It's definitely been a long time. The children have had a wonderful break, they came back a bit more refreshed. The teachers came back a bit more grounded and refreshed as well. The children have grown so much throughout the three weeks and it's so great to hear them speak English. It's so nice to see their personalities develop. I think this is one of the reasons why I love being a teacher, I get to watch them grow and influence their learning within it. I love when I try to say a word in Japanese and the kids correct me, such a great learning experience- to be able to learn from one another, no matter at what age or the age difference.
Thank you for sending in your holiday pictures, we had great discussions about them, and about understanding the world around us. It's a great opportunity to give the floor to the children and have them teach us something new or show us something different.
Each day's discussion was different from the next. We spoke about ocean pollution and how just because we can't see the garbage, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist in the world. We spoke about how people originated from cave men/people, and how dinosaurs no longer exist.
While speaking, the children really learnt about the aspect of grammar, and how/when to use present and past tense and sentence structure. It's definitely a difficult task but I am thankful that my children are willing to listen and take risks- that's really important in learning.
We started a new unit in Inquiry - How We Express Ourselves
As an introduction to our unit - we looked at the many ways that we can express ourselves - through our mouths, hands, and body. The children spoke about using our voices to scream, talk, sing, and laugh. They spoke about their comfort level of whether they enjoyed singing or not. Then we spoke about what happens if we don't have a voice, how else could we communicate. They thought long and hard about this question, but ultimately needed a hint, that language can be communicated through sign. One child said that they have seen someone sign before, their mother has a friend who uses sign language and it was so great to hear these type of information being communicated. Term1 & 2 was difficult, as the children hadn't been able to communicate what they wanted as of yet or often times, they were lines of communication got blurred. So it's just so nice to hear their thoughts in their head without having another child translate what they're trying to say.
We then moved onto voice and emotions. What those meant and how they paired up. The children loved pairing up and trying to figure out different emotions with their partner guessing what emotion they were displaying.
Obviously silly was their favourite! >;p
During Literacy, we read the book, Bear Snores On. The children really loved this story a lot. They were able to make connections, to the previous story we had read - Bear Gets Sick.
We moved on to learning about how to use our voice to create different characters. We learnt that cartoon characters aren't real and that there is a real person who animates their voice.
The children try to animate their voices for the Gingerbread Man and then the Three Billy Goats Gruff
The children had to work together to really decide who was going to be which character
She lays out the sequence of the story and tells her friends which one comes next. (there were A LOT of characters!)
During the three billy goats gruff, not only did they have to work together, but I asked them to find a different group and work with different people.. (but that doesn't always go as planned.. haha)
First they started with a bridge, then they changed materials to build their own bridge and a bed of grass when they got to the other side.
The children got really creative and started to use other materials to build their bridges and watched their story transform as they made props and a setting for it.
We made puppets, and role played the story. The children really got a good grasped of the emotions that Bear was showing. How the bear was sleeping, and the animals kept coming into his cave because of the storm. Then when the bear wakes up, he is angry, then sad, and all the animals are scared, not knowing what to do, but the mouse saves the day and tells Bear that they can make more popcorn and tea so that they can continue the party. It was a great literary dive into the story. The children made great connections to the story and to the understanding of what they know about the world. :)
(Our room is a little bit cold sometimes, especially on Monday mornings when the heat hasn't been on all weekend, hence the reason for the children wanting to stay snuggled in their jackets) Big glorious windows come at a price sometimes.
During Math this week, we looked at subtraction word problems and understanding what the number 30 actually means. This was a bit confusing for them. but for me, I find that as an educator, children really love to count up to 100, and they really want to speed up the learning quickly. However, if the foundation isn't strong, there will be gaps that children fall through. To me, understanding something means that they are able to communicate their method and how the answer comes to that answer rather than something different. Being able to communicate something is a lot harder than actually doing something just because it's suppose to be done that way.
We looked at numicons to learn that the number 30 can be broken down by 1s, 10s, 5s and 2s. Numicons help with the early onset of multiplication and division because of the way that they are shaped.
Being able to count backwards from 30, wasn't an easy task for them, as we are always so use to counting forwards. That's how true fluency is shown-- when you can count forwards and backwards, from any given number.
On Thursday, the fire fighters came in and taught us about Fire Safety. The children went crazy over them!
We spoke about the things that children shouldn't play with.
We learnt that during a fire, we need to first call for help. Yell "Fire!! Fire!!" When leaving the building, don't talk, don't push, don't scream and don't go back into the building.
We learnt about the fire extinguisher and how they only last for 15 seconds. Two teachers learnt about how to use the fire extinguisher.
Hope you're having a lovely long weekend :)