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Highlights of the week:

  • In literacy this week we have been looking at adding detail and description to our retelling of stories.  We read two very short stories by Kevin Crossley Holland.  Some of the children practised a retelling of ‘Boo’ whilst the other half of the class retold ‘Ghosties’.  The children worked hard on building a sense of atmosphere in these spooky tales.  We also worked on thinking of different ways of beginning our sentences instead of using ‘and then’.
  • We have been focusing on drawing in art.  We are working on creating some abstract designs that make effective use of pattern.
  • As Wimbledon tennis tournament is on at the moment, we set a tennis themed technology challenge for the children. Teams of children had to work together to devise a contraption that would catch a tennis ball when dropped from a height.  The children came up with some innovative ideas, some more successful than others!
  • We have also begun a study of the author/illustrator Anthony Browne; we have begun this week by looking his book ‘Piggy book’.  We are particularly interested in his illustrations and how they give clues to what is going on in the story.

 

 

Talk about:

Can you have a go at retelling either ‘Boo’ or ‘Ghosties’ to someone in your family?

 

Can you describe the setting and feelings of the characters?

 

Can you start sentences in different ways?

 

Can you use appropriate expression?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other ideas:

 

What can you find out about abstract art?

Can you describe what is meant by abstract art?

Which artists are famous for creating pieces of abstract art?

 

Parent/Carer comment:

Reading comment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of the week:

  • This week we have been investigating sound in science.  The children have found out how sounds are made, how they travel and how they change. On Wednesday we had a very noisy afternoon of trying out various homemade instruments to see how we could alter their pitch.
  • We continued to look at the true story of ‘The drums of Noto Hanto’ in literacy this week.  We discovered that the villagers of Nabune managed to scare away invading Samurai by dressing in scary masks and playing their drums.  The children also looked at the way in which other cultures use dances and chants to intimidate opponents.  We watched clips of ‘The Haka’ performed by Maori tribal dancers and made up our own intimidation sequences in groups.
  • As part of our work on Noto Hanto, we arranged for the children to take part in a Taiko drumming workshop. The children practised and performed a short re-enactment of the story complete with puppets and masks.

 

 

 

How are sounds made?

What can they travel through?

Can you explain how to make an instrument using just a drinking straw?

How could you alter the pitch of your drinking straw?

 

Can you talk about the Taiko drumming workshop?

Can you remember any of the rhythms and actions that you learnt?

 

Talk about:

 

 

 

Other ideas:

In maths all the groups have been working on tessellation problems.

Have a go at tessellating the shapes on this fun tetris game.

http://www.echalk.co.uk/amusements/games/tetris/tetris.html

 

Parent/Carer comment:

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Highlights of the week:

  •  This week we looked that the work of the famous Japanese artist ‘Hokusai’.  We discussed his 36 views of Mount Fuji and his famous painting ‘The Great Wave’.  The children then went on to paint their own view of Mount Fuji.  They practised painting very thin lines with fine brushes.
  • We began a design project in which we will be designing and making our own drums. This week we investigated a range of different drums.  We had to think about the sorts of sounds they make, how they are played and the materials they are made from.
  • We continued our work on modern day Japan, the children have written information leaflets in which they have remembered to use report style language.  Some of the children have chosen to publish their tourist information leaflets using a ‘Textease’ programme.

 

 

What can you find out about the Japanese artist Hokusai?

How did he make his pictures?

When was he alive?

Which is your favourite Hokusai picture and why do you like it?

 

What can you find out about Japanese Taiko drums?

 

 

 

 

 

Talk about:

 

 

 

Other ideas:

We have begun a design technology project in which we will be designing and making drums.  We would therefore like the children to have a scout around at home for sturdy cylindrical containers that we could make drums out of, in class. Please avoid containers that are made from breakable or sharp materials, plastic, strong cardboard or non-sharp metal would be ideal. MANY THANKS!

Parent/Carer comment:

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Highlights of the week:

  • Before half term we finished our enquiry into the rainforest.  The children rounded off the work by writing excellent persuasive letters highlighting the dangers of deforestation.  As we were looking at Borneo specifically, we had to investigate the threats posed to orang-utans. The children enjoyed researching and creating oil pastel drawings of these fascinating animals.
  • We are now taking our first steps into a new story which takes place in a village situated along the coastline of Noto Hanto in Japan.  We are going to be exploring the true events that happened in this location several hundred years ago.  So far the children have discovered that drums are of special significance in the village and the playing of drums can signal many different events.
  • We have been researching modern day Japan as well, the children have been finding out about the culture and geography of Japan.  They have produced information sheets for tourists with everything you would ever need to know about Japan!

 

 

We have discovered that Japan is particularly susceptible to Earthquakes.

What is an earthquake?

Why is Japan so vulnerable?

What do the Japanese people do to protect themselves from these natural disasters?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talk about:

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

Find out more about Japan by exploring the National Geographic Kid’s website

 

http://kids.nationalgeographic.co.uk/kids/places/find/japan/

 

Parent/Carer comment:

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Highlights of the week:

  • This week the children created their own stories about the Piper, they imagined another city that was infested with pests. They wrote letters of recommendation from the Mayor of their fictional city. They used adjectives to describe the pests (some of the cities had been invaded by poisonous snakes, others were plagued by a swarm of wasps) and adjectives to describe their feelings towards the pests.
  • We have also researched the people that live in the rainforest. The children split into teams and each researched a different rainforest tribe. They then regrouped and had to pass on what they had discovered to their new team. The children found out how each tribe uses the rainforest and other interesting facts about the way they live.
  • The children were also particularly interested in the ritual dress and face markings of the different tribes so we decided to investigate this further. We discovered that different colours and marks have different meanings. For example in some cultures black is a sign of life whilst yellow can represent death. The children then went on to design their own tribal face markings and created pictures of these using the computer programme ‘Textease’.

Talk about:

 

 

This week we have thought about including more description in our writing.

 

Choose a character from a favourite story.

For example: Mrs Twit, Mr Stink, Wimpy Kid, Tracey Beaker etc.

 

Now can you describe the character?

 

Don’t forget to use lots of interesting adjectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

Try exploring the BBC Human Planet website if you haven’t already done so. The section on Jungles is particularly relevant to our class work but the other sections are equally fascinating.

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Highlights of the week:

  • This week we continued our story about ‘The year of the rats!’ In role as the residents of Hamelin, the children met a mysterious stranger. The stranger was unlike anyone they had met before and promised to rid Hamelin of its rats; he didn’t say how he would do it, only that it would involve the use of a musical instrument.
  • To find out if this mysterious visitor was trustworthy the children came up with questions they could use in an interview with him. The children gave the Piper a real grilling before agreeing to his fee of 100 gold coins.
  • In literacy we have been working on including more description in our imaginative writing. The children wrote super accounts of the first time they saw the Piper. We talked about using adjectives to describe what he looked like and powerful verbs and adverbs to describe how he spoke and how he moved.
  • We also stepped back into our rainforest story. As rainforest researchers we begun to explore the area of rainforest around basecamp. The children drew scale maps of the area, including all that they had discovered. We even came across some human dwellings built into the trees.

 

Talk about:

 

 

What can you find out about people that inhabit the rainforest?

 

Try researching the Yanomame tribe of the Amazon Rainforest or the Penan tribe that live in Borneo.

 

How do they survive in the rainforest?

 

What customs or beliefs do they hold?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

Check on the progress of the new Peregrine falcons that have hatched on the nesting platform situated on the side of Norwich cathedral spire.

www.cathedral.org.uk

 

Parent/Carer comment:

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Highlights of the week:

  • We have continued our work on green plants this week. We completed our rainforest experiment and found that the plants in rainforest conditions grew faster and taller, however the leaves were smaller and the roots weaker.
  • We have also been finding out about the different parts of the plant and what they are for. We discussed photosynthesis, the process by which plants make their own food, breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen.
  • In our literacy work we went back to the town of Hamelin, the children went into role as the residents of Hamelin. They were so annoyed by the rat infestation that they called a meeting with the Mayor. There was a very heated exchange as the Mayor suggested the residents were exaggerating the rat problem! Finally the mayor was persuaded to try and recruit a team of rat catchers.
  • The children then swung into action as expert rat catchers; in teams they designed a contraption to eliminate Hamelin’s rats. The children had to write instructions for their invention and prepare a one minute presentation to persuade the Mayor of Hamelin to choose them above the other expert teams.

Talk about:

 

 

The children have been looking at rainforest poetry with Mrs Spears on Tuesdays. To help them learn and use descriptive vocabulary in their own poetry writing, Ericson class have been learning a poem that they will be reciting to the whole school during assembly on Friday 3rd May.

Please practise the poem and try and learn your verses off by heart!

(The children have ticked the verses that they need to practise.)

 

We have been learning a lot about green plants over the last few weeks. Are you able to explain why plants are so important?

 

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

On espresso news the children looked at an article about Michael Gove’s proposal to cut the school holidays and extend the school day (the children were outraged!)

You could discuss the pros and cons of his proposal and maybe write a short paragraph in response that could be posted on the comments section of the website.

Parent/Carer comment:

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Highlights of the week:

  • This week we have been learning all about plants. The children have designed an experiment to find out if plants grow better in rainforest conditions.  We have been able to recreate hot and humid conditions by placing a transparent plastic pot over some seeds.
  • We ensured that our test was carried out fairly by only changing one variable and keeping the other variables the same. The children have been making sure that they give each pot the same amount of water and access to the same amount of light.
  • This week we have begun an exciting new story in literacy based upon a fictional invasion of rats. The children imagined that they were the owners of an exclusive and highly successful business in the town of Hamelin, they then wrote eye witness accounts of the first time they saw the rats.
  • We have also been working on including speech in our writing, this week the children worked on using inverted commas correctly and came up with alternative words for ‘said’.

Talk about:

 

 

Talk about your plant experiment so far.

Can you describe what has happened in each of the pots?

What do you think will happen over the weekend?

 

Can you recount what happened in your shop on the first day of the rat invasion?

How did you feel about the rats?

What do you think the villagers will do to solve the rat problem?

 

 

Other ideas

 

Try putting a stick of celery or a white carnation in a pot with some water coloured with food dye. What do you think will happen after a few hours?

Parent/Carer comment:

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Highlights of the week: Week beginning Monday March 11th

  • This week we began to look at food chains and food webs. We discussed the meanings of terms such as ‘consumer’, ‘producer’ and ‘top predator’. We sorted pictures of living things into a food web to show the relationship between them.
  • We stepped into our story and received our first rainforest survival training session. The children collaborated in teams to work out the best way to deal with an injured orang-utan.  We also began to make preparations for the fictional expedition to Borneo. The children had to think carefully about clothes and equipment needed for rainforest survival.
  • In literacy we have begun to look at the language of persuasion texts and the children have had lots of practise of trying to bring people around to their point of view.

Talk about:

 

 

As part of our work on persuasion and discussion texts we have been talking about many issues in class. The children have been working on providing reasons to back up their point of view.

 

Maybe you could choose one of the following statements to discuss.

Do you agree or disagree?

 

  • You should always do as you are told.
  • It is always wrong to steal.
  • Teachers should be given free supplies of chocolate whilst at work.
  • Playstations should be made available in schools.

 

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

The BBC Bitesize website has several games and a quiz to support our work on food chains and food webs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/science/living_things/food_chains/play/

 

Highlights of the week:  Week Beginning March 4th

  • We have been putting the final touches to our rainforest PowerPoint’s, this week. The children have learnt how to set up their slideshows and add animations.
  • In literacy we have begun a new unit on discussion texts. The children have been discussing the pros and cons of various issues, including ‘should a skate ramp be built in the playground?’
  • They are learning to use the language of discussion by beginning their sentences with phrases such as ‘I believe that…’ and ‘On the other hand…’
  • As it is Mother’s day on Sunday the children have been working on a secret craft project, we hope you like the results!

Talk about:

 

 

On March 7th it was world book day; world book day is a global celebration of books. The event encourages people across the world to read more.

 

Who is your favourite author?

What books have they written?

What is it, you especially like about their books?

What else can you find out about him/her?

 

 

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

Don’t forget that your £1 world book day voucher is now valid and runs out on March 24th.

Some bookshops are selling special books priced £1 that can be purchased with the token. Maybe you could write a short book review for a favourite book, you could include a star rating.

 

Highlights of the week:

  • As part of our class story, we have begun to behave as if we are part of a research team from ‘The University of  Norwich, School of Environmental Sciences’. We have been asked to travel to an undiscovered part of Borneo that may be particularly rich in plant and animal life.
  • In preparation for the fictional expedition to Borneo, we have been researching life in a rainforest. The children have been finding out about the plants, animals and weather that they might encounter there.
  • We have begun to think about animals at risk all over the world; we discussed the trade in ivory that is endangering elephants.  We will also be looking at the reasons why polar bears are vulnerable as part of our literacy work on explanation texts. 

Talk about:

 

 

Polar Bears!- What do you already know about them and what can you find out?

Why are they classed as ‘vulnerable animals’?

 

 

 

Other ideas

 

Try to find out some more facts about the plants, animals and people of the rainforest. This website will help:

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org.uk/kids