Friday, December 18, 2015
"I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
A few days ago we invited the children to mix the different shades of primary colours of water in order to make new ones. The children were so eager to participate in this activity but ended up with a lot of brown water. When we discussed this as a whole group the children had many interesting theories for why the water ended up brown. We reviewed our colour equations and created a plan for how to create the shades of colours we still needed (as we wanted to display the colours on our windowsill in little bottles).
Today we invited the children to practise mixing the primary colours. We used clear plastic trays, water, and a few areas of red, blue and yellow.
The children eagerly mixed the colours, taking their time to reflect upon what combinations they needed to use in order to produce a desired shade.
We also love using droppers and pipettes in activities in order to strengthen children's fine motor skills and encourage perseverance as moving water from one area to another is no easy feat for little fingers!
When the children had created a shade they liked, we put the water into a little bottle and displayed these in the order of the spectrum on our window ledge. They are a gorgeous display in our art and science area, especially with the morning sun illuminating them!
Mrs. L. did more holiday baking with the children today. We baked and decorated cupcakes to celebrate our last day together before the winter break.
Thank you to all families who have donated money and ingredients to support our baking program! We couldn't do it without your support!
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Our elf Eric has been keeping the children enthralled with his many shenanigans this week. They thought it was just hilarious when he spent the day dancing with our wooden statue in the art area! Many children began to wonder about Eric. Was he really a boy? What did he like about our classroom? Had he ever been a kindergarten student?
We have been spending time writing holiday greetings to our friends and family members and mailing them using Canada Post.
We also have a classroom mailbox system where the children can write holiday greetings to one another. Still wondering about how to communicate with Eric, a few children had an idea spark and suggested that perhaps Eric would like his own mailbox!
The children spent time in our holiday writing area writing letters and drawing pictures for Eric. They mailed these to him by placing them in his mailbox.
The children were thrilled to come to school today and see that Eric wrote back to them. The only problem - the letter was so small we needed to use a magnifying glass in order to read it!
More authentic writing is happening today as the children are busy writing and drawing again to Eric, hoping he leaves us another letter tomorrow!
As many of you are aware, I love to engage in scholarly activities like writing and publishing about early childhood education issues. I find professional writing helps me engage in active reflection about my practice and I find it very motivating to share what we do and learn in our FDK classroom with others. I'm pleased to share a link to my latest article regarding a rich inquiry our class experienced in May 2015. Donating food to the Downtown Mission last Christmas (2014) was a very big activity in our classroom. Our children were very worried when we shared a newspaper article in May stating the Mission was running low on food. The children were called to action and inspired to find ways to solve this problem. Working together to communicate beyond our classroom and encourage the community to help, we were able to gather over 5000 items for the Mission in a little over a week! I wrote about this experience and the article will appear in ETFO's Voice Magazine in the Winter issue. Here is a link to the online version of the article: http://etfovoice.ca/article/kindergarteners-building-community/
For those of you interested in learning more, here is a digital documentation iMovie created to share the many artifacts from our inquiry: