Our afternoon class has begun a new inquiry project on camping (the children chose this as their topic of interest).  We have been reading books about camping and trees and have also changed our dramatic play area into a camping scene complete with trees, tents, and a fishing 'pond'.  

The children have been very creative with the natural materials - often spending a great deal of time creating 'campfires' - which are intricate designs using a variety of the materials available (and often using every last piece of these items!).  We have also observed them sliding the beads onto sticks to roast 'marshmallows' over their created campfire.  

Here are some photos of their creative work (these photos are from both the morning and the afternoon classes):
Wow!  We collected so much food for the Campus Food Bank!  Thank you so much for your generous donations, for allowing us to use your wagons and carts on our delivery day, and for the parents who were able to stay and help with the food delivery.  As the children pushed their carts/pulled their wagons across campus I felt overwhelmed with pride!  The food bank was very excited when we arrived with our large food delivery.

Here is a link to the Campus Food Bank website: http://campusfoodbank.com 

I hope you enjoy the photos! 

Morning Class Photos

Morning Class Reflections

"What was your favourite part of delivering food today?  How did it make your feel?"

Abd-ElRahman - I liked helping them.
Amelie - I liked pushing the cart.
Finn - I liked pulling the carts.
Jasper - I liked walking to the food bank.
Leia - I liked pushing the carts.  It was so bumpy.
Luka - I liked giving the food.
Megan - I liked pulling the wagon with Amelie.  It made me happy.
Nathan - I liked giving the food for them.
Tobias - I liked pushing the carts. 

Afternoon Class Photos

Afternoon Class Reflections

"What was your favourite part of delivering food to the food bank?  How did it make your feel?"

Anna - I liked it when I was pushing the cart.
Avery - I liked pushing the cart.
Cooper - I felt good.
Dorine - Pushing the wagon felt good.
Elisha - hen I was helping Dorine pull the wagon it was good.
Jesse - I liked carrying the adventure backpack.
Kinan - I liked laughing with Aroh and Talha.
Lowyn - I felt happy by pushing the stroller.
Samantha - I liked that day.
Seth - I liked pushing the food with bumping peanut butter with Mommy. 
What fun we have had with Stone Soup!  At our Stone Soup literacy counter the children can look at different versions of this tale and also retell it as they mix up their own stone soup with manipulatives.

We have read the following versions of stone soup:
  • Stone Soup, by Jon Muth
  • Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown
  • Fandango Stew, by David Davis
  • Bone Button Borscht, by Aubrey Davis

Thank you to everyone for sharing your veggies so that we could enjoy our own stone soup at school!  Sitting around a circle, the children shared what they had brought to contribute to our soup.  We then sang the stone soup song (sung to the tune of Frere Jacques) as we took turns putting our veggies in the soup pot:
We have ______________
We have ______________
In our stone soup
In our stone soup
Thank you for sharing
Thank you for sharing
Yum, yum, yum!
Yum, yum, yum!

In the soup pot was also one large stone (boiled on my stove prior to entering our soup... and I use the same stone every year so it's really clean by now!), a bay leaf, salt and pepper, and vegetable broth.  The morning soup ended up very spicy as there was too much pepper in our soup.  You will see this reflected on the children's faces in the photos below!  The afternoon soup had less pepper in it, making it much more enjoyable!
The afternoon class had a pirate dress-up this week.  We completed pirate activities like creating an authentic looking treasure map, making 'Wanted' posters, and playing 'Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate".  Having everyone dressed up like pirates led to a fun afternoon of imaginative play!  

A special thank you to Finn and Kaliko for sharing their extra pirate gear with their classmates.

We also played the pirate games/activities on this website: http://www.cbc.ca/kids/games/pirates/index.html
The afternoon children have taken an interest in drawing treasure maps.  We wanted to create an example to demonstrate how pirates have to draw landmarks on their maps so they know where to walk.  We drew a map and then hid treasure, leading the children around the room to follow the map.  Jenn was our captain, so after she spoke we had to say, "Aye, aye captain!"  Here is a video of the children finding the hidden treasure.
This activity lead to the children creating even more maps during free play time on Wednesday.  During our group time on Thursday the map creator described their map to us (videos below).  Drawing maps is a numeracy activity as it helps the children develop their sense of spatial awareness. 

Dorine's Treasure Map

Elisha's Treasure Map

Kinan's Treasure Map

Samantha's Treasure Map

Here is our work on pirate flags.  The children traced the skull and crossbones / skull and swords and then decided if they wanted their flags to be red or black at the paint centre. 
Sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up!  Here is a look at how our pirate project began.  

We started with brainstorming what we already know about pirates.  We then spent a couple of weeks reading pirate stories, drawing pictures, playing with play dough, and pretending to be pirates.  This lead to thinking about what kinds of questions we have about pirates.  We created our "What do we want to know?" board, and have since spent our project time researching these questions.  

Morning Class

Before Halloween madness took over our classroom, we brainstormed a list of things we wanted to learn about this year.  On Monday we revisited this list to decided which topics would become our projects this year.  

Each child was given two red dots to stick under the topics they were most enthusiastic about.  Once we had all placed our votes (and then tallied these votes), we realized that we needed to eliminate some of the topics that had zero, one, or two votes.

So, the children were then given two blue dots and voted for the topics that had stars beside them: Pirates, Dinosaurs, Sports, Fairies, and Princesses.  The children then counted the blue-dot votes: Pirates (3), Dinosaurs (9), Sports (3), Fairies (7), and Princesses (3). 

We decided to start with dinosaurs as this topic got the highest number of votes.  Over the past week we have been reading dinosaur stories and discussing what we know about dinosaurs.  

We will soon begin talking about what we want to find out about dinosaurs and plan our project around the students' wonders.  Stay tuned for updates on our project! 

Afternoon Class

Unlike the morning class, no re-vote was needed here.  The children cast their two votes for the topics they wanted to learn about and Camping (7), Pirates (4), and Sharks (3) received the large majority of the votes.  

Although Camping got the highest number of votes, we know that people go camping in the spring and summer, not the winter, so we decided to save this project until a later date.  We thought we could combine Sharks and Pirates and focus on this topic for our first project.  

This week we have been reading pirate books and talking about what we know about pirates.  These discussions led to the decision that we should have a day where we come to school dressed up as pirates!  We will do this in January, as December always feels so busy and hectic.  

The children have begun thinking about what they would like to learn about pirates over the upcoming months.