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Computing challenges get us thinking...

Our Computing unit was short but sweet.  We have learned a lot about how programmers work, including learning lots of new terms to expand our vocabulary.  We have used a program called Scratch which has enabled us to write some simple code to make a sprite move on the computer. The main thing we learned this week was about debugging. Ask your child what this means; they should be able to explain it. 

Next week we start a science unit entitled 'Living Things and Their Habitats'. If you want to get ahead and research anything or you have any books/resources that you feel may be of use we would love you to bring them in. At some point during the next three weeks we will be visiting Mill Lane field to check out the local habitats.  While we are there we will be conducting a litter pick to collect recyclable materials.  This links in with our recent RE unit where we wanted to make an impact in our local area. Rather than raising money for a charity we decided to give something back to the community in an alternative way.  This way we benefit from a cleaner environment, the wildlife will have a cleaner habitat and we learn about environmental issues. Look out for a letter coming home soon. 

In maths we have had assessments this week and we have tried to go over some common misconceptions in class. Ask your child to try to explain an efficient way to solve this calculation: 9000 - 2574 = ?  One way is to put it into a vertical subtraction position and subtract one from both numbers to make it 8999 - 2573.  Your child should be able to explain why this is an efficient method saving time and reducing the risk of error. Ask them about 'Ten in Ten'. I am pleased to say scores are improving and confidence is growing. Keep spending time on TT Rockstars and Hit the Button; it really helps! 

In English we have started our adventure writing unit. We are using a short film called 'Taking Flight' as a stimulus for our writing. We are developing the sophistication of our sentences and word choices to engage the reader. We have been using adverbial phrases.  Why not ask your child to show you by writing a few. Enthusiasm for writing is strong in class.  Improvements are evident. I am looking out for children who commit 'crimes against capital letters'. This is a little game to try to encourage correct usage of a capital letter at the start of sentences and for proper nouns. The children are thinking more because they don't want their names to end up in our little class jail. I have been teaching for over 20 years and the one thing that frustrates me, and most teachers I know, is the careless disregard for capital letter usage! Most children know and understand but just fall into bad habits that are really hard to break. Please help us to keep trying. Maybe when you read with your child and you notice capital letters used for names and places (proper nouns) you could explicitly point these out. It all helps. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. The secret word is 'precariously'. Happy Birthday to Riley; all the best people are born on January 11th ; )

From Miss Studley and Miss T.