January 2018 Edition
From the director's desk
Annual Day -- Is it non-essential or quintessential?
Ever since the school reopened after Pongal break, the entire Sproutz family’s energy was focused on the one and only mega event -- Annual Day! Daily logs were filled with nothing more than annual day rehearsals etc for about a week. A reasonable amount of effort was put in by all of us from much before that. If we are anything but a robot, some questions might arise in our minds.
Just annual day practices? Nothing more?
They might freeze on the stage. Why bother allocating them time for that much practice?Shouldn’t they be learning?
These kids are very young. Is all this exertion of my little one worth it?
Why spend so much time, money and energy for this event? etc.
Frankly, most of these questions have crossed my mind one time or the other in the past three years. For, we need to be critical of every move we make. Every decision that we make should be a result of good reasoning. I sincerely feel that the rewards that we reap from this exercise were well worth the energy that we spend on this!
Three years ago, just the whole concept of annual day was just a daunting task for me. I have come a long way from there and feel very proud of some of the accomplishments in this area in the last three years. Along the way, I had a lot of revelations :
Conquering stage fear :
Some kids, as young as 2-year olds also, have amazing stage presence. They are true natural stars. Given a chance, they rock the stage. However, not everyone may be like that. Exposing them to stage and audience at such early age and getting them comfortable with these experiences before they could voice their opinion about it is very important to conquer the stage fear.
Social awareness :
As we were rehearsing for our annual day, kids were more aware of their teammates. They quickly learnt the group dynamic. They were more aware of their spots on the stage. They understood the sequence of the scenes. Kids as young as 3 years old knew who goes after who, when they should be ready, who stands next to them etc. Not to mention, we have seen some true leaders emerge in each team.
Emotional maturity :
Children are usually comfortable with their own teacher or support staff. During the annual day, all teachers were playing different roles. But, hats-off to our kids’ emotional maturity. They understood that teachers have assumed different responsibilities and they were equally comfortable with all teachers in their stations whether it is the green room or the backstage.
Pride and a sense of accomplishment:
Children felt very proud that they get to showcase their talent in front of their parents! They have such sense of pride and accomplishment that motivated them to put their best foot forward!
I firmly believe that kids have creativity in abundance. Believing is one thing and seeing it in action is another. I would like to share the most exhilarating moment that happened as we were preparing for the annual day. As you know, our theme was Sproutzies’ Wonderland. We wanted to convey to our audience that kids draw inspiration from their experiences in everyday life to imagine something magical. Once they imagine something magical, they work towards making it into a reality.To convey this, we thought that I would read ‘the very hungry caterpillar’ story and have a scripted conversation by kids in which they start imagining one thing on top of another, starting from a butterfly. First, we decided to record the book reading part. Then we were supposed to train the children with their dialogues for recording. I read the book for recording and casually started talking about the book with the children. To our surprise, the natural conversation that they had right after the book reading just summarized the message we were trying to convey. The unscripted natural conversation that we recorded ended up being the scene. So, I experienced the “true Sproutzies’ Wonderland”. What more could be more exhilarating than our dreams coming true? Here is the audio of the kids’ natural conversation:
Responsibility and perseverance :
Often times most of us feel that our children are very young and they don’t understand/feel responsible for anything. But, I sincerely feel that children feel amazingly responsible about the things they care about. The amount of perseverance they exhibit far surpasses that of an average adult. We have seen glimpses of the same during our annual day performances. A couple of our children fell sick few days prior to the annual day and they were recovering from it. Although the fever subsided, children were too weak. Despite their weakness, these children insisted, came and performed with a bright smile on their face. Parents and I were simply awestruck by the responsibility that they have exhibited. Aren’t perseverance and responsibility a set of skills that we need to have to be successful in our life?
Corrections to sensory processing issues :
I could see a visible difference in few children’s attitude towards performances from last year to this year. Few kids who were reluctant to participate in any sort of dancing or singing activities last year were our top-notch performers this year. We noticed that kids with mild sensory processing issues such as intolerance to louder sounds etc easily overcame these issues and became normal because of events like these. Isn’t school all about nudging the children towards an overall development and not just academics?
As Sproutz team, we all played to our strengths and a little further. We came out of our comfort zones, learnt new things and pushed our limits as a team to put up an awesome show! I am so proud of our team that includes both our children and staff. Our children definitely got to see their role models (adults) doing different and new things. I hope it inspires them to try and do new things without apprehension!
Parents watching their children shake a leg and feeling entertained is just a sweet side-effect! The benefits that an annual day has to offer are far more than we can imagine!
NO DOUBT, AN ANNUAL DAY IS QUINTESSENTIAL!
The past couple of months were very eventful for children as well as us. December began with a field trip to police station giving them insight about ‘police’, their job and jobs of other community helpers.
Celebrations-We all celebrated Christmas. Santa came singing and gave away gifts to children. They looked so beautiful in red and white. We also learnt the importance of celebrating Pongal and Lohri and how we celebrate it. Children involved themselves in making Pongal at school and they thoroughly enjoyed the process. They also showcased their talent during the annual day practices. I must acknowledge that my children are developing holistically.
English-This month was very interesting for kids as they indulged in pretend plays under the chapter: Make believe stories. Pretend play plays an important role in instilling and fostering children's creativity. This month we did a lot of pretend plays where they made up stories and games. When a child engages in pretend plays (s)he develops a self-confidence because (s)he can be anything just by pretending. It also develops social, language and emotional skills. They also learnt teamwork by playing and working together.They went to space and celebrated the birthday with animals. They talked about good and bad days. They also talked about space, aliens, spaceships and robots. They understood why people fly in space. Reinforcement of human body and sense organs through rhymes and actions was done.
Science- Lots of hands-on learning and activities happened under the topic ‘force and energy’. They learnt about push, pull, magnetic, gravitational and frictional forces. They also made a cart with the material provided to them without any guidance. They were taken out for a nature walk where they had to hear different sounds and sort them as loud and soft sounds. They learnt about music and noise and suggested a few ways to reduce noise pollution.
Math- Reinforcement of addition, number patterns and number bonds was done on a regular basis. They learnt about the concept of subtraction. The practised story sums involving addition and subtraction and writing the number sentences which they are good at. Now they can tell time too(o'clock, half past). But they need more practice for ‘quarter to’ and ‘quarter past’. We talked about the importance of having money. Children were provided with different coins and they read the denominations and did calculations like addition and subtraction with the coins.
I would like to appreciate Shloka and Arjun for taking part in sproutz zest and applaud Shloka for winning the title.
I congratulate all my kids for their brilliant performance in the annual day!
Welcome 2018! With our younger members, we all know that every day is an amazing opportunity to create beautiful experiences.
We learnt about plants, parts of the plants, their functions, types of the plants. To boost kids learning experience, we visited a farm. They saw fruits, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, climbers and creepers.
We also learnt about community helpers, tools used by them and simple machines. They understood the simple machines and now they are also talking about wheels, wedges, pulleys, inclined plane and lever. One day Taran came and said, ''ma'am, while coming to school, I saw a wheelbarrow. It's a simple machine-lever!" As we learnt about community helpers, we visited Madhapur police station and also called the mechanic to show all tools.
When I think about literacy and numeracy, I must say, my kids, are superheroes. They grasped all concepts so easily! Now they are doing picture addition, number line addition, domino addition, number names -one to fifteen. They started reading consonant blend words( st,sl,sp,sm,sn-sound) and words beginning with digraphs (th,ch,sh-sound words). Now they know more than 50 sight words and are becoming splendid readers! Kids have started writing questions using 'what' and answers using 'this' and 'that' with proper punctuations. Now they can make sentences using nouns, adjectives and action words.
There is never a dull moment in my class. But, celebrations bring new vibrancy to the room and we look forward to them. We celebrated Christmas and Pongal with lots of enthusiasm. Christmas at Sproutz is one of the most cherished celebrations and the legacy continued even this year with a series of activities-- making Santa masks, eating plum cakes, watching Santa story and the best part.......meeting Santa Claus and receiving gifts from him. Kids were overjoyed as they saw Santa Claus.
We celebrated Pongal by informing kids about its significance. Kids actively participated in making Pongal in an earthen pot. Bonfire is made using firewoods. Kids enjoyed making colourful rangolis.
SPROUTZ ZEST -Inter-school competitions organised by the Sproutz family was a fun-filled event. Over 150 kids from different schools participated in various competitions and showcased their talents and confidence! Let us all congratulate Taran who got first prize for Naive Narrators and Saanvi who got first prize for Budding Designer! I am very proud of my kids! Thank you, parents, for bringing the children to participate in events like these.
Last but not least, we celebrated Sproutzie's Wonderland- the third annual day on 27th January. Kids became fairies, superheroes, flowers and butterflies. They mesmerised the audience with their stellar performances.
Looking forward to more exciting, fun learning and exploring activities in the upcoming months.
The children spread happiness through their smiles and lovely attire. Santa surprised kids with his visit and distributed gifts. However, Santa couldn't fool our super smart children. Parnitha said, "Santa is Trishala ma'am." The children were overjoyed to see their teacher dressed as Santa.
Field trip to farm:
A real-world classroom is always a lot effective than the lessons that we teach indoors. So, our kids went on a field trip to visit a garden where they saw various fruits and vegetables. They certainly were excited seeing them on the plants and we are definitely excited to see them make meaningful connections with the world around us.
Pretend play of community helpers:
Our kids explored the specific tools used by various community helpers. They pretended to be these community helpers. Adhya became a hair stylist and started styling Ayra's hair. Vihaan took the paint brush and painted the walls of our classroom. Riyaan was fixing the loft screw using the screwdriver. Vaishnav pretended to be a chef as he went around saying, "I am cooking food, I am cooking food".
We went on several field trips to understand what various professionals do and the tools they use to accomplish their jobs.
Field trip to the construction site:
Kids visited a construction site to see what it takes to construct a new building. They learnt about planning, safety, measuring, and tools used by a mason. It's quite a site! This trip enabled them to know various raw materials used for constructing a house. Our children enjoyed the “Three Little Pigs” story and started connecting how different materials are suitable for different aspects while building a house.
Field trip to the police station:
Our children learnt about the special role a police officer plays in maintaining the law and order in a community and guarding the public. We visited the Madhapur police station and kids were very excited to see the policemen in their uniforms. They were curious to see their equipment. They got excited to see handcuffs, jail and criminals. Kids also inquired about various things from the police officers and were keen to know how they catch thieves and other criminals. Kids learnt personal safety and ways to protect themselves and how to avoid dangerous situations. Kids also learnt what happens when a person is arrested.
Field trip to the carpenter:
Kids were surprised to see how a carpenter made furniture with wood: cutting, carving and polishing the wood. Adhvay said, "see, uncle is making the design on the wood." They were so happy to collect the wood shavings and wooden pieces from the carpenter's shop.
Exploring mechanic tools:
Kids explored different tools used by mechanics and how they use them. They had a hands-on experience with the tools by unscrewing and screwing the bolts of the school van wheel. They also counted the total number of screws of the wheel.
Exploring kitchen tools:
Our kids explored the best science laboratory -- the kitchen. Our little chefs explored and experimented with the ingredients to figure out the correct consistency of the dough to make a roti. They added oil and water to the flour to make a dough. When it wasn't rolling well enough, they added more water. The dough got stuck to the rolling pin. They decided to add more water. It became even more slimier. Finally, the genius in them woke up and decided to add more flour to save the day! They were well on their way to making a perfect roti. Along the process, they touched, felt the flour in different stages like dry, slimy, and finally the well-kneaded dough. Kids rolled the dough with a rolling pin to make a perfect roti and watched it being cooked on the flame.
Our kids enjoyed all the field trips and experiences that helped them connect with practical life.
Sankranthi was celebrated with great enthusiasm. Kids loved to colour the rangoli and enjoyed the Bhogi fire, pounding jaggery, and making sweet Pongal in the pot. They understood the importance of Makara Sankranthi.
Annual day celebration :
Our kids had put in amazing effort into practising for the great show. It was a feast for our eyes to see them rocking on the stage.
December & January had been busy and fun months filled with Christmas, Pongal and Annual day celebrations and much more. We are always surprised at how fast the time goes by since our kids are comfortable with the preschool routines, experiencing new wonders, learning new skills and crossing new milestones. January is a month that makes us proud just like the little flowers that bloomed. Our little buds enjoyed lots of time in the outdoors. During Christmas, our school was beautifully decorated to welcome Santa. The children enjoyed singing the Jingle bells song, listening to Santa's story and even got an idea about the message of Christmas i.e spreading the joy of giving and sharing with others. Santa came in with gifts for every child that brought lots of joy to kids.Our Sproutzies celebrated the vibrant festival of Sankranthi at school. All the children came to school in ethnic dresses to celebrate the harvest festival. Children enjoyed the day with bonfire, colourful Rangoli making, festival-related video, stories and dances. Sweet Pongal is prepared in a traditional way in the school campus and served to all. A festive mood prevailed in the school whole day.
In these months our little ones were delighted to explore various themes like winter season, plants and machines. When we started plants theme, there were very few children who could explain what plants need to grow. But now we are proud green thumbs! We began our investigation of plant life by exploring the similarities and differences amongst a variety of seeds. We observed that seeds come in different sizes and shapes, and started noticing the seeds in foods we eat like bananas, oranges, Watermelon, papaya and apples. Next, we used miniature gardening tools to plant seeds in our own garden. Each child planted their own seeds, in addition to planting coriander and methi seeds as a class. Thanks to our gardening adventures, now all our children are experts in growing plants!
While exploring Tools theme, children were amazed to see various tools and machines. They came up with lots and lots of lovely ideas to use a hair dryer in different ways. Children came to me and opened their hands and asked me to dry their hands.
During fruit time, I asked all children to collect the seeds then everybody started collecting the seeds.When Shreeveda was eating orange fruit she ate the seed and Sireesha didi said: “Shreeveda, seed will grow in your body”. Immediately Ruhi said, "It won’t grow because there is no sunlight in her body”. Then Tiya opened her mouth and asked Shreeveda to do the same later, she said ”Shreeveda if you open your mouth like this then sunlight will go inside” then Aditi said, “No Sireesha Didi seed won’t grow inside Shreeveda’s body because it needs soil to grow, inside of Shreeveda’s tummy there is no soil”. I am feeling happy and proud to say that my little ones are learning and applying the concept.
We also introduced new concepts: plurals, positions- left and right, back and front. We also learnt new letters, numbers and rhymes. In this month our main focus was on the letters” r,m,d,g,o,u,v”.Kids enjoyed making letters, shapes and different things using playdough and popsicle sticks.
Our little stars were so busy with their annual day practice. It was a pleasure to our eyes to see our little champs' lovely dance moves. I could see a sense of amazement in the audience as their kids showcased their talent in “Sproutzies' Wonderland”. A big thank you to all parents for your presence on the annual day.
It was a great fun exploring plants, tools & machines during the months of December and January.We discussed parts of the plant, life cycle of the plant.We planted seeds in our school garden and observed them grow.We went to a nature walk and explored various kinds of plants. Kids were excited to know about seed, seedling, sprouts.We learnt uses of plants. We also talked about fruits and vegetables.
Kids were thrilled while exploring tools & machines concept. We loved to observe a lot of hand tools and how we use them to finish our work. e.g: scissors, sharpener, eraser, pen, pestle and mortar, hammer etc.They loved hammering the nails. We also discussed the importance of cleanliness and kids made broomstick with sticks and enjoyed cleaning the classroom. Once we observed the hand tools, we started exploring some automated tools. Kids enjoyed observing the various features of a hair dryer up close and personal. We also showed them vacuum cleaner and explained how it cleans the floor faster than a broomstick. Kids were super excited while pounding rice, dal in a pestle and mortar.Then we showed them mixer and discussed how it makes the work easy.
Here comes the most favourite hands-on experience activity for our kids: washing clothes.They went crazy while washing the hand towels. Later we showed them washing machine and video of washing clothes in the machine.We compared various tools with machines and importance of machines. Kids had a wonderful time learning about machines.
We also introduced them to plurals and various positions like left and right, back and front. We also learnt new letters, numbers and rhymes. In these months our main focus was on the letters: ”r,m,d,g,o,u,v”. Kids enjoyed making letters, shapes with playdough and popsicle sticks.
Events and celebrations:
For Christmas, kids got a gift from Santa Claus. They also enjoyed doing a craft activity.
For Pongal, kids came in a ethnic wear and enjoyed making rangoli designs along with other kids. We tasted Pongal.
For the annual day, kids showed amazing commitment as we practised for our 'Sproutzies' Wonderland'. They enjoyed dancing every day. It was a feast to watch them on the stage.
We had a great time with the kids. Kids are enjoying the school. They are loving it! The theme for December was plants- wherein kids learnt about the fruits, vegetables, plants- parts of the plants. In the month of January, we learnt about the winter season and kitchen tools.
We started the plants theme by taking them for a walk in the garden and showing them plants, leaves, flowers, stems and soil.We explained to kids that plants grow in the soil. They touched, explored the soil and did mud painting with it. They enjoyed touching the flowers, stems, leaves. They enjoyed picking different leaves and sorted them by sizes.They sow the seeds on the soil, watered daily and observed it growing daily. We showed them different flowers like marigold, chrysanthemum and rose. They also explored painting with those flowers.
We also talked about the fruits and vegetables. Kids saw the different fruits and did hands-on activities. They enjoyed cutting watermelon and enjoyed eating it with a fork. They learnt the importance of eating fruits. They saw different real vegetables like onion, tomato, potato, beans, cabbage, carrot, beetroot, lady's finger, green peas. Kids enjoyed removing the pods from peas. They counted the pods and ate them raw. Kids had fun doing vegetable printing with lady's finger.
We talked about the winter season. How to take care in a winter season, winter clothes etc.
For Christmas, kids came in bright red and white colour dresses. Kids welcomed the festival by singing and dancing on the Christmas carols. Kids were very excited to receive the gifts from Santa. December month was filled with lots of sensorial and hands-on activities along with Christmas.
In January our kids explored the basic kitchen tools like spoon, fork, knife, plate, rolling pin, pestle and mortar, sieve etc. Kids enjoyed pounding grains in the pestle and mortar. They enjoyed sieving the flour, rolling the dough with the rolling pin.
We celebrated Pongal in school with great enthusiasm. Kids observed the bonfire for bhogi, observed cooking Pongal, and decorated rangoli on the ground floor.
Kids enjoyed practising dance for the annual day. They practiced several times and finally, it became a grand success on our annual day. Kids rocked the stage! We hope you all enjoyed their show.
My kids enjoy the activities they perform regularly. They especially enjoy water transferring activities. They liked working with the water beads which were introduced recently. They like to squeeze them. They also like to paint using earbuds, moulds and pieces of sponge.
They dressed beautifully for Christmas celebrations and happily took the gifts given by Santa! They enjoyed dancing with their friends.
Pongal celebrations were a joyful experience for them. The Bhogi fire, filling colours in the rangoli decorations, watching and enjoying the preparation of the sweet Pongal made them very happy! They were not ready to leave that place.
My kids wait for their turns in group activities patiently. They even tell what the next picture is, in the storytelling session. They love the story, "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?"
Highlights Of The Month
It is surprising to watch 3 to 5-year-olds whip up stories on the fly. They used their imagination to construct their school using different blocks. They mesmerized with clarity in their speech during rhyme recitation!
In the 6 to 9 yeard old category, children wowed us with their ability to create artwork and construct things using unconventional materials. They left us spellbound with their capacity to spell tricky words.
In the 9 to 12-year-old category, children yet again proved to us their resiliency. They were all prepared to create some masterpieces for the art competition using their paints, brushes etc. We asked them to leave everything they got and they just had to use the unconventional materials provided by us as brushes. It was truly rewarding to watch the masterpieces that got created in the process. They wrote wild stories and surprised us with their spell-tastic capabilities.
Children are truly are innovative and we just need to preserve this!
Parent Teacher Meeting - 10th Feb 2018
Maha Shivaratri - 13th Feb 2018 - Holiday for daycare and school
Pajama Party - 17th Feb 2018 - Extended school hours
Holi Celebrations - 1st March 2018
Holi - 2nd March 2018 - Holiday for school
Ugadi Celebrations - 16th March 2018
Last day of school for Playgroup - 29th March 2018
Good Friday - 30th March 2018 - Holiday for daycare and school