Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Grouchy Ladybug

During the International Days the Preschoolers took flight into Eric Carle’s  The Grouchy Ladybug and learned about various animals, and the concept of manners and time

In the beginning of and over the course of the story the grouchy ladybug didn’t say ‘please’ and     ‘thank you, wouldn’t share, and generally perceived itself as better, more important, and bigger than others. 

By the end of the story, however, the ladybug returned to the same leaf upon which it had sat that very morning (at that time it had been very grumpy and impolite) and, this time, demonstrated newly learned polite manners, respect, and acknowledged its fellow ladybug as an equal.

During our International Days’ rotations all children participated in four activities which included:

  • listening to and discussing themes from Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug,
  • collaboratively creating a preschool clock of all of the animals the grouchy ladybug had met on the way including the: friendly ladybug, yellow jacket, stag beetle, praying mantis,sparrow, lobster, skunk, boa constrictor, hyena, gorilla,rhinoceros, elephant, and whale,
  • participating in song and movement and creatively engaging in better understanding what it was the grouchy ladybug did and how it changed its behavior over time, and
  • making a ladybug as a souvenir to reflect upon the important lessons learned by the grouchy ladybug. Children also enjoyed counting the antennae, legs, and many dots on each of our ladybugs! This also demonstrated that each one of our ladybugs is unique, just as we are each unique individuals!

Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable break and see you all back at school again on Tuesday May 6th, 2014!

Friday, 25 April 2014

This week we started the new PYP Unit of Inquiry “Amazing Animals”. Over the next 7 weeks we will inquire into: how we classify animals; what it would be like to be different animals; and what we can do to keep animals safe and healthy. 

During the week we also enjoyed wonderful sunny weather and observed how much the nature around us had changed since we had left for the spring break two weeks ago!

We are getting excited about the coming Monday and Tuesday when the whole school will be celebrating the International Days. We hope you too will be able to attend the Flag ceremony on Monday morning, exploring the Nationality tables during the day, and the Independence Day concert on Tuesday at 1:30pm in the gym.

Welcome back after Spring break! This week Toddlers enjoyed the weather outside much more than usual – it was so warm and nice, that we took the opportunity to spend most of the time outside and went in only for Bathroom, Snack, Lunch and Quiet time! One day we even did our Circle time and Music lesson outside. The children had a lot of fun imitating different animal movements in our PE lesson with Mr Joel. Together with Mr Medd Toddlers learned many new songs about different animals. Here is one of them, please ask your child to sing it for you:
“Do you know how cats say Hi? (2x)
Miau, Miau, Miau, Miau, Miau, Miau, Miau! (2x)
Do you know how dogs say Hi?
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof! (2x)
Do you know how ….. (insert any other animals here) say Hi? (2x)”

Preschool 1
We were excited and enthusiastic to be back at school this week and extended our friendship to our visitor Anna who joined us this week!  The children began the week by playing, drawing and catching up with friends! Then, we watched an animal video of various animals and discussed the many animals we had noticed.  We spoke about there being six animal groups. 
This week, we have been looking closely at one of the six animal groups, mammals, and have learned that we, people, are mammals!  Some other facts shared during the week have included that mammals: nurse their babies (babies feed them on the mother’s milk), mammals are warm-blooded animals and they have to eat a lot of food to maintain their high body temperature. Mammals have hair (even whales have hair before birth!).
Mr Medd introduced us to some new songs about animals and during the week we enjoyed Audrey Wood’s Quick As A Cricket with Ms Legzdina during Library.  Children made their very own giraffes.  Finally, we sorted animal parents and their babies and read Steven Kellogg’s Is My Mama a Llama?

Preschool 2
It’s been great to see everyone back from the holidays! We have had all the 22 Pre2 students at school for three days in a row! We started the new UoI “Amazing Animals” by exploring the animal world set up in the hallway: the children had lots of fun playing with all the different plastic animals in various environments: water, ice, mountains, cave and trees.
Some of our students brought photos from animals from home and shared them in class – thank you! We also watched a couple of videos to observe how different animals can be and we started to learn about classifying them in groups. We have been learning more about mammals and the main characteristics for this big group of animals.
The children have enjoyed making some of the mammals out of special animal pattern paper: they cut out some tigers, giraffes, zebras and leopards. We also made new table cards with various animals on them; our students now compare and name the animals on their own, and the table cards of their friends, every snack time!
We went to the back of the school to explore what animals we could find. And guess what?  We found many ants, some spiders and snails, and many others we couldn’t even name! 

Friday, 11 April 2014

An "egg"celent week - April 7-11

In Preschool we have spent the week reflecting upon the many things that we have learnt during the Clip-clop, vroom, zoom Unit.  The second half of the week was dedicated to activities relating to Easter!  The Preschool 1 and 2 children went on a field trip to Tērvete. First we met the Easter bunny on our way to the Elf house and the children excitedly helped the bunny push his bunny wheel borrows all the way to our final destination, the Elf house. There, in the garden, we found out that some naughty rabbits from the forest had destroyed the Easter bunny’s nest with eggs and had hidden the eggs all around the yard! Our students helped to find all the eggs and put them safely back into the nest. Then we were invited into the house where we enjoyed three workshops with the Papa Elf, Mama Elf and the Easter bunny: the children made some little nests out of natural materials; learned of some of the birds that live in forests in Latvia; joined in the steps/pattern bunnies jump; helped Papa Elf to pound nails into a wall decoration and also saw some real bunnies! We enjoyed some pancakes and herbal tea before heading to the Elf meeting place for a chocolate egg hunt! Although the weather in Riga was very wet, the rain had stopped by the time we arrived at Tērvete and it started to drizzle just as we stepped into the bus to return back to school tired but very excited. The weather was on our side! On Thursday the preschool classes coloured eggs: many natural materials were pressed around the eggs and after they were boiled, in a pot of onion skins, the eggs were unravelled and the unique and interesting patterns were enjoyed by all!

Toddlers have explored many different round and egg-shaped things this week. Ms Valda had prepared colourful eggs which Toddlers could decorate during their Art lesson. Our big morning art project was making space ships from egg cartons.
On Wednesday Toddlers did not join the field trip - they had their own little indoor fieldtrip instead. They enjoyed exploring Preschool 1’s classroom and all their interesting toys in the morning, had a lot of fun playing with balls in the gym, and hid and found chocolate eggs during an exciting egg hunt. Instead of a normal meal we had a picnic lunch sitting on blankets in Preschool 2’s room and after quiet time everybody enjoyed a lollipop and watched some cartoons on the smart board.  
On Thursday morning Toddlers carefully coloured eggs with oil wax crayons and wrapped them in a thick layer of onion skins. Later we boiled and dyed them and they look really pretty!

Preschool 1
During the beginning of the week the Preschool 1 each painted a colourful time line poster representing the past (green), present (red), and future (blue).  The children were provided with a large mix of pictures (horse, walking feet, cart, row boat, old fashioned and modern bicycles, motorcycle, air balloon, tractor, airplane, rocket ship, submarine…) and they demonstrated their thinking skills when sorting and explaining in which part of the timeline certain vehicles and modes of transportation best fit.  Well done Preschool 1! During the Art class with Ms Valda the children created their very own future vehicle… many of which could fly high, fast and far! On Wednesday the children enjoyed the busy field trip and on Thursday again much excitement with celebrating Alex’s birthday and preparing beautifully coloured Easter eggs. Finally, on Friday the Unit of Inquiry wrapped up with children enjoying trying on Otto’s real racing helmet, and zooming round and round with the scooters, wooden bikes, and other vehicles during a very sunny outside time!

Preschool 2
We started the week by making some 3D vehicles which children created from “useful trash” our colleagues had kindly gathered over a period of 2 weeks. The children were free to decide whether they wanted to work alone or together with friends. Children were so engaged and excited that the atmosphere was full of creation and busy buzz. Some students even spent two days on their creations. Afterwards we spent the rest of the week by listening each student’s presentation, and asked many, many questions about the vehicles they had created. The students were very proud of their work and were able to answer all the questions in the finest detail. Well done, Pre 2! That was a wonderful experience for all of us!
Wishing everyone a safe and restful holiday and we look forward to seeing you again on Tuesday April 22nd, 2014.