Monday, 4 February 2013

Getting in the Swing of Things

Well last night I sat and thought about planning what we were going to do this week.  Until now I haven’t planned anything particularly – mostly because I didn’t really know where to start.  But it’s February now and I feel we should be More Organised.  So I sat down and made a plan:

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Ok it looks very disorganised it’s really just an idea of things I’d like to cover this week.  No idea yet how long it will all take but that’s because I don’t know how involved we’ll get in everything.  But it’s a Place To Start.

My first idea was to link things around the book we’re reading at the moment, Framed. (You may remember I mentioned it here.) The boys are really enjoying it and have quite surprised me by how much they have remembered and understood.  It’s aimed at children a little older than them I think (they are 7 and almost 6).  I found that the National Gallery have an area of their website devoted to the book with links to all of the pictures that the people see.  This was very exciting as it made looking them up so much easier.  I copied and printed out the pictures we have read about so far and have stuck them on our notice board:

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This has given us quite a lot to talk about in itself and is really bringing the book to life.  I have various activities planned around the book.  LB2 has just finished a picture of Manod, the village in the story.  It is described a lot in the book so it has been useful to think about the different things we might see in Manod:

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Next I want to find out where Manod is (Geography - it’s a real place – I checked!), see how we can find out (ICT), what it actually looks like (Google Earth), perhaps LB1 could learn how to copy and insert pictures from the internet and produce a factsheet. Also where Gumbi is (in the book the children are writing to children at a school in Gumbi). Then perhaps we could think about writing our own letters to Gumbi about where we live.

I also want to make an extended time line for the top of the board (History - that’s my job for tonight) so that we can see when the paintings in the book were created and help LB2 in particular understand the timescales involved.

Ideally I’d like a visit to the National Gallery too but I’m not sure if I can pull that one off!

LB1 has made a list of words describing how people speak (other than “he said”) by looking through books and listening to the story and I’ve made him a worksheet to write them on.  This is to help us finish our snowman story:

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We’re going to write it out neatly on a bigger sheet later in the week.  And this time we’ll use speech marks and punctuation!  He spent a long time this morning telling me how he knew “All that” but then didn’t use any of it…

Later, LB1 and I measured the temperature of hot water this afternoon as a quick experiment to decide just how hot “hot” water actually was. We got hot water out of the tap and it started off at 38 degrees and we decided that “hand hot” must be around 40 degrees.

Our other “topic” is winter. So for other stuff this week I thought that as we are writing our snowman story we could link it in with some other things we’ve been learning about recently such as the solar system to find out why it is cold in winter (some Maths in there too as it will involve working out areas). Also where are the coldest places, where are the hottest places and again how we can find out (which I’m hoping will link into Encyclopaedias, indexes, contents and all that stuff as well as ICT and some nice Maths to work out the differences!). We can also find and learn the French words for the seasons and other wintery things (will I run out of wall space? Yes probably!).

Finally it’s Chinese New Year on Sunday. There are lots of nice things to do around that topic and a parade in town on Sunday. Swimming tomorrow, Enjoy-a-ball and ballet on Wednesday and an art session at the Hatton on Thursday. We’re going to be busy this week :)

PS:  There is still moaning and complaining from LB1 but as he seems hugely against going back to school again he is coming round. After doing almost nothing today (again) I got a bit cross and explained to him our plans for the week.  It got to Friday and I told him quite firmly that if all our work was done Friday would be spent doing something nice for example visiting the Winter Gardens or the Center for Life.  And if we hadn’t done our work it would be spent at the kitchen table.  He suddenly became very industrious!

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