A Week in Reception - Room 25D
by The Reception Team Members...
Our school has about 450 students in Reception to Year 7
The school is in the outer suburbs of Adelaide in a semi rural town.. Our class is a Reception class. We are all 5 years old and began school at the beginning of this year. We have 25 students, 11 boys and 14 girls and our teacher tells us we are all unique and special in our own ways!
This is a guide to what we do each week because as 'explorers of the world' you never know what might happen to change it! Our teacher says that its good to have routines so we can be organised but it is really important to be flexible because you never know what learning opportunity might present itself!
The class door is open at about 8:30am and we come in to do our jobs, these help us develop responsibility and independence. We put down our chairs, put away our lunch, recess and brain food (more about that later) change our home reading books, and then have a shared reading time with a senior buddy, friend or parent.
We have an interactive white board in our class so next we add our personal avatar to the 'I'm here' screen and go back to our table to do a buzz activity. We have two things we can do for buzz time, our own individual pot of play dough that we love rolling, bending twisting to make letters, numerals and words or our teacher puts a coloured bag on each group of tables with an activity in it.
Each bag has a different task, things like white boards to practice sight words, tracing cards for hand writing, a board game, jigsaws, cards to play snap/concentration or dice and counters to play the addition game to name a few. What ever is in the bag we can use as a 'fill-in activity' at any time during the day. Our teacher rotates the bags every day and changes the activities once a week. We never have to ask what to do if we finish because there is always something to do on our table.
The bell to start the day goes at 8:45 and we come down to the floor and check theclass jobs we have to do like being teacher helper or giving out books, taking the lunch orders to the canteen, dusting the computers or doing the messages. The teacher helper chooses 3 songs and puts them up on the white board so we can read the words and we use the iPod to play the music. We love song time and even the mums and dads and baby brothers and sisters join in. When the songs finish we know it is time to say goodbye to our families, which we do with a wave and a smile. We know we will have so much to tell them when they come back to pick us up.
Back to our tables for writing time. Each day has a different focus, a fine motor skills - cutting pasting task, a handwriting lesson, sight word /alphabet flashcards bingo or lotto and journal writing but our favourite day is Friday. We have an hour to work with our year 7 buddies and rotate through 5 activities all relating to our letter of the week. For example when we were learning about 's' we built sand castles in the sand pit (fine motor), used skipping ropes (gross motor activity), make string pictures (art activity), played snakes and ladders (a maths game) and use the cd player to play soundtracks you listen to the sound and match it to a picture (literacy game).
Everyday we have a fitness time and we choose our activity for the day by pulling it out of our interactive whiteboard hat. It might be an obstacle course on the playground, equipment day using balls, skipping ropes or hoops, walk and talk around the oval, dance and jive or Brain gym time. If it is raining we stay inside and do chair exercises to music, kicking our feet, bending side to side doing push ups on the back and bouncing up and down it's so much fun.
After fitness we have a 'brain food snack' time, we choose a healthy snack like fruit, vegetables, yoghurt or cheese (we say fresh is best) and have a big drink of water so we are focused and ready for our literacy time.
Literacy time begins on the floor using our interactive white board. We write the class daily news helping our teacher with the spelling, because she is learning and we tell her just to have a try and sound out the sight words for her. Then we review the weather by thinking - 'what was the weather like while we were doing fitness?' and by looking out the window. We check the Internet for the temperature and UV rating and record those too.
Next we sing our days of the week song and the months of the year song. Do you know that we were getting bored singing the same song so our teacher looked on the internet and found 6 songs for days of the week and 6 songs for the months of the year. Now we throw a dice and what ever the number we count down the list and that is the song we sing. Finally we find the day on the calendar and write the date.
Literacy is woven through all tasks we do during the day but this time is where we learn specific skills.
On Mondays and Thursdays a modelled writing session.
On Tuesday we read a Premier's Reading Challenge book focusing on print concepts and word knowledge and doing a follow up task.
Wednesday we do Matrix Magic - our teacher says if she keeps telling us we will never learn about the letter and sound so we choose a letter and find pictures or words from our alphabet corner, use dictionaries and the alphabet toy boxes to find things that begin with our chosen sound, draw them, share them with a friend, then we tell our teacher 5 things in 10 seconds! Boy are we clever learning by ourselves.
On Thursday we have guided reading groups and Friday its our groups with ourbuddies.
These form the basis of our literacy program, but the main foundation to all of this is the alphabet. Each week we have a focus letter and then all our other activities relate to that letter. For example if we are doing the letter 's' we read books with titles that start with 's'-Samantha Seagulls Sandals, Super Gran. In morning sing time we choose songs that start with the letter. Our favourite 's' song is Subunana Kusasa from the ABC sing books.
Must be recess time so we can go outside and play.
After recess we are usually out of the classroom. On Mondays PE, Tuesdays Japanese then Music (our subjects taken by specialist teachers) Wednesdays a skill lesson in our computer suite, Thursday a visit to the school library, on Fridays a Gross Motor Lesson set up in the gym for our Junior Primary classes. We have an hour to run, jump climb, use big balls, climbing frames, pogo sticks, balancing equipment but most of all lots of physical activity.
Next back to the classroom for Maths time.
We start with a specific skills session and follow up with explorationactivities/games to support the skill. Our theme this week has been patterns so we have collected things from outside and made patterns with things like rocks, leaves and sticks, taken pictures of patterns and made a pattern book, drawn patterns, made clapping patterns and coloured macaroni pattern necklaces and read stories with repeating text patterns. We even found out that words can have patterns like hat cat mat sat far rat -Wow!
Time for some theme work relating to our other curriculum subjects (but still with a focus from our letter of the week) so when we learnt about 's' we found snails in our garden and them made them, we found out about the solar system, we planted our sunflowers and made soup with vegetables from our garden.
We also find time to work on Program Achieve, and have new friends like Confident Chrissy, Organised Olly, Persistent Pete and Getting along Gertie. They help usdevelop confidence you can do it/ give it a go, persistence, organisation and getting along/working with others, and that ties us into school values of Caring, Creativity, Acceptance, Responsibility, and Enthusiasium.
Better fit in some lunch...
After lunch we have a Relaxation time but again each day is different. We are learning that there are lots of different ways we can relax. Mondays we go to work in our school garden we are in charge of the herbs, the sunflowers and the pumpkins, on Tuesdays we listen to music, Wednesdays we watch a DVD, a 10 minute series cartoon like Care Bears, Mr. Men or Land Before Time, Thursdays we have quiet reading time and on Fridays we have massage time - our teacher collected the plastic massage animals and we sit in a circle and gently rub each others backs. Sometimes we get a little bit of oil and massage our hands. That feels nice!
Time for Show and Share, we have a roster and each day 5 of us bring something from home to share. We use our describing words and sentences (number, shape, colour, size, texture, and how it makes us feel) to talk and show our item to the rest of the class. Some times we have 'mystery bag show and share' and we describe what we have in the bag and then every one asks questions until they guess what it is. Sometimes we use the webcam and talk to the camera but everyone else can see us on the whiteboard.
Activity time is the best time we can choose what we would like to do. Some of us play games, some write and draw, some dress up, some build with construction toys. Our teacher has a craft activity that we can join in with if we want to. Mondays is the best day because all the Junior Primary students get together for Activity. It's fun making things with our friends.
Before we know it our teacher is playing the 'Team' song by Hi 5 and we know that it is pack up time. We are pretty clever because we work like a team and are always packed up by the time the song finishes. Our monitors give out our reading folders and any notes to take home, we pack our bags, have time for a quick story or song and the bell goes. Our teacher comes out with us to say goodbye and to tell our parents how clever we are and our school day is done!
When we go home we tell our families about all the things we have done. If we forget we look on the Internet at our class website because we have pictures and stories of the things we have done. If you like you can look at our website to and see all the great things we do too - here is the address - www.wpsreceptions.edublogs.org
We hope you have enjoyed hearing about our exciting days at school.
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