Welcome to a brand new term. We have all settled in amazingly well and everyone is beginning to learn the rules and routines and making new friends. So far we have enjoyed learning about our families and we have talked about what makes our family special to us.
The children have enjoyed playing with everything we have on offer in the unit including our messy play table, construction area, small world and a great array of story books and puppets. We have all been very creative, making beautiful art work and creations, making models with bricks and magnetic units and the children love being outdoors making potions in our mud kitchen. This helps greatly with communication and language and the children have created some wonderful soups and magical potions using coloured water, washing up liquid etc. We have our discovery table where we are at the minute looking at how fruit changes over time if left. We have noticed it has gone brown and mouldy and so far every child says that they wouldn’t like to eat it! This again is very helpful with communication and language as well as understanding changes.
We sing the 'Days of the Week' song, which is the 'Singing Walrus' on youtube. The link is below. The children are getting really good at this along with the months of the year too.
From this week we will be introducing writing time where the children will be encouraged to mark make and learn to write their name, if they can’t already do so. We will be giving the children a reading diary and we will be sharing books and recording their progress.
We aim to share stories at least twice a day during carpet time and we have a selection of recommended books that we aim to cover throughout the year. These books, our 'Reading Spine' which will be listed below, are the books that we will share repeatedly with the children in order for them to be familiar with, understand and love by the end of Nursery. Each year group has a different selection of books. Research shows that 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading therefore sharing stories at home and at school is beneficial for all children.
We learn our sounds by singing the ‘Jolly Phonics’ songs, which are listed below. We sing the songs and learn the actions in preparation for reading and writing. The children love these songs and practising at home will be very beneficial.
If you have any questions regarding your childs time in Nursery please let us know, we will be more than happy to help.
Nursery Reading Spine
Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill
Both this book and Dear Zoo work on the same principle of involving the child in the act of reading by using flaps so that the process becomes interactive. Both books can be used to create new versions by hiding a different animal under homemade flaps. Use the game of ‘hide and seek’ when playing.
Dear Zoo By Rod Campbell
This book is a gateway into learning about different animals. The repetition of ‘so’ will add a new conjunction to a child’s repertoire. Discuss the reasons for sending the animals back – heavy, fragile, tall, dangerous, fierce, grumpy, ‘with care’, scary, naughty, jumpy and perfect. Use masks or toys or puppets and involve the children in the story, playing different parts.
You Choose By Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt
This classic book is good to share many times, especially working closely with a few children so they can look at the pictures and choose. Invite children to make collections – organising toys or objects into different categories. Play sorting games – by size, colour, shape or type. Use the book many times to choose a main character, a setting, an animal or object. Use these selections then to make up simple stories. The book can be used endlessly for this as the combinations are almost infinite!.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt By Michael Rosen
Learn the story orally, map it and act it out outside. Ask: Why does the writer say ‘we’re not scared’ at the very start of the story? Who is scared? Talk about how everyone feels at different points. Ask: Was the bear angry or did he just want a friend? Look at the different places and invent other onomatopoeic phrases (swishy swashy). Draw a new map, perhaps of the local area, and create a new version. Act or sing the new version, with costumes or puppets and film it for parents. (See the Read & Respond title for further ideas.)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jnr and Eric Carle
Read, enjoy and let children join in until they know the story. Leave copies around so they can ‘play at reading’. Discuss what else the animals might hear, touch, taste or see. Ask: How do the different colours make you feel? Which is your favourite? Create a different version of the story for other animals that the children know, such as a cat or dog. Create tissue collages using primary colours or bold paintings of animals. Also, read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by the same authors.
Jasper’s Beanstalk By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen
This story makes a neat precursor to The Very Hungry Caterpillar as it shows how to make up a simple story by repeating the days of the week and describing what happens on each day. Ask: Who is Jasper and what is a beanstalk? Read this in the Spring when you can grow some beanstalks – and tell the children the slightly scary story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Discuss what happens at the end of this story – and then decide with the children what happens to Jasper at the top of the beanstalk!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
Share until the children know the story well. Ask: Who is ‘Christa’? Discuss the idea of the author/artist making the book for someone else. Create collages of the moon at night, leaves and trees. Notice the alliteration (light/ little/ lay/ leaf) and the introduction of another conjunction ‘but’. Ideal for getting a sense of days of the week, different fruit (bring in a selection) and growing! Of course, some of this work might best be done in the spring/summer when you can hatch out butterflies or at least see some outside! Paint huge, vibrant butterflies.
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy Lynley Dodd
Read this story many times with everyone joining in and savouring the rhymes. Ask: Which is the favourite dog? Who is the least favourite? Try inventing other similes instead of ‘as big as a horse’, for example, ‘as big as a car’! Collect and list rhyming words. Play games to hear which words rhyme and which do not. Talk about names that we give pets.
Each Peach Pear Plum By Allan and Janet Ahlberg
Read together and look carefully at each picture. Tell the class the stories or rhymes behind each of the characters. Make sure that the story books are available for the children to look at. Chant the book together and try inventing a rhythmic clap as a chorus between each page. Provide puppets or costumes and objects from the stories for play.
The Train Ride By June Crebbin
Ideally, take the children on a train! If not, then use film and toys. Ask: Who has been on a car or bus journey? Where did you go and what did you see? Who is the lady with the child? What is the town and what is the countryside? There is plenty to discuss in the story – animals, meadows, hills, farms, tractors, tickets, tunnels, the seaside, lighthouse and sand. Ask: Why are they travelling to Gran’s? Bring in a mirror so that everyone can see themselves. Make seaside small worlds using sand and water. Change the story and have a child coming from the country into the city and ask: What would they see? Lay out a train track.
Hug By Jez Alborough (Walker Books)
In this book there are of course lots of the different animals to name, but it is also important to let the children tell you how the monkey and the other animals feel and what they might be thinking. Get some sticky notes in the shape of speech bubbles and add in what characters might say or think. Avoid the temptation to tell the children! Make masks and play at the story – use toys or puppets to re-enact.
Come on, Daisy! By Jane Simmons
Some children might have noticed by now the question marks in certain book titles and here we are now with an exclamation mark as well! Start with the cover. Ask: Who is speaking, to whom and what might it mean? What do you think will happen in the story? Why must Daisy stay close? Talk about: ‘I’ll try’. Track Daisy’s feelings. Emphasise the ‘but’ construction when reading with children joining in. Ask: Are the dangers real? What is the book about? What is it telling us to do when we go out with Mum or Dad?
Jolly Phonics songs and actions
Days of the Week Song