Friday, 26 June 2015

Making Ice-cream / Reading

A couple of things are spinning through my mind tonight as I write this.  I have just read through the home fun   - thanks for all the comments on reading. One of them stood out for me, I left them at school so can't remember the exact words but it said something like ' she was so pleased when she worked the word out' .  It is a great feeling for them. Just thought I'd give you an idea of what we might do as part of a reading lesson. We look at developing an understanding of many strategies they can use to work out tricky words.

We start with a 'Learning Intention' - (during the early stages in reading this is usually based on decoding.  Some of our readers are starting to move onto a heavier comprehension focus now).

In conjunction with this- we have Success Criteria - in a nutshell - what the learner will do to be successful with meeting this Learning Intention.  We don't just focus on 'sounding out words'.  There are many other aspects that are super important for children to achieve reading success.

Here is an example of a Learning Intention

WALT:  Read tricky words
SC :       We skip unknown words
              We read to the end of the sentence then reread.

I might then, in a modelling book,  provide an example of what this might look like and go through this with the children.

In this case the reader has had trouble with the word 'jumped'. When they read-on and successfully read 'up on the stool' -  going back and rereading, the word 'jumped' becomes much easier.   As we go through the book and at the end we constantly refer back to our learning focus)- we then look to use this strategy  (it doesn't always work -and that is why is is so important the children have a range of things they can do like:

*Making connections with what they know  -to the stories we read (this helps them with vocabulary and context) This does not need to exactly match the topic - for example they don't need to be scared of spiders to make a connection with a book about this, it might be something else that they are scared of that will help them make connections with vocabulary and feelings within the book

* Using the pictures to help read. While they have pictures to support meaning - they need to use them! Sometimes we examine the pictures without looking at the words and make a big list of words we might expect to see from what we can see happening in the text.

* Using meaning - thinking about what makes sense.  What is the word likely to be, based on what we a reading about?

* Looking at words I know that are like the one I don't know - If I know 'here' -it is not that much of a jump to 'where'.

* Using punctuation to help read - does it have a question mark - then there must be a question word in there  - 'how', 'who', 'when' etc. Punctuation also gives an idea about feelings of characters - and this can be used to help with making meaning.

* Looking at the sounds in words.  This is obviously important and works with all the other things I have mentioned (I have probably missed some too)

The point here is that good readers do a RANGE of things to help them read.  :-)


Today in Room 9 we made ice-cream, as part of our Inquiry on milk and also as part of our PB4L focus on 'collaboration'.  The group identified what they needed to work together and they all had defined jobs.  They helped each other and worked together and we all had fun. To do this, we put a small bag of milk with vanilla essence and sugar into a big bag of ice and salt and 'shook, shook, shook'.  Unfortunately one group ended up with salt in the ice-cream  -not so nice! The other four groups had great success and they shared with the less fortunate group.  Great collaboration!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera -so the shots are taken from my mac.  Hopefully they come out clearly.

Friday, 19 June 2015


Thanks to those who came to celebration today.  I did try to load the whole video of photos onto here but too many mbs :-( Here are some pictures of the groups that collaborated on their 'cows are useful animals' pictures.  We are sorry that Abbey, Emma, and Aleesha weren't with us today.  Hope you are all feeling better.

Friday, 12 June 2015

From cream to butter

Hi all - as many of you will have heard, today we had the fun experience of making butter. This tied in to our current inquiry on milk. We made it by tipping some cream, a pinch of salt into some jars (thanks Zoe's Nana) and  shaking, shaking shaking. Mrs Williams should have bought and brought more biscuits as there was not enough for two each.  This did lead to exploration of a maths problem involving fractions (The importance of maths being used across the curriculum as a way to solve problems is something I have been doing some reading on recently). It was Rebecca who suggested we cut the spare biscuits into four (after we worked out we still did not have enough if we halved them).  Well done - smart thinking!

This photo and the one below made me laugh - Emma was sneaking some extra butter out of the jar - doesn't the face below say it all!

Friday, 5 June 2015

The milking shed

Hi folks - have a look at the photos below.  This video shows the children experiencing the feel of the milking cup that goes on the cows teat.

Farm trip

Hi all - We had a great time on our trip.  Thank you to the fantastic parents who came along.  Enjoy these photos! This (below)is my absolute favourite - thanks Mrs Roberts for sending it to me.