Archive - 2014

December 15-19
December 8-12
November 24-December 4
November 17-21
November 10-14
October 27-November 7
October 13-17
October 6-10, 2014
Sept 29-Oct 3, 2014
September 22-26, 2014
September 8-17, 2014
September 1-5 , 2014

December 15-19

Unit Wrap Up: This week worked on our portfolios as part of our unit reflection. We also shared ideas on what to plant in our garden and bought in seeds to compare shape, size, and plant types.

Year End Celebration: We were excited to welcome families into our classroom to share our learning and engage in holiday fun. Unfortunately technical difficulties prevent us from adding photos of the party, we are working it and will attempt to reload them at a later date.
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December 8-12

Changes of State: We continued to explore the concept of changes of state as we worked in the ice sensory area. We noted that the heat makes it melt and made connections to other items that melt.

Ice Painting: As we painted with ice cubes we observed it change from a solid to a liquid.

Crayon Recycling: After watching a video of the process of making crayons we decided to reuse the crayons in our classroom. We collected the old crayons combined different colors in molds. We took another trip to the oven and watched as the crayons melted into the shape of the molds.

Volcano: As a group we discussed the color we would paint our volcano. After we painted the volcano we created an eruption using vinegar and baking soda. We were very excited to see the lava ooze from the volcano; it sparked interesting conversations about dinosaurs, islands, and fire safety.

Poly-Carbonate: Noah brought in poly-carbonate for us to explore. We were excited to learn that poly-carbonate can be found in some objects around our school.

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November 24-December 4

Garden: We are very curious in natural materials and how they change. To extend our curiosity and learning we are renovating the garden between our classrooms. We were very excited to have P’Jack, the school gardener, come into our classroom to show us his gardening tools, help us identify the plants in the garden, and cut away all of the dead plants. We worked on cleaning up the garden, preparing, soil, and planting onions.

Foil Drawing: As we begin to review materials, we drew pictures to support us in telling stories on aluminum foil.
Volcano: Based on our interest in making volcanos with sand, we have started building a volcano from plastic and paper. Next week we will paint the volcano and create an eruption!

Baking Soda Paining: After painting with colored baking soda we dropped vinegar on our art to observe the reaction.

Parent Visit: Patty, Wasu’s mother, lead an art activity to support us in reflecting on the materials we explored throughout this unit. Thank you!

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November 17-21

Plastic Experimentation: This week, we experimented with the changing properties of plastics as we observed and documented how heat impacts plastics. After creatively coloring our plastic cups, we predicted what would happen if we placed them in the oven. Predictions included, “burn”, “turn into something else”, “catch fire and burn someone” and “melt”, and “drop down”. We were amazed to see the changes during this process.

Wood Mosaics: We participated in a collaborative art project by water-coloring wooden squares then arranging them as a mosaic on a display board.

Wood Construction: We worked with wood to create a container to hold our plants. Next week, we will plant our seeds and observe the changes that take place.

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November 10-14

This week we continued to tune in to the materials in our environment, their uses, and the products made from them.

Plastic: We were creative as we colored our plastic cups on the light table. Next week we will conduct an experiment to observe the properties of plastic as we applying heat to our cups.

Observation: We continued to observe the bananas we picked from our tree behind the classroom. We noted that it took 3 days for the bananas to turn from green to yellow. After the bananas changed color we revisited our initial predictions and realized three of our classmates had predicted 3 days!

Metals: We observed some of the properties of metals as we used magnetic wands to sort objects that were and were not metal. We also had fun constructing with magnets, magnetic tape, and various objects made from metal.

Painting with Magnets: We explored new painting techniques as we used metal objects and magnetic wands to create beautiful works of art.

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October 27-November 7

We had a very busy week back from October 27-31; throughout the week we spent time hosting other classes to share our study of China and visiting other classrooms to learn about the country they studied for International Week.

This week, we began exploring different types of materials (wood, plastic, paper, bamboo, metal) and their uses. We sorted materials based on their properties, conducted sink or float experiments, and began to formulate questions to guide our inquiry for this unit.
• As part of our tuning in process we went for a “bamboo search” around the school to find bamboo and identify how it is used. We found that bamboo is frequently used for building walls, roofs, and furniture.
• As we observed banana leaves we noticed green bananas in the tree behind our classroom and decided to do an experiment to see how long it will take to ripen. After we each predicted the number of days it will take to turn yellow we set the bananas in our classroom and will check the results daily.
• For snack we tried Khao Lam, a sweet sticky rice cooked in bamboo. We observed that when bamboo is roasted “it turns black and breaks easy”.
• At our language center we cooked a Thai custard served in banana leaves.

At the art center we painted on banana leaves. We compared the experience of painting on banana leaves versus paper and decided we preferred banana leaves because, “it is green, it’s stronger, and it has many small lines”.

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October 13-17

This week, we wrapped up our first unit by reflecting on our actions, relationships, and favorite activities as we worked on our portfolios. We also began our inquiry into China for our International Week country exploration.

We were curious about the significance of the dragon in Chinese culture. To share our understanding of dragons we had a group discussion on how dragons act, the parts of a dragon, and most importantly, “Are dragons real?” After watching a dragon dance we tried it during circle time.

Piper brought in Jiaozi to share during snack. For some of us it was the first time trying this food; although the texture made us a little hesitant we were risk-takers and each tried at least one bite.

Liam’s mother came in to read “Round as a Mooncake” by Rosanne Thong. After the book we worked to create art using circles and Chinese stamps.

We continued to express curiosity in Chinese culture and food as we made chrysanthemum tea and prepared dumplings for dumpling soup. During circle time we reflected on if we liked the soup and what we would change about the soup next time.

At the art center, we made paper lanterns and drew special “good luck” pictures, which we placed in red envelopes to share with our friends when we return from the break.

Enjoy your holiday!
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October 6-10, 2014

Community: We discussed the role of various members of the Magic Years staff and reflected on how their work enriches our experience at school.
• We visited Ms. Khanum and Ms. Cassie’s office to learn about their work. To further our understanding we asked questions such as, “Do you sing and dance in your office? What do you do on your computer? and Why aren’t there any toys?”. We also sang for our hosts.

• P’Somsak, the Head of the Thai Staff came to visit our classroom and support us in understanding all the necessary work to keep us safe at school. We learned that he cleans the pool and playground, makes our furniture, and searches the school to ensure there are no snakes. We demonstrated our appreciation of his role by helping him clean our playground.

• We visited Ms. Honey, the school nurse to learn more about how she treats injuries, and various actions we can take to stay healthy. We participated in a fun activity that helped us understand how quickly germs are spread.

• We were caring as we hosted a visit from Ms. Zoe, Ms. Anjana, and the Joy & Confidence class. We confidently gave them a tour of our class and took pride in our ability to teach the visitors how to use our materials.

Friendships: We created necklaces using the pasta we painted last week and had a special ceremony in which we chose a friend to give it to.

International Week: We will study China for International Week. We have decided to be risk takers and present our learning by singing “Wo de peng you zai na li” at the October 31st assembly. We encourage you to sing with your child at home!

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Sept 29-Oct 3, 2014

Rice Center: This week we were very excited to begin working in the new rice enter. We compared the volume of various sized containers and explored the concept of quantity. We were especially interested in transferring the rice to and from containers of the same size.

Essential Agreement: After observing how messy our rice explorations can be we met to collaboratively discuss ideas on how to ensure safe, clean, and meaningful experiences at the Rice Center. After we agreed to follow these rules we signed our name to complete this binding agreement. As a class we decided: 1. Rice is not for eating 2. We cannot throw rice 3. Clean your feet when you leave the area 4. Keep the rice inside the tub.

Partners: We reflected on the friends we play with every day, then we thought about our classmates that we rarely interact with. To support our understanding of all classmates we agreed to become a partner with a new friend for the week. Each day we sat with our partner during snack and lunch.

Sandwiches: At the language center, we worked with our partner to make a toasted jelly sandwich for the two of us to share. After we spread the jelly onto the bread we placed both of our pieces together and were very careful to cut it into two equal halves.

Art: We began a two week necklace-making project. Each day we chose a new color to paint macaroni. Next week, we will create necklaces to give to our partners!

Classroom fish: This week we welcomed our ten new guppy fish into our classroom. We demonstrated our understanding of how to care for fish as we prepared their tank and exhibited responsibility when we remembered to feed them each day.

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September 22-26, 2014

This week, we continued to explore our relationships with the people in our family.

We were confident communicators as we presented our family picture projects to our peers. As we listened to each presentation we were respectful of the speaker and asked questions such as, “Who is that? Is that your baby? and Which one is your sister?” to further our understanding of each other’s families.

At the Language Center we observed and discussed photographs of a variety of families from different cultures; we explored the concept that families come in different sizes and compositions.

We used our imagination to create a “feeling face” using healthy foods such as carrots, pomegranate seeds, raisins, and seaweed. In small groups we discussed times when we were scared, sad, happy, lonely and excited.

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September 8-17, 2014

Inquiring into relationships: We began communicating family relationships and reflecting on the people in our family.

  • We sorted and categorized ourselves into hoops based on our family makeup. We were surprised to learn learn who had babies in their families, who was the oldest in their families, and that many of us also have a brother or sister.
  • We looked at animal families and inquired into their habitats and  how various animals care for their young. We collaborated with our peers to sort the animals into families. We took our learning further and decided to categorize the animals based on fur type, wings, habitats, and color.
  • We created works of art in which we represented each member of our family. We held very rich conversations about some of the special things we do with mommies, daddies, siblings, and grandparents.
  • After reading Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes we demonstrated how to be caring as we washed, dried, fed, and prepared the classroom babies for naps. We paid attention to make sure we were gentle.
  • We demonstrated our creativity as we completed our self-portrait face collage using recycled materials.

Reading in Multiple Languages: We were very excited to have Noah’s mother, Verena and  Arianna’s mother Anca come read in different language. Vera read a book in German and Anca read in Polish!

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September 1-5 , 2014

This week we started our first unit!  We are exploring and reflecting on ourselves, our unique qualities and what makes us special.  We have been inquiring into our abilities and how we can each use our prior knowledge and understanding of a variety of concepts to help our peers grow.

Language: We communicated our preferences and experiences with various foods, animals, and activities. We made our thinking visible as we created a sheet about our favorite things. After we completed our sheets we excitedly researched what we have in common  with each other, and verbally communicated our experiences with the items on the sheet.

Writing: We explored the lines, curves, and shapes found in the first letter of our name. After this exploration, we decorated this letter using pom-poms.

Art: We inquired into our individuality as we used ink pads to take our fingerprints. We used a magnifying glass to help us observe each person’s unique patterns, swirls, and curves.

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