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A selection of learning experiences we shared in recent weeks

posted 3 Apr 2018, 09:42 by Zoe Hendy   [ updated 5 Apr 2018, 03:04 ]
The children had a visit from some dragon and lion puppets during our time looking at Chinese New Year.  In addition they made their own red pockets and pretend lucky money to put inside.  We talked about how each year is a different animal and worked out what animals we might be depending on the year of our births. 
The learning also fired some imaginations as some of us had a go at making our own Chinese dragons while others used paper to make origami dog faces.

Looking at the calendar and celebrating different festivals and cultural celebrations is a great opportunity for us to talk about our own individual family customs and ‘special’ days and to learn about the people and communities around us.

During the last few weeks this allowed us to learn how children in Wales celebrate St David’s Day and even though snow was falling outside, we had a go at making our own craft daffodils and talked of Spring!  The children were able to take home their own daffodils (now in full bloom) that they had planted at the start of the academic year.
As the term drew to a close we also celebrated St Patrick’s Day by hearing stories about Irish life and Leprechauns and the day was rounded off with lots of Irish dancing.  Thank you to a couple of our after school girls for sharing some of their dance moves to get us all started. 

On the subject of music, the children have particularly enjoyed playing musical instruments so we had a go at making some of our own.

We used a selection of dried foods and with the help of funnels managed to get these inside our plastic bottles. Once we had enough inside to make a good noise we sealed each bottle and then decorated them.

Afterwards we had great fun making our own music and practicing playing quietly and loudly, slowly and quickly, high up and low down, in time to music and to accompany our marching!

During the very cold weather, the children discovered some blocks of ice in our tray. Inside they could see some sea creatures waiting to escape but the question was, how to free them?

We had some brilliant discussions about how we could possibly break the ice or ways to make the ice melt and eventually after lots of hard work all of the creatures were freed and we were able to play with them!

The children took part in Safer Internet Day. We read and discussed the story of a penguin who learned how to be safe when using his tablet and we talked about the need to ask for an adult’s help if something doesn’t seem right.  We also talked about other ways to stay safe from harm such as at home in the kitchen or out and about near water or roads.  Lots of the children were able to give us examples of how they can keep safe and when they need an adult’s help or guidance.

When asking the children what they wanted to learn most this term, one of the children wanted to learn about "being a princess".  We read some princess stories and looked at some images of our own royal family. 

This led on to discussions about knights and castles too and we spent some time making crowns, dressing up, story telling and turning our role play area into a castle. 

Thanks again to some after school children who got into the spirit and added some of their art work to help create turrets, a drawbridge, shields and a knight in armour.

Sometimes making your mark doesn’t have to involve paper and pens to help develop drawing or early writing skills.  Some of the children have really got stuck into playing with gloop.  The mixture of cornflour and water has a lovely feel to it and is brilliant for making marks which then disappear.  We used a variety of tools such as brushes, sticks from the garden, pine cones and cotton reels to drag through the gloop to make various marks and for some of the children to practice the letters of their names.  However, probably one of the most popular ideas was making bear claw marks by dragging our fingernails through the gloop towards us! 

We have continued with our focus on healthy eating and how to keep our bodies healthy through exercise this term.  As part of this learning we baked some wholemeal bread rolls which we formed into hedgehogs using our scissor skills and harvested some more of our winter salads and carrots to take home.

We drew round one of the children and then took turns drawing and naming different parts of the body both on the inside and the outside. This led to all sorts of discussions such as where to find our brains and what makes up our skeleton.

We have also been discussing our feelings and emotions. Some of the children drew pictures of their faces when they were experiencing different emotions.  They used a mirror to help them to see what their faces looked like. At circle times we talked about how we feel and how our actions might make others feel and what we can do to make sure we are all happy at Hedgehogs.