Monthly Archives: April 2012

An Orgy of Roman-ness!

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…has been had this week.  We started of with a trip to Lunt Fort, in Coventry which was fantastic!  We had a guided tour around the fort by Dominicus, a Roman soldier.

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We found out about Celts and how they prepared fro battle (plus a brief idea about why they were fighting the Romans).  Tig and Ot enjoyed role playing as Celts creeping and finding out how the Romans used nettles, caltrops and drainage channels in the ditches (ankle breakers) to help defend the fort against invaders.  Lunt Roman Fort 2012-04-23 002Lunt Roman Fort 2012-04-23 003

They found the idea of drunk, naked, blue Celts pretty funny and both decided they’d much rather eat with the Celts than the Romans. 

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Inside the fort we  found out about the battlements, the ballista (it could shoot a bolt through 7 people, 3 times a minute-Tig answered the maths for that one I was pleased that he used maths and he was pleased that he could answer.)  We food out that Romans would have sung songs to keep their spirits up and had a go at old mac Donald in Latin.

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We had a look at the gyrus, found out about it’s possible uses for animals, cavalry and horse training and had a go at being horses and Romans-good fun but tiring.  To get to the gyrus Dominicus had us crawling along the floor, following his signal which was enjoyed greatly by my guys Winking smile

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We looked at the remains of the barracks and found out that 8 men shared a room, 3 bunk beds and 2 people on duty working on the walls ta any one time.  We found out about using mouse brains as toothpaste, urine as mouthwash and got to see a real sponge on a stick (although the stick was a bit short!).  we also found out about where the silver was kept and Tig played the part of a guard, although he did let the Celt in a few times before he got the idea-way to trusting!

The tour really bought the fort to life and the guide was fab.  we would recommend going there to anyone who can!  After a short break we went inside for a talk about armour.

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D got dressed up as a Roman and we found out the names of some of the armour, we had looked at this the night before using this video which helped to grasp the new vocab.  We saw a Lorica, cingulum, gladius, pilum (I think!)  Then another couple of friends F and G got dressed up as Celts although F wasn’t too keen on the blue paint or the nose necklace!  We saw how the ballista worked-these bits were interesting but it was a little hard for the children to see-especially as some of the kids needed parents to sit with them so it was a bit squished.  After lunch and some playing we made face pots then it was a quick look in the shop and homeward bound. 

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A great if tiring day.

Tuesday club was Roman themed this week, we started off with S reading the story of Romulus and Remus-perhaps a bit challenging for some of the younger kids but B enjoyed it.  We made bullas, roman style mosaic coasters, dug up ancient artefacts and found out what they were used for, made money purses and coins, printed mosaic pictures, made clocks with Roman numerals, played with forts, had a feast and played with balloon swords in the garden. A lovely meet up.  My Dad came with us to help B out-B still didn’t join in with the activities but at least  there was someone with him whilst he was playing-swords and my guys do not mix at meet ups!

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ON Wednesday, it rained a lot!  We stayed in with the guinea pigs, did some of our normal everyday stuff and also some mini books and made some mosaic and started our modroc shields.

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Today we’ve found out about the Punic wars, built Roman town models (from Lego or on Roblox) after we found out what would be in them and found out a little bit about the Roman Republic.

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Mosaic afternoon-B and I did the dragon fly; Tig worked on the guinea pigs a little more and Ot drew a titanic (I have cut the pieces ready as the tiles are big ceramic tiles and they make very spiky shards and are tough to cut!)

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I made or at least started a list of links on Weblist for the boys to explore tomorrow.

Roman numeral biscuits

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Alongside all that there has been Lego building, Batman playing, Xboxing, wii playing, draughts, building with various things and reading.  B did some great number biscuits learning about 1 more and writing the digits as well as some reading eggs and writing notes, plans and signs.

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We played a game with Batman…. Mr Freeze tried to eat his biscuits but if Batman followed the clue and got to the correct biscuit he could stop him-clues were Mr Freeze is going to one more than….. great fun.  There was a bit of playing in the sandpit and also reading some Enid Blyton together :0)

B’s map of the bat cave, and Bat written on.

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B looking at a ladybird using a magnifier

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This weekend, B had his first official swimming lesson (at the same club as TIg and Ot) and did brilliantly.  Listened really well, followed his instructions, kept his eyes on Terry and had lots of fun!  He got his 1st puffin award :0D

We got the Roman artefacts out before they go back to school on Monday and had a look at them, talking about how they were used, what for, having a go with the strigil and thinking about what they might say if they could talk.  We then used morpho booth to make them talk and record them.  These are our videos…

If a calligae could talk…
If a Roman chatellaine set could talk…
If knuckle bones could talk…
If a Roman magistrates rod could talk…
If a Roman oil lamp could talk…
If a Roman arrow head could talk…
If a Roman thimble could talk…
If a Roman toy could talk…

They were enjoyed by all (less so when we realised you needed to save after each one or the soundtrack recorded over itself and had to re-do them but still really good fun!)

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Wet Weekend!

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It has been wet-very wet!  We went swimming on Saturday, Ot was working on arms and breathing and Tig was working on dolphin kick amongst other things.  b i going to try a session next week to see how he goes.  After swimming we went to Sandwell valley for a play on the park then we went to Toys R Us for the boys to spend their pocket money.  Ot bought himself a draughts set, B got a joker and Mr freeze to go with his bat cave and TIg got Rocka 4.0- a  hero factory model.  Some playing in the afternoon and some Batman in the evening.

Today we’ve pottered, popped to the Holly Bush and got a freestanding folding pen for the pigs-it’s been to wet to let them out outside and we thought they could do with a bit of play time!  We grabbed sawdust and hay to clean out this week.

The boys tried grapefruit for the first time-it was quite a sweet grapefruit in my opinion but I’m not sure they’d agree!

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Ben did some playing on a new game with dh-lots of great fine motor, logical thinking, speed decision making going on as well as estimating lengths, matching, sequence remembering and more….bet you didn’t know that ‘Tap the Frog 2’ was educational!

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After that we had cake and sandwiches for dinner then went and played hockey on the road to nowhere-everyone enjoyed it and showed great improvement in dribbling, passing and stopping-B just did his own thing whilst I helped Ot and dh helped Tig-sounds bad but it worked well as B already had the idea of dribbling!  Unfortunately Ot managed to ‘drop; a stick down the drain so we had to abandon and go home to get the crowbar-dh went back and rescued it!

We read a bit about legionaries, their armour and talked about why there might be a fort in Lunt ready for our trip tomorrow but not too much detail!  I started a weblist fro Romans and we watched a video from that.  We had a look at the artefacts we borrowed from school but we’ll do more with them after Tuesday.

We had some guinea time and then baths for everyone and a bit of Xbox playing before bed.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

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Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

That’s how this week has felt…..I can not believe that it is Thursday already!  Monday was A’s b’day and we all met up at soft play which was good fun, B needed some help and I enjoyed playing with the kids in the ball pit with the pyramids-a great rocking game where I tried to rock them off and they clung on for dear life…..what can I say I’m a  big kids at heart!  On the way back we went into Asda, got some plants for the garden and fruit and veg for the week-and it has been raining ever since I bought the plants…so they are sitting on the table in the garden-at least they’re getting watered!

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Tuesday club was good, it was odd not doing an activity but it was lovely playing with B. Ot and TIg both had their’own’ activities. 

Tig sorted all of his pieces out (read his blog entry here) and got people building their own Lego hero models which seemed to go down really well and he was really pleased he had done it although he said he did miss being able to do the activities.

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Ot decided at the last minute to take in stuff to make Morse code message circuits, so people could try sending messages (after we did some on the table after talking about SOS messages and Titanic.).  Electricity stuff is always good fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it although I think Ot wanted to tell people what to do a bit- well at 6 I guess it’s totally understandable!

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Swimming before was good fun, although Ot needs many reminders for his splashing etiquette!

B and Ot enjoyed some bubble blowing with the kids who were braving the chilly garden this week!Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 018Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 022Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 020Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 017Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 015

The clay recipe looks fab and I can’t wait to try it-I must get A’s playdoh recipe as well as the colours were really good!  B didn’t really do the activities this week but we played, he was playing with D and J at the stickle bricks, building cars, spears, detectors and then setting the detectors to detect people and making funny noises when it found them-great fun!  Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 006Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 005Tuesday Club Tallents 17 4 12 2012-04-17 004

We had a go at hockey in the garden which was good fun.  Ot was struggling with keeping his stick down and not ‘golfing’ the ball but kind of got there eventually.  Tig was trying hard and B really got into it once we’d established how to manage a large stick-really good dribbling :0)

Weds was going to be a park met up but it was rainy and rotten so we popped round to A and D’s to play and had lunch. S and I roughed out a Romans plan for Tuesday and the boys had a good if rambunctious time!  After that I ordered some of the stuff for Tuesday and we went to the garden centre to grab some white card-it really tipped down and the sound of the rain on the roof was lovely just like a caravan…

Today we intended to got the toy library but we were all pooped and so we stayed in, did some of our Roman lap book stuff and pottered, did a bit of mosaic work this afternoon.  B and E made coasters using cool coloured tiles.  E stuck to blues and created a lovely pattern.  B enjoyed playing various games and he instigated a turn taking to put on the tiles.  I managed to hold back my need to straighten tiles.  Tig started a sign for the Pig Palace with the 3 guineas on.  He did a great job of the edging and we worked on the face features together.  He stuck them whilst I shaped the ears.  He deliberately chose to put the tiles the wrong way up for the furry texture which was good.

B working on his coaster.

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Tig doing his mosaic

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Ot with his Lego Hero model

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Ot, glue finger picking was quite distracting and required a lot of concentration!

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We had the pigs out today and Nibbles caught her ear, we need to get them running around on something to help trim their nails but the wet weather is just not helping!

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The visual timetable has helped Ot but we need to remember to do it the night before.  Doing handwriting and art first seems to work well as he feels he’s making headway and that helps to keep him going.

B read today!  He did some great sounding out and knows the, I (for words that you can’t sound out) and we are working on they said and was.  We grabbed out the red ditty books and he read the sun is up get up  mum get up dad get up Sam get up.  :0D

We had lots of hail this afternoon and B and Ot were very excited by at, closely followed by TIg.  Ben enjoyed going out after the hail had stopped and holding the hail.  Elliot bought some in to stop it melting and loved feeling it on his fingers.  A little while later I overheard a conversation between Tig and B about what had happened to the hail and Tig saying it had melted and B going yes it has and then continuing=g to talk about the hail and how loud it was.

In our art we have been working on blind contour drawings.  I think that doing the same basic skills has been good-we do a blind contour drawing, a drawing of whatever we want real or imagined and a sheet of drawing practice-boxes with shapes and lines in and a blank box underneath to try and reproduce the lines above.  All geared around looking and seeing which are key.  We haven’t done any other arty projects this week although we did mosaic so that is art I guess!

In our History we have been looking at Romans and we have found out about what clothes Romans wore, Bullas which children wore, a little about the life of women in Ancient Rome.  We found out about the 3 groups Patriarchs, Noblemen and Plebeians and a little about them.  We have found out about who influenced the Ancient Romans and how at a basic level (Ancient Greeks, Carthaginians and Etruscans) and a little about Roman art.  We created a Roman menu today but it was a bit sparse although we are keen to cook some Roman dishes and have a feast.  We’ve talked about Pompeii and how it helped us to find out about Ancient Rome-Tig already knew about this.  We have found out about the languages spoken in Ancient Rome. B has done little of this as it is not appropriate for him.  I found a sticker book in the Works which I think he will like and will provide some more visual references for him and also as it is in chronological order it will reinforce the ideas of chronology

Geography wise we need to go back and reinforce where the different parts of the Roman Empire are but they do have a clear idea of the difference between Rome the city and countries and lots of countries which made up the Empire.  They have been enjoying being my SAT nav as we drive to places we know, telling me in x yards you need to turn right, at the next round about you need to take the third exit and are surprisingly good at re-calling routes-in fact Ot is better than me!  We also created a plan for our Villa before building it up and played directing the Mommy Monster whilst swimming using NSEW and Port, Starboard as well as left and right.

In our Music Ot and Tig have been working on their piano skills, learning about note values, finger numbering, bass and treble cleff.  Ot has just started and can find and name middle C in both clefs and is currently working on A with his left hand.  Tig is working on minims and dotted minims and A B C in the LH and C D E in the RH currently focusing on the LH.   He is doing well and has really improved his holding of the beat and noticing when he is speeding up, cutting notes short etc. B and I need to do more but we have played with the percussion instruments, sung and created sound effects fro stories!

In DT there has been lots of Lego building both hero’s (good problem solving from B to get his long legged creations to balance) and various bits of learning how to add new bits facilitated by TIg.  Tig is really creating some fantastic models, both from and inspired by YouTube and his imagination.  OT was building a junk model of the Titanic with collapsing funnels well at Tuesday club (unfortunately he didn’t pick it up) and I showed him how to cut tables to attach the one he wanted to be firm.  B has been building lots with stickle bricks and knew too, including a vase of knew flowers for me and stickle brick gadgets.

In Science we have if I am honest not done all that much I can remember this week-we have talked about scenic stuff like the hail, clouds, petro;l, plastic not being biodegradable, calories and we have been logging the guinea pigs weight and have seen how much they have grown over one week noticing they re visibly larger.  we have all been talking about what they need form us and about how to look after them both physical and emotional needs.  We have talked about the responsibilities of having a pet and Tig has been finding out about guinnea pig babies and shared some of his fav videos from you tube with us showing us baby pigs, telling us they were hairless when born…ok so we’ve ben doing a bit of biology then Winking smile

In RE we have talked about worshiping many gods and Romans and Christianity.  We also have talked about the difference between a belief and fact and how we can show respect for peoples beliefs even if we do not believe.  We have had some interesting discussions about why or if anyone worships Greek or Roman gods now-they both quite like the idea of Zeus!

In PE we have been going swimming every week.  This week we were working on OTs leg kick which is still bicycle like.  Tig was working on his stamina-I think that swimming everyday would be really good for him but it would a bit costly.  We have all had a go at hockey and we have also been playing on the trampoline when the weather has allowed.

In Literacy we have been working on re-calling and extracting information from texts (non fiction) fairly simple re-call and using alternative words so we are not repeating words in the text.  We have also been reading and listening to a range of stories and developing using expression and different voices (modelled by dh).  We have listened to stories about events in Rome’s history and re-called key events.  Tig is much better at the recall than Ot but what Ot does re-call seems to really stick in his long term memory.  We have been working on general sentence construction and punctuation.  Ot in particular has been working on capitals for proper nouns consistently and extending sentences independently with connectives.  Tig has been looking at spotting overlong sentences and proof reading his own work.  both have spellings related to a phonic/spelling pattern but we have not been able to access those this week so have taken a break.  We have all be focusing on explaining v clearly how we feel, why and what we would like whilst still considering feelings (B in particular has been trying really hard to use this).  B has been working on a review of phonic sounds and we have some we need to re-cap and he has moved on a huge leap in sounding out words.  He is still loving writing signs and signed his name on cards this week.

In Maths Ot has been working on 4 digit  numbers, place value and addition.  writing and presentation are making this more challenging for him especially writing out the sum in problem solving.  Today in subtraction we again hit the 2-7 issue which once pointed out he gets but it indicates he is not really clear on what is happening so we need to get out the deans blocks and work on this I think with practical apparatus again-he is clear on the value of digits, good at spotting + or subtract in the problems but needs to take care but also not loose focus!  Tig has been completing a review, he seems to have grasped the area and perimeter of compound shapes well, some extra practice of the measuring angles just to reinforce which scale to use on the protractor would be useful as would the use of 360 and 180 to find missing angles-although he did get this instantly I started talking and shushed me so might be just needs embedding.  He has the last bit of the review to complete which is the part relating to fractions and that was quite a while ago so will be good to see if there are any areas to review before moving on.  They are both working on tables, saying, playing iPad games, using cards, writing but we need to really work on these as they are not known.  I think that we might need to take a good look at the best way-might get the CD out although they don’t really like the songs! May try the VAK method of using printed hands in different colours with answers, moving fingers, saying, looking as that used to work for my old Y6 class so we’ll have a go!

In ICT we have been using live writer, iPad, iPod, looking at some new software with dad; at the weekend they made a video using green screen and this is something they will want to explore more as really they did not do much of the ICT bit.  They are enjoying using morpho booth to make various fruit and veg talk as well as anyone who sits still long enough!

Right it’s work tomorrow so I am going to leave the photos, they’ll get up in at the weekend!

April Showers

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April Showers

…and it has and hail and snow and lots of rain!  Despite the weather (and my having a rotten ‘ill’ patch again necessitating doctors visits, tablet increases etc. etc.) Easter has bought lots of smiles and fun….not least because Daddy is home and there has been much X box playing and watching!

DH and my dad put up the new fence in the first few dry days at the start of the holidays which looks a lot better-although I have yet to get out into the garden to sort it out!  The guys tried to ‘help’ but were more of a hindrance if truth be told…it did take quite a while to remove the concrete and the posts from side 2 of the garden but eventually it was done!

We did a round up of the Greeks and I am not sure if we mentioned anywhere the Owls the boys made in clay when we were learning a bit about Athena and the Parthenon

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As usual I was covered in clay so only managed to get a piccy of Tig making his…love the funny owl eyed pose for his photo!

After the Greek round up (in amidst some car hunting for me) we started to look at the Romans using this book as a springing off point.  So far we’ve made tunics, Bulla charms, created Latin Roman names and found out a bit about how Rich Romans lived and some important dates like the founding of Rome, the first emperor and when Rome fell.  We’ve started to learn a bit about Roman Villas and the different rooms they had and what they were called and hopefully we’ll make a map or a model of a villa over the next few days.

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Ot found out that the Romans wouldn’t have played chess which was quite interesting :0)

Easter was slightly less chocolaty than usual due to the arrival of 3 baby guinea pigs, now named Chessy, Charlie and Nibbles.  Very cute, very tame and sued to being handled and very much loved.

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The usual trail of egs had no clues this year but did have this at the end…

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B and nibbles (above)

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Tig and Chessy-who is like a little fat doormouse and a fab chestnut colour

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Ot and Charlie

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There has also been some Lego building, lots of Heroes being built by Ot and B both of whom have been inspired by TIg!

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B has had his 4th Birthday…lots of fun, although not that many piccys.  It was a rotten rainy day so we put the Aqua play (with lock) on the kitchen table and lots of fun was had playing with that, crashes, people over board, deliveries, lots of orders at the lock gates and even ice cubes (good idea daddy)!

B started out with the dolls house furniture, putting everything in and playing with the people, until they all needed to sleep or be in the bath (breakfast was calling).

After that we cleared down ready for  Nanny and Granddad-B was very chuffed with his batman cave and has enjoyed playing with it.  We had lunch together, batman cake and after some hamster fun decorated some eggs with Nanny.

D and A popped round to drop off a card and pressie which was lovely and the big batman soon was in charge of then Bat cave!

Uncle P and Aunty S came round after work and B was super excited to play in the sandpit regardless of the rain :0D  Second cake-choccy this time!

Tuesday club was Easter fun, games, choccy birds nests to make, origami baskets, paper marbling, egg hunts, spring hunts, circle and parachute games, puzzles and crafty activities-lots to do and lots to clear up!!!

Other bits and bobs that have been going on include:

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