2018-2019

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End of Unit Celebration!
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Smooth Sailing with Smooth Blending in Excellence Class
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Independence in Kindergarten
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Plant Provocations
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Excellence: Final Unit
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Unit: How is Sound Used?
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Student-driven Kindergarten Goal Setting
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Unit 2: Images
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Design Thinking
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Unit of Inquiry

End of Unit Celebration!

Put a fork in it! We’re done! This week, we finally finished out our first unit on Who We Are. 

For these past 8 weeks, students have inquired into what they know best: Themselves! 

We further extended our knowledge of “self” to learn more about “others” as well. 

Design Thinking

Students were paired up with a buddy and given the challenge of getting to know them better. They interviewed their buddy to find out what they liked, disliked, abilities and so forth. From there, we introduced to students a little something called “Design Thinking.” 

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Smooth Sailing with Smooth Blending in Excellence Class

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Recently, Excellence took a look at Blending. What I noticed is that all students were blending out words in a “Choppy” fashion. For example, the word “Nap” was being blended as /n/…/a/…/p/. While this is technically “correct,” when a child separates the individual sounds, it can create a hurdle that blocks reading development. What can we do to help? We can assist students by redirecting the way they read with the help of smooth blending.

 

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Why is Smooth Blending of Sounds Important?

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Independence in Kindergarten

Hello Parents!

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We have had a very busy first few days of school as we got students back into the routine and swing of things! But finally, we seem to have settled down now and it no longer feels like we are herding cats 😉

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This past week we introduced our  “Self-Check List” for the very first time! Everyday, students are Read More

Plant Provocations

A great provocation gets kids thinking about concepts and ideas! In Excellence, we try to engage our students in provocations which connect to our central idea. A provocation can be simple and yet still powerful, such as a question, statement, image, video, song, or object. They create an opportunity for students to create new questions or find a new direction for the inquiry or action. Provocations can happen throughout a unit and do not always have to be teacher-driven.

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Excellence: Final Unit

Transdisciplinary theme: Sharing the planet


Excellence is now in their final Unit of Inquiry: Plants. Students will explore the Central Idea on plants and their contribution to the sustainability of life. Our two subject focuses for this unit are Science and Social Studies. Students will explore plant systems and other living things (Science). Students will also be given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of interdependence, sustainability, and environmental resources through various projects and experiments.

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Unit: How is Sound Used?

Special thanks to all our wonderful guest speakers who came in to share so much knowledge with our learners about “How Sound is Used?”

Creativity, Service and Excellence had the honour of having a doctor, police officer, early years teacher, yoga instructor, musician, and learning support coordinator come in and show us how they use “sound” in their field of work.  Read More

Student-driven Kindergarten Goal Setting

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“Today students, we will be setting goals. Do you know what a goal is?”

(All students raise their hand)

“Goal is what you find inside a treasure chest!!” 

(All students nod in unison)

“Hahaha, not gold! I said Goal. Any ideas?” 

(Cue silence)

Today we introduced the idea of goals and goal setting. I explained what a goal is, how goals are set, what we need to do to reach our goals, how we will know when we have reached our goals, and lastly, what we can do after we have achieved them.

Last term, we did a simple form of goal setting where goals were reviewed at the very end of the term; however, I noticed that students were not connecting with it as the goals

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Unit 2: Images

Students have been exploring images and in particular, the role images play in story books. Last week, Ms Jacky shared with students a very special book. Why special? Because this book had no text – just images! Students were forced to create their own meaning of the book using their prior knowledge and imagination. Students began to wonder why this book had no words and what its purpose was:

“Why was there no writing?”
“Why did we have to tell a story, that is the book’s job!”
“The writer (author) is Thai, but he wanted to make a Thai book for people who cannot read Thai.”
“Because it is for children.”
“People cannot listen because it is Thai.” 
“A book without no pictures are for grown ups.” 
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Design Thinking

 

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The challenge for this particular project was: “Create a product that could teach others about collaboration.” To get a clear understanding of what their goal was for this project, each team began with their own mind map which detailed the following:

  1. Empathize: Learn about their audience and who they are designing for.
  1. Define: What are the needs of my audience?
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Students decided that they had to create some sort of game that would allow two students to play at the same time; thus, “making kids play together nicely: Collaboration.” After they had their plans set in stone,students began to move into the Ideate portion of their project. Students brainstormed many great ideas of how their projects were to function and look. Each student had their own very different perspective on how their group project should work but they were able to independently come to a compromise so that each perspective and idea was respected and used.

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Unit of Inquiry

 

During these past few weeks at school, we have slowly been introducing our first unit through a number of centers and activities.

Phase 1: Our Own Emotions

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Students explored emotions through drama, art and by becoming authors of their own emotions eBook. Through these various activities, the goal for our students was to develop an ability to read other people’s emotions, identify and express one’s own feelings/emotions, understand that we are humans and we go through a range of emotions each day, build a vocabulary of words for naming feelings , and lastly, take another person’s perspective (empathy). Read More