Term 2 Week 2 Update

Wow! We’re fully back into the swing of things! Our IEYC unit, Imagine That! is going well.

We began this week looking at different types of houses – we even went outside to see the new apartment blocks being built near the school – and discussed their features and similarities. We had a look at some castles from around the world and spent some time building our own castles out of the different types of blocks we have in the classroom. Then we looked at Paul Klee’s artwork “Castle and the Sun” and saw how he made a beautiful cityscape not using blocks but using different shapes. We practiced identifying the shapes in the image as well as having a discussion about colour before moving on to create our own shape castle out of cut paper!

Then we spent a few days learning about animals from Africa and a style of art that originated in Tanzania but is now all over East Africa called Tingatinga art. Its beautiful, bold colours capture tourists’ eyes and certainly captured the eyes of the students. We created a mixed-media Tingatinga artwork in our new art journals by painting a solid background and then colouring an animal using our choice of crayons, coloured pencils, or markers. Then we cut out the animal and stuck it on our beautiful painted background.

Finally, we did a thorough investigation of squares and rectangles by looking at Piet Mondrian’s work. We had a scavenger hunt in the classroom for some squares and rectangles that Ms. M had hidden and then we used sponges and primary colours to stamp out square and rectangle patterns in our art journal. Finally we used cut paper to create a Mondrian-inspired artwork.

We’re back doing phonics again and with the alphabet finished before Christmas we have moved on to digraphs. This week we looked at SH, TH, and CH. These are a little trickier for the children to remember so we may spend extra time on them. After the Seollal holiday we have 3 more digraphs to look at and then a quick assessment will be done to see how far we’ve come.

Speaking of phonics, our students who are not in the phonics group that meets after lunch have started new Maths Centres. We’re looking at the numbers 6-10.

Speaking of the holiday, I hope you all have a restful time however your family is spending it. I look forward to seeing everyone next Wednesday!

Term 2 Week 1 Update

Wow! We’re off to a roaring start! We’ve begun our new unit Imagine That! Which is all about art and creativity.

For our Entry Point, the students came to the class to find out Mystery Gallery and a special note adding some intrigue to the mystery. We got our new Creativity Caddies full of great art supplies and set about having a day of free creativity.

The first mystery picture we unveiled was a painting by Jackson Pollock. We had a grand day doing all kinds of Action Painting. We tried different techniques on a small scale in the classroom and then we made large pieces in the Hall. The students had a great time getting messy with paint! We even took some of our PE time to do Action Painting outside with water and ribbons. We were truly active!

The other type of art we explored this week was Rangoli – an Indian art done on special occasions like Diwali. We learned that a lot of rangoli is symmetrical and that was a key math concept we focussed on. We made symmetrical prints and put together symmetrical rangoli puzzles. We had sensory trays of flour and sand that we used our fingers, a toothbrush, a lolly stick, and a straw to draw rangoli patterns in. We used cut shapes (another math concept) to make our own rangoli patterns on paper. Some were perfectly symmetrical and others were more poetic. Finally we used coloured rice to make our own rangoli patterns. Although real rangoli is made on the ground and is a temporary art, we glued ours down to paper.

We also had some wonderful time having developmental play. I am really impressed at how well the students are beginning to share and make their own negotiations around who is getting to use the coveted toys of “rabbit” and “sheepy” and how well they’re taking turns with the “kitty pillow”. It is wonderful watching them mature and put to use lessons learned in first term.

That’s all for this week. There’s more exciting creativity coming up in Week 2!

Term 1 Week 16 Update

Wow! We made it! Winter break is here.

We had such a fun week this last week of school. We worked hard practicing for the wonderful Winter Show we had on Wednesday. I was so proud of how well all the children performed. I hope you all enjoyed the show. We had lots of play time. We made lots of crafts. I hope you cherish the beautiful tree decorations your children made for you this year. Those will make great memories in years to come. We painted with magnets! We painted with our fingers! And of course we had a fun little Christmas Party to cap it all off.

Your children’s change of clothes has been sent home today. Please remember to send a new, weather appropriate change of clothes including socks in their bags at the beginning of next term.

Have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas if you celebrate. Enjoy this time with your children. Rest, relax, and come back refreshed in Term 2!

Term 1 Week 15 Update

We’ve almost made it! The last week of term is upon us and that means it’s soon to be time for the Winter Show. This week’s homework is to practice the winter show song.

The song can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ahyONgelkA

And you can use this YouTube video to practice the actions:

I would like the students to please sing along. I am not singing as I have lost my voice in this video.

With the cold weather still upon us, we spent a lot of this week doing fine motor activities. However, we started the week outside dancing, shaking, wiggling, and banging to the beat of those wonderful songs everyone sent. I wasn’t able to use all the songs – in total I had about 2 hours of music! Thank you so much. But we listened to as much as we could and tried different ways to enjoy them. We used our shakers that we made with Mr. Green in my absence. We used real instruments. We used kitchen items as instruments (those were loud!); and we used the rhythmic gymnastics ribbons that Mr. de Klerk used with his club last year. It was a wonderful, active time. If you have Spotify you should be able to use this link to access the whole playlist I made. (There is no obligation to get Spotify, I just wanted to share the playlist in case anyone wanted it).

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3JHqw9aClAFSm4wzPzSPuC?si=0TkM9T3KQm-GovYoM7L2tA&utm_source=native-share-menu

The rest of our week was spent doing sensory and fine motor activities. On we made both Oobleck (a non-Newtonian fluid) and slime.

Oobleck is made of cornstarch and water and does not behave as a liquid is expected to. For example, you can almost gather a ball of it in your hands and as long as you’re squeezing it stays as a ball. However the minute you open your hand to look at it, it liquefies and oozes out of your hand. If you want to make Oobleck at home, you can follow this tutorial (we used food coloring, not paint to colour it): https://unsophisticook.com/oobleck-recipe/

Slime is, well, slime! We made it from Elmer’s glue, water, baking soda, and contact lense solution. The students had an exciting time stretching and pulling their slime. They loved both making and playing with it. I hope they continued to enjoy it at home (and it’s not all over your sofa!). If you want to try making slime at home, you can follow this simple tutorial: https://thesoccermomblog.com/how-to-make-slime-with-contact-solution/

Finally, we got into the Christmas Spirit by making a Santa picture. We painted his beard with home-made puff paint. A simple 1:1 ratio of glue and shaving foam makes excellent puff paint.

That’s all for this week! We have lots of fun activities in store for next week along with the Winter Show and Christmas Party. Have a resful weekend and see you on Monday!

Term 1 Week 14 Update

A very short update this week. As many of you may already know, I was terribly sick with influenza this past week. I stayed home, took medicine, and rested in order to get better. The class was kept actively learning by Mr. Green who graciously stepped in when I was unavailable. I am now back at school and we’re back on track!

I was here on Monday of last week and got some photos as we enjoyed the last of the beautiful weather before the cold set in. So please enjoy these few photos.

Term 1 Week 13 Update

Hello! We had such an exciting week and a big day on Friday I neglected to get the students homework into their bookbags. My apologies! There is a manila envelope in their backpacks today which has their homework as well as the lyrics for the song we are doing for the winter show. At the bottom of this update there will be a YouTube video with the song as well so they can practice at home. Week 13’s letters we did in phonics were: l, h, r, j, v. There is no Spelling Menu but please feel free to practice those letters.

This week we continued fine motor and gross motor activities. For gross motor we took great advantage of the last of the fine weather. We had a wonderful time playing outside with some of our inside toys. The change of venue really creates a new mindset for the children as they find new and creative ways to play with the toys. We also got to opportunity to use the cars we have in our storage shed that are no longer being used at break time. The students were very excited to use and share them. So many of the students showed great caring and kindness taking turns with the much-coveted cars!

During our time inside we focussed on a combination of fine motor skills as well as continuing to reorganize the classroom. We spent time playing with play dough, coloring, and making some signs for our toy boxes so we can better use the facilities in the classroom. The students showed great tenacity and problem solving skill using blankets to make tents in the classroom. On one day they finally figured out how to make the tent right at the end of the day. They were disappointed they couldn’t play in them for very long. However, the next morning they set to work re-making the tents better than ever and then got the opportunity to use them. They helped each other when the clips holding the blankets to the chairs slipped off with some students re-making the tent for the other students who were playing inside.

During much of our phonics time, we chose to do whole-group phonics lessons. This allowed our younger members who have not started phonics yet to participate and get an idea of how a phonics lesson works increasing their phonics readiness. Additionally, we used the interactive whiteboard to practice writing our letters which takes a fine motor skill and adds an element of gross motor activity. The letter “j”, however, was done in small groups so we could closely investigate the difference in writing “j” and “i”.

As it goes with the best laid plans of mice and men, we did not do our musical exploration yet. Thank you so much to the parents who have sent me song titles. We will be doing that exploration this week. I am still very interested in getting music from your home countries. I would love some Arabic or Indian music to add to our playlist. Please email me if you have any music suggestions that would fit our needs!

Here is the song we are doing for the Winter Show: Jolly Ol’ Saint Nicholas. We are listening and practicing at school but the Winter Show is coming up soon! It would be great to practice at home. For dress on this day it would be wonderful if the students could wear a Christmas sweater and if you don’t have that in your wardrobe, dressing in red or green (or a combination) would be great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ahyONgelkA (terribly sorry, the video cannot be embedded).

That’s it for this week! Have a wonderful week. We’re in the home stretch!

Term 1 Week 12 Update

Welcome back! We’re off to a great start on our last few weeks before the winter holiday with our new unit Little Movers Make Great Strides. This unit is all about being active. But being active is more than just PE and exercise. Play is so important to little learners. We’ll be playing a lot both inside and outside. Our trip to Grand Park was a great way to show how important it is for us to play. Fresh air and Vitamin D are essential to our mood and brain development.

Despite having such a great week, I didn’t get that many photos taken so this update is largely Mr. Green’s wonderful photos of our trip to Grand Park.

We began our week with our Entry Point which started with our Finger Gym. The students practiced their fine motor skills by doing activities like putting pegs in a pegboard, making structures from interlocking lattice blocks, and transferring pompoms from a basket to a cup with tweezers. We also had an obstacle course with Mr. Green in PE and we went outside to practice painting with water. Not only was this a great gross motor activity using our whole bodies to paint and write on the walls, floors, and benches, we got an impromptu science lesson as it was a sunny day and their paintings started to disappear.

As most of you know, we had a great time at the Grand Park. All that running and jumping and climbing sure tired the children out. Our afternoon play time when we got back to school was very relaxed. Many students chose just to colour or read books.

During the rest of the week we talked a lot about how important it is for us to play and how difficult it can be to play with so many toys in the classroom. We’ve been working a little every day to pare down our toys so we have some really special ones in the classroom that we really want to play with. We organized our dress up outfits to those which both fit us and that we were interested in playing with. We also cut back on how much kitchen toys we have. In the coming weeks we’ll be organizing more and also bringing in some other elements to make our own toys or use our imaginations with.

Additionally we talked about how important it is to play outside. During this unit we will have an extra play time (sometimes guided play, sometimes developmental play) outdoors every day that the weather permits. We have an Outside Box so we can bring things with us from the school to our outdoor area to help spark our imaginations. Incidentally, that outdoor play is what I need those songs with a great beat for. We’re going to really move around to the music! If you haven’t sent me some song titles yet, please do!

That’s it for this week. Stay fit and have fun!

Term 1 Field Trip Permission Form

You can find the permission form here: https://forms.gle/d1Bu6a7TNPT1g5CXA Please submit your response by Monday November 14.

On Wednesday  November 16 (as soon as we get back from break) we will take a trip to Ulsan Grand Park to kick off our new unit in IEYC “Little Movers Make Great Strides” which is all about the joys of physical activity. So let’s get out and play!

Parents are requested to join us and can come on the bus or provide their own transportation. The closest entrance to where we will be playing is the South Gate of Ulsan Grand Park. We will begin by playing at the playground area nearest the gate before moving to the Jumping Playground after lunch. 

Our Schedule:

10:15am – Depart School on School Bus

11:00am – Arrive at Ulsan Grand Park South Gate and begin playing.

12:00pm  – Lunch at the Park (parents to provide a packed lunch for their children which does not need a microwave)

12:30-2:00pm – Play at the various areas of the children’s playground.

2:00pm – Bus back to HFS

Please join us in kicking off our new unit in style! 

Please submit this permission form by Monday November 14.

Term 1 Week 11 Update

Well we made it! We had an exciting week and are now ready for break! It was great having the CIS team in to visit us. They learned a lot about our classroom and the children were eager to talk to them.

We finished off our Press It! Click It! unit with this week focusing a lot on sound. On Monday we went into the hall and played some of Mr. Green’s instruments. We had a great time making noise and also pretending to be noisy marching robots. We also played a game where a blindfolded student had to find the machine (another student) making noise and turn them off. I’m amazed at this class’s keen sense of hearing!

We had a look at an interactive story book and really dove deep into what it could do. When we were finished we used a laminated picture and some of Ms. Yuli’s marker’s to make a mockup of a page of an interactive book.

Then we read the book Robot Rumpus about a bunch of robots who couldn’t do their jobs. We wrote our own book about robots who could help us. Ms. M recorded audio for some of the pages for students who were feeling brave and turned it into a Google Slideshow which you can view here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1GSegT8jgKAT1PBNZSPtCgG8zcdug41viOpEFH3Vwj7k/edit?usp=sharing

We explored a multitude of soundscape boxes in the hall, listening closely to determine if the sounds inside the box matched the sounds outside the box. Then we made our own sound boxes which we used in our Exit Point on Friday.

Finally we listened to some music and painted how the music made us feel. The students had a great time with that!

Thank you so much to parents who sent homework in with their children on Friday. The students are begining to look forward to sharing their homework and we have time set aside every Friday for share time. (Incidentally, there was no homework this week. Enjoy the break!)

For our Exit Point we had a lot of our learning set up in the Hall and invited Mr. de Klerk and Mr. Dunn’s class in to explore it with us. Everyone had a great time.

As part of our Exit Point, we made how-to videos teaching the right way to was your hands. Please enjoy these videos.

That’s it for this update, it is long enough. I will make a brief house-keeping update shortly to keep you informed of important information for the upcoming last half of term including a permission slip for our upcoming trip! Keep your eyes open!

Have a great holiday and we’ll see you Monday!

Term 1 Week 10 Update

Well we’re nearly to term break and we’re still learning lots every day!

We began the week by practicing our sorting skills with different elements from nature. We had leaves, sticks, pine needles, and pine cones which we sorted into their appropriate bins. We then used those natural objects to make a painting with.

Robbie the Robot went on a tour of the school and got lost. We had to follow a series of pictures he had taken to go find and rescue him. Then we made a photo book with our own photos to show Robbie around the school so he wouldn’t get lost again.

We used our portraits that Mr. Green took of us at the beginning of the year to create our own jigsaw puzzles. The students really enjoy doing puzzles when they’ve finished their work so this was a fun, new activity for them. It also helped practice their cutting skills.

We watched the story No-Bot, a Robot with No Bottom and reenacted that. We danced with our red robot bottom until we lost it. Then we asked the classmates where it had gone! Finally, we made missing posters for No-Bot’s missing bottom!

By Friday we had moved on from pictures and photography and onto sound. We played Sound Bingo and went on a Sound Walk listening all around the school. We heard sounds of students learning, music from the Hanmaeum Centre, and lots of people preparing resources with the photocopier and cutting papers.

We introduced new Maths and Literacy Centres so while we got to know those, we did not do phonics pull outs this week. They will begin again in week 11. That is why a Spelling Menu did not go home with homework this week.

That’s it for this week! We’re in for an exciting Week 11!