Acorn Class Blog

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!

Planes, trains and cars!

The Acorn Preschool children have enjoyed a focus on transport this week. As the children love to play with the cars and trains, we have looked closely at things that types of transport have the same and things that make it different. Many children were able to identify different types of transport, and then sort the different types of transport into where it can travel (road, air, sea.) The children were very knowledgeable and had a wide vocabulary around the topic of transport.

As the week went on, the children were encouraged to make marks on paper to represent number through taking part in a car colour survey. We walked into the school car park and spent time looking at the different car colours that we could see. One thing we noticed is they all need a good wash!! Perhaps the next job for Acorn Preschool is to open up a ‘car wash station’ to make some extra pennies!

 

For a long time now, the Preschool children have been encouraged to draw, make marks and use their motor skills with fiddly fingers activities to strengthen in preparation for writing and holding a pencil. Many children have explored and adapted their writing grip as their muscles became stronger and they can now control a pencil to make the marks they want. We have been so delighted to see the impact of this on their ability to copy letters from their names. We have found that once children realise that they are making recognisable marks which others value as their ‘name’ they will continue to make them again and again. Encourage your child in all the efforts they make when attempting to record letters from their name. We are now building the muscle memory to draw anticlockwise circles and vertical lines - patterns, which feature heavily when we write the letters of the alphabet.

Other children have been supported with strengthening large muscle groups through dough gym – all the children who come to dough gym are now experts at it, and could run the session without Mrs Alford! The results of this time spent building up muscle strength is paying off as these children have now also developed their ability to hold and control mark making tools to make the marks wanted. Large-scale drawing is another good way to build children’s control of mark making materials. This week children were drawing train tracks and airplanes.

   

The Acorn Preschool children have loved getting outside to explore different types of transport with the cars, diggers, bikes and trikes. We even found time to explore which vehicles travelled down the ramps the fastest!

   

The children have also been joining junk materials together to make their own forms of transport - with boats, planes, buses and trains, the children have really enjoyed designing their own transport.

Book of the Week was ‘The Train Ride’ – the children loved exploring what the little girl could see out of the window as she travelled by train to a seaside town to meet her Grandma. The children have enjoyed watching a lovely YouTube version of this story – and I am sure they would love to share this with you at home too.

Stars of the Day this week were Myles, Lily, Demi and Liza – well done to you all

Making sinkers float and floater sink with the Acorns

As the whole of Oak View Academy have explored and investigated for Science Week, the Acorn Preschool children focused on building their understanding around floating and sinking. They were fascinated to do some predicting of which objects would float and explaining their reasons. For 3 year old children, they came up with some very thoughtful ideas around floating and sinking – including heavy things sinking, and salt helping things to float! They were mesmerized to see that the egg would float in the salt water, but would sink in the normal water.

        

As part of this week we have also focused on how we can keep our bodies healthy. The children were able to suggest lots of ways in which they keep healthy, including a focus on healthy and unhealthy food. Through playing Greedy Gorilla, cutting and sticking healthy lunch boxes and dinner plates, and ‘making and delivering’ pizza in the role play area, the children have had great fun. This also allowed the opportunity to use the till to create a shop, which included creating menus of food available and writing numbers to create the price tags.

    

The children also looked at how washing their hands properly can help them to stay healthy. We did undertake a hand washing activity, but we feel that the children would all benefit from some more support with fully understanding what is involved in hand washing. As the spread of illness seems to be occurring daily in the Nursery, this is one way in which we can help to prevent the spread of germs.

 

Our book of the week was ‘One Ted falls out of bed’ which builds on the knowledge of numbers 1-10 through a lovely story. The song of the week ‘5 currant buns’ has helped us with counting backwards from 5 to 1.

Stars of the Day this week were: Finlay, Ellie, Jasper, Molly and Ruby – well done to you all.

 

The Enormous Carrot!

This week the Acorn Preschool children have made their own version of the Enormous Turnip story, choosing to have an enormous carrot instead, which Mrs Alford planted. Lots of the children helped Mrs Alford to try to pull it out, and eventually with enough strong helpers the carrot popped out!

To build on our enjoyment of the story of the week, we also focused on reading a recipe for making vegetable soup. The children learnt what ingredients were needed to make the recipe and how to make the soup, step by step. Some of the children used their mark making to write the shopping lists for the ingredients we needed to buy to make the soup. On Thursday, the children helped to make the soup by peeling and chopping the vegetables. Once it was cooked, we all tried it with some soft bread – many of the Acorns thought it was delicious, and some loved it so much that they had 3 helpings of soup!

To support the children with developing their mark making skills, they were provided with large pieces of paper on which to write and draw shapes. This is a great way to encourage those children, who may usually be reluctant to make marks, as they love that they have the large space in which to move their arms. At home you can use leftover wall paper or backing paper to support children with drawing and making marks.

        

We have continued with our focus on shapes this week, with the children enjoying shape related creative activities such as printing with shapes and cutting and sticking shapes to make pictures. They have also enjoyed shape matching resources and playing a shape spider game (Orchard Toys – ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ Game – this would be an excellent purchase for your games collection, as it develops both shape and number knowledge through a simple game.) Mrs Woodall took the children on a shape hunt too.

 

Stars of the day this week were Oscar, Poppy, Robyn, Max, Faith – well done to you all.

 

Next week we will be turning our focus onto other foods that we enjoy eating. We will also be exploring some scientific investigations to develop our problem solving and reasoning skills.

The Enormous Turnip

This week the Acorn Preschool children have settled back into the routine very quickly. They have been full of Christmas time news and shared what they did when they were at home.

The current Acorn children have been joined by a small number of new children, some of whom have just turned 3. We have also introduced Russian and Portuguese to the languages were explore in the Acorn Preschool (alongside Turkish). The addition of new children is such a good learning opportunity for all the children as they begin to form new relationships.

The book of the week was ‘The Enormous Turnip’ – the children have learnt how to retell the story using a story map that we created together. With the repetitive language of ‘and they pulled and they pulled and they pulled and they pulled’ the children have had great fun acting out the story and falling to the floor when the turnip goes ‘POP!’

We used the Enormous Turnip story to help us with our counting and number recognition this week. As the farmer, wife, boy, dog and cat pulled at the turnip, the children counted and selected the correct numeral to match how many people were pulling. Help your child with recognising numbers 1 to 5 by pointing them out wherever you see them when you are out and about – on buses, house numbers, road signs etc. See which numbers they can identify correctly.

 

This half term we have also started our focus on shapes. We expect the children to be able to use the correct name for 2D shapes – e.g. square, circle, triangle, rectangle – and be able to select the correct shape when asked. We have enjoyed shape songs (The Wheels on the Bus) and shape games, and next week we will explore the classroom on a shape hunt and shape printing. This could be helped at home through using apps on tablets or computers, which support shape recognition and provide the name of shapes.

        

On Monday, the cold weather provided us with an interesting discovery - thick pieces of ice had formed in the outdoor area. The children were challenged to think how they could break the ice, and once it did break, enjoyed smashing it into smaller pieces or watching it melt in the sunshine.  The winter sun also created really long shadows, so the children had a go at drawing shadow animals

 

Stars of the day this week were Berfin, Aleena-Rae and Harvey – Well done to you all.

Acorns get excited about cold weather animals and visit the reindeer

The Acorn Preschool children have been excited this week by cold weather animals – reading the story ‘Say Hello to the Snowy Animals’. They explored husky dog, seal, whale, polar bear, puffin and snowy owl.

 

Through playing with the rice and small world snowy animals, the children have explored different landscapes. It has been lovely to explore what happens when the ‘snow’ sprinkles through fingers onto the tray. We also explored what it would feel like to have antlers of our own!

 

 

On Wednesday, the Acorn children were taken on a visit to the Cheshire Reindeer Lodge to meet the reindeer and also enjoy a Christmas show. The children were very excited about this visit and it didn’t disappoint. The reindeer were so furry and slobbery (when they ate the reindeer food off our hands) and their antlers were HUGE!

We met many elves, including Trixie, Candy and Tiny – they kept us amused with songs and dances and they even put on a show. Santa made an appearance in the middle of the show, and every child got the chance to say hello to Santa and to receive a little Christmas gift from him.

We were so proud of all of the Acorn children. They were well behaved, listened to instructions and, most importantly, had lots of fun!!

 

The rest of our time has been spent preparing for the EYFS Christmas play – Snowman At Sunset. The children have been busy learning their words and the songs, and this week they have explored going into the hall to perform. We are trying our very best, and can’t wait to share it with our friends and family next week.

Stars of the Day this week has been Freya and Max – well done to you both.

Walking through Oak View…what do you see?

As the Acorn Preschool children have shown great enjoyment in learning about Jungle and Wild animals, we have continued to explore and learn new vocabulary in naming the different animals. This has proved very popular with many expeditions and adventures using our binoculars!

The children have explored through stories, play with small world, art and through physical movement in PE and dance. They are gradually recognising more animals and able to name then correctly (although we continue to need to support with correctly naming a tiger and a lion!). We finished the week with a full scale hunt through the whole of Oak View to look for and capture the wild animals that had escaped. The children loved exploring, and were pleased to be able to send all the animals back safely to Chester Zoo.

An on-going focus in our mark making area has for the children to copy the letter shapes from their name. Many children are very interested in writing their names and are starting to closely look at what shapes they can see. To help them, we ask for children to practice making lines which are from top to bottom,   and from side to side. Next we focus on encouraging children to draw circles of varying sizes. (It is important to encourage children to start to draw circles in an anticlockwise direction, as this is the direction requiring with letters when moving on to formal handwriting.) Through doing this practice, we build the children’s control of the mark making tool.

      

An interesting way to build on this at home: shaving foam, paint, salt, tea leaves, or coffee granules on a tray can provide an exciting surface on which to make marks with little fingers. A quick shuffle hides the shape and gives a clear space to start again.

 

We are working on helping children to prepare for writing by encouraging them to speak in sentences. We use a colourful approach to help them with this, which builds all the parts for a sentence. Whenever possible, use the question words: who, what doing, and where with your child to develop their understanding of what type of answer these question words require. It is also a great opportunity for your child to think through and give a clear answer in a correctly formed sentence.

Star of the Day this week were Poppy, Carter, Finlay, Aleeya-Rae and Jamie – well done to you all.

“Watch out Ellie, there’s a lion following you!” – Acorns enjoy storytelling using Rosie’s Walk

This week the Acorn Preschool children have been altering the details of the story ‘Rosie’s Walk’ to invent their own version about Ellie the Elephant who takes a walk, followed by a lion.

 

To start with, the children explored what they understood about ‘characters’ in stories. They thought carefully about whether a character was good or bad, then came up with some other suggestions for each type of character. After a class vote, we decided upon an elephant and a lion.

 

As we have been learning an adapted version of the story for over a week now, the children were very secure in reading the new story from the story map. The ‘Talk for Writing’ story word actions also helped them with their story telling. Some children took this learning a step further by making their own versions of a story map for Rosie’s walk – with some really pleasing results!

 

Ask your child at home to retell the story of Rosie’s Walk and see if they can use the story language developed. Perhaps they might even draw a story map or alter the good and bad characters in the story!(See previous Blog for the sory map used to tell the story)

 

Every Tuesday the Acorn children explore movement through a PE session with James from ‘Bee Active’. Through this session they also work on developing their listening and attention skills, understanding and behaviour to follow instructions and expectations. The children are currently focusing on going over, under, through and around obstacles. This develops control of their movements. Encourage your child to walk along lines, walls, and obstacle courses to develop their balance skills.

During the middle of the week, the wind was really blowing strongly, so we took the opportunity to go outside and experience it for ourselves using ribbons.

One of our learning objectives at the moment is to be able to recognise our name and the children have been looking closely all around their environment to see examples of their names. Many children are able to say what sound their name begins with, and some are beginning to record the letter shapes of their name in print. Whichever stage your child is at, please can you support them by giving them examples of their name written all around them at home. Count the number of letters, look at the shapes of the letters (round, tall, with tails etc) and encourage them to trace over the letters with their finger.

 

Stars of the day this week were Riley, Myles, Elizabeth, Callum and Eva-Rose – well done to you all.

 

Thank you to those who have returned their sponsorship money.

There is still time to return any Sponsorship money raised for the Sponsored Toddle, so if you still have it at home, please could you send it in with your child. All monies raised will be spent on purchasing resources to benefit the daily experiences of the Early Years children.

Over, under and through with Rosie in the Acorn Preschool

Story of the week is ‘Rosie’s Walk’. This story is excellent for encouraging children’s understanding of positional language - over, around, under, through, past and across. Use the story map below to see if your child can retell the story.

We have also used this story to build on the children’s correct use of ‘he’ and ‘she’ when speaking to describe what they can see happening in the pictures.

Through this story, we have used the Talk for Writing approach to help the children learn the story with repetitive language and memorable actions. This also includes actions for specific story telling language – such as ‘Once upon a time’, ‘first’, ‘next’, after that’ and ‘finally’. We will continue to build on this story and start to imitate and make our own version next week.

      

Thursday – ‘Stay and Play Event’  - thank you to all the parents, carers and grandparents who stayed for the whole morning of planned activities. The Sponsored Toddle and the Coffee, Cake and Communicate sessions were very successful.

        

Friday – Acorn Preschool goes spotty for Children in Need.

        

 

Stars of the day this week were Joey, Charlie, Olivia and Faith – well done to you all!

Whizz, pop, bang – the Acorn’s explore Bonfire Night

The Acorn Preschool children have been full of the wonder of Bonfire night and fireworks after returning from their half term holiday, so we used this opportunity to develop their learning this week.

   

The week started with some storytelling with Richard O’Neill, author and storyteller with Traveller heritage, as the whole school celebrated ‘Diversity and Equality Week’. Through this interactive session, the children explored a story about a horse looking for new shoes. They even saw a real horse shoe which was enormous! On Wednesday, we enjoyed another visitor, Imran, who came to help the children explore about the Muslim faith through looking at lots of different special objects. The children made some interesting observations about things that were the same as them, and things that were different. This is helping them to broaden their understanding of the wider world, one of the specific areas of the curriculum for under 5s.

  

To explore the theme of Bonfire Night, the children were given opportunities to talk about what they had seen and heard over the weekend. We explored more about fireworks, bonfires and Guy Fawkes. On Monday, the children made breadstick sparklers - which were yummy! This helped them with exploring following a recipe. The book of the week was the Recipe of how to make a breadstick sparkler. This helped the children with exploring reading for a variety of reasons, including to follow a recipe to make something yummy. The children looked at ingredients, and also how instructions must be followed in the right order. By using actions, the children were encouraged to try to learn the recipe by heart. Ask them, and see if they can remember any of it.

     

 

To build on the excitement about fireworks, the children enjoyed many firework themed activities through their play, including large-scale firework drawing, making conker rolling firework pictures, and sticking to create their own rockets. On Thursday, the children built a ‘bonfire’ with the wooden blocks, and they even suggested we make ‘smores’. The children danced to Katy Perry “Firework’ using ribbons, their own firework rockets and instruments.

By Friday, the children spent some time thinking about Remembrance Day. They learnt about the soldiers who we remember with the red poppy,, even making their own medals. They made their own poppies through a variety of different materials, and on Friday completed their own Acorn Poppy Wreath.

     

 

This week was also full of birthday celebrations, with Tristan, Jasper and Demi turning 4!

Stars of the day this week were Harvey, Jamie, Berfin, Lily and Demi – well done to you all!

Don't forget that the Stay and Play event will be going ahead on Thursday 16th November. 8.30 - 11.30 parents, carers, grandparents,  relatives, neighbours... are welcome to join their Acorn child in the Acorn Preschool for a series of activities. These include: 8.30 - Stay and Play session with your child in the Preschool; 9.00 - Explore the routines of the Preschool; 9.30 - Sponsored Toddle (with the children from Juniper class too; don't forget to gather as much sponsor money as you can to support the Early Years children); 10.15 - Coffee Cake and Communicate session, run by the Speech and Language Therapy team (a wonderful chance to gain some ideas about how you can develop your child's speech and language skills at home through some simple, but effective games - plus yummy cakes too! There will be chance to talk to the speech therapists more informally if you have any questions or concerns you would like to raise.) 11.30 - time to go home!! I'm sure we will all be exhausted after that, but it will be such a worthwhile session of partnership working between home and school. We would love it if you could make it for some, or all of the event.