Term 2 Week 2 – Patterns and Animal Coats – Part 5

The second topic for this week was also related to animals.  This time we looked at sheep, rabbits and goats.  All these creatures have something in common.  They do not grow fur but wool on their body.

sheep

The children were really interested in this topic.

  • They got to know that this wool protects these animals against the cold in winter months.
  • However wool grows just like our hair grows on our head and so this wool needs to be sheared (cut off).
  • I stressed that these animals do not hurt when the wool is sheared off. On the contrary some of them might be relieved because the wool would weight a lot on their backs.
  • They learnt that humans as always found good use for this wool.
  • Sheep’s wool is made into jumpers, socks and blankets.
  • Rabbit’s wool is made into angora coats and hats.
  • Goat’s wool is turned into cashmere coats.

sheep-2

The children were fascinated when they watched a video clip of sheep being sheared.  Some even said that they wanted this job when they grew up!!!

Shearing Sheep –

The children also observed the patterns created in the wool after it was woven into the various garments.

Wool was the link to our next letter for this week, w for wool.  You will find more information in the literacy blog.

 

Advertisements

Patterns in Nature and Animal Coats – Part 4

zebra 1.png

The next patterned animal we spoke about was the zebra.  The children followed a story called Zack the Lazy Zebra written by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.

You can follow the story in the link below.


We discussed the story and gave it our own ending.  The children were asked to mention all the words which start with z in the story.  We then took a closer look at zebras as an animal.

The children observed the stripes on a zebra’s body.  These are some of the facts we went through and which you can use as a spark to start a conversation.

  • They learnt that although the zebra stripes are white and black or black and white no two zebra patterns are alike. Each zebra has a unique pattern.
  • These animals form part of the equidae family along with horse and donkeys.
  • Experts say they have stripes for camouflage just like the jaguars have spots.
  • Wild zebras live in Africa.
  • Zebras are very fast-moving animals.
  • They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.
  • Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly different types of grass, but they also eat bark, herbs and shrubs. Zebras prefer full green grass that is short and near the ground.
  • Zebras only sleep when they are in large groups so that they can be alerted of danger.
  • A typical zebra family consists of a male, called a stallion, several females, called mares, and their children called foals.

Video Clip – Zebras for Kids


For each difficult word which the children might not understand like bark, shrubs and herbs they are shown a picture on the board to help them understand further.

The children created their own zebra craft which was linked to both our literacy lessons and numeracy lessons as well.

Further details are found under the respective blogs.  The zebras are hanging outside our door.

They are similar to the zebra picture below.

zebra 2

 

 

Term 2 Week 2 – Patterns In Nature and Animal Coats Part 3

This week we explored this topic further.

We looked at many other patterns in nature as well as man-made ones keeping our main focus on animals.   The children eagerly come to tell us which patterns they might have seen the previous day or what they can observe in class, books and out and about.

Some of them mentioned the following sweaters they wore with stripes; insects such as the bee which has stripes too; the repeated colours they had in them; water ripple effects when they played in the bath; the lava that oozes out of the volcano when it erupts; flowers with endless pattern work and food in various shapes.

Here are some pictures of the patterns they mentioned.

nature1.png

The children started getting their little pattern cutouts from home and showing the patterns they chose in front of the class.  Well done Jeanmarie, Sophie, Zara and Neil.

I encourage all the other children to do the same and get a small cutout from a magazine or wrapping paper which has a pattern design on it so we can hang them up on our topic wall outside the classroom.

After this general overview we continued working with the jaguar theme which we started last week.  The children learnt some general knowledge about this fascinating animal.   These are some facts we went through which you can discuss with them at home or develop the topic even further through book reading and watching videos.

nature2

  • Jaguars form part of the cat family. In fact it is the 3rd largest of the big cats after the tiger and the lion and it is the largest of all the big cats in the Americas.
  • They are solitary animals and live and hunt alone.
  • They usually hunt at night and drag their food up a tree to keep it safe.
  • Like all members of the big cat family, jaguars can roar.
  • Unlike other cats, the jaguar loves the water — it often swims, bathes, plays and even hunts for fish in streams and pools.
  • Jaguars are carnivores, they prey on over 80 species of animal of all sizes, such as deer, pigs, capybara, foxes, fish, frogs and even large anaconda snakes.
  • The jaguar often leaps into water or from a tree onto its prey.
  • The jaguar has a very powerful jaw; its bite is more powerful than that of a lion.
  • Finally they got to know that the spots on the jaguar are slightly different than that of their cousins the leopard. Those of a jaguar have a black spot in the middle of most of their pattern.

Video Clip – Roar! Meet the Big Cats! –


J – Jaguar song –

 

Our work with letter j came to an end with some hands on exercises where the children had to sort out letter j beans from assortments of other letters and different sized beans and bottle caps.  They also played various interactive whiteboard games white focused on this letter sound.

Here are a few photos of the letter j activities.

 

 

Term 1 Week 1 – Patterns In Nature and Animal Coats – Part 2

During the last day of the week we started working with letter sound j.

The children first watched a story during circle time called Story – Jungleberry Jamboree by Helen H Moore


We then discussed the patterns we could make with images in the story such as using the spots on the jaguar, the apples on the tree, the spots on the saxophone which one of the jaguars was playing, the jaguars finger nails, the whiskers of each animal etc.

They also created a jaguar craft using the j as the body of the animal. They struck the head, eyes and ears, arms and legs.

They then created their random spotted pattern by using the back tip of a pencil dipped in paint.

The jaguars are already stuck on our bulletin board outside our classroom.

jungleberry.jpg

 

Term 2 week 1 – Patterns – Part 1 – Introduction

patterns.png

We started our second term with another very interesting topic – patterns.  The children became aware that the world around them is full of patterns.

These patterns can be of two kinds

(a) natural that is found in nature
(b) made by man.

They got to know that patterns can be made out of different shapes, colours, sounds, words, music and texture.  So they would be using one or multiple senses at the same time to understand patterns.

The most important thing in all the patterns – whether they are found in nature or man made – is that they are repeated.

To start understanding this topic we started off with taking a close look at various pattern pictures and the children mentioned what the pattern in each one was example spotted, striped, flowered, with hearts, which colours were used, which shapes could be found in them.

We them moved onto patterns in nature found in animals and their coats.  We took a closer look at the coats of the giraffe, tiger, zebra, cow, badger, cheetah, jaguar, lion, shell of the tortoise and the feathers of the peacock.

animals1
lion
The children watched the story of the lion and the mouse.  Besides discussing the moral behind the story we took a close look at the different patterns shown in the story with particular emphasis being made on the lion and its mane.

Storytime – The lion and the mouse.


The children mentioned that the main colours in a lion’s mane are orange and yellow so we picked these two colours to create our own lion head.  The children had to colour in a circle for the face.  (I am putting more emphasis on the importance of colouring in the picture given and the way the colouring is done.  I told the children that no white piece could be left uncoloured at the end of the task.  I praised them for their hard work.)

They then stuck an alternate pattern of 1 orange strip of paper and another strip of yellow paper all around to form the mane.  This craft linked us to our first letter lesson as well as to our first numeracy lesson – Letter l and number 1 respectively.  More details can be found in the respective blogs.


We look a closer look at the lion as the king of the jungle and the children learnt many facts about this amazing animal.  They learnt that these animals are the largest of the cat family; they live in a group called a pride.

The females hunt for their food whilst the male keeps their home safe and sees that the cubs get enough to eat.  Their prey might be elephants, bulls, antelopes, crocodiles, giraffes and rhinos.  These animals have very sharp teeth and they are very good swimmers etc.

Video clip – LIONS: Animals for children. Kids videos. Kindergarten | Preschool learning


During the week we used all the things around us to make patterns.  We even used ourselves.  We created a pattern with one boy, one girl, another pattern was one child holding a yellow craft stick another holding a yellow stick.  I also asked the children to look for patterns in the classroom and at home which we discussed during circle time.

Tasks –

  • During the coming week the children can get with them a picture or even a small piece of textured material which has a pattern on it. If we have enough we will then create a collage to be displayed in class.  So let’s get searching!
  • They can keep on looking for patterns at home in the coming week and we can talk about them when they come to school.

These are some of the video clips used in class about this topic.

Pattern parade song –


Banana, banana, meatball –


The lion song –

 

Term 1 Week 12 – The World Around Me – Christmas continued…

In the last couple of weeks we started talking about the symbols which characterize Christmas.

The children came up with an endless list amongst which they mentioned the following: snow, sleigh, Rudolph the Reindeer, presents, Jesus, angel, toys, tree, decorations, lights, baubles, elves, stories, Father Christmas and bells.

In fact the last two I listed were our major topic during the other two circle time sessions we had this week.

The children watched the sweet story of Topsy and Tim, two sweet little children who met Father Christmas and because they had been good they were given presents for Christmas.

After the story we spoke about how important it is to behave and listen to our parents and teachers who love us very much.  At times what they tell us is not to our liking but it is for our own good.  If we do behave just like Topsy and Tim we will get our Christmas presents too!

Topsy and Tim Meet Father Christmas –


‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Poem Video


The other symbol we spoke about was bells.  The children said that we use these to decorate with during Christmas time.

During this time of year such musical instruments are associated with happiness and the announcement that something special and important is going to happen like the arrival of baby Jesus.

I asked the children to listen attentively when hearing Christmas carols to see if they can spot the bells ringing. (This is an exercise in developing listening skills and it can be done with other musical instruments).


These topics linked us to two literacy letters f and b.  You can find more information under the literacy section.

 

 

Term 1 Week 12 – Good Deed No 5

Our 12th week at school was short but exciting with the last preparations for the concert as well as the children realizing that Christmas is getting closer.  Our circle time in the morning was characterized by Christmas Carol singing.

We sang songs like Jingle bells, Silent Night, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Claus Is coming to Town and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

We will be singing these songs when we visit St. Elizabeth’s Home in Rabat on Wednesday 20th December when we donate all the non-perishable food you so kindly sent over with your children during the last couple of weeks.

Jingle Bells –

Silent Night –

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer –

Santa Claus is coming to Town –

We Wish You A Merry Christmas –


During our topic work sessions we also discussed another good deed.  We spoke about how during this time we eat more sweets especially chocolates and cakes.

The children became aware that they are very lucky because their parents and guardians prepare delicious and healthy food for them every day.

However unfortunately there are children who are not so lucky.  There are children who do not only have no food but also no clothes or toys.

good-deed
Good Deed – We need to be grateful for all that we have and not grumble if there is food we do not really like on our plate. We try our best to eat it!

There were a couple of children who promised they will get a small bite sized sandwich to school on Monday – they will try and eat it rather than getting crackers and a sponge only because that is what they really like to eat.

I promised to give them special points on our interactive class chart.

So fingers crossed for Monday’s lunchtime   🙂

 

 

Term 1 Week 11 – Good Deed No 4

Our topic work on Thursday focused on another good deed – that of being polite to others and using what we call magic words such as sorry, please and thank you.

Sometimes it is not easy for us to say these words most especially when we don’t understand if what we did might have been wrong.

The children watched this story called Saying Sorry which shows the importance of such an important word.


We all discussed how we feel when somebody does something to us like snatching a toy, or pushing us and that person does not say sorry.

We also mentioned that we cannot say sorry without meaning it.

For instance, “okay sorry now give me the toy!”, to get what we want.

Saying Sorry Song –

 


Please and thank you were mentioned as well. These all form part of good manners.

So the good deed for the long weekend is saying sorry with meaning if we do something which is not quite right!

A gentle reminder for all those children who have to get 1 non-perishable item for the needy on Monday 11th December, list is as follows:

  • Noah
  • Bernard
  • Neil
  • Emily
  • Timothy

If possible those children who were sick during the week bring their food item as well.

 

Good Deeds No. 3

good deed

Dear all,

Today we spoke about another good deed that of playing with another person in class especially if that person is alone or not one of our close friends.

The children tried to imagine how they feel if they cannot play with their friends.  We mentioned that they should make an effort and try and play with their brothers, sisters, cousins if they have any.

This will make the other person happy as well as be happy themselves.

Play is very important for every child because through play we learn new things.  Putting away the toys we play with in the appropriate place is also very important because then we will be able to find them again the next time we decide to play with them.

The story of the snowman below shows the importance of making an effort and playing with others.


The children who need to get the items for the reverse advent calendar tomorrow Thursday 7th December are the following :

  • Giannina
  • Sophie
  • Zara
  • Isaac
  • Mattia

 

 

Good Deed No. 2

Good Deed No 2


Today was our second day of using the reverse advent calendar.  Thank you for your co-operation in sending in the items for the needy.

It is really helping the children understand that they are lucky people but there are other people who need our help.

Tomorrow it is the day of the following children to send in one item of non-perishable foods.

  • Gabriel
  • Joshua
  • Floyd
  • Oldrich
  • Adaya

Our circle time story today was called Lily and the Snowman.  In this story we saw how Lily becomes friends with a snowman who was lonely.

We developed the idea that it feels good to have friends with whom you can play, talk and share ideas and other things such as toys and books.

We have to take care of our friends and be nice to them in the way we talk. We cannot call them names such as stupid or say they are not our friends.

We also need to have nice hands and nice feet and not kick and push or be rough.

We have to be friends with our relatives at home too.  So when our mum, dad, grandma, granddad tell us to do something we don’t stamp our feet and say no or sulk.

We have to make an extra effort to take care of our friends at home too because these are our family.  So today please remind them of the following story below and the moral behind it.