International Fairy Tea Party 2016

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We spent the whole week preparing our fairy tea party which took place on Thursday and Friday in the woods. After reading in school the legend of the rainbow fairies, we decided to help these little fairies make a rainbow.

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In school, we put on the wings we made out of hangers and rope and practiced how to use the fairy dust and learnt a few spells! We mixed paints, just to find out that we only need three colors to make so many more.

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We even tried to make our colors shine by sprinkling some fairy dust on them.

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The result was to make everything around us shine bright, including ourselves!

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On Thursday and Friday, we had a wonderful day in the woods!

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We looked around for some fairy signs and while looking we found some acorns instead and a little tortoise wandering around.

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We built our fairy welcome houses in the trees and decorated them the way we wanted.

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Then, we went hunting for colors.

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And used what we found to make a rainbow.

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And after all this hard work, we set the table and had a cup of tea and biscuits!

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(by Claire Hadjinikolaou, English teacher in Dorothy Snot, Athens)

Visiting the historical National Library of Greece, just before its relocation after 114 years

In our play-based school, we always look for opportunities to mingle with fascinating reality.

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A coming cornerstone for Athens, our city, is the relocation of National Library of Greece and of Greek National Opera to the very new and impressive SNF Cultural Center, near city’s coast.

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Since 1903, National Library of Greece has been located into a historical building in the very heart of the city, designed by Theofilos Hansen and constructed by the great Ernst Ziller.  This status-quo will end by September 2016, so these days it was really the very last chance for our pre-K and summer campus kids (kindergarteners & alumni) to visit it.

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Children of both classes have been working lately in a variety of projects on sea and volcanoes. So, it was a great opportunity for kids to visit the old building and utilize library services in their research, getting thus a good idea on why we need libraries!

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Library policies are tough and usually do not allow hosting preschoolers, but our fantastic kids proudly made it!

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Children searched their subjects in library computers….

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….identified the needed sources….

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…and copied all information needed.

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All in all, it was a fantastic day for our kids. They grasped a lifetime experience, just days before it become a gone-for-good memory!

(big thanks to Library staff Ms. Vasiliki Tsigkouni, Tonia Pateropoulou and Agathi Papamichael, for their assistance.)

A wonderful journey for pre-K class triggered by a visit to a Greek living art legend

Yesterday Sunday July 3, it was the summer party day for toddlers, post-toddlers and pre-K class. Our parties are always free play sessions, based in stimuli and projects children have been engaged the past months.

Pre-K class had the unique chance this year to visit one of the last living Greek art legends, the sculptor Mrs. Natalia Mela. It was such a moving experience for everybody!

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After that, whole class entered into a fantastic journey in sculpturing by utilizing real life items, exactly like Mrs. Mela has been doing in her life!

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By the use of everyday loose parts and other elements, our children created in class a number of fantastic artworks…

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…and enjoyed a wonderful 3-month project.

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So, it was normal to include this experience in summer party and connect their play to the sculpturing project. They worked in couples: one was the sculptor and the other was the sculpture! See the video:

Τhis is what life-derived learning is all about: Encouraging children to master unique lifetime experiences and then allowing them to build their own worlds.

2016 pre-Ks developed a strong love-for-sculpturing DNA, for life….

Two hours in the woods, are enough….

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….to discover new paths.

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….to discover the botanical walk (and to possibly see the Christmas goblins making their magical tricks using herbs, according to Myronas!)

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…to see a strange and huge tree.

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….to make signs on the ground to help us find our way back.

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…to find something looking like a hollow for birds (but it was not…)

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…to cook!

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…to show our leadership skills!

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…to discover the beauty of nature.

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….and to leave our mark on the ground!

All, until next time!!!

(by Spyridoula Patouna, teacher in pre-K class in Athens)

Not just a pizza box

“Hey, what are you doing, again?”
Me: “I’m not doing anything, yet. I’m trying to think of what to do”.                                               “I know!!!! Why don’t you make something?”                                                                                                 Me: “Like what? It would be nice to make a table game. Any ideas?”

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“Yes! We can make streets, and pavements and street lights”!

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“Oh, and we can make a football field”!

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“And we can make a jungle!!!”                                                                                                                             Me: “A jungle?! Really?!”

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“Yes! We will paint in on the box! And we can put our animal toys in there and we can play in the jungle”!

So, now we’ve got three new table games in pre-K class!

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Always think twice and do not throw anything! Just let it to children’s imagination…

(by Spyridoula Patouna, teacher in pre-K class in Athens)

Creating a loose parts’ springboard!

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Andreas, a kindergarten kid, had the brilliant idea to create a springboard using loose parts, particularly old tires arranged in a pile and a pallet, serving as a ladder).

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First step was to collect all the items needed for his idea. Second one was setting up his construction and testing, while the final step was…. the actual game!

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In a few minutes, all pre-K and kindergarten class formed a long queue in order to jump off this makeshift springboard!

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Its one more time I see waste material (items with no practical use from an adult’s point of view) to become the center of children’s outdoor play. Kids only add imagination and ingenuity- so easy for them!

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(from Chrysa Vaitsi, cross-class projects’ coordinator in Athens school)