This Week in Our Room: June 12-16, 2017

We’ve had a lot going on this week. Our music for calming the past number of weeks has been “Deep in An Ancient Hawaiian Forest” from the soundtrack The Descendants. We can just feel the sun on our faces, the sand beneath our feet and the ocean breeze ruffling our hair. We continue to be amazed at how easily the children have slipped into the routine of taking their places on the meeting area carpet, cross legged, eyes closed and breathing blissfully.

We finished our last Fairy Tale in class, “Cinderella.” We made “glass slippers,” read three different versions of Cinderella, including the class favourite Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman talked about magical objects and the recurring theme of “3” that permeates most fairy tales. Next Tuesday is Prince and Princess Day so please dress-up if you wish!

We learned about what a seed needs to grow (soil, water, air, time, love) and enjoyed “The Garden” from Frog and Toad are Friends by Arthur Lobel. We also made a paper seed. Our bean plants were sent home last week, a crossover activity between “Jack in the Beanstalk” from Fairy Tales and more talk about seeds.

But the big focus for this week was Sports Day. And we can say Sports Day 2017 was a fantastic day for our Kindergarten children.

Mother Nature smiled upon us and gave us a glorious (with a touch of cloud) weather day for our Ridgeview Sports Day. Thank you so much to our Vice-Principal, Mr. Blackburn (@njblackburn) for organising a great day for our school and our Grade 6 Leaders who were outstanding in looking after our little ones so well.

We’re really fortunate at Ridgeview that our Principal, Mrs. Brady, (@vjbrady) who understands early childhood development so well, and in consultation with us, makes thoughtful and wise choices regarding our Kindergarten children.

At Ridgeview we scaffold participating in Sports Day for our students so they complete a reduced number of activity stations, enjoy a Freezie with their team, then return to their classrooms for a big, healthy snack, Centre time and Face Painting (courtesy of our Grade 7 helpers) for even more fun. We’ve been doing this for just three out of the past 11 years we’ve been teaching Kindergarten. The Kindergartens get a glimpse of a super high energy day but can return to the safety and comfort of their classmates and classroom when we’ve deemed that they’ve had enough, something they’re not able to measure quite yet because they are so young.

Over the last 11 years we’ve taught 16 Kindergarten classes (due to the half day program until 2011). Here are some of the things we’ve learned about Kindergarten, Sports Day and Self-Regulation:

The children need to eat a good snack (more than a Freezie) and close to their regular snack time to help with their self-regulation;
The children need a time to centre themselves again in their self-regulated, familiar classroom environment to calm their bodies and relax before continuing on with the rest of their day;
The children want to participate in play with their own age group for part of school their day;
The children can enjoy the fun “Fair” like atmosphere of Sports Day but in graduated amounts of time; we do not need to give every opportunity Ridgeview offers in Kindergarten. Your children will be here for 7 more years to experience the many programs and activities we provide when our school determines it is age-appropriate.

We can say that Sports Day has been “tear free” for these past three years and remembered as a happy day, filled with fun and friendship, just as it should be.

And finally, Happy Father’s Day to all of our Dads!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, June 19:
We did not send home Home Reading Books on Friday. But we will go back to our routine on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week. Next Friday will be the last book exchange and chance to take books home; and we would like all of our home reading books returned to the classroom during the last week of school.

Monday is our Vancouver Aquarium field trip and we are all so looking forward to our special day out together. Please remember to send your child’s lunch, snacks and water bottle in their backpacks, and dress for the weather.

Tuesday, June 20:
Division 16’s William will be Principal for the Morning on Tuesday. William will complete a few Principal duties with Mrs. Brady to learn what being a Principal involves and make some “executive decisions.” We’re really excited to hear what they might be!

It’s also Prince and Princess Day so our boys and girls are welcome to dress-up. They may also dress-up as fairy tale characters if they wish. In previous years we’ve also had some of our boys dress up as heroes (Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Anakin Skywalker) who save princesses. Dress-up is optional; however, no swords may be brought to school.

Thursday, June 22:
Primary Variety Show — Division 16’s Maaike will be performing.

Friday, June 23:
Forest Friday – please bring your boots.
Parent Volunteer Tea in the Library

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