Math Talk – Gathering Data

We gathered to solve a Maths problem. We are learning how to collect information by organising objects in different ways.

  • Eli “We are looking how much bugs and insects. And we counted how much is the same and how much different insects.”
  • Oliver “You have to look at the board and see the board and count. Its because if you do nothing there is zero insects.”

  • Jeongyoon “Drawing bugs.”
  • Eli “I have to think and look at the picture and look at how much insects there are.”

  • Eunbyul “Sharing ladybugs and drawing on the whiteboard.”
  • Motong “This is a garden. Everybody draw.”
  • Wyatt “It’s drawing pictures.”

Next, we used colour blocks to explore data collecting.

  • Howie “These are colour blocks. To use same colour blocks to build together. Counting blocks.”
  • Wyatt “Its writing on the paper. Putting blocks on the paper and then draw.”

  • Oxford “I am putting blocks on the paper then we can do drawing.”
  • Motong “I had orange the most, 4. I had only 1 dark green and purple and yellow and red.”
  • Eli “I had green, 8, the most but the green when I put it in the bowl I found lots of green like 8.”
  • Morning “I had blue the most. 7.”
  • Liz “I had 3 blue, I have green is 9 the most. I have 2 red and 2 orange.”
  • Oliver “I have the most is yellow, 4.”
  • Eunbyul “Is from 1 is green.”
  • Howie “I have drawing one white block.”
  • Jeongyoon “I have a green 7, the most.”

The children used colours and numbers to document their information. We noticed that they used comparative language (most, little, lots) to explain their data.

Next, we decided to organise our blocks in columns. This helped us see the different colours and quantities. 

Then, we documented what we saw on paper, creating column graphs to record the data. We noticed how the children represented one real object with one picture/coloured square.

An Inquiry into Forces and Energy

Different groups of children have been creating slides and ramps in the block play area. We began to collect pictures and videos for the children to review after playtime.

What did they notice about the different pictures (1,2 and 3)?

We documented their observations and thoughts on chart paper. 

How is picture 4 connected to the other 3 pictures? Were there any similarities and differences?


The children began to share their theories about the way objects moved on the pieces of wood. They discussed their theories about the concepts of form, materials, speed, height, force and energy.

Based on the children’s initial theories about energy and the movement of objects when creating slides with blocks, we decided to give them an opportunity to test their ideas in different situations.

We wondered how the children might experience the use of force and energy in P.E.

What would they need to consider when creating games and activities that have slides?


An Inquiry into Slides

Mr. Lee began the P.E. session by helping the children recall their ideas about slides.

  • Lee “What do you know about slides?”
  • Oliver “A bouncy slide.”
  • Lee “What makes it bounce?”

He drew a picture to share the image of a ‘bumpy’(uneven slide).

  • Lee “What can we put down a slide?
  • Eli “Blocks, to build the slide, put some wood under and make it bouncy. A mat under. Use a ball, use yourself, run down the slide.”

“Some people will roll down the slide!” said the children.

Mr. Lee invited the children to build slides using a range of soft play equipment.

When the children came back to class, they documented their thinking, strategies and observations on paper. We noticed that the children used a range of Craft Moves, shared during a writing activity to show ‘action’ and ‘movement’ to make their thinking visible.

The children:

  • shared ‘how’ the slides were made.
  • observed how objects (balls and their body) move on different pieces of equipment.
  • made choices about the shape and size of equipment they would need to make their slides work well.
  • used feedback to make their slides safer.
  • thought about the speed, safety, and characteristics of different materials and shapes as they designed their slides.
  • worked collaboratively in a small space, sharing resources and being mindful of the needs of others.

The group shared their process with the rest of the class. They began to talk about possibilities with slides.

  • Oliver “We can change the slides into water slides.”
  • Jeongyoon “Ice slide.”
  • Liz “Mud slide.”
  • Eli “I have been on a water slide like going up and down.”
  • Oxford “It has a tunnel.”
  • Morning “In the PE room!”
  • Teacher “Could we have water in the Gym?”
  • Children “NO!”
  • Jeongyoon “The swimming pool. Water mud slide.”
  • Wyatt “A monster slide? The monster can be inside and everybody is running around and playing and not coming to the slide.”
  • Oliver “We can make a super tall rollercoaster.”
  • Teacher “Why?”
  • Oliver “Because it’s FUN!”

“It sounds like we need a PLAN!”

Mouse Paint – A Shared Reading Experience

We read the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. We began by looking at the image on the back cover. Does it share any clues about the story?

A few children made predictions about the image (tapping into their prior knowledge):

  • Eli “Maybe a cat will come to eat the mice.”
  • Oliver “A tiger might eat all the mice.
  • Wyatt “A crab is fighting and eating the mice.”

Then, we discussed the front cover. What might this book be about?

The children decided that it had to be about mice and paint, as the title was ‘Mouse Paint’!

Next, we read the book. The children noticed that some words were covered. They used their observational skills and knowledge of letters, sounds and words to suggest possibilities. The children helped sound out and spell the words while using their whiteboards to note their thinking. The alphabet card helped them look for letters and sounds they were unsure of.

We know that children develop their reading skills as they engage in shared reading experiences, practising competencies such as phonemic awareness and comprehension skills.

As we continued to read the book, the K2 readers were able to recognise and read familiar words, ask questions, and make predictions all while developing their reading identities.

Moths and Butterflies

@O wanted to learn more about moths and butterflies after observing a moth on Oskar’s shoe. He had many questions about moths and butterflies after looking through a variety of nonfiction books. He wondered how you could tell the difference between them.

We decided to find an expert in the Early Years. @O recalled Ms. Karen having many different specimens of insects. Oliver went over to Ms. Karen to talk about his research. The video story shares @O‘s journey as a researcher. 

Research Skills:

Formulating and planning

  • Ask or express through play questions that can be researched.

Data gathering and documenting (audio recording, drawing, photographing)

  • Gather information from a variety of sources (people, places, materials, literature).
  • Use all senses to observe and notice details.
  • Record observations—drawing and using emergent writing skills to make thinking visible.

Evaluating and communicating

  • Notice relationships and patterns.

Exploring Patterns with @M

One morning during quiet exploration time, @M chose a piece of paper from the recycled basket to make a new creation. He began by (carefully) using a ruler to make straight lines to create a border. Then, he used markers to create pattern towers. This reminded the teachers of the pattern exploration the children had engaged in the day before, where they used Unifix cubes to create colour patterns.

We noticed how @M drew and labelled his ‘pattern unit’ for each new pattern. He had his own rules which were communicated using blocks with numbers and colours. @M tried to think of a unique pattern each time he drew a tower of cubes.

@M sat with his task till he filled his paper with different patterns. When he revisited the patterns and checked them for accuracy, he noticed some errors. He paused to think about the different ways he might correct the mistakes.       

@M first strategy was to cross out the mistake. The next was to add additional cubes to continue the pattern correctly.

As he progressed with his pattern work, he began by creating the pattern unit before making the patterns. His two final patterns were red, orange, yellow, and red, pink and yellow.

Finally, @M drew a column of colours and a second column with question marks. This was to ask others if they could name the colours.

He explained that it did not relate to the patterns that were on the paper.

As we explore patterns in the world around us, we wonder which ones will capture @M‘s interest.

We wonder how he might document patterns in nature…

Our exploration continues…

Block Play with Howie and Eli

A group of children worked on their block structures over a sustained period of time, creating plans, solving problems and making changes to the initial design to suit their story. The adults observed the interactions and documented their play over time. When the children saw the video, they reflected on their play, discussing their initial plans and process.

Howie “This is we building blocks. And Mo Mo is helping us to build. And I put my name on the house and I was playing with my house. And we is building and we use which car to drive on the tracks.”

Eli “The pictures help me of looking     how to build the hospital and the hotel and that is how I know which pieces is which pieces. I like the hospital and the hotel so I will build it the same as the picture. The building blocks and then putting racing car and then driving them around and then building the T Rex into the hospital and the T Rex mommy into the hospital and we build the all of the race cars and the race road and Mo Mo was helping.”

Howie “I was drawing because I want show us I build and someone comes and he sees my picture and then he can’t touch it. It’s the same make as my blocks because it’s hard to build but it has lots of blocks we can build.”

Eli “I have to remember to build the right pieces we have to write hospital and we have to write hotel. Writing help me learn how to write words. But they all look different (blocks). I think which block I need and then I know which blog I used.”

  • How do we make choices about the materials we use to create?
  • What skills do we need to create a story?
  • What skills do we need to work together?
  • How do we record our planning and thinking (making thinking visible)?
  • How can we share our creations and stories with others?

Craft Moves – Mo Willems

Mo Willems is one of our favourite authors. We have read his books over and over again. Some of our favourite stories are: ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the BUS!’

How do authors and illustrators use lines, shapes and patterns in their picture books?

When rereading Mo Willems picture books, we noticed how he used letter shapes, lines and shapes to create his drawings.

The writers also noticed the ‘craft moves’ that the author uses when creating books.

We also discussed how books were made and noticed that books have/can have :

  • a title
  • the authors name
  • the illustrator’s name
  • many pages
  • writing or pictures or both on almost every page

We Invited the children to use these ‘craft moves’ when they create their own stories and books.

During sharing time, we highlighted some of the techniques the children had used in their own writing.

The Zones of Regulation

We read the story ‘When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry’ by Molly Bang. This beautifully designed picture book tells the story of a little girl named Sophie. Sophie is caught in a situation that makes her very angry. The detailed pictures in the story share her emotional learning journey.

  • What can we do when we experience big emotions?
  • How might recognising emotions help us regulate them?


We gathered to sort out some pictures that showed different emotions. We used coloured cards to help us explore the Zones of Regulation.


What are The Zones of Regulation?

The Zones are used to teach self-regulation by labelling all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience. Becoming more aware of our emotions can help us control emotions and impulses.


The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored. 


The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone.


The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has some control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.


The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger or explosive behaviour when in the Red Zone. A person is described as “out of control” if in the Red Zone.

We had pictures of children and people demonstrating their feelings and emotions. After discussing each picture, we decided how we wanted to sort them.

We will continue to use the Zones of Regulation to help us monitor our own behaviour, to help us create a safe, caring and positive learning environment.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

  • Be aware of own and others’ feelings.
  • Manage anger and resolve conflict.
  • Be self- and socially aware.
  • Be aware of own and others’ impact as a member of a learning group.
  • Use strategies to problem-solve.
  • Manage own emotions, feelings and resolve conflict.

Launch – The Early Years Gathering

It was time for us to gather at the Piazza, a gathering spot in the Early Years Centre where we come together to sing dance, listen and connect with others. This morning we began with the song and ended with a dramatic story. The teachers took videos and photographs of the Early Years gathering, to help the children reflect on the morning’s activities.

Next, the children were invited to draw what they saw, heard and felt while they were together as a community. We listened to the children’s ideas and wonderings. Some guiding questions encouraged the children to think about the purpose and ways we come together. We paid attention to common themes and ideas that the children presented through their drawings and discussions. When the children watched the video, they told the story of connection, fun and laughter.

We noticed that the children were beginning to talk about agreements and behaviours that would make the EY gathering a positive experience for everyone.

Some suggestions were:

  • Choose a good sitting spot for listening (respectful listening).
  • Sit in a circle, at the edge of the last circle (including everyone).
  • Talk and sing together (enjoyment, connection).
  • Listen to instructions so that everyone knows what to do (listening for information).
  • Use a speaking voice when we speak and a singing voice when singing.

We wonder…

  • In what ways do we come together with others?
  • How did we feel in different situations where people get together?
  • What makes something a good experience?

This led to a conversation about the different situations that bring us together.

The children explained that we come together to…

  • sing
  • dance
  • read
  • play games
  • talk

We documented our ideas on chart paper to help us think about the ‘purpose‘ and ‘ways‘ we come together. We decided to use photographs to document our thinking. 

Colours and Feelings

Ms. Sue has been talking to the children about feelings and emotions, and the appropriate ways we can express these emotions to show how we feel. We read the story ‘The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions’ by Anna Llenas, to explore the connection between colour and emotions.


In this delightful story, a Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad, and scared all at once! A little girl helps him sort through his feelings to help him define his mixed-up emotions. The images throughout the story helped us think about the different situations that lead to the way we feel. It led to a conversation about the different ways we can express our feelings and emotions through colour and storytelling.

The adults in the space captured the artists’ ideas and stories as they documented their feelings, emotions and stories through their artwork.

Yellow is Happy
From the artist…
Liz “This is yellow, it is happy. This is baby bird and mummy. They are eating fruit. This is small, small bird. Daddy bird is eat worms. Daddy is happy. This is tree. The bird house is in the tree. I am happy because I see the birds. I chose yellow because it is happy. I am happy when I play rabbit with Morning. Morning is the rabbit and I am rabbit mommy. Rabbit mummy plays with the rabbit. At home I am happy when I play with brother George. We play with toy mouse.”

Golden is Surprised

Green is Calm

From the artist…

 Oliver “When I see green, I feel calm down. I think about playing games. My heart feels better. I chose green because it is calm. Bunny is calm because he wants to eat all the carrots. The carrots make him feel calm. The carrots are from the garden. Mr. Seth grows the carrots. There are clouds, they are calm clouds because the sun made them calm. And the sun is also calm because the moon makes him calm. It’s because he is strong, he can also make the sun calm. The dots are calm butterflies. It’s because the ants made them calm. Because they used leaves to make the butterflies calm. There is a farm where the cows live. And its also where you get milk. And the bunny wants to eat the carrots from the growing farm. And there is a rainbow because the day is calm down. Everything is calm down. It is good to calm down because its quiet. Others are learning so quiet is good. And the rabbit is a girl because she has long ears. And the sun are also calm down. The moon makes the sun calm down and the rainbow makes the clouds calm down.”

Pink is Love

From the artist…

Morning “I think pink is love. Love is love her mummy. I used pink and pink. It is love. Because he loves bunny’s mommy. Bunny’s mummy gives Bunny one watermelon. Bunny wants to eat so mummy gives it to him. Bunny and mummy love to eat together. Bunny is in a nest, mummy made a nest for baby bunny and it sleeps in a nest. Mummy closed the doors when bunny is sleeping. Bunny is very small and mum will put the light off and close the nest door. The bunny will cry if she doesn’t close the door because it thinks there will be a monster outside. Mummy keeps Bunny safe. Mummy sleeps in the big nest. If bunny is scared he can open the little window to see mummy. Grandma loves me. I sleep in a little small nest too. My mummy sleeps in the big bed. The bunny is me. The bunny mummy is my mommy.”

We observed how the children used their experiences, imagination and theories creatively. Each stroke on their paper was intentional, showing the actions feelings and personalities of different characters in their stories.

Showing Actions and Feelings

How might we show the actions and feelings of a character? 

Picture books communicate with both words and with pictures. One key way to enhance illustration is to dramatise the artwork. A good character, first and foremost, must evoke a reaction from the reader. It’s the illustrator’s job to capture that spark, that energy, that grabs the reader’s attention.

To explore this further, we decided to read yet another picture book by Mo Williems, ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!’. As we read the story, the children demonstrated the actions and feelings of the characters in the story.

We began to see how the pigeon shared his disappointment, anger, surprise, joy and thoughtfulness. We also noticed how Pigeon moved to show what he was doing or feeling.

During quiet writing time, the children sit with writing tools to express their ideas and stories through pictures and words.

We used Oxford’s drawing to talk about the character’s feelings and actions. Oxford’s story was about a thief who stole money from a shopping mall. A person close to the mall was surprised by what he observed and showed his emotion through facial expressions. Spiderman was around to save the day, making a plan to catch the thief with the stolen money.

Oxford thought about his drawing and wondered what more he could do to show feelings, emotions and action through his artwork. 

Next, we chose a character from our stories and then drew to show all the different ways a character was feeling.  

The children were invited to share why the character was feeling that way. They were excited to share their drawings, using their imagination to extend their initial thoughts.

We were ready to add our new ideas on the chart paper.

We wonder how the children would use these different craft moves in their own writing and storytelling. 

An Inquiry into Ramps

A group of kindergarteners explore a range of concepts while building ramps. They collaborate with each other, thinking, planning and testing their theories (Forces and energy).

They explore how speed, distance, and height may change the result of the experiment. Curious investigators are drawn to the testing ground as laughter and celebration ripple across the learning space. 

Through experimentation, the children begin to explore how a variety of factors including size and shape, can impact the way objects move (Physics).

  • We wonder what variables impact the design of ramps. 
  • How are ramps used in the world around us? 

An exploration begins… 


Who am I?

Who are you?

Who are we?

The Grade 3 artists have created and shared self-portraits outside their classroom. We went across to look at their creative work with the hope of being inspired.

The K2 children sat quietly on the floor gazing at the drawings, thinking about what they noticed and how they might share their observations. The teachers documented their thinking…

  • Oliver “No stomach. Only a head and feet.”
  • Eli “Some drawings. Putting them on the wall. People.”
  • Oxford “He is NIS, yellow.”
  • Morning “It’s a girl because she has long hair.”
  • Howie “NIS shirt.”
  • Wyatt “Face is yellow. It looks like he is funny. Yellow ears.”
  • Eileen “One child has tied her hair up just like Ms. Shemo.”
  • Oliver “My brother made this one. I can see my brother’s name. It’s a picture of my brother. He has no stomach!”
  • Howie “They all only have heads. They didn’t have legs. They didn’t draw.”
  • Motong “The clothes are beautiful.” (in Mandarin)
  • Eli “Some people have no body. The heads are too big. But some is only heads and some have heads and body and neck. And some have heads and body.”
  • Oliver “Some have no names. It’s because we don’t know whose. Some paint the pictures and some draw them. They used pencils and other pencils.”
  • Liz “This has no mouth.”
  • Jeongyoon “My brother!”
  • Oxford “Has one hand. This is not people. Because he does not have a mouth.”
  • Eunbyul “Jihan is my friend.”

Through the children’s conversations, we could see that the children:

  • understood that the drawings represented the grade three students.
  • noticed that the drawings look different from one another.
  • noticed that various drawing materials were used to create the pictures.
  • observed how each one was unique.
  • thought about the value of including a name in a drawing.
  • could identify similarities and differences between ourselves and others.

Inspired by what we observed and heard from the children, we decided to give the children paper and black-line markers to create their own self-portraits.

Mirrors were at hand to help the children look carefully at their reflections, as they drew and talked about themselves.

The young artists looked at their reflections in the mirror, making faces and noticing interesting features of themselves that they did not pay attention to before.

They laughed and made fun of themselves and then used pen and paper to express their ideas and feelings through their drawings. The adults in the space listened to the conversation and captured their ideas as they drew.

Through the creative process, we noticed that the young artists were exploring how:

  • We can express our responses to artwork in a variety of ways.
  • We reflect on our artwork and the work of others
  • Art is a means of communication and expression
  • The creative process involves exploring and taking risks.
  • In creating art, people make choices to construct meaning about the world around them.

Creating Essential Agreements

Over the last few weeks, we have been taking photographs and videos of the children engaging in different spaces around the Early Years. These images have helped us highlight and make observations visible.

At times, the images focused on celebrating learning, community and engagement. On other occasions, the images helped us hone in on challenges and problems that require attention.

Over the last few days, we have discussed these ideas in small and whole group situations, talking about what we see, think and wonder.

See, Think, Wonder is a ‘thinking routine’ that places emphasis on the importance of observation as the basis for thinking and interpretation, through looking closely at an image, object or video.

After many discussions, we gathered to create our ‘Essential Agreements’. We noticed that the conversations often focused on the idea of feeling ‘safe’ in a ‘caring’ and ‘respectful’ environment.

Some of the key points were:

  • Expressing and communicating emotions in respectful ways and asking for an adult’s help when needed.
  • Being aware of how we touch others when speaking or playing with them.
  • Using manipulatives and resources in a safe and respectful way.
  • Moving our bodies safely in and around the different spaces.
  • Cleaning up after playtime to ensure we respect people, materials and spaces.
  • Using kind and thoughtful words to express ourselves.
  • Being inclusive by collaborating sharing and inviting others to play.

The key ideas by the children highlight the concepts of well-being, interaction, participation, belonging and inclusion.

As a learning community, we will continue to revisit our essential agreements to help us make appropriate choices that help us work and learn together as a community.

We are learning that by following agreements and sharing space we can participate safely in our community.

A Math Story – The Sleepover!

We read the story ‘The Sleepover’ by Catherine Twomey Fosnot. In this Maths story, a little girl invites her friends to stay over. Aunt Kate babysits the children and prepares snacks and juice for them. However, the children keep moving between the beds and trick Aunt Kate.



As we read the story, the children noticed the different combinations to make 8 and used their mathematical knowledge to express their thinking.

They recorded their thinking on paper. We used counters to help us problem solve.

We are learning that:

  • Math is in our world!
  • Number operations can be modelled in a variety of ways.
  • We can use pictures, numbers and symbols to share our thinking and problem-solving.
  • We can tell stories using numbers.

Writing Workshop: Ideas for Writing

The children have been writing and creating their own stories during ‘Writing Workshop’. We gathered to brainstorm ideas for writing.

“What do writers like to write about?” 

The children drew their ideas on post-it notes. Then, they discussed their ideas, sharing more information about the different topics or experiences for writing.

Based on the conversation, we decided how we wanted to categorise our ideas for writing.

Writers write about:

Things they know a lot about…

  • Bunnies
  • Birds
  • Lego
  • Crabs
  • Fish

Things that happened (to them)

  • When I made a sandcastle
  • When I broke my iPad
  • Family
  • When I went to the flower market
  • Playing with blocks

Imaginary stories

  • An octopus in the house

Things that happen (to someone else)

  • When a tiger caught the person

We wonder how we might use some of these ideas for writing when we create books and stories during Writing Workshop time.

When creating and writing we:

  • Use our imagination and experience to tell stories.
  • Explore how ideas are conveyed through drawings, labels and symbols.
  • Talk about ideas we have thought about or drawn.
  • Celebrate creativity.
  • Learn from each other.

Illustration Study: Distance Perspective

The goal of an illustration study is to help the children become more aware of how we can be more intentional and use details in pictures to help us become better storytellers and writers.

We began by introducing the children to the picture book ‘Emperor’s Egg’ written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Jane Chapman.

We took time to look through the first pages of the book, to talk about what we noticed about the way the story was presented.

While reading the story, we encouraged the children to think about what was happening using the pictures.

We documented the children’s ideas on chart paper, using marks, symbols and words to take note of the observations.

When discussing the pictures on the first page, Lydia explained that it is hard to see who is standing far away on the ice because the image is so small.

Wyatt agreed and added that the pictures aren’t very clear because it is dark. The illustrator has drawn it this way because they want to show that it is nighttime.

The children continued to share their observations about the image discussing the different elements that share information about time, the weather and the environment.

On the second page, Eli noticed that the author printed words in different sizes. 

We wondered how and why authors make choices about the size and shape of words.  

While listening to the story, we observed how the children made predictions and questioned to learn more about the story. We continued to document the children’s ideas and observations on the

We wonder how the children will use distance perspective when drawing pictures and creating their own stories.

We wonder about the different techniques and decisions authors and illustrators make when creating books for readers.

During time for writing, we will continue to practice using some of these techniques to improve our own pieces of work.

Writing Workshop – What do good writers do?

What do good writers do?

We gathered to talk about writing.

What are some strategies, tools and behaviours good writers use to share their ideas and stories?

The children looked at the stories and pictures they created during ‘Writing Workshop’, to see if they could identify some of the behaviors and strategies they used. We began to document these ideas on chart paper.

We noticed that good writers:

  • Draw pictures using many different writing tools.
  • Create drawings using shapes and lines.
  • Write words using letters from the alphabet.
  • Write their name to let their readers know who created the piece of writing.
  • Make stories about things they love.

As we continue to create during ‘Writing Workshop’, we will add more ideas to our brainstorm.

Morning Meeting

Morning Meeting is a special time for the classroom community. It is a time when we greet the children and adults by name and prepare to settle in to play, explore and learn together. Morning Meeting activities help build a strong sense of community and set the children up for success. The children are encouraged to listen, look at the speaker and manage their bodies, which sets the tone for a respectful and trusting learning environment.

Another component of Morning Meeting is the morning message. The children read and interact with a short message written by the children and/or teacher.

The message may highlight a task for the day or provide information on the day’s activities. Creating and reading the message builds language awareness.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s) 

  • observe carefully
  • record observations using drawing and emergent writing skills
  • listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas and listen to information
  • participate in conversations
  • understand symbols
  • understand that mark-making carries meaning
  • use mark-marking to convey meaning
  • be self- and socially aware
  • follow the directions and classroom routines
  • share responsibility for decision-making

@M the Artist

Ms. Dora invited the children to create a self-portrait. They gathered their materials; cards, writing tools and a mirror, and sat around the classroom, ready to create their pictures.

@M looked at himself in the mirror. He carefully drew the shape of his face, being mindful of the space he had on the piece of card. He took his time, noticing details and drawing purposefully. Each stroke was a controlled line, curve or shape that was thought through.

@M had moved on to drawing his neck and hands. He looked at his hand in the mirror. He wanted to draw his right hand but he could not seem to position the mirror correctly. He thought about the problem for a while and then decided to move the mirror to the other side. He held up his right hand. He could now see his reflection clearly and was ready to continue his drawing.

After a few strokes on his paper, he would look back into the mirror, hold his hand in a particular position and then sketch what he could see. He continued this process until he was happy with his drawing.

@M carefully completed drawing his right hand. Then, he moved to draw his left hand. The position of this hand was different to the right. He moved his hands around, all the while looking into the mirror, till he was happy with the position. Then, he began to draw.

@M moved to draw the rest of his body. He chose not to take as much time with the parts of the body that were not visible in the mirror. Finally, @M used a thin line marker to trace his pencil lines. He carefully outlined his picture and held it away to check if he had drawn all the lines.  

As @M finished his drawing task and coloured his picture, the teachers observed his focus and attention to detail. @M was able to enjoy, learn and express himself through the arts. He was responsible for the care of tools and materials.

We wonder how @M will use his deep observational skills and passion for drawing and art to document his learning in K2.

Exploring Patterns

We began exploring patterns by reading the book ‘Violet Makes a Pattern’ by Holly Hartman.

  • Teacher “What is a pattern?”
  • Eli “A pattern is when you make like yellow, blue, red and then yellow, blue, red.

We read the book to see the different patterns Violet made with her cereal.  

Next, we used linking cubes to create our own patterns. 

Then, they were ready to create and continue patterns. The children documented their patterns on paper.

We are learning how to create, describe and extend simple patterns in everyday situations using objects and drawings.

Launching ‘Writing Workshop’

The children were introduced to ‘time for writing’ through ‘Writing Workshop’. This is a dedicated time when we explore, notice and practice different writing behaviours and skills that help us as readers and writers.

The children prepared their Writing Workshop Folder, using labels, words and pictures to share information. They drew a ‘happy face’ on one side to save the ‘completed’ pieces of writing, and a ‘pencil’ on the other to save their ‘work in progress’.

Then, we offered the children paper to start their K2 writing journey. This was an opportunity for the teachers to explore the children’s interests and passions. Listening to the children’s stories helped us know more about their topics and ideas for writing.

During ‘time for sharing’, the children were encouraged to talk about who, where and what their stories were about. This is an opportunity for the children to learn from each other, grow their craft and learn different techniques and strategies that make their stories interesting to their readers.

As we move forward, the children will revisit their work to either continue their writing or create new pieces of work during the ‘Writing Workshop’ time.

Thorough ‘Writing Workshop‘, the children:

  • use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, or to tell a story.
  • with guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

Developing Agreements for Indoor Play

It was wet and muddy outdoors during playtime. The children were invited to play in the campfires. They moved around the space and explored the different spaces, inquiring with materials and discovering new friendships. Towards the end of playtime, the teachers let the children know that it is time to tidy up. A gong informs the children that it is time to transition.

The children heard the gong.

Oliver “It was tidy up. Everything was messy. Everybody played and they didn’t tidy up.”

Lydia “Here not good.”

Eunbyul “No beautiful. Everybody no tidy up.”

Eli “Every children play and didn’t tidy up and then the teachers said to tidy up. It is too messy.”

Eunbyul “Everybody make a circle. Tidy up.”

Eli “We talked about cleaning up the toys. And the classroom was too messy.”

Oliver “All the children come to somewhere near PreK-K1. Ms. Pat said can you tidy up in 10 minutes?”

The children worked together to clean up the EY spaces.

Oliver “We tidy up.”

Lydia “Everybody tidy up.”

This experience presented the children with an opportunity to explore the relationship between spaces, materials and people, and our role and responsibility in maintaining play spaces.

Math Talks

Maths Talk is a collaborative process where children’s thinking, ideas and strategies are discussed, shared and or exchanged. The routine reveals children’s understanding and misunderstandings and encourages dialogue about mathematical concepts.

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Dots in Two Colours

The children were invited to look at the set of four pictures and decide which one doesn’t belong with the other three.

They were encouraged to share their thinking using math words. There are many ways to think about each one!

We noticed that the children tapped into their prior knowledge about quantity and colour to explain their reasoning.



The Number 5!

What do you notice?

What do you wonder?

How many different ways can you show this number?

The children were invited to use manipulatives, numbers and words to share their thinking. We wonder how we might apply what we know about the number 5 to explore bigger numbers!

We wonder how number operations can be modelled in a variety of ways.


Approaches to Learning (ATL’s) 

  • observe carefully
  • analyse and interpret information
  • notice relationships and patterns
  • listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas and listen to information
  • express oneself using words and sentences
  • understand symbols

3 Ways to Read a Book

We have been looking at books, reading different picture books, listened to adults read and retold our favourite stories in K2. We introduced the readers to 3 different ways to read because we know that children learn to read by engaging in the act of reading by “Reading the pictures”, “Reading the Words” and also “Retelling a Familiar Story”.

Each day, we spend time with books to develop good reading habits. We know that reading and exploring books helps children:

  • develop an awareness of print (understanding that print carries meaning, that books contain letters and words, and how a book “works” — such as identifying the front and back covers and that pages are turned)

  • develop phonological awareness (the ability to recognise and manipulate the spoken parts of words — including rhymes, syllables, and phonemes)
  • explore phonics and decoding (understanding of the alphabetic principle — the idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of spoken language)
  • develop new vocabulary (using the words they hear orally to make sense of the words they see in print)

The Rainbow Nest

What experiences might we have in our new space?

What are some exciting things that might happen?

The children began to share their ideas about the different types of play, and the materials they may use in the new nest.

  • Eli suggested that we put some bird seeds on the table at the center of the table to invite the birds in the EY playground to visit the space.
  • Morning suggested that we include some bird homes.
  • Oliver was excited about the possibility of birds visiting the space and imagined the birds would then bring sticks to make their nests. Would there be any eggs?
  • Liz thought hard about the new space and wondered if we could grow some grass around the nest.
  • Oliver built upon her idea, suggesting that we ask Ms. Hannah for some seeds and grow some beautiful flowers around the edge of the nest.
  • Lydia She suggested adding some flowers on the table too.
  • Jeongyoon decided that playing hide and seek in the space would be fun.
  • Motong and Wyatt asked if we could add materials in the space so we could draw and paint in the nest.
  • Oxford, Wyatt and Oliver thought it would be a great space to have a picnic snack.

Developing agreements for the space.

Next, we discussed the idea of food in the space.

  • What would we need to remember if we brought food into the nest?
  • How might we keep this space clean?

After some thought, the children discussed the need for agreements. They didn’t want food on the floor as the nest would get messy and people would not want to sit in a dirty space.

  • Oliver suggested that we only draw on paper and not on the benches. This will help us look after the nest. Oliver “We need a door window and a roof so no cat can come over.”

The children went outdoors with Ms. Eileen and Ms. Jo.

Ms. Jo “How many people do you think can fit in the nest?”

in the nest at one time. The children used their mathematical knowledge to estimate.

They wondered how many children might be able to play

  • Oliver “I think 2, because I counted.”
  • Eli “I think 22. I think this is a big, big space.”
  • Oxford “14 children.”
  • Lydia “6 children. They can sit around (in Mandarin).”
  • Jeongyoon “22”
  • Morning “10 children. Or 6 or 7.”

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to observe the space to document the play and learning experiences that take place in the Rainbow Nest.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

  • use discussion and play to generate new ideas and investigations
  • seek information
  • ask or express through play questions that can be researched
  • listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas and listen to information
  • participate in conversations

What do you like to do at school?

We gathered to talk about what we love to do at school. We began by reading The Pigeon Has to Go to School’ by Mo Willems.

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?!

In this wonderful story, the pigeon explores the different learning options and tries to decide why school might be important.

The story helped us think about the things WE do at school and why these routines or tasks might be important to us.

Does it help us explore new friendships? Does it help us learn about different materials places and people? Will it help us learn new skills?

The children were invited to think about their new space and what they might like to explore while they are at school.

They expressed their ideas through their drawings.

  • Working in the garden and planting flowers
  • Playing with Lego, play animals, dragons and dinosaurs
  • Playing with friends
  • Eating lunch
  • Building with train tracks and blocks
  • Drawing the animals that live under the sea

We wonder how these interests might help us learn more about ourselves, others and the world around us.

We wonder how we might stretch our ideas, perspectives and skills to learn something new. 

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

  • use discussion and play to generate new ideas and investigations
  • listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas and listen to information
  • express oneself using words and sentences
  • use mark-marking to convey meaning


The Early Years community were excited to be back at school. The children ran outdoors to explore the garden, to see what was new and what has remained the same. They noticed a piece of equipment covered with a large black cloth, with a red ribbon at the side. What was under the fabric?

The children were excited. They ran around the structure, sharing their ideas and guessing what might have happened to the piece of equipment that was in this area of the garden.

  • Oliver G “I see inside there is some wood, and some of it is green, orange and yellow. Different colours of water! Blue water!
  • Emma “A new nest!”
  • Oliver G “I see rainbow water!”
  • Matt peeks under the black cloth “Here, see one more!”
  • Motong “Is it a rabbit?” (In Mandarin)
  • Oliver G “Inside I think there is 2 hamsters for K1 and K2. The hamsters are cute!”
  • Eli “A rainbow nest! Because inside it looks like a table. I jumped up and I looked inside.”

We gathered closer to listen to what Ms. Jacqui was saying.

Ms. Jacqui “Last semester, the Early Years students said they would like a nest. They worked on a design and they said we want to sit inside. They wanted rainbow colours. I wonder what the nest looks like now?”

We were ready to unveil the playground equipment.

The children walked in. They gathered around the table and stood on the circular bench, laughing and talking to each other about the new design.

They were excited to see how the suggestions they had made had become a reality. As they walked inside the new nest, they noticed that there was water on the floor.

Oskar G recalled his design and suggestions and quickly reflected on the changes that had taken place and the ones that didn’t.

Oskar G “I don’t see Rosemary.”

The teachers acknowledged his observations, making a quick note of the importance of ‘voice’ and ‘process’ in learning.

Oliver G “There is water on the bench we also need some windows we can also use lots of umbrellas.”

We look forward to observing how this redesigned space meets the needs of our young learners and how it evolves over time. We wonder what stories the children tell around this space, and how it contributes towards their learning experiences in the Early Years.

Welcome to K2A @NIS!

We are ready for yet another learning adventure with our NIS community. We wonder🤔 how our #curiosity, #courage and #passion will ignite our learning experiences this year.

We began by exploring the K2 and Early Years space, listening, learning and thinking about the different experiences we might have this year.

The children quickly settled in, connecting with old friends and building new relationships.

Throughout the day, we explored different routines in K2 that help us get ready for the day’s learning.

The children labelled their baskets, cubby, portfolio boxes and other resources to help them manage their belongings. Building independence helps children make informed choices and set them up for success.

In the morning, we sat together to eat our community breakfast. This is an important time for us to build community and good habits. Eating healthy snacks and making good choices with food helps children become more aware of the connection between our mind and body.  Being responsible for classroom jobs and following classroom agreements helps us work and play in a positive, supportive learning environment.

During the day, Ms. Sue (Primary School Counsellor) and Ms. Dora (Mandarin Teacher) came in to greet and work alongside the children. The children listened to stories, played games and explored language and feelings through a range of activities.

The children play a central role in their learning and know their voices and opinions matter. We believe that our young learners are capable and naturally curious, able to pose and solve their own problems.

We believe that relationships (with people, materials and spaces) are at the heart of our programme. We believe the community plays a pivotal role in the development of our children. As we continue our learning journey together, we invite you to be part of our learning experience.

100 Hungry Ants

We have been using Place Value Blocks to model numbers and show our thinking.

We read the story ‘One Hundred Ants‘ by Elinor J. Pinczes, illustrated by Bonnie Mackain. 

The story begins with a group of hungry ants that decide to march off single file to a picnic. However, along the way, they realise they are moving too slow and begin to divide themselves in different ways to help them get to the picnic site quickly.

As we read the story, the children worked in pairs to document their thinking using Base 10 Blocks, pictures, words and numbers.

They first went in one line of 100.

2 lines of 50.

4 lines of 25.

5 lines of 20.

And 10 lines of 10.

Next, the students retold the story in their own words, using the images they created to document their thinking.  

Through this activity we:

  • explored how the base 10 values system is used to represent numbers and number relationships
  • used the operations of addition to solve problems

Same and Different: Frogs on a Log

  1. What is mathematically the same about pictures A and B, and what is different?
    • A and B are the same because …
    • A and B are different because …
  2. Make a third picture of some frogs. Explain how your picture is the same as pictures A and B, and how it is different.


The Bike Park Signs

Over the last few weeks, a team of young designers worked together with Ms. Eileen and Ms. Jo, to create signs for the bike park. After conducting their research, they decided to create the signs using wood, as this was a material that could be used outdoors in all types of weather. After considering many options for the message, the team decided to use the wood-burning tool to burn the message onto the wood instead of using paint, markers or other writing tools. 

They began by planning their message out using pictures and words, to inform the early years community how to park the bikes safely in the bike park area. Their pictures served to remind the children where to park and in which direction the bikes needed to be stored at the end of playtime.

The team considered the type of wood and the size of the sign. Then, they used sandpaper to make sure the edges of the wood were smooth. 

They learned how to use the wood-burning tool to burn the messages on the pieces of wood. They had to think about staying safe and focused throughout the task.

Finally, their signs were ready to be mounted in the bike park area. They talked to each other about the best place to put up the signs and what materials they would use to attach the signs in the different spaces. Noah decided that his sign should be placed standing upright in the bike park. Mason, Sean and Eunice decided that their signs should be attached to the wooden fence dividing the play area. The team were proud of their hard work, and were excited to see that the Early Years community were now well informed about safe parking in the playground.

K2 students are aware of the impact they can have on the community. They understand how they can actively engage in various stages of learning: including thinking about, planning, modifying and creating for a purpose. Through active discussion and questioning, they were able to direct their own learning. The ‘Bike Park’ project helped them make connections to the real world. Through a range of experiences, they could consider perspectives, possibilities and outcomes that would benefit the community. They considered their own responsibility in shared spaces, and were able to use their voice and actions to bring a sense of purpose and belonging to these community spaces.

Math Talks – Dominoes

  • What do you notice?
  • What do you wonder?
  • What comes next? 

Show or tell what the next few pictures look like. Describe how you know.


The New Nest Design

Following on from our last meeting about the nest where we gave Ms. Jacqui suggestions for the design, Mr. Arek and his team presented a first draft design of the nest to the children in the Early Years. We gathered to discuss the design and give Mr. Arek some feedback and suggestions for consideration.

What we like…

  • Doho “We can see the flowers. The colours are good and have flowers and the nest has a chair. And grass because the flowers can grow up.”
  • Tracey “The nest is beautiful because it’s clean.”
  • Kenan “The nest is good. We can have a picnic.”
  • Joon “The nest is like a rainbow.”
  • Sanghyeok “Have a desk and the flowers, this is good.”
  • Sean “The flowers are good and we can sit down and eat the snack because there are chairs. And we can draw.”

Everyone likes the flowers on the table.

Everyone likes the flowers around the bench.

Everyone likes to have the table.


  • Mason “I think we need to make the nest bigger. And we can have a picnic in it and have some water to drink in it.
  • Allen “I like the inside because the floor is flat. We don’t like the wood chips because its bumpy and it makes us fall down.


  • Eunice “Can we have a bird house?”
  • Sanghyeok “Can we have small animals in there, like birds and butterflies?
  • Mason Can we have a bed in the nest then somebody can sleep in it? Can we make a bigger nest?” Can we have a door? Can we put grass on the floor?
  • Allen Can we put the picnic mat? Can we make it bigger?”
  • Noah “How does the bench part stand up when there are no legs?”
  • Tracey “Why is it a rainbow inside?”
  • Sanghyeok “Why are there flowers on the table?”
  • Eunice “Can we have cushions on the bench?”

Creating Non-fiction Books

We have been exploring nature to learn more about change, responsibility and the choices we make. We began with a deep dive into non-fiction texts, reading many different non-fiction books to learn about the features in of these materials. We thought about non-fiction books that we can we make.

Inspired by non-fiction books, Patrick created and shared a book he made to teach us about ‘poisonous snakes’ and Mason a book about ‘jellyfish’.

We looked closely at a non-fiction book about snakes and compared it with the books the children had made.

  • What can we learn about non-fiction books?
  • What do we notice about the information presented in these books?

The children began by deciding on the topics or themes. We put these ideas down on post-it notes and shared them with the class.

We documented our ideas on chart paper.

We can talk about:

  • what animals/plants can do
  • what they eat or need to survive
  • how they catch their prey
  • how they move
  • how they grow
  • how they change
  • what they look like
  • what they like
  • why they behave in a certain way
  • how they play

Over the last two weeks, during Writer’s Workshop, the children have been creating their own non-fiction books, adding pages and information to share with their readers. A non-fiction checklist helped us think about the way we present ideas and important information.  

Student Led Conferences

‘The learning belongs to the students, not the teacher. We are supporting our students to take ownership of their learning and to be able to think and talk about their learning with knowledge and confidence. When students know how they learn best and are able to reflect on their learning, they are able to advocate for themselves.’ (Parent Survival Guide to Student-Led Conferences, NIS)

The Student-Led Conference is a special day in the school calendar. Throughout the year, the students have decided what learning stories they would include in their ‘treasure box’, that showcase their growth, learning and development.

It is a special day for the teachers, as they watch the students take ownership over their learning. In order to do this with purpose and confidence, they first practiced this task with a friend.

Non-fiction Texts

  • What are the key features of non-fiction texts?
  • How are they different to stories?

The children explained that non-fiction books tell you about things. They share true information or facts. They teach us about different things in real life.

We looked at non-fiction books to see how authors and illustrators use pictures and photographs to share information. We noticed how a lot of information can be found by “reading” the photos within nonfiction texts. They noticed the labels, close-ups of pictures and different ways information may be displayed.

While looking through the mentor texts (examples) we brought the children’s attention to the following:

  • The cover of a non-fiction text has a title, pictures or drawings about the topic and the authors and/or illustrators name.

  • There may be a ‘blurb’ at the back of the book that gives you a clue about what the book might be about.

  • Non-fiction books may have a contents page that tells us where each section or chapter begins. The glossary is like a dictionary as it provides an explanation of key words in the text. The index lets you know where to find words.

We began to put down the different features the children noticed about the non-fiction texts.

Some of them include:

  • Photographs
  • Drawings
  • Numbered pages
  • Many pages
  • Writing about the topic
  • New/different information
  • Facts
  • Labels
  • Arrows
  • Captions
  • Headings
  • Close up – Zoom in

When creating non-fiction books we need to:

  • Think of a topic
  • Plan (what we want to include in the book)
  • Think about questions the readers may have.
  • Include pictures and information across pages.

The children were invited to think about a non-fiction book they can make on nature. They used a graphic organiser to help them plan their ideas. We used a KWL Chart to:

  • Share what we KNOW about the topic
  • Reflect on what we WANT to KNOW
  • Share what was LEARNED

We will use a checklist to help us plan and create our non-fiction books.

The children wanted to learn more about the rain, animals, insects plants and more!

Through this process, we will explore a range of non-fiction texts. We will begin to create our own non-fiction texts. We look forward to sharing these books with the community.

The Bug Hotels

We have been discussing and planning where and how to place the bug hotels. We want to make sure the insects that live in them feel safe.

We needed to make the signs to let everyone know where our hotels are on the playground. The children decided to make the signs using wood, as it can be kept outdoors in all types of weather. 2 children went over to the Design room to use the wood burning tool to write ‘K2A’ on the two signs.  


Then, we went outdoors to place the two bug hotels. The teams decided where they wanted to place them so that many bugs make them their homes.

The children took all the bugs they have collected in the classroom out to the hotels. They gently placed the worms, pill bugs and beetles inside the different spaces.

We are excited about the hotels and wonder which little creatures will visit the bug hotels. We wonder if we need to make some signs to let the other children know how to look after the bug hotels.

Our project continues…

A Gift to the Early Years

Amazing Grace Nature School and Mr. Tommy gifted the NIS Early Years some new plants. The children in PreK-K1B worked together with the facilities team at NIS to uproot some of the grass and then plant the new trees.

The children in the Early Years were excited to see 10 tea trees, 3 mulberry trees and 2 new peach trees!

As we discussed the developments in the EY garden, the children suggested ways of showing our appreciation to the facilities team and Mr. Tommy’s team.

They thought about giving them gifts, seeds and plants and even writing them emails. Finally, they decided that drawings on a card would be the best option as they would be doing it all by themselves.

We wonder when we can prune the tea tress to make our own tea.

We wonder how long we will have to wait to eat the peaches and mulberry from our new trees!

Early Years Gathering

Every Friday afternoon, the adults and children gather on the green doughnut to sing, dance and be with each other. We took some time to reflect on the time we spend together.

  • What do we do during our EY gathering?
  • What behaviours help us have fun together?

The children discussed their ideas and then made their thinking and ideas visible on paper.

As a class, we took time to reflect on what the children said. We documented these ideas on chart paper. Next, we discussed suggestions for the EY gathering.

What would YOU like to do more of during this time?

  • Make things with paper
  • Plant seeds and plants
  • Show different things to the EY community
  • Share how we do things
  • Draw
  • Read books
  • Play with balls
  • Build things

Going forward, we wonder how we might use some of these suggestions to make our EY Gathering an exciting, fun learning experience.

The Shed Project – Installing the Hooks

Over the past few months, we have been planning and organising the Shed.

After a planning meeting with Ms. Jacqui, the project team decided to order hooks for the pinboards in the shed. After their data collection, they placed an order for the hooks.

The hooks for the shed arrived through the post. The team worked to attach them to the pinboards.

Another team went to the shed to count the number of hooks and signs we need. They recorded their information on the iPad.

Then, created labels with images and numbers to let the children know how to sort and store the different items in the shed.

While planning and organising ‘The Shed’, the children took responsibility and ownership of their learning spaces and materials.

They worked in teams, sharing ideas, listening to different perspectives and working together for a purpose. They used their thinking skills to explore possibilities, to reimagine spaces and solve problems in creative ways.

The children used their knowledge of number and data handling when collecting and sorting information. Discussing and presenting ideas, documenting their learning and using what they know about signs and labels to inform others, developed their literacy skills.

Homes – The Bug Hotel

During the field trip to the Insect and Reptile Museum, the children went into nature to collect natural materials to make a ‘Bug Hotel’.

They worked in teams to make 2 homes for the bugs, decorating them to attract more living things.

When we returned, the children discussed their ideas for the ‘Bug Hotels’. They talked about the different materials they used, and wondered what types of insects might want to live in the hotels.

The children have noticed many different types of insects and littles creatures in the playground. They think the ants, bees, pill bugs, beetles, spiders and butterflies might want to make the hotel their home. Growing more flowers and plants will encourage the bugs to visit the playground.

The two groups gathered to decide where they want to place their bug houses. They discussed their ideas, trying to agree on the locations. This was challenging as they all had their own preferences.

They had to listen to each other, consider different perspectives and then reach a final decision.

One team decided to place their bug hotel on a tree and the other in the garden near the flowers.

Next, we discussed the different options we have for signage. Paper and card were suggested. However, paper and card are not suitable materials for outdoor signs as they get wet. The children decided to use wood to make the signs.

Over the next few days, they will work together to create the signs and place the hotels and signs in the correct locations across the playground. They are excited to see which insects make the bug hotels their home. 

We know that we share our playground with many different living things. We will continue to use our observational skills to notice and document our thinking to help us make decisions about the environment.

Field Trip Reflections

We had a wonderful time planning and then going on our Field Trip to the Insect and Reptile Museum. We wondered what we learned from our trip and what questions we have as a result of our learning.

The children began to put their ideas on paper. They used drawing and writing to share their ideas.

We gathered to talk about the different ways writers can plan and share ideas with others.

As we discussed what we noticed about each other’s writing, we documented the different ways writers communicate their thinking, planning and ideas.

We could:

– draw, colour, add details and make our pictures look ‘real’

– use our own ideas

– sequence the different events

– add feelings

– use thinking clouds

– add writing using words and sentences

– include ideas in different spaces across a page

– add labels

– show the weather

Then, we went back to improve our work, to share more details through pictures and words.

What we learned:

  • Mason “If you see the snake and if he has a triangle shaped head it is a poisonous snake.”
  • Kenan “I learned about the chameleons can change colour.”
  • Doho “The dragon can change colour, if it is angry it can change colour to red colour. Many colours.”
  • Tracey “The chameleons tongue is sticky so he can catch the fly.”
  • Mason “We saw the bug swim in the water. Inside the water there are weeds and they eat them.”
  • Doho “I see the chameleon was walking in the water.”
  • Joon “I see the water. I saw fish in the tank.”
  • Tracey “The bugs get a jelly.”
  • Mason “The insects will run away if they are not in the cages.”
  • Doho “Some bugs make people die because some bugs have teeth.”
  • Mason “And some bugs have poison because they can help themselves (protect).”

Questions we have…

  • Sean “Why is the chameleon so slow?”
  • Eunice “Why does the chameleon change colour? Why do snakes have peeled skin?”
  • Eunice and Sanghyeok “Why do animals have 6 legs?”
  • Doho “Why don’t touch the snakes with a triangle head?”
  • Sean “Why snakes have poison? Why are snakes long?”
  • Noah “Why do the animals stay in the baskets?”
  • Tracey “How do they make the jelly for the bugs?”
  • Eui jin “Why do snakes go round and round.”
  • Allen “Why snake’s tongue is like a V?”

The K2 inquirers will continue to do their research to learn more about insects and reptiles. 

The Insect Museum

Field Trip PLAN

We are planning a field trip to the Insect Museum. We gathered to discuss important information to help us plan a safe learning expedition. Some questions on a planning template helped the children draw, write and discuss their ideas.

What will we need to take on the trip?

The children decided that they will need:

  • a water bottle
  • a snack in a box
  • a cap
  • home lunch (if this is their choice for the day)
  • in a small backpack!

The teachers will take clip boards and writing tools for drawing and writing.

It would be a good idea to put on some insect repellent spray before arriving at school!  


What would we do at the Museum?


Many of the children were curious about the creatures that live in the Insect Museum.


They hoped that they could touch, feed and look at the insects and reptiles. They also wanted to make animal homes and eat a picnic lunch together.


What would we like to learn?

  • How does the chameleon catch its food?
  • Why does the chameleon change its colour?
  • Why are snakes poisonous? We want to learn more about them!
  • Can we borrow the insects?
  • Why can’t we let the insects out?
  • How many legs do insects have?
  • How long can snakes grow? (length)
  • Why can’t we touch snakes on their heads?
  • How do snakes catch their food?
  • How do alligators move in the water?
  • Why does the beetle have 8 legs?
  • Why are snakes scary?
  • Why does the beetle go on the tree?
  • Why do bugs have 6 legs?

We are excited to learn more about insects and reptiles!

How might we be safe?

The children suggested the following actions that will help us stay safe:

  • Wear the seatbelt on the bus
  • Follow the teacher’s instructions
  • Be gentle with the insects and reptiles.
  • Stay together.
  • If you are scared, don’t touch the animals.

What would kind behaviours look like?

  • Help, if someone falls down.
  • Sit on the seats and talk quietly on the bus.
  • Be careful when looking for sticks.
  • Take a first aid kit in case we need medicines.
  • help each other be in the green zone, stay calm.
  • Be gentle and quiet around the animals.

Our Brainstorm!

We wonder what we might see, learn about on our field trip…

We wonder what action we might take as a result of our learning…

Watch this space! 

Earth Week Message

The children have been exploring different spaces around the school, thinking about the things they appreciate about the earth and how they might protect their environment. We decided to spend some time around the pond, listening to the water and watching the fish splash around us. 

We took our notepads with us to draw what we noticed, to think about the environment and how we might protect nature. 

We asked the children to think about nature and take a photograph to communicate an important idea. Here is what they had to say!

We appreciate…

What action will YOU take? 

Author Study: Mo Willems 

Mo Willems is one of our favourite authors. We have read his books over and over again. Some of our favourite stories are: 

‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the BUS!’

How do authors and illustrators use lines, shapes and patterns in their picture books?


Notice how Mo Willems uses letter, lines and shapes to create his drawings.

We can explore drawing, creating and designing through our exploration of lines, patterns and shapes

We Invited the children to create their own stories using familiar characters or their own imaginative characters. The children may want to add their own details, speech bubbles and thinking clouds to add dialogue and thought.

We read to book again and again and looked closely at the different ‘craft moves‘ the author has used.

We explored how we can use some of these ‘craft moves’ in our own writing. We also discussed how books were made and noticed that books have/can have :

  • a title
  • the authors name
  • the illustrators name
  • many pages
  • writing or pictures or both on almost every page

Laundry Fun

The children have been dipping into their extra clothing bag to change into clean and dry clothes when needed. Frequently, the children comment on the number of clothing in their bags. We decided to offer the children a data gathering experience to help them use number and data collection for a real purpose.

We began by presenting the children with this image and prompt:

What do you notice?

We encouraged the them to think about the way the clothing was sorted.

The children noticed that:

  • the labels and pictures to help us know what the items are.
  • the clothing was organised in rows and columns.
  • there were 15 items in total.

How might you use pictures, numbers, or words to show what is happening?

The children began to make their thinking visible on paper.

They gathered the clothing in their extra clothing bags, sorting and organising them to make it easy to count and document their observations.

Then, they used a graph paper to show the number of different items in the bag. Through this experience the children were able to collect information to make decisions.

The next time your family does laundry, you can sort the clothes into categories by type. Some possible prompts could be…

  • How many categories are there? Which category has the most?
  • Which has the fewest?
  • Is it different for each person in your home?

Literacy through Story Workshop

Story Workshop is a hands-on approach that that allows children to create, talk about and use drawing and writing to share their stories. The children are invited to use loose parts at different centers in the classroom to develop their story ideas before moving to write their ideas down.

It’s much easier to start thinking of a story line when you have physical pieces in front of you. Children start manipulating them, making shapes, building structures, adding characters and soon they’ve created the base of a story. The hands-on experience encourages creativity and imagination.

The adults in the space listen to the children’s ideas, offering suggestions and supporting key literacy skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The Cake Problem

K2B made two cakes. They asked if we can help with the frosting and cutting. We agreed.

The mathematicians thought about the problem. We had 2 cakes. We needed 16 pieces from each cake. The pieces must be the same size. First, we talked about the shape of the cake.

  • Patrick “The cake is a rectangle. Two sides are the same length, two sides shorter and two sides longer.”
  • Eunice “We draw rectangles because we have to think about how to cut it.”

  • Euijin “We draw 16 pieces.”
  • Kenan “We need to draw the 16 people. We have to make two 16’s.
  • Joon “It is 16 pieces.”

  • Patrick “We are erasing and fixing the pieces to make it right. When you don’t get it correct, you need to erase and try again.”
  • Noah “We are sharing our drawings.”

  • Doho “We draw and we show them.”
  • Sean “We can cut the cake 2 ways.”
  • Doho “We cut the cake.”

  • Eunice “We put the cream.”
  • Patrick “The cake looks like pancakes or cheesecake.”
  • Euijin “The cream cheese.”
  • Eunice “It’s almond cream.”
  • Patrick “It is sugar cream.”
  • Allen “I think this cream is white chocolate.”
  • Doho “Very YUM!”

 Student Learning Outcomes: Number Sense

– fractions are ways of representing whole-part relationships

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