Watch the children having fun on Water Day!
‘Every child wants to watch or touch or listen to water. Water provides opportunity for endless play and experimentation. Children enjoy the feel of it and the way it flows and splashes. The properties of water are endlessly fascinating.’ Natural Playscapes, Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul’
We have had a wonderful week out in the garden with the introduction of water into the environment. Every child seems to have been engaged. Some children enjoyed scoping and pouring the water as they stood at the water table, others liked filling and refilling small containers, some took the sponges and washed the bikes, others watered the garden. A group uses the plastic pipes and gutters and formed a water course.
The children have been so interested in water that we are staying outside longer and have even had our snack outside so we can continue with our inquiry. As summer days continue we are all very interested to see our water work will progress.
Our new inquiry in to WHERE WE ARE IN PLACE AND TIME: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories and discoveries has begun.
Some of the questions and provocations that will drive this inquiry are:
What is change? What does ‘change’ mean to you? How do you feel when the changes occur? What have you learned about yourself that you could not do or did not know before and now you know or can do it? Can you think of something that helps you change your feelings? Sometimes you are feeling sad or angry what helps you to change that feeling?
The E2 children have made two visits to Kindergarten and have started to think about the change that will take place soon in their lives. This will also make a difference to the E1 children who will stay on at the ELC and become our older E2’s.
In small groups we asked the children, ‘What is change?’ A discussion followed and the children went on by draw their thinking. Their responses were many and varied. There will be threads of thinking we may want to follow.
“Lizards can change into different colours.”
“Money, change, when you run out of money and you get some more.”
“Caterpillar change to butterfly, she eat and she grow up and she go into butterfly.”
Change your shoes, change your jacket, change your backpack.”
“When I was first I could not change my shoes because we were so little, now I can change.”
“Change means something different.”
“When you change something with someone you can be their friend.”
“If something is not working you can change it.”
“You can change houses – switch houses – I changed houses.”
“Change is like when change country…..or when you change schools.”
Back in the Autumn the children planted a variety of vegetables and herbs in our garden. These have been watered and cared for by everyone. Often the children are eating a sprig of parsley or rubbing in their hands some rosemary from the garden. This week we picked one of the cabbages. Some children tried eating the leaves just as they were. Ms Yuka worked with small groups to break the cabbage up and cook it with a little oil and salt. This was then eaten by the children as a snack.
This concept of ‘from garden to table’ is an important understanding for all of us. We want the children to begin to understand where food comes from and how it is produced. It is also a wonderful way for children to try new vegetables that they may not usually eat. A number of parents have told us that after being at the ELC and having the garden their child now eats broccoli or parsley or even romanesco (which we really did grow).
After being exposed to many different stories from parents and teachers and the children making their own stories we wanted the children to reflect on these experiences. Had their understanding of ‘what is a story’ grown?
“My Dad, about when he went camping and he thought it was a beaver but it was actually a bear, he just telled it.”
“Josie’s dad, he write it, like use a marker to write it on the board.”
“My dad also acted out and he asked some of the children to act it out.”
“The story when we do the puppet show.”
“Beverley’s story….. using body and book…… and the cards she gave you to tell you the words.”
“I read a story about a tiger coming to tea with Henry.”
“I have at my house a three little pigs, Spanish too.”
“I made a story at my home, I made it with paper.”
“I made a story, it’s in my pocket… me and Elsie made a story together, I wrote it and I drawed a picture”
“I make stories with my puppet, it is a very scary, scary story.”
“My mom read a story about the red elf, story got pictures.”
“My mommy too, Korean and my mommy is good at reading in Korean.”
“Noah’s mum… picnic….rain…bee…train…..it rhyme, train and rain.”
“You did the fruit snack one with Ms Hitomi…. Ms Hitomi was poking Ms Beth…. the fruit snack one.”
The teachers reflected on the children’s comments. Their understanding had certainly expanded. A story was no longer just something that came from a book.
We then told the children that we had been taking photos and videos of the ‘stories’ that had been happening at the ELC.
“We can show the video to our mum’s and dad’s….to the janitor….to the cleaning ladies….to Ms Mason….Mr Claydon….and we can send it to Santa!…..and then the whole world can see it.”
We have begun our HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES unit of inquiry with the central idea that ‘stories can be told in many ways’. We wanted to gage the children’s understanding of this central idea at the beginning of the unit. Each child was asked individually, “what is a story?’
Some of the responses of the children:
“A story is a book.”
“Something that you …something with pictures and something that we can read from.”
“Something that you love and something that you read.”
“Story is new, like flower story or owl story.”
“A story is a something to read.”
“Sounds. It’s like sounds. You can hear……”
“Mukashi banashi.” (story from a long time ago)
“A special story.”
After reading over all the thoughts of the children and seeing what ‘threads’ of understanding we could identify the teachers decided that they wanted to provide provocations to the group that would broaden their understanding of ‘a story’. Parents have been invited in to share ‘stories’ and the teachers are also thinking of ways to share. Ms Mason is using music with stories. Our puppet theatre is out and many other experiences are available to the children. Children are natural story tellers and we are excited to see how this inquiry will develop.
This Tuesday Kanchi, Samu’s mum came in and shared one of her ‘passions’. The children made chapati’s for their snack. They rolled and shaped the dough and then cooked their chapati with Kanchi. The cooked chapati was then spread with butter or cream cheese and folded into quarters and wrapped in foil. Everyone really enjoyed them!
The ELC children experienced their own ‘snowy day’ on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The excitement on the faces of the children was lovely to see. Our playground, covered in snow looked delightful. The children ran around feeling and touching the snow. With a snow day on Tuesday many children built snowmen and played outside with their families.
Here are some of the thoughts from the children:
Lea “It’s beautiful! I like that!”
Sebastian “So fun!.”
JJ “I like the snow. Because I can play with the snow.”
Kai “Look, snow is over there!” ” I like snow because I can wear rain boots.”
Samu ” It’a snowing, it’s snowing!” “Flower is getting snow!”
Emma E2 “I eat snow!”
Zain “It’s like soft and so cold!”
Henry “I made ice. I squished the snow and put together and made ice” when I dropped it some of them broke.”
Ellis “It’s nice and peaceful.”
With the start of the Winter Term at the ELC the teachers have put out a new pallet of colours; greys and blacks, silvers and whites, purples and maroons. Instantly the children have been drawn to these new experiences and provocations. Their individual display panels are already filling up with collages, paintings and drawings using these wintery shades. Other pieces of work are also dotted around the classroom as the children explore these new mediums that simulate the senses and excite the eye.
Outdoors, winter means hats and coats, gloves and boots. With sunny days, winter outdoors is stimulating for the children as they explore. With the wind, has come kite making and the pleasure of wind on your face.
On Friday parents, grandparents, younger brothers and sisters, teachers and ELC children came together for our annual Craft Luncheon. Our aim was to make gifts for the Baby Home children and too share a fantastic lunch together. It was lots of fun working in groups to make the playdough and to draw the cards. The variety of food at lunch time was exceptional. This was a wonderful ELC community event.