Welcome back Reception!
We hope that you have had a lovely time this Easter holiday and that you are all safe, happy and healthy. All of the staff in Reception are well and have been thinking of you - we are missing you all. We feel so sad that we aren't coming back to school just yet and that we aren't able to see your big smiling faces or how much you have grown already! We would love to be spending time together exploring and learning our new summer term one topic, but we are very happy and relieved that you are at home with your loved ones staying safe and healthy which is the most important thing right now!
This term our new topic is Jingle, Jangle, Jungle - one of our favourites because we know how much children in Reception love this topic! We have lots of lovely activities, ideas and fun planned to help you learn about this topic at home. Every week we are at home during term time we will continue to post these on our home learning page. Don't forget to complete your Purple Mash 2Do activities which are released every Tuesday as well as use the other links and resources posted on the Reception home learning page - as we discover new resources we update the page and already there are already some new links uploaded since Easter.
We have uploaded below what we traditionally send home to you for the start of a new topic - 'Helping at Home' and 'Pupil Voice'.
The 'Helping at Home' letter gives you an outline of what we would have covered in school in normal circumstances. We will be doing our best to provide you with a range of accessible activities that will work towards covering the content we usually plan for in this topic but we do understand the difficulties that learning from home brings, time and resource constraints and even with a huge and dedicated effort from yourselves at home we know it is not possible for you to cover all that we usually would in a school day, week or half-term. However we felt that you may welcome the usual topic overview to help give you ideas and direction for home.
The 'Pupil Voice' letter is usually where we ask children what they would like to do at home to help support their learning of the new topic. The children give their ideas, we collate them into our Areas of Learning Experiences as part of our curriculum, and then send these home for you as things you could do or ideas to get you started. As your children are not in school to share their own ideas this term we have uploaded below the children's ideas from last year which are still very valid, although we have modified them for the Corona virus requirements of staying at home! You can do these activities alongside what we set for your children each week if you would like to. They are interactive, fun, and have opportunities for developing a range of skills.
We hope that you enjoy all that we provide for you and don't forget to tweet us on twitter with all your amazing learning!
Take care, stay safe, have fun and be happy!
The Reception Team
This year we have worked hard on addition number sentences (eg. 4+2=6, 18+4=22) and the children have used a range of tools to help them. In the last week of set activities (week two) we focused upon addition and to help we outlined the different stages needed for successful addition - this is still on the website if you would like a refresh. Once children have understood the key principles of addition then we look at teaching the strategies for counting on and solving addition number problems such as missing numbers or finding out the number they need to get from 36 to 42 for example.
This week we would like your child to be working out using tools to accurately count on and solve missing numbers. The different stages of learning this skill are listed below. You can have a trial run with your child by asking them to complete a number sentence such as 5+ __ =8, or using higher numbers if your child has good mental recall of bonds to ten, and see how they work it out. This will give you a good indicator of which stage to start.
Stage 1. When first adding together children need visual objects and often use concrete learning tools such as multi-link cubes or counting tools - you could use counters, buttons, pencils, pieces of pasta at home. Avoid using coins as this confuses them when adding with money later in the curriculum! In this instance you could give the children three bowls and a bag of pasta. You could give the number sentence 5 + __ = 8. How many more do we need to get to 8? Children know they have five and place those into the first bowl (ensuring accurate counting). Then the children have to remember to count on from 5 to get to 8 - they should have just three pieces in the second bowl if they have counted on. This is tricky to learn at first and lots of practise will be needed for children to understand that they don't need to start/count from 1 every time and that they can just start from 5 and count on from there. If your child finds it difficult to count on this could be a sign that they are not confident with their number knowledge and need to rehearse counting these numbers in order so we suggest that you work with your child on this skill too this week. Having placed 5 in one bowl, three (hopefully!) in the second bowl - tip them into the third bowl all together and count out - did they make 8 altogether? If not then explore it - mistakes are a great way to learn. We would encourage children at this stage to work practically and just model it by the adult writing it as a number sentence. Adding the skill of recording it as a number sentence just yet is overload and not helpful to their development.
Stage 2. Once the children have become comfortable working with concrete objects to help them find the answer they can then progress to using number lines or a hundred square. Children have to find the number, in this instance 5 and have to count on how many jumps/moves they do to get to 8. We would encourage these children to fill in 'missing numbers' on a number sentence and when you feel they are ready they can have a go at writing it out completely themselves. Ensuring that they can say the number sentence as they write it helps with accuracy and embedding of this skill, especially for auditory learners.
Stage 3. The next step to do this is without any visual resources and is just reliant on their mental calculations. They can use their fingers as a tool. We encourage the children to put the number in their head (tap their head and say the number at the same time) and then count on their fingers. For example they would say 5 out loud whilst tapping their head (this reinforces that they are mentally working this out) and then continue to their hands where all fingers are folded down and as they count on to 8 they touch and/or unfold fingers one at a time as they count. They should have three fingers showing/held up. We would encourage these children to not use any number sentence frames and to be recording these fully independently. Extend their knowledge of numbers - work with where your child is comfortable. At this stage we would expect numbers to 20 and beyond.
All children are at different stages in their mathematical/numeracy development. You may need to spend time working with numbers just in ten and using objects to help add together. Your child may be working through the stages above and exploring numbers to twenty and beyond. Your child may have a love of maths and can work out numbers mentally and is working with numbers to 100 confidently, and is working at crossing the tens (eg. 48+4=52 going from being in the forties and crossing in to the fifties) and is working to composing their own missing number sentences. No matter what stage your child is this is an important skill and one that requires practise and good understanding before they can move on. Whatever stage they are at however we encourage your child to be writing these answers within number sentences so they become familiar with this format. Don't forget this is a great opportunity to reinforce correct number formation too!
All the resources loaded above are all ways which you could try counting on. You can also make your own up too based on these or the stages explained above that cater specifically for your child's mathematical needs.
What a brilliant way to start our Jingle Jangle Jungle topic than to get stuck in and being Jungle explorers! Ultimately we would like this to result in a brilliant fact file about a Jungle animal of your child's choosing, but along the way you will cover so many parts of the curriculum (see below).
To get the most out of this activity you will need to spend time before you start writing exploring and finding out - the children love using different resources and asking lots of different questions as well as finding out the answers. We always find it a great way to get the children's minds engaged with the topic.
This activity can be exciting if you can give it time as well as enthusiasm and covers many aspects of the curriculum...
Geography - where is the jungle? What does it look like? Who lives there? What is the jungle like?
Science - what do these animals eat? What do they need to survive? What are the key features of the animal?
History - have these animals always lived like this? Has their environment or food changed?
ICT - using technology to research these questions and find out about their favourite animal. How about trying to download images to print off and put in your fact file? Exploring different websites (Edinburgh Zoo Cam, National Geographic Kids, Cool Kids Facts) and using different apps (Atlas) using navigation skills.
Literacy - using fact file (non-fiction) information texts to find facts, reading texts or finding information both independently and with an adult. Writing using their phonic skills and high frequency word knowledge to record their fact file at the end.
Art - can they draw their favourite animal looking closely at the features of that animal? Do they use the right colours and shapes?
PSE - It may even create discussion about how the world is changing, climate change and give good opportunity to develop these ideas and understanding and thinking about the positives and negatives of this.
You don't have to use the fact file templates above - these aren't necessarily for you to use but they are a starting point...we think you could make a much better fact file from scratch that suits all the information that you find out and meets your child's writing needs. Depending on your time that you have at home you could turn it into a fantastic project where lots of family members can get involved in. Choose an animal or two and you could even make a booklet. It can be as big or as simple as you would like it to be, but when you get started you can't help but cover all these amazing questions and find different information to include.
Don't dispose of them afterwards...we would love to see them upon your child's return!
Good luck Jungle Explorers! Be brave and go find some jungle animals...