Wednesday, 23 April 2014

New Term, New Start

Yesterday was the first day back after Easter-an inset day to get to know the new Head a little and for him to talk to us about his ideas and philosophies. It was interesting and hopeful. Tonight we went to his other school to talk to the teachers, look at the learning environment and look at work. This was also good. It will be interesting to see how things progress. 
 We are learning about growing plants this term-starting with beans. The story of Jack and the Beanstalk will continue our traditional stories, and links to the topic so that is the story we will start with. The adults are acting the story for the children tomorrow, then on Friday I will be telling the story with my crochet Jack characters. The giant is understandably cross and Jack is strangely big headed but hopefully they will be well used. The story is such a confused one both in terms of what actually happens, and the morals of it all. Both Jack and the Giant are implicated in stealing but, depending on the version you are reading or telling it is not always made clear who is the real 'baddie'. It is easier to see Jack as the bad one as he steals from the giant in a very obvious way. But what is the character of the old lady all about? Yes, she tricks Jack with her beans not money for the cow, but she must know they are magic and will lead him to the gold. Also she saves Jack from the giant. Who is she?! Jack's Mum seems to be the only straightforward character-oh, and Daisy the cow.
 Jack's Mum's extravagant hair made her head so heavy it went floppy and had to be reinforced with lots of stitching. Looks weird close up but it worked. Daisy the cow, and the basket were both boot fair bargains found at the perfect time.
 As well as growing, we are also looking at different types of flowers and drawing and painting them, to decorate our soon to be role play flower shop. I had a good time today with the children doing observational drawing and learning the names of the flowers and parts of the flower. They really tried hard and made their drawings more and more like the actual flower. I have used water bottles still in their shrink wrap packets-they worked really well. They will then be cut in half and used as the planting pots for the beans next week. So that the children can see what is happening and keep our bean diary. I will take some photos of their drawings tomorrow to show you.


Linda Sue said...

I do hope that you are compensated for all of the extra extraordinary work you do to enhance the children's learning experience. Your characters are amazing, very cool, tactile and expressive. Well done, you! I hope that this semester will be a joyful one, especially for you, The children are in such good hands. You are awesome, you are mighty!

Lynne said...

I do hope that this term is just the start of a better working environment for everyone.
Your figures are expressive, especially the giant. I'm sure the children will get a lot of fun out of them.
What a clever use of water bottles. I'm looking forward to seeing the children's pictures.

Leenie said...

Lots of ways to learn about the world. Your crochet characters are superb. Fun to hold and move around. When the children in your class talk for their pretend characters to they go into falsetto voices? All the children I've observed seem to do that without any prompting.

Beans are a perfect seed to learn about plant growth. I know of one teacher who put the beans in a clear zip lock bag with a wet paper towel. The beans in the bags could be sent home to be stuck on the refrigerator with a magnet. No dumping of dirt accidents.

Sarah said...

Yes they do do voices-not always falsetto but appropriate to the character! We tried the beans in bags last year but they went rotten. So I thought I would try the soil option this year. I can put them along my windowsill and hope nobody knocks them off!

snoopydogknits said...

Glad the term has started positively for you. The crocheted figures are wonderful and what a great idea to use the water bottles. We're also growing this half-term - beans and grass heads! Have a good week. Ros

Anonymous said...

pretty nice blog, following :)