Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Thinking caps and caterpillar facts

It's been translated into at least 40 different languages. It's consistently used by Early Years practitioners as a teaching aid. It's won numerous awards, and as sure as eggs is eggs, it has thrilled little learners everywhere since it's publication in 1969! 
Hurrah, for Eric Carle and his wonderful picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, for it is story of the week this week for the little Reception learners at Sunnyside School.

With it's simple text and distinctive collage illustrations, this fabulous story covers an array of educational themes - counting, foods, the days of the week, and the life cycle of the butterfly.   
And it was the concept of transformation (from 'hungry caterpillar to 'beautiful butterfly') that team member Mrs Crayon, found herself exploring with her group of little learners today, as they cleverly fashioned their own hungry caterpillars from empty egg boxes. 

Having established that a caterpillar's remarkable journey begins as a tiny egg, the conversation then focused on the next and most fascinating stage in the life cycle, that of the cocoon or chrysalis. Whilst they snipped and glued, painted and decorated, Mrs Crayon was keen to find out if her industrious group knew anything about the mysterious goings on deep inside a caterpillar's cocoon. 

It has to be said the little makers struggled to offer any insights regarding cocoons, and just as Mrs Crayon was about to enlighten them herself, a budding entomologist in the group put down his glue stick and pipe cleaners and announced, "I know about cocoons I do! A caterpillar goes in one to have a think!" 

Perfect, thought a completely outdone Mrs Crayon!     

Nobody Knows

Nobody knows 
Where a caterpillar goes, 
When he wants to contemplate important things.
Well, there is a little room,
In the depths of his cocoon, 
Where he dreams of how he'd like to spread his wings.

As his life before unravels,
He dreams of foreign travels,
And viewing the whole world from way up high.
Spending many happy hours,
Sipping nectar from the flowers,
No, he cannot wait to be a butterfly.

But until that special day,
In his cocoon he has to stay,
Where no more a caterpillar will he be.
Say farewell to all that munching,
During endless hours of lunching,
With a waistline twice the size of you and me!

Now, inside while he is shrinking, 
You know he's busy thinking,
So don't disturb him is the message please!
The consequences will be tragic,
If you spoil nature's magic,
And deny a butterfly the summer's breeze.

"Today I am mostly thinking about the biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through cell growth and differentiation. So...I could be in here for some time!" 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

How do you dos and supermarket blues

Well here we are, four weeks in, and the little Sunnysiders have settled extremely well into their new Reception Class. They've already got to grips with how the school day runs, and all little learners are taking full advantage of the exciting learning opportunities on offer each day. 

The Reception Team is thoroughly enjoying getting to know their new charges, and as always the information they gain about each of them will go on to inform the weekly planning. 

A few days ago, as part of all this vital getting to know you business, the little learners participated in a circle time, focusing on the things that make them happy. When the Team asked the question 'what makes you happy?' around the circle, the vast majority of these teeny tiny learners reported that they felt truly happy when their Mummies came to collect them from school each day. (Nothing unusual there, and completely understandable given that the vast majority of these brave little Sunnysiders are just four years old.) So, as the subject of today's circle time was centred around the things that make us sad, the Team naturally assumed that they were about to hear expressions of woe and heartache from little learners desperately missing their Mummies . 

It therefore came as quite a surprise when the first little learner in the circle to respond to the question, 'What makes you feel sad?' did so by announcing that, "Spiky things and going to Tesco" caused him a great deal of grief and upset. Confident this surprising declaration was going to be a one off, the Reception Team was astonished to hear a second little learner announce that he too was saddened by spiky things and going to Tesco, as was the next....and the next little learner in the circle. Fearing she was in the presence of thirty downcast supermarketphobes, Mrs Organised asked if there was anyone else in the circle who wanted to share something that made them sad, but, that didn't involve spiky things and or, a shopping trip to Tesco. When a little hand shot into the air with it's owner squeaking in desperation to be chosen, Mrs Organised felt duty bound to check first that he wasn't about to say 'spiky things and going to Tesco'. "I'm not going to say that," assured the little learner, "I'm going to say sharks, and going to Morrisons!" 

Deciding she was dealing with a class of future online shoppers, an undeterred Mrs Organised decided they would all revisit this subject again at a later date!       

Oh Woe Is Me!

Oh woe is me, I'm feeling sad,
When will this nightmare stop?
Yes, I'm having to endure
Yet another weekly shop.
As we drag our bulging trolley
Up and down the aisles,
This dreaded supermarket
Goes on for miles and miles.

We've been trapped in here for hours!
I've aged another year!
Oh, just bung things in the trolley Mum.
And let's get out of here!
Don't scrutinise the bargains,
Or the buy ones, get one free,
This shopping expedition lark
Is simply not for me.

But, uh-oh! Look what's happened,
My Mum has spied a friend,
And now that they are chatting
I fear my life will end!
I have the perfect cure though, 
For my melancholy mood, 
We can do away with shopping,
If we give up eating food!

"I'll have grown a beard by the time we get out of here!"