Week 26: Learning Collaboratively
We are back to learning after an enjoyable two-week holiday. As much as we all love spending time with family and friends, relaxing at home, and having a more flexible schedule, I am always excited to get back to the classroom and see the girls. Reconnecting with each other on Monday was extra special because we welcomed a new student, A, into the Early Learning class. Throughout the week the girls went on a couple of different hunts around the school, learned about hydraulic systems in CERES, reviewed some foundational literacy skills, and took a trip to the library. Take a look at the adventures of the Early Learning class.
Over the break, G made birthday invitations for all of her classmates. She didn't realize that A would be joining us this week, but wanted to make sure sure she made an invitation for A before she handed them out, to make sure that everyone felt included.
At the Art centre, K used play dough to mould different creatures and habitats. In the middle there is a butterfly who's head is resting on a pillow. After considering what kinds of food butterflies eat in nature, K chose to add two flies beside the butterfly so it has something to eat. Although it's not pictured here, G also created a swamp filled with frogs for the butterflies to catch flies in.
It is Abstract Art Week in art class with Brie. P and N use paint and recycled materials to create different textures and prints.
G experiments with marble painting during Abstract Art Week.
The Early Learners work together to sort the coins onto the proper mats: nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies, and toonies. For each coin, we looked closely at the images that appear on their surfaces, discussed their values, and tried to learn their names. G learned that "smaller coins are sometimes more money" and AH learned that "the c symbol means cents".
G drew this intricate design on the practice board this morning and asked if I would take a picture for the blog. I love watching the girls take pride in their work and advocate for sharing it with their wider community.
At Building this morning, A is determined to build a car wash. After the main roadway is in place, she builds the walls up taller so that the cars are protected. She also adds bears into her design at the end, because the car wash needs the bears to watch over it for safety.
There are opportunities for independence everyday in and out of the classroom. Before she gets to painting at Art, P selects her paint colours and pours just the right amount of each into our paint cups. At this step, P works very slowly and calmly so she doesn't spill paint or add more than she will use. Well done P!
P and N take a break after snack to enjoy reading picture books on the carpet. After they finish reading their book, they are happy to swap with each other.
The Early Learners are getting organized to go on a "measurement hunt" around the school. Their task is to find things that are shorter and longer than a pencil. The girls know that before we go they need to put their names on their sheets and make sure they understand the activity.
While we are on our "measurement hunt", N remarks that the door frame is longer than the pencil.
CERES class today also involves a school-wide hunt, but this time we are in search of taps (things that control water coming out of the pipes), drains (where the water leaves to go back to the pipes), and pipes (where the water travels into, out of and through the school). P and A wear gloves so they can feel the water pressure in the toilet bowl when it is flushed.
N and I work together to make a birthday lantern to hang in the classroom. The rest of the girls made their in September, but N has yet to create hers. She loves the soft feeling of rubbing the glue with her fingers instead of using a paintbrush.
During Learning Centres this morning, N and A use an assortment of materials in their play at the Discovery centre. What started with an invitation to measure and balance different materials using the scale, quickly progressed into an imaginative arrangement of shells, animals, seeds, and other things.
K uses a syringe to experiment with hydraulic systems in CERES. She discovers that when she pushes the end of one syringe in, the other one pushes out because of the water being pushed into the second syringe. The pressure of the hydraulic system is strong enough to push a toy car, knock over a tower of blocks, or even give a friend a "high five".
A is excited to test out the hydraulic arm that functions through syringes that are filled with water. Each syringe makes the arm do something different: move side-to-side, move up and down, or open and close the "hand". She has no problem carefully maneuvering the arm around safely.
P and K work together to sort words by their spelling patterns: ai (e.g., pain), oa (e.g., boat), ie (e.g. pie), ee (e.g. deer), and or (fork). These two-letter sounds are special because both letters work together to make a single sound.
Suggestion for home: have your Early Learner show you the actions that go with each of these sounds!
N and G work collaboratively to match all of the lowercase letters with their uppercase counterparts. Having two brains is sometimes nice because the girls can help each other out with letters that they might forget or be less familiar with.
A and A worked hard to complete this alphabet challenge together. When searching for the next letter in the sequence, it is nice to have an extra set of eyes.
From across the classroom I hear A exclaim "I'm building the Great China Wall". First she tries using small wooden blocks, but finds that after a certain height they don't balance very well. After a few attempts, A switches to using larger foam blocks, and colour-coordinates her levels. She finds these blocks to be much easier to work with.
G reads to herself in between G and M (both in grade 1-2) at the Deer Park Library. The girls all appear to be more comfortable locating and reading books that interest them at the library now that we have been here a few times.
The Early Learners and Grade 1-2s show off the fashions (and other creations) that they made in art class with Brie. We are fortunate to have some very creative girls at Linden.