Friday, 26 October 2012


This past week we experienced and enjoyed a fantastic Book Week!  On Monday the whole school met for a morning assembly where different characters were introduced; house points were tallied, recorded and awarded; and the children presented their colorful and creative dress-up costumes in a school parade!  Among them were: rabbits; pirates; astronauts; strawberries; heroes like Batman and Spiderman; ladybirds; caterpillars and butterflies; mermaids; flying cats; sausages; oranges and cucumbers; and plenty of princesses!

The My Story theme allowed children at ISR to explore and present their interests and sources of inspiration on silhouettes in creative and unique ways.  These forms painted the many walls of ISR.   Upon the silhouettes the Preschool 2 children expressed their My Story theme through The Forest Diary project, their Waldkinder field trip experiences, including: photos; comments and colorful leaves and designs.  Preschool 2 also enjoyed their library lesson with Ms Legzdiņa who shared the Narnia Land story. The Preschool 1 children shared favorite books and characters; and special colors, thoughts, memories and objects that play a part in shaping them into who they are.  The Toddlers learned about the first letter of their names and outlined their daily routine through various colors and textures.  The preschool children also enjoyed visiting other classrooms to experience older children’s creative My Story projects as well as the Riga Castle office show! 
Eric Carle was our secret author and his lovely books and themes came to visit the preschool groups over the course of the week.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar was our main focus for the week and we touched upon the life cycle from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis or cocoon, and finally a metamorphosis to butterfly!  We experimented, as does Carle, with collages and created a VERY BIG CATERPILLAR, cocoon, and butterflies!  The Preschool 2 children also created their very own caterpillar book, the Preschool 1 children created chestnut caterpillars and butterflies, and the Toddlers created bead bracelets representing a caterpillar!  A very big THANK YOU to Raimond’s, Henry’s, and Konstance’s mums for sharing a book with the children!

Other Eric Carle books that the preschool children have looked at, or listened to, include:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar;
Brown Bear, Brown Bear;
Do You Want To Be My Friend?;
The Very Busy Spider;
The Grouchy Ladybug;
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?;
Today Is Monday;
A House for Hermit Crab; and
The Very Quiet Cricket.

These are books that we will continue to explore and enjoy even after the Fall Break!  We look forward to seeing  you again on November 5th to continue the Puppets and Plays! Unit of Inquiry.

Friday, 19 October 2012

October 15-19

It has been a very exciting week in Preschool! On Monday, we started out the new UoI “Puppets and Plays!” by reading a book,  How are You Peeling?  by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers, a book about foods with moods! The children were very enthusiastic to try to name all the different feelings we could see on the vegetables in the pictures. We have read and discussed a few more books over the course of the week as well as watched a few videos and listened to some songs about feelings. Children also discovered that the same facial expression might be, not for only one but, for several feelings!  There is a puppet theatre stage in each of the classrooms as well as a wide variety of puppets and dress-up clothes and items for children to enjoy.

On Thursday, we had our annual Pyjama Day where most of the children came dressed in their favourite pyjamas! During the morning project time the children made some dream catchers and pillows. We had a Pyjama Show at the end of the day where each child had a chance to walk the cat-walk in order to show-off his/her pyjamas! We finished with a short movie and some popcorn afterwards.
The Preschool 2 children experimented with a Shadow Puppet Show and acted out the song “There were 20 (J) in the bed…”.

The Preschool 1 children worked on a presentation, I’m a Little Teapot!, and shared this with all the preschool children during the Wednesday assembly.  We explored this rhyme through song, body motions, and creating a paper puppet.  We are looking forward to the Student-Led Conferences to share this fun and musical presentation with parents!

Toddlers started a new UoI “Puppets and Plays!” together with all the preschool children. This unit began by singing a rhyme,, Itsy Bitsy Spider’’ in the Toddler class. The little ones made their own Itsy Bitsy Spiders, which were climbing up the waterspout…Toddlers were also busy exploring leaves together with their teachers and making a colourful Autumn picture, which created a real feeling of this season in the class!
We are really looking forward to the next week to enjoy our annual Book Week!


Friday, 12 October 2012

Baltic Wonders!

This week brings us to a close for our first Unit of Inquiry (UoI) Baltic Wonders! during which the Preschool children have been exploring the sea’s properties, coastal environment, and learned about different types of recreational activities.  

During the week the Toddlers worked on developing their self-help skills, especially when it came to taking care of their toys and belongings. The children worked on cleaning-up every time they had finished one activity and were preparing for the next one. The Preschool 1 children were great at showing a good example to the little ones.  During the Library lesson Miss Legzdina read a story about Fall.  Toddlers also enjoyed playing a game about the leaves and pretending to be blown by the wind and covered by a big colourful maple leaf!

The Preschool 1 children spent the week completing and reviewing their Baltic Wonders! book which incorporates themes from the UoI, the four basic shapes (circle, square, triangle and rectangle), and lots of exciting vocabulary!  The children also demonstrated their thinking skills by reflecting on the details they have learned during these past months.  I am a Happy Fisherman, along with many other songs and dances, were again enjoyed by all of the Preschool 1 children this week!  We identified that fish like Cod, Sprat, Flounder, and Smelt live in the Baltic Sea.

The Preschool 2 children finished the UoI Baltic Wonders! by sharing our posters that presented what lives in the Baltic sea and what grows in the coastal area. The children worked in pairs and were really proud of the big job they had done! We also went on a field trip to the forest where we met with people from “Latvijas Meži” and attached some birdhouses on trees. The children helped to carry the birdhouses and were really excited that some birds might settle in there in spring! In SfA, we started the Stretch-and-count activity where the children have to listen to all the sounds in words and count them on their fingers. It is quite a challenge for us!

Finally, children demonstrated their knowledge about the Baltic Wonders! UoI in a YES or NO game!  Do sharks and crocodiles live in the Baltic Sea?  What type of trees grown on the coast?  What are some of the things we can find on our local beaches and what fun games and activities can we take part in?

We look forward to our new UoI, Puppets and Plays!, that will begin already on Monday 15th October!

Friday, 5 October 2012

October 1-5

Toddlers have been busy exploring  different Fall treasures - chesnuts, leaves, acorns, etc. Little Toddlers were so brave going on a walking adventure  together with all the other Preschoolers at the Open Air Museum.  They enjoyed a wonderful, sunny day filled with free explorations out in the nature!

Preschool 1 have been learning about the rectangle and how it looks different from a square, circle and triangle.  We also experimented with this theme in Art class by drawing many rectangles, one  in another, with pastels and then provided the shape with depth through the use of watercolours.  We enjoyed reading We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzgter and Leo Lionni’s fable Swimmy and Fish Is Fish.  The children practiced their cutting skills and made colourful links for a long chain for an anchor that we added to the Preschool Ship!!  The field trip to the Open Air Museum was fun and children enjoyed seeing many different interesting old buildings (garage, church, fisherman’s house, windmill) and boats. We also congratulated our classmate on his fourth birthday – Happy Birthday Wolf!

In Preschool2, we have worked on our final Baltic Wonders posters: we have been talking what lives in the Baltic Sea and what trees grow in Latvia (we have seen a lot of birch trees and pine trees in the forest!). In SfA, we have started to “stretch-and-read’ that means reading short 3 sound words. The children have been so proud they can actually read! We read the book ‘Inch by Inch” by Leo Leoni with mis Legzdina, and the children wanted to know exactly how big an inch is. So we decided to go to the Math teacher Mis Carbajall; it turned out that an inch is pretty small in the end. The children suggested to us to do some more measuring in the classroom which we are planning to do next week.