Monday, 24 February 2014

Ponytails and pyramids

"Do you know...?"

Now there's a phrase the Sunnyside Team hear many many times each day from the little learners in the class. And each time they hear that phrase, the grown ups will automatically grab the nearest post-it pad and pen, in readiness to note down the little gem of information that almost always follows.

The Team adore the "do you know?" moments when they pop up, because they are invariably nothing to do with anything. They are random spontaneous little learner utterances, which makes them extremely special and very amusing. 
As far as the Team is concerned, "do you know?" moments bring extra sunshine to the day, and they are yet another reason why the Team loves working alongside little learners in the Reception Year.

The following "do you know?" declarations popped up today. So let's celebrate the beginning of a brand new half term with the following "do you knows?"

Welcome back everyone! Here's to another six weeks of more fun, more learning......and some hearty chuckles along the way!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Moon trips and pirate ships

The little Reception learners of Sunnyside School are very fortunate little learners indeed. They have access to a wonderful array of equipment and materials which they are free to explore everyday.  

However........this afternoon, they turned their backs on it all, every bit of it, everything from their beloved Lego bricks to the much coveted princess dress up garb. As equipment lay undisturbed in drawers and cupboards, and the dressing up rail looked unrecognisable in it's neat and tidy state, in a quiet corner of the setting, those excited and positively buzzing little learners were busy trying to organise themselves into something that resembled a line.

Following an initial flurry of elbowing and jostling for position, as well as plenty of, "I was there first!" and "Hey!....stop pushing in", the little learners actually managed to sort themselves into a reasonably orderly line.

So it begs the question, what was it that had galvanised two classes of excited Reception learners to form a queue that seemed to stretch the entire length of the setting?
Could it have been that Father Christmas was waiting to greet them in an out of season visit to Sunnyside School? Had Mrs Very Jolly decided to dish out bowls of delicious jelly and ice cream to everyone..............for some inexplicable reason? Or did all the Sunnyside learners suddenly have a need for the toilet at the same time?! The actual reason for the little learners' need to form a queue was..............a cardboard box!

Yes....a cardboard box! A big one mind you. Big enough to crawl inside and have a sit for a minute or two. And that's exactly what those little learners were standing patiently in line to do.......crawl inside and have a sit for a minute or two! 

So, with the aid of a three minute sand timer, little learners took turns to spend three minutes each inside the large empty cardboard box. However in that time that very same cardboard box became, a pirate ship, a hovercraft, a dog kennel, a space rocket, Rapunzel's castle, a police car, The Three Little Pigs house, a tank, a one man tent, a racing car, a fire engine and.............Butlins holiday camp!

Ah! The wonders and power of the imagination. It was Albert Einstein who said "Imagination is more important than knowledge." And anyone who can imagine themselves at Butlins holiday camp, whilst sitting for three minutes in a cardboard box, is a creative genius in the eyes of the Sunnyside Team.

Happy half term everyone.......see you soon!

Queue Here

Here we are in a queue
For something that we wanna do.
We're standing in this lengthy line,
Because we wanna spend some time
In a box tall and wide,
And we can't wait to crawl inside.
But we need to take our turn,
(A tricky thing for us to learn.)
Yes, sharing is what it's all about,
So as one goes must come out!

D'you mind.......I've still got two minutes left thank you!"

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Brown pigs

Tesco's is about to be demolished!

No....not the real Tesco, but the Sunnyside (role play) Tesco.
The time has come to change the role play area again, and the change can't come soon enough for the Reception Team! There is nothing left to buy at Sunnyside School's very own supermarket. It has all been purchased, replaced, squashed and crushed, rescued and reformed a hundred times over, and as Mrs Jolly, Mrs Very Jolly, Miss Kind, Mrs Caring, Mrs Crayon and Mrs Organised have all stripped their cupboards bare of every scrap of food packaging, it has been decided that Tesco must go! 

The story for this week is The Three Little Pigs, so with the help of the little Reception learners, the plan is to turn the role play area into, yes you've guessed it......The Three Little Pigs house. And in particular, the house that those clever and resourceful little pigs constructed from bricks.

This afternoon groups of industrious little learners worked together to create a brick wall effect using brown paint and sponges. Now, it takes a brave practitioner to oversee an activity which involves brown paint and sponges! Today that brave practitioner was Mrs Caring. Let's just say, it was just as well she was wearing a brown top today!!! 

When Mrs Crayon stepped into the breech in order to allow Mrs Caring to hose herself down, the brownness had travelled quite some distance. Brown handprints adorned tables, chairs, cupboards, and just about everything in the hand washing area. 

If there is one thing nearly all little learners love, it is the feel of something gooey all over their hands. Little learners can become so absorbed in the feel of something gooey in their hands, that they often forget about, or have little interest in producing an end product. The Team actively encourages little learners to explore materials in any way they want to (within reason), it just means the clean up operation can be on an industrial scale.

Poor Mrs Crayon....... as she desperately tried to wipe the floors and surfaces down at tidy up time, all she appeared to be doing was spreading the brown further. 

Never mind........tomorrow it will be pink paint, when the little learners attempt to paint The Three Little Pigs.

Sorry Miss Spic and Mrs Span!

Brown Paint!

We spread it here, we spread it there,
We spread our brown paint everywhere.
Our teachers glare at us and frown
When we turn the classroom brown!

We can't help getting up to tricks,
We like see how brown paint sticks,
To everything and everyone,
It makes brown painting much more fun!

We squish it in our fingers small,
Then spread it all around our school,
Our paper though remains bereft,
Because there's no more brown paint left!

But when it's three and time to go
We hear our parents gasp.... "Oh no!"
We bite our lips as they complain,
They'll have to wash our clothes again.

They throw their hands up in despair
From all the brown paint in our hair.
Yet we delight in spreading paint
And are we careful?..........No we ain't!!!!

"Hurrah for brown paint!"

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Eggheads and tired legs

It seems impossible..............but it's true! 

The little learners are steaming towards the half way mark of their time in the Reception Year at Sunnyside School. And it's around this time of the academic year, that The Team begins to really appreciate how far each little learner has progressed in their development and learning. Without exception, each little learner has become more confident and self assured. As a direct result of this, the little learners are more than happy to share their news and views with Team members, and of late, with the whole group at "carpet time". 

There are particular little learners in the class who are not just willing to share their knowledge and understanding of their world......they are bursting to do so! Given the opportunity, they will happily talk anywhere at any time about everything they know, and for a for a very long time indeed. 

Take today's whole group time for instance. The little learners were being introduced to their new phonic sound of the day which happened to be "q". Following the singing of the song that accompanies this particular sound, writing the letter in the air, and attempting to form the letter using their mini whiteboards and pens, Mrs Organised asked the group if anyone could think of a word that begins with "q".

Immediately a little hand shot into the air with it's owner straining to be chosen to speak. The moment she was chosen, the little learner rose to her feet and blurted out her answer. "Queen!" said she, looking terribly proud of herself. Before Mrs Organised could thank and praise her for her wonderful answer, the little learner went on. "Do you know......the Queen of England is called Elizabeth the first and she has a girl called Victoria and when the Queen was a little girl she went to prince and princess school and she tells everyone in the world what to do and she has a pretty garden full of flowers and she watches television and does the washing and goes sailing in boats.......then she marries kings! I can't tell you any more secrets 'cause I've got tired legs and my throat is hurting!"

Well...... you did ask Mrs Organised!!!!

I'm only four

I'm only four, but I am sure,
Of everything I know.
Although I'm small, I know it all,
I'll be an expert when I'm tall!
I know I'm short, but I'm the sort
That knows a thing or two,
I think you'll find, stored in my mind
Are tons of facts of every kind.
I'm very bright and always right,
Of this you can be sure.
I've had enough of sharing stuff,
 My throat is really sore!

"No more questions please........I've run out of secrets  !"