This week to work on balance, our Pre-Elementary students did a balance course, walking on a beam, using spooner boards, moving with some clip cloppers and going through some unstable obstacles.
Balance is an important building block for so many skills! In order to move safely, a child must be able to switch from balanced position to balanced position. With good balance and coordination there is less likelihood of injury, as children will react with appropriate postural responses when needed (e.g. putting hands out to protect themselves when they fall off their bike).
Using only basic symbols to represent the different parts of the story, our PK2 students created their own version of the three little pigs. They then went to visit the Kindergarteners and used their wordless book to tell the story to their friends.
Wordless books, are reading before reading: Young children are empowered to be the storyteller instead of having to listen to adults. It is also a great tool to work on inferences, and story structure: Without words, students have to rely on their symbolic representation of the story to infer what is happening next. Always in our pre-elementary program, we have to consider the fun factor of an activity, and wordless books are fun! The story is always changing and evolving each time you “read” it. Children love to create and use their imaginations, and wordless books provide an outlet for that. It’s amazing to see the ideas they have and the way they process the information. A classic story can become something quite different than the “original version”.
Francois Tregouet, STEAM Coordinator and 3rd grade teacher, lead an collaborative project between 4th graders and kindergarteners. The 4th graders studied polygons and learned how to code Probot to trace them. Kindergarteners learned to identify polygons, named them, both in English and French, and recognized their names in capital letter, lowercase and cursive. Both grades then met: the 4th graders coded Probot to trace polygons and Kindergarteners had to name them orally, and identify them by their writing as well. This is a perfect example of peer teaching, with a twist of high-tech!
This week our PK0 students had their first mini-forum. They presented a mimed story in French ” le village de Chut”. Some of our young students were still intimidated by the setting and the presence of so many parents and friends, but most of them were really proud and happy to perform for an audience. Then our PK2 did a song and dance number for a captivated public. “Les trois petits cochons” and farm animals were the theme of their performance, and a reflection of the classroom learning.
Again a great performance from SDFAS preschoolers!
Our PK0 are using the Album “ toutes les couleurs” d’Alex Sanders as a starting point to introduce the vocabulary of the body. In the album, a cute little rabbit is playing outside, and ends up with a green bottom from the grass, a red mouth from the strawberry, brown feet from the mud and so on. Our students are creating their own album, painting the background, and acting the part of the adventurous rabbit.
SDFAS teachers always promote active learning as it makes learning relevant and fun!
Last week, our Kindergarteners came up with lots of questions regarding the North Pole. By reading different books, watching videos, and making science experiments they will find answers. For instance they were curious about the way the polar bear stay warm.
The first hypothesis was that bears had some warm fur.
In order to test this hypothesis, SDFAS students put their hands in very cold water and then inside a fur mitten then back into the cold water to compare. Indeed, the water was much colder without the fur.
Another experiment showed them that if they put their hands in blubber, they could not feel the cold anymore. Active learning is fun!
SDFAS Pre-Elementary section is getting ready to present its art productions at the annual school Gala. Our students are lucky to get the expertise of some of our talented parents. Let’s look at a couple of projects: Emilie’s class will offer a blue, teal, and turquoise tree inspired by Kandinsky’s round geometric shapes under the direction of well-known artist and parent Kerry Richer.
Anne-Sophie’s Kindergarten will present a collective self-portrait: it’s a rhythmic assemblage of a savvy juxtaposition of colors and shapes completed entirely by the children with the help of another one of our talented artist, Mireille DesRosiers, who is co-chairing the gala art projects committee this year.
With the arrival of January comes another French celebration with the galette des rois – the “king cake.” It’s a flaky, sweet cake served warm, straight out of the oven. But the pleasure brought by a galette des rois isn’t merely due to its delicious taste – it’s also the anticipation of wondering whether you will be the lucky one to discover la fève, a tiny charm, buried inside one of the slices. If you are, you’re “king for a day” and take your place in a 700-year old French tradition! Each class had a galette des rois, and we had a lot of royalties this week at SDFAS. In Sophie’s class, the king was Mattin, and he picked his queen, Stella.
This week our PK2 students discovered a classic game “le beret” or “steal the bacon”. Each player has a number written in his/her hands. The “bacon“ is placed in the center of the playing area. A teacher calls out a number and all students with that number run to pick up the “bacon.”
It is a lot of fun and a great way to demonstrate the advantages of kinesthetic learning. In kinesthetic learning, movements and actions replace more passive forms of learning, such as listening to the teacher explaining a concept. Our young students work on numeration, are active participants in their learning and even more important in PK, they enjoy learning!