If you stop by our Kindergarten class these days, chances are, you will find someone writing. Whether we are in the middle of our writing workshop, or writing to support our play, leaving a note for someone, or making a sign, the children are delving into the power of making marks that carry a message.
This is the time of the year during which our Phonics and Mark-making skills come together and allow us to begin to sound out longer words and then form the letters needed to write them. We continue to make our fingers stronger by experimenting with refined mark-making, such as drawing parallel and symmetric lines. At the same time, we are learning increasingly complex letter-sound combinations and beginning to form sentences to tell our personal stories and support our illustrations.
And then, of course, we share our pleasure and pride by reading our stories to each other!
Welcome back and Happy New Year everyone!
We closed last year sipping hot chocolate in our pyjamas, sharing Choosing Time in the foyer and wished each other Happy Holidays with winter stories and songs.
We start the year with new energy and excitement, and our first day back was a chance to look around and say hello to old and new friends: some have had haircuts, some have lost a tooth, some have grown taller, and some have new shoes, as the old ones didn’t fit anymore.
We also welcomed a new ECC teacher, Ms Salvina, who has joined the Pre-Nursery teaching team.
We are all eager to start on our learning journeys again, and see where 2020 will take us!
Head of ECC
The Elementary students were in fine voice again for their Winter Concert. This year we were lucky enough to have our friends from Kindergarten make their debut, singing along with the older children! With the help of our maintenance staff, the car park became a concert venue as our students sang for the parents on the steps in front of the school. The repertoire included the usual favourites and some less well-known songs from around the world. It was a wonderful atmosphere and certainly reflects what makes The Udine International School a very special place.
And this was not the end of the story! We then moved to Largo Dei Pecile to enchant shopkeepers and passers-by with our charming voices! The encore was a success once again!
Our sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make the event a great success – with a special thanks, as always to Maestro Denis!Read More
Move over Ms Cinzia and Ms Cristina, the new secretaries have arrived! Thanks to the Kindergarten parents who kindly donated phones, laptops, keyboards and calculators, our classroom has been turning into all types of offices this week. Children have been writing names and numbers and discussing appointments, orders, and passwords. Used tickets and maps have enhanced our learning spaces even more, and helped us to recognize numbers and words everywhere. What a great reminder that we can find new uses for old items, instead of throwing them away.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” says a famous proverb. Rugged up in warm coats, scarves and beanies, the Pre-Nursery children have been enjoying playing in the garden even in the cold weather. The outdoor environment offers many important learning opportunities for young children. Pre-Nursery are working on their gross motor skills as they ride bikes and tricycles around the playground; they are developing a connection to nature as they look for minibeasts around the garden; they are developing social skills as they begin to engage in simple group games. Outdoor learning is crucial for children’s emotional and physical wellbeing and we are lucky to have such a beautiful and ample outdoor space.
Ms Paola Perosa
In Nursery 3, the students have been learning about themselves and their families. To explore some of the differences and similarities both inside our families, and between them, we asked each family to help with a weekend home project where the children had to trace, cut and decorate the hands of different family members.
Children enthusiastically completed the assigned ‘homework’ and brought their finished work to school for their peers and teachers to see. In class, we used the hands for a variety of purposes, such as sorting according to size (small for children, big for grownups), counting the fingers from 1-5, and much more. Soon we will place the hands on the display board right outside the N3 classroom for everyone to come and have a look.
Maria Montessori called it ‘the explosion into writing’: a phenomenon we are witnessing at its fullest in the Nursery 4 class these days, as the children are showing such great enthusiasm in writing, which is now embedded in almost everything they do. Children are spontaneously engaging in mark-making activities during choosing time; from keeping scores during group games to writing messages during imaginative games, to labelling their creations when they draw. The weekly Phonics sessions are supporting the children’s ability to form letters correctly and their understanding of letter-sound correspondence, and they are beginning to incorporate these skills accurately in their writing.
Nursery 4 Teacher
Research shows that sensory stimulation is critical in the first few years of life. Over the past few weeks, the Pre-Nursery children have participated in a range of Autumn inspired sensory experiences. The children have used their senses to explore pine cones, chestnuts and Autumn leaves. They explored different sized pumpkins; first, they had fun washing them, then they discovered the pulp and the seeds. The children experimented with ears of corn and paint to make interesting patterns and marks. They also observed pomegranate seeds and quickly learnt that by crushing them with our fingers we can make interesting red marks.
Ms Paola PerosaRead More
Last week the Nursery 3 children came together to celebrate the first birthday in our class. It would have been like any other birthday, except for the fact that the one turning 3 years old was our special soft toy called Lupo Mannaro (a toy werewolf)!
From singing ‘happy birthday’ in different languages, to sitting together eating cake and celebrating the joy and fun of a birthday, our students had their first chance to get the feel of what happens at school on the day of their birthday. By understanding that everyone has, as we called it, their ‘special day,’ we not only acknowledged diversity but also allowed ourselves to dream and let our imagination take the lead through fantasy play… And the party was a blast!
Last week we had our first assembly of the year in the ECC! Students from Nursery 3, Nursery 4 and Kindergarten joined forces in the foyer and came together to discuss ‘helpful hands’ when tidying up.
Assembly is a cherished time in the ECC as both students and teachers enjoy this shared learning opportunity. Through books, storytelling, role plays, guest visitors and conversations, we explore some big topics across the year, and as the students grow, we see them become more confident in participating actively.
We look forward to discussing friendship, taking care of others, helping the Earth and being safe in the upcoming months and we look forward to welcoming our youngest Pre-Nursery peers when they are ready.