Sunday, 20 October 2013

Trees, Pumpkins, Patterns, and Tea Parties

This week on our walk we went to visit our tree. To lots of amazement our tree has made a big change. There are very few leaves left on the branches.

Our tree in October.

Ms. C. Why do you think the leaves aren't there?
A.L. The wind is blowing hard.
I.P. It is very windy.
D.C. It is very windy and they are gone away.
L.H. It is fall and that's what happens.

Ms. C. How did our leaves change in colour?
T.T. It is a pretty colour.
C.Y. It is a pretty red.
C.C. I like this red colour.
E.Z. No change, both red.

D.C. Asked me if I could tell another story around our tree.

The part of the Magical Tree Story that relates to what we are seeing today is: Our magical tree changes its leaf colours and drops the leaves to tell the squirrels and their friends that it is time for them to collect food for the long cold winter ahead.

Upon our return to the classroom, all the kiddos participated in our collaborative Fall Tree art piece. Next week we must find a spot to put it up. It is so beautiful and will remind us of Autumn all year long.

This term we are very fortunate to have an ECE teacher candidate in our classroom. Miss Amanda will continue to be with us until the end of  November.  She has integrated well into the classroom and has already planned and executed several lessons.

This past week her focus was in the areas of Personal, Social, Oral Language, and Maths. Several kiddos were able to participate in a Tea Party where they learned to set a table, count using one-to-one correspondence, talk politely and listen to their friends while enjoying several different kinds of tea. The kiddos talked about the different kinds of teas Miss Amanda had out, they discovered that girls prefer tea and more boys preferred juice. It was interesting to listen to the kiddos describe the tea leaves before and after they were put in the hot water.

For another provocation this week, we brought in some gourds for the kiddos to look at, sketch, and label. As a whole class we labelled a pumpkin and it's inside parts. Many kiddos enjoyed doing the same with the gourds at the table. One of our kiddos also brought in a little pumpkin for us to put at the painting easel. It was so fun to see the pumpkin art come from that area of the classroom. As we added more gourds throughout the week it was interesting to listen to the new language being used to describe the new gourds: bumpy, oval, ouchy, smooth.

As we continue to teach the kiddos to "look closely" at everything they see, one of our kiddos did an outstanding job of recreating our crabapple tree branch using Sharpie Markers and Oil Pastels. She really paid attention to the details and took her time to create this beautiful piece of art by looking closely.

Our focus for our Maths mini-lessons have been on patterning. We are looking at making patterns with colour, shapes, objects, and size. It is wonderful to hear the kiddos finding patterns outside and all around the classroom. At home you can encourage your kiddo to find and make patterns in the kitchen with setting the table (fork, spoon, fork, spoon), placing food on a plate (apple piece, grape, grape, apple piece, grape, grape)  etc.

Have a happy week ahead! Leave us a comment if you'd like to share.

Kim Clark

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Bunny Inquiry continued

We have had a very busy week inquiring into our class pet. The Bunny Inquiry is a whole class project this year. There have been several inquisitive kiddos, asking questions, drawing what they observe, and bringing in things for her to try.

Learning how to label a diagram using the I-Pad.

Having watched and observed what the teachers are feeding Hop every day, a few of the kiddos are beginning to bring in food from their home gardens and refrigerators to see if Hop will like their food. Earlier in the week we began a chart to track all the foods the kiddos bring in for Hop to try and we will continue to track whether she likes it or not.

Keeping track of what Hop likes. 

Today 2 friends brought in the same thing to feed her. Carrots seem to be a big hit with both the kiddos and Hop. They like to be able to put the food in the cage themselves.

Today she escaped while we were putting in the carrots and unfortunately we had an unexpected fire drill. We had to learn that Hop needed to stay behind as it is more important to get the kids outside to safety. Thankfully it was just a malfunction in the fire system and Hop was still safe too. When we came back in, we were extra careful to keep indoor voices to help not scare Hop even more. She soon returned to her playful self.

Once we settled back into the morning routine, it was a good time to talk about and brainstorm all the things we think would "Make a Good Pet Owner". The kiddos came up with some really good ideas.  We also talked about the different types of pets a family might have and how their needs could be different. For example, we have to clean out Hop's litter box, whereas a fish we would have to change the water.

Class created chart

The kiddos in room 127 are well on their way to becoming good pet owners. We now even have kiddos asking to help clean out the cage.

I can't wait to keep learning responsibility with Hop's help.