Our Maternelle students worked for the past weeks with their teachers on a very challenging scientific project.
The PK2 had to build “un arbre à sons/ a musical tree”. They had to follow some guidelines given by the MLF, “Mission Laïque Française”, a network of about 108 schools in 47 different countries to which SDFAS is affiliated:
-They had to create a structure that would make some music or sound and that would be animated by an element, such as wind or water… They could also create a song to sing along with the musical structure.
-They had to use only recycling materials.
-It had to be a team effort and help the students enlarge their vocabulary and solving skills.
The PK2 student’s scientific project took the form of a musical tree that they enjoyed playing to accompany their song.
The PK1 students relied on a similar scientific approach. We were very happy to discover two scarecrows in the 5 senses garden of the Preschool, made by the PK1 students using only recycling materials.
Congratulations to our young scientists!
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After taking care of the caterpillars, the students were amazed to see them disappear in a cocoon for a few weeks and to finally hatched into beautiful colored butterflies.
The release of the butterflies happened just after the Spring break. One of the butterflies was curious enough to explore our butterfly house in the preschool playground.
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Thanks to Olinda Rodas, Luke’s mother , the PK2A students experienced with a nice robot that moved around by following colored paths drawn by the students with ordinary markers on a sheet of paper.
Each color on the path is associated with a different command given to the robot: moving slow or fast or like a turbo, go straight or zigzag, spin or move backwards, or jump ahead, turn left or right, or make a U-turn.
No wonder the students were so eager to trace the different colored paths and watch the robots obey to their commands!
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The PK1 students are now in the heart of the science curriculum: “Distinguish between living and nonliving things” and ”Discover the cycle of life of a vegetal: birth, growth, wilting, death”.
When you are 3 years old, identifying what can grow and what cannot grow can be tricky. In class they tried to grow different items such as beads, pasta, buttons, play dough and seeds. They watered the different items and waited for a few days. Soon-after, they witnessed what had grown and what had not grown. Therefore, they were able to fill a chart and come to the conclusion that not everything is alive and can grow!
If you have a chance to step in Kindergarten, you will be surprised to find a snail aquarium in each class. The students have to feed the snails and observe them grow as part of the “Exploring the World” and “Take care and observe the development of an animal” skills.
They now know how to keep them healthy and happy. They studied all the names of their body parts, and could even create a story about the life of a snail.
They observed the snail’s shells and got inspired to create beautiful art!
So well cared, the snails laid some eggs. Let’s be patient and wait for the baby snails!
We use different colored blocks that we put on a queue line, and then we press on the blue button:” Go Cubetto”. When placed on the map, Cubetto can move forward, backwards, pivot on the right or the left side.
After making friends with Cubetto, we decided to build him a house using legos and magnets.
On the map, we placed Cubetto’s house in one of the squares, and programmed him to move from its initial position to his house. Then we added more lego buildings, and made Cubetto move from one to the other as well as explore the rest of the map.
The fun part was when Cubetto was strong enough to push forward some of the buildings when moving.
Later on, when the PK1 students become experts at programming the different moves of Cubetto, they will be able to memorize a sequence using the function line.
It is true coding and the children love it!
Learning how to write skillfully in cursive is a long process that starts in Kindergarten and will be continued in 1st grade.
Our PK2 students already train on a large scale to make and then draw some loops. To practice they will use blocks and trace the loop around, or use a cord to make a loop around the block. Then they will try to draw as many small loops as possible with a piece of chalk.
In Kindergarten, the students will train on a smaller scale to make loops using different tools and material: ribbon, play dough, and eventually they will draw loops on a whiteboard using a marker.
The next and final step will be to learn how to write letters in cursive when following a line, and to stay in between two lines. A major step to master before entering in 1st grade.
Gardening in Kindergarten
As part of the Kindergarten curriculum, “Exploring the World”, the students need to observe the stages of germination, learn to care for and observe the development of a plant.
After observing different seeds, the children made hypothesis on how the seed will transform: into a flower, a tree, a turnip or a pumpkin…
The last chapter of this Learning process was to plant and grow some wheat.
The Kindergarten were very happy to see the wheat they had planted last month had grown and was showing nice “wheat ears”.
Charlotte and her classmates make sure they get enough water but not too much! A true skill they need to master: “Take care and observe the developme
nt of a plant”.
Physics in PK2
Yes our students are exposed to some concepts related to Physics.
In PK2 they had to understand and resolve a few new concepts: what shapes of objects will be able to roll or slide down, and how to increase their speed when rolling down.
They spent a few classes building slopes using cardboards or papers, creating some more or less steep slopes, observing the kind of objects that would roll better, and making conclusions.
In our French curriculum, all the Math skills have the power to help our students develop some important tools to structure their way of thinking. One of the skills the Kindergarten study is “Reproduce an assembly from a template (puzzle, tiling, construction)”.
The children will have to manipulate after a precise observation which will help them to understand some abstract concepts such as space visualization.
Another skill they need to master is “Count to compare two given sets”. This skill may appear an easy one but to achieve it you need to have fully understood the quantities which is a difficult skill that our students at SDFAS start to learn from PK0, with a quantity of 2 objects, then 3 objects in PK1, 5 objects in PK2 and finally they will easily master the quantity of 10 objects.
Our PK1 students spend some time acquiring this next Math skill:”Identify a pattern and continue the sequence”. This particular skill will allow them to develop their logical way of thinking and prepare them for problem solving.
Being able to count is not being able to recite the numbers. This is only one of the various Math Number sense concepts our students will master by the end of Kindergarten.
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