Monthly Archives: May 2015

Nature learning, home and away

Well, we’ve had several ‘firsts’ over the last couple of weeks.  It’s been all about the nature here and a lot of new learning for me too as the triop has grown to about 4 times his size and the caterpillars have all formed their chrysalids and have taken a road trip around the M25.  Apparently butterflies travel well!  The carrots and wild flower seeds are shooting through.  The bee house is our only failure at the moment as I just can’t manage to secure it.  The bees will have to find their own homes for now.  On reflection, the ant farm is also a non starter as collecting 40 ants proved to be very difficult.  We’ll have to go back to that one! Continue reading Nature learning, home and away

Ways of reading

I have found myself struggling to find the time to write these last few weeks.  I think it’s the late nights the boys keep having, largely due to the light and bedtime reading.  Does anyone else have a problem with the lighter evenings?  Or have to confiscate books at bedtime from a little bookworm?  He his going to sleep later and later which consequently means my free time starts later and later!

Continue reading Ways of reading

Immersive learning at the Harry Potter Studio Tour

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This quote is displayed on a screen in Olivanders. We loved it.

Best trip ever apparently! I’m in the good books for being the mummy to arrange it.  How long that will last we’ll have to see: Only the Friday before I was the worst mum ever for not buying the Harry Potter outfit he saw while we were out!  The emotional roller coaster of parenting!

It was only on Sunday that I told the boys where we were going and I did this with a set of anagrams I found online, there are loads to be found –  this puzzled him for quite a while and he was of course delighted when he eventually made the connection.

Can you solve these anagrams?

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Can you solve these anagrams?

And so to the preparation learning.  He is still loving Pottermore, I need to get onto this myself to be able to fully evaluate the learning here, but any reading opportunity or enrichment is good in my book; and he’s constantly sharing facts he’s picked up on there.  I found some Harry Potter word problems online, pitched just at his level so we had a fun ‘using and applying’ maths lesson that stretched over  the two mornings, along with golden snitch spellings…

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These were great, I wrote up the ‘ough’ spelling pattern which has been proving tricky on his last pieces of writing and we created a spelling version of Quidditch.  The idea was to fly the snitch in to the centre of the ‘pitch’ read it, turn it over, write it.  If it was correct he scored.  Incorrect, it moved towards my goal, resulting in a second and then third attempt.  It’s basically ‘look cover check’, but a bit more interesting!  I’ve made this before in class, as a football game.  It’s a fun way of reinforcing a spelling pattern being learnt.  C made it more difficult by insisting he scored 150 points for each goal scored, so building in his own maths too!

The last task I gave him was to look at the studio tour website and plan questions he wanted the tour to be able to answer, along with listing priorities for the visit. He also helped me check the route on the map.  Useful skill this with me as the driver, as I do have a tendency to get lost wherever we go 🙁

As with previous trips, I’ll leave it to him to tell you about our day.  It was fascinating. Packed with excitement and learning that really can’t be compartmentalised into neat subjects as he learnt about prop making, animatronics, special effects, life on set, make up, set design, and so much more!  Little L was overheard explaining to a friend (in his 4 year old way) how ideas transform from your head, to paper, to the model, before turning it into the film.  It’s amazing what can be grasped by having hands on experience.  Of course all of this took place while being totally immersed in the imaginary world for the day as Harry and Ron!

Olivanders, in Diagon Alley
Olivanders, in Diagon Alley

Warner Bros. Studio Tour – 

The Making of Harry potter

Yesterday was the best trip EVER! We went to the Harry Potter studio tour in London.  We drove for an hour and a half to get to Watford and we didn’t even get lost (for the first time, with mum of course!)

How I felt when we arrived

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I felt very excited but nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.  Some of my friends told me about it so that’s what made my excitement build up.  The Warner brothers built up the excitement by having GIANT pictures on the outside of the studio building.   It felt like we were going into a really important building, like nothing I had ever seen before…

Starting the Tour

We had to line up to a VVVVEEEERRRRYYYYY long line but after that it was amazing!  We were taken into a cinema to watch Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reveel some secrets to us (but I will not tell you them because they won’t be secretes) before we went into the Great Hall.       

My best bits

We had to find the golden snitches! I found all of them! And the best thing was flying a broom-stick! It was very hard because you had to fly through

the streets!  I like going on planes which is why that was my favourite bit.

Something interesting I learnt

For the broom sticks they put a green screen behind the actor and the same for the flying car. It is realy clever how they put a pictures on the green screen. The mirror of Erised  was a normal mirror with his parents behind him.

I wonder why you carnt have a red screen or a blue screen etc?

We’ve followed up the visit with the recount writing you’ve just read and he’s in the process of creating a comic life story of ‘Harry’s sidekicks’, using the photos from the day to create a story.  He’s spent most of the time in his gown, casting spells with his new wand and travelling around on his nimbus 2000 Firebolt.  Total immersion!

learning wand moves
learning wand moves

I wonder if he’ll go to secondary school still ‘being’ different characters  depending on who is favoured at the time!