Weeks Fifteen & Sixteen: Holiday Season
The countdown to the holidays is on, and we have been infusing the holidays into our days together in the Early Learning classroom. We have been baking, decorating, and eating gingerbread cookies, as well as writing about the process. We visited Toronto's very own "Kringlewood" and saw giant Santa's. We also made holiday cards for Linden's faculty and staff, played many games of BINGO, and got to see the grade 8 students' finished roof projects. I hope that you and your families have a wonderful, relaxing, and rejuvenating holiday together. Enjoy the photos from the past couple of weeks.
After being away for a few days, O is excited to be back in the classroom, and she is even more excited that there's gingerbread play dough to play with. O squeezes as many bears as possible onto the rolled out dough because she wants to make a lot of cookies.
A spins the BINGO wheel to fill up the track with BINGO balls. One by one, she reads the number and letter on the ball (e.g., N-34) and then places them in the tracking board. She is doing a great job reading out the tricky two-digit numbers.
K (grade 2) and A take some space from the rest of the group during Outdoor Education and K tells A a story.
This morning at the Discovery centre, O tells a story using the natural materials available to her. She explains to her peers: "So these pine cones are little ant-eaters, and the shells are at the beach, and the seeds are planting flowers."
O loves reading her take-home readers with silly voices once she has mastered the fluency of the stories.
It is gingerbread time! A uses her strength to knead the cookie dough, which was refrigerated and is quite firm. She is warming the dough up before rolling it out with the rolling pin.
O switches between rolling out her dough, cutting out cookies until there is no more space, squishing up the dough and re-rolling it out and cutting out more cookies.
In CERES today the girls are exploring the snap circuits. N figures out how to turn her motor on and off by disconnecting and reconnecting the wires in her circuit. O and A also manage to get their circuits to power the motors that they have connected to power sources with wires.
A and O work together to complete their word sort this morning. Both girls are working on the same word list, and they decide to pair up the same words from each of their sets around the edge of the table. The best part is at the end when the sort is finished and the girls start at opposite ends to read the words aloud.
The five of us play a quick game of Go Fish before the girls head to lunch. This game is one of our favourite ways of practicing quick number recognition (2-10), making matches, taking turns, and communicating with each other.
N is playing with her cards flat on the table, whereas A prefers to hold hers in her hand. First, A asks N for a two, then N checks her cards and finds the two, and finally passes it over to A to complete her pair.
During the final Lego club of the term, A and O collaborate on a mystery creation. After many guesses, the girls explain that there is a volcano in the middle of the board and lava all around it. We have had a great term of building challenges, using our creativity, and encouraging each other to think outside the box.
A writes step-by-step instructions for making gingerbread cookies. Her steps: "First rolled the dough. Next used the cookie cutters. Then bake the cookies. Finally iced the cookies."
At the sight of some snow on the roof, A runs out and immediately starts making a snow angel during morning recess. It's never too little snow for the girls to play in.
Today we are decorating the baked cookies. O wants to make teal icing, so she mixes yellow and blue into the bag of white icing, hoping for the colour in her mind. After some squishing, smooshing, and flattening, O is happy with the colour that she has made.
The Early Learners are hard at work icing the gingerbread cookies and adding sprinkles for a finishing touch. They all created different colours of icing and the cookies are looking great so far.
The finished cookies turned out beautifully. If I hadn't seen them bake and ice the cookies with my own eyes, I might have guessed that these cookies came from a bakery!
The girls have requested melt beads to be out at the Art and Light centre for the final two weeks of school. A, a melt bead expert, begins working on an oak tree design.
This morning's question is brought to us by A, who writes "Do you like Christmas and Halloween?", with the choices being "yes", "no" and "maybe". Great work A!
We are working on making holiday cards for all of the faculty and staff at Linden who have all made an impact on us this term. This year's card theme is "colourful lights". O and AB finger-paint the lights on their cards, while N and AK prefer to use the bingo stampers for the lights on theirs.
Today's Outdoor Education class involves a hike up to "Kringlewood" (or Inglewood Drive near Linden) to see all of the inflatable Santa's on peoples' lawns. The girls make predictions that we might see between 12 and 100 Santa's before we count them on our walk down the street. We didn't make it to the end, but still managed to count 47 Santa's on our walk.
While reading "Nature Cross-Sections", a non-fiction book, AK comes across a giant fold out page of the rainforest. She measures the length of her body against it and declares that she is longer than the book. All of the other girls are curious to see if they will also be longer, like AK. After measuring each girl's length in comparison to the book, we notice that O is practically the same length as the book. We mark the bottom and the top of the book and her body with rulers to make sure that they are in line with each other, and then the girls surround her body with more rulers.
A has been very interested in sharing her knowledge about dinosaurs with her peers this week. At the Math centre, A uses the materials to show the volcano that erupted and wiped out the dinosaur population. She explains that there is lava flowing everywhere.
The grade 8 CERES roof projects are completed and the students present their work at a special rooftop event this afternoon. They have constructed a smaller basketball net, a chalkboard, a soccer net, a storage bench with an awning, a small tent, and a storefront (pictured here). N and A (grade 1) are so excited to play at the storefront and pretend that it is an ice cream shop. I'm sure that this storefront will be a big part of recess time moving forward.
O wants to be a baker at the Drama centre, and after searching for something to use as a "baker's hat", she comes to me for some help. Together we make a simple hat for her to wear our of paper. N visits the bakery once it's open and O sells her some tasty treats.
AB presents her learning at the Discovery centre to her classmates when Learning Centres time is over. It's amazing to see all of the small details that she has included in her design in order to tell her story. She explains that she included the globe because her story is about the world.
Click the link to see the girls' Festival of Lights performance.