This week, as we wind down for the winter holidays, we finally had the chance to get our hands messy making gingerbread cookies. The girls also took time exploring magnets around the classroom and thinking more deeply about the lyrics to the song they will be singing at Festival of Lights. Despite all of these exciting parts, I think that the most memorable part was the visit that we had from the Toronto Humane Society where we learned about the needs of animals and interacted with a guinea pig. Enjoy our photo story from the week!
G and Z spend the morning exploring magnets, and they decide on creating a unique design using the magnets as well as loose parts around the classroom. One of the many discoveries made in this process was that the ends of the measuring tapes are magnetic! Here, they are taking a break from their work to write birthday cards to M.
The girls are excited about snack today because it is M’s birthday – she brought in mini chocolate cupcakes to share with everyone. I wish that I had an “after” photo to showcase their chocolatey faces.
M reads us one of her favourite books that she brought in from. Although written in Japanese, M has decided to tell us the story in English so that the girls will understand. It is a beautifully illustrated story.
G spends a bit longer adding small details to her magnet design. She tells me that the cars are parking here, and that it is a parking lot.
M is interested in filling the structure that she has created using magnatiles with marbles. On her first try the walls break open because of the weight of the marbles. She tries a second time, this time adding wooden blocks to the exterior to reinforce the sizes. She guesses that the shape and amount of marbles had something to do with her structure exploding.
Z takes her time to carefully decorate some holiday ornaments. After using sharpies to colour in the base design, Z adds finishing touches with the glitter glue. These will be beautiful to hang on a Christmas tree or display around the home over the holidays.
G also works on designing her ornament, a snowflake. She wants to use every colour to make it look like a rainbow.
G uses the newly brought out 3-D figures to make different creations while in the Math Centre. She experiments with arranging the blocks shortest to tallest, with balancing them, and with putting together smaller blocks to resemble larger blocks.
Z has taken out an old game at the Math Centre – Roll the Dice. She is an expert at this game, and independently plays to see which number will hit the top of the graph first. After spending a lot of time looking at graphs earlier in the year, Z is very comfortable interpreting the data on the page.
M holds down the paper as G uses all of her strength to roll out the gingerbread dough. It is important to work together for this step of our cookie making because the paper would slide all over the place.
Half of our cut out gingerbread cookies ready to go in the oven. Some look better than others, but all have been made with love.
M and G work on their first coding adventure - giving directions to the fuzzy ball to help it get through the pathway. After a few tries the girls got the hang of it and progressed well through the different levels. We are using the website Kodable, which offers free trials!
All four girls work on forming sight words with the gingerbread play dough at the Communication Centre. I love watching the different strategies they use to accomplish the same goal.
M, G, and Z watch patiently as the guinea pig adjusts to his new surroundings inside his "home". As you can see, they are eager to give him physical love, but are trying to wait (as best as they can) until he seems more comfortable.
G gently pets the guinea pig in "the way that his hair grows" to make him most comfortable. All of the girls really enjoyed having a lot of time to observe, feed, and touch their new friend (the guinea pig).
A look at the thinking and learning we are doing around our song for Festival of Lights - This Little Light (of Mine). Cross-curricular learning experiences foster a deeper understanding of and connection with the material, as well as greater investment on the child's end.
Together, G and Z use the magnatiles to create a symmetrical structure in the Building Centre. Collaborative building takes patience, communication, and creativity.
Later in Building, G piled up as many blocks as she could on the back of one of the wooden cars. The first time she did it the blocks tumbled, but as she re-stacked them she did it largest on the bottom to smallest on the top, which worked!
After the long wait between cutting out the cookies and today, the girls finally get to decorate the gingerbreads. They absolutely loved using colourful icing and sprinkles to make their cookies beautiful. M takes her time making she covers the entire heart with icing.
A few of the stunning cookies that were decorated today.
G finishes off our cookie making week with a piece of procedural writing. Together we thought about the steps that we took to make the cookies, and then individually the girls drew pictures and wrote words to describe the process.