It’s been a week of preparations in Kindergarten… signs being painted, hats tried on, let’s practice our song one more time, what if we forget what to say, can we have a real microphone…
Every day, we counted down how many more ‘sleeps’ until our Big Day, and then yesterday morning, just like that, Graduation time was here!
If I was worried that the children weren’t ready enough, they sure proved me wrong. I could feel their excitement, and yet they took a deep breath and walked out calmly, their heads up with pride and of course, they remembered to do everything just right.
It’s time to let them go, and it feels good to know that they are ready for their journey through Elementary school.
So, Happy Trails to you, my Kindergarten friends, until we meet again!
Lately in Nursery 3 we have been observing and caring for various small animals. About 20 days ago we adopted ten tiny silkworms needing constant care because the amount of fresh mulberry tree leaves that they needed to eat was just unbelievable!
The children worked around the clock for two weeks, taking turns to feed them and clear their home from leftovers whilst watching them grow at an incredible pace… Then one morning we observed that some of them had stopped eating and so many children asked, ‘Are they okay?’ It was a clear sign that they were ready to change into chrysalides. New words such as ‘cocoon’ and ‘transformation’ were heard and learned through reading books and watching educational videos while children began wondering how many days we should wait until we see the first butterflies coming out!
Meanwhile, everyone wondered about the colors and physical features of butterflies and some of the children spontaneously began making simple drawings of butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars, spiders, and so forth. While waiting for them to hatch out of their cocoons, we also took care of a giant pet snail called Olive Oil and of a mommy and daughter gerbils who stayed with us for a couple of days as visiting pets.
Nursery 3 Teacher
Last week’s Outdoor Classroom Day was a big success! Maybe because this year we haven’t had many special events due to COVID restrictions, or maybe because we were lucky to have a rare sunny day in this rainy, wet Spring.
Seeing all the ECC children outside at the same time, enjoying themselves was a treat. This week I am letting the drawings of the Kinder students tell you about this epic day…see if you can guess what their favorite moments of the day were…
Every classroom is like a family, with each person playing an important role. Everyone should be involved in caring for the classroom and its members, thus the need for creating meaningful classroom jobs and having a classroom helper to carry them out. Here are a few more good reasons this role is important:
- it gives students ownership of their school day.
- it gives children of all ages a real sense of accomplishment, building self-esteem in a meaningful way.
- it helps children to develop self control.
- children become more responsible for themselves and their environment
- it’s a great way for children to practice teamwork and to see that we are all in this together.
- the change of role every day and the anticipation of his/her turn teaches the child patience and taking turns.
Every morning the students show great interest in knowing who the Classroom Helper is for the day and agree with the teacher on which jobs need to be done throughout the day. Lately they’ve been doing some gardening, among other things!
Nursery 3 Teacher
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