Friday, 15 May 2015

Sprouting Up!

Thanks to all families who attended the Student Led Conferences last Saturday! 

Thank you to all the families for attending the Student Led Conferences!  This day meant a lot to all of us! We noticed lots of changes in the Toddlers’ learning which they have made over the past few months. Students are confident and they have developed their social and  intellectual skills.

This week the Toddlers reviewed numbers, colours and shapes. They also explored some simple patterns (boy-girl, nose-knee, clap–pause) etc. The little ones are so clever - they grasped this concept so quickly!

Continuing to explore the unit of inquiry ‘’Sprouting up’’, the Toddlers noticed something about the plants - our broccoli and peas have grown taller! Some of the sprouts  are as tall as a toddler’s finger!  Children loved to observe them daily, especially using the magnifying glass.

Celebrating the arrival of spring, we decorated our class. In arts&crafts the Toddlers made  trees using cotton buds and scrap paper. They also practiced their cutting skills and created colorful collages.

During the music lesson they played a game ‘’Seek the Song ‘’. They were eager to find the right picture which matched to the melody. Finally, together with the whole Preschool, the Toddlers started to learn the Latvian songs and games in preparing for the Midsummer Festival-Jāņi.

Preschool 1a
We started the week off by practicing our fine motor skills by rolling plasticine to form earthworms and learned about all the good things a worm does to help the plants grow. The worm lives and moves through the soil and by doing so it increases the nutrient availability, provides better drainage, and more stable soil structure.

Reading Eric Carle’s The Hungry Caterpillar taught us that there can be many different insects living and relying on the plants that grow around us. We painted penne noodles different colors and then laced together noodle, circle, noodle, circle (ABAB) patterned caterpillars. We liked to wear these like necklaces! The children also enjoyed mixing paints and creating caterpillars in Ms Valda’s Art lesson.

During a circle time Knut told us about his planting experience that he had with his mummy just last week. These had many similarities to the Swedish story Castor Odlar, by Lars Klinting, that Knut brought in to share with his classmates. There was much excitement in the classroom when Castor’s bean sprouted up out from the soil! We learnt about planting seeds outside in the garden, and, we also learnt about greenhouses. With this approach we can save our water resource as they can contain the water for a longer time without evaporating so quickly. Children planted seeds of their choice in their very own greenhouses.
During the course of the week we liked to revisit our collaborative display board reviewing all of the new vocabulary we have been learning about during the unit, including: seed, bulb, soil, sprout, stem, bud, leaf and leaves, flower, bloom, and roots.

Preschool 1b
Preschool 1b extended their garden to the school’s backyard this week. Some of our cucumber and pumpkin sprouts had become too big for our window sill, so we decided to find a nice and sunny place for it outside. We dug holes in the soil and since the children knew that plants need water to grow, they helped to bring a watering can and watered the sprouts in their new place by the fence.

On Tuesday we combined a math assessment with our unit of Inquiry. The children could also practice their fine motor skills when they cut out petals with a different amount of dots on them. Then they had to match the petals with numbered petals on the picture of a flower. We saw some very good thinkers using very good counting strategies to complete this task. Well done!

In Art class the children painted a meadow and the sky on a huge piece of paper and later on made colourful flowers to add to it. Come and take a look at them in our classroom!

Preschool 2
We started this week with our forest trip.  It was bit rainy, but still with lots of joyful experiences and fun in the woods! 

On Tuesday we went for the walk around the school again for our observation #4.  We all noticed that great changes have happened… Spring is here!  All in sprouts and blooms and looks very green.

We had a closer look at trees and roots during this week.  Actually, there are some tree roots which are bigger and wider than the tree itself.  Again, something we have learned this week.

Our experiment with food-colour coloured water was so much fun!  And this is what we did: We put white flowers into the vase and saw how they absorbed the coloured water and changed their bloom into yellow, blue and red!

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