Mrs. M. is a teacher friend of Mrs. Knee’s. She sent us Smarties for Dot Day so Mrs. Knee told us a little bit about her. She skyped into our classroom this week to meet us. Now she is our friend too. Mrs. M. read a book called “The Bush Book Club”. The story had different Australian animals in it. We didn’t know much about them. We thought the bilby looked like a rabbit. Mrs. M is going to send us the book so we can have it to read. Maybe we will learn more about the animals.
We looked for 3-D shapes around the room and learned to name them – sphere, cube, rectangular prism, cone and pyramid. We used Geoblocks to explore various 3-D shapes. We looked carefully for 2-D faces on the 3-D shapes. Our favorite 3-D activity was combining 3-D shapes to make a block that looked the same as the largest Geoblock. We worked carefully to find as many combinations as we could. Take a look at some of our work.
We have lots of time to work in the block area during our afternoon activity time. There are so many wonderful benefits to working with the wooden Unit Blocks. The blocks are called Unit Blocks because they are proportional in size.
When working in blocks, the KinderKids learn counting, comparison of length and width, names of shapes, and how to combine some geometric shapes to make other shapes. They are learning the basics of addition when they discover that two short blocks are the same length as the next size block.
The KinderKids learn science when they experience gravity as their constructions fall. They learn the use of simple machines such as ramps when building. Their language skills and vocabulary improve as they talk about their creations and tell the stories that they are representing with the blocks. Children learn to write as they make signs and as teachers help them write stories about what they are building.
Children learn cooperation and sharing when they work together with the blocks. They develop problem-solving skills and learn good work habits since they are responsible for picking up when they finish.
So, when your child tells you they played in blocks at school, they actually were learning math, science, and literacy while enjoying themselves through working with blocks.
Ms. Smith asked her friend Chris, a soldier in Afghanistan if we could meet him on Skype. He said yes and stayed up late to talk with us. We had lots of questions for him and we loved talking to him. You can watch and listen to some of the things we talked about.
After our skype call with Chris, we read a book by Phil Cummings and Owen Swan about an Australian soldier from long ago. He was far away from his family and in a war. His wife and daughter made Anzac Biscuits (cookies) and sent them to him.
Anzac Biscuits were baked for soldiers, especially the Australian and New Zealand soldiers because they were nutritious and could last the journey to the other side of the world. They reminded the soldiers that the people back home were thinking about them. Anzac Biscuits have now become a common cookie in Australia.
We decided to make some Anzac Biscuits for Chris to remind him that we are thinking about him. We also drew pictures and wrote stories to send in the package.