What is Peace?  This Week in Our Room:  November 5-9, 2018

We can never quite get over the shift from the witches, ghosts and goblins of Hallowe’en to the sombre thoughts that come to mind as Remembrance Day approaches.  Here in the Kindergarten, the orange paint barely finished drying on our jack-o-lanterns when the black and red acrylics were hauled out to make our Poppy prints.  Ah…such is school life.

Despite holidays and special days, Christy and I still manage to keep the alphabet train moving along.  We’re always looking for new ideas for our cute Alphabet crafts and this year we have the most adorable idea for “g” – a gumball machine (courtesy of Pinterest, of course).  We were very excited to make these with our children and they very much enjoyed using the Bingo markers to make the gumballs.

We have an exciting new event to add to our timetables and that is Kindergarten Singing!  The Kindergarten children will have a six week module of an additional singing class with Mrs. Soderling, our Music Teacher.  We had our first session this week and our children sang very beautifully. They’ll be showing you everything they learned at the Christmas Concert in mid-December.

Our Boho Birds were returned to us from The Card Project.  You will have received your complimentary card with your child’s artwork.  The children’s original work is now hanging in our classroom. Please feel free to come by anytime to see it.

We had quite a lot of preparation for Remembrance Day this week.  We made the aforementioned Poppies using an acorn squash and potato as our block for printing making.  The children were fascinated with the insides of the acorn squash (“Hey, that’s just like a pumpkin!”) and the mass of a relatively small object.

We practised out cutting and pasting skills cutting out these small maple leaves to each make a Canada flag.

We contributed half of our Art collection to the Remembrance Day Assembly and made these lovely displays.  Following the ceremony we will add the children’s artwork to the classroom bulletin boards.

In class, we read several good books, including O Canada:  Our National Anthem, published by Scholastic, The Peace Book by Todd Parr and A Poppy is to Remember by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn.  This gave us quite a bit of common content as we talked about what peace meant to each of us personally.  The children came up with an impressive list:

-reading a book

-riding my bike

-my family

-sharing my toys

-my cousin

-my mom

-hugging and loving my brother

-playing with my friends

-sharing pumpkin pie with my family

-sitting and breathing quietly

-going on trips with my family

-jumping in the leaves

-playing outside with my dad

-taking care of our world

-splashing in puddles

-reading a book with my mom

-listening to quiet music

-sitting calmly

-thinking about my family

-babies

We used these ideas to each make a page to contribute to a class big book.  It’s at times like this we are reminded that peace begins at home, in the hearts and minds of our little students.  

We’ve had two Assemblies now, but the Remembrance Day Assembly is a very serious and solemn one.  Students are asked to enter the gym in silence, there is no talking nor clapping following any of the performances and presentations.  We all listened quietly to the “Last Post” and stood still for the one minute of silence. Then we listened again to the “Reveille”.

You can imagine our thoughts as Kindergarten teachers as we go over the expected behaviour with our children before leaving the classroom.  This Assembly is a marker for us in how well we’ve been teaching and practising the self-regulation strategies. Does the deep breathing really help?  Will the children remember to do a calming countdown if necessary? Will the children read correctly their social situation and respond appropriately?

And they do.  Our children were exceptionally well-behaved and remembered on purpose everything they had been taught.  They listened well, used their eyes to reference their peers and paid attention to the cues from their social context.  We’re always so proud of our classes. We set our expectations high and they consistently rise to the challenge.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

EMERGENCY RELEASE DRILL – NOVEMBER 15TH

Please mark your calendars that on the afternoon of Thursday, November 15th we will be conducting a student release drill.  There will be staggered pick up times starting at 1:45pm for Grades K-2, 2:10pm for Grades 3-4, and 2:30pm for Grades 5-7.  More information will be sent out closer to this date.  Please note that it is important that you bring photo ID with you when you pick up your child and/or a child you are listed as a designated alternate.

Save the Date:  Our Christmas Concert will be on Thursday, December 13.  We have a matinee and an evening performance. Information on what to wear will follow soon.

Scholastic Book Fair is coming to Ridgeview Library!  This is a really exciting event where we have a pop-up book store in our Library.  Kindergarten children may shop and purchase books with their parents only. The Book Fair is open from 8:30-8:50 am,

 

Hallowe’en:  Part 2 This Week in Our Room:  October 29-November 2, 2018

We packed a lot in this week, beginning with our painted pumpkins.  Look! Aren’t these fun? We painted these last week, colour mixing a palette of yellow, orange and red.  After cutting out the pumpkins, the children worked in small groups to add the facial features. Each jack-o-lantern is as special and unique as each of our children.

On Wednesday, we were off to the Ridgeview Halloween Parade and Assembly.  After Mrs. Brady collected Grades 1-3, Kindergarten took over the lead of the Parade and led everyone through the Intermediate classrooms.  We were greeted with waves and smiles as we all walked down the hallway. Thank you to all of our parents who were there to support us!

Somehow in between the Hallowe’en festivities, we were able to squeeze in some beautiful work on the letter F and made these sweet “f is for flower” crafts for your alphabet wall.

We do a lot of fine motor work in Kindergarten.  We’re printing, cutting, pasting, drawing and colouring almost every day.  We’re manipulating small pieces in Math Treasure Boxes, building with Lego and Playmobil and gluing on googly eyes and beads.  The children are getting stronger and more capable as the weeks go on. So we thought it might be a fun challenge to make these little owls.  

Using pattern templates, the children cut out every single piece and glued it on to create these little birds.  Haven’t they done a marvelous job? Shapes of every size and kind, from ovals, circles to triangles were cut out and carefully pieced together.  We were so proud of the children’s excellent listening and ability to focus on, and follow, teacher directions.

We had the perfect cap off to our week and saw our Grade 7 Big Buddies to make peace doves. We will be using these to decorate our classrooms and the gym for next week’s Remembrance Day Assembly for Ridgeview students.  We are collecting money for the poppies which will be given out next Friday.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Save the Date:  Our Christmas Concert will take place on Thursday, December 13.  We will have a matinee and an evening performance. There will be much more information to follow on our children’s costumes.

We’re starting our new theme for Sharing and Special Helper, “All About Me.”  Please help your child to find three objects that tell something about him- or herself.  It would also be so helpful if you make a few notes for your child about the significance of the objects and include that in the bag.  We’re looking to see the children develop more confidence in speaking aloud, so you may want to practise a little bit at home.

October Homework calendars are due now.

We are continuing to collect non-perishable food for our sister school, Grandview Elementary in Vancouver.  

We are also collecting Hallowe’en candy for our Christmas Cracker project.  These candy gifts will be donated to a variety of charitable organisations.

Monday, November 5 is Library Book Exchange.  Please bring your book back to school.

Friday, November 9 Scholastic Book orders are due.