Peace and quiet in the library
This morning, we went to our different-looking library. All the books are now in alphabetical order so that we can find and put books back more easily and in the correct place.
Also, all the non-fiction books about history and animals etc now have coloured labels so we know where to look for books that might interest us.
In addition to this, we have also come up with rules for looking after the library:
- We put books with the spine facing towards us.
- We put books back the correct way up.
- We put books in the correct place.
- We must respect the library and the books.
- Make it a peaceful place to enjoy reading.
We’ve now moved onto our next mini-topic, Hearing. In this topic, we’ll learn lots about sound: how it is made; how it travels; and how it can be changed.
We’ve already been using musical instruments to discover how sound travels through the vibration of air molecules.
We then measured the volume of sounds around different locations in school using a decibel-o-meter on our iPads. Unsurprisingly, the hall at lunchtime was the loudest at over 100 decibels.
Finally this week, we carried a rather fun, but odd-looking investigation involving coat hangers. From this we learn that sound can also be transmitted through solid materials the same it way it is transmitted through the air – vibration of molecules.
Power – in all its forms
For the last couple of weeks, our topic has been ‘Power’. During the topic, we have mainly been focused on studying electricity as this is what powers most of the objects we use in everyday life.
We have dismantled plugs and electronic toys; made circuits using wires, batteries, bulbs and motors; investigated which materials make the best conductors; and most recently made our very own switches so that we could control the flow of electricity through a circuit.
Our topic didn’t just cover electricity, though. We used some of our living and learning time to discuss what other forms of power there are. We talked about the government and the police and how they have the power to make laws or to enforce them.
As well as this, we thought about we ourselves are powerful and what we can do when we are resilient, take risks and persevere.
On Wednesday, we went to Boston Spa High School for the annual skipping competition. This contest is the culmination of weeks of hard work and perseverance on all of the children’s part.
The competition began with the children demonstrating their individual skipping skills: double bounce, speed bounce, crossover and pretzel to name just a few. They also worked as a team to compete in the run and jump in the rope contest.
In this part of the competition, we had some children win bronze and silver certificates for their incredible efforts.
However, the real showpiece was our skip dance routine. The children have worked so hard on perfecting the routine and getting all the moves correct – some of them were very tricky! Doing this meant the children had to not only skip, but listen to the beat and count a lot to make sure they didn’t go wrong.
Thankfully, all their hard work paid off and they were rewarded with third place! Great work!!
Christian value: Peace and reflection
This half-term, our Christian Value is peace. In our classroom we have a dedicated reflection area where the children can choose to go to when they need to. They may choose to go here when they feel angry or upset or simply just to have a moment of peace.
It’s been really great to see how the children have contributed to developing this area with a prayer tree, fiddly objects, peace doves and their own hand-written prayers.
To add to our work on peace, we also learnt about the story of Jelly Babies and how they were originally called ‘Peace Babies’ when they were first produced to celebrate the end of World War One. We considered how they chose babies to represent a new start and new beginnings after the end of the war.
Our new mini-topic is ‘Power’ and – you guessed it – our main focus will be the subject of electricity and all its uses and dangers. We began our topic by getting very hands-on. Not only did we look at objects that used electricity, we also got to take them apart – safely, of course- to look at their inner workings.
We especially enjoyed looking at the inside of a plug and using screwdrivers – again safely, of course – to get inside them.
As the topic continues, we’ll build circuits containing various components, investigate electrical conductors and insulators and always bear in mind how to stay safe around electricity at home, outdoors and at school.
Snow and skipping
After a slightly disrupted few weeks, we’re now back on track with learning and thankfully warming up again.
We did manage to enjoy the snow by getting out for a mass snowman building contest and snowball fight.
We’ve also begun practising for our skipping competition, which will be taking place next term. The competition will see us demonstrating skills like the butterfly, the pretzel and the speed bounce. As well as this, we will be performing a high-energy skip dance routine.
Watch this space for updates!
A Bug’s Life
This week, we met some rather interesting creatures when we had a visit from the ‘Bug Lady’. The visit formed part of our learning about life forces and we were particularly interested in the life cycles of the bugs.
During our workshop we met; hissing cockroaches, stick insects and snails. We met different species of each one and all at different stages of life and development – from eggs to nymphs and fully grown adults.
We even got a chance to hold some of them, or should we say they crawled, slithered, jumped and even had a snooze on us.
The last couple of weeks have been very active indeed. We’ve launched our 30:30 challenge. This involves getting 30 minutes of physical activity at school, which is then carried on with 3o minutes at home on as many days as possible. It’s great to see that so many children are already well on with the challenge with ten full days of activity recorded.
To go with this big push on physical activity, we had a judo workshop where children experienced this interesting and technical sport first hand.
We also got physical with our Life Forces topic. After deciding how we could help wildlife around school, we hung up bird feeders and made bug hotels in the hope of being able to study some creatures close up.
We’ve now started our new big topic of ‘Life Forces‘, which will see us studying various plant and animals. Last week, we started by classifying various plants by using a Venn diagram. Later on in the topic, we’ll use other types of sorting and classification methods for animals.
During this topic, we’ll read ‘The Adventures of Akimbo’, written by Alexander McCall-Smith. This brilliant book is full of wonderful stories about Akimbo’s adventures on his reserve. In addition, it is quite thought provoking on topic such as animal poaching.
If you or your child wish to find out more, then the BBC Blue Planet website has great resources and video taken from the award-winning series. As well as this, the National Geographic Kids channel on YouTube has a great series of short videos entitled Amazing Animals which are fun and interesting to watch.