Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The final days of the 2012-2013 school year!

These final two days of school touched us all with some adventure and a festive atmosphere.

On Monday morning we packed our water bottles, snack bags, beach gear and excitement and jumped onto the bus that took us to Vakarbuļļi Beach!  There we spent a lovely day playing freely in the sand and near the water, sharing our toys and games with friends, and enjoying each other’s company.  We even found some mini beast during the cloudy, windy, and wonderful hours we spend by the water!

On Tuesday morning we joined together for two school assemblies where various awards and many words of thanks were shared. We had the opportunity to reflect upon the busy, eventful, and really rewarding year, as well as realizing that the time had come to say thank you, goodbye, and good luck to a part of the ISR community as some families move on in their own personal journeys.  The second assembly introduced the Jāņi celebration and the tasks we still need to accomplish before the festivities of the celebration begin!  Fire!  Flower and oat leaf wreaths! Celebratory food! Song and dance!

Later in the day we all gathered with the wider community of staff, students and families for the Midsummer Celebrations, Jāņi.  When the song, dance, food, fire, food, and spectacular decorations were enjoyed and a special welcome to summer was shared by all!  

The Preschool teachers would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe, enjoyable, and interesting summer.  

We look forward to seeing you again, following a restful summer holiday, on the 21st of August!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Last weeks' Mini Beasts! June 10-14

During the last full week of the school year the Preschool students worked on finishing up some mini beast related projects as well as engaged in many activities and projects in the preparations of concluding this 2012-13 school year!

Monday morning was bubbling with lots of chitter-chatter and sharing of the many fun experiences children had during the Family Fun Day the previous Saturday (June 8th)!  The games and various activities were really enjoyable and the weather was perfect!

On Tuesday June 11th  the Preschools participated in their final Tuesday rotation where, in mixed age groups, they engaged in and learned a little more about the mini beast theme either through story-time, art, movement, or song.  Some of the outcomes of these projects (including: snails, beetles, and dragonflies) inhabited the Preschool staircase and decorated this entrance with the creative use of everyday objects including: paper plates, icy-poll sticks, plastic bags, and paper.

On Wednesday the whole school was filled with a positive and exciting energy as a special visitor, Howard Jones, came to visit ISR and work with the older students in a music workshop and engaged in interviews regarding students interests and thoughts about world issues!

Thursday continued in a musical dynamic with dedicated students, some of whom only started to learn about their chosen instruments in the beginning of 2013, sharing their newly learned skills and acquired appreciation of music and various instruments at the morning music assembly.  In the afternoon the Preschoolers came together and celebrated the summer birthdays!  A very big, and emotional, thank you was extended to our wonderful Ms Jennifer, Henry's mum, who has over the years reached out with her positive support and input, lighthearted and fair approach, and love of learning to the teachers and children.  Jennifer, we will miss you and your family and we wish you all the best in your new adventure!
Preschoolers hopped into their runners and sports outfits on Friday morning and, in mixed age groups (Toddlers through to Preschool 2), worked in teams and supported each other in working through various tasks and drills.  With Miss Perry's guidance, the grade 3 students took on organizational roles and were really fantastic in directing the children in the right direction to achieve a flowing and fun Sports Day!

On  Monday June 17th we look forward to our final field trip of this school year to the Beach!  If weather permits, this will be a full day's excursion and we request that you pack a water bottle, and a picnic style snack (and lunch for those who bring lunch from home) on this day. Please ensure your preschooler is dressed for the weather as we intend to enjoy our time a the beach whether it be sun or rain on the forecast!

During the last full week of school, we already said our farewells to a few of our classmates whom have already concluded their school year.  On Tuesday June 18th, however,  the whole school will join together in a final school assembly and gather with the wider community of families for the Midsummer Celebrations, Jāņi.  At this time we will have to say our farewells for one last time before the summer holidays begin.
We hope that you will all be able to make it to this very special celebration (Tuesday June 18th from 13:45pm onwards) as well as to the final assembly that will be held on the same morning.

Friday, 7 June 2013

June 3-7

Toddlers started this week by creating a large collaborative mini beast painting. They continued to explore different mini beasts through various activities – they enjoyed creating their own spider webs and spiders as well as ants from grapes and sticks together with Preschool 1. Later they shared these yummy and healthy ants with other Pre-schoolers at the end of the year Alphie’s party. For those of you who still wonder who is Alphie – he is an alligator who is fully responsible for all the sounds and letters our Pre- schoolers are learning during their Success for All lessons. Toddlers were also very excited to receive the greeting cards from Alphie! As the weather has been very nice this last week we frequently spent our unit of inquiry time outside exploring the mini beasts on our playground with the magnifying glasses. So far we have discovered that the following mini beasts can be found: ants, flies, earthworms, lady bugs, wasps, bees, bumble bees (Toddlers favourite!), worms, caterpillars, big black bugs and little Incy Wincy spiders. If you find some more out there – come and show and tell us!
On Monday the Preschool 1 children made green ants (three green grapes placed onto a toothpick) as a healthy snack to share with the Toddlers and Preschool 2 children at the SFA Alphie party at the end of the day!  We have worked through all of the initial sounds during the second semester and, at the party, children received certificates for being such active and knowledgeable participants!  On Tuesday children enjoyed another mini beasts rotation where they either participated in an art, music, story-time, or movement activity.  On Wednesday children worked on a connect the dots ladybug which they ornamented with colours and spots!  During IT the children enjoyed the challenge of categorizing mini beasts, and Library lesson with a book Goodnight Sweet Butterflies.  During our afternoon assembly we practiced our ‘’Kas Dārzā’’ song and dance that the preschool children will be performing at Jāņi on Tuesday June 18th! On Thursday morning some Preschool 2 children came to work with the Preschool 1 children in testing out their math skills and working on a lady bug math game.  Music class, again, was filled with wonderful sounds of mini beasts including spider and caterpillar songs and dance! On Friday children continued to practice some of the activities that will be a part of the Sports Day next Friday.  As we come closer to the end of the school year then we are beginning to say our farewells to children already leaving for their summer vacation.  We wish Elsa, Nikola, and Ivan a lovely summer and we look forward to seeing you again in the next school year!
This week the Preschool 2 children have been working hard on putting together their portfolios. That means looking back at all the work done over the course of the School year and arranging it all in a folder for it to go along with the child to his next class. On Thursday we went to the forest for the last time. This time we spent the whole day there! The children: made some forest crowns; looked for hidden treasure following the arrows; and had both meals in the forest. They also played a game with Mr Neil where they had to walk to Miss Aija with their eyes blind-folded, following directions given by a classmate! We said proper ‘good-buys’ and ‘thank you’ to the forest for the fun time we had spent there this year.  We hope that the experience the children had this year in the woods will keep their interest about nature alive for a long time!