I can't change the way I look. But maybe, just maybe, people can change the way they see."
This book shows children that we shouldn't judge anyone on the way they look or any condition or disability they may have. This doesn't define who we are.
Caterpillar update 20th May
Today we have 2 more chrysalis and 1 more on the way!! Maybe when we come in on Monday they will all be safely tucked up ready for their metamorphism!!!
Caterpillar update 19th May
Yesterday one of our caterpillars looked like it was ready to make its chrysalis. The others were still very active. This morning we have one in a chrysalis and the others are all making theirs too now!
Wonder how long it will be until they are all safely in their chrysalis and how long it will be until they are emerging as butterflies!
Visit to the local library
We took the children in two groups up to the local library. Many of our children have not visited the library before so we registered the children for library cards and were able to bring a book home for each child.
The librarian told us a story and we had to look for animals hidden around the bookshelves, this helped us to explore the different areas of the library.
While we were there we also took some time to enjoy the books and read them with our friends.
Making a wormery
We watched a film today on how to make a wormery at home. We then created an instruction booklet to help us to remember the key points. We are going to try this at home with our parents.
Maths, counting and estimating beyond 10
The children had to estimate how many gems they could pick up in one hand. We looked at the size of our hands and thought about the size of the gems. Mrs Meakin talked about an estimate which would be too big, and one that was too small. The children wrote their estimate on a paper plate and then came and got a handful of gems. If the gems fell off they could not be counted.
We talked about how we could count the gems accurately, and the children placed them in a line so they didn't count any more than once. They then looked at how many they had estimated and how many they had and worked out how accurate they were.
The children thought that the 10 frame may help them to count more accurately too.
This class text is an educational story about a boy who learnt all about the worms in his Gran's garden and how important and interesting they are.
Going on a minibeast hunt
We have been using our insect catching pots to look for, catch carefully and examine minibeasts found in the garden. We managed to find slugs, a snail, a beetle, ladybird and some woodlice.
We used the magnifying glass tops of the containers to look at the minibeasts, look for and count legs (where appropriate), look at their antennae and describe their movements and size.
Once we had examined them, we released them back into their habitat.
New facts about Minibeasts.
We have continued to learn lots of facts about minibeasts from Jess on CBeebies. This includes spiders, beetles, harvestmen and centipedes.
We watched the programme, discussed this with our talk partners then we did an overview of the facts we remembered.
Our growing collection of minibeasts....
This week our minibeast collection grew. Mrs Meakin brought some tadpoles in for our "pond" in the garden. They are very small at the moment but before long they will be growing into froglets and then frogs.
Our caterpillars are continuing to grow bigger each day and they are munching through all their food in their pot. Each day the Star of the Day updates our caterpillar diary and draws a picture so we can see how they are growing and developing.
Alongside this, our new wormery is going strong and the worms have started to take the leaves we left on the top down into their tunnels.
The children are very excited to check every day to see how each of the minibeasts are developing.
We also found a nest which had fallen to the ground from a tree in the school. We looked at how carefully the bird must have made this nest, weaving the sticks in and out to make them stay in place.
Celebrating Eid Al Fitr
Tuesday 3rd May
As part of our Understanding the World area of learning and also linking into the protected characteristics we have been exploring, we looked at the Muslim festival of Eid Al Fitr. This is the celebration of "breaking fast" after the month long fasting period known as Ramadan.
The children watched a film where a girl talked about her experience of celebrating Eid Al Fitr with her family. We talked about what "fasting" was and how they would feel if they had to fast for the whole day when the sun was in the sky.
Mrs Meakin explained that this festival is a different date every year as it relies on the movement of the moon and can only happen when a new moon is seen in the sky over Saudi Arabia.
We talked about the celebration and how this compared to Christmas, which is the Christian celebration festival they know. We also compared how the Muslim's Mosque and the Christian Church differ, especially how they look on the outside and where the people pray.
The children then took part in our own version of "secret Eid" where the children pulled a name out of a bowl and made them a card with their name on. We made biscuits to share and then gave out our Eid cards to our friends.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By Eric Carle
Eric Carle's well loved story about a very hungry caterpillar offers opportunities for the children to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly as well as looking at healthy and not so healthy foods. As part of our learning we have caterpillars in the class to help us to learn about the life cycle, but we won't be feeding them lollipops and chocolate cake!
As part of our literacy work we have been deciding which food the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate that was fruit; healthy and unhealthy. We have also started to learn about different minibeasts and we have started to make our own minibeast fact file which we will continue to add to.
RE: Creation – Who Cares for
This Special World and Why?
In RE we have been looking at the world God created and how we need to look after it. We went on a walk in our garden and we drew pictures of all the things we could see and hear that God created.
We drew the sky, clouds, grass, flowers, ladybirds, spiders, trees, birds, bees and the wind. We talked about what we liked to see and hear and also what might spoil all the beautiful items God created. We talked about how we need to care for the planet and how we only have one Earth and we need to protect it.
Our activities this week
This week we have been learning about caterpillars, moths, worms and woodlice. We have created a fact file on these minibeasts based on what we have learnt. In our continuous provision we have been exploring minibeast habitats and practicing catching minibeasts using our small world creatures. We have been making dens and pretending to be shopkeepers in our outdoor shop.
Some of our children have been practicing their skipping skills and we have been successful in jumping over the rope! Other children have been developing their throwing skills by aiming beanbags and throwing them at a target, then adding up their scores.
Looking for worms!
As well as looking after our caterpillars we have a wormery where we have collected worms out of the garden so we can see how they travel around inside the soil.
We placed all soil in the wormery, with some coloured sand, and then we added water to the mud kitchen area and then tried to dig for worms. We also looked under the logs and stones in the garden as we know that they like the dark. We found 8 worms, some big and some small and placed them carefully in our wormery. We found lots of other minibeasts but we left those where we found them.
In PSED we have been looking at who is in our family and how different children have different families at home. We have talked about how we are all unique and different and that we should always be kind to everyone.
In our sessions we are starting to look at the protected characteristics, including race, disabilities and beliefs. We have also started to talk about how some children may have a single parent or live with their grandparents, have 2 mums, 2 dads or a mum and a dad. We drew a picture of our family at home, including pets, so we could see just how different all our families were.
In our next session we looked at the protected characteristic of disability. We explored 4 key people who have overcome obstacles caused by their disability to achieve great things.
The children were very interested in Stephen Hawking and how he was able to do certain things, such as eat, dress himself and talk when he couldn't move. We watched a video of Stephen Hawking talking using his computer system and thought about how clever this was.
We then drew images of ourselves using our characteristics, e.g. drawing glasses, eye colour, hair colour and length. We then had to guess who each person was represented by the picture.