Category - Magic Years

How We Express Ourselves
What does Design Thinking look like in Kindergarten?
Grade 3 Student Post
Reading in G1 and 2
Learning Through Field Trips
Notch’s Read Aloud
Super Reading
Fun Book Time
The Kid’s Read Aloud
Nene’s First Read Aloud

How We Express Ourselves

Grade 1&2 is just about to dive in to a new unit titled “We express our ideas, imagination and emotion through our words and actions”. This unit will have a special focus on Language and is tied to a Reading/Writing unit from Teacher’s College called “From Scenes to Series”. 

Throughout this unit we will be looking a genre called Realistic Fiction, looking specifically at character traits. In Writing Workshop we will be writing our own realistic fiction stories, using our creativity and expression to create characters of our own!

what is realistic fiction

For today’s student blog, we will share our first experience tuning in to this unit by reflecting on the realistic fiction character Tacky from the book Tacky the Penguin. The following are reflections that were independently typed by students:

What are some things you learned about Tacky the Penguin?

Tacky is nais bkos he hawp he  farens. 

Tacky is sele and brav bcas he scard the wolf.

Some time Tacky is a nice odd penguin because he hulp all tha penguin. He use his own body to scare the hunters by prethanding he is not a  penguin.


New Vocabulary

As part of our tuning in process we introduced three new vocabulary words that will be referred to frequently throughout the unit:
Internal: About the inside of something
External: About the outside of something
Traits: Words that describe something (ie. character traits are words that describe a character)

We used these new key words to create an anchor chart about Tacky the Penguin. We wrote internal traits inside Tacky’s body and external traits all around him.


What does Design Thinking look like in Kindergarten?

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user.

Design Thinking in Kindergarten

In Excellence, we just wrapped up our unit on Who We Are. Our main focus involved inquiring into ourselves and also, our peers. For our culminating unit activity,  students were paired up with a partner and were given the challenge of getting to know them better. Students interviewed their partner(s) to find out what they liked, disliked, and what their abilities were. As students collected details about their partner and sorted out their information, we began the “Empathize” phase of the Design Thinking process:

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Reading in G1 and 2

Our Grade 1 and 2 students launched their Reading Workshop this month with a focus on “Building Good Reading Habits”. Here are some of the elements of a Reading Workshop that we have been practicing –

Shopping for Books
Ashwin: “When you are shopping for books you take your basket to the book area. For the level books you need to ask your teacher what level you need to shop like A, B, C, D”

Akki: “When I am shopping for a look book I open the book to see if I want it. I look at the pictures.”

Independent Reading

We find a quiet, private space to read all of our leveled books and look books. Sometimes we sit back-to-back with our partners during independent reading time. We show that we are strong readers by having stamina and reading for the whole time. If we have already read our books we build good habits by re-reading the same book. We put a check on a post-it in the back of the book for every time we read it.

Partner Reading

At partner reading time we have a great time looking at our books with our partner. We sit hip-to-hip with our partners and put the book in the middle. We read leveled books together or “echo read” our books. We show our partners our favorite page or a page that gave us a strong feeling, and practice having conversations about our books. When we read together, our books come alive and we notice details that we normally wouldn’t.

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Learning Through Field Trips

In line with our current unit of inquiry, Grade 4-5 community went on a field trip to a nearby mosque and Buddhist temple on Monday, 11th September 2017. Through this field trip, we developed a stronger awareness of different belief systems, practices and identity within our local community.

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Notch (Grade 5)

“We felt that the trip was pretty interesting. I also saw their old holy books called ‘Quran’ and prayer mats in the mosque. I discovered from two Muslim religious leaders (also known as ‘Imam’) that Muslim believers are called to pray five times a day and they will hear a prayer song called ‘azan’. After listening to them, I felt that their God is pretty amazing.”

Archi (Grade 5)

“The trip was really fun. We learned about how different believers pray to their God. They offer food to God and monks. They also believe in chanting and meditation to get away from the evil spirits. I am thankful to be part of the field trip with my teachers and now I learn how to be more respectful.”

Notch’s Read Aloud

Some of the kids were not talking too much. And some were so excited when we start to read My Life! It was not so noisy as I thought it would be. And we asked some questions like do you want to go with me?And some said yes and some said no.

Super Reading

I am happy .And it so fun .I read a book named Vehicles for Peace and Unity Class .I read a book with Nene and Mola.The kids liked it. And they answered when I asked them questions. They asked a lot after they looked at the pictures  from my book.

Fun Book Time

  I liked  that the kids were having fun with the new book that Nene and Poonpoon made. I thought that the kids were going to be bad and loud but they did a good job ☺️ It’s very fun and easy to control them. They had  a lot of questions.

The Kid’s Read Aloud

It was so much fun with the kids and they liked our books, I enjoyed it even if I knew it was going to be hard but I don’t think that it was very hard. It was so so much fun and easy but I will never give up. I will make more books that kids like very much and I have a great helper for my books and I don’t know if the kids will like it but I will try.  

Nene’s First Read Aloud


When I was reading my color book to the little kids. I was trying to ask questions to them. They were shouting out a lot. I was trying to make them stop. But I couldn’ so I had to wait for them to stop. Mola and PoonPoon were helping me to ask questions.I know the kids liked the book. After I finished my book it was Poon Poon’s turn. His book is named Vehicles. On every page he asked the kids if they have vehicles at home. The kids enjoyed it a lot.I am happy to read to the kids. My brother is in the class. I am happy!