Week Thirteen: Maps and Play Dough

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We have had another wonderful and exciting week in the Early Learning Class; one filled with laughter, friendship, and feelings of accomplishment and pride in ourselves. It is incredible to think that we are only a few weeks away from the winter holidays, and I find myself reflecting upon our year together thus far as I go through photos and observations of learning experiences as I write report cards. I am so proud of everything these young girls have accomplished so far, the growth that each of them have show, and excited to see where the next phase of our learning journey together will take us. Enjoy the picture story of this past week!

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G creates different shaped homes using the magnatiles. Each home is filled with marbles, and she tells me that the people inside are being protected from the bad guys. I love the exploration of both magnetism and 3-D figures that this material allows.

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Z is deeply focused as she balances a gem on top of popsicle sticks that are set atop an overturned container. These are different homes, and similar to other stories we have heard, they have different powers for protection.

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Z and G create maps to go along with their creation at the light table. There is a lot of talk about directions, “x marks the spot”, and the right way to go. You never know where hands-on learning might lead you.

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M carefully peels away the gingerbread playdough from the cookie cutter. This week we are practicing rolling out “dough” and using the cookie cutters to prepare ourselves for real gingerbread cookie making next week! The CN Tower-like cutter is a class favourite.IMG_4381.JPG

A variety of “cookies” made by Z this morning. She experiments with thickness as well as which side of the cookie cutter might be better to use to get the nicest shaped cookies. My favourite is the Brandenburg gate cookie. My family brought this cookie cutter back from Germany for us.

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G sorts a variety of pictures according to starting sound. She decides that this might be too easy, so comes up with a new type of game to play with the letters and pictures. When a letter has a lot of picture cards with it, she puts them in a cup.

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Z creates an elaborate map while she is at the Math Centre. On it she includes the school, roads, rivers, bridges and more. She is excited to use a big paper to be able to create a larger scale map. 

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G is making a December calendar for the class to use for the month. She remembers that it is M’s birthday on December 5th, and adds this to the calendar as well. Look at all those green days – that means lots of weekend time and holiday time!

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G and Z collaborate in the Building Centre. They have designed an interesting structure using the magnatiles, and then are in the process of filling it with marbles. Some negotiating occurs when they have different ideas about the direction they see the design going in, but manage to discuss their ideas and come to a shared consensus. 

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M spends some time at the Math Centre measuring using the ruler. This was all her idea (not even slightly teacher encouraged), and she looks around the classroom for different materials to measure. She has a good sense about how to use the ruler, and uses mathematical language to tell me which objects are longer/shorter and how she knows this.

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Art class today with Brie is inspired by Michelangelo. The girls are experimenting with a new perspective on painting - lying on their backs and drawing on paper that is above them. 

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M loves to skip when she has time at recess. She has really managed to get the hang of it and improve her overall coordination.

 

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G is happy to spend some time playing outside during our special activity time with the grade 6 class. We have some active play with them, and also are introduced to a new drama game that they love. All smiles from G. 

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M and G are participating in a barrier game on Friday morning. M has a premade design in front of her, and she is trying to instruct G how to make the same design on her board. This game requires a lot of patience, good listening, and descriptive language. Each pairing managed in slightly different ways, some more successful than others. We will continue with these types of games throughout the year to work on our oral language and listening.IMG_4465.JPG

M uses the gingerbread playdough to create sight words.  A good fine motor activity, as well as a nice review of our sight words.

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G is excited to try out the new addition to our Drama Centre – a Star Wars helmet donated by T in grade 6. G and Z are going on a mission, and have packed up everything into their car to bring with them.

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Z brings in her violin to show the class. The girls are amazed and impressed by the songs that Z plays for us. They are also eager to hold (but not try out) Z’s violin. Music is such an important part of our lives, and nice for the girls to be exposed to sophisticated instruments at a young age.

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G tells me that she has created a tunnel at the Math Centre. She is using the ruler to help her measure the tunnel, and decides that she needs to make the inside part wider.

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Z is proud to share the star-shaped designs that she has created using the peg boards. I love to see the symmetry come out when girls are able to explore and create using diverse materials.

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Z and G measure the height of the painting that they created earlier in the week with Brie. M seems to feel distracted by all of the commotion while she works at the Nature Centre. 

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After spending a good amount of time looking for the books she’d started to make in Nature a while back, M suggested that she could create a file to help keep her work for this centre organized together. She is proud to share her new “nature file” with me, and has all of her important work inside of the file. What a great idea!

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G begins colouring a large Christmas picture while she is at the Art Centre. If there’s one thing that all of the girls in the class have in common, it is a love of colouring.