Friday, 31 January 2014

January 27-31



We started the week in Preschool with an assembly about summer on Monday. The children learned about activities we can do in summer and acted them out. We also listened to the sounds of summer: birds singing, rain and  a thunderstorm. It turned out that we have some pretty brave children in Preschool: only a couple of students and some teachers are afraid of thunder and lightning!J We learned that people in Latvia celebrate Ligo (the Midsummer festival) in summer and some of the exciting things they do on that night is jump over a campfire and sing. We practised the jumping part in class and had great fun. On Thursday two students from Grade 7 came to read to the whole  Preschool. It was exciting to see the older girls interact with our young learners!

Toddlers
This week Toddlers have used their little fingers a lot! We practised cutting with small scissors, beading and lacing in different ways. We also kept our fingers busy with play-dough and explored different grains in our big sensory table. We share this table with our big friends from Preschool 1 and 2 who can teach us a lot about self-help skills.
During this week’s music lesson Toddlers were treated to a special performance by the teacher duo Mr Medd & Mr Arnold. With their two big guitars and their harmonic vocals they astonished our little students.   Thank you for the amazing show!!!
 
 Preschool 1
The Preschool 1 children explored and inquired into the season Summer during the coldest week of winter!  Colorful summer flowers were made in Ms Valda's art class and children liked to choose their own color for each petal. The beach, summer clothing, and the many different activities we can do at the beach during the summer were explored and the children each compiled their own preferred beach scene (some even had sharks!!!).  Otto and Konstance each presented their family season wheel to the rest of their classmates and we continued to learn about the festivities and activities we can do in different seasons. Finally, we continued to decorate our 4 season's tree with green leaves and the children enjoyed wearing their green leaf summer crowns during the week!
 
Preschool 2
On Monday we had a pretend picnic in class: we ate our snack in a meadow (on the carpet) listening to bird songs. Since we were not able to go outside due to the cold for the whole week we managed to explore quite a few more activities that are usually done in the summertime: we played with boats in water and went camping in a pretend tent and slept in a sleeping bag.  We created pictures related to summer out of plasticine and explored what is it like to paint with bubbles. Our students are very interested in how the seeds and plants are sprouting and growing; checking on their plants and comparing them to those of their classmates is the first thing most of them do in the mornings. This week we also discovered that we have some great cooks in Preschool 2  - Thank you Oliver, Klara and Sophie for sharing the yummy snacks with us!


We are looking forward to the next week when we will be learning more about fall.






























Friday, 24 January 2014

The last week of Semester 1, January 20th - 24th



This week has been a bit quieter in Preschool due to many student absences.  Several times during the week the various age groups came together and enjoyed different learning activities together. 

Our week began with our whole Preschool PYP assembly – we looked into the season SPRING which was presented by Preschool 2 students and their teachers Ms Aija and Ms Lauma.

We started by watching a time lapse video of growing grass. Then we listened to several Spring sounds and guessed what they were. Listen to and enjoy them at home: 
Spring sounds and videos:

Then Ms Zoja tought us a song called “Spring is here!” We did a Flower dance imagining what happens to flowers in winter and in spring. The children played a game with handmade flowers, music and action movements – we discovered that in winter flowers are sleeping and in spring they sprout up and dance in the sun!
We looked at the pictures that show different activities people do in spring. The children noticed that in spring we clean up our houses, do gardening, plant seeds and water them, and pick flowers. Easter bunny is bringing us eggs and we have to collect them in the basket. We can splash the water in the puddles if we have our rubber boots on!
At the end of our assembly Ms Zoja taught us a new action song about a birdie hatching out of the egg. It was such fun!

On Thursday we had two special visitors from Grade 9! Rebeka and Bartek came to read for us. Everyone enjoyed the stories about caring for a flower and a spider who wanted to be a pet. Thank you so much for reading to us and come back soon, please!

Toddlers
This week our collaborative collage has grown, when toddlers added pictures of spring. Furthermore we learned about a new shape – square and green colour. Toddlers cut the squares by themselves and covered them with green paint and green tissue papers.
We also focused on improving individual self-help skills, especially for getting dressed and being independent in the bathroom.

Preschool 1
This week’s focus of spring was challenging for the Preschool 1 students to imagine due to the very cold weather!  We did, however, discuss the various ways in which nature changes from winter to spring including temperature, colours, and activities.  The students practiced their fine motor skills by creating: colourful spring flowers with glue and tissue paper; birds returning to Latvia and laying eggs in their nests (cutting, colouring, and gluing); putting soil into pots, sowing and watering seeds; and putting together many colourful puzzles with spring themes.  We also enjoyed Otto’s presentation of his holiday trip and some delicious treats from Thailand!

Preschool 2
This week it has been busy in Preschool 2 again.  As we have focused on the season spring, we did some planting.  We were practicing our math skills by counting pebbles, following instructions and guessing the amount of soil we will need for the pots. 
We added the next decorations onto our classroom display board.  After last week’s winter snow angels, snowmen, and snowflakes, this week we added spring flowers and butterflies made in Arts with Ms Valda.
In PE we practised climbing, running, crawling and throwing.
On Friday we decorated our SfA writing journal with pictures and stickers. We reflected on our wonderful paintings we made with ice and finger paints last week. Come and see them on the display board in our classroom!

Reminders:
January 24th - End of Semester 1
Semester 2 will start on January 27th
Reports will go home on January 31st, 2014

Special reminder: Stay healthy!



















Friday, 17 January 2014

All Year Round!



The week began with snowflakes falling from the sky and the Preschoolers welcomed the soft white winter snow with excitement and curiosity to explore!  We are all hoping for even more snow!
Our Monday morning Preschool PYP Assembly started off with a fun All Year Round song (to the tune of “Here we go round the Mulberry bush”) which sounds something like this:

Snowflakes fall down when winter is here,
Winter is here, winter is here,
Snowflakes fall down when winter is here,
Oh, what fun!

Flowers burst out when spring is here,
Spring is here, spring is here,
Flowers burst out when spring is here,
Oh, what fun!

Children swim and play when summer is here,
Summer is here, summer is here,
Children swim and play when summer is here,
Oh, what fun!

Leaves fall down when fall is here,
Fall is here, fall is here,
Leaves fall down when fall is here,
Oh, what fun!

We love all seasons every year,
Every year, every year,
We love all seasons every year,
Oh, what fun!

The Assembly continued with observations and discussion about the many different activities that we can do during winter, including: walking, running and playing in the snow; making patterns in the snow with our feet; making snow angels in the snow with our body; building snow figures; sledging; skiing cross country; skiing downhill; snowboarding; and skating.

Toddlers

Our week began with the Preschool assembly that introduced children with the current season – winter. Toddlers have started the winter section of our seasonal collage by pasting pictures of mittens, scarves, hats, boots, snowmen, elves, Christmas trees, snowflakes, different winter sports and other things that remind them about this season.

Starting from this week, Toddlers will explore and learn about one particular shape and colour – this week we started off with circles and the colour red. We explored this shape by singing about it and doing arts and crafts projects.
Since winter has finally arrived a careful consideration is given each day to determine whether or not there will be an outdoor recess. As it says in our ISR parent handbook: “at temperatures below -5C, Toddlers don’t go outside” so instead we spend this time in the gym.

Preschool 1  

The preschool 1 students had a lot of fun with the Winter focus this week! Our fine motor skills, thinking, and art work activities included making: snowmen; a pair of identical mittens where we learned about symmetry; pairing numbers with corresponding objects; and completing our winter tree scene for our four seasons mobile.  Students were enthusiastic to share their knowledge about what the appropriate clothing is for wintertime and in what sequence we dress for outside time. A matching game, with mittens and gloves, was a very popular activity this week and the difference between mittens and gloves was also discussed!  Some of the books the Preschool 1 students enjoyed were: Teddy’s Snowy Day by Ian Beck, Snow by Roy McKie and P.D.Eastman, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and Snow by Marion Dane Bauer.  We can hardly wait for some more snow so that we can build a snowman of our own!

Preschool 2

On Monday our students were busy colouring and cutting out some winter clothes for the people they made last week. We did some more arts and crafts activities related to winter over the course of the week as well as shared some picture-sound matching activities within partnerships. We watched the video and read the book “Stranger in the Woods” that led us to a group discussion about what is life in winter like for animals and birds and how could people help them. The children shared their experiences about putting up bird feeders and feeding some seeds and nuts to them. One of our students had even put out some carrots for the bunnies at his country home! On Thursday we poured some water in plastic paint dispensers and put it outside over the night. All the children were sure that it was going to turn into ice, instead of staying in the water form, by the next morning. It really was so! The students had great fun exploring what it is like to paint with ice. Look at the wonderful black and green hands in the photos! :)