All About Spring
One ray of hope in the current gloom is that signs of spring are all around us. We are no longer heading home from school in darkness, and the daffodils are approaching their glorious best.
Discovering the pattern of the seasons is very important for early learners. Over in Kindergarten, Mrs Eades has set up a grandly named Spring Investigation Station where children can experience the new life and growth of spring at first hand. A hyacinth has transformed itself from a dull brown bulb in the depths of winter into a beautiful pink flower, and there is also a narcissus and a selection of bulbs to examine with a magnifying glass.
Being at Kindergarten is the first time many children have been away from their home environment on a regular basis, which gives them the exciting opportunity to surprise their mums for Mother’s Day. This is a milestone moment and is taken very seriously by the children and their teachers alike. If you look at the photos, you will get a sneaky peek at preparations, but please remember this is all top secret until the Mother’s Day Assembly on 20th March.
One of the most important tasks is for everyone to paint a flattering portrait of their mummy. When you are three, it is quite challenging to come up with an answer when a teacher asks you about your mummy’s skin, hair and eye colour, and even if you can picture it, you then have the problem of matching it with the right word. One boy insisted that his mummy had blue skin, but Mrs Eades felt sure this couldn’t be right…or at least we hope not! After some helpful talk and a look in the mirror, thankfully a more accurate colour was suggested.
Lots of time and effort has already gone in to the production of Mother’s Day cards. The final task is for each child to write his or her name inside. the children are learning about which hand they should use to hold a pencil, and how they should grip it, and because they want their writing to be perfect, the teachers have written the names first for the pupils to trace over. Jerry found this very exciting. “My mummy will love this,” he said proudly.
When I go through the classroom door for my blog, I like to give you a picture of what is going on in school on a normal day, if there ever is such a thing in a school! In Kindergarten, no matter what day of the week it might be, there is always a hum of purpose and activity. While the teachers guide children individually on Mother’s Day tasks, other children are busy learning through independent investigation and play. As I mentioned, there is the Spring Investigation Station to check, but every day there is also a themed activity in the sand and water. Imogen and Freddie used the water play to find out about the concepts of empty and full. Luna had fun doing the same in the sand, happily filling and emptying her bucket. Children can also choose to paint at the easel, and I’m sure you will admire Freddie’s colourful picture of spring flowers. He was extremely proud of his work.
On a more formal level, but still highly seasonal, the new sound in phonics is ‘e’. This made everyone think of eggs as they had a go at saying the sound and trying to match it with the letter card. The children learnt that we are all quite particular about eggs, liking them to be cooked in different ways. Jerry likes his eggs fried like the lady in the picture. Isobel, by contrast, doesn’t like eggs at all but says that elephants are excellent. Mrs Eades hopes that, as Easter approaches, the children will become more confident at making and drawing ‘e’ in lots of ways, and will eventually be able to form the letter shape by themselves.