Friday, 28 February 2014

Preschool 2 ~ Fasnacht 2014

Fasnacht is BIG in Basel.  It is Basel's famous carnival and called by the locals as the "most wonderful three days".  Our first encounter with Fasnacht was last February 2013 when we first moved to Basel.  We had no clue what it was about except that there were lots of confetti, music and masks.  The kids found the masks scary and enjoyed receiving candies more than anything else!  

Weeks preceding Fasnacht, Keefe's preschool class started preparations for the annual preschool parade which involved making masks and costumes, and learning about Fasnacht (the history, the traditional costumes, the musical instruments and music, and the traditional Fasnacht dishes!).  Each class in preschool gets to choose a fairy tale that is representative of that class' teacher's country.  Keefe's class theme was "The Frog Prince" from Sri Lanka.  His class also had the privilege of having the author of the Fasnacht book called “Wie der Konig vom Eiszapfenland an die Basler Fasnacht kam” visit his class to talk about Fasnacht.  Keefe absorbed so much that he could talk to us about Fasnacht and sing Fasnacht songs!  Here are photos of the Fasnacht celebration and annual preschool parade! 

(L-R): handprint Waggis collage, confetti decor in class, enjoying Fasnachtsch├╝echli (crispy carnival biscuits)


Gymboree Preschool 1 {Letter Tt}

Zoo-Phonics Animal: Timothy Tiger
Motion: Extend your arms in a slightly bent "t" shape to suggest a tiger showing his strong muscles. While signaling, say letter sound /t/.

Tt is for tulips, T-Rex (Kai had to glue teeth on to the dinosaur), tooth (painting the tooth white), tree, telephone

Monday, 24 February 2014

Preschool 2 ~ Rumpelstiltskin

Keefe's preschool class had their first-ever performance of Deutsch! It was amazing how their German teacher (Frau Christine) prepared them for the play - having the kids memorise their parts in German, memorising the songs and the dances, designing the invitation card and the stage props (castle, spinning wheel, fire, straw, hats) - all done by the kids!  Keefe played the part of the King. I thought he will be shy but he wasn't! :o He didn't practice his lines at home (even if he did, I wouldn't understand a word!) but I did hear him singing the German songs every now and then. This class of 4 and 5-year olds exuded confidence and didn't have any hint of stage fright!  

Friday, 21 February 2014

Gymboree Preschool 1 {Letter Ss and Winter Olympics}

Zoo-Phonics Animal: Sammy Snake
Motion: Move your hand forward in the serpentine manner of a snake, saying /s/.

Kai's preschool class continued with the Winter Olympics theme this week.  They made a leaf crown (the "kotinos" which was the prize for the winner of the Ancient Olympic Games) and a medal.  Crafts they made for the letter Ss this week included a flat snake (decorated with shapes and some glitter), a spiral snake and a snowball (cotton glued onto a rounded cardboard).  They also worked on some letter Ss worksheets this week (words starting with S, pre-writing and matching).

At home this week, we worked on some Winter Olympics printables, which tied in perfectly with the preschool's Ss week (Ss for skiing, snowboarding, skiing, sledding, speed skating).  Kai's pencil grip is getting better as can be seen from the first two photos above.  It was his first time working on a matching printable (vocabulary introduced: "the same") and a 'which one is different?' printable (vocabulary introduced: "different").

Preschool 2 ~ Letter Oo

Oo poster

Oo is for octopus craft

Oo sound book
(Handwriting rhyme for O - Scoop up and over a little, then back all the way around the orange)

Monday, 17 February 2014

Gymboree Preschool 1 {Letter Qq and Chinese New Year}

Zoo-Phonics Animal: Queeny Quail
Motion: Illustrate the topknot of the California quail by placing your bent index finger forward at the top of your forehead, while saying the letter sound /q/ (kw).

The preschool did not do a lot of activities for Letter Qq so I used these Letter Qq Tot School Printables with Kai.  There were a number of activities that he did for the first time: puzzle, sequencing and lacing.  

We also played Starfall's Letter Q on the iPad and made a quail craft to go along with the letter.

Kai's preschool teacher decided to do a Chinese New Year theme on the week of 3rd February to celebrate the Year of the Horse.  Look at these fun crafts that they made! Chinese dragon puppet, Happy New Year Chinese scroll, Chinese fan (made out of paper plate), dragon (with a moveable mouth), horse and lantern.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

100th Day Fun!

Belle and Keefe had their 100th day celebration in school yesterday.  Weeks before the celebration, parents received an email from the Grade 1 team asking all first graders to dress up like they were 100 years old.  We bought a white wig for Belle which obviously, she didn't wear yesterday!  She had her hair sprayed gray instead by a fellow first grader.  Belle came home telling me that they got to go to all the first grade classrooms to do activities revolving the number 100 (100th day crown, 100 chains, 100-year-old self-portrait, 100th day hidden picture, number 100 eyeglasses, 100th day of school word search).  The night before the celebration, Belle made a 100-year-old self-portrait (inspiration from here!) ~ love her fashionable 100-year-old granny! 

Keefe's class was asked to bring in 100 snacks.  I sent in 100 mini marshmallows, 100 White Rabbit milk candies and 100 rainbow goldfish crackers.  Keefe's class did a number of activities but what I saw was the 100th day collage ~ the number 100 divided into 10 partitions and each child stamps or draws 10 things in each partition to add up to 100 things.  The class was also asked "What would you do if you had 100 Swiss Francs?"  Keefe's response was: "I would give it to the Philippines to let them buy things."  He was referring to the Tacloban victims of Typhoon Yolanda!  Too sweet!  :)

Keefe's preschool class with their 100 snacks
We continued the 100th day fun at home.  Belle and Keefe both did a 100th day hidden picture, each differentiated to their levels.  I wrote numbers on stickers and pasted them on chocolate coins for Keefe to work on his number recognition.  I typed up some +10 and -10 problems for Belle to work on her math skills, cut them up and taped them into mini jellies.  I wanted to use Hershey's kisses but there were NONE to be found in Basel or Germany or France!  Belle and Keefe also read 100 sight words, and did their writing ("When I am 100" and "If I had $100").  They were presented with a 100th day certificate, a personalised $100 note and a small gift for them to remember the 100th day.

And of course, 100th day wouldn't be complete without 100th day food!  I prepared treats for Belle and Keefe's friends (number 100 made out of chocolate sticks and mini Oreos).  Belle and Keefe had a 100 mid-morning snack (a mozzarella stick and two potato smiles), 100 lunch (a hotdog and two mini pizzas) and a 100 dinner (a chicken stick and corn kernels in two cups).  

And while his siblings were having their 100th day fun, Kai was busy eating the chocolate coins and mini jellies.  He cried when he didn't receive a certificate (noticed the tear in the middle picture below?) but was ok after receiving a personalised $100 note, a Thomas sticker book and a Toy Story notepad.

100th day was so fun but oh-so-tiring for this mom!