Thursday, 29 March 2012

there’s spring in the air

I think it must be something to do with the clocks going forward.  But whatever it is, it feels as though summer must be just around the corner.  Spring is definitely in the air.

How do we know?

Well, in 1b we know the answer.  And we can prove it!

You see, as Tanisha pointed out, seeing flowers is a sign of spring.  And, as Takomerwa added, the new leaves come onto the trees. 

Melchior also mentioned that the worms would come back.  I am not quite sure where from, but the warmth of the soil would surely make them a little less sluggish.  Or is that slugs that do that?

Now then, let’s go into the garden and first of all see what signs of spring we can spot.

Well, you can imagine, can’t you!

Actually, the first sign we found was this one.


And indeed it is a sign.  Not necessarily one of spring though!

But flowers there were in profusion.

Lots of these…..

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some of these…..

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and even a few of these.


When we looked even more closely, we spotted some of these…..and some of these.

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Tiny leaves were unfurling too.  We even found some red ones!


No worms though – but maybe that was because they were tucked safely out of the way; for we had been put in charge of some of these…..


and some of these…..


and even a few of these…..


(having been reminded how to carry them safely)


in order to dispatch the profusion of weeds…..

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that also seem to have sprouted in our long absence.

Not to mention a yellow or a pink one of these…..

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or one of these……


with the help of which we removed  the dead leaves that had somehow escaped Momo’s leaf blower!

You can probably imagine that we managed to fill a couple of these…..


after all our hard work.

Probably no need that night for anyone to count sheep or even cows.

can’t sleep?

When I cannot sleep, I lie in bed with my eyes tightly closed and I count sheep jumping over a fence.  Now, I am not sure how it works, but I don’t usually manage to get more than a dozen woolly jumpers over the fence before I am in the land of zzzzz.

But take Dara.  Dara is a little bit different.  When she cannot sleep one night, her long-suffering dad suggests that she too tries counting sheep.  But she doesn’t want to do that.  Dara doesn’t much like sheep.  But she does like cows.

And perhaps knowing about these cows she is prepared to have a go at getting her cow to jump a fence.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, but Dara’s cow is just a tiny bit stubborn.  A tiny bit like Dara herself, dare I admit it.

And Dara’s cow will do almost anything to avoid eventually having to take that leap of faith.

Dara’s cow lies down and counts clouds…..

IMG_3869     IMG_3876

she does a little dance…..


and she bends down to pick flowers…..

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with which to decorate her hat!

Next she runs (no, not towards the fence!) to the tub, where she takes a bath.  A bubble bath!


And then of course, being rather wet, she has to have a bit if a swing…..

dara's cow is getting water off     IMG_3870

in order to shake the water off.

Finally Dara’s cow reaches the fence.  And stops.  To have a little look to make sure it is absolutely safe to jump.


And.  Then.  She.  Jumps.

By which time, of course, someone is fast asleep.

(and wouldn’t you just know it; it isn’t Dara!)

solving the case of the missing stripes

You will of course remember this story.  You will remember how poor General MacTiger discovered his stripelessness…..


and how he later found the rather stubborn python who had taken up residence in a basket-like nest woven from those stolen  stripes.


And you will know that the sneaky snake won’t give them back!


What to do?  A bit of bargaining perhaps.  “What do you want in exchange for my stripes?” asked General MacT.

“A better nest.  One woven from elephant grass would be good,” answered the python.

And so it was off to see the elephants.  Who of course were not about to hand over any elephant grass without getting something in exchange.

“Well, we do have a small problem,” the elephants confided.  “You see the snappy crocodiles keep nipping the ankles of our babies.  We don’t want them in our stretch of the river!”

“Look here,” said the General, when he spotted the crocodiles lying still as logs in the sparkly water.

“And if we move?” croaked the crocs.

Hmm.  How to get those sharp-toothed crocodiles to do what he wanted.

“Well, we do have a small problem,” the crocodiles confided. “You see the cheeky monkeys keep on throwing coconuts at us.”


Fortunately General MacTiger was not only handsome (in spite of his alarming - but hopefully temporary - case of stripelessness).  He was also pretty smart.  And it didn’t take him long to work out that cheeky monkeys (like some cheeky children) do the opposite of what you tell them.  Tell a class of cheeky children to be quiet and to listen, and chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat!  Tell a tree-full of cheeky monkeys to stop throwing coconuts at the crocodiles and, well, you guessed it.  Coconuts continue to fly through the air.

But, tell a tree-full of cheeky monkeys to carry on  throwing coconuts…..


and - problem solved!

I am sure you don’t need me to spell out the sequence of events that followed.  Suffice to say, the python was so happy with his new house made from elephant grass that he happily slithered from between the silken, liquorice stripes and without further ado, General MacT slithered back into them.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

and I always thought it was THREE blind mice

Once upon a time, as all good stories begin, there were seven blind mice.  Seven mind you – not three.

One day they were surprised to find a strange ‘something’ near the pond.

‘What is it?’ they all cried.

On Monday, the red mouse went to see if she could find out.


“It’s a pillar,” she said.

‘Ooh, ooh, ooh - I know a story like that!’ we all cried.

‘It’s a bit like the six blind men and the elephant,’ Tanisha explained.

On Tuesday, the green mouse went to see if he could find out.


‘It’s a snake,’ he said when he got home again.

‘No,’ said yellow mouse on Wednesday. 


‘It’s a spear.’

‘There’s things that are different but it’s still the same story,’ observed Melchior.

The 4th mouse to see if he could find out was purple mouse.  He went on Thursday.


‘It’s a great cliff,’ he told the others when he got home.

Orange mouse went on Friday.


‘It’s a fan,’ she said.  ‘I felt it move.’

The 6th mouse to go was blue mouse.  He went on Saturday.


‘It’s just a rope,’ he said.

Of course the others didn’t agree.  They began to argue.  Until on Sunday, white mouse went to the pond.  She was a far better thinker than all the other mice put together.  She ran up one side and down the other.  She ran across the top from end to end.


‘Ah,’ she said.  ‘Now I see.  The different parts of the ‘something’ are like all of those things.  But all together they make…..


an elephant.  Of course!


And as Ella pointed out, ‘they found out at the end that they were all a bit right.’   Just like in the other version of the story.

(The original story of the Seven Blind Mice is by Ed Young)

hey diddle diddle

We had a bit of a discussion about nursery rhymes on Wednesday morning.  What, I wondered, is a nursery rhyme.

‘Well, it’s like a poem,’ answered Tanisha.

Which is absolutely right of course.  Because another word for poem is rhyme.

‘We learn them at school,’ added Emily.  ‘And at home,’ she continued.

What about the ‘nursery’ part of the phrase.

Emily to the rescue again.  ‘Nursery is like school for babies,’ she told us.  ‘But we  can learn them too and we are five.’  And some of us are already six.

Between us we came up with a list of nursery rhymes that we know. 

Baa baa black sheep was one.  Mary had a little lamb another.  And apart from having having sheep as their main characters, those particular two also tell us a story.  Albeit quite a simple one.  Mary’s little lamb went with her to school one day and someone wanted to buy quite a lot of wool from a black sheep.

What about this one. 

Hey diddle diddle

The cat and the fiddle

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed

To see such fun

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

It is a poem, or a rhyme.  And it tells a story.  An odd story, admittedly.  But it brings me nicely to our art lesson. 

Which began with a squeeze and a squirt of paint.


And continued with a swish…..and a swirl…..with a scraper.

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Until we each had some sky.


Which we put to one side to dry.

Next of course we each needed a leaping cow.  A leaping cow with black splodges. 

IMG_3526  IMG_3538  IMG_3530

For she was to be a leaping Friesian cow.

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Next we snip, snip, snipped everso carefully…..

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(but don’t worry too much, BĂ©atrix is very good at surgery, especially at re-attaching heads and legs).



a moon…..


for our Friesian cow to jump over. 


One, two, three - whee!  And hey diddle diddle!