The environment as a vehicle for learning

Dear Prep 3.1 parents,

This week the students continued with their inquiries into Who We Are. During free inquiry time several students engaged in play with real bugs found in our classroom garden and were seen making connections between our unit and their immediate environment. For example, grouping beetles in a small container according to their size and then using specific vocabulary to describe them:

Tenoch: ‘This is a mummy beetle because it’s big’

Aydan: ‘Baby beetles are small and tiny!’

Divansh: ‘Big. Yuck!’

Molly: ‘I have a family beetle and a baby one!’

Teacher: ‘How do you know it’s a baby one?’

Molly: ‘Because it’s smaller. I’ m half big!’

Teacher: ‘Why are you half big and not a baby?’

Molly: ‘Because mum says I am.’

Bella Lhamo: ‘I like beetles’

Teacher: ‘What do you like about beetles?’

Bella Lhamo: ‘They are my friends.’

Teacher: ‘How are they your friends?’

Bella Lhamo: ‘We play and have some much fun. I look for them…’

Later on during outdoor play, some of the students continued to demonstrate their appreciation for nature as they set out to find a home for small world bugs and used mathematical language to comment on their characteristics such as their patterns.

Additionally, during guided-inquiry students also had the opportunity to further develop their understanding of self as they used people counters to represent each of their family members and then recorded their thinking in individual family drawings. The students were also encouraged to reflect on how they were different from and similar to their families, and below is a snapshot of some of the children’s comments which shows their reasoning:

Sarah: ‘My dad has eyes, eyebrows, a nose, legs, ears, hair. My dad is really big!
My mum has hair. She gets her hair done at the hairdressers. Ginga has long hair. She has earnings on he ears.
Neusa cleans the house. She has a nose.’

Molly: ‘My family likes to eat carrots.
Dad has muscles and is strong. He is not fat
Mamma have eyes and strong muscles
Max is like me and likes to play LEGO; he plays with me.’

Tomas: ‘My family has the same colour.
My brother is big.’

– After starting to draw Tomas begun to reflect and realised someone was missing…

‘I almost missed my nanny! My daddy has brown hair and I have blonde hair. My mum is Aline and she looks like me
Dudu (brother) is big and I am small.
My nanny has her own family but they are far away.’

The color of us learning provocation proved to continue to be a very popular centre as many students were keen on finding a colour that matched their own skin tone. Interestingly, students started to compare their skin colour to that of things they like such as chocolate, flowers and even pancakes!

Next week we will dive into a new line of inquiry about Our Abilities after Molly happily shared with us her newly developed ability of ‘zooming’ on a bike without training wheels!

Myself and Ms. Joana hope you enjoy this ‘window’ into the students learning experiences after a week filled with great imagination and creativity.

Enjoy a happy weekend.

Molly sharing her special achievement with her peers during our morning meeting

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