Happy MMXVII everyone! I hope your new year is working out well. Mine has been great so far. Although it was a shock to be back at school so soon after Christmas, I was delighted to see my class again.
The children have been wonderful: their behaviour has been exemplary, as always, and their attitudes to learning and to making progress show me that they want to make this the best year ever.
Chayse and Keagan really impressed me with how serious they are about moving forward. Keagan has downloaded Lexia to use at home and he has made sure that his reading book is in school everyday, and Chayse has shown improved concentration and focus in all subjects.
2017 has begun very well for Aliyah and Faizan as well. They have been worked harder than ever, with even more determination, and they have already made significant steps forward in only a few days.
On Thursday Ibran brought the start of the day to a halt by marching into the classroom with an interactive globe, placing it proudly on a desk, and then starting to teach the class geographical facts about our beautiful and fascinating world. I was so pleased that Ibran knew that he would be allowed to share his excitement and enthusiasm for learning.
Thank you to Matthew for adding evidence to his Young Leaders Award portfolio by bringing in a letter from his mum to say how he’d been helping at home during the holidays. His small steps towards changing the world will become huge strides one day – just wait and see!
Mrs Stott has told me today about how much she enjoys Paarshva and Adwaya’s lunchtime visits to her room. She said that they always have interesting ideas and suggestions about how they can contribute to our school community. Mr Bruce (the Allerton High computing teacher) has also been ‘wowed’ by Adwaya and Paarshva this week. Their ability to learn programming skills so quickly has surprised him (but not me).
It was a pleasure to work with Shakirah and Melika during Maths No Problem lessons this week. Although word problems seemed quite tricky at first, the growth in their confidence and independence was extraordinary and simply wonderful.
I only had to mention that over the next few weeks that we would be starting to monitor how many different birds visit our outdoor area when 24 hours later Isaac and Leo brought books about ornithology to school to share with the class and to help with the learning in Y4.
I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t given more than ever this week. All my pupils have made me proud in some way but I have decided to choose Paarshva to be our Learner of the Week. Every piece of his work shows a high level of achievement, but the progress in his personal targets is what has impressed me most of all this week. His willingness to put others first, his desire to help, his good manners and thoughtfulness are wonderful qualities that he shows abundantly.
Today I asked the class to explain this sentence: Mr Moore had an epiphany on Epiphany. Leo, Ashley, Niall, Kai, Olivia helped to make sense of it but perhaps I should explain – I had a sudden realisation that I still have the best class in school.
This week I’ve spent a lot of time making egg jokes. The children were eggstremely eggcited on Monday when I gave them each an egg to look after. The Value for this week is Love so I thought it would be good to see if St Paul was right about love.
Within 24 hours we had several Humpty Dumpty type incidents and some very sad children. The surviving eggs attended school every day and many children produced some amazing ways to keep their egg safe. Tupperware, bubble wrap and shoe boxes were all used for protection, and some eggs were lucky enough to have their homes furnished with beds, TVs, desks and all kinds of comforts. One or two children were somewhat less protective of their eggs. I nearly trod on Camron’s this morning as it rolled around the classroom floor, and how Keagan’s survived being kept in his glasses case I’ll never know. Anyway, well done to Maisie, Ibran, Shams, Emily, Daniel, Charlie, Adwaya, Aaditiya, Olivia, Alexia Rae, Aisha, Leo, Camron and Keagan for managing to avoid a scrambled egg situation. In fact, well done to the whole class for learning that St Paul was right. Love is patient and Love is kind. We made some word clouds this week to show that we could add to the list. Love is gentle, Love is calm, Love can break your heart and Love never ends.
We have experienced so many emotions this week. On Monday we held a funeral for one’s of our warriors who had been killed in the battle against the Romans. I was staggered and humbled by how the children responded. All of my pupils were completely engaged in the drama session and showed amazing emotional intelligence. Respect, empathy and sympathy filled the classroom to overflowing. I lost my father during the summer and I had thought that this lesson might be a tricky one for me. Actually, it turned out to be one of the best. As a former teacher, I reckon my dad would be pretty proud of his son’s class.
The quality of writing produced by the class in our Big Write was brilliant and heartbreaking at the same time. Thank you to Melika, Sophie, Kai, Emily and Sithika, and thank you to Isaac, Niall, Shams and Paarshva for making me weep through the power of your words.
“Under the gloomy rain clouds we stood with inconsolable pain and sadness.” Isaac
“I can’t even take a deep breath to calm down. If I had a choice between dying or crying for the rest of my life, I would die.” Shams
“I was so upset that I couldn’t even say any words to this tribe’s biggest hero.” Niall
“Miserable and unbearable pain was upon me when my eye stared at the dead body of my dear friend. I had tried to keep up my spirits but my heart wouldn’t listen.” Paarshva
Learner of the Week is Maisie. I’m cross with myself for not choosing her sooner. There hasn’t been a week, a day, or even a lesson where Maisie hasn’t tried to do her best. However, this week she has been making an eggstra special effort to work as neatly as she can and to spell every word accurately. Her behaviour is always perfect and best of all she has become a more confident and more frequently heard voice in the classroom.
My other choice for Learner of the Week is Matthew. His positive, kind and thoughtful attitude is something that we should appreciate more often and also learn from. I found out how important he is to the class this week when he was off school because of illness. His calm, kind and hugely positive attitude help to make our class a great place to be.
Our Science topic about changes in materials came to an end on Friday. We consolidated our knowledge about how scientists test and prove their ideas. The children tested who had the warmest hands by seeing how quickly they could melt a chocolate button. Lots of fun, learning and some terrible table manners ensued. Most of the class managed to melt the chocolate in milliseconds but apparently it turns out Aaditiya’s hands are ice blocks.
Shakirah really impressed me with her Maths work this week. She made really good progress in our lessons on addition using exchange of ones, tens and hundreds. Daniel, Adwaya, Aditiya and Paarshva also displayed marvellous maths by scoring almost full marks in the mental arithmetic test this week.
Homework: English p18 and 19, Maths p9 (or some of your own work on addition with carrying).
My class fell silent at 11 o’clock on Friday as we paid our respects today to those who have died or have been injured in service of our country. Thanks to Mrs Walker for helping us to bake poppy biscuits, which we have sold to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
Have a peaceful and lovely weekend
Are you ready to share and celebrate your Arts Project work tomorrow? I think you are. We have some stunning art work and some wonderfully powerful writing to show off, and a dance sequence to perform that is absolutely captivating. I’m sure that parents and carers will also be impressed by the beautiful photographic portraits of flotsam and our message in a bottle movie that we will share tomorrow.
In the morning we will make our final decisions and preparations for what we will put into our bottles, ready for their launch on Saturday.
Simrath has earned the title of Star of the Day. Her enthusiasm and positive contributions make such a difference to our class.
Today we began the day by finding out about flotsam. We found out what flotsam is, where it comes from and what people do with it.
Dictionaries and discussion were used to discover, define and decide upon the meaning of the word flotsam.
By watching a video about Texel Island in the Netherlands we found out facts about a few fortunate folks who fritter away their time foraging for flotsam. The life of a beachcomber looks like a lot of laughs.
Midway through the morning session we went to the Hall another expressive dance lesson. Working in groups, the children planned a sequence of movements to show objects being retrieved from water. Once again Mrs Johnson was very pleased with the thoughtful and keen response given by Y4.
From a selection of flotsam that had washed up in Mrs Johnston’s classroom, the children selected an object, examined it carefully and then recorded facts about its size, shape, colour and texture. Next, they had to write a clear description of their object. Jack, Jack and Jac did very well, as did Ben, Domantas and Stella.
After lunch, Mrs Johnston produced a magical art lesson for Y4. Incredible progress was made with observational drawing skills and fantastic images were created. Mrs Taylor sneaked a peek at the children at work and was enchanted by what she saw. I think she wanted to join in.
Star of the Day is Domantas. He showed a real desire to learn and make progress in every lesson. He asked for help when he needed it, when he was stuck he didn’t give up, he listened really well and he did his best in all tasks. 5 dojos/house points.
Tomorrow we will start work on the animation and computer graphics part of our project.
Hope you’ll show up on our shores in the morning.
Hi Year 4
This week has been full of learning and laughter. I came back from my course on Monday full of enthusiasm and with many old and new ideas that I’ll be using in our lessons in the future.
We have continued to work on poetry in our English lessons. As well as writing calligrams with Miss Linsley, we studied some of the poems of Eleanor Farjeon which we edited and ‘up-levelled’. I was very pleased with Subhaan’s work which included some excellent adverbial phrases.
“The impatient bolting waves smash upon the silent shores.”
Jak and Malakhi also impressed me with their vocabulary choices and effort. Although Aleah found this task difficult, she didn’t give up and worked all the way through Golden Time to complete the task. She has started her journey on developing a positive mindset and for this reason she is one of my Stars of the Week. I have also chosen Malakhi. He has been trying really hard to contribute to our lessons and he has been really focused on making progress.
Mrs Carter has been telling me about some excellent work that has been happening in her maths lessons. Ayush and Ismail have demonstrated really clever thinking when working on problem solving tasks involving fractions. Next week I’m pretty sure that I’ll see even more effort as one of my lessons will involve splitting a chocolate bar into fractions.
Our Science lesson made me think. We looked at the range of human hearing and compared it to the ability of different animals. I was shocked to find out that cows have better hearing than people, and that if you sing to a little brown bat in a very deep voice it probably won’t hear a thing.
Some of the most important lessons that I teach are those about ‘values’. This week our theme was ‘wisdom’. The children created QR codes from carefully chosen quotes and printed them out for us to spread around school. My stealthy secretive squad (Alina and Nishta) then sneaked around the building sticking up the QR codes in different rooms. Despite being caught in Mrs Stott’s room by Mrs Arthur, they very cleverly talked their way out of trouble and managed to persuade her to become part of our secret plan to spread wise words. Well done girls! I don’t think I’ve laughed so much this year (apart from when Cian emailed me to tell me he’d deleted himself – but that’s another story).
I was delighted by how easily so any children were able to notice common thinking in the Jewish / Christian and Muslim story of creation. I think it’s important that our children recognise we are all connected in more ways than we sometimes appreciate.
It wasn’t my greatest start to the week: I went to The Village for a course that is actually taking place next Monday. Perhaps I’m getting old or may be I am just really keen to keep learning. Luckily, I was back before Assembly finished so my foolish mistake didn’t have too much impact apart from all the jokes I’ve had to suffer from the other teachers this week.
During our Literacy work this week we have been continuing to study different types of poetry but the children have also had a chance to exercise their story writing skills. I was delighted by how many different ways the children started their stories and the effort made to show off what they have learned so far this year. Alex, Stella, Rayah, Hadya, Ben, Briony, Laila, Megan, Alina, Caitlyn, Malakhi, Zain, Simrath and Nishta all showed that they are moving forward as writers. I could add plenty of other names too.
My class were brilliant in their maths lessons this week. They learned to find fractions of numbers. You may think this is easy for Year 4, but it’s not when the questions are written as Roman numerals. The children were superb and amazed me with how quickly they understood the concept and how enthusiastic they were to take on a difficult challenge.
My class showed off some of their amazing art skills this week when the children made felt collages to show the Jewish / Christian creation story. Nishta worked with superb concentration, outstanding effort and care.
Malakhi and Megan also showed that they are excellent artists and hard workers when they worked on designing an Anglo Saxon village.
During our Science lessons this week we have finding out more about the topic of sound. The children captured screenshots of sound waves and they labelled pictures to show amplitude and pitch. Today we had great fun making string telephones. The children looked delighted when they managed to make a ‘call’ even though there were a few ‘crossed wires’ at one point.
The speed at which the children are able to learn new computing skills is simply incredible. We have been turning typing quotes on the subject of wisdom and turning them into QR codes which we will print out and stick up around school in our secret campaign to spread wise thoughts. Don’t tell anyone though! If our audience are wise they’ll know what to do.
I have chosen Megan and Alina to be the Stars for this week. I have been really pleased by Alina’s effort and attitude for many weeks, and Megan has made an exceptional effort this week to show me just how clever and able she is. Keep it up girls!
Miss Linsley will be teaching the class on Monday. If you see me at school please remind me that I’m supposed to be on a course.
Enjoy the weekend.
Monday was Haiku
It’s poetry from Japan
It is hard to write
Each verse is three lines
Make sure you count syllables
Five, seven then five
Well done to the whole class for managing to express their ideas despite such strict rules. The children wrote poems about a subject of their choice but also wrote haiku on the theme of ‘Thankfulness’. We watched a video to remind us what we have to be thankful for and then the children applied their knowledge of haiku to share their thoughts.
Superb effort Simrath but can you spot two spelling mistakes?
We also learned about a form of poetry called Kennings. Some of the children’s work described their personalities perfectly. Simrath’s was particularly good but I wish she’d included ‘brilliant writer’ and ‘teacher pleaser’ in her poem. She is a great example to everyone.
As part of our History lesson we learned about what happened when King Vortigern asked for help from the Anglo Saxons to stop the Scots and Picts from invading Britain. It didn’t quite work out as he had planned. Amazingly good first person accounts from Alex, Ben, Stella, Jack, Jak, Malakhi and Aleah.
I really enjoyed working with the children on our problem solving task in Maths this week. They were asked to place 18 counters in a 4 by 6 grid so that the total of the counters in each row and column was on even number. It was a very difficult problem and I was particularly pleased that Hadya and Briony solved the problem faster than most of the rest of the class. Determination and teamwork can take you a very long way.
Thank you to Zain and Ben who keep producing extra homework by following up things that we have learned in class. Zain, Alex and Ben have been composing their own music and Ben has been creating art by using internet apps. Keep working hard guys. This kind of effort pays off; sometimes in more ways than you expect.
Once again, choosing Star of the Week has been very difficult but I have decided on Jack and Ben. More and more I am noticing how much Jack contributes to our class and how hard he has been working. As soon as he had learned about ‘if/then’ sentences he was trying to use them in his creative writing. He is helpful, really well behaved and best of all he is always aiming to do better with his work. I have chosen Ben because of his enthusiasm for learning. He is achieving very highly in all subjects but he always wants to make more progress.
I have given out the new homework books today. Please complete page 4. Books must be returned before Thursday every week. We have spent a lot of money on them so please make sure that you look after your book. Sorry but replacements must be paid for.
This week I have been really pleased with what other teachers have had to say about the children in my class. Mrs Carter, Mrs Whiteley and Miss Judge have all noticed that Y4 DM have become much calmer, more focused and generally more mature. It makes me very proud when my class impresses other teachers. Here’s a new target – let’s not just impress them, let’s make them jealous.
Have a great weekend
Be good, be safe and be here on Monday