After a few weeks of online learning and a relaxing Easter Break, the ECC students returned to school with great enthusiasm, and many of them could not wait for some outdoor play in the garden!
The new and improved mud kitchens provide lots of inspiration for imaginative play, from recreating the dishes the children shared during the holidays, to putting into action everything they have been learning about healthy eating during their lessons.
The Nursery 3 students were pleased to be back on their tricycle track, but realised that perhaps a pedestrian crossing was in order to make sure the space is shared safely. Rather than the traditional white stripes, they chose to use rainbow chalks!
After learning about the importance of ‘Eating like a rainbow’, the Nursery 4 children were challenged to find one piece of fruit for each colour of the rainbow, and use it creatively in cooking. Who would have thought that the fruit could be turned into a lion, a man, a sword or even a rocket?
Like everyone at school, in the last couple of weeks our young Nursery 3 students (and their families) have swiftly switched to online learning as a way to stay connected with their teachers and peers, and also to carry on with some of the learning that we started in class.
We have been using Tapestry to stay in touch through everyday messaging and media sharing. Zoom is also allowing us to touch base directly with the children so we can spend some time together, even if much shorter than we would normally do at school. We have a weekly whole-group session which allows us to see everyone in one place at the same time; though briefly, we say hello to teachers and friends and have a look at the classroom and we are reassured that everything is okay and our school life continues.
This year we also have daily live ‘meetings’ with small groups of different children: I look forward to my daily Small Group meetings, where I can finally hear my students giggle, ask them how they are feeling, and chat about what they have been doing while staying home.
I’m sure that once we return to school, we will talk about the days in which we all were saying ‘hello’ through our computers. For the time being, the goal is to provide our young ones with the best possible online learning, which is age and developmentally appropriate so they can remember this experience with a smile on their faces and – why not, learn a few new things!
Nursery 3 TeacherRead More
Lately in Kindergarten we cannot seem to have enough tape or glue to keep up with the children’s crafty hands. Children have stopped needing teacher’s input on what to do in the art area and experimenting with lots of ideas and projects that stem from their curiosity and personal experiences. They are using new materials such as yarn, fabric, cork, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, cardboard and string to design products from personal use or to incorporate in their play. Sometimes it’s an exploration of properties of materials or a spontaneous joining of different textures for the pleasure of self-expression.
This week alone, children have discovered how to join cardboard boxes to form a vehicle, and how to make a string puppet. And if you would like a new bag, a nature bracelet or a stick character, just let us know, we’re happy to share our craft!
Sounds and noises around us provide an important way to understand and interact with the world: they are a tool we use to communicate and gather information. Listening to and making sounds is without a doubt a favorite activity in Pre-Nursery, and in the past few weeks we have been exploring the differences between LOUD and quiet sounds and everything in between. We used our voices and our bodies to make sounds, and then we learned to make loud noises by banging on drums and by shaking maracas. We made quiet noises, gently tapping on the triangle and the xylophone, trying hard to hear the gentle ‘ting’….
Needless to say, we preferred by far to make lots of loud noises!
Ms Laura – Pre-Nursery TeacherRead More
Dr Peter Gray, a professor of psychology and acclaimed specialist in the interaction between education and play, wrote the following quote in 2011:
“Nothing in life is without risk. When we deprive our children of taking the risks that they must take to grow in competence, confidence, and courage, we run the greater and ultimately more tragic risk that they will never learn to take charge of their own lives. So, be brave and let your kids be brave.”
In the ECC, we work towards empowering our young learners in a variety of ways that range from academic learning, to learning how to dress up independently, and everything in between. Risk management is taught at every level by providing an environment that enables each child to take risks in a way that balances out curiosity, awareness of the safety rules and expectations on one hand, and learning from authentic interactions with their peers and teachers on the other hand. True learning comes through trial and error, and emotional and physical resilience are attained through that process that inevitably requires pushing ourselves out of our ‘comfort zones’.
Nursery 3 Teacher
Dr. Peter Gray, Ph.D – “How Children Learn Bravery in an Age of Overprotection” (retrieved from: psychology today.com, Dec. 08, 2011)Read More
It is one of our duties as teachers to follow our children’s interests. Why? Because the learning will be more effective and the motivation to interact will be much stronger if the activity is based on what they like and want to learn about. An interest in magic was evident from the first weeks of school and the children often made magic potions using natural material outside. All this got me thinking how I could teach them a basic but effective science experiment in order to make real potions. ‘What about mixing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda?’ I thought. Ever since I introduced this activity, the children have eagerly asked to join in, some even spending one hour fully immersed in it, learning through experimentation and investigation, and taking pride in taking their potions home.
Nursery 4 Teacher
It’s that time of year when students in Kindergarten are turning into readers, discovering the power of illustrations to tell a story, recognizing sounds, letters and words they’ve learned in Phonics on the pages of the books they read, and developing a taste for a certain topic, author or genre.
Very often parents ask their teachers ‘what books do you recommend’? So this week the ECC teachers are sharing their favorite classroom books to exemplify some of the qualities that turn books into classroom favorites!
1 – Choose books with big, appealing and interesting pictures – this is one of the reasons an author such as Eric Carle is loved so much and his books feature prominently in Pre-Nursery, Nursery 3 and Nursery 4.
2 – Choose books with repetition or story patterns – children are hooked by stories that have parts which repeat, as it makes the story predictable and familiar. This also makes it a great way to support language development, as the Pre-Nursery worn out copy of ‘Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed’ shows.
3 – Choose books with a theme relevant and familiar to children – making and losing friends, discovering who you are, sharing, family stories, school life, good vs evil are topics that appeal to children as they are part of their daily lives. A book such as Elmer, which encapsulates several of these themes is a favorite in Nursery 3.
4 – Choose books with fascinating language – rhyming words, alliterations and similes, sound words, and made-up words have the power to wake up children’s curiosity and imagination. This brings us back to Kindergarten where you can hear the students incorporating phrases from familiar stories into their play all the time, as well as acting out their old time favorites.
Hopefully this will help when you choose your next book for your child and happy reading to you!
Kindergarten Teacher and ECC CoordinatorRead More
As we read in the article that Ms Valentina wrote a few weeks ago, movement is an integral part of child development, helping with memory, language and attention. How do our youngest ECC students develop their gross motor skills? Here in Pre-Nursery, we love being active, using both our indoor and outdoor space to run, jump and dance. Listening to music is a great way in which we incorporate movement, stretching and dancing to the beat, a good way to wake the body up in the morning and get our blood pumping. It also helps build up our appetite for snack time. Our indoor soft play area is where we can safely practice to balance, which helps us with running and walking, and crawling through tunnels and over blocks. Of course building obstacle courses with our peers is part of the fun!
One way of being healthy is certainly to have enough sleep, as Miss Adriana’s article from last week’s newsletter so well explained. Another way of keeping fit is to have regular exercise. How do we achieve that in Nursery 4? Our playground is designed in a way that fosters the development of a variety of gross motor skills. Weekly sessions of PE, Music and Movement, and Yoga certainly complement these activities, and help children develop strength, coordination, balance, and body awareness. They are also great fun, and having fun together is what we like best!
Miss Valentina, Nursery 4 TeacherRead More