Thursday, 30 April 2015

Sprouting Up!

This has been a shorter week, however, with all of the excitement of the school musical Olivia, we have also had the opportunity to experience a very busy and energetic week and we really enjoyed watching a truly wonderful show!  Monday morning’s rehearsal was enjoyed by all Preschoolers present and we hope that you too were able to come to watch the show during one of the evenings.

We would like to remind you that there will be NO SCHOOL May 1st – 4th


This week Toddlers gained lots of new experience. On Monday, for a short while, the little ones went to see the rehearsal of the musical ‘’Olivia’’. Continuing to explore the unit of inquiry ‘’Sprouting Up ‘’, we talked about the needs of flowers. Out little gardeners saw what happened when seeds didn’t have enough water for sprouting up. So, during the arts&crafts Toddlers created many rainy clouds in preparation for lots and lots of rain. On Tuesday during the Show&Tell time one of our students showed pictures where he was helping to plant an onion bulb in a glass jar as well as beautiful  spring flowers outside in the garden at home. Thank you for this great presentation and photos!

Another new experience for students was collecting  a harvest. These past days the little cress seeds had turned into the little sprouts and Toddlers were eager to taste those little sprouts during their lunch time.

On Wednesday our PE teacher Ms Marlēna surprised Toddlers by visiting them in the classroom and all together we enjoyed some happy dancing and moving around the classroom! Thank you Ms Marlēna! 

Preschool 1a

Some of the books we enjoyed during the week included Aesop’s fable The North Wind and the Sun, and Mushroom in the Rain by Mirra Ginsburg. These stories provided students with new information about what plants and fungus need to grow: appropriate weather conditions and temperature are needed, as well as the amount of water is important for growth. Some may need more than others, and some plants grow a lot faster than others!

The roots of the plant were also discussed and explored with a hands on activity: the students were inquires as we broke apart one of our egg shells in which we had planted and grown some long and thriving cat grass. When removing and separating the plant from the soil we could see where the grass stems out of the seed and how the roots stem out from below the seed into the soil.  We also practiced our find motor skills by making roots for our collaborative tulips display. We then discussed that tulips are one of the plants that grow from a bulb, not a seed. 

During Music lesson, with Mr Mark, we practiced tapping various beats and pretended that they are the sounds in the nature surrounding us. We learned that in music, and in our lives, rest(s) are needed to better balance everything around us.

We reviewed the concept of size by sorting BIG, medium, and small seeds. During our walking field trip, around the school grounds, we liked to look for BIG, medium, and small signs of spring! BIG trees, small blades of grass, medium sized flower buds!

Preschool 1b

It’s unbelievable how much our plants have grown already! Every morning the children remind and help us to water the plants and often we see them standing by the window sill watching and observing the changes in their flower pots. We took a closer look at the roots that have formed in the transparent pots and noticed how they have different shapes. We discovered that they look a bit like fingers, but are actually the plant’s ’mouth’, because they ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ through their roots. 

On Wednesday we had a birthday party in Preschool 1b! Evan turned 4 – Happy Birthday! He did a great job finding his new number and counting four candles for his cake. All his friends coloured and drew beautiful heart-shaped pictures for him which he received as a present in the form of a picture book. After lunch we had delicious cupcakes served on dinosaur and Spiderman plates. What a party!

On Thursday after outside time we went for a walk around the school to see some more plants, flowers, bushes and trees. The children enthusiastically spotted all kinds of blossoms and buds, little plants growing and petals on the ground. We were really impressed how alert they were to all the little details in nature.

Preschool 2

On Monday, after a short visit to the rehearsals of Olivia we left the school for the forest.  The first thing we did when we arrived was have our snack in the lovely sunshine.  We continued our way through the forest.  The rest of the time, while we explored the forest, looked for changes in the surroundings and continued to build our wood houses.  After lunch we treated ourselves with some Smores (hot marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between cookies).

Tuesday we continued our observations by drawing the small sprouts from our flower pots.

On Wednesday our learning journey took us through some short movie clips about planting, growing and observing.  In Arts we finished our previously started Spring paintings. 

On Thursday we headed in our exploration journey around the school looking for changes that Spring has brought for us to see all around! It was so exciting to notice all the differences that had taken place in a weeks time: buds on the trees that have turned into beautiful green leaves; sprouts have now become nice tulips; grass that has grown taller and has so many different kinds of leaves. It is so pretty all around!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sprouting Up!

Please be reminded that there will be NO AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES next week. There will also be NO SCHOOL due to the May holidays on Friday, May 1st – Monday, 4th.

If you haven’t already bought tickets for the Olivia musical, this coming Monday April 27th – Wednesday 29th, then you can still purchase them in the mornings and afternoons at school as well as at the door on the evening (provided it is not already sold out!!!).

This week started with a nice surprise – some flowers had sprouted up in our minigarden! The young gardeners have been so eager and they checked the sprouts an endless amount of times during the day. We had discussions about why some seeds are sprouting  faster while others are still sleeping and we came to the conclusion that one of the main factors is the amount of sunlight. So, to make our flowers and us feel more ‘shiny’,  everyone  made their very own paper plate sun. During circle time students sang the song  “Mister Golden Sun” and performed how the flowers are growing up towards the sun. It’s great to see so many great soloists in our class!

During story time Toddlers enjoyed listening to a story ‘’Planting a Rainbow’’ writen by  Lois Ehlert.

Our new gardening practise was to plant and observe how the cress salad seeds sprout – they already sprouted the next day so now we are looking forward to having a delicious and healthy garnish for our lunch next week!

Preschool 1a
During the week the preschool 1a students reflected upon Ruth Krauss’ The Carrot Seed book we read last week and we remembered to sprinkle the ground with water. We also agreed that sunshine is just as important as water and, so, we decided to practice our find motor skills by tracing large circles onto aquarelle paper, paint them yellow, cut long strips of yellow paper and pasted them onto the sunny yellow circle! So even on the days that it might be raining outside, our classroom is always enjoying some sunny weather too!

We learned about some of the differences between seeds, bulbs and seedlings when reading Lois Ehlert’s Planting a Rainbow.  Following this colourful story the students each chose either a freesia or a gladiolus to plant and water. In art class, with Ms Valda, we even made 3-D rainbows: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.

We enjoyed observing changes that have been taking place in our grass seed egg shells pots (so long!), as well as the subtle changes that have taken place during a week’s time in the grounds surrounding the school.

Finally, all of us engaged in a collaborative are piece by colouring in soil sky and grass with oil pastels and the following day stamping colourful tulips with forks! Please come and see our rainbow garden on the display board by the Preschool 1a classroom entrance!

Preschool 1b
When we came back to school on Monday the children were surprised to see that some of the seeds we had planted on Friday had already grown some sprouts over the weekend! Every morning the teachers had some eager helpers watered the plants and by the end of the week a lot of sprouting up had taken place.

Some seeds however took a little longer to start to grow. The book The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss taught us that we need to be patient, as some plants grow very slowly.

On Tuesday the children in Preschool 1b worked busily on a sequencing exercise. They put pictures of a seed growing into a blooming flower in the right order. Not an easy task, but everyone gained an understanding of the sequence, or, could use what they have already learned to start to recognise the sequence.

This week we also talked about the fact that some plants don’t grow from seeds but rather from bulbs. We explored a funny looking potato that had started to sprout and planted it in a flower pot. We also read another colourful picture book about planting seeds and bulbs, Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

Preschool 2
We kicked off this week with Alexander’s birthday party.  Together we made a birthday card for him, sang the birthday song, counted candles on his cake and enjoyed the delicious Spiderman cake.  Thank you Alex for making this day special for all of us J 

During the week we took care of our planted seeds by watering them and observing them closely.  We continued to add drawings of our observations to our plant books.  When we shared our observations with our classmates: we discovered that plants have different speeds for sprouting up.  Some of us still have to wait for the first sprouts to show up….

When we were outside we walked around the school to see and observe the nature around us. We noticed some small changes in the environment since last week – it is all turning a bit green and the buds are getting bigger.

On Thursday we all tried our very own planted and grown ‘grass cress’ as a small pre-snack before lunch.  Some of us liked it, some thought it was a bit too strong tasty.   

All in all it has been a busy and exciting week again with much learning taking place through the help of songs, movements, observations and discussions.