Friday, 5 September 2014

1 - 5 September, all about Latvia

Latvia was the first country all preschool children focused on this week as part of our Unit of Inquiry “Me and my country”. The children learned what the Latvian flag looks like, explored all kinds of Latvian items, symbols, food and games. We had a very special visitor on Tuesday! The well-known Latvian post-folk musician Ilga Reizniece introduced the preschool children to some very interesting Latvian music instruments, folk songs and games! It was great fun, thank you, Ilga!

We would also like thank all parents for coming to our meet the teacher evening! It was a great chance to share some information, have great conversations and get to know each other.

Don’t forget: Next Wednesday and Thursday, 10th & 11th September, will be ISR photo days!


We are very happy that all of our Toddler students are settling in well. We have enjoyed the sunny weather and we have had the chance to play outside every day.  Toddlers enjoy blowing the soap bubbles and exploring all the toys and meeting new friends outside.
This week all Toddlers continued to work diligently on their first cooperative Toddler art project by using and exploring a wide variety of materials – crayons, pastels, markers, finger paint, different sponges, stickers and our hands of course! See the fantastic result on the bulletin board in our classroom!

Preschool 1a  

Preschool 1a have been busy learning about our host country Latvia. During the week we have been practicing our fine motor skills when pasting the dark shade of red tissue paper to create the Latvian flag; beans onto some of the traditional Latvian symbols (Ūsiņš, Zalktis, Māra, Skujiņa, Saulīte, Auseklītis);  colouring pineforests, some of the many symbols, and beginning to trace our names. 

We learned about the various components of the traditional costume: the white linen shirt; colourful skirts; white socks; leather footwear (pastalas); the warms scarf (vilaine); broaches; woven belts; and some of the various crowns (and the children looked spectacular trying them on!).  We learned to make butter from thickened cream, ate some black bread, smiltsērkšķogas (vitamin packed orange berries), and honey.  Yummy, yummy, for my tummy!

Apples where pressed into shape with red, orange, and yellow plasteline during Art class. We enjoyed Ms Legzdiņa’s reading of Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson. Then we all practiced what it sounds like to speak like an owl ‘’Hoo, hoo’’.  Another book the children enjoyed was My Friends by Taro Gomi. Finally, our friend Noga also joined the Preschool 1a group and we are all, gradually, beginning to get used to the new Preschool routine.

Preschool 1b 

This week was all about Latvia! After colouring in the Latvian flag our children started to notice it all around them and pointed it out! During our first circle time of the week Ms Zoja presented different items which are typical for the country we all live in now. Everybody was curious to try on the crown and belt from a Latvian folk costume and play the “trejdeksnītis”, a typical Latvian instrument. We all had the chance to learn even more, when Ms Ilga Reizniece visited and shared many Latvian music instruments and folk songs with us.
On Thursday we had anothe guest: Sofija’s mum visited us during circle time and read a story book to us. The children found out that some people live in Latvia, but speak a different language at home, since the book was written in Russian. Sofija’s mum and all the children then helped to shake two jars with cream and we wittnessed how it changed its form and colour and became butter! We tried it on typical Latvian rye bread – yummy!

Preschool 2 

This week, again, was a very busy week in our class.  A challenge was to make butter out of cream just by shaking it.  But the result was brilliant and everybody enjoyed Latvian rye bread with self-made butter.  In sports we danced a dragon dance.  By following Mr Joel we copied his movements and the results was a traditional dragon dance.  We also continued to explore Singapore.  Thank you to Alex’ mom for coming in and sharing some facts, pictures and delicious food with us!
During our regular circle times we continued to count and learn numbers.  Another activity we did was create shapes with our bodies.  For example, we made triangles out of three students.  Ask your child at home to show you how that works! 
As Latvia is our host country we continued to learn to explore and inquirer more.  A traditional Latvian dance is called “sitam spriguļus”, which actually is a clapping game for coordination.
On Friday we continued our learning journey through Singapore and China by making Chinese style hats.  It was a creative and exciting morning for all of us.  

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