ICS Early Years Center Blog

Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland

November 28, 2013
by Rebecca Smith
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Fathers Day Breakfast: An Opportunity for Sharing

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In preparation for the Fathers Day Breakfast in EY1, we read the book ‘My Dad’ written and illustrated by Anthony Browne. After reading the book we were inspired to share thoughts about our own dads. We worked in small groups and the teachers transcribed the children’s ideas.

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Our Daddies

He likes to always like to do funny stuff and it makes me laugh. Letizia

My daddy is so funny when he talks he says funny things. Aditi

When I’m in the pool my daddy throws me up and then he catches me in the air, he doesn’t let me in the water. Charli

My daddy is big. Wille

My daddy is a nice guy. My daddy is funny. He likes monkeys. Eleonore

My daddy is funny. Molly

My daddy goes to work. He likes to eat sausages, fried chicken and apples. Soichi

My daddy likes chocolate. Oliver

My daddy is big. Chloé

My daddy likes mummy. Muso

My daddy like(s) chocolate and big. Ron

My daddy likes cars and play dough. He likes to eat lunch, but he is not allowed to eat play dough.  Charles

My daddy is big. Titouan

My daddy is strong. My daddy like(s) Mano (football player). Diego

It was a lovely experience for the children to share this morning with the visiting fathers.  We truly value our partnership with families and the contributions made. We extend an open invitation for any families members to join us in the classroom to be an active part of the learning process. Additionally we are interested in your perspective of this experience and feedback of the morning. Perhaps you’d like to leave us a comment about your experience of visiting and spending time in EY1.

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Photos by Rebecca Smith (ICS EY Teacher)

November 14, 2013
by Rebecca Smith
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Sharing a Community Cultural Event: Diwali

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In early November the EY1 class celebrated Diwali: ‘The Festival of Lights’. Rohini, Aditi’s mother, visited our class to share about this Hindu celebration with us. We listened to some information and viewed pictures of this traditional celebration. We watched a cartoon version of the Diwali story. The underlying message of the story is the victory of good over evil. It was about a man, Rama, who with the help from a very strong monkey called Hanuman, searched for and found his wife, Sita. After a very long time away they returned to their village. There was a joyous celebration in which the land was illuminated with diyas (clay oil lamps) and bursting fire crackers.

You can view the cartoon story here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp59n0So

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We learned about the diya, the clay oil lamp, that people use during Diwali to decorate their homes and offices. We held our own exciting and joyous celebration by lighting sparklers. It’s interesting that festivals of light can be found all over the world and in many cultures.

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We each received a Happy Diwali gift from Aditi and her family. It included a chocolate treat and our very own diya, so we can share our encounter of this celebration with our families at home. This experience is an example of how we can explore ideas connected to our Who We Are Unit of Inquiry,‘Through sharing experiences within our community we can learn about ourselves’.

Photos by Rebecca Smith (ICS Early Years Teacher)

November 5, 2013
by Andrea Mills
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Valuing Home Languages and Cultures in the Early Years Classroom

Last Friday morning, Early Years families joined us  for some shared classroom time, community singing and a presentation about our program. As members of an international school community,  we have the unique experience of learning together with children and teachers from all over the globe. As an educator, I have found this to be one of the most rewarding aspects of this work, mostly because of the countless opportunities to share in other cultural traditions and make meaningful connections with families from diverse backgrounds.

P1100816Getting to know families by sharing experiences together builds relationships and home- school connections.

For children who attend our school, cultural and linguistic diversity becomes a normal part of school and community life. At ICS, we actively cultivate a respect for each child’s home language and culture by seeking to learn about families, inviting them to participate in school life and encouraging children to share their home languages and cultures with us.

IMG_0158Bom Dia! These friends come from different places but share a common language, Portuguese.

In my role integrating music into the Early Year program, there are many opportunities to share and collaboratively create different global sounds and rhythms. At our Early Years Open Morning, the children sang “Good Morning” greetings to their families in seventeen languages. Amazingly, each of these languages is represented by one or more children in the Early Years program. The children’s pride in sharing their own language as well as demonstrating knowledge of friends’ greetings was evident in the joyful singing. Smiles from the audience of families were abundant, and at the end, one parent excitedly shared that she was a native Irish speaker. Of course, we were thrilled to add a new greeting to our repertoire.

imageGreeting families in nineteen different languages.

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