This Week in Our Room:  April 8-12, 2019

As the March Hare said, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.  For a very important date!” Sorry we’re late with the newsletter.  It was a very busy week and weekend so we will just look at some of the highlights!

W is a watermelon…the children loved making the adorable watermelons.  Everybody had a story to tell about the seeds (spitting, spitting, and more spitting) and we all agreed it was the best and juiciest part of summer living.  Our Ws looked pretty amazing as well!

During the final term in Kindergarten Social Studies, we spend some good discussion time talking about the differences between Need and Wants.  The children really seem to understand the subtle differences (“I don’t need a puppy but I really, really WANT a puppy!”) and they have a realistic concept of the kinds of things they need to live (a sense of belonging, food, water, shelter, education) and the kinds of things they wish for, or want.  We’re so proud of them for openly sharing their feelings and the strong sense of family we have in our classrooms makes that possible.

We’re learning about geometric shapes during Math and have introduced the concept of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes.  The children are learning that circles are round and flat but spheres are round with a ball or globe like shape. They are having an opportunity to complete fun “shape hunts” around the classroom and using shapes in their student response activities.

We saw our Buddies on Friday to make our Easter Bunny Baskets in the hopes that the Easter Bunny might make an early appearance in Divisions 15 and 16.

We made these beautiful patterned Easter eggs in anticipation of the Easter Bunny’s arrival  

By far the most exciting activity we did this week was begin our scheduled time for Forest Play on Friday.  Mr. Schofield’s Grade 4 students took the time to go over with us all the safety rules for playing in the forest during Kindergarten when we together.

-rain boots for creek play

-boundaries include the far ends of the creek

-no tree climbing or creek splashing

-leaves, flowers and berries stay on the plants

What a marvellous time the children had exploring up and down the creek, crawling over rocks, tree roots and stumps using sticks to help them.  It’s the best kind of play–free play with time to explore and investigate to one’s heart’s content.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Friday, April 19-Good Friday (school is not in session)

Monday, April 22-Easter Monday (school is not in session)

Wednesday, April 24–Student Led Conferences (2 pm dismissal)

Our Return to School and the Third Term Begins…This Week in Our Room: April 1-5, 2019

Well, we blinked and then it was suddenly April.  And in the same way we see the cherry trees, spring bulbs and flowers blooming and growing, so are the Kindergarten children.  We took a good look at our children sitting on the alphabet carpet and noticed they were taking up a lot of space in each square!  There are long legs, big eyes and huge smiles everywhere!  But we’re not letting ourselves get too far ahead to start talking about next year.  We have been working very hard to settle back into class and we have many special activities ahead.

The beginning of a new term is always a good time to review our classroom rules, routines and expectations.  Our children have come to understand that rules and routines keep the classroom predictable so they can feel safe, and so they know what is expected not only of themselves, but their classmates.  As the children this year are only five years old, turning six, there are going to be many instances where they forget the rule, cannot remember the routine or perhaps didn’t realize that touching others without asking is unexpected behaviour.  

As Kindergarten teachers we always take the time to review expected vs. unexpected behaviour and the classroom rules and routines (what is your job?).  Sometimes, we have to ask students to take a break (time to breathe, time to get a drink of water, time to sit away from others) so we can go over with them what happened in the course of their decision-making process.  We’re pleased to note that an overwhelming desire to please their teachers means that most of the time everyone listens carefully, shares and cooperate and tries to be mindful of the feelings of others.  Growing up is a work in progress (Christy and I have young adults entering their 20s, and we keep reminding ourselves daily that brain development continues until their early 30s, so it looks like we’re all in this for the long-haul).  We couldn’t be happier with the beautiful development and maturity of our Kinder cuties!

We are in the countdown now as we completed V is a vine this week!  This is such a simple, but pretty craft, and the children will bring theirs home in the next few days.  Our alphabet wall is almost complete!

We heard that Easter is just around the corner, so that means creating Easter egg themed April Self-Portraits and making sparkle eggs to decorate the classroom.  Our little bunnies did a really amazing job – there was a lot of colouring, cutting and arranging in those self-portraits!

Friday was our last day to complete our Penguin Digital Literacy projects with our Big Buddies.  You are going to have a wonderful treat when you see these amazing digital books we made on the app “Book Creator.”  The children have completed some very fine research, gathered pictures from the internet and completed their voiceovers.  We have a couple of technical things to do next and then you will see them at our Science Centre during Student-Led Conferences (SLC) on Wednesday, April 24.  We will send out more information about what to expect for your child’s SLC in a couple of weeks.

This week’s big project was painting the beautiful platters for the Ridgeview RPAC Family FUNdraiser Auction on Friday, April 26.  You will have a chance to bid and win one if you come to the FUNdraiser!!  You must buy tickets to attend this event.  Please see Thursday’s Ridgeview e-bulletin which provides you with more information.

During Spring Break at Bella Ceramica in West Vancouver, Christy and I prepared these platters by first marking out with an “x” in pencil where the centre of each flower would go; these are each covered with 3 coats of paint which we made with the eraser end of a pencil.

Back at school, the children fingerpainted five petals for their flower, twice, for each platter.  We wrote their names in pencil.  We are so fortunate that Ms. Wilson, our Big Buddy Grade 7 teacher, is also an amazing artist.  She did the calligraphy for each of the children’s names, the vines “to connect all of you together” and the leaves.

These photos show the platters just before firing.  

Special thanks to Abigail and Finlay’s moms in their role as Room Parents for their financial organisation of this project.  We just got to have fun and paint!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Our classes have been invited to see “Clean-Up Your Act” by DreamRider Productions on Monday morning.  We will be learning how litter, graffiti and vandalism affect our communities and what we can do to help protect our public spaces.

Please return your Library Books on Monday as we have Library in the afternoon.

Division 15 (Mrs. Campbell) has PE on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin) has PE on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Please remember to have runners at school on those days.

Please note these dates for your April/May Calendar:

Monday, April 15 – Earth Rangers presentation for children

Friday, April 19 – Good Friday – school is not in session

Monday, April 22 – Easter Monday – school is not in session

Wednesday, April 24 – Student Led Conferences (2 pm dismissal)

Friday, April 26 – Ridgeview RPAC Family FUNdraiser (6-8:30 pm)

Friday, May 3 – Class Photos/Panorama Photo