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Enid Blyton and Microsoft Sway are a match made in heaven!

Year 4 are lucky enough to be taking part in a Microsoft writing competition, designed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s best loved and phenomenally successful book series, ‘The Famous Five’. The children have been given the task of writing their own stories in the style of Enid Blyton, set in a place of local interest and presented in the form of Microsoft ‘Sway’. From what I have seen so far, Microsoft have a very difficult judging job on their hands because some of what I have read sounds like it is being read from an actual Enid Blyton book!

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The children have all had the opportunity to try writing just like Enid blyton did with a typewriter; this caused a great deal of excitement and also made me feel very old! I have been blown away by the quality of what has been written so far. The children have loved getting to know the characters through reading and listening to extracts from ‘The Famous Five’ series and are really enjoying experimenting with using Enid Blyton’s well recognised style in their own writing.

 

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Whether it is the engaging adventures that have captured the children’s interest or the opportunity to produce a Sway as part of a competition, Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ and Microsoft are certainly bringing the best out in the children’s level of engagement and in the written outcomes they are producing.

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I find it ironic that one of the oldest and most popular children’s book series has inspired such a forward thinking Microsoft writing competition. Enid Blyton wrote her stories on a typewriter sat on her lap, we are writing ours at desks on devices using Microsoft Office 365 in Sway. Very different method but the same adventurous, engaging content.

I’m one very proud teacher! Thank you Microsoft and Thank you Enid Blyton!

Mrs Manssen

Have a look at the following webpage for more details of the competition…

https://education.microsoft.com/famousfivesway

How is our new addition ‘impacting on our learning?

 

Having a class pet has brought a new responsibility for the whole class but it has also brought an abundance of new learning opportunities!

In Science we are learning about living things, in particular the 7 life processes: movement, respiration, sensitivity, nutrition, excretion, reproduction and growth. We have worked in groups to research how a hamster shows these different life processes. We produced posters for our display and learnt lots of new interesting facts e.g. a Syrian hamster will grow to be approximately 15cm long.

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We have also thought about what is inside us and had a go at labelling the bones and organs of both a human being and a hamster. We were particularly interested to find that hamsters, like us, are mammals so we actually have a lot in common. For instance, we both have a body covered in fur or hair and we are both vertebrates.

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In PSHCE we sometimes like to talk about things that are happening in the world around us at particular times in the year. Recently, the Hindu festival of ‘Holi’ has been celebrated in India and Nepal. This is a very colourful festival which celebrates the arrival of Spring. We had great fun designing colourful tiles to put together to create our very own ‘Holi’ hamster!

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We are excited to see how ‘Hammy’  will help us with our learning over the next few weeks and look forward to sharing our learning with you!

 

World Book Day with Mrs Twit…

 

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World Book Day 2017 saw the classroom full of an array of different book characters. Mrs Twit made an appearance too!

We had great fun reading ‘The Twits’ and even more fun working in groups to perform different parts of the story. We particularly enjoyed being Mr or Mrs Twit and playing tricks on each other!

We are always trying to improve our writing and Mrs Manssen is constantly telling us that the more we read, the more our writing will naturally improve. World Book Day was a great fun way of sharing some of our favourite authors and books.

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Our new responsibility starts here…

Several weeks ago, as a class, we had a discussion about responsibility. During which, one child asked if we could have a class pet. Over the following weeks, I saw a class united by a common factor – they all wanted to persuade Mr Rees that he should allow them to have a class pet.

Letters were written, research was carried out, songs were performed and memories were made as the class worked collaboratively towards their aim. This hard work culminated in a meeting on Friday afternoon. Five children, representing the class, met with Mr Rees to find out once and for all whether we would be granted permission to have a class pet.

The anticipation and excitement amongst the rest of the class was palpable. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes and when the group reappeared and announced to their classmates that the decision was a ‘YES’, it was truly one of the most heartwarming moments I think I have ever witnessed in a classroom. Two members of the class immediately burst into tears with joy and the sound of cheering and clapping filled the room.

Watching the class work closely together as a team has been great but now this is where the responsibility starts: What type of hamster shall we get? Where will our pet live? What will it need? Who will feed it? Who will clean it out? What will we learn? It is a privelege to have been granted this opportunity, now it is our job to prove why Mr Rees saying ‘YES’ was the right decision!

 

 

Key skills for 3rd February

Read every single day including your 3 reads out loud to an adult. Write your reading events in your yellow book.

Practise your spellings every day. This week’s spellings are below.

The spellings this week have been taken from the words we have worked on in our spelling groups:

Mrs Denby’s group Most children will try these Some children will try these as well:
afraid

Tuesday

Explain

Spray

Always

Waste

Escape

amaze

Guide

Guard

Guidebook

Guest

Guardian

Guarantee

Guess

Disguise

Guilty

Penguin

 

 

Rogue

Vague

Catalogue

Intrigue

Dialogue

 

Practise your times tables target several times each day using the tables master. Remember to start by revisiting one of your old times tables just to check that you haven’t forgotten it.

If you would like to challenge yourself still further, have a go at the ‘Play to 37’ challenge.

Key skills for Friday 13th January, 2017

This week for key skills, as for every week this half term, we would like you to do the following:

Read every single day. Remember that our school expectation is that children will read every day at home.  Three of these daily reading events per week should be reading aloud and to an adult. Don’t forget to record every single one of your reading events in your yellow reading record book.

Practise your spellings every day.  This week’s spellings have been taken from the year 3 and 4 spelling list.  Don’t forget to revisit your old spellings too.  We would recommend that you learn a new spelling today, tomorrow learn another new spelling and practise today’s spelling too.  On Sunday, learn a third new spelling and practise the two you have learnt already.

This week’s spellings are below.

  • All of you will try these: believe, busy, bicycle, difficult, eight
  • Most will do these as well:   breathe, continue, complete, although, disappear
  • Some might like these too:  accident, actually, calendar, business, experience

Practise your times tables several times each day using tables master.  Record your progress on the sheet and remember that we are aiming for a time of 40 seconds for those 20 questions.

For those of you who would like an extra challenge… why not have a go at the 24 hour clock jigsaw.  if you haven’t picked one up yet, ask me for one next week.

Who was Shakespeare?

After Christmas, we have a whole school topic based around a famous play called ‘The Tempest’. This play was one of many written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare lived about 500 years ago but I am not going to tell you anything more about him. Part of your Christmas key skills is to find out about William Shakespeare- who he was, where he lived, which people made up his family, what life was like for William, his friends and his countrymen. Can you find any facts about this famous man that nobody else in our class has found?

You can present your work in any way you choose: a power point, a sway, a poster, a booklet, a comic strip, a newspaper article… the choices are endless and entirely up to you.

The home learning needs to be brought back to school on January 5th and it will be shared with the rest of our class.

 

Remember to also:

  • Read three times a week over the holidays.  Father Christmas might put one or two  in your stocking – why not give one of those a try?
  • Practise your times tables. Use tables master, hit the button, sing songs, make up fun facts or impress your relatives by answering their questions at top speed!
  • Learn 10 more of the year 3 and 4 spelling words

Terrific times tables!

Well done to everyone who worked so hard last week to learn their times tables facts.  Some people managed to get their time down to 28 seconds- an amazing feat!   All that persistence really paid off and many of you who had starting times of over 200 seconds ended the week with times of about 40 seconds.  It shows what you can achieve when you practise and don’t give up!

You have so much to be proud of and we are proud of you too.

Keep those times tables facts going now. Use them, don’t lose them!