Welcome back to Spring term 1!
Please find attached the relevant information regarding what Class 3 will be studying this half term.
Just some info for all of you who are attending next Monday at Ventnor Winter Gardens…
Monday of this week saw Greg Chapman and his incredibly variety show visit the school to speak to the children about the Bronze and Iron age. It was entertaining and certainly he had the children hooked due to his delivery methods, involving magic and demonstrations. He spoke about how the Bronze and Iron ages varied depending on where in the world and the type of tools being used. Stonehenge was discussed, as well as Iron age settlements which were made from baked mud and clay, known as a ‘wattle and daub’. the Iron age ended in 43AD due to the influence of the Romans.
On Thursday, parents we invited in to see the artefact museum that the children had been preparing as part of their History lessons. It was a big success and lovely to see so many parents engaged in the children’s learning. Thank you to everyone who was able to make it into school to support.
In Literacy, the children have produced some excellent newspaper reports based on the class book, The Iron Man (Ted Hughes).
In Maths, we started the week continuing with finding fractions of numbers/amounts. The children were given problems to solve and they used concrete apparatus to help with this, which was especially useful when drawing pictorial representations.
In Maths this week, we have started fractions and decimals. The children can now distinguish between a unit and a non-unit fraction and they can recognise fractions in a number of ways i.e. shapes and fraction lines. We moved on to looking at finding fractions of numbers and quantities, using concrete apparatus and pictorial representations and we even did a class practical which involved moving around after being split (or shared equally!) into different groups. They know the terms ‘numerator’ and ‘denominator’ too.
In Art/DT, we used the Iron Man theme from literacy as a stimulus to start looking at robotics. The children drew around their own hands and using straws and string, they created a prototype robotic hand where the index finger could flex. We linked this in to Science and PE, discussing the role of tendons and muscles. The children felt their own Achilles tendon as well as those in the hands and wrist. They are covering this in Science with Miss Turner, so there are plenty of cross-curricular links!!
In light of the recent parents evening, I thought that I would clarify about what goes on in the classroom and what type of support the children are receiving in maths…
Firstly we don’t have ‘groups’ or ‘sets’. The children are given work which suits their ability and they have the choice of which questions/word problems they start on. These are differentiated and range from easier to harder. There is usually a whole-class input where concepts are introduced, explained, demonstrated etc. This is then displayed on the learning wall for the children to refer back to, should they need reminding or to look again at the example.
We work on the rule of ‘try 5 and move on’. After 5 questions, wherever possible, an adult will check to see how they have got on. If successful, they move on. If partly successful, after dialogue, the child would correct the errors using the purple ‘fix it’ pen. If successful, move on.
If a child is struggling, or what we refer to as ‘amber’ (understand some of it but need some guidance) or ‘red’ (completely confused), then we ask them to come to the support table. Occasionally, a small group may be taken into the hall (after the input), to work quietly with concrete apparatus. We encourage the children to move to the support table on their own accord, and they do feel comfortable in doing this. It is vital if they are amber/red. Sometimes children are asked to move to the support table; it really depends on the circumstances. Once a child is happy and feels that they have moved to green (and have demonstrated this in their book and/or verbally), they can move off the table. It’s a fluid process and it works well.
At the support table, the children use ‘concrete apparatus’. These include base 10 blocks, multi link, place value cards, number lines, bead strings etc.
Concrete is the “doing” stage, using concrete objects to model problems. Instead of the traditional method of maths teaching, where a teacher demonstrates how to solve a problem, the CPA approach brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical objects themselves. Every new abstract concept is learned first with a “concrete” or physical experience.
Pictorial is the “seeing” stage, using representations of the objects to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding by drawing or looking at pictures, circles, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.
Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model problems (Hauser).
Those that are green will work on building their mathematical fluency (recall and apply mathematical knowledge both rapidly and accurately). This is not just memorising though. At this stage, they are recognising relationships and making connections. Then there is reasoning. This involves explaining the maths in full sentences. They should be able to say not just what the answer is, but how they know it’s right. This is key to building mathematical language and reasoning skills. Finally, there is problem solving. The children are encouraged to identify, understand and apply relevant mathematical principles and make connections between different ideas. Maths concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give the children a richer and deeper learning experience. They are required to combine different concepts to solve complex problems, and apply knowledge to real-life situations.
This week, Miss Hill led a remembrance assembly to the whole of the school. She discussed the significance of wearing poppies and we finished with a thinking poem. In singing assembly on Tuesday, Miss Cutter taught the school the song ‘Make me a channel of your peace’, again linking to remembrance day. The children really enjoyed this.
Chapter 5 of The Iron Man was completed, meaning that we have now finished out class text. The ending of the book finished with a lovely message about earth becoming ‘wonderfully peaceful’. This was all thanks to the space-bat-angel-dragon’s ‘deep weird singing, like millions of voices singing together’. They stopped making weapons. The countries began to think of how they could live pleasantly alongside each other, rather than how to get rid of each other. All they wanted to do was to have peace. What a lovely thought. If only it was that simple!
We have continued to collect a number of nouns, adjectives and verbs which were a little tricky, and have added them to our learning wall. Learning new vocabulary is important to develop quality writing.
We have looked at alliteration in readiness for writing a newspaper article next week.
In maths, we looked at dividing mentally and different techniques of how to achieve this.
Thursday and Friday saw the focus shift to working out word problems. How can we use our knowledge from earlier in the week and from making a number x10 bigger and smaller to solve them? The children worked in pairs to solve the word problems and most importantly, they had to explain how they did it. Thanks to Henry and Poppie and Tyler and Bonnie for being brave and explaining how they worked it out to the rest of the class.
In History, the children were looking at artefacts from the Stone age and Iron age periods.