Sunday, December 1, 2013

November School Report

I've been thinking that I should be writing about all the little stories from school, but they never seem big enough for their own post and I don't have a Twitter account. To fix this, I will write monthly reports, collection bits as the month goes by. Here's November!

This month saw a big step forward for J and for L--homework! Also, they had a school trip to Harlow Carr Garden.

J had been bringing home "talk homework" on Thursdays, suggesting topics to talk about so the students could write about them the next day. Now he has written homework too. The book says it is spelling homework, but I think it is just as much about practicing writing (his handwriting, like most boys his age, is not very good) as it is about remembering how words are spelled. J initially wanted to write one word a day. The only problem was there were too many words for him to finish. So in a burst of enthusiasm, he finished it one Saturday.

J proudly shows his work

L also has writing homework, though hers is focused on letters not words. She's better at writing than J, mostly because she loves drawing and crafting.

L does her homework

Comment by the teacher, not us!

I was asked by J's teacher to help on the Harlow Carr Garden trip. A few days later, L's teacher asked me (both Reception and Year 1 were going) and I had to say no since I'd already agreed to help the other class. There may be some class warfare in my future. The trip itself was fun, though the morning was cold and almost rainy. The plan was to have one class do indoor activities for half the day and then explore the gardens the other half. L's class did the indoor stuff first, which meant J and I and his class had the cloudy, misty morning to explore the gardens. We found a bunch of leaves, sticks, and nuts to use for crafts back at school. We also searched for different animals and sights with an "I spy" sheet. The morning was fun but chilly. I had a group of five children and they stayed together for the most part.

We had lunch in a greenhouse that wasn't heated but at least it was shelter. One parent went for hot beverages while everyone started their pack lunches (including me!). The children were very well behaved for lunch, I was impressed. Eventually they became antsy and wandered a little bit, but not too much. Once done eating, we returned to the learning centre and heard some stories and information about trees. We went out briefly to look at some trees, including one that was planted in King Henry VIII's day. The garden staff gave us a sheet with different leaf shapes on it and we learned to identify trees by their leaves!

It was a fun if exhausting day. Everyone slept well that night! Sorry there were no pictures from the trip but that's the way school trips go.

L was star of the day twice this month, one time for crafting a book and the second time for sitting well and trying hard at all her work. The reception class has been really great for L even though she is often reluctant to go first thing in the morning. Not because she is not a morning person, just from general resistance.

She has turned into a arts-and-crafts-aholic. No room in our house has been spared some drawing or painting. Luckily she has put her work on paper and then hung it up rather than drawing directly on the walls. Some other three-dimensional art has come home from school. I got in trouble when I put this item in the recycling bin:

L's art

L scolded me, "Why are you putting my bread-stick maker in the bin?!?!?" We had to take it out. It has since been surreptitiously buried at the bottom of the recycling bin.

The PTA hosted two cake stalls (that's a bake sale to you Americans) this month. During the first one, I decided to pick up the kids first and then they could pick out their baked treats. Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the stall everything was sold out! At the second cake stall, I purchased first and picked up the kids second.

December may be a shorter report since school finishes on the 20th, but there are a lot of things going on like the Christmas Fayre and the Reception Nativity.

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