Anglo-American School of Moscow – Pre-K Team

Author: Masha Rebenko (Page 4 of 4)

Who We Are

Dear Families of Pre-K,

We are just starting our first Unit of Inquiry in which students will inquire into who we are and how we learn. This is a year long unit which will give students time to reflect on themselves as learners.

Throughout the unit the children explore the central idea: Understanding who we are helps us connect with others and understand how we learn.

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Through literature and learning activities in the classroom, teachers, assistants and specialists will be guiding each child’s inquiry into:

  • who we are
  • how we connect to each other within families, friends, and communities 
  • the many ways we learn

How you can help your child at home:

1. In order to help your child share some special information about herself/himself with the classmates we are encouraging you to take a part in our “Hand Project”.

In your child’s backpack you will find a piece of cardboard paper to use for tracing your child’s hand. Please cut out the hand and on each finger put a piece of information that your child wants to share with others. For example:

  • Place of birth, languages spoken
  • Favorite thing to do as a family
  • Favorite thing to play
  • What makes you feel happy, excited, scared, calm?
  • Favorite place to go
  • Favorite food
  • Something that you are really good at
  • Favorite cartoon/movie/book character
  • And/or anything else your child thinks is important for his/her friends to know.

Please write down the information on each finger. Where possible, please add a picture  to remind your child about the idea he/she wanted to share (a photo, a sticker or a drawing).

Please send the project back to school by Monday, October 2nd.

2. Help your child to become aware of his or her capabilities – helping them to see how they have grown and what they can now do, that they couldn’t do before.   What makes your child an individual, make them unique?

3. Talk about feelings, labeling them for your child and modeling positive ways to express feelings in your family.  What do you do when someone is hurt?  How do we help each other?

4. Arrange some play dates for your child, helping him/her to develop skills at making and negotiating friendships.  What do you say when you meet someone new?  How do you know this person is a friend?

Thank you very much for taking an active part in your child’s learning.

Your partners in learning,

The Pre-K Team

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Story Spaces

Dear Pre-K Parents,

It’s been a very intense few weeks of storytelling in the Pre-K classrooms.  We are continuing to inquire into “How We Express Ourselves,” thinking about different ways to express ideas and enjoy our 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. During the open inquiry time, students have access to the different storytelling spaces created for them in our Pre-K classrooms:

  • Drama area with a stage and costumes
  • Puppet theatre
  • Shadow theatre with a projector for their pictures (they call it “the cinema”)
  • A story building space which has building blocks, Lego, stumps, mirror panels, transparent blocks and more
  • An Art Studio where they can paint and use colour clay
  • An IT space for using tech tools to create stories

There is also a “Creation Station” in which students can create any of the characters, make the settings, or built the props that they need for their story. We are thrilled to see how much thinking is happening through play in those areas!  We will share the stories with you near the end of the unit.

So far, we have seen the children inquiring into musical stories, theatre, dance, art, poetry, claymation, photography, building, live storytelling, art stories, and story books.       

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. 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 way of sharing stories that other children may not have experienced – something specific to your culture.

 

Happy storytelling!

Pre-K Team

 

Counting Stumps

Dear Parents,

A learning provocation is a way to invite students to have a new experience, use materials in an inventive way, apply their prior knowledge and escalate their thinking.

One morning students discovered some tree stumps and rubber numbers and letters laid out on the carpet.

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Children started using the stumps to make a walking path.

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For a while, the stumps were used to create islands for the children’s role play.Other children were putting the numbers on top of the stumps and thought of them as buttons on a spacecraft… 110_6489

Then someone brought a pencil and started tracing the numbers.

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That seemed like fun for a while, but our pirates said they couldn’t see the numbers from afar… so they decided to paint them, using the same paints being used for the fence project.

Students helped each other to put aprons on and carried the stumps back and forth between the classes.

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When there were a lot of different numbers painted, it turned out it was hard to keep track of which numbers have been done, so a check list was created.

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Students kept on working.

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When we got into twenties, the children noticed that the stumps we had were too narrow to fit two numerals on them.

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Students went to look for some wider ones.

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Students also had to check if they are writing the larger numbers with the numerals in the correct order.

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Finally, the painting was done. Students created an obstacle course out of the stumps, sorted them by color or put them in order and practiced their counting, while they stepped from stump to stump.

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This inquiry brought a lot of opportunities for children to develop their thinking. To start with, kids were thinking about their bodies and figuring out ways to carry heavy stumps. They were learning about numbers in a natural and authentic way. Students were exploring the numbers and the order of numerals in two-digit numbers. Students had to work collaboratively on a project: helping each other with aprons and paintbrushes, teaching friends about numbers, negotiating what number they are going to paint… Our kinesthetic learners were able to benefit from an opportunity to practice counting while moving their bodies stepping from stump to stump.

The other side of the stumps are still empty… We’ll see what will appear there… Just give those kids some time…

Pre-K Team

Young Authors

Dear Parents,

We all agree that it is very important for children to learn how to read and write… But the most important thing young children need to learn is to enjoy reading and writing and being excited about working on their learning!

A Book about Bookmaking:

Being inspired a lot of students went to work on their own books. Each author needs to think about the plot and the illustrations, the front page and the title, the sequence and the writing that might appear on some pages… Children have made a lot of books already. The writing centre is always available to them with a variety of book making supplies.  No one is told that they have to do this, but everyone is invited to make a book.

Conferring with young authors helps to bring their writing to a higher level:

No matter where your child is in book making, we, as grownups, need to be encouraging listeners and positive inquires when we are blessed to have a child’s book read to us. Listen to their compositions.  Ask questions about their book.  Ask them what they think they did well, and what they might do next time.

Enjoy listening to your little authors!

Your Pre-K Team

Amazing Forest…

Dear Pre-K Parents,

We are fortunate to have a beautiful forest near the school… so we take advantage of it!

Our weekly forest trips engage mind, body and spirit, which in turn helps the children grow. We are very happy to be together in forest and share our findings with friends.It’s all about the process of exploring!

Nature helps nurture harmony and balance which in turn leads to happiness.

And we are happy for our children,

Pre-K Team

Storytelling in Pre-K

Dear Pre-K Parents,

We’ve been learning so much about stories and different ways they can be told! It is always interesting to see how students interpret well known stories and create their own.

Students were investigating what a story is. There were a lot of different theories constructed and students had a lot of opportunities to create stories through their play.

Enjoy a little snapshot of our Pre-K experience through the Storytelling Unit and see “How We Express Ourselves”

If you’ve watched to the very end you know what to expect next 🙂

Stay tuned,

Pre-K Team

How We Express Ourselves

Dear Pre-K Parents,

This term we are inquiring into the Transdisciplinary Theme of “How We Express Ourselves”, thinking about different ways to express ideas and enjoying our creativity.

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

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

  • Different ways stories are expressed
  • Different ways people respond to stories
  • Creating and expressing our own stories

Within this fun unit, we are discussing and exploring various means of storytelling. These include music, theatre, dance, art, poetry, claymation, photography, live storytelling, picture & story books and many more.

Ways you can help:

  • Help your child notice different types of storytelling he/she experiences at home or during family day trips. Take pictures or draw them and encourage your child to share his/her understanding in class.
  • We would LOVE family members to come in and share any kind of storytelling!

Enjoy story telling with your child!

Pre-K Team

New Unit of Inquiry

Dear Pre-K Parents,

We are beginning our new unit of inquiry this week. The following information will allow you to support your child’s learning and understanding from home.

We will be inquiring into the following:

Transdisciplinary Theme: How we organize ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems

Central Idea: Signs and symbols are human-made systems that help people communicate.

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

  • Signs and symbols
  • How signs and symbols help people to communicate
  • Systems of communication

Ways you can help: Be on the lookout for signs and symbols with your child around your home or while you are out and about. They are all around us and will be exciting for your child to begin noticing with a keen eye! Take pictures or draw them and encourage your child to share his/her findings in class.

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Yours in learning,

The Pre-K Team

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