Mrs Steeper's class blog

A Cloverfields Blog

First Aid training

July20

Today, all Year 6 were trained by Mrs Whitfield to administer emergency first aid. They learned how to put people into the recovery position, stop bleeding, cope with a potential heart attack, choking and how to administer CPR.

The children worked hard all day. Well Done.

 

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Leopards Exhibition

July12

A big thank you to everyone for coming to our final exhibition, before the children leave school. I was very proud to see how they researched, planned, drafted and presented their work, all done independently.

The children excelled themselves and were extremely enthusiastic. It was great to hear their presenting voices and they did their presentations clearly and confidently to their audience. Well Done!

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Leopards Exhibition letter and timings

July10

LEOPARDS EXHIBITION 11th JULY 2017

These are the details and timings for the afternoon.

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Being gorillas

July2

We had a letter and magazine from WWF today about Ihoho, our gorilla that we have adopted. He is fine but his half brother had been caught in a snare. Luckily, he is OK.

As a bit of fun, the children tried to walk on their curled hands, just as gorillas do. It was tricky but there were some good attempts at creating a silverback posture.

Silverbacks display their power and dominance by chest beating and roaring. The boys split into two groups to see who had the best silverback display, before the female ‘gorillas’ chose the best display. Congratulations to Harvey and Cameron who ended up in a ‘gorilla-off’ which ended in a resounding victory for Cameron.  It was a hilarious 20 minutes which made quite a few of us cry with laughter!

 

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Problem solving with our learning partners

June24

Talk partners are nothing new in our class but we are tweaking the way they are used. Every Monday, lollipop sticks are drawn out to randomly pair the children. The pairs sit with each other for the entire week, enabling them to embed their collaboration and develop their relationship as learning partners. At the end of the week, they write a feedback note to each other, stating one or two positive things they have achieved with the help of their partner. It all starts again on a Monday morning.

The children are enjoying the chance to work with someone new each week.

This week, the learning partners had lots of discussion and brain-ache as they had a very difficult logic mathematical puzzle to try and solve. Some were ready to give up but others refused to give in.

More collaboration and brain-busting challenges next week!

Measuring, mould and memories

June19

Over the last week or so, the class have been busy learning lines for the play, singing the songs in fine voice and taking part in Bikeability.

We have also judged the mould garden competition. Some rather spectacular and rather smelly mound has been grown. The class voted for the group who grew the widest variety of mould. Congratulations to The Isaac Newtons who had mould on mould on mould!

The class also undertook a mathematical investigation based upon Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man. They measured each other to test his theories about the ratio and proportion of the body; for example:

the length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man
from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of a man

A lot of careful measuring took place with discussion about how some of the theories are correct.

 

Finally, as the time in Cloverfields nears, we have been looking back over the years and the children have been writing their memories for their Leavers Book. We have had great fun talking about their memories in school. The books will be presented on the final day of school as a keepsake.

Outside our classroom are some examples of work demonstrating Busy Being Our Best. This showcases work that is the best for that child. There are some beautiful pieces and excellent examples of the care taken to produce high quality work. Come and have a look!

Congratulations to the Maths Challenge team who came second out of 10 teams in the maths competition last week. Great team work was evident and the questions were very tricky.

 

 

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Lots of writing, lots of mould followed by lots of fun…

May27

Our final week of this term was extremely busy, as usual. In preparation for their final writing assessments, the children were busy drafting, re-drafting and publishing three pieces of writing so they were encouraged to take lots of hand breaks and drinks of water in this hot weather.  They have been really focused as they knew what they were aiming for. A sign of great learning maturity was the fact they were all sat independently working by 9:05 with great purpose. Great peer critique took place throughout.  Well done!

This week the children also learned about micro-organisms and the challenge for each science team is to see who can grow the best mould garden!  Each team created two identical gardens in a sealed plastic box, but added water to one only to see if it was moisture that encouraged the mould to reproduce. The warm weather has certainly helped the process as the mould (and smell!) is beginning to develop quite well already. I wonder what it will be like in the classroom upon our return?

 

Throughout the  last two weeks, we are also having different quiz rounds. This is hopefully broadening the children’s general knowledge and developing the ability to whisper answers, although some teams are still shouting out answers a little too loud much to the amusement of the rest of us.

Friday saw the resurgence of the board game, and I took on 3 pairs of children in a Scrabble game. We all had great fun and the spirit of friendly competition is well and truly established in the class. We will be timetabling in a traditional board game and card game half day every week from now on.

Finally, the parts for the play ‘Fiends Reunited’  have been cast and the children have their scripts to learn. It was a tricky decision for Mrs Giles and me as there were some very strong auditions and not enough speaking parts. Dates for Y6 events will follow after half term. Have a restful and fun week.

 

 

 

Maths challenge

May25

Well done to the Y6 Team, made up of Charlotte, Dylan, Harrison and Oliver, for making it through to the final of the Junior Maths Challenge. They worked really hard to solve lots of tricky reasoning questions in two rounds of 20 minutes and were a credit. Great team work but it was very nerve-wracking watching them. Good luck for the final on 14th June.

 

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Re-drafting – authors hard at work

May21

Y6 tackled the challenge of SATs really well and now they are really focusing on their writing. Thus week they have drafted, edited and peer-critiqued a diary recount based upon the short animation film ‘Kiwi’.  They also made notes about kiwis so they would have a better insight into the character of the film. We used hot-seating to get into the mindset of our little kiwi. 

The challenge was to make me cry and Noah succeeded! This is the link to the film we watched.

Also, they have revisited two pieces of writing from before Christmas and edited and improved it. Next week they will be publishing their work and I will choose some to go on our Beautiful Work board.

As well as that, they have suggested ways to re-design the classroom layout and boards so we will be doing furniture moving this week, plus completing some Science experiments. They will also be trying to make chocolate from cacao beans and writing an explanation about it.

A while ago I made a rather lop-sided chocolate cake and the children critiqued it for me. I promised them I would improve it and bake another one for them after their tests. Each group received an eighth of the chocolate cake to share. It was interesting watching them work out how to cut into 4!

Here is the result and not a crumb was left!

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Apps to support learning, chocolate cake, poetry and jazz

April17

The final week before Easter saw a variety of learning experiences for all in class.  To help with ratio, and linked with the bar method and concrete, pictorial and application of Maths, we used an app on the IPads to solve ratio questions. Everyone agreed it helped them with their understanding and made it clearer.

Also, the class completed their creative writing of a characterisation of a mythical creature. The children used the ‘Dripping Tap’ technique to see, hear, touch and experience the feelings of their creature.

Closing eyes so they can journey through their writing.

The  piece was only a snapshot of the character’s life but they had to make it the best that they could, independently drafting and editing it at least three times before they chose to publish it in their neatest handwriting. This was then turned into a narrative poem by deciding where to make line breaks and how they wanted to structure the overall look of the poem. You will have an opportunity to see their completed writing at our Open Afternoon.

  

 

We are working on developing our peer critique by being really precise in our feedback. We began by looking at how Kenneth Grahame used dialogue in his classic book ‘The Wind in the Willows’. The class were very good at writing precise feedback and advice on how to improve the writing. It followed the mantra of BE KIND, BE SPECFIC and BE HELPFUL. The class were impressive in how they created sentence stems so quickly and precisely  – their ideas were transformed into sentence stems for the entire school and are currently being made into bookmarks for each child in KS2.

Following on from that, I had attempted to make a chocolate cake at home, but I am afraid that various things went wrong with it, such as slightly burning it and attempting to ice it whilst it was warm so it started to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Nevertheless, it was presented to the class and the children gave me helpful and honest feedback on how to improve it next time. I have promised to use their pupil critique and bake another one for them after SATs, taking on board their advice. It tasted OK though and the children ate the whole cake between them.

  

Pupil critique on the presentation of the cake.

Examples of pupils’ critiques of the taste of the cake.

On the last morning, the entire school were treated to a performance by a jazz group. It was great to hear such talented musicians and was a wonderful experience for all.

 

Finally, well done to the class for making chocolate Easter egg nests for the tea party (ably organised by Lucy T and Isabella) and for their hard work in helping run lots of stalls. The cake stall in particular kept the volunteers extremely busy and it made them use their maths skills in real life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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