Few families are complete without the addition of one or two furry, four-legged or otherwise non-human family members. The focus of week nine took it`s inspiration from the overt enthusiasm of our students towards the pets featured on eachother`s family tree project. Our theme of this week focused on pets domestic and wild. For our older Kindergarten cohort particular attention was also paid towards mastering the verb `to live` in English and making the distinction of domestic dwellings and wild habitats thus fullfilling a crosscurricular focus towards the natural sciences.
As is always the intention in both classes students were naturally introduced to the topic through the popularchildren`s story `The Rainbow Fish` by Macus Pfister. This story tells of a fish living in the sea blessed with extrodinary scales of colourful silver. The other fish plead with him to share his beautiful scales but when he does not he is ostricised. This is until the wise old Octopus confides in him that if only he
will share his depression from being so isolated and feelings of hapiness because of sharing with others come to him.
This story was told to both Kindergarten and Pre-K students both with distinctly different motivations and planned for outcomes. Our pre-K cohort at this junction needed a refresher in the English language colours, fine motor skills and decsion making practice as well as a solid understanding of fish as living in the sea (wild) and as potential pets.
For our older Kindergarten cohort time was taken to explicitly seperate the notion of a domesticated pet from wild creature---also the need to share as a part of life. To say the very least this is a continuing stuggle for
Kindergarten students....sharing is not always easy but necessary for a conflict free functional classroom..
Throughout the week we practiced our verb of the week `to live.` As simple as this might seem students in the older cohort stuggled a bit with creating sentences such as `I live in Kazan` or `Turtles live in the sea.` However, it was pleasing to see the students generalise their understanding of have to include their pets in full and intricate sentences like: `I have two hamsters at my home.` or `My Grandmother has a dog.` We will continue to work on this in the upcoming weeks.
Crosscurricular and learning for meaning is always important to both groups of students and when the opportunity presents itself we combine topics and other points of learning to generalize knowledge and represent the world around us. This week we combined our primary topic pets and other animals with shapes. Shapes as a subject of study sounds deciptively simple but studying them we also go to the very heart
Friedrich Froebel, the originator of Kindergarten in 19th century Germany used educational toys or `Froebelgaben` to encouage children to understand their world in geometic/shape forms from mathematical, practical and estethic points of view. A further detailed explanation of this can be found in our current display
flyer at school and that which was sent home with every Kindergarten student.