Friday, 30 June 2017

Of course, the big and most tragic news this week is that Years 3 and 4 have lost their swimming lesson privileges. Despite the work that has been done to encourage good and productive behaviour, there are still too many children in both years who seem to think of outings as an excuse to play around and be disruptive and rude. Most of them could not even line up in a straight line. There were a very small number of well-behaved, attentive children, but too few to warrant another trip on a coach to a public facility. There was only one lesson remaining anyway, but it was a fun lesson that would have involved a lot of play and floats, so it is a shame that those years have not been able to prove themselves.

On a more positive note regarding behaviour, I think that many of the children are beginning to mature and improve. In class, many of them are learning to ignore distractions and take greater pride in their work. I hope this positive step continues next year with their new teacher.

But there are still three weeks left as Class 4, and we still have plenty of work to do.

This week the children really got into the idea of telling and solving riddles. We worked this week on creating effective riddles around animals, figuring out which aspects of a given animal were easier to guess and which were harder. We then worked on putting the harder clues first and the easier ones at the end. And then we figured out how to talk about body parts without actually naming them. So "eyes" might be described as "orbs" or "emerald pools." The children were encouraged to use similes (the lion is like a big brown toilet brush) and metaphors (the cheetah is a streak of fire across the savannah). Next week we will finish up the unit on riddles and hopefully every child will have a few riddles of their own to show off to friends and family.

We've done problem solving in class all week, and flexing our mental muscles that work systematically. We've had a few different maths challenges with more than one right answer, and the challenge has been to fight most or all of them. Most of the children have risen to the challenge and figured out how to work it out.

With all of the music assemblies and Sports Day (where I got to see and talk to many of you), we didn't manage to spend enough time on science, history or RE this week, so we will make up for that next week.

As mentioned in the last blog, we have finished with new spelling words and we will now be testing the children on their long-term memory and usage of the words they have already had. As this is a test of spelling retention, it is not something that needs to be studied. The children will have tests on those words over the next few weeks, but they are nothing to worry about as they are being given so that we can see how much emphasis will need to be spent on those words in the coming school year.

Finally, I have spent the last few weekends writing up the end-of-year reports on each child. They are currently being reviewed and commented upon by the Head Teacher, and will be ready to go out to you soon.

Have a good weekend.

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