The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

This Week in Our Room: May 23-26, 2017

We’ve had a lot going on around here, so please forgive us if we seem a bit distracted. Time to practice more mindfulness!

We’re having a lot of fun teaching Fairy Tales the past couple of weeks. For Sharing and Special Helper this month, the children are bringing in a favourite Fairy Tale, so we are getting a high rate of exposure to many stories and it’s broadening our understanding and perspective of this important genre.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf are back in town, and we’ve had an interesting time of it, reading three different versions of a familiar and much loved tale.

We started with a fun provocation: a basket filled with treats. We showed our basket to the children and slowly went through the contents, asking the children to think of a Fairy Tale where a basket has a part in the story. Inside the basket: fruit, juice…pizza. (Seems we had no croissant in the house corner). Admittedly, the pizza threw everybody off for a moment, but with a few good clues for our guided inquiry (“I’m going to Grandma’s house;” “I wear a red hood and cloak”) our well-read children were able to narrow down their guess to Little Red.

Our focus has been on story structure, and we’re talking about the beginning, middle and end in a Fairy Tale. We’re looking for common elements such as a story beginning with “Once upon a time…” and ending with “…and they all lived happily ever after.”

We then moved onto to house-building with “The Three Little Pigs.” We have had so much fun reading aloud familiar portions of the story; the children have really enjoyed being the little pigs (“Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin”) to our Wolf (“I’ll HUFF, and I’ll PUFF and I’ll BLLOOWW your house down.”) Here, we are teaching about recalling and sequencing the main events within the beginning, middle and end of a story.

The children loved making these delightful little books which they read to themselves or to a friend when they’ve finished sequencing and stapling together the pages.

As for next week, well, we’ve got some magic beans we can trade you for your cow….

We’ve also been investigating shapes in Math, and looked for squares and rectangles in our classroom. Who would have thought we could have found so many? In continuing with our tradition of inspiring children’s literature, we read  Perfect Square by Michael Hall, and Brown Rabbit’s Shape Book and Grey Rabbit’s Odd One Out by Alan Baker.

We’re teaching PE to both classes simultaneously right now, as we start practising relays. Sports Day is fast approaching, and all of the races our teams participate in are relays. Not all the children have had an opportunity to see a Ridgeview Sports Day or run a relay, so we’ve formed small teams and started running relays down the length of the gym, turning around a pylon and passing a small piece of equipment among the team members. There is a high safety factor when teams are running simultaneously and turning, so the children’s ability to listen to the teacher to complete the task correctly is very much evident.

The children brought home their class photos earlier in the week. We were delighted to be able to use the “Seussical” background for our photo from our Intermediate Musical. We’ll send home a list of names in order of the photograph for your reference.

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Tonight is our Ridgeview Parent Gala in support of the Library Modernization Project at the Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver. Our beautiful platters will be available for auction. Best of luck to all the bidders!

Next week we’re talking about the jobs our families do inside and outside the home. Please have a wee chat with your children about the kind of work you do outside the home so they can share that information at school. The children are all quite familiar with the work you do at home — they know about the grocery shopping, cooking and baking, washing up of dishes, gardening, laundry and ironing, just to name a few tasks. We were delighted to hear about how many children help with dinner preparations and fold the laundry (“that’s my job”)!

We’re sending home a form from our Music Teacher, Mrs. Soderling, for children who are interested in auditioning for the Primary Variety Show. Please read carefully the expectations for the audition process. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Soderling directly at hsoderling@wvschools.ca

Tuesday, May 30 is Library Book Exchange for both classes.

Home Reading Book Exchange is Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.

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Up for Auction Tonight!

This Friday, May 26, is Ridgeview Elementary’s Parent Gala in support of our Library Modernization Project. Each class was asked to create a piece of art to be put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder.

Christy and I have had a lot of experience teaching art and one thing we know for sure: children’s artwork is highly developmental and extremely personal. It’s one of those opportunities where we can teach a variety of skills (using scissors; holding a paintbrush; cutting with a template) and techniques (printmaking; wax crayon paint resist) but how the children interpret the task is really their own, as it should be.

However, when we are commissioned, as it were, to create something specific to be sold, we need to find a balance between teaching our children skills and techniques, allowing them to express themselves at a personal level and yet make a product attractive enough to get parents to bid and spend their money.

We might be your child’s Kindergarten teacher, but we’re also realists who understand we’re creating art for a fundraiser and we want it to look good.

We were working on a very tight timeline this spring between Easter, Student-Led Conferences, Mother’s Day and Welcome to Kindergarten and the preparations that each of those major events in our Kindergarten calendar entailed.

So with a lot help from our parent helpers, our friends at Bella Ceramica, and our Grade 7/District Innovation Teacher (Technology) Ms.Wilson, up for auction are two gorgeous platters made by this year’s Kindergarten children with great skill and precision.

We used another printmaking technique, our fingerprints, to create the delightful little flowers scattered on these serving dishes. The centres of each flower was made with the eraser end of a pencil. Ms. Wilson painted in the vines to show how each of us is connected to one another with love (the leaves). On the back are the fingerprints of your child’s teachers and Educational Assistants with a few words to commemorate the place and year.

We hope you have an opportunity to bid on these wonderful pieces of art.

Sold!

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Earth Month 2017

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, we can smell the flowers in the air…finally. Although we’re a little late, April was a month with many special events for our Kindergarten. We celebrated the Persian New Year Norooz, Easter, our students with Student-Led Conferences and then our planet Earth, for Earth Month.

We’ve been waiting to post this blog for you…you’ll see why at the end.

We invited 365GIVE founder Jacqueline Way (and a parent in Andrea’s classroom) to help us celebrate Earth Month by giving something special to the Earth, Kindergarten style.

Jacqueline shared with us how she began a year’s worth of giving with her oldest son, Nic, when he turned three years old. Starting on his birthday, Jacqueline and Nic committed to 365 giving acts to the world. On the 365th day, Nic’s brother Tyler (and our Kindergarten student) entered their lives–the last give in a remarkable year.

We started with a discussion about who helps our planet. The children knew the firefighters and policemen keep them safe, and that the SPCA helps to look after animals.

But the children didn’t realise that they, too, can help the planet. They can give back to the Earth in just as powerful ways as our community helpers.

So as part of our celebration of Earth Day and Earth Month, our Kindergarten would think about what they could do to give back to the Earth. How could they help the planet?

Well, thanks to the high profile of recycling programs at home and school, our children knew right away that recycling is a significant act of giving.

Jacqueline explained that when we don’t recycle, all the garbage goes to the landfill, sits there and makes the planet sick.

The children suggested using both sides of the paper is an important way to reduce paper consumption, and the cutting down of trees. We get oxygen from trees and food from the trees, and those same trees provide shelter for a variety of animals.

When we recycle bottles, cans, metals and plastic, new bottles, clothing and toys are made from these products. The metals we recycle today are tomorrow’s scooters and bikes.

When we recycle food scraps or organic waste and put them into the compost, it decomposes into soil, goes back into the Earth and makes our planet healthy.

Keeping our school grounds litter free is a daily give we can easily do. Our children eat their snacks and lunch in class and so with our school waste management program, the Kindergarten manages quite well in not contributing to garbage on the playground. However, we are all aware that animals do come to eat the garbage, evident by the number of crows we see after recess and lunch. Just as serious is the garbage left at the beach; garbage which flows into the ocean can be eaten by the local fish, and then if we end up eating those same fish…their understanding was evident as our children were very wide-eyed, quiet and thoughtful.

Another way to give back to the Earth is to plant a garden. If you grow a garden, you can just walk to your garden to get your fruits and vegetables. You can’t get any more local than that!

Our children had quite a bit to say about gardens. Besides fruits and vegetables, we can also plant flowers. Jacqueline explained how important flowers are for bees. Bees drink the nectar so they can make honey. As the bees fly from flower to flower, they are also gathering pollen on their bodies and spreading the pollen around which fertilizes more flowers and trees.

Bees fly from tree to tree and pollinate the flowers which will grow into fruit. Without bees, we do not get flowers, honey or fruit. Jaqueline also explained that the bees are in trouble, many are dying, and they need our help! Some of the children said they were afraid of bees but we were quick to explain that honey bees do not actually like to sting people. If they sting, they will die. If you stepped on a bee, it might sting you, but that’s because it’s scared.

We need flowers to help the bees stay alive so for our Kindergarten give, our way to help our planet, we planted sunflowers!

Jacqueline and Nick had flower pots, soil and seeds all ready for us. The children labeled their plant pots and carefully took turns scooping out the soil and planting their seed. Here they are at the time of planting:

And why we’ve waited until today:

We knew you’d be anticipating what our plants looked like, just as much as the children did every single day. Watching our children check their wee plant pots every morning just warms our gardening hearts. Gardening certainly fosters patience, acceptance and faith that your tiny seed will grow…does this sound a lot like teaching Kindergarten?

Today was an important day for our children to understand the impact one person can have on the Earth. We’d like to thank Jacqueline, Nic and Tyler for all their help in celebrating our planet.

You can read more about 365GIVE here.

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The Week in Our Room: May 8-12, 2017

We can’t believe it’s already Friday, and almost the middle of May!

For a regular five day school week it was actually pretty busy, with many changes, delightful interruptions and special visitors.

Our Library Book Exchange moved to Monday this week, instead of our regular Tuesday. By Monday at 2:55 pm the majority of children had two library books out (who knew last week’s book had to be returned for Monday?), rather than one, and that created great confusion about which book (one? both?) needed to be returned this week. We’re not really sure ourselves so we’re looking forward to next Tuesday when things return to normal. Please bring ALL school library books for Tuesday so we can start again.

On Monday we also had a wonderful visit from Elmer the Safety Elephant and Ruff the Dog of the North Shore Safety Council to talk about pedestrian safety. We always enjoy seeing our favourite elephant and dog and we were so pleased with our classes who know a great deal about keeping themselves safe while out walking in their community.

West Vancouver Secondary School’s Concert Band and Concert Choir came to Ridgeview on Wednesday to perform as part of their Feeder School Tour. These were amazing performances with so many Ridgeview alumni and our children were fortunate to see what the future looks like in the performing arts of their local high school. The children’s listening behaviour was outstanding. We are so proud to be their teachers.

We worked on a special art project for our contribution to the Ridgeview Parent Gala and Auction in aid of the Library Modernization Project happening at our school. We’re so grateful to our parent helpers who helped our children with their fingerprint flowers on what will be a gorgeous platter when it’s all finished. We will be sharing more information about the auction and how you can place a bid as soon as the details are finalised.

 

We had more performing arts fun when Mrs. Segers invited us to watch her Grade 3 students perform “Jane and the Dragon” and “Hearts and Tarts.” You might well imagine how tickled Christy and I are when we get to see our beloved Kindergarten children now in Grade 3 acting and speaking with such incredible confidence. These children might not be in Kindergarten anymore but they always, and forever will be, our students.

 

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Home Reading Book Exchange: Monday, Wednesday next week
Library Book Exchange is on Tuesday for both classes. Please return ALL library books.

Thursday, May 18 is Welcome to Kindergarten for the 2017-2018 Kindergarten students.

Friday, May 19, is a Professional Day. School is in session for teachers only.

Monday, May 22, is Victoria Day. Schools are not in session.

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This Week In Our Room: May 1-5, 2017

It’s been a super busy week with the Intermediate Musical, our Mother’s Day project, Alphabet Book finish-up, class photos and a discombobulated schedule. We are so proud of our classes for coming through it all with maturity, flexibility and a let’s do this attitude. We know ourselves how difficult it can be when our class’ timetables and schedules get switched around as we try to accommodate everything going on in our school. But we see the benefits of teaching self-regulation strategies to our children, talking aloud about our feelings and valuing the character traits of perseverance and resilience as we’ve pushed through. Everyone should take some well deserved rest over the weekend.

This week we coloured our Alphabet Book covers and glued them to the front of our books. We’re progressing slowly to finish up as much of the missed pages as we can, but we will only continue this for another week or so. At that point, we will send the books home and children can complete missed work at home.

It’s the beginning of May so we completed our beautiful self-portraits. It`s been amazing to watch the children’s skills develop as we revisit this project every month.

We started our study of Shapes and Geometry this week. We read Brown Rabbit’s Shape Book and did a very through brainstorming of know two-dimensional shapes. We will continue to explore the shapes through a variety of geometric math manipulatives, the common shapes we see in our environment and introduce some simple vocabulary.

We’re into Week 2 of Let’s Talk About Touching, focusing on ways to keep ourselves safe and healthy such as visiting the dentist and doctor when necessary. Tools such as toothbrushes, bandaids, soap and tissues are all useful items for looking after our bodies. Our next lessons will focus on fun and helpful touches.

We are successfully exchanging our Home Reading Books in class. We’re so happy to see the children remembering to return their books on the appointed book exchange days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Please remember this book is in addition to your daily read alouds at bedtime. Our children still need to hear you reading higher level books so they can learn more sophisticated vocabulary, complex sentence structures and questions and see you model reading aloud with expression and humour. We guarantee that these times of reading with your children will be among those most treasured by them as they grow up.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We’re back in the gym again for PE next week so please make sure your child has runners on your class’ PE days. We will be working together with both classes to teach the children how to run various relay styles in preparation for Sports Day on Friday, June, 16.

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This Week in Our Room: April 24-28, 2017

Now, look at this adorable little craft. It’s enough to make us go through the alphabet all over again just to get to this cutie-pie Zebra! Thanks again to Pinterest for their awesome alphabet craft inspiration this year. This is the last letter we will make in Kindergarten. Your child should have an (almost) complete set now hanging up at home, so that they can review the letter names and sounds.

It was another BIG week in the Kindergarten. We finished our last Itchy’s Alphabet sheet and this page, along with the zebra, will be sent home next week. It also meant that we completed our Alphabet Book!! Let’s have some thunderous applause (we certainly did in class!). We’ve been talking a lot about perseverance this week, and our children certainly demonstrated that as we made our way through 26 gorgeous pages of printing, drawings and labels over the past eight months. We’re going to add a bit of decoration to the cover and these precious books will be your children’s to keep. It’s time to buy a Rubbermaid container to store all of the wonderful Kindergarten keepsakes we will slowly be sending home.

In Social Studies, we continued with our discussions on Needs and Wants. The children are learning that Needs include food, shelter and clothing, and Wants are things like toys and video games. But to extend the concept, they are also discovering that some Needs, like clothing, can be also be divided into necessary clothing (warm, long sleeved shirt) and clothes we just want to have (branded shirts, fancy runners). We’re very proud of the children who seem to have quite a good understanding that Needs are things that keep us safe and healthy and beginning to articulate this more clearly.

As you know, April is Earth Month. We’ve seen the Earth Rangers, and back in March we watched Dreamrider Productions “Zero Heroes.” At school we have a food waste management program. And we even wrote our own big book!

But we couldn’t let it go by without asking our own Jacqueline and Nic Way (Tyler’s mom and older brother) of http://www.365give.ca to come in for both classes to talk about celebrating our Earth and how we can help to give back to our planet. Our children have an amazing knowledge base of the importance of recycling and they are all familiar with sorting papers, plastic, glass and organic food waste. Many have even been to the dump and know about donating clothes, footwear, toys and books as a means of reusing items. For a special give back to the earth and the honey bees, we planted sunflower seeds which the children will bring home after the plants have sprouted. We’ll be blogging our entire class discussion and activity in the next week.

Very quietly at the back of the classroom, we’ve been working on a special Mother’s Day project….we’re loving listening to your children talk about you It’s very sweet.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library Book Exchange – on Tuesday as usual for Division 15 (Mrs. Campbell’s class). Please note that Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin’s class) will have their book exchange on Thursday due to a conflict with the Ultimate Jamboree for Grade 7s.

Seussical – we’ll be watching a special dress rehearsal for students only on Tuesday morning. Thank you to Ms. Wilson for inviting us to watch our older brothers and sisters and Big Buddies!

The May homework calendar went home this week. Please return April’s calendar to school for a sticker.

We will start our Home Reading Program on Monday so look for a book coming home. We sent a letter regarding this program earlier this week.

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This Week in Our Room: April 18-21, 2017

There’s a sense of change in the air and it’s more than just the late arrival of Spring. We’re at the end of our huge focus on the Alphabet as we completed the letter Y this week. As we were looking through the children’s Alphabet Books in anticipation of last Thursday’s Student Led Conferences, it made us realise the ever increasing pace of the passage of time as we head into our final two months of Kindergarten. We’ve seen remarkable progress over the year and certainly a big jump again since Easter, in self-regulation, refined fine motor skills, emotional maturity and resilience when confronted with conflicts. We still have many fun and exciting activities planned for our classes and look forward to seeing their increasing independence as they approach this unique time of Grade 1’s in training.

Christy and I are feeling particularly nostalgic, and it’s going to get worse, as Christy’s oldest daughter, and my youngest child, my son, are beginning to think about their upcoming high school graduations and all that that entails. They’ve been been accepted by their universities of choice, so now it’s on to scholarship applications. Then, there’s the course finals, the Grade 12 Provincial English exam, graduation banquets and Convocation, not necessarily in that order, but all part of what we’ve got going on this Spring. Kindergarten children moving on to Grade 1, and our own kids moving on to…life.

This week we will complete Alphabet Z. Then, we’re going to have a few catch-up days to finish up the odd Alphabet page your children might have missed from sickness or travel. We will do what we can in class; however, if your children missed a great deal of school or was late to start in Ridgeview Kindergarten, you can certainly finish up the pages at home when we send home the books.

We will be starting our Fairy Tale unit next. We’ve told all the children the next theme for Sharing will be Fairy Tales, so please start talking about what Fairy Tale your child would like to bring to school for us to read aloud. It shouldn’t be more than about 15 minutes long so we can read it during Storytime.

We finished our big unit Numeracy unit this week, culminating with 10 and the delightful book, 10 Black Dots by Donald Crews. Using the frame, “___ dots can be a ___” our children each made a page to contribute to a big book of the same name, which we showcased as part of our Big Books Centre at Student Led Conferences. In the same way we revisit Patterns, Sorting and Classifying all year, we will continue to integrate Numeracy in our upcoming Math units on Geometry and Measurement.

On Wednesday we saw our Big Buddies, and started decorating our classrooms for Spring with our cute little robins. Our Buddies also brought books about Spring with them for a cosy Big Buddy Little Buddy reading time.

Of course, our big focus this past week was Student Led Conferences. The children were very excited to have you visit our classrooms so they could present their work. We just love watching our children with you, your deep love for one another and your interest and pleasure in looking at their printed letters, iMovies and colourful art work. One of the most fun things we did to prepare for you was walk through all the Centres and pretend we were “Mum.” Many of the children call us “Mum” by accident at school when they are super excited to show us something (“Hey Mum, I mean…”), an emergency bathroom visit (“Mum, I need to go…I mean…”) or they’ve had a spill on the table “MUM!” So imagine the smiles and giggles as we questioned and praised our “daughters” and “sons” for practise at each Centre! We would like to thank everyone for your kind and thoughtful words in our Guest Book. We both feel very privileged to be your child’s first schoolteacher and to participate in their learning, development and understanding of what it means to be a Ridgeview Dragon.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library Book Exchange is on Tuesday. Please bring your book back to school and into the classroom so it can be placed in the Library Book Bag.

Our class photo and school panorama photo will be taken on Friday, May 5! Please mark this important date on your calendar because we will want every student to be at school that day. Kindergarten classes usually have their photos taken first (while we are still neat and tidy, before we eat at recess) so it’s important to be on time for school as we mobilize very quickly following the morning bell.

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Tips for a Successful Student Led Conference: Getting the Most From Yours

The Self-Regulated Teacher’s favourite school day of the year is right around the corner: Student Led Conferences are on Thursday, April 20, 2017 this school year.

Christy and I have been holding Student Led Conferences (SLC) for many years; in fact, my first Student Led Conference as a teacher was here in West Vancouver at Chartwell Elementary School in 1990 when I was teaching Grade 3. We’ve gradually refined our practises to make it perfect for Kindergarten but the core tenets of the Conferences has always stayed the same: to provide an opportunity for students to communicate learning to their parents in a meaningful format; self-reflection for students to identify their personal accomplishments, strengths and areas for improvement; give parents an insight into how their children learn; and an inside look at student work, their classroom and school.

We’ve written extensively about Student Led Conferences at theselfregulatedteacher.com in 2015 and 2016. You can also read about Student Led Conferences in my Grade 3 classroom during my Chartwell days in Evaluating Literacy: A Perspective for Change (1991) by Robert J. Anthony, Terry D. Johnson, Norma I. Mickelson and Alison Preece.

Our Kindergarten Student Led Conferences are a twist on the traditional Student Led Conference. In the years we were teaching Grades 1-4, each student would welcome their parents to his or desk, where a curated selection of work would be waiting in a file. A letter of welcome for parents, plus a class created agenda, provide structure for the Conference time.

In Kindergarten, however, we use a Centre approach, in much the same way we use Centres during the morning Activity Time, Math Centres, or our focus afternoon Centre Time. Parents can expect to see an Alphabet Centre, Math Centre with tasks and participate in the daily Calendar activities as part of our Student Led Conferences.

Kindergarten is a special grade, the first formal schooling for most children, the first Student Led Conference for most parents, and it’s important for us to set the tone and expectations for how the Conferences are conducted because you’ll be enjoying them for the next eight years while at Ridgeview. As one of two informal Communicating Learning opportunities, we want this to be a positive and successful experience for you and your child. The format will be different as you move through the grades, but its value is always the same: priceless.

Here’s our Top 10 tips for a successful Student Led Conference:

1. Sign-up for your child’s Student Led Conference. In Kindergarten, we have a limited number of families we will host in our classroom for each time slot. Kindergarten sign-up sheets are posted outside the classrooms; all other Grades are posted in the main hallway near the Library.

2. Arrange for care for your other children, particularly toddlers and preschoolers, so you can focus on your Kindergarten child. Older children can wait outside on the playground.

3. Arrive on time for your Student Led Conference and remember to bring your child with you. This Conference is for you and your child. We’ve had several instances where our students were left at home with a babysitter, on the playground or at the childcare centre.

4. Give praise and specific, positive comments to your child eg., “I like how you used a variety of colours in your drawing;” recognise that your child might find some tasks difficult so encourage them to keep trying their best.

5. Be mindful of your Conference duration and gently remind your child when it is time to go; other families are waiting for their turn.

6.Keep socialising with other parents to a bare minimum. Your focus is on your child.

7.  Be respectful of the SLC of other students and their parents by keeping your own child close to you at all times.

8. Refrain from engaging your child’s teacher in a discussion about your child’s progress; the teacher is supporting all students during the SLC process and has many jobs to do. If you would like an interview, make an appointment on another day for a mutually agreeable day and time.

9. This goes without saying, but our cell phones are a distraction. Please support us by turning off and putting all electronic devices away. Please do not take phone calls during your child’s conference: it’s disrespectful of the preparation we’ve done with your children; the other families; and most importantly, your children who are very, very excited to be the centre of your attention to share their learning with you.

10. Please do not bring any hot drinks into the classroom. It’s not safe to be carrying a hot drink around with so many small children present, and for the precious schoolwork which we have out on the tables in case of spills.

Our Ridgeview Principal, Mrs. Valerie Brady, has also written about Student Led Conferences. You’ll find an excerpt from this post on the Principal blog.

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This Week in Our Room: April 10-13, 2017

There was a lot of talk about kisses and hugs this week…we’re working on the letter X in the alphabet! We read one of our favourite books, Alphabet Mystery by Audrey and Bruce Wood, as our literacy connection (and indulged my fondness for mystery books of all kinds). Only two more letters to go and we will have finished teaching all of the letter names, sounds and formation for upper and lower case letters. Our children will show you their Alphabet Books on Thursday, at their Student Led Conferences. You will be amazed at their progress this school year.

 

The Earth Rangers came by with a special presentation on the protection of animals and their habitat. Special visitors included Quillo the porcupine; Crimson the Tegu lizard; Katira the falcon; and Sonic the barn owl.

 

The Easter Bunny came early to the Kindergarten in the way of some very fun crafts and activities. First up — wax crayon resist patterned eggs. We had quite a bit of fun dreaming up patterning ideas using lines, dots, letters and symbols with our crayons. Then, we applied a paint wash using tempera paint pucks. Our efforts created a beautiful Easter basket full of eggs.

Next — Easter egg decorating! Thanks so very much to our parent volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to help our children make two kinds of decorated eggs: a simple wax crayon resist egg, and a batiked egg. We used crepe paper to make our dye (pour boiling water over the cut up crepe paper to drain the colour; let it sit overnight and remove the paper in the morning). The children already knew what to expect from the wax crayon resist technique, but using pipettes to dribble colour on their fabric wrapped egg was a new method.

For a little more Easter fun, we gave each of our children an Easter egg which contained some alphabet letters, Easter grass, jelly beans and mini chocolate eggs. With a bit of colouring, letter matching, gluing and snacking on sweet things, we’ve created a special message for you:

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Library Book Exchange on Tuesday. Please bring your library book into the classroom for the library book bag.

Thursday, April 20: Early Dismissal at 1:50 pm for Kindergarten students only. Please be on time. If you child attends Camp Ridgeview, we would appreciate it if you could inform them of this change in schedule.

Student Led Conferences: We’ve got just about every family signed up for Student Led Conferences on Thursday. Please remember to bring your Kindergarten child to the conference. We would prefer that arrangements be made for siblings so that you can focus on your child’s conference.

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This Week in Our Room: April 3-7, 2017

Well, the weather outside this Spring is frightful, but here in the Kindergarten, we’ve moved on to summer (at least in our thoughts) with our delicious “w is a watermelon” craft this week. We’ve been updating all of our Alphabet crafts this year so the children can create them with more independence. This might have been a bit of a stretch with all of the gluing, measuring and trimming but we think our classes did an admirable job.

Speaking of Spring, we are having a ton of fun with our Sharing Theme, “Signs of Spring.” Thank you to everyone who has had a turn so far, for bringing in photos and cuttings from your gardens, hand-drawn pictures, Easter baskets, bunny ears, stuffed animals and storybooks. We are learning so much about seasonal changes from Winter to Spring (technically, that is, as the warmer temperatures are nowhere to be seen). We’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible. For sure we can say that our rainboots are getting a lot of use this year.

We saw our Big Buddies on Wednesday to make the Bunny Baskets for Easter egg decorating this week.

On Tuesday we held a very special Nowruz celebration that was organised by our Farsi-speaking parents in the two Kindergarten classes. The children participated in five different centres in their own classrooms, including several crafts, and learning about the haft seen table. This was a cross-generational occasion with classroom parents, grandmothers and a parent from last year’s Kindergarten to help and join in the fun. Then, all 40 students gathered in my room to enjoy a food tasting, banquet style, of savoury and sweet delights. Truly, all of the great cultural celebrations are centred around the sharing of food, conversation and enjoyment of others’ company. We feel very privileged to have had such a the high level of parent involvement in our classrooms.

Let’s Dance! You’re looking at the next generation of hip hop dancers! We’re so proud of our Kindergarten — what an accomplishment in learning such a complex dance routine, following our dance teacher’s instructions and working together as a group. Thank you for helping your child with their dance “costume” – we looked really awesome!  (Photo from Twitter)

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Tuesday is Library Book Exchange. Please have your children bring their library book into the classroom to place in the library book bin.

We’ll be colouring Easter eggs next week. Thanks to the parents volunteers for coming in to help.

Save the Date: Student Led Conferences take place on Thursday, April 20. We will let you know through a Remind text when the sign-up sheet is posted. We plan to accommodate only 5 families at a time, for a 25 minute conference for student and parents. This conference is for your Kindergarten child so siblings should wait on the playground. Kindergarten students only will be dismissed at 1:50 pm. Our conferences start at 2:00 pm promptly so please be on time to pick up your child. For parents new to Student Led Conferences, you need to bring your child to the conference. The children will be in charge and leading the conference.

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