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Fledglings News - 29th January 2021

This week our topic was 'Friendship is Like a Seesaw' by Shona Innes and Irisz Agocs. The book discusses how the dynamics of friendship is similar to a seesaw. Sometimes one friend might feel up while the other might feel down. The story explains that this when the friendship is out of balance. It might happen when somebody is bossy or unkind. Other times the friendship is balanced and friends are happy. The book encourages children to reflect on their friendships and to think about ways to fix unbalanced friendships. The book helped the children to actively discuss their friendships and their relationships with their siblings. They discussed what kind of actions hurt their feelings and how they fix things when they hurt other people's feelings. We also discussed what kind of actions or words made them and others happy.

During our Art activity the children painted self-portraits and they practised working in pairs to paint a picture. One child was given the task of thinking of a picture and describing it to his/her partner who followed their instruction to paint it. This activity was a great way of encouraging the children to work on their listening and communication skills. It also reinforced the importance of team working skills and the outcomes we can have when we work together.

Building on the children’s interest of writing letters and giving pictures to each other, we set up our Role Play area as a Post Office. The children loved the opportunity to work in the Post Office and were busy all week writing letters, working on the computer, making phone calls and posting letters. They used letter stamps to sequence the letters in their names and other short phonetic words. This activity was a great way for the children to independently develop their literacy and communication skills combined with imagination.

Triggered by the need put addresses on their envelopes in order to send out their letters, many of the children asked where their teachers came from and they discussed that they lived in London because their house was in London. We looked at a map of Europe and a World Map on the iPad to discuss where all their teachers came from. The children were astonished by the distances on the maps and asked their teachers to name the different countries and the continents. They were able to discuss their familiarity with countries such as France and Spain and they were able to talk about Australia, China and Africa based on experiences such as holidays. The children were very interested in the distance letters, people and aeroplanes travel before they arrive in the UK saying: ”That is very far away.”

Throughout the week the children showed continued interest in different messy play activities. The gravel with diggers were very popular where the children rearranged the gravel to build houses for the animals and listened to the sound it made when they dropped them onto the tray. They also used shaving foam as cement to attach foam bricks in their constructions and as tea for their tea parties.

During our Focus Time activity the children explored measuring. They learnt what measuring is and the different ways we can measure things. They used rulers to measure the length of their News Books by placing the first mark of the ruler on one edge and then reading the number at the other end. They said:”This is 7 and a little bit.” In Free Play we extend our maths knowledge by sequencing bears and number boards and pegs. These activities encourage the children to independently explore numerals, match objects to quantities and to create patterns.

To continue with the theme of our book this week, we focused on the topic of friendship in our Science and team building activities. During Science we took part in an experiment using two applies. The children said kind words and used gentle hands with one of the apples. We predicted that these types of actions would make the apple feel very happy. We cut the apple up and they found that the apple was indeed happy and healthy inside. Then the children said unkind words and used rough hands with the second apple. We discussed that the apple probably felt sad and as a result of our actions it might be squashed on the inside. We cut this apple up as well and the children’s facial expressions showed great surprise by what they could see. The apple was bruised and brown inside. This generated a lot of discussion amongst the group, with the children recognising that their actions had made the apple very sad and they wanted to apologise to the apple immediately. They gave the apple hugs to make it feel better. The children concluded that they want their friends to feel happy like the first apple.

During our Team Building activity the children picked names out of a bag and they practised saying kind words or giving a compliment to their peers. Some children offered support and gave ideas to their peers who felt a little shy whilst giving compliments. The children created a very positive and supportive atmosphere for each other and had a lots of fun taking part in this activity.

We continued to develop the children’s fine motor skills through setting up activities where the children had the opportunity to use screws and bolts. The children selected different sized screws with matching bolts and practised screwing them on and off. The activity was a little bit fiddly which required the children to concentrate hard and to persevere to succeed in the task. The children were up for the challenge and they had great success with this activity!


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