Year 1 Blog
Welcome to the blog for our Year 1 classes. The year group blogs are a great communication tool. Teachers will be posting news, photographs, details of homework, examples of work, and anything they wish to share with their pupils and parents. Please speak to your class teacher if you have any question, feedback or concerns.
Green Class Teacher
Mrs De Vynck
Purple Class Teacher
The children can come in dressed in summer seaside clothes, eg shorts and a t-shirt.
Children in Purple and Green Classes are really into the stride of “learning the year 1 way” now; and i’ts great to see them following routines and learning independently, with partners, so much better as they year goes on, We are nearly halfway through this academic year!
In Maths the children have been using calculation methods – NOT counting on and counting back! – to add and subtract. The week ended with solving word problems, including deciding whether the operation required is addition or subtraction, itself a thought process which requires good number sense and true Mathematical understanding.
In Green Class, I had a chat to the children about the importance of mastering thoroughly number bonds within and to 10 – ie the sheets which were sent home and the start of this half-term (with more to follow after the half-term holiday. The necessity for being able to have the answers to these equations at your fingertips was demonstrated in Thursday’s Maths session. The equation which needed answering was 12 + 4 = (though it could just have easily been a subtraction equation such as 16 – 4 = ). I asked the children which number fact they could use to help them and after a lot of thought a child said 2 + 4 = 6. Then you add the ten in 12 and the answer is 16. The more children practise the bonds within ten the better they can answer problems using two, three or more digit numbers. Please do practise these bonds regularly with your children as it’s probably the single most useful thing you can do to help their progression in learning, after reading. Thank you.
A very important focus in education just now is the concept of “mastery” – knowing a subject really well, with depth, so you can talk about it from many different viewpoints, with correct language, confidence and accuracy. Achieving this requires effort, tenacity and determination. I was at a presentation last week where some quotes were shared and I thought I’d share some with you, to try and explain what learning behaviours the children should demonstrate to develop mastery. It’s not about being born with a certain amount of “cleverness” and using with it, but developing skills to develop mastery. These are not new ideas, as these quotes show…
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” – by Michelangelo (1475 – 1654)
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
And this may be my favourite –
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
Mrs Munsey was in Green Class on Friday, so sadly I did not see how the Perform Drama session went. I have heard that all the children in year 1 enjoyed it and I should be able to post some photos on Monday. Both classes have continued with developing the dance based on “Where The Wild Things Are” and their movement is becoming more fluid and co-ordinated. Friday’s writing was an alternative ending to the story and I have read some very thoughtful story endings in the books.
In Geography, we have been learning about how the subject is about places. The children looked at lots of different photos from all over the world and used good geographical words – desert, sea, surf, volcano, city, for example – to describe what was on them. We used the technique “I look, I see, I wonder” to unpick what exactly the scenes were and using our imagination to see what might be actually happening. We have some more thinking to develop about what Geography really includes. We will do more of this on our local area walk on Wednesday. We will use technical words to describe what we see in the area.
The theme of instructions and direction are important ones in year 1 – left, right, backwards, forwards, how many? – and these are continued to be explored in Computing. Next week we should conclude the current topic with the children using instructions – or algorithms to make the bee-bots travel, hopefully to the intended location!
Both classes have Book Club (guided reading) at least twice a week. We have an extensive collection of new, interesting books the children love reading. These are important sessions to see how well the children understand the text (comprehension) and to model and practise reading with good expression and intonation. It’s important to note that non-fiction books also need to be read with good pace and cadence, resulting in good intonation – to show that the reader understands what they are reading and to make the listener enjoys listening to the information!
The children’s handwriting, as a whole, is progressing well, with their script becoming smaller, more regularly formed and more ascenders and descenders correctly shown. The next step for many children is to start using the joins learnt – not the ones which we haven’t practised! – in daily writing in topic books.
The weather for Wednesday is currently forecast to be similar to today (Sunday) – so cool/chilly and overcast, which could well mean damp. Please make sure the children have their normal coats, gloves and hats as we’ll spend about an hour in the afternoon walking round the area close to school.
Hope everyone has had a relaxing weekend and that all the bugs and coughs are going away – there are some nastily persistent viruses around just now. Look forward to seeing you all for one week before the half-term week’s holiday.
The vouchers have started to trickle in. Thank you very much for your contributions so far. I spoke to Sainsburys at London Colney today. You should be given the coloured, individual vouchers at staffed tills, but the “till receipt” type vouchers from the self-checkouts. If these are not dispensed at the self-checkout tills then you can ask an available assistant, or at customer services. Thank you for your support.
This week we completed the unit learning on time. We will continue to practise the skills during Maths Meetings and the children can be good at pointing out o’clock and half-past times on the classroom clock. There’s a lot you can do at home to reinforce time skills – understanding when things happen, in at typical day. Eg at 4 o’clock you wouldn’t be having breakfast. The game on purple mash under “to dos” is a good way to practise drawing times on clocks, which is a key year 1 objective. Understanding what the time would have been one hour ago, or what it will be in half-an-hour’s time, or what it was half-an-hour ago, etc, are good examples of taking learning “deeper, not higher” and it’s these types of questions you could practise with your children, rather than moving onto quarter to and quarter past.
We have read “Where the Wild Things Are” many times this week, so the children become familiar with every word and aspect of it. As Mrs Fernandes explained at the reading meetings, reading with good expression and intonation is an essential year 1 skill, as well as decoding. The children can develop these skills when they read a picture book with which they are very familiar. The children drew a storyboard of the story and on Friday retold it, in their own words. In green class they remembered lots of detail and have increased their vocabulary through the story.
Mrs Reed, in green and Mrs Lyal, in purple, are working on moving pictures based on the story. The children have been planning what they will make, and looking at examples of books with moving parts – flaps, sliding parts, etc. If you have some books like this at home you could look at them with your children to understand how they work.
In PE we are transferring jumps and rolls to the apparatus and starting to create a simple sequence. Maybe you could practise a log roll or star jump with your son or daughter!
The children certainly looked wacky on Friday, with lots of interesting hair styles. Thank you for the contributions to the school, which will certainly go to good use.
If any parents in green class are able to help with our local area walk on 8th February, please could you let me know. Currently, two parents have kindly volunteered, but we need more adults than that to make sure we have a legal child/adult ratio. Thank you very much.
This week the children practised their co-operation skills by playing a game we have played before and which they improved at. We had to get a hoop all the way round a circle of the children while holding hands the whole time. We managed to do it but, more importantly, the children were encouraging and supportive of each other – “Well done” and “You can do it” were the sort of phrases they spontaneously used to encourage each other, which was fantastic. We also discussed how an activity like this needs perseverance, which means keeping on going until a task is finished even if it’s tricky.
A short workshop to support parents with listening to their child reading at home. The session will focus on developing comprehension skills and deepening inference and deduction skills. No need to book.
A short workshop to support parents with listening to their child reading at home. The session will focus on developing comprehension skills and deepening inference and deduction skills. No need to book
A short workshop to support parents with listening to their child reading at home. The session will focus on developing comprehension skills and deepening inference and deduction skills. There is no need to book.