The end of the year has arrived already! It has been a wonderful year full of learning, fun and friendship. The children in K1 have grown so much and are so ready for their new challenge in K2. It has been a pleasure teaching these children. They have made me laugh and have made me so proud. I shall miss them all dearly but wish them all the very best in their new class, wherever that may be.
We've had so much fun this week getting messy and exploring different materials and substances. Sensory play is so important for children as it helps to develop their fine motor skills and also helps to develop connections between the brain and different experiences, evaluating and forming conclusions along the way. We made our own gloop, which gave the children the chance to ask questions and make group decisions about how much water or cornflour they would need to create the right consistency. They experimented with different amounts of each and then added food colouring to see how the colour changed. One colour was not enough, so colour mixing was also explored and further experimentation and analysis was needed to find the right colour. Above all, it was lots of fun and very messy (sorry about the T-shirts!).
This week we also spent time watching each others' stories and thought about how they made us feel in our K1 Film Festival. We talked about how to give feedback and the importance of being respectful. In addition we talked about how to accept a compliment if one is given to us. The children were so engaged when watching their friends' stories and I was so proud with how kindly they gave each other feedback.
This week, Sophie and Haruto received Learner Profile certificates in assembly. Sophie received hers for being knowledgeable and Haruto received his for being a communicator. Well done, Sophie and Haruto!
This week, we took our story plans and made them into real stories. The children used the iPads to draw their characters and then record their voices telling their story. This helped them to work on their communication skills, as well as a variety of literacy skills.
This week we also enjoyed our field trip to the Children's International Film Festival, Big Eyes, Big Minds, where the children watched 11 short stories from around the world. This linked directly to our lines of inquiry ways that stories are told and the feelings stories cause.
As we are nearing the end of the year, there has been some talk of transition to new classes. This can be a challenging time for some children, whilst others may take the move to their new class in their stride. To support children through the transition we have spent some time this week in the K2 class where the children who are moving into K2 at ISS were able to meet their new teacher and explore their new environment. For children who are leaving, talking about where they are going and what it will be like can help to reduce anxiety and make a smoother transition. Also, spending time with friends before they leave is an important part of the leaving process to have time to say their goodbyes.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Daniyal and Vivaan for receiving Learner Profile awards for being knowledgable and for showing creativity throughout this Unit of Inquiry. Well done!
Last Friday, K1 showed that they were risk-takers by sharing some of their learning from the current unit, How we Express Ourselves. Their performance of Michael Rosen's 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' allowed the children to practise their communication and presentation skills while sharing one of the many ways they have explored to tell stories. For a repeat performance, see the video below. It's just as wonderful the 10th time of watching!
This week we have continued our exploration of how stories cause different feelings and how they connect to our experiences by planning our own stories. They have used ideas from familiar stories and from their own experiences to create a plan. Next week they will transfer their plan to create a full digital story.
For the PTA Fun Fair, K1 chose to run a cake stall. We raised $100 and the PTA matched us with another $100 bringing our total to $200, After asking for suggestions from K1 parents as to which charity to donate the money to, the SPCA, who take care of animals, was suggested. Luci kindly organised this and sent the money to them. The SPCA were so grateful for the donation that they sent each child a certificate, which was sent home this week.
And speaking of certificates... Ceyone and Leya received certificates this week for showing creativity through their story making and Olga and Advaith received certificates for showing teamwork in Visual Arts. Well done!
Listening, speaking and presenting are all key skills that children work on throughout elementary school. One of the most exciting opportunities for this is when the children take part in their class assembly performance. This year, K1 will be demonstrating that stories can be told through action and movement by retelling the famous story 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen. This involves collaboration with Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Mandarin to allow children to develop a deeper understanding of the performance process and how these areas are all connected. Take a look at the children developing their props for next week's performance.
Please join us next Friday at 1.30pm in Changi Hall to see the finished performance!
In Early Years, we look for opportunities to take learning outside. The advantages of outdoor learning have been heavily researched and include the following benefits:
This week some of our word work and number lessons were held outside. In word work, the children had to find the hidden letters of the alphabet and then work as a team to put them in order. In number work, the children were given a number and they were asked to retrieve the correct quantity of objects. Activities like this not only support the development of literacy and number knowledge, but also allow children to work on their ATLs (learning skills, such as communication, gross-motor skills and resolving conflict), attitudes (such as curiosity, empathy and creativity), and to use the Key Concepts (such as connection, responsibility and form) to demonstrate a deeper understanding.
This week the children also took action to create their new puppet theatre, after the original one kept falling over. They took a vote for how the theatre would be decorated and worked together to create the final product. Once complete (and dry), the children have enjoyed telling stories and putting on shows from inside the theatre.
Our Learner Profile award this week went to Ashritha for showing the attitude of enthusiasm. Ashritha approaches everything she does with excitement and enthusiasm and is a great role model to her friends. Well done, Ashritha!
K1 have been really inspired by our current Unit of Inquiry and are creating their own stories and books when given time for their self-initiated play. It has been wonderful to see the children working on their own, in groups, with picture stories and written stories and also stories in their mother tongue. This really does highlight the significance of intentional play for children. You can find out more about learning through play at our parents workshop on Wednesday.
This week the children were also excited to welcome their parents to the classroom and share their learning with them at their Student Led Conference. This was a great opportunity for parents to see some different ways the children learn and it's a time of great pride and excitement for the children.
This week we dug a little deeper into our Unit of Inquiry and explored one of our lines of inquiry - how stories are told. The children came up with a big list of ways to tell a story and added to the list as the week went on.
We explored different ways of story telling, particularly using pictures and puppets. The children worked together, which helped them work on their group decision-making skills and collaboration skills. As the week progressed, the children became more confident to share their stories with the class, both retelling familiar stories and making up their own. We found out that nursery rhymes are a fun way of telling stories and the children also recognised that they can tell stories in different languages. Next week we will combine these ideas to make a class book of nursery rhymes in different languages.
Olga received the Learner Profile certificate this week for being a communicator through her story telling.
This week we were also excited by the observation of a nest with a sun bird outside of the playground. Ceyone shared his news with the class and we all went outside to see if we could find it. The children used their observation skills to sketch pictures of the bird and some chose to find books in the library about birds. K1 are real inquirers!
We have begun our final term in K1. The children enjoyed sharing their adventures of the holidays but were also very excited to see each other. This week we welcomed two new students to the class; Sophie and Divit, and worked together to remind each other of classroom expectations and following the 4 Bees - Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be Honest, to help everyone to be happy and to learn at school. Una showed a great example of being caring this week, by being kind and helpful to our new friends. She therefore received this week's Learner Profile certificate in assembly. Well done, Una!
This week we dug a little deeper into the idea of adding. The children talked about what they thought it meant and had lots of different opportunities to demonstrate their understanding. The children shared some strategies that they already knew, such as using their fingers or counting objects.
We also introduced our new Unit of Inquiry - How We Express Ourselves. Our Central Idea is 'stories are interpreted in many ways' and we first of all shared our understanding of what a story is. Here are some of the children's initial ideas.
Zoe said 'you can read stories.'
Vivaan said 'stories must have a title and they have characters.'
Sammy said 'stories are in books.'
Anjali said 'stories have pictures and you can make up your own story.'
Sophie said 'grown up stories don't have pictures.'
Olga said 'you can read a story instead of watching TV.'
Daniyal said 'you read stories at bedtime.'
Ceyone said 'you can tell stories too.'
The classroom has been set up with different provocations about stories and the children have had fun exploring them. Some even decided they were going to read stories to the class 'like the teacher.'
We've come to the end of another unit! We consolidated our ideas and investigations this week and reflected on how our thinking has changed. The field trip to the adventure playground helped us to identify areas that the children have become more confident when moving and how they applied their knowledge of safety, spacial awareness and cooperation. In addition, the children were able to work on their gross motor skills, such as climbing, hanging, balancing and pulling, and identified themselves as risk takers for trying new things.
In assembly this week, the award was given to the whole of K1 for being courageous and taking risks to try new things at the adventure playground.
After such a busy week (and term), the mid-semester break will be a good chance for the children to catch up on some rest before we come back in April for our final term in K1. Have a wonderful holiday!
We are a class of 4 and 5 year olds who go to an international school in Singapore. we learn by playing, inquiring and having fun. Our teacher is Ms Cass.