The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

This Week in Our Room: March 6-10, 2017

Okay, what’s going on with the weather? We certainly seemed to need these this week.

We’ve made it to letter “u is an umbrella” before Spring Break, certainly a reason for celebrating. The children have done an amazing job, working very diligently week after week, to do their printing, alphabet crafts, and drawings and labels in their Alphabet Books. A few more weeks until we get to “z” and then we will be focusing on literature themes.

We welcomed Mrs. Bundic’s Grade Two class this week and last with their Reader’s Theatre presentation.

We’ve had a big focus on numeracy this term. We’ve been working on subitizing (recognising familiar number patterns such as dice formation), counting and creating sets using boxes of classrooms treasures and using 5 and 10 frames as frameworks to help us think about and organise our counting of numbers (eg., 3 and 4 is the same as 5 and 2). Here’s some work the children made this week to show different ways to make 7 using blocks.

We have finished painting our beautiful snowy owlets and to add to the “bird” theme, decided to make some baby penguins for a fun craft!

We would like to wish everyone a fun and sunny Spring Break!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

School re-opens for the Third Term on Monday, March 27.

Please return your report card envelopes in the week following Spring Break. We will recycle them for the final report card. The report card itself is yours to keep.

We will begin Dance in PE. All children should have running shoes to wear. Our first lesson will be on the Monday following Spring Break.

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Digital Literacy in Kindergarten: Next Step

In the past few years we’ve had an exciting time integrating and focusing on two of the pillars of the West Vancouver School District: digital literacy and inquiry. The third pillar is self-regulation which for us, in Kindergarten, is not only a pillar but our foundation and the arch (or rainbow, depending upon your perspective) which reaches over and encompasses everything we do. (Rainbows have reached almost cult status this year in the Kindergarten…we pattern “in rainbow,” we colour “in rainbow,” we organise our blocks “in rainbow.” All true….you cannot make this stuff up.)

Each year we choose one digital literacy project for the Kindergarten, under the guidance of our West Vancouver District Support and Innovation (Technology) Teacher, Ms. Cari Wilson (@kayakcari). We have always completed these projects with the assistance of our Grade 7 Big Buddies. For the Kindergarten, it means we can raise the bar a little higher by creating a complex, multi-step assignment; and for the Grade 7 students, it’s an opportunity to mentor and be a positive role-model to younger students. Both grades benefit from a special connection across the years; the Grade 7s are also our recess and lunch monitors and help us out on the playground.

This year, Mr. Russ Patterson is our Grade 7 Buddy Teacher. He teaches both Grade 7 classes during Buddy Time and meets with my class (Division 2 Big Buddies) and Christy’s class (Division 1 Big Buddies) in back to back blocks on Wednesday.

Big Buddies are a vital part of Kindergarten Life.

From the Kindergarten Science Big Idea “Plants and animals have observable features,” we decided to focus on animals (we’ll study Plants in Third Term) and we selected the beloved penguin as our animal of choice. A full-grown Emperor penguin is about the size of a Kindergarten child and for that reason alone, we’ve always had great affection for the penguin.

In the past few years we’ve used the app Book Creator on the iPad to create digital books about penguins, their habitat, young, appearance and food sources. Our Big Buddies would work with us to gather images from Google, write a brief descriptive sentence using a sentence frame and the Little Buddies would do a voiceover, reading the text aloud. This year we decided to take the same topic but use the app iMovie as our presentation platform. In her role as Technology Support Teacher, Cari also joined us on our first day of movie-making.

Our Penguin iMovies were a five week project. Christy and I completed a Mystery Box Inquiry before each Buddy class. The Mystery Box allowed us to teach questioning skills using the 5Ws in an interesting, game-like format and to introduce the penguins topics we were going to investigate.

Weeks 1 and 2: Research

The Big and Little Buddies used this graphic organiser to record their research in specific categories. From pictures and text, students would read and discuss their findings; and all information was duly noted.

Week 3: Image Collection

The Buddies searched through Google Images to collect a minimum of three images for each fact. They would not necessarily use every image they found but they needed a bank of pictures to draw from for their movie.

Each Buddy pair was assigned an iPad which they needed to use for the duration of the project.

Weeks 4 and 5: iMovie creation
Each Buddy pair had specific criteria to fulfill: an opening image with a title; images of the specific topics (habitat, appearance, young, food); Kindergarten voiceover describing the images; end photo of the Buddies with Kindergarten voiceover naming the Buddies and credit to Google Images.

This was a really fun project for our children. We love that they are using technology to create something, starting with the planning sheet to help organise thinking and then using it as a stepping off point to make an iMovie. We did have a few technical glitches, including iPads which refused to power on and movies which wouldn’t run. Fortunately, students demonstrated a can-do “the show must go on” attitude (grit and perseverance), pulled out another iPad…and started again. Ah…show biz.

We’re going to premiere our iMovies at Student Led Conferences on April 20, 2017. Families will have an opportunity to sign-up for a Conference led by their Kindergarten child and viewing your child’s iMovie will be one of the Centres you’ll visit.

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This Week in Our Room: February 27 – March 3, 2017


img_0176We’ve been quite this busy this week with a potpourri of activity.

This week saw us create “t is a tree,” thanks again to Pinterest. We made a few modifications with our “fruit,” using sparkling sequins. The Kindergarten has come to expect there will always be lots of glitter, sparkles and sequins in most crafts we do. It was a bit of a relief for the children to work on “t” as the simple straight lines are ones everyone can understand. We’ve had quite a few challenging letters lately, such as ‘q” and “s” which have lots of curves and circles. It’s a good reminder for all of us that it’s ok to take a step back and work on something simple, practise our skills and feel successful with our efforts.

We’ve almost finished all of our beautiful snowy owl paintings from Deep Space Sparkle. This was quite a feat for Kindergarten. Every student painted their backgrounds (pink or blue) at the same time; that means liquid tempera paint on all the tables and every Kinder child has a paintbrush. The next day, everybody painted their owls white. We’re pleased to report we had no spills or major mishaps to the carpet. We moved to small groups for the next phase which was painting the details such as yellow eyes, orange beaks, a brown branch and black for outlining and other finishing touches. Funnily enough, lots of children got paint on themselves this time.

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In PE this term we have been learning to use small equipment such as bean bags, hoops, skipping ropes, frisbees and scarves. We learned how to safely use each piece of equipment during specific lessons. We’ve been focusing on staying in our personal space while moving around the gym, obeying whistle commands and cooperating with our small group in a station approach. We now have stations set up around the gym with specific tasks for each piece of equipment. Some fun dance music while we’re at each station has made it a lot of fun!

We met with our Big Buddies to continue working on our iMovies. We’ve completed the research and image collection and now we’ve moved on to the business of movie making. You’ll be able to read more about our digital literacy projects in our next post.

The Grade Two students in Mrs. Bird’s class also came to visit us on Wednesday with a Reader’s Theatre production from a Frog and Toad story. We were so pleased with the Kindergarten children’s attention and good manners throughout the student reading. We look forward to a visit from Mrs. Bundic’s Grade Two students next week.

img_0175This was really good practise for us as on Thursday we joined Grades 1-5 to watch an excellent play by Dreamrider Productions called “Zero Heroes.” In this story, Esmeralda and Goober, our heroes, taught us about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. “Use it for a minute and it’s garbage forever” was repeated to us several times.
-we all need to look at the amount of garbage we’re creating and try to reduce it
-we can refuse to purchase and use things which are disposable
-we need to compost our organic food waste and plant material in the Green Bin program
-buying things might be entertaining, but it doesn’t make us happy. Often, these one time purchases end up in the trash
-each thing we purchase uses up a piece of the earth: we take things from nature, turn it into a product through factories, use it once and then toss it into the dump
-all the purchases we make come with packaging and that is another thing for us to consider
-a litterless lunch is one positive step we can take to reducing the amount of garbage we create

Can you believe it’s already March? We cannot believe how fast we sped through February. But another month has gone by so of course we had to draw our Penguin self – portraits for March.

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Upcoming Events and Reminders
We are meeting with parents who are interested in helping us to plan our Persian New Year celebration in Kindergarten. We are meeting in Mrs. Daudlin’s room on Monday at 8:15. This meeting is for parents only. Please arrange to have your child arrive at school with another parent. Children are not allowed to wait in the hallway.

Library is on Tuesday for both classes. Please remember to return your Library book.

Friday, March 10 is the last day before Spring Break. All students are going to be dismissed at 2 pm. Please mark this on your calendar. School resumes on Monday, March 27.

Ridgeview is sending home Second Term Report Cards on Friday, March 10. We are unable to send them home before that time if you are leaving early for Spring Break.

If you are going to be away before or after Spring Break, please inform us and the office.

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