Saturday, 30 January 2016

Porky pies and pointy fingers

There are days when the Reception classroom at Sunnyside School resembles that of a busy accident and emergency department, as wave after wave of little learners come hobbling in from outside, nursing all manner of injuries and seeking some first aid attention. 

As we have seen before in previous Sunnyside stories, this first aid attention usually comprises of the now legendary dampened paper towel applied to the injured area, or should that particular remedy fail to work it's mystical magic (which is hardly ever,) the use of an ice pack straight from the fridge.

Following this treatment and a few gentle words of comfort from the grown ups in the setting, most little learners are immediately cured of their aches and pains, and will miraculously leap to their tiny feet, and head for the outside once more before you can say 'Florence Nightingale'.

However, every now and again an accident may occur during the school day which will turn out to be a little more serious than the usual bumps and scrapes, and it may even involve real blood! Just like today, when a little Sunnysider stood before Miss Kind with blood trickling from one of his nostrils. 

After sitting her completely unperturbed patient on a chair and pinching the soft part of his nose for a bit, Miss Kind asked the little learner if he had done anything to make his nose bleed. 
"Um....I think I didn't," said he, stealthily sliding his bloodstained pointy finger behind his back.
"Well...I wonder what on earth could have caused your poor nose to bleed then?" queried a deeply suspicious Miss Kind.
The little learner thought for a moment, and with Miss Kind's thumb and forefinger still clasping his nose, he squeaked, "I think it's 'cause my Mum shouted at me!"

Well....there's nothing like blaming a bit of nose picking gone too far on your Mum, thought Miss Kind, as she struggled to suppress a giggle.



Watch out! watch out! 

Watch out! Watch out!
My Mum can shout,
Her voice doth travel miles.
She will indeed,
Make your nose bleed,
And shatter all yer tiles!

Your tender ears, 

Your chandeliers,
Aren't safe from my Mum's yells,
Make no mistake,
It's hard to take,
Her mighty decibels! 


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Tambourines and underpants

Happy New Year everyone! 

Believe it or not, it's the start of the Spring term. However, there was nothing Spring like about the weather today, far from it, as rain soaked little learner after rain soaked little learner was catapulted through the classroom door on a chilly and very gusty wind first thing this morning.

Strangely, this combination of high winds, heavy rain and dripping children occurred last year at this time. It failed to dampen the spirit of the little Sunnysiders of the day, and it failed to quash the excitement of the current cohort upon their return to school following the Christmas break.  

With the festive season a dim and distant memory, the time has come for the little learners to launch into a brand new topic, which for the next few weeks will be the rhyming stories of Julia Donaldson. As well as revelling in the wonderful world of, The Gruffalo, Stickman, Superworm and Tiddler, to name but a few, the little learners will also be focusing on learning more phonic sounds. Their next step will be to learn to blend these individual sounds to make words. Some children find this easier than others, so the Reception Team are always trying to devise fun ways in which to help all little learners achieve this skill, like involving puppets for instance during their phonic activities, or hungry lions no less!

And it was hungry lions that sprang into Mrs Very Jolly's mind when she stumbled across the remains of one, while crashing about (in search of pipe cleaners) in the far reaches of the store cupboard today. She hadn't found a real lion of course, it was one of Mrs Crayon's creations (from a few years ago now) made to support a variety of literacy activities, including learning phonic sounds and letter names.  The idea was for the little learners to feed 'Lester' lion (as he became known,) a diet of letters and sounds by posting them straight into his open jaws, so long as they were able to say the sound and name the letter correctly. 

The children loved Lester, and they made it their mission to ensure that he had plenty of letters and sounds to eat each day. They also made it their mission to ensure he had plenty of other things to eat, especially at tidy it up time! It was only when the Reception Team spotted that the draws and cupboards in the classroom were strangely bereft of equipment and materials, and that tidy up time was taking an extraordinarily short amount of time to complete, did they put two and two together and realise just what their crafty pupils were up to. Lester's bulging belly, along with the little learner's uncharacteristic willingness to tidy up after themselves, should have provided the Team with all the clues they needed to determine the whereabouts of the contents of their classroom! 

Anyway, after reminiscing with Mrs Very Jolly about 'Lester The Lion' and deciding it was high time they either repaired him or created a new one, Mrs Crayon set off on a mission of her own, and that was to pen a poem celebrating their beloved phonic friend and his remarkable ability to consume a classroom!!!!

Better late than never Mrs C!   


Roll up!

Roll up come see our lion,
You're in for a surprise,
When you see the size of him,
You won't believe your eyes!
Our lion's always hungry,
So his jaws stay open wide,
And to see all that he's eaten,
Why not take a peek inside!

 You'll find a......

Stick of glue,
Somebody's shoe,
A plastic frying pan,
A tambourine,
An aubergine,
A tiny Lego man.
A writing pen,
A number ten,
A pair of underpants,
An ironing board,
A length of cord,
A herd of elephants!

There's a.....

Roll of tape,
A squishy grape,
A shell from the sea shore,
A wooden spoon,
A popped balloon,
A scary dinosaur!
A telescope, 
A skipping rope,
A paper aeroplane,
A teddy bear,
With fuzzy hair,
A teapot and a train,

Then there's a.....

Cotton reel,
Dried orange peel,
A shark with spiky teeth,
An apple core,
Oh wait there's more,
Lurking underneath.
A piece of chalk,
A knife and fork,
A magnet and some dough,
A spotty dice,
A ton of rice,
Four conkers in a row.

There's a....

Racing car,
A small guitar,
A necklace and a ring,
A set of scales,
A map of Wales,
A Ninja Turtle thing!
A rubber duck,
A dumper truck,
That's very nearly it,
Well fancy that,
A policeman's hat, 
And someone's PE kit!

Now that you've seen our lion,
We hope you are impressed,
It seems to us there's nothing
That our lion can't digest!
But if we forget to feed him up
Our lion will complain.
So when tomorrow comes around,
We'll do it all again!

"Eat up all your sounds Lester...then you can have some glue sticks!"

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Cloth ears and telescopes

'Knock, Knock, Knock, we're knocking at the door!' 

No, the little Sunnyside learners haven't accidentally locked themselves out of their Reception classroom, no.....these are the words to one of several songs they're busy learning and practising each day in preparation for the Sunnyside Nativity performance. 

To help these tiny little thespians get into the Nativity mode, the home corner has been transformed into a stable. In the stable, (a large painted cardboard box complete with wood effect finish,) there is a lamb, (stuffed of course) a manger, (in which lays a swaddled baby doll,) and a mound of Nativity costumes to facilitate a spot of Nativity role play.

From the moment it was created, this humble shelter has been a great hit with the little learners, and the queue to don a shepherd's tunic and, or, a pair of jewel encrusted angel wings, has at times stretched the length of the classroom. 

This afternoon as Mrs Crayon was hastily fashioning some gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the three Kings to present to the Baby Jesus in the Nativity production, a little learner approached her and boldly announced that he was going to make and wrap a telescope to give to the baby "Cheesus". His proclamation subsequently caused the waiting nativity role players to abandon their spot in the queue and to start scouring the classroom for items to wrap up and give to the baby.

After half an hour of feverish parcel wrapping, baby Jesus' crib was crammed with parcels containing; one large magnet, a dry wipe pen, various farm animals, a set of pastry cutters, an empty box of cappuccino sachets, a glue stick, a plastic lemon, a hole punch, Mr Potato Head, and Mrs Crayon's glasses. 

All this gift wrapping sparked much talk of birthday celebrations among the participating little learners, and the discussions soon turned to the all important milestone of turning five.   
"And when is your birthday poppet?" asked Mrs Crayon to the little learner beside her struggling to wrap an ironing board. "Well...!" he began, wrestling the sellotape dispenser, "Mummy keeps telling me when it's my birthday....but I keep don't knowing!" 

Mrs Crayon on the other hand, is at the stage now where she makes a point of 'don't knowing' her birthdays! 

So, from birthdays to Christmas, and the Sunnyside crew (young and old) would like to wish you, dear readers, a very merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year!

When is my birthday Mum?

When is my birthday mum?
'Cause I don't know
I had a birthday once before,
But that was long ago.
I feel I'm due a birthday soon,
But don't know when,
Although I've asked you lots before,
I'm asking you again!

When is my birthday mum?
'Cause I regret,
Me ears are on the blink,
And so I forget.
I feel I'm due a birthday soon,
But don't know when,
Although I've asked you lots before,
I'm asking you again!

When is me birthday Mum?
'Cause I'm not sure,
I can't recall the date,
Because I'm only four.
I feel I'm due a birthday soon,
But don't know when,
Although I've asked you lots before,
I'm asking you again!

When is me birthday Mum?
I haven't got a clue.
I sense my constant asking tho'
Is really testing you.
I can't remember days and months,
And yet I've really tried,
They seem to go straight in one ear,
And out the other side!

When is my birthday Mum?
Forgive me for the crime,
Of asking you this question now,
For the one hundredth time.
The art of being patient
Is too hard to comprehend,
So I'm sorry if I've driven you
Completely round the bend!

"I'll try again later!"

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Ills, Pills, and Daffodils

Thanks to some persistent blustery weather, the Sunnyside School garden is currently carpeted throughout with Autumn leaves blown in from all corners of Whippy Cove bay.  
This event has delighted the little Sunnysiders because Autumn leaves, as it turns out, are perfect for a spot of magic potion making. Simply throw soggy Autumn leaves into a large saucepan and add some play sand, multi-purpose compost, grass cuttings, dried pasta, a few drops of food colouring, a plastic squid and a Lego man and pour on water. Sprinkle in a generous helping of glitter, and.....hey presto, not only do you have the most hideous mess, but you also have a class of extremely happy and fully engaged little learners all mixing, stirring, pouring and conjuring. 

Positioned alongside this frenzy of mixing, stirring, pouring, and conjuring this afternoon, was a warmly dressed Mrs Very Jolly and a small group of equally swaddled little learners, studying the latest mound of Autumn leaves to be deposited into the Sunnyside garden. Armed with magnifying glasses, binoculars and home-made telescopes in some cases, Mrs Very Jolly and her little band of investigators, examined the structure and features of individual leaves under their various lenses. As well as studying the leaves, the little learners had great fun ordering them by size, colour and shape, and when they'd had enough of that, they threw them into their potion pots and smashed them to bits with wooden spoons!

In the midst of all this investigating and pulverising of leaves, Mrs Very Jolly became aware of a tap, tap, taping on her arm. The tap, tap, tapper was a little learner dangling an earthworm in her non-tapping outstretched hand. Desperately trying to suppress the need to jump seven feet in the air in response to said worm, Mrs Very Jolly tried to encourage the little learner to send her wriggly friend on his way by popping him onto the grass. As the little learner did so, she informed Mrs Very Jolly that her Granddad was sad. 
"Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that. "Why is your Granddad sad?" Mrs Very Jolly asked, keeping a watchful eye on the somewhat disorientated worm.
"Well.....slugs made holes in his flowers," reported the little learner giving her worm friend a shove to help him along.
"Ah, yes, slugs.....they certainly can be trouble when it comes to flowers," sympathised Mrs Very Jolly. "So what did Granddad do about it?" 
"Well," began the little learner, "he gave his flowers some flower pills, and....they're all better now!"

Having had first hand experience of troublesome slugs herself, a very intrigued Mrs Very Jolly couldn't help wondering whether Granddad's 'flower pills' would also help restore her unsightly lawn following the constant excavation antics of her resident pesky Mole. 

Flower Pills

Are your flowers full of holes?
Are they disturbed by pesky moles?
Are you overrun with strangulating weeds?
You can cure your flower ills
With my Granddad's flower pills,
They're the answer to your cultivation needs.

Be it mole, or slug, or snail,
Flower pills will never fail
To send pests packing, that's a guarantee.
Then the Garden you once adored
Will be magically restored,
You could open up and charge an entrance fee!

Pop flower pills around your soil,
And you won't ever need to toil.
Simply wait and watch your vegetation soar.
Be it Daisies or Daffodils,
Dose 'em up with flower pills,
And be the envy of the folks who live next door!

"I'm thinking you may have overdosed Granddad!"

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Missing heads and spotty bottoms

It may well be early November, but Christmas was on everybody's minds in the Reception Class at Sunnyside School today.

Whilst it isn't time just yet to dust the cobwebs off the nativity donkey and his fellow four-legged stable friends in preparation for the Sunnyside Christmas performance, it is time however to think about......Christmas cards!  

As part of an exciting whole school fundraising project, little learners throughout Sunnyside School have the opportunity to see their original artwork turned into high quality full colour printed Christmas cards, which parents and carers will be invited to purchase in the coming weeks.

So this very afternoon, as marvellous images of snowmen, Father Christmas, Christmas trees, Christmas Robins, Christmas Ninja Turtles, and Christmas Power Rangers began to emerge from the specially provided paper, the classroom was also buzzing with a great deal of Christmassy chit-chat from the participating little learners. And it was while Mrs Crayon was overseeing their artistic endeavours, she learned that these little artists have never seen real snow before, or at least they don't remember seeing real snow in their short lifetime. 

Mrs Crayon then began to reminisce about an afternoon in early March, several years ago now, when a significant amount of snow unexpectedly fell out of the sky during the school day, and after it had stopped and settled, the euphoric little learners of the day were able to head out into the garden to build their very own snowman. 

And what a magnificent snowman he was! Sporting Lego Bricks for eyes, tangerine peel for a nose, ivy twigs arms, a flowerpot hat, and a pair of spotty pyjama bottoms for a scarf, he stood tall and resplendent in the wintry sunshine. 
He stood tall and resplendent for a mere thirty seconds, because in the time it took Mrs Crayon to reach for her camera in order to photograph this snowy vision, his head had departed his body, and completely vanished into thin air. Both Miss Kind and Mrs Caring, who'd been in the garden with the little learners the entire time, couldn't account for this puzzling occurrence, and the little Sunnysiders themselves were as equally baffled by their snowman's sudden lack of head. However, when Miss Kind and Mrs Caring posed the question, 'Who broke the snowman?', the garden was immediately filled with hurling accusations, and a great deal of finger pointing, as a somewhat guilty looking group began blaming one another for carrying out the dastardly deed.    

After several minutes of listening to a chorus of, 'It wasn't me, I didn't do it!', Miss Kind and Mrs Caring suddenly became aware that the once portly body of the snowman was busy shrinking in the afternoon sunshine. Consequently, the race was on to fashion a new head for their ever diminishing snowman before all that was left of him was his pyjama bottoms!  

To this day, it remains a complete mystery as to the circumstances surrounding the apparent evaporation of the Sunnyside snowman's head, so as Mrs Crayon delighted in yet another depiction of Father Christmas as a Nijna Turtle, she decided it was high time she paid homage to this unresolved whodunnit.    

Who Broke The Snowman!

Who broke the snowman 
If it wasn't you or me?
Well someone's knocked his block off 
And it's such a tragedy. 
He's got a nice round body, 
With buttons one, two, three,
But sadly there's an empty space 
Right where his head should be!

Who broke the snowman 
If it wasn't you or me?
Was it done on purpose 
Or accidentally?
He once stood majestic, 
And as tall as a tree,
But since he lost his noggin, 
He's shrunk dramatically!

Who broke the snowman
If it wasn't you or me?
Well, someone round here did it
And it's such a mystery.
Perhaps there is a snowman thief
In the vicinity,
Or could it be a gust of wind
That's caused this vacancy? 

Who broke the snowman? 
We don't know who to blame.
Maybe it was thingybob,
Or even whatshisname.
We've done our best to fix him,
But he just don't look the same!
So let's pretend our snowy friend,
Was like this when we came!

"It wasn't me!"
"And it definitely wasn't me!"

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Thinking caps and caterpillar facts

It's been translated into at least 40 different languages. It's consistently used by Early Years practitioners as a teaching aid. It's won numerous awards, and as sure as eggs is eggs, it has thrilled little learners everywhere since it's publication in 1969! 
Hurrah, for Eric Carle and his wonderful picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, for it is story of the week this week for the little Reception learners at Sunnyside School.

With it's simple text and distinctive collage illustrations, this fabulous story covers an array of educational themes - counting, foods, the days of the week, and the life cycle of the butterfly.   
And it was the concept of transformation (from 'hungry caterpillar to 'beautiful butterfly') that team member Mrs Crayon, found herself exploring with her group of little learners today, as they cleverly fashioned their own hungry caterpillars from empty egg boxes. 

Having established that a caterpillar's remarkable journey begins as a tiny egg, the conversation then focused on the next and most fascinating stage in the life cycle, that of the cocoon or chrysalis. Whilst they snipped and glued, painted and decorated, Mrs Crayon was keen to find out if her industrious group knew anything about the mysterious goings on deep inside a caterpillar's cocoon. 

It has to be said the little makers struggled to offer any insights regarding cocoons, and just as Mrs Crayon was about to enlighten them herself, a budding entomologist in the group put down his glue stick and pipe cleaners and announced, "I know about cocoons I do! A caterpillar goes in one to have a think!" 

Perfect, thought a completely outdone Mrs Crayon!     

Nobody Knows

Nobody knows 
Where a caterpillar goes, 
When he wants to contemplate important things.
Well, there is a little room,
In the depths of his cocoon, 
Where he dreams of how he'd like to spread his wings.

As his life before unravels,
He dreams of foreign travels,
And viewing the whole world from way up high.
Spending many happy hours,
Sipping nectar from the flowers,
No, he cannot wait to be a butterfly.

But until that special day,
In his cocoon he has to stay,
Where no more a caterpillar will he be.
Say farewell to all that munching,
During endless hours of lunching,
With a waistline twice the size of you and me!

Now, inside while he is shrinking, 
You know he's busy thinking,
So don't disturb him is the message please!
The consequences will be tragic,
If you spoil nature's magic,
And deny a butterfly the summer's breeze.

"Today I am mostly thinking about the biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through cell growth and differentiation. So...I could be in here for some time!" 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

How do you dos and supermarket blues

Well here we are, four weeks in, and the little Sunnysiders have settled extremely well into their new Reception Class. They've already got to grips with how the school day runs, and all little learners are taking full advantage of the exciting learning opportunities on offer each day. 

The Reception Team is thoroughly enjoying getting to know their new charges, and as always the information they gain about each of them will go on to inform the weekly planning. 

A few days ago, as part of all this vital getting to know you business, the little learners participated in a circle time, focusing on the things that make them happy. When the Team asked the question 'what makes you happy?' around the circle, the vast majority of these teeny tiny learners reported that they felt truly happy when their Mummies came to collect them from school each day. (Nothing unusual there, and completely understandable given that the vast majority of these brave little Sunnysiders are just four years old.) So, as the subject of today's circle time was centred around the things that make us sad, the Team naturally assumed that they were about to hear expressions of woe and heartache from little learners desperately missing their Mummies . 

It therefore came as quite a surprise when the first little learner in the circle to respond to the question, 'What makes you feel sad?' did so by announcing that, "Spiky things and going to Tesco" caused him a great deal of grief and upset. Confident this surprising declaration was going to be a one off, the Reception Team was astonished to hear a second little learner announce that he too was saddened by spiky things and going to Tesco, as was the next....and the next little learner in the circle. Fearing she was in the presence of thirty downcast supermarketphobes, Mrs Organised asked if there was anyone else in the circle who wanted to share something that made them sad, but, that didn't involve spiky things and or, a shopping trip to Tesco. When a little hand shot into the air with it's owner squeaking in desperation to be chosen, Mrs Organised felt duty bound to check first that he wasn't about to say 'spiky things and going to Tesco'. "I'm not going to say that," assured the little learner, "I'm going to say sharks, and going to Morrisons!" 

Deciding she was dealing with a class of future online shoppers, an undeterred Mrs Organised decided they would all revisit this subject again at a later date!       

Oh Woe Is Me!

Oh woe is me, I'm feeling sad,
When will this nightmare stop?
Yes, I'm having to endure
Yet another weekly shop.
As we drag our bulging trolley
Up and down the aisles,
This dreaded supermarket
Goes on for miles and miles.

We've been trapped in here for hours!
I've aged another year!
Oh, just bung things in the trolley Mum.
And let's get out of here!
Don't scrutinise the bargains,
Or the buy ones, get one free,
This shopping expedition lark
Is simply not for me.

But, uh-oh! Look what's happened,
My Mum has spied a friend,
And now that they are chatting
I fear my life will end!
I have the perfect cure though, 
For my melancholy mood, 
We can do away with shopping,
If we give up eating food!

"I'll have grown a beard by the time we get out of here!"