May 31st, 2019
The World is our Garden!
“We didn’t realize we were making memories. We just knew we were having fun!”
~ Winnie-the-Pooh ~
Every day at Prep to Step-Up, we have a lot of fun making memories!
We travel to something new to learn with every step we take. The World becomes our own backyard; our chair is the car, canoe or plane that takes us there. Our thoughts and deeds, described through senses, and we choose to share these experiences with our friends, through a variety of mediums.
I have often marvelled at the travelling Life of a tortoise. As a young child, I was so very fortunate to have my grandfather’s Scottish garden as my playground. My senses were on overload every hour I spent alone with flowers like dahlias and roses; with animals like turtles and pigeons. My large, often silent Grandpa, showed me the love that grew, moment by moment, in his garden. He took time to share with me the planting of vegetables and the importance of caring for worms, essential to the health of the soil. The smells and sights were both calming and stimulating. I am grateful to have learned how to place myself in each mind-set to have been better prepared for the full Life that followed.
My friend, Pokey the Tortoise, travelled the same path through the garden every day. Slowly, knowingly, he would take pause to taste a little lettuce every once in a while, planted just for Him. I would follow at the same pace and see all the new things he saw in every step he took. I saw thousands of things in that garden, travelling with Pokey. He taught me how to be more aware as I travelled; to absorb every breathing bit of Life in my path. He taught me that the World is beautiful!
It is my sincere hope that the Prep to Step-Up Program takes our Clients on travels that teach them that their senses, natural to them and everyone, are opened to take them travelling on the many paths of beauty in this world that they have every right to experience. Our Clients have shared and taught us more beauty every day. Thank you! This learned beauty from each other can only take us all on more travelling adventures together! Keep your backpack handy! You never know when a new garden might pop up in front of you!
“Never Ignore a Possible!”
~ Doreen McCall ~
Fun, Fascinating and Fabulous!
In Literacy, Clients completed reading about Canada with a quick road trip across the country learning about Vancouver, Banff, Niagara Falls and Quebec City.
Venturing outside of Canada has proven to be fun, fascinating and fabulous! Everyone loved reading and writing about two of the largest countries in the world, Australia and China.
An interesting discussion led a lot of the Clients to realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful country! With so many more topics still to be discussed about Canada, your local Library is a wonderful resource for Summer Activities to read more.
The time before ‘Morning Circle’ has given everyone a great opportunity to have discussions about the upcoming countries we’d like to learn about and to preview book selections. The next few weeks we will focus on a smaller country, the United Kingdom. The opportunity to learn about four countries in one was of great interest to some of the Clients.
Writing continues to be an important part of Literacy and in addition to the curriculum, the ‘Check-In’ sheet has been incorporated into the rotation. Sending this home every week to you, allows Clients to recall and share the topics that all of the rotations are focused on.
Thank you for the positive feedback you have given! We are thrilled that it is generating outside conversations at home. The Inside learning is venturing Outside, just like everyone's adventures this Semester in Literacy.
Math / DPA:
For the second part of our Spring Semester, the Clients have travelled across the border into the USA and have begun exploring the currency there. From looking at differences between Canadian and American money, to doing a fun coin-cleaning activity and looking at foreign exchange, we have been having a great time in Math! We will be preparing for our final ‘Store’ in the last few weeks.
DPA has been awesome! The Clients have played lots of basketball in support of the Raptors, focused on our breathing with meditation and stretching sessions, and have bonded through group activities like Detective and Follow-the-Leader.
Science and Geography:
We’re Eating Again!
With our passports in hand, we have spent the past few weeks in Science and Geography travelling to various countries around the world. At each stop, we have had the opportunity to learn about flags, climates, and unique facts. Filling out country 'information pages' to document our travels has been a great reading and writing exercise.
In addition, we have also experimented hands-on with many local foods. We have juiced oranges and grapefruits from Florida, tasted snacks and spices from India, and compared plantains (eaten in the Ivory Coast) to more familiar bananas. Our final stop will be a trip to Italy! We can't forget about pizza!
These engaging activities allow us to use all of our senses and fully experience the similarities and differences in food and culture around the world. We have gained a better understanding of the sources of some of the foods we eat on a regular basis. This semester has truly opened our eyes to the world around us!
These past weeks, we experimented with salad spinners and paint producing unique discs of vibrant colour. We then transformed the one-of-a-kind discs into spiral twirlers. The Clients are all delighted with their one-of-a-kind creations!
Our third Canadian Artist is Ted Harrison. We replicated his electrifying ‘Whale Frolic’. It has been a wonderful journey for us all! We have walked the Clients through detailed, step-by-step pencil drawings and subsequent painting, colour by colour, on large canvases. The results are stunning! The Clients are so proud and can’t wait to show them off on Celebration Day!
Different Trips to Travel
Last week in Skills-at-Will, we travelled to the country of the Clients’ choice. We used the skills that we learned last week to plan our trips. What should we pack? How will we get there? What will we do? Clients have enjoyed “travelling” to different places and using their new skills.
Next week, we will be learning about another very important Life Skill, grocery shopping! Clients have explored how to go grocery shopping. We named grocery stores, what we need to bring for a grocery shopping ‘trip’ and what we should buy. We made a meal plan for the week and figured out what we would need to complete it. We also used the iPads to figure out the prices of different items.
We are looking forward to our last few weeks to revisit our goals and have our Celebration Party with family and friends!
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