Friday, 28 March 2014

Present day vehicles...

During the Monday morning Preschool assembly we reflected upon the past and present vehicles and transportation that we have learned about in the last four weeks. We watched and sang along to The Journey Home From Grandpa's: and we listened to what some present day vehicles sound like:   We observed how traffic moves about in very busy cities and discussed that with traffic signs we can improve the flow of traffic and make travel safer for vehicles and pedestrians. Finally, we watch a little video about the red, amber, and green colours in the traffic lights and the meaning of each colour:

This week Toddlers were very excited to create their own cars with our Art teacher Ms Valda, learn new songs about transportation with our Music teacher Mr Medd, and pretend to be a choo-choo train going through an obstacle course together with Mr Joel in PE.
On Thursday, Toddlers celebrated Isabella’s 3rd birthday! Congratulations!!! We created a special book as a gift for Isabella – it looks like a traffic light, as this week was all about traffic lights. Toddlers made their own paper traffic lights, played with our traffic light toys and we learned a new rhyme that will help us to stay safe on the roads:

“Red on top  - means STOP!
Yellow in between – WAIT for green
Green on low – Let’s GO!”

Preschool 1
On Monday the Preschool students made a Traffic Light sign and learned about stop, wait, and go! On Tuesday the students made shape vehicles with Ms Valda in art class and sang We All Live in a Yellow Submarine with Mr Medd! On Wednesday we started to make our shape train where we reviewed circle, square, triangle and rectangle. On Thursday we took advantage of the fine weather and went out on a walking field trip around the neighborhood and looked for these shapes in our surroundings.  We took note of the various vehicles and modes of transportation as well as speed bumps, stop signs, zebra crossing, parking signs, give way signs, speed signs. These were some of the many road and pedestrian signs we spotted on the way! Finally, on Friday we put together our interactive display board where the children can choose to be a driver, pilot, or passenger in a school bus, car, motorcycle, or even a rescue helicopter! Vroom, vroom!

Preschool 2
We started the week by making a train out of big cardboard boxes. The students worked in pairs in transforming a box into a wagon for a train. Children were provided various art and craft materials and tools and further inspiration, to complete the task, was also gained from some videos of trains played on the Smart board. In the end, collaboratively we created a wonderful star train and had great fun playing with it during PE in the Gym. On Tuesday we had quite a messy but certainly fun morning: the children had a chance to paint with cars! We used some finger paints and plastic cars.  Some of the pictures are still drying since lots of paint was being used. J On Wednesday morning the students made some helicopters by cutting them out of paper. We watched them spin down, down, down, as the students let them fly down the top of the Preschool staircase all the way down to the 1st floor. On Thursday the children created a vehicle of their own choice by gluing different paper shapes and then writing down the name of their vehicle. As a result there was a wide range of modes of transportation starting with ice cream trucks and ending with butterflies. J Later on that day, after reading the book about “The Greedy triangle” by Marylin Burns, we went on a walking field trip to look for different shapes in the neighborhood. We looked at the photos taken during the field trip on the Smart Board the next day and drew a line around the shapes we could spot!

Friday, 21 March 2014

March 17 - 21 - choo choo!

During our Preschool Assembly on Monday we reviewed the title of our Unit of Inquiry, Clip-clop, vroom, zoom!

Miss Dace helped us to inquire into how certain vehicles have changed over time; from Past to Present: a bike into a motorcycle, a carriage into a car, a horse and plough into a tractor, a row boat into a motorboat, an air balloon into a plane, and a steam train into a super-fast electric train! Children had great fun acting out all these present day vehicles. The children were also clear on the reason for the change and explained that it was ‘to go faster”.  Let’s see if can find out even more reasons in the weeks to come! The modes of transportation were also demonstrated in the music animation video We All Go Traveling By!  Please enjoy:

During the week we also danced along a “STOP!” song by Patti Shukla where children practiced both doing different movements and stopping them whenever the word “stop” came up in the song.  It sounds like an easy task, but it is not at all, especially with such an inviting music all you want is to dance along to!

The highlight of this week in Toddlers was our field trip to the Latvian Railway history museum. The adventure started by Toddlers and Preschool 1 embarking a big bus to go to the museum. Our tour guide there was Mr Toms Altbergs. He showed us a giant black steam engine with five big red wheels on each side and we were even allowed to climb inside and take a good look around. Another thing all the children loved was the model railway with several types of trains going round and round.

We highly recommend you visit the museum with your family because there is so much more to see and explore than we had time for – please see the link for more information in English:
Thank you for your support to all parents who came with us!

Since this field trip our new Toddlers hit song is:

“Puffer train, puffer train
Noisy little puffer train
Puffer train, puffer train
Noisy little puffer train
If you’re going to the sea
Puffer train oh please take me!
Pfff pfff pfff shhh shhh shhh
Shhh shhh shhh shhh shhh shhh… shhhhhhh!!!
Noisy little puffer train!”

Preschool 1
This week we have been excited to welcome a new friend in to the Preschool 1 class, Isla, welcome!  During the week we have been matching vehicles to the location they best fit (airplane to air, train to train tracks, car to road, and boat to water); making vehicles by using many different shapes (squares, rectangles, circles…); tracing, cutting, colouring and pasting shape trains; and discussing the many different modes of transportation use in the present. During the Wednesday’s field trip to the Railway Museum the children had an opportunity to explore and learn about the train and how it moves along.  We have been making our own classroom trains through various pictures and through song and movement:

This is a cho-cho train,
Puffing round the track.
Now it’s moving forward,
Now it’s moving back.

Now the bell is ringing,
Now the whistle blows!
What a lot of noise it makes!
Everywhere it goes!

Preschool 2
This week in Preschool 2 we had several activities where our students experienced working together in groups of four. The children shared their river projects they made last week by presenting their project.  The rest of the group had to remember and share one thing from their friends’ performance. We were proud of how well the children took turns speaking and listened to each other! During the field trip to the forest children had a task to build something that would help them cross an imaginary body of water: a river or a lake. That was a far more challenging task because it is not easy to decide what and how to build together with three other friends! Enjoy the photos to see how creative our students are! On Friday, Mr Renars showed us what the engine looks like in his car. Then, later on in class we brainstormed about how we could turn our carriage into a car, and the children decided that we have to add the following things: some wheels, an engine, some water, petrol and gas, a boot or a trunk, a steering wheel, a battery, a person to drive the car and also some seats and seatbelts. Lots to do for the next week!:)