This week the children launched into a space adventure! When they arrived on Monday they found a space craft that had crash landed in the outdoor area. The children were encouraged to think about who could have been in the space rocket? Where had they gone? How did the space craft crash? Where did it come from? Following this the children worked in small groups to create mind maps of what they knew about space and what they wanted to learn about space. During the afternoon the children engaged in a class discussion about who was flying the space craft, whether it was an alien and what they knew about aliens. The children drew pictures of what they thought the aliens would look like. During their child-initiated learning in the outdoor area the children built their own spaceship. To end a busy day of exploration the children watched a short video clip about the moon and were asked questions such as is the moon made of cheese? How do we know what it is like on the moon?
On Tuesday the children listened to some of the story The way back home and paused to discuss how the boy got stuck on the moon and what he was going to do. The children were encouraged to think what they would do if they were stuck on the moon and during an adult-led activity the children recorded their ideas. In the afternoon the children were introduced to the concept of subtraction. They sang the song ‘5 little men in a flying saucer’ and explored how the numbers go down/ there is one less when they take one away. After each verse of the song the children were challenged to think of the corresponding subtraction and an adult modelled how this would be recorded. The children were shown an active subtraction activity using playdough called ‘subtraction smash’ where they would choose a subtraction (e.g. 5-3=) and then make the first amount of playdough balls (e.g. 5), then they smash however many they are taking away (e.g. 3) and then count how many playdough balls they have left (e.g. 2). To end the day the children participated in a group discussion about the importance of healthy eating and being hygienic. They sorted foods such as chocolate and bananas into groups according to the criteria of ‘eat lots of times’ and ‘eat sometimes’. Following this the children talked about what they do at school which is healthy and what they need to do to be healthy and hygienic.
On Wednesday the children listened to the story Whatever Next! Then they looked for similarities and differences between today’s story and the story they had listened to the previous day. The children talked about how they would prepare for a journey into space and what they would take with them. An adult modelled how to write a list using the children’s suggestions and then the children wrote their own list during an adult-led activity. During PE the children made up their own space themed dance routine about preparing for a journey into space (elements included: approaching space ship and climbing in, putting on suit and helmet and getting into seat/preparing instrument panel). They listened to some space themed music and were challenged to make their movements match the music. Their journey into space will continue during next week’s PE. In the afternoon the children learnt a counting back rhyme about 10 little spacemen. They recorded subtractions after each part of the rhyme and started to notice the pattern that there was 1 less each time.
On Thursday the children explored the concept of finding one less than a given number using a dice. First a child was chosen to roll a dice and then the children held up the corresponding amount of fingers. Following this the children were asked to show 1 less by folding down one finger. Lastly the children were shown how to record the number problem as a number sentence. During an adult-led activity the children explored the concept of subtraction with some children using numicon and numicon pegs and some children using 10 pebbles and a 10 counting frame. In the afternoon the children used their alien designs from Monday to think of questions they would ask an alien if they met them. The children worked with a partner to scribe their ideas onto a speech bubble.
On Friday the children used the planets in their Maths to make a numberline. A child was asked to find a number between 6 and 9 and then another child rolled the dice. The child on the numberline then jumped back that many spaces and the children were encouraged to record the subtractions on the interactive whiteboard. This was then consolidated during an adult-led activity. To end the week the children participated in a celebration assembly where their learning achievements for the week were shared.
In addition to all of this week’s activities the children were provided with many space themed learning opportunities such as: alien speech bubbles; shapes in space game on the computer; making aliens, robots and rockets using junk modelling resources; playing in the space station; exploring textures using silver beans; story props for Whatever Next!; objects to explore floating and sinking; paint blowing to make alien pictures; making aliens using playdough and a variety of tools and resources; playdough smash subtraction; and non-fiction and fiction space themed books.
It has been great to see the children’s enthusiasm and engagement in our Space topic this week and we are excited about continuing our journey in space next week.