Jason’s grandfather came to teach us how to make a well loved Chinese food-dumplings. We all love dumplings!
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.
Our Writing Center has wheels-so we can move it anywhere.
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?
On Halloween day we went around the SIS campus on a scavenger hunt. We went on a search for Spooky decorations around Jing Shan Villas. Every time we found a spooky thing, we checked our list to see if it was on there. If we found something that was on our list we put an “X” or a check mark. The children had a lot of fun..they had no idea that they were working on their mathematical data handling skills.
Since the children have been very interested in building houses during Exploration time…I thought that I would surprise them with one. When the children were at recess I set up a house with a curtain, picnic blanket, blocks and our stuffed animals set up at the table.
When the children came into the room they were very surprised to see this scene. They immediately asked me why I set it up. I told them that I was so busy with my teacher work and I didn’t see what happened. I told them that when I returned back to the classroom, the house was set up. They started asking questions and offering ideas of who was responsible. Was it the animals themselves? Was it one of our neighboring teachers (Ms. Natalie or Mr. K.)? The Ayi or Ms. Laura? Since we are already in the Halloween spirit, they wondered if it was a fairy or a good witch.
The reason for not admitting that I was responsible for setting up this scene was more than just for fun. I set it up as a provocation. I knew that the children would be surprised and interested in the house. I also knew that they would have many questions about how, why and who. Instead of me giving the children the facts, I wanted them to share their thoughts and ideas. Many times throughout the day teachers do not answer many of the children’s questions. We put the questions back onto them and their classmates. We are interested in hearing their theories and reasoning. It doesn’t matter whether the children’s theories are believable or not. What we are looking for is that the children are developing their critical thinking skills. That they are developing the ability to
communicate when formulating and sharing their ideas.
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.
Here is a compilation of our rainy day explorations.
Sharing our travel journals, has been a great way to verbally practice sharing our experiences with our friends. The children have been proud (not shy at all) to read their Travel Journals to their classmates. As you can see from the video, the children are welcome to contribute to the discussion of asking and answering questions in the language that they need to express their thoughts in.