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MARS 2020/21

Welcome to our class blog! Here, you will be able to see the sorts of things we have been getting up to in class all week. We’ll also tell you what we are working towards. You’ll also be able to find weekly homework, reading support and other helpful bits and pieces using the menu located at the top of the page. Feel free to have a read and discover what is happening in Mars Class!

Another week down and just one to go – where has all the time gone! We’ve started to wind down to Christmas now, but that doesn’t mean we have slowed with our energy and effort! Have a read below to find out what we’ve been up to this week…

In Maths, we’ve started to have a look at Multiplication and Division as our next unit. The children have started this really well, gaining an understanding of multiplication and beginning to look at arrays to represent the multiplications as well. Next week in Maths, we’ll be doing our end of term assessments.

In English this week, we’ve continued to look at information texts. We are getting an idea as to how they are laid out and where information is to be found in them. We’ve also started to think about how we can take notes about information and make them into our own words instead of copying it word-for-word. This is a really important skill to develop and it has been good to see the children apply the different tools – summarise, substitute and delete – to a variety of different text types. Next week, we will be attempting to retell our fables through the medium of shadow puppetry – fingers crossed!

The last couple of days we have been focused on creating our entry for the Christmas Digital Advent Calendar. We have spent lots of time practising and putting together our own shadow puppet version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We finally finished it today and I must say I am extremely proud of the effort and attitude the children showed during this. They listened to instructions really well and they produced a great show! Have a look at some of the pictures below…

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mr Keeble

The end of term is in sight! We’ve had our first taste of snow for the year and things are starting to look a little Christmassy – yay! That has meant that we’ve taken our foot off the pedal though! Have a look at what we’ve been up to below…

In our experience lessons this week, we’ve focused on Art and creating light and shadow. We’ve been practising drawing tortoises (from the fable) and applying our knowledge of light and shadow into our own work. We’ve had a few goes at it this week and have gradually improved day by day, which more than anything is pleasing to see! I’m really proud of the attitude the children have shown this week with their art, so well done all! Have a look at a few of them below!

In English, we’ve just finished writing our fables up in our best books. I’m hoping to read some lovely fables when they are marked and hopefully I’ll be able to see improvements from their last piece of writing too. We are now moving onto our next writing unit, which is Information Texts. This was introduced to the children today where we mainly focused on understanding the structural components of the text type. We’ll have a closer look at them next week before writing an information text about Aesop – King of fables – himself.

In Maths, we have spent this week focusing on missing number and missing digit questions. The children are gradually getting the hang of these – it is really important that children understand whether they are looking for a part or a whole in the missing number problems so that they understand which operation they should be using. We’ll continue to recap these areas going forward before moving onto Multiplication and Division!

Have a lovely weekend!

Mr Keeble

Another strong week by all in Mars Class and we’re beginning to near the end of our experience too! Exciting times are ahead, so let’s spend a little time reflecting on what we’ve been up to so far…

In our Experience lessons, we’ve been focusing mainly on Science by investigating what other factors will determine a shadow’s size. The children began planning for this experiment on Monday, carried it out on Wednesday and spent time over Thursday and Friday creating graphs and reflecting on how it went. They worked tremendously hard and have come up with some great thoughts on the outcomes. Feel free to discuss the results and see if they can remember what happened from some of the pictures below!

In Maths, we’ve started to look at the inverse and estimating addition and subtraction questions. The children have found this quite tricky in places – estimation is a tricky concept to grasp in such a definitive subject like Maths! – but have persevered really well. We’ve taken things back to bar models to focus on Parts and Wholes and how the processes of addition and subtraction are linked. From here, we’ve moved onto finding missing numbers in addition and subtraction questions (e.g. 300 + ? = 500) and looking how we can use the inverse to help us.

In our writing, we have continued to look at our fables, which we are so close to finishing! We are in the middle of our editing process and we really need to focus on correcting those basic punctuation errors that we keep forgetting. It’s been really pleasing to see the children use some more advanced punctuation, like speech, in their writing. Hopefully we can iron out the last of the errors and have some really strong pieces from all of them!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mr Keeble

The hard work has been carrying on as we are nearly at the halfway point in the half-term. We’ve got some big plans coming up, so let’s see how the children have done at progressing towards those goals…

In our experience lessons, we’ve continued to look at Light and the science behind it. This week, we’ve had a particular focus on shadows and we’ve attempted an investigation to show how the distance of the object from the light source affects the size of the shadow. This will help us perform our puppet show really effectively! We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the different variables involved with this experiment (independent, dependent and constant) and managed to get some results down this afternoon too. We even had a go at presenting our data in the form of a graph! Have a look at the pictures below to see some of the work we’ve been up to.

We’ve continued to look at fables this week in English. The children have had a go at writing their own speech, so we’ve been thinking hard about what rules we need to follow when using speech in our writing. Generally, it went well – but we sometimes forgot to put our new speaker on a new line, so we need to really focus on doing that when we write our own fables! We began planning those today; we are looking to write a version of ‘The Fox and The Stork’ with different characters, but keeping the moral message the same. We had a bit of a brainstorming session which went well, now we really need to fine-tune our ideas as we go into next week.

In Maths, we’ve started looking at column subtraction this week with exchanging and with zeros in the number. We began by using a lot of place value counters to understand the concept of exchanging and what was actually happening to the numbers. The children have done brilliantly every step of the way, and I hope to see some good work from them next week when we should hopefully be moving onto some problem-solving activities.

Excellent work this week – let’s keep it up for the rest of the term! Have a wonderful weekend!

Mr Keeble

The first two weeks of the half-term are done and dusted. First of all I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made it to Parent Consultations this week – it was nice to finally speak to you all and see your faces! Find out what we’ve been getting up to in class below…

In our experience lessons, we’ve been looking at Light in Science. The children have been studying how light affects us being able to see. We’ve been using different tools to do that, including looking into a ‘Bear Cave’ to see what the difference is when we have no light able to get into the cave and then we have some light being able to get in. Check out some of the photos below to see how they got on!

In English, we’ve carried on looking at fables and this week have been practising our sentence structures again, ensuring they are nice and accurate so that we can build on them with extra grammatical devices. So far this week, we’ve looked at punctuation (? ! . Aa) and conjunctions, which we will continue to do next week before introducing speech and beginning our Hot Tasks.

In Maths, we have finished recapping column addition. The children did very well and have succeeded at some tricky problems too. Today, we began to look at column subtraction – at the moment focusing on layout and the process before understanding how we calculate subtractions where we need to exchange.

I’d just like to reiterate the message that I said to many of you over the last two days: keep doing the little things at home – Going for Gold practise, Spelling practice, Reading x3 a week and MyMaths. This will go a long way in supporting the children’s progress this year.

Keep up the good work everyone and have a lovely weekend!

Mr Keeble

Welcome back! I trust everyone has had a lovely break, but now we are back into the swing of things yet again!

This week, we finished our last experience – our Stig of the Dump e-books – by using Puppet Pals to bring our characters to life and recreate our stories. The children did really well on this and we have some very nice performances as a result! We then introduced our new topic: Shadow Puppet Fables! We will aim to create some shadow puppets that retell famous fables. To do this, we need to learn about the Science behind it. We are also going to look at light and shadow in our Art, and the children have started to think carefully about how the different pencils affect their shading. Take a look below and see what we’ve done!

In English, we’ve begun to look at fables. We’ve looked at a variety so far: The Hare and The Tortoise, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and The Fox and The Stork to name but a few. The children have really engaged with them all so far, and next week we will look a little closer at the features of a fable, as well as some more grammatical elements that we need to focus on too.

This week in Maths, we’ve been recapping some of the content from last half-term to ensure that the children are up to speed and ready to progress. They’ve all worked very hard so far and I have been impressed with their deeper level of thinking that I’m seeing too. Next week, we’ve got one or two more lessons of recapping to do before we move onto more of our Addition and Subtraction unit that we started before half-term.

Well done this week – have a well-deserved rest over the weekend!

Mr Keeble

We made it! Half-term has arrived and we all deserve a well-earned rest! We’ve been very busy this week, so let’s take a look at the things we’ve been getting up to…

This week, the whole school have had a focus around Black History Month with each class researching or having a closer look at an aspect of Black History. In Mars, we’ve focused on Art – specifically the artwork of Jean Michel Basquait, a graffiti artist from USA with Puerto Rican and Haitian heritage. The children spent time studying his work and what it meant to him, before having a go at recreating some of their own Basquait-inspired pieces. To do so, we used acrylic paints and pens to match the features we saw in his paintings with some very interesting results. Take a look below at some of the artwork we created.

In Maths, we have been having a close look at column addition. The children have done really well at understanding the process of exchanging and have started to get to grips with the layout of the column method too. Every now and then, we forget to add our exchanged ten or hundred, but we are getting better and better with this each day! We’ll recap it after half-term before looking at some subtraction in a similar way.

In English, we’ve spent the week writing up our Hot Tasks. We’ve really focused on our presentation for this, ensuring that these final pieces are of the highest quality! We’ve also made sure to include all of our edits and all of our improvements too. Overall, we’ve done a good job on them and I look forward to reading some fabulous stories about what happens next to Stig and Barney!

Have a wonderful half-term rest and I look forward to seeing everyone after half-term.

Mr Keeble

Another week completed! And we’ve been going a million miles an hour too, so let’s get started with what’s been happening in Mars class this week…

In our experience lessons, we’ve been studying rocks in further detail during Science. We’ve looked at how fossils are created and in what rock type. We’ve even had a go at creating our own fossils out of clay and plaster of paris – check out the pictures below to see the mess/success we had and ask the children what they were doing. It should have given them a better understanding of the process of fossilisation too and we’ll open them up on Monday morning to see what they look like inside…

In Maths, we’ve started working on our next unit of Addition and Subtraction this week. So far, we’ve been recapping a lot of mental strategies when it comes to looking at adding and subtracting 1s from 3-digit numbers. We’ve used methods like number lines and partitioning to help us do this in our heads quickly and effectively. One skill you can practice at home is to count in 1s from a 3-digit number forwards and backwards – the children found this tricky at times! Use a 100 square to help you support you.

In English, we have started writing our hot tasks up in best. We are writing the next stage of Stig of the Dump, thinking in detail what will happen when Barney returns to his Gran’s house at Christmas time. We’ve shared a lot of ideas around began to correct a lot of our errors, however we still need to include MORE adventurous vocabulary to really entertain the reader. Keep addressing good vocabulary in the children’s reading books as you are reading with them and checking their understanding of language used too. This will help broaden their vocabulary that they can then use in their own writing! The children have tackled this challenge with enthusiasm, and we should get these finished off next week before half-term.

One more week to go! Keep up the effort!

Enjoy your weekends,

Mr Keeble

One more week down and we’re all systems go! Firstly, I’d like to welcome Miss Hargrave into Mars class as our new TA. All the children have made her feel welcome and she has settled in nicely so far this week.

In our experience lessons, we’ve moved onto a more scientific look at our experience and are now studying rocks. We’ve begun by comparing different rocks and seeing what properties they have that make them stand out. The children did a really good job of this and have done some lovely drawings of different rocks that show lots of detail and highlight the differences we spoke about in class. On that, we have had some brilliant work coming in based on our Learning Log (see Learning Log section above) and you can see pictures of these below.

In Maths, we have continued with Place Value to ensure that we are secure in the unit before moving onto Addition and Subtraction next week. We have recapped different areas of the unit, such as odd and even numbers, comparing numbers up to 1,000 and exchanging. The children certainly seem more secure in their understanding of these aspects now, which should hold them in good stead when they move onto addition and subtraction next week

In our English lessons, we have continued to focus really hard on our sentence structures and vocabulary. The children have shown good promise with this, but we just need to keep avoiding our silly mistakes of the basics! Next week, we’ll be doing our hot task, where we’ll be writing the next part of Stig of the Dump in our own words – very exciting! After the hard work that they’ve put in so far, I’m expecting some very good stories!

Just a quick reminder about Google Classrooms: the logins should now be in children’s Reading Records. Children should only do the work that is set on there if they are off school, for instance, self-isolating. Please do not worry about work that is set if your child is coming to school!

Thank you and have a lovely weekend,

Mr Keeble

Another week is done with! The weather is turning and we are well and truly into the Autumn term now! Lots has happened, so let’s get to it!

In our experience lessons, we’ve continued looking at prehistoric Britain. We’ve learnt some very long, new words (such as ‘palaeolithic’, ‘mesolithic’ and ‘neolithic’) and continued to look in closer detail at everything that happens in those times. Have a look at some of the work we’ve been doing in the pictures below! Next week, once we have finished off a little bit of our historical work, we will be looking at rocks in Science – thinking about their properties and whether or not all rocks are formed in the same way.

In English this week, we have begun to focus on our grammar and punctuation a little more closely. We have had a strong push on our sentences and making sure that they are formed accurately with the basics, before looking how we can improve them and extend them by using conjunctions. Next week, we will continue to read through Stig of the Dump and we will look at using more ‘adventurous vocabulary’ in our writing before beginning our hot tasks.

In Maths, we have continued to look at Place Value and develop our understanding of the Hundreds. This week has mainly been based around comparing and ordering numbers up to 1000, whilst we have also looked at 1, 10 and 100 more or less than a number. The children have done well with this and we worked really hard on understanding what happens in those instances when we need to exchange.

Just a few notes before the weekend – we will be starting Going for Gold and Spelling tests next week. These will take place on a Friday this year due to the fact the children do PE on a Thursday morning. Spellings are up on the blog under ‘homework’ and details of spelling groups are in the children’s Reading Records, as is the information for Going for Gold (which is at the back of their books).

Other than that, have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing the children next week!

Mr Keeble

Welcome Back!

We have completed the first few weeks of the year and it is so good to see so many smiling faces back in a full classroom again! I hope you all enjoyed your Summer holidays, but now is the time to get back and focus on our learning once again. I must admit, the children have adapted really well to the new procedures we have in place around the school, which is really pleasing to see, so a very well done to all of you for doing so.

Our first experience this year is a Stig of the Dump e-Book! In this experience, we will be reading the classic book by Clive King and the aim will be to try and carry on the story in our own words and publish them using Book Creator. We will try to incorporate some sketching of the story – cave style, of course! – and will be learning about the Stone Age and rocks in our experience lessons as well. Watch this space!

In Maths, we have begun by looking at place value. The children have worked hard at this and it is good to see that they have retained their understanding from last year. So far, we have started looking at what hundreds are and identifying them in a number. This will be new for a lot of children, but they have got to grips with it quickly.

Our writing has been mainly focused on getting to know the story of Stig of the Dump. We have talked a lot about his appearance and his character, thinking carefully about how he is different to Barney in lots of ways. Next week, we will start to think about our sentence structures and punctuation so that we can write accurately as well as creatively!

Keep up the good work so far! Enjoy your weekends too – you’ve earned them!

Mr Keeble

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