Welcome to Kestrel Class 2021-2022
We've had a fantastic start to our year so far! We are loving our English unit around our mystery book - the name shall be revealed in good time - and learning all about Hinduism, The River Indus in Geography and The Ancient Egyptians.
I've been super impressed by the attitudes towards learning in our class and the effort and pride they are taking in their work.
At the top of the page you will find a copy of the parent letter outlining all our routines and homework, should you wish to refer back to it.
The adults in our class are:
Class teacher - Mrs R Parks-Connolly
TA - Dr Davies, Mrs Denton and Mrs Cox.
Well done to all of you that had a go at everything yesterday. I got some fab photos and videos - there were some very creative pulleys that were made in science.
Today we have maths - one video and worksheet for each year group - and we're continuing with the story and thinking about Ivan's character and looking for clues in the text. There is a comprehension about the Tudors - make sure your answers make sense for the question.
Then for 'history', we're combining it with computing and practising using search engines accurately to search for information.
I'll see you in our zoom call at 9.30!
Sorry about the false start yesterday! Well done to those of you that managed to get some of the home learning done yesterday afternoon. I know it wasn't quite what you expected for the day and must have been very strange to be turned away from school at the gate.
While we're at home we'll continue with our English unit, with my own videos, and going over angles, turns and properties of shape in maths with White Rose videos. To start with it's a recap to make sure we're all on the same page, then there'll be separate work for year 3 and 4.
The afternoons will be an activity based on what we'd normally be doing that day.
If you need any help or want to ask questions, ask an adult to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Try to get your work done so that your adult can get it to me by 4.00pm.
I'll see you each morning for a quick check-in, so we can talk about our English ideas, read more of The Boy Who Met A Whale (I grabbed the important stuff from the classroom yesterday! ) and go over our early morning tasks.
I'll speak to you all again very soon!
Summer Half Term 1
Kestrels have had a really busy Summer term so far! We have read and loved Varjak Paw in English and they are currently finishing off telling the end of the story from Cludge the Dog's point of view. In maths we have revised written calculation in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We also have got really good at reading analogue clocks and more confident converting between analogue and 12h/24h digital times.
In history we've been focusing on the Tudors - I'm sure many of you have had some interesting medical suggestions when you've complained of sore throats, coughs or headaches (none of which are medically approved)!
On Monday we were fortunate enough to have a Tudor visitor and the children loved getting hands-on with Tudor life before spending the afternoon building Trebuchets - the original flatpack weapon of choice before the Tudors fell in love with canons.
Friday 5th March
Good morning Kestrels! Wasn't World Book Day fab this year? I really enjoyed it and from the pictures and emails sent in, it seemed lots of you at home did too! I confess I have been singing the Book Day rap by MC Grammar over and over.
Today in English, you're writing an invitation to your Monster Pizza party and in Maths year 3 are solving word problems and year 4 are using the ladder method some more to consolidate the work they did on Wednesday.
Then we have PE and Music.
You've done it! You've done 3 months of remote learning. I look forward to seeing you on Monday. We'll talk more about what's the same and what's different in the zoom call this morning.
World Book Day 2021
Today is World Book Day! On this day, we celebrate the joys of books and the importance of them in our lives.
We will be starting our day with a whole-school assembly, where Miss Snelling will explain what will be happening throughout the day. Here is the link: https://zoom.us/j/91652175701?pwd=ZjMzL2F4VTdkaUlFSlBwZllIYW9pUT09
Instead of our set learning, we will be doing a variety of tasks to do with books. You can pick and choose what you wish to do and we would love to see what you have created so please email these to the class homework email address.
Here are the activities for today:
Throughout the day, there will be a selection of stories shared via zoom so please take a look at the schedule and come and join us!
Giraffe’s Can’t Dance—Giles
A Squash and a Squeeze - Julia Donaldson
A Dangerous Journey– Tove
Six Dinner Sid—Inga Moore
Dear Greenpeace—Simon James
The Wolves in the Walls—Neil Gaiman
Eric– Shaun Tan
The Iron Man (Extract) – Ted Hughes
The BFG (extract) —Roald Dahl
In the afternoon, at 2:45pm, we will be having our BIG Virtual Book Quiz - How will you do?
We hope you have a wonderful day! Let's get reading!
Wednesday 3rd March
Good morning Kestrels!
My conference call yesterday was really good and exciting and I learned some new things. I'm sure that the children in the bubble did a great job learning and that most of you will learn something new today!
You're writing your instructions out today and year 4 are going to move onto the "ladder" method of multiplication, or expanded multiplication, alongside the grid method. Year 3 you are going to be doubling two digit numbers and revising multiplication facts through that.
Then this afternoon we are going to do another lesson around Hinduism, focusing on places of worship. Not all of you will go to worship somewhere regularly, if at all. Think about the Christian place of worship... where is there a special place in the village that Christians can go to pray and be closer to God? Does it have to happen there or can it happen anywhere quiet and calm?
I'm sure you'll find this afternoon's session very interesting. It was another meaty lesson, so I've done my best to split it up by putting the mini activities after each section instead of all at the end. Remember, you can always use the pdf to help you find the answers if you can't remember, like a reading comprehension!
Tuesday 2nd March
Good morning Kestrels!
Today I am in a conference call all morning so I am very sorry but there will be no class zoom at 9.30 and no 11.30 reading group. It will say there is a 9.30 zoom call in the pdf agenda but it is incorrect, I am sorry.
In English today you are rehearsing your instructions to help you write them tomorrow and in Maths, year 3 are continuing with mental multiplication strategies while year 4 are moving onto revising the grid method of multiplication.
If you do need help with the work, you can still email me! I shall check the emails periodically when we have our breaks in the call.
Otherwise, anything else that someone else could help you with should be emailed to the Office email.
I really enjoyed doing German with the bubble and I know lots of you at home have been keeping up at least with the Franzi and Felix videos. Because you've been reading fairy tales in reading time, I have had the Hansel Und Gretel song from my childhood in my head - it is in German and so of course I am sharing it with you! It's just below the maths video.
Monday 1st March
Good morning Kestrels! What beautiful weather we had - even after the foggy start on Sunday - this weekend! I spent pretty much all of Saturday outside, which was great. I learned my lesson from PE outside on Friday and wore some sunscreen on my face, because even though it's cold, with the reduced car pollution, the sun's rays are definitely coming through a bit stronger. So if you are fair skinned, it might be something to think about on sunny days.
This week we're continuing with our multiplication facts and using our times tables to find even bigger numbers, with year 4 revising the grid method and then ladder method of written multiplication. In English we are planning our instructions.
To get back into gear for next week, I strongly recommend you try to do English OR Maths first, take a 15 minute break with a snack and a drink and a play, then come back to do Maths/English before taking an hour for lunch and returning to do your German in the afternoon. If your parents' routine doesn't work around that or it's a bit tricky, at least try to make it until lunch without having a snack!
See you in the zoom call,
Trackword score so far - can you spot any we've missed?
I have 8 words not on this table that the bubble didn't spot/guess! So far our score is 120.
|1 point||2 points||3 points||4 points||5 points||10 points|
Aaaaand that's the end of the first week of this half term! And the end of February! We've done 2 months of remote learning, and you've done really well.
For English today you are thinking about vocabulary and enriching it to better describe your disgusting pizzas!
In maths we're continuing work around factors, focusing in on finding factors of specific numbers.
Year 3, I've set a task for you in the video and it's in the pdf. If you find it's too tricky, you could do the alternative task instead, which is in the separate pdf. You might find once you've done that one, you'll be able to do the main task.
Then this afternoon we have PE and Music, with a new unit of work to complete.
Have a marvellous weekend!
Thursday 25th February
Good morning Kestrels! I hope you managed to spend some time outside in the sun - our break time was lovely and sunny. We even saw a rainbow - or Indra's Bow - in the clouds towards Trumpington.
Today in English you are coming up with ingredients for your Monster Pizza, in preparation for your instruction writing. In maths we have an Nrich problem, which is introduced in full in the video. It's part 1 of a two part lesson, the second of which is tomorrow.
Then in the afternoon we are beginning the Volcano part of our Mountains and Volcanos unit in Geography. All good fun!
Wednesday 24th February
Good morning Kestrels!
It was a bit blustery yesterday wasn't it? I hope you all took advantage of the sun spots and got some PE outside.
Today we are doing Maths and English, continuing with our work on Instructions and Times Tables facts and then this afternoon we are doing our RE unit on Hinduism. You watched a detailed introduction video last half term, but I've found some work which is more our level. I hope you find it interesting!
I've accidentally put yesterday's worksheets in the pdf so I've uploaded today's maths work as separate files below.
Tuesday 23rd February
Good morning Kestrels!
Today in English we're revisiting -er and -est suffixes and in Maths we're continuing with our times tables.
Then we have double PE as usual.
I'll see you in the zoom call,
Monday 22nd February
Welcome back Kestrels!
I trust you all had a restful half term. The weather was a bit changeable, wasn't it? I hope you made the most of the sun when it did pop out.
I went for a walk in the sun on Monday and I saw loads of wildlife! I photographed many cormorants in a tree (they're a ridiculous-looking bird to be sitting in a tree), at least 4 herons, some swans trying to impress each other... I saw rooftops of Cambridge from up Castle Hill and then as I went back to my car I saw a fox! It was wondering a garden across the river and I got some lovely photographs, even if it never quite stayed still. I was very excited - I'm sure you can imagine me yelping "FOX" quite loudly and excitedly. So lucky I had my camera! Then on Friday I went for another, muddy and grey walk in the nature reserve near my house and I saw a red kite hunting very low, and got some great photos of that, too!
I confess I spent a most of the grey, rainy weather playing computer games and reading a new book, not tidying up as I ought to have done!
I can't wait to hear what you all got up to in our zoom call later.
For English, we need to get instruction writing done and I think the Oak Academy has done a great unit around it. We'll be writing instructions for a Monster Pizza! There's some spelling, grammar and other types of writing involved as well as some imagination, so it'll be a lot of fun.
In Maths we're revisiting our times tables facts and practising those as well as working on factors and arrays.
See? A gentle start back into this half term, to begin with...!
Tuesday 16th February
Kestrels have enjoyed reading 'The Girl Who Stole an Elephant' this spring half term and I've been tweeting their enthusiasm at the author. We got a note from the author today!
I hope you enjoy the next book we read as much!!
Trackword scores so far:
Oi, to, no, it, so, on, in, is - 8 points
Not, let, tic, cel, oil, sit, ice, nit, lit, ton, son, see, lie, tie, tin, sin, tee, lee, toe, eel - 40 points
Soil, lint, nose, note, lion, ties, tile, tice, seel, toes, nice, lice, tees, lies, Nile, site - 48 points
Noise, tiles, sonic - 12 points
Select, notice - 10 points
Election - 7 points
Selection - 10 points
Friday 12th January
Good morning! It's our last day before half term. You've done great things this half term and you should be proud of yourselves.
We have our trackword - We'll finish our book in assembly instead of doing it live. So don't worry if you don't get to see it before hand.
For Maths today I have set you some NRich activities. Some of you will find you will have time to do all of them and some of you might take a bit longer over one or two and not do them all. And that is fine.
For English we have another Oak Academy lesson and then of course we have Music and PE in the afternoon!
Then a rest for a week.
See you in the zoom calls!
Thursday 11th January
Good morning! Apologies for the false start yesterday. Sometimes things just happen at home that one can't predict. I'm fine and I'm well and back to normal today!
I've been a bit of an eager reader beaver this week and bought a tonne of books for myself which I promise I will share with you all - some of them I know you'll want to dive into. I'll stick them on rotation on top of the book case when we're all back. Got some great biographies and some beautiful picture books too.
For Maths today, we have some problems for you to solve as you End of Unit task. No video I'm afraid! And in English we're moving onto homophones, then we have science in the afternoon as usual.
Just two more days until half term - you can do it!
Wednesday 10th February
Not a single one of you noticed my typing error in the date yesterday! Not one! Thank goodness it is NOT January any longer. We're very much in February.
Today in Maths there is a separate video for year 3 and year 4, while there is one video for everyone in English. So a swap over.
The videos are below.
The end of our Geography unit is a bit of a tricky one, as we think about the positive and negative impacts tourism has on mountainous regions.
An optional extra follow up task you could do is a travel advert poster for one of the mountain ranges - perhaps The Alps.
See you in the zoom calls!
Tuesday 9th January
Good morning! I hope you all had some time outside in the snow yesterday - I saw one or two snowmans in school and at home. They were small but cute and distinguished.
Today in maths we're carrying on with our numberline work but throwing some rounding in as well. YES. I know how much you love rounding.
In English you'll be writing some book recommendations and thinking about what you enjoy reading.
I look forward to seeing what you recommend - perhaps I'll beg the Book Fairy for some of them!
Monday 8th February
For English, there are two links - one for year 3 and one for year 4. The themes are the same, just the texts discussed are different age appropriatenesses, so it doesn't matter too much if you click the wrong one!
For Maths, there's one video starring me and a powerpoint BUT I've uploaded your maths activties as separate documents because there's some level choosing involved.
Then it's German and assembly and handwriting and stuff as usual.
Let's make the final push this week and do our absolute best!
First time I've done 'Champions' and the score you collectively got has knocked the ball right outta the park!! 183!
No, on, oi, ah, in, ha, am, hi - 8
Map, hip, imp, spa, con, sin, pin, Cam, sip, him, cap, aim, nip, ham - 28
Hams, Cham, camp, chip, spam, chin, spin, coin, main, pion, maps, pins, pain, hips, imps, cons, chap, nips, caps, inch - 63
Coins, chimp, chaps, Spain, chins, camps, chains, pains, champ, pinch, mains, chips, pions - 52
Chains, champs, chimps - 15
Champion - 7
Champions - 10
Friday 5th January
Good morning! Apologies if you haven't had a response to the work you sent in yesterday afternoon yet. I left quite early with a huge headache and lay in a dark room for quite some time. I'll respond to your emails as soon as possible this morning.
Today we've English and Maths with the Oak Academy, our spelling tests, Music and PE.
A nice, gentle end to the week.
I look forward to doing the trackword with you again today!
Thursday 4th January
Well done those of you who emailed me your writing yesterday! You'd done a great job retelling parts of the book. I really enjoyed reading the story in your own words. You worked hard to put in as much detail as possible.
Today in maths, we've finished our unit so I've put together some "mastery" questions for you to do, to see how you get on. There's no video for them today, I'm afraid!
Then we have science with Miss Roberts, investigating magnetic materials.
Wednesday 3rd January
It's hump day! Half term is officially in sight - it's that small dot on the horizon - just 10 days away (8 school days)!
I wish I could say something exciting happened yesterday like an otter appeared in the river or something, but it's been pretty quiet on site. Apart from the goldfinches - they are super chirpy at the moment, looking for mates.
Today's pretty simple. This is the last lesson of our Maths unit today and the last lesson in our English unit.
So from tomorrow in English I'm cobbling together a mini unit to fit the days until half term and in maths we have problem solving activities and one-off lessons for this week.
In Geography we're looking at climates in mountainous areas.
Have a great day!
Tuesday 2nd January
So today in English you are going to be orally retelling the story. That means telling it out loud. No writing required, except to make cue cards or notes on your storymap.
I strongly suggest rehearsing it and practising it in front of a mirror a few times. Maybe think of actions to help you - that sort of thing helps me remember key phrases or dialogue. Watch the video for more info about this.
Then if you could, film it and send it to me.
Doing today's task will make tomorrow's task even easier!
In maths we're continuing with the fandango of moving digits! I love multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000 because once you've got the rule, it's super super simple :)
I'll see you all in our class zoom!
Monday 1st February
It's February! Not long now until Half Term - just this week and next week. Please hang in there, you're all doing a great job!
Remember to be kind to your mums and dads: they're doing their best and they're trying to split their time between you, your sibling(s) and their bosses! If there's a task you would normally be doing yourself in school, please do it yourself so that you are still in the habit. Don't make things harder for your parents by asking them to write your sentences for you!
You will see underneath our zoom call link, I've included a link to Go Noodle's youtube channel. Normally it's a subscription service, like 5-a-Day, but they've uploaded some stuff for remote learners! It's a little something different you can do.
For German, I've created an extra little video with voice over so that you can learn the vocabulary pronunciation, as they don't say some of the words in their own video! It'll be great to hear some of you have a go at singing 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Foot" in German.
Reminder: It's Year 3 group 1's video call for reading today at 11.30. Make sure you have your CPG Comprehension books with you! I have emailed the zoom link to the parents in that group, so please ask your parents to check their email for it.
If you do not have a link and your child is NOT in school today, let me know and I'll check that your child is in the group.
Friday 29th January
Aaaaaaand another week is done!
We've done quite a lot this week, too, what with potato mountains and lots of writing and subtracting and magnetic force sensing and PE-ing and everything.
Today's a bit different for English - we've nearly finished our unit on this book, but there are one or two sessions that I'm choosing not to do this time around because it doesn't feel translateable for our current situation. Also the last session is super heavy subject material - not ideal at the moment.
So I've put a nice SPAG session from Oak Academy on our Day's pdf and then for maths we've finished our unit, so I've put a couple of addition/subtraction investigations / puzzles for you to have a go at. So no videos today! Aside from the Oak Academy one.
A chilled out end to our week.
See you in our zoom calls!
We are almost there! The End of January is nigh! We have the 29th tomorrow. Then it's the weekend (which doesn't count) and then it's FEBRUARY.
Well done everybody for getting this far. Just a little bit further go!
Today's maths video is rather short, as it is mostly reminding you how to approach a word problem in maths and how to look for clues as to what you need to do. Short story: BAR MODELS.
Long story: watch the video!
English is a bit longer, of course. You shall see whether or not the children paid any attention to your letters of advice...
Good morning Kestrels!
Maths was a wee bit hit and miss yesterday - through no fault of your own, it's one of those things that I prefer teaching myself and I guess the white rose video did more harm than help this time! So I put together a lesson the way I would have done it, but without the physical objects and perhaps two lessons smushed into one.
I STRONGLY recommend that year 3 watch it, and quite a lot of the year 4s as this will really help clear up any confusion (I hope!) and help them see how to subtract numbers where the "top" digit is smaller than the "bottom" digit!
In Geography today, we're finding UK mountains and then having a go at creating our own contour map. For the second activity, there are two options. The first requires a potato, pen and ruler - and adult supervision/help with a vegetable knife. The second requires a printer, scissors and colour pencils. (If they don't match the instructions, that is ok!)
You do not need to do both.
Please look carefully at the instructions for option 1 and 2, which are uploaded separately to the day's activities file.
If you can't do Task 2 today because you'd like to get the resources (I know I'd need to go and buy a potato!) please feel free to put it off until tomorrow or Friday afternoon - it could be in the PE slot! Just let me know.
The first task though is definitely what we would be doing in school and I'd like everybody to have a go at completing it. If you don't have an atlas, feel free to use the internet! I've put the answers to task 1 separately in the documents section too.
Have a great day!
Tuesday 26th January
I have my actual laptop back! It's SO FAST. And it WORKS.
I don't need to load zoom half an hour early! Hurrah.
And videos of me ought to be much less fuzzy.
Let's have a great day!
Monday 25th January
I don't know about you, but it's been a weirdly exciting weekend. I went for a loooooooong walk and ended up having to take shelter because the snow where I was was PELTING it down - into my face, which wasn't pleasant. It was very pretty but I was very cold.
Then yesterday when I was putting together your work, it snowed again where I live! It made the area around my house white.
I've uploaded the pdf with today's activities. I have taken on board feedback from last Monday and not included RE in today's set of tasks. It was just one thing too many last time, with the handwriting and reading and German. So I'll probably alternate switch it to a Thursday, once we've finished our science unit.
I hope you all have a great day - see you bright and early for our Zoom call. Please make sure your cameras are all on and you're sitting up ready to listen.
To, Do, At, Or - 4 points
Ode, Toe, Tod, Tot, Lot, Rat, Rod, Era, Oat, Ore, Oar, Old, Ate, Art, Are, Doe - 32 points
Rate, Lode, Tote, Rode, Lore, Told, Role, Tare, Doer, Trot, Dolt, Toed - 36 points (Could have had: rote, rota, tode, dote)
Rated, Toted, Orate - 12 points (Could have had relot)
Orated - 5 points
Tolerate - 7 points
Tolerated - 10 points
You far surpassed the target of 74!
Friday 22nd January
After the excitement of the rainbow yesterday morning, during science I spotted a KINGFISHER by the stream!
It's Friday! That means two days rest after today! Hurrah.
English is probably going to be the most challenging part of this morning. Take it bit by bit - take a break part way through and revisit it, if it helps!
Therefore I've kept the maths fairly simple and practice-based, without an extra challenge.
Then this afternoon we have Music and PE as usual.
Looking forward to seeing how you do with the Trackword. Your target is.... 74!
Thursday 21st January
Well done everybody - you're nearly through your 2nd whole week of Remote Learning! You've all been doing ever, ever so well. As have your mums and dads and grandparents and aunties and uncles and cats and dogs and rabbits! Keep smiling - it's Friday tomorrow!
This next message is for the parents, so do let them know this is here:
We are nearly at the end of January, also known as "The Longest, Darkest, Wettest, Coldest Month", in my house. I know many of you are wondering how much longer until Half Term and "why are my children so cranky/lethargic/unmotivated?" This is just to reassure you that this is quite normal for this week of term! We've very little to look forward to in January and around now, with yet another week of January left, the children feel tired and a bit fed up! We're at the Wednesday of our half term. "Hump Week". It's been particularly dark, blustery and wet this week, making going outside feel more like a punishment than a respite.
I'd like to express my deep gratitude to everybody at home for the support and feedback and daily emails and updates throughout this time. You've been so helpful with your child/ren's learning and I really appreciate it.
Right! Today's learning: One video by me, one video by White Rose (links in the pdf) and then a video by the Oak Academy for science. Today's video was done without any technical glitches! Hurrah!
IMPORTANT UPDATE: We just witnessed a perfect rainbow. Unfortunately it was too directly over us to get a full shot!
Wednesday 20th January
Good morning! So I made an English video and a Maths video and I've uploaded them and put them below. Unfortunately, at the time the English video was being made, the school's bandwidth was low, so a lot of the screens I'm showing are fuzzy! I tried to do it again at home, but had a slight hitch. So I ingeniously thought I'd turn the slides into a PDF so you can look at them again in a less fuzzy way. What I'm saying is clear and everything, so you could always have the video open in one window and then when it's time to pause, switch to the pdf in another video.
So sorry that it's a bit more complicated than I would like.
See you in class assembly!
Tuesday 19th January
Good morning! Today we have Maths and English videos that I have made, so they're just below on our page, above the powerpoint slides.
We have PE all afternoon today - some of you said that yesterday had too many activities. You could always finish them off this afternoon, if you have capacity.
It's great to get feedback that lets me know how long things are taking as it's very tricky to judge online!
See you in our zoom call!
Monday 18th January
Good morning Kestrels! I hope you've all had a good weekend. I saw lots of people out for bike rides in the village when I popped into school yesterday - good to see so many people getting some exercise and fresh air.
Today is our last day looking at The Day the Crayons Quit. I do have a copy of the sequel which I will read to you over Zoom this week, as I think it's nice to know what happened next.
In maths we're looking at some mental addition and subtraction strategies. I've made videos for these again, so hopefully that will be useful.
See you in assembly!
in, as, it, is, at - 5 points
tat, ant, its, tin, nit, sit, sin, tan, sat - 18 points
nits, sass, ants, ain't, sits - 15 points
saint, satin, stain, stint - 20 points
assist, saint, stints, 15 points
assistant - 10 points
Could also have had: statin, taint and taints.
Children who are coming into school on a Tuesday and Friday please come in their PE kits, so that there is no need to change on the day. We are sending PE kits home today to facilitate this.
Friday 15th January
It's been a funny old week this week and I'm sure lots of you were feeling it. The weather is definitely a hindrance, not a help!
Today we've got a video that I made for our maths lesson, so hopefully that will work. I'm embedding it below, just above the pdf for today's activities.
I've also added a target score for the Trackword! I'm reusing words that previous classes have used, so it'll be interesting to see if you can beat them. Especially as today's word is one of the first ones they ever got to do, so you're far more experienced and practised than they were.
See you in assembly!
Thursday 14th January
You all worked really hard yesterday, particularly the poor year 3s (and year 3 mums and dads!) who were challenged greatly by White Rose's problem solving question yesterday.
*Stage whisper* It would have taken me ages and all the staff agree that it was a really, really mean question, particularly for part B.
Don't worry! I've put together a similar question but with more reasonable sets of fractions, to do together in assembly this morning. So make sure you bring your thinking caps with you!
Can we please make sure that when we are not speaking, we are on mute? Just so that we don't have too much background noise coming through.
See you in assembly!
Wednesday 13th January
Good morning Kestrels!
Lots of you said you quite enjoyed the work yesterday which was really nice to hear! I hope that year 3 are feeling a bit more confident about fractions and using a fraction wall after yesterday's work. It certainly looks that way, from the number of correct answers.
A few of you did the music art activty and it is all so different and really cool! I also heard a piece of music I'd not heard before as a result, which was really good.
I've put the photos in the slide show just below our work today.
Split activities again today, with a separate sheet for Geography, if you have a printer. If not, that's ok! You can still draw the mountains and label the features and complete the sentences on your paper.
Have a great day everybody!
Tuesday 12th January
Thanks to an extremely eager beaver, we've spotted that I've copied the wrong link into today's English slides! This is the same issue for year 3 and 4. Today's English lesson is: https://classroom.thenational.academy/lessons/to-use-commands-and-rhetorical-questions-to-persuade-c4ukgd
Some fabulous work came in yesterday, including a couple of videos! It was great to hear that German being spoken and seeing the practical approach to fractions using fruit.
Today our bubble is doing PE all afternoon while I have my PPA time, but I've included a fun art activity I thought you might like. It doesn't require much for it, just a pencil and paper, or colour pencils or pens or paint if you prefer. You'll see the link in the pdf.
Each year group has its own pdf of day's activities and its own maths sheet, because the maths learning objectives are separate the moment! So be sure you click the right one!
See you in assembly,
Monday 11th January
Good morning Kestrels! I trust you all have had a restful weekend.
We have a lot of learning to do this week!
If, for any reason, you can't access the work online at home, do get in touch with the office, so that we can help.
I received a lot of fabulous work last week - it was clear that you worked really hard at home. Do keep it up. You can see what everybody else is doing in the slide show below today's work.
Have a great day,
So, In, ho, oh, ow, we - 6 points
Win, sow, row, roe, hoe, how, woe, ore, who - 18 points
Wing, wire, ring, sore, show, wore, worn, rows, shoe - 27 points
wring, sworn, swing - 12 points
Shower, sowing, rowing - 15 points
Showing - 6 points
Showering - 10 points
Words that you could also have had: owe, ire, ower, sown, sower, shore, swore, shown
Well done everyone!
Friday 8th January
It's Friday everybody! What a week it's been. I'm sure your mums and dads are feeling as mentally weary as us teachers. Make sure you say thank you to them for helping you when they can and you give them a big hug.
Below you'll find today's pdf of our activities. It's a long one, I'm very sorry! But the learning is super fun and interesting. I've tried to make it as clear as possible.
I will do a quick input for the maths in assembly today so maybe wait until after our zoom call to begin your maths - it's revisiting fraction work from before, but I want to make sure we're clear.
This afternoon's geography session, on a normal school day in school, would take all afternoon. You can do your posters with pencil and paper OR you could design it using publisher or an equivalent programme on your computer/tablets.
Have a happy weekend - rest up and get plenty of fresh air when you can.
Thursday 7th January
It was so lovely to see all of you yesterday in the morning zoom and for assembly. We really miss you all in our bubble. The classroom gets colder a lot more quickly without you lot there to warm it up!!
You'll see I've put the zoom link for our meeting at the top of the page. Most of you did this already but could you try to make sure that your username is either your name or the name of your mum or dad. That way I know who it is I'm letting in, and it saves me the big job of emailing everybody the link separately.
I was really impressed with the work sent in yesterday. Lots of effort being put into all the subjects. I hope you enjoyed the science - I know it's not quite the same when you can't do it yourself, but in our bubble we did have a go at dropping our pencils and piece of paper to see the upthrust and gravity more clearly.
I'll speak to you soon!
Wednesday 6th January
Thank you to everybody who emailed me their work yesterday. It's lovely to see how much effort you've all put in, particularly in the Geography factfiles.
You should all have a zoom link in your parents' emails for assembly at 9.30. It will be wonderful to see you all.
Below is the pdf with everything you will need for today. I've put any resources that would be easier to print in there, so you can print the appropriate page if you want to - but it should all be do-able without printing as well.
Have a great day and keep up the good work!
Happy New Year Kestrels!
What a funny way to begin the year! Ah well! We will keep being the best we can be, whether at home or in school.
Below you will find activities for Tuesday 5th January.
If you can not access the videos online, get in touch either via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get paper copies to you as quickly as possible.
Do email me photos or digital copies of your work to email@example.com so that I can see the wonderful work you do - and to say hello! It's lovely hearing from all of you.
I will be in touch with you all very soon!
Trackword words and class score!
I'll keep adding as emails continue to come in
The target was 230 and we've got two ways to get there so far!
Oliver got there with: 2 x (100 + 8 + 8 - 1)
Anna got there with: 2 x (8 x 8 + 1) + 100
Roscoe tried all sorts but got there finally with: (100 - (((8-1) x 8) + 2)) x 5
Arianna was very close with: (((2 x 100) + (8 x 5)) - 8) - 1 = 231
Emily's closest was only 6 off at 224 = (100 x 2) + (8 + 8 + 5 + 3)
Alice is very close with just one off: 231 = ((2+1) x 100) - (8 x 8) - 5
I shall keep adding them as they come in!
End of Autumn Term Homelearning
Good morning Kestrels! Just below you will find all the documents you will need to get on with some learning activities.
I've done my best to keep it fun but also low on printing - where possible, I've made it paper free.
If you can't print anything, please let me or the school know as soon as possible so that paper copies can be delivered to you.
If the art is too tricky, you could improvise and create a 2D piece of art instead.
I will be available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I very much hope to see you all on Friday morning for assembly at 9.30.
Have a wonderful holiday and I will see you in 2021!
Your class teacher is Mrs Parks-Connolly* and our TA is Mrs Denton
*The children call me Mrs Parks still
Our topic this term is the Stone Age to the Iron Age!
We have a very special visitor to the classroom, Malcom. He keeps a watchful eye on the comings and goings and is super excited to meet the children. He's quite shy, but the children have written some absolutely lovely letters back to the letter he wrote them during the summer.
Many apologies, Kestrels, but I forgot to give you your Easter eggs for half term! Never fear, you will get them the very first day back.
Have a fabulous half term,
To reduce the movement of books to and from home, we are asking that spelling journals are left at home all week, to practise spelling in. If a child is ready to move on to a new spelling list, I will email the new spelling lists on Fridays, after school.
Please confirm your preferred email address by emailing email@example.com
Useful things to know
Please do not send your child into school in their PE kit, as we are encouraging the children to practise good hygiene and organisation skills.
We are encouraging children to take responsibility for their own organisation and learning behaviour through metacognition.
Class story: Stig of the Dump - Clive King
To start our Autumn term, we're working around "Here We Are" by Oliver Jeffers, a wonderful book for exploring our connection to the environment and other people in the world.
So far the children have created information pamphlets for how to sustain the positive impacts lockdown had on our environment, their own lyrics for Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World' and made cards to a special person in their lives.
Here is a reminder of the expectations, when learning multiplication tables:
By the end of year 2, they should know their 2x, 5x and 10x table.
By the end of year 3, they should know their 3x, 4x, 6x and 11x table
By the end of year 4, they should know their 7x, 8x, 9x, and 12x table.
Please, please help your child to learn their times tables. Knowing these by heart and being able to recall them quickly is invaluable to their learning. It helps them to progress more quickly with problem solving and multiplying and dividing larger numbers.
In 2020 a national times tables test will be introduced to year 4, to ensure that these expectations are being met.
Knowing their times tables means being able to answer an out-of-order multiplication question without thinking very long, such as: 5 x 5 = 25. 9 x 10 = 90. If your child is only able to count up in jumps of 2 or 10, make sure that they begin to apply each jump to a finger, and that they are aware that they are counting multiples.
It also means that they are able to solve the inverse, such as: 90 divided by 10 is 9. There are five 5s in twenty-five.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
September: We are starting the year with work on place value and mental strategies. Year 3 have demonstrated skill in ordering, comparing and placing 3-digit numbers on a numberline and year 4 with 4-digit numbers. They have transferred these skills to adding and subtracting money mentally.
Ask your child to round numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. Ask them how they know whether to round up or down. Practice number bonds to 10 and 100. Discuss the patterns. Discuss the value of digits within 4 and 5 digit numbers. Ask them to add/subtract multiples of 10, 100 and 1000. A little bit every day will help to consolidate their learning.
Friday 17th July
It is such a weird feeling today; normally we'd have done a play by now and we'd have done a Sports Day together and we'd be having our final celebration assembly. I'd be creating a big quiz of the year for you all to do on Monday and we'd be deciding what we'd be doing in the afternoon as a treat.
I've really missed you all this term and I am sorry that for the year 4s, their time in Kestrels has come to such a strange end. I look forward to seeing you all again in September, even if it's only from a distance.
I've put together a choice of activities for Maths on Monday, all of which are art based, too. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. There are some motor skills to practice for two of them, as they can be a bit fiddly!
For English, I've asked you to write a letter to your new teacher, as we'd have normally done that as well. It's a great way to think about what we've learned and how we've grown over the year and what we'd like to do next year to continue to be the best we can be.
School is closed to students on Tuesday, for a Training Day, so I have no set work for Tuesday.
I wish you all the best summer holiday and I look forward to seeing you all in September. I'm sure the time will whiz by!!
Click your year group's star to find your work!
Sunday 5th July
Oh my goodness, we're in July. We have two whole weeks left - this week and next week. Then that random Monday. (WHAT were the government thinking when those dates were decided?)
I have little to say other than the usual well done. I've had some really lovely work in this week. It's great to see so many of you using rulers or straight edges to help you in your maths! I like to think all my nagging between September and March paid off
My friend just caught her dog, Cleo, watching this on television and I love it and hadn't seen it and I know you will all love it too:
It's a great rap about Tutankhamun's treasures by Horrible Histories.
I also recommend the Cleopatra song if you can find it on their website or youtube.
I can tell you I've already been half singing/rapping/humming it around the house all day
Have a great week!
We made it through the hottest week of the year so far! Well done everybody. It was really hard to want to do anything but sit in a paddling pool! The lure of a nice bowl of cold water for my feet, a good book and an ice lolly was very strong on Thursday and Friday!
Now it's raining...which is fine, I suppose, because Mr Parks didn't water my plants as I asked yesterday. Hopefully this will cut the humidity levels next week.
My bubble used Monday afternoon's sunshine to do some Jackson Pollock artwork outside under the trees. I'm not sure that I can honestly say that most of the paint went on the paper instead of each other's legs! Still it was very effective, even with the wind blowing parts of the paper in half. Then on Wednesday we stayed out of the sun indoors and created animals and shapes on our Pollock paper which we've decorated the main classroom window with. They're very pleased with their results.
Lots of you had a creative week. I've been sent sports day pictures, book-based food project photos and of course lots of great work in Maths and English. Well done for carrying on with the English and Maths, even if it was hot and sticky and you didn't feel much like doing it!
I hope you all manage to catch up on sleep missed during the hot nights over the weekend!
Friday 19th June
How weird was the weather this week? I've not know what to wear! One day I had my umbrella but needed sunglasses. The next was the opposite. I've been cold, I've been warm. Utter disaster.
Wasn't that storm on Wednesday fantastic!? We downed tools to watch when the sky suddenly opened and poured what seemed to be all the rain we should have got last year in the space of 40 minutes! It was facinating and horrifying all at once to see all those poor parents get drenched through as they waited for their children to come out of their Bubbles.
The school lobby smells awful now, because the rain made its way through the door frame and the carpet became a sodden mess.
It was also amazing to see how quickly all the puddles and flooding on the playground and paths drained away. By the time I went home you'd never have guessed it was an inch or more of standing water.
There's been a lot of great writing again this week, and some lovely creative afternoons going on. One or two of you took part in your older brothers' Activities Week at home and have had a different style of learning. Some of the year 4s adapted their online mini olympics activities to suit the weather through arts or research. It's been a great week for learning!
Well done to everybody that has continued to try to get something done each day. You've all been fantastic and I'm so proud of you!
Sunday 7th June
It's been a funny old week in school. All the teachers are back, but we're not really seeing each other much. And some of the year groups are back, but not many of you! Only the two or three of you in my bubble. I'm back in my classroom, which is great for me, but it's not the same without you lot! My bubble is lovely of course, but it's not the same. You know me, Kestrels, I'm adaptable but I still don't like big changes.
Still, we've been thinking about you all, and those of you who've not been coming to school should have received a little something in the post!
For parents that may have missed the email, I am now working full-time with a bubble in my classroom until the foreseeable future. To allow for workload, I will now be responding to emails between 2pm and 4pm on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
If you'd like to include both Monday and Tuesday's work in one email and Wedneday and Thursday's work in another email, that is absolutely fine. I will still have my email open while I'm working so if there is any help needed, I will try to reply on the day. Just please be aware that I will not provide feedback to work sent on a Monday until Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday's work until Thursday afternoon.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Odes that year 4 have written to their favourite food this week! Some of them have been fantastically hyperbolic and descriptive. One or two made me hungry!
Year 3 have had a great week working with the brilliant childhood works of Robert Louis Stevenson and creating their own fantastical playground experiences through imagery.
I look forward to hearing from you all next week
Summer Term part 2
Welcome back everybody! I hope you all had a restful half term and got a healthy dose of Vitamin D. That sun was strong this half term wasn't it? It was really testing the capabilities of my really high factor suncream.
On your year group's subpages, you'll find the week's maths and English for you, along with this half term's afternoon menu.
I have added a new unit to your Charanga Music classes and I've removed the lesson resources from the OneDrive for last half term's menu and uploaded new ones for this half term's, so that there's no confusion.
We have just a month and a half-ish left of this roller-coaster-ride of an academic year and I'm really proud of all the work we've been able to do together - both in person and at home.
I look forward to getting hearing from you all!
P.S: Isn't it satisfying that June is starting on a Monday?
We did it Kestrel class! We have done 5 whole weeks of Home learning. We have reached half term. We should be pretty proud of ourselves, I think! Give each other a pat on the back.
Well done to everybody who's managed to complete something every day, even during the height of Wednesday's heat! You've all been keeping me up to date with your at-home exploits. Paddling pools; hammock reading; Mayfly photography; art; ever-growing ecosystems. It's been lovely to hear your opinions on the poetry this week, too. The poem about the mother who doesn't like dogs was NOT a favourite! I guess we're all dog-lovers in our class.
A lot of year 3 really enjoyed working around Harry Potter and some of you have begun to read the books as well. I thought I'd also find free online audiobooks as well, for those who don't have spotify or have run out of free audible trials. You can listen to each chapter at a time, read by the inimitable Stephen Fry, here.
Just below, I've attached an optional set of activities to do, if you get bored.
I hope you all have a wonderful half term,
Just a little note to say...
It is getting hotter and brighter outside, as I'm sure you've noticed. Make the most of the weather but please remember to Slip on a t-shirt, Slap on a hat and SLOP on that suncream - drink more water, too! You'll find yourselves getting dehyrdrated more quickly than normal, even if you're in the cooler indoors or the shade. I was caught out this Saturday when it was "cloudy". I didn't stay alert to those pesky UV rays that come through.
It's a really tricky week in our summer term; the days are noticeably shorter and the nights are getting warmer too. I'm sure we've all found ourselves waking up multiple times at night feeling too hot and a bit fidgety. The children will be tired, not just physically, but mentally too. We've been working for 5 solid weeks and there's still what feels like an eternity until the freedom of the summer holiays. Couple that with our current affairs, and it's a perfect storm for some low motivation and a few tears.
Be kind to yourselves. You're all doing a marvellous job. Pick your battles, as Mrs Stevens says, and count what you CAN get done as an achievement.
Missing you all terribly,
Mrs Parks-Connolly (Pink-faced but still recognisable!)
Friday 15th May
We are half way through MAY already! Where has that time gone? It was only April last week. I guess this is just us getting in our stride and getting good at what we're doing.
I want to say another big thank you and well done to everybody who's been completing and sending in work and keeping in touch. It's so lovely to see the work you're doing but also hearing about all the other extra curricular acitivities you've been doing! Some of you have been doing extra online work, flower pressing, looking at things under a microscope, writing and publishing books, making up dance routines, learning new recipes and generally having as much fun as you can where you are. You are all fantastic and you all - and your parents - should be very proud of everything you achieve while at home - make sure you give the people who've been supporting you at home a big hug and a 'thank you' this evening.
While at home, we've got through a novel and a half, by finishing off Heidi and then reading Emil and the Detectives.
Today's offering is what I would class as in the 'comic drama' genre, called The Wolves in the Walls. It's a great picture book and I'm sure lots of you will enjoy it.
I've put the link at the top of our pages, but you can also click the picture of the cover here:
I'll keep finding different stories - some of them might be short adventures from The Moomins, some might be more picture books, or fairytales you've not necessarily heard - to keep us going.
I saw this being shared by the Metropolitan Police online today and thought of my prankster mathematicians!
I wonder if anybody can explain what the joke is, and what's happening, mathematically?
Year 4, we've talked about this at least twice since you joined Kestrels, and DEFINITELY in Spring term this year (which feels a long time ago, I know!)
A little grammatical humour for you all - tis true! I miss you nouns!
Summer term week 2
This week, we are continuing with the White Rose maths from before Easter, as they will provide important ground work for the summer term maths, especially for year 4.
While I have made .pdfs, I do ask that, where possible, you watch the videos available each day (year 3 here and year 4 here, in case you haven't spotted it on our work pages) - the modelled thinking aloud and matching visual effects are really useful. The videos could be watched through first, then the pdfs used as a support aid later, if you have limited screen time per child at home.
When you go to the website to use the resources, please remember to click "week 2", not continue with "Summer term week 2" which the drop down opens on automatically.
English will continue to work the way it did last week - I can see from the written work and the feedback from some of you that it's working well at the moment.
Please continue to choose an activity from the menu each afternoon, or let me know what other extra-curricular activities you've chosen to do. You're more than welcome to do some activities (scratch, the scavenger hunt, cooking) more than once however try to do a variety of things like the history and geography as well.
You will see that at the top of the page, I have added a link to some science activities lead by a teacher/scientist in Whittlesford. Some of the activities may require a discussion with your child, as they may require some resources or "ingredients" for various experiments, or an outdoor space, but otherwise they're designed to be as hands off as possible.
Any further information is available on your year group subpages.
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Fabulous learning this week
I'd like to say a big well done to everybody. I'm sure more than one of you found it tricky to get back into the swing of things after having a break from learning.
Lots of you have fed back that you're enjoying or preferring the new White Rose maths learning packs, which is great. I've found them quite useful myself, seeing different ways of teaching concepts.
Year 3 and 4 have had separate English work and it's been really good to see each year group come up different pieces of work. We've had some fun short stories in the style of Fantastic Mr Fox and some poems about creepy crawlies.
I've also enjoyed getting a variety of afternoon activities to look at! It's been very interesting to see which activities you've gone for to start with. We've had scavenger hunts, jewellery making, roast dinner cooking, scratch programming, factfile making... All sorts! It's been lovely to hear from you all.
Do keep in touch.
We're onto chapter 5 of Emil and the Detectives. I've had some emails saying that you've been enjoying the book so far. I can only promise it gets better from here! It's a nice read, too, because each chapter is quite short but something happens in each one.
Have a lovely weekend and stay safe. Mrs Denton, Mrs Cox, Mrs Wilkinson and I are missing you all!
Home learning, after Easter
Dear parents and carers and Kestrels!
I hope you all have a safe, happy Easter break and that you managed to have some relaxing downtime.
I ended up not doing many of the poems for A Poem A Day because when it came down to it, the ones during the second week of Easter holiday were really depressing and tricky to read (Chaucer being one of them)!
I thought I'd save you all the sadness of the poems, (and me fumbling my way through Middle English) awaiting the more lively, interesting ones from April 21st!
I shall also begin reading our new class book, 'Emil and the Detectives' by Erich Kästner, whose work you'll mostly recognise in 'The Parent Trap'!
Now that term is starting, we've decided as a school to change how we approach home learning this half term.
I shall be using the White Rose online learning resources, which include videos for the children to watch before attempting the tasks. In case you can't access the video, I'll recreate the videos as pdfs and upload them with the worksheets each day in advance.
Some schools have used the online learning already and therefore are on Summer term week 1, however I'd like to use the opportunity to consolidate and allow year 4 to visually go over fractions as decimals, which will help with the summer term work.
We are going to be working from week 1, not "Summer term week 1"
I will let you know each week which homelearning week each year group is working from.
All the answers are provided to the work, which should help with any troubleshooting - I am available, as always, via firstname.lastname@example.org to help as well.
For English, I'm using a unit for each year group from the Hamilton Trust homelearning resources - this provides the text and work around the text. This covers reading comprehension, grammar and writing.
I will try to upload the week in advance. A lot of the powerpoints have audio embedded in them. These do not work on the pdf format, I'm afraid.
In the afternoons, we'd like to give you as much flexibility as possible. I have created an activity menu for the half term.
You should all have received an email either from me, or via the office, with details of your child's login for Charanga Music. This will allow the children to continue their music lessons from home - there's a 6-lesson unit assigned to each year group.
I've provided links or suggested videos to follow for PE and I've provided you with activities for other areas of the curriculum. I've uploaded some pdf files for specific activities onto my onedrive and shared it with you - you can access it through the link on the menu.
The idea is to allow you to choose with your children which activity you will do that afternoon and to give you flexibility. You get to choose what you can or want to do. If you find something else to do that is extra-curricular, that is fine too.
One or two of the activities you could do more than once or spend longer on, thus filling the afternoon with just one task.
Please continue sending me copies of your work - just ask your parents to email me at email@example.com.
If you need paper copies, please contact me or the office so that we can arrange that for you.
Do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
Dear parents and Kestrels,
We've completed two weeks of home learning - it has been challenging for a lot of us in different ways. I'm sure that we all understand more than ever the feeling of wanting what we can't have!
I'd like to thank all the parents and carers at home who've been supporting Kestrels class with their learning, even if it's ensuring that the work's been emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or the office. I've really enjoyed seeing what the children have got up to and how they've interpreted some of the tasks! I appreciate how difficult it is to juggle being a bread-winner, a parent AND a teacher in one day and I am so grateful to all of you for trying your best.
Thank you also for the feedback from both adults and children, letting me know how they've got on with a task, if they found it tricky - and in particular, whether they've enjoyed doing it. It's been lovely to receive so many kind messages. I've also enjoyed getting emails from the children themselves (via their parents' email address) to let me know what they've been getting up to.
For many of us, Easter is going to feel a bit different this year - I'm sure I'm not the only one with plans that have been cancelled - and the idea of spending two weeks not quite knowing what to do might be daunting for many.
Miss Snelling has devised some optional activities for you to fall back on over the next two weeks, I've uploaded them below. The aim is to complete a row or a column of the activities - but doing more is definitely ok! For many of you, it's not a real "holiday", so don't feel any pressure to get them done.
I've finished recording our class book, Heidi, and will start the next one after Easter. Over Easter, I will try continue to do a Poem A Day and to read some picture books for those looking for something a bit different. Just check our class playlist for new videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb0pFDI7KBtIBmxNRfmZlURe25Zf-HN01
Stay safe, look after each other and keep smiling!
I have really enjoyed some of the creative writing you've done around your chosen Zoo animal this week! Some of them have been so entertainingly written, so thank you for that!
I'll upload a selection of the work so we can see all the ideas you've had of what it must be like in a day in the life of a tiger/penguin/koala/panda.
My SD reader has arrived! So Heidi chapters are being edited and uploaded today to catch us up - I might even throw in some bonus ones so that we finish by Monday.
"Production" will slow down slightly over the holidays as I'll be helping those of you who are still coming into school next week.
Tomorrow I'll be uploading some optional activities for you to do over the Easter holidays - two bingo boards. There'll be more information on that with them tomorrow.
At Home Learning
Dear Parents and Kestrels,
We've come to the end of our first week of at-home learning and I have been amazed by the quality of your work and resilience.
I'd like to say a big thank you to all the adults at home who have been supporting the children with their work - even while juggling your own jobs! I know how hard it has been.
I shall try upload some of the great stories you wrote on Thursday over the weekend (I'll transcribe some of them as the photos are hard to read) - I was so pleased to see so many of you try to include all the grammatical elements we've been practising since Christmas.
Please do not hesitate to email me if you need help with any of the tasks - it can be so difficult to get ideas across without being there in person! I will try to upload videos and audio files as necessary to help.
Kestrels, please please keep reading!
Send me reviews of books you've particularly enjoyed at home and I will publish them on the website to inspire other readers. I will keep reading books to you as well, as you've asked! I have already decided which adventure we will go on once we're finished with Heidi.
Kestrel Class's playlist is mainly viewable by clicking this link:
So far we have:
*These are picture books which I think you'll all enjoy.
To come will also be some more picture books I think you'll like and when we've finished Heidi, I'll begin the next class book! (but you'll have to watch to find out what it is!)
To view other class's playlists, you'll need to visit their class page.
Stay safe and healthy, Kestrels! Please keep in touch. I look forward to us all being together again - I'll miss you all very much!
*Today's chapter of Heidi has been filmed but my SD card reader is kaput! I've another on its way so until then, I apologise!*
Our class book is currently The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
Kestrels have had a fantastic start in their writing this half term - it's the best half term because suddenly you can see how much progress children have made since September. Comparing their diary writing from September to this half term's shows how much more varied the vocabulary and sentence structures are now.
We have so far enjoyed discussing the style and descriptions of The Iron Man and role-playing a Farmers' Committee to discuss what to do about the problem. A lot of children were pleased to learn that their ideas were similar to what happened in the book. We have thought about Hogarth's emotions and how his feelings have moved from "proud" to "devastated" within one scene, linking the discussion to our PSHE topic around feelings.
Today the children have used the imaginative expanded noun phrases they came up with about scrapyards to create a poem which includes a repeated phrase and a sense of rhythm. A lot of the class got out thesauruses and helped to edit the poem and suggest alternative syntax choices to help keep the rhythm regular.
They will use this shared writing experience to write their own poems about the Iron Man itself.
I hope to record the children performing "Scrumptious Scrapyard" orally, so that we can share the poem to its full effect online.
On Thursdays the children will be working with Premier Sport. On Wednesday, they will be doing PE with me.
Please ensure your child's PE kits are in school every day. Sometimes time tables change or need to be moved around and your children need to be prepared for any eventuality!
Spring 2: Insects
Moving on from classifying animals we are looking more indepth at insects: what makes a "mini beast" an insect; the metamorphic and incomplete metamorphic life cycles and whether they are pests or helpers in both the human and natural world.
Spring 1: Classifying Animals and Plants
The children have been learning about the 7 life processes (MRS NERG) that all living things do and how scientists have grouped living things into The Plant Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. So far we have been exploring groups of invertebrates and are beginning to work out how to classify vertebrate animals into fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals.
They are getting rather good at using classification keys now and are able to describe the differences and similarities between fish and amphibians.
Autumn 2: The children are going to begin their investigations into 'light'. They will conduct experiments to discover in ways light travels, what light is, which surfaces are reflective and how shadows work. Thank you very much for all the box donations! We shall have a lot of fun with it!
The children have so far discovered that: "Darkness is the absence of light"; light travels in straight lines; with just enough light, one can begin to make out bright colours as these reflect light well while dark colours do not; that some materials, such as glitter or even clear glass, can reflect light.
All this while aiding DI Harris with a low-profile jewellry heist at The Grand Theatre in Harrowgate - during a dress rehearsal, no less! The children are coming up with loads of theories as to how and 'who dunnit' and have been communicating these with DI Harris, though me.
Autumn 1: The children are focusing on "Cycles" in nature; weather cycles, seasonal cycles, life cycles and the water cycle. So far we have discussed how nature is affected by the seasons, how seasons are caused and why the equator does not have seasons in the same way we do; the life cycle of a plant from seed to seed and the life cycle of a chicken with a focus on the development of the chick inside of an egg. The children ended the cycles unit with the life cycle of a frog - looking into how exactly a tadpole morphs into a froglet, then a frog - and the water cycle.
Don't worry, parents, we have established that the eggs bought in shops are unfertilized!
Art and Design & Technology
The children will have an opportunity to improve their already amazing sculpting skills. They will be using the terracotta army of the first Emperor of China as their stimulus, creating our own mini army of figurines out of clay.
There will also be an opportunity to design, prepare and make a Chinese style soup.
This term, Kestrels have been studying the work and style of Georgia O'Keeffe, focusing in particular on her macro paintings of flowers. We discussed the bold colours she used and how she focused one a small detail of the plant and then painted it "blown up" so that it was huge, making viewers consider flowers differently.
We have tried using pencils, pastels and watercolours - which was a bit tricky to get right as we had to consider how much was "too much" water! Today the children had their first go at both sketching and painting their own "blown up" flowers. They were given a viewing window to help them focus on a small section of a flower and then drew larger rectangles in their books to help them size up proportionately. It's a very tricky thing to do, especially when your impulse to draw small details is to draw tiny intricate details!
They have done very well with their first attempt - I've taken some photographs of some of the work as it stands. I hope to graduate them onto some lovely thick watercolour paper, where they can do a series of smaller, but no less bold and beautiful, pictures.
Past English Work
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The children have adored studying this book, so far. We have been reading one to three chapters at a time and responding to the story through discussion, writing in-role, poetry and lyric writing. I highly recommend buying this book for children to revisit (and you parents to enjoy!) at home - but please wait until we have finished the unit, so that the story is not spoiled for them!
I strongly suspect that this book will be heavily featured in our class assembly.
Edward - and the children - has now experienced love and loss! He is a changed rabbit. As the story reaches its conclusion, the children have written 1st Person Narratives from the perspective of one of those that loved Edward and they have explored the concept of imagery and symbolism in Edward's first-ever dream. They have produced their own impression of the dream, using colour to convey mixed feelings of freedom, despair and heartbreak in the dream.
I have been very impressed by how well the children have not only engaged with this complex book but also the way they have managed to keep track of everything that has happened including small details that are tricky to recall without pictures.
Kestrels and I will feel quite bereft when we finish this book!
The children have explored the first two pages. They have responded to the initial image, making connections and predictions based on what they know of other stories. I've photographed their thoughts for you to see. They then heard the narrative that matched to the picture.
They have also responded to the second page by painting their own pictures and then annotating them with gold / silver pens, in the style of the illustrations in the books. We have discussed how the author has chosen to write a paragraph full of descriptions, using similes and metaphor to build a picture of Jub's world in the readers' heads.
The children have written poetry and discussed the common settings of fairytales and why woodlands are so prevalent.
This week they have broadened their subject knowledge about two woodland nocturnal creatures that seep into pop culture and literature: owls and bats before exploring traditional non-fiction writing styles and the child-friendly 'narrative non-fiction' as expertly used by author Nicola Davies.
The children were extremely excited to find out the title of our book! After some very good suggestions as to what the title could be - "Jub and the Happy Endings", "Jub's Adventure" - they were none-the-less enthusiastic and in agreement with Carol-Ann Duffy over "The Lost Happy Endings".
This came after having read a page describing a new character in great detail, focusing on her physical traits as well as outlining her despicable behaviour. The children explored the idea of tropes and "Goodies" and "Baddies" in books. They then had a go at creating what they imagined the "old woman" looked like using clay. I was so very impressed by their focus, imagination and modelling skills. It's hard to know whether to let the children paint them or to simply glaze them!
The children have written diamante poems, diary entries and their own version of a fairy tale, with an Unhappy ending! It was lovely to hear the children's ideas as to what could happen that not result in a Happily Ever After. Some were simple and effective, others were creative in circumventing the otherwise happy ending - including the Evil Queen infiltrating Snow and Charming's castle and replacing the fruit in the fruitbowl with poisoned apples!
Kestrels have been working with 'Fly, Eagle, Fly!' an African tale with a powerful message. This book has wonderful descriptions of the countryside in Africa and is the story of an eagle that has been raised as a chicken by a farmer. A friend of the farmer tries to prove the bird is an eagle by encouraging it to fly with his mantra: "You belong not to the earth but to the sky".
We have written letters as the friend, to his wife, explaining how we feel about keeping the "King of birds" being kept as a lowly chicken. This week, as a our last piece of work with the book the children have retold the story from the point of view of the friend.
Come into the classroom to see our eagle wing display. Everybody wrote what they thought the message of the story was on a feather and then, responding to Desmond Tutu's foreward in the book, what they'd like to do when they're older to "reach sublime heights".
Kestrels have read and explored the themes around 'Storm', a ghost story set in a place similar to the fenlands. We have thought about everyone's point of view - including the ghost!
Come and read their accounts of travelling through the stormy night, delivering Annie to the doctor's in the village.