A Look At Our Day!

We had another terrific day at school! While Mrs. Crockett was away today, and we definitely all missed her, the kids definitely rose to the challenge of supporting each other, the supply, and me (Aviva), throughout the day. It’s always wonderful to see the language skills, math skills, social skills, problem solving skills, collaboration, and independent work evident through play. 

This morning, the milder temperatures resulted in a problem. The junior field was too wet and slippery for us to cross to go to the forest, so we stayed in our outdoor classroom instead. Students used this space really well, and demonstrated some wonderful problem solving skills through their creation of a lake/river and a bridge, as well as works on art on the remaining snow. Hopefully we’ll make it out to the forest come Tuesday.

Inside today, writing continued to be a popular option. Students are inspired to write to Baby Sammy, as well as to their moms, dads, brothers, and sisters. It’s great to see children that used to write using scribbles and random letters beginning to use familiar words and letter-sounds in their writing. While writing always happens all over the classroom, we’ll continue to have a special writing area for next week.

Students also spent a lot of time creating the zoo for our pool noodle animals. We made some changes to this space today based on what we noticed yesterday. There was so much great math thinking and problem solving, as children began to paint and build the zoo. Children made a few signs, but we have plans to extend this writing next week, as well as add some natural materials to the design. 

It was interesting to see how children began to use some spaces and materials that they haven’t used recently (e.g., the plasticine and the dollhouses). Was this because there was a supply in for Mrs. Crockett, and some of these materials can be self-regulating for many children? Did they recognize this need in themselves? Or, as they moved around the classroom today, did they notice something that they haven’t really seen recently? It will be interesting to see if these same materials are used again come Tuesday when Paula returns. 

This writing space was very popular today. Students continued to draw pictures and write notes to their siblings, parents, and Baby Sammy. They used a lot of familiar words in their notes (eg, mom and dad) and some resources to find other words (eg, the Roots of Empathy Book to find Sammy’s name). Carly made a “book for my dad. I’m giving him lots of hugs and kisses — X’s and O’s.” She then spelled and read “Dad” on the envelope. I worked with Ella to read “mom” and “dad” versus “mommy and daddy,” with an emphasis on blending sounds to read the words. Notice the Y on the envelope. Ella pointed it out to me right away. ❤️ how kids are seeing letters everywhere! We made sure to create another writing space for next week, as this letter-writing interest continues. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry #cti_relationships

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Yesterday, we tried to inspire the creation of a zoo for all of the pool noodle animals. This turned into more of a drawing of a zoo, so we thought that if we changed some materials and put the pool noodle animals closer to the board, it might help. Today we did that. Tommy brought in some pictures of zoo cages, and initially children used the paper towel and toilet paper rolls to create them. It was great to hear the counting as part of these creations. They tried to tape them together, but they kept falling over. Then they thought that the two logs could be joined together to form a tree. It stood up on its own, but fell over when taped. At this point, I went over to the board, and suggested maybe starting with the background (the grass, water, etc.). Students drew a quick path and started painting. Brayden came over at this point, and thought that the toilet paper and paper towel rolls could be trees. He also painted one of the logs, initially as a water fall, and then as the entrance to the zoo. He remembered seeing cylinders in the shed, and thought that based on Tommy’s picture, they might work better for the cages “because they’re thinner.” He asked me if we could go and get them. See the next post for more. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry

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The cylinders belonged to Mrs. Raymond, so Brayden wrote her a note asking if we could borrow them. (Now, in the end, I guess that borrow really meant use, but nothing here is permanent, so they can go back again.) She said, “Yes,” so Brayden went to collect them from the shed. In the meantime, children worked on painting the grass, trees, and the entrance to the zoo. Then Tommy thought that we could make the cage in the picture he brought. He counted the number of bars we needed, but did we have enough room? This led to an opportunity to estimate. Students started to think that the bars should be painted. They thought black initially, but then decided on a few different colours. Brayden shared thinking around the importance of camouflage, and started to talk about the different possible animals for each colour. Look to the next post for more. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry

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Brayden then started working on painting more of the cylinders and affixing them to the board. The cylinders are heavy and white glue takes a while to stick. Children really needed to persevere and problem solve to get the cylinders standing up. Tommy thought about the giraffe cages and the need for them “to be taller because giraffes are so tall.” Brayden thought that they could double up on the cylinders. He glued two together and had them lie flat. He hopes they’ll stick. Carly realized that more glue helped. She inspired others to do the same. Then Brayden thought he needed more cylinders, but how many more? This required some estimation and math thinking. It turns out that he wanted more than I thought he might need, as he had plans for some off of this board as well. Look at the next post to see how the zoo ended today. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry

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There’s something about writing on the carpet that draws students to it. At first, some children continued to make some zoo pictures, and we even worked on labelling them. Will continue to work on segmenting some longer words with this child. Then two other JK students came and drew pictures. Alba told Michael that she could write her name, and identified each letter as she wrote it down. Michael pointed out what he drew. He started by making “a butterfly,” and then his “family.” He wrote his name on the picture, and I suggested he wrote down the names of his siblings (even just the first letter). Edward said that he could “show Michael how to write my name,” and he identified each letter as he wrote it. Exploring letter-sounds in other names would be great for him as well. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry

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E. usually spends a lot of time creating and writing over at Boat City. The LEGO space was popular today though, so this drew E. to a quieter area. He spent a lot of time creating this ship with M. They even wrote a note to ask the librarian for any books on Star Wars. I wanted to extend this ship beyond Star Wars, so we started to talk about space and planets, and they updated their note to ask for those books as well (not pictured here). I see that the note to save the ship focuses on Star Wars, so I’m hoping we can extend beyond this on Tuesday. That said, I love how E. created a quiet, independent space (still linked with building and writing) when he needed it and when the other space didn’t exist for him. This speaks to the need to co-create the environment with kids. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry

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The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend! When you’re outside together, try to collect some natural materials for the zoo (e.g., some small sticks, leaves, tree pieces, etc.). How can your child sort these materials? How might they use them in our zoo? Children can always write a list of ideas to inspire some creations in class next week. 

Have a great long weekend! See you on Tuesday!

Aviva and Paula