Open House - This Thursday!
What a pleasure it has been to start the year with such amazing children! The SK's have demonstrated their excellent leadership skills as they work with their JK's buddies and show them the ropes! All of the children have been working well together, using inside voices and calm bodies when in the classroom. They are able to walk down the hallway towards the gym and library without disturbing other classrooms! We have various classroom jobs (e.g., sweepers, table washers, shoe organizers, etc...) and they have all stepped up to the plate and are keeping our area so neat and tidy! Bravo, les amis !!!
When engaged in Discovery Learning, their play has been very cooperative and creative. Laughter and teamwork can been heard and seen everywhere! We are off to a great start!
Now that we have all of our walking forms, the children have been able to enjoy time in the forest, practicing their balance and coordination while learning about nature. On one of our forest walks, we came across some wild apple trees and found dozens of apples on the ground. The children gathered them up to bring back to the classroom to show their friends. They then wanted to bring these apples to the teeter-totter to watch them roll down. We quickly found the book, Ten Apples Up On Top, and did some apple activities too.
We are lucky enough to have buddied with three classes. We have Learning/Reading Buddies with M. Devenny's grade 5 class and Science/Forest Buddies with Mme McLeish and Mme Hartmans' grade 3 classes. What a great way to become more comfortable with our big kids in a calm and safe space. One-on-one reading is so much fun and learning from one another is so empowering too!
We have been learning about parts of plants, especially sunflowers. Racines (roots), Tige (stem), Feuilles (leaves), Fleur (flower), Graines (seeds). We have read books about plants and sunflowers and have been examining reals ones too! Pretty cool that the seeds are formed in the centre of the sunflowers. Birds, mice, squirrels, and chipmunks are a few animals that love to eat sunflower seeds.
As we read and learn the French words to describe parts of a sunflower and the science connected to the parts and life cycle of plants, we have extended our learning to math (e.g., centre, circle, amount of leaves/seeds, etc...) and to art as we painted (e.g., brun, jaune, orange) our very own version of a sunflower. We made O's to create our brown centre, fat paint lines that started on the edge of our canvas and moved to the perimeter of the centre circle!
One student became very excited to learn more about seeds and asked if we could plant seeds. He'd seen this done before. So we read Jack and the Beanstalk and some of the children plants pea seeds.
With Mme McLeish's class and Mme Hartmans' class (on separate days), the SK's have their very own Science/Forest Buddy. We have already weeded the front garden, demonstrated that we know just as much as the grade 3's regarding parts of a plant, the difference between soil and dirt (soil is a living environment, dirt is not), and things we find in soil (e.g., insects, micro-organisms, worms, stones, decaying/decayed plants and animals, nutrients, water, etc...).
With our own composting bin, we are also watching the decomposition of our fruit and vegetable leftovers. The children have noticed that there is moisture on the walls of the container, which came from the peelings and that the peels are getting smaller (as the water evaporates). They are also getting darker or moldy. We noticed that the sunflower leaves left on our science table are dry and crumbly! Hmmmm???
Mme Richardson is our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) planning time teacher. She has read, The Three Little Pigs, to the class and they have been busy learning about stability as they build houses of straw, sticks, and stones (bricks). Watch out for the Big Bad Wolf when he comes to try and blow their houses down!
Another way we are learn is during guided carpet activities. With the use of our classroom calendar and weather watching, we are learning about counting, patterning, data management, predictions, and of course French vocabulary.
Our Star of the Week program is in full swing! Thank you for having your child's poster ready for the beginning of the week! We try to correspond the Star of the Week with the Letter of the Week (e.g., Letter A; Student Adam). Therefore, the sooner we get their poster the better we can combine these two activities. When it is your child's turn to be the Star of the Week, we will send home a letter and a poster board. Please allow them to decorate it on their own or with a little bit of your help. They take such pride in their work! We will send the letter home a week in advance, so you have time to slowly work on it. Once the Star of the Week has presented themselves, using their poster, the children will all draw a picture of the Star (JK's using three colours and SK's at least five). These drawings will be bound together to create a book for the Star to keep and bring home.
We encourage the children to put in as much detail as possible in their drawings. When they draw a picture with a person and colour the shirt blue and the shorts with red and white stripes, they are actually adding adjectives (blue, red and white) to their nouns (shirt, shorts). The background images tell us the scene. They are telling a more descriptive story when their page is fulled with things, colours, and patterns. These are literacy skills in the making.Exposing your child to various places and activities helps them to develop their imagination, creativity, and storytelling abilities. For example, when the children are engaged in forest play, they can experience a new environment that they can now put onto paper and into words. Learning is so interconnected!
What will this week bring?
Have a wonderful day!