Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Preschool children have spent this week in Easter spirit. We started the week by exploring the differences between fresh and boiled eggs. The children made predictions what would happen if a boiled egg fell down and if a fresh egg fell down on the floor.  We also listened to songs about Humpty-Dumpty. On Wednesday we coloured eggs by wrapping some leaves, pasta, tea and rice around them. We then boiled the eggs in water together with onion skins. The children really enjoyed opening the eggs later on that day and seeing all the different patterns on them!  We finished the week with going on a field trip to Tervetes Nature Park. The children experienced some Easter related activities at the Elf Workshop (Ruku darbnica) led by Elves! We also enjoyed some elf tea and a cookie afterwards. The children had great fun looking for shiny, colourful chocolate eggs in forest at the very end of our trip.
Happy Easter!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Sand, Water, Goop, and Dough!

The week started off with a Preschool assembly involving experiment after experiment relating to mixing colours!  First we discussed the three primary colours: red, yellow, and blue.  Then we experimented with these three primary colours and learned what new colours we can make when we mix two of them together(orange, green, and purple), first with food colouring in water and then with paints in see-through plastic zip lock bags!  Squishy squishy!  The children were so very interested and knowledgeable with their predictions and explanations!  A really fun you tube video that musically addresses this mixing of colours was enjoyed by all children:

This week Toddlers continued to work on their book about numbers and learned about number 3.  We worked on our own numbers 3 by decorating them with colourful plastercine pieces.  Together with Ms Evita Toddlers read a book Little blue and little yellow and learned that if one mixes blue and yellow, one can make green! And if one mixes yellow and red, one can make orange! Children also explored the concepts full and empty. Toddlers also watched some videos about colours and that new colours and shades of colours can be created by mixing various colours… imagine, there is not just one type of blue, yellow and red, but light blue, dark blue, bright red and dark red, very light yellow and very dark yellow! The world is full of colours! Have you noticed those colourful butterflies on the walls in Preschool? Oh wow – cheers to those endless ways to be able to express ourselves through art and colours!  On Friday we had a very special visitor – Henry’s mommy Ms Jennifer came to Toddlers and led Circle time, read a story and we played some games together! It was so much fun! We all enjoyed her visit! The more we get together, the happier we’ll be!

The Preschool 1 children took this same colour theme and worked with it in various painting projects including:  Marble Paintings… taking two colours and adding three marbles and shaking them vigorously in a big box; painting and combining two colours on the easel; and water colouring oval like egg forms as we get ready for next week’s field trip to Tērvete!
Ms Maria and the children reflected upon a video that she had presented to them a few weeks ago regarding mixing neon colours and what happens to the colours when they are mixed.  Children recalled the video and the science experiment and expressed great excitement and presented Ms Maria with various results of what will happen as they attempt a similar experiment!  I think you can imagine the atmosphere of the Preschool 1 children in this dark dark room with magical glowing neon colours! In Ms Ruta's music class songs were randomly chosen through the use of spinning a maraca onto a board full of colour-coated songs!

Preschool 2 children worked on painting and mixing colours in order to prepare a surprise to their families.  You will be able to enjoy them next week. :)  On Wednesday afternoon we had a fun circle time with children initiated “show-and-tell’ where they shared their toys from home.  On Thursday, March 21st, we went on our first trip to the forest after the long winter. This time we had a special visitor, Mr. Chalkly, who decided to join us! Even though there was still snow and ice in the forest, the bright sunshine and bird songs told us that spring is near!  The children had great fun sliding and rolling down the hill, as well as using every opportunity to slide on the ice. We checked the bird houses that were put up on trees back in the fall. Even though we did not see any birds in the forest, the children all replied that there were some birds in the houses and “they were sleeping in their houses!”   In the forest we looked for some tracks and foot prints in the snow and tried to predict who might have left those tracks in the forest.  The children enjoyed climbing trees and swinging on a rope. We also toasted marshmallows on a fire and made some hot chocolate.  We are really looking forward to the next week when we will prepare and celebrate Easter!

Friday, 15 March 2013

March 11-15

This week the pre-schoolers have explored how various foods change when mixed, whisked or baked.  We started the week with whisking some sweet cream and observing the changes that take place in the process. The children described what the substance looked like in the beginning; white, soft, liquid, wet. Then the children made predictions whether anything will change while whisking. Some children thought that the colour will change; some said that the amount will change.  They were really excited to watch that the cream increased more and more in the bowl as we whisked it! Then we put some of the whipped cream in little jars and shook it! The children saw the colour changing to yellow and were excited to learn that we actually had made butter all together! They tasted it on some rye bread.  We added some sugar and cocoa powder to the remaining whipped cream and enjoyed that as well afterwards! We have done more cooking in all the Preschool classes this week.
This week was busy in Toddler class. Doing arts & crafts, singing songs, learning about shapes and building houses of shapes and most importantly welcoming back one of our Toddler team teachers Ms Evita after her maternity leave! Little ones enjoyed making goop and exploring it by themselves. They started to create a book about numbers. They were counting apples, dogs and other things around in the class! It’s so much fun!
The Preschool 1 children demonstrated their knowledge as they picked the letter of their name and expressed their creativity as first applied water colours, and then added different textures (soft, rough, fluffy, smooth, slippery) to the upper and lower case letter!  The children enjoyed making pink goop with Ms Valda during the beginning of the week and as time passed then we discovered that the goop changed in its tactile feel: from sticky, ‘goopy’ and malleable to tough, hard and separable into bits!  Previously we explored play dough but this week we made cookie dough by adding sugar to butter and mixing it well.  Then we added vanilla sugar, flour and two eggs.  We used our hands and rolling pins to flatten the dough and press out different shapes.  We discussed what happens to soft dough when we put it into a very hot oven… they bake and turn hard and ready to eat!  Mmmmm, the result was delicious! During the week the preschool 1 children also explored the light and colour work tablet and demonstrated their counting skills as they sorted the different shapes.  We would also like to thank Vladimir’s mum for coming to the class last Friday to share a book in Russian with the Preschool 1 children which  Ms Zoja translated into English.  Thank you!  Finally, this week we enjoyed reading Green Eggs and Ham!
In Preschool 2, we made butter out of left over sweet cream on Tuesday. Then we used it for making muffins the next day. The children enjoyed making the dough, baking the muffins, watching the marshmallows melt on them and, of course, eat them in the end! We made some jelly on Thursday by mixing gelatine with juice and some yoghurt. We are also slowly getting into the Easter spirit and made some Easter eggs by using various materials. The children tried to describe all the different textures of materials used for the eggs: soft, fluffy, smooth, and rough. The children also worked together with a partner to share their projects about less, more and equal they had made last week.

We are looking forward to the next week to find out more about mixing different colours!

Friday, 8 March 2013

How the world works: Sand, Water, Goop, and Dough!

In the beginning of the week the theme: Sand, Water, Goop, and Dough! was further explored in a Preschool Assembly with new materials and substances of sand and water.  What will happen when sand is added to water.  Will it float or sink?  The children were also introduced to some magic sand that, when poured into water, it could be scooped out completely dry!  Snow, ice, sand and water are being constantly explored during outside time and children are demonstrating their interest in the changes that are taking place in the playground on a daily basis!

This week Toddlers explored a new material - sand. They worked on a science project by creating “magic sand” and using glue. Toddlers also continued to work on recognizing shapes and have become really enthusiastic about triangles and rectangles!

The Preschool 1 children demonstrated their knowledge in recognizing opposites including: hot/cold, empty/full, day/night, front/back, girl/boy, stop/go, big/small, slow/fast, top/bottom, hard/soft, laughing/crying, happy/sad, open/close, up/down, sweet/sour, tall/short, near/far, clean/dirty, left/right, wide/narrow, liquid/solid, old/new, short/long, sitting/standing, sweet/salty, whole/divided, prickly/soft, many/few, outside/inside, and awake/sleeping!  During IT we continued to explore the concept of mixing colours and what the outcomes can be.  The introduction of different textures has begun including: soft, rough, fluffy, slippery, woolly, and fuzzy.  We are continuing our experiments with the scale in weighing fluffy balls, rocks, and a range of different toys.  The children are becoming more comfortable in presenting their personal toys and books in a show-and-tell activity.  There was also much caring and sharing evident in the PE lesson that Preschool 1 partook in with the grade 3 students!  Finally, we are very excited to have our new students Nikola join our Preschool 1 group!  Welcome Nikola!

The Preschool 2 group has a new student joining our class this week; welcome, Kristīna, to Preschool2!  This week Preschool2 children have had a hands-on experience to mix sand, water and gravel. They were really eager to see what happens if they mixed them all together. They were quite surprised to see the water on the table after they poured it into a cup; well, you can pour in a cup only as much as it can hold, right? :)  We spent the whole morning on Wednesday to work on mastering the concepts of less, more and equal. The children had to count various objects, write numbers, and decide which side the crocodile’s mouth will be open to ( < to the side where there are more objects). We also introduced children to the concept of opposites by reading a book and watching a short movie.  They worked together with a partner to find some of the opposites in the classroom or to show them with movements. They have also enjoyed some Curious George games on the Smart Board about mixing colours and playing at the beach. We were very proud to see what a great job they did taking turns to touch the pictures by themselves!  Exciting, exciting: in Arts with Ms Valda we made slime!! We had so much playing with it and exploring it!