Emma’s Father came to share his Chinese Calligraphy skills with the Snails. They thoroughly enjoyed getting to try it themselves.
Today was the first day of our ECC International Weeks. It is a time that we encourage our children and families to share about their home cultures/countries. Our friend Alex is lucky enough to have 2 flags! He is both Indonesian and Italian. Today he shared the Italian food pizza with his classmates. The children were very excited!
We turned our pizza time into a Literacy Link. We first watch a retelling of the Story Book “Pizza Pat” on youtube and we then drew our favorite kind of pizza. Thank you to Alex and his family for sharing a piece of their home culture.
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.
The Guinea Pigs had a great time visiting at Bayside with the big kids. Some of our favorite parts were; riding the escalator, going through the tunnel, eating marshmallows and listening to the 7th graders retell The Sneetches.
Rereading familiar stories and then watching a video of that story helps to build and support the language and ideas to discuss story themes. Active story read-alouds or stories that have songs included engages young learners to be active in Circle Time learning. Here is a sing along story “I love my White Shoes” and the rhyme “5 Little pumpkins. For more Pete the Cat stories look here.
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.
The Laser Bugs had a great time hunting for book characters during Book Week. They laughed with delight each time they found a new character! We even added math (Data Handling) and literacy elements to this activity. As the Laser Bugs walked around the Mountianside campus with their clipboards, they wrote a check mark for every character that they saw. After the hunt the children counted up all their check marks and drew the characters that they liked.
From time to time we will give the children picture cards or subject cards from our games to draw. The focus in doing this is more about giving them new ideas and topics to draw about and less about fine tuning their drawing skills. Most of our drawing in the classroom is done from imagination and our own ideas. However drawing while looking at images can help develop perspective and practice with forming figures.