Acorn Class Blog

One Child One Seed

Our book of the week was ‘One Child, One Seed’ which is an African counting story. As the story has a focus on number, it has helped us with developing maths skills throughout the week.

We have worked on our concept of 1 more than each number up to 10. Ask you child to tell you one more and see if they can remember or work it out. Some children even started early addition work, by splitting a group of coloured teddies into 2 groups, saying how many were in each group (or part) and how many altogether (the whole). This is a simple activity, but helps the children to recognise that 2 groups can be combined to make a large group.

The children also used the story to develop their writing skills. They described what they noticed about the book from the illustration and then wrote down the letter sounds they could hear in the words they were saying. It also helped us to notice things that are the same and things that are different to our lives. For example, we noticed that their skin was brown, they had to walk a long way to get to the shop, and they even managed to carry pumpkins on their heads!

 

Our song of the week was ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish’ and this has helped us to develop our understanding of counting in order and recognising numbers. See if they can sing this song at home with you.

 

Whilst we have been outside for large parts of this week, the children have been building dens, playing and exploring with water and building too. The water was brought to a new level of fun, through the use of drain pipes and our water wall – the children had to puzzle out how to get the water to travel where they wanted it to go. This is such an enjoyable experience for all children, and is developing their large motor skills as they move around.

 

 

Stars of the day this week were Freya, Harvey, Jamie and Eva-Rose – well done to you all.

Fee fi fo fum -Giants in the Acorn Preschool

This week the Acorn Preschool children have been exploring the topic of growing through the book of the week ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. The children have loved acting the story out, playing the different characters. We have had lots of ‘Fee, fi, fo, fum’ sounds in the Nursery. The story has supported us with measuring, as the giants boots were left in the Nursery, so we drew round the boots and then measured with cubes. We then did the same for our own feet. Encourage your child to use language linked to measurement at home – including tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest – this will help them to build their knowledge about comparing the heights of things.

 

       

To support our children with building on their knowledge of growth, they have planted peas in bags, which are hanging in our classroom. We will be watching them to see what happens. They were completely independent in putting the items together to plant their seeds.

      

 

We are focusing on the children’s’ pencil control. For those children who are ready they sign in by writing their name as often as possible, with varying amounts of support. For those children who have built the strength for pencil control, they are being challenged to demonstrate through recording numbers and letters in a variety of ways through their play. Please encourage your child to record any letters and numbers they know when at home.

The children have been encouraged to record through labeling, using the sounds they can hear, to make posters to catch the giant, to write about fairytale characters they can see in a picture, to draw pictures of the characters in the story and also to write their name label for their pea seed.

 

Other children, who are not ready to formally write their name, are working on their pencil control through drawing simple lines and shapes. These children continue to be supported through dough gym and ‘Superdraw’, building on muscle strength.

    

Also, this week we have been working on developing oral story telling with the children. This helps them to develop their language skills and builds on the structure and length of the sentences that they say. Using 2 simple picture cards, the children have been asked to make up a story, saying what is happening.  For some children, they were able to retell the whole of the Jack and the Beanstalk story, using wonderful story language to give all the details, other children will share a very brief version with some key parts that they remember – they all however can retell something. Ask them to tell you the story at home and see what they come up with.

Stars of the Day this week were Olivia, Ellie, Max and Robyn – well done to you all!

The Circus comes to Acorn Preschool

This week the Acorns have loved focusing on the circus. With strongmen, acrobats, trapeze artists and clowns – there was so much to enjoy!

On Monday, the children made posters and sold tickets to the circus, then they got busy with setting up a circus ring in which they could perform.

       

The book of the week developed our love of the circus – ‘The Singing Mermaid’  by Julia Donaldson describing how a mermaid, who loves to sing, was tricked into joining the circus, but soon found that the Ringmaster was not as kind as he made out to be. However, the circus friends help her to find a way to escape and return back to the bay by walking on her hands!

The children have been creating circus posters, labeling circus pictures, combining materials to make clown faces and moving their bodies in response to the circus music.  The circus acts were improved further when we moved outside  - with children walking on stilts, juggling and tightrope walking.

We have also been looking at emotions and describing how we feel, and why we feel this way.  We have used the sentence starter ‘I feel…..because…’ It would be really useful if you could encourage your child to express how they are feeling and why they feel this way at home. This not only supports them with recognising different emotions, but it also builds on their speaking skills.

Stars of the Day this week were Riley, Evie, Liza, Molly and Finlay – well done to you all.

Teeny Weeny Tadpoles

On Monday, we took the Acorn Preschool children to the pond to try and find some frogspawn. The children were fascinated to look at what we found in the pond, including the many pond snails. Unfortunately the only frogspawn we found (on the grass), was already dying - so did not provide us with the tadpoles we were hoping for.

The children learnt more about growth through observing exploring the story ‘Teeny Weeny Tadpole’ and also through looking at all the fact books about frogs. They explored through creating their own pond and pretending to be frogs, and also in a pond our own (indoors), complete with frogs, logs and ducks (for hook a duck!).

Talk to your children about growth, thinking about the changes that tadpoles go through to turn into frogs. Link this to their own growth through questioning – How do we know we have grown? Why do we need new clothes/shoes? What keeps growing and needs cutting? (Hair) What do babies do and need? How have you changed since being a baby – what can you do now?

       

The song of the week, “5 Little Speckled Frogs” has been developing our maths skills of 1 less. Please could you continue to practice this song with your children at home and encourage them to fold down a finger each time to find 1 less. One less and one more is currently a focus for all the children within the Preschool, and each day they are asked to show 1 more or 1 less than a given number (up to 10) using their fingers. The children loved putting the correct number of frogs on the log too.

 

 

To encourage the children to build on their skills, Mrs Alford sets challenges – which will earn them a sticker. One of the challenges this week was to put pictures of a frogs life cycle in the right order. This developed cutting skills, attention and focus, and also allowed the children to demonstrate that they understood about growth.

 

Other challenges that we are working on at the moment are writing letters and writing numbers. Wherever the children are playing – paint, drawing, outside with chalk, we encourage this.  You can help your child with this by encouraging them at home to get used to the way in which we form the letters and numbers. The more a child practices and is shown how to do this, the quicker they will learn.

 

Stars of the day this week were Jasper, Aleeya-Rae, Lily, Berfin & Elizabeth – well done to you all!

Thank you to all the parents that come to Share a Story session every week – it means so much to the children, and we really appreciate you coming in. Share a Story takes place EVERY Friday at 11.15 (unless you are informed otherwise).

What a busy week the Acorns have had!

On Monday, the Acorn Preschool children enjoyed a visit from Jean with Alice and Phoenix, her Guide dogs. The children loved to hear how Alice uses her eyes to help Jean get about as she is blind. The children were able to describe what is the same and what is different in the grown dogs compared to the puppies who visited the previous week.

On Tuesday, the children were fantastic whilst having their school group photos and their graduation photos. You will love seeing how they turned out!

The focus for this week has continued to be around farm animals – with the children drawing posters for missing farm animals, writing their own version of Dear Zoo – but with Dear Farm and also making spring chickens. The children have built farm enclosures with the wooden blocks and have loved to play with the small world farm animals.

As the chicks have grown so much, this week they have been moved into the rabbit hutch. The children have loved seeing how they have grown, how their feathers are changing and watching the new behaviours that they can see – including preening their feathers, stretching their legs and wings, pecking and scratching at the ground and also jumping to peck at each other.

Our story of the week ‘Chicken Licken’ helped us with our rhyming words –and all the children have learnt how to retell this story using the story map to help them. See if they can tell you the story at home.

 

The Acorns have been working very hard on writing their names this term, and are doing so well. We can tell they have been doing lots of practice at home, so thank you for all your support.

Stars of the day this week were Joey, Ruby, Callum and Faith - well done to you all.

 

We love baby animals!

This week the Acorn Preschool children have been learning about farm animals and their babies, in preparation for our trip to the farm on Wednesday. Our song of the week was ‘Old Macdonald’- but with a difference, saying the names of baby farm animals instead. This has broadened the children’s vocabulary to include lamb, kid, kitten, puppy, calf and foal. Use these words with your child as they talk more about the farm animals they see out and about. This will help them to secure the words and to be able to use them correctly.

             

 

Our book of the week ‘I Love Animals’ by Flora McDonnell – helped us with learning the new words for baby animals, and also the sounds the animals make. Children love making donkey sounds and also making the gobble sound of the turkey!

 

On Monday, the rain gave us the opportunity to play outside with the umbrellas. We tried a ‘sun dance’ but it didn’t work!

 

Whilst outside we have planted our potatoes as part of the ‘Grow Your Own Potatoes’ project for schools. The children were fantastic gardeners, helping to transfer the compost into the growing bags, planting the chitted potatoes into the compost and covering it over to protect them. We can’t wait to watch them grow!

On Thursday, the children were excited to invite more baby animals into the classroom – 2 puppies arrived. All the children thought that they were so cute!

 

On Friday, the Acorns got up close and personal with the chicks – we held them, and some even fell asleep in the warm hands of the Acorn children. These chickens now belong to us and will be staying with us whilst they grow bigger. Soon they will transfer to the rabbit hutch where they will have more freedom to move around. Once they are too big for us to keep, we will be taking them to Rosie’s farm where she will look after them.

Stars of the day this week were Max, Tristan and Harvey – well done to you all.

7 new arrivals in Acorn class

This week the Acorn Preschool children were soooo excited to be joined by an incubator containing 8 eggs. We were very hopeful that they would hatch out to be chicks and not snakes or crocodiles (like in our story of the week before– The Odd Egg)!

            

 

On Monday, the children explored their thoughts about the seasons and how the weather changes help us to know which season we are in. We looked at how daffodils will grow when it gets warmer, so we will know that Spring is on its way.

             

On Wednesday, the children went on an egg hunt as Mrs Alford had lost her eggs. So, just like Buster in our story of the week, ‘Oh Dear’, we had to search in all different parts of the school until we found the basket of eggs. It was such good fun, and the children used the story language of ‘no eggs here, oh dear’ at every search point.

 

      

By Wednesday morning, we had been joined by 3 little chicks. The children were fascinated and watched one of the next chick in Mrs Alford’s hand as it struggled to push its way out of the cracked shell. It was so magical watching it push and wriggle, then stop to rest, until finally out came the 4th chick. The children were keen to draw pictures and write about what they could see.

The children explored counting and maths problems through counting the eggs and chicks, matching eggs or chicks into a tens frame. We are also beginning to focus on 1 more than a given number. You can help your child with this by asking them to tell you 1 more than any number up to 10.. Counting backwards with your child can help develop their skills ready for looking at numbers, which are 1 less.

 

The children have expressed their experience around the newly hatched chicks through combining different media. They used their fine motor skills to cut out chicks and creating nests with straw.

As we were so focused on eggs this week, our song of the week had to be ‘Humpty Dumpty’. Practice this song with your child at home and see if they can come up with any other ideas of where Humpty Dumpty could sit – on a stair, floor, in a chair… We have loved singing the ‘bananas’ version, along with many more. See if your child can remember any of them.

Thank you for all the parents who managed to make it to parents teacher meetings this week. It has been lovely to share in all the positive things that the children are able to do.

Star of the Day this week were Robyn, Berfin and Poppy – well done to all of you.

Oh know, the egg is cracking – what could it be?

This week in the Acorn Preschool the children have been looking at eggs. To start the week we were thinking about what might come out of an egg – and the children came up with lots of suggestions about the different types of animals it could be. Crocodiles, birds, crabs, spiders were some of the ideas. To help us with this theme, we read the story ‘The Odd Egg’ in which duck gets a bit of a surprise when the egg hatches he is waiting for, and he discovers a baby crocodile.

 

When the children went outside, they discovered that the dinosaur was looking after some ice eggs – we had to work hard to see if we could crack the ‘eggs’ to set the frozen treasures free.

The focus this week has been on developing the children’s understanding about rhyme and how the words must sound the same. To help with this, we have been singing a familiar nursery rhyme, but changing the words to make new silly versions.

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

His mum found him and asked him, WHY?

Humpty said "I thought I could fly"

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,

He didn't get bruised, he didn't get bumped,

Humpty Dumpty bungee jumped!

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall

eating his bananas

where do you think he put the skins

down the kings pyjamas

 

 

The children loved these songs and would love to sing them some more with you at home.

The Acorn Preschool children loved celebrating World Book Day 2018 by dressing up as their favourite story characters.

Stars of the day this week were Jamie, Elizabeth, Tristan, Charlie and Paloma – well done to you all.

Kung Hei Fat Choi from the Acorns – 2018

This week in the Acorn Preschool the children have been exploring different seasonal celebrations – including Pancake Day, Valentines’ day and Chinese New year.

 

   

On Monday, the Acorns were so lucky to have a visit from a real author, who  brought along her animal puppets and helped us to tell a story. The children were very good at listening to the story, and all got a puppet of their own to hold onto and involve in the story telling. We especially liked the shiny dragon puppets!

The week started with the children exploring printing heart shapes and mixing paint colours to make cards for those who we love.

        

We were also so lucky to have snow to play with and experience. The children collected it in buckets, threw snow balls, and make some lovely patterns with their feet.

            

On Tuesday, the children enjoyed making and EATING pancakes with Mrs Alford. They all took turns to follow the recipe, mix and stir in the ingredients and then watched in awe and amazement as Mrs Alford tossed pancakes in the air for double, triple and even quadruple flips – catching them all successfully!!

The song of the week was ‘Mix a Pancake, Stir a Pancake’. Sing this with them at home and see if they can remember the words and actions.

On Wednesday the children joined in with the 'Smile for a Mile' sponsored event, where they walked, jogged or ran 1 mile. They loved this, even though the snow had been falling only minutes before we went out to take part. Rosy cheeks were glowing by the end, and all children raised their heart rate for over 15mins, whilst raising funds for new school play equipment. Well done Acorns!

       

By Wednesday our attention and focus turned to the preparation and celebration for Chinese New Year (on Friday 16th Feb) when the Year of the Dog started.

We have learnt, through reading books and watching a Chinese family on cbeebies, how Chinese families prepare for and celebrate Chinese New Year. At the start of the week, we were busy cleaning the house in preparation for putting up our Chinese decorations.

     

The children explored making chinese writing through mark making with paint and pens. They constructed chinese lanterns using their cutting skills and dancing dragon puppets by combining materials by sticking.

The children also noticed that Chinese food is a little different and that funny sticks can be used to eat the food. The children have explored making and serving noodles in the role-play area. In the fiddly fingers area, the children have tried to get to grips with using chopsticks to pick up pompoms, noodles (wool) and buttons. The children have also enjoyed listening to some chinese music and play with dancing chinese lion puppets, which inspired them to start their own dragon dance, using some long material.

    

The week finished with a chinese feast, where we explored eating noodles, egg fried rice, duck spring rolls and prawn crackers – most of which the children loved!

Stars of the day were Freya, Eva-Rose and Olivia – well done to you all.

Acorn Preschool staff want to wish all our Acorn children and their families a restful half term holiday, and look forward to seeing you again soon for more fun in a week.

Let’s go fly a plane!

The Acorn Preschool children have been getting very excited about airplanes this week in the Nursery. They have been writing their tickets, creating planes and taking it in turns to fly  to another country for their holidays. They even built runways to take off from!

         

The children have been drawing planes, constructing planes using junk materials and also playing with the small world planes too. Our book of the week was a fact book about planes, which helped the children to develop their vocabulary – the words learnt included wings, wheels, tail, jet engines, pilot, airport, runway, and control tower. They also explored what taking off and landing looks like. The song of the week was ‘Down at the Airport’ in which they loved pretending to fly their own plane.

       

Snow arrived at Oak View in the middle of the week – so the Acorn children were quick to get on their coats and warm clothing and to rush outside to explore. It was great fun catching the snowflakes on our tongues. Plus some clever engineering, team work and problem solving allowed the children to build a really tall tower!

 

       

The Acorn Preschool children finished the week with a visit to Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park. We had a great time going inside a Monarch plane to see what it is like and walking under the Concorde. We dressed up and pretended to be police, fire rescue and flight attendants. The children were also lucky enough to be able to go to the flight deck and pretend to be the pilot. We then went to watch the planes landing at the runway. We watched many other planes taking off and landing, and we were always so surprised how easy it looks for them to lift off the ground to fly.

The children were so well behaved and loved watching the planes. They even spent lots of time flying round themselves too.

This week the children have been building on their understanding of rhyme through singing rhyming songs and playing a rhyming pairs matching game - Slug in a Jug. We have had lots of cats in hats, bugs on mugs and bears on chairs! But the children are getting the hang of rhyme needing to sound the same. They have even been exploring making a nonsense rhyming word for their own names too!

Stars of the Day this week were Riley, Callum, Charlie and Evie. Well done to you all!