Week Commencing 26.4.21

Just call us inventors!

This week, we have been super busy! In maths, we continued with fractions and more specifically, developed our confidence with converting between mixed number and improper fractions. We have continued to take to the challenge and are now very fluently able to change our answers to be in either a mixed number or an improper fraction. We have then begun to look at how we can use this skill to help us with sequencing fractions in a specific order; we need to make sure all of the amounts are in an improper fraction in order for us to see the rule, then we can predict the next/missing terms.

In English this week, we have been looking closely at punctuating bulleted lists. Initially we explored the different rules for punctuation. For example, if you are listing proper nouns, you only need to remember capital letters. If however, the stem (sentence t introduce the list) ends with a colon (:), then each point should finish with a semicolon (;) apart from the last point, which should have a full stop. Eventually, we had a go at helping Bear Grylls prepare for the next season of his programme ‘The Island’. We needed to create lists, on a computerised document, of places to locate the show, ,questions the contestants are likely to ask, items to pack and also much more!

In whole class reading, we have had the chance to really get stuck into our story (the children LOVE it). We really love the survival aspect of the storyline. We also are really intrigued at the similarities between us (having had a lockdown and shortage of supplies for example) and the character in the story who is escaping deadly plants!

In experience this week, we have delved a little deeper into how solids can change into a liquid by melting. A liquid can then change into a gas though the process of evaporation. Then, after that, a gas can turn back to a liquid by condensation. We have had a go at designing our very own changing state machines! These are likely to be ready next week and then photos can be shared with you all! We had some wonderful ideas like catapulting the liquid to the North pole in order for it to freeze into a solid or drilling down to the Earth’s core to melt the solid back to a liquid!

To end the week, we have done another positive post-it note about our fellow classmates. The children seem to really enjoy it!

Perfect Participant
This week was tough; we had lots of runners up. The overall perfect participant of the week has worked incredibly hard both in school and at home. In fact, she accumulated most of her points from reading at home (16 times to be precise!)
Congratulations Sophie!

Week Commencing 19.4.21

Turning Up The Gas

This week, we launched a new experience. The children were presented with some large blocks of ice, which contained important clues relating to our new experience. Eventually, after lots of interesting suggestions to change the ice from a solid to a liquid, the children learnt that our new experience is all about investigating materials. For the next 5 weeks, we will be looking at the science behind solids, liquids and gasses, how the particles in each might look and we will also develop our scientific enquiry skills. Already, the children have been asking great questions, clearly showing scientific thinking and curiosity!

In English this week, we have been looking at organisational features of non-chronological reports – a type of nonfiction text. We have really been thinking about what purpose they serve to the reader and therefore how to make sure that in our own writing, they are effective. We hunted through a mixture of nonfiction books, looking for eye-catching headings and subheadings. By then turning the headings and subheadings into questions, we could clearly see that these were the type of questions a reader was likely asking in their head before choosing to read the text. We certainly gained a better understanding of, firstly, how this type of text is to inform a reader as opposed to entertain or persuade for example, and secondly, how to use these type of organisational clues to help us locate answers to questions we might have.

During maths lessons, we have been focusing on some fractions basics. We learnt what a fraction looks like along with the terminology that we will be using throughout this half term. We have done some more work on equivalent fractions (fractions that represent the same amount but might use different numbers) and definitely seem to understand this more this week. From here, we moved onto improper and mixed number fractions. Firstly identifying what they actually are, and then starting to convert from an improper fraction to a mixed number fraction, often drawing our own pictures to prove how we know we’re correct. I am so so proud of how well we have taken to the challenge in maths this week. The children have been great learners and have asked on assistance or extra morning work for themselves to feel more confident, which has ultimately helped them to leave this week on a total maths high!

Perfect Participant
This week’s perfect participant has been a superb learner. She has been so conscientious with her work, being sure to keep the presentation looking great along with contributing to class discussions and asking questions to clarify her own understanding of something. Congratulations to Leah who chose to have 5 minutes extra at break time!

Week Commencing 12.4.21

And we’re back…

I hope that everyone had a lovely Easter half term, the children seemed to have really enjoyed their break!

During our PSHE time this week, as part of our ‘Healthy Me’ work, the children have learnt about different types medicines and how they should be used. For example, someone who has asthma might use their asthma pump every day, whereas paracetamol would only be used if someone was experiencing some kind of pain, like a headache. We also took a little look at how vaccinations work to keep people in a community safe. We found it interesting that it would take 95% of people in a group to become vaccinated in order to stop the virus (not specifically Covid-19) from spreading. To end the week, we added some more thoughtful messages to our Affirmation Station. Every child had to anonymously write some positive things about another given child; it was so lovely to see everyone experience a boost.

In maths, we have started learning about FRACTIONS! This is a lengthy unit and will probably take us up until next half term, perhaps longer considering they missed some of this content due to the year 4 lockdown. At the beginning of the week, we looked at what a fraction is and what the numerator and denominator represent. This was all grasped very quickly! After that, we explored the relationships between different numbers as a way to understand how to find equivalent (other fractions equal to) fractions. A lot of the work we will be doing involves multiplication and division knowledge and so times table revision will certainly help!

In English this week, we have started a new class book – The Boy In The Tower. So far, we are super intrigued. We have been introduced to a someone/something named ‘The Blutchers’. We know that at some point in the story, they are responsible for total ‘destruction’. We have been eagerly theorising what or who they could be.
Along with this, we have been introduced to another character in the story, the boy’s mother – someone who seems to be struggling with her mental health. We therefore did some research into what depression or anxiety could look like and then hunted through the book to find clues that suggested that the boy’s mother might have been experiencing either or both of the conditions.

Perfect Participant
This week, all of the children have really settled back into school well. Lots of points had accumulated on the PP leaderboard as a result of reading at home. A very big congratulations to Ava Bea, who had been reading a multitude of texts, including non-fiction and even online information about something she is passionate about – animals! Very inspiring!

Week Commencing 22.3.21

Happy Easter!

Throughout this week, the children have been continuing with their science work. We have been looking at how the Earth and the Moon move and what the different rotations represent. For example, we learnt that it takes 365.25 days for the Earth to move around the sun. We also learned that the extra 0.25 (quarter of a day) is saved up and used every four years, which is what a leap year is and explains why there is an extra day added! With the knowledge that a year on Earth is 365 (Earth) days, we were able to calculate how old we were on Mercury; most of us would be about 42 to 43 Mercury years old!

In English, we continued with whole class reading and have very nearly finished our class book. We have enjoyed exploring new language and looking at ‘Zen’ meditation though a non-fiction text that one of the characters referred to.

In maths, we have spent the week looking at problem solving language specifically relating to multiplication and division so that we can better determine which method to use. This is something that we will continue to practise in the summer term.
As for the calculation methods, we could still do with some practise; not because we don’t know what to do, but more just to develop accuracy. Lots of very silly mistakes are still being made.

***Perfect participant will be announced on the first day back!

Week Commencing 15.3.21

Positive Vibes!

Every day this week, we have been tasked with thinking of either 3 things we are grateful for, or 3 things that already make today a good day. We have really tried to promote a positive and happy environment since coming back and will continue to do so after the holidays. We all found it interesting that at the beginning of the week, we were selecting some quite broad aspects of life to be happy about eg, clean water, a house etc. However towards the end of the week there were responses that were much more in the moment and relevant to that morning. Here are some examples:

  • I started a new book,
  • I have chocolate in my lunch box!
  • Feeling positive
  • Slept well last night
  • I met someone new today
  • I raced Miss Limmer
  • I cuddled my dog
  • It’s not raining today!
  • To see my friends
  • Making my brother and sister laugh this morning
  • My little brother went to sleep ok, which rarely happens without him crying!
  • Science today!
  • Books!!!!!
  • Cats not fighting with each other this morning
  • Having a little lay-in
  • The men are cutting the school grass, which means summer is around the corner
  • It didn’t rain on the way to school!
  • I got to experience a new job
  • I’m in a good mood
  • My sister didn’t make us late to school

This week, in English, we have been finalising the drafts for our flat Earth discussion text. We have worked exceptionally hard to include technical and formal language whilst also trying to keeping an eye on comma placement in sentences. I am really looking forward to these being written up and hopefully posted onto the children’s websites next week (technology dependant)!

Our maths lessons this week have been very busy. We have been trying to squeeze in some extra multiplication practise each morning to try and develop confidence and also accuracy. This is something that we will continue to do. It might be useful for this to also be continued at home; I’ve included some additional resources and a toolkit on the ‘Homework’ page of this blog.
We have also started to look at division with remainders, using the bus stop method. Whilst we have only just moved onto this, after today’s recap session, we appear to be a lot more confident and understand the method. Next week, we will continue to look at multiplication and division in different contexts and try to choose the correct calculation.

We have continued with some PSHE this week. At the beginning of the week, we had some mature discussions about what the children would like to learn more about in the summer term along with what they also thought was important for them to learn/know now. Following the discussions from these sessions, the children asked about rights and responsibilities. We looked at what this means specifically within a school environment. We talked about how every child had the right to learn, be respected and to also be safe. Based on these rights, the children were really reflective and created a list of unhelpful/negative behaviors that are often demonstrated in class/outside on the playground, that would affect someone’s right to learn, be respected or be safe.

Perfect Participant
This week, I am really happy to announce that Harry is our perfect participant of the week! HJe has come back to school with the same, determined and keen-to-learn attitude that he has always had. He has followed instructions really well throughout the week, being sure not to miss anything that I say. He has contributed really well to class discussions, which is really nice to see too! Well done Harry!

Week Commencing 8.3.21

Back To School!

This week, the children have been absolutely brilliant. Their attitude towards coming back to school has been really lovely to see and certainly inspiring!

To settle back into the swing of a full, working school day, we have had lots of opportunities to talk and play games together.

In maths this week, we have been continuing with long multiplication using the formal written method that was introduced during remote learning. Whilst we are all beginning to remember and recall the steps for using this method, we still need to work on our accuracy and consistency. Quite often, silly mistakes are being made, whether that be forgetting to include the place holder, mis-multiplying the numbers or ignoring exchanged numbers. We will continue to work on our fluency with this before moving onto short and long division using written methods.

As for English, we continued with writing our discussion (balanced argument) text linked to the well-known flat Earth debate. The language that has been circulating the classroom in discussions this week has been fantastic! We have also been really good at recalling the information taken from the last week of remote learning, which is great!

Since this week was British science week, we have were lucky enough to spend a whole day exploring the science behind sound. In the morning, we looked at how to take effective notes and also make them memorable when learning new things eg using colours and pictures. We put this to the test when we learnt about the relationship between pitch, frequency and wavelengths in sound waves. Following this, we applied our new learning and answered questions whilst making an interactive section in our workbooks. Throughout the week, we also have been looking at what mental wellbeing is and how we can do different things to look after it. We spoke about how music can often change our mood and make us feel more uplifted. So, with this in mind and the theme of this year’s science week being ‘Innovating for the future’, we worked to create our own musical instruments that could both change in pitch or volume whilst also lifting someone’s mood!

As promised, I have added the amusing video that we watched today- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH8mT2IQz7Y

Perfect Participant
Congratulations to Leah for winning the first Perfect Participant award of 2021! You have returned to school and set the bar very high for next week!

Week Commencing 14.12.20

Goodbye 2020!

Firstly, the adults of Earth class would like to say a big thank you for the cards and gifts that the children brought in at the beginning of the week; it was very thoughtful and we really appreciate it!

The last week has been filled with lots of exciting things. To follow tradition, we still managed to watch a panto (virtually albeit) and eat some tasty ice cream. Along with this, we had Christmas jumper day and ate our delicious Christmas dinners whilst pulling crackers, telling (terrible) jokes and listening to festive music. We also enjoyed one of the first virtual assemblies with the whole school, which included a headteacher’s award for each class and a sports award for both KS1 and 2. I am proud to announce that Lilly got the sports award and Leah got the headteacher’s award – congratulations girls! Later on in the week, we also had our hot chocolates to celebrate regular readers.

In experience lessons, we have been continuing with our cam mechanisms. We have mainly been adding final touches to our backgrounds and followers, along with sawing the doweling, which will eventually be used as the axle and follower. The last of us were also able to use the hot glue-gun to add supports to the background piece of our mechanism. Hopefully, we should have the complete mechanisms ready and fit for purpose in the new year!

As for writing, we have been using a frame to support us with maintaining a rhyme scheme in our smuggler poems. Compared to the last poem we wrote, we have improved at carefully selecting words that both rhyme and relate appropriately to the context of the poem.
Some examples of stanzas are below:

‘Arriving at the squelchy sand,
Pulling his boat with his blistered hands.
A girl called Bess, caught the smuggler’s eye.
Her hair shone in the moonlight,
Her eyes reflected the moonlight,
“Hello my bonny sweetheart,” greeted the smuggler acting shy’
By Naomi

‘The sea that night was not shy.
Many sailors came here to die.
The sea has swallowed many boats.
The moon was as bright as the sun,
clouds were dancing and having fun
and on the see, there was a small boat.’
By Harrison

‘The boat was rocking on top of the glassy water,
“oh no,” he’s an illegal importer!
The tropical sea stretched as far as an eye could see.
The horizon was glistening,
The horizon was glistening as bright as diamonds,
and from sea the smuggler looked the size of a pea.’
By Paige

‘Tim snitched on the smuggler and Bess,
Now the smuggler had to confess.
His cargo was tobacco and tea
The tea granules were as small as a flea.’
By Lois

‘Little did they know, Tim the ostler was listening in,
He couldn’t dismiss they were committing a sin,
Tim stood stationary; he was in shock!
At that moment, he started running,
he was running, running,
until he found some watchmen, at the dock.’
By Lilly

‘The water crashed against the rough rocks.
The wild waters wetted the smuggler’s socks.
His small, birch boat pranced,
The smuggler came sailing,
sailing, sailing,
as the water danced.’
By Maggie

‘The sky was as dark as it could be,
underneath the sky there was a raging rough sea.
There were vast amounts of sand on a beach,
In a dark cave, there were jagged rocks…’
By Harry

Perfect Participant
This week there have been two children that have stood out.
One of which, has been working at home, creating toolkits for some tricky maths and even taking the time to teach her sister! She is always courteous and always tries her hardest in class!
The other perfect participant has shown that she is very grown up in handling challenges. We have noticed that she makes such an effort with everyone in the class, especially those who might not be having a great day, which is brilliant.
It is so lovely to have such respectful and positive children in Earth.
Congratulations Maggie and Paige!

Week Commencing 7.12.20

Earth’s Construction Progress…

One more week to go!

This week, we have been using lots of art and practical skills to refine our moving mechanism products. We have spent some time improving the finish of our boxes by painting them black; we noticed that a selected few boxes did not hold the paint as well as most. Along with this, we have created figures that will be glue-gunned to the wooden followers next week, after they have been sawed to size. Today, all of us were able to accurately measure, mark out and then drill the holes in the sides of our boxes, ready for the wooden axel to fixed into next week. Lastly, some of us were able to use the hot glue-gun to add supports onto our card backgrounds, this is to stop the card from bending over time.

In our english lessons, at the beginning of the week, we explored different poetic devices (metaphors, similes, repetition, personification, alliteration etc). For this, we listened to various (mostly old) pop songs and listened out for examples of poetic devices, we were really intrigued to find that songwriters need to be able to use them in order for the song to be effective and catchy!
Later on in the week, we looked some more at using a range of clauses in sentences. We are beginning to become more confident in identifying different types of clauses in complex sentences, which is great. We are also able to correct sentences that are missing clause-related punctuation. We aim to continue to develop this skill and become more independent in applying it to our own work. After we looked at grammar and punctuation, we began to storyboard our own concept for recreating the Highwayman poem, which instead involves a different stuart/tudor criminal – a smuggler. We will continue with developing descriptions using poetic devices next week.

In our maths lessons, we have been working on some really tricky concepts, which involve using lots of large numbers! We have really spent some time on exploring calculations that include numbers which are multiples of 10, 100 and 1,000. Essentially, these are numbers that end in a zero (30, 200, 4,200 etc). Because we know how to multiply or divide a given number by 10, 100 and 1,000, we have been learning how to break down multiples of these numbers into tens, hundreds and thousands (30 would be broken down into 3 x 10, 200 would be broken down into 2 x 100 and 4,200 would be broken down into 42 x 100). By the end of the week, we were definitely feeling more confident!

Perfect Participant
Congratulations to Isabelle…again! You’ve worked very hard this week, helping and listening to instructions very carefully!

Week Commencing 30.11.20

Begin the Build...

This week, in our experience lessons, we have been finalising our designs for the scenes that will be attached to our moving mechanisms. This has involved careful sketching and editing. We have also been using annotations to ensure that our designs are clear for us to follow further down the production line.
We also had a ‘Text Training’ session. This involved looking at and discussing different text message threads. We had to consider how different messages could be interpreted and then how we could tweak them in order for the sender’s intention to become more clear. We concluded that using emojis are a good way to express whether we are saying something positive, we also spoke about how being blunt and using text talk could come across to the reader as slightly rude or perhaps unkind (even though that wasn’t the intention).

In maths this week, we have been looking at what happens when you multiply or divide a given number by 10, 100 and 1,000. It did not take long for us to realise that it is just a case of moving our digits in the correct direction on the place value grid. At the beginning of the week, when given numbers with decimal points, we did not seem so confident, however today, at the end of the week, we certainly approached the questions with more confidence and efficiency.

Our English lessons this week have been based around the comprehension of a narrative poem titled ‘The Highwayman’. Due to our learning in history, we had a good understanding of what a highwayman is, which is great. We started off by only looking at part one of the narrative poem, pulling apart some of the new language. We then explored what the different scenes might have looked like and eventually used clues to make a prediction about the second part of the poem. Lots of us thought that the highwayman and the landlord’s daughter would succeed in stealing the gold and living a happy life together, some of us thought differently and suspected that Tim the ostler wouldn’t let this happen. We were all shocked to discover the real ending and actually compared it to the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Next week, we shall be practising our punctuation and grammar skills in preparation for writing our own version of the highwayman but instead about a smuggler.

Perfect Participant
There were a total of 5 runner ups for this week’s perfect participant reward and 2 overall winners! Well done everyone!
Both of the winners have been mature and helpful throughout the week. With one of them helping to tidy up someone elses art spillage and the other taking the class to teach the new mathematics concept!
Congratulations Joe and Leah!

Week Commencing 23.11.20

Designers First, Creators Next…

Firstly, thank you to those of you that remembered to bring in a cardboard box for our upcoming project!

In our experience lessons, we have been recapping and comparing crime and punishment from the last 2000 years. We have done a brilliant job at retaining and engaging with the lessons! Following this, we have started to look at moving cam mechanisms and consider how rotary motion, from the axle and the cam, can turn into linear motion through the follower. We first explored this by creating prototypes of a moving mechanism. We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge that this brought since we had to make some adaptations to enable to prototype to work more effectively.

In maths this week, we have been focusing on our speed when answering 2 times table questions. We have completed lots of different, quick and easy activities. Some of these included using multiplications wheels (and then the added pressure of the countdown music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2dhD9zR6hk) and playing a ball game, where pressure was added by not just remembering the next multiple but to also be able to catch the ball at the same time. We have also been focusing on looking at what square and cube numbers are. We are certainly becoming more confident with both, however cube numbers are slightly more challenging, as we need to have a good understanding of our times tables in order to figure them out.

In English this week, we have been finishing off with editing our suspense narratives. We have used checklists to ensure that we included what we can to make it a piece of work to be proud of. After this, we began writing up our final draft of the stories, using neat handwriting and paper with a crime themed boarder. Since we have taken such care with the planning, editing and copying up, we plan to have our short stories made into a real, hardback book!

Perfect Participant
This week has been a very good one for Earth class. Generally, we have all been very engaged with learning and making sure to ask questions when we’re stuck, which is great! It was also lovely to hear that the sports coach commended their efforts, enthusiasm and respect during today’s PE lesson – well done guys!
However, throughout this week, there has been one pupil who always listens, always works hard and is always polite. She is really becoming more confident in class, which is lovely to see. She has also made a real, conscious effort to improve her going for gold score, which has not gone unnoticed by the adults! Congratulations Sophie!

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