Chestnuts Class: Term 4 – 2024

THE LIVING WORLD

Our students returned from their winter holidays feeling refreshed, and we were so excited to delve deeper into the concept of living and non-living things this term. Our studies centered around plants and the life cycles of insects, with a special focus on the bee, butterfly, and ladybug populations that we were fortunate to observe in the forest. Additionally, we eagerly anticipated the arrival of spring and the sunny days it brought.


Through various experiences, both in the forest and within the classroom, the children explored and enhanced their understanding of science, art, and language (both oral and written). They engaged with literature read in class and continued their studies with Jolly Phonics. Additionally, they focused on mathematics, with particular attention given to the concept of halves and doubles, along with the exploration of 3D shapes.

Additionally, the little pupils developed their faculties through practical life activities and sensory experiences. They refined their motor skills and focused on being more meticulous in terms of drawings, cutting, and other physical activities such as climbing trees and maintaining balance.

SCIENCE

We explored the difference between living beings and non-living things. We looked at plants, watched insects, and touched different objects to understand what makes something alive. We learned that living things grow, move, and reproduce, while non-living things do not. Through this, the students gained a greater appreciation for nature and continued to grow their efforts to care for the environment.

Life cycle of the plant
This term, we explored the life cycle of plants both in the classroom and in the forest, laying the groundwork for our upcoming Spring project. Next term, we will be planting seeds and observing their germination and growth. To prepare, this term we practiced planting seeds through trial and error. Our aim is to apply our knowledge and experience to care for the new seeds, with the goal of witnessing the growth of new plants and hopefully harvesting their fruits and vegetables.

We also used visual aids like images, diagrams, and charts, which helped us explore the various phases of the plant life cycle, reinforcing the students’ understanding with videos and discussions. It was remarkable to see their curiosity and excitement as they discovered the wonders of nature unfolding before their eyes. By the end of the unit, the students had gained a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of caring for our environment.

Life cycle of the ladybird/ladybugs
To delve deeper into our understanding of ladybugs, we incorporated a range of engaging activities into our lessons. We created various ladybug crafts including our ladybug puppets, which we used to sing and dance in the forest to the song “Ladybugs Fly” by the Kiboomers.

We held interactive circle time discussions focused on ladybug facts and behaviours. Additionally, we enriched our learning experience with the story book “A very lazy lady bird” by Isobel Finn.
We were fortunate to encounter numerous ladybugs both inside our classroom and in the forest, providing us with valuable opportunities to connect our learning with real-life insects.

Life cycle of the butterfly
This topic is always a “crowd favourite” so we were very excited to explore it together. Through hands-on activities, vivid illustrations, and engaging discussions, we explored each stage of this remarkable transformation, we even got to learn new vocabulary words such as metamorphosis and chrysalis. We were fortunate to witness a real-life butterfly transformation in our classroom! As the butterfly emerged from its cocoon, we were able to witness the process unfold before our eyes and we also had the opportunity to release the butterfly into its natural habitat, emphasizing the importance of allowing it to thrive in its natural environment. We read the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, which is a classic and a fun was to practice our counting skills.

Life cycle of the bee

SENSORIAL
Throughout this term, we continued to develop our students’ sensory abilities. One of the key activities we engaged in was the knobbed cylinders; a simple yet effective Montessori exercise designed to enhance sensory perception. By feeling and observing the differences in size, texture, and weight of each cylinder, the children refined their tactile senses and visual discrimination skills. As they manipulated the cylinders, they also practiced fine motor skills, further enriching their overall sensory experience. Through such activities, we aimed to provide a comprehensive sensory learning environment, nurturing each child’s ability to perceive and understand the world around them.

We also continues to use Jelly Beadz as well as a variety of tools to practice our hand-eye coordination and develop our sensory skills.

CRAFTS
Throughout the term and year, the children engage with a variety of materials, crafting shapes, objects, characters, and animals based on the themes explored. This process not only fosters their imagination but also enhances their fine motor skills.

Using mediums like painting, drawing, clay modelling, and colouring, the children unleash their creativity, producing artworks inspired by spring. Their creations often feature vibrant depictions of flowers, plants, bees, butterflies, and ladybirds.

We designed and created our own flowers, which supported our lesson about the life cycle of plants:

The children also worked on spring project and easter activities:

The children also worked on creating flowers with forks. They really enjoyed it!

The students created translucent eggs that resemble stained glass. We used tissue paper and glue over contact paper. Once the glue dried we peeled off our work from the contact paper revealing our paper designs. We displayed them on our window so that we could admire our work!

We made easter cakes using food colouring to make them blue and pink. We also used pastel-coloured fondant to make little eggs and other figures to decorate our cakes.

We painted our little wooden trees and eggs and next term we will finish this project by hanging our eggs on the trees.

During the first week of this term, the children enjoyed working on the theme of Epiphany. We talked about the Three Kings and did some counting and graphic design activities about this theme.

PRACTICAL LIFE
Practical Life is a key component of the Montessori educational approach. It involves providing children with hands-on, real-life experiences that contribute to the development of physical, intellectual, and social skills.

During this term as with others, we focused on skills related to self care, such as to be able to clean a table, rolling a carpet, tidying up when they finish wroking on an activity or working on frames..

TAKING CARE OF A PLANT

ROLLING A CARPET

As part of our daily routine, the children are in the habit of cleaning and tidying up the classroom. During this term they cleaned the table.

Composting is also one of our concerns that is followed throughout the year as part of our school’s Eco project .

These activities help children develop their independence, coordination and fine motor skills along with concentration and a sense of responsibility. In repeating the same gestures children reinforce their self-confidence and acquire the necessary maturity related to their age and growth.

Magnets and elastics

COOKING

In keeping with part of the theme of this term, we cooked two cakes that we shared for the International Mathematics Day.

FINE MOTRICITY

In order to develop and work on children’s motor skills, we have, among other things, made a lot of use of scissors and carried out various cutting sessions.

LITERACY

Imitate, Innovate, Invent!
We used the ‘Talk for writing’ method to explore the storybook “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly” Illustrated by Pam Adams: We started by getting our book delivered and opening it up in the forest.

Then we created a visual story map and sang the song by ABC kids to imitate the story and to get familiar with the sequence of events in the book. We also completed cutting-and-pasting activities to reinforce our knowledge of the story.

Once we were familiar with the story we had our innovation discussions in which every child contributed their own imagination and made changes to the story: During the first session we gave the children images of old ladies and we asked them to make up something silly that the old ladies did. Some of answers were: “The old lady put her car in the sink” and “she threw a horse in the water”. During another session the students were asked to come up with new silly things the old lady ate, some of the answers were “the old lady ate the grass in her garden” and “she ate her whole house.”

Next term we will review our story as well as our imaginative modifications of the story and we will be diving into the ‘Invent’ portion of the project. The students will be coming up with their own stories and using different ways to represent them.

Phonics
This term the children reinforced their knowledge and understanding of phonics and some continue to read little words (3 letter words).

During this term, we have continued exploring a range of new letters and sounds through actions, songs, story telling and games.

Jolly Phonics phase 3 introduces the sounds ai, j, oa, ie and ee or . We have learned these sounds whilst using games about phonics, using more exercises at school and working on syllables

Through action of these sounds, the children begin to use their knowledge of letter sounds to blend and segment words and listen more carefully to sounds that compose the words.

We also reviewed the sounds learned in the first term and strengthened our knowledge of a, t, i, p and n as well as ck e h r m d, g, o, u, l, f and b.

Writing
The children also continue to write their names using sand, concrete letters and the whiteboard to recognise and practising writing their name.

The children also focused on writing their names in the snow using sticks and their imagination.

We are also focusing on spoken language thanks to our discussions during circle time about different subjects such as talking about their weekend, the books we are reading in class and putting the stories into the correct order.

Finally, the children enjoyed the time reading at the library or in class, choosing and reading books related to their interests.

NUMERACY

Regarding numeracy, we work each day on a different matter such as counting from 1 up to the current date, working on half and douoble, identifying different 3Ds shapes and writing numbers.

Counting from 1 to 100

Half and double

Writing numbers

3DS Shapes

SHOW AND TELL

Every Friday, the children are happy to share an object from home. It’s an opportunity for them to talk about what they like and introduce the class to their favorite object.

FOREST ACTIVITIES

Since the beginning of this term, the children have explored the forest and have become more comfortable and creative when playing with all of the forest materials at their disposal.

They also have gained more confidence during this term when it comes to climbing and balancing on trees and tree trunks.

CLIMBING / BALANCING

SEARCHING FOR INSECTS

During this period, we did a lot of walks through the forest to study the different changes related to the change of seasons.

CYCLING

During this term, the children continued cycling.

In the forest we also practised a lot of coordination games, allowing the children to improve their motricity.

SPECIAL DAYS

During this term, we also had a great time on special days such as

MATHEMATICS INTERNATIONAL DAY AND BOOK DAY

WEDNESDAYS PROJECTS – Chalenges and Rainbow project

EASTER HUNT

MATILDA’S BIRTHDAY

Dear Parents, I hope you enjoyed this page describing your children’s activities throughout this fourth term, which we had the pleasure of sharing together.

Enjoy the easter holidays and I am looking forward to seeing you after the break.

Manuela and Dina

French with Marie

Durant cette quatrième période de l’année, nous avons principalement lu 4 albums de jeunesse (en lien avec le thème du printemps, de la météo et les fêtes telles que Pâques :

De ces ouvrages, ont découlé différentes activités qui ont permis l’exploitation de ces histoires. Nous avons donné du sens à l’apprentissage, une façon plus ludique et une approche plus concrète.

A chaque début de semaine, vos enfants ont appris et chanté une nouvelle chanson (6 semaines = 6 chansons) :

Le ciel est parcouru d’frissons, Gouttes gouttelettes de pluie, Concerto du printemps nouveau, Ding Dang Dong chanson de Pâques, Chanson de la gamme de do, Je prendrai soin de toi.

 Les objectifs de cette période ont été de :

– renforcer à la pratique de la langue française

– intégrer des phrases simples mais correctes

– s’exprimer en français en petit groupe

– tracer le bonhomme de chaque mois

– se repérer dans l’espace

– apprendre la lettre P, la lettre T et la lettre V

– apprendre les nombres 8 à 10 (savoir dénombrer une collection)

– reconnaître de petits mots

– réaliser des activités de graphisme

– comprendre les albums lus en classe