I would like to say a warm hello to the new families and returning families.
Over the last two weeks we have been focusing on settling in and learning our routines. Our focus book has been " Whatever Next" about a little bear who wants to go to the moon, which the children have enjoyed exploring the props for. From this the children have helped to launch teddy to the moon using a starry night sheet, helped build a role play rocket out of blocks and create rocket artworks.
Alongside this during circle time we have been singing lots of songs that involve actions and using a sheet of Lycra for songs such as "row row your boat" and "5 little monkeys" to encourage all the children to join in at group time.
We have also been exploring the children's interest with the apple tree in the garden. This has inspired talks about what makes an apple good or bad. We then picked apples and made an apple crumble, that we enjoyed together.
Meet Josh! 21/09/23whatever Next
Josh joined the Oak team in September. He is a qualified teacher and worked in Early Years for a number of years before he began his teacher training. He is passionate about the outdoors and shares his love for nature with the children in his class and across the setting.
Beware for Here be Giants! - 08/07/23
Despite a shorter week due to Strike Action we have still had plenty of time for learning fun this week with our new core text, Jack and the Beanstalk.
The classroom has been filled with the tapping of hammers and rasping of saws as the children have been curious about exploring the sounds made by the tools while making their own castles in the clouds (just like the giant lives in!) using blocks and cotton wool. In group time we have worked collaboratively to build a castle together, taking turns to choose and place a blocks to form a castle. When it fell down we were resilient and built it up again, learning from what worked and what didn't the previous time.
On Tuesday morning, to our astonishment a lot of things had mysteriously appeared in our nursery! In the classroom a beanstalk had appeared overnight, and a giant hand left a huge pair of trousers hanging up. When we went outside (tiptoeing very quietly just in case the giant was out there!) we found enormous footprints leading to a huge box of porridge with a large bowl, spoon and jug of milk beside it - clearly our messy giant had had some breakfast and left quite a mess. We spent some time running around the garden looking for him.
Inside we decided to decorate the trousers that we had found and a treasure bag for the giant's golden coins. With adult support many of our children used scissors to cut out shapes and pictures they chose from magazines to stick onto the trousers and bag. After a few tries with adult help several of our children were then confident to use the scissors independently (still under a watchful adult eye of course!). Our giant clearly thought the new design was fabulous, as when we came into the classroom on Thursday there he was wearing them and holding his treasure sack!
Inspired by this many of our children decided to continue using their scissor skills and apply their creativity to make their own giant faces out of paper plates and different materials. Perhaps we have the next Picasso in our midst...
Of course the absolute highlight of our week was that our caterpillars that had finally burst forth from their cocoons, transformed into beautiful butterflies. After drinking some sugar water and having a chance to strengthen their wings we released them into the garden. Some were reluctant to fly too far and so enjoyed a little rest to watch the goings on of nursery in one of our bushes before flying away to start their lives of freedom! It has been wonderful to watch this life cycle take place and the children have shown how knowledgeable they are explaining the different stages in order and considering what the caterpillars and butterflies might need such as leaves and nectar.
Awaiting the Butterflies - 20/06/23
Our butterflies have formed their cocoons, so in preparation for their metamorphosis into butterflies we have had a colourful week of butterfly themed activities in Oak Class.
In Literacy we have been continuing our work with sequencing, using our knowledge of The Very Hungry Caterpillar story. We have used flashcards to order the events of the story and retell them in our own words.
In Maths we have been continuing our work on pattern and colour. We started with a fun colour sorting activity, choosing a plant pot and finding all the pompoms that were the same colour as the butterfly on the pot. It was a bit tricky to pick up the pompoms with the tweezers but we used our resilience and kept trying. The pompoms also ended up on a floor a lot, but many of our children showed respect for the nursery environment by helping the adults to pick them up.
Later in the week we developed this by looking at symmetry in butterfly wings. We have been playing matching games with the butterflies, looking carefully to check that both wings are the same.
Butterflies have given us lots of opportunities to explore colour creatively and we have been enjoying making butterfly suncatchers out of the lids from our friday lunchtime icecreams, lolly sticks and sequins.
We were fascinated by the process of making 'magic' butterflies for our display using coffee filter papers, felt tips and water. This is a really easy but very satisfying craft that you might like to try at home. Just scribble patterns on the coffee paper, paint with water and watch the magic as the colours run. Leave it to dry, then cut down one side to open it out and reveal your beautiful symmetrical butterfly!
Caterpillar Fun - 23/06/23
With the arrival of our caterpillars last Friday we have been having a fun week of activities based around The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The children have enjoyed using their creativity to make caterpillars. They have thought about how to use colour, pattern and different mediums such as pompoms, card, lolly sticks and stickers to make fantastic pieces of art.
We have also been using our fine motor skills to do some threading activities. First we used coloured pasta to thread onto pipe cleaners to make some caterpillars, another opportunity to think about pattern and colour. Later we found the very hungry caterpillar had been munching on some leaves and so we used wool and pipe cleaners to thread through the holes. This was quite tricky as the leaves ripped easily but we used our resilience and persevered with the activity.
In our group times, as well as looking out our caterpillars each day we have been reading through The Hungry Caterpillar. We have been singing about the days of the week, counting the fruits and thinking about the sequencing of the story. We also made a fruit salad, counting the fruits we needed and using our knife skills to prepare it to eat at snack time - but it was so delicious it was gobbled up before we could snap a picture! We also tried a leaf from our nasturtium plants we had grown (edible leaves!) just like the hungry caterpillar. We were curious to see how they would taste, though some of us didn't like them very much as they were a bit hot and spicy.
We have also been enjoying some sensory play in the water tray, showing our knowledge of minibeast names as we fish them out of the water tray.
Just like the very hungry caterpillar we have watched our caterpillars getting big and fat (though we haven't fed them any chocolate cake or salami!). A few have just started to hang upside down to start forming their cocoons, so we are very excited to watch them develop next week and get stuck into some butterfly themed activities!