Monday, 2 July 2012

hoppy holidays

You need to start with a piece of green card.  On it you should sketch a frog.  Make him a happy smiling frog.


Then, cut him out.


Next, stick him near the top of a folded piece of card.


And now, here comes the secret.  Tape an elastic band inside the card like so.


Sit your froggy greetings card on the table…..


before giving it a little push.


Stand back to see what happens!

Hoppy holidays!

tadpole’s promise

I read a story the other day.

Called Tadpole’s Promise, it was a love story.  Bleargh!

A tadpole fell in love with a caterpillar.  ‘You are my beautiful rainbow,’ said the tadpole to the caterpillar.


‘And you are my black pearl.  Promise me you’ll never change,’ replied the caterpillar.


‘I promise,’ said the tadpole.

“But the tadpole will change; he will grow legs!” the almost unanimous exclamation.

The story continued.

‘You’ve changed!’ noticed the caterpillar.


‘I don’t want those legs!’ complained the tadpole.  ‘I didn’t ask them to grow!’

‘Promise me you’ll never change,’ said the caterpillar.

‘I promise,’ said the tadpole.

And of course it wasn’t long before the next pair of legs sprouted.


‘I couldn’t help it,’ said the tadpole.  ‘I promise I won’t change any more.’

Then his tail disappeared.


‘I’m sorry,’ said the tadpole.  ‘I didn’t mean to.’

But by this time the rainbow caterpillar was decidedly grumpy with her black pearl.  She climbed up a tree and went to sleep.


“Ooh ooh ooh!  She’s turned into a chrysalis!  She’s pupating!” came the excited squawks.

At which point, with the sad black pearl of the no-longer-quite-a-tadpole pining away at the bottom of the pond…..


I stopped.  What, I wondered, do you think happens next? 

Well, putting our combined knowledge of life cycles to the test, we pretty soon worked out that the rainbow caterpillar would also change, as the focus of her love, the black pearl, had done.

Both Ella…..


and Ayesha…..


were of the popular view that as the tadpole turned into a frog, so the caterpillar would become a butterfly.

A little hint is called for I feel.  You might be surprised at the ending …

“I know, I know,” squeaks Alexis.

“I think the butterfly comes out then the frog lays eggs,” suggests Hiromi.  For her, the life cycles will continue apace.


Remembering how grumpy the caterpillar had become, Yanis feels that maybe the time has come for forgiveness. 

He suggests, “The tree fell (that’s the surprise!) and the frog came with a present.”


“I know, I know!”  Alexis again.

An apology would follow recriminations as far as Tanisha is concerned.  “The frog was an adult frog and the butterfly (for indeed the caterpillar did change into a butterfly) told him, ‘You broke your promise!’”  She continues with, “'I am sorry,’ said the frog.”

And for Anusha, a happy ending.  “I think the caterpillar is going to turn into a butterfly and the tadpole (will) turn into a frog.  And they say ‘We changed!’ and then they are in love and they live happily ever after,” she wrote.

“I know, I know!” comes Alexis once more.

But hang on will you Alexis.  Keep your secret a bit longer as you let me continue just a little further with the story.  And then you can say what you clearly know will happen.

As we all predicted…..


the caterpillar did turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Meanwhile, back at the pond, the poor ‘tadpole’ carried on looking for his beautiful rainbow caterpillar…..


as a beautiful rainbow butterfly drifted overhead (she looking for her black pearl).


‘Do you know?’ began the butterfly.

Go on Alexis.

‘I think the frog is going to eat the butterfly,’ he says, grinning hugely.


And do you know what?  He’s right!


And to this day, the poor tadpole (although of course he is by now an adult frog) is still wondering whatever happened to his  beautiful rainbow caterpillar.


an investigation into hexagons

We are fortunate to have a huge plastic bucket of wooden shapes in our classroom.  We call these shapes ‘pattern blocks’ because they are great for making (tessellating) patterns.  There are yellow hexagons, green triangles, blue ‘diamonds’ and red trapeziums.  As well as orange squares.

I had set a challenge a while back, to see how many different hexagons we could make that were exactly the same size and shape as one of the yellow hexagons, using just green triangles, blue ‘diamonds’ and red trapeziums.

Time, I think, to revisit the problem - and to see just how many we can find.

Here’s the yellow one to remind you. 


How about trying to make one using just red trapeziums?


Look - and count.  Two red trapeziums make one yellow hexagon.  Now, what about blue ‘diamonds’?


Look - and count.  Three blue ‘diamonds’ make one yellow hexagon.  And now.  How many green triangles do you think you will you need to make one yellow hexagon? 


Count them!  Yes, you need six.  Six green triangles make one yellow hexagon.

So now we’ve found three different ways to make a hexagon the same size and shape as one of the yellow ones.

Are there any more ways do you think?  Can you maybe make one using a mixture of all three shapes? 


Or you might like to try making a hexagon using just green triangles and blue ‘diamonds’.


Each time you find a new one, record it on your paper using shape stickers.


How are these two the same?


And how are they different?


Look at how many different ways we found.  Do you think we have found them all?


I wonder; how many ways can you find?

well why not?

It was really just because I happened to have a handful of pink plastic drinking straws left over from some party or other.  And nothing much left worth sipping.

What better excuse, then, to do a little investigation into flight.

You’ve all made paper aeroplanes I am sure.  You know the kind, where you take a sheet of paper, fold it in half lengthwise, form a pointy end and flip up some wings.  And then you cross your fingers and hurl it across the room.

Well, this works along similar lines, although actually what we will be making is really just a ‘cross-section’ of one wing rather than a whole aeroplane.

Each pink drinking straw needs two strips of paper, taped, one to each end, to make a ring.

One small ring.  At one end.


One larger ring.  At the other.


It’s a bit fiddly, all that sticky tape…..


but it’s important to make sure that the paper rings will not slide off the straw.  You’ll see why in a moment.

Once you have the rings taped in place…..


take aim…..


and launch your ‘wing’.


See it fly!


And wonder what it is that keeps it up in the air.

Well, why not!