Friday, 28 March 2014

Gymboree Preschool 1 {Letter Ww}

Zoo-Phonics Animal: Willie Weasel
Motion: Place your arms in front of your chest, elbows up, and hands clasped on top of one another. Move your arms in a wave-like motion. This suggests what Willie Weasel looks like when he is running. While signalling, say the letter sound /w/.

For this week, Kai’s teacher decided to skip letter Vv and do letter Ww for weather.  We had sun, rain, hail (on Monday!), clouds and wind this week in Basel so it was timely for a weather theme.  Kai did a storm and rainbow craft for the weather theme.  They did free painting yesterday and made a fish with a fishing rod today.  Kai was a classroom helper early this week and got a green smiley face on his hand for being a great helper!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Grade 1 ~ Healthy Bodies

At the end of each unit of inquiry, first graders share their work to their parents.  For the past two months, the first graders have been inquiring into “Healthy Bodies”.  

Belle had her 4th portfolio sharing session yesterday and she shared her final project, which was a poster she made to show what she has learnt about staying healthy.  She broke down her poster (titled “How to Be Well-Balanced”) into four components: Nutrition, Germs, Exercise, Hygiene, provided facts and examples for each component.  I thought it was well done because she included detailed information and drawings in her poster.

Belle showed me her imaginary germ called “Valentine” who spreads only good germs to people.  How creative is that! J

Belle shared her portfolio folder with me but singled out her favourite activities to share in detail.  One was a glitter experiment, and the other one was hunting for germs.  I thought the germ-hunting experiment was quite interesting ‘cos each student had to take a cotton swab to collect some germs, spread the swab into a pool of tomato paste, observe how their germs “grow” after a few days.  Belle took a swab from under her chair and it turned out to be a tiny germ (but still yucky!).  She told me that her friend Bibi took a swab behind the interactive whiteboard and it turned out to be a BIG germ that she didn’t even want to touch it!

Monday, 17 March 2014

St Patrick's Day Fun

This week is review week of the letters Q, R, S and T in playgroup so Kai made an S is for shamrock. 

At home, we had some activities from this printable pack.  It was Kai's first time using the pocket chart and loves to use it for matching the vocabulary cards.  He also used clothespins for the first time for counting practice (one-to-one correspondence of numbers 1 to 4 & number recognition) and it was great practice for those fine motor skills! (Honestly, I thought he couldn't do it!) We also did an uppercase and lowercase letter Cc sort - he didn't like this as much as the other activities.

Keefe also had some activities from this printable pack.  We worked on ordinal numbers (first, second, third, fourth, fifth) and he did perfectly!  He did the patterns super quickly only to realize (after I took the photo) that he made two mistakes so he quickly corrected them.  He enjoyed the clothespin activity as much as Kai.

The leprechaun visited Keefe’s class and in Keefe's words, “made a big mess”.  The class watched the movie “Leprechaun’s Gold”, made St Patrick’s Day hats (with the different symbols associated with the celebration) and had shamrock cookies.  He had a St Patrick's Day-themed bento for lunch.  Each child in the class had to make a wish for the leprechaun and Keefe's wish was: "I wish I had a baby sister." (Well apparently, 7 kids in the class wanted a baby sister!)  He also remembered to make a birthday card for me in school.  Inside the card, he wrote: "IIU mummy".

We celebrated my birthday at home in the evening blowing green candles I found in Aldi (because we didn’t have cake!) and a super simple dinner.  Belle made a crown for me because I was "Queen for a day"! 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Grade 1 ~ 2nd Quarter Reflections

Today was the second parent-teacher-student conference in school.  Unlike Keefe, I don't know much about what Belle learns or does in school every day.  We received the formal written report of Belle's 1st semester progress back in February and she appears to do well in all core and specialist subjects.  

These are some of the artwork she did in class, which I saw during the conference.

Oil pastel/watercolour painting, food plate done with another 1st grade class as part of the "Healthy Bodies" unit of inquiry, skip counting craft

An activity she did during German class where she labeled different parts of herself in German

A fiction writing activity as part of Read Across America week

Belle's teacher mentioned during the 20-minute conference that Belle is doing very well in class and always hands in quality work because she always does her very best in everything she do.  The teacher showed me Belle's Math journal which I was told was "elementary" for Belle (adding numbers using number lines) but was told that it was important for her to learn the different math strategies.  They were working on word problems this quarter so Belle was taught to highlight key words so that she will know when to add or subtract.  I thought these were good skills to reinforce but not new for Belle as she has already learnt these as part of our Primary 1 afterschooling last year.  

Belle was moved from Level M to Level N in Raz-Kids which according to her teacher, was more challenging as it requires deeper thinking and comprehension skills.  She is reading beyond her current grade level so the teacher wants to push her further.  Belle enjoys reading so I don't see any problems stretching her.  Her teacher recently started a book club where a group of readers meet regularly to read and discuss books, and have meaningful discussions with their peers.  Belle enjoys these book club sessions.  One of the areas that she will be working on for reading is to tell the main idea(s) in the story as opposed to summarising everything. 

Belle's writing has improved from the previous quarter and this is an area which I think the teacher is doing a wonderful job!  Here is a non-fiction writing piece she wrote this quarter about Singapore, which I thought was hilarious! (Click on the picture below to read the entire book!)

This was the summary I received from Belle's teacher after the conference:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Preschool 2 ~ Letter Uu

Uu poster
Uu is for umbrella craft
Uu sound book
(Handwriting rhyme for U – Scoop up, down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down the puddle)