Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Rock Art

All along the Seatoun waterfront there is something magical happening...

Rocks painted in all sorts of characters are popping up weekly. Do you recognise some of these?

There are also smaller rocks that have been painted by children all around the neighbourhood.

Would you like to get involved? Easy!
Just find a rock or pebble and paint it - it doesn't have to be fancy. 

Then put it somewhere for passers by to discover and enjoy!

It's a lot of fun!

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Make a quacky duck.

Try this craft and make a quacky duck card.

You will need a sheet of paper or thin card, pens and scissors.

First, fold the paper in half and in half again.

Now, open the paper out so that it is folded lengthways only with a fold in the middle. With your scissors, make a small cut around halfway between one edge and the middle fold.

Push the two sides of the cut back to make two little folds. This is your duck beak.

Next, open the paper out and refold it like a greetings card so that the duck beak is in the middle.

Gently push and pull the duck beak so that it folds out from the flat card. Now, when you open and close your card, the beak will move up and down.

Finally, it's time to decorate your card. Draw your duck's face and body around the beak. Add eyes and feathers. Now your duck is ready to get quacking!

Numbers all around me!

Have you ever looked carefully to see just how many numbers you can find at home and out on the street?

Numbers are all around us. Hunting for numbers at home or on a walk is a great way to practice counting and reading them.

This week, I tried to find the numbers from 0 to 10 while out on my usual walk. Soon, I was spotting numbers on houses, cars, signs and even painted on the road. I started taking photos. My walk took me about twice as long as usual - and was lots of fun.

Here are my numbers from 0 to 10. Can you figure out where I found each one?


Now it's over to you. What numbers can you find in your home or on your next walk with your family? Can you find your age? Your birthday? Another house with the same number as yours? See if you can spot the numbers from 0 to 10, or perhaps more.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Top Tips for Learning Rocket Words

How do you practise your Rocket Words?

Here are some handy tips that you've been sharing.

Rocket Words are common words that appear a lot in our books. The aim is to learn them so that we can recognise and read them straight away. Our brains get good at recognising the shape of familiar words so we don't have to use other strategies like Stretchy Snake to read them. This has been shown to speed up reading and make it more fluent. 

When we're learning something new, the time of day can be important. Some people find that mornings are the best time for Rocket Words. They feel fresh and awake and their brains are ready to learn. Working on Rocket Words little and often is best.

Making flashcards for your Rocket Words is a great idea. Cut up empty food packets into rectangles (tea and cereal boxes are good). Write the words large and clear. Some people find it helpful to run their finger over the letter shapes as they familiarise themselves with a new word. You can even make two sets of cards and play games like Pairs (Pelmanism) with your words.

Try playing 'My Card/Your Card' with your flashcards. You'll need a helper for this. Your helper holds the cards and shows them to you one at a time. If you can say the word, you get to keep the card. If you don't know the word yet, your helper keeps the word and adds it to the bottom of the pile to show you again. The person with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner!

The focus at this stage is on reading our Rocket Words, but some people find it helpful to try writing them as well. Writing in different ways is fun and can help to fix the shapes of the letters and words in your brain. Try writing on a whiteboard, with different colours, with chalk on the pavement or with your finger in a tray of sand or flour. If you have playdough, try making the letter shapes. You might even be able to build them in Lego!

Here is an extremely tall Word Wall - and it's getting bigger all the time! Having your words somewhere you can easily see them is a great idea. That way, you'll be reminded of your words whenever you walk past and you can easily run through them any time you like.

A really top tip is finding a buddy to help you. It's far more fun and more friendly with two. Try some of the games and activities together. Ask your buddy to run through your words with you. Make silly sentences with your words together. Can you make your buddy laugh?

Finally, remember that every word you learn will help you enjoy your reading more. Dial up your Perseverance and find the fun: when we are enjoying ourselves, we are often doing our best learning. And don't forget to celebrate your achievements, especially on a Friday!

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Home Haircuts

Here's a home haircut to sharpen up your scissor skills.

Has someone in your family given you a haircut recently? Have you ever cut someone's hair?

Here's a chance to create a silly haircut and also practise cutting with scissors.

You will need:
  • A pair of scissors
  • Some pens
  • The cardboard tube from inside kitchen roll or wrapping paper OR a paper bag
⚠ And remember to be safe:

  • Cut with your scissors pointing away from your body.
  • Hold things that you are cutting with 'thumbs up' to keep your thumbs safe.
  • Carry scissors with the blades closed and pointing down to the ground (and always walk).

Tube Haircuts

Start by making lots of long, straight cuts along the length of your tube, stopping about 20 cm. before the end. You might want to ask for some help with this bit.

Next, turn your tube around so that the cut strips are at the top and the uncut part is at the bottom. Don't forget to draw a silly face on your tube.

Now your customer is ready for their haircut!

Use your scissors to trim your customer's 'hair' into a style that you like. Take your time over this. You can also blend and curl the cardboard to add extra shape. You are the stylist: have fun with it!

These guys ended up with quite short hair and they look pretty sharp with their new dos!

Paper Bag Haircuts

You can also give a paper bag a haircut.

Start with the open part of the bag at the top. If your bag has handles, cut them off.

Draw a funny face towards the bottom of the bag. Take care to leave a wide gap at the top.

Now, turn the bag around so that the open part is facing towards you. Chop lots of thin strips into the top of the bag. This is your customer's hair.

Time to open your salon and style some hair. Trip the paper strips and don't forget to fold and curl them to add some extra style. 

Now the make-over is finished. They look pretty pleased with their new haircuts!

Where does the rain go?

Build a water cycle in a bottle

Have you ever wondered what happens to the water that falls out of the sky as rain? After it has been raining, the ground and everything else outdoors is wet. But it doesn't stay wet for long. So where does the water go?

Here's an easy experiment to get you thinking about this question.

You will need: 
  • a transparent bottle with a lid (a jam jar works, too)
  • a jug of water
  • a pen (we used a Sharpie)
  • blue food colouring, if you have it.

 Start by drawing on your bottle. Put clouds and the sun at the top of the bottle. This is the sky.

 Draw a wiggly line a few centimetres from the bottom of the bottle. This is the land. You can add some trees, too.

Next, you will need a quarter to a half a cup of water. Add a little food colouring to turn the water blue. This makes it easier to see.

Now it's time to pour the blue water into your bottle.

Finally, screw on the lid tightly and place the bottle in a sunny place, such as a window sill.

Keep an eye on your bottle through the day. 

  • What can you see towards the top of your bottle?
  • Why is this happening?
  • What can this tell us about how rain works?
  • What other ideas and wonderings do you have about this experiment?