Ben with the Desert and Wetlands habitats made from shoeboxes
Yesterday, the parents of Ben's class were invited to visit his classroom as part of the T.I.E.S (Triangular Information Exchange Sessions). This is a wonderful opportunity for the teachers to highlight the children’s learning and development to the parents. Their unit of inquiry at the moment is "Sharing the Planet", with the central idea being Plants and animals share the planet together. So the children have been looking into the conditions animals and plants need for survival, the characteristics needed to adapt to particular environments, and our responsibility to the natural environment.
For an hour yesterday, parents were invited to the classroom so the children could share some activities that demonstrated their learning. The wonderfully energetic Mrs Hebert and Hiss Haslinda had set up puzzles, games, story books and craft activities all relating to animals, habitats, and the natural world. The kids had their faces painted as their favourite animal (Ben's is a cheetah, fastest animal on the planet) and the classroom was decorated with the children's beautiful drawings and art, with paper vines hanging down the walls so that we felt we were in a rainforest. They had decorated shoe boxes and made them into different habitats and made different animals from paper plates and recycled materials.
One activity Ben enjoyed was placing the small plastic animals on the map where he thought they lived. I was more than a little dismayed when he didn't know the name of the koala, and didn't even know which country it came from! He knew all the other animals, but he has no recollection of seeing koalas in Australia. Ah well, he is getting an international education I tell myself...plenty of time to catch up on the Australian flora and fauna!
Hmm, now where does this koala belong?
It was a very enjoyable hour for both children and parents. It was lovely to see everyone sitting on those tiny plastic chairs and entering the kids' world for a bit. I was really impressed by the teachers' efforts and for the children it was a real buzz to have their mums and dads give them their total attention. I love this open policy of the I.B programme, which keeps us as parents in the loop and helps us all enjoy the learning together.