Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Building Together #4 - Road Builders

After the children added their houses to our Water Community map, they noticed they need roads and streets to connect to each other's houses. So each child added a street to our map. It was easy designing and drawing the streets but how are real roads built? Some of the children already know that many heavy machines help with road constructions and of course they know without the workers, the machine would not move at all. "Unless they're electric," Alfie knowingly said. We read Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy and we found it takes even more community workers to complete a road. We added a construction site to our map and talked about the different safety rules that people, cars, and construction workers should follow around the site.

Building Together #3 - Building a house

The Water group children have been designing a dream community together, the Water Community. Last week, they started to design a map and locate an area on the map for their houses. To learn  how houses are built we read the book The House That Max Built by Maxwell Newhouse. The children found that it takes many different community workers to work together to build a house from the ground up. The children eagerly asked to build a house together. And of course they did! I asked the children to pick a job they liked from the book and here were their choices:

Allye - plumber
Alfie - framing crew
Angela - roofer
Lucas - roofer
Molly - framing crew

They were able to focus on their jobs and organize their tasks. When a difference of idea arose, they were able to communicate with each other and resolve with a group decision.  In the end, they were all so proud of their structure and displayed it for others to see.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Building Together #2: Trip to Pets Beautiful Grooming on Dunbar

Walk to Dunbar
Meeting Didi
Today the children met one of my dogs, Didi, a red toy poodle. I asked the children if they know the responsibilities of being a dog owner. Here are some things they came up with:

Molly: Take care of it.
Alfie: Take it for walks.
Trystan: You have to feed it.
Maddi: Play with it.
Jason: Give him water.
Theo: Pick up his poop.

I told the children that being a responsible owner can keep a dog happy and healthy. However, the two things that I am not very good at with my dogs are nail and fur trimmings. So I turn to a community helper around the Dunbar neighbourhood, my groomer, Terry for help.
Dropping off Didi
Drying the dog

Today is Didi's grooming day and Terry gladly offered to give the children a tour around the shop. The children took turns walking Didi up to Dunbar Street for his appointment and when we entered Pets Beautiful Grooming, Terry and her assistant greeted us warmly. She patiently showed us the tub where the pets are bathed; the heavy duty dryer to dry them when they are wet; the grooming table for brushing, clipping and trimmings; and the kennels where the pets stay in awaiting for their owners to pick them up. Thank you Terry for showing us around your grooming shop! The children loved it!

The bathtub
Washer and dryer for the towels and blankets

The grooming table

Building Together #1: Responsibilities

wipe the table
This week we focused on one of the concept for this unit, RESPONSIBILITY. Below is a conversation about responsibility with the children:
cleaning the shelf

Mary: What is responsibility?
Alfie: It's things you have to do.
Molly: Yes, you have to be responsible.
Mary: What are some responsibilities at home?
Brendan: I help tidy up.
clean cubbies
Allye: I help my baby brother.
Mary: What are some responsibilities at school?
Theo: Play!
Angela: Clean up.

We zoned in on the jobs/roles we have within our preschool community. After further discussion, the children realized that there are many responsibilities at Creative Minds. However, they noticed that most responsibilities have to do with keeping our school clean and following rules so everyone feels safe and comfortable at school.
clean art trays
wash chairs
mopping the floor

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Then and Now #9 - Inventions (Summative Project)

For the end of our Then and Now unit. The children discussed the many changes and how things have evolved over time. To help the teachers assess the children's understanding of the central idea (there are similarities and differences between the way people lived long ago and the way people live today) we read the book The Cat in the Hat. We focused on the machine that the cat uses to clean up at the end of the story. We asked the children what they would invent to help with their lives or environment. Each of them eagerly contributed their ideas and in the end the Water group created "Chuppy Loopy ". It's a multi-function cleaning machine that cleans hats, dogs, turns juice into fruit and cleans up water. Our next step is to find a way to pitch this to the Dragons on Dragon's Den!
painting the machine
picking the parts 
building the machine