Marshmallows and microbes

People of year 4,

The English language is full of confusion. On this screen there is an instruction telling me to move to bin and then publish. Things aren’t that bad yet, despite global events.  I have been in airplane toilets that command me to depress a pedal. No amount of taunting it will work as it is an inanimate object. In our English lessons we have been trying to grapple with the ambiguities of the English language. Recent adventures in the use of conjunctions to extend sentences led us to consider  the word provided, which can function as a verb but its use is not exclusively related to an act of giving. Sometimes we need to impose specific conditions or set limits on a situation. In these cases, conditional clauses can begin with phrases such as  providing that and provided that. This is the sort of conjunction use that opens cans of worms and has probably started a battle somewhere along the historical line. Nevertheless, it is through these explorations that I want the children to appreciate just how wonderful words are. Wonderful and powerful. Ask the speech writers and spin doctors. 

I have been greatly heartened by the level of support offered by the community of year 4 in coming in to help with reading and visiting us on Monday as we attempted to fashion teeth out of marshmallows. What better way to explore the process of decay than to sculpt with the materials that will cause dental demise. If you think this is slightly perverse, I was recently in Heffers bookshop browsing through their secondhand academic tomes when I beheld a display of plush toys. They were microbes with personalities. I kid you not. There were plush microbes to cuddle. I do think it is a wonderful idea and bought one as a present for a relative.  One may turn up in a science lesson yet.

I have also to thank the parents who have been so instrumental in helping with our library endeavours. All help is appreciated, in any way it comes. This sets such a wonderful example to the children and reminds them that we are a community working together towards a  common goal.

Timestables. That is all. I keep repeating it like the penitential litany during Lent.  Knowing these tables enables all sorts of other connections to follow. A point which has been particularly made as we learn about fractions and common denominators. It is connections that we seek in this connected age of collaboration and communication. Higher order thinking occurs when likely and unlikely connections are made – Actually it was E.M Forster who said it,

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.