Maserati Class-Spring Term 2, 2022

Please see the topic web for this half term’s topic (Rocks, relics and rumbles) below:

Week beginning 28.03.2022-01.04.2022

This week, we have been carrying out lots of assessments and the children have been absolutely super.  They have been resilient when things got tricky and tried their very best.  I have been so proud of the effort they have put into their assessments this week – well done Maserati!

We have been especially focusing on our times tables towards the end of this week and our Y4 children have started practising for their multiplication check in June.

In English, we also continued our learning linked to the text ‘Blue John’ and this week the children have started to plan their own versions of the story.  They chose exciting settings and gems which their characters would become and have been carefully considering the tools we have learnt about – including alliteration – when adding description to their plans.  I cannot wait to see what they write next week.

In Topic this week, we have been focusing on the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. We found out about the excavation of Pompeii by Giuseppe Fiorelli and then considered whether some illustrations of the event were reliable historical sources.  The children also wrote diary entries as if they were people who had witnessed/escaped from Pompeii or Herculaneum.  Al of this linked into our exciting class trip where we travelled to Herculaneum to see the impact of the eruption.  We considered what it would have been like to live there and used information we had learnt in the week to try and identify what each building may have been used for.  Despite the rainy weather, we had a wonderful time exploring Herculaneum!

Linked to our work on volcanoes, the children have begun to create collages of volcanoes this week.  We looked at example collages and discussed what was effective, or ineffective, about them.  We then saw how we can begin to layer paper to make a collage before sketching our outlines to help us.  After this, we had lots of fun adding layers of paper to our art work which we hope to finish next week.

We also got to be very creative and enjoyed making some bath bombs on Tuesday, which was very exciting!

Week beginning 21.03.2022-25.03.2022

In Maths this week, we have continued our fraction unit.  Some of the children have been continuing to explore equivalent fractions using fractions walls to help them identify equivalent fractions, then going on to compare and order a range of fractions with different numerators and denominators.  The other children have focused on finding fractions of amounts, and then reversing this process to find a total quantity when given a fraction of it.  We have all worked really hard and showed some wonderful collaboration skills in our Maths!

English this week has focused on descriptive language and, as a class, we created some descriptive sentences for a beach setting.  From this, the children worked in pairs to organise the sentences into an order they thought worked best.  Then, the children wrote these up as a complete paragraph, after which they edited and improved them.  Maserati have used some super descriptive language this week and have shown that they can really set the scene for a narrative.

As part of our topic this week, we have focused on fossils in science and topic.  First, we did some initial reading on fossils in guided reading and found out some interesting facts; for example, people used to believe that ammonites were snakes turned to stone by St. Hilda!  We then looked at a range of fossil images and the children worked in groups to categorise them and write explanations for their choices.  The groups all had very different approaches to the task and it was really interesting to hear why everyone had made the groupings they had. 

Then, we found out about Mary Anning who discovered the first Plesiosaurus fossil.  After finding out about more of her discoveries, we considered why she was so important to palaeontology (the study of fossils).  One of our class even brought in a book from home which had an interesting page all about Mary Anning.  Finally, we learnt how fossils were formed and the differences between bone and fossils.

We linked our topic work to our art work this week and practised our clay modelling skills.  Inspired by a range of fossil images, we used modelling clay and modelling tools to create fossil replicas which now sit proudly in our reading corner.

Week beginning 14.03.2022-18.03.2022

This week in Maserati, we focused on revising some of our Maths skills as part of our learning this week.  We practised our equivalent fractions skills by identifying equivalent fractions and considering how we can work out when fractions are equivalent.  We also practised our column subtraction skills and some children were challenged to complete subtraction calculations where numbers were missing from the working.

In English, we explored descriptive language – focusing on similes – and considered how we could describe precious gems, as this will help us in our own writing over the next few weeks.  We used the poem ‘The Flint’ by Christina Rossetti as a model for how we could use descriptions of gems to contrast with something which appears ordinary but actually gives us something important or special.  The children created their own versions of the poem and they used some fantastic descriptive language and vocabulary.

In Topic this week, we began to explore places which had been impacted by volcanic eruptions and for this week we focused on Herculaneum.  As a class, we considered what made a good information leaflet for a visit to a place.  Then, the children worked in groups to research Herculaneum and design their very own information leaflet for people visiting the site.

We have also focused on colour mixing in art this week.  We began by considering how we could make different shades of blue and green by adding darker colours and white to lighten or darken the colour, as well as how yellow would change the colour.  Then, we created our own colour wheels in our book by using the three primary colours and mixing them to make the remainder of the colours in the wheel.  Then, we used what we had learnt to create our own gem pictures, mixing the colours to create shading in our paintings.

We also had a fantastic Red Nose Day on Friday where lots of us chose to wear red!

Week beginning 07.03.2022-11.03.2022

This week, we have been exploring our new text ‘Blue John’ in more detail. We started off the week by looking at a range of illustrations from the book and discussing how we thought the characters were feeling in each picture. We used our inference skills here, looking for clues to help us decide how the characters were feeling at each point in the story. Then, we considered how we can describe colours and researched different synonyms for the two key colours in the story – blue and gold. The children then explored how to use verbs to create a sense of feeling and how we can use alliteration for effect in our writing.

In Maths this week, we continued to work on our fractions learning but we used a fantastic piece of maths equipment – Cuisenaire! First, we explored what each of these pieces could represent and how they could be combined to make a given amount. Then, we considered the bars as fractions and used these to help us in our learning. We also practised our addition skills this week to make sure we are as super at adding now, as we were when we learnt our new skills in the Autumn term.

As part of our topic, we learnt about different kinds of rocks. The three main types of rocks are igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. The children were split into groups and tasked to research information about that type of rock. They had to find out how it was formed and some more interesting information about it which they could share with the class.

We have also been having lots of fun learning about cricket in our PE lessons! We have been practising our basic throwing skills and learning how to bowl the ball.

Week beginning 01.03.2022-04.03.2022

This week we began to explore our new topic ‘Rocks, relics and rumbles’ which focuses on the fascinating world of volcanoes, tectonic, plates, earthquakes and more! We began the week by exploring the layers of the Earth and learning about each layer. We were very surprised to learn that humans have only been able to dig through a bit of the Earth’s crust, as if you went any further it would be too hot and the drills would break. We have also started looking at using longitude and latitude lines on a map to find locations.

Our topic this half term also links to our science which focuses on rocks and fossils, and we began this unit by looking into the three main types of rocks – sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. We labelled a range of rocks using a picture resource we had and then used iPads to help us find out information about each of the three main rock types.

In English, our new text we are exploring is called ‘Blue John’ by Berlie Doherty. It tells the story of Blue John, a creature created by the Queen of Darkness, who faces a difficult decision – whether or not to venture out of his cave home into the light. The children have enjoyed listening to the new story and exploring words and music linked to the story. They also wrote some fantastic descriptions for how they thought the story would end, most of which were spot on!

We have continued our work on fractions this week by revising their learning on unit and non-unit fractions, and then investigated how we can identify fractions on a number line and count in fractions (for those working at the Band 4 level). We have also been exploring a rage of new vocabulary linked to fractions, including proper, improper and mixed number.

We also had a brilliant World Book Day and had lots of literary characters in our classroom instead of the children! It was wonderful to see everyone’s costumes and get involved in some fun book-themed activities.

In our topic area of our classroom, the children have been enjoying exploring some of he new challenges independently and using the globe to find different places around the world.