Friday, November 27, 2020

The importance of washing our hands

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, before we went into lockdown, we decided to try to explain to the children how easily germs can spread. Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there.

To show the importance of thorough hand washing, we did a little experiment.

Here's what you need:
  • bread
  • hand sanitiser
  • handwashing liquid
  • water
  • various communal classroom items (e.g. ipad, pencils, etc)
  • gloves
  • sealing sandwich bags
Here's what we did:
  1. Teachers handed the bread with gloves.
  2. One student washed their hands well for 20 seconds, following the display posters. They then wiped their hands on a piece of bread and it was placed in a labelled sandwich bag.
  3. One student used hand sanitiser and then wiped their hands on a piece of bread.
  4. One student did not wash their hands at all and wiped their hands on a piece of bread.
  5. Then we wiped a piece of bread on an iPad and whiteboard pens.
  6. We left the sandwich bags for two weeks and then looked at the results.
I only got a picture of the pieces of bread that grew nasties but it proved our point and was certainly a conversation starter!

Have you conducted any experiments to show the importance of hand washing?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Arctic Adventures

When Winter hit, it was only appropriate to start a chilly theme like Arctic Adventures.

I enjoyed the classroom decorations for this theme. I even bought a sneaky pair of cute classroom slippers to wear, when appropriate of course.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Castles and Crowns

We moved from Africa onto Castles and Crowns in our second term together. I didn't get many photos of the setup but I did manage to find a photo of the role play area with a little banquet table and dress ups.

My favourite part of this unit was most definitely our school trip to Windsor Castle. My teaching partner and I put together a letter from 'Windsor Castle' inviting the children to enter a competition to 'win a trip' to the castle. Now, we knew we would going on the trip regardless but they didn't and you should have heard the screams of joy when we 'received' the letter below telling us we had 'won'.

It was such a beautiful place to visit. We got to walk through the state apartments and see the grand rooms all set up. The children were in awe and it is by far one of the coolest trips I have been on with a class.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A trip to the zoo

With our term theme being 'Africa' we organised a trip to London Zoo to see what other animals might live in Africa. There was a section called 'Into Africa' which was perfect for our learning!

Here are some of the snaps I took on the day:

What are some of your favourite school trips?

Saturday, November 14, 2020

How to make animal 'poo'

The investigations into finding out if our visitor was a monkey or ape lead to different animal types and carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. My amazing teaching partner thought of a fun activity where the children would have to investigate different animals 'poos' to determine which type of animal they were. They then had to record what they found and why they predicted that animal may have been a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore. It was one of the best activities we did the entire year and the children had a blast.

It was super easy to put together. All you need is:
cocoa powder
cream of tartar
hot water
small plastic bugs/insects

You simply combine all the ingredients like you would for playdough and then roll pieces in to 'poos'. After, add the different items that hint the animal may have been a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore. Of course, this isn't actually what their poos would look like but it served the purpose of teaching the children about the different animal types and was a great discussion starter.

Let me know if you try this investigation in your classroom.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Teaching in the UK

Well it has been a minute, hasn't it? Almost 3 years actually. I took a leap back in 2018 and moved my life over to the UK to teach for 2 years. It was an amazing adventure and one I will never forget.

I had the privilege of working at two primary schools in England - one in London and one about 2 hours north of London. I had two very different experiences but learnt a lot from both. I'm going to make a few posts here about some things I did in the classroom.

In the UK their school year begins in September and goes through to July and they have 3 school terms throughout the year. My favourite part was the half term break. Every 6ish weeks everyone would get a 1 week break. Then at full terms we would get 2 weeks off. It broke the terms up and everyone appreciated it! I'm not sure how I'll go getting used to 9-13 weeks straight now that I'm back in Australia.

My first full term we had an African theme and all our learning was centred around this. We created our learning space to reflect the theme and to engage the children from the first day they stepped into the classroom.

As our 'stunning start' the children walked into the classroom to discover a cheeky monkey had broken in and would not climb down from the hanging wires.

The children had to find a way to convince the monkey to come down so that we could learn more about him and where he came from.

Some tried to coax him down with bananas and others thought he may be stuck so attempted to build ladders to help him down.

'Please monkey come down or I'll give you 1 banana.'

Eventually he climbed down and told us he was from Africa, lost and missed his family very much. We had to investigate monkeys and apes to find out what he was and help him get home.