The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

This Week in Our Room: September 25-29, 2017

 

 

Last year we started on a quest to find new and creative updates for our Alphabet letter crafts and we think we’ve found a winner for b….b is a bird!  Thanks again to Pinterest for the never-ending supply of cuteness.

Probably the best way to describe this week was rockin’.  We had such a busy week and the children did so well, demonstrating a lot of flexibility, patience, a “go with the flow” attitude that made each day very enjoyable despite the continual interruptions to our usual routine.

 

 

Tuesday was our first Primary Terry Fox Assembly, organised by the Grade 1-3 teachers.  The Kindergarten was invited to join the rest of the Primary students to listen to a presentation and watch a short video about our Canadian Hero,Terry Fox.  The Grade 2s also sang a Terry Fox song and invited us all to join in.  We learned a great deal in our short time together to ready us for Thursday’s big run.

All Ridgeview Primary students completed their Physical Literacy assessment which is simply a baseline of information on the children’s physical skill levels, including running (stopping, pivot, run back), hopping (on one leg, then the other), kicking a ball and throwing (overhand).  We were pleased with the children’s excellent listening and ability to quickly follow instructions from our Physical Literacy Specialists, West Vancouver Teacher Mentor Amber Wilson and Mentor Erin Crawford.  The children will be re-assessed in the Spring to celebrate their personal achievements.

We are pleased to welcome Ms. Amanda Sanford who will be teaching Primary Music at Ridgeview.  Our children attend Music class twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, with Ms. Sanford in the Music Portable.

The children are really enjoying the stories and book exchange during Library.  It’s very important our classes get into the good habit of returning their Library books on time.  We recognise this is a new routine and appreciate your support in helping your child to remember to pack his or her book the night before.  We encourage you to send the book back for Tuesday to give yourself one day’s grace in case you forget.

We could not have asked for better weather for the Terry Fox Run on Thursday.  What a glorious day, blue skies and a sea of children in red and white running for a very important cause.  The Kindergarten children had a “meet and greet” with their Grade 7 Buddies and completed their warm-up on the sport court led by Mr. Meldrum.  Then, we all walked down to the gravel field to run or walk two laps with our Buddies.  The children ran like champions and still looked quite fresh as they were finishing their laps.  Our Grade 7s left us at the playground while they went for their neighbourhood run.  We all met up on the playground for a few final remarks by our organising teacher, Ridgeview Vice-Principal Mr. Parslow.

  • Hot Lunch Update:

It was a bit of a hit and miss this week to the introduction of Hot Lunch at school.

Monday

-pasta with butter and parmesan cheese was much enjoyed (two thumbs up)

-pasta with marinara sauce was well received or not well received depending upon the student (one thumb up)

Tuesday

-the hot dogs looked quite appealing (Mrs. Campbell and I were thinking if they were chili cheese dogs they could have been a hit with the adults in the classroom) (two thumbs up)

-the macaroni and cheese was deemed “very cheesy” (two thumbs up)

Wednesday

-the chicken strips and grilled cheese sandwiches came bundled with the children’s request for ketchup or plum dipping sauce, all wrapped in foil bags and it was all nice and hot (two thumbs up)

-we overheard one of the children say, “This (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) is really good!”

Thursday

-the chicken teriyaki was rated “good” by the children but was cold or “a little bit warm” by the time it was delivered to our classes (one thumb up)

Friday

-Rocky Mountain Pizza was a huge hit (ham and mango, cheese, pepperoni)

-having personally eaten this pizza at school and in the restaurant, we can definitely say two thumbs up!

-the pizza boxes must go home. Please do not recycle them at school.

Milk and Juice

-we’ve had some major milk and juice spills (table, carpet, cloakroom) when we tried to send the leftovers home so what we’re going to do from now on is when your child has had enough to drink, we’re pouring out the remains and recycling the wet containers at school

Important Events and Reminders

Raincoats and boots.  Too many children did not have a raincoat during Friday’s downpour.  Although we had a few “loaner” jackets, we did not have enough for everyone.  Please bring an extra raincoat to school that you can leave in the cloakroom with the weather being so unpredictable.

October Homework Calendars were sent home this week.  Please send back your September Homework Calendar (even if it’s not totally finished) next week for a sticker.

Scholastic Orders for October were also sent home.  Please have your order form returned to school by Friday, October 13.

Wednesday is our first Buddy Day in class.  We’re making a fun Thanksgiving craft!

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

This week we continued with the letter A.  At the beginning of the year, not only are the children learning about the letter names, sounds and formation of upper and lowercase letters, we are carefully teaching the structure of each of our Alphabet activities. After all, we’ve got 25 more letters to go! Like how we organise much of the Kindergarten, routines are safe and familiar for our little learners whether it be in how we line up, get ready for snack and lunch or remember to print our name at the top of the page

We’re completing two alphabet printing tasks at school, in addition to our stories, brainstorming and other literacy activities. We’ll start sending home one printing sheet every week and the other we are collecting for the children’s Alphabet books which they will proudly bring home at the end of the school year. Attached to it will be the children’s Alphabet craft. You can help your child practise their sounds by posting each craft in a highly visible space such as your kitchen or in your child’s room. Next up: Letter B.

The children have been free exploring the classroom math manipulatives. Now, they are ready to start taking on a few small tasks while working in their small groups. September’s math pattern is AB, so the children have been creating AB patterns at their table groups. The children have been rotating through the five tables, each with a different kind of manipulative. They are extremely creative as you can see from these teddy bear patterns.

We also reinforce what we’re teaching in class through our morning Centres time where we will invite the children to apply their skills to a new manipulative.

We started an informal round of Special Helper this week without Sharing. We’ll include Sharing, which always has a theme in our classrooms, after each child has had a chance to be the Special Helper, be the line leader, sit in the Special Helper chair and lead the class through the morning Calendar. The Special Helper rotation is always posted outside our classrooms on the Parent Notice Board.

In Social Studies, our focus is on Personal Identity, and we started with making a fun project with our names, Bean Names! We were super impressed with the children’s fine motor skills and perseverance in placing the beans carefully along the glue lines.

We encountered quite the rain deluge earlier this week. Please send your child with a coat everyday. We are trying to get into a good habit of at least starting with a coat for the beginning of the morning and lunch recess. We know the children get very warm from running, so they may ask permission from the duty supervisors to return to the classroom with a friend and hang up their coat. We do not want children leaving their coats on the benches or hanging from the playground. Finally, if you’ve not yet sent in an extra change of clothes in a small shopping bag to hang on your child’s hook, please support us in getting these things organised.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Thank you to everyone who made a Scholastic purchase. Please return your child’s order form on Monday as we cannot complete the ordering process without it.

Your student verification forms and emergency comfort kits are now due.

We have many students whose families have not yet completed the Policy and Procedures online forms. This is the online form which gives permission for students to do a walking field trip off the school grounds (Terry Fox Run, events held at WVSS and the Kay Meek, nature walks to Chatwin Park). We receive a daily notice from Mrs. Lytle of which families have not signed off on this requirement. If you are not certain this includes you, please check in with us or at the office. And a form must be completed for each of your children, not one for your family.

Tuesday, September 26: Terry Fox Assembly for Primary students. We realise the Terry Fox Run may be new for some students we so will take some time with the other Primary classes to have a short talk about Terry Fox’s courage, his dream to run across for Canada and his legacy for all Canadians.

Wednesday, September 28: All West Vancouver Primary students will be participated in our District Physical Literacy Program. We will be gathering a baseline for basic movement skills so each student can work towards a personal goal. Please ensure your child is wearing running shoes to school on Wednesday.

Library Book Exchange for both Kindergarten classes.

Thursday, September 28: Ridgeview’s Terry Fox Run. The Kindergarten children will be joining up with their Grade 7 Big Buddy to run a lap or two around the gravel field (please note we do not leave the school grounds). First, we will participate in a group warm-up. Then, following our run we will wait on the playground for the rest of the school to complete their off-site run before we finish with some closing remarks from the Grade 6 student organisers. At this time, the draw for the Terry Fox t-shirt will be held. We encourage our children to wear red and white clothing (your Canada Day t-shirts are perfect) and everyone must wear runners.

Please remember to bring your toonie for Terry. All proceeds are donated to the Terry Fox Foundation. For donations of $5 or more, students will receive a raffle ticket for the t-shirt draw.

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This Week in Our Room: September 11-15, 2017

It’s been a very, very busy week in Kindergarten but we’re pleased to say the children have held up extremely well under a fairly challenging schedule.

Our children were dismissed early on Monday and Friday this week as we held our Parent Intake Conferences as part of the Gradual Entry for Kindergarten. Thank you very much for attending your Conference. We are missing many of the Developmental Questionnaires we sent home as part of the Conference. Please take some time this weekend to fill it out and return to your classroom teacher. We will contact you to speak further if we have any questions or concerns.

Lunch went very nicely this week, as it was the first time we’ve all eaten together other than snack. Please note our classrooms are NUT AWARE. We ask everyone, in the spirit of goodwill, to please carefully check all packaged food items such as granola bars, cookies and crackers and breads. Cashew nuts, walnuts and pistachios and of course, peanuts, are the nuts we are particularly wary of in both classes.

 

 

In class, we’ve begun working on our Alphabet, starting with the letter A as our Letter of the Week. We complete a variety of activities for each letter:
-read an Alphabet story
-work on sound production (making the sound) and sound recognition (recognising the sound), -teach the correct formation of each letter
-brainstorm words beginning with the sound
-draw pictures in crayon and label in pencil each one

 

We’ve also began the first of our monthly self-portraits for Kindergarten. We love to watch the children draw and how they see themselves. Our general criteria for all artwork is:
Big – fill your space (use the whole sheet of paper)
Bright – use five colours or more
Beautiful – do your personal best

Wednesday was a big day for both classes. We have our Music and Library classes back to back. We were very pleased to see how well the children are self-regulated as they move through the hallways, quietly walking and watching the teacher ahead of them.

Our school Library has been newly renovated. Thanks to the fundraising by the RPAC (Ridgeview Parent Advisory Council) the Library has a whole new look with new shelving and furniture. It’s calming tones of grey and white certainly make it a self-regulated environment in which the children will be relaxed, focused and ready to learn.

Mrs. Kennedy, our Teacher-Librarian, clearly set out the behavioural expectations while in the Library.
-quiet voices
-walking feet
-be responsible and do not leave any messes (no books to be left on the floor)
-be respectful (kind and polite behaviour is expected from everyone)

On Thursday we held our Kindergarten Curriculum Morning for parents to talk specifically about our classroom routines and class expectations. We used the app Haiku Deck haikudeck.com to build a slide presentation on our iPad mini of pictures around our classrooms and school. We had an excellent turn out and thank you to everyone for taking the time to stop by and meet the teachers.

As part of our Meet the Teacher Curriculum Day, our school also held an Ice Cream Social mixer for all students afterschool. Students were all treated to a free ice cream cone. Naturally, the Kindergarten was in an elevated state of emotions (yellow zone and very excited in the sweetest ways possible) for the rest of the afternoon as everyone anticipated their ice cream cone…which was extremely delicious. Thanks to Mrs. Brady for providing ice cream tickets for the school staff as well.

Next week there is talk of rain. It’s a good idea to use a small shopping bag, labelled with your child’s name, to place an extra set of clothes to be hung on your child’s coat hook. Also, if it’s raining, children should bring boots to school and indoor shoes they can put on themselves. Children should not wear their boots in the classroom as it makes the floor wet and slippery. If your child wears shoes with laces, he or she must be able to independently tie them. We really encourage slip-on, or velcro fastened, runners.

Reminders and Upcoming Events

Next Wednesday is going to be a very big day for us.

Wednesday is Library Book Exchange for both classes. Please help your child to return his or her book on time. We strongly recommend bringing your book back on Tuesday so you have an extra day in case you forget. Students are not allowed to borrow a new book unless the previous book has been returned.

Wednesday, September 20 is Photo Day. We always start with the Kindergarten classes to capture them at their best before snack and recess playtime. Please arrive promptly for school at 8:50 am as we begin shortly after the morning announcements.

Friday, September 22, is a Professional Day. Students are not in session.

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This Week in Our Room:  September 6-8, 2017

copyrighted to Susan Winget

Welcome back to school, and especially to Ridgeview Kindergarten!

We were delighted to meet all of our children.  We’ve had a really fun first week of Gradual Entry, taking our time to get to know the children, the children meeting their new classmates and everyone is learning about classroom rules and routines.  There will be a lot of changes moving from preschool to Kindergarten, and in a big school like ours it’s important for everyone’s safety that we review the expectations.

We will be continuing with Gradual Entry for September 11-15.  Next week’s schedule is as follows:

Monday, September 11:  9 am-12 pm for all Kindergarten students.  Please bring a snack and a non-spill water bottle.  Please be on time to pick-up your child.  Intake Conferences for Kindergarten parents begin promptly at 12:40 pm.  

Tuesday, September 12:  8:50 am-2:55 pm for all students.  Please bring two snacks, lunch and a non-spill water bottle.  Please indicate to your child that one snack is for the afternoon.

Wednesday, September 13:  8:50-2:55 pm for all students.  Please bring two snacks, lunch and a non-spill water bottle.

Thursday, September 14:  8:50 am-2:55 pm for all students.  Please bring two snacks, lunch and a non-spill water bottle.  Please Note:  “Meet My Teacher” for Grades 1-7 have an early dismissal at 2 pm.  Kindergarten is in session until 2:55 pm.  Kindergarten Families are encouraged to visit the sale of Ridgeview Spirit Wear and the Ice-Cream Social at the undercover area across from the portables after dismissal.

Friday, September 16:  9:00 am-12 pm for all students.  Please bring a snack and a non-spill water bottle.  Intake Conferences for Kindergarten parents begin promptly at 12:40 pm.

Reminders and Upcoming Events

Please sign-up for your child’s Intake Conference if you have not have already done so. If your child attends Camp Ridgeview, please inform them to make arrangements for early pick-up and which classroom your child is enrolled.

It’s very important to sign-up for Remind.  We send home many reminders and information for parents this way.  We also send you the link when we have posted our classroom newsletter or posted on our blog, theselfregulatedteacher.com  We have an information sheet posted on our Parent Bulletin Board on how to sign up, or if you need a paper handout then please ask.  We do a lot of parent communication online so all parents, particularly working parents, receive information about our classes at exactly the same time.  

We sent home our Developmental Questionnaire today for you to fill out.  Please return at any time before your conference, or bring the questionnaire on your day.

We sent home the Kindergarten September Homework for some fun activities for you to do with your child on Thursday this week.  Attached was the new Ridgeview Traffic Safety and Parking Map from our Principal, Mrs. Brady.  Please take some time to review this very important document as traffic safety affects everyone, students and adults alike.

Although we are sending this newsletter home on paper, it will be the only time this year. We have also posted it on our classroom website: theselfregulatedteacher.com.  All future newsletters will be posted on the website.  Please check our website weekly.  We will send you a link on Remind when the newsletter is posted.  

 

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Kindergarten to Graduation:  We’ve Come Full Circle

Courtesy of Pinterest

This past school year was a particularly busy one for Christy and myself as we each had a child graduating from Grade 12.  This Labour Day weekend marks a new beginning for us as parents as our children move on to University, no longer living at home.  We hope that the foundation we’ve laid with them since they were young is solid enough as they experience new found independence, freedom and challenges.  We’ve tried to teach them resilience and perseverance when faced with difficult times, establish a strong moral compass based on family values when it comes to doing the right thing, along with empathy, compassion and a healthy dose of common sense.  We will see if our modelling and lessons on the beauty of our mindfulness to stay in the present, underpinned with a self-regulation structure has transferred now that they are out of the house!

Our own self-regulation certainly came into play as we navigated our way through the Grade 12 Graduation year.  Beyond the regular classroom instruction was University applications, Scholarship applications, Graduation photos, Graduation events, performances of all kinds from musical theatre, choir and dance…and that’s just what our kids were involved in.  University and Scholarship applications all have due dates and demand references which needs to be organised well ahead of time.  Special events require early ticket purchases.  It’s hard not to be constantly harping at your kids with reminders about when things are due, emotions on the rise.  But for the strength of our husbands to “let the chips fall where they may,” that meant allowing natural consequences to happen.  Truly, we found out that our kids are much more resourceful than we believed them to be.  

Having now gone through the complete cycle of K-12 public education (twice for me with two kids graduated), we’ve been talking and reflecting on our roles as parents.  We want to emphasise the importance and responsibility of our life-long commitment as parents to be involved in our children’s education and schooling, beyond the needs of shelter, nutrition and care.   We might think that support doesn’t begin until Kindergarten or even Grade One, but it actually starts much earlier than we think.  

For our University bound children we know there will be many opportunities and temptations that will present themselves.  We can only send our kids off, confident in that as parents we have communicated openly about the issues and difficulties young people face today and the repercussions of those actions.  Our Principal wisely reminded us that our young adults are able, and we should see and trust that they are able as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

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