Monday, 29 October 2012

Bare feet! Bear feet!

 Mrs Crayon has made an observation. Little learners like to remove their shoes and go about in their sock feet, or even their bare feet (if they can get away with it) at every opportunity. Whilst this is fine and jim dandy at home, it is a definite no no in a busy reception environment, where a seemingly innocuous piece of Lego can stab a little learner in the foot bringing them to their knees in searing pain in a trice. Therefore the golden rule is, shoes on at all times in school, with the only exception being a P.E.session in the hall where the floor surface is safe and free of troublesome pieces of construction. It is this observation coupled with an unremarkable comment from a little learner one day, whilst she was changing into her P.E. kit, that inspired Mrs Crayon to pen the following verse. The little learner in question asked Mrs Crayon if she needed to wear her plimsolls for P.E. " No not today, you're doing P.E. in your bare feet." Mrs Crayon told her. The little learner stared intently at her bare feet for a minute or two, then she turned to Mrs Crayon and said. " My Mummy calls them my bare feet."  It suddenly struck Mrs Crayon that it was possible the little learner had a different kind of bare feet in her mind when she made the comment. So that evening whilst walking her dog on the downs of Appleville, Mrs Crayon wrote....

Bare Feet

I don't like shoes and I don't like socks,
Laces are a pain and so are flip flops.
Tights won't stay up and plimsolls don't stay on,
I don't mind trainers, but I've only got one.

Wellies flop about and they hurt my toes,
Where my slippers are nobody knows.
I long to run about in my feet all bare,
But the grown ups frown at me and say. "Don't you dare!" 

I love my...

 ...Bare feet, bare feet, I don't have a care feet.
Stop and stare feet, don't you dare feet.
Out in the fresh air, in my feet all bare. 
That's where I want to be, barefoot and fancy free!

Sandals are okay every now and again,
but when I've got them on I still complain.
The only time I feel complete,
Is when I'm stepping out in my... 

...Bear feet!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Sing, sing, sing!.

The team can hardly believe that at the end of this week, Sunnyside breaks for half term and the little learners will have been in school for seven whole weeks. In that time, the team have got to know each little learner very well and they are extremely proud of them all for the way in which they have settled and embraced every aspect of Reception life.

The little learners have achieved so much in their first half term. They are becoming more and more confident, independent and self reliant. Their listening skills are improving daily, which of course has a positive impact on their learning. 

Miss Kind and Mrs Caring spent time today talking to the little learners about the activities and experiences they enjoy most in school. Almost without exception they all said playing with their new friends was their most favourite thing to do. The one exception came from a little learner who stated to Mrs Caring that his most favourite thing to do was make hats and sing Bruno Mars! That wasn't what she was expecting him to say at all.

One of Mrs Crayon's favourite activities is singing and performing with the little learners and today she enjoyed a whole afternoon of it. 
Mrs Crayon provided some "singing hats" for the little learners and they in turn   provided the entertainment.
The little learners decided to make tickets for their show and they set out chairs in rows for their audience. They sung all afternoon from their growing repertoire of songs to a very appreciative audience which included all the grown ups in the team at varying times throughout the performance.
Well done little learners! Roll on your next performance.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Beach School and The Big Draw

Today, the beautiful golden sands of Whippy Cove beach served as an outdoor classroom for the little learners, their teachers, and a group of very special arty grown ups. Mr and Mrs Creative and Daring Dan Recycle Man are community artists from Eccleston George Public Artists. A little while ago Eccleston George invited the little learners to their workshop/studio which is situated close to the beach, to participate in The Big Draw project.
The Big Draw is an annual event which runs throughout the whole of October as part of a national campaign to encourage drawing. The theme for this year is "Lines." The Eccleston George team made some wonderful tools for the little learners to use, and although the tools appeared to have no apparent use ,once in the hands of the little learners they could be used to create patterns and lines in the sand.
The little learners spent hours pushing, pulling, scraping, turning, twisting and dragging the tools over the sand, making beautiful patterns as they went.
They collected seaweed and shells from the sand, then took great pride in using them to decorate their creations.  
The clever grown ups at Eccleston George made the fabulous tools completely from recycled materials and when it comes to making things from recycled  materials, Daring Dan Recycle Man, is an absolute champion.
Daring Dan Recycle Man has invented and made everything from a wicky wacky
page turning machine to an outrageous and enormous wooden tricycle, which he pedalled all the way to Spain!!!!!!!!!
It isn't easy to find the words that best describe the genius that is Daring Dan, so let's see if Mrs Crayon can string a few verbs together to help sum him up. 

Daring Dan Recycle Man

Measure it, draw it,
Hammer it, saw it.
Mix it,  fix it,
He'll fly it if he can.
Shake it up, break it up,
Start again and make it up,
Heat it in a furnace,
Cool it in a pan.

Grind it, bind it,
loose it, find it,
Pedal it, paddle it,
Float it on the sea.
Cut it, butt it,
Open it and shut it.
Mould it, fold it,
Wind it with a key.

Cast it, blast it,
Throw it in the basket. 
Load it, explode it,
Take cover Daring Dan!
Wrap it, strap it,
Bottle it and cap it,
Have a cup of tea,
Then start another plan.

Stretch it, shrink it,
Tape it, link it.
File it, Style it,
Make it shiny bright.
Plane it, stain it,
Don't forget to drain it,
Add a few screws,
Then do them up tight.

Oil it, boil it,
Be careful not to spoil it.
Tow it, show it,
Everybody wants to see.
Ride it, guide it,
Can we go inside it?
Dan is a GENIUS,
And as busy as a bee!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Scorched pasta and smelly hair

In contrast to last week's activities where the little learners enjoyed exploring uncooked pasta, this week Mrs Very Jolly planned to provide them with cooked pasta to experiment with. The only problem, is she forgot this very simple equation. Mrs Very Jolly + cooking activities usually = disaster.
Today was no exception! So the little learners have something they want to say to you Mrs Very Jolly.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wizards and naughty dogs

There was a lovely moment today when a little learner came to Miss Kind  holding a piece of pasta to his ear. "I can hear a wizard." He told her.
"A wizard indeed." Said Miss Kind. "Yes." Said the little learner. "He wants me to come to his cave for sandwiches." He went on to tell her that he could also hear moaning turtles in the distance. Fancy that!
The conversation came about following a feely bag activity which involved the little learners sitting in a circle, whilst a mystery object concealed in a bag was passed around. The little learners were encouraged to describe how the mystery object felt before they took a guess as to what it might be.  One of the objects from the bag, which the little learners thought was a crocodile, was in fact a  conch shell. Once it was out of the bag, a whole new activity transpired where the little learners excitedly told each other and Miss Kind what they could hear when they put the shell to their ear. They spoke of mermaids, whales, starfish and all manner of underwater creatures, until one little learner piped up about his dog. 
"I used to have a dog." He announced.
"Oh." Said Miss Kind. A dog." 
"Yes." He said. "But I don't anymore."
"Oh dear, what happened to him?" Asked Miss Kind somewhat concerned, yet bracing herself for what might come next.
"He bited me on my finger and he bited my brother on his toe." Said the little learner.
“Oh dear me.” Said Miss Kind. “What did you do?”
“We taked him to a friends.” Explained the little learner. “But he bited her, so we left him at Morrisons!”
Miss Kind didn’t know what to say after that. Mrs Crayon however was so inspired by this sad and sorry tale, that when she went home, she wrote a short poem about it.


I once had a doggy,
He used to be such fun.
But, then he turned unfriendly,
And started biting everyone.
He bit me on my finger.
He bit my brother on his toe.
So my Mum got very cross and said,

“This doggy has to go!”

We took him to a friend’s,
To see if she could make him stop.
But he bit her on the leg,

 So we left him at the shop!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dough glorious dough

It's sensory week this week at Sunnyside. The little learners are going to be involved in lots of activities which will require them to use their sense of smell and touch. Activities such as these provide wonderful opportunities for the little learners to extend their language and vocabulary. With careful questioning from the grown ups the little learners will be encouraged to  participate in conversation that will help them think about and develop ideas. 

Today the little learners did just that with flour and water. Following on from last week's marathon cooking activities, the little learners freely explored some of the ingredients and equipment they used last week. By the end of the morning, the setting looked as if a light dusting of snow had fallen, but by the end of the day when the snow had been mixed with an awful lot of water and had formed into very sticky lumps, it's hard to describe what that looked like! When Mrs Crayon started her day she was 5 feet 6 inches in her shoes, however by home time she was standing at 5ft 9" thanks to all the dough stuck to her soles and heels! The important thing is, the activity promoted much discussion and conversation among the little learners. They talked about their own cooking experiences at home, their favourite foods as well as their least favourite. The grown ups role during the activity was very much to encourage the little learners to describe how the mixture felt to them and to make predictions about what might happen as they changed it by adding  more flour and water. Mrs Crayon also wondered if any of them had any handy tips for removing a tonne of dough from the bottom of her shoes!!! She had one suggestion which was to use a bit of Lego. It worked rather well! 

"I'm making tarte au citron with a creme anglaise."
"Mine just feels like poo!"

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Conkers and chicken pox

Everyone at Sunnyside School loves to sing and Sunnyside School has a song for just about everything. Sunnysiders sing about, feeling happy, feeling sad, feeling angry, which incidentally is a huge favourite with the little learners as the actions include, slamming doors, stamping feet and shouting out,"That's not fair!" They sing of feeling left out, feeling included, making friends, breaking friends, days of the week, the seasons, counting, shape and phonics. They even have a song about conkers, chicken pox and going to the library. Consequently there is singing of some kind everyday at Sunnyside.
Mrs Organised is a champion at getting everybody to sing loud and with great enthusiasm. She can also play the piano, although not too often because as she says. "I play all the right notes... not necessarily in the right order!" 
"Mrs Organised, do you know I need the toilet?"
"No dear, you hum it and I'll play it!"


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Stubborn wellies and hairy legs

It was a grey and rainy day at Whippy Cove today. But in the little school called Sunnyside, spirits were high and the rain didn't deter the little learners from having great fun learning in the outdoor environment. Donned with wellies and macs, the little learners happily participated in their numeracy activities just as if it was a warm and sunny summer's day. Mrs Crayon didn't have her wellies in school today, so Mrs Very Jolly kindly lent her pair to Mrs Crayon. The only draw back was that it meant Mrs Crayon had to cram her size 6 feet into Mrs Very Jolly's size 3 wellies. Mrs Crayon managed to get them on, she just couldn't get them off! There appeared to be some kind of suction scenario going on, so that the harder the little learners pulled, the more the wellies stayed on!

"It's just not coming off Mrs Crayon!"

Throughout this week the little learners are focusing on rhyme and alliteration in literacy, and in numeracy the focus is shape and pattern. Mrs Crayon looks forward to when the little learners are introduced to shape. It means she has the opportunity to work with them using her interactive resource. It was designed and made by her specifically to make the introduction of shape a little less abstract and a lot more fun. The resource is a character called Dot. She is an extraordinary spider and she lives in a garden full of beautiful flowers. Just like every other spider she has eight legs, but unlike any other spider, Dot has legs which are brightly coloured and covered with special patterns,(shapes.) That is... she has seven legs that are brightly coloured and covered with special patterns, one of her legs is covered with lots and lots of....HAIR!!! 
Dot is actually a character that Mrs crayon is developing for a children's picture book. It tells the story of a spider who adores her seven special legs, she just can't stand her one hairy leg! She goes to great lengths to hide it and disguise it, but all her attempts fail. Then she meets the man who looks after the garden full of beautiful flowers and when she sees his hairy leg, she realises she has nothing to worry about!

Until she becomes a picture book one day, Dot will continue to play a small part in helping little learners to identify two dimensional shapes during their numeracy activities.