My Community: Poppy Goes Shopping (with Room 9!)

Room 9 have started to explore our new community theme for this term with a new book study.  We have been reading “Poppy Goes Shopping” by Suzanne Miell-Ingram and Tracey Upton (Singing Hands).

We have brought to life different parts of the story throughout our learning.  In numeracy we have had a shop role-play with symbol-supported shopping lists.  Some of our class even went for a walk to the local shops to buy resources for our sensory sessions.

Our Makaton song sessions have included “Five Currant Buns” and “Ten Fat Sausages” so as to link to the language of the stories (“shop” and “sausages” both featuring).

Perhaps our favourite feature of the stories though has been the pizza that Poppy bought (and ate!).  We have had pizza themed Bucket Time sessions, with Stage Three giving us all a chance to become a pizza!  We made our own mini pizzas for snack which we then ate whilst listening to the story.  We chose our own toppings –  cheese was very popular!  We’ve had pizza art, making our own pizza pictures, and pizza sensory play with basil, oregano and tomatoes in dough – the classroom smelt delicious.

We were very lucky to have the chance to meet the authors of our book study when Singing Hands came in to perform at Orchard Brae, they read the whole story with us and were very impressed by everyone’s signing!

Next week we will be moving on to another Signing Friends story, “Poppy’s Busy Week”, to explore even more features of our community.

Celebrating Ramadan in Room 5

The past couple of weeks Room 5 have been learning about and celebrating Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. We have engaged in Ramadan-themed sensology sessions during which we tasted dates, enjoyed the visual experience of looking through a telescope for the new moon and smelled incense, as well as other sensory experiences. We painted pictures to depict the new moon in a night sky and enjoyed baking ma’amoul (biscuits with dates inside commonly eaten during Eid).

Learning through stories and play in Room 9

In Room 9 we’ve been exploring how to bring more play-based learning into our routines.  As part of this we introduced a wee “café”, which has been a massive success with our learners.  From spontaneous imaginative play, social interactions with our peers, applying new communication skills to building fine and gross motor skills, the café has impressed us all.  It has been so popular we have given it a name, and one pupil helped to design a banner to signpost our new classroom highlight!

We have also moved onto our final book study of the term.  After several rounds of pupil voting, “Tiddler” closely won against “The Snail and the Whale”, so “Tiddler” is now our story for the next few weeks.  We’ve enjoyed joining in with “Oh, no, he didn’t!” “Oh, yes, he did!” as we read along together, signing fish songs, exploring body percussion and rhythm in response to fish songs as part of our listening activities, and made our own fish for our reading records, choosing from painting or collage (or both, for some of our most enthusiastic artists!).

For World Book Day, the whole class team each dressed up as a different emotion from the story “The Colour Monster”, and we made sure to add some additional time for telling the story during the day.  Between enthusiastic performances from the class team and fascinating props, engagement was really high throughout.

A Little Spot Of Kindness

Last week in assembly, we celebrated Random Acts of Kindness Day. We learned a new Makaton song from Singing Hands about being kind.

We also read a story about spreading kindness.

Following the assembly, classes were set a challenge to complete as many Kindness tasks as possible over the week. Lots of classes took part and we were delighted to have 2 winners – Room 9 and Room 16. They won a set of kindness books and colouring set.

We’ve also been noticing other acts of kindness across the school from both staff and pupils. Keep an eye out for some special tokens of recognition coming your way and keep spreading the kindness!

Sensory art project in room 5

Room 5 have been taking part in a sensory art project. This is a structured hour once a week which includes mindfulness practice, sensology and art. We spent the first four weeks exploring different objects and materials in order to show our preferences and make choices. These will then be used going forward to be able to create art. This week we made our first pictures using a mixture of oil paint and poster paint. The oil paint will dry with a bumpy texture which is great for those of us who are tactile learners. We had lots of fun creating our pictures and will continue this project all term. We hope you enjoy seeing some of our work!

Room 6, The puffer fish and “The Exploding Lunch Bag”

This week in our classroom, we embarked on an exciting journey into science, focusing on following instructions and sequences. Our thematic exploration led us to an intriguing experiment, “The Exploding Lunch Bag,” inspired by our ongoing theme of “The Snail and the Whale.”

As part of our scientific adventure, we delved into the fascinating realm of marine life, particularly exploring the unique characteristics of the puffer fish. We discovered this extraordinary creature’s remarkable abilities and peculiarities through discussions and a captivating video presentation.

To further enrich our learning experience, we tried to recreate the pufferfish phenomenon through an engaging experiment. Guided by careful instructions and precise sequences, our young scientists eagerly took on the challenge.

Here are the steps we followed in our experiment:

  1. Put 1/2 cup of vinegar in the sandwich bag.
  2. Add three teaspoons of baking soda to the tissue, then fold it up.
  3. Zip the sandwich bag shut, but leave a corner open to fit the tissue full of baking soda in.
  4. Slip the tissue in, quickly seal the bag, and step back.
  5. Watch the bag slowly expand and explode!

Through careful execution of each step, our pupils witnessed the magic of science unfold as the lunch bag transformed before their eyes. The sense of wonder and excitement in the classroom was palpable as they observed the delightful “explosion” – a testament to the power of following instructions and understanding sequences in scientific experiments.

This hands-on experience encouraged curiosity and critical thinking and highlighted the importance of precision and attention to detail in scientific exploration.

We are proud of our pupils’ enthusiastic participation and interest throughout this experiment. Their willingness to explore, discover, and learn is truly inspiring.

Exploring water in Room 8

We have been exploring water in room 8. We have had lots of water play where we have been melting ice and finding different ways to do this. When there was some snow we were able to melt the snow as well. To make the snow and ice melt we have used warm water, a hairdryer and sitting ice in the sun. We have also used water to make art, by putting watered down paint in spray bottles and spraying on paper. We made some sensory bottles with water too. We have also begun exploring what lives in the water, such as fish, jellyfish and octopus. 

Under the Sea with Room 9

Room 9 dived into their new water topic with an exploration of the story of “The Little Mermaid”.  We’ve danced to “Under the Sea” as we’ve explored listening skills, shared our likes and dislikes about the story, designed our own mermaids (and underwater scenes for them to swim through) and acted out simple scenes.  Our numeracy activities followed the story of Ten Little Mermaids and during our Makaton song sessions we learned the “Mermaid Song” – some of us do a fabulous impression of singing mermaids!  We also have explored lots of different sea themed sensory play opportunities and interactive board games.

In amongst the joy of the January term we had plenty of snow, so we brought that into the class for some joyful play opportunities (and sneaky relationship-building, social skills and communication learning!).

We’ve recently moved onto our next story and book study, “A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea”, which between the music and the toy shark used to support understanding we have been loving so far!

We have also been voting for which story we would like to explore for the last few weeks of the term – at the moment, “The Snail and the Whale” is in the lead, but there’s one more vote to go, so watch this space!

Winter Festivals in Room 9

In Room 9 last term we explored different Winter Festivals and how they are celebrated. 

We decorated the classroom, with lights, tinsel, and a few window pictures.  Our story study was “Dear Santa”, our comprehension work asked who is hiding in the Christmas present, our listening tasks explored moving to Christmas music, our numeracy activity counted elves.  Our morning choices included lots of dressing up options alongside puzzles, colouring and decorations.

Our Makaton song sessions included plenty of Santa getting stuck in the chimney, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and wishing a merry Christmas.  For bucket time we had a dancing Christmas tree, racing Santa, novelty glasses, snowman splat, and for stage three a chance to decorate the Christmas tree and chased Santa!

As part of our journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School, we’ve explored a wider range of Winter Festivals in class.  Between Christmas, Yule and Hannukah, we noticed that lights played a recurring role in many winter festivals, so we made and decorated our own tealight holders from salt dough whilst listening to Christmas and Hannukah songs.

We also collated this into a wee video which we are thrilled to share with you.