Friday, 28 February 2014

24th - 28th February

During our weekly assembly on Monday we shared our knowledge about all the different things we have learned this Unit, All Year Round.   First we reflected upon our last week’s assembly and recalled all four seasons and the order in which they appear. Children identified that the cyclic nature of the seasons goes round and round and never stops!  Then we tried a new thinking game activity in which pupils worked in mixed age groups.  Each of the ten groups received a bag full of various items and pictures which represent activities, festivities, or characteristics of the four seasons.  The children explored their items and shared their learned knowledge about which season they fit and why.  They first shared this information with one another and then with the teachers. 

On Monday, Toddlers had their first Art Lesson with Ms Valda. Toddlers were very excited about it! Miss Valda taught us how to draw the wind! See the photos and our awesome art works hanging up in Preschool hallway!

On Tuesday, we had a special visitor, Mr Jared from Brisbane, Australia, who read for the mixed age group. Preschoolers and Toddlers enjoyed the Australian children’s classic story “Koala Lou” written by Mem Fox.

On Wednesday, our whole Preschool field trip to the Snow Hill in Mežaparks was a great success enjoyed by all – Toddlers, Preschoolers, teachers and parents.  On the hill our students proved to be cautious thinkers as well as great risk-takers. Thank you to Toddler parents and our PE teacher Mr Joel for joining our field trip!

On Thursday, Preschoolers enjoyed the story time led by Amanda and Ségolène from Grade 8. They came to read for us “The Big Red Barn” and “How do you feel?”

Due to many absences and illnesses on Thursday and Friday Preschool classes collaborated even more than usually and we enjoyed many activities such as our playtime, specialist lessons as well as meals together. As one of our favourite preschool songs says: “The more we get together the happier we will be!”

Reminder: Saturday, March 1st – PTO Open House from 15:30 till 18:00 Looking forward to seeing you all!

Special reminder: Get well soon and stay healthy everybody!

Friday, 14 February 2014

All Year Round

This week started with our Preschool assembly where we reflected upon last week’s Fall assembly which was, not only rich in red, orange, yellow, and brown colours, but with the many fall related songs we sang.  We then inquired further into all of the seasons and watched some links, power point presentations, and sang some more songs.  Following the assembly all the children went outside to play and inquire into the weather and research whether it is still winter or if spring is already on its way! The Preschool children may wish to revisit some of the songs and links:

Winter:      End of winter scenes of mother bear and her cubs, icicles and snow melting, and the first signs of spring. 

Spring: We watched a part of this spring related time laps video: of sprouting plant:    
Some more spring scenes:     

Summer: We played a movement game and recalled the many different activities that we can do in summer including: swim, jump into the water, rowing a boat, pick strawberries, riding a bike, and celebrate Jāņi.

Fall: We discussed the characters of fall and sang:
Fall leaves, fall leaves, let us gather fall leaves
Let them grow, let them grow, put them in the basket!!
Mushrooms... apples...chesnuts...carrots... potatoes...pumpkins...tomatoes... nuts...

During the Friday assembly the children sang many friendship related songs and danced along in nursery rhymes to celebrate Valentine Day.

This week started with a double birthday party in Toddlers  – we celebrated Simon’s and Demyan’s 3rd birthdays as they are both born on  exactly the same day! Toddlers created a book for each of them and celebrated with big ice- creams covered with lots of chocolate.  Of course we also sang “Happy Birthday” for them many times throughout the day.
As we continued our current Unit of Inquiry “All year round” we talked about season and weather appropriate clothing.  Toddlers were very excited to dress up our teddy bears and monkey George according to cold and warm weather. See the pictures!
We celebrated Valentine ’s Day by creating heart shaped sun-catchers and baked heart shaped cookies together with Preschool 1 children. It was so much fun sharing our heart cookies with our friends from Preschool!

Preschool 1
During the week the Preschool 1 children enjoyed to make some more raindrops with glue and tissue paper to add to the autumn/fall wall.  They were thinkers when they identified which season their birthday falls and they chose and explained which of the four seasons is their favourite. A season wheel was coloured in with a spinning arrow so that the children could play a game in naming what season the arrow landed on! We have been working very hard in learning some new sounds and writing cues for the sounds /g/, /o/, /c/, and /k/. The week has been very busy and we have enjoyed a friendly finish to the week when children baked and shared their friendship on Valentine’s Day with their specialist teachers as a gesture of their friendship.

Preschool 2
We engaged in several learning activities devoted to research and developing skills such as sorting, observation, asking questions, all needed for research.  We discussed which season the photos sent from students’ homes belong, then sorted them and finally put together our season book. You can find the book on the table in the hallway and are welcome to stop by and look through it. On Monday morning the children were excited to see their plants and how much they have grown over the weekend. We also learned that asking questions to other people is a good way to help us learn more.  We coloured some pictures of different celebrations and during our discussions in our class we discovered that we knew a bit about some and nothing at all about others.  We discussed how to find out more and came to the idea that we could do this by visiting the older grades.  Thank you Grades 8 & 9 for helping the pre-schoolers to find out more about celebrations! 

On Friday, Valentine’s Day, we baked some cupcakes (turned out a little bit flatJ).  We decorated them with some icing and sprinkles and sent them home, along with a Valentine’s card, to enjoy with families.

Friday, 7 February 2014

3rd - 7th Febuary 2014

This week started with our Preschool assembly about Fall. The children learned about activities we can do in Fall and acted them out. We also listened to the sounds of Fall: falling leaves, walking in the leaves, rain in fall etc. We sang songs about picking harvest, acorns, falling leaves, colors of the leaves, autumn winds and watched some videos about Fall in Latvia. Here are the lyrics for our Preschool Fall songs. Please ask your child to sing them for you at home.

Fall is bright, fall is rich, fall is full of fun! (2x)
Fall leaves whisper: shsss,
Chestnuts fall down BUM! (2x)
It’s so much fun to be outside; Don’t stay in your room! (2x)

Leaves are fallin' (2x)
One fell on my nose.
Leaves are fallin' (2x)
One fell on my toes.
Leaves are fallin' (2x)
One fell on my head.
Leaves are fallin' (2x)
Orange, yellow, red!

All the leaves are falling down,
Orange, yellow, red and brown,
Falling softly as they do
Over me and over you,
All the leaves are falling down,
Orange, yellow, red and brown.

Autumn winds begun to blow, (blow!)
Autumn leaves begun to fall,
Twirling, whirling all around (move your hands and repeat it faster)
Till at last they touch the ground!

The acorn song

I'm an acorn, small and round
Pretend to hold an acorn in your fingers.
Lying on the cold, cold ground.
Cross your arms on your chest and shiver .
People come and step on me.
Touch your foot to the ground on "step."
That’s why I'm cracked, you see.
Make a fist and tap your head on"cracked."
Chorus:I'm a nut.After singing this line, lightly rap your head twice,as you click your tongue.I'm a nut. I'm a nut. I'm a nut. I'm a nut.

Fall leaves, fall leaves, let us gather fall leaves
Let them grow, let them grow, put them in the basket!
Mushrooms... Apples... Chestnuts... Carrots... Potatoes...
Pumpkins... Tomatoes... Nuts...

Here are some of the videos about Fall we watched on Youtube during our Preschool assembly. You are welcome to watch them together with your child at home.

Falling Leaves
Sounds of Fall Leaves
Autumn Rainfall relaxation video
Fall in Latvia
All kinds of mushrooms in Latvia
Time-lapse video of growing mushrooms
Song about things we can do in the Fall

On Thursday two students from Grade 8 came to read to the whole Preschool. It was exciting to see the older girls interact with our young learners! Thanks for coming!

After we had presented Fall during this week’s Preschool assembly, Toddlers finished their season collage by adding pictures of pumpkins, leaves, umbrellas, rubber boots, apples and other fall related items.
To enhance the Toddlers’ understanding of the seasons, we did a basic hands-on activity, during which they had the chance to experience and name the difference between cold and warm. Toddlers dipped their hands in a bowl of warm water and into a bowl of cold water and expressed what it felt like. Following this activity, we went back to the collage and the children pointed out the differences between cold and warm seasons and which clothes are appropriate for each season.
We also talked about staying healthy during the cold seasons and learned the English saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. We created our own apples by painting and lacing them with a yarn.  Come and see them hanging in our classroom!
Toddlers also worked on recognizing colors and this week we created a new shape – a diamond, we painted it yellow and covered it with golden glitter.

Preschool  1
This week the Preschool 1 children enjoyed exploring autumn, or fall, through various activities. Fine motor skills were challenged with painting, cutting, pasting, tracing, or creating umbrellas, acorns, fall leaves, raindrops, and other fall related bits and pieces. During music Mr Medd engaged the children to sing many fall related songs and during PE class Mr Joel made fun relays where children carried pumpkins (balls) above their heads, bounced them, tossed and caught them, and kicked them into the net!  The children also reflected upon the Monday morning assembly and all of the wonderful fall related songs.  They demonstrated their good listening skills when listening to all the Success For All (SfA) books and a Preschool 1 and 2 read aloud of The Fox and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson and illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke. Finally, we would like to express our thanks to the grade 9 and grade 7 students who read aloud to the Preschool 1 and 2 children both this week and last week.  Wonderful!

Preschool 2
This week we have done many arts and crafts activities relating to fall: drawing, painting with our little fingers, colouring, cutting and writing. We put some jelly stones in sensory trays, added some water and were fascinated to see them actually change their size and colour in front of our eyes! The children had great fun exploring the soft and slippery texture of them. The children had a wonderful experience of painting a song during Music lesson with Miss Ruta: they applied some dot paints onto paper to demonstrate what they heard, at that moment, while listening to a piece of music. You are welcome to come into our classroom and observe the colourful painting consisting of dots and lines, both straight and crooked. We have been looking at pictures sent in from student’s homes and had had some very fruitful and in-depth discussions about seasons: it turned out that it might look like summer but it is actually winter, or the other way round! We will sort the pictures by seasons and put together the book next week. Thank you for sending in the great photos and providing valuable learning opportunities for the whole Preschool2 class! It was the 100th day of school on Thursday which we recognized by making 100 little schools out of paper, putting them on a wall and attaching a number to each one of them. We also tried to sing along the counting song up to 100 which, we have to admit, is a BIG number for our pre-schoolers!  On Thursday we met our new classmate Fiona from China who will join us on Monday. Welcome, Fiona to ISR!

Reminder: Ski Break/No School February 17 – 21

Please also be reminded that waterproof winter mittens are required for outside time.

Finally, on Friday we also had some lovely Norwegian preschool teachers who came to visit the Kindergarten and Preschool classes.  We were excited to speak with the teachers regarding the school’s IBPYP program and the many interesting activities and teaching approaches we offer the children.