Week Twenty-Six: Budding Trees and Cuddly Chicks
It has been a fantastic first week of April in the Early Learning classroom. Our week started off with searching for signs of spring around the neighbourhood and at the park, where we were excited to spot some creatures that have returned for the warmer weather. Later in the week the girls helped prepare for the Used Book Sale and then attended and bought some books. We were thrilled to have some fluffy visitors stop by with AB's dad, and we loved learning about their homes, growth, and even cuddling them. This year's Read-A-Thon kicked off on Thursday - I hope that you are able to to support the girls in reaching their reading goals throughout April; we sure are reading a lot in the classroom. Here are some of the highlights from our week.
A spends time creating an April calendar for our math board. She has a good understanding of the basics of a calendar - the numbers for the days begin at 1 and go until the coloured papers are done, the name of the month goes at the top, and that on our calendar the different colours of papers mean school days and home days.
O uses some of the dress-up pieces and props in Drama to disguise herself.
At the Building centre today, A builds a model of Ripley's Aquarium in downtown Toronto. A explains her design: "over here is rainbow reef and lots of blue because it's connected to the ocean. Over here is another tank. I didn't add it to the moving sidewalk but it's supposed to be on the moving sidewalk. Over here's the kids crawl and here is the parking lot."
We are searching for signs of spring around the neighbourhood during Outdoor Education using the prompts "I see", "I think" and "I wonder". The girls notice that there are plants starting to push through the soil on some people's properties. They also find a snail shell and hear lots of birds around them.
O investigates the plants at Discovery to learn more about their features. She remarks that the plants are darker green at the bottoms and lighter green at the tops, with brown tips.
A spends time working on a special piece of artwork.
O and N are all smiles during our math exploration this morning. The girls are trying to find as many ways to make 5 using double-sized chips as possible. They shake up the chips, dump them out, and see if they have a new combination to add to their sheet. By the end, all of the girls have found the six possible combinations to make six with two colours.
AK and AB read us the book about plants that they co-authored and co-illustrated. Their book reads: "The Plant Book. Keep them safe. Take care of plants. I see a bud."
AB and AK partner up to play "Race to 50". In this game one person rolls a die and moves her chip that many spaces, then the next person does the same. The objective is to get to 50 first. This math game helps the girls practice counting up (e.g., If she is on 9, and rolls a 3, she counts up from her place by three numbers: 9, 10, 11, 12, and then realizes that 9 and 3 more is 12). As we practice these kinds of skills, the girls begin to develop stronger concepts around addition. We can play the same game to help with subtraction, where we begin at 50 and count back to 1.
N practices some addition facts using the rekenrek to help her keep track of the total number of ants.
A tells a story about a community that lives near the ocean (blue marbles and gems). She is adding in a pathway that will eventually lead to a bridge over the ocean.
We are so excited this morning because AB's dad has brought over some chicks for a visit. The chicks are visiting from Royal St. George's College, where their students are using them as learning inspirations for many of the boys. Our girls love watching them walk around, cuddling them gently in their hands, and listening to their quiet peeps.
N keeps her body calm as she holds a chick in her hands. This chick is one of the younger ones, and it is so soft and fluffy.
O is thrilled that she was able to get the bookmark that she made at the Used Book Sale.
A is so excited about all of the books she bought at the Used Book Sale for only $10.
The girls are learning about "les formes" (shapes) in French this morning. They are drawing different shapes into the wings of the butterflies based on the instructions from Ellen.
O builds a marble contraption using the magnatiles. She shows me how she can push the marbles down the ramps and they will stay in the holding area without rolling away because of the walls she has put up.
A invents a math game during Learning Centres time today. First you roll the die, then you move your bear that number of chips, and the first person to reach the end is the winner. It's always interesting to see how the girls blend together different ideas and experiences to create something unique.
N, A and O test their aluminum foil boats for buoyancy. If their boats are buoyant in the water, they then get to add a load (marbles) and determine how much their boats can hold. Like any engineer, the girls make a design, test it, look for flaws or errors, and retry with a new design until they reach success. There are many days in CERES that the girls experiment over and over with different designs until they are happy with their creation.