Saturday, 12 July 2014

Handbags and bell-bottoms

The end is nigh! The finishing line is in sight! Journey's end is all but complete!

Which ever way you care to express it, the academic year is drawing to a close, and the little Reception Sunnyside learners will soon be heading off to pastures new. 

However, before they leave the Reception class to continue their educational journey into Year 1, the Reception Team comprising of, Mrs Jolly, Mrs Very Jolly, Miss Kind, Mrs Caring, Mrs Crayon and Mrs Organised, have planned lots more exciting learning opportunities for the little learners to enjoy in the remaining few weeks of the summer term.

It is also in these last few weeks that The Team tends to reflect and take stock and begin to fully appreciate just how far the little learners have come since they took their first tentative steps into Sunnyside School's Reception class way back in September. Those once reticent little learners have developed into independent and confident individuals, eager to try out new things and to share their newly acquired knowledge and understanding with anyone who'll listen. 

And it is listening to the little learners that the Team enjoys most of all. Armed with clipboards and pens, team members can be seen all over the setting, listening to little learners and gathering important information that will ultimately help to determine their progress and plan their next steps. 

This afternoon, Mrs Caring positioned herself (for a spot of listening) close to the cut and stick table where a group of six little learners were busy making laptops, handbags, robots, rockets, kites, and a in one particular case, a bunkbed for Sleeping Beauty.

As they snipped and trimmed, taped and tied, folded and glued, this group of little makers chatted to one another about all manner things, leaping seamlessly from one topic to another at breakneck speed for the entire afternoon.

Despite the flames that billowed from her Biro, Mrs Caring did her utmost to accurately note down the little learners' flow of entertaining chit-chat. Luckily for her, she's never quite forgotten the abbreviated symbolic writing method of shorthand, that she learned way back in the days of Raleigh Shopper bicycles and denim bell-bottoms, that helped her to complete this task.

Well done Mrs Caring, lets now enjoy all your hard efforts. 

Picture the scene. Six little learners, some seated, some standing around a large table completely covered with a variety of junk and collage materials. The classroom is quiet and free of other little learners allowing Mrs Caring to hear the six little makers' conversation in detail. 

So here is just a small extract of that conversation.

Little learner 1 "I'm making a handbag!"

L.l 2  "Mine's not a handbag, mine's a bag for my laptop."

L.l 3  (wearing a sun hat) "Well do you know? I'm wearing my delicate sun hat. I got it at Egypt and do you know, I went fishing at Egypt but I couldn't catch some fish 'cause they were too quick for me.......they were turbo fish!"           
L.l 4  "There's no need to shout!"

L.l 5  "If you shout, it hurts your feelings!"                 
L.l 4  "And your elbow!"

L.l 5  "No! Not your elbow!" 

L.l 3  "If you shout more loud than me, then that's dinosaur shouting!"                  
L.l 6  "Some dogs are allergic to cats, I'm allergic to dinosaurs and roses!"

L.l 1   "I'm going to be a mum when I'm forty four...that's okay isn't it?"

L.l 2  "Well my Mum's really clever, she can hang things and fold things!"  

L.l 5  "Well my Mum's really clever 'cause she can use tweezers!"

L.l 3  "In Benidorm tweezers cost one hundred, but in this world they cost fifty!"

L.l 2  "I've been to Butlin's!

L.l 6  "I've been to Butlin's too!"                                      

L.l 4  "And I have!"

L.l 6  "I never saw you there!"

L.l 2  "Well, I'm going on holiday in a rocket to look at planets!"

L.l 5  "If you tell lies that's naughty. If you're naughty you go to kids' jail. You don't go in a police car, you go in a white cart and they have toilets and I heard on TV they have comfy beds!"

(stunned silence)

L.l 3  "Why did the shoe cross the road?"

L.l 4  "Because it was magic!"

L.l 3  "Nope.......Because it had a foot in it!"

(raucous laughter) 

Guess what Mrs Crayon did when she read the longhand version of Mrs Caring's observation?

When we're cutting this and taping that,
We take our time and have a chat. 
And chat we do about everything, 
When we stick with glue and tie with string.
There's our clever mums to talk about,
Who fold things up and hang things out.
There's dogs with curious allergies,
Can you pass the felt pens please?
There's our feelings to discuss and share.
I need scissors, have you got a pair?
There's fancy holidays abroad.
I can't cut this bit of chord!
There's dinosaurs and growing flowers,
Two topics we'll discuss for hours.
On having kids we will debate, forty four a bit too late?
There's our ailments and our remedies,
Not to mention all our injuries.
There's fashion and the current trend.
Me Sellotape has lost it's end!
We'll share the jokes that make us laugh.
This stupid thing won't fold in half!
Now hurry up it's half past two,
It's time to pack away the glue,
The scissors and the Sellotape,
The string, the felt pens and the crepe. 
We've made our laptops, bags and kites,
 We've also put the world to rights. 
The day is done, and we are gone
But our words of wisdom linger on!

Tah-Dah!......A fine afternoon's work!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Travel plans and traffic jams

Hurrah, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are almost upon us! 

With the opening ceremony just 31 days away, Sunnyside School is celebrating this international multi-sport event by naming all classes in the school after some of the participating nations.

As the Reception Class will now be referred to as 'Ghana Class' for the duration of the games, Mrs Very Jolly was very keen today to seek out some interesting facts about this sub-Saharan country. So where better thought she, than to start with the little learners themselves. 

It is an established fact that little learners everywhere know absolutely everything about absolutely everything. With that in mind, Mrs Very Jolly began her fact finding quest by asking the little learners in her class if they knew where Ghana was in the world. As quick as a grasshopper in a Formula 1 racing car, a little hand shot into the air with it's exuberant owner shouting out to the group that Ghana was near the library!

This then seemed to open up an enormous can of worms, as a rather heated debate erupted amongst the little learners as to the actual whereabouts of Ghana. As some little learners agreed that Ghana was near the library, others were adamant it was next to the theatre. One particular little learner said he'd seen it by the zoo, whereas another argued that it was "up north".

Whilst Mrs Very Jolly was encouraged by the latter suggestion of "up north", as it did at least venture off the Isle of Wight and on to the mainland, she still felt that she needed to give the little learners a helping hand, by whipping out her whizzy world globe in order to pinpoint Ghana's exact position on the map. 

However, the very idea of popping in to Ghana after returning one's books to the library, seemed an excellent one as far as Mrs Very Jolly was concerned .  

Say you wanna go to Ghana,
You don't have to go by plane,
You just turn right at the library
And head on down the lane.
When you reach the theatre,
Ghana stares you in the face,
You honestly can't miss it,
It's such a massive place!

When you've had enough of Ghana,
Just continue down the lane,
Simply walk around the corner
And you'll find yourself in Spain!
If you go a little further,
And when you have the chance,
Walk directly past the zoo,
And then you'll be in France.

If you're feeling tired and hungry
And you need a cuppa tea,
Catch the number thirty bus,
And ask for Germany.
When it's getting near to bedtime 
And you wanna head back home,
Don't turn left at the pet shop,
Or you'll end up stuck in Rome!

It's a small world!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Annoying pets and yummy baguettes

The first little learner to step into the classroom this morning, did so by announcing to the world that he was a tuna baguette! 

He was of course sharing his choice of school dinner for today, but it is spur-of-the moment and out of context statements such as this one, that always manages to raise a smile and a good o'l chuckle among the Reception Team at Sunnyside School. Indeed, such statements positively enhance their day. It is also statements such as this one that continues to keep Mrs Crayon well stocked with some splendid doodle and rhyming material.

Other classic little learner one-liners have included: "I've got a kangaroo in my book bag", "There's an elephant in my pond", and "I've got an Easter egg blocking my throat".

However, it was the little learner who announced to The Team, that his hamster repeated everything he said, that has always firmly stuck in Mrs Crayon's rhyming mind. And just as the whole dinner lady trapping incident featured in last week's post prompted a long over due rhyme, so has the notion of an overly chatty hamster.

So.....take it away once more Mrs Crayon!

I bought m'self a hamster,
But he's gettin' on me wick,
It seems he has developed
An irritating trick.
For everything I say to him 
He then says back to me,
I never knew a hamster
Could chatter endlessly.
At first I found him funny,
So I showed him to me mates.
But now he's gone beyond a joke
'Cause on me nerves he grates!
I think it's time he took a hike
'Cause in my family,
There's room for just one chatterbox,
And that chatterbox is ME!

"I should have bought a rabbit!"

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Dust pans and dinner ladies

There is something afoot! 

Something mysterious involving the classroom dustpan and brush! It, along with all it's subsequent replacements are vanishing from the Sunnyside Reception classroom.

The Team are not only puzzled by these dustpan disappearances, they are also extremely frustrated by them, because without a dust pan and brush, ridding the classroom floor of a ton of rice, pasta, and out of season glitter, is a virtual impossibility. Therefore, it has become absolutely necessary lately for the Reception Team to appeal to the caring and sharing nature of the Sunnyside School dinner ladies for the use of one of their state of the art, 'no need for bending', industrial strength dust pan and brushes. 

And it is this somewhat uninspiring, yet absolutely vital classroom implement that has inspired Mrs Crayon's rhyme today. 

As she was carefully considering how best to ask a kindly dinner lady for the use of her dustpan and brush yet again, she was suddenly reminded of the time when a dinner lady entered the Reception classroom, (to retrieve her unreturned dust pan and brush) in which Mrs Very Jolly was clearing away the aftermath of a Papier Mache activity. The resulting copious amounts of runny glue and newspaper coating the classroom floor, caused the poor unsuspecting dinner lady to stick firmly to it. 

When the combined hysterical laughter of Mrs Very Jolly, trapped dinner lady, and little learners had subsided, they all managed to compose themselves long enough to release the poor dinner lady from her sticky snare.

Whilst Mrs Crayon celebrated this unlikely yet hilarious episode with a doodle some time ago, she has long felt it her duty to compliment said doodle with a short and snappy rhyme.

So here it is..........better late than never Mrs Crayon!

If you want to trap a dinner lady. 

If you want to trap a dinner lady
All you have to do, 
Is take away her pan and brush,
And coat the floor with glue.
When she comes to look for them
Of this you can be sure,
She'll find herself completely stuck,
To your classroom floor! 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Wonky cows and custard

The little Sunnyside learners of Whippy Cove have been out and about again.

This time when they boarded the Sunnyside School minibus (with their trousers tucked firmly into their Wellington boots), they headed straight off to one of the Island's dairy farms. 

As part of their health and fitness topic this term, the Team arranged for the little learners to visit a dairy farm specifically to learn about and experience first hand 'The Story of Milk.' 

Consequently, this fun and exciting dairy adventure inspired a multitude of follow-on activities back in the classroom. All this week little learners have been constructing farms from large foam bricks, role playing farmers and farm shops, reading farm animal stories, junk modelling farm animals, painting farmy type pictures and writing a few words about their farm trip in their writing books.

Today though, the little learners worked in small groups on a milk related brain storming activity. The objective of the activity was to name as many foods as possible produced from milk, and to then jot them down on a hastily drawn and slightly wonky cow, courtesy of Mrs Crayon .

Once the little learners had suggested the more obvious foods, such as butter, cheese and yoghurt, they became rather stuck and had to don their thinking caps in order to come up with some more ideas. However, following some gentle prompting from the supporting grown ups, little learners were soon reeling off a whole variety of foods including custard, rice pudding, squirty cream, ice cream, milkshake, and.........soup! Yes, soup was the suggestion from one particular little learner, much to the surprise of Mrs Crayon!
"Do we actually get soup from a cow?" Mrs Crayon asked the little brain stormer in question . 
"Yep!" she replied with a certainty that almost had Mrs Crayon convinced. "And do you know?" she continued, "Mummy gives me poorly soup when I'm poorly, but poorly soup just makes me more poorly, and do you know poorly soup hurts my feelings!"
Forgetting about milk products for a moment, a very intrigued and smiling Mrs Crayon couldn't help but ask the little learner, "If poorly soup makes you poorly, what kind of soup makes you feel better then?"
"Proper soup of course!" replied the little learner colouring the udders of Mrs Crayon's wonky cow in a rather fetching purple felt pen! 

Before you could say, cream of tomato soup, Mrs Crayon had already felt the rumblings of a soupy rhyme coming on.

Poorly Soup

Please don't give me Poorly Soup,
Poorly Soup's a curse.
Whenever I eat Poorly Soup,
It makes me feel much worse.
I cough 'till I turn purple,
My tummy starts to ache,
Me nostrils end up snotty,
And me bones begin to shake.
My legs go weak and wobbly,
Me head does loop the loop,
But the one thing that will cure me,
Is a bowl of Proper Soup! 

"Can I please just have a bowl of Proper Soup!"

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Magic beans and itchy fingers

Plant a little seed and don't disturb it!

Wise words indeed, and also the words of a very familiar spring time song, sung by all the little learners at Sunnyside School. Whilst they may be proficient at singing about NOT disturbing little seeds once they've planted them, in practice little learners as a rule find it utterly impossible.

Yesterday afternoon in the Sunnyside garden, groups of little learners had the opportunity to plant their very own sunflower seed in their very own flower pot. The process was a simple one: fill pot with soil, make hole in soil with finger, drop seed in hole, cover hole with soil, water soil with water from small watering can. Job Done!

So it came as no surprise to the Team, that when the little learners had finished planting their seeds, they fully expected them to germinate there and then and begin to sprout leaves right before their very eyes

When no such sprouting occurred, those hopeful little seed sowers waited, and waited, and then they waited a bit more. And then they waited with magnifying glasses and binoculars, desperate for a sunflower sighting how ever minuscule. When the waiting proved fruitless, they decided that a bit of poking and prodding might speed up the germination process, and when that didn't work, they resorted to cries of "Why haven't they grown yet!" and "How many sleeps until they do grow?"

Consequently, it turned out to be a very long afternoon indeed. The Team suspects that tomorrow will be a very long day too, and the next, and the next until the first sunflower shoot decides to make an appearance, or until a clever somebody invents the all new 'Germinate while you wait, sunflower seed'.

Sadly, the Team suspects that that particular horticultural breakthrough won't be any time soon!

Although when it does happen, it could look a bit like this......


1. Fill a pot with soil

2. Drop your seed straight in it

3. Now all you have to do 
  Is wait about a minute

4. Your little seed will grow
  And after just one hour

5. You'll have a ton of leaves
   And a twenty foot sunflower!

If only!

Worth their weight in gold!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Smelly herbs and Fairy fluff

The first little learner to step through the classroom door this morning was clutching a tiny sprig of Rosemary. "Look!" said she, thrusting it straight up the nostrils of Mrs Crayon. "It's 'Rosebury' from my garden!" 

A somewhat startled Mrs Crayon refocused her watering eyes and sniffed the aromatic herb still held tightly in the little learner's hand. "Oooh....Rosemary my favourite!", she said visualising a roast dinner with all the trimmings. "Do you like Rosemary poppet?" 
"No!" replied the little learner rolling her eyes at Mrs Crayon's over the top reaction to the wilting sprig. "I only like mash potato!"

It was that initial interaction at precisely 8.35 am, that seemed to herald a day of fascinating little learnerisms, the like of which continue to delight and entertain the Reception Team at Sunnyside School.

And flora and fauna seemed to be the theme for the day, because quite by coincidence, Miss Kind was treated to a second botanical fact this afternoon when the little learners were outside in the Sunnyside garden. 

The prolonged recent spell of warm spring sunshine has transformed the grassy hillock in the garden into a beautiful carpet of daisies and dandelions. Among the dandelion florets sit the delicate dandelion 'clocks', and it was the dandelion 'clocks' that so captivated the little learners this afternoon.

As a cloud of the tiny downy seeds cleared, it revealed a large group of little learners rendered breathless from all their puffing and blowing. Just as they drew breath again in order to scatter another batch of seeds to the four winds, Miss Kind asked if they could explain to her what it was they were blowing. As quick as a grasshopper, one little learner blurted out, "They're called 'dandelion wish pops!'" 

Realising this would very likely turn out to be a gift of a doodle for Mrs Crayon, Miss Kind decided to pursue the little learner further. "'Dandelion wish pops' you say...why are they called that I wonder?" she asked studying a dandelion 'clock' for herself. 
"Well," began the little botanist, "You make a wish and blow the fluffy bits and the fairies takes them off and grants your wishes." 

Impressed with the little learner's use of the word 'grant', Miss Kind asked her about the wish she was hoping would be granted by the 'wish pop fairies'. "Well," the little learner began again, "I've wished for a Rapunzel DVD, a Frozen DVD, a Frozen dress, a Tinker-Bell and the Fairy Pirate DVD, a Forget-Me-Not My Little Pony, she's purple with white hair you know, a Honeysuckle My-Little-Pony, she's pink with light pink hair..........and a Disney Princess Scooter.

Miss Kind didn't like to spoil things by asking the little learner how presumably teeny weeny fairies manage to transport scooters, ponies, DVDs and dressing up clothes around the neighbourhood-she just assumed they've got it covered!