Middle Pre-Primary

Ahoy Mateys! Enjoying the Treasure Unit in Middle Pre-Primary

The last two months my life changed totally. I had the honor to be the teacher of MPP class. Thanks to Miss Sophie, Miss Marta and the children, I adapted easily and I received so much love and support. A big big thank you to Miss Sophie, who helped me a lot and gave me all the appropriate notes for your children!

Our treasure hunt was the most interesting way to start our unit about “Treasure”.  The children participated with full enthusiasm! First, we explained how we use a treasure map, what piracy is, what pirates are doing, and what treasure and treasure chests are. We all became pirates and painted our faces. It was so enjoyable and we went on a journey with our imaginations! The children followed their maps, answered questions that they found inside of tiny little bottles, and looked forward to finding the treasure chest with all the valuable items. The end of this story was so cheerful, as the children found a pirate flag and treasure chest. They were so excited! One team, one goal!

The children were inspired and most of them decided to create their own pirate stories, pirate ships, and paper bag puppets. They pretended that they sailed from North America to the Caribbean Sea. After looking at maps of the world and discussing islands, oceans, and seas, their favorite island became Cuba. They learned about the characteristics of islands, what they look like on maps, and popular pirate hangouts such as the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Madagascar. They loved observing the maps and the globes. Every day in the class, they played with the treasure chest and they wanted to touch all the items. They sorted all the items in many different and creative ways, categorizing dull and shiny items as well as heavy and light items. This is life! An exploration! Their numeracy skills improved as they had the opportunity to observe and count a collection of coins from around the world.

Their imagination was also stimulated from a real small-scale pirate ship, an island hill on the sand tray, and pirate figurines on it. Almost every day, the children chose to create free theater play with their own dialogues. They were so kind and they reminded each other to use gentle hands. I am so proud of them! Apart from that, we read plenty of pirate books and matched many new words with pictures related to the topic. Some of the children were inspired to write and illustrate their own pirate story.  All the children drew something about treasure and pirates, and tried to write about their idea. Afterwards, they presented their ideas in front of the class.

We have also had great sport lessons within the Treasure IPC theme. We “swam” across the whole gym, played pirate games, and had such fun together! The funniest game was our exit point, when we created our big pirate ship and our puppets and we played on the pre-primary playground. We pretended that we sailed all around the Caribbean Sea.

What an amazing “trip”! Thank you for your support, and all the parents for your warm acceptance! Your children had an excellent end to their Middle Pre-Primary school year, and I am very proud of them. I will miss you, but these experiences and memories with the children are unforgettable.

Have nice holidays with lots of smiles! Learning is to be continued!

Miss Nadia

 

A little note from Miss Sophie:

Oh what a year we have all had together!  We started Middle Pre-Primary with eleven children, many of whom were in school for the first time and all of whom spoke different languages at home.  Now look at us, ending the school year with a cohesive, sweet group of fifteen children who have truly grown right before our eyes.  It is such a joy to hear them chat with each other in English, solve their own problems, come up with creative ideas together, and thrive.  It has been an absolute pleasure to guide these little ones this year.  Thank you all for your support, love, patience, communication, and trust from beginning to end!  Best wishes for sunshine, giggles, and lots of family time this summer  : )

Best,

Miss Sophie

March and April in Middle Pre-Primary

Spring is here!  Has your child been singing our new spring song at home?  We are feeling so much joy and energy these days as the sunshine lightens up our days and the warmth brightens our moods.  We are finding excuses to dash outside whenever we can manage it – spending our time writing poems, doing activities, and tending to our sweet garden (stay tuned for news of radishes, kale, sunflowers, and sugar snap peas – all things that we’ve been sprouting inside our classroom in the hopes of harvesting before school is out for the summer!).  I hope you’ve been enjoying these first glimpses of spring just as much as the children have.

We began our Animals IPC unit by choosing and creating our own animal headbands and acting like animals on the Primary children’s playground.  The children do not play on the Primary playground during school hours, so this was a special treat!  There were ferocious tigers, cuddly koalas, trumpeting elephants, and an ox, among others.

One of the most interesting moments during our Animals unit came early on during one of our circle discussions.  I asked the children if they could tell me where animals lived, and they listed “the zoo” and “the jungle.”  It’s true, there are many animals that live in zoos and jungles…but I wanted to work with the children on understanding that animals live right here alongside us, even in cities like Ghent.  And so we dove right into a study of Belgian animals.  We talked about Belgian Blue cows, fire salamanders, badgers, hedgehogs, magpies, Western Jackdaws, wood pigeons, moles, and foxes.  Every time the magpies or Western Jackdaws visited us in the yard of ISG, the children leapt up and raced to the windows to see!  We even hosted a slug in our classroom for an afternoon and conducted some science experiments.  We placed the slug on a piece of paper in front of three different plants – which one would the slug move towards?  Why?  We made our predictions and then observed as the slug headed towards a clump of moss.  Why study slugs when there are zebras and cheetahs in this world?  I believe that there is so much power in learning the names of the plants and animals that surround us, right here and right now – it connects us all to our home in a new way.  More on that later…

Then the children each chose a Belgian animal to focus on and study, and they painted portraits of these animals.  We talked about what colours the animals were, what habitats they need to live, and what the animals eat.  The children showed their animals and talked about them at assembly in front of all of their peers here at ISG – they were proud of their work and their learning over the course of the unit!

We had fantastic parent volunteers during this unit – a big big thank you to Ellen, Martina, Nathalie, Catherine, and Yasmine.  Ellen brought in their sweet family dog, Roxy, for the children to observe at circle.  They took turns petting the dog and even got to feed her little treats.  I think we need a class pet – the children were so joyous with Roxy around.  Martina (and little Marco!) brought in a whole library of books about Australian animals and read us a few stories.  They even shared special Australian chocolates called Tim Tams with us, let us touch and learn about some of the animals that are only found in Australia, and brought in some Italian goodies to send to our pen pal school.  Nathalie and her boys generously let us borrow a huge bag full of animals for the children to sort, talk about, touch, and play with.  Catherine read a special story to us during our Word Adventure week, and the children were enchanted by the idea of trees pruned to look like owls and other animals.  Yasmine brought in some magazines from home for our ongoing pen pal project (we are just about ready to put a box in the mail!  The children have been working so hard on letters, artwork, and special things to send to their friends across the world.).  Thank you all for your participation and involvement this unit – it’s been a treat to share our space with you and borrow your ideas, energy, and resources from home.

We celebrated two birthdays this unit – Aya and Rakan, both of whom turned five years old!  We have developed quite a fun routine with the children when it comes to birthday parties:  the whole class helps rearrange the tables and chairs into one long table, then we wash our hands and let our birthday friend serve us whatever treats they brought.  A huge highlight for the children is singing happy birthday, of course – it’s amazing how many of the children already knew all of the lyrics to the song before they even spoke much English.  In other news, our dear friend Maali returned to Saudi Arabia with her mother for a few months, but we will hopefully see her for the last few weeks of school.  The children are missing their friend and filling her drawer up with artwork and letters – we hope it will be a sweet surprise for Maali upon her return.

We navigated a bittersweet transition in Middle Pre-Primary at the end of our Animals unit, with our very own Miss Nadia taking over lead teaching duties and Miss Marta continuing to provide such wonderful support and stability for the children (she is also an amazing photographer and documents the children's learning - but unfortunately that means that we don't have any photos of HER with the children, because she's usually behind the lens!). The children have been fantastic and adaptable, and we couldn’t have asked for a smoother change.  Miss Nadia is thrilled to be with the children, and they are equally thrilled with her bright energy and fun-loving attitude. I have so appreciated all of your hugs, well wishes, and kindness, and want to thank you all for your understanding and support through this change.  Your smiles and words of encouragement have meant the world to me and solidified just how amazing of a community ISG truly is.

Before I turn it over to Miss Nadia, just a few last thoughts about children and the natural world, a topic that is close to my heart…It is so, so valuable to connect your children to the world around them.  Learning the names of plants and animals that you encounter every day, right here in Gent, is a spark for their curiosity and love of this beautiful world.  It brings abstract concepts like environmental awareness into children's real, every day experiences.  Pause for a moment to watch a slug glide along.  Learn the names of trees, feel their bark, listen to their tree songs (the children have loved doing this at school!).  Notice the changes in the seasons.  Connect your children to their every day world, time after time, in many repeated small moments.  Wonder and marvel and appreciate and respect.  There is so much to see and appreciate, even in the middle of a city!  And if you have a moment, pick up a copy of one of my favourite books of all time: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. 

On that note, here's a final word from Miss Nadia:

I would like to share with you that I am very glad to be a part of MPP! Though it was a sudden change,  I spent this academic year in such a caring and supportive community, which makes me feel that I am still “home”. Although I left Miss Mia’ s class, I am still here at ISG and strongly believe in the values that form the basis of teaching here. Respect, communication, cooperation and a warm approach are the keys to grow closer to your children and earn their trust whenever they need guidance.  I am really excited and determined to keep on learning with your children, as they have done the previous months. Miss Sophie is a great teacher and she gave me all of the necessary notes for a smooth transition. I must confess that all the children have changed a lot over the course of this year! Miss Sophie worked hard with them and I see these results every day. They advanced so much and it is really amazing how well they remember class rules and their daily routine. It is lovely to see that they are willing to talk with their friends politely and gently. I am surprised by their progress. I was with your children the first month and since then we have had a lovely relationship during all these months. From my first day as lead teacher, I felt so well accepted by your children, the atmosphere was welcoming and not at all like a first day. We continued and completed the Animals IPC Unit with joy and excitement. We grabbed every chance to pretend that we are animals that live in Belgium and we played a lot in the garden. Looking forward to a wonderful last month and thank you very much for your warm welcome and acceptance.

January and February in Middle Pre-Primary

First of all, welcome back from the holiday break!  It has been a while since the last blog, and of course there is much to catch up on in the Middle Pre-Primary classroom.  We were so excited to welcome five new friends into our classroom – Matthew, Shreeya, Srinithi, Maali, and Rayaan.  The children wondered what their new friends would be like.  What countries to do they come from?  What languages do they speak?  Will they speak English?  How do they spell their names?  Our new friends have brought much energy and joy into our space and we are so happy that they’re here.  Welcome to ISG!

We also welcomed lovely Miss Aurora into MPP.  She came all the way from Finland and was such a sweet, warm presence in our classroom.  She has moved up the stairs and is now helping Miss Erica’s Year 1 classroom, and we are happy that we still get to say hi to her often on the playground!  Our very own Miss Marta is back with us these days and we couldn’t be happier to have her in the classroom.  Her fun-loving energy, never-ending patience, and colourful creativity make MPP a more joyful place.  Welcome back, Miss Marta! 

In January we began our Let’s Pretend IPC unit by bringing in our favourite stories from home and dressing up as a character from our books.  We were princesses and Tinkerbells, superheroes and butterflies, knights and pirates.  We even had a very excited Krishna!  We paraded around ISG to show off our costumes, read our stories together, and went upstairs to visit our big Primary friends and chat about our books. We spent the unit making sock puppets, retelling fables and fairy tales, putting on performances, and getting creative with our imaginations.

Miss Marta and I set up an area in the classroom that we envisioned as a theatre for puppet performances, but the children had a different idea – to them, it was clearly a ticket booth where you had to purchase tickets to see their performances.  So…we have a ticket booth!  If you’re in our classroom these days, you’ll probably hear a child calling “Tickets, tickets!” and you should hurry to the ticket booth to get your purple ticket for the upcoming show, which will always receive rave reviews and shouts of “BRAVO!” from the crowd.  It is quite a confidence boost to give a performance for such an enthusiastic audience, and we certainly don’t have any concerns about stage fright in MPP : )   The children’s shows are often story retellings using puppets or small objects (favourite stories include Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and The Three Little Pigs). 

We ended up creating our own small theatre for puppet shows.  Miss Marta worked with the children to convert a plain cardboard box into a magical theatre where Dominga’s special Chilean finger puppets make appearances (thank you for the sweet puppets, Virginia and Cristian!).  The children have loved stepping outside of their own identities to pretend to be someone else, and their dramatic play has been so fun and silly.  They’ve made puppets out of straws, popsicle sticks, and socks, and their creativity has really shined. 

We took a vote to figure out which story to perform for our Lower Pre-Primary and Upper-Pre-Primary friends, and we chose The Three Little Pigs.  We read the story, practiced huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf, and retold the story in our own words.  Once we were familiar with the story, we brainstormed what props and costumes we would need to create for our play.  Before we knew it, we had three pig houses and plenty of pig and wolf masks.  As part of our exit point this week we performed our version of the Three Little Pigs with Constantin as our narrator.  After we performed, the children chanted "AGAIN! AGAIN!"  They truly loved acting out the pig and wolf roles and playing parts in our theatre production.  We also enjoyed a special puppet show last week.  A professional puppeteer told us a lively story about a cat who wanted to play with his pet goldfish, so he went on a long journey to find goggles and a snorkel.  Ask your child to tell you about these shows – we all had a great time! 

We celebrated Matthew and Dominga’s birthday over the past few weeks.  The children absolutely love to party – just mention the words “birthday party” and suddenly the classroom is tidy, the tables are arranged, and the children are sitting down, ready for cake and endless rounds of “Happy Birthday”.  So we’ll say it one final time…happiest of birthdays to our two friends!

The last thing I'll mention is something very exciting...the postman dropped off a very special package addressed to us, coming all the way from America.  It was from our penpals!  They wrote back to us and answered all of our questions about Maine, the state in America where they live.  They sent us chocolate covered blueberries and maple syrup and lots of photos.  The children are thrilled to have their very own penpals.  Now we'll get to work, writing our answers back and brainstorming a few more fun things to send to our new friends across the world.  If you have any ideas of sweet things to send, let me know!  They loved the Scottish shortbread and Belgian chocolate that we sent to them with your help :)

In other fun news, the children have insisted on singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” every day since returning from the holidays, we baked delicious cookies for Valentine's Day (and clearly made silly faces in the photos!), and a very secret colouring club has begun and takes place at the red tables by the windows.  Our days are full and fun and very, very silly.  As always, it’s a pleasure to work with these little ones!

Wishing you a great break with plenty of sunshine…

Best,

Miss Sophie and Miss Marta

 

December in Middle Pre-Primary

Hello parents, friends, family, and visitors,

Well, we sure have had a classroom of busy little elves over the past few weeks!  We have been making artwork to decorate the school for the ISG Christmas show, and we spent many afternoons practicing our Christmas show performance in preparation for our big debut.  We hope you were blown away by the sweet reindeers who graced us with their harmonious version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" : )  The children have continued to sing Christmas carols in the classroom, especially “Two Steps to the Left” and Upper Primary’s performance, “This Time of Year.”  That one really got stuck in our heads!  Maybe the children have brought those tunes in your homes, too?  This week the children have been making secret Christmas presents for their families and loved ones, writing cards, and preparing cinnamon apples for a little winter break celebration with our other pre-primary friends.  Busy little elves indeed : ) 

We finished our IPC Transport unit with a transport survey on De Pintelaan – we observed and recorded the vehicles that passed by, and later we counted our vehicles to make a report of what we saw.  Then we went on a special boat trip through the canals in Gent.  Wow!  In one unit of study, we took trams, buses, and a boat, and we even checked out the Gent Sint Pieters train station.  We saw a tractor, bicycles, and some very loud helicopters flying just above us on the playground.  Turns out Ghent is a perfect place to study transportation!  For our boat trip, we took the tram to the Graslei and Korenlei area and hopped on a special boat with a roof and windows.  We learned about the history of Gent and chatted about what we saw, and it was a big adventure.  We even saw some dolphin statues – of course Raghav and his friends were very excited!  We had help from one of our wonderful moms, Martina, who smiled for the duration of our 750 meter walk to and from the boat area as nine four-year-old children eagerly “helped” her push her son’s stroller along the cobblestones of Ghent.  Take a moment to imagine that one  : ) Martina, thank you for your grace and sense of humor!

Also, a big thank you for helping us add some tasty treats to the box we prepared for our pen pals in Maine!  I’ll be hand delivering the box to our pen pal school, the Winfield Children’s House, during the next few weeks when I travel back to America.  Then comes the fun part…waiting for a box to arrive addressed to Middle Pre-Primary classroom at ISG.  After we looked at some photos and talked about what life in a different country would be like, the children came up with some fascinating questions for their pen pals in Maine.  Do lobsters live in the water?  Do they live in the snow?  Do you stay inside when it snows or do you sometimes go outside?  Can boats go through ice?  What do moose eat when it is snowy?  (Gosh, Laura, I’m not even sure I could answer that one!)  So we will wait eagerly to hear from our little experts in Maine.

We prepared a big card with lots of photos and stories to say goodbye to our beloved Miss Marta, who we will miss dearly.  She has been such a kind teacher and friend to everyone in the classroom!  Miss Marta will be helping Miss Brigitte in the lunch room, so luckily we will be able to see her very often.  The children have been making sweet artwork to give to Miss Marta when they see her again – she is very missed in our classroom!

Lastly, we are thrilled to welcome some new children into our classroom in January.  We can’t wait to get to know our new friends and help them feel at home in our beautiful school!

Warm wishes for the holidays,

Miss Sophie

 

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   : )

 

Best,

Miss Sophie and Miss Marta

October in Middle Pre-Primary

Hello parents, loved ones, and visitors!

First of all, we’d like to thank everyone who prepared for and attended our sweet little party to celebrate the conclusion of our All About Me unit.  The children were s o  e x c i t e d  to host you in their classroom, and they worked hard to prepare their songs to share with you, including the world debut of Middle Pre-Primary’s original, “The Pickle Song”!  (The song has continued to get even more creative....today the pickles found themselves in "a dark night castle of a queen."  How do they come up with this?!) I hope you got a chance to chat with your child about their All About Me learning as well as to sample the snacks and goodies from around the world.  We absolutely loved having you here with us!

Earlier this month, we created our very original self-portraits out of paint, construction paper, yarn, glue, markers, and pencils.  This process took the children many days (and many glimpses into mirrors!).  Each of their portraits came out so sweetly unique – isn’t it amazing how we see ourselves?  We have also spent much time discussing where we come from.  The children are able to tell you which countries their friends are from and are beginning to recognize the flags of the countries that we represent. 

The children have been working so hard to recognize and read their names and the names of their friends.  They write their names on their artwork and create their own nametag each morning.  They use their nametags to pause their activities in the classroom in order to return to it later, and they are learning how important their name writing is!  We have seen such amazing progress in their abilities and I know they are feeling very proud of themselves.  We are moving along in our Jolly Phonics curriculum, and we have studied the letter sounds s , a , t , i , p , and n so far.  You can supplement your child’s learning at home with their letter sounds keychain and by playing I Spy games with your child as you are reading books together.  I talked to many of you during our parent teacher conferences about ways to read and learn with your child.  You can look through books, find familiar letters, and chat about the sounds you hear in books as you read.  Conversations like these help children develop their phonological awareness, and the children just love chatting about their letter sounds and finding them in their favourite books.

You have probably noticed that your child is bringing many paintings and pieces of artwork home these days.  The children have been really drawn to our busy art area over the past few weeks.  They have been experimenting with mixing paint colours, painting with different objects (acorns and peppers), cutting, using special hole punches, drawing faces on pumpkins, and digging through our paper scraps buckets to make creative boxes, robots, leopards, and more.  Our puzzle section is also a popular place for the children to learn.  Puzzles are an excellent tool for children to develop their visual discrimination and fine motor abilities, which help lay the foundation for children's literacy development.  We have also been counting up to fifty with our chestnut activity, sorting and counting pom poms and beans, and working to update our calendar daily.  We studied respect as one of our core ISG values, and the children brainstormed ways to be respectful at ISG.  You can read their very respectful ideas in the photo of our castle - what a sweet brainstorm from this group!  Needless to say, the children certainly stay quite busy in the classroom.

Finally, we had a fantastic Halloween celebration before autumn break.  We saw spooky witches, fancy princesses, daring warriors, dashing superheroes, and one very cute ladybug!  We walked the red carpet in our costumes in front of the whole school, had a dance party, ate too many sweets, carved our own Jack O'Lanterns, tasted roasted pumpkin seeds, and made some spooky decorations for our classroom.  Happy Halloween, and enjoy your autumn break!

 

Best,

Miss Sophie and Miss Marta

 

Starting the Year in Middle Pre-Primary

Welcome to our Middle Pre-Primary blog!  I am excited to share little bits and pieces of our daily classroom learning with you.

First of all, I would like to warmly welcome our four new students: Laura, Aurora, Rakan, and Raghav.  We are so happy to have you here at ISG, and the four of you have already made our community a brighter place! We are also welcoming Miss Nadia, an Erasmus intern from Greece, who has been such a wonderful help in our classroom.

We spent the first few weeks of school adjusting to our classroom routines and expectations.  The children have really taken ownership of their new space and are eager to keep it beautiful and peaceful.  At ISG, each classroom studies one personal value every month, and this month we have been talking about respect.  The children brainstormed their very own rules to keep their space a safe, kind, and fun place to learn.  You can see the Classroom Rules tree that the children made in the photos below, or by visiting the classroom and looking at our bathroom door.

We started our first International Primary Curriculum (IPC) unit, All About Me, with a very fun party where we danced, sang, and played with our pre-primary friends.  We learned all about each other and especially loved singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” as fast as we could! So far we have explored what we look like by using mirrors to make self-portraits and chalk to draw our outlines.  We are also becoming familiar with our own names and the names of our friends through games with nametags.

We have just begun to dive into our Jolly Phonics curriculum, which we will be using to learn the sounds that letters make.  You may have noticed a small little keychain in your child’s backpack—we will be adding to this keychain every time we learn a new letter, so please keep it in your child’s backpack!  You can use this keychain to help your child learn the letter sounds by practicing them at home, too. We are working hard with chalkboards, sandpaper letters, a special blue sand tray, and our nametags to practice letter recognition and formation. 

The children are very eager to count how many friends are in the classroom every day.  We count forwards, backwards, and sometimes even skip counting by twos (2, 4, 6, 8…).  The children showed a fascination with dice, and they invented their very own dice game where they take turns rolling two large dice against one of our doors and recording their results.  As part of our All About Me curriculum, we also measured how tall everyone is and marked it on our closet door.  We have been excited to explore concepts of quantity together!

We performed a special song, “Grey Squirrel”, in front of the whole school during an assembly.  The children created squirrel ears for their big day, and they had fun sharing one of their favourite songs with their ISG community.  We especially love this song because it helps us create and enjoy silence.

On 21 September we celebrated the International Day of Peace.  We’ve been learning three songs about peace and we sang them all together.  The children especially love singing “Peace Like a River”.  We spent some time talking about what makes us feel peaceful and we learned that everyone can be a peacemaker by sharing their feelings, listening to others, and problem solving when we have disagreements.  Then we created a very long school-wide peace chain!

It truly is such a joy to work with this group of children and get to know the warm, welcoming community of ISG.  I can’t wait to see where this school year will take us!

Best,

Miss Sophie

 

Let's Go Fly A Kite!

Welcome to the final Middle Pre-Primary blog of the year!

When we returned to school after the April holiday, we got straight into book week! The children had so much fun reading, re-enacting and making crafts around the book ‘Mine’ by Emily Gravett. We also created our very own stories, painting the background, creating the characters and thinking of the storyline! 

Then we began our final IPC unit – Up and Away! For our Entry Point we had a fun day with Upper Pre-Primary flying gliders, playing with toy helicopters, pretending to be airplanes and having kite races!

During this unit we learnt about all things that go 'Up and Away'! We explored how hot air balloons, planes, kites and bubbles fly! The children painted and made their very own kites and we took them outside to fly them, having kite races and exploring how speed and wind help kites to fly. We investigated gravity and learnt about how it keeps us on the ground and found out that without gravity we would be flying everywhere! We also explored space and learnt about the planets and saw how astronauts live in space. 

We made our own bubble wands and explored why and how bubbles can float and found out that they can float because they are full of air and they are very, very light! We then experimented with the weight of different objects and tested whether or not they would float/fly. 

We also made our own paper airplanes and explored how far and how high we could fly them. We tested throwing our planes from different heights and at different speeds. We also learnt that the more streamline the plan is the faster it will go!

We continued to build on our numeracy and language skills; finishing all the sounds and we had lots of fun creating different crafts for each sound. Including jellyfish, x-ray hands and zebras! We continued to practice writing our numbers and our letters. We learnt about simple addition and subtraction and explored math concepts such as weight, height and learning the names of different shapes! 

The children in Middle Pre-Primary have learnt and grown so much this academic year. We have had so much fun learning lots of new skills and facts, developing new ideas and interests along the way!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone and I wish you all the very best!

Miss Anya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plants and Flowers!

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Middle Pre-Primary blog!

First we would like to welcome Jiah to our class, we hope you have enjoyed your first week at ISG and you have already become such a wonderful part of our MPP family. We look forward to more learning and adventures together after the holiday!

We have been so busy learning all about ‘Plant and Flowers’ for our most recent IPC unit. For our Entry Point we brought in lots of different plants and flowers, including plants like basil and mint which we could eat! First we explored the different smells, tastes, textures and colours of the plants and flowers and then we each chose one plant or flower to draw. The children really did their best and drew some beautiful pictures!

We learnt all about how plants and flowers grow and what they need in order to grow too! We found out that they need nutrients from the soil, water and sunlight. Then we got to plant our very own sunflower seed. First we painted our flower pots, then when they were dry we filled them with soil. Then we made a little hole for our seed, we covered it over and gave our seed some water and put it in a sunny place. Then we had to wait for it to grow and it took a long time but eventually we saw the seed start to sprout and them the stem began to grow up towards the light. Then the leaves came and finally some of our sunflowers had tiny buds ready for the flower to bloom! We also grew some herbs like thyme, rosemary and dill and had lots of fun planting lots of different seeds.

We found out where some seeds come from and discovered that fruit like apples, strawberries and oranges have seeds. We also learnt about animals that help flowers and plants to grow and animals that do not help plants grow (because they eat them!) like slugs and snails.

We had lots of fun opening our class flower shop and the children really enjoyed making and selling their own plants and flowers to each other.

For our Exit Point we visited the botanical gardens and we were so excited to explore lots of different types of plants and flowers. We looked for very tall trees and saw beautiful flowers. We explored a maze made with bushes and got to try some delicious fruit from the tropical plants. We also found out that coffee comes from a plant and we were able to grind some coffee seeds. It was so interesting to see where the food that we have comes from and how it ends up in our snack boxes!

We have been working so hard on all our Phonics activities too, learning lots of new sounds like ‘q’, ‘r’ and ‘s’. We have made so much progress and we have really been doing our best! For math we have continued to work on our writing skills, sorting and some small addition too.

Enjoy the Easter break everyone and see you again on the April 16th

Miss Anya and Miss Laia

 

What do different plants feel like?
Drawing our flowers
Painting our pots!
Painting our pots!
Planting our seeds.
Planting our seeds.
Watering our seeds
Planting sunflowers!
Happy Birthday Dominga!
Making cress heads!
Making cress heads!
Watering the seeds!
Painting a strawberry plant!
Making mosaic flowers!
Making mosaic flowers!
Sorting activities!
Getting ready to open the flower shop!
Painting the outside of our flower shop!
Playing in the flower shop!
Watering the flowers in the shop!
"What flowers would you like?'
Playing in the flower shop!
Painting a tomato plant!
Painting flowers with water colours!
Painting flowers with water colours!
Painting flowers with water colours!
Building tall towers!
Playing in the flower shop!
Watering some seeds!
Making pictures of flowers using different seeds!
Planting lavender seeds!
Happy birthday Lenny-Jean!
'r' is for rabbit!
Getting ready for our tour of the botanical gardens!
Learning about snowdrops!
Exploring the maze!
Sorting activities!
Can we push the tallest tree over?
Exploring the jungle!
Learning about the pineapple plant!
Grinding coffee!
"We love plants and flowers!"
Watching 'Jack and the Beanstalk' by Upper-Pre Primary!
Time to make the baskets for our Easter egg hunt!
Time to make the baskets for our Easter egg hunt!
Time to make the baskets for our Easter egg hunt!
Spring decorations!
Time to make the baskets for our Easter egg hunt!
Time to make the baskets for our Easter egg hunt!
Time to make the baskets for our Easter egg hunt!
Practicing some Phonics!
Practicing some Phonics!

Shopping!

Welcome back to the Middle Pre-Primary blog!

 

We have been super busy since returning from the winter break! First, we would like to welcome Julia and Teya to our class, you have settled in so well to our class and we love that you are now part of our MPP family! We have also been lucky to welcome Miss Laia to our class, she will be helping in the classroom and we look forward to having lots of fun together!

We have been learning all about our new IPC unit, ‘shopping’! For our Entry Point we of course went shopping. We decided that we would make banana pancakes, first we made our shopping list. Next, we went on a trip to the shop, we bought the ingredients, came back to school, prepared the ingredients for our pancakes and then we ate them. They we delicious!

Then we got to work on making our shop, we chose to open our very own bakery called ‘the cupcake makers’! We decorated the inside with cupcake wall paper and the outside with some lovely, colourful stripes. We also made a big sign with our bakery name so that everyone knew who we were and what we sold! We had so much fun role-playing in the bakery, pretending to be bakers, customers and waiter/waitresses. We sure made a lot of different cakes too! We were also able to visit a bakery and look at all of the delicious cakes they sell and we were lucky enough to have a little treat each to take back to school!

We have been learning lots about different types of shops, how we know what they sell, what they are called and how customers and shopkeepers/assistants interact with each other.

For our Exit Point we visited the ‘BEO markt’ and we bought some fruit and vegetables to prepare for our afternoon snack. The shop keepers we so friendly and we really enjoyed exploring the market and all the lovely food they sell.  

We have also been busy working on our Phonics, we made jellyfish, kites, making ladybirds, shape monsters and painting picture of the night sky. The children have worked really hard and they are doing their very best to practice the letter sounds and write them too!

 

Have a wonderful break everyone and see you back at school on Monday 19th February!

Miss Anya and Miss Laia

At the shop ready to buy our ingredients for banana pancakes!
Paying for our ingredients.
Making the pancake batter!
Making the pancake batter!
Cutting up the fruit for the pancakes.
Cutting up the fruit for the pancakes.
Delicious!
Delicious!
Making jellyfish!
Making jellyfish!
Working together!
Lenny-Jean and Alexander made their own Lego village!
Writing our numbers!
Exploring the the concept of weight!
Working together!
Phonics puzzle!
Making kites!
Making kites!
Making our cupcake wallpaper!
Making our cupcake wallpaper!
Painting the stripes for the outside of our bakery!
Time to be bakers!
"Could I buy some cake please?"
A beautiful play-doh cake!
Shopping at the bakery!
Cookies made by Julia!
A cake lollipop made by Kenisha!
We love baking!
Making ladybirds!
Making ladybirds!
Making ladybirds!
Adding the dots and thinking about symmetry!
Adding the dots and thinking about symmetry!
"Cake!"
Baker Diya!
Practicing number recognition!
Writing our numbers!
Writing our numbers!
Shape monsters!
Shape monsters!
Shape monsters!
"Would you like some cake?"
Painting the night sky!
Painting the night sky!
Making the moon and the stars!
Making our own cake in the classroom!
Making our own cake in the classroom!
Practicing writing our numbers!
Julia took a photo with her friends!
Visiting the bakery!
Visiting the bakery!
Visiting the 'BEO markt'!
Visiting the 'BEO markt'!
Preparing and eating the fruit from the 'BEO markt'!
Carnival! "Say cheese!"
Carnival! "Make a funny face!"