Friday, January 19, 2007

This has been ...

... so much fun for K and B this week! It's free downloadable Pivot Stickfigure animation software suggested by Woodlands Junior School in a past post (when K and B were practising drawing people). K picked up how to use it instantly and taught B in a matter of seconds, so it's quite straightforward. Here's one of K's animations (excuse the faint lines, this is because I had to make it smaller to fit in the blog space!). They started off with just stick men doing gymnastics, they progressed to better things. Unfortunately I can't find any of the ones that B had saved. No doubt they'll continue to use the package so I'll post one of his another time.
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The children have finished their review magazine of last term. I need to pull it all together to form one document now and will put it on our website for all to read! K has been busy writing thank you notes for all her lovely birthday presents, so while doing this (for literacy), B has been using a workbook to learn about letter writing. He wrote a well thought out letter to his friend asking him to come over and play, using the correct layout. He was so chuffed today to receive a reply letter, correctly set out too!

The "shapes" work we've been doing together has come along in leaps and bounds. They seem to enjoy doing this more than workbooks (I wonder why!?) and seem to be retaining the information which is obviously a bonus. We've done four posters now, here's the next three which were completed this week (see previous post for the first poster).

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Polygons - the children have yet to stick on their answer to the question!

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Quadrilaterals and polyhedrons (3D polygons) - they enjoyed doing nets.

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More 3D shapes using polyhedrons.

We have nearly finished looking at Japan for the "Around the World ..." project. K's especially into this because of her new interest in Bonsai trees (she has two now). They read about Sumo wrestling and had a go on a simple interactive game! We all had some fun being Sumo wrestlers too, doing leg lifting exercises before "wrestling". Naturally with my adult weight I won every time! We've also read about the typical Japanese house, tea ceremony (although we briefly touched on this as it seemed a rather complex ritual) and types of food they eat, including Sushi. We discussed how the Japanese seem to like a neat and ordered lifestyle.

For some strange reason P's PC wouldn't boot on Wednesday morning which meant we couldn't do any planned work as all my documents are stored on his PC for sharing! We did some lovely art instead using some new pastels and also ink. We followed instructions for drawing trees in different mediums using the Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas. This is another great book from Usborne but I'm a bit put out as it is two books in one. One section is the art book that I recently purchased and the other section is all new material. Wish I'd waited now as the new section is full of interesting art tips.

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Using pastels - B's large, K's small.

We went to Barnack Hills and Holes Wednesday afternoon. It was deserted (great) so I joined the kids for an imaginary canter up and down the hills and through the woods (did I really just tell you that). It was great fun actually and really puffed me out, so I obviously needed the exercise! Lots of sheep about this time, one was tame enough for a stroke, but all the others just ran in different directions. B did some tree climbing and got pretty high up. Unfortunately the rain started to come down and the wind started to pick up so we didn't stay too long.

Can't believe how windy it's been, and the rain has just chucked it down. Our house to two doors down still has a huge puddle from kerb to edge of driveway. The school kids this afternoon were skimming stones from our drive across it! I hear there's more to come and the children are really excited because they've mentioned snow flurries for Sunday (yer right, it was 13 deg. C today).

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preparing for canter
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bundle of mistletoe
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Had a group get together today to find out about birds. We're following the RSPB Wildlife Action Awards scheme with the group. A link to this is here. The booklet is just £2.00 and I'll post more about it once I've received my copy and had a good old read. Today the children made bird feeders which was one of the activities. They also had some art/craft activities and a wonderful display of (stuffed) bird life to study and get a better understanding of different types of birds/ beaks (bills)/feet/how they fly etc., etc. Unfortunately I didn't get much of a chance to do any learning myself but B had a look around it all and told me about some of it. The stuffed birds were had all died due to either road kill or flying into windows, etc., before anyone asks any questions!!
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At 12:39 am, Blogger Nikki said...

Sounds like a lovely week. I hope you enjoyed your canter, ROFL ;-)) Doesn't it do us all good to be kids again, though! Your post has made me think about studying Japan with Emily. I speak Japanese and used to work as a freelance interpreter for Japanese businessmen coming to the UK. Stopped doing that about four years ago though so I'm a bit rusty now. I've never been to Japan, although I've always wanted to. Maybe one day.

At 12:09 pm, Blogger Mand said...

Wow you have done loads!!! I love the animation, might try it with mine. The posters are fab and they look like the ones I have in some books- World of Display' I can see how they would be far more exciting to do over a workbook!

At 6:18 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

Love the animation! Great activity! Yeah the birds were a big hit here - my DH thought we had gone to an abattoir when Boss had told him he saw loads of dead birds *rolls eyes*.

The booklet is great actually. Jammed packed with activities. I think we'll try and take our time over these, but I like it a lot.

At 8:41 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

Thanks skypainter. Have a go at the animation, it's really easy and great fun! Elle

At 8:43 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

I'm glad you were able to come along - hope we'll see more of you all at other sessions, especially as some of them will be "bird" based. Elle


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