I found the idea in a pioneer crafting book and right away I knew it would make a great gift for Mother’s Day. I found the glass paints and vases at Michael’s craft... READ MORE
The school that I teach at decided to hold a school-wide “Cardboard Challenge“, inspired by the youtube video “Caine’s Arcade“. There were many reasons why we decided to take on this challenge, but... READ MORE
It seems like an old concept, “hands-on” learning; but isn’t that what the new curriculum in British Columbia is really all about? I always feel inspired by the local “Hyde Creek Salmon Festival”.... READ MORE
We’ve had plenty of days like this lately, but in my opinion, it’s the best weather for berry-picking. We have farms like these a few blocks from our house, which makes it convenient. And... READ MORE
We’ve been starting our summer out right with all of our favourite beginning of summer activities. This is the Point Roberts Marina. I’ve been getting more time to run. Here’s my favourite route... READ MORE
Something very exciting has been happening around our home.
Yes, the tadpoles are growing!
The kids have been watching the tadpoles closely everyday.
First they grew hind legs, then one front leg, then another front leg and then the tail started to shrink very slowly.
Now the frog sits out on a rock and then hops back into the water for a swim. Unfortunately one of our frogs died while we were away camping. We weren’t sure if he was hungry or if our cat was somehow involved. He is now lovingly buried in the backyard garden (we had a short ceremony for him). We did more research for the second frog. The “frog guy” at the pet store said he is too small to eat crickets yet, and suggested that we head back to the pond for some pond water filled with insects, larvae, and now we have a collection of small fish as well, along with a new tadpole!
So far froggie number two seems content and froggie number three will join him soon, I’m sure then perhaps even more…
We had a fantastic long weekend at our beach house and the weather was twenty-five degrees! It felt just like summer!
We got the grass mowed, spent some time at the Community Hall,
Now I’m really looking forward to July!
As a part of our Canada and Rocks unit, the students in my class have been doing some rock collecting and greatly enjoyed creating inukshuks out of plasticine and stone.
Before starting we read:
Two intriguing stories about inukshuks, the first written by a class of students. We also watched this video on our class projector which inspired the students and gave them building ideas.
Then we did some more rock collecting and went to work creating the inukshuks. I was impressed with their designs! We used white and grey clay to secure the stones together and to cement them to the cardstock base. Quite a bit of plasticine was needed to make the rocks stick.
We got to see salmon fry that have been raised in the hatchery,
we observed dissected salmon,
and most excitingly, a real fry to take to the creek and release.
The fry swam so fast, we couldn’t catch a photo of it.
The beautiful creek and the beginning of a new journey for our salmon fry.
Whether at home or in the classroom, the Spring is a wonderful time to set up a rice bin for your toddlers and preschoolers. All it takes is a plastic bin and some measuring instruments, funnels etc. from the dollar store, for hours of fun and exploration. I recommend doing it outside for less mess and clean-up. I know my children enjoyed this immensely when they were young and I hope yours will too!
Spring seems to have come early to Vancouver, and it’s exciting to see some colour starting to appear.
I’ve especially been enjoying the forsythia bushes, including the one in our front garden, as well as the cherry blossoms popping up here and there, and of course the cheerful daffodils.
I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more green, but for now I’m delighted with yellow and pink.
Every year the kids love to decorate our Easter tree.
We painted those little styrofoam eggs from the dollar store with satiny yellow paint. We also covered some with ripped yellow tissue paper applied with glue (an idea from Usborne). This gives a textured, feathery look.
There is a discipline strategy that is being used in my teaching district, called Restitution. Restitution comes originally from aboriginal philosophy, and it also fits well into my own Christian beliefs.
Restitution is a move against using punishment, “guilting”, or acting as a buddy or a monitor towards children. Rather, it builds on creating “common beliefs”, guiding the children to know the beliefs and to “make it right” when they are not following those beliefs. For example: If children are speaking unkindly to each other, ask them, “Do you believe in respect? (yes.) Then try to say that in a different way to your sister.”
And that’s it. Simple.
Restitution refers to William Glasser‘s theory that all people have basic needs for belonging, autonomy, freedom and pleasure. Sometimes children (and adults) try to get these needs met in negative ways, hence, negative behaviour. All behaviour is trying to meet a need. This is a far more compassionate way of viewing our children, than labeling them as “naughty”, “lazy”, “bad” etc. when they make a mistake.
I use Restitution in my classroom, as well as at home with my children. I grew up in a home that used a lot of punishment and guilt messages, which I don’t think served me well. I want to use different kinds of loving discipline with my own children that leaves them feeling empowered.
Another book that has many “restitutionish” ideas is the tried and true, How to Talk so Kids Can Listen and Listen so Kids Can Talk
Reggio Emilia is an early childhood learning philosophy that originated in Italy. It is based on observing children, creating learning experiences based on their interests, recording their conversations and building on their discoveries, using colourful, texture-rich materials and play areas.
The photos in this post are taken at my daughter’s preschool, Childgarden Preschool, which is centered in this approach.
A book that I am currently relishing is called, Bringing Learning to Life: The Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education by Louise Boyd Cadwell. Her other book is in my sidebar.
This might sound like a lot of information, so please ask me any questions. I hope to elaborate on both these philosophies in future posts! I’ve been working on my sidebar and writing posts to make links, so look for this one there soon!
Hope you’re having a great week!
The weather for Spring Break has been gorgeous so far! Today we tried a hike at Belcarra, which takes you to a beach cove right in front of Jug Island.
It was a 6km walk (3km there and 3km back) and it was a good trek with some uphill and downhill. There was a lookout over Belcarra and a great view of Deep Cove at the end of the trail from the beach.
It was great hike that the kids enjoyed.
Hope you are all enjoying your Spring Break!