Nutrition - 4 Hour Class

Hello parents,
 
We know that an unbalanced diet can cause:
 
  • Digestive problems
  • Poor dental health and tooth decay
  • Brittle bones and lack of energy
  • Lowers levels of immunity
  • Stunted growth
  • Impaired cognitive development and shorten attention span
  • Obesity

But did you know that, an unbalanced diet is also a big culprit in behavioural challenges and mood irritability?

An unbalanced diet includes too much or too little of the recommended food groups. Here at West, we hold the Canadian Food Guide as our standard, and encourage staff, families, and children to incorporate healthy choices provided by the food guide into meal preps.

If you are finding a change in your child’s mood or energy level, there are two areas which I would like to highlight to you in this blog:

Sugar and sugar substitutes
  • Offer foods that don’t have added sugar or sugar substitutes. Limit refined sugars (sucrose, glucose-fructose, white sugar) honey, molasses, syrups, and brown sugar.
  • Sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and sucralose, are much sweeter than sugar and have no nutritional value. They may lead to a habit of only liking sweet foods and make it difficult for your child to adjust to fruits and vegetables. It’s a good idea to limit them in your child’s diet.

Juice and water
  • Serving fruit instead of fruit juice also adds healthy fibre to your child’s diet.
  • Serve vegetables and fruit more often than fruit juice. Offer water when your child is thirsty, especially between meals and snacks. Limit juice to one serving (120 mL [4 oz.]) of 100% unsweetened juice a day.
  • Sometimes children will drink too much at mealtime or between meals, making them feel full.

Nutrition is key for optimizing our children’s learning and development.
 
Until next time,

Mariam

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Are they just playing? - FAS - M/W/F PM Class

Welcome back families and a Happy 2018!  Can you believe it is already February?  I can hardly wait for Spring to come and say goodbye to Winter.
In January, we began our hands-on science exploration.  We had volcanoes erupting, balloon blowing with vinegar, dissolving egg experiment and some fizzing art.  The children were very captivated by the experiments but most of all each of them took part in the process. 
By teaching children in a fun and hands-on environment, it captures their curiosity and it leads to learning.  The best way to teach a child is to have them involved in it and going with the flow of what is happening. 
A great example of this happened a few days ago, when the children were actually playing with stacking blocks.  The children decided to take the stacking blocks to the floor and started to make a long line with the blocks.  At first they were making individual ones to begin with and then comparing the length with one another.  This is measurement that they are learning as well as, math language.  An example of that would be “yours is longer, taller or shorter or less than mine”. 

They were comparing the heights and lengths with one another.  Then another child wanted to join in the play so, we had to divide up the blocks so it was somewhat equal. That took a bit of work, to keep everyone happy.  That was another way the children used their math skills.

 
Shortly after, they decided to make a very long line with the blocks.  I watched them coordinate amongst themselves building this very long line. It was team work at its best.  The line was long and they used up all the blocks.  Then, the children decided to jump over the line.  They started counting how many times they could jump over the line of blocks.  After a while they started to count the blocks.  First, I provoked them by asking how many blocks do you think you have there.  This started a frantic counting session amongst the children.  It was amazing how interested they suddenly were to count.
 

To the children, this is simply playing with toys and having fun with their classmates.  Little do they know that they are learning the basic concepts of math.  In fact, math is used daily in words and actions for them. Playing comes natural to children and when they are having fun, they are more absorbed in what they are doing and that means building their concentration.
For children, the best way to learn is by doing things they enjoy which will then provide us with many opportunities to teach them.
Until next time,
Deanna
 
 

 
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Science Exploration - FAS - M/W/F AM Class

We have started 2018 with a bang! By that, I mean we have been experimenting with vinegar and baking soda to introduce science into the class. The children have been guessing what will happen when we mix the two together and the outcome has been pretty exciting. 

We have created a few volcanoes with red lava erupting out.  The children were pretty thrilled in making the volcano with clay, and then we put in the baking soda, but the most fun was when we added the red coloured vinegar.  We did this hands-on experiment a few times since the children were very intrigued by it and captivated.

Children learn best when they’re involved in the learning which is by doing.  Through this experiment and the other hands-on ones we performed, like the vinegar in the egg, the expanding balloon, and the fizzing art, the children were able to take part in the experiment, observe, smell, touch and most importantly ask questions.


It was fun discussing what they thought would happen and then figuring out what happened. 

When we added an egg and vinegar to the jar, the children had many answers to what they predicted would happen.  Logan and a few children guessed that the egg would hatch and a chick would appear.  Nora and Emily said that the egg would explode.  Ronin said the egg would become scrambled.  Chloe said it would disappear. 

So, we left the egg over a weekend and brought it back out during circle.  The children were surprised that it was still there and observed it was larger than before and that it no longer was white. We all held the egg and discovered that it was rubbery like a bouncy ball and see through.  Although, no chick hatched it was still a successful experiment that gave the children a chance to make discoveries.


Another experiment we had done was blowing up a balloon by adding vinegar and baking soda to a water bottle that held a balloon on top.  The chemical reaction blew the balloon up. The children all took part in the experiment and were very excited to see the result of the chemical reaction happening. 

Our final experiment was baking a chocolate cake.  The children found this experiment the most delicious and satisfying.  By the end of the week, the children were very familiar with baking soda and vinegar, and of course the chemical reaction called carbon dioxide. 

Science is a great way to provoke a child's natural curiosity.  It helps develop many skills, such as communication, thinking, engagement, patience, confidence, problem solving and most of all it teaches about the way their world works.   
Until next time,
Deanna


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Tent Day - 3 Year Old Class

The world can seem immense when you are a “small person”. Maybe that's part of the appeal of retreating somewhere small and cozy.

We recently removed our classroom chairs, and pulled out our box of sheets. Sheets were strewn over the tables, sectioning off various play areas and transforming our classroom.

 
 
 
 
Some children arrived with smiles when they first noticed the tents set up in our classroom. Others arrived looking a little more cautious. All seemed intrigued.

“Whoa, what happened?!” Scotia

It was a very enjoyable and quiet morning. The children happily explored each cozy haven. From dolls to books to manipulatives, there was something for everyone.







Open areas were left available for those not wishing to be under cover.

 

Going, going, going.... gone!




 


We look forward to our next tent day! Always so much FUN!

 

Barbi
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What's on the other side of the wall? - 4 Year Old Class

During our potluck I had noticed that some of the children that were in our class last year like Koen and Fraser were playing the “chasing game” in the gym along with some of the friends that are in our class this year Matias and Stephan. It was evident that they were very happy to see each other.

We decided we were going to reunite these friends in the new year by opening up the wall and combining the 4 hour class with our class. I told the children a week before the day the classes were coming together and some friends went home so excited like Matias. Others had a lot of questions as to how we were all going to fit in the space, will it be too loud and what would we all be doing?
 
  Karen opens the wall and the children walk into our classroom.
 
Lucas and Ariyen seemed to be enjoying playing with the toys in the 4 hour classroom,   



 
 Matias, Koen and Fraser are happy to be connected and begin to play with the magnetic animals, joking with one another. 
 

 
 
Charlie, Magnus and Roan are looking at ways to set up the ramps for the balls to roll down
Magnus has an idea, he attempts to stack up the cones so the ramp will balance.
This was the creativity of the 3 boys playing together.




 Some of the children from the 4 hour class noticed children having snack and decide
to join them having snack together.
 

 

We gathered the children on the carpet and decided to play a co-operative game where the children take a shoe off and we place them around the classroom. The children have to go find their shoe as well as help find friends shoes. When all the shoes were found, the children returned to the carpet.
 

It was time for the 4 hour class to go back to their room and we were heading outside.
We said goodbye and look forward to the next time we combine classes.

Until next time
Jess
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