Growing Independence in Prep C!

Inquiry
We have been talking a lot about what helps us grow. The four things include:
– healthy diet
– exercise
– sleep
– independence
We have been exercising in class to stay healthy. Besides yoga, the students have really enjoyed the dance videos from GoNoodle. Feel free to try them out at home!
We talked a lot about the importance of being independent. If we don’t try things for ourselves, we may not learn all the essential skills that will help us grow. Students came up with some excellent ideas of how they are independent at school and at home.
“I can make my own bed.”
“I can tidy up after I play.”
“I can bring a friend to the nurse if he is hurt.”
It has been an unbelievable journey for me to witness the students’ growth since the beginning of the school year. Over the past 6 weeks, the children have settled in wonderfully and made the classroom their second home. They are recognizing and celebrating all of their peers for who they are. They are also continuing to learn to collaborate with eachother. Day by day, the students are requiring less reminders and blossoming into independent leaders of the future!
We continued to link our unit of inquiry with the Ontario math curriculum. We compared standard units of measurement from non-standard units of measurement, measured our friend’s feet and the height of our Grade 6 buddies using unifex cubes. Looking at the results, students reflected on their learning and communicated with others why they think the Grade 6 buddies are taller.
Healthy Snack Party
To wrap up our discussions and activities on healthy foods, we will be having a celebration this coming Tuesday on September 26th. Please kindly send in a healthy snack that can be shared with the class. The students have brainstormed some ideas and will be sending home their planning sheets later today. Feel free to send in something else that is not listed on your child’s planning sheet.
Special Events
Mystery Reader: Ms. Dove (ASA Coordinator) dropped by to explain to us what she does on a daily basis. She then read a book called I Like Myself which focuses on celebrating the uniqueness of everyone.
Dress Down Day: Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but laugh and giggle at how creative the “book characters” looked! Thank you to everyone who participated and made a donation.
Book Fair: What a wonderful experience it was for children to handle their “own” money and to spend wisely. During our time at the Book Fair, we also used comparing words such as more than, less than to understand what we could and could not buy.
Pancake and Pajama Day
Next Wednesday 27th is Pancake and Pajama day. Students (and teachers) can wear their pajamas to school (no dress down fee).
Pancakes will be served in the cafeteria:
–  Prep to Grade 1 – $34 (comes with drink, veg, salad and Sausage)
–  Grade 2 to Grade 6 – $37 (Includes sausage, drink and dessert)
Like last year, Students in Prep – G2 who are buying pancakes on the day should bring exact change in an envelope labeled with their name and class. Students in G3 – 6 may pay with cash or Octopus card. Students with school lunch will receive pancakes at no extra cost.

Early Years Moves from Paper to Online Portfolio with Seesaw (repeat item)
We invite all Early Years parents to a parent workshop on Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 from 8:00-9:10AM at the school’s LLAC lobby.  At the workshop, we will present about the purpose of portfolios, the role of parents and how they can access their children’s online portfolio.   Please use this link to sign up for the workshop.

Before you attend the workshop, please download the Seesaw’s family App on your personal device so that you can use it to access Seesaw.  We will have limited amount of loaners at the workshop for those who need them.

Swimming
Click here for more information on Swimming.

Week 6 Video

Important Dates
Tues Sept 26th- In class Healthy Snack Party
Wed Sept 27th- SeeSaw Presentation (8 to 9:10am), Pancake and PJ Day
Thurs Sept 28th- Jonah’s Birthday
Fri Sept 29th- Last day before the October Break (school resumes on October 10th)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Esther

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

Inquiry
Extending from our current knowledge of what helps us grow, this week we zoomed in on what foods help us grow. Students were first asked to draw a picture of a snack they had earlier in the day. Using a venn diagram, students then placed their picture under “Helps Us Grow” or “Doesn’t Help Us Grow”.  All the children were collaborating and discussing why some foods were healthy while others were not. This is one interesting conversation I heard:

A: I know! Butter is healthy because people add it on their bread.

B: So?

A: Well… it’s healthy because it makes the bread super yummy.

B: It makes it yummy because it’s fat and oily. Just like chocolate. It isn’t healthy.

Then, we analyzed what makes food healthy. We talked about the 5 food groups and how it is beneficial to eat a “colourful” plate of foods. A great activity is asking your child to label and count the number of food groups on his/her dinner plate!


On the side, students continued their inquiry on who has the largest feet at school? After using a variety of non-standard units (such as pencils and unifex cubes) to measure, students were keen to use other measuring tools (such as measuring tape). As a class, we discussed what is the same and what is different about standard and non-standard units. During centre time, students extended their investigation and began looking for the width/height/length of friends, teachers and classroom furniture as well!

In case you were wondering, the results are in! The teacher with the smallest feet is Mrs. Adams (Grade 1 teacher) and the teacher with the largest feet is Mr. MacPherson (Gr 4-6 Vice Principal). We are thankful to have so many teachers who were willing to lend us their “foot” without advanced notice.

Special Events
International Library Day
The International Library Day is a fun celebration of literature around the world. Parents set up booths representing their country and have info, books, etc about the country. A special thank you to Catherine (Minjoon’s mom), Ji Young (Hannah’s mom) and Mik Young (Jeyou’s mom) who volunteered at the Korea stall.

Mystery Reader
Mr. Grantham (Mr. G) was our special speaker this week! Mr. G gave us three clues about himself:
1) I wear coloured socks.
2) I love mint chocolate chip ice cream.
3) My middle name is James.

It was wonderful seeing teachers who work with other grades volunteer their time to read with the younger ones. Stay tuned to find out who is coming next!

Early Years Moves from Paper to Online Portfolio with Seesaw
Pre-Reception, Reception and Prep classes are using Seesaw this year to document their learning journey. Seesaw gives children a platform to capture and reflect on their learning – in real time. Seesaw will give parents a window into classrooms/learning spaces and into your children’s learning process. It will form an integral part of the way in which we assess, record and report on your child’s growth and development over the year.

We invite all Early Years parents to a parent workshop on Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 from 8:00-9:10AM at the school’s LLAC lobby.  At the workshop, we will present about the purpose of portfolios, the role of parents and how they can access their children’s online portfolio.   Please use this link to sign up for the workshop.

Before you attend the workshop, please download the Seesaw’s family App on your personal device so that you can use it to access Seesaw.  We will have limited amount of loaners at the workshop for those who need them.

Seesaw for Family links: https://web.seesaw.me/platforms-parents/

Week 5 Video

Enjoy the extra day off Prep C! See you all on Monday.

Esther

Rain Rain Go Away!

Unit of Inquiry

It is without a doubt we have had many rainy days at school this week. However, it sure didn’t stop us from engaging in lots of fun and purposeful play both in and out of the classroom.

This week, we linked our unit of inquiry with an important math concept, measurement. After reading The Dot by Peter Reynolds, we discussed how each dot was a different size and colour. As a class, we came up with a list of words to describe size (small, medium and large). A student mentioned how we can be more specific by giving detail and using words such as “super tiny” and “extra large”.

After our discussion about size, we shifted our focus to measuring height. The class was faced with the challenge to line up from shortest to tallest without speaking to eachother. It was quite challenging at first as students simply lined up where they wanted to stand. But once we got the ball rolling and students observed how others were going back to back to compare eachother’s height, it didn’t take long until the class successfully completed the task. Some sentences we used in our conversations and practiced writing include:

  • _______________ is shortest.
  • __________ is taller than ____________.
  • __________ is tallest.
  • ____________ is as tall as ___________.

Today, the students were given the question: Who has the largest feet at school? As a class, we made predictions and brainstormed ways to find the answer. We talked about the tools we would need to measure and people to consult for help. After meeting with several staff at school, we listed “next steps” and formulated questions to further our investigation. Stay tuned!

Next week, in addition to completing our LARGEST FEET CHALLENGE, we will begin considering and analyzing factors that help us grow (e.g. sleep, exercise, healthy diet). More specifically, we will list and differentiate healthy foods from unhealthy foods.

Click here for the updated Parent Overview for this unit.

Special Events

Art with Mr. Brown: In case you were wondering why your child came home with a painted-on uniform, it’s because Mr. Brown (art teacher) came for a visit! He surprised the children with lots of colourful paint and art mediums to use. We introduced the elements of line and the students really enjoyed making straight, wavy, curvy, circular, thick, thin and parallel lines.

The first Prep assembly took place earlier today in the Alan Dick Forum. Ms Kipfer (Ms. K) reviewed proper assembly etiquette and Mrs. Benusa shared a silly version of Shake the Sillies Out with the children.

Mystery Readers: Ms. Cheung and Mr. Brown

A very special Happy Birthday goes to Avery who turns 5 this Sunday on September 10th!

Week 4 video

Launching new UOI- Who We Are!

Unit of Inquiry (UOI)

We began the week unpacking the Central Idea for the UOI on Who We Are. As humans grow, they go through changes and challenges. We dissected the Central Idea and further investigated what changes and challenges mean. As a class, we discussed the changes humans go through as they get older. We also compared human and animal life cycles and practiced sequencing stages of life independently and in small groups.

We then shifted our attention towards defining and understanding what Challenges mean. We talked about challenges people face as they get older. Then, we analyzed some challenges that babies, children, teenagers, adults and elderly go through. Next, we made meaningful connections to our lives by discussing what challenges we face in the classroom. The students mentioned how sharing, taking turn and being patient are some challenges we go through. As a class, we brainstormed and modelled ways to solve the problems mentioned.

Students also participated in several “challenges” in the classroom. One of the challenges involve students having to build a bridge (using the supplies given), to help the bears stay safe from the incoming flood. It was wonderful seeing the children collaborate with others and experiment through trial and error. Afterwards, we counted the number of bears and ordered the total from smallest to largest.

Meaningful Action 

The House Centre is a big hit in Prep C! It is slowly developing into a Michelin worthy restaurant! We have voted on a name for the restaurant. While Airport Food and Prep C Restaurant were popular names amongst the ones brainstormed, Express Foods had the most votes. Some students helped create the menu while others were busy writing recipes for the chefs to use. Through these hands-on student-led inquiries, children are learning about:

  • procedural writing (recipes)
  • turn-taking
  • name, number and letter recognition
  • counting forward and one-to-one correspondence (money handling)

Special Events

Mr. Ben came in to speak to all of the Prep classes about the challenges he goes through as a marathon runner.

Mr. Adams and Mrs. Kipfer were our Mystery Readers this week. They both shared some of their favourite books with the students in Prep C.

We met our reading buddies earlier this week. We enjoyed reading books with them in the classroom.

We also had a visit from Ms. Chutke (the lower school counsellor) who spoke about how to solve small problems with friends. Ms.C and Keslo’s strategies are well known to the students, especially the students who were in Reception last year. She will be visiting the class regularly for a full period but is also always available for extra support if students need it during the day. The first few weeks of Prep are an adjustment period for students as they transition to a full day programme and they learn new social strategies and skills. I have posted a Kelso’s Wheel poster on the blog for you to use for reference. For students who are coming home and sharing their experiences we suggest these ideas:

·  Ask your child what strategy he/she used. (“I don’t like it when…”  “Can you please…”)

·  Ask your child if she/he told the teacher (we cannot help unless we know of the situation). Encourage your child to tell the teacher the following day.

We encourage parents to come directly to the teacher, rather than going to another child’s parents.

Week 3 Video

Have a fabulous weekend,

Esther

This entry was posted in Updates.

First Week of FULL DAY – check!

Wow this week sure flew by! The students have been busy engaging in purposeful play and familiarizing themselves with daily routines. Everyone was extremely adaptable and will continue practicing how to:

  • unpack and pack their bags
  • head to and from recess independently
  • choose when to have their morning snack (within a timeframe)
  • eat lunch in the 12/F cafeteria
  • take care of their personal belongings
  • engage in safe and collaborative play with peers
  • solve minor problems with some guidance (I don’t like it when… Can you please…)

Even though I have started completing literacy assessments in the classroom, the majority of my time was spent engaging in play with the children. At the moment, the priority is developing trusting relationships with the children and deepening my understanding of their needs and interests.

This week we started looking at the Primary Years Programme (PYP) key concepts for this unit of inquiry (UOI). We focused mainly on CHANGE. Using the book, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, we discussed how humans change. Then, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and analyzed how humans and animals are similar and different. Next, we stretched our thinking and explored meaningful connections within our community. With the unexpected arrival of Typhoon Hato, we talked about how the change in weather directly causes a change in the environment.

Next week, we will unpack the central idea and dive into learning about different changes and challenges in the world.

Here is a quick summary in snapshots of Prep C in Week 2 of school!

Ms. Joanne was a great sport and took over the class on Thursday and Friday while I attended an onsite workshop with other teachers. It was an incredible experience learning from the Early Years consultant, Fiona Zinn. We focused a lot on connecting the IB programme with reggio-inspired learning concepts. I very much look forward to applying what I have learned at the workshop in the classroom with the children.

As mentioned in the forms sent home, a HUGE thank you to Radha who has volunteered to be our Class Parent for the year. Please return the form if you wish to take part in the class social group.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!

Esther

This entry was posted in Updates.

Info from Curriculum Day

Thank you to everyone for attending Curriculum Day. For those who were not able to attend, here is the slideshow and video from last night.

Ms. Joanne and I have really enjoyed getting to know the Prep C students this week. They are all full of personality and a bundle of joy to teach! We are all very excited to begin the full day program next Monday.

Gentle reminders:

  • ASAs (after school activities) start next week
  • subscribe to the blog
  • download and sign up for Remind (phone app) with class code (cdnisprepc)
  • return washed hat and send lunch (if applicable) to school starting next Monday

 

Have a great weekend,

Esther

Prep C Curriculum Day Slideshow

This entry was posted in Updates.

Curriculum Day

Just a friendly reminder that the Prep C Curriculum Day is tomorrow from 11:30am to 1:00pm. To avoid congestion in the hallway, please meet us in the 12th floor cafeteria at 11:30am. If your child did not register for school lunch, please ensure he/she arrives to school with a packed lunch. Following this, students will be supervised  in a classroom on the 10th floor while parents attend the presentation in our classroom (Room 927). Students must be picked up by an adult after the presentation. Busses will be available at 1:15 pm to go to Wong Chuk Hang MTR, Central and Admiralty.

See you all tomorrow!

Esther

This entry was posted in Updates.

Great Start to the School Year!

Thank you to everyone who dropped by earlier today. Ms. Joanne and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of the Prep C families. It was lovely seeing the excitement in the students’ eyes as they stepped into the classroom. A few of them were ready to unpack their bags and start a full day of learning at school! Do not worry if you were not able to make it today. We look forward to meeting you next week. Please enjoy the last weekend of summer as school officially starts next Monday.

Pleas send in the following items by the end of next week:

  • Completed “Getting to Know Your Child” questionnaire
  • Signed “Community Walks” form (There is an error in the form sent home on Friday. A new one will be sent home next Monday.)
  • Any lightweight framed picture of your family (3R to 5R size)

Curriculum Day is on Thursday August 17th.  Children come to school as usual and parents are invited to eat lunch with them in the 12th floor cafeteria.  Parents are invited to a information session with light refreshments in Room 927 from 12-1 pm, while students are supervised by teaching staff.  Following this students are picked up by parents-there is no school bus service home on this day.  Busses will be available at 1:15 pm to go to Wong Chuk Hang MTR, Central and Admiralty.

Thanks everyone,

Esther

This entry was posted in Updates.

Welcome to Prep C!

Hello everyone,

First and foremost, welcome to Prep C! I am very excited to meet your family at the Lower School Open House this Friday (8am to 12pm). Ms. Joanne and I have been busy getting the classroom ready the past two weeks and are thrilled to have the students join us in a few days! When you have time, please check out the updated timetable (one of the tabs at the top) and review the routines in preparation for the new school year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at estherip@cdnis.edu.hk. See you all on Friday!

Esther


To support the transition to full-days at school, the first week will be half-day. During that week (Aug 14 – 18), school will begin at 7:50am and finish at 11:30am.

Full day classes will begin August 21, 2017.

    • Upon arrival, children should go drop their bag off in their cubby and go directly to the 9th floor playground to play until 7:40 am. Supervision begins at 7am. On rainy days children will be instructed by an adult to go to their classroom if the playground appears unfit for play.
    • Please ensure that your child is dressed in full school uniform Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On Monday and Thursday, children should wear their PE uniform with white or black running shoes. New students may wear any t-shirt for PE until they have a House t-shirt.
    • First session of swimming begins on October 9, 2017 and ends on November 24, 2017.
    • The school provides a communication bag with a small pink booklet. Please ensure that these are sent to school every day, so that we can be up to date with our communication with you.
    • If there is a change in your child’s mode of transportation, please write it in the communication book. Please contact the bus company at least a day in advance to notify the bus company of the change.
    • Teachers or lunch supervisors will monitor and encourage students to eat their lunch daily. It is important for your child to learn to eat independently and in the time given.
    • If your child is bringing lunch from home, please ensure that it is packed in one labelled bag for easy carrying and identification. If the lunch is being sent, please make sure it is at school by 10:30 am.
    • Children should bring a hat, a water bottle and nutritious snacks to school (e.g. fruit, carrot sticks, crackers, cheese, yogurt, cereal bars) everyday.
    • Please make sure your child’s name is on all clothing, snack box, water bottle and lunch box, etc.
    • Children should leave their personal toys at home.
    • We are happy to recognize and celebrate children’s birthdays. Please contact us at least a week in advance if you would like to send or bring in treats (e.g. cupcakes or individual cookies are preferred). Please refrain from sending in goody bags.
    • Assemblies take place throughout the year. Please check the schedule included for details.
    • The Parent Handbook has been updated and we encourage you to read through it carefully.
    • Please do not send your child to school when he/she is unwell, especially when showing signs of a cold or fever.

 

This entry was posted in Updates.