Saturday, 29 March 2014

Busy bees and missing hands

The moment the little Sunnyside Reception learners step over the classroom threshold at 8.35 am, they get busy - very busy! So busy in fact, that some little learners find it almost impossible to stop what they're doing and put whatever it is to one side, in time for the morning register to begin. 
This is particularly evident when little learners are participating in drawing and painting activities. And when little learners are participating in drawing and painting activities, they are more often than not drawing and painting a picture of their Mummy.

This morning Mrs Crayon found herself explaining yet again, the importance of tidy up time with a little learner who was still heavily engrossed in the picture she was creating, long after tidy up time had been announced.

"But this is a picture of Mummy!" protested the little learner hastily colouring in mummy's dress and shoes. "Look.....she's wearing a pretty dress and her hair is in a ponytail on one side."

Anxious that the little learner might spoil her beautiful drawing by rushing to finish it, Mrs Crayon tried to encourage her to put it somewhere safe until it was choosing time again. The little artist suddenly downed tools, and handing her picture to Mrs Crayon announced that it didn't matter because her drawing of Mummy was actually finished. Studying the work of art in her hands, Mrs Crayon couldn't help noticing that the little learner hadn't given her Mummy any arms. "What about Mummy's arms?" asked Mrs Crayon popping the drawing safely into the 'going home box'. "Do you want to add those later on?"
"No thank you," replied the little learner packing away all the crayons she'd been using, "Mummy's got her hands in her pockets!"

Can't argue with that!

For Mum

I made this lovely picture,
It's a picture of my Mum.
I drew her hair, her legs and feet ,
As for arms...
I forgot to give her some!


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Funny spells and wonky shells

Afternoons in the Reception class at Sunnyside School, provide some of the best opportunities for carrying out little learner observations. This is where members of the Sunnyside Team step back for a while and look, listen and note, as the little learners play and learn in their chosen activities. 

This afternoon, Mrs Caring focused her observations on little learners visiting the writing table. It was as she was scribing away (nineteen to the dozen), that she felt an urgent tapping on her arm. "Mrs Caring..." whimpered the little voice beside her.  As Mrs Caring turned on her seat in the direction of the tapping, she came face to face with a little learner cupping a rather drab and battered looking seashell in her outstretched hands. "This doesn't work," she moaned, thrusting it under Mrs Caring's nose. "I just can't seem to hear any waves!" 

The little learner went on to describe how her friend had heard the sea inside the shell just a few moments ago, but now the waves had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. "Well....." began Mrs Caring setting down her clipboard and pen, "Have you tried covering your other ear with your hand, when you listen to the shell? That might help you to hear the sea."

The little learner dutifully followed Mrs Caring's instructions, but was very quick to report that she couldn't hear even the merest trickle of sea water in her seashell, let alone the nearby rolling waves of Whippy Cove beach. "Shall we see if the shell will work for me?" suggested Mrs Caring, examining the rather uninspiring looking ex-mollusc. With the shell firmly pressed against her ear, Mrs Caring waited a moment or two for the noise of twenty nine other little learners playing nearby to subside, but when that didn't happen, she said, "No...I can't hear the sea strange!" 

By now the little learner was feeling very miffed and extremely disappointed by her wave deficient seashell. "Well...I wonder why your friend can hear the sea...but you and I can't?" questioned Mrs Caring, giving the shell a shake (for some absurd reason.) With a quivering bottom lip, the gloomy little learner looked at Mrs Caring and whined, "Well...that's because she's got a sense of humour." 
Desperately trying to stifle a chuckle, Mrs Caring said, "Does that mean you and I don't have a sense of humour then?" After a few moments' hesitation the little learner replied, " sense of humour is very tired and it's gone to sleep!"  
Mrs Caring suggested that perhaps her own sense of humour was having a nap, and that's why she couldn't hear the sea either. 

The trouble was, Mrs Caring's sense of humour wasn't having a nap - it was very much awake, and trying (unsuccessfully) not to explode forth into an uncontrollable fit of the giggles!

A wonky shell

I'm experiencing some problems, I'm not getting on too well,
I'm struggling to hear the sea inside this little shell.
It's all right for me friend, for her it works just fine,
So there must be something very wrong, with these ears of mine.

I've tried sittin' in a chair, I've tried layin' on the ground,
But no matter how I listen, I can't hear a blessed sound.
I've heard it said before, though it could just be a rumour,
But to hear the sea inside a shell, you need a sense of humour!

Well, I'm lost for words.....
it turns out I haven't got a sense of humour!"

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Busy vets and bouncy pets

Every so often, an especially inspiring little learner utterance will come to Mrs Crayon's ears, causing her to hotfoot it to the nearest pencil pot and scrap of paper, in order to rustle up a doodle and an accompanying rhyme.

This afternoon, such a story came directly to Mrs Crayon's ears, whilst she was sitting in the role play veterinary surgery, waiting for her role play Dalmatian to have it's role play injection.

The story began with the now oh so familiar "do you know?" (the signal that a little learner gem is about to follow.) "Do you know?" said the little learner in question, jabbing Mrs Crayon's poor Dalmatian with a role play syringe, then binding it's front legs together with a ropey looking role play bandage. "My doggie Vanessa likes to jump." Following some clarification, Mrs Crayon learned that not only does Vanessa the dog like to jump, she also regularly takes it upon herself to jump over the fence into the next door neighbour's garden in order to jump on the next door neighbour's trampoline! 

Although Mrs Crayon felt there was a considerable amount of wool being pulled over her eyes, it didn't stop her asking the little learner why her dog Vanessa likes to jump into next door's garden to bounce on their trampoline. The answer was simple - the little learner's own trampoline was far too small! The neighbours have a "massive" one apparently.

So......what do we have here? We have a dog named Vanessa who likes to jump. She likes to jump so much that she will jump over the garden fence in order to break into the next door neighbour's garden. She will then seek out and scale the dizzy heights of the neighbour's trampoline, before enjoying a jolly o'l bounce on it. When she has bounced enough...she jumps the garden fence again and heads home to her family, and a bite to eat no doubt. is that wonderful story not all the inspiration Mrs Crayon needs in order to produce a Mrs Crayon doodle and rhyme?

I wonder have you ever seen?

I wonder...'ave you ever seen
A doggie on a trampoline?
Although she is a hefty lump,
My doggie's passion is to jump.

She don't possess much common sense,
But she's learnt to jump the garden fence.
And when our neighbours have gone out,
That's when my doggie jumps about.

Their trampoline is huge and round,
And much further off the ground.
My doggie thinks it's much more fun,
Than our microscopic one!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Robots and dancing mice

Hurrah! It's National Book Week!

This means a week of fun filled activities celebrating the joy of reading. 

The room was buzzing this morning with a class of excited little learners all proudly showing off their favourite books from home. There were books about robots, ice skaters, explorers, dancing mice, and fire fighters. There were information books, things to do books, noisy books, touchy feely books, board books, hardbacks, paperbacks, and a gazillion Disney princess books! 

Yes, Disney princess mania continues to reign over Sunnyside School. This afternoon there was a stampede of little learners all dashing to the dressing up rail, in order to throw on a princess dress before sitting down to share their princess story books with each other. In addition to sharing books with one another, the Reception learners had the opportunity to share and read their books with some of the Year 6 learners of Sunnyside School, when they came a visiting this afternoon. 

As the Reception learners began to pair up with their older counterparts, one particular princess attired learner, appeared to be very unhappy with her (boy) partner. Spotting the little learner from across the classroom, Miss Kind decided to investigate. "Are you okay poppet, do you need any help?" she asked. With her bottom lip quivering the little learner said, "I haven't got my's been kidnapped!"
"Oh dear!" said Miss Kind in a manner that befits her name, "I'm absolutely certain your book hasn't been kidnapped, let's see if we can find it." 
"But my book is a princess book and he's a boy and boys don't like princess books," protested the little learner, waving her finger at her somewhat mystified partner. Miss Kind tried to calm the situation by explaining that the year 6 boy had come into the Reception class expressly to share books and read stories, so he wasn't going to mind if one of the story books, happens to be a princess story book. Appearing unconvinced by Miss Kind's explanation, the little learner suddenly changed her tone. "Well anyway," she said leaning in to whisper in Miss Kind's ear, "Sometimes boys just give me a nose bleed!"

Clearly not a fan of boys the moment!

Down with boys

I'm searching for some peace and quiet,
And somewhere I can read.
I'm avoiding all them pesky boys...
As they cause my nose to bleed!


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Unicorns and royal pigs

It's official! 

Those clever little learners of Sunnyside School, have now reached the half way mark of their time in the Reception Year. In the five months since they made those first tentative steps over Sunnyside School's threshold, they have made tremendous progress in all areas of their learning and development, especially so in the area regarding self confidence.

This increased self-assuredness is particularly evident when the little learners are participating in a speaking activity such as show-and-tell.

For a show-and-tell activity to be successful, it not only requires the speaker to be able to talk confidently about their chosen item to the group, it also needs individuals within the group to ask questions about the item. Whilst the standing in front of the group and talking aspect of show-and-tell doesn't produce any problems with the little learners, the asking of the questions part most certainly does at the moment. Even with careful role modelling from the adults in the class, the little learners feel compelled to make statements in response to the item on show, rather than ask actual questions about it. 

So today, the Team was thrilled and extremely encouraged to hear a little learner start his question with "how" following a wonderfully descriptive and lengthy monologue from this afternoon's shower-and-teller. Sadly, question time was brought to a rather abrupt end (after just one question), following the somewhat brusque retort from the showing-and-telling little learner.  

It all began with a lovely picture of a princess in a garden. The proud creator of the picture was positioned at the front of a ready and waiting audience of fellow little learners. Holding her picture aloft, the showing-and-telling little learner drew an enormous breath, and began......

"I drawed a picture of a beautiful princess in her lovely garden. I drawed some pretty flowers in her pretty garden and I drawed a tree, her hair is yellow and it's very long hair 'cause you can see it in the grass. I maked it with crayons and I used a yellow crayon for her hair and a pink crayon for her dress, and a green crayon for the grass and a brown crayon for the tree. Do you know...... princesses always live with a king and a queen. The dad is called King John and the mum is called Queen Alice and princesses walk around all day and swim in ponds. They have a pet wolf and some pigs. Princesses go to princess school and they only dance with princes then they have sleepovers with their aunties. Do you know........mermaids like ice cream and they have bones in their tails and I've got a real unicorn in my keeps my pet dragon company."

When the little learner had finished her show-and-tell, Mrs Very Jolly invited the spellbound audience to ask questions about the little learner's beautiful artwork. She reminded them all first though, that a question needs to start with, how, why and where etc. Immediately a little hand shot into the air and began waving furiously in desperation to be chosen to speak. "How did you make your picture?" blurted out the little learner, terribly pleased with himself for actually asking a real question. The little princess artist set her picture on the floor and placed her hands on her hips, "I told you", said she, somewhat indignantly......."I maked it with crayons!!" was some while ago that she mentioned that fact!

Show and Tell

Sit up straight
And concentrate,
I need all eyes this way.
Please listen well
For show-and-tell,
I'm about to have my say!
I must confess,
I may digress,
I'm sorry if I stray,
But....on the subject of princesses,
I could jabber on all day! 

"Do I hear snoring?"