Winter is definitely coming to an end and, with the departure of our darkest season, it is time to start a new and exciting project. 'Water and Words' will introduce children to many different ideas: simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia and more! We will investigate the water cycle, rivers, seas and ponds and also look at why it is so important to conserve water. H2O is one of the most important ingredients for spring and lessons will be enhanced with cross-curricular links (a cress growing experiment and application of water in mathematics).
In addition, a new pre-school area is almost finished (we just need the tiny yellow chair that's currently on order). This will be a comfortable and cosy area for pre-school children and also gives more space for general activities.
'All stars are there to shine' and they'll all be shining this Proxima Skills month at Centauri. With projects and thematic learning to suit all budding astronomers, the sky really is the limit!
Week 1: Beginning Our Journey Around The Sun
Week 2: Crafting Stupendous Spaceships
Week 3: Discovering An Alien World
Week 4: Lunar Tunes and Mysterious Moons
Week 5: All Stars Shine Spectacularly
What an amazing half term we've had at Centauri!
The displays have become more and more 'Autumnal' as the term has progressed and we'll have two more weeks of Autumn-Theme when we return next week. We'll then start to decorate for CHRISTMAS on 14th November (I like the children and young people to get 5-7 weeks working on each display)!
You can see the highlights from our first half term if you click on the pictures above. The first was produced by a four year old who decided to have a go at using a pen. I do like to ensure all children - whatever their age - write using different types of stationary to build confidence and awareness. The second picture was made to build awareness of phonic sounds in words. It was coloured during the lesson to build recognition and ensure the child will want to look at it when at home. The third image shows our first science experiment to investigate how water travels around plants (the blue dye had a much better result than the green). The fourth picture shows two brothers who were enjoying Creativity Week so much, they posed for a picture to show off their great work. Fourth in line is our current Autumn display, which has grown larger since the picture was taken. Lastly is a wonderful drawing by a child who enjoys sharing his love of football whenever he gets a chance. He worked so hard with his mathematics and chose a drawing treat for the last ten minutes - this was the fantastic outcome!
This beautiful diagram was produced by a child studying 'The Romans' and it is so beautifully creative I just had to add it to this blog. When children are allowed to be creative, they grow in confidence and confident children are usually happy children. The young artist who produced this was very proud to show me her wonderful work and I was very impressed by its detail. Art is such an important part of every subject; even mathematics and the sciences can be taught in a creative way with the correct tools.
I think it's time we ensured creativity is brought in to absolutely EVERY part of education.
Where would we be without our imaginations?
What would our world be like without inventors and innovators?
Encouraging imaginative work is vital and children are creative in so many ways. It's crucial we encourage imaginative play from the onset and education is one area where creativity is key to secure good development!
Children enjoy the task of 'designing a monster' and I always find it helps if they draw a picture first rather than at the end. This piece of work really impressed me as it shows such great creativity. Phonics, reading, pencil control and science are all aided in this exercise and thematic learning is popular, especially with my primary pupils.
It's great when children choose their own subject and even more fantastic when they create this in just 30 minutes! Creativity is something we all possess and it flows from young minds like water cascades down a waterfall. When a six year old produces a piece of this standard it always makes me, as a tutor, smile from ear to ear. This child has only had two lessons with me and is already showing added confidence in her writing. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are easier to grasp if you approach them with a positive outlook and I always look forward to watching students progress in all areas.
Let's face it, children enjoy moving about! Some enjoy writing for longer periods of time than others, but most young people thrive on being able to release that excess energy in a safe outdoor space.
The natural environment is a wonderful place for children; it is a wonderful place for anybody!
Whether it be in winter when frost clings to the extremities of trees, or summer when the earthy aroma of 'just after rain' tickles the end of the nose, outside is a magical place!
Children thrive on spending time in the outdoor environment learning about seasons, changes, and cycles. Our understanding on our own selves is improved if we notice how life changes around us in the twelve months of a year. Life is beautiful and nature is part of us all - children have an innate love of nature and it's important we build on this.
Take your lesson outdoors for a few minutes, even in the rain! Jump in as many puddles as you can (you might even be able to incorporate maths into your puddle-jumping)! Spell the names of all the things you spot and then, when you return inside, write a beautiful poem or story about it.
Nature is full of wonder and children are full of imagination - what a wonderful combination for innovative education!
So often I come across children who have been taught there is 'only one way' to solve a mathematical problem and are penalised if they go about solving it in a different way.
Does this not remove the element of innovation that is so important for building future mathematicians?
I believe it is vital that children are taught numerous ways of solving problems so they grow up to become creative thinkers. If a child is never allowed to explore alternatives, how will they ever learn to think imaginatively?
People may ask: what happens if they get confused?
Children are, as I have discovered, adept at using many different methods and enjoy the challenges accompanied with problem solving. If taught in a creative way, most children thrive on using their own ideas and boredom is almost always avoided if children are allowed to take a lead.
Maths is a logical subject and most children are logical thinkers. The links between numbers need to be explored from an early age and failure to make links can lead to problems further down the line. Teaching different methods shows children that there isn't a single way of solving a problem - imagine if all our great innovators had only used one method?
We need to equip our children for a life outside of the classroom; it is important that we start by showing them the beauty of discovering mathematical patterns and avoid prescribing a 'one-size-fits-all' method of problem solving.