Can you believe we are in Term 4 now?! It’s the last term of the year before the summer when the pupils will return as p2s! Wow! It was lovely to get the chance to talk to most of you during parents’ consultations, thank you to those who were able to make it along.
We have lots going on this term, please see the Termly Overview in the link below.
Fairyland continues to be a big hit and the dragon has been to visit us several more times. We have helped Jack and the Bean stalk by growing our own beans and looking after them. We learnt about the different parts of a plant and what they need to survive. More recently, we read the Frog Prince and created super pieces of art; we followed step-by-step instructions to paint our fabulous frogs. We were really lucky because there were tadpoles in our garden pond so we could investigate them and learn about the different stages in a frog life cycle. This week the dragon has asked us to explore the story of the Gingerbread Man. Some tasty treats might be on their way home!
Fairyland has also been a stimulus in our writing and maths work. We have written sets of instructions explaining how to grow beans and some of us used ‘interesting openers’ such as Firstly, Next, Then and Finally. Along with this, we wrote about the transformation from frogspawn to tadpoles to froglets to adult frogs. In maths, we created a class pictogram showing if we would kiss a frog. It turns out that more of the class would kiss a frog than wouldn’t!
Play is ever changing and the pupils are making new friendships more confidently and openly now. We created our own castle in the role play area in the classroom. To do this, we used sponges to print bricks on cardboard and looked at flags that represented the different nationalities in our class. Inside our castle, we have a banquet table and puppets to enhance our play. We also have a pink castle for small world play which has encouraged a lot of mixed-gender play. The mud kitchen is as popular as ever and pupils have been mixing up poisonous potions and magic spells with the sand and mud. Bringing our learning of money into a real-life context, we set up a shop. Children have been playing shop keepers and shoppers while exploring the different colours, shapes and values of coins.
We had a wonderful outdoor learning day. One of the sessions (lead by Mrs Jeffrey and the Bee Association) focused on honey bees and pupils had the opportunity to taste different types of honey and make a seed packet to take home.
In Health and Wellbeing lessons we have been learning about cleanliness and hygiene. We learnt the most effective way to wash our hands and why brushing our teeth is extremely important. We also enjoyed learning with the p7s when they read stories to us about road safety.
Wishing everyone a happy holiday full of joy, love and chocolate!
Our new topic began with a dragon coming into our classroom!!! She snuck in without any of us seeing her but left a trail of glitter, some fairy tales for us to read, and a dragon mail box for us to write letters to her! Because we did not know what she looked like, she made a model of herself in our classroom over night! She also left us a sad letter saying Fairyland was disappearing because nobody was reading fairy tales anymore. We came up with a plan to save Fairyland by reading many stories and helping the characters. So far, we have helped by building homes, making new magic mirrors, and making wanted posters to help catch the big bad wolf. We have lots of stories still to read and lots of activities to do. We are turning our classroom into Fairyland so we need to build a castle, grow some beans and hopefully meet Prince Charming!
The p3s hosted a wonderful Ancient Egyptian day and we were lucky enough to visit their classroom and join in some activities they had prepared for us. These included writing our names in hieroglyphics, making biscuit coins, being wrapped up as a mummy, making Egyptian jewellery, getting Egyptian makeup put on and making mummy masks. We all enjoyed talking to the older pupils and some of us made some new friends.
We have been enjoying Easter themed activities in the last week of term. We made cute chicks in nests which helped develop our cutting skills and we got very creative when decorating the nests! We enjoyed watching the p6 Easter assembly which told us about the Christian Easter story of Jesus on the cross. Some of our play choices were Easter themed including painting Easter eggs on tinfoil, eggsploring coloured rice with hidden eggs and rabbits and playing with mother and baby farm animals in the sand tray. We were very impressed with each other’s eggs and participated in a ‘show and tell’, describing how we made our own egg. They looked fantastic on display and the whole school had a look at our wonderful creations. Mrs Edgar had a very difficult time judging but she chose Rimas’ feathery egg as our class winner. Well done Rimas!
We have been working on making new friends this term and working together in collaborative groups to complete activities. These have included relay races in PE, re-telling stories using puppets, making playdough for poisonous apples and building houses for the 3 Little Pigs.
Pizza Express Trip
We loved out trip to Pizza Express! To begin with we looked at, smelt and tasted things that go into making a delicious pizza including basil, tomatoes, oregano and cheese. We then became chefs by wearing aprons and hats and got our own pieces of dough to stretch into the correct size for the pizza trays. It was hard work! Spreading out the tomato sauce and popping on the cheese was fun and before we knew it our pizzas were in the over being cooked. The best bit was eating our pizzas with each other! The teachers got one too! A huge thank you to Evan’s mum for helping us out.
Even with the cold, wet weather and dark mornings, p1B have managed to have great fun and learn lots. Over the past few weeks in:
Literacy – we have been learning that two letters can make one sound! Pupils have learnt to read and write words with the sounds sh, ch, wh and th. We have asked our resident alien (Bobby Boo) a question and even learnt to use question marks in our writing. Please keep practising the key words from the reading books at home with your child, these are really important. As it was Burn’s Night last month, we spent some time reading Scots stories, singing Scots songs and learning about Rabbie Burns. Many pupils did a fantastic job presenting their Scots poems to the class. A huge well done to Sonny, Amber and Clara who were the class finalists and recited their poems to the management team. They had a tricky job, but in the end chose Sonny to represent p1B at Scots night. He did an excellent job and I felt really proud of him! Well done Sonny!
Maths – through lots of games we have learnt the ordinal value of numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd…) and discussed how we use these in everyday life. Some pupils are beginning to write these values. There is still a focus on numeral formation; it is really common for children to write numbers back to front so don’t worry! We will continue to do lots of hands on activities to encourage pupils to write these correctly. Lots of us have been learning our number bonds i.e. different ways to make a given number. We are using manipulatives such as counters on ladybirds, pegs on a coats hanger and numicon to make visual representations of these number bonds and then writing number sentences to match them. Wow!
Science – lots of hands-on investigation has taken place inside and outside our classroom as we explored the different states of water. It was really handy that we have had snow! Pupils looked at how puddles get smaller and smaller throughout a dry day, we built a snowman and we worked in small teams to melt our ice eggs to set the dinosaurs free. Many tried to heat up their eggs in different ways including rubbing them or putting them beside the heaters, but some of us tried to use salt to melt it “because this is what we put on the road when it’s icy.” Well done Kya!
Art – we have been investigating colour this term and have learnt about the colour wheel. We know that we cannot make red, blue or yellow (the primary colours) but we have enjoyed mixing these to create rainbow umbrellas. We have also made rain drops by mixing different tints and shades of blue.
Design + Technology – we build The Queensferry Crossing! Using tinfoil we wrapped up boxes and kitchen rolls then twisted the tinfoil to make poles in order to create the different parts of the bridge. We learnt that hot glue goes from a solid to a liquid when heated then back to a solid when it cools down.
Health + Wellbeing – to help us learn The Green Cross code we have done cut and stick activities putting cards in the correct sequence to cross the road safely, used playdoh to show what pelican crossings look like when we should and should not cross the road (red and green men) and had a great time role-playing a lolly-pop person.
Play – As always we have been learning lots through play. Our role-play corner is currently set up as a post office where pupils have been weighing parcels, writing postcards and answering phones. Pupils have enjoyed lots of sensory play with marshmallows, noodles and foam. Many have mixed up potions and mud pies in our outdoor learning area. The discussions around these activities encourage us to develop our vocabulary and imagination.
Please click on the link below to access our term ahead letter.
We have come to the end of Term 2 and the children are half way through primary 1! They have learnt so much since their first day of school and I am so proud of how far they have come, both academically and socially.
Our topic on Toys has been lots of fun. We have learnt how toys have changed over time, from being mainly made of wood and metal to plastic with lots of lights and noises. Pupils enjoyed bringing in their favourite toy and sharing information about it with their peers. I was really impressed at how well the children managed the questions others wanted to ask; they and were able to pick who was going to ask the questions, listen well to the question and answer it independently. We had a lovely visit from Gran Sheila who showed us toys she used to play with when she was young and allowed us to play with some even older toys that belonged to her mum. We’ve sorted lots of toys into different categories including what makes them ‘go’ (batteries, pull, push, etc.) and how they are played with (role play, construction, imaginary, electronic, etc.).
To complete our toys topic we had a tinkering afternoon where we made our own toys with moveable parts. Pupils had free choice in what to make, how to make it and what to make it with! Children were very creative and learned lots of technology skills e.g. how to use a hole punch, how to make moveable wheels using split pins, scissor skills, joining skills with paper clips, glue and sticky tape. There was a huge range of toys from cars to telescopes, books and puppets.
As always, we have been learning loads during play. For the last few weeks our role-play area has been an igloo set at the North Pole. Pupils have enjoyed writing letters to Santa, pretending to be Arctic animals, exploring non-fiction books about the polar regions and enjoying quiet time inside the igloo under twinkly lights.
Thank you to everyone who came along to the Christmas fair and/or bought the reindeer poo and reindeer food made by p1b. We had a great time measuring out the right amount of oats and glitter, counting out 10 snowflakes for each bag and drizzling melted chocolate over the raisins. I am sure everyone who came along to the Carol Concert will agree that the children did an amazing job singing their songs on stage and performing the actions. Well done p1B! Thank you to those parents who were able to help out on the trip to the cinema at Destiny Church. I really appreciate your help keeping the pupils safe and sound on the walk there and back.
All that is left to say is MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you all a peaceful and relaxed holiday (if that is at all possible!). Best wishes.
Term 2 – Welcome Back
ART + DESIGN – Term 2 has started with a bang! We celebrated Bonfire Night by making very sparkly, glittery pictures of fireworks. In fact, we have been very creative this term and have enjoyed creating lots of different art pieces and exploring lots of different materials. We showed a lot of patience making Elmer the Elephant because we had to carefully stick tissue paper to milk cartons. We got a little messy (sorry!) using chalk and blending techniques to make rainbow balloons to complement our story The Blue Balloon – which in turn complimented our sound ‘b’. I would encourage all parents to allow their child to practise their scissor skills at home, using small metal scissors. It has so many benefits, not just cutting out but it helps build up hand muscles, helps improve dexterity and the way in which we hold scissors is very similar to a good pencil grip.
LITERACY – we have been continuing with our letter sounds and we are gaining confidence to read and write short words. So much so, that some of us are beginning to write sentences! Mrs Jeffrey is a very proud teacher! We enjoy learning in many different ways; using magnetic boards, small white boards, words in sand and jelly, using our interactive whiteboard to play phonics games, apps on the iPads and of course writing on paper with a pencil. All pupils have been given their name home in cursive writing to practise. Reading is going really well and we enjoy listening to the extended stories on day 1 of our reading book. This gives us more information and detail than is written in the books so allows for in-depth discussion. All pupils will be getting key words sent home over the next few weeks and these will continue to be sent home over the course of p1. Please help your child learn them. They are sight words, so most cannot be sounded out and must be learnt by just looking at them (the shape of the word, some letters that give us clues, etc.).
NUMERACY – we have begun to write number sentences, aka sums! Pupils are gaining an understanding of basic mathematical vocabulary and the symbols that correspond e.g. plus, add, equals. We have been learning how to use these by adding collections of many objects, all the while developing our fine motor skills e.g. putting bubble gum (pom poms) into the bubble gum machine, making cheerio towers on spaghetti, adding dice patterns to know how many pizza toppings (play doh) we need to add. We have also been sequencing numbers, improving our numeral formation and learning double numbers.
OUTDOOR LEARNING + PLAY – we are very lucky to have several outdoor learning spaces and we have been making the most of them before the wet weather really sets in! In the mud kitchen we have made potions, created sand cities and roll-played families. Our social skills have improved through this play and we are making new friends. We had loads of fun on the Trim Trail and developed our balance, travelling skills and supported one another when a tricky bit came up.
Please click on the link to access our Term Ahead letter.
We have enjoyed a spooky Halloween here in p1! The teachers were really impressed with all the scary costumes and effort that went into face painting etc. Our play activities have had a Halloween focus; ghost letters in the sand, a witches potion in the water trays, pumpkin counting, black cat dot painting, cutting and carving carrots and peppers…just to name a few. Through this play we have explored capacity, developed our skills in using knives and forks, worked on our fine motor skills and encoded three-letter words. We continued the Halloween theme in our art activity where we made bat collages using a range of materials.
But the highlight of Hallowwen was our Tricky Ricky show! We giggled and laughed constantly for 50 minutes while Ricky wowed us with magic tricks, puppetry and jokes. After our show we had a mini class party and enjoyed ‘dooking’ for apples.
All of us in p1B have settled really well into Balgreen and our school routines. Mrs Jeffrey is so proud of all the pupils! We know our way around the parts of the school we use, can get our lunches independently and are getting stuck into our learning! Thank you to all those who were able to make it along to our curriculum evening, we hope you found it useful. And thank you to those who joined us for an open morning, hopefully you enjoyed spending time in class with your child and learnt a wee bit about how we learn numeracy. We have done so much already!
NUMERACY – We have been focusing on recognising dice and pairs patterns, making finger patterns, numeral recognition, counting and making collections. We have enjoyed using a wide range of materials and learning strategies from jelly bags to counting out glittery eggs, from matching numeral pegs to star collections and getting a bit messy with sand and dirt while forming our numbers.
LITERACY – We are doing lots of pre-writing fine motor development through a variety of activities including threading beads on pipe cleaners, using tweezers to pick up pompoms, scissor skills, tracing lines with glass gems, using pipettes in water, etc. This will help us in our writing.
We have learnt many letter sounds (t, a, p, r, n, m and h) and are beginning to write these letters. We are learning to listen to the sounds within words, particularly the first, middle and end sounds in CVC words. With this knowledge and a wee bit guidance, we are even beginning to read and write some simple words. Slowly but surely we are learning to crash the sounds together as well as use our fingers to ‘finger spell’ out the sounds.
Not only this, but we have also been learning to recognise the character names that will appear in our reading books soon. These are words we just need to know by looking at them, but we can be word detectives and spot some of the sounds we know in them as well.