February Fun Part 1:  This Week in Our Room:  February 4-8, 2019

February is off to a cold start with our below zero temperatures.  We’re expecting the children are going to wear warm coats at morning and lunch recess, even if they are driven to school.  Please remember to show your child how to do up their zipper (we’re happy to help during Kindergarten but all children should be independent before Grade One) on their jackets.  And toque and gloves are necessary winter accoutrements right now! To make things a little easier for the children, we’re trying to teach them to put on their coats and do up their jackets BEFORE they put on their gloves.  It’s a tricky process, dressing for the cold weather, but there you have it – we’re in the middle of a Canadian winter!

To keep the frosty temperatures at bay, we decided to keep warm and cuddly with this adorable “q is for quilt” craft!  The children loved all of the pretty scrapbook paper designs and did a very nice job of attractively arranging all the “quilt squares.”  Qq is a difficult letter to print with all of its parts (around and close, down, dig, slide up), but we were so pleased our children’s efforts!

We had a very exciting Thursday at the Multicultural and Diversity Day Celebration in our own Ridgeview Gym.  What an amazing mix of colours, sounds and smells to excite the senses! Our children visited various countries to see the visual displays, participated in cultural activities games and collected their “passport” stamps.  Their Grade 7 Buddies were laden with the lanterns and goodie bags of collectables belonging to their Kindergarten Buddies. Thank you so very much to the RPAC for sponsoring this amazing event for Ridgeview students.

 

For Chinese New Year in our classroom, we read some delightful stories, including a new publication, Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee and Joey Chou, which focuses on the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  We invited the children to celebrate with some fun activities, including making Chinese banners, lycee bags and using tangrams. We even did some decorating with these colourful dragons!

 

We’ve had a challenging time of illness at Ridgeview this past week.  We have many children with very bad coughs, fevers, runny noses and fatigue.  If your children are sick, particularly vomiting, coughing and with fever, please keep them at home. We’ve mentioned this before as we are unable to look after sick children at school.  We know your children still want to attend school, but they simply do not have the energy or stamina to complete regular classroom activities (sharing, taking turns and playing cooperatively with others comes quickly to mind) which includes going outside for playtime.  As parents, we make the decision for our children to stay home.  Although it might be inconvenient for you to have to stay home with your sick one, as a school community we must also consider the “greater good,” which in this case means we want the classroom to be a healthy place for everyone.

Our last health note is a reminder for you from our Public Health Nurse.  At Kindergarten Entry there are various boosters your children should be receiving.  If your children’s immunizations are now up to date, please send a copy of their records to school or to NSimmunizations@vch.ca.  If your child still needs their latest immunizations, you are able to make an appointment through your local Community Health Centre.  Questions? Please come in and speak to us. We’re happy to help.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library Book Exchange this Monday.  Please return your book.

We will be exchanging Valentine’s Day cards next week.  We made these pretty card holder bags with our Big Buddies on Friday.  In Kindergarten, we write a card for each child in our class and put the cards into the individual bags.  We will tie up the bags for you to open at home with your child on Thursday.

Friday, February 15:  Reading Break – school is not in session

Monday, February 18:  Family Day – school is not in session

 

Good-Bye January, Hello February: This Week in Our Room: January 28-February 1, 2019

We can’t believe it ourselves, but did you realise we are halfway through Kindergarten?  We were kind of caught off guard with how quickly this year has gone by.  So were the children as we all paused to consider what that meant.  There are not a lot of things we can say we know for sure, but this is one of them:  while the days may be long, the years are short and every single day is a precious day.  

My daughter Christina turned 21 years old this weekend.  As we celebrated her birthday and reflected back on her birth and childhood, and the teenage years into young adulthood, we recognise the time we spent together when our children were younger, sharing our personal interests and developing common interests, have been essential to building and strengthening our relationships with them.  As parents of young adults we’re happy that our children are still wanting to travel, ski, sing, cook, watch movies and talk about books with us.  So let’s take the time to be present with our children each day, share their interests and teach them about ours, and delight in these wondrous, innocent days of their Kindergarten year.  

Our huge focus this week has been on DancePlay.  What an amazing program this has been for our children.  Our children learned about many different kinds of dance including disco, country, hip-hop, funk and rock and roll.  They listened to many different songs and worked on specific dance moves.  But the most important part of DancePlay is their messaging for the children:  Be Positive, Be Fun and Be Yourself.  We loved how positively every class ended (a 3-peat of “I am Awesome”).  Dance which encourages free expression and values the individual effort, without criticism or constraint, has been wonderful for the children’s mental and physical health.  We want to say thank you so very much to our PAC for providing this wonderful opportunity for Ridgeview’s Primary students.

Back to classroom activities….In keeping with our cute animals for alphabet letters, what do you think about “p is for pig”? The children are continuing to develop their cutting skills when using templates and did such a cute job drawing in the facial details.  The most fun was watching the children twist the pink pipecleaner into a curly tail.  They were really amazed at what they could do!

Our UBC Teacher Candidates have bravely taken on mine and Christy’s legendary Penguins Science unit.  We have loved teaching about Penguins as part of our Kindergarten curriculum but feel we are all so fortunate this year to have such talented and innovative student teachers working with us and our children.  We love their enthusiasm for teaching and new ideas for fun and learning activities.  

Our beautiful art project for this week was “Snowmen at Night” based on the same book by Mark and Caralyn Beuhner and created by DeepSpaceSparkle.  We are loving using pastels and started this project by drawing a snowman and adding colourful details.  The trickiest cutting task so far this year has been cutting around the snowman’s stick hands but true to form, Kindergarten determination and perseverance took over and most children independently cut out theirs out.  The second part was painting the snowy background which we all did with the enthusiasm of those who have not yet had a chance to play in the snow (although at the time of writing, this could be changing).

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday is Library Book Exchange.  Please return your books.

January Homework Calendars can still be returned this week.

Our big Multicultural Celebration is on February 7.  Our classes will be attending with the Grade 7 Buddies.