We began the first half term arriving to find the classroom decorated to match the new theme of Africa, there was some amazing artwork on the walls and the classroom felt very warm for January! Not only this but we discovered different clues that someone or something had been spending time in our classroom over the holiday season, leaving a mess with banana peels everywhere.
We searched high and low to later discover it was not the evil deeds or wrong doers but it was Freddy the monkey who had become lost. We decided to look after him which meant we needed to find out all we could about the monkeys of Africa and how to care for them. We had a delivery of new iPads and set about using these to find all the information we could. We were lucky to be able to speak to a professional who supports monkeys and were able to ask lots of important questions.
This was amazing and after learning how to use the iPads we we able to collect lots of information and facts about monkeys of Africa, we had so many that we chose the most important and created a fact file to store them in. This also lead to some monkey inspired poem work and we created our own kenning poem artwork. Obviously with new iPads in the classroom we had no intention of letting them stay charged and so we decided to create some stop motion animations. First we had to build a setting, first we found some shoe boxes and them we modelled them to reflect the jungles of Africa before using plasticine to create a monkey figure as the star of the stop motion. Mt Marshall was very happy and amazed with the results and we were all able to do this task independently!
To finish off the first half of the term we decided that Freddy the monkey needs to be returned home and be reunited with his family, after exploring the story Hug we felt Freddy may be very sad after weeks away from home. To solve this we booked flights on the amazing Bozeat airlines and in what seemed minutes we landed in Africa with Freddy to return him. As expected there was a wait at the check in desk but this did not stop us and soon we were engaged in a selection of African inspired activities. This included making cocktails from locally sourced, genuine African fruits such as pineapple, guava and mango and creating the finest jewellery from more genuine African pasta! That was not all, we also made African inspired rainmakers and decorated mask in the style of tribal designs before making a batch of genuine African biscuits made from authentic poppy seeds and parmesan cheese, it was a deliciously exciting day!
The journey was far from over, as we made our return after half term we were greeted by Kwame who was able to share some of his African culture and a little about himself, it wasn't long before he was able to show us his talent of the instruments he had brought along with him and even let us have a turn playing them! it was a brilliant morning and we all loved the start to the term!
Here is a snippet of our greatness:
After such a thrilling and exciting start to the term the second half was going to be hard to beat. We started off in the usual way developing our number skills and really impressing Mr Marshall with the level of independence and understanding we were able to show. This term we moved onto problem solving which as one of rabbits said 'really makes my brain ache..."
As the week continued we all joined in for world book day where we took the time to share some of our favourite books and stories and some of us took part in the book swap and were able to get lots of lovely books to enjoy at home. As a class we all love a good story and Mr Marshall tries his hardest to find lost of different books to read, our most requested one it The book with no pictures, its so funny we ask nearly every day to read it.
Don't we look so amazing!
How could the term get any better? Fun lessons, some time to pose, surely there wasn't anything to beat it......well sadly we were meant to meet Tony and his reptile but the weather became so cold there was nothing left to do but head outside and play in the snow! Even the teachers joined it was so much fun.
We were able to have a snow day which was good but not as good as when the weather got better and Tony was able to make it in! He brought some amazing animals like Britney the Meerkat, Ruby the giant continental rabbit and Sid the skinny pig, he was Mr Marshalls favourite but we agreed it just looked too funny. We were able to touch and hold the animals and it really was such an amazing experience to see all these animals.
In fact we found this such an exciting experience we decided to make a news report to share all of our wonderful ideas and thoughts and also inspired us to create some African themed water colour art work.
After some time off resting our brains we returned to a whole new look to the classroom, its now looks like a riverside and even has a willow tree growing out the walls! We all really liked this and have been excited for our now water topic. On the first day back we had a parent bring in a small creature that she found on her farm, it was something we had never seen before. We made some sketches and wrote some descriptions to help us find someone who can help.
We managed to write a letter and contact someone who could help us caring for the creature with a story called Bog Baby, we created some drama of the story which we always find fun. This also helps us to learn the story and helps us to write a better version for ourselves. We learnt about water and what water and its properties and made some posters to show what we had learnt.
We finished off the week by actually making our own bog babies using a selection of resources to create something that looks similar but is also very unique. It was a lot of fun to make these creatures for ourselves. We made them by filling a some fabric with wadding and some rice to help weight it down and then created faces using google eyes and glitter pens.
Some us liked them so much we took a sneaky self on the iPad to remember the time and fun we had.
What will happen next week as the story continues to unfold with this mysterious creature...
What an amazing few weeks, we were able to travel to the canal museum and learn all about them. It was a busy but very exciting day, after a short coach ride we arrived at a very quiet and beautiful place. First we learnt all about canals and the families that used them, we were really shocked to think that there were no engines at that point in time and a donkey would pull the entire boat with everyone on it!!
We later went into the museum and got to see some wonderful pieces that showed us what life was like then and how small and cramped life on a narrow boat was. Did you know families would often include 10 children and everyone had a place on the boat to sleet!? The babies would sometimes have to sleep in a draw because they were small enough. We also had the opportunity to go on Charlie the narrow boat and head down the canal and into the tunnel, it got pretty scary at one point when the captain turned the lights off and it was so dark but we were all very brave and made it out. Did you know it would often take over an hour to get through some of the canal tunnels because they were often a mile long. It was the work of young loggers or men on the boat to use their feet on the walls to move the boat through.
The fin didn't end there. We had to open one of the locks to let boats through. It was at this point two families from Finland needed help so we all sprang into action and were able to help them fill the lock then open and close the gates to let them on their way. They said thank you a lot and waved us goodbye too. To finish the day we went on a walk around the canal with a guide who told all about the local land and the story of the Vicar who made the council build a bridge just for him as they built the canal right through his garden. The weather was lovely and we all enjoyed the day.
Bye for now