Week Ending 11th June 2010
Just a quick update. Hard to believe that we are only 3 weeks away from the end of term! We have been working hard in class on creating a school newspaper as part of our IDEA – “Our School”. The class have been investigating stories all over the school, doing interviews, taking photographs, creating adverts & puzzles. They have been working very hard and I am sure we are going to have a great newspaper at the end of it.
In maths we have moved from looking at the properties of 2D and 3D shapes and are now learning about perimeters and area. We have been doing science this week and looking at the different types of energy. We are going to be creating our own renewable energy type to power a school of the future.
In RME we are continue to share our thoughts and feelings about different moral dilemmas. This week it was “what would you do if you found £100 in the street?”. The class came up with some great arguments and reasoning.
Well done P4!
Week Ending 28th May 2010
Another busy week in P4. This week we have started our new topic in maths. We are now investigating the properties of 2D and 3D shapes and symmetry. In RME we had a class debate on the moral dilemma “Sometimes it is okay to steal”. The class came up with some excellent arguments and made some very good justifications for and against the statement.
In our IDEA work we have been learning about the Battle of Dunbar. The class have enjoyed finding out about Convenanters, Oliver Cromwell and Charles II. We are bringing this topic to a close shortly and moving on to “Our School”.
In writing we have been learning how to create a newspaper article and the class have used the medium of fairy tales to report an event. They showed real enthusiasm for the task.
Week Ending 30th April 2010
P4 have had their usual busy week. Our new block of swimming started this week so we have half the class swimming every Wednesday for 10 weeks. The children all enjoyed their first session with the music specialist this week and will be learning through their voice and instruments over the coming weeks.
We have been working hard on our East Lothian topic and the children are putting together Powerpoint presentations on an aspect of the County. We are also using the information that we research for our presentations to create an Assembly next week.
In maths we are learning about money and how to calculate change.
Week Ending 23rd April 2010
Everybody has come back from their Easter break with very enthusiastic and motivated attitudes which is great to see. We have been very lucky and that none of our children are off, stranded in a foreign airport somewhere.
We have launched straight into our new topic which is East Lothian and as usual I would be appreciative of any resources that you had at home on the topic that you would be willing to share. This week we have been identifying the different towns in East Lothian, looking at castles, laws, etc and will be using this information to put together a powerpoint presentation.
Our new topic in maths this term is Money. I have asked the children to bring in any flyers, brochures or take away menus that they may f ind at home. This will help us with our money topic and also put it into context for the children. It will allow us to do activities like shopping lists, buying on a budget, planning a meal for 4, etc.
We will continue to work hard on our handwriting this term and we will also be introducing creative writing lessons. The children got stuck into this this week with a “scene setting” story based on a picture of a door that they had drawn. They have been hard at work using adjectives and conjunctions and I can’t wait to read the results of their toils.
We are fortunate to have the music specialist this term (although she is presently stuck abroad but hopefully back for Monday). The children always enjoy her lessons and I know that they are looking forward to this. We will have PE on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this term, so please make sure you have your kit.
Week Ending 29th January 2010
What a great week we have had. The class did very well at the Athletics Festival and really enjoyed themselves. It was great for the class to get an opportunity to mix with other schools and they represented Stoneyhill really well. Well done everybody.
We are lucky to have a student teacher with us at the moment. Miss Moffatt joined us on Monday and she has already been teaching the children new things including map reading and a technology project to build a model Viking longship. We now have a great display in the classroom of Viking art, Viking longships and Viking longhouses. The class have worked really hard and produced some amazing models.
Our time topic in maths is moving along and a few more light bulbs have been turning on. This week we have been estimating how long tasks take and then checking the actual time with stop watches. The class are now much more confident with analogue and digital time and we are moving on to look at timetables next week.
The swimmers are all still getting on well in their lessons and the other half of the class are improving their basketball skills at a phenomenal rate. Mrs Selwood is teaching gymnastics at the moment and has commented on the skills of a number of the class.
Our “Cool in School” lessons appear to be taking effect and the children are using the strategies that they have been taught. Everybody seems to be making a concerted effort to diffuse difficult situations.
Week Ending 22nd January 2010
We’ve had a very varied week this week. Lots of hard work both in the classroom and outside of it. Our swimmers seem to be getting on very well and the rest of the class are becoming real experts at basketball. We had some fantastic “hoop” shooting this week.
Our Viking journey continued this week. We have been working in collaborative groups to research certain aspects of Viking life and we will be using all this information to produce a leaflet to explain to others about the Vikings. We also made Viking flatbread – this was the same kind of bread that the warriors took on the longships – thankfully ours had not gone stale and we didn’t need to dip them in sea water! Next week we will be moving our Viking theme into maths and look at their role in developing navigation.
In maths we are continuing our time topic. Some lightbulbs are going on and we seem to be improving our time telling skills. We will be moving this on a pace next week and start reading timetables and working out different durations. In literacy our focus has been on reading comprehension. We have been doing this as groups and also whole class where we are using the technology of the whiteboard to analyse text together. Our note taking also improved greatly this week. The class were able to take good notes whilst watching a BBC documentary about Vikings.
The class are really looking forward to their Athletics Festival next week. That should be fun and a great opportunity to get out of the classroom for some active learning. Please remember our Haiti bring and buy sale next week – we are looking for donations of bric a brac and also for the children to buy things on Friday 29th January.
Week Ending 15th January 2010
We have had a great start to the new term and we have totally immersed ourselves in all things Viking. The children have come up with a very comprehensive list of questions that they would like to find the answers to with regards to The Vikings. They are already working very hard researching aspects of The Vikings, we have split the topic into 6 different areas and groups of 4 or 5 children are working together to produce a piece of work. Our 6 mini topics are Viking life, longboats, longhouses, explorers, clothes & jewellery and weapons.
We started our new maths topic of time this week. Thank you to everybody that sent in timetables to help us with our lessons. The children are concentrating on coverting analogue and digital time at the moment but we will soon move on to durations of time and timetabling.
We started our “Cool in School” programme this week and the class learned about aggressive, weak and cool responses to help them deal with difficult situations that they might face. It is a very interactive programme with lots of discussion and role play so I think the children will continue to enjoy it.
In PE, half the class have been learning to play basketball (the other half were swimming!), the PE specialist is teaching gymnastics and the class were also lucky enough to have a session of tag rugby with a professional this week.
In Art we are creating glue and acrylic paint pictures and in Drama we have been learning about Eric the Red and using this to create pieces of drama.
Week Ending 18th December 2009
I hope that you enjoyed the Scrooge Christmas show, the children certainly enjoyed performing it. I think that the class did an excellent job and were all stars!
This week we have been tying up lots of loose ends and finishing lots of work as well as doing some Christma specific work. We wrote a Victorian story this week and everybody, without exception, managed to write a creative story with a Victorian setting and characters. The children did really well and were able to incorporate many of the facts that they had learned about this era. The finished stories were first assessed by another member of the class who gave them 2 stars and a wish and then I sat down with each child and after the positive comments we agreed what their next step should be.
On the theme of Victorians, the children each showed the rest of the class their Victorian PowerPoint presentation. They were very good and many of the children have mastered this application well and are able to make letters fly about, pictures slowly materialise, etc – very impressive. In RME we have been learning about Advent and what it means to Christians and what each of the candles on an Advent wreath represent. In Health and Wellbeing we have had our final play off at rounders – boys versus the girls – the boys won but the girls did really well and took the defeat well.
We had a quiz afternoon with P4/5 on Thursday of this week. The children had to answer questions from 8 different categories, history, geography, sport, etc and they did very well. We had some very high scoring groups.
I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope that everybody has a well earned rest and I look forward to seeing the class again in the New Year.
Week Ending 11th December 2009
The children have been exceptional this week! We have been practising extremely hard for our Christmas show and the children have taken it all in their stride and been real stars. When we haven’t been singing or acting or playing musical instruments we have been working hard in the classroom. This week we have had a lot of tasks to finish off so we have been multi tasking, finishing off paintings inspired by Samuel Peploe, rounding off our Sikhism topic and finding out more about the Victorians.
In maths we were using the ActivExpressions to assess our knowledge of fractions. The class did really well and they enjoyed themselves at the same time. In language we have been concentrating on our reading and comprehension skills. We have some great expression and fluency in the class. The class have also been writing secret codes as a reading task to compliment our class novel. It took me some time to work out some of the clever codes that the children had created!
We definitely gave our lungs a workout this week in Health & Wellbeing. The children initially thought it would be easy to run around the school several times. I can tell you that they had reassessed that assumption when they came back into the classroom!
Week Ending 4th December 2009
Hard to believe that we are already into December – yikes, only a few weeks to go and I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping. The children have been brilliant this week – they have spent a lot of time running through the logistics of the Christmas Show – Scrooge and have been very patient waiting for their turns, etc. Well done to them- a lot of hard work but I’m sure you will be impressed by their performances.
We have been continuing our Victorian topic this week and the children have been finding out lots of facts about the lives of Victorian children. They have been surpised at what they have found out about Victorian schools, punishment, worklife of Victorian children, etc. The class seemed to also have had a great time compiling their family trees at home to find their Victorian relatives. Some super work has been produced – thank you mums, dads, grans, grandads, etc for helping the children!
We are continuing fractions in maths. This week we have been doing some jotter work to test our written ability and also playing different fraction games to get our creative brains working. We were also learning how to use the new ActivExpression handsets this week and I know that the children really enjoyed it. It is a fantastic tool and provides another way for the children to learn and also for them to demonstrate what they have learned.
In Health & Wellbeing this week we have been improving our fitness through different relay races. We were using lots of different skills from skipping, ball control and speed. Some of the children are already pretty proficient at using a hockey stick through a slalom course.
Week Ending 27th November 2009
Yet another busy week in P4. We have started our Victorian topic this week and it really seems to have captured the children’s imagination. We have had powerpoints brought in from home, we have had books brought in and we even had a Victorian valentine complete with the original penny red stamp brough in. The class have thoroughly enjoyed researching different events from the Victorian period to create a timeline on the classroom wall. They also have a lot of fun and a lot of frustration trying to piece together Queen Victoria’s family tree.
In Literacy and English we have been focussing on reading comprehension and spelling, over the next couple of weeks we will be switching the attention to creative story writing with a winter and or Victorian theme. In maths we introduced fractions this week and I have to say that they seem to be finding them less confusing than division! We’ll be working with fractions over the next couple of weeks both in practical and written ways.
We have done a lot of singing practise this week and I can tell you that the class are sounding great. They have put a lot of effort into learning a lot of words and they are doing an amazing job. You will be very proud when you hear them on Monday 14th December. Make sure you check the children’s reflective diaries this week as I have popped the ticket applications inside them. We have also been creative in our Art projects – getting to the final stages of our Samuel Peploe inspired still lifes – and in our dancing, where we’ve managed to extend our dance sequences.
In RME we are in the final lessons of Sikhism and this week we read a story called The Gurus Coat and talked about the type of people that we felt should be celebrated and praised. The class came up with some very mature and sensible suggestions.
Week Ending 20th November 2009
It has been challenge week in P4 this week. The children have been demonstrating their understanding of climate change by creating posters and giving a presentation to the other members of the class. You’ll be glad to know that we have a very confident class in making presentations and they all did very well. They all seemed to have learned a great amount about climate change and they have really homed in on what they can do to help reduce or slow down climate change. Let me know if they are begging to be taken by car or not turning off their bedroom lights!
Our division facts have really improved this week and everybody is much faster in their mental maths work. This is great because we are now about to launch into fractions and their everyday application. Fractions can always be a bit fractious for some children but I will try to minimise the stress by approaching it in a very practical way initially.
In Expressive Arts we have been creating our own dance routines to a Girls Aloud track and I can say that I have been very impressed by the effort the children have put into it. They have been working in friendship groups and have already come up with about a minute of a routine. This week we will continue to extend it – look out Britains Got Talent!
In literacy we have been focussing on our reading comprehension both in text they have read themselves and also their understanding of the class novel. We have had some very good predictions about what is going to happen next in our book “The Name of this Book is Secret”. We have also made up a class display.
In RME we have been continuing to study Sikhism and the class have shown a really mature attitude in comparing what they have found out with their own beliefs and experiences. In Health & Wellbeing we are continuing to improve our team spirt / good sportsmanship skills through indoor rounders and improve our performances in badminton. We have got a number of very good badminton players in the class showing real promise.
Week Ending 13th November 2009
The children continued to enjoy learning about Climate Change this week. Our focus changed this week to creating bar graphs and tables to measure the classes carbon footprint and different rainfalls around the world. We have also been doing paired research to find out more about greenhouse gases and the causes and effects of climate change. The children are becoming very adept at sifting through books and websites and pin pointing the right information and changing it into their own words.
In maths we have been continuing to improve our dividing skills and everybody is becoming much more confident. We will soon be transferring our division skills into the area of fractions. We will also be concentrating on learning our times tables so that division is simpler and quicker for everyone.
The children recalled an incredible amount of facts about Sikhism from last weeks lesson when we watched a video. They were very good at being able to recall key Sikh words and beliefs. We are now expanding on these to increase our knowledge and compare these beliefs to our own.
In the expressive arts, we have been finishing our Autumn landscapes, creating our own dance sequences and continuing our specialist music lessons with Mrs Roberts.
We have nearly got team spirit and good sportsmanship cracked in Health & Wellbeing – the children are playing together much better in teams and supporting each other. Badminton is also progressing and we have a number of children within the class that are showing real skill for the game.
Week Ending 6th November 2009
We have had a bit of a mad scientist week. The class have really enjoyed conducting experiments to see how carbon dioxide is created and how it acts. We managed to create a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, an erupting volcano, inflate a balloon without touching it and had raisins bobbing up and down in a glass. Hopefully nobody came home and raided the kitchen cupboards for vinegar and baking soda!
We used the experiments to shape our writing this week and we created a science report to go with each of the experiments. In maths we are still tackling division – a few light bulbs went on this week, still a few to go. We will continue to practice next week and I’m sure we will all get the hang of it.
In RME the children have been finding out about Sikh places of worship and what it is like to be a Sikh living in the UK. In PE our badminton skills are continuing to improve. We are beginning to improve at serving and returning to a partner. Next week we will get the nets up as to date we have been practicing without them.
This week we started looking at the topic of dance. We have looked at different types of dance to get some inspiration for creating our own dance routines over the coming week. I have asked the class to think about music over the next week.
Week Ending 30th October 2009
The class seemed to all have enjoyed their holidays. We have had great stories about their escapades and activities. Thankfully the weather was also not bad and plenty of outdoor activities were enjoyed.
We have now started our climate change topic so now doubt the children will be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks ways we can all help to save the planet or how we can be more responsible. As with all our topics if you have any resources or expertise that you think would enhance the childrens learning please send it in or let me know. Next week we will be conducting a number of science experiments!
We will be learning some of our maths through our climate change topic. We will be covering information handling (graphs, tables, etc) and we will use weather data to compare and analyse. In maths we will also be continuing to focus on our 2,3,4,5 and 10 times tables looking to include the 6 times table and also learning how to do short division.
In RME we have started looking at Sikhism – to date we have only discussed what we already know about this religion and what we would like to find out about it. The class have come up with some really sensible ideas and questions that they would like to answer. We are going to get our dancing shoes on this term and use weather as the basis for our creative dance lessons. We are playing indoor rounders and badminton in PE so that we can work on our team spirit and our individual skills. This term the children will have Mrs Roberts the music specialist.
Week Ending 9th October 09
It was great to meet so many mums and dads on Parents Night – it is always really nice to be able to put faces to names. Hopefully everyone was happy with their consultation but if anybody does have any additional worries or concerns please get in touch and I will try and resolve.
Our rainforest topic is nearing completion and next week will be challenge week where the children will demonstrate, through a variety of activities what they have learned. Expressive arts, technology and literacy will all be part of it! An action packed week is planned – they will need their October holiday at the end of it.
We’ve moved on to multiplication in maths and each of the groups seem to be coping well. We will be creating a times table rap to try another way to learn our tables and also continue to play our loop domino game to see if we can shave anymore time off our record.
In language we are still concentrating on our formal writing through reports and letters and we have now finished our last letters of reply to Quentin and our reports on rainforest animals. Next term we will be moving on to creative writing.
In RME we have now finished our 5 Pillars of Islam posters and we will be putting them up around the school next week. We managed to do some really good group work on this but it is something that we still need to do quite a bit of work on!
Week Ending 2nd October 2009
Primary 4 have continued their hard work this week. I’ve been seeing lots of light bulbs going on in Maths and I think we have cracked addition and subtraction of 2 to 3 digits. Next week we will be moving on to multiplication and division.
In literacy we have been learning how to write reports & letters. This week we also imagined that we were one of the characters in our class novel and we wrote a day’s diary for them. The children were very good at getting into character and showing their understanding and empathy with the characters.
The class made great moveable animals this week to decorate our rainforest. We have some great problem solvers in the class and everybody really rose to the design challenge. We have tarantulas, jaguars, tucans and parrots to name a few now resident in our class!
In drama we are still role playing being at an airport or on the plane. The children are now beginning to get a bit more into character and their improvisations are getting better. In Health and Wellbeing we have been trying to find things that we all have in common – quite a challenge sometimes – and the class are continuing to work with Mrs Selwood and Mrs Rae on their ball control skills and associated games.
Week Ending 25th September 2009
We have had a very artistic week this week – our rainforest in the classroom and in the hall is becoming a real masterpiece. We have trees, leaves, bromeliads, waterfalls, creepers, etc – we’re just waiting on the animals arriving now.
This week the children have been learning about the 5 pillars of Islam and we were very fortunate to have one of our Muslim classmates bring in a prayer mat and prayer mat for us to see. The children are really enjoying finding out about Islam.
In maths this week we were tackling subtraction with a vengeance. We haven’t quite got the hang of “borrowing” yet so don’t be worried if you think your child hasn’t got it yet. We will be doing lots more practice until the light bulbs all go on!
In Music we are beginning to learn some songs from the Yanomamo musical which is about a tribe of native indians from the rainforest. Its quite a challenge as it is fast moving with tricky words and is quite high. I think we’ll have to ask Mrs Roberts if she can lower the score for us.
Thank you for returning your parent consultation slips so promptly. I will confirm appointment times as soon as I can.
Week Ending 11th September 2009
A rather scary end to the week for the children when they found out their teacher was Miss Trunchbull. Particularly scary for one of the class who had dressed up as Mathilda! Thanks to all those in the class that dressed up as their favourite Roald Dahl character, we have Fantastic Foxes, Twits, a Willie Wonka, Charlies, witches, Violets, Georges and James with his peach. It certainly made our drama lesson very interesting and it gave me lots of excuses to act like a bully. Great stuff.
This week we have been literally trekking our way through the rainforest. We’ve started learning about the plants and animals, getting to grips with food chains and writing letters to Quentin a resplendent Quetzal that comes from the Central American rainforest in a bid to help him find the ever decreasing wild advocado tree. They produced some great letters. I think the children have found note taking from the internet and books the most challenging task this week.
The class were researching Ramadan this week in RME and trying to find out when, why and how it is celebrated. We are fortunate to have some experts in the class so the children have found that very useful. In Maths we are continuing to practice our times tables and our 2 digit to 2 digit adding and subtracting. Carrying and borrowing are still continue to challenge but we’ll get there eventually.
By now you will have all received a permission form for an outing to Newhailes and will know that we plan to visit next Wednesday. The National Trust for Scotland Ranger is going to take us around the woodland to help the children understand in a practical way the differences between Scottish woodland and the Tropical rainforest. I think we might even get an opportunity to build some shelters as well. Hopefully everybody noticed that I need two adult helpers – I appreciate somebody giving up their time to help.
Week Ending 4th September 2009
This week the P4’s have gone Rainforest mad! We have started our new topic with a vengeance. Already this week we have covered, what rainforests are, where they are and used some of this information to compare it with the types of Scottish woods that we know. We have also had a tasting sessions this week and the children have tasted avocado (not popular!), passion fruit (bit more popular!), papaya (increasing in popularity) and bananas (the outright winner!). Before tasting the fruits we used them as models to sketch cross sections and then colour in with colouring pencils. The children did a great job of drawing the detail of seeds, skin, flesh, etc and they have produced some really good drawings. Well done P4. Next week we will be moving on to food webs, animals, plants, etc and producing reports and fact files about life in the rainforest.
In maths we have been concentrating on adding and subtracting two digit numbers from two digit numbers. All of the children are confident add two digit numbers now and are growing more confident with subtraction. We have also been looking at “carrying” and “borrowing” and a number of children have this mastered as well – next week it will be practice makes perfect.
In PE, the class are developing their ball skills with Mrs Selwood and I extended this in my own PE lessons this week and we have some very skillful chest and underarm passers. In Music we continue to sing and accompany traditional African folk songs – at present we are looking at and performing call and response songs. In Drama, we have been performing Mime and finishing off our “pairs in chairs” scenarios. All of the children are very confident in their expressive arts and some of the performances are potential Oscar winners. In RME we are continuing to study the Islamic faith and we are very fortunate in that there are a number of children in the class who have first hand experience of the faith and are able and willing to directly share this with the other children.
Hopefully this keeps you up to date with our week. Remember, any problems or issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Week Ending 28th August 2009
Primary 4 have had a very busy week after our more relaxed start last week. The class are settling down very well and are beginning to work well together in group activities. It is hard to believe that they were in two different classes last year – the transition has been very smooth.
In language this week we have been revising how to write Reports. The class were very good at identifying what a report was and the different components needed to write a good report. We used the subject of Chimpanzees to write out our reports and the class were very successful in creating titles, sub headings, formal sentences, making notes from the text, etc.
In maths we have been revising our 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 times tables, ready to start looking at new tables. Most of the children had remembered them well and we took part in a number of mental maths activities in the class to try and improve this further. Next week we will be also consolidating our subtraction and addition ready to challenge ourselves to bigger and greater things.
Our Rainforest topic starts next week and the children are very excited about it. The children are full of great ideas about what they want to do and learn. The challenge for me will be making sure we can fit it all in!
We have started the topic of Islam in RME this week. Our lesson centered around what the children already knew about Islam and what they would like to find out. Throughout the term we will build on this knowledge and compare Muslim traditions and festivals with our own lives and personal experiences.
We’ve had a great time in Art and Drama this week. In Art we painted abstract portraits based on famous abstract artists. The class have been very creative and Picasso! In Drama we have been developing our miming skills through pairs on chairs and other drama activities.
Week Ending 21st August 2009
The class have settled in well over the past couple of days. Everyone is getting used to each other having come together from two different classes – everything seems to be going really well and everyone seems to be getting along like a house on fire. We have concentrated on getting to know each other this week but the hard work starts next week!!!
Our first topic will be the rainforest and we will use this for our theme in writing, science, art and technology. On this theme, we have started our class novel which is Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson which has won a number of children’s book awards. The children seem to be enjoying it so far and it will certainly throw up lots of side topics and issues for us to discuss.
The class will get new reading books next week and homework will also start. There may be some changes to maths, language and reading groups over the next few weeks as I get to know the children better and consolidate the two classes into one.
Please feel free to leave comments on the the class plans or any of their work over the coming weeks. I will endeavour to add pictures to the web page of our work and activities in future weeks.