ICS Early Years Center Blog

Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland

May 6, 2013
by Heidi Harman
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Encouraging and Supporting Children’s Individual Inquiries

Supporting Our Personal Inquiries and Wonderings — Cracks in the mud inquiry

In the Primary Years Programme, we believe that optimal learning takes place when it is genuinely connected to the world around an individual student. Acquisition of both knowledge and skills and the search for meaning and understanding are most successful when done in relevant contexts.

Edward, Karson, Daniel, Villum and William found some cracks in the ground and wondered how they got there.

 

Karson, “there must be some pipes under the ground, and they’re getting bigger, so the ground is opening up”.

Edward, “no, there is something bad under there and it wants us to fall in”.

Daniel, “I think someone has been digging. Come, look. There is mud under the cracks. Maybe someone used their nails”.

Mrs. Harman is wondering if the ground is dry and that is why the cracks are there. Maybe if it had rained, the cracks wouldn’t be there? Karson has the idea to put water on the cracks to see if they stay or go away. Karson and Villum went to fetch the jugs of water while Edward, Daniel and William guarded the cracks in the earth. Karson and Villum poured water onto the cracks and we all noticed the cracks begin to disappear!

We could make the cracks disappear even faster by rubbing our fingers over them.

Edward began digging with his stick once the earth became wet mud and decided to dig for treasure.

He says he will continue to keep digging every day until he finds the treasure.

Edward, “we need to put lights on our hats so we can see when we go down”.

Karson, “when we see an X on a treasure map, that is where the treasure is”.

The children  felt inspired  to create treasure maps to help them find the ‘Diamond Castle’ under the cracks.

 

The cracks remain a source of inquiry to us. Why are they only located in this part of the playground at the top of the slope under a tree and nowhere else in the playground? This led to discussions about shelter from the rain and where rain water goes.

February 28, 2013
by Rebecca Smith
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Snow Ice Cream Restaurant

We believe in the importance of bringing the beauty and wonders of nature from the outside environment into our indoor learning spaces. This week EY2 Yellow were presented with an icy scene of snow and winter creatures. The initial play centered around the strength of the different species, their abilities to live and provide for their animal families and friends and how they made discoveries in the snowy environment. With the introduction of some new tools, a large plastic strainer, two smaller metal strainers and funnels of varying sizes, the direction of the play changed. The children explored how to use the tools with the ice and snow. They discovered by rubbing the strainers over the icy surface they could ‘shred’ or ‘grate’ the snow. The station soon became a ‘Snow Ice Cream Restaurant’. With the funnels acting as the cones for the ice creams. Perhaps we could explore further to use the same methods to try to make our own edible snow cones…

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