ZooLab visits Reception

This week we have had a visit from ZooLab it was a fantastic learning experience and the children loved it.

David from ZooLab came on Tuesday morning with a magic box which contained 5 interesting mini beasts for us to look at and hold.

We split into our 2 classes and sat on the carpet, as we waited for him to be ready we had a discussion about which animals we thought we might see. Lewis thought that there might be a cow in his magic box and Maisie thought there might be a zebra! We then decided that the box was too small for these animals and that it might contain a fish.

The first mini beast that we saw was a giant African land snail, it was green and slimy and had a shell “like an ice cream cone” (Hollie)

We learnt that snails use their shells to protect themselves from predators and hibernate in the winter. Mia told us that to hibernate means “to have a long sleep in the winter.”

Parrots class got to see a millipede they found out that millipedes do not actually have 1,000 legs in fact most millipedes have got less that 100 legs and baby millipedes only have 3 pairs of legs when they are born.

David then introduced us to his friends Ed, Ed and Eddie the hissing cockroaches. The penguins were lucky enough to see Eddie after he had shed his skin, he was completely white and had left a perfectly formed old shell behind. David left Eddie to recover from his growth spurt and showed us Ed, he told us about the hard shell that protects the cockroach from extreme conditions such as freezing or even cooking. We also learnt that cockroaches have 2 brains 1 in their head and 1 in their bottom!

We were briefly introduced to the tarantula Tracy who was in her tank, she was not allowed to come out because she can shed hairs that make us itch and has big fangs which she might use if she was frightened. David told us that to catch her prey Tracy doesn’t spin a web she digs a hole in the ground and spits venom onto insects which turns them into insect milkshake. Tracy then sucks the insect up through her tube like mouth.

The biggest hit of the day was the corn snake Petunia she had an amazing orange and pink stripy pattern all over her body and was very friendly. Ellie was really excited because Petunia had a pattern that was the same as her snake at home. David asked Ellie what they fed their snake at home, “he eats mice.”

The children really seemed to enjoy the experience and the ZooLab presenter David was great with the children and the animals, in Jacob’s words “he is awesome.”

The children were so inspired by the experience that they spent the rest of the day talking about it and recreating their experiences. Jaxon made a fantastic cardboard snake, Kayden painted a cockroach and red group did some amazing writing about their experiences.

What we are learning…

We now have a snack cafe in our classroom where we now have to order and eat our snack. Each day we can choose from milk or water to drink and toast or fruit to eat. The children have to sit down and wait for a waiter/ waitress to come and take their order and serve their choice of drink and snack. The children have been applying their phonics skills to write orders and using their maths skills to calculate payment for their snack.

The children have been learning how to safely make their own toast. They have been using the plastic tongs to put the bread in and out of the toaster, they have also been buttering and cutting the toast.


We have started to learn Makaton sign language for use in our cafe. We can now sign menu, waitress, chef, toast, purse, please and thank you.

What we are interested in…

Our interest in the film Frozen is still going strong and Mrs Connors has created a fantastic small world Frozen landscape which the children are using to retell the story daily. The children have incorporated their continued interest in building into this area making ice castles for Elsa and houses for Sven and Kristoff.

Miss Kemp has made some story stones which include characters from Frozen, Thomas the tank engine and a variety of animals and dinosaurs. The children have been using them to tell stories and draw landscapes on the chalk table. These new additions to our classroom have inspired some very imaginative story telling and a small group of children have begun to write stories and make books.

Abigail’s Frozen storybook was 8 pages long and retold the story of Ana and Elsa’s adventures in the ballroom when they built Olaf the snowman.

We have introduced an overhead projector into our pattern making area. This is an extension of our loose parts play where children use a range of open ended resources to create patterns,constructions and explore new concepts. We have been projecting the patterns onto a white sheet, the ceiling and paper for the children to look at, copy and draw around. We have been talking about light and dark and how we can make shadows. This has led to a discussion about the properties of objects and an introduction of lots of new vocabulary.

We are also exploring light and dark in our fabulous new reading rocket where we have to read our books by torchlight.

How you can help us at home…

Our new story for this term is the 3 Billy Goats Gruff we are learning to tell the story using actions and puppets. If you know the story please help our children to learn it by telling it with them at home with an emphasis on the key phrases of the story. (copy and paste the link below to take you to a video of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff)]

The children are making great progress in phonics, if you would like some information on how you can support them at home there are some really informative videos and a power point on phase 1 and 2 on the school website. For information about the later stages please speak to your class teacher.

We also have our reading club every Friday morning where you can share books with your child and see some examples of the games we play during phonics. Siblings are welcome and there is tea/ coffee and cake available afterwards as a thank you.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs Connors, Miss Kemp and all of the parrots and penguins.

 

 

 

 

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