Reception Home Learning – 19.01.21

Good morning parents,

Many thanks for all your observations on Tapestry.  I’ve already had some wonderful ideas about how we can change The Gingerbread Man story.  Today, we’re going to make some more changes.

Communication and Language/Literacy

Additions to The Gingerbread Man story

In some ways making additions comes quite naturally.  Children retelling a story will often start adding extra bits.  Similar to the way your child may add extra things when in conversation about something that has happened.

The simplest way to move into addition is by adding in more description eg.

Once upon a time there was a little old woman who lived in a cottage.  She decided to make a gingerbread man.

You could build on this by:

•          adding in more dialogue eg. the cow said “I want to eat you”.

•          adding in a new character eg. the Gingerbread Man met a pig.

Perhaps The Gingerbread Man decided to look for a boat and managed to cross the river.

Keep demonstrating to your child how to add and embellish the story.  

A good way to do this would be to act out the story together and add as you play.

Maths

Cookie Challenge

Here is a problem solving activity involving sharing.  The game can always be adapted and explored at snack time.

What to do:

  • Place 12 biscuits on a plate.  You can cut out circle shapes for this activity rather than actual biscuits or perhaps pieces of fruit.
  • 2 soft toys.
  • Provide a plate for each soft toy.
  • Talk to your child about parties and the biscuits; count them together.
  • Ask ‘Let’s share the biscuits, how can we make it fair?’
  • If your child hesitates, guide towards taking 1 biscuit at a time and giving to each toy in turn.
  • Ask ‘How many biscuits each?’
  • Put the biscuits back on the original plate.
  • Ask ‘What happens if 3 toys each have a plate?’
  • ‘What about 5 toys, can the biscuits be shared equally?’

Talk about how you can change or extend the problem, for example, by changing the number of biscuits to 10 or inviting some more toys to join the group.

Sharing and acting out The Door Bell Rang story can extend your child further:

Adapting the game

Ask questions involving addition or subtraction eg. ‘If we put 2 more cookies on the plate, how many would there be?’ or ‘If three get eaten, how many would be left?’

Letters and Sounds

Tricky words

What are tricky words?   Words that contain letters that do not correspond to the sounds children know (e.g. in go, the last letter does not represent the same sound as the children know in dog).  They are words that cannot be sounded out and blended together.  Children learn to read these words by sight.

This video revisits tricky words learnt so far.  All these words will be in your child’s word bag.

This video introduces new tricky words.  Learning to read these words by sight is the first step. 

Top Tips:

  • Tricky words are the star shape words in your child’s word bag.
  • Play a game spotting tricky words in story books and read the words together.
  • For support, concentrate on reading words in your child’s word bag.
  • For challenge, learn to spell all the tricky words in the word bag and new words listed above.
  • For extra challenge (only if your child can happily read the words), write a sentence that includes tricky words (and draw a picture).  For example,

Big and Under Writing

Making writing fun will always inspire and motivate your child to write.  I have attached to the Activities Section of Tapestry some ideas about writing ‘under the table’ or on ‘big paper’.  I’d like to share with you a photo I received of a very passionate writer producing some fantastic writing and a story map all about pirates.

Religious Education

The Presentation Story ‘Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple’

This is a story from the Bible Luke 2:25–35.  Explain to your child that it can be found in the New Testament because it is about Jesus. 

Together look in either your own Bible or your child’s Bible to find the story and talk about the story.

To reinforce the story, role-play indoors or outside the story of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the Temple.

I hope you all have a great day.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 18.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are ready for another fun week learning at home.

Here is my timetable for the week.  This week, I’ve decided to consolidate our Letters and Sounds learning so far and play games.

Communication and Language/Literacy

The Gingerbread Man

Once your child knows the story of The Gingerbread Man really well, try some substitutions.  I find this game usually brings new life the children’s enthusiasm.  The purpose is to guide your child towards being able to make up their own stories when writing.

The easiest substitutions to make are places, characters or names.  Don’t be tempted to substitute too much at this stage.  It may be worth limiting or staging the substitutions to avoid the story falling apart.  So, a simple substitution for The Gingerbread Man might start like this:

Once upon a time there was a boy/girl called (your child’s name) ………

Then continue the story but use your child’s name throughout instead of the little old woman.

Once your child gets the idea, here are some other suggestions:

  • Change the name of The Gingerbread Man
  • Change the animals
  • Change the river, maybe he couldn’t climb a mountain

Perhaps your child could draw a new story map for their new story.

Letters and Sounds

Writing like a Jedi

(adapt the theme depending on your child’s interest
eg. pretend to write like a fairy with a wand)

This activity will help your child learn the pre cursive letter formation ‘whoosh writing’.  It’s a fun way to embed the letter pattern and can be played outside.   Use the same technique to learn numeral formation.

To engage your child’s enthusiasm, pretend that you have met Luke Skywalker!  You learnt how to become a ’Jedi Writer’.  Jedi writing is different to the way that ‘we’ all write.  It is amazing because you get to do it with a light sabre!

Use as many props as you have available eg. dressing up, something to represent the light sabre eg. a stick.

What to do:

  • Ask your child to stand up.
  • Choose a letter and talk about it. Where does this shape/letter start? Then where do we go?
  • Introduce the rhyme related to the letter (these can be found in your Letters and Sounds book)
  • Look at the letter in your child’s Letters and Sounds book.  Ask your child to trace it with their finger.
  • Demonstration with your light sabre, talking about all of the ‘essentials’ for effective Jedi writing:  straight back, legs shoulder width apart, big strong movements, no wobbling!  Write the letter in the air.
  • Ask your child to write the letter in the air with their light sabre.

This initiative was inspired by Alistair Bryce-Clegg (ABC Does) for more information: 

You can also ask your child to write with their finger in either flour, shaving foam or sand.

Further challenge

  • Revisit the new sounds learn so far in our home learning:  qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh. Maybe use chalk outside and write on paving. It’s always fun to use a brush and water to make the letters disappear.
  • Use your child’s word bag and learn the spellings of the words.

Maths

On the Memo section of Tapestry, you will find a Gingerbread Man dice game.  The game involves rolling a dice and, depending upon the number rolled, draw different features onto a template of the Gingerbread Man.  If you do not have a printer, simply draw outlines of the Gingerbread Man for each player.

If your child can accurately count the dots on the dice, encourage your child to recognise the amount of dots on the dice without counting.

Challenge your child further by changing the numbers required.  Perhaps decide it’s the number rolled on the dice and add 1 more or use two dice.

Physical Development

Tweezer challenge

What to do:

  • Find a selection of small items eg. pasta, buttons, beads, sweetcorn, jelly beans. 
  • Challenge your child to see how many ……. they can pick up using the tweezers in a given amount of time, say 30 seconds.
  • Use a timer eg. kitchen timer, phone, stop watch to set the time.
  • Challenge your child to pick up the items and sort them into categories in 30 seconds?  For example, if you have a selection of beads, sort them into colours.  Perhaps sort different items into categories eg. give your child three pots – pasta in one pot, beads in another, buttons in the third pot.

I am sure you will have spotted the maths learning in this game.  Your child will also be developing those small finger muscles necessary for holding a pen and writing beautifully.

Wishing you all a great day.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 15.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

I notice from your posts on Tapestry that many children are enjoying The Gingerbread Man story.  We’re going to do some more learning about the story for one more week.   So watch this space for more Gingerbread Man fun next week.

Communication and Language

 Understanding question words using stories

Asking questions about stories is a way of finding out what children know, understand and can remember.  It also encourages children to be reflective. 

We’ve already explored The Gingerbread Man story with lots of reflective questions.  I’ve compiled some more specific questions relating to our Gingerbread Man story which will deepen your child’s learning.

  • What did the Little Old Woman do to make the Gingerbread Man?
  • What happened when the Little Old Woman opened the oven?
  • Why did the Gingerbread Man run away?
  • Why did everyone chase him?
  • Why do you think everyone wanted to eat the Gingerbread Man?
  • Why did the Gingerbread Man stop when he reached the river?
  • Why didn’t the fox tell the Gingerbread Man he wanted to eat him?
  • How did the fox trick the Gingerbread Man?
  • Why did the Gingerbread Man trust the fox?  Would you?

Challenge your child to ask you a question.  Maybe take turns.  What about making it into ‘Quiz Time’ game – who can get the most points?  What will the winner’s prize be?  Perhaps choose your own story for this game.

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Make a story chair/story area

Create a specially decorated chair or story area with your child. This then becomes a special place for your child to tell all sorts of stories.  All you need to do is choose a chair and drape different fabrics over it or your child may wish to make some decorations for the chair.  Maybe add dressing up clothes, fairy lights, some writing materials etc. 

Today’s new sound – ‘igh’ (trigraph three letters but one sound)

Here is a video to introduce the sound.  It also has a little reading challenge at the end.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘igh’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘igh’ :  

Show your child how to write ‘igh’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘i’, ‘g’ and ‘h’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘igh’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 

Maths

Creating varied patterns and independently

This step should feel like a natural flow from the previous steps and many thanks to those children who have already shown me their independent patterns.

  • Provide materials (eg. bricks, stones, twigs, knives, forks, spoons, cars, beads, buttons) for your child to create their own pattern.
  • Again, ensure your child can talk about their pattern and identify where it repeats.
  • Parents, try creating your own pattern and present deliberate errors. Ask your child to ‘fix’ the problem.
  • Create patterns for a purpose – wrapping paper for a birthday or a design for a dinner place mat for example.

Baking a Gingerbread Man

I have posted on the Memo section of Tapestry a simple gingerbread recipe.  Your child could, of course, make any sort of biscuit depending upon the cutters available at home.

Here are some ideas to support your child’s learning:

  • Talk about the sequence of the recipe and involve your child in following the numbered steps.
  • Encourage your child to read the recipe with you eg. stop at a word, say ‘mix’, and pretend to struggle ‘Can you read that word for me?’
  • Talk about numbers throughout your cooking activities such as how many eggs or spoonfuls you might need.
  • Place all of the ingredients you need for the recipe on a tray and ask your child to pass them to you by asking specific questions such as ‘pass me the ingredient that is beside the flour, or behind the eggs’. The game can continue with your child naming the positions of ingredients to you.
  • Teach your child how to use the scales and how to read the dial or numerals. You can also encourage your child to guess which of two items is heavier or lighter by holding one in each hand, for example a bag of sugar in one hand and a bag of flour in the other. Check if your child’s estimate was correct.
  • Cooking together lends itself ideally to talking about time. How long will the gingerbread people take to cook?  Set timers together on your cooker, freestanding timer or phone.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 14.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

Welcome to today’s Reception home learning.

Communication and Language

Word webs

This activity will help your child build their vocabulary.

What to do:

  • Choose a word to start a discussion.   I often find when I am reading stories to children a word that we are unfamiliar with always pops up.  Below I have suggested some possible words from our Gingerbread Man story. 

decided, bellowed, neighed, river, scrambled, unfortunately, gulp

  • Write the word in the middle of a piece of paper eg. ‘river’
  • Ask your child what he/she knows about ‘river’
  • If your child can’t think of anything you could look at a book or Google together and start the discussion from there.
  • Encourage your child to lead the conversation and write down his or her ideas linking them together.  Perhaps your child could draw some pictures.
  • This is a nice activity for you to model writing ‘scribing’.  However, you could just sit and chat about your word.

Talking about new words in this way helps your child remember the new words.  This because they will be making links between new vocabulary and old vocabulary.

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Retell the story of the Gingerbread Man

Now it’s time to start using our story map and encouraging your child to retell the story independently.  I have posted a transcript of the story on the Memo section of Tapestry to help you guide your child.

Begin by telling the story together.  Point to the story map as you retell the story.  Once your child seems confident, you can start to withdraw from saying the words.  Maybe you can just mouth the words or just keep prompting with the actions.  If your child falters in their telling, you can always leap in and keep the story going.  Tell your child ‘When I stop you carry on’.    The aim is to move from you being the dominant teller to becoming a listener.  Your child moves from being the listener to becoming the teller.

Find an audience for the story

The wonderful thing about learning to tell stories is becoming a storyteller and to communicate a story to someone else.  Maybe your child could tell their story to a collection of toys.  Perhaps even pretend each toy is one of their friends from class.  Other ideas are to ring or Zoom a family member or you could set up a theatre performance at home.  I’m sure your child would love to use your phone to record their story.  As usual, all use of technology with supervision.

Today’s new sound – ‘ee’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

Here’s a video to introduce the sound.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘ee’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘ee’.

Show your child how to write ‘ee’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘e’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ee’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write a couple of words from the following selection:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence.   I expect this may result in some funny pictures!

Maths

Identifying the unit of repeat and describing

Build a tower as an example of a vertical pattern, for example, with coloured or different sized construction bricks. Stop part the way through a unit of repeat to see whether your child can continue it.  Ask your child to describe the repetition eg. ‘See if you can find where the pattern begins and ends’ or ‘Count the repeats and show them’.   Of course, you could always make your pattern using a different material available at home.

For extra challenge, you could also play a board game, such as Snakes and Ladders, and ask ‘Can you see any patterns here?’

Expressive Arts and Design

Gingerbread Man on the Run

I have posted on the Memo section of Tapestry this fun song.   Sing to the tune of ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’.

Reading

Finally, in the absence of your child being able to change their reading books at school, may I recommend the following website.

https://phonicsplaycomics.co.uk/

Click on Comics and start with the Phase 2 comics. 

Pat
Sit
A Nap
Rick the Duck
A Bug

If your child can read the Phase 2 comics fluently, with confidence and a good understanding, move onto the Phase 3.   Your child hasn’t learnt all of the Phase 3 sounds yet.  However, the following comics in the Phase 3 category are suitable if your child is ready.

Pet a Vet
Buzz
I can Spot

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding your child’s reading or any other home activities.  Email the School Office or post an observation on Tapestry.

My thoughts are with you and hope everyone is well and keeping safe.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 13.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

Communication and Language

Making predictions

Making predictions can be quite complex for little ones because it involves analysing information and bringing ideas together.  It helps children think about problems to decide what they could do next.  Also, when your child is reading to you, being able to make predictions about the story supports comprehension.

  • Read a story together.  This could be a story book or maybe your child’s reading book.
  • Read a few pages to introduce the characters.
  • At key places, stop and before you turn the page ask ‘What do you think might happen next?’
  • When you read the next page ask ‘Was your prediction right?’

If your child needs a little support, ask more direct questions eg. Goldilocks and The Three Bears – ‘Whose house do you think she will find?’ or offer alternatives for your child to choose from.

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Draw a story map – The Gingerbread Man

Once your child has listened to the story of The Gingerbread Man a couple of times then draw a story map in front of your child.  The maps need to be simple and very clear so that they capture the plot in one go – and can act as a visual reminder. 

Here is an example I created.   

Today’s new sound – ‘ai’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

For a change, I’ve found a different video to introduce the sound.  However, you can always google – Mr Thorne Does Phonics ai – to find out what Geraldine gets up to.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘ai’ sound. 

Below is the action for ‘ai’   – cup one hand over ear, as if hard of hearing, and say ai?

Show your child how to write ‘ai’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘a’ and ‘i’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ai’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 

Maths

Continuing a pattern – repeating

If you completed yesterday’s maths activity, your child should be able to recognise the repeating aspect of a pattern.  Continue to explore the step explained yesterday if not (recognising patterns).

Now it’s time to continue a repeating pattern.  Begin by starting a pattern using any objects you have available at home (as suggested yesterday).  Ensure that more than two colours and several shapes are used in varied examples and provide examples of different lengths of units of repetition.  Many children will struggle beyond a repetition that involves four items so adjust the complexity of the pattern according to your child.  Continue to encourage your child to describe the features and repetition.

Another opportunity to continue a pattern can be found by printing (manmade stamps, vegetable printing etc.) and finish each other’s creations by finding and repeating the patterns.  This is how you can have a go at printing with vegetables.

Veggie Stamp!

  • Select any choice of vegetables to cut it in half (take the opportunity to talk about half).
  • Encourage your child to choose 3/4 different vegetables or colours.
  • Dip the flat side of each vegetable in paint and stamp onto some paper in a repeating pattern (depending, of course, if you have paint at home).

Thank you for all the observations posted on Tapestry.  I thought I’d celebrate some of our learning once a week, here goes for this week:

Epiphany and scissor skills

Letters and Sounds/Letter formation

Reading/special story of the day

Scribing a story with some child contributions

Writing for a purpose

Maths

Being physical

Games

Congratulations children and parents, you’re doing a great job!

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 12.01.21

Good morning Reception class,

Here are my activities for today.

Communication and Language

Memory Game – Shopping

This is a simple game that I’m sure some of you will be familiar with.  Learning to remember more and more information is a key skill.  As your child’s school life progresses, he or she will need to remember increasingly longer and more complicated information.  This game develops memory skills.

What to do:

  • You start the game by saying ‘I went to the shop and bought a banana’.
  • Your child repeats what you have said and then adds another item ‘I went to the shop and bought a banana and some biscuits’.
  • Now it could be a different family member or back to you.  Repeat the sentence and add another item – and so on until you think it is time to stop!

Variations of this game could be packing for a holiday, tidying up the toys, tv programmes to watch, going on a walk etc.

If your child needs a little support, try using objects to look at first and then move the objects as a reminder of things to recall.

To challenge your child further, try initial sounds (everything begins with a certain sound) or using the letters of the alphabet in order as children choose their items.  To help with this, use a letter chart (if you have one).

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Listen to the story of The Gingerbread Man again (yesterday’s blog) and encourage your child to join in.   Talk about the story and ask questions to make sure your child fully understands the story.  Here are some example questions:

  • Did you notice any patterns (repetition) in the story eg. ‘Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man’?
  • Was there anything in the story that you’re not sure about?
  • What would you have done if you were …. the little old woman, the fox etc?
  • How would you have felt if you were ….  the gingerbread man, the horse etc?
  • What do you like best about the story?
  • Was there anything you didn’t like about the story?
  • If you could change one thing in the story, what would it be?

If you have a different version of The Gingerbread Man, talk about the differences – which ending does your child prefer?

Today’s new sound – ‘ng’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

Here’s Geraldine again!!!  Watch the next video below for words your child may be able to read and write.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘ng’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘ng’.

Show your child how to write ‘ng’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘n’ and ‘g’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ng’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 

Maths

We are now going to move onto another learning sequence, pattern recognition.

It’s important that your child explores and identifies the regularities, sequencing and repetition that characterise pattern in mathematics. By recognising pattern, your child is beginning to recognise mathematical relationships and algebraic structures that will deepen his or her mathematical understanding.

In this sequence, your child will begin to understand the elements of pattern that can be found in the world around them as a precursor to the exploration of numbers. This will build up your child’s vocabulary to explain and describe patterns as he or she is beginning to generalise, make predictions and draw conclusions from a breadth of experiences.

What to do:

  • You can use any resources available eg. natural materials (twigs, leaves etc), kitchen items (knives, forks, spoons) or toys (duplo bricks of different colours).
  • Create a pattern with the objects.
  • Ask your child “Tell me about the pattern I have made”.  You will probably need to model the language first.  You will be looking for your child to be able to say something like “After each stick there is one leaf”.
  • Emphasise the repeating aspect of the pattern.  You may need to explain what ‘repeat’ means. You will be looking for your child to be able to say “I can see one yellow brick, one blue and one red then they repeat”.

Draw your child’s attention to repeated events in the daily routine, the natural environment, in songs or stories.   What pattern can we hear in The Gingerbread Man story?

Go on a ‘pattern hunt’ around the house or when outside walking.

May I also recommend www.topmarks.co.uk.  Look under ‘Learning Games’ age 3-5.  In the category ‘Ordering and Sequencing’.  Here is a link:

https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/3-5-years/ordering-and-sequencing

There is an excellent shape game which draws children’s attention to patterns.  You will see three levels to this game so you can adapt according to your child’s needs.

Look out for the Gingerbread Man game on this website.  This game teaches counting, matching and ordering numbers.

Lastly, if you would like some extra activities, try BBC Bitesize for some fun activities aimed at younger children.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zks4kmn

Wishing you all a fantastic day.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 11.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

Welcome back to another week of home learning.  This week we are going to start learning the story of The Gingerbread Man, the winner of our vote last week.

May I also take this opportunity to remind parents of the resources recommended on the school website.  Look on the drop down menu under Curriculum/EYFS Support. 

Below is an outline of activities I will provide for this week.  If you’d like to prepare for the cooking activity on Friday, you will need:

A Gingerbread Man cookie cutter
350g plain flour
175g light soft brown sugar
100g butter
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Ground ginger
Icing sugar and sweets for the decoration

Communication and Language

Understanding which day comes next

A reminder of last Tuesday’s post, make a chart together.  This time include the days of the week across the top.  Monday – Friday in a different colour from Saturday – Sunday. The idea is to help your child learn the days of the week eg. what day comes after, before etc.  This can be partially filled in advance or after each event.  Keep reinforcing your child’s understanding of the day ‘before’/’after’ a given day.

This chart will also really help your child in terms of routine and self-esteem during these unpredictable times.  

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

This week, I have planned some activities to help your child learn to retell a story.  We call it talk for writing.  The idea is to develop children’s ability to imitate the language they need for a story orally, before writing their own versions.   In particular, children begin to learn key words and phrases such as ‘once upon a time’ ‘first’ ‘next’ ‘finally’ ‘suddenly’, ‘however’.  Children learn to use these words in speech so that they have the words in their heads when thinking about what to write. 

Ask your child to watch my video retelling the story of The Gingerbread Man.  The story can be found on the Memo section of Tapestry.  Encourage your child to listen to the story first and try to join in with the actions– hope they enjoy it!  In class, we would tell the story orally with actions each day.  In time, children begin to remember the actions and join in. 

Today’s new sound – ‘th’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

There are two ways to say ‘th’, voiced (as in ‘this’) and unvoiced (as in ‘thin’). 

Here is fun Geraldine the Giraffe video to introduce the sound.  Watch the next video for words your child should be able to read and write.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘th’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘th’   – pretend to be a naughty clown and stick out tongue. Can your child find ‘th’ on their sound mat?  This is quite a tricky sound for children – ask your child to look in a mirror to see their tongue sticking out a little when making the sound. 

Show your child how to write ‘th’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘t’ and ‘h’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘th’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 

Maths

Here is step 5 of our measuring sequence.   

Ordering a small set of objects by a given attribute.

Story sticks

A story stick is such a great activity to do with children during an outdoor trip. It keeps them busy, helps them learn about nature, and provides a memento to take home.  You also need very little in the way of preparation; just some string or sticky tape.

A story stick features items collected whilst on a walk. These might be things like leaves, twigs, flowers, feathers or anything else natural that you find along the way.  All you need to do is choose a stick and attach items from your journey to it using string or wool.  Younger siblings could use a piece of cardboard instead of a stick; this is easier.

Questions you could ask:

  • Do you want your story stick to have a theme? For example, a colour, all flowers, all leaves. 
  • How long does your stick need to be? Think about how long your walk is!
  • What senses does each item stimulate?
  • What is the story that your story stick is telling? This could be either a retelling of the journey or let your child’s imagination run wild!

Wishing you a great day.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 08.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

What a busy week we’ve had!  Thank you again for all your observations on Tapestry.  I’ve been so impressed by the children’s enthusiasm and parents’ energy.  

I have now organised Zoom meetings for different groups of children. Please look on the Memo section of Tapestry for your child’s allocated slot.  All meetings are at 9.30 am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.  This is slightly earlier than originally planned in order to avoid clashes with other online class meetings.

Our Special Story

I would like to begin planning around traditional stories and have opened a poll for your child to vote for the first themed story.   This can be found on the Memo section of Tapestry.  To narrow down the selection, I have picked three options:

The Gingerbread Man
The Three Bears
Jack and the Beanstalk

Please reply to the Memo post to let me know your child’s preferred story. I’ve already had lots of votes in! Thank you.

Letters and Sounds

Today’s new sound – ‘sh’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

Here is fun video which teaches the sound ‘sh’.  Geraldine the Giraffe is a very mischievous character as you will discover.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘sh’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘sh’.  Can your child find ‘sh’ on their sound mat?

Ask your child to articulate the ‘sh’ sound whilst demonstrating the action. 

Show your child how to write ‘sh’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘s’ and ‘h’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘sh’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 

Maths

The next step in our measure learning sequence is that of using the language of heavier and lighter to compare mass or weight.   Exploring that bigger things might not be heavier

Ask your child to compare weights from a selection of objects (a ball, a blown up balloon, a wooden block). Can your child guess which might be heavier/lighter out of a pair? Give your child the objects to feel to see if they can predict which will be heavier or lighter. At this point, notice that bigger objects (like the balloon) might not always be heavier.  A nice trick to play is fill a small box with a heavy object.

If you have some kitchen scales, test the objects and show your child how to measure weight.  Of course, cooking activities are a great way to continue to consolidate this concept.

Internet Safety

Talking to children about online safety is essential because many of them will be using a wide range of technologies in their home environments during this period of lockdown. Technology is becoming an integral part of children’s lives; we know it entertains them, engages them and motivates them.

Childnet.com provides excellent internet safety advice for parents.  Here is a link to activities for children aged from 3-7 years.  The Smartie the Penguin story is a great story to watch with your child and introduces good discussion points.

https://www.childnet.com/resources/online-safety-activities-you-can-do-from-home/for-3-7-year-olds-

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 07.01.21

Good morning everyone,

Please accept my apologies if you were unable to view yesterday’s blog. There was a technical issue which I have resolved and it is now available to view.

Here is today’s home learning.  I am also planning to set up Zoom meetings with groups of children next week.  Each meeting will take place at 10.00 am.  Details of your child’s allocated Zoom meeting will be posted via the Memo section on Tapestry.

Personal, Social and Emotional

Feelings game

Children learn to build positive relationships with their friends during cooperative play.  At this time of isolation, you can help your child continue to learn how to build good relationships at home.  I am sure this activity will also help those children with siblings at home.

  • You will need three toys such as soft toys or superhero characters.
  • Create and act out a short scenario in which the two toys play a chasing game, then bump into each other and fall over.
  • The third toy should see what has happened.
  • Ask your child, should the third toy go off and tell an adult?
  • Ask your child how the characters were feeling at each stage of the story, whether the accident could have been avoided and whether they all behaved sensibly.
  • Encourage a discussion about taking care when running, feeling sad or cross when they get hurt but accepting that sometimes accidents do happen.
  • Discuss wanting to help each other, telling adults when they need help or solving the problem themselves, feeling happy when people make things better.
  • Extend this activity by performing another short act, during which two puppets are playing and a third asks to join in and is refused.  The third puppet should display sadness.
  • Again, ask your child to name and describe the characters’ feelings and how they should speak and behave towards each other so nobody is sad. 
  • Talk to your child about how they may be able to resolve the problem themselves.  Can they exchange ideas, take turns etc?
  • Emphasise that they may always ask an adult for adult and support if somebody is not being kind.
  • End the game by acting out the children agreeing on how they can welcome their friend into the game.

Letters and Sounds

Shared writing

A really important role a parent can play in their child’s life is being seen to write and modelling the writing process – scribing. 

  • Ask your child to tell you a story.  You may wish to use the puppet stories made in the previous activity for this idea.  Or you could read a favourite story and ask your child to retell the story.  If your child only offers one or two sentences, that’s fine.  Building confidence is most important at this stage. 
  • I find that in class children love to see adults writing and will get very excited telling the adult what to write.
  • As you write down your child’s story, model sounding out simple words you know your child will be able to ‘have a go’ at.  Pretend, you’re a bit stuck and invite your child to tell you how to write particular words.
  • Model looking for tricky words in your child’s word bag to help them learn how to spell tricky words.
  • Talk about full stops and capital letters.
  • Read back what you have written – model checking for meaning.  Does this make sense?  Model making amendments and changing what has been written.

Your child may enjoy you reading their story to other family members over the phone.  Perhaps you create a story over time and display the different parts as they evolve.  Ask your child to draw a picture to accompany the story.  Maybe you could make a book.

Today’s new sound – ‘ch’ (digraph two letters but one sound) Watch the following video with your child:

Here is a fun song which also teaches the sound ‘ch’:

Below is the action for ‘ch’:

Ask your child to articulate the ‘ch’ sound whilst demonstrating the action. 

Show your child how to write ‘ch’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘c’ and ‘h’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ch’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

Maths

Below is Step 3 of our measures learning sequences – wider/fatter/thicker and thinner.  I am sure many children can easily identify different thicknesses.  However, the key to this learning sequence is to encourage your child to use full sentences when making comparisons.   

I appreciate that many of you will not have playdough at home.  I’ve therefore included a playdough making activity in this blog. 

If you are not able to get hold of any playdough, this activity can be adapted as follows:

  • Provide a range of natural materials for your child to compare in terms of thickness.
  • Provide a range of construction materials for building towers and structures so your child can explore what makes a structure wider (and extending this to discussing wider tower bases being more stable).
  • Provide cubes, Duplo® or Lego® (construction materials which fix together) and explore how to make these models wider/fatter or thinner.
  • Offer a range of clothes and explore the fabrics they are made of. Explore whether the thicker materials are warmer.

A little bit of science

Playdough

I thought I would share with you how I make the playdough for the children in class.  It’s a fun activity to do with your child.  I appreciate that you may not have some of these ingredients readily available.  However, if you do have good supplies, this activity lends itself to numerous learning opportunities.  For example, following instructions, conversation, predicting changes and fine motor skills. 

Here is the simple recipe. 

  •  1 cup of flour (I usually use a mug)
  • ½ cup of salt (use the same mug)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (can be vegetable oil or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of water (again use the same mug).  Put food colouring in the mug before the water so you’ve got coloured water.  I find half a small bottle of food colouring is a good quantity.   If you don’t have food colouring, don’t worry, it can be white playdough!

Method:

  • Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and mix together.
  • Cook on the hob.
  • Use a wooden spoon and stir continuously until the mixture begins to bind together.
  • I usually continue to stir for a few moments more to ensure the playdough is fully formed.
  • Cool the playdough down on a plate and enjoy. 
  • At this stage, your child could knead glitter into the playdough to make it a bit fancier.

Please don’t forget to post on Tapestry some examples of your child’s home learning.

Thank you for your continued support and I wish you all a wonderful day.

Nicola Palmer