Friday, 30 May 2014

First of all, we would like to thank all the students and families for being great performers and listeners during the Student-led Conferences on Saturday!
Amphibians is already the fifth of six animal groups we will be learning about during the Amazing Animals! Unit of Inquiry. This week we will be learning about amphibians and please enjoy this fun amphibian song on you tube:

Some facts about Amphibians:
Amphibians are animals that live part of their lives in water and part on land.
They usually have soft, moist skin that is protected by a slippery layer of mucus.
They usually live in moist places or near water to keep their bodies from drying out.
Amphibians breathe through their skin.
Amphibians: frogs, toads, caecilians; salamanders, newts and mudpuppies.
They are vertebrates (which means they have a backbone or spine).
They are cold-blooded and depend on warmth from sunlight to become warm and active.
If they get too hot, they have to find shade or a burrow to help them cool down.
They go through metamorphosis. Young amphibians hatch from eggs, but do not look like their parents. As they develop, their body shape changes.

A big thank you to all Toddler families who joined us on Saturday for the Student Led Conferences. Our little students were very happy to share what they have learned this year in Toddlers and felt very appreciated by your feedback! This day meant a lot to them.
On Monday Ms Valda had prepared another hands-on Art activity for the Toddlers. They created cute, colourful caterpillars with wiggly eyes from modelling clay and wooden sticks.
As this week was all about amphibians, we learned a new song and it goes like this:

Five green and speckled frogs sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs. Yum! Yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are 4 green speckled frogs.
Ribbit, ribbit!
(continue with 4, 3, 2, 1 green and speckled frogs)

Preschool 1 started the week off by wishing Ms Zoja a happy birthday! The week proceeded with learning some of the many facts about amphibians! Among the many amphibian activities we enjoyed this week included: jumping like frogs during PE, singing lots of animal songs including Five Green and Speckled Frogs; and making paper plate frogs with long red tongues to catch flies with! Some of the animal books we have enjoyed this week have include: Farmyard Animals by Paul Hess, Look Closer at Reptiles by DK, and Discover Whales by Wonders of Learning.
Thank you also to all families who came to enjoy the Student-led-conferences and be with their children on this special day!

Preschool 2
This week the students made another page for their Animal Book; this one about amphibians. They painted some water and land on a sheet of paper to better learn about the “double life’ frogs, toads, newts and salamanders lead. We also watched a short video about how to tell apart an amphibian from a reptile because some of them look pretty similar at first sight. Ask your children if you would like to know that as well (we’ll give you a clue: clawsJ). The students enjoyed the game where they had to leap like frogs from number 1 up to 10 with each of the numbers written on a separate lily pad leaf. The students made their own animal charts and amphibian patterns this week hence learning not only maths but also animal names at the same time. They used the projects later on for comparing them with those of their friends as well as ‘reading” some information from their charts.
Next week is the last one we will have Alphie time; where has the time gone?!:)    

Friday, 23 May 2014

May 19 - 23

This week the Preschoolers have been learning about the animal group birds. You may also wish to learn a little more about this animal group on this short zoo video: 
During an assembly pre-schoolers reflected upon what we have been learning about so far. The children were able to name all the animal groups they had been introduced to so far as well as most of the characteristics of each of the groups! Well done, pre-schoolers!


This week Toddlers learned about different birds and explored a real bird’ s nest that you all can see in the Preschool hallway. We learned a rhyme/finger game:

“Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill.
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Fly away Jack, flay away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.”

As the weather was really hot,  we spent a lot of time outside on the playground and explored the birds in the trees. When we felt too hot, we remembered last week’ s topic about fish and cooled our hands in the sensory table filled with water and fish toys!
On Thursday, May 22nd Toddlers celebrated Jakub’s 3rd birthday. We had a real feast outside on the playground where a happy clown named Christina entertained our students by playing games and creating different animals and toys from colourful balloons. Toddlers truly enjoyed the sweets, fruit and, of course, the birthday cake! They day was filled with sunshine and lots of giggles! Thank you Jakub’s mommy for organizing this event! (Please see the photos).
This week Toddlers also prepared and practiced for the Student-led conferences. We remembered all the songs and rhymes we have learned during the 2nd semester, as well as looked through different artworks and projects in our portfolios. We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Preschool 1

Preschool 1 started the week off with a combined Assembly together with Preschool 2. We reflected upon some of the details and facts we have already learned about during the Amazing Animals! Unit of Inquiry.  Mammals feed their new born babies with mother’s milk, and they have hair and limbs; reptiles lay hard eggs and have scales to protect themselves; and fish live in water and have scales and fins. We learnt that most birds have wings and some fly but others do not fly (like penguins). Birds have feathers and many have hollow bones.
During the week we discussed how different animals move and discovered that some walk, some run, some slither, and others fly. We made an owl paper bag puppet and continued colouring in our real life size baby giraffe! Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman was enjoyed by children during the Library lesson, butterflies in spring where created at Art, and animal songs where practiced during Music. The children have been reflecting upon the learning that has taken place over the last three units and we are looking forward to sharing these detail during the Student-led-conferences on Saturday May 24th!  See you then!

Preschool 2

This week has been very busy in Preschool 2; we have been preparing for the Student-led Conferences as well as learning about birds. The students have worked in pairs practising to tell each other about their work which they will present to their families. Some of the projects were done a couple of months ago and it was interesting to see that they were excited to see these again and were able to reflect and share details about them. We managed to make some birds to decorate our classroom and the students drew some birds with a my-turn, your-turn technique.  Miss Aija demonstrated each step and the students then drew their own birds on paper. Our trip to the forest was another wonderful adventure; we stayed there for the whole day! The children had a task to build a nest for an imaginary bird, and they were really very creative. We taped some videos you will be able to enjoy during your child’s conference.

Friday, 16 May 2014

May 12 - 16, Sports Day and field trip to the zoo


First of all – Thank you to all parents that could join us in our Sports activities on Monday morning! That was a great, fun event enjoyed by all participants and the ISR medals made our children really proud.
Secondly – Thank you to all parents that could join us on our Preschool field trip to Riga Zoo! Your support was highly appreciated and made this trip truly fantastic! On our field trip we met some giant turtles, lazy monkeys, serious lions, proud peacocks, pink flamingos, hungry zebras, shy tigers, one sad bear, sporty giraffes, curious ducks, very talkative geese, quiet and very long sssnakesss, scary crocodiles, colourful wolves, sleepy pigs, smiley sheep, mama goats and newly born goats… and last but not least a black cat and lots of sparrows! The children are talking about these animals every day and have become experts at imitating the sounds these animals make!
If you wish to spend more time with your child at Riga Zoo please follow the link:

This week we have also explored and read stories about different fish. Preschool had a very special visitor - Sophie’s and Lucy’s fish Swishy Tails, which was greeted by Toddlers new song of the week:

“Slippery fish”
Slippery fish, slippery fish, sliding through the water,
Slippery fish, slippery fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by an …

Octopus, octopus, squiggling in the water
Octopus, octopus, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Tuna fish, tuna fish, flashing in the water,
Tuna fish, tuna fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Great white shark, great white shark, lurking in the water,
Great white shark, great white shark, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Humongous whale, humongous whale, spouting in the water,
Humongous whale, humongous whale,
Gulp! … Gulp! … Gulp!
Oh no! No more fish in the ocean!

Preschool 1

The week started off with the Toddler and Preschool 1 Sports Morning Activities. This was great fun and we all practiced our Zumba dancing, bean bag throwing, monkey bar climbing, sliding, balancing, jumping, and catching skills. Thank you also to the parents that could join us! The busy week continued with learning about fish. Fish swim in water, have tails and fins, and can be big, medium or small. The largest fish is the great whale shark, which can reach 50 feet in length! A fish breathes by taking water into its mouth and forcing it through its gills. 
The trip to the Zoo on Wednesday was fantastic and we were able to see many different animals we have already been learning about (mammals, reptiles, and fish!). Among the many highlights we witnessed: a mummy goat with her tiny babies; a zebra sneezing all over us; the vulture spread out and showcasing its’ wings, and the crocodiles being cared for by the brave zoo keepers!  Next week we will learn about the birds animal group.
The week concluded by reading Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andrede and Guy Parker-Rees, and with our exploration of the true size of a baby giraffe – they can reach 6 feet in height at birth!!! The children enjoyed colouring in the brown spots of our very own tall baby giraffe.

Preschool 2

We had two exciting visitors in our class this week: Puja, Vanesa’s rabbit came in on Monday and stayed for the whole day. The children had an opportunity to touch the animal and ask some questions to the owner as well as observe the rabbit during the day. The second visitor was Swishy Tail, an animal we are learning about this week: Sophie’s and Lucy’s fish! The students were interested in all the objects in the fish tank just as much as in the habits of the fish itself. Thank you Vanesa and Sophie for the opportunities to learn more about mammals and fish!:)
We had our Sports Afternoon on Tuesday together with students from KG and Gr1. There was lots of running, jumping, throwing and relay races going on. The children excitedly cheered for their team members and were happy to get shiny medals and a lolly pop at the end. Thanks to Mr Joel and Mr Andrade for the wonderful event! 
Our trip to the Zoo on Wednesday was a great success: the children were excited and asked many great questions both during and after the trip! The next day they drew pictures of what they liked the most at the zoo and then wrote the names of animals. We also managed to have a party that day: we celebrated Sofija’s name’s day. This was a fun way to familiarize ourselves with the Latvian tradition of celebrating the day person’s name (names are written into the Latvian calendar). The children eagerly explored a wall-calendar the next day trying to spot any other names they might be familiar with.
We are looking forward to the next week to learn more about birds!