November in Middle Pre-Primary

Hello parents, friends, family, and visitors,

We have dived right in to the month of November here in the Middle Pre-Primary classroom.  The rain and cooler temperatures have certainly not dampened our spirits, and the children are as eager to learn as ever!

Our month started out with a trip to a wonderful farm in Drongen.  The children were so very excited to leave school on their first field trip this year.  At the farm we milked a goat (and tasted the warm, creamy milk!), performed in a circus show with a silly chicken, held rabbits and guinea pigs, fed sheep, took a ride on a horse-drawn cart, and asked many questions about a neighbouring fox that sneaks onto the farm at night.  The children were captivated by the idea of this fox and insisted on seeing a picture taken by the farm’s night camera.  You never know what will capture their imaginations and interest! 

We also left school for a fun Entry Point field trip for our IPC transport unit.  We navigated around Ghent using buses and trams to get to a special park filled with forests, streams, and a playground.  The children brought stuffed animals from home and made tickets for their animals to ride public transportation.  We talked about different kinds of transport in Ghent and we shared what vehicles we saw.  Can you believe that on our little trip to the park we managed to see an excavator AND a tractor?!  We have been busy writing and illustrating reports of our trip, so please keep your eyes open for those in the very near future.  We’d also love to say a big thank you to Noura and Virgina, who came along with us on our trip and helped us cross busy roads, peek into Gent Sint-Pieters station, and have fun on the playground – thank you!

You may have noticed that the children have set up their very own “Gent Sint-Pieters Station” in the classroom.  They have been very busy creating money and bus and tram tickets.  They keep their station very organized, and they are quite concerned with employee rights – whenever the bus and tram drivers get hungry, there is always a helpful friend available to cook them a meal and insist that they take a well-deserved break at the little red table in the kitchen area of the classroom!  The children have been busy taking buses, trams, and aeroplanes all over the place – recent destinations have included the supermarket, Chile, Sweden, Italy, and the swimming pool.  This week we have continued our transport studies by constructing and painting our very own train, which the children have labelled as the “choo choo train”.  They have drawn windows, passengers, and food being carried in the boxcars, and they’ve been hard at work painting and gluing the engine.  On Monday we were visited by someone very special…a fireman!  Of course the children were captivated and eager to try on his huge helmet and heavy clothing.

We have also been talking about the ISG values of resilience and co-operation.  Resilience was a bit harder for the children to grasp, but Constantin mentioned that to him, resilience means not giving up when he accidentally cuts off a piece of his artwork instead of following the lines.  Yes, Constantin – making a new piece of artwork or taping up the little piece that got cut off does show resilience!  We have begun to chat about co-operation as well, and it has led to conversations about how fun it is to play, work, and learn together.

We celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday, which is an American holiday centred on giving thanks for what we have.  We baked corn muffins (and insisted on tasting every ingredient before mixing it in – I’ve never seen little faces covered in so much flour!) and made a gratitude wreath from willow branches that we found on the playground and our own handprints.  We are thankful for so many things in our lives, including playing with our friends and…..superheroes!  We also welcomed Aya's father into our classroom to teach us a fun family card game that they play at home that develops numeracy skills, and the children loved it.  Thank you Ibrahim!  Now we just have to find some playing cards for our own classroom...

We have learned a few new letter sounds this month: c, k, e, and h.  These letter sounds should be on your child’s letter sounds keychain, which is best kept in their backpack so that we can add to it when needed.  The children genuinely look forward to singing our Jolly Phonics songs and practicing letter sounds and activities in the classroom. 

Last thing - we have begun talking about something very special in the classroom…our very own pen pals!  Across the world, in the middle of the woods in Maine, USA, there is a small school called Winfield Children’s House where Miss Sophie used to teach.  The children of this school want to be our pen pals, so we will be writing letters and filling a small box with goodies and artwork to send to our new international friends.  If you are able to pick up a little package of Speculoos cookies or some postcards with photos of Belgium, please bring them in!  We are excited to add to the box we will send to our pen pals to introduce ourselves and the wonderful country that we now call home.  Any other ideas of what to send to our new friends are more than welcome!

We are looking forward to continuing our transport studies and starting to prepare for the holiday season.  We are also looking forward to our friend Dominga’s return in January!  She has gone to Chile to visit her family for a few weeks, and the children have missed her joyful presence and her artwork.  We hope she is well and that she is enjoying her time with her family. 

As always, it is such a pleasure to spend our days with these sweet little ones in Middle Pre-Primary!  Thank you all for your kindness and support   : )



Miss Sophie and Miss Marta