This term, we are reading Varjak Paw by SF Said. The main character, Varjak Paw, is a pure-bred Mesopotamian Blue, who lives with his family in the Contessa's grand house. He is not often allowed outside, and has never been further than the garden wall. Strange things start to happen at the house, making the Elder Paw worried that something is going to happen to the family. He tells Varjak to find help, in the form of a dog. But to do this, he must venture into the outside world.
Will he succeed in his mission to find a dog and save his family?
I love listening to the book and then writing about it. It's full of adverbials and speech so when it comes to writing I can think of ideas from the book. JoJo
"I think Varjak is crazy to go over the wall! He might die!" Sophie.
In S.F. Said and Dave McKean's magnificent book Varjak Paw, Varjak, a cat, is on a mission to get help from a dog. But he has no idea what a dog looks like, so he mistakes cars for dogs!
We wrote poems describing these "dogs" as Varjak saw them:
Today, we have been enjoying learning the story of ‘Zelda Claw and the Rain Cat’ We drew a story map then created actions to help us to retell this suspense story.
What is your favourite part/action?
“I really like the part when she ducks under the lorry hiding from the rain Cat but to make it even more better the engine is hot that is tense. The author must have thought carefully about that. That's not my favourite part, it has to be the ending when it said she is safe for now. I really want to know what's going to happen next.”
Mrs R: “I love the ending too …... What do you think happens next to Zelda?”
“My favourite paragraph is the first one. I like the first one because it doesn't exactly tell us that Zelda is scared but it gives a little hint saying that Zelda shivered, where could she escape in the down pour?"
“I also like the way that there is a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end of every paragraph.”
You're right ……….! It's a great Show not Tell sentence.
How do you think the author creates a cliff-hanger?
A massive Thank you for your continued support with your child’s home learning: it really makes a difference!
Astra's family are all snoring in their sleeping pods aboard their spaceship, but Astra is WIDE AWAKE. With her robot friend, Pilbeam, she goes off exploring and soon finds out the ship is in deep trouble. It's been knocked off course and invaded by a gang of Poglites, an alien salvage crew searching for spoonage (they just LOVE collecting spoons)!
But even the Poglites need Astra's help when they discover something far more sinister lurking in the canteen. Sure, they're cakes; but no one would describe them as sweet.. . . . .
The paper Lego Challenge
gives groups an opportunity to experience what it's like to build together.
Teams compete to build the tallest freestanding structure following these rules:
▪ Build the tallest freestanding structure as measured from the table surface to the top of the character given. The structure may not be suspended from another structure (like a chair, the ceiling, or a chandelier!).
▪ The entire character must be on top of the structure.
▪ Use as many or as few of the supplies as your team chooses
▪ Teams may break or fold the paper and cut the tape and string as needed to create the structure.
▪ Complete the challenge in 18 minutes. Teams may not hold the structure in place when the time stops. Touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise disqualifies the team.
Questions we were able to answer
Why is teamwork important?
▪ When more points of view are considered, it results in a complete final product because we have considered all our ideas and followed the best or incorporated several bits from different ideas.
▪ It is a supported way of working because team members can depend on one another.
How did the team function?
▪ What were your team’s strengths?
▪ What were your team’s frustrations?
▪ How can you apply what you learned from this challenge to your daily learning opportunities?
Final thoughts: A well-functioning team requires communication. Effective teamwork is essential.
Welcome to Year four!
I hope you have had a wonderful summer and are all ready for an amazing school year.
Over the coming year we will all be working hard to embrace challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning.
We have been busy these past few days getting to know each other and celebrating our talents. Importantly we have begun our passion for reading. It goes without saying that most children talk all the time. But research shows that if we share richer language, children’s vocabulary increases dramatically. Try using alternative words for the same thing – instead of saying ‘It’s hot’ say ‘It’s scorching’ or ‘It’s blistering’ or ‘It’s sizzling’. Challenge each other to come up with an unusual alternative.
Create an excitement about discovering new words.
Talk about their book together – ask your child what they liked or didn’t like about a story. What was their favourite bit? How do they think a character felt at a certain point in the story? Try asking them to retell the story using their own words (listen out for powerful word choices).