Saturday, 12 July 2014

BBFK - summer 2014

We have started the summer off with a new group of BBFK children. We are beginning our day with outdoor activities. The first week we went to the playground, where we are beginning to learn the safety rules.

  • We will wait for the person ahead of us to finish climbing before we start.
  • We will always slide down on our bottoms.
  • Rocks stay on the ground.
  • We will always stay in sight of the teachers.
  • We will have FUN!
Sliding down on our bottoms.

Rocks stay on the ground.

Climbing up one at a time.
This week our outdoor activities are a little closer to the school doors. We are lucky to have a natural playscape with big trees, and grassy areas. We brought out the basketball net and a ball to practice our gross motor skills of passing, catching, and throwing. We have also brought out the sand table. On the first day it was very dry sand and the children had fun experimenting with the sand running through the various funnels and wheels. On the third day it rained and our sand got wet. We are now experimenting with the differences in sand texture and how it moves through the various funnels. The children have discovered that it is easier to build castles and mountains when the sand is wet. We bring out a blanket and clipboards with paper and crayons so the children can engage in outdoor drawings. This is a great activity to encourage the children to look around them to draw what they see.

Investigating wet sand.
Investigating wet sand.

Working on Gross Motor skills.

Taking paper and crayons outside.

Today we crept over to the big old pine tree and played under the branches. Collecting pinecones was so much fun. We were very quiet so as not to scare the birds and squirrels that might be living in the tree. The children thoroughly enjoyed playing in this space and being free to investigate and wonder about nature. We brought the pinecones into the classroom to continue our wonderings and interact with numeracy, sorting, making pictures and developing our oral language skills.

Making faces with the pinecones.

Counting how many pinecones we found.

Next week our plan is to visit the big park outside the school grounds. We will focus our initial walk to "What can I see..." and hopefully create an I-Movie we can share on the blog with our families.

Inside the classroom, we have been focusing on recognizing and writing our names. We have had several fun activities to create our names. Every morning we enter the classroom and one of our morning routines is to find our name tag and place it in the pocket chart. This way, whenever during the day we need to write our name on our work we know exactly where to find it. We have painted our names, we have made our names out of playdoh. During the first week of school, every child had a chance to create their name with ink and stamps. This is a messy activity, however we are always having fun.

Writing name with playdoh.
Writing names with playdoh.

Writing names at the Doctor's Office.

Stamping our names.
Writing our name on our drawings.

Using magnet letters to spell our name.

Finding the letters in our names in the confetti.
Looking for letters in the sandbox.

In our classroom, art is a main focus. We like to create with tempra paints at the big easel as well as use the watercolours in the atelier. During our first week of school, we read the Brown Bear story several times, retelling the story at the drama centre using the feltboard and characters. The children are getting very good at retelling the story on their own and joining in with the reread every time. This week, in the atelier we have been learning about cutting with scissors and pasting with glue sticks. There certainly is a lot to learn when using these materials in the classroom. As we continue to practice cutting and pasting we can see our skills getting better.

Retelling the Brown Bear story.
Making Brown Bear's house.

Creating Brown Bear's house and the house for the 3 Bears too.

Other areas of play-based learning that has taken place this year is the sand table with letters, the children love to find their beginning initial and make the outline in the sand. We have found the letters in our name in the beads and put them in the correct order. We are sorting the letters in the snow by colour.

Sorting letters in the snow - today we are sorting by colour.

The Loose Parts table has been very busy with creations of various kinds. We are learning to use our fine motor skills to pick up and place the beads gently in order to make a picture. Some of the kiddos are able to orally describe the picture they have made, we are still working with the others to share orally what they have created. One of our kiddos began her creation by making a pattern along the out side edge of the frame. We will extend her thinking by having her talk about the pattern and possibly create more complicated ones.

Creating a pattern and a picture.

Creating at the light table with magnetic shapes and seeing how they can be put together to make 3-D shapes has begun a good inquiry in this BBFK classroom this year. We have made boxes, castles, dragons, and tall towers. Learning the English words for various things we make and repeating those words is quite an accomplishment for several of our children this year.

This is tall.

We made a big cube and a little cube.

This week we looked at colours and how mixing them together can change the colour we put on our paper. This has been an exciting experiment for a few kiddos this week. They are creating lovely paintings by mixing their colours. A few kiddos are also experimenting with looking closely at flowers to draw what they see, then painting them in beautiful colours.

A colour provocation.
Watching what happens
over the course of the week.

Looking closely to draw the flowers with markers.

Adding our mixed paints for detail.

We have had a great two weeks and look forward to what the children will learn and create in the remaining two weeks.

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