Pizza Inquiry and Toy Making

Thank you for sending reusable items and loose parts to school.  Keep them coming as we always have uses for creating in our making space.

Using the loose parts, the children have created a range of toys:  airplane, bus, telescope, binoculars.  The children had good stories to tell about their toys.

We appreciate your support in our pizza inquiry.  What started from making pizza with playdough and loose parts has evolved into an inquiry about what makes a yummy pizza. As posted in our toppings request list, we have quite interesting choices.  The children came back to tell us how much they enjoyed their toppings.  A few did say they did not like the pizza with the grapes and fruits on pizza.  In the end we created a pizza restaurant called PIZZA EXPRESS (but we serve better toppings!)  The children very enthusiastically created signs for their restaurant.  If you have any clean pizza boxes you can send it, we would love to use them.  Also point out what is in a restaurant when you go out.  This will inquiry may continue to evolve.

Anika, Jayden and Tristan built a restaurant with blocks.

We read a story called Watch Out!  A Giant! It is a book about imagination and pretend play.  This was a good lead in to our discussions about ways we pretend play.

Mid autumn festival is coming up.  Some children made lanterns in Chinese class.  We will leave out different materials for children to create their own lanterns next week.  Please send in bottles, jars, cups, bowls, containers that might be suitable for a lantern.  We will have a mid autumn festival celebration on Thursday the 28th.  Thank you to those parents who have signed up to help.

Ms C (Shelley Chutke) came to introduce Kelso and Lily to our class this week.  She shared a story about small problems that children can solve independently and big problems that will require the help of a trusted adult.  Ask your child about the story.  Kelso has a choice wheel and decides how to best solve his problems.  We will have ongoing sessions with Ms C throughout the school year.

This will be the last blog post with weekly updates.  We are looking forward to welcoming parents to our Seesaw Workshop next Wednesday and sharing with you how you will be able to keep track of your children’s learning throughout the year. This more personalised method of communication will allow for you to keep up to date with what is happening in the classroom. We will be using Remind to keep in touch with upcoming events.  I will also continue to post twitter updates.


Important Dates

Sept 27- Parent workshop about Seesaw.  8-9am LLAC Lobby.  Please use this link to sign up for the workshop.

Sept 27- Pancake and Pajamas Day.  Students wear their sleepwear to school as the lower school winds down Lit Blitz.  They are also welcome to bring ONE toy they like to sleep with but please make sure it is labeled with your child’s name.

October 2-9 Mid Term Break.  No school for students.

November 21- Parent Workshop on Kelso in LLAC Lobby.

January 24- Parent Workshop in Library Pit 9-10am

March 15- Parent Workshop in Library Pit 9-10am


Our favourite toys and loose parts

Using the family photos sent in, the children talked about the members in their families.  They were being risk takers, standing at the front of the room and talking to their friends.  If you have not yet sent in your family photo, please email it to the teachers anytime.  We have put the photos together and the children enjoy looking at themselves.

Thank you to the parents who have sent in photos of their child playing. They have provided us with a springboard to our discussions about play. This week the children drew pictures of their favourite toy.

We introduced loose parts in our classroom.  We put out some grass mats, cork boards, fabric squares, beads, and wood.  These open ended materials allowed the children to engage in open ended, experimental play.  Throughout the year, children will have access to different resources to create as their imaginations allow.  This week we had birthday cake, picnic, pizza, construction….

In our loose parts and playdough play we have discovered that making pizza is a popular thing to do.  To enrich this experience, we would like to make pizza next Thursday, September 21.  Please sign up here if you can help us by sending in some ingredients.

We are collecting loose parts to create our own toys.  Please send to school:  boxes in various sizes, ribbons, Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes, Jar Tops, Jars, Squeezy Pouch Tops, Old Marker Tops, Bottle Caps, Cardboard boxes and packages, Easter Eggs, Shower Rings or anything else that might work for our making area.  Sometimes the interesting items are those you would least expect.  Here is a list of items we would welcome all year long.  If you or someone you know has any type of factory and discards interesting loose parts, please let us know!

Lower School Dress Down Day: September 22

Due to 3 Way Learning Conversations (for grades 1-6) on September 29, our next DDD is September 22. Cost to dress down is $20, with donations being made Room to Read on behalf of Bear House. The theme is: dress as your favourite book character.  Please discourage princess and superheroes!  Bonus if your child can bring their book too.

Fever Free Policy
CDNIS strictly enforces the Fever Free Policy, as recommended by the Centre for Health Protection. Therefore, students who are sick or feverish should not be in school whether or not they are wearing a mask. Pre Reception to Grade 2 students should be fever free for 48 hours before they can resume school. Grade 3 and above students should be fever free for 24 hours before they can resume school. Please note that for students who are not sick and choose to wear a surgical mask to school as a preventative measure (allergies, immune disorders), our school staff will not be expected to monitor the correct wearing of their mask. Please contact the nurse with questions.

Important Dates

Sept 22- Dress Down Day.  See details above.

Sept 27- Parent workshop about Seesaw.  8-9am LLAC Lobby

October 2-9 Mid Term Break.  No school for students.

November 21- Parent Workshop on Kelso in LLAC Lobby.

January 24- Parent Workshop in Library Pit 9-10am

March 15- Parent Workshop in Library Pit 9-10am

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 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 family App on your personal device so that you can use it to access Seesaw.  We will have a limited amount of loaners at the workshop for those who need them.

Seesaw for Family links:

How do we play?

Unit of Inquiry:  Who We Are

Last week we asked the children how do we play.  This week we showed the students photos of people playing and asked them their thoughts about what they saw and how they knew they were playing.  These sparked conversations and wonderings.  We have started looking at the photos of the children at play and will continue these next week.  Thank you to the families who have sent in photos.

We discussed some Essential Agreements about how we can keep our friends safe and happy at school.  We have responses such as: being safe, say sorry, share, speak quietly, clean up, be kind and gentle, walking inside, use hands for clapping and EVERYBODY BE HAPPY AND SMILE!

Our library days are on Wednesdays.  Please return the library book any day before Wednesday.  The beautifully decorated library bag is for transporting the book to and from home.  Your child will place it in the “book return house” in the hallway and we will keep the bags until library day.  Depending on your child, you may want to write a quick note in the communication book that the library return is with your child that day.

On the timetable tab of the blog there is some “Important Information” that gives details about our class.  Please have a look at this page for details about procedures in our class.  Many were discussed at curriculum day.

We are excited to announce that the Early Years classes will be attending Kidsfest Hairy Maclary and Friends on Wednesday, January 17.  More details to follow but we wanted you to know in case you want to get tickets for other shows.

When you come to help us in our classroom for cooking, mystery reader, field trips or special events, volunteers are eligible for free bus passes.  These requests will need to be made 1-2 weeks in advance to Winnie McCarthy in addition to at least 2 working days’ notice to the Sun Bus Limited for their request to ride the school bus at, subject to seat availability and given priority to regular bus riders.

Your child will get messy and wet at school at times.  Please make sure there are extra clothes in his/her school bag.  Please label all items for school so we can get them back to you.  We encourage the children to dress themselves.

The children choose to eat snack during our inquiry play time.  We ask that you send in water bottles and snack containers that students can manage to open and close on their own to foster independence.  A water bottle should be sufficient and juice/ milk or other drinks are not required.

Important Dates

Sept 15- No School for students (professional learning day for staff)

Sept 27- Parent workshop about Seesaw.  8-9am LLAC Lobby

October 2-9 Mid Term Break.  No school for students.

November 21- Parent Workshop on Kelso in LLAC Lobby.

January 24- Parent Workshop in Library Pit 9-10am

March 15- Parent Workshop in Library Pit 9-10am

Gathering Prior Knowledge about Play!

We are getting to know the children better as they are becoming more comfortable with our class and each other.  We are learning how to use the materials at school and communicate with each other.

As we begin our unit of inquiry about Play:  Play helps us to learn about ourselves and others.  This week the children were asked about “how they play and what they like to play.”  We got some good responses.  Please take a look at the unit overview tab (on the blog) for more information about this year long unit.


Please send us some photos of your child in play.  We are happy to have hard copies or soft copies.  The photos will be used for discussions.

We had some good inquiries this week.  We took out some playdough that the children complained was too sticky so they took matters into their own hands.  Some tried adding water to it, wrapping it in tissue and finally the teachers suggested adding some flour.  That did the job.  We used the playdough on its own then Lorenzo said that he wanted to make playdough cookies.  So we thought about what we would need to make cookies and they decided on which tools could help them.  Kelly also made the connection that flour is used to make cakes, like she does at home.  Playdough is wonderful for imagination and strengthening fine motor skills.

A group of children were playing with the miniature animals.  They were getting quite excited so we talked about how we could take care of the animals and making a place for them.  The children decided that they would create a zoo for their animals to live.


We also got together with pre reception A to do some painting on the walls outside and coming together to form some agreements about how we will use our toys outside.  Sometimes your child will come home with wet or dirty clothes from messy play, please make sure your child has an extra set of clothes in their bag.

We did some process art with paint this week.  The children were quite enthusiastic to have their go painting and creating.  We really focused on the process as they got messy and experimented with the paints in different ways- putting their hands in, using two brushes, mixing colours.



Please check out the single subject teachers’ blogs.  Ms Salvador’s Music and Movement blog page can be found here.  And you can learn more about what is happening in Rachel Lao Shi’s Chinese class here.

The volunteers page has also been updated.  Please sign up for Mystery Reader and cooking opportunities.

Have a lovely weekend.

Important Dates

Sept 15- No School for students (professional learning day for staff)

Sept 27- Parent workshop about Seesaw

October 2-9 Mid Term Break.  No school for students.




Aug 25: Documenting self portraits and settling in

Welcome to our first full week in Pre Reception B.  We had our full class with us this week.  The children were happy to meet and play with their new friends.  The children are settling well into their routines and showing more of their personalities.
On Thursday and Friday, the Early Years teachers were able to participate in some professional development with educational consultant, Fiona Zinn about the Reggio Emilia approach and play.  Here is an article that she has written.

As part of the unit of inquiry ‘Who We Are’ the students were asked to draw a self-portrait using a mirror for observation.  They communicated their observations through their drawings. The self-portrait demonstrates how much the student observes and understands their physical appearance.  We will repeat this activity throughout the year to monitor development of form, content and detail.

Please email the teachers a family photo and tell us the names of the people in the family (so we can give prompts if necessary).  We wish to create a display and ask your child to tell us about themselves.
We asked the children what our class should be called, something more interesting than “pre reception B”.  So we brainstormed a list of words that begin with “B”.  We got quite a list (ball, bat, butterfly, bird, bowl, boy, bunny, book, bumblebee).  Next we asked the friends to choose the one they liked best.  Some of the children were quite interested and kept coming back to check how the vote was growing, looking and counting how many names were on.  In the end BUTTERFLY won so we will now be the Butterfly class!
 We are very excited to have our First parent workshop about online portfolios using the Seesaw app.  It will be on Wed, Sept 27th– in LLAC Lobby from 8 to 9am.
 Pre Reception to Prep Curriculum Days Feedback
Thank you to all those who attended the Curriculum Days this week. Please let us know your thoughts about these Curriculum Days by filling out the following feedback form so we can continue to make improvements each year. This feedback form should only take five minutes to finish. Thanks again!
Nut Allergies
We have a few students with specific food allergies including nuts. CDNIS is not a nut-free school. However, some classrooms have been designated as nut free. If your child’s class is a “Nut Free Zone”, please do not pack any nut products in your child’s snack bag/lunch box. Your child’s homeroom teacher will communicate in their blog if their class is a Nut Free Zone.

Thank you for coming to curriculum day!

We enjoyed sharing information about pre reception with you today and having you learn more about our programme.  If you need further clarification about anything, do send us a message anytime.  I have sent you an email to join the “remind app” group for our class.  If you missed receiving the handout from the session, let us know and we will pop it into your child’s pouch next week.

We are still looking for a class parent in the afternoon class.  If you can help us out, do let the teachers know.  It should not require too much effort but this person would organize social activities for the class outside of school, class wide parties outside of school, assist with parent volunteers, amongst others.  More info can be found in the school handbook on page 85.

The class blog can be located at and I can be contacted through

Have a lovely weekend.  

Curriculum Day on Friday

Pre Rec & Rec’s Curriculum Day Schedule – Friday, August 18
The Pre Reception and Reception Curriculum Day will take place on Friday, August 18. There will be no school for students of those grades on this day. The Curriculum Day will be split into two sessions – 8am to 9:10am for AM parents, and 12pm to 1:10pm for PM parents. A single shuttle bus service will depart from the 9/F at 1:15pm for Wong Chuk Hang MTR, Golden Dragon (Causeway Bay), Admiralty and the Central GPO. Seats are on a first come first serve basis.

Thank you for coming to open house!

Dear Parents,

Thank you for coming to open house today.  We were happy to put some names to faces and finally meet you and your family.  It looks like we have a happy and enthusiastic group.

A letter in the pouch has some information for the start of school.  Please read it and do let us know if you have questions.  Some friendly reminders:

  • your child should bring to school every day:
    • 1.  the zip pouch and use the communication book for any change in pick up plans
    • 2.  a water bottle
    • 3.  healthy snack box
    • 4.  extra clothes
  • bring a hat to keep at school.  It will be sent home periodically for washing
  • if your child takes the school bus, please pin the bus pass to the school bag
  • please fill out the little questionnaire in the pouch so that we can learn a little more about your child
  • subscribe to this blog if you have not already

We will talk more about our classroom routines and give you more information at curriculum day next Friday.  In the meantime, do let us know if we can help in any way.

Have a lovely weekend.

May, Karen and Yvonne