Snow, Secret Doors and Stories in P3A

We had fun in the snow on Tuesday morning as we went out to enjoy it before it melted.  It was a lovely way to start the day with some daylight and fresh air 🙂

On Tuesday we did some planning to help us to write an imaginative story.  On our tree in the library corner a small door has appeared, our stories could be about anything that was behind that door.  We had a story starter:

On a quiet day, you can sometimes hear them. Every now and then, there’s a tapping or a scraping or a rustling from behind the door. Occasionally, movement can be glimpsed through the dark windows.  One day the door began to slowly creak open… 

We listened to sound effects of the door opening and took some time to put our imagination to work and think about what might be behind it.  We wrote our ideas on ‘grafitti walls’ to share them with others and to help our thoughts develop further. We then wrote notes on the beginning, middle and end of the story.  We also created our own word banks of descriptive words that we might need in our stories.  On Wednesday wrote stories using our notes.  They are certainly imaginative and I really enjoyed reading them.  We will continue to work on imaginative writing over the next couple of weeks, hopefully seeing progression as we further develop our story writing skills.

We learned more about healthy eating on Thursday, again focusing on where our food comes from.  We looked at dairy farming and examined some of the products we have in our supermarkets that begin as milk from the cows in dairy farms.  We also learned about how calcium is good for our teeth and bones.  We had some cheese, butter and oatcakes as a snack.

It is Scotland Loves Languages week next week and we are looking forward to a visit from our P7 Language Ambassadors who will teach a French lesson and we will be learning about French culture with Mrs Kennedy.

Enjoy the weekend, P3A and Mrs Kennedy

P3B Week commencing Monday 20th January

In PE this week we have started to learn some of the skills required to play football.  We have been learning how to pass the ball to each other.  We have also been learning how to dribble the ball around cones and each other.

In Maths we have been continuing to work on developing our subtraction skills by subtracting numbers from 100 using our number facts to 20.  We have also been working on developing our “number talk” skills and using different strategies to work out the correct answers.

This week we also have been looking at Scottish poetry and language.  We looked at the story about the Gruffalo which was written in scots and discussed the meaning of the different words.  We then used this knowledge to help us learn the Scottish poem about the Crocodile which we performed at the Scottish Assembly today in front of the school.

We also took part in the P5 design competition where we had to design a new T-shirt to help raise funds for the Sick Children’s’ Hospital in Edinburgh.

In writing this week we have been looking at different types of book “blurbs” used by authors to help readers decide if they would like to read their books. Using this information we then wrote a new “blurb” for the Scottish story “The Secret of the Kelpie” which we have been studying in class.  In addition to this we also designed a new front cover for the book.

In Health & Wellbeing we finished designing our playground crows based on the story about the “Birds on a Wire”.  Each crow contains an individual message from us about how we should play and behave in the playground.   All our crows are sporting lovely tartan designs waistcoats!

In our Reflective Reading this week we played “Blankety Blank” where we had to find the missing words from the story “The Secret of the Kelpie”.  We found this quite challenging but managed through discussion to find most of the words.  We then further challenged ourselves by making a list of alternative words the author could have used  in the story.

Mr Ritchie and the tiggerrific P3B’s.

Snow Animals, Time and Kelpies in P3A

P3A are very much back in the swing of things this week.  In maths we have begun subtraction.  At the moment we are practising our mental subtraction through number talks and working hard to become more confident with missing number sums (eg, 18 – ___ = 7 or ___ – 5 = 12)  as quite a few of us were finding these tricky – we’re getting good at them now though!

In outer maths we have begun ‘time.’  We are working on telling the time using an analogue clock at the moment.  Focusing on half past and quarter past.  We also drew the hands on a clock face to represent these times too.  We have to remember that the little hand points to the hour and the big hand points to the minutes.  We will continue with this topic for the next few weeks.

All classes are changing their corridor wall displays at the moment and P3A chose ‘snow animals’ as their theme.  We have been learning about how some animals have adapted to survive in very cold climates, we have been learning about snow leopard, snowshoe hare, sika deer, arctic fox, bobcat and polar bear. In groups we did some reading for information, highlighting interesting facts.  We then used these notes to write a fact file.  These are very informative and will be great on our display.   We have been enjoying watching clips from a program on BBC iplayer called ‘Stunning Survivors: The Secret Skills of Snow Animals’  It has been very interesting and we have learned a lot about how animals survive extremely cold conditions – much better than us humans can!

We also created some artwork for the display.  When we were watching Stunning Survivors we saw the Northern Lights and decided to learn more about them.  We then created our own interpretations using water colour paint.  We also drew line drawings of a snow animal of our choice and glued them onto our Northern Lights backgrounds.  They are very effective and we worked hard to look at the animals looking at the lines, shapes and features and trying to recreate them in our drawing.

We read the book The Secret of the Kelpie by Lari Don, an adaptation of a traditional Scottish folk tale.  This led us to look at traditional Scottish designs.  In the Secret of the Kelpies there are some drawings carved into stone – shapes to represent objects and tell a story.  We decorated our own initial with Scottish patterns.  We also did a ‘Spot the Silly Word’ reflective reader task on a passage from the book, we read the passage carefully, spotted the silly words and suggested more suitable words to use in their place.  This really helps to increase our vocabulary as we work together, discussing possible words to use.

We now have music lessons with Ms Bain on a Thursday.  This week we were singing the Scottish song – Katie Bairdie, I haven’t heard it yet but I got very good feedback from Ms Bain on how well P3A sang 🙂

In PE we have begun a block on football.  We were improving our dribbling skills this week – trying to keep the ball close to our bodies and in control while we move around quickly.

Another great week, well done P3A.  Have a lovely weekend everyone.

P3B Week commencing 16th December

In the last week before we break for the Christmas holidays we have been keeping ourselves very busy in P3B.  We have been using our numeracy skills to complete Christmas Maths challenges using our knowledge of place value, addition, the one hundred square and symmetry.  We also took part in a Christmas maths challenge where we worked in teams to solve problems which were written in a context.  We found some of the questions very challenging!

In Technology we took part in a team building challenge where we had to use newspaper, glue and cello tape to build the tallest tower we could.  The tower had to stand on its own for at least 12 seconds and support the weight of a small tigger toy.  We had to work together as a team, listen to each other and work efficiently as the challenge was set against the clock.  We had 15 minutes to complete the challenge.  Some of the towers were not strong enough but the winning tower managed to stand on its own to support the tigger toy and was 22cm tall.  We then discussed how well we performed as a team, what went well and what we would do differently the next time.  One of the most important lessons we learned was not to rush into the task but to come up with a plan before starting the challenge.  We then put these ideas into practice when we took part in the second challenge to design and make a pair of shoes for the class Christmas elf.  The shoes had to fit a member of the team and be able to come off and on.  The shoes had to be strong enough to walk around the classroom without falling apart and meet the design brief written by the elf.  We all had great fun designing, making the shoes and learning valuable team skills.

On Tuesday we had our Christmas party with the P4’s.  We all had a great time dancing, singing and taking part in all the different games.  Mr Wells was the DJ and he kept us all amused with his singing and jokes.   We were all quite exhausted after the party!

This week we also learned how to plant bulbs which were kindly donated to the school.  We put three bulbs in our pots and have taken them home to look after them.  We hope they will grow and produce a beautiful display in the spring.

Today we performed our song “Frosty the Snowman” at the Carols around the Christmas tree concert.  We gave a tiggerrific performance and also showed off some of our amazing snowmen designs during the performance.

We are now all looking forward to our holidays and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From Mr Ritchie and the tiggerrific P3B’s.

Merry Christmas from P3A

Wow, what a fun, busy week!

I’ll just mention some of the highlights.  On Monday we had a technology afternoon.  We were set two challenges – the first was to build the highest tower possible using only newspaper and cellotape.  It had to stand unaided, with a platform at the top for a toy car.  The car had to balance on it for 10 seconds.  Every team fulfilled the brief and the winning team built a tower that was 57cm high!  The second challenge was to make elf shoes that fitted someone in your group.  They had to be able to come off and on and be strong enough to last in a parade around the classroom.  Every team succeeded and we got two children from P3B to judge the best looking shoe to help us to decide on a winner!

Our party on Tuesday was great.  It was like a real disco with cool lights and Mr Wells was our DJ, he played lots of good music and helped with instructions for the games.  We played pass the parcel, musical statues, Christmas corners and had a Christmas zumba dance to finish off.

A large bag of daffodil bulbs was recently donated to the school and Mrs Tucker (who usually helps us with reading) came in to do some planting with us on Thursday.  She could only stay for a while so she got us started and trained a few helpers to show the others what to do – thank you! Also, a big shout out to O, L and S who did an amazing job – helping all the children in both P3 and  P1 classes to plant some bulbs – thanks boys!  The plants are for the children to look after at home and hopefully they will see some flowers in Spring.

We sang so well at the Carols Around the Tree concert – especially as we we opened the show 😉 We had been practising hard and are very proud of ourselves.  We hope you enjoyed it.

Have a wonderful Christmas,

P3A and Mrs Kennedy

Good Friends in P3A

We are still working away in P3A, trying to keep as much normality as possible in these last two weeks before Christmas.   We have been continuing our learning of column addition, focusing on carrying this week.  To begin with we all sat together and worked through some addition problems, helping each other if we got a little stuck.  We have really enjoyed the challenge of these sums and by the end of the week we all got it.

‘Kindness’ was the theme for both our health and our writing lessons.  We watched the animation – Giraffes Can’t Dance and then went into groups to discuss how the animals reacted to Gerald, how Gerald felt, what advice we would give to the animals and possible solutions to make Gerald feel better about himself.   We then worked individually to draw a picture of ourselves and Gerald dancing, we then wrote some sentences of encouragement for Gerald.  The encouragement P3A gave him was fantastic!  For writing we wrote a ‘Recipe for a Good Friend’. On Tuesday we wrote grafitti walls of words about what qualities we look for in a friend. We used these words to make our own word banks. On Wednesday, we wrote our recipes, choosing the qualities we like most as our ingredients – almost as though we were baking a gingerbread friend. For the method we used ‘bossy verbs’ to give instructions. I’ve put a couple below so you can see what they’re like. They’re such lovely recipes and the children know what positive traits our friends should have.

We worked in groups to paint large pictures to decorate the school hall for the Carols Around the Tree event next week.  Each group could decide to paint any Christmas image they wanted – but they all had to agree on what it was, there was some compromising to be done but we got there and the pictures are looking really good.

On Wednesday, Mrs Kennedy’s neice came to visit. She lives in Saudi Arabia and she showed us a little film she made about her life there. We asked her lots of questions about living in a different country. She also taught us some Arabic. P3A were very welcoming, polite and kind and although she was pretty nervous she had a lovely afternoon and thought our school was great 🙂

I can’t believe it’s just a week until the holidays! We’re looking forward to our last week in school, the children’s excitement, although loud 😉 is lovely and we get carried along with it.

Have a good weekend, P3A and Mrs Kennedy


P3B Week commencing 2nd December 2019

We have had an extremely busy time this week as we turned our classroom into a mini factory to produce all our goods for sale at the Christmas Fayre. During the week we learned how to be mini entrepreneurs as we ran different production lines to make wooden Christmas tree decorations, lolly pop stick reindeer and snowmen. We also had to make up bags of magical reindeer food. We also purchased coloured Christmas themed wristbands as we thought they would sell well and help us to make more money for the school.

During the production process we learned the importance of quality control and why it was so important that we cut and glued everything neatly, coloured and decorated the tree decorations carefully so they would be attractive for people to buy. If they did not look attractive, or they were falling apart then our customers would not buy them so we would not make any money or have to sell the items at a reduced price.

As part of our Maths lesson this week, we looked at the importance of working out the correct price to sell our items so we would make a profit. We also practiced counting the prices of the various items and giving change so we could provide a good service to our customers. We also continued to work on our column addition and the importance of using the correct layout.

In writing we looked at designing attractive posters to advertise and explain to our customers what we were selling. We learned that this is a very important part of running a business and is just as important as getting the price of the items correct.

On Thursday we all had a lovely Christmas lunch in the hall which was enjoyed by everyone. The hall was also beautifully decorated with the big Christmas tree and Christmas decorations and festive music playing in the background. The food was delicious!

On Friday all our hard work came together as we ran our class stall and displayed all our beautiful products. We took it in turns to work on the stall. It was very busy at times and we are looking forward to hearing from the PTA how much profit we made. We would like to thank everyone for coming to our stall and buying our products.

Mr Ritchie and the tiggerrific P3B’s

The Apprentice has nothing on P3A!

We have had a fun week in P3A, learning business and enterprise skills.  We  looked at product, pricing, marketing and selling as we prepared for the Christmas Fair.  We all worked very hard to make the items to sell on our stall:  Making reindeer food, Christmas tree decorations using wooden discs,  reindeer and snowmen lollipop holders.  We also bought some wristbands as they were quite cheap and we thought we could sell them for a good price and make some profit from them.

The other products were chosen as we were looking for some environmentally friendly goods to sell, with as little plastic as possible – our reindeer food does not have any glitter as it is plastic and not good for the environment – ours is entirely edible and birds might enjoy it as well as reindeer 🙂  They are in paper bags too and these can be recycled after use. The wooden discs are also all natural products.

As we were making the products we had to think about quality control and make sure they were as neat as possible and of good quality – no one would like to buy something that is falling apart or poorly made!  We were a great production team, the classroom was like a factory with everyone working hard on their job.

In our writing lesson, we learned about persuasive language.. We worked in teams to think of words and phrases that we could use to make signs that will make people want to buy each of our products.  They also had to show information about the product and clearly show the price too.  We also thought about reasonable prices to sell our goods at – taking into account the money spent to buy the resources.  Learning what a profit is.

On Thursday we had our school Christmas lunch. The lunch hall looked great and there was Christmas music playing too.  The food was lovely and we all had a good time.

As the hall was busy with Christmas lunches we had PE in the classroom again this week.  We did some Scottish country dancing, by popular demand (from some!)  The children have been learning Scottish dances with Mrs Reid and we had great fun and good exercise practicing them in class.

In numeracy, we continued with column addition sums and learned about making a profit or a loss when selling goods.

On Friday, we were very busy at the Christmas Fair – we worked hard on our stall, adding prices and working out change.  Some of us even went around the Fair with baskets of products and did really well.  We showed lots of confidence and had excellent sales chat!  We sold out of everything on our stall and we are looking forward to finding out from the PTA what our takings were.

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Fair today, it is always great fun and the children get so much out of having their own stall.

Have a lovely weekend, P3A and Mrs Kennedy

P3B Week commencing 18th November 2019

In writing this week we looked at how to write an article for a newspaper.  We used one of our Percy the Park Keeper stories and pretended we were newspaper reporters.  We had to write a report for the newspaper about how the little rabbit managed to fall down the old well and was rescued by his friends.  We had to use the correct style of writing by identifying who, what, where, when and how the event happened and the people involved.  We have written really nice articles and added in some pictures for the readers to look at.

In Maths we have been working hard on developing and improving our mental strategies through our Number Talks and Big Maths activities.

We have also started to change our main corridor display and break out play areas.  The new theme will be based around the Stick Man stories.  We have been watching the Stick Man video and discussing what things we could include in our displays and activity stations.  Thank you to everyone who has collected and handed in sticks.  These will be put to good use to help us design and create the new area.

We finished off the week by holding a BEAR (Be Excited About Reading) event to celebrate Book Week where we all brought in our favourite books to read and share by torchlight.  We put out all the lights and closed the blinds to make it really dark, and displayed an image of a burning log fire on the Smart Board to add a lovely warm cosy glow to the classroom.  At the end of the event we also received our Read, Write and Count Bags to take home and share with our friends and families.

Mr Ritchie and the tiggerrific P3B’s

Goodbye James (P3A)

We said goodbye to James and his insect friends this week as we finished reading James and the Giant Peach.  The end of the story was really good and very funny – the poor people of New York did not know what was happening when a giant peach floated over the city!  We pretended to be journalists reporting on the story.  On Tuesday we learned about some of the features of a newspaper article, working in a group to identify the who, what, where, when and how in an article, as well as looking at the headline and some eye-witness quotes. We then wrote notes for our own article on James’ arrival into New York.  On Wednesday we wrote our own articles, they are really good, excellent information and descriptions of events.

In outer maths we made tables and drew bar charts on the colours of Smarties in one tube.  The main focus was the drawing of the bar chart – learning the words axis and axes, labelling them and giving our bar chart a title.  Everyone drew an accurate bar chart and we enjoyed the Smarties afterwards.

We enjoyed a visit to the school library this week.  We are hoping to visit each Wednesday so please bring back books then.

As part of Book Week Scotland and our own campaign to further engage the children in reading, we had another BEAR (Be excited about reading) event on Friday.  It was nice to read by torchlight, with an open ‘fire’ in the classroom, a different reading experience 🙂 We were very lucky to receive our Read, Write, Count bags on Friday too.

Thank you to everyone who handed in sticks, the teachers and support staff have been working hard this week to transform the corridor play area with lots of Stick Man related activities and even a family tree!  We have really been enjoying playing in the new areas and being Play Leaders there too.

That’s all for this week, have a good weekend, P3A and Mrs Kennedy 🙂