THE EXCITING EGG DROP PROJECT
The egg drop project was a wonderful and interesting challenge for the class and the whole school.
We first put the eggs in an incubator and then followed their evolution through the weeks. The children were very excited to follow this project.
After three weeks, two eggs hatched to make way for two beautiful little chicks. Sadly, one of them did not survive.
We were so lucky to be able to take care of the eggs in our school. We talked about the fact that they needed a warm place so that the chickens could grow inside. We had a lovely activity in which we carefully took some of the eggs out of the incubator for a few seconds and we shone a light into the shell. We could all see the little chickens growing inside, it was so interesting for all of us, teachers and students alike.
We were so happy to have a little chick to take care of in our classroom. We took this as an opportunity to learn about the fact that sometimes baby animals are not able to survive for long.
The second chicken is still alive and thriving; it has been moved out of our school and the last time we visited it, it looked very healthy and happy.
After having worked on life cycles during the last term, we took this project as an opportunity to study the different parts of the egg, how the egg becomes a chick, and the life and death of all living beings.
Moreover, this project was a great way to learn about a lot of different aspects of the life cycle of a chicken and the children seemed very curious and excited to be a part of this project.
We also looked at photos and videos to support our learning about the chicken life cycle and other aspects of their life (e.g. what they eat, the fact that they have feathers instead of hair or fur, the environment in which they usually live, how they help people, the different kinds of chickens, etc.)
As the weather got warmer, we had the chance to spend more time outside playing with water. This gave us an opportunity to expand our learning about different matter, especially liquid matter. We were able to compare liquid matter to solid matter and we also experimented by pouring water as well as spraying it on the garden and each other!
We constructed paper boats and we also experimented with them to see how they would float on water.
The children enjoyed their swimming lessons very much. They played different games with the teacher, used the water slide and it was evident that they had a lot of fun in the water in general. The teacher challenged them with new exercises and they showed a lot of progress over the last few weeks. The students were confidently jumping into the water and swimming on their backs without floating devices.
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 the children practiced a lot of self-care tasks such as tying their shoe laces, being thorough when visiting the toilet and washing their hands, keeping track of their belongings and generally being mindful of dressing appropriately for the weather.
We also continued to practice cooking, measuring and weighing our ingredients.
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.
Sensorial life refers to our ability to experience and interpret sensory stimuli from the world around us. We focused on using our senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Our brain processes this sensory information and enables us to perceive, understand and respond to our environment. Sensorial life is crucial for our survival and helps us communicate, learn and connect with others. It is constantly evolving as we interact with the world, and can be enhanced or impaired by various factors such as genetics, environment and experience.
This learning was provided through a number of our activities related to water and liquid matter. We experimented with floating and sinking and we discussed how important water is for our lives and our planet.
GREEN FINGERS PROJECT
During this term we continued to work on our whole-school eco project. We checked daily on our plants and vegetables and we watered them accordingly. We discussed in detail about the changes we have noticed in them and why these changes may have happened (e.g. too much sun, not enough water, perfect conditions for growth and bloom, etc.) We also made predictions as to what we thought would happen to them as the weather changed and how they would change in the future. We revisited the life cycles of plants and compared the pictures with the real life plants in front of us.
We also visited our community compost unit and checked the progress of the compost itself. We continued to contribute to it by adding our raw food scraps too. As we worked together, we shared the common goal of caring for our planet. Our students grew their environmental awareness and the necessity of caring for our planet everyday.
Through creative activities, we have been able to develop our skills; cutting, sticking, bending as well as working creatively with different materials. Crafting is used to make things for personal pleasure and it is also a way to express artistic abilities and create unique items.
During this term, The Maples created beautiful arts and crafts.
We were inspired by our learning of chickens to make lots of cool mementos to take home. We started the term by making our classroom displays which featured a chicken coop. We sewed together chicken-shaped felt pieces and we stuffed them to make them look nice and plump!
We also created their homes with recycled boxes and straw and we decorated our chickens with colourful feathers.
We also made beautiful presents for Mother’s day and Father’s day. We made a lovely cast of our hands so that it could hold a flower for our moms and we also used pyrography to carve a beautiful message on a wood panel for our dads.
In preparation for our end-of-year art show we worked in our clock, two big canvases, and we also made individual art pieces. For our butterfly canvas we followed our learning theme ‘Green Fingers’ and our learning about the garden and the creatures that we can find in a garden.
We chose to decorate our canvas with lots of beautifully painted butterflies. For our painting we depicted a beautiful tree, which represented spring, the arrival of sunny days, and the growth of insects and flowers, which we we studied with enthusiasm during the last term. The children showed such amazing imagination in terms of creativity and colours and we were so proud of the results.
For Numeracy we continued to explore and review everything we have learned about during the rest of the school year. We continued to work on understanding tens and units, strengthening our knowledge of addition and subtraction, practicing our counting skills (from one to a hundred, two by two, five by five and ten by ten). We also continued to practice writing numbers.
We also discussed angles and shapes especially looking at examples of them in the natural environment, around the classroom and in our everyday lives.
We worked on measurements, using practical skills such as measuring and weighing for cooking.
We also learned about time and made a clock for the art auction which was a good opportunity to continue to discuss the concept of time and put our knowledge into practice. The children have shown that they are starting to get interested in saying what time is in during the day.
This term we have continued to develop our knowledge and understanding of phonics. We have explored a range of new letters and sounds through actions, songs, story telling and games.
Jolly Phonics phase 5 introduces more new sounds, blends and letter combinations.
The sounds introduced in this phase are :
z, w, ng, v, oo, y, x, ch
The children continue to use their knowledge of letter sounds to blend and segment words.
In this phase 5, the children learned to read and write longer words, sentences and stories. They have been encouraged to read with fluency and expression.
The children also developed their ability to segment longer words, read and write sentences, practicing tricky words, and using the sounds they have learnt to read and write phonetically plausible words.
We are also focusing on spoken language thanks to discussions during circle time. We talk about different subjects such as weekend activities, books we are reading in class and their interest in different subjects.
Book read this term :
- Egg drop
- The little red hen
- My goose Betsy
- On the farm
- Chicken nuggets
- Baa Moo what will we do?
One big novelty for this area of our learning has been our return to swimming classes. We have had the opportunity to practice and really improve our hand-eye coordination and our arm, leg and back strength.
Our children have achieved significant milestones in their physical development. They have gained confidence in riding their bicycles, enabling them to embark on longer journeys, fostering independence and a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, they have actively worked on improving their throwing and catching skills through various physical education activities, thus expanding their motor abilities. Furthermore, our forest sessions have included introductory experiences with yoga, allowing the children to cultivate mindfulness and body awareness amidst the tranquil forest surroundings. The children continued to become more comfortable and creative when playing with all of the forest materials at their disposal and they have gained more confidence when it comes to climbing and balancing on trees and tree trunks.
During this term, we practiced singing and playing instruments. This has been a wonderful way to express emotions, memories and moods through rhythm and music practice.