May 1, 2015: Library

April is National Poetry Month!

During library class, we celebrated National Poetry Month with charming and funny poems from Chicken Scratches.  We read aloud some poems together and learned some poems have rhyming words and rhythm. The students also enjoyed creating a list of rhyming words on the whiteboard. Reading poetry is a fun way to build our vocabulary and express our emotions. 

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Tamara Beecroft
Librarian

May 1, 2015: PE

We are finishing up our gymnastics unit in the coming weeks. Our foot balance courses have grown in complexity and students are offering their ideas for how to move on them and how to put them together. We have learned different rolls and tumbles, challenging us to reflect on how different parts of our bodies move together to perform these skills. We are also inventing our own rolls as we individually decide how to move on the mats. Our hand balance is also growing stronger with falling monkey hops, preparing us for cartwheels in the years to come. As summer approaches we will begin our review and revisit our important skills of the past year.

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David Platt
Early Childhood Physical Education

May 1, 2015: Music

Hello LowK!  We are having fun with this spring time weather by singing songs about flowers growing and caterpillars turning into butterflies. The kids are exceptionally cute as they perform the life cycle of plants while singing the song Flowers Grow. Some of our other activities include the hand clapping game Miss Mary Mack, the movement game The More We Get Together and a silly song A Peanut Sat On A Railroad Track. Instruments have involved working with partners and creating patterns. The children have to work together to use multiple instruments and create a rhythmic pattern. I was definitely impressed with their compositions!

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Kami Richards
EC Music Teacher

May 1, 2015: Art

Now that LowK has many skills under their belt, they will be able to express themselves in a whole different level during art class. We are making recycled art projects that will involve two puppets, the latter of which will be a collaboration with music!
So far, the first puppets look quite unfinished, but in about two weeks, they should be ready- and beautifying the walls in the EC campus! The kids and I cannot wait to finish these puppets as they are looking more and more amazing each week!

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Carolina Barros
Early Childhood Art Specialist

March 20, 2015: Art

LowK classes are finishing up their recycled materials books. They are coloring their pages with fabric this week and will be working on their covers when we come back from Spring Break. After break, we will continue to make recycled art, but will focus mainly on building. Spyglass Theater, a company from Seattle, will be joining us for a puppet show, and we will make our own recycled materials puppets!


REMINDER: The EC art show will start the Monday we come back from break, March 30th. Be on the look out for your child's artwork!!!
Have a safe and happy Spring Break and we'll see you back in two weeks!

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Carolina Barros
Early Childhood Art Specialist

March 20, 2015: PE

Our gymnastics unit has started with foot balance courses on graded stepping stones and balance beams. We have practiced walking forwards and sideways and jumping from stone to stone. Our courses will get more challenging in the coming weeks as our sense of balance grows stronger and we will walk backwards and on our hands and feet. We are also practicing shifting our weight from our feet to our hands to perform donkey kicks, rabbit hops, and monkey hops. This will prepare us for the beginnings of a cartwheel, tumbles and other rolls as our work in gymnastics continues.

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David Platt
Early Childhood Physical Education

March 20, 2015: Music

Hello LowK Families! These past few weeks we have been trying to incorporate a few more silly movement songs. Some of these include Popcorn in the Popper, Hurry, Hurry Drive The Fire Truck and Go Bananas. A more classic children's song we have been doing is Row, Row, Row Your Boat. During this activity the children pretend to sit in a boat with a partner and rock back and forth to the the beat while singing. They are doing a wonderful job feeling the beat and being careful with their partner's body. The children are really getting into these songs and it is a nice way to practice rhythmically staying together while getting out our sillies.

I also have been bringing in a xylophone lately. The students used this instrument to practice high/low voices, improvisation and proper use of mallets. One of the games we did required the children to listen to each pitch and make a shape based off of what they were hearing. If it was a low pitch then their bodies were close to the ground and if it was a high pitch then their bodies were in a high position. I think I'll wrap up this newsletter and yet, I hope ya'll are able to do something fun over Spring Break and have a wonderful day!  


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Kami Richards
EC Music Teacher

March 20, 2015: Library

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss' birthday is celebrated in schools across the country on March 2 every year.  This year, TIS PreK and LowK students had lots of fun listening to Dr. Seuss stories, playing Seuss games and dressing up as the Cat in the Hat. All fans of Dr. Seuss' incredible work will be happy to learn that a new book will be released in July, What Pet Should I Get?

For more information about Dr. Seuss or his books, check out the official website Seussville.

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Tamara Fornell
Librarian

Feb 15, 2015: PE

We are finishing up our creative movement unit where we have imagined the farm, the jungle, and the ocean while moving and dancing like different animals, learning yoga poses through imagined stories, and acting out adventure stories. We will begin our gymnastics unit next where we will explore different kinds of balance while standing still and moving to strengthen our coordination and prepare for more complex routines.

David Platt
Early Childhood Physical Education

Feb 15, 2015: Art

LowK is preparing to talk about recycled art. I'm conducting assessment today by seeing how they can problem solve in art by giving them paper scraps and asking them to turn these scraps into something new. So far the results have simply "wowed" me! One piece more creative than the next, the students came up with dragons, masks, people, animals, mountains and more!
Next week, we will start our long study of recycled art by making a book and adding different things to each page.

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Carolina Barros
Early Childhood Art Specialist

Feb 15, 2015: Library

LowK started the year with a new unit on "community" where they learned about many kinds of jobs that help the community and people's lives.
During library class, we read Good People Everywhere written by Lynea Gillen and beautifully illustrated by Kristina Swarner.

This book helps to remind us to be kind to other people, animals, the Earth and to ourselves. Each page shows an act of kindness with delightful illustrations and stories that bring warm feelings to us. This book inspires children to create a peaceful community and teaches that each person, even young children, plays their own role in contributing towards that goal. We also discussed what are good things that we can do as part of a community and drew picture of our kind acts. Visit the library to see what they drew!

Tamara Beecroft
Librarian

 

Feb 15, 2015: Music

Hello LowK and welcome to February! We have been stacking potatoes and trying to not run into walls lately. Let me explain, the children have learned the chant, "One Potato, Two Potato" and with this chant we play a little partner game where the students have to turn their hands into fists and stack them on top of their partner's hands. This is a great way for us to practice beat, speaking rhythmically while moving hands and also, working with a partner.

Fairly recently, I stumbled across the idea that when a student is looking for a partner what they are really searching for his someone to help them learn and practice music. This personal discovery has led our classroom in a better direction. Previously the students would ask if someone could be there partner and now they say, "Will you help me learn music, please?" I think this is very helpful in keeping the focus on music as well as helping students avoid the pitfall of only choosing their friends.

Another recent activity is with the classic nursery rhyme "Cobbler, Cobbler." The students have to walk in a straight line until they hear the triangle then they change direction and walk in a new straight line. The triangle is only sounded at the end of every musical phrase which means sometimes the children have to walk in place if they come across something in their path. This is only a short snapshot of some of the things we have been doing lately. I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Kami Richards
EC Music Teacher

Jan 9, 2015: Music

Happy New Year! I hope you had a nice break. I am certainly hearing a bunch of wonderful stories from the children about all of the fun they had over the two weeks. LowK has begun doing star dances this week. A star dance is meant to teach the children how to include their hands, which are the stars, in their dancing as well as work on matching tempo and mood. We are also singing songs and doing dances to "A Tisket A Tasket," and "Here Comes a Bluebird."  

As we gradually get back into our work load, we brought out my little bee. He is a stuffed animal that sings "silly songs." These songs are actually ways to play with vocal exploration so the children explore their vocal range by creating siren sounds or twirling sounds. The kids also love giving him a hug. During the hug game the kids work on vocal chanting and steady beat. One of our final activities for this week is echoing. I sing, play, clap or stomp something and see if students can follow my sequence and hear the change in pitches. We are working hard to hear how melodies change and to be aware of rhythmic components whether it be with body percussion or instruments. LowK has done such a wonderful job this week and I am excited for what is to come! Have a great day!

- Kami Richards

Jan 9, 2015: PE

We have begun our unit on creative movement where we understand how we can move our bodies to express ourselves. Animal moves, dancing, Imagination Yoga, and adventure stories will all help us reflect on different ways we can use our imaginations as we move our bodies. A variety of themes will structure our classes as we have fun pretending to be different animals and people in different settings.

- David Platt

Jan 9, 2015: Art

Hello, famlies, and welcome back! 2015 will be a year filled with sculpture making, environmental art, and loads of fun!

LowK is starting the year by drawing "George" again- but this time, they are using this beloved wooden figure to design a person who is really important to them. They'll start to build their designs next week, adding the base structure, flesh, and paper clothes in the next several classes.

We will be talking about the process of visual communication by brainstorming about how we can tell all about the person we are building by adding visual "clues"- For example, if a student is making a veterinarian, some visual clues might include pets in cages or in casts, a stethoscope, treats for the pets...etc.

I am really happy to see each of my students' progress and very excited to see what they will come up with in this unit! Happy 2015 and I will see you around campus!

- Carolina Barros

 

Jan 9, 2015: Library

Happy New Year! Another year has passed and now we look into the new year ahead.  Speaking of new, we've got some great new books at the EC Library. Here's a few:
 
Sneezy the Snowman (English Picture book) by Maureen Wright
Join in the adventures of Sneezy and his friends.

Momon Chan Series (Japanese Picture book) by Kazuhiko Toyota
Stories about little baby peach and her friends.


What if a dinosaur...? Series (Spanish Picture book) by Aleksei Bitskoff
Introduces the size, diet, and physical characteristics of dinosaurs by placing them in whimsical modern-day scenarios.

Also, did you know TIS has subscribed to a fun reading program that you and your child can access from home?

Scholastic BookFlix is a new online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning. The engaging way to link fact and fiction, BookFlix reinforces early reading skills and introduces children to a world of knowledge and exploration.

To access our subscription go to http://bkflix.grolier.com
User name: intlschool
Password: intlschool


Happy reading!

Tomoyo and Carrie, TIS Library Assistants

Nov 21, 2014: PE

We have been exploring how force is important when we catch and throw different sized balls. Our half-circle is now a catching course where we are working on a basket catch after trying out our own ideas of how to catch. We are also learning an underhand and an overhand throw, placing our opposite foot forward for balance, after experimenting with our own ideas of how to throw. We have had fun playing games like builders and bulldozers and dragons’ tails where we use our hands to move objects and learn to play as a team. Our focus will shift to soccer balls and the different ways we can move them with our hands and feet before we learn some basic soccer skills.

- David Platt

Nov 21, 2014: Art

LowK has been very busy planning and building pets who live in their pockets. I was very impressed by how some classes paid attention to details, building their animals in the exact same shape and color of their plans.
Please check out our art corner at the EC building to see these amazing works of art!!!!
Classes that have finished building their pet are now making a story about this pet (we have talked about the story telling process: A story always has a beginning, middle and end). They are carefully coloring each page and the end result is definitely wonderful!

- Carolina Barros

Nov 21, 2014: Music

Happy Friday! My LowK classes are an enthusiastic and wonderful group! Our current central idea is that we learn about music through exploration and play which is why we try to keep all our activities as fun games. We have been playing a couple of games with bean bags. One of these involves passing bean bags on the beat while chanting the poem “Aka Baka Soda Cracker.”  This game develops beat, and memorization as well as allowing us to do vocal explorations as we chant the poem in a silly voice, high voice or my favorite, no voice. Not using the voice gives students a chance to say the poem in their heads which of assists with silent reading skills and pitch retention.  Another bean bag game we play is the Bean Bag Bop which is a fun song that we dance to and use to practice our listening skills.  

During instruments we have been using the song  1, 2, Buckle My Shoe and only playing on the number words. The prep for this activity is teaching the whole body to not move until the proper time.  To accomplish this task we have been singing 6 Little Turkeys and only moving on the word “gobble.” I am having a lot of fun with this grade and I hope this gives you a taste of what happens in our classroom. I hope ya’ll have a great break!

- Kami Richards

Nov 21, 2014: Library

Reading to your children is key to literacy development and fostering a love for reading. Thank you for supporting the first EC only library reading challenge and Scholastic Book Fair.  The Growing Readers tree grew impressively by leaves and worms daily!  Congratulations to all the parents and students. All students have received bookmarks and participants will be awarded certificates.

The Scholastic Book Fair earned over $500 in books for the new library!

Below are just a few of the books added to the EC library.  My favorite is It's Duffy Time by Audrey and Don Wood. Duffy takes a lot of naps!

- Tamara Beecroft