The children have started writing their own stories inspired by The Baboon on the Moon. Look out on the blog for some finished stories later in the week, but for now here are Oscar, Tom and Azeeza setting the scene.
Cool sloth on Jupiter – by Oscar
Deep in the middle of space a massive planet called Jupiter gradually and slowly span around in circles. This planet can fit over 2000 Earths inside and had had a storm raging for 350 years. The colours on the surface of the planet glowed in the darkness.
Bear on Saturn – by Tom
Far, far away a gas planet with an ice ring called Saturn orbited the sun. Its 62 moons dotted the sky like the pearls of a necklace.
Polar Bear on Uranus – by Azeeza
Far far away, thousands of miles from Earth, a big, blue, cold gas planet known as Uranus orbits around the sun slowly with its many moons.
The children started planning their own stories today. The idea was to use The Baboon on the Moon (whose job is to light up the moon each evening) as inspiration, but to change planet, character and job. Here’s a selection of the children’s great ideas for the job that their character will be doing in the stories they write starting with Thanh’s character’s endless task of sweeping up all the red dust on Mars! Do ask your children about their story ideas if you get the chance this evening.
Dusting on Mars – Thanh
Reporting alien activity – Lynden
Photographing Jupiter’s giant red spot – Niccolo
Recording the violent storms on Neptune – Juliette
Making Venus safe from asteroids – Kenza
Directing the orbits of the planets – Harry
Bus driver on Saturn – Tom
Mountaineer climbing the massive volcanoes on Mars – Reuben
Researcher collecting samples of rocks and minerals on Uranus – Azeeza
A dragon keeping the storms raging on Jupiter – Abdi
Searching for dinosaurs on Saturn – Jake
Making sure Mars spins in the correct direction – Annie
The children have all decorated their reading journals with illustrations from books by favourite authors. Here’s Azeeza’s depiction of the Animals of Farthing Wood.
I’ll try to give the children opportunities to read in the course of each day and there will be longer sessions of independent reading on Thursdays and Fridays (so books will need to go to and from school every day). The children will also update their journals each week with a narrative about the story-line of their book, the characters in it, predictions about the plot, and anything else they want to say. Since I’ve been teaching, I’ve yet to come across a child who reads widely and is not flourishing academically and so I’d like to make independent reading an important part of the year.
The class made a start in their journals by writing about the our class book, A Bear Called Paddington. Here’s what Annie and Kenza had to say.
Paddington is a very funny very messy bear. He comes from Darkest Peru. Mr Brown took him to a cafe. Paddington is a very very messy bear. He stepped in a Victoria sponge and he took a bit of the sticky bun. When Mrs Brown came back she looked very cross with Mr Brown. Annie
Paddington is a bear from South America. The place where Paddington is from is called Darkest Peru. Mrs and Mr Brown found Paddington at Paddington Station so they named him Paddington obviously. Anyway let me get back to the story. They took Paddington to a cafe where they bought some sticky jam and loads of buns. Paddington ate all of them. I’m like wow he’s great but he got all sticky and stepped in Mr Brown’s tea! Kenza
Today I told the children that I had jumped ahead to the end of the school year and was writing them all an end-of-year report saying what a great year they’d had. All they had to do in return was to write me a letter to explain why it was that they had had such a good year.
We talked about what makes a good learner and discussed the saying ‘Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right.’ The children wrote some great letters, showing they understood that if we believe in ourselves, work hard, and listen to and help one another, then there are no limits.
Sam: Every day I believed in myself and I was determined to learn. No matter how hard it was, I always gave it a try. I was especially proud when I produced a nice piece of art, even though it took a few attempts until I got it right. When things went wrong I asked my teammates for help. I worked together with my class; they learnt things off me and I learnt things off them.
Azeeza. I was determined to learn and never gave up, but when I was stuck my team mates helped me.
Oscar: If I was stuck with something one of my teammates helped me and if they were stuck I would help them.
Hollie: I found that when it comes to art I enjoy to help others and coach they if they really need my help. If any of my friends needed help I would always go over to their table and help them out.
Adam: Even when things went wrong, I just put a line through it and started again.
Alamine: In my team I was a really good teammate because I cooperated with my team really well and when I needed help I would ask a teammate or the teacher. I would never be afraid to ask for help and whenever my teammates needed help I would coach them. Every day when I go home I would always read. I think in class I worked really hard. Whenever I do work I always like to do it with pride.