Octobre 2019 - C'est l'automne!

It is true, what they say about time flying when you’re having fun… October is already over! It feels sometimes like the first day of school was yesterday, and a moment later it feels like we all have known each other forever. What a strange, but sweet feeling :)

As usual, we have been very (VERY) busy in Toute Petite Section. Now that all the routines are internalized, we can spend more time singing, telling stories, sharing thoughts and asking questions.

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of the themes and activities we have been working on during this month of October :

  • the season of fall (l’automne) : we did a few different art projects with leaves, talked about the fact that some of them were falling from their trees at the moment, and created some (that are falling too!) for our classroom tree.

    We also used this theme to introduce art projects using warm colors : rouge, orange et jaune!

    We used leaves, acorns and small branches to create prints on clay. It was fun to use a rolling pin as well.

    You can’t talk about fall without talking about rain! We made rain fall on a folded paper using droppers, and we also did an experiment to recreate rain in a jar. For this experiment, we poured water in a jar, topped with shaving cream (our cloud!). Tleafhen we dropped colored water on our cloud with pipettes. It was really fun to watch the ‘‘rain’’ fall.

  • we did a few other scientific experiments this month : we poured vinegar on baking soda, and we observed how water does not mix with oil (we used pipettes to drop colored water in oil, and observed the water form tiny colorful beads).

  • we talked about our families and our home, using these themes to do some early math activities. We also worked on shapes with magnets and pattern blocks.

  • we kept working on colors and did a few sorting activities. For one activity, we had to sort pompoms by color and put it in the appropriate colored ‘‘pipe’’.

  • we introduced early literacy activities, working on different lines : wavy lines, zig-zag, straight lines.

  • and of course, we worked a lot on our fine motor skills!

We hope you’ll enjoy the photos :)

Some vocabulary (it could be useful!) :
the rain : la pluie
it’s raining! : il pleut!
a leaf : une feuille
red : rouge
orange : orange (!)
yellow : jaune
a walk in the woods : une balade en forêt
a house : une maison
a roof : un toit
a door : une porte
a window : une fenêtre
at the top : en haut
at the bottom : en bas

Septembre 2019 - La rentrée!

One month! Can you believe it? The little ones started their school adventure one month ago. So much has happened in these past few weeks, I don’t even know where to start…

In Toute Petite Section, the first few weeks of school (and overall, the whole school year) is all about separation, and evolving in a group setting with new routines, new rules, and new faces. It’s all about creating a relationship of trust with other adults, feeling confident in a new environment, and being happy to go to school. Children are doing so well, and we are incredibly proud of each and every one of them.

I will talk more about our Toute Petite Section curriculum, learning objectives and activities during the Curriculum Night on Tuesday, October 15th (mark your calendars!), but I would like to give you a sneak peek of what we are doing in the classroom with this first blog post.

Our routines :

  • Every day, we have a circle time (le regroupement sur le tapis) where we sing our Bonjour song and say hello to each other. Slowly (but surely) our meeting is getting a bit more interesting, richer and longer. I ask each child how they are doing today (Ça va bien? Ça va mal? Ça va comme-ci comme-ca?), and I recently introduced our attendance routine (l’appel). We ask ourselves who is at school today using a card with their picture and name, and then we count together how many children are at school that day. By doing so, we ‘‘work’’ on different areas : language (by using the same words - ¨Est-ce que Atlas est à l’école aujourd’hui? - Oui! Il est là!¨ / Is Atlas at school today? - Yes, he’s here!), early math, social and emotional skills. Then we look at the schedule of the day, so we know what to except for the next few hours.

    Later in the year, we will have a weather routine, as well as a ‘‘responsibility board’’ routine (children will have a specific responsibility every day, such as doing the attendance, choosing the songs we’ll sing, using the bell/carillon to say that it’s time to clean up, etc…).

  • Cleaning up! In Toute Petite Section, every simple task is a learning in progress. Having to stop playing with trains in order to do something else can be challenging (and frustrating!), but it’s a big part of our curriculum, as well as cleaning up, taking care of our toys and books, and helping each other. Time is a tricky concept, but routines can help understanding it and create smoother transitions from an activity to another.

  • Sitting down for snack (le goûter) and cleaning up after ourselves when we are done.

  • Going to the bathroom at least once after snack, and washing our hands by ourselves after that.

  • Singing Au revoir at the end of each afternoon!

Our curriculum :

Our school year is divided in 5 periods, with specific learning objectives and themes. For our first period (which will end at the end of October), we are working on a few, simple themes. Here are the themes we worked on in September, and the different activities and projects we did :

  • Exploring the classroom, its different areas and materials : in our art projects, we have worked with paint, watercolor, colored water, but also sponges, paintbrushes, corks, sticks, oil pastels, tempera sticks, markers, crayons, dot markers, etc.. We have used glue sticks and liquid glue, but also scissors (plastic ones for now!). We have glued pieces of cardboard together, cut and shredded paper.

  • We have worked a lot on our fine motor skills : pouring water, transferring rice and beans or sand, using spoons, squeezing sponges, using pipettes, dot stickers, squeeze bottles, bamboo tweezers, water beads and spoons, play dough with different tools (knives, cookie cutters).

  • We also do a lot of sensory activities : gak (a sort of slime), kinetic sand, regular sand in the sand box or at the table, water, clay, water beads.

  • We have worked on the theme ‘‘myself and my family’’ with photo puzzles, portraits. We have also been searching for pictures of the members of our family in the sand box (and then counting them!), as well as working on early math with the concepts of small/medium/big (petit/moyen/grand).

  • Another theme was colors : we mostly played with primary colors, mixing them, filling up a space on a paper. We did some activities about shapes too : le carré, le rond et le triangle (square, circle, triangle).

  • In october, we’ll be working on the theme of fall (we are creating our classroom tree at the moment!) and home (my home, my family). We will soon introduce the doudou de la classe (class mascot), which is a great object that helps create a bond between home and school. More info about our mascot to come this week!

As you can see, we have been VERY busy! I tried to keep this blog post short, but there’s just too much to say… I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures below :)