Advent, advent…

Advent ist one of the best times of the year. The first snow has fallen down, the shops start to sell gingerbread and Christmas chocolate and everyone is in a peaceful mood.

Of course, there are also special events in school at this time. Celebrations, Advent Calendar, baking Christmas cookies, etc.

We already began with the preparations in November. At the last Tuesday of the month, after the morning prayer, my crafting day started with the older pupils. Everyone chose a paper in their favourite colour, we cutted the shape of a star, fold the paper, drew and sticked things on it and put it together – the first 9 individual boxes of our Advent Calendar were produced. After that, I also crafted with the little ones and got some help from the teacher Laima.

Now, it was my turn to fill the stars for each child. In the evening, my room changed into a Christmas workshop, I put some healthy sweets in every box and hung them on a string. The next day, we could already place the Advent Calendar in the classroom – ready to open on the next day.

Finally the time had come, it was snowing outside and the pupils were very excited. We sat down in a big circle where I started to explain the procedure of opening the stars. Furthermore, Daniels told the christian story of Advent and the first lucky pupil Joanna took her star.

Since the 1st of December we meet every day in front of the Advent Calendar, Daniels tells bibel storys and one of the children is allowed to open their star and get their little present.

Moreover, the big school christmas market is imminent. Therefore, the class is preparing a lot of handmade things. So we also decided to make some food for the market.

Usually, the children would have had ordinary English lessons but on this Tuesday they had the chance to learn while baking. I brought a typical German Christmas cookie recipe with me, we translated it together and began to cook. With some Christmas music and a lot of flour, eggs and sugar we made a lot of cookies.

The last thing to do was to pack all the cookies. While some pupils were still baking the girls put the sweets in bags and decorated it lovingly.

But the Advent time is still not over. All are waiting for more snow, the Christmas market and the next placid celebration.

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Vidzemes Olimpiskais centrs

Since the children were talking about the topic “professions” in school, we thought of an excursion, that is both: education and fun.

In that week the pupils were working on different tasks all around the different jobs they may or want to do when they are grown up. They were learning lots of terms related to the subject and had to tell, what job they would like to do. Some children (especially the boys) wanted to become athletes and play soccer or other kinds of sports.

Therefore, it was a perfect opportunity to go with them to the gym “Vidzemes Olimpiskais centrs” of Valmiera. We went there together with the teachers Daniels and Diana and the two school classes.

As we arrived, a guide showed us around. She showed us the different sports halls, like for example the basketball hall and of course the ice hall.

The pupils could see numerous trophies and the different flags from sports teams from all around the world, that already have played in this gym. We saw an aisle full of pictures of athletes and sports events and the guide explained the history of the sports hall. The children saw what other jobs are connected with sports, instead of just the athletes itselves.

Later, the children were allowed to skate on the ice. Some hesitated at first to enter the ice, but with the blue plastic seals also the small children were able to skate safely and enjoy the sport.

Afterwards, we went to a room, where the guide showed us a video about the progress of building the sports halls first up and taking everything down again. It was very interesting to watch the gym transform. Finally, we returned to school.

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experiments with old and new

After the morning in the library and a delicious lunch, we got visitors in the big hall. All pupils came together to participate in the exciting recycling project. Even a home school family came to get to know more about recycling. It started with a short round of introduction, the children were divided into two groups and the work began.

On the one hand, the pupils crafted with old things. Before they began, they sat down in a circle and learned about the theory and the importance of recycling. In the middle, they searched for activities everyone could do at home to get a “zero waste”.

All children brought mason jar lids with them without knowing what they are going to do with them. So they draw, cutted out and sticked. They learned how to create new things out of old and already made their first beautiful christmas presents – mason jar lid magnets.

On the other hand, it was time for chemical experiments! The teacher showed the children how usual things like fire, air and water can get fantastic. Gas was produced, pressure was generated and soot arose.

In groups of two the children could try out many things and explore the chemical world.

After an hour the groups changed and so every pupil got the chance to work with new and old and see how exciting simple things like mason jar lids and water can be.

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School Care

Another of Paulines and my tasks is to look in some afternoons after the children, because they have school till Five.

In these afternoons the children come to the big sports hall and eather another teacher or Pauline and I prepare some games and activities to do with the children. Mostly, we play games together like Snakes, Crabs and some ball games. Sometimes they also like to play games like father, mother and child or they play with the soccer table. On other days we also go up to the third flour to do some handicrafts. Then the children enjoy a hot cup of tea and are really concentrated on their work!

When there are enough children (some have to leave earlier, because they have music school or something like that) to build two groups, their favourite way of passing the time is to play Dodgeball. Sometimes, we divide the hall in two parts so that the boys can play Floorball and the girls can play a different game. They also like to play Badminton with each other and some of the kids have gotten really good in that game. There are also other activities than just games that everyone can take part in, like Skipping!

Some time ago Pauline and I went to the store to buy the cardgame UNO, since then we can also play this game together with the kids.

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