How We Express Ourselves

It’s the magic time of Storytelling in Pre-K! We are starting our “How We Express Ourselves” Unit of Inquiry in which students will be thinking about different ways to express ideas through stories and showing their creativity.

Central Idea: Stories can be expressed and interpreted in many ways.

Lines of Inquiry that will define the scope of our inquiry into the central idea:

  • Ways stories are expressed
  • Ways people respond to and retell stories
  • Creating and expressing our own stories

 

All throughout this unit, we are discussing and exploring various means of storytelling. Through Guided Inquiry students are investigating what the creators need to think about while crafting a story. During the Open Inquiry time, students are learning different ways of storytelling and special skills required for those.

Each student is a member of a learning group exploring the different storytelling spaces created for them in our Pre-K classrooms:

  • Drama area with a stage and costumes
  • Puppet theatre
  • Shadow theatre
  • Green Screen studio
  • Animation Studio
  • Book Making and Publishing areas
  • Art Studio

Teachers are thrilled to see how much thinking is happening through play in those areas!

Ways you can help at home:

  • Help your child notice the different ways we share and tell stories at home or during family day trips (theatre visits, gallery walks,camping…). Take pictures or draw them and encourage your child to share his/her understanding in class.
  • Read books or watch movies and talk about who the characters are, in what setting the story takes place,  and what problem the characters are trying to solve.
  • Please speak with your child’s teacher if you would like to come in and share a story with the class. Maybe you have a favorite book you’d like to read to students.  Maybe you have a way of sharing stories that other children may not have experienced – something specific to your culture.
  • Create stories with your child at home during play time!

Happy storytelling!

The Pre-K Team

Learning through Experiments

Dear Parents,

We know our students learn in many different ways: visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and social. Studies show that for Early Years classroom there is nothing better than activities that require kids to use their hands as well as their minds.

Hands-on projects obviously engage kids who are tactile or kinesthetic learners, who need movement to learn best. They also engage students who are auditory learners, who talk about what they’re doing, and visual learners, who have the opportunity to see what everyone else is creating. For social learners, the time spent in small group conversation will strengthen their knowledge. As students put projects together or use familiar materials in new ways, they’re constructing meaning.

During The Open Inquiry times students were given an opportunity to conduct water experiments in our Ocean Area.

Students experimented with all the things they could find in the classroom. there was a happy buzz discussing what happens to the objects when you put them in the water.

 

  • Let me try this…
  • Look it floats, but… look it doesn’t anymore…
  • Let’s try this one. I know it will sink but I want to try. It floats!!! Look it floats!!!
  • This one is sinking.
  • This one is heavy. It will sink…
  • It still comes up again, so it is floating!
  • Oh look it is floating. All balls are floating!

Some assumptions that were challenged:

  • All heavy things sink.
  • All magnets sink.
  • All balls float.
  • Shells float because they are from the ocean.

On the next stage of an experiment students were asked to predict how the object behaves in the water.

  • I think it will sink… Sinks! Sinks! I was right!
  • No, this one doesn’t. It’s a magnet.
  • Both of them float if we put one into the other nothing happens.
  • Why the lion is floating and the tiger is not?  – Because the lion is a baby and it is not heavy yet, it’s not big.

There were several objects that were hard to determine if they are sinking or floating:

  • Is this one sinking?
  •  No, it’s floating.
  • No it’s sinking!
  • It’s not any it doesn’t float and it doesn’t’ sink!
  • No it is floating look, it’s not on the bottom.
  • On the bottom it looks like it’s floating, but from the top it looks like it’s sinking!
  • Look from the side, it floats.

Some findings:

  • Some balls sink, because they are magnets.
  • If there is air inside it floats.
  • If there is water inside a cup or a Lego piece it sinks.

Then it turns out that the metal bowl is floating perfectly well. Keen minds started testing other “boat like” objects.

  • We can put people inside!
  • What happens if you attach magnets to the metal bowl?
  • What if we put the magnets inside?
  • Let’s put a lot of people in and see if it is working.
  • I can try this lid. It can be a raft!
  • If you have a lot of water in the bowl it sinks, but without water it floats.
  • The cup – no good, it go down and no people.
  • The little one is down with only one people.
  • Let me try and put some tape on it.
  • I can count how many people my boat holds.

This is when the teachers decided to help children deeper their understanding. Therefore we transferred the “Float or Sink” experiment into “Boat Making”. All the objects that might work as a boat on their own were removed and a variety of different materials were displayed on the table next to the water bin.

Students were experimenting with different materials. Helping each other and discussing their theories. Feeding from each others ideas they were building common understanding.

By the time it was time to share and reflect students had a lot to communicate:

  • I was wondering how not to make water go in when I put the people in. So I put the people in and put some tape over and it worked.
  • When water comes in the boat it sinks!
  • If you put too many people in the boat it sinks. If there are no people on the boat it floats.
  • A big boat can have a lot of people on it.
  • Plastisin sinks if you don’t make the sides go up high.
  • The boat needs to not crook on the side, then the water comes in too quickly
  • It was made out of metal. And I tested it and it worked, and we kept on putting people in and it holds 45 people.
  • Different boats hold different number of people.

Students were very thoughtful while sharing their findings and giving suggestion on how to make boats better.

  • The boat should have the sides so the water doesn’t go in.
  • You need to make it thin and make the sides up-up-up for water not to come.
  • The boat can’t have holes.
  • If you touch the boat and push it down or on the side it sinks.

If you are not too tired of reading, sit back and enjoy the video.

Have a great week,

The Pre-K Team

Whatever the Weather

Dear Parents,

We are fortunate to have our nearby forest as a Third Teacher for our students. Being in the forest surrounded by nature, children experience an ever-changing and free-flowing environment that stimulates all the senses. Outside play in the forest through different seasons whatever the weather fosters children’s intellectual, emotional, social and physical development.

Unfortunately last Wednesday our Pre-K students were not able to have their first rain-in-the-forest experience, due to a lot of students being unprepared for the weather. Our apologies to those students and parents that were all equipped.

            http://orcasislandforestschool.org/here-comes-the-rain/

Can we please ask All The Parents to make sure your child has Rain Gear in school every Wednesday, as it is important for his/her learning. Waterproof jacket, pants and rain boots are essential for your child to enjoy the encounter with nature.

                                                https://pro-odejki.livejournal.com/86857.html

Starting Wednesday, October 10th, there would be no cancellation of The Forest Trips due to rain.

Thank you in advance for your collaboration,

The Pre-K  Team

Building a Community…

Building a Community

At the beginning of the year, we look to create a community within our Pre-K classrooms.  We start be developing relationships with the adults and children of our individual classes, and then start to meet and play with the children and educators for the other two classrooms.  The children get to know one another and are encouraged to stretch themselves and try to experiment with new friendships.   

“I asking them [new children] if they can be friend.  Una is my new friend.  We just saw her lots of times.  We swing on the playground.”          – Nika 

 

These were the songs we sang when we were meeting children from the other classes:

Hello Song

Fair Ways to Play

“I want to play with all the children every day because I can make new friends with other kids that are not in my class.  I have played with some of them in my old school.”                                               – Taya

 

 

Over the last two weeks we set times when each group was able to go into another class and play in the new space and meet the other children.  While there, we all took part in making collaborative sculptures that would help us remember the colour associated with that classroom.

The atmosphere within all three classrooms and our outdoor space is warm, inclusive and inviting, supporting all children to feel like valued members of our Pre-K community.

“I didn’t go to all the classrooms, but I did play in the Blue and Red today…so I played in two of them…but not three.  But I like to have all the classrooms because it feels good”  – Ben

The inquiry into how people in a community discover and learn, make choices, and develop independence will last throughout the year, giving us a lot of time to discover our own ways of learning, as well as the partnerships that we have with other learners – who do we learn well with?  Why?  How will we share our thinking and learning?  What makes us a community of learners?

“It is so good to play in the other classrooms because we can play with friends!”                                                                                  – Mary

 

Who We Are

Who We Are

Pre-K is beginning our first unit in which students will inquire into how people in a community discover and learn, make choices, and develop independence.  The unit will last for the entire school year.

Through literature and learning engagements in the classroom, educators will be guiding each child’s inquiry into:

  • How we discover and learn
  • How can we develop independence as learners
  • How we learn together as a community

How can you help your child?

  1. Please send a family photo via email to your child’s teacher as soon as you can!
  2. Help your child to become aware of his or her new capabilities – helping them to see how they have grown and what they can now do, that they couldn’t do before.
  3. Encourage your child to ‘keep trying’ when they find something difficult to do, promoting independence and new skills – we work at our learning.
  4. Arrange some play dates for your child, helping him/her to develop skills at making and negotiating friendships.
  5. Share any stories with your child of times that you have learned something new – demonstrating that you have flexible thinking and resilience.  

We look forward to continued work together with you and your child throughout this unit!

Yours in learning,

The Pre-K Team

 

The First Forest Walk in Pre-K

Dear Parents,

The First Forest Walk this Wednesday was a great success! We were extremely lucky with the weather. Students were all well equipped and enthusiastic to go.

In the forest children explored new places, tried new things and made new friends.

“I liked playing in the forest!”

” I think forest is great!  My legs are tired, but I love it!”

“This forest has so many sticks I can’t even play with all of them!”

“We made a stick house!”

“We can make the teepee and fire!” – Those are just some of the quotes from the over excited children.

Going to the forest every week helps students nurture harmony and balance which in turn leads to happiness. Nature engages mind, body and spirit, which helps the child grow into a whole being. It’s all about the process of learning!

Sit back and enjoy the video if you wish to experience the excitement of the forest walk with us.

More Forest Learning Adventures await for us in the year ahead!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and try to find some time to get closer to nature!

The Pre-K Team

Image of Child

While developing our Pre-K philosophy we are often asked to think about our Image of Child.  As an international community we understand that we may have different ideas of how we view children.   As educators, we have our own Image of Child, but we also feel it is important to take parent views into consideration when we plan for each day, each lesson, and each unit this year.  During our Back to School meeting, we asked all of the parents to jot down 2-3 words that they think of when thinking of children. This is our collective 2018-2019 Pre-K Image of Child.