February has been a short month, but a very busy month filled with many activities and themes. Our studies on Africa were reflected through music, drum Circles, and the sampling of Moroccan mint tea. Many books were read, and stories told about life in Africa through the eyes of children who live there. We learned of families having to walk many miles for water, balancing the full water jugs on their heads, as they make their way back home. We learned that one in every six people on Earth do not have access to clean drinking water. Many of these people live in Africa. Jug balancing was practiced at Circle after the stories. Every child made a necklace that imitated jewelry pieces seen in eastern African countries. The interactive African small world was a huge hit, with its many animals and natural materials for every child to create their own African savannah. Thank you Shaneeda (Iyla’s mum) for again coming into class and doing a Circle about Africa and teaching us Swahili. It was a lot of fun. We were all treated to a special snack of plantain chips which were very yummy and surprisingly savoury, not sweet. Asante (thank you), Shaneeda. Our travels across the African continent have introduced us to many animals and some incredible facts. Do you know how to tell the difference between an African elephant and an Asian elephant? An African elephant’s ear is the same shape as the African continent. Fun fact! The pre-K children have been working on their animal booklets that will be sent home soon.
Holden’s family made a trip to New Zealand and brought the class back a lovely book and a special kiwi treat of pineapple lumps. Thank you Tom (Holden’s daddy) for coming in and reading us the story of ‘Tama the Kiwi’ and his adventures in New Zealand. Thank you Silvina (Sara’s mama) for bringing back a special treat of dulce de leche from their trip to Argentina. Silvina brought us books about Argentina that she read at Circle and is now translating to English. We truly appreciate parents who share their travels, cultures and knowledge with us and take the time to do these very special Circles for the class. We also learn new things that we may not normally hear about except from a firsthand account and viewpoint. Teachers love to learn too!
We celebrated the final segment of our ‘Celebration of Light’ series, with the Lunar New Year. Miss Stacy hosted a very special Circle with a tea celebration and savoury crackers. As every year, the children practiced their cutting skills by making a lantern, with advanced cutters making their lucky red envelopes. All the envelopes were folded and sent home with a chocolate coin inside. The year of the pig was acknowledged a pig crown. Lots of cutting, gluing and folding. Busy, busy, busy.
The Lunar New Year celebrations were barely over and then it was Valentine’s Day. Valentine cards were made and sent home with lots of hearts and wishes. Every child decorated a bag to collect Valentines and treats sent in from friends. We had a big snowfall during Valentine week and schools were closed. The Valentine activity that week was baking cupcakes, but there wasn’t enough time with the snowfall. Miss Lori came to the rescue and baked all day long on the snow day so the children could decorate their cupcakes and bring them home. Thank you Miss Lori. We had snow outside and we had snow inside. The children have been making snow scenes with containers of homemade snow since January. Winter animals were added to the snow scenes, snow caves were made and trees were added. Miss Stacy also played scientist with demonstrating a salt and ice experiment. Lots of fun winter focused pursuits. Pancakes were made for snack on very chilly days.
Beading, ring making, and sewing buttons continue to be favourite small motor skill activities. These are wonderful ways to build concentration and focus skills. In the end a lovely work of art goes home with a very proud student. New activities for this month in Practical Life were orange juice squeezing and window washing. Orange juicing was very popular and we went through three crates of oranges. With the baking, whisking and juicing abilities learned and practiced, it’s time to get everyone involved in kitchen activities at home. These children have skills.
We are now into March with the start of Science Show and Tell today. Science Show and Tell will continue for the next two weeks, and then we are off for Spring Break. Hopefully everyone read the email listing the preschool aged Spring Break camps. Looks like there will be some fun camps.
Bye-bye February and hello March.