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Explorers in Antarctica

front cover

What have we been learning this term?

This term we have been learning about Antarctica and we have been fascinated learning all about the penguins that live there.We looked at a map of the world and we learnt where Antarctica is. We looked at different photographs of Antarctica and we compared it to other places such as the rainforest, the desert and the jungle. 

 We began the term looking at the front cover of the book, 'Blue Penguin' by Petra Horacek. We then discussed what facts we knew about the penguins and what we would like to find out. We then wrote our facts in simple sentences. These are displayed in our fantastic classroom. Our book area has been transformed into a cold igloo in Antarctica where the children can find out facts about penguins and read stories that we have shared with them. 

We found information about Antarctica and penguins by looking at a non-fiction book and using Google. 

We also watched videos of the penguins and were fascinated watching how they moved. Penguins can dive, swim, hop and waddle. We learnt that Daddy Penguin looks after the baby whilst Mummy Penguin finds food. Mummy then returns and they take it in turns to feed their chick.

We pretended to move like the Daddy penguin outdoors and used a football between our legs and attempted to jump around without dropping it.

We learnt that penguins have blubber to keep them warm and that they have oil on their feathers to that they are waterproof.

We also used the laptops to create some amazing pictures of penguins using the paint program. We have also made information books about penguins using 2publish program. 

One of the children in our class visited The Deep in Hull and went to watch the penguins. His Mummy kindly shared a video of the penguins and we were thrilled to watch them hop, dive, slide and waddle.

We know that penguins like to huddle to keep warm and that they are very good swimmers.

Using our imaginations!

The children have responded brilliantly to the illustrations in the story, 'Blue Penguin' by Petra Horacek. They have created some fantastic collages and have learnt how to combine media to create new effects. They are absolutely stunning. The children also worked collabortatively to create a large scale collage of the front cover of the book and this is also displayed in our wonderful art area. Please feel free to come and take a look.

We have also created a role-play area where the children can use their imagination to pretend to be in Antarctica. They have a tent, a camp fire and have been pretending what it would be like to live in the cold, icey climate. 


Personal Social and Emotional Development

This story has also allowed us to think about and discuss our feelings. In the story, Blue penguin feels different and lonely and the other penguins are not friendly towards him. The children were introduced to a blue penguin soft toy and they discussed how Blue penguin was feeling and what we could do to make him feel better. The children recognised that we needed to invite him to play with us and ask him to join in. They decided that they would like to invite blue penguin to their homes. The children have all written a letter to him to invite him to come and stay and his adventures will begin next week. We look forward to sharing his adventures with you. Don't forget you can also upload any photographs directly onto Early Essence. 

blue penguin lonely

What have we been learning in Mathematics?

Using the children's interest and fascination with penguins we have been teaching the children how to add and subtract two one digit numbers using objects and beginning to count on to find the answer. The children have been learning that when we add two numbers together we have to count how many there are altogether. We have also used different words when teaching them such as 'find the total' and 'is the same as' when adding two numbers together. The children have used two coloured pegs on a coat hanger to find the total which is a really simple activity you can do at home. It helps that children can slide the pegs together and across the coat hanger when counting how many there are altogether. We also used penguin counters and we counted how many penguins were in the water and how many were in the ice. We then found the total number of penguins there were altogether. 

The children also used objects to take away using two one digit numbers. They are learning how to take away by counting how many are left. Again it is really important that at this stage in the children's development that they use practical objects to help their understanding. We show children the - + and = signs but we do no record using these until children are confident with the concept of additon and subtraction. Children then begin to draw their calculations and use a number line to count forwards and backwards to find the answer. 

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