October in our class
The month of October got all of us closer to each other and made us understand better the benefits of the family we have at school. We discovered more about our friends’ hobbies, likes and dislikes and we learnt more about ourselves. We discovered the benefits of team work and how we can develop our team spirit. We learned about the responsibilities that we share, working towards the same goal and celebrating with friends the satisfaction of effective team work.
In English we continued with more phonics that helped us with our reading. We discovered the short vowels; we learnt to identify and use them correctly in specific contexts. We have done Short Vowels Pamphlets, puzzles and interactive games to get closer to our vowels. For a better understanding of our vowels, we made bookmarks with them and we learnt the vowels song. We also worked more on our high frequency words and we practiced on writing and reading them. We have done the story of “Meg and the Pig” and we identified specific information in the text, rhyme words, word spelling etc.
During our Math classes in October, we continued with our number study, we counted forward and backwards, we ordered numbers from the least to the greatest, we learnt what more, less and equal represent in Mathematics, we have done skip counting in 2’s, 5’s 10’s, ten frames, bonds to 20, additions and subtractions. For the future, we plan to start on our number formation, bonds to 50, number sentences. We will also continue revising additions and subtractions with bigger numbers.
During our science classes in the month of October, we got closer to know ourselves and learn more about our human body. We learnt the body parts, we discovered how human body functions and we have done some research on the human skeleton. Then we talked about the five senses and we understood their importance for the human nature. We have also doubled our theoretical knowledge with lots of interesting, hands on activities, such as: create skeletons, x-ray bones, story senses lollipops, funny bones, we played the top- trumps style game where we used Body Parts Number Comparison Cards and we have learnt the skeleton dance.
HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY
Our history classes offered us a good opportunity to get back in time and find out more about the Stone Age and Bronze Age. We have been introduced to the wonderful land of prehistoric animals and we discovered more about the tools and the settlements people used in those old times. We talked about Stonehenge and we represented it in 3D. We learnt through play in a team work activity when we have done air dry clay to represent tools and jewelries belonging to these ancient times.
During our Geography classes, we focused on learning more about the continents: location on the map, climate, specific animals etc. This way we discovered more about the penguins in Antarctica and the jungle habitat of Africa. We have also doubled out theoretical knowledge with lots of interesting and interactive activities we have done in class.
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
As October is the month when mother nature puts on the beautiful autumn coat, this month we were all happy to make as many trips as possible to the park. We admired the beauty of nature; the yellow, red, brown and orange trees and we lived the nostalgia of the falling leaves. We also wanted to take all these emotions and feelings to our class, so we picked up colorful leaves from the park and we made an autumn collage that we proudly showed to everybody entering our classroom.
The last day of October, brought with it the happiness of the old celebration of Halloween. We made gorgeous Halloween decorations, we sang Halloween songs, we bobbed for apples and we enjoyed playing “trick or treat” with our friends at school.
At the Social Emotional Learning Classes, we continued the core practices of Mindfulness, and then we introduced the „Mindfulness of thoughts concept”, helping children in becoming 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 ).
Also, we 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, on our notebooks (more letters) and on some different worksheets (sound-letter correspondance/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.
WHAT COMES NEXT
For the month of November, we plan to learn more about team spirit and get involved in more team projects that respond to the individual interests of the children in our class. As we have brainstormed our friends, we found out that we all love insects, animals, and plants. During one of our classroom meetings, we decided to get committed to a common project involving insects. So, we decided to start with the Story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. We plan to do the text book during our English classes, practice on exercises with caterpillars during our Math classes, learn the butterfly lifecycle during our Science classes and represent it in fine arts as well.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING
Parents can support their children’s learning by being there for them: read with your child, play with your child, solve projects together, visit a museum, an art gallery, anything that will answer to your child’s individual interests and will make him broader his horizons. Praise your child’s efforts, show him the passion of a new discovery, challenge your child and make your child feel valued.