It’s More Than Just Fairy Tales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Self-Regulation and Some Thoughts on Curriculum Integration.This Week in Our Room: May 28-June 1, 2018

This was a fun week of curricular integration for Literature, Science and Art in the Kindergarten.  We do a lot of integration of subject areas in our classrooms; it allows us an opportunity to create layers of meaningful content and greater depth, as well as helping the children to see the connectedness of what they are learning.  Our students come to realise that everything they learn is not in isolation, but instead connected to structures, or frameworks, and understandings that help them to make greater sense of their world.

We’re on to our third Fairy Tale, “Jack and the Beanstalk.”   We read several versions, including this sweet one by Mara Alperin and Ag Jatkowska.  We’re continuing to explore story structure by recalling what happened at the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.  We’re beginning to think about the characters beyond who is good (expected behaviour) or bad (unexpected behaviour) and reflecting upon their role in the story as either a main or secondary character.  We’ve been teaching and reteaching story structure because that literary understanding will always be a key to reading comprehension, the goal of reading any text.

You might have noticed we are referring to the “good” and “bad” behaviour of story characters as “expected” or “unexpected” behaviour.  Those are the terms we use in class, as part of our Zones of Regulation vocabulary, whenever we are reflecting on our own conduct.  Leave it to us to always find a way to view all teaching and learning through the lens of self-regulation.

It’s interesting for us to make reference to the literary characters of Little Red, the Woodsman, the Wolf in “Little Red/The 3 Little Pigs” and Jack and the Giant in terms of the Zones as the children are very insightful into the characters’ energy levels and motivation.  This discussion can pave the way for the class to talk about our own behaviour.  For example, the Kindergarten know that the Wolf is in the Red Zone because he wants to eat the Little Red/3 Pigs thus, his body is out of control.  It’s safe for the children to talk about it because the Wolf is far removed as a storybook character; however, they all understand chasing and eating someone is not ok.  What’s most important for the children is they know the Wolf needs to down-regulate back to the Green Zone; it’s their thinking about the strategies for calming which tells us what they have learned.

For our Science integration we are learning about Growing Things.  The week’s lesson was on the parts of a seed:  the embryo (baby plant), seed food (part of the seed until the plant forms leaves to make its own food) and the seed coat.  Our fun craft for Jack was the planting of bean seeds – real life integration and a connection between our environment and what we’re currently reading.  We had lots of fun playing in the soil and making our plant markers.  Thank you to our parents for digging in the dirt with us!  We are waiting with excitement for the first baby sprout…we watered the seeds well to get through the weekend.

Continuing on our Fairy Tale Theme, we started our Royal Kinder Portraits, another great drawing and painting activity by Deep Space Sparkle.  More integration with our umbrella theme of Fairy Tales and providing further learning experiences for fine motor skill development – a must in Kindergarten.  Here, we use a template to draw the crown with pencil, then trace and decorate with pastel.  Next, we draw a “U” for the face; everybody has a good sized, proportional face thanks to the crown template.  We drew in the facial details with the expertise of children who have drawn 9 self-portraits already this year, in addition to many faces and figures just because they love to draw so much.  Next week we will begin painting the portraits in small groups.

We’ve come to the end of Geometry with reviewing the properties of Triangles and reading the fabulous Shapes that Roll by Karen Sagel and Steve Wilson.  We’ll start some fun work on linear measurement next week.

Sports Day 2018

Well, the Blue Bubblegums and Red Ring Pops held their own and competed at a fierce level on Sports Day.  Although we compete for points, a Ridgeview Sports Day is about team spirit, excellent sportsmanship and fun, fun, fun!!  Thanks to all our parents and grandparents who came out and cheered on our mighty athletes, small in stature, but giants in enthusiasm, energy and team loyalty.  The Grade 6 Leaders looked after their Kinder teammates really well.  They ensured the children made it up to the washrooms when necessary and supported them for the more challenging relays.  

In usual Kindergarten fashion, the special Sports Day Snack (iced cookies) and the prospect of face-painting after their participation in the Sports Day relays were the most anticipated events of the day.  We’ve been teaching the Kindergarten for many years, and it reminds us again that our children, while they’ve grown and matured so much emotionally, socially and academically, are still very much little people.

For us, it was a “no tears” Sports Day (children, not teachers) and it didn’t rain so we can’t ask for more than that.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Our Ridgeview Me to We team is selling Ridgeview silicone bracelets.  They are $2 each and we are taking orders for them.  Some of the children have tried it on; it’s a little big but everybody seems to be quite pleased that it’s not slipping off.  

Sharing and Special Helper continues with our “bring your favourite plant” theme.  We’ve been getting some beauties in to class and really enjoy their beautiful fragrance.

All Library Books need to be returned next week.

Please return your May Homework Calendars this week for a sticker.

If you have not made your $12 donation for our High Touch, High Tech “Newton in a Nutshell” Science workshop on Wednesday, June 13, please do so through SchoolCashOnline.  A purple notice was sent home earlier this week with the online link.


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