Friday, 26 April 2013

Mini Beasts!

We are very excited to start our new Unit of Inquiry (UoI) Mini Beasts! 

The transdisciplinary theme for this UoI looks at Sharing the Planet and the focus of the Central Idea is we share our immediate environment with many different mini beasts!

The Lines of Inquiry include:
Relationships within mini beast communities,
Our dependence/the importance of mini beasts to humankind, and
Our responsibility to mini beasts.

Already during our Monday morning assembly the children expressed their curiosity about what mini beasts are and, as a pre-assessment exercise, some of the thought of what mini beasts are included:
Beasts that can stink; any kind of bug; a mouse; monkeys and fairies; bee; a mushroom; growing tree; crawlies, flies, and butterflies; a growing flower; ladybugs and bugs; little bugs; and something small.  Once we had we watched a video about mini beasts the children shared their learned knowledge and confidently listed the following as mini beasts: snails, slugs, caterpillars, ladybugs, dragonflies, spiders, grasshoppers, and bees.  Following these new discoveries we were able to categorize toy animals into one of three groups: Mini Beasts!, Local Animals, and Tropical and Exotic Animals. Children expressed their curiosity of each new toy they picked-up and demonstrated their thinking skills when deciding the correct group in which to place it.

On Tuesday Mr Laing’s Grade 1 students came to visit the pre-schoolers and shared with them their perspective of what Internationally-minded means and how it might look like.  Some of the many things we learned about included being good listeners, open to new ideas, taking turns, learning to share, being empathetic, understanding that we all have different experiences…  Thank you Grade 1!
During our Wednesday Assembly we learned new songs relating to Mini Beasts!   One very popular song was to the tune of The wheels on the bus go round and round, however, the lyrics were altered to: The fireflies at night go blink, blink, blink; the bees in the flowers go buzz, buzz, buzz; the crickets in the field go chirp, chirp, chirp; the ants in the grass go march, march, march; the caterpillars on the leaves go munch, munch, munch; the spiders on the webs go spin, spin, spin; the butterflies in the sky go flit, flit, flit; the ladybug on the wall have lots of spots; the worms in the ground go wiggle and squirm; and the mosquitos outside they get smacked… Out in the garden!  This is a fun song that can be sung by the whole family!

The Toddlers are very happy and curious about the long awaited arrival of Spring! This week we focused on various Spring related activities; Toddlers planted their first flowers (shh! it’s our secret project!); explored the earth worms; sorted different mini beasts by sizes; created their own bumble bees and enjoyed a book about birds and their houses read by Henry’s mommy!

During the week the Preschool 1 children learned about the concept of symmetry and made symmetrical butterflies in Ms Valda's Art class using different sized circles.  We had some visitors join our group this week... earthworms!  We made fun colourful stuffed earthworms and looked to see what similarities and differences our earthworms had to the live ones visiting the Preschool groups.   During Thursday outside-time we went on a walking field trip to Olivia's house and, again, looked for signs of spring.  This time we spotted ladybugs, ants, a few tiny leaves on the bushes and white crocuses.  Finally, we celebrated two birthdays this week… Happy Birthday Nikola and Birk!

In Preschool 2 we started the week by painting what children thought Mini-beasts were: some painted mice, some Halloween ghosts, some painted bugs, worms or insects. Enjoy their paintings on the wall by our room! We spent some time on Wednesday morning to reflect upon what our students learned from Gr1L children about International Mindedness. Our students added some ideas from the International Day activities and Forest fieldtrips to their reflection which was really great! We have also been working on putting up a display for our Mini-beast world. The children coloured in and cut out some flowers and leaves, as well as named and wrote down how all the objects on the board. We are planning to add some more things to the board as we keep learning more, and digging deeper, about the Mini-beasts.

Wishing everyone a lovely spring break and looking forward to seeing you again on Tuesday May 7th,2013!

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