Friday 3rd July
Hi Year 5! Sorry there has been a big gap between my previous diary entries and this one. Last week I was in school all week with the Keyworker children. It was nice to get a bit of routine back.
This week I have been working from home. It has been a week of lots of school based jobs which I have been doing around a massive cleaning and sorting out spree! Our house is never very messy but for some reason me and Mr. Matthews have been on a mission to get it super duper sorted and neat and cleaned up. This has been an ongoing project between work and finding time to relax and enjoy ourselves. It's funny how a few simple changes have made a difference.
We also had our annual event of Summer Christmas. We have done this for a few years as we love Christmas so much. After I had got over the shock of it being July that is. I just don't know where the time has gone. Anyway this year, we didn't put up the Christmas tree for summer Christmas but we did get a few treats for each other, a special tea and watched a Back to the Future marathon. My brother who lives in London and his family sent us a lovely summer Christmas message and around Summer Christmas Eve or Summer Christmas Boxing Day I saw my Mum and Dad. It was lovely to see family and hear happy messages from them.
So just a quickie really to say Merry Summer Christmas to you all.
PS I didn't take the picture on the right - it's raining so summer Christmas was actually more of a rainy day but the picture made me think of beaches and holidays which made me smile so that's why I have used it.
Tuesday 16th June
Today I thought I would just send you a picture of my snail in his new bath. He really likes the water and drinks through his skin so likes a damp environment to live in. So I have been giving him a weekly bath on a tray which he has really enjoyed. So I bought him a new bath - this little tank. I thought I could pop him in leave him and do some boring grown up jobs whilst he was in and not worry about him escaping. This didn't happen. I was so busy watching him in the bath that I didn't do any boring grown up jobs. Within five minutes, he got fed up and went on the ceiling of the bath. I then spent a good fifteen minutes trying to get him off the ceiling and we have both been sulking ever since. That's only partly true - the snail stopped sulking when I gave him some cucumber and I couldn't be bothered sulking as I didn't want to waste my day. So that was that really. Will give him another try in the bath next week.
Yes the observant ones amongst you may have spotted a fish tank in the background. Mr. Matthews' latest project. Current fish tank count - 5!
Thursday 11th June
Sorry I haven't done a diary in a while. I have been really busy! I have been in school with the keyworker children for two days last week and two days this week. In between times I've been trying to keep up with all the little jobs I have needed to do for school. Today I have been ringing you all and I have to say it is the highlight of my week. You guys are so inspiring to me. You and your parents that is! These times are new and different for all of us and you are making history! Anyway, here's some of the ways that I have been inspired by you today:
1) Even though it's cold I have been inspired by DM to do some exercise - even if it isn't conventional. This game apparently this game gets you bouncing around a bit. So I might invest in this. But I will promise you all that I will get my work done before I do it as it's important that we do a little school work (I learnt that from talking to DM and Mum today).
2) I have been inspired to do some more reading by TF, AF, DB, CH, JG, AR. JK Rowling is releasing a book online called the Ickabog. It's free! Plus there's a competition where you illustrate it and she is going to pick winners. Unfortunately, it's only available for ages 7-12 and I am just a little bit too old to join in but TF says that when she wins she's going to share the winnings with me. Remember in Year 5 you promise when your rich and have lots of money you're going to share it with me! That's the deal!
Here's the link to the website if you want to check it out:
3) You've all inspired me to keep my chin up and keep smiling even though things feel tricky right now.
4) You have inspired me to consider what healthy exciting lunches I might have KC!
If I haven't spoken to you today - don't worry I will try again tomorrow and will need inspiring then too!
Tuesday 2nd June
Things have been really busy! At weekend, we did the gardens. It is a job that I am not keen on to be honest and I never fancy doing it. But I was resilient and responsible. I went out and did it. They now look really lovely and I am glad I did. It also means that tonight I can go on my Nintendo Switch because all my jobs are done. I know it's tough at the moment but it's the same for you doing school work. You may not fancy doing it but it's better if you do. Then you can relax and take things easy!! Lovely to speak to so many of you today. It really is a highlight of my week. If I haven't spoke to you, I'm going to try really hard to get in touch in the next few days. Here are some good quotes I hope they help to cheer you up and encourage you lots:
The last one is a quote from Paddington. It's not really encouraging but it's just that I like Paddington so I thought I would throw one in. Also, if you are thinking of carrying round a sandwich in your hat then it doesn't have to be marmalade. It could be ham, cheese, tuna, egg - the last two might be a bit smelly but you get the idea.
Thursday 28th May
This last few weeks I have got quite interested in non-fiction books. This is quite unusual for me as I tend to prefer fiction. You saw that I read the book about the workhouses. That was interesting it was all about history. I then bought some books on bookbinding which I haven't read all the way through but the bits I have read have really helped me learn more about something I enjoy doing. They had a bit of history, a bit of technical information about tools and techniques. Lastly, I'm reading a book that I didn't think I would like:
I thought this was going to go into boring business stuff. Now it does but in a really interesting way. Here's some facts about lego that I have learnt from it:
1) There is enough lego on this earth for every person alive to have 80 bricks each.
2) Lego is the most successful toy brand in the world.
3) Lego was one of the first toy manufacturers to use plastic instead of wood. Many people thought this was a crazy idea - wonder what they would think if they saw the world now!
4) Lego make more tyres every year than the biggest tyre manufacturer for cars (Good year).
The book has a lot more but I haven't read much only a couple of chapters. I will keep you informed of my progress.
Tuesday 26th May
I had a lovely relaxed weekend so decided to make a start on a big job for school today. Here are all the ways I got distracted:
1) Texting Mrs Burns to see if I am doing the job correctly.
2) Watching this squirrel on the garden and trying to get a good photo of it.
3) Telling Mr. Matthews how much work I am going to achieve today.
4) Opening parcels and then reading a bit of the books inside and learning some more about bookbinding:
5) Watching what was once the last lonely caterpillar, and then the last lonely chrysalis become the last lonely butterfly. It seemed to pop out of his chrysalis much faster than the other one which meant I wasn't distracted by it for long.
6) Watched the squirrel again because it was there for ages.
So all in all it's been a very productive day! I did get some work done - quite a bit actually. I might get distracted more often!
Friday 22nd May
Well last night we decided it was time to say goodbye to our butterflies. The weather was dry and warm which is an ideal time to release them. It's a bit windy today so I hope they are okay. Here I am opening the butterfly net. I chose to do it here next to the flowers on the left which I thought they would like.
I have some video clips. You will have to ignore my voice on one of them. I was talking to the butterflies - apparently I do that a lot and also giving Mr. Matthews updates on the progress.
It's funny because in the net they looked very clumsy and like they couldn't fly well at all. When they got out, they didn't go anywhere near the carefully chosen flowers they flew off into the trees so fast that I had no chance of capturing that for you. It was like height suddenly wasn't an issue for them and like suddenly the flying was something natural. It was all rather magical. Spot the butterfly on this picture:
You guys are kind of like butterflies - from a teacher's perspective anyway. You come to us and you grow and grow and sometimes you need a helping hand and one day you fly. I am so lucky to be a teacher and watching you all. Anyway, have a love a weekend!
Thursday 21st May
Today I had a quick visit to my Mum and Dad's garden. I saw them too but to keep in line with social distancing rules we stayed in the garden. It was nice to see them. This brings me onto another game we played at weekend and that my Dad loves to play.
Dominoes. When I was younger we used to play dominoes using a double 6 set. Now we play with double 9s. This means that instead of going up to a domino with two 6s on it goes up to two 9s. With Dad, I still play double sixes. He makes me laugh because half way through the game he starts counting the dots on the board and tries to figure out who will win by his counting. I would love to explain what he is doing but I can't figure it out and he seems to struggle to explain it to me. Double six dominoes are good for younger brothers and sisters to learn numbers and matching. I've put some that you can print underneath this diary if you wanted to make your own set. Doubles 9s dominoes is where it gets interesting. This you put down dominoes in the same way. But after each turn you add up the numbers at either end. If it is a factor of 3 or 5 you divide it and whatever it equals is your score. So for example 12 divided by 3 is 4 so your score is 4. You keep playing until someone hits a target score that you agree at the beginning. If you get 15 you can divide that by 3 (=5) and by 5 (=3) so you add the scores together and get 8 so that's your score. It's good fun and really gets you thinking. It's a strategy game. Why not try it out?
Wednesday 20th May
Today I am going to tell you about a board game I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. It is about a famous detective called Sherlock Holmes.
In the game you read a mystery that you have to solve then you travel around the board picking up clues. You can play competitively or co-operatively. We solved the mystery together. It was good fun. I have read and enjoyed lots of books about Sherlock Holmes and I enjoy solving the mystery. You could invent a similar game. First you need to come up with a story introduction and then you need to decide what you would like people to find out. You could hide the clues around the house for people to find. Then agree to meet back up and solve the mystery. It's a good game to develop your writing skills and your reasoning skills. If you don't fancy that why not take a look at this link about a museum in London that is all about Sherlock Holmes and learn more about him.
Tuesday 19th May
During this rainy weather, me and Mr. Matthews have been playing some board games and I thought I would share them with you this week.
This one is called shut the box and it is a traditional pub game. You roll two dice and then you put down the number on the dice. The numbers you can see can turn down so you can't see them anymore. So you can see here I have rolled a 6. So I could put down 6, or 1 and 5, or 2 and 4. You keep rolling and putting down unless you can't make the number rolled because you have turned it down already. If you have any numbers still showing then you add them up and that's your score. The aim is to get the lowest score possible. If you manage to put all the numbers down then you shut the box - hence the name. I had to use lots of maths and reasoning skills when I played this game. We had ten rounds and Mr Matthews won. Why not try and make your own version. You could put the numbers 1-9 on cards and find two dice. Then turn them over when you have managed to roll the number. It's good fun.
If any of you are on butterfly watch - current count is 6 butterflies and 2 chrysalis.
Monday 18th May
Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I did. As you know, the butterflies started to hatch on Friday. This has continued over the weekend and we now have 5. I was sat chilling out next to them when I saw one hatching out. Luckily, I had my phone so managed to take a couple of clips. The first one shows the butterfly still in the chrysalis but starting to come out. The body of the butterfly comes out first and looks like a caterpillar.
Remember I told you the red stuff isn't blood - it's a clear liquid called meconium that is used to help the butterflies wings to expand. It took the butterfly a good ten minutes to get out of the chrysalis and then the wings started to emerge.
The noise in the background was Mr Matthews. He was busy doing jobs whilst this was going on. This butterfly seemed to be a bit stuck in the chrysalis and took a long time to fully emerge. But you can see in the last clip the wings starting to expand. We also wondered whether it was taking some nutritious element from the chrysalis as it did this for a long time. The last clip shows it starting to move around. At first, the butterflies are very clumsy and the wings take a good few hours to expand fully. During this time, it also has to fuse two parts of it's proboscis (remember that's like the straw they use to eat). It is important not to disturb them during this time so I left them alone to get on with it.
Here's some photographs I took later on:
As you can see, over time the wings expanded more and more. It was very exciting to watch. I can't guarantee this is the same butterfly from the video as two emerged at once and they look the same after a while.
Friday 15th May PM
Well,I'm not going to lie it has been rather anti-climatic after an exciting start. Current count - 2 butterflies, 7 chrysalis - 6 in the net and one still in the pot due to be moved over on Sunday. I did expect more butterflies. The two that have pupated (which means they have emerged from the chrysalis) have been very still all day. This is whilst they stretch out their wings. During this time, they release a red liquid that looks like blood but it isn't, it's called meconium. Also it is important to not disturb them at this time as they begin to join the proboscis together. A probocis is like a straw slit in half down the centre. This is how they feed. Only in the last ten minutes have they begun to flutter and show off their wings.
You may have spotted on the photographs that I have put some orange in for them to eat. They haven't started eating yet but think it won't be long for these two now. You maybe thinking that my butterfly knowledge is very impressive. I've learnt all those big words today by reading the instructions and checking what the meanings are online. Yes I cheated I went online rather than use a dictionary - but I was hoping to see lots of pictures to help my understanding. I've just asked insectlore (where I bought the caterpillars from) why they use this breed of butterfly and this is what they said: "We use them because they are native in almost all continents so there is no risk to damage to the environment when they are released. They are actually great pollinators. And they have proven to be a great species for this process."
There you go! I have learnt a lot this week! Hope you have too! Have a great weekend!
Friday 15th May AM
Firstly, sorry I didn't do a diary yesterday. Everything is okay I was in school - very busy doing lots of sorting out and some badminton and some crazy football (football with a huge football, came up with the name myself). Then came home and was really tired - not sure why so I had a rest because resting is important too. But you might end up with two installments today because look:
Currently, two have hatched but now I am expecting more. They weren't there at breakfast time. I was working very hard up to the discovery about 10 minutes ago and now I'm rather distracted.
So stay tuned for this afternoons PM version of this diary where I will update you further. Back to work Mrs. Matthews.
Wednesday 13th May
Today I decided to write a story inspired by my caterpillars. Once upon a time there was a very little caterpillar. He was littler than all the other caterpillars who lived in the pot with him. Over time, the other caterpillars ate and ate and ate. They got bigger and bigger and bigger. No matter how much the caterpillar ate he just could never catch up with the other caterpillars. He was always the littlest and always the last to learn anything. One bright, sunshiny morning he woke up and things around him was quieter than usual. He wondered what was going on and so set off in search of his friends. He searched high and he searched low and he even searched in the corners (which was impressive as the tub where he lived was round). He couldn't find them anywhere. But he did find these weird pods dangling from the roof in a 'j' shape. He wondered if his friends were hiding in there but when he poked them the pod just wriggled back. Then he realised that his friends must have learnt how to become a chrysalis and that he must be the only one left. He struggled all day trying to become a chrysalis but he simply couldn't figure it out.
The next day, the human came and moved his friends to the net next door so that maybe, just maybe, they might become a butterfly. The poor little caterpillar thought he must be the only caterpillar in the whole wide world who hadn't turned into a chrysalis yet. He felt sad about this and wondered what he would do. He decided to eat some more - you never know if you keep trying then maybe, just maybe, he might get bigger too. Gradually as time went on he felt something change. Suddenly, he felt he wanted to climb up to the ceiling and sit in a 'j' shape like he'd seen his friends do. It wasn't long before the little caterpillar didn't feel like a caterpillar anymore. He was beginning to feel more chrysalisy. He was turning into a chrysalis after all! It had just taken him a little longer to learn it than all his friends. One day, I imagine that he will be the most beautiful butterfly of them all!!! But I don't know whether that is true yet because only time will tell.
Keep up the good work. Lovely to talk to you today and remember if you find something tricky, don't worry, keep going and one day you will be able to do it!
Tuesday 12th May
Today I woke up feeling tired. I know that sounds silly as I had just woken up. I decided to have a read as I'm enjoying a good, interesting book at the moment:
This is it. It's about the workhouses that poor people used to be sent to during and after the wars.
If you have heard of Call the midwife on the television it is a book based on that. I read the first one years and years and years ago. Then I watched a couple of seasons. But I never read the second and third book. I found it the other day and thought I'd give it a go. Now you might think a book about workhouses would be miserable as they were horrible places for many, many people. But it's actually really interesting and I've learnt a lot about them that I didn't know. She sort of reflects on what they had the potential to be - which was a positive way of helping people out of poverty and discusses why they became what we know them to have become. I think the author - who worked with some very, very, very poor people - saw them as a missed opportunity. I found this an interesting idea. So I was happily pondering all these things and thought I'd best make a start on some work.
That's when technology started to let me down. Some of it was my fault too. Firstly, I realised that I left my laptop cable at school yesterday. So I quickly saved what I needed for today and tomorrow and saved it. I emailed Mrs Hughes who has rescued my cable. Being positive, I decided to dig out my trusted little netbook. We have been on many adventures - me and the netbook. But I had forgotten how slow it is!! Year 5 if you are reading this - never ever let me complain about my school laptop being slow again. I take it all back. So I am sat here at the end of working day and my list is longer than when I started the day. But never mind - tomorrow is another day full of possibilities.
Also, seized the opportunity whilst the computer was taking it's time, to move pot 2 of the chrysalis over. 7 chrysalis now and one lonely caterpillar left. Not much to report. If I was inside the chrysalis there might be as I assume inside lots of things are happening but on the outside it's rather quiet. Tomorrow is another day, chrysalis, full of possibilities.
Monday 11th May
Today I have been in school with children of keyworkers. We made this handprint rainbow for St Barnabas church - so keep your eyes open for it in the coming weeks if you pass on your daily walk. I sewed it all together - I hope it doesn't fall apart. I might take it and re-sew the letters the other way as it falls better the other way. Here is a poster that one child made. What you can't really see from the picture is that it is really huge! It is four pieces of A3 paper stuck together.
Friday 8th May
Today is VE day and it has made me very thoughtful. I have been thinking of how people died in the war so we might live in freedom. We didn't have a street party or anything but we did talk together and share our thoughts and reflections together.
I was thinking about my Etna class and was wondering if we would have done something this week to commemorate this special day. I imagine it would have involved cake! I was thinking about our trip to Stockport Air Raid Shelter and decided to see what they said on the website and guess what? They are doing some online tours of the museums, follow the link and check it out:
I found out that on the night of VE day 75 years ago our Queen (who was a Princess in 1945) and her sister Princess Margaret out sneaked out of Buckingham Palace to celebrate with the crowds. Her mother, who was Queen at the time, didn't want them to go. See even the Queen can be a bit sneaky. But I hope that you are keeping yourself safe and adhering to the restrictions in place even though it is tricky. Have a lovely weekend!
Thursday 7th May
I know most people do a diary at the end of the day - in fairness I have every other day. But today I just had so much to tell you and show you already. You might want to grab a brew and settle down for a good read as this is my longest entry yet.
Top of my list for today was sort out insects. I know technically it's not school work but it fits nicely with what should have been our topic about life cycles. Last night, me and Mr Matthews did the garden so the stick insects got an early clean because I needed ivy from the back garden. Next came Mountbattern, the giant African land snail. He was feeling a bit fed up as the soil in his tank had gone a bit dodgy. I have had to ration his soil changes as I am running out of soil but today it was time. The first picture shows him looking fed up. So I got him some cucumber and a raspberry and moved him onto the lid of his container (middle picture). He was happy with the cucumber, never tried raspberry so we shall see. Last night he tried broccoli which I think he enjoyed - it was all gone this morning. Picture 3 shows him happy in his clean soil and when I left him a while ago he was happy moving about. Keep reading there's more....
1. 2. 3.
So then I needed to transfer the first set of chrysalis into the butterfly net. The last one formed a chrysalis three days ago so that means they are a bit harder and safe to move. So first things first, set up the net - check, and set up the chrysalis station - photo 'a' below - check. Next, reread the instructions so I know what I am doing. To summarise, I take off the lid, remove the silk and frass from around each chrysalis and pop it in. After that, find a dictionary and look up what frass means whilst thinking to myself - good now I have found a new word so after this I can tick that off my list too. Frass - the leftover bits of insect larvae. Happy that I know what I am doing I take off the lid. Picture 'b' - little bit disgusting but established what is silk and what is frass. Picture 'c' shows the frass - I think it is part of the exoskeleton that it has got rid of.
'a' 'b' 'c'
Feeling impressed with my camera skills - in a bright conservatory where you can't actually see the picture your taking. I then got excited and took these pictures:
The one on the right had made his chrysalis in the food so i had to scoop him out. I'm not going to lie, the brown food that they were eating smelt disgusting. I don't think Mrs Whyment or Mrs Burns would have liked this job - there would have been squealing and weird noises if they were doing it. The final pictures show them in the net. But don't think that's it there's more underneath...
Well, as I'm removing the frass and silk from one of the caterpillars it started wriggling. Do you remember how I told you they wriggle when they think they are being attacked? I wasn't attacking them, in fact I was being ever so gently, but there was a lot of silk so he obviously thought he was being attacked. So I quickly grabbed my phone that I was using to take pictures. I quickly figured out how to change it to video camera and took this video. Now before you get to excited you need to know that it is the shortest video ever because as soon as I figured out all those things it pretty quickly stopped wriggling. But you get the idea:
Wednesday 6th May
Today has been a computer day. I've been sat doing lots of jobs for school today. I also managed to speak to a few more of you which is great because I love seeing what you are up to! I don't think I have told you but I am currently working in my third office! The first office that you have seen a picture of that I tidied on the first day of lockdown has been taken over by Mr. Matthews who is now working in there. So after that I moved into the lounge but I got fed up in there so now I am sat on a spare bed upstairs. I'm not sure I will stay here long I might move again soon!
Chrysalis, on last count, we had 7 with one in the 'j' shape getting ready and one very little one who seems to have been picked on by the other bigger caterpillars but now that he is the only one left he seems to be getting his own back. He keeps going up to the chrysalis and appears to be poking them with the nose. Do you know what they do then? They start to wriggle. Its really funny to watch. I would say I'd film it for you but they don't seem to do it that often.
I don't have any pictures today as working on my computer isn't a good picture - especially with my crazy hair. But tomorrow when I move the chrysalis into the butterfly net I will put extra ones on. Keep smiling everyone!
Tuesday 5th May
So the picture on the left is an apple that has been cut up and placed in a smiley face. The reason for this is I didn't know what I fancied for breakfast so why not have a smiley apple? On the right is a picture sent to me by Mrs Rice. She had been reading my diary about the caterpillars (5 chrysalis on last count - still waiting on 4 more) and found this Chrysalis on her fence. Now what I found quite interesting is that this one looks different from my one. Turns out each species of butterfly has a different caterpillar ad chrysalis. Google it and see. If you get chance you might like to find out about rainforest butterflies and their caterpillars. The life cycle is the same but what that looks like is different. If your wondering what my caterpillars are going to turn into then the answer is Painted Lady Butterflies. As for Mrs. Rice's - who knows? Lovely to speak to so many of you again today, I've missed you all and the hardwork you are doing is fantastic. Can't wait to speak to the rest of you in the week.
Monday 4th May
The caterpillars are starting to cocoon.
If you look at the picture on the right you can see the first cocoon from Saturday. It has started to harden up. Behind that one and on the picture on the left you can see another caterpillar making a 'J' shape. This one is getting ready to cocoon. They go into the 'j' shape and shed their exoskeleton (basically an outside skeleton) then they spin silk which eventually hardens to make the cocoon. It's been fun to watch as when they are due to shed their exoskeleton they start to stretch and do what looks like chin ups! A bit like I saw DM doing on the Year 5 section of the facebook page.
These pictures are from Saturday and they are not very good because I didn't want to move the pots as this is a very delicate stage of development. Since Saturday another two have made cocoons or started doing. One has made it's cocoon in the food which I think is because he was so full and lazy he couldn't be bothered climbing to the top! I have two pots and the other is slightly behind in terms of development so they are just eating at the moment. I now have to wait a few days before transferring them to the butterfly net. Luckily, I have an internet shop coming with some butterfly food (tangerines) so I will be ready when they come. Hopefully!
Spoke to Mrs Rice and Mrs Turner today who both asked about you all and said they missed you all very much. Mrs Rice hopes you are all keeping up with your reading and I only wound Mrs Turner up a little bit I promise. They both say hi and hope you and your families are keeping well. So do I! Hope you are okay. Keep sharing on the Year 5 facebook page it's lovely to see what you are all doing.
Friday 1st May
Not much to report here today. The caterpillars are still not in cocoons but seem to be getting bigger and fatter. Eric Carle wasn't kidding when he wrote the Hungry Caterpillar - these guys can eat! We keep saying - they are ready to go in their cocoon, they look ready. Then they eat some more and get bigger. I'm proud of the caterpillars and I'm proud of you lot. Really, really proud. That's all for this week have a good weekend.
Thursday 30th April
The biggest caterpillars are now about an inch long. Some have even started camping out on the roof of their pot. I think this is a sign that they will soon be cocooning. They may have slowed down a little because of the change in weather. When it was hot, they were very active and eating lots. The last day or two they seem to be less active and it says in the instructions (which I have read at least 20 times to be sure I'm doing this right) that the life cycle will be quicker if the weather is hotter. I hope you are all finding lots of busy indoor things to do. Remember to check out the daily challenge and the curriculum pages - there's new things on this page every time I look. Keep safe.
Wednesday 29th April
Getting bigger! Keep trying your best. If you try your best then that's all you can do and sometimes things won't work out how you would expect. But if you tried your best at least you can hold your head up high. Just wanted to make sure you all knew that.
Tuesday 28th April
They are getting bigger every time I walk passed them. No sign of them turning into chrysalis yet though.
Monday 27th April
This weekend we have been busy doing house type things. Unfortunately, on Friday, when I got home from school I discovered we had a leak. So we had to call out a plumber who came on Saturday. Luckily, it was easily fixed but seemed to take up a lot of time. IN between times we have been doing some nice relaxing things and watching the caterpillars. They have early quadrupled in size since my last update.
It was very exciting this morning as one seemed to be hanging from the top and I wondered if it was going to make a chrysalis (I had to look up how to spell that!). Time will tell whether it is or it isn't. I did notice that it nipped back to the bottom for some more food earlier. You may notice lots of little black dots in the pots. These aren't what you think they are. The caterpillars shed their exoskeleton as they grow. A bit like the stick insect picture I showed you the other day. To compare I've took a picture of the giant African land snail with the penny to give you an idea of size.
You may notice an egg shell in there too. That's because (apparently) they like to eat them as it is good for their shell development. But so far he has seemed scared of it! We will keep you informed!
Friday 24th April
Today I have been in school again. I have helped some children to make this video of St George's Day. It's a freely adapted version and has taken two days. Hope you like it. I suggested that we should make puppets and we ended up making a stuffed dragon too. It really challenged my brain cells trying to keep up with these children's creativity. I'm so lucky to have so many creative children like you guys and the ones in school today. It was lovely to speak to more of you today. Have a lovely weekend.
Thursday 23rd April
Rather late this evening. Have been in school today so only just got back and sorted. It was lovely to speak to so many of you today. It made me feel so proud to hear of how you are all coping in this tricky situation. I don't say it often enough so I'm going to take this opportunity to shout it I'M SO PROUD OF ALL OF YOU - PARENTS, YOU GUYS AND GALS, SO SO SO PROUD. When I clap tonight at my window, I'm going to think of NHS workers and I'm going to think of you because you truly are all heroes - everyone of you! Those of you I haven't spoke to I'm going to try again tomorrow. Today we have done loads of work on George and the Dragon as it is St George's day - unfortunately I didn't finish any so I am going to finish them tomorrow and share some with you then. So for today I have some pictures of baby stick insects:
The picture on the left shows the eggs that I'm waiting to hatch. Also In the top left corner there's a very tiny skin from one of the babies. As they get bigger they shed their skin and this one looked like a full stick insect so thought I'd share that. The picture on the right shows two babies one is feeling fed up because I'd moved it into this jar to clean them out and so pretended to be a stick - pretty convincing don't you think?
Why do bees have sticky hair?
Because they use honey combs.
Wednesday 22nd April
Not much to report from a caterpillar perspective. Bit livelier than yesterday and they are eating a lot. I was sat updating some planning for school today when I noticed one climbing to the top. If you look closely on this picture there are three caterpillars. One is peeking from the lid, one is crawling up and one near the bottom. Slightly worrying because I'm sure there should be four. Just checked the other one is still there. I wanted to give you an idea of size so...
Here is a picture of the same caterpillar next to a penny and my huge hand. Hopefully that gives you an idea of how little they are. Since taking the pictures the little caterpillar has made it to the top of the pot and now looks like it wants to come back down to the food. It reminds me of the story of Robert the Bruce and the spider. Do you know it? If not check this out:
This version has some historians saying the story isn't true - which is quite interesting to hear their opinions.
Is just the story so enjoy it. You may think I'm changing the subject. I am sort of but that's because I don't have anymore caterpillar jokes but have one about a spider.
What did the spider say to the fly on halloween?
My web is the trick and you are the treat.
Tuesday 21st April
Well the most exciting teacher thing happened today:
Caterpillars arrived in the post! I was going to buy some caterpillars this half term for us to look at in class. But circumstances being what they are I couldn't. So I thought I will try my best to show you the wonder of caterpillars from home. So I ordered some and now they have arrived. Nothing much to report yet. They are just wiggling about but not to much as they are going to take a few days to get started. That's what the instructions say. Anyway, I have 9 of them and currently they are about 1mm going across their bodies and range from 1/2 a cm to a cm in length. The brown stuff you see is there food. So now they are going to eat and eat and eat until they get big. I will tell you more about it later. Keep your eyes peeled everyday as I am going to keep sending photographs to you all. I've been busy working all day on the website - check out the PSHE sections of the website. Still got some work to do on it but plodding through.
Why wouldn't the butterfly go to the party?
Because it was a moth ball
(We're struggling this is the only caterpillar/butterfly related joke I know and there's at least two weeks of caterpillar fun!)
Monday 20th April
Today felt like a book binding kind of day. I haven't done any since Christmas. So I dug out my kit and found I was half way through one. The picture on the left is the inside that I just needed to finish and the picture on the right is the finished book with the cover which I'd made today. I say it's finished. It's currently under some heavy books being squashed down so that the glue will dry. I was going to do some more but because I hadn't done any for a while I'd had to read the instructions again carefully so it took slightly longer than I expected. Tomorrow I might start another one. Maybe you could make your own book - here's a cool website that might help: https://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/bookmaking-crafts-make-books.html
Or check out the British Library - it has some cool online stuff about books at the moment including something about making miniature books.
Where do books hide when they are scared?
Under the covers.
Friday 17th April
I have been very busy updating the website and doing some washing today. I was feeling a bit wound up as I felt I had lots to do and was a bit worried about things. So I decided to take a break and spent a bit of time in my garden. I decided to do practise some mindfulness. So I sat in the garden and took in the beauty of my surroundings. I focused my mind on all the green things (I got a little distracted thinking if this was a jigsaw I would be discussing shades of green with you today). I repeated for other colours. I watched some of the creatures doing their creatures jobs (birds, little lambs and bugs). I took some deep breaths and listened to the sounds that were going on. It was nice and calming and it stopped me thinking of worrying things and start thinking more positively. By being mindful or my surroundings and taking in the beauty around me I was able to settle back to work and get some jobs done. It cleared my mind really. Anyway, try it, then check out my PSHE section of the website (not finished yet so keep going back) and the new bit in the Christianity section of the website (Although, Mrs Samuels sent me most of the things for this bit I just put it on).
Little lambs - sorry not the best picture.
What do you call a lamb that is always quiet?
Thursday 16th April
It's finished!!!! It's sideways but I can't figure how to turn it round for you all. Nevertheless it is finished.
So what did I learn from the jigsawing experience...
I thought to myself there's got to be more learning than that so I googled it. This is what I have learnt.
So you see I was right when I said that board games can be learning too....Anyone figured out the mortgage rules for monopoly yet?
Joke of the day: "I went to a party dressed as a jigsaw piece before lockdown. I didn't like it. I just didn't fit in."
Wednesday 15th April
Well it's getting there. The tortoise and the hare story comes to mind today. Somethings you just can't rush:
I am struggling with dolphin tummies at the moment but I'm being resilient. Today I have had to be resourceful. I've been trying to organise an internet shop for my Mum and Dad. They are not supposed to go in shops because of their ages and things. It's been tricky. In the end I went with a local dairy which did some fruit and vegetables and bread and things. I'm glad its booked. I'm even going to try and get me and Mr Matthews a milkman. When I was younger, we used to have milk delivered everyday and then it stopped. Not sure why. But I used to like it. I love to drink milk you see so when I was little I used to like it when we got a bit behind and end up with lots of pints in because I could drink a lot. So I'm going to get a milkman. When I was a teacher in Year 2, we had visitors from people who moved on Hattersley when it was first built and they told us they used to have a chippy van. A bit like an icecream van but with a chippy in. I hope that comes back. It's funny as some places are doing rations boxes too. It's like we are learning from the past and using it to help us get through this present difficulty. You never know there might be dinosaurs roaming our streets soon! Only joking!
Did you hear the joke about the roof?
Never mind it's over your head.
Tuesday 14th April
This is the reason I wanted to learn to crochet:
Mr. Matthews bought me a kit a Christmas. I've been desperate to start it but didn't think I was good enough yet. I have taken the different things out of the box and I've looked at the instructions (which looked really complicated). Then I'd put it back as I didn't think I could do it yet. Anyway, last night I decided to give it a go and I'm really proud of myself because I have managed to do the turtle's shell. So I'm really pleased that I have been resilient and reading my new crochet book and learning because now I'm on my way to doing it. When I finish working later, I'm going to do some more. That's another project I will keep you informed with - alongside the jigsaw (still very blue) and the painting.
Today has been okay. I had a list of things I wanted to achieve today and at dinnertime I thought I was never going to get through it all but now I only have one thing left to do. So I'm going to get going and get some more done before I carry on with my crocheting.
Why couldn't the pony sing a lullaby?
Because she was a little horse.
Monday 13th April
This weekend has been all about balance. Not on one leg! Or a handstand either! This weekend we have got the perfect balance of our time. We had time when we worked, time when we chilled, times when we chatted with family and friends. All the activities had a perfect balance of time. Sometimes I get carried away doing one thing and then I feel like I have missed out because my time isn't balanced. Or sometimes I spend to long working and then feel fed up because I am over tired. Or sometimes I feel lazy and do nothing but then feel guilty for it later because I know I should have done some work in the day. But this weekend has been balanced.
I feel a real sense of achievement as we did both our gardens - the front and the back. It was the first cut of the year which made it super hard work. The back garden has a field behind and we get a lot of weeds. At one point I had picked so many weeds I was worried there would be nothing left underneath. We did the front on Saturday and the back on Sunday. Then we have had some nice chill time watching films and reading (currently reading 'Interview with a Vampire' - it's quite good!). we also caught up with some friends and family which was nice as I do miss seeing them. I had some family ask me to make them a bookmark as they had seen my others and liked them. So I did a bit of research online for different patterns. What do you think?
The one in the middle is a little football scarf. Not for united but for Accrington Stanley, which is my brother-in-laws favourite team. I quite enjoyed trying some new patterns. Hope you had a good Easter and are ready to start work again soon. Remember to check out the daily task!
Friday 10th April
Well today I have had to be really resourceful. I decided to make an egg for the Pinfold facebook page. You know the challenge I set you on Tuesday this week? Well I decided to give it a go. Mrs Burns was my inspiration as she had sent me this picture of a Paddington craft and I thought I could do that with an egg. So I set off to the fridge to find my egg. No eggs. We'd eaten the last two yesterday on butties. I was really thinking then. Suddenly, i remembered I had bought some chocolate eggs for Easter (plan B). Now I'll be honest I'm surprised they were still there but luckily they were. But they were only the little ones. So plan C, I decided to make the Paddington and put the small eggs in his suitcase. After much searching and rooting out of materials (plans D, E, F and G came into play here but I won't bore you with the details), I was able to create my very own Paddington egg design:
And very proud I am of it too! I put it on the facebook page and already have three likes (One is Pinfold Primary, one is Mrs S, and one was Archie's Mum - Thanks Archie's Mum!). But I'm hoping to go viral soon. I think it's just a slow start. But this is the exciting bit. I've tweeted Paddington himself!! Yes I was so proud I thought, even though he's a celebrity and very busy, I'm going to tweet it to him. Fingers crossed that he tweets back! I'll keep you informed. Anyway, you guys have a fab Easter weekend. I will be thinking of you all.
How many Easter eggs can you put in an empty Easter basket?
1 - after that the basket isn't empty anymore!
Thursday 9th April
Today I sent a happy birthday message to my friend who I have known for a long time. Because we are both busy, we don't often see each other but we try to catch up when it's our birthdays. It seems strange not seeing her this week. But you know I made those bookmarks and posted a picture? She got one as a present and really liked it so that made me smile. I also sent one to somebody else who received it today and she was really happy with it. She said it had made her smile. Is there anything you can do to cheer someone up at this time?
Apart from that I don't have much else to report today. Just to let you know there are more and more subject pages being set up in a new section of the website called curriculum pages. I haven't looked yet but its got a PE section and a forest school section. It look great! Make sure you check that out. Also, I think today is Passover so I have put somethings in the Jewish section of my RE page.
Remember to keep sharing your pictures on facebook they are great to see.
What happened to the Easter egg when it was told an hilarious joke from Mrs Matthews diary?
It cracked up!
Wednesday 8th April
I'm rather later than usual as me and Mr Matthews have been watching Downton Abbey and we only had one episode left in Season 6 - we still have the film and finale to watch. It's from a really interesting time in history. It starts in 1912 when the Titanic sank and goes through World War 1 and between the wars. We have really enjoyed it and have learnt lots of things whilst we have watched. We have also decided to try and find some books about it as, to be honest, I don't think we want it to be finished really.
Usually on the 8th April we go to the Manchester Museum as it is where we got married 3 years ago today. It seems strange that we haven't gone today and won't be going in the near future. It is a special place for us and we have enjoyed revisiting it around this time and feel a bit strange that we aren't allowed at the moment. But we plan to celebrate and look at photographs. I'm even following the museum on twitter and each day they show a special exhibit so I have been following that. Here is a picture of Stan the T-Rex from the museum. Maybe when all this is over you could go to the museum with your family. It's one of my favourite places to visit.
What do you get when a dinosaur sneezes?
Out of the way
Tuesday 7th April
Today I have made some progress which is always a nice feeling. Firstly, look how well I am doing with my jigsaw:
It is only when you do an under the sea jigsaw with 1000 pieces that you begin to appreciate just how many different shades of blue there are! I have also completed some more work on the RE section of the website. If you go in the Christianity section there is a lot about Easter, which I obviously wanted to finish this week! Also, you know I said I posted some letters yesterday - well one of them has arrived today so I had a cheery message off the person who had received it. That made me smile. I hope you are feeling like you are making progress too. Sometimes, you feel you don't make progress for ages then all of a sudden you do! So if you're feeling fed up then try to remember that if you keep working hard you will come to a point where you look back and realise that all the hard work was worthwhile as suddenly, like me you will have made progress.
For some reason I seem to forget jokes on a Monday so here's two for you:
Why was the Easter Bunny so upset?
Because he was having a bad hare day.
What type of stories does the Easter Bunny like best?
Ones with a hoppy ending.
Monday 6th April
Hope you have all had a great weekend. I received in the post a book on crochet on Friday and was keen to read it and try some new patterns out. After reading the instructions I decided to have a go at making some book marks. What do you think?
I was missing some people including my best friend from school. It's her birthday this week. So this morning I wrote out her card and a couple of letters and slipped one of the bookmarks inside and posted them in the local letterbox. That made me feel happy to think that I can still connect with people even though I am not able to see them. I have also heard back from Rev. Denise who has sent me some resources for Easter. I'm going to sort them tomorrow and then hopefully you will see them too!
Friday 3rd April
I know you're probably wondering why you have a second picture of a snail. Well this one shows how he climbs up the sides. You're actually looking at the bottom of his foot. I think I said yesterday that he was doing laps and he is still doing them today. I'm sure it's the Joe Wicks exercise inspiration. I hope this gives you an idea of how big he is too. Today I have continued on my mission to complete the RE pages and now there is something on the Judaism and the Hindu pages. Although, I'm still not finished. Did you see on social media the recording of us singing father? It made me smile to listen to it and think of you all. I've been impressed with the work I've seen on facebook. I'm off to speak to my Mum and Dad now and then I'm going to do some more of my jigsaw. I'm not getting very far with it at the moment but I will keep trying. It's supposed to be nice weather this weekend so we are hoping to get our gardens done. Wish us luck! Have a lovely weekend everyone.
Thursday 2nd April
Today everyone in my house has been very busy with lots of work being done. Our snail Mountbatten has been up and about. He was doing laps all around the tank. He's getting really big now at least 5cm but when he stretches out I'd say he looks even bigger.
I've been working on lots of activities linked to RE as I am sort of in charge of the subject. We call it being a coordinator. Check out the pages I've made on the class pages bit. I'm not finished yet I've only done Christianity, Humanism and Islam but I plan to do some more tomorrow. I managed to get some messages off Imran who visited in September and a gentleman called Richard who is a humanist who visited Year 6. I'm hoping to get messages back from St Barnabas and also from the life centre so keep checking back to see what I have done. I hope you have lots of work to share with me. Ask your parents to put it on the Year 5 section of the facebook page I'd love to see it. Joke of the day for Mr. Kieren and friends:
What do you call a bear with no ears?
Wednesday 1st April
Well, I know I say this every month Year 5 but where on earth has March gone? Did anyone play any April fools? Or have you had an April fools trick played on you? I have been in school today. It was really lovely to see our rainbows from Monday on the fence. I hope that people who live nearby has seen them and smiled. I must thank Mrs. Cartledge for putting them up the next time I see her.
I am trying hard to be kind to others at the moment. This is difficult when I am not seeing as many people as I normally do. But things like making the rainbow, and chatting to my family on the phone and sending out positive messages is good enough I think. I hope you can try to be super kind to people. I was looking at this website https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars as it has positive challenges to do everyday. Also, the random acts of kindness website (https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas) which will give me more ideas. Some I can't do at the moment as we are not allowed out. Did I tell you I have a jar at home and whenever we say "I wish I could do this.." and we can't I write it down and pop it in the jar? When this is all over, we are going to pick things out to do together. Now I'm going to put some of the ideas I find on these websites on too. Here's today's joke:
Why did the banana go to the Doctors?
Because he wasn't peeling well!
Tuesday 31st March
Today has been the sort of day where you tick lots off the list but at the end of it you don't feel like you have achieved anything. Do you ever have a day like that? I've done lots of little jobs which all needed doing but it just doesn't feel like I've got very far. Some days I focus on what I haven't done and sometimes I need to force myself and give myself credit for what I HAVE achieved. It's a mindset thing! I was getting a bit fed up earlier on so I decided to start a jigsaw to relax. I'm not very far into it but I now have lots of small piles of pieces instead of one big one.
I imagine it is going to take a long time to finish. I have been in touch with Imran, who did the Islam workshops in September, and Rev Denise from St Barnabas today. I'm going to try and set up a RE home learning page this week. I thought it would be good if they could contribute. Watch this space! I realise that I forgot to put a joke on yesterday so today you get two!
What did the science book say to the maths book?
You've got problems.
What time do ducks wake up?
At the quack of dawn.
Monday 30th March
Hope you all had a good weekend. Me and Mr Matthews got our telescope out on Saturday night as there was a really bright light in the night sky. We think it might have been a satellite. We couldn't see it very well but we had a great view of the moon. We could see the craters on it. I was reading the staff diaries that are appearing on the class pages and Ms Shenton's son is doing a project about the night sky to see if air pollution decreases during this period and whether this will have an impact on what we can see especially at night. I can't wait to see the results. If you haven't had a look at the other teacher's diaries then you should. It's interesting to see how everyone is doing. I hope you are doing your diaries so I can have a look one day. In the forest school area, Windsor the snail has been doing a diary. I tried to get my African land snail to do one but he just made a mess of my keyboard - don't tell Mr Moss!
Today I have been in school with children of keyworkers. It was very strange coming in and only having a few people in. I missed our classroom and seeing you all. We had a little walk up to the forest school area where there's been some frog spawn laid. Here's some pictures:
I nearly knocked Mrs Cartledge into the pond but thought I'd best not! It was a good job too as she gave us hot chocolate and gingerbread men for snack which was cool. Then we painted some rainbows which we plan to put up on the school gates but they weren't dry enough today. We only had red, yellow and blue and had to mix the other colours (Mrs Cartledge cheated on the green). I think they turned out okay don't you?
I am off to the supermarket on the way home - wish me luck!
Friday 27th March
Today I have taught Mrs Turner how to use the school website. I did this through the power of text message. I wanted to see if she was reading my diary and she thought she had to sign in so I taught her how to use websites. She's found it now and says she likes my pictures. She also told me to tell you all hello and she hopes you are okay. I say those things too. Here's two more pictures for you Mrs Turner:
As you can see on the left is my painting so far. They are obviously not finished yet. You have to be really patient with water colour painting as you don't want the colours to run together. This is not something I am good at, being patient, when I start something I want to get it finished. So this weekend I am going to paint the faces and paws and things and then I will wait for that to dry before outlining everything. On the right, is my latest crochet that I am working on. I did some today during the 'wise time' time and thought of you all and wondered how you are getting on. Do you like my socks by the way? Mrs Cartledge bought them for me for my birthday. Anyway, I am signing off now for the weekend. Have a lovely relaxing weekend and I shall be back on Monday with more Mrs Matthews' adventures.
Thursday 26th March
The fish are clean! Finally, I got round to cleaning them. We have four fish tanks and I look after one of them. It is a tropical fish tank with some angel fish and some tetra. It's very hard to photograph fish but I have tried for you.
I really like the angel fish they are the two big ones you can see in these pictures. They have real characters and often make me laugh. I am usually really good at making sure that I clean them on time but this week has sort of escaped me. I'm not sure how it got to be Thursday. Mr. Matthews looks after the other tanks in the house. He reads lots of scientific books about them and has one tropical, one cold water and one marine. The marine is really interesting. When I was doing my fish tank this afternoon, I saw one of the fascinating creatures in the marine tank. See if you can spot it?
It's a trochus snail. Can you see the shell? It spends all day and a lot of the night going round and cleaning up the tank. I do like snails. My giant African Land snail is sleeping at present but I will try to send you a picture of him too sometime. Still can't get a decent picture of the baby stick insects but I will keep trying.
Your probably wondering how the painting is going. Well... it's doing okay, tonight I'm going to paint the faces and I might give you a snap shot of them tomorrow. Mr. Matthews often talks about happy accidents when we are painting. That means that I have gone wrong somewhere and I get a bit frustrated. But the reason it's a happy accident is because it usually turns out well and sometimes by going wrong you achieve something that you weren't expecting. You'll have to tell me what you think when you see them.
Anyway, shout out to Mrs Whyment, she's an avid reader of my daily diary, I've just found out today. Shout out to you guys too! Mr Kieren and friends here's the joke of the day:
What is the strongest creature in the world?
A snail - it carries its whole house on its back.
Wednesday 25th March
Do you ever get that feeling your being watched? I was sat doing some training for school this morning (yes more training!) and I got this eerie feeling and it wouldn't go away. I was day dreaming when I realised where the feeling was coming from. Can you spot it in this picture?
Last year around this time I inherited some stick insects for the classroom and one holiday brought them home and they never made their way back. This is an adult one that decided to watch me working. I tried to take a photograph of some baby ones for you but they were hiding under a leaf. I have two that have hatched quite recently and a few more eggs. So each morning I start the day counting to see if there's any new ones. I did lots of training that I needed to do and then spoke to my Mum and also to a friend of mine who I have known for a long time. It was nice to talk to them and catch up a bit with other people who I care about. Mum and Dad got a video call from my brother and Isla Banana in London which cheered them up. It is great technology when used in this way. I'm being careful not to spend all day on the computer, on my phone and in front of the television as I know screen time can affect my mental health. Later on I am going to do some more on my painting. More pictures to follow. I'm going to definitely clean out the fish tonight. Here's a joke for Mr. Kieren and friends:
Why do fish live in salt water?
Because pepper water makes them sneeze.
Tuesday 24th March
So today hasn't really gone to plan at all! My plan was to get up early (which I did!) and then do some yoga and clean out a fish tank! Anyway, when I woke up I decided I should try to arrange a supermarket delivery for my Mum and Dad, who are stuck at home at the moment. Well, I'm so glad that I did crochet with Mrs. Donnelly and learnt how to be resilient because it was hard work. I nearly gave up but I thought of you guys and thought to myself "No Mrs Matthews you can do this!". After what felt like hours, I finally succeeded and got them some food ordered. But by the time that was finished I didn't get the chance to do my yoga or my fish tank as I needed to do some reading for school. But sometimes things don't go as you originally plan them and you just have to keep your chin up and be resilient. I'll be honest I was starting to feel a bit grumpy so me and Mr Matthews spent a bit of time drawing ready for some water colour painting later on this week. Bet you can't guess what I decided to paint? It certainly cheered me up and I've moved around what I was going to do tonight so I can fit my yoga in then! Keep smiling and when things don't go to plan remember not to worry and just try again later.
These are the paintings - they aren't finished yet but I will keep you informed of my progress. Mr. Matthews bought me the brushes for my birthday and I haven't had chance to use them yet.
Joke of the day for Mr. Kieren and friends:
Why did the students eat their home learning packs?
Because the teacher said they'd be a piece of cake.
Monday 23rd March
Today has been very strange. It’s weird not seeing you all and it’s been unusually quiet. I tidied my desk which was full of junk and I needed space to work. I then spent a while sorting out some good websites that you can use from home and put them on our class page. After completing this, I had a little read. Today I am reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. I’ve only just started it but I think it’s going to be good. I hope you are okay and your first day of home learning has gone well. Today’s joke especially for Mr. Kieren and friends:
What do you give a sick lemon?
Paddington and my dinosaur had to stay on my desk. They managed not to be tided up!