The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

Kindergarten Home and School Communication

img_1970Today was a beautiful October day.  The leaves were in their autumnal shades of red, orange and yellow, the sunlight shining down through the trees and a beautiful fresh smell in the air telling us that fall will soon be over and winter is coming.  

We’ve already had a particularly busy time this year as Christy and I each have a child graduating from high school.  We’ve already been shopping for evening wear for our kids’ Grad events, making Grad photo appointments and the kids have been attending information sessions about universities, requesting letters of reference and preparing their resumes.  

When folks with younger children ask, “How do you know what to do to get your child ready for Grad?” the answer is simple:  The Grads hear about events and activities at school; but for the parents, we must read the weekly school newsletters (bulletins) and any communication from the Administration.   But the newsletter isn’t just for Grade 12:  we’ve been reading school weekly bulletins since our children were in Kindergarten, so we’ve come to expect that important information regarding Graduation, plus concerts, sporting events and school services will appear here.  

Communicating student learning is a vital part of a successful school experience for you and your child.  Home and school communication can consist of many components, depending upon your child’s school.  In our Kindergarten we have the following:

  • Weekly Ridgeview e-bulletin
  • Weekly classroom online newsletters on our Kindergarten website theselfregulatedteacher.com
  • Weekly blog posts on our Kindergarten website theselfregulatedteacher.com
  • Remind texts from the teacher app
  • Informal parent-teacher interviews with your child’s teacher(s) (by appointment)
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences with your child’s teacher(s) (scheduled)
  • Report cards (three formal reports a year)
  • Student-led Conferences (scheduled)
  • Open House for Holiday events (impromptu)
  • Student work sent home (weekly Alphabet work)

Weekly Ridgeview e-bulletin.  Did you know our wonderful office administrative assistant sends a Ridgeview e-bulletin to your email every Thursday?  If you’re not receiving this valuable piece of home-school communication, please check with the office to ensure your e-mail address is correct in our system.  It’s very important that you read the school newsletter.  There is a great deal of information provided to you that we would not necessarily include in our This Week in Our Room online newsletter because it would make our newsletter too long.  However, to have the complete picture about what’s going on at school for your Kindergarten child, please ensure you read both newsletters.

Theselfregulatedteacher.com and Remind.  We write a weekly newsletter and weekly blog post (most weeks) on our Kindergarten website specifically for our classroom parents so you are informed every week about the fun and exciting things your child is learning at school.  One of our goals is to provide you with enough information so you can open discussions with your child about what’s happening in class.  Instead of asking your child, “What did you do today?” you can say, “Tell me about how your teacher printed the letter E today,” or “I heard you were making AAB patterns.  Let’s make these patterns with some treasures at home.”  We also try to include upcoming events and reminders so you know ahead of time what you need to prepare with your child.  The Remind texts are simply notes and reminders for you about what we did at school, or what your child might need in the next few days.  We’ve made our classroom communication available online so all parents can have equal access at the same time.

Informal interviews with your child’s teacher.  In the same way that we make appointments to see our family doctor or dentist, we ask that you contact us to make an appointment to schedule an interview.  We really want to talk to you when you ask us for a few minutes as you arrive at the door with your child, but it’s not a good time.  We have five minutes, from the time the entry bell rings to when the school starts singing “O Canada,” to welcome each child, gather papers and library books and then settle them into their first routine of the day.   If we’re talking to you, then we are not welcoming or supervising the children, who are our priority.  Let us know in the morning if you want to get together to chat; send an email, or write a note to ask for an appointment, and we’ll get back to you when we can to arrange a mutually agreeable time.

Five reporting periods per school year.  We just finished our Parent-Teacher Conferences this week.  It was the second conference following the Parent Intake Conferences (as part of the Kindergarten Gradual Entry) we held in September.  Therefore, it’s easy to understand the confusion that these conferences might occur monthly.  Rather, these scheduled conferences where we dismiss the entire school early occur once in the school year, in the fall.  We have additional interviews by appointment only, typically on an as needed basis which will differ between families.

Schools provide five reporting periods per school year:  there are three formal written report cards (at the end of each term); and we have two scheduled informal reporting periods.  At Ridgeview the October Parent-Teacher Conference was the first informal reporting session; and Student-Led Conferences, the second informal reporting session, will be held next Spring.  

1 Comment »

This Week in Our Room:  October 24-28, 2016

fullsizerender-2This week we unveiled the children’s beautiful Alphabet Books to them.  We have been drawing and labelling pictures, and practising printing upper and lowercase letters, for each Letter of the Week.  We’ve been sending home the weekly Itchy’s Alphabet pages and the letter craft, but we keep the “formal” printing pages here at school.  Up until this point, all of the children’s work had been completed on individual sheets until they were used to our routine.  Four letters later, we’ve collated everybody’s work into their individual books so now each child will work out of his or her own book.

We’ve explained to the children we want them to care for their Alphabet Book, and to love it by taking pride in doing their very best work, turning the pages gently and follow the teacher’s instructions.  When they have finished learning all of the letters, the children can take proudly bring their Alphabet Book home as a wonderful keepsake from Kindergarten.

We’ve had a rough go of weather this month and this last week of October has been a doozy.  Generally, our students have been managing quite well with boots, raincoats and wet socks.  They’ve become much better using their zippers and remembering to put their hood on (although we still have a few wet heads).  Thank you for supporting us in sending indoor shoes along with boots and changes of clothing.  We’ve been told it’s going to be a wet winter with warmer temperatures so all of this practise is going to make perfect.

We’re keeping busy with a variety of Hallowe’en activities.  This week we worked on our Hallowe’en word bank vocabulary, painted bats as a fun craft and completed these adorable faces for the painted pumpkins we made last week.

img_6034

We also saw our Big Buddies, who each brought a Hallowe’en picture book (or two or three) to read aloud to the Little Buddies.  There was a lot of enthusiastic reading and follow-up discussions.

We’re sending home the November Scholastic Order Form today, along with the November Homework Calendar.  We don’t want to forget to give these out on Monday when we will definitely have other things on our mind.

Speaking of next Monday, Ridgeview continues its annual tradition of a Hallowe’en Parade and Assembly.  Our children are invited to wear their costumes to school; please have your children wear their regular clothes underneath their costume as we will be removing costumes promptly after the Assembly.  Please note that no weapons (swords, lightsabres) may be brought to school.  School begins at the usual time (8:50 am), and following the singing of “O Canada” and the morning announcements, Primary students participate in a parade led by our Principal, Mrs. Brady.  Parents are welcome to line the hallways to watch.  We will be sending home an information letter on paper with further details.

img_1971Centre Time will take place after recess, and we will add a few Hallowe’en Centres for some fun!

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events and Reminders

The Earthquake Student Release will be taking place on Thursday, November 3rd.  An information letter was sent home with Thursday’s e-bulletin so please review the procedure.  The pick up time for ALL Kindergarten students is 1:45 pm.  If you are unable to pick up your child at this time, please arrange for the alternate guardian to do so.  This is the person or persons you designated on your emergency forms at the beginning of the school year.   It is important that you or your alternate guardian bring photo ID with you when you pick up your child.   The Student Release Centre / Parent and Student Reunion Area will be established near the portable area. You (or approved Alternate) are asked to report to the east undercover area at the designated times (1:45 for K). We suggest you walk to the school, as you would after an earthquake. Please DO NOT park in the school parking lot or bring your dog.

Hallowe’en Candy Collection: One of the many Ridgeview traditions is to make candy-filled Christmas crackers at Christmas time.  These crackers are then donated to several organizations such as our sister school, Grandview Elementary, Covenant House, and the North Shore Crisis Centre.  For the crackers, we ask that each student donate some of their Halloween candy.  Please support us by having your child choose some candy to bring into school during the first week of November (please no Halloween-themed candy).

On Monday, November 7, 2016, the Grade 7 students will be holding their first Popcorn Sale of the year.  This event is always a big hit with the Kindergarten.  We usually all purchase a bag and then enjoy munching on our popcorn treat outside, sitting on the benches and socializing with our friends.  Popcorn is $1 per bag and all proceeds go to the Grade 7 Grad year-end activities.

Photo Retakes will take place on Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Please return your November Homework calendar for a sticker

November Scholastic Orders are due Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  There are lots of wonderful Christmas books for purchase.  If you are purchasing some books as gifts please make a note on your order form.  We will then bag up your order and deliver it to you discreetly so no little Kindergarten eyes will see!

School will not be in session on Friday, November 11, 2016 for Remembrance Day.  We will be having a school wide assembly to honour this day on Thursday, November 10th.

School will not be in session on Monday, November 14, 2016 for a Non-Instructional Day.

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room: October 17-20, 2016

imageFor only four days this week we were certainly very busy! Fine motor skill work was certainly at the forefront of everything we did during this rainy October week.

We finished the letter D in our Alphabet Books, and made these super cute diamond D’s as our craft. We will send home the children’s printing sheet and their craft in the next few days.

The children learned about colour mixing yellow, orange and red to make various versions of orange for our Painted Pumpkins. We started by using introducing pastels to the children which they love, because they are so smooth and give lots of colour without having to press too hard. After drawing the outline and ribs of the pumpkin as a full group, they mixed their colours using their pumpkin drawing as a palette. We want to provide multiple opportunities to use a variety of art tools and materials for our students to discover ways to creatively express themselves individually and as a group, and to see their work as a means of connecting with, and communicating their ideas, with the greater community. This project is from Deep Space Sparkle, our favourite Art website by Patty Palmer. Patty is a true inspiration for teachers and students alike!

Wednesday is the most highly anticipated day of the week as it’s Buddy Time in the afternoon. We’re starting to get ready for Halloweèen, so each Little Buddy made a Hallowe’en wreath supported by his or her Big Buddy. Our children are beginning to use a variety of tracers and templates – manageable for small hands, using both hands at the same time (writing hand, helping hand), and LOTS of scissor and gluestick work. A few stickers and a pretty bow make these little wreaths something very special!

image

We are really pleased with the children’s developing independence at managing their raincoats and boots. On a really rainy day, your child is changing their shoes 4 times – at morning recess, after morning recess, at lunch recess and after lunch recess. Needless to say, they’ve all become quite proficient with their boots after the downpours we’ve been having this week. You can see why slip-on shoes work best for us. We’ve been trying to help the children pull their sleeves back through their jackets before hanging them up. Admittedly, we’ve been having quite a bit of fun watching the teachers put their arms through the sleeves and flap around like a bird, but any teaching you can do at home would be very helpful! Thank you.

On Thursday, along with many others, Ridgeview conducted an Earthquake Preparedness Emergency Drill. In class, we told our children ahead of time this event was going to occur and that we need to practise so that in the event of a real emergency, we would be ready. We reviewed “Drop, Cover, Hold” moving quickly but calmly to the tables to crawl underneath, and counted to 60 as instructed. Here was another valuable opportunity for us to focus on the importance of our self-regulation; as the teacher counted, children could count as well (and many did) or they could focus on their breathing as a means of helping them to stay calm and focused. We reassured the children that although they may feel scared and want their parents, we were very experienced in looking after our classes during these sorts of drills and would take very good care of them if there was ever a real emergency.

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Early Dismissal next week for Parent/Teacher Conferences on Monday, Oct. 24th and Thursday, Oct. 27th at 2pm. Please pick up your child promptly at 2pm as we start our conferences
right away. If you have not already signed up for a conference time please do so Monday.

October 31st we will hold our annual Hallowe’en Parade. The students are allowed to wear their costumes for the parade. Parents are invited to watch the parade in the hallways. We ask that costumes not be too scary as this can be extremely frightening for some students. Swords, wands, or other costumes accessories that need to carried should be left at home. After the parade students will change out of their costumes into their regular clothes.

Ridgeview is also participating in the “We Scare Hunger Campaign”. We will be collecting non-perishable food items for our sister school, Grandview Elementary. Grandview is an inner-city school in Vancouver. The school has a food bank directly in their school that parents and students often visit daily. When choosing items to donate please encourage your child to help pick a few things they might really enjoy themselves. Our hope is to fill Ms. Wilson’s (our grade 7 buddy teacher) truck full of donated food!

Leave a comment »

The Zones of Regulation

fullsizerender-1You’ve probably heard it at home by now, that in Kindergarten we’re all about the Zones.

Those zones would be the “Zones of Regulation” from her excellent book, The Zones of Regulation by Leah M. Kuypers.

Christy and I started using the Zones of Regulation with our students a few years ago.  Briefly, it’s a curriculum on recognising one’s needs, impulses and emotional state (alertness); a classification system for feelings and emotions (the four Zones); the teaching of self-regulation skills and strategies; and the social awareness of how one’s behaviour may be seen by, and can affect, others.

Self-regulation is the foundation of our Kindergarten program.  Although what we do at our grade level is just an introduction, we support our children by teaching them to be aware of, and identify, their needs and emotions; accept that all emotions are present and valid; introduce and practise self-regulation skills and strategies to help them to manage their needs and emotions; and to choose appropriate social responses to the specific situation or environment (social awareness).

From the stories we’ve heard at school from the children and yourself, we know that many of the children have begun to use and apply their knowledge about the Zones at home:

When we’re in the green zone we are feeling calm, happy, focused, relaxed and ready to learn.When we’re in the yellow zone we are scared, excited, frustrated or getting carried away.When we’re in the red zone we are feeling very frustrated, angry and our body is out of control. When we’re in the blue zone we are feeling sad, tired or sleepy.

We teach the children that all the zones are “good.”  For example, you want to be excited and have energy (a higher state of alertness) when we’re on the playground or playing a sport so the yellow zone is where we want to be.  If we are tired or sick (a lower level of alertness), then perhaps recognising that we need to rest and play a quiet activity would be a better choice.   We are in the green zone when listening attentively at the meeting area, following teacher instructions, working on-task at our table groups, cooperating and playing well with our friends–it’s the optimal zone for learning.  We always try to identify and describe green zone behaviours so the children know what those behaviours might look like and sound like.

The red zone can be a bit trickier.  Just because we are angry and in the red zone does not mean we are “bad;” indeed, being angry and articulating (calmly) that we are angry is ok, but it’s how we respond which is key.  As parents and teachers, we need to calmly talk about our feelings and why we feel the way we do so that our children see what a socially appropriate response for a very high level of alertness and energy looks like.  We teach the children that yelling, hitting, pushing and throwing things are not socially acceptable responses and that there are other strategies to navigate their way.  Typically we would start identifying how a student is feeling, start a calming countdown (count backwards from 10) and then deep breathing together until words can be articulated and go from there.

We actively refer to the Zones throughout the day, what we observe about the energy in the classroom or where we should be for a specific activity.   The children are learning that different situations require different responses depending upon the context of the current social situation, and what should we do to get there–up-regulate or down-regulate.  We might need to up-regulate our energy with an Action Break if we’re feeling tired during instruction; or down-regulate our excitement with a slow, cool drink of water if we’re returning to our classroom after playing outside.

We practise a variety of self-regulation strategies in class.

At the beginning of the year, we taught deep breathing as a strategy for calming, using the Breathing Ball as a visual for breathing in and breathing out.  We did this first, so that the children would know how to breathe deeply down into their tummy (spine straight, in through our nose (silently), out through our mouth (silently) and keep our shoulders down).

The great thing about deep breathing for calming is that you always have your breath with you.  We can use this strategy when we are in line waiting to get into the gym for an Assembly or if our classroom line-up is exceptionally noisy.

Another strategy we’ve added has been to listen to music, from Jazz to New Age to Classical, for calming and relaxation following the morning recess.  Then, we work on our mindfulness by using the Zenergy chime to train our minds to focus and be in the present.  We also incorporate deep breathing into this time as well (having prioritized the teaching and practising of this strategy in September).  The children are experts as they have already had multiple opportunities to practise.

One of the primary roles of the teacher is to be a model of self-regulation.  Our ability to stay calm and focused, and to regulate and articulate our own emotional state, means we are better able to assist your children with regulating their optimal (green zone) state for learning.  Consider taking the time for your own “self-regulatory moment.”  In a busy classroom, we know it is very healthy, leaving all of us feeling energized and refreshed for the next part of the teaching day.

1 Comment »

This Week in Our Room:  October 11-14, 2016

img_5980In our Alphabet work, we are listening to alphabet stories, brainstorming words that begin with the letter of the week, and teaching the alphabet sounds and the correct letter formation for the upper and lowercase letters.

“C” is our letter of the week.  We made our delightful caterpillar “c’s” which we will send home next week.  We will profile each letter we worked on in the newsletter, but the children’s alphabet craft and printing sheet will not come home until the following week.

But we’re not just teaching the Alphabet.  As part of our balanced approach to literacy instruction, we’re developing the children’s phonological awareness in the areas of sounds, syllables, rhymes and words.  Over the past few weeks we’ve been working on words, specifically focusing on syllables or parts of words.  Right now, the children are listening to the teacher say the parts (syllables) of words, then blending them together to say the complete word (eg., kit-chen = kitchen).  This is all part of oral language instruction which includes read-aloud books and storytelling, shared reading experiences such as poems, songs and chants and our teaching of the individual alphabet letters and sounds.  When we’re talking about sounds, we mean phonemic awareness, or the awareness that speech is made up of sounds in a specific sequence.  For more on phonemic awareness and phonological awareness click here.

You can imagine how important the children’s self-regulation is during oral language instruction.  It’s why we work so hard with our students all through the year on their listening skills; calming strategies to prepare themselves for instruction; mindfulness to focus and concentrate on the lesson and a positive attitude to foster a lifelong love of learning.  We listen to calming music, practise deep breathing and mindfulness daily, so that we are feeling relaxed, happy and in the green zone — ready to learn!

In Math, we are creating AB and ABC pattern multilink trains.  The children are learning a pattern needs to be repeated three times (eg., ABABAB) to show it is indeed, a pattern.

The children saw their beloved Grade 7 Big Buddies on Wednesday.  We’re beginning a new seasonal activity in Buddy Reading where our Big Buddies will select picture books to read aloud to their Little Buddies.  Then the children will work on some literary awareness skills (title, directionality, one-to-one word correspondence) and finally, draw a picture and talk about their favourite part.  We had a practise run this week, and will start officially with a fun Hallowe’en picture book in a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much to everyone for sending along rainboots and raincoats this week.  The children have achieved a high level of independence in changing into their boots and coats, necessary for Westcoast living.  Although we still have lots of inside-out sleeves (they make fun wings), we’ve made significant progress since September.  Please remember that if your child wears shoes with laces to school, he or she should know how to tie those laces.  Tying laces is not a skill we teach in the Kindergarten.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We will be adding a sharing component to our Special Helper program next week. In addition to the daily Special Helper duties, the Special Helper will have the opportunity to bring in a special sharing.  Our sharing always has a theme and for the month of October and November our theme is “I Like Me”.  The students are asked to bring in three objects that tell about him or herself.  These objects should fit into a small Ziploc bag. There is more information posted on the parent boards and a sample Ziploc bag. The student calendar is also posted. Please help your child gather these items a few days prior to their Special Helper day and have them practice “sharing” with you.

Monday, October 17:  Parent Teacher Conference Sign-up.  The sign up sheets will be posted outside of the office.

Friday, October 21:  Provincial Professional Day.  School is not in session for students.

Monday, October 24 and Thursday, October 27:  2:00 Early Dismissal for Parent Teacher Conferences – please be on time to pick up your child as we start our conferences promptly at 2:10 pm.

Leave a comment »

Happy Turkey Day!

 

 

img_1874
Happy Thanksgiving from The Self-Regulated Teacher.  We’re thankful for our health, love of family and friends, and of course, our wonderful Kindergarten children and their families!

Here’s some Thanksgiving love for you from your children:

I am thankful for…

  • Hugs from Mom and Dad
  • My birthday because my friends bring me presents
  • Food to eat
  • Basketball
  • My garden
  • My home
  • My body being healthy
  • My brothers and sisters
  • My school
  • Friends to play with
  • My parents
  • Fall leaves
  • My mom for taking me on a Disney boat
  • My mom takes me to Grandma and Grandpa’s
  • My mom gives me presents
  • Activities to go to afterschool
  • Airplanes to take us places 
  • The beach

Dear little thoughts from very dear little people….have a wonderful day with your family!

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room: October 3-7, 2016

fullsizerenderIt’s Thanksgiving Week in the Kindergarten and we’ve been doing all things Turkey.

We’ve read a variety of Thanksgiving stories, including some of our long-time favourites, Franklin’s Thanksgiving (Paulette Bourgeois) and The Thankful Book (Todd Parr).  We brainstormed the many, many things we are thankful for; it’s a special list which we will share with you on Sunday.  From these ideas, each child made a thankful leaf.  They independently drew their own pictures and the teachers scribed their wonderful ideas.

It was time to see our Big Buddies on Wednesday.  It’s become a tradition to make a Thanksgiving centrepiece in Kindergarten so we made our very fun, adorable turkeys.  Each child brought his or hers home for the holiday table.  One of the most fun things Christy and I have been doing is teaching Kindergarten long enough so that our former Kindergarten students are now our Big Grade 7 Buddies.  Many of the senior students had a huge smile when they saw the familiar turkey craft and shared that they still had theirs at home.

img_5946

We’ve been learning about Patterns in Mathematics.  Patterning, sorting and classifying are part of our foundation teaching in Math.  We’re teaching our children how patterns can be found in daily living, nature and surrounding environment.  Sorting and classifying objects helps us to organise, categorise and group together similar concepts.  Our September pattern was AB and now it’s AAB for October.  We’ve been using a variety of math manipulatives to explore and create patterns, and during our daily Math Their Way calendar we are extending our monthly patterns every day.  For Thanksgiving, we coloured turkeys using warm colours and selected our own pattern for the feathers.

img_5901

As always at the beginning of the month, we drew our monthly self-portraits according to our criteria of Big (fill your space), Bright (use five colours or more) and Beautiful (do your personal best).  We love the growth we see in our children as the school year moves along; they’ve become very attentive to the details in their drawings and working towards independently meeting the criteria.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, October 10, is Thanksgiving Day, so schools are not in session.

October Scholastic orders are due Tuesday, October 11th. The online payment for parents is available now.

Family BINGO Night Order forms are due Wednesday October 12th

If you would like to order your child’s photo, please have the form handed into your child’s teacher no later than Tuesday, October 11th.

Parent/Teacher Interviews are scheduled to take place October 24th and 27th, and there will be a 2:00 pm early dismissal on these days.  Look for the sign-up sheets outside the library starting Monday, October 17th.

With the rainy days ahead, please ensure your child has shoes to wear inside, boots to wear outside and a rain jacket.

 

3 Comments »

Meet the Kindergarten

img_5893Our school held a “Meet My Teacher” information afternoon this year, rather than our traditional school Curriculum Night.  Organised much like our Student Led Conferences, students were dismissed early; parents made an appointment for themselves, and their child introduced their parents to their teacher(s) and informed them about the classroom routines and curriculum.  The Kindergarten did not participate in this event as we had our Parent Intake Conferences the same week.

However, in Kindergarten there is always so much information for parents new to Ridgeview and parents new to Kindergarten and Ridgeview, that we’ve taken classroom routines and expectations from our Kindergarten Curriculum Night presentation and put it online.  

Meet the Kindergarten.  We are really enjoying teaching our classes this year.  The children are settling in well and adjusting to their new teachers and the classroom routines and expectations.  You may find your child is tired at the end of the day and that is for good reason, because they are all working extremely hard.  By the time Thanksgiving arrives, we will all begin to notice remarkable changes in their maturity, and their ability to self-regulate and manage their day.  We remind ourselves every day to be very patient with our classes as they make this important transition to being a full-day student.

Pick-up and Drop-off Routines.  The Kindergarten day begins at 8:50 am.  Children should wait quietly with their parents outside their classrooms. The teachers will open the door at 8:50 am. The children can independently hang up their coats and backpacks. A quick kiss and “goodbye” at the door, and a prompt exit by parents, has really helped reduce any separation issues and allows us to start our day on time.

“O Canada” is sung by our entire school population promptly at 8:55 am (in English Monday-Thursdays; in French on Fridays).  If you are dropping off at that time, please assist your children by encouraging them to come in silently and limit conversation in the cloakroom or hallway.

If you arrive after 9:00 am and the attendance has been sent up to the office, your child is considered late.  Please walk up to the office with your child, sign in, and then bring him or her back to class. You must also sign your child out at the office if you need to pick up early.

Your children should know each day how they are getting home.  Sometimes they tell us they don’t know who is picking them up, or wonder if they are going to the after school childcare centre.  We always reassure the children that we will look after them, but they will feel more secure and confident throughout the day knowing who will be there to greet them at 2:55 pm.

At dismissal, we make sure we see a parent or caregiver before we dismiss your child. If there is a change in pick up, such as with another child’s family, please let us know.  If your plans change at the last minute please call the school office, not another parent in the class.  Our school office will communicate your message directly to us.  We are able to release your child to another parent only with your permission.

fullsizerender-20Snack and Lunch Routines.  The children should use a lunch kit to bring their food to school.  It’s very awkward for them to be taking numerous containers and a water bottle out from their backpack and juggle them into the classroom.  Their lunch kit then goes into their backpack, which is also used to hold their weekly library book, notices and artwork for home.

We have snack twice a day.  We eat morning snack from 10:20-10:40 am, when the rest of the school is having outside recess time.  Our Kindergarten classes go out for recess from 10:40-11 am, and the children are supervised by playground supervisors as that is when the teachers take their break.  Our second snack time is around 2:30-2:45 pm, after our afternoon outside recess.

You might consider placing the morning and afternoon snacks in separate ziplocs or label the snacks to make it easier for your child.  Please tell your children what bag or container is for snack, and which one is for lunch, because sometimes they do get confused as they are still very young.

Please send a water bottle that is non-spill and refillable.  We are allowed to use the hallway water bottle refiller so the children can drink fresh, filtered water.  We encourage you just to send water, rather than juice, as it’s healthier and part of our healthy eating philosophy

Lunch begins at 12:00 pm and the children have about 25 minutes to eat. Currently they are supervised by an adult lunchtime supervisor and Grade 7 monitors.

We encourage your children to eat but we cannot make them eat and finish their lunches.  We always send home the uneaten food so you are able to see what your child is eating on a daily basis. Have a discussion with your children about what they like to eat, and have them help you to choose what goes in their snacks and lunches.

The Hot Lunch Program began this past week.  The children seemed to enjoy their food but we ask that you do not use the Hot Lunch Program as an opportunity for your child to try new foods here at school.  Please continue to send some snacks and a lunch from home until it’s certain that your child will eat the preordered food.  It creates a difficult situation when your child will not eat their Hot Lunch and there is no other alternative in their lunch bag.  Please send your child’s water bottle everyday, even if he or she orders lunch and a drink.

FullSizeRender-10Pack In/Pack Out Routine.  We call our waste management system at Ridgeview “Pack In/Pack Out.”  Children can bring a ziploc bag to collect their organic garbage and packaging waste to take home.  Many children simply put the garbage in their lunch bag which they seem to be comfortable doing.

 

 


img_5937Self-Care Expectations
.  The children are managing their washroom situations, which is washrooms located in Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s classroom, and the children in Mrs. Daudlin’s class use the hallway washrooms.  We’re very diligent about hand washing and we try to check in with the children as they are returning from the washrooms.

We do remind the children at every break opportunity to use the washroom, but many of them are so excited to go outside or they don’t want to miss anything in class so they try to wait.  This is an important discussion for you to have with your child.

In the case of a bathroom accident, your child should have an extra set of clothes to leave at school in a small shopping bag to hang on his or her hook.  It’s a good idea in the event of rain or puddles or muddy spills to have clothes here.  Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s class can use their bathrooms to change, and Mrs. Daudlin’s children may use a staff washroom so they have space and privacy.

img_1821When Should I Keep My Sick Child at Home from School?  We have found over the years, that even though a child is not feeling well, he or she still wants to come to school.  However, your sick child does not have the patience or energy to deal with the demands of the school day, friendship issues or school work expectations.  For the mutual benefit of the children, the children’s families and our teaching staff, a sick child needs to stay at home.

We spoke with Vancouver Coastal Health as they developed their new poster “When Should I Keep My Sick Child Home for School?” when we were writing our blog post, Your Kindergarten Child’s Good Health last January.  Please keep your children home from school if they have are vomiting, have a fever or diarrhea.  This includes known communicable diseases such as pink eye, chicken pox, strep throat, measles or an undiagnosed rash.

If your children have a very runny nose they cannot manage independently, or a bad chesty cough, those might also be reasons for them to stay at home.  We understand fully as working parents ourselves that it is not always convenient to take a day off from work to stay home with your sick child; however, we are unable to look after a sick child at school, nor are we able keep sick children inside during the playtime breaks.  A child who has taken a day or two to rest and get well at home is going to be back to health faster and more able to fight a future illness.

If your child is sick, we ask you to call the school call back line each day your child is away.

Communication through Remind.  This year we will be using “Remind,” a communication system to keep you informed through text messages or email.  Please subscribe if you have not yet already done so, and remember that this code is for parents and caregivers only.  Please feel free to come and see us about your child at any time during the year.  We are usually available for a quick chat after school; in the morning at drop-off time is difficult for us to talk as we are trying to welcome and settle the children in the classroom.  If you would like to speak with us and need a longer time, please arrange a meeting time with us. We will often call parents in at 2:55 pm if we need to share something with your briefly or talk about your child’s day

Communication through theselfregulatedteacher.com. We also author theselfregulatedteacher.com, our Kindergarten website for keeping our class parents informed.  We post once or twice a week; we will send you a link through “Remind” so you can see what we’re learning and thinking about in Kindergarten.

Communication through Email.  You can also email should you wish to contact us.  If your child is in Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s class, please copy your emails to both teachers.

On Thursdays our school issues the weekly ebulletin.  Please speak to our Administrative Assistant if you are not receiving these newsletters.  They contain important reminders and updates for our school, and community news as well.

We’re looking forward to great year of fun and learning with your children!  Our Kindergarten Curriculum Overview will be sent home as a hard copy later this week.

 


 

 

1 Comment »