15th January – Biscuit Bear has arrived!
The children came into Nursery on Monday to see a very strange sight..
‘There are all cookies squashed on the floor!’ ‘What a mess – Mr Parker will be sad!’ ‘Who has made all the mess on the Piazza?’ were some of the children’s responses! An answer to the latter was found inside the envelope – a book from Biscuit Bear telling us all about his predicament, and so begins a weeks-long exploration of our very exciting new CLPE text. Some of the children chose to write signs and letters for the Bear, ‘telling him no come in and make a mess’ or maybe ‘only nice Biscuit Bears can come in!’ Problem-solving skills were explored through envelope-making, how to make a stamp (‘what shape is it – let’s see our shapes to check’ ) and posting over-large letters through the letter box.. It will be exciting to see how far creative imaginations will run over the next few weeks!
8th January 2018
Happy New Year from Nursery!
After sharing their Christmas holiday stories it was business as usual in Nursery, making parcels for Santa, investigating the most efficient way to count The Snowman’s buttons, drawing maps ‘So that Santa doesn’t get lost next time’, and using their fine motor skills to shape and stick on wintry decorations to the class tree.
Following on from the children’s line of enquiry last term, we have also opened our very own Nursery shop where we can spend some of our Hanukkah gelt and buy some presents for Santa.. We have also started our ‘Seasons’ topic and will be exploring the changes we can see in our outside environment on a bracing Winter walk….
11th December- Hanukkah Week
This week in Nursery we explored the Jewish festival of Hanukkah and channelled all our creative energies into making dreidels (with a fantastic use of them in our mathematics learning), exploring Latke potato cakes, hearing the story of Hanukkah (with a little help from Sesame Street’s Monica Hanukkah), counting our gelt and much more.
We were also very lucky to have Mrs Curtis come and give us a very exciting talk about the festival and how she celebrates it with her family. We had some latkes and doughnuts and revisited the traditional story, and even learned a new song – ‘Dreidel Driedel, Dreidel’. Thank you Mrs Curtis for kindly giving us some of your time to share your Hanukkah experiences with us!
4th December – Christmas crafts!
This week in Nursery the children have been exploring some sensory experiences in the Atelier as they make a hand print ‘Baby Jesus in the Manger’ card for mums, dads and grown ups! Our continuing Christmas play rehearsals have also provided the basis for lots of creative play exploring the Christmas story, dressing up and making puppets, and even sewing our own adornments for our Christmas Play costume!
6th December – The Performance!
While we cannot include photographs of our performance on the blog I wish to extend my heart felt thanks, on behalf of the team at Nursery, for the support of our parents in attending the performance, making such fantastic costumes, putting up with (I suspect) weeks of renditions of ‘It’s a Donkey’ and for being such a fantastic audience on the 6th. I am sure you agree with me how wonderful the children were and how much hard work and effort they put into their performance. What stars! Many thanks again to parents and children for such super work!
While we continue to work on our Christmas play with lots of rehearsals in the hall, some interesting learning has been happening in the construction area…
With the introduction of the spools or ‘rollers’ into our continuous provision in Construction has come many opportunities for open-ended exploratory play, using weight and measurement, distance, number and some exciting
investigations of our rotational schemas! Some of the children decided to measure how far they could roll their spool and had the idea to make a ‘board’ using the number tiles. We discovered that speed doesn’t necessarily equal the furthest distance (many spools would hit the peg area and actually ‘go backwards instead of going forwards!’) and that if sticky tape was added to the sides of the spool ‘it makes it go slower!’ Perhaps we can incorporate some more measuring into our investigations next week….
The children have really been inspired by our maths explorations last week and have spent many hours this week working creatively on their own maths problems in our enviroment..
Some children have been exploring the five frames to count and sort collections of objects, and extending this (with support) to include sets greater than ten. Key questions included ‘how do I know I have ten?’ and the children involved became fascinated by the flexibility of this simple tool. Mathematical learning has also continued, as always, in the Outdoor classroom, with a small group investigating spatial-cardinal concepts using the counting elephants. Annabelle explored what happens when you sort out the elephants by colour, line them up and deduce ‘which family has the most?’ Some interesting conflicts arose around the issue of the need to line them up first ‘ to be fair’ and the misleading impression of quantity given by the mixed-size line of elephants which, we discovered, had ‘a smaller number’ overall but a greater number ‘of big ones’ [elephants] in its composition. Faheem took this further in his exploration of the numicon and static dot number line, observing that the number patterns look different but represent ‘the same’ number. Well done mathematicians, what an exciting week!
Family Learning Week 13th November
Following on from the success of our Curriculum Evening last week (many thanks to all those who gave up some of their valuable time to attend), the children were delighted to welcome some of our parents into the Nursery this week to explore some Subitisation Investigations in our mathematics learning.
The children have been enjoying daily mental maths ‘fluency’ games in Nursery for some weeks now, exploring the differing conceptions of and problem-solving methods for deducing the totals of various dot configurations. We took this one step further this week using dice and traditional texts and nursery rhymes as a stimulus for creative mathematical thinking. Some of the learning challenges included rolling a dice and calculating how many steps to move Incey Wincey up the water spout. But watch out for the ‘rain’ symbol on one face of the dice – Incey Wincey gets washed out! Other children explored creating patterns with numicon in playdough and using the dice to calculate how many pepperonis to put on Grover’s pizza! Billy the Giant was also faced with a dilemma – can we help him to build a path of dominoes so he can get back to the castle before Jack finds him?
The children really enjoyed the opportunity to work with some new ‘grown ups’ and show off their new maths learning, and it was lovely to have so many new teachers to guide our discussions! Many thanks to all who came and supported us and also for providing me with your feedback. It was super to have you explore some learning with us and we really appreciate the time you gave to the Nursery.
6th November – Chatterboxes!
After sharing our holiday stories, the children started to explore their ‘chatterboxes’ this week as part of our ongoing social communication project this term.
Children worked collaboratively in small groups to take it in turns to listen to each other’s stories, ask questions and share responses relating to their ‘special things’ from their chatterboxes. It was really lovely to see how quickly the children became used to the structure of listening to their partner then creatively thinking about one ‘How’ or ‘What’ question to ask them. The children’s memories included visiting friends in New Zealand, forest walks with mummy, travelling to Australia and seeing the kangaroos, exciting trips to the circus and much, much more! The items the children brought in acted as key artefacts in the development of their conversations and allowed new vocabulary to be explored. We will build on these playful explorations in the coming weeks….
Our theme this week has been esafety. The children have enjoyed sharing stories about their ipads and other PDAs at home and we discussed the different devices we might have explored with our grown ups: mobile phones, tablets, ipads, gopro cameras, laptops and more! We participated in the story of Smartie the Penguin who is given a new tablet for his birthday. Sometimes some ‘strange pictures’ appeared on the screen and the children helped Smartie to make the right choice: tell your grown ups straight away! Our discussions also incorporated the various sources of environmental print with which the children are familiar (with the ‘Octonauts’ and ‘CeeBeebies’ logos proving popular!) and what to do if an older sibling or grown up has been using your computer/tablet before you. The children worked collaboratively and demonstrated a sound understanding of the need to ‘keep safe’ when using any sort of computer technology. Very well done Nursery on a tricky topic!
16th October – Diwali Week!
This week we have been learning about Diwali and how Rama rescued Sita from the ‘evil baddie with ten heads’ (Ravana) by working together with his friends. We discussed the importance of working as a team and linked the story to our PSED learning about ‘how to be a good friend’. We explored some stories from ‘Jessica’ about how her family celebrates Diwali and the children enjoyed painting Rangoli patterns outside and inside the Nursery, making Diva lamps using modelling clay, decorating their hands with Mendhi patterns and performing a Diwali dance in PE! An action-packed week…
9th October – Surprise!
This week in Nursery we have been exploring other cultures using the favourite Traditional Tale ‘Handa’s Surprise’. After practising our sitting and listening skills in our learning groups we read the story together and discussed responses. Was Handa expecting the tangerines in her basket? What happened to the fruit she originally had in there for Akeyo? The children loved our child-led planning for the week: tasting some of Handa’s exotic fruits (the avocado was a surprise favourite); talking about the different animals in the story and the kind of weather Handa enjoys in her country; and exploring some abstract grass painting in the Atelier. Chloe showed her friends how to make the ‘grass pattern’ using upward and downward strokes with her paintbrush, and he children’s paintings were the perfect vehicle for them to further explore their colour-mixing skills.
2nd October – Three Little Pigs have been visiting Nursery
What a busy week we have had in Nursery! As part of our CLPE approach to the teaching of reading in Foundation, the children arrived in Nursery today to find that ‘some one has made a lot of mess in the Piazza!’ We discussed what we found – straw, large sticks, a builder’s hat, some bricks and sand and a wheelbarrow! Who could have left them here? What were they using them for? When we found a map with ‘The Three Little Pigs’ Houses’ written on it we were convinced – the Big Bad Wolf has been into Nursery! Many discussions as to his motives were had – was he writing a map to show him the way to the little pigs so he could eat them, or was he just ‘trying to be their friend’ (Freddie) – like ‘the bear at the end of the Bear Hunt book?’ (Bethany). Much fun was had (by all!) in the accompanying mark makings, writings, artwork and role play which engaged us all for the rest of the week (and beyond)…
To make our week even more exciting, on Thursday and Friday we had a visit from Alan Fletcher, our very own ‘Bob the Builder’ who showed us how to build a real brick wall using sand and cement. The children were inspired afterwards to spend many hours outside building their own walls and working collaboratively to solve their very own engineering problems – adding water to our sand was deemed necessary after much experimentation, with The Foreman adding -‘it makes it sticky like glue! It looks like hot chocolate powder before the water goes in!’ (Charles)
Autumn Walk Week
This week in Nursery we have been learning all about ‘Autumn.’ The children enjoyed a (very muddy!) walk to the Silver Birches to look for some signs of Autumn and collected a variety of leaves, sticks and dried grasses for our Atelier Explorations. The highlight was definitely a ‘very wiggly worm’ that we found on an overturned log! Later on we learnt about Peter Rabbit’s adventures in Mr MacGregor’s garden and explored tasting radishes, squash and potatoes during our independent learning time.
It’s been another busy week in Nursery with lots more ‘getting to know you’ games and a chance for us to share our holiday and family experiences in small groups. There was lots of learning for the teacher too – I learned that we have both a pilot and a scientist among our parents and that in order to avoid being bitten by ‘scary zombies’ one must have with them at all times a ‘lucky biting star’ (sound advice). Some of the ways in which we have explored our opening topic ‘All About Me’ have included making self portraits using loose parts. Ariel had many explorations in this activity and investigated what happens to her face in the mirror when she explores different feelings.
We look forward to finishing off our christmas cards using more of our ‘All About Me’ knowledge and many more playful explorations to come….
After a hectic start to the term with lots of new things to learn, nearly all the new Nursery children have visited for at least a session and discovered all the delights of learning how to hang their coats, wash their hands, change their shoes and much more! With the outside area clearly a favourite destination for many children during exploring time, each child is finding his or her feet and making discoveries.
We also enjoyed a successful Information Evening for new parents and were delighted to welcome many new families to the St Andrews fold, and re-acquaint ourselves with some familiar faces. Many thanks to all those parents who took the time to come and see us after a long day at work!