Friday, 26 September 2014

'Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars'

There has been lots of lovely language skills going on this week in the role play and small world areas that has changed to a space theme.  The small world area was on two levels and had an assortment of space rockets, space buggies, astronauts and a mobile of planets above the play area. They children were using propositional language in maths this week so this was extended to the small world by encouraging the children to describe if their rocket/astronaut was 'on top' of the moon, 'underneath', at the 'side', 'behind', 'above' etc.  As for example in the picture; the alien is under the container and the astronaut is next to the spaceship.

Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever
Over in the role play the children re-told our story of the week, 'Whatever Next!' by Jill Murphey. Brambles copy of the book was purchased from: Amazon however it is easily found in local libraries and other book stores.

After reading the story, the children were asked what would they need if they were going to space. There was lots of fantastic suggestions of what it would be like to be an astronaut and what it would be like in space - who knows, some of this years class could potentially go to space! The story was re-read to see how bear used his imagination to go to the moon, then it was over to the children......

The bear firstly decided he would need a rocket if he wanted to go to the moon so found a cardboard box in the cupboard under the stairs.  (Staff had already placed all the items they would need around the classroom.)  The children discussed where they thought they would find a large cardboard box and set off for the big cupboard and came back with a box!

The bear then needed a space helmet.  Bear went into his kitchen and took a colander from the draining board.  The children don't access the staff kitchen but did ask if there was one, but sadly no.  So one of the children remembered that the role play was a kitchen on their first week, so they went off to find the kitchen box of resources and.......ta da!  The next item was much easier to find and there ended up being several pairs so negotiations were had to which pair of wellie boots went in the role play area.  Staff enjoyed listening to the justifications they were making, 'These ones are bigger', 'these ones are sparkly', 'these ones are like the ones in the book'.

Bear is all ready for space but decides he may get hungry, so packs up a picnic and takes his special teddy along for the ride.  The children found the teddy quite quickly but were not sure where to look for a pretend picnic.  Staff brought out the box that has the 'shop' resources in and very quickly found items that matched those in the book.  This lead to a discussion to the foods that the children enjoyed and if they have ever been on a picnic and they relived and shared past experiences with each other as they collected the food and put it in a basket.

It is time for bear to head off to space and with a countdown, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and BLAST OFF - bear takes off up the chimney and up into the night sky. Staff spoke to the children about night time and asked if anyone had ever looked at the stars and a super discussion was had extending their knowledge about why stars are not out whilst at Brambles but are always out at night time when they are at home.  Bear flies past an owl who decides to join bear on his journey to the moon.  The children found our new toy that Miss Clare had brought especially for this week.

EYFS Links
Role play has many links to the Early Years Foundation Stage including Knowledge and Understanding of the World and Literacy. Story retelling is an important part of children's early reading comprehension, vocabulary and encourages the reading process.  Making time to read a story and encouraging children to 'retell' the story in their own words supports their reading skills. By using the pictures to retell the story rather than the words encourages children to look at what else the picture is telling them; which in turn leads to children having better comprehension, making inferences and understanding of story structure.  Rather than asking specific questions such as 'what colour is the boots', by asking open ended questions 'I wonder what he will wear when he goes to the moon' requires children to focus on the bigger picture and to be able to make links with their own knowledge and understanding as well as supporting their confidence as there is no wrong answer.  By using props around the house to support story telling, the story can then be re-told with or without the book and children are then able to extend their thoughts, language, vocabulary and play.

Partnership with parents
It has been super to have the opportunity to speak to so many parents, grandparents and families this week informally at drop off and collection time.   Some parents have asked what type of things can they do at home that supports what Brambles does at pre-school and others have kindly offered their help and support in the classroom or at home behind the scenes. Parents have also returned the 'At home I am......' slips.  These half term learning leaves are a way of families sharing with pre-school all the fun and exciting things that go on at home such as riding their bike, a family celebration, sleeping through the night, not having their arms bands at swimming, tried new foods etc.  All the learning leaves are put on our sharing tree and are displayed in the children's cloakroom for all to see.

Taking the helm and ready to raise the flag for a new week
After a successful space adventure it was time to pack everything away where we found it.  Upon the children's return to the classroom there was a map and an 'x' to mark the spot where next weeks role play will take place with Percy Parrot and Miss Michelle.

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