Wow – what a great couple of weeks we have had at school. This is the time of year when the Grade Ones really take off. They have mastered the basics of reading and are now really getting to grips with Reading, Writing and Mathematics. No longer are they laboriously writing just one sentence and drawing a picture for their news. Now after half an hour when I say write your last sentence and put a full stop I am met with Oh no Mam Please can I write more. Music to a teacher’s ears.
We were also lucky enough to have The South African Youth Theatre present Charlotte’s Web to us in the school hall. They had the children totally enraptured and some of our little ones were called up to take part too!
Next week we are having our grandparents to visit. We have been praising hard on our presentation on Time and the children can’t wait to show off all their school to Granny and Grandpa. We are looking forward to seeing here very important people on Thursday next week.
The children, after working so well, deserved a mid-term break and the famous Funscapes were organised for this past Thursday and Friday. In the Foundation Phase there were ten options to choose from. There was Loopy Looming, Creative Clay, Mosaic Magic, Movie Making, Baking and a variety of other exciting choices. I was delighted to share my passion of bird watching with 25 Grade one, two and three boys and girls. On Day 1 they all gathered in my classroom where we went on a journey of discovery and learnt all about water birds. We discussed their bills and beaks and legs and feet. We found out where they lived and what they ate and we learned how to tell one from the other. I was delighted to hear why they had chosen to do the bird watching Funscape – “I have nesting birds in my garden and that got me interested in birds;” “I love listening to their songs;” “I love the beautiful colours in their feathers;” “I just love animals and bird;” “thought it would be fun to use binoculars!”
It was also great to see them so focused when they did the activity sheets. Each child was given a flip file to store their work and it also contained a bird I.D. card game for them to make and a chart with all the birds they were likely to see on our outing.
Of course the outing on Friday to False Bay Ecology Park was the best part of all. Thanks to the six parents and my sweet husband who assisted us with lifts. Driving around with a carload of children can have its moments! Having my hubby who is also a bird enthusiast meant we could split up into two groups to explore the park with less chance of the ones at the back missing anything. Each car had a walkie talkie so we could comment on what we were seeing as we went along. I am eternally grateful to my friend Heather who always lends me her three to add to my own on such excursions.
The weather in Cape Town has been cold and wet most of the week but we were fortunate to get a break on Friday and had a lovely sunny day. The roads, too, were not too muddy! However, there were not as many birds around as I had hoped. But we saw enough to keep the kids interested. The flamingos gave a good show and the highlight for most was the Spotted Eagle Owl well camouflaged in its usual bush! It took a while to make sure each child saw it. I took a photo, asked those who were struggling to first find it in the picture then to look for it in real life. It worked like a charm!
Using binoculars was fun even though some of them found it tricky to get them to focus quickly on the birds that duck under the water and then turn up in a completely different place again!
I hope the children enjoyed, this their first introduction to bird watching. It is something that can become a hobby for life!