As you’ll remember from last week, many children have shown an interest in dinosaurs. We’ve captured this interest successfully in our maths area; it’s been a very popular area with children enjoying exploring number and mathematics in different ways. Some children have chosen to line dinosaurs up in size order, some have grouped them according to colour and others have enjoyed counting how many they could find of each type.
In group time, we’ve been working on ‘subitising’ numbers. This is where we look at a small group of objects and can instantly recognise how many there are without the need to count them. Lots of children can already do this for dot patterns on dice as well as for a small number of objects in front of them (eg. 3 or 4). It’s an essential part of early mathematical development and will also help children begin to understand how a number is made up. For example, four dinosaurs scattered on the table could land in different ways. There could be three close together and one on its own, two groups of two dinosaurs, or four scattered separately. There are still four dinosaurs on the table, just split in different ways. Being able to recognise small groupings within a larger group, is an important skill that will help children as they begin to explore partitioning numbers as they get older.
Other dinosaur related learning involved…
- reading rhymes and stories about dinosaurs stomping, flapping and roaring down by the swamp
- exploring slimy swamp water
- investigating colour mixing and painting patterns on dinosaurs
- learning about volcanoes in our dinosaur small world area
In other non-dinosaur related areas of Nursery, children have loved our new role play area in the Sunshine room. We have created a cafe where children can order from the menu and enjoy making food to serve to the customers. This has been a hive of activity and has helped to engage some children in an area of Nursery where they might not usually play. It has been great to see some new faces venturing into the Sunshine room to explore.
Next week’s interests could involve some mythical creatures, as requested by a number of children. Watch this space!
Home Link – Listening for sounds
This week, children enjoyed reading ‘Peace at Last’. In the story, Daddy bear can’t get to sleep because there are so many sounds that he can hear in the night. He can hear Mummy bear snoring, the owls hooting, the fridge buzzing and the clock ticking.
What can you hear? Listen carefully to noises that you can hear in different places around your home and whilst you’re out and about. Talk about the sounds that your child can hear. Are they loud? quiet?
Remember to let your key worker know what sounds you heard.
Listening for environmental sounds is an important skill and is part of our early teaching of phase one phonics from Letters and Sounds. As well as listening to sounds, we also try to copy and make sounds using our voice and body.
I’ll huff and I’ll puff…
We’ve loved listening to the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ this week and by the end of the week, many children were beginning to join in with the repeated refrains in the story. They enjoyed using the props in the book corner to re-tell the story so we will continue and consolidate this next week.
Many children have shown an interest in dinosaurs since we returned to Nursery. We’ve gradually added a few dinosaur themed enhancements to our provision to capture this interest. We have been exploring printing with dinosaur shaped stamps and making dinosaur footprints in the playdough. A few children were fascinated with the imprints and textures that the dinosaurs body/feet made as they pushed them into the dough. We also saw some great pictures in our mark making area; we had ‘Daddy and baby’ dinosaurs as well as children enjoying experimenting with patterns (stripes, circles, dots) on dinosaur outlines.
In maths, we’ve continued to look at repeating patterns (colour, shape and size) and children are beginning to be able to select what would come next. For example, in the game shown on the interactive whiteboard in this photograph, children had to look at which shape and/or colour would come next on the train.
Home Link – ‘What makes us tick?’
Please complete a post-it note this week when you bring your child to Nursery to add it to our ‘What makes us tick?’ board. There are clips underneath your child’s photograph on the red, green, blue or yellow display boards.
This display helps to tell us all about your child’s current interests and fascinations. We often see common themes between children and they help us to plan exciting and relevant learning activities in Nursery. Common interests often include dinosaurs, a particular animal, a favourite book, song or nursery rhyme.
Making new friends
This week, we enjoyed meeting all of our new children and families in Nursery. It was lovely to see our older children welcoming the new children and helping them to find their way around and settle in.
Whilst there were many happy faces at our waving window each morning, don’t worry if your child wasn’t one of them. It can often take a while for children to settle and it’s also quite normal for children to have a little wobble after a few visits. If this happens, remember to talk to your child about Nursery in a positive way; they’ll soon get used to their new environment and settle into routines.
The medical role play enhancement in our home corner continued to be very popular this week. We’ve lost track of the number of broken arms, bandaged heads and fevers that we’ve treated! Children have been engrossed in their role play; it’s provided lots of opportunities to talk to other children, cooperate and take turns during play.
Following on from an interest that we noticed from the new children’s ‘All about me’ information, we’re looking forward to reading ‘The Three Little Pigs’ next week. Please enjoy reading this story at home together so that your child is familiar with it when they come to Nursery.
Run, run as fast as you can!
We loved listening to the story of the Gingerbread Man this week and many children began to re-tell the story in our small world area using some of the repeated refrains. “Run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” This is one of the skills that we look for when we’re assessing children in ‘reading’ as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children working in the 30-50 months development band should begin to…
- Listen to and join in with stories, one to one and also in a small group.
- Join in with repeated refrains and anticipate key events, phrases in rhymes and stories.
- Begin to be aware of the way stories are structured.
- Suggest how a story might end.
- Listen to stories with increasing attention and recall.
- Describe the story settings, events and principal characters.
We also look out for children looking at books independently, holding them the correct way up and turning the pages carefully and using the illustrations to help them talk about the story.
In our maths area, we’ve been practising our counting skills by counting out the correct number of buttons onto the gingerbread characters and putting a given number (e.g. 4) of gingerbread people onto a baking tray. It was tricky to remember to stop at the given number and not to put any extra on. Please practise this skill at home. Remind children to ‘STOP’ when they reach the stop number. E.g. Can you put 3 carriages on your train? Park 4 cars in the garage. Thread 3 beads onto the string. Build a tower with 5 lego bricks.
Children enjoyed playing this game on the Interactive Whiteboard. Some may just need a little help to read the digits (1-10) so that they know how many buttons they need to put on the Gingerbread person.
Next week, we’ll be reading ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea‘ as some children were talking about this book during the week. Many of them had enjoyed watching the new animated version of the story during the Christmas holidays. In maths we’ll explore repeating patterns like the orange and black stripes on a tiger.
We also look forward to all of our new children joining us for their ‘stay and play’ and first visits during the week. It may be a little busier than usual in the morning; please be patient and help us to welcome our new families. Thank you.
We always try to follow children’s interests in Nursery and develop their ideas. On Wednesday, some children picked up a tape measure from the maths shelves and wanted to ‘measure’. We looked at the numbers on the tape measures and talked about what they could be used for. Thinking about children’s own experiences of measuring, we talked about going to a shoe shop to get our feet measured.
There was a lot of interest in this activity and before long, the initial two children had been joined by many others. All of them wanted to have their feet measured and waited patiently for their turn. Measuring our feet required team work, turn taking and lots of conversation involving mathematical vocabulary associated with size. Who had the biggest/longest foot? Did anyone have the same size feet? Which teacher had the shortest/smallest foot?
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! We hope that you enjoyed the Christmas holidays and had lots of fun with family and friends. Please remember to complete the Home Link activity by emailing us a couple of photographs for your child to talk about during group time.
Before the holidays, children showed an interest in the story of the Gingerbread man. This week, we’ll be reading ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and have some areas in Nursery linked to the story. We have ginger cloud dough in our sensory area, ginger play dough to make our own gingerbread characters and lots of buttons to count in our maths area.
Remember to look at the website regularly to keep up to date with our learning in Nursery each week.
Primary school applications
If your child was born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 they should start primary school in September 2020 and you will need to make an application for a place at a primary school.
Your application must be completed before 15 January 2020. You may have received a letter providing you with further details on the application process but you do not need the letter to apply for a Reception place. If you need further details, please visit the website.
Please speak to a member of staff if you have any questions.