"The child is in me still...and sometimes not so still."
Fred Rogers

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Taking Time

We walk together to Value Foods, enjoying the Christmas Decorations, nature and friends!
Welcome to Value Foods.....We spent two weeks collecting pennies with families, children and KA and KB teachers, counting them and rolling them to help out with our Community Turkey Drive!!!!  Full tummies for everyone!!!
Now to see what we can get with our money!!!!
We cash in our pennies for two turkeys and one chicken!

Now it is time for delivery to the Police Station Freezer for Salvation Army Truck to pick up delicious turkeys!
Merry Christmas to three lovely families!  Merry Christmas from KA and KB!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trees: A Guided Journey

Thank you families for your help with bringing in baskets, apples and leaves to supplement our Dramatic Play Area. Thank you also for your help at the orchard. It is very much appreciated and the adventures continue.

TREES: A Guided Journey in Nature

Follow us along on our project and enjoy the pictures in the attachments below.

Phase 1:

We created a Mind Map of "What children know", "What they think they know" and "What they want to learn". After explorations of the three phases, children revisit mind map to see if there are new learnings and changes in their thinking.

Explore varied kinds of trees:

1. We explored the chestnuts from my backyard tree. Children were not familiar with what a chestnut looked like within the casing! Very interesting observations and answers about what they thought this was. Children discovered that every casing had three pieces and that inside the casing, there was not always the same number of nuts. We discovered swirls on the smooth nut. Children loved sketching the different observations that they noticed on the nuts in their math counting books. (re. chestnuts were in the counting jar one morning).

2. We planted a coniferous tree and did our first sketching of a three dimensional object onto two dimensional paper. Children made some very interesting observations based on their planting experience of the tree and of their observational experiences of looking at the tree from all angles. Great first experience for the children.

2. We had a scheduled visit to the apple orchard. With this as a catalyst for discussion, we furthered our learning about colors of apples from our earlier discoveries about colors. We learn that apples can be yellow, green and red. Children are asked what their favorite color of apple is.
~A graph is posted of who likes what color of apple.
~Children then made stuffed apples with paper bags and newspaper. They painted their apple their favorite color.
~Once the apples were dried, children returned to circle time with their apples and we sorted the apples by color. There are three apple trees (3 colors). We began by counting all of the apples. Then we counted the apples of each color. We decided which was more, less or the same.
We sang the song, "10 red apples" (revised the lyrics depending on what color we are singing about and how many apples are in the tree. Each child could pick their own apple from the tree. This is an excellent song to reinforce rhythm, one to one correspondence, early subtraction concepts, oral language development and simple predictions. The visuals are concrete and all children can be successful.
~Children then explore real apples: Balance scales are made accessible to weigh the difference between chestnuts and an apple. How many chestnuts does it take to weigh the same as an apple? Children reflected their results through tallying.

~Children were given apples cut in half. With magnifying glasses, the children used tweezers to remove the seeds. Children tallied the number of seeds in each apple. Very interesting discoveries. Children then got to eat their apple. This was a great numeracy, science, language arts and fine motor activity. All of the children loved the mystery of what was uncovered inside of each apple. Today we read, Johnny Appleseed to reflect on how something little, can make a big difference.

Phase 2:

We created apple guided readers, based on the three colors of apples that we learned about. Children used their discernment about reading the color word and finding the color word embedded in each page of the guided reader. The color word was printed on each color of apple to help with individual problem solver for each reader. Once the author and illustrator finished his/her book, it was read back to the teacher and a small group of one to two friends. We will further followup of using the reader with a larger group of children and we will send home a story sack of the child's book, along with a video of our apple picking adventures, with a fiction and non-fiction book about apples and an apple tree counting activity to explore with their families. Children can read Apples guided reader to families independently.
~We go to the apple orchard.
~We cook with apples.
~We create with apples. (apple prints, dried apples, apple dolls).

Coming up.........

Phase 3: Children take home storysack to share with their families. The children journal favorite parts about the story sack and share at circle time with their classmates about what they liked about it. Then another child can take home the storysack to share with their family until each child has a turn.

Emma wondered where all these fun activities came from. Please explore this site, as it is wonderful! Thanks to a colleague for sharing this great resource!


_displayNameOrEmail_ - _time_ - Remove

Sign in | Recent Site Activity | Terms | Report Abuse | Print page | Powered by Google

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We Can Make A Rainbow!

We have added a new morning routine to our daily schedule:  Question of the day!  It is an opportunity to practice some early literacy and problem solving skills.  It is also a way of tallying how many children viewed the answer differently.  One question one day was, "Do you like spiders?"  Another day, it was, "What color does red and blue make?"...each day a new question will be posed.  As children become more proficient, they will take turns creating their own question of the day, and seek responses from their friends as a tally task during center time.

We visited what we knew about rainbows and what we think we know about rainbows....we have more investigations this coming week.  The children have become very knowledgeable about the six colors that make a rainbow and have become very keen in exploring and creating colors.  The children love the fluid movement of paint on paper. 

We also created our own suncatchers with water in glass bottles.  To strengthen pencil grip, the children had to fill glass bottles by using eye droppers and transfer water from one container to the next.  When the bottle was full, the children were able to create their own water color and then we placed it in the window.  They are beautiful.

The children created magic rainbow names, by tracing through paper with markers.  This is a carry over from our work with "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and becoming familiar with each other's names.  We are now finding out more about our names and how special we are.  We are doing a story sack study of "Shoe Shoe and Sais Sais" (Empathy Based Education resource of friendship and caring). 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exploring Color, Sorting and Patterning

On Monday morning, our classroom went to visit Mme. Marianne's Grade 4 classroom to see the murals that they made together, from the inspiration of "International Dot Day" and the spark of creativity! Very inspiring...our classroom can do something like this too......

The children have been exploring with detail about sorting, with rich discussions about same and different. There are many ways to sort and categorize materials. This will lead in nicely to our introduction of "Beautiful Stuff" later in October. More details to follow!

We introduced two new centers for arrival routines for mornings. The children are signing in for attendance with finding their name cards and spelling their own names. Several of the children are pleased to be signing in with their last names also. We have had many discussions about our names. I will be sending home a little homework this week about "your child's name" and how they got their name. We look forward to hearing everyone's story.

We have been reinforcing name recognition with many name games, literacy activities and self-regulation of their work day with name recognition for each child to find where they will be working by using the planning board.

We discovered this week....several things about color! We found out how purple is made! I had placed three primary colors (yellow, red and blue) of water with eye droppers and coffee filters out. As color was dripped onto the coffee filter, the colors flowed into each other. One of the children said, "Look, red and blue make purple!" At the easel the children discovered not just how to make purple...but green and orange.....and a color that looks black when you mix all the colors together, they said.

With that discovery, we moved forward to revisiting our recipe book to make purple playdough. We did an awesome job!

Here's our recipe:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp cooking oil
red and blue food coloring added to 2 cups of boiling water (Adult needs to pour water)
or you can add unsweetened kool-aid , as it adds color and smell

Stir and knead

Add more flour as texture needs. Keep in an air tight container.

Cameron's Johnny came to circle on Friday! What a wonderful time! The children were very excited! We learned that Johnny's guitar has 6 strings. And that the sounds of the alphabet are on his guitar...A, B, C, D, E, F, G. He had us listening, clapping, dancing and singing along. What a great visit!

Enjoy this site, to encourage your child's interest, excitement and hand development for print and writing continues! Have Fun!!!!  I just found it today....


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dot Day and Name Adventures!

This week the children made preparations for "International Dot Day" for Thursday!  We did a lot of color work preparations with talking about different colors, how to take care of painting supplies and ensuring true clear colors by washing paint brushes and drying them on paper toweling before choosing a new color.  Within the discoveries of care, the children can discover differences through mixing colors.  We painted our "Dot Day" water color paintings on small paper and framed them for our bulletin board.  We discovered that within small paper, we can still paint big and little dots.  We counted our dots and saw how many of each color we painted.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we painted our Dot Day t-shirts.  The children have lots of variety and helped each other in creating dots on their t-shirts.  I saw some really nice teamwork happening!  On Thursday, we had our Dot Day Celebrations in class with our T-shirt parade, dot face painting and dot day show and tell.  This is the children's first show and tell.  They demonstrated very good listening to each other.  In our class,
Listening has three steps that is posted on a visual chart for the children as a reminder.  The steps are:
1.  Look.
2.  Stay still.
3.  Think.
(Skillstreaming in Early Childhood, by Ellen McGinnis and Arnold P. Goldstein)
We are working very hard with patience, knowing that by raising our hand, we will get a turn to talk to ask a question to our show and tell participant.  Great job!

We explored one of my favorite alphabet books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom this week.  We did it as a read-a-loud one day, and then as a group chant the next day.  The children then placed their name coconuts on the coconut tree as we read the chant together and worked on name recognition.  We are learning that letters make words.  That words tell us something.  That reading and printing starts from left to right.  Reading is fun!  With cube links, we created our names again this week and discovered who has the shortest name; who has the longest name; who have names the same size.  Interesting discoveries.  With cube links we also made the letter of our first name.  Our letters do not all have the same shape.  Interesting.
We are creating our first book.  It is a recipe book.  Based on last week's interests, we cooked pancakes...and since I did not have blueberries this week, the children thought chocolate chips would do.  The children shared their thoughts about the properties of chocolate chips and heat....and they were right....they melt.  Yummy! 
We made red playdough, but  we decided not to make purple yet.  The children are not exactly sure what colors mixed together make purple.  Next week, we will have colored water for them to experiment the properties of color.  I wonder what we will discover!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Our First Week of School" September 2011

Dear Families,  What a wonderful first week of school!  We are already feeling comfortable with routines, circle time and small group time.  At the end of the week, I asked each of the children what their favorite activities were for the week, and help to make a plan for the following week at school together.  Here are their responses:

Things I liked about school this week:

Playdough. (Regan)
Going in the sandbox. (Madison)
Playdough and sandbox, water, house circle and books. (Bianca)
Playing with Cole outside.  He's in grade 1.  I love him so much and I hug him.  I like playing in water too.(Cameron)
Playing house. (Sara)
water. (Luke)
Going outside and making crafts. (Kennedy)
Playing with playdough, painting, playing in the sand and eating food.  (Tayler)
Coloring. (Sydney)
Playing with the dollhouse, painting and playdough. (Emma)
Going on the Old MacDonald Thing with the song in the middle. (Ava)
Playing with water. (Cole)

They helped make a plan for next week about things they would like to do:

Make red and purple playdough.  We discussed about creating playdough by following a recipe that will tell us what we need to put together to make the playdough.  We will need our reading, math and problem solving skills for this.  I wonder what colors will make purple?

They want to experience water play this coming week.  I will introduce measuring tools to help them understand how many squirts of water will fill a cup.  Eye droppers with small bottles will be added to water area, to help strengthen pincher grasp and counting skills will be encouraged as they work with the properties of water at the water table.

They want to bake blueberry muffins.  Since we don't have direct access to a stove, we will make blueberry pancakes instead.  It fits into our discussions about "Dots" for International Dot Day on September 15th.

Children are keen to start homework this week, so "The Sharing Bag" is heading home with our first participant.  We will have a new friend take home the sharing bag each day.  His/her friends will ask questions to see if we can discover what is in the sharing bag!!!!  A different friend takes this home each day.

We paint our dot t-shirts this week!!!!

Please feel free to respond to the posts for the Blog through my email address.  wxwaitesnow@edu.pe.ca