Friday, 23 May 2014

Mommy School ~ Gg is for Garbage Truck

~Kai is 37 months, 2 weeks old~

We read a German lift-the-flap book on garbage truck, garbage collector and the tools he used to carry out his work.  I told Kai that he has to throw his rubbish into the garbage bin and not on the ground - here he was posing for me before throwing his garbage.  We also went to a glass recycling station near our apartment where we dumped our green glass bottles for recycling.

Kai enjoyed squirting paint onto the garbage truck and spreading the paint all over.  He enjoyed this activity the most!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Mommy School ~ Ff is for Fish

Kai found his own spot in the school morning this morning and I caught him reading a book to himself while I check out some books.  

We read The Rainbow Fish to kick off our fish theme.  Kai told me the fish's scales were "sparkly". 

I made ten numbered fish and asked Kai to put the correct number of “bubbles” (using dot stickers) for each fish.  This activity was great in strengthening Kai's pincer grasp, and he had fun peeling and placing stickers!

I prepped everything for our fish craft and Kai glued them down with my guidance.  

Kai’s finished work for Ff is for Fish

Gymboree Preschool 1 {Letter Bb}

Zoo-Phonics Animal: Bubba Bear
Motion: Reach your dominant hand above your head to an imaginary honeycomb. Bring a fistful of honey to your mouth as a bear might do, but don’t touch your mouth, and say the letter sound /b/. 

Letter Bb crafts from school:
blue, bat, boat, buttons

Kai's teacher spoke to me today and told me that Kai was given a glue stick and a bowl of buttons and bling.  He was then asked to glue these inside the lowercase b.  His teacher was very proud of him because he did his button/bling craft neatly.  Hooray!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Mommy School ~ Ff is for Firetruck & Fireman

~Kai is 37 months, 1 week old~

I don’t think there is any boy who doesn’t want to be a firefighter when he grows up!  Keefe was very much into firemen and firetrucks when he was Kai’s age so we had a good collection of fire-related books and toys.  These came in handy during our firetruck/fireman theme, which we did over three days.

Day 1

Before I cut the number puzzle, we played a game where Kai covered the number I call out using Unifix cubes.  By the end of this game, Kai could recognise numbers 8 and 10.  He didn't want me to help him glue the number strips.

Day 2

We made our fireman craft (idea from here).  I helped him glue the hose (twine) and flames (yellow cellophane paper).

Day 3

Kai surprised me by correctly identifying all the objects that were different!  He told me that "different is not the same". J

Counting objects 1-10 and using Unifix cubes to cover the correct number

Kai’s finished work for Ff is for Firetruck/Fireman

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Grade 1 ~ Spotlight on Art

Belle’s current unit of inquiry is “A Work of Art”.  Belle loves art since young so she enjoys this unit a lot.  As a culmination of the current unit, parents were invited to an evening of scrapbooking to see their children’s artwork and to create a scrapbook with their children to keep as a memory.  I wasn’t able to attend the scrapbook evening so Belle’s teacher sent hers home and we worked on the scrapbook together from home.  Here's a peek at her scrapbook:

The cover page, which we decorated with stickers, ribbons and alphabet cut-outs

The first graders studied the work and style of famous artists, and created their own art pieces following the artist’s style.

(Top left) Belle’s favourite artwork was the “Japanese Bridge” by Claude Monet which she re-created with watercolours.

(Bottom left) Belle's rendition of abstract flower pictures using warm and cool colours, as inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe.

(Top right) Cupcake pop art, in the style of Andy Warhol.  She explained to me that she could only use 4 colours for pop art.

(Middle right) Belle's Picasso-inspired portrait, in the Cubist style, using oil pastels and paint.

(Bottom right) Abstract art using cut paper, as inspired by Henri Matisse

Belle's other art pieces where she applies different art techniques learnt from other first grade teachers.

Belle’s Elmer project from German class.  This is her story of Elmer, translated into English:

Elmer is happy.
It is is orange, dark green, violet, pink, light green, red, blue and turquoise.
Elmer is very large.
He is spotted and floral.
Elmer is strong, funny, beautiful and kind.
Elmer has a big nose.
Elmer is very, very young.
It is a girl.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mommy School ~ Dd is for Dinosaur

We did the dinosaur theme over three days.  None of my kids were into dinosaurs when they were little so we don’t have any books and toys about dinosaurs!  

I borrowed Ten Terrible Dinosaurs and Could a Tyrannosaurus Play Tennis Ball? from the school library.  Kai liked the rhyming text of Ten Terrible Dinosaurs and the ending.  He sat through the second book, which is an alphabet book of dinosaurs from A-Z doing something active, e.g. Brachiosaurus playing basketball, Deinonychus dancing, Kentrosaurus flying a kite.  Although humorous, he couldn't care much about the book.

Day 1

Matching letters to spell "dinosaur"

Day 2

Day 3

I pre-cut all the shapes for our dinosaur craft and Kai glued them down.

A Look Back at Dinosaurs in London

Back in March 2014, we were in London and visited the Natural History Museum which has a big exhibition of dinosaurs.  The kids had fun looking at the huge dinosaur skeletons. 

 The highlight of our visit was coming face-to-face with a terrifying T-Rex! J
Kai’s finished work for Dd is for Dinosaur

Friday, 9 May 2014

Preschool 2 ~ Mother's Day Celebration

All moms in Keefe’s preschool class were invited to a Mother’s Day brunch this morning. 

 The kids lined up and served their moms bread (with butter and jam), apple and strawberry muffins that the class baked yesterday.  Keefe asked me what I'd like to drink and relayed the message to his teacher: "My mom wants coffee with milk and sugar."

The class sang "We Love Mommies" song in English (to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?"):
We love mommies, we love mommies,
Yes we do, yes we do
Mommies are for hugging
Mommies are for kissing
Yes we do, yes we do.

The class also recited a Mother's Day poem in German.  Each child then gave handmade presents to their moms: plant holder made during a clay workshop, a photo frame made during German class with a German message (Keefe remembered my favourite colour!), and a stalk of rose.  The German message read:

Liebe Mama 
(Dear Mama)
Ich bin klein, mein Herz ist gross. 
(I am small, my heart is big.)
Jetzt nimm mich schnell auf deinen Schoss. 
(Now take me quickly on your lap.)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mommy School ~ Dd is for Dump Truck

We did the dump truck theme for two days.  The dump truck was my present for Keefe when he was two years old.  At that time, he was into construction vehicles.  It’s amazing that the dump truck is still in excellent condition after three years!  Kai loved playing with this.  Kai also enjoyed reading the book Driving through Tonka Town.  He particularly likes “driving” Chuck the Dump Truck as I read the book.

We used the dump truck to load uppercaseand lowercase Dd’s.  Kai unloaded and sorted them accordingly on his letter mat.  He wrote the letter Dd, dot-painted them and also used a small Chuck the Dump Truck toy to trace his letter.

Although Kai can now differentiate objects by their size (small, medium and big), colouring them by size seemed a bit confusing for his little mind.  He was trying to draw lines to connect the dump trucks with the same sizes instead of colouring them.  Kai continued working on his scissor, pasting and matching skills.

We made our dump truck craft today.  His favourite part was moving the letter D up and down! 

Kai likes to read his mini book about dump truck.  Here he was moving his dump truck up and down just like in the mini book!

Kai’s finished work for Dd is for Dump Truck

Gymboree Preschool 1 {Letter Aa}

It has been almost half a year since Kai started preschool in Gymboree.  This was Kai on his first day of preschool, taken on 2nd September 2013.  He was 29 months old then!

He has gone through one cycle of Zoo-Phonics in six months and can confidently associate all the lowercase letters with the Zoo-Phonics animals except for Yy and Zz which he missed because of family vacation.  He has matured over the months and his oral language has been impressive, especially in the recent weeks.  He is able to speak in complete sentences, ask questions and is very happy in Gymboree.  

The preschool class started their second cycle of Zoo-Phonics this week so Kai is back with Letter Aa

Zoo-Phonics Animal: Allie Alligator
Motion: Extend arms forward, one over the other, to form an alligator's mouth.  Open and close your hands/arms and say the letter sound /a/.

Letter Aa crafts from school:
ant, alligator, apple

I love the apple craft where Kai had to fingerpaint three black seeds inside his apple to signify that he is three years old!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Mommy School ~ Cc is for Carrot {Part 2}

~Kai is 37 months old~

We continued with our carrot theme today after the Labour Day holidays.  We started with our carrot craft.  Kai painted the letter C but I did most of it!  I'm not sure if it's because he feels less confident with using paint as a tool or if it's because he doesn't want to mess up his craft!  He glued the three green leaves on the carrot, though.

I put a magnetic number onto the counting mat and Kai had to place the correct number of carrots on the wheelbarrow.  He liked this and even tried tasting a baby carrot.  He didn't like it!  To help Kai with number recognition, I printed out a page from The Carrot Seed and made it into a number puzzle.  Pretend play involved "planting" baby carrots into "little pots". 

I bought carrot seeds last week and decided to sprout some of them.  I’m not sure how it will turn out as I’ve never sprouted seeds before!  I showed Kai how tiny the carrot seed was.  Kai helped me placed cotton on a quail egg container.  He then put a few drops of water on each cotton using a syringe.  He loved this part!  I helped him place one carrot seed on each damp cotton, as he had a hard time holding the carrot seed with his fingers.  We'll have to wait a few days and see if our sprouting was successful! 

Kai’s finished work for Cc is for Carrot