Mon, Oct 16 2017 07:00
Cooking with children provides a hands-on approach to learning what we put in our tummies. Children love helping to prepare food. It exposes children to a wide variety of ingredients and encourages them to try new foods.
Over the summer, our herb garden grew strong and we had an abundance of basil. Coincidentally, Teacher Mariam brought in a big bag of beautiful cherry tomatoes from her dad’s garden. So, off we went into our first cooking activity! We wanted a simple recipe with just a few ingredients so we decided on cooking pasta with pesto sauce and cherry tomatoes. Last class, we had intentionally placed some of the herbs out. We wanted the children to observe, feel, smell, and experiment with the herbs. In the next class, during our morning gathering, we passed basil leaves around for the children to feel and smell. Some children said they liked the smell, and some did not. The children who were playing with the herbs in the morning seemed to like the smell better than the friends who had not played with the herbs previously.
We then asked the children to help snip leaves off the basil plant. A few of our friends were very excited and wanted to cut the basil off the main stems. We explained that we needed to take care of our plants so that they recover and regrow more basil. The children then took turns and carefully snipped the leaves making sure they were not crushing or breaking the main stems. When we returned inside, we washed the basil and made sure we had just the leaves and not the stems.
While waiting for our water to boil for our pasta, we cut tomatoes. With eager hands and butter knives, children were cutting carefully to make sure the tomatoes were cut in half.
When the pasta was ready, we prepared the pesto sauce. We added parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and our special main ingredient, basil. We placed it in a food processor and turned it on. Children watched the ingredients being chopped and blended into a thick sauce. We added the sauce to the pasta and mixed in the tomatoes. Some children liked the tomatoes, and some preferred the pasta without the tomatoes. Nevertheless, everyone enjoyed sitting together and trying the recipe.Until next time,
Thu, Oct 12 2017 08:00
When we were at the park, the children noticed that acorns were on the ground and started collecting them.
Some of the children noticed that some of the acorns were broken. Keane said “It’s because people step on them”. Koen said “Squirrels eat them that’s why they are broken”. With that being said, the children were determined to find more acorns to feed the squirrels. We went around the community centre to look for more acorns.
When we had a bucket full of acorns, the children decided it would be enough for the squirrels to eat. Most of the class agreed that putting the bucket up on a tree is the safest and easiest way for the squirrels to have access to the acorns. We were deciding which tree to put the bucket on when Teacher Matt pointed out that there was a squirrel sleeping in one of the trees.
That made decision making easier for everyone. The children all agreed to put the bucket on the tree where the squirrel was sleeping. Teacher Matt climbed the tree and hung the bucket on one of the branches.
We left the bucket up on the tree, hoping that the squirrels eat the acorns.
The children were excited to check the bucket and see whether the squirrels ate the acorns or not.
Teacher Emmett took the bucket from the tree. We saw water inside the bucket. Elliot said “That’s rain water inside. Koen replied with “That’s squirrel saliva.”
Then, the children discussed if the squirrels ate the acorns or not. Some children said it was too hard for the squirrel to reach. Jayden said “Maybe the squirrel was not hungry”. After all the exchanges of ideas, most of the children agreed to change the location of the bucket. They wanted it higher so the squirrels can easily find them. Teacher Emmett moved the bucket to a higher spot.
I am looking forward to how this exploration and discovery will unfold. Will the squirrels eat the acorns? Will the children think of other ideas to help feed the squirrels? Will this lead to another interest? Lots of questions still to be answered!
Tue, Oct 10 2017 06:00
It has been an amazing few weeks getting to know each other and already we are on our way to a great start. The children are settling into their classroom and friendships have begun. We are learning a little more about each other as we spend time together playing, creating art, and learning about ourselves. During art, we have drawn our self-portraits. We used mirrors to help us draw ourselves. Our self -portraits will soon be up on our board out front. We also created some leaf prints with potato stamps. We discovered that less was more when using the paint. Some of the children decided it was much better to actual use the potato as a paint brush rather than a stamp. The beauty of art is how ones outcome is so different from the next person even if you set out the same materials for everyone. An activity that showcases individuality is a great learning moment of acceptance and pride in one self.
Another activity that the children enjoyed recently was baking. We discussed safety rules before we begun baking in the kitchen and then we talked about the ingredients we were using. The children enjoyed the hands on part of the activity. We touched on some counting and measuring and most importantly, learning to take turns and being patient. We are looking forward to cooking more together soon.
Fri, Sep 29 2017 07:00
I am so very excited to welcome all the children and their families to a wonderful year of exploring, discovering and creating together. Already, we are getting to know each other as the days go by and we are excited to be on this journey together.
The children are getting settled and comfortable in their environment. You can see this by the way they move from one activity to another, the expressions they have on their faces and the chatter that is happening in our classroom.A little glimpse into our time together, starts off with open activities and then we have a quick sharing time. This allows us to just come together to start our day and share anything we may have with one another. A great opportunity to learn about taking turns speaking and learning to share our thoughts with one another. Then the children continue with open activities, art and snack time. Before we head outdoors, we have a learning circle. This is the time we will further enhance on the interests of the class. At this time we are discussing “All About Me”, our feelings, and signs of Fall. Then we head off to discover the outdoors.
Here are Logan and Tiffany planning and building a large structure out of blocks. You cannot tell by this picture but there was a very intricate plan on how they were going to construct this building. Then we decided to take a picture of it. You can tell they took pride in their work together. Through this activity, both children communicated with one another and had a vision together. It was wonderful seeing them express their thoughts to one another.
This picture is two friends working together to build a very long roadway. The longer the road got the more excited they became. The pride they took in creating this highway system brought them to work together and to share their ideas. This activity was an opportunity to build a relationship between the two children and for them to share, take turns, to communicate in a natural setting. These are moments that the environment can also teach children.
During art, we were painting with potato stamps to create leaf prints. It was interesting how each child’s art piece looked so different due to the technique of how they used the materials. It definitely confirms that each child is very unique. Some children like to mix the colours up while some children are very careful not to. Even the way they use the tools to create their art is as individual as they are. At one point the art took a turn into finger painting and discovering what happens when you mix colours together. You just never know where an activity can take you. I have learned through the children that the process is just as important as the end product because it often leads you to many discoveries.