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Morning Assembly

During our Belonging unit, we have been exploring the different communities (groups) that we belong to. As a shared PreK 2 activity, all 5 classes came together to have a Morning Assembly (just like the big E.S. kids). This was such a success! Both teachers and children enjoyed it. We decided that throughout the school year, all PreK 2 classes will meet periodically to have a Morning Assembly. Each class will take turns in leading a song, story or dance that showcases their learning. At the end of the assembly all 5 classes will sing a shared Chinese song.

This activity will be kept fun and engaging to build the routine of presenting in front of others. This will help the Snails continue to build their self confidence and build a foundation for public speaking.

Cooking

Some Wednesdays Ms.Joan has been leading cooking activities with the children. This week they made garlic bread. The children have also made mashed potatoes and eggs and tomatoes. The children really enjoy cooking activities. Even though the activities seem quite simple, the children get to use their fine motor skills with utensils and learn good hygiene habits for food handling. Being exposed to different kinds of foods and having pride in making the food themselves, makes the children more interested in tasting new things.

Thoughts for families:Do you involve your child in food shopping or food preparation at home? Do you ask your child for their thoughts or ideas for planning meals?

Travel Journals

The children took turns reading their travel journals to their classmates. They enjoyed sharing their experiences with their friends. For the children listening, it was a good experience to listen to others’ stories. We practiced asking questions and staying on topic with the reader.

We Are The Dancing Snails!

Over the course of a week, we took the time to choose our class name. We first listed all the animals that we knew, then we began voting on which animal mascot we preferred. We visited the list daily and voted each time to make the list shorter. When we finally got down to 2 animals (frog and Snail), we then drew the animal that we preferred.

When we had the final vote for snails, we then listed the kind of snails that we liked. Each idea that the children suggested, we did research on. As a class, we looked at google images of each idea i.e. Bubble Snails, Fire Snails, Flower Snails..

Working together as a class to choose our name, gave the children ownership. All children were a part of the discussions and decisions. Activities like these set the feeling that we are a community, a team where every one has the opportunity and responsibility to contribute. Little did the children know that the were busy learning new vocabulary, math skills and growing as communicators by sharing their ideas.

Field Day -Rained Out !

The Laser Bugs were a bit sad that the rain was too heavy to have our Field Day! They were looking forward to putting on their Laser Bug uniforms and showing their parents the P.E. skills that they had learned this year. Never the less, we still put on our Laser Bug uniforms and had an exciting morning together. We had a dance party, read books together, took photos of each other, colored our own Laser Bugs and did exercise videos together. We are looking forward to the postponed date when we can wear our uniforms and have our parents cheer us on!

Earth Week

During Earth Week we read stories about keeping our natural environment clean. We talked about how keeping our environment clean, we can keep people and animals safe and healthy. Putting our garbage in the trash and not on the ground, is one way The Laser Bugs agreed that we could be responsible for our environment. We also agreed that it was important to keep our school clean. We decided to walk around our Mountianside campus to check for garbage.

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#eccphoto Connections and Conversations

Here is a “Story” I have created with Storify. It is a digital platform that compiles information shared on social media (using hashtags and links). This story showcases the connections and conversations regarding our #eccphoto Project (mostly on twitter and instagram) amongst the contributing teachers and our supportive administration. Take a look through and you will see just how many contributors are sharing their thoughts/reflection and their student’s learning.

Photo Taking With Our Reading Buddies

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The Spy Kids (our 4th grade reading buddies) came to mentor the Laser Bugs on how to properly hold the iPads and to take photos. The 4th grade teacher had prepared her students by having a discussion on how they could coach the Laser Bugs in their photo taking. She had explained to them in that the Laser Bugs had begun to practice taking photos in their classroom with their teachers. She suggested that they come up with an agreed criteria, that was similar to what the Laser Bugs were already learning. Also because of the Laser Bugs’ age she encouraged that the goals should be clear and an appropriate amount. The Spy Kids came up with a plan of action and decided on the skills that they would help the Laser Bugs with.

-Holding the iPad still
-Counting to 3 (allowing time to steady hands and focus)
-Pressing the button only one time (so we only here one click)

A lot of smiles, giggles and rich conversations were generated throughout the learning experience. Both the big and small students took turns posing and taking photos as they walked around the Mountianside campus. The Spy Kids did a great job giving directions to the Laser Bugs, they were clear, patient and kind to their small buddies. The best part is that teachers could see the Spy Kids’ excitement while taking on the role as mentor.

#eccphoto Collaborative Art Project

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The #eccphoto Collaborative Art Project connects multiple grade levels across the world through photography, artistic interpretation, and written expression. ECC students were mentored by their ES Reading Buddies on photo taking skills with iPads. ECC students spent time reflecting on the quality and interest of their photos before choosing their favorite. Their favorite photos will be highlighted as the focal point of the #eccphoto Collaborative Art Project. Using that photo as inspiration, students from one grade level will create a visual representation of the photo while the other grade level will create a written interpretation. All will be displayed in the Secret Garden for the SIS community to view on Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20.

This Collaborative Art Project has many contributors from SIS and beyond. It includes SIS ECC students and their ES Reading Buddies. Additionally, four schools outside of the SIS community with be joining. Global contributors include 4th grade writers from The International School of Tianjin, Kindergarten artists from The Franconian International School in Germany, 2nd grade artists from The International School of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and 5th grade writers and artists from the International School of Myanmar.Here is the link to the shared collaborative blog, that the other teachers will also be posting on.

The learning activities inspired by this project encompass the goals of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum that guides the ECC. Students will be actively engaged in authentic learning experiences that incorporates the holistic and constructivist approaches that the ECC program values. The SIS ESLRs of Independent Learning, Complex Thinking, and of course, Collaboration will also be highlighted. Our project, as well as the SIS mission, focuses on caring community engagement and encouraging students to be innovative contributors.

We will use the SIS Learning Innovation Markers as a guide with tech integration. Teachers will be sharing the learning experiences of the project through social media with our SIS community and with contributing teachers and students. Student communication and writing skills will be fully engaged. Even ECC students will be writing (drawing) vocalizing their reflections on the photos and responding to their peer’s work. In different classes, technology will be the tool to make connections through student blogging, Skype dates, and video chats.

The process has already started and is ongoing. The layers of the project are plentiful. ECC students have already taken their photos and passed them along to their reading buddies and their international partners. ECC students continue to revisit their photos and offer their reflections through writing and drawing. They have also conferred with their Reading Buddies. The students who have received the ECC photos have already begun brainstorming and planning their writing and artistic responses. Each teacher will incorporate the work on photo responses into individual class units. Our culminating event will be our Collaborative Art Show, that will be featured in the Secret Garden, Thursday, May 19th, and Friday, May 20th.