October in our class
This past month the children continued to work hard in lessons. We learnt many new things in all subjects and we had fun playing games.
In English, we continued practicing letters and sounds. We also started looking into stories. We started with the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. The children had the opportunity to listen and see the story at the same time. In addition, we were using actions to describe the story and learn it. In the next weeks, children had a fun time doing drama and representing the story by choosing a role and by wearing a costume/mask to so they were actually engaged with the story. We will also learn about story maps and how we can create one. Moreover, we will continue by changing the story and the children will have the opportunity to create their own stories based on the ones that they have learnt.
In mathematics, we started learning about the concept of more, less and equal. The children had a fun time to represent the symbol for each concept with a mouth of a crocodile. In addition, more vocabulary was added like greater than and smaller than. Moreover, we explore ten frames which help the students realize the concept of making numbers. The idea is how many dots I need to make ten. Given different sets of dots, the children add as many as they need to add dots. That activity is the beginning of addition. Another activity that helps all calculations is number bonds. The children have a number and they find all the different ways to construct a number. For example, 10 can be made by adding 5 and 5, 4 and 6, 3 and 7 etc. Additionally, we explored addition and subtraction Children practices these calculations with different numbers and they created their own examples. We also played board games based on addition and subtraction which help the students consolidate their learning but also doing mathematics in a fun way. Children also solved one step problems that involve these calculations using concrete materials or pictorial representations. Next, we will be exploring writing numbers in words. We will also continue number bonds up to 50 and number sentences. Children will also continue to solve real life problems.
In Science we started learning about our bodies beginning with the five senses and which part of the body is associated with each sense. The children experienced all the different smells, tastes and textures and added words to their vocabulary, such as “smooth”, “rough”, “sour”, “bitter”, “pupil”. We will continue exploring the major organ systems in our body.
HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY
In Geography, we learned about the seven continents and the differences between the people from all over the world. We saw how people dress and what kind of food they eat. The children made Earth globes out of balloons and paper mâché and, later on, positioned the continents.
In History, we learned about human evolution from single cell organism to ape to human. Later we began an introduction to Ancient Egypt civilization.
EXPRESSIVE ART & DESIGN
Here is a brief introduction from Georgeta Gherghinoiu, our new art teacher: “I have painted since I was five and I have tried to find out the mystery of teaching since I was eleven.
Probably that’s the reason why I am here today, doing my best in guiding those who are the most creative of us: the children. I’ve graduated from the National University of Arts Bucharest, in the Department of Graphic Arts as well as in the Department of Training for Teaching Personnel (DPPD). For six years I’ve been working in the field of Art Restoration and Conservation, being part of the teams that restored monuments like the Bran Castle (Bran, Brașov), The Episcopal Church Curtea de Arges ( Curtea de Arges) the Stavropoleos Church, the Russian Church, and Coral Temple (Bucharest). Meantime, I’ve been doing art workshops and art summer schools, here, in Romania, but also in Ukraine and USA. I strongly believe that anyone can draw or paint; they just need to be challenged to discover and improve their creativity and imagination”.
-Continue practicing the basic music notations and the notes in the treble clef
-Continue playing music games that develop rhythm
-Start practicing the songs for the Winterfest
I continued with rolling over the head and we did apply trails in which the emphasis was put on bouncing with the knees to the chest and rolling over. Before the exercises in the apply trail we did warm up exercises for head, shoulders, back, arms, legs, hips, knees and ankles, and different types of running and walking like the animals (bunny, gorilla, bear, scorpion). We did relays against time in the apply trail: rolling over, jumping in circle and bouncing with the knees to the chest. I continued with force development exercises. Afterwards we did exercises for relaxation after effort and breathing exercises. In the last 5 minutes of the class we did mindful body exercises with relaxation music.
TRIPS AND SPECIAL DAYS
On the 31st of October we celebrated Halloween. The children dressed up in costumes, got to decorate the classroom with spiders, ghosts, skeletons and bats. We also decorated two pumpkins and we learned about the origins of this celebration.
We are planning a trip to the Museum of Natural History to learn more about human evolution and different civilizations.
At the Social Emotional Learning Classes, we continued the core practices of Mindfulness, and then we introduced the “Mindfulness of thoughts concept”, helping children to become aware of the dynamic of their thoughts. We used an experiential exercise where we created a thoughts bottle, with glitter being our thoughts and observing how when we are angry or agitated our thoughts look like a tornado while when we take our Mindful Bodies position and breathe calmly, our thoughts do not disappear but they rest peacefully at the bottom of the bottle.
We presented the Kindness concepts and spoke about the coming Dance for Kindness event. 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 and that we can use our strengths to help our community (we created a Community Brain, a symbol of our diversity, where everyone contributed with their own smart whether that’s Body, Visual, Nature or Friendship Smart ).
We also spoke about Democracy in schools and we introduced Democratic Day, a monthly gathering where children choose what they want to learn at school and what rules they want to implement or change. Students also offered to become candidates for a position in the Student Council, and then everyone voted for two members of their classrooms to represent them in our weekly meetings with the school principal and other student councils.
In the Romanian classes, we continued to focus on oral practice and production of the language. We generally started from stories and covered some of the language skills as listening, understanding and speaking. We did all these basically by playing a lot of games: “Look at the picture and say” … (What / who is missing from the story? / What is true and what is false? / What are they doing / Explain / Describe / Imagine…) “Continue my sentence” / “What if…” (change the story / improvise / imagine) / “Good or bad” (describe the character / motivate our answers / add moral values). We continued to play with sounds, words and sentences.
We also continued the reading-writing practice in our notebooks (more letters) and on some different worksheets (sound-letter correspondence/syllables/words, by colouring, counting, logical thinking, deducing).
Little by little, we started to play together and to act like a team. We played some games to reinforce togetherness and self-confidence.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING
Parents can continue reading stories with the children and discuss about the content. They can also start discussing about the human body and how it works.