October in our class
In October, Reception classroom continued its adventure in the land of fun, friendship and play-time. We learnt more letters, discovered more stories and went on knowing our numbers even better. We discovered our passions – we love dinosaurs, playing with cars, building spaceships, making magic with special wands, becoming superheroes, colouring, painting and playing with play-dough. We love spending time with our friends in our classroom, but our favourite room is the Orange Room, where we jump, climb, roll, walk barefoot and where castles do exist. This was a special month, because we got to celebrate Halloween and play in the kindergarten with our parents, designing pumpkins, decorating jars and carving real pumpkins.
Our journey in the world of letters continued throughout the entire month and we have finished the first book from “Jolly Phonics”, covering sounds/letters: S, s, A, a, T, t, I, i, P and p. We recently starting putting these letters together to form words – we are slowly starting to understand what reading a word means.
In learning the letters, we are playing and experimenting with them in all ways possible: from seeing pictures (the first letter of the word shown in the picture is the one we are learning about), to solving mazes, to building an arts and crafts project, we want to make sure we are getting as many senses involved as possible in the learning project.
Reception class is also continuing another journey, that into the world of books. Children love books and reception class loves hearing stories about foreign territories, mighty warriors, nice dinosaurs or funny aliens. Imagination knows no boundaries and we are trying to help it grow as big as possible!
In Math, Reception class has still experimented with numbers from 1 to 10. Whether we’re learning a new song, or drawing people to match the numbers, or making pizza following a strict-number-related recipe, or counting teddy bears and other objects in the classroom, we always find a fun way to bring a bit of joy into math.
Our classroom has learnt the songs “1-2-3-4-5, once I caught a fish alive”, “1-2, I love you” and “There were 5 little monkeys”. The children love the last song, especially since they get to do the action and ‘fall down from the bed’, and the number of monkeys can be adjusted to the kids in a group, there can be more or less monkeys depending on how they organize themselves.
Talking about our body and ourselves, we have also discovered how many eyes we have, mouths, noses, ears, arms, legs, fingers and toes. “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” is another fun song to help us remember the body parts, which we can then count.
EXPRESSIVE ART & DESIGN
Art in Reception classroom happens daily…almost hourly, we could say. Some children love to colour, some like to paint, others like to build using play-dough, while others like to cut. There might not be any moment in which at least one kid is not expressing his artistic side by doing something he/she likes to.
We created igloos to protect us from the cold, we made a nice nest for the birds, we put together a piano so we could play and we glittered our magical wands and our special drawings.
This is also a good practice for our fine motor skills – we cut, we paste, we colour, we paint and we learn and have fun all at the same time.
In October, in music class, Reception kids continued to learn songs that help develop and improve rhythm. We also played games that require focusing our attention at the words said or the sounds heard.
We sang “If you’re happy and you know it”, “Humongous Whale” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and played different instruments.
Towards the end of the month we started thinking about songs to sing at the Winter Festival and during the following music classed we will start singing carols and prepare for Santa.
Reception class enjoys going outside to the park very much, and we try to do it every time the weather allows. Unless it is raining or it is really cold, after lunch time is spent outside, where the kids can play with the sand or run around, or climb the special play-spaces. Sometimes they like to play with the ball, other times they want to go in the swings, while at times we go to the ‘gym area’ of the park and do some exercises.
Apart from that, when we did have to stay in, the new Orange Room gave us the moving-bouncing-energy releasing environment they so much love. This room has quickly become one of their favourite going-to places, equipped with mattresses, bouncing balls, rubber tires, mini-trampoline and pillows, perfect for energy consumption.
TRIPS AND SPECIAL DAYS
This month we went on two fieldtrips: one to Baneasa Forest and another one to Village Museum.
The trip to Baneasa Forest was the perfect opportunity to be outside, to run around, and to be out in nature and explore it. We collected leaves, we looked for acorns and chestnuts, we tried to see if we could spot any animals in the forest – and we even got to see a squirrel. We also listened closely to hear the sounds of the wind and of the airplanes that fly in the area.
Reception class liked the trip to the Village Museum very much. There we got to see different houses, to look inside some of them and see tiny concrete beds, with only some blankets as mattresses, small tables and chairs made of carved wood, placed right next to their built-in ovens, where the people would cook their food. We saw different styles of houses, some were built on pillars – if there was a change the water might come inside -, some had bright colors on the gates and at the windows, some were built in the ground.
And the last day of this month was also a special day: Halloween Open Day, where our Reception class got to enjoy carving pumpkins and decorating jars together with their parents.
At the Social Emotional Learning Classes, we continued the core practices of Mindfulness and revisited the ones we enjoyed the most such as Mindful Seeing and Mindful Touching.
We introduced the concept of group work and group projects and used storytelling to become familiar with different feelings we might experience such as being happy, sad, scared or mad.
We also introduced the concepts of Multiple Intelligences/Smarts (Howard Gardner’s model of 9 types of intelligences), that shows children how we all have strengths and areas to improve. We did different games with the children where they could practice their own smart whether that’s Body, Visual, Nature or Friendship Smart). After each child recognized the way they are smart, we designed workshops that would target the smarts/intelligences they think they are good at and the smarts that are underdeveloped. Thus, some of them draw (that is using their visual-spatial intelligent) scenes about nature (learning about their nature/world smart). Other children had to throw objects from a certain distance to a specific target (using their kinaesthetic smarts) and keep record of their hitting the target (developing their logic/number smarts). The children also liked to mimic ways of being Smart.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING
Noticing that children who share their knowledge and achievements with parents, caretakers, or brothers/sisters at home are more confident in fulfilling their tasks and progress faster and better, we advise you to take ½ hour per day to talk, in a nice, cozy, quiet place, to your child about things he/she learned in school (which are reflected in the work they bring home every Friday – you can find them in the folders at the entrance). Those pieces of work can be an inspiration for you in finding similar worksheets on internet and, playfully, you can challenge the child to do them with you. You might find some nice games that will help reading, counting, and learning letters.