Sunday, 24 November 2013

Looking Closely I-Movie

This past his week while on our outdoor walk, we decided to really look closely at things we noticed. Here's our movie!

This was sparked by the previous reading of a book in the Looking Closely series.

Leading up to our walk, a few of our kiddos took the ideas from this book to look closely at a picture and draw what they saw. I love how this kiddo took her painting then redrew the picture using pencils at a table and added some words.

Here's another project of looking closely to draw a squirrel that we saw outside. A group of kiddos were practicing how to draw a squirrel then add detail.

Keep posted next week to see where this project leads us.

Pirate and Mapping inquiry

This week we enjoyed having our caterpillar parents join us for the morning to participate and observe their children at "play". Some of the activities they witnessed seeing their kiddos do involved evading, writing, and a ton of oral language.

The story we read that sparked an interest.
For the past couple of weeks our kiddos have been interested in pirates and map making. After reading the story "Pirate Pete" the excitement around the carpet grew immediately. Without hesitation we encouraged several kiddos to make their own treasure maps. 
Several kiddos making their own treasure maps.

Ms Blundell put together a treasure map of our own that would lead the kiddos around the school in search of a final tasty treasure. The children begin their search with a quick lesson on reading a map and having to decode a clue. As all the kiddos wanted to participate Ms. Blundell took them in groups of five.  

Learning to read the map.

Finding the Start!

Taking the map with us so we won't get lost.

All the places we visited along the way.

This week we saw several groups of kiddos engaged at the carpet building their own pirate ship. With pirate hats on, some groups built big ships to allow all students a chance to jump aboard, while one day even Hop joined in on the sailing trip.  On another day, we saw a group build a pirate ship with a proper captains seat and gang plank for the "bad guys" to walk down. 

Pirate Ship with Gang Plank

Just the beginning of another ship.

Even Hop jumped aboard this day!

A captain steering the ship.

While the focus has been mostly on making treasure maps, a handful of kiddos delved into other maps with me this week. We looked at some examples of maps for the Toronto Zoo and tried to compare them to our kid made tea sure maps. We quickly noticed that both have pictures, lines/roads to follow, and a legend/words. 

Making our own maps.

If you have any maps at home that you could donate to our inquiry we would be very grateful if you could send them in next week. These could be maps of places you've been such as the zoo, Casa Loma, the subway, or a city map.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Butterfly Interviews Complete

I would like to thank all the Butterfly students and parents for coming in to share in your child's learning thus far in the school year. It was so much fun for me to see the kiddos take ownership in their document binders and show their parents all the great learning we have done so far.

Learning and talking about shadows.
"Can you step on your own shadow head?"
Using the concept of student led conferences, our SKs we able to show their parents all the learning centres in the classroom and show off their own personal good work.

I'm thankful that more parents will be viewing our blog and twitter pages. It is a great place to begin conversations with your child about the things going on at school.

Please feel free to leave us comments or questions either on the blog or directly related to a twitter picture. We love reading and responding to questions and comments. This form of communication keeps our kids in the tech savvy world they live in and at the same time opens the parent-school communication lines.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A week of squirrels

We were very fortunate to have Miss Amanda join us for the entire week as part of her in school placement. Having come on several class walks with us, and noticing what the kiddos are interested in, she further sparked their interest in squirrels by planning several follow up activities in the classroom.
Using collected leaves from outside, the kiddos created their own version of what a squirrel looks like. They talked about the various parts of a squirrel in order to create their art.

This week during our walk our focus was to see if we could find squirrel nests. Several kiddos looked high up in the trees to find nests, while others were looking for holes in the tree truck where the squirrels could hide. We found several of both.

Upon our return to the classroom, several kiddos were engaged in the creation of their own version of a squirrels nest. We talked about how the squirrels get up high in the trees, and how they would protect their homes if made inside a tree trunk.

Making our own squirrel nest
During our walk we were fortunate to come across one of the neighbour's pear tree. To our amazement several pears had fallen to the ground. They looked so tasty, we collected a few and brought them back to the classroom where we enjoyed the sweet fruit, just as the squirrels had done earlier in the week.

Next week we will learn how to write a thank you note and send it along to the neighbour with the tree.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bat Caves, Pumpkins and Our Bunny

Making Playdoh
Last week was filled with many fun learning experiences. As Halloween quickly approached, many of the kiddos became very excited and could hardly contain themselves until the end of the week. We have talked at length about the importance of eating healthy foods at snack time and saving our treats until lunch or home time. The kiddos are learning that too much sugar in the day stops our brains from working properly and more arguments happen.

Miss Amanda started our week with making playdoh. Many kiddos had a hand in measuring the ingredients, mixing them together, and seeing the flour and salt turn into playdoh. Many kiddos created Halloween "cookies" throughout the week.

Looking Closely at pumpkins and gourds.
Leading up to Halloween, several kiddos were excited to inquire about our class pumpkin. We have looked at the parts of a pumpkin, looked closely at pumpkins to draw and paint them, and lastly we scooped out our pumpkin, baked the seeds, are carved it into a Jack-o-lantern. Many kiddos noticed a change in the Jack-o-lantern's face as we put the top on and off.

Drawing and painting what we see.

Pumpkins growing, flies eating the pumpkin.

Fun with Jack-o-lanterns

During the week, many kiddos became very interested in bats and spooky things in the night. We added plastic bats to the block centre and asked the kiddos to create their version of a Bat Cave. Over several days, many different caves emerged. We had several discussions about how bat get in and out of their caves. This week we are delving further into the topic of Bats.
Bat Cave with spiders for food.
Working on the construction before recess.

Bat sleeping in the cave - can you see them?

Bats all around searching for food.

Another variation on a Bat Cave.

Hop had us very entertained last week playing with all the transportation toys. Usually we let her out for the morning period while we are engaged in our learning centres. She usually hops around, hiding from those kiddos who chase her. Last week, as the kiddos are getting more used to her and her to us, she decided to hop onto the carpet and play with the toys. We did not interrupt her, rather we observed what she would do, and to our amazement she played with several planes shaking them and throwing them up in the air. Does she know that planes fly in the sky????

Hop playing with the transportation toys!

I am looking forward to see where more interest in bats will take us.