Tuesday, 28 March 2017

What's been happening in our play???

There is still lots of engagement around Willow the Worser Bay Witch and children are regularly writing her letters asking a variety of questions.  Most of the questions are asking for things that they can make in class, but some include getting to know more about the witch like, Dear Witch, are you real??? and Dear Witch, what do you eat??

The best part about this writing is that it is totally self motivated and chosen! There is no pressure to write the witch a letter.  As the writing is happening there is lots of consolidating of what letters need and lots of word practise and letter/sound practise.  

After asking the witch for materials to make a doll, here she is making a doll's house for that doll. 

These girls are making their own magic wands and dolls

After receiving their replies many children get materials they need to make what they've asked for.  Some come back to these over and over again to refine them, add to them, and play with them.

What else is going on?
As you know, Tuesday is "Toy Tuesday" where kids can bring a toy to school with them.  Here a nest was being made for all of the class's toys to be in while we were doing other things.  There was a lot of thinking about what animals need to stay safe.  We can see an enclosure happening here. 

After assembling these beetles and talking about all the parts of a beetle, these two decided that they needed to be fed.  So they went on a search to find what they could feed the beetles with.  There was lots of scientific thinking going on here.  What living things need to survive? Food, water, and shelter.  

There has been lots of mathematical thinking going on. We have been exploring measurement and capacity.  How many can fit? How do we balance it? What is heavy? What is light? 
 We also created "challenges" for each other where we could only use the tweezers to move things.  This is very good fine motor skill practise.

 You can see lots of sorting and organising going on here.  There is sorting by different shape, colour and material.

 Here the scale became a dump truck and the mechanism was being explored.  Can I get these tops into this container? Again, this is looking closely at capacity.  Will they all fit from this container to this other one?

Here there is some creating going on. The bottle tops have become bottle top jelly-fish in the sea.  There is a lot of discussion around the living world and the environment.  Where do these jelly fish live? What else is in the sea? What do they eat? 
Another awesome week full of discovery in Autahi!
As a little test, if you are reading the blog, please add a comment!

Update on our handmade word wall!

As you know we started making our own word wall weeks ago.  The children painted the backgrounds for each letter, playing with colour, mixing, and texture.  Next we used glitter glue to create the capital and lower case letters and then we cut the letters out.  Next we glued them to the backgrounds.  Then we put ourselves in ABC order and took pictures of everyone who started with an A, B, C, etc.  Then we sorted objects we had in the classroom by letter and took photos of that.  Then children cut those out and glued them to the matching letter.  

This last week we had a group helping to put the letter cards back in ABC order.  They used our existing alphabet to guide them.  They worked together, taking turns, listening to each other.  There was lots of singing the ABC song to help keep us on track.  We had to look at the letters, say their name, find them in the order and put them in a line! There was so much cooperation!

After we managed to get them all down in order, we needed to find a way to put them together.  A few people helped to weave string in through holes and we managed to get it strung up! 

It's now hanging in our room and as we learn new words we are putting them up so we know where we can find them when we are writing! Come in and have a look!

Look at Me!

 Our story from last week was called Look at Me.  It explores different characters and the words: look, at, me, I, am, a.  While reading the story and thinking about the direction we go when we read, looking at recurring words and looking at initial letter sounds (like p for pirate, c for clown, k for king, a for astronaut and t for tiger) we also started to think about ourselves as these characters.  Which one would we want to be? Where would we live? What would we do if we were that character?

The next thing we did was make puppets of ourselves.  This involved lots of cutting and sticking and thinking about placement.  Do we put the face down first or the clothes down first? How do we attach the body to a stick of some sort?

 After that we reenacted the story with our own puppet words.  Different children held up different words and as they moved forward we read the story.  

 Next we got writing our own stories.  We were trying to use the words from the story and sound out our character.  We were also thinking about ourselves as those characters and we used our puppets for support and guidance!

We are all working on drawing a picture plan first, writing words we know or can find around the room and using our sound card to help write the letters we can hear in other words. 

Here is some of the writing we did!

 Then we got thinking where would this character live?  What does this character do? What might it need to survive?  So next we used brown paper bags to create props, backgrounds, habitats or homes.  Some made rocket ships for their astronauts, others made green jungles for their tigers, boats for their pirates and circus tents for their clowns.  We thought about colour, shape, how we needed to manipulate the brown paper bag to create what we wanted for our settings. 

 Finally some of us performed little puppet shows for each other.  There was lots of lovely language like, "would you like to come to my puppet show?" And we practised being audience members and listening and then taking turns to share our own creations! The week was full of lots of thinking, designing, creating and sharing!