Friday, 25 September 2015

25th September 2015

This week our children continued to explore play dough in the Maple room. Finally the children mixed blue and yellow play dough and guess - were their predictions right? Yes, they got GREEN play dough. The next day they continued their experiments with mixing colours and tried to predict whether there will be GREEN if they mix red and yellow play dough. Guess what they found out? It became ORANGE!

The maple group children were happy to join The Birch and The Linden groups and participate in their researches! On Wednesday maples visited lindens who showed them all they had discovered about sand and water so far. They were all happy to explore and get their hands in sand! On Friday The Linden group came to explore the play dough together with Maple group children. We all had great fun! First steps in group cooperation!

Children from all classrooms were also welcome to explore gloop (a mixture of starch and water) in the Oak room. They were surprised to find that it keeps changing: first it is liquid, then it becomes hard, but if you mix it, it becomes liquid again. They also commented that it looked like milk and after reading the story book It looked like spilled milk by Charles G. Shaw the children used the gloop to reflect on the story.

After our visit in the forest last week, we have moved on to building more often with natural materials and blocks. The children have shown great focus and creativity. What a great way to reflect on this big exciting world around us!

Friday, 18 September 2015

18 September 2015

18th September 2015

Another exciting week has gone by. The older children of the Early Years went to the Forest within the Waldkinder programme for the first time on Tuesday. It was wonderful to experience and explore nature hands-on. After a pick nick snack, the children went off to explore the sandy clearing, climbed trees, rolled down the hills and built houses from twigs. Please see the video below for a fun insight into our forest adventures and some additional information of the educational benefits.
In the meantime, the younger children enjoyed having all the Early years classroom to themselves and explored different toys and activities together with their teacher. 

We kicked off our new Unit of InquirySand, Water, Gloop and Dough. The Central idea of this unit is Things in the world around us move, change, disappear and surprise us. The children will look at different substances, what they look and feel like, what happens when we mix them and much more. They will develop their research and thinking skills by exploring a variety of experiments and have a chance to apply they curiosity and creativity during the inquiry.

We started by providing different exciting materials in each classroom. Everyone was welcome to walk around and explore sand, water, gloop and dough.

Linden has been busy exploring and experimenting this week. We started by making tunnels, swimming pools and rivers in the sand on Monday and as we tried to fill our rivers and pools with water – it all disappeared. So what happens to water that you pour on sand? Hm. Next we explored what happens with sponges when you add water. Can you hide the water in the sponges? We continued exploring water by pouring it in see-through jars and observed what happens to the things as you put them in the jar: “Look, the coin went down!” “Look at my hand, it’s enourmous!”

This week Birch group continued exploring clay with an emphasis on change. We set up a provocation with a dry piece of clay and a question next to it - Can you make it soft? It was fascinating to watch the kids thinking, experimenting and coming to new discoveries. Please watch the video to get a snapshot of our explorations. Ms.Rūta also fired the clay leaves elder kids made last week. We compared fired and non-fired clay - it looks different, it feels different and it sounds different! The last step was to apply glaze to turn them into a real artwork. This weekend Ms.Rūta will fire them one last time and then we reflect on the whole process next week.

In the Oaks classroom we made gloop by mixing starch and water. The children compared flour and starch and found that they look very alike, but feel different to the touch. They made some predictions as to what might happen when we mix the starch with water (“It will turn red!” “It will mix!”), but the result surprised us! The milky substance was first solid, then liquid and then turned solid again. We had lots of messy fun exploring this mixture. The next day we returned to mixing water with a powder, but this time we added grainy salt and soft flour. The children noticed that it was sticky at first, but then it became smoother and we ended up with excellent play dough!

The Maple group had two great visitors this week. On Monday the Maple and the Birch group children met with Helene’s mom who helped the children to begin to understand where little babies come from and how are they growing! Helene demonstrated her baby hand and foot prints and baby clothes she had grown out. Later the children were happy to play mummies/daddies and baby games.
On Wednesday Noga’s mom came to tell the children about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year traditions and special food. Thank you so much!
During the week the children made one more play dough – red. Soon, very soon they will be able to mix all the colours!
It was great to see how bigger children helped smaller ones to play math table games. Great cooperation!

Linden has been rich celebrating birthdays this week:
Happy Birthday Catherine!
Happy Birthday, Ms Ginta!