Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Cupcake Bakery

One of our students came to us with an idea to change the house centre into a bakery. We questioned her about what she thought we should bake and she excitedly explained her idea about cupcakes.
Her enthusiasm was so contagious that more kiddos joined in the conversation and it got myself so excited to begin the process.

We decided that we would need to make the cupcakes first for sale, before even laying out the storefront. I may have had a little input into this first, as I love the idea of making cupcakes and all the art possibilities for this. I also didn't want the kiddos to lose interest in not having the opportunity to make the cupcakes right away.

Our first step was to make the playdoh together in order to review the concept of a recipe. Everyone enjoyed getting their hands sticky with the mixture before it formed the dough to become our playdoh with various colours. Wow - I went back through all my pictures and can't believe we were having so much fun and had such sticky hands that I forgot to take pictures - Sorry!

Our next step, once I had searched out some of the key materials for baking the cupcakes, was to form them and decorate them. All the kiddos in the class want to take a turn at this centre. Too bad we don't have enough time in a day for everyone to get through, however it is teaching them how to be patient and take turns. Great Kindergarten skills.

And the cupcakes are taking shape. Love the decorations. One of the kiddos said "so delicious!" Great word.

While some kiddos are continuing to make more cupcakes, we have a few friends working on the sign for the bakery. We are planning and practicing what we want it to look like before creating the good copy on the Bristolboard for hanging. This is helping us with team work and cooperation making sure everyone is included in the poster creation.

Planning and practicing for the real sign.

While making the cupcakes, this is a good chance for us to ask math questions relating to how many cupcakes each of us can make if we have 12 wrappers? We are getting lots of talk with numbers, using one-to-one correspondence, counting by 2s and making groups of 6.

Meanwhile, other kiddos have been busy at work making a cupcake factory to speed the process along. They have created a machine that started out as making cupcakes, however has since expanded into making several other things. Good time to introduce making a list.

Our cupcake machine.

What else can we make in our factory?

Our plan for next week will be to set up the bakery. Please stay tuned for the Grande Opening.

An Update on our Bunny

In these past two weeks we have seen an increased interest again in the bunny. Is it perhaps because the documentation is visible on the wall at all times, rather than in a document binder?

Several students last week began asking what Hop does on the weekends while we are at home. I asked them what they do while they are away for the weekend and several kiddos replied with the things they do.
Played with my sister.
Played dolls.
Played outside in the snow.

We brainstormed some ideas of what they thought Hop might like to do for fun. Then I encouraged several kiddos to draw their ideas onto a large piece of paper.

Planning Hop's Park
This friend loves Hop so much!

This is what her house should look like.

This week we have taken the inquiry into another venue, where several different kiddos have been creating house, parks and zoos for Hop to visit.

Hop's Zoo

I hope you enjoy watching the video of Hop exploring some of the constructions the kiddos have made for her. We are continuing to create more play places this week.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Dumplings for the New Year

Last Thursday, our school hosted Our Chinese New Year celebrations. As the actual Chinese New Year fell on Friday, we decided to hold our celebration the day before. Many of our students stay home on the actual day as they little ones often stay up last on the eve of New Year's and this is the day to begin fresh and new.

To begin, several students from the older grades have been practicing a dragon dance. For a few weeks now we have glimpsed them creating the movements for their dance and practicing the drums. As they made their way down our hallway, the students became very excited clapping and dancing with the dragon.

In preparation for our classroom celebration, we have created a poster for the New Year. Several students were engaged in slowing the process down. Before picking up the paint brushes to add colour to the poster, we had them brainstorm what they wanted it to look like first. More students joined in and too were encouraged to think before painting.

Inside the classroom, several kiddos were engaged in drawing the many icons related to Chinese New Year. We had one boy teaching the other how to draw a dragon.

Many students enjoyed practicing their lantern drawings. While others continued with on-going learning in other areas with our ECE student teacher making Chinese Drums.

Returning to the classroom, we were fortunate to have several community members and family join us in making dumplings. Prior to making the dumplings, our class made an anchor chart for the steps involved in dumpling making. This was a great way to reinforce procedural writing using an authentic activity.

All the students and family members were involved in the dumpling process. We had wraps to roll, wraps to fill, wraps to fold and pinch, and dumplings to cook. Lastly, we had dumplings to taste! Yum!!!
It was a great day having our families so involved in the learning process and teaching the K teachers a little bit of Chinese.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

We are looking forward to having our first Family Friday this week.