06.04.20 Shared Writing Project
There has been some demand for this so I'm happy to give it a go and see if it works out. The basic concept is simple. I give you the start of a story. You then have some time in which you can write the next part of the story. It could be a few lines or a full blown chapter. You then send it to me via Classdojo. When the time is up, I'll choose my favourite and add it to the story and then we repeat the process. You will find the start of the story below, and seeing as this is actually holiday time, I'm going to say that you've got a whole week in which to come up with the next part. It's entirely optional, so if you don't want to take part, you don't have to.
Henry’s world was small. He grew up in the modest settlement of Skallitz, a mining town according to some but town was perhaps too strong a word. There were silver mines but they were, like the town, small. Skallitz itself was comprised of two dozen or so houses, mostly inhabited by the miners and their families, a church, a tavern and a blacksmith. There was a market on Wednesdays. Henry’s father was the blacksmith and Henry couldn’t help but feel that he was far too good a smith to be living in an insignificant little hamlet like Skallitz. People travelled from far and wide to have weapons and armour made in Henry’s father’s forge. They complimented him on his lightweight, yet sturdy, armour and his fine swords. Henry had been caught playing with one of his father’s swords once, and his father had been furious.
‘What are you doing with that? Have you any idea how to use it? You could hurt yourself!’ bellowed Henry’s father.
‘I could learn how to use it. If you let me practise, I mean,’ Henry offered meekly.
‘What use could you possibly have for a sword? A commoner like you has no need of the skills of barons and lords. You’re a blacksmith’s son, in a peaceful village.’
‘Peaceful? Nothing ever happens here!’ shouted Henry, frustrated.
‘True enough, and preferable by far to the alternative. Trust me. You may have spent your whole life in Skallitz, but I haven’t. I’ve seen the world Henry, and it’s not always pretty. I chose to settle down here for a reason.’
Defeated for the moment, Henry placed the sword back in the rack, conceding that he could do nothing to improve his situation today. But soon, he thought, I’ll leave all this behind. Unfortunately, he was right. Soon enough, the raiders came and staying in Skallitz was no longer an option.
I've deliberately left some things open to your interpretation. Things to consider when writing the next part:
How old is Henry?
While it seems to take place in a medieval setting, is this a high fantasy story with mythical beasts and magic spells? Or more grounded and realistic?
Does Henry's father have a secret past that he doesn't want his son to know about?
Why have the raiders come to the village and what will the end result be?
Good luck all. Keep looking after yourselves.
Good morning Zebra Class.
Today, I will be beginning this week's phone calls to see how you're all getting on. It was great to talk to some of you last time and I'm looking forward to doing that again.
I'm also going to gauge people's responses to the idea of writing a chain story. It works like so:
1. I write the beginning of story.
2. I put it on a class page.
3. You can then try to write the next part of the story. It can be a long part or a short part.
4. You send your sections of the story to me on ClassDojo.
5. I read them all and choose my favourite.
6. I add that one to the existing story and post it on our class page.
7. Repeat steps 3-6.
I don't want to start it up if we're only going to have one or two children taking part, but I feel like if a few of us get behind this it could be really interesting.
Stay safe and look after each other.
Good morning Zebra class.
A word of warning. It is not unusual for people to post bogus news stories online on the first of April as a joke. Please consider this if you are spending time online in the next few days, as you may well see things which are completely untrue but designed to get a big reaction. Don't fall for it, and certainly don't share dubious information with others. The spread of misinformation is usually annoying, but at this point, could be dangerous.
Look after yourselves. Stay safe.
Good morning Zebra Class.
I think it's safe to say that yesterday's class group chat was a resounding success. It was great to talk to those of you who could make it on. You seemed to be in high spirits, and making the absolute best of the situation which is all anybody could ask. If you didn't manage to make it on this time, fret not, there will be another next week.
I was pleased to hear that you are staying in touch with each other through the responsible use of technology, and that while you are all taking time to do some learning at home, that you're finding time to do other things as well. With that said, I know some of you have been taking the time to practise your Smash Brothers skills. You will never defeat me. Never.
Good morning Zebra Class.
I hope you've all enjoyed your weekends, and that you're all staying safe and well.
If you would like to take part in the first Zebra group chat, make sure that you are on ClassDojo just before 11:00am today, where the details will be given out.
Good morning Zebra class.
I've managed to call most of the families of our class now and am pleased to say that I have, for the most part, found them to be doing very well. Children are engaging with learning that has been set by the school, as well as finding their own opportunities for learning, including more practical skills like cookery and gardening. Some of you have even managed to find time to get the really important things done, such as obstacle courses in the garden or saving the land of Hyrule from Calamity Ganon.
From what I've heard, you are doing all the right things. Keep on doing them. As a class, you are a fantastic example of how to compose yourself in a tricky situation.
While I won't necessarily be updating the class page at the weekend, if you need me, you know how to contact me. It might surprise you, but I haven't got a lot on this weekend.
Good morning Zebra class.
Yesterday, I was in school with the handful of children of key workers that are still coming in. I have to say, if this all feels a bit strange to you sat at home, it's no less strange in school.
I have started calling families just to check in and see how people are doing. Some people got a phone call yesterday, others will get one today or tomorrow. I'll try to make sure that everybody gets a call, either from myself or another member of staff, at least once a week.
As always, if you need anything from me, the best thing to do is get in touch via ClassDojo.
Good morning Zebra class.
I would like to start by apologising for today's update being slightly later than intended. I had very good intentions but it has taken me some time to get the site to co-operate due to unprecedented levels of traffic. In some ways, this is good. It means that people are checking the website. Awesome. Also, a deeply comforting automated message informs me that server capacity is in the process of being upgraded in order to resolve this issue, so if you are having issues with the performance of the site at the moment, hang in there; it should get better soon.
With that said, I'm sure most of you are aware of the Prime Minister's announcement last night. Do not panic. If you were following social distancing procedures correctly before, there's really not a huge amount of change. If you weren't, it's time to start doing so.
For daily activities, keep checking the Year 6 page. Miss Beard and I will endeavour to have something for you to do on there every day. However, don't let us limit you. There's a whole world of learning opportunities online, many of them free. Read. You can never read too many books. Make your own opportunities for writing. There are untold stories in the world all around us. How was it that the A-Team came to be in a military prison for a crime they didn't commit? Why do the toys in toy story freeze when people can see them and was this always the case? Why do Mr Moore's cats insist in eating the big plant in the living room even though it makes them sick? There are countless untapped stories just waiting to be told.
But most of all, and this bit is really important, look after yourselves and your loved ones. Stick to a routine. Go to bed at a reasonable time. Wake up at a reasonable time. Help your parents/carers where you can. Take time every day to reach out and interact with people (face time friends and family if you can). Above all, know that you can reach out to myself or the school. Feel free to contact me on ClassDojo, even if it's just to say hello. I assure you, I am not too busy to answer.
Shiny New Page
Those of you who are most observant may have noticed that there is a new class page that is simply called Year 6. The reason for this is that Miss Beard and I have decided that it makes sense to give all tasks for year 6 from the one page. As a result, We will post tasks there and general updates on our own respective class pages. This way, we are all getting the same provision of tasks.
Good Morning Zebra class,
I hope that you are all well, despite the surreal situation that we find ourselves in. On Friday, those of you who were in school talked about the importance of having a routine when learning from home. It was fantastic that so many of you were able to come up with ideas to help this happen, and realistic targets. Don't forget to take breaks and, if you can, interact with your friends remotely. As promised, part of my routine will be updating our class page, Monday to Friday before 10:00 am. So, here is our first update.
I have posted one of our countdown maths puzzles and will continue to do so. I'm currently looking for a good place to source the word puzzles from too. For the moment, you'll get a new maths puzzle every day, and I will post answers in my update on the following day.
I have also added a little missing number challenge, using shapes in place of numbers. At the bottom, it asks if there is more than one way to solve it. So far, I've found that there is at least one. If you think you've found more than one, feel free to let me know through ClassDojo.
When it comes to writing, you have a number of tasks available to you from our home learning sheets that were sent home last week. However, I wanted to give you another option. Last week we were writing narratives in which we tried to cultivate tension and a real sense of atmosphere. I've stumbled upon a video that I think might inspire us to write our own tense tales, rather than emulating somebody else's. The video can be watched for free at https://www.literacyshed.com/francis.html
Don't forget the techniques that we used in our writing last week. Try to make use of passive voice, short sentences at key moments to control pacing and well-chosen vocabulary.
Also, keep reading. Books are awesome. On the subject of books, I've had a request from a parent to post a video of myself reading The Day The Crayons Quit on the school Youtube channel (obviously with the correct voice for Pink Crayon). I'll get on that just as soon as I can find a good way to record it. If you have other requests, let me know through ClassDojo. If I'm able to accomodate them, I will.
Look after yourselves. Be kind to each other. Wash your hands.
Today in Zebra class we talked about how helpful it can be to have a routine. Children thought about when they would do things each day and how long they would be doing them for.
As a way of encouraging the children to keep to a routine, I have told them that I will be making an update of some sort to this class page every weekday before 10:00 am, starting Monday. This will include the number puzzles that they have enjoyed doing as an early morning activity each day, with the solution coming on the following day.
All families who are not connected on Classdojo have been sent another joining code this week (if their children were in school to receive it). If you haven't joined up already, please do. It's a fantastic way to be able to keep in touch, which is particularly important in the current circumstances. Those of you who are already connected, feel free to contact me with any concerns you have.
In times when some of you may be at home and in isolation for prolonged periods, it is important that we give the children the opportunity to stay healthy.
Please see below, the active breaks wheel that we use in Zebra class. These are all exercises that we have done in school, which require little to no equipment. If you are stuck for ways to exercise at home, feel free to download it and have your children explain the various exercises.
Thank you to all parents who attended at one of our sessions this week. It's always fantastic to be able to communicate face to face with you about your children.
This week, zebra class have been looking at ways to create tension in their writing. They have been re-visiting fractions, decimals and percentages in maths. In science, we have been learning about the human heart.
Today, we were lucky enough to have an American football workshop.
This week, we were able to get to 96% of the children reading the required number of times. This is great, but we have shown in the past, more than once, that we are capable of getting 100%. Please encourage children to read at home.
The spellings to be learned for next Friday are:
Please learn the spellings and the meanings, as otherwise mistakes persist within writing.
This week, Zebra class have been learning about algebra in maths (and finding that it's not as scary as some of us previously thought) and writing a non-chronological report in English.
Our spellings for the test on 13.03.20 are:
This week, Zebra class have continued to write narratives based on The Viewer. However, we have been setting ourselves the additional challenge of telling the story from viewpoints of multiple characters.
In maths we have been learning about area, perimeter and volume.
Our spellings for next week are:
Zebra class have been writing narratives based on The Viewer by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan. We have had a particular focus on dialogue and the ways in which it can convey character or move the plot forward.
A number of children from Zebra class represented Barley Close at a dodgeball tournament, playing incredibly well and getting through to the quarter finals.
Today, we were lucky enough to have visitors from the NSPCC, who delivered an assembly and a workshop with the children.
The spellings to be learned for 25.01.19 are:
As Term 2 draws to a close, the children of Zebra class have been learning about shape in Maths and making some shocking discoveries about Father Christmas while writing explanation texts in English.
Congratulations to our top six dojo earners for the term, who enjoyed coming the end of term breakfast, cooked for them by Mr Moore. Those who didn't manage to get themselves a place this term will have another chance next term.
Enjoy the break and come back ready to learn on 7th January 2020!
This week Zebra class have been learning about writing explanation texts as well as multiplying and dividing decimals.
The spellings for next week's test (13.12.19) are:
This week, children in both of the year 6 classes thoroughly enjoyed Food Friday, where we had halloumi with a variety of dips.
We have also been learning about circuits in science and dividing fractions in maths.
The spellings for next week's test (6.12.19) are:
This week the children have been learning about percentages in maths and writing poetry about the slave trade in English. They have also been learning about how to stay safe when using electricity.
The spellings for the test on 29.11.19 are:
Thank you to all parents and carers who came to parents evening this week.
Zebra class enjoyed their trip to the cinema today.
The next spelling test will take place on 22.11.19. The words to be practised are:
Thank you to all parents and carers who were able to make it to Zebra's class assembly. The children really appreciated having such an enthusiastic audience and were very proud to be able to share their learning experiences. While I would normally post what we have been getting up to this week, the assembly has probably given you a fairly clear idea.
The spellings for next week's test (Thursday 24/10/19) are:
Please don't forget that the Zebra class assembly is on Thursday 10th October 2019. We are looking forward to seeing some of the parents there.
This week we have been learning about how to write a balanced argument in English and learning about fractions in maths. We have also been learning about abstract art.
The spellings for next week's test (18.10.19) are:
Thank you to all parents who have encouraged reading at home this week, as we have had our best week yet in this regard.
This week, Zebra class have been working on area and perimeter in maths and practising our narrative writing technique. In topic, we have been learning about the slave trade, while we have been learning about light in science.
The spellings for next week's test, which will be on Friday 11th October are:
This week Zebra class have enjoyed a fantastic trip to learn life skills.
We have been looking at expanded noun phrases and using challenging vocabulary in English. In maths we have been refreshing our multiplication and division skills.
Many children had clearly been practising their spellings at home this week, which is fantastic. Our spellings for next week's test are:
Please remember to encourage your child to read at least three times a week at home.
This week in English we have written a non-chronological report and even had a visit in class from a leopard gecko! In maths we have been learning about negative numbers, and times when they might affect us in the real world.
We are looking forward to our life skills trip next week.
Our spellings for this week are:
The test for these spellings will take place on Friday 27th September 2019.
Please remember to encourage your children to read a minimum of three times per week.
Welcome to the page for Zebra class.
As a new addition to Barley Close, I am looking forward to working with my class over the course of the next academic year. I look forward to working alongside Mrs Duggan and Mrs G, who will be supporting the children of Zebra class in their learning.
During term one, PE will take place on a Wednesday afternoon. Please ensure that children are wearing appropriate PE kit when they arrive at school on Wednesday. Swimming will take place on Thursday mornings, so children will need to bring appropriate swimwear and a towel. On these days, please ensure that long hair is tied back and that children are not wearing earrings.
I would appreciate your support in encouraging the children to read regularly (at least three times a week) at home. It will also be important for the children to practise their spellings at home ready for the spelling test on Fridays.
This term our class text will be Holes by Louis Sachar, in which wrongly convicted Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake to dig holes in the blistering heat.