This and That Highlights Edition:  This Week in Our Room: January 20-23, 2020

We couldn’t decide on a title for this week’s newsletter.  We’ve been unbelievably busy going here and there, doing this and that and finishing up our bits and pieces.  But we absolutely accomplished a lot, we can promise you that.

So we’re just going to focus on the highlights of the week:

Alphabet:  This week was printing of the letter “o,” which, the teachers have decided, needs more work in the coming weeks.  Many of our children have a habit of starting from the bottom and forming the letter clockwise. Actually, we start at the top and our pencil moves counter-clockwise, “around and close.”  We will continue to develop mindfulness in printing the “o” and work on improving letter formation next week.

Good thing we had these cutie-pie “O is an octopus” alphabet crafts to complement our printing.

Math Centre Rotations:  The primary focus during the second term for Kindergarten mathematics is on number sense.  Although many of the children are very skilled in rote number counting, we are developing their sense of number through subitizing (recognizing “how many” in a set eg., dot patterns on a dice); part-whole relationships (the number of objects remains the same even if arranged differently); creating and counting (one-to-one correspondence) sets of objects; partitioning (breaking down numbers into units which are easier to manage such as 5s and 10s; and cardinality (the actual count or number of items in a set)

Badminton:  We had the most wonderful instruction from our wonderful coach, former two-time Olympian Anna Rice.  The children learned so much about badminton basics (equipment, stance, racquet grip, shuttle hold) while incorporating physical literacy skills.  Division 15 (Mrs. Campbell) has finished all four of their lessons; Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin) will have their final lesson (due to the snow day) on February 19.

Lunar New Year Celebration:  Gung Hay Fat Choy! It’s the Year of the Rat and we celebrated with some amazing learning centres in our Ridgeview Library last Wednesday.  Many, many thanks to the numerous parent volunteers who created the five centres (candy making, make and take dumplings, Chinese symbol window decorations, Chinese brush painting and the traditional game of Touhu).  We created a lot of fun memories and the children enjoyed all of their take home goodies.

Winter Art:  We’ve been making lots of winter themed art and we’d have to say, it’s almost as much as playing in the snow!  We made the most adorable snowglobes, and we are mid-way through finishing our winter landscapes. We’ll have more to share with you next week!

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Lunar New Year in the Kindergarten.  All this week we will be celebrating Lunar New Year with a set of on-going crafts and colouring pages during Centre Time.  It’s going to be a fun and colourful time!

On Wednesday, we have asked the Kindergarten parents in our Chinese community to bring some food to school for a fun tasting of noodles, dumplings, oranges and fortune cookies for our children.  We’re going to begin around 11:30 in Mrs. Daudlin’s classroom.  

Children should bring a small plate or bowl so we can serve them a few food items to try; we will provide forks and chopsticks.  We understand some children may be reluctant to taste some new foods and that’s ok if they just want to have an orange slice and a cookie.  This is meant to be a fun time to celebrate the new year and enjoy the company of our friends.

Tuesday is Library Book Exchange.

The weather seems temperamental again this week so raincoats, rainboots and an extra pair of pants and socks are a good idea to have on hand.


Snow Day!  This Week in Our Room:  January 13-17, 2020

Snow was our watch word all week and we certainly had a #snowmageddon here on the Westcoast, and indeed, through much of BC.  The snow was a delight for the Kindergarten. They really enjoyed their time to play, at home and school, in the snow. There was a lot of snowman building on the playground and we were delighted to see the Kindergarten children working together on a common goal.

One of the things that became quite noticeable this week is the level of independence the children need to be to be dressed appropriately for the snow weather.  There is only one teacher for a Kindergarten classroom. The children learned quickly to put on their snowpants first, followed by ski jacket, snow boots, hat and finally, waterproof gloves or mittens.  They’ve discovered that pulling on their gloves first is not conducive to putting on their jacket, and doing up their zipper; and boots before snowpants just doesn’t work.  

You can support your child by allowing them to dress themselves at home, and getting ready to go outside.  We know it takes time and practise, and we’ve been through it ourselves with our own children and many classes of Kindergarten children.  With only one teacher assigned to a classroom full of children; it’s impossible to help each and every child at the same time. Fortunately, Kindergarteners usually figure out it’s faster to just do things for themselves (get their own crayons, put on their shoes, open their own food containers, put on and zip up their jackets) instead of waiting around for the teacher.  

Our job as parents (and teachers) is to teach independence so our children can practise self-care, learn, work, play, make and sustain friendships and manage on their own.  Every time we give our children the gift of independence, we are giving them skills for life.   

Part of the fun of winter is indoor activity, so we’ve started badminton with former two time Canadian Olympian, Anna Rice.  Coach Anna has taught badminton to all of our Ridgeview students over the past few years and we are so fortunate to have her at our school again.  The Kindergarten is starting with the basics, learning badminton terminology (shuttle, cork, feathers; racquet, grip, body, neck, head) and how to hold the shuttle and throw underhand over the net — all of this in just our first lesson!  Coach Anna is emphasising the physical literacy skills with our children and teaching them an appreciation for the world’s fastest sport!

Back in the classroom, our week was somewhat disjointed but we carried on with our alphabet work (“n is the night sky”) and play based activities for developing number sense in Math.  We’ve also been reading some wonderful stories about winter, including the classic, Sadie’s Snowman by Allen Morgan (illustrated by Brenda Clark) and Charlie and Lola’s Snow is My Favorite and My Best by Lauren Child.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, January 20 is Badminton for both K classes.  Children must wear running shoes.

Tuesday, January 21 is Library Book Exchange for both k classes.  Please return your book so you can borrow a new one. Tuesday is Badminton for Mrs. Campbell’s class so please wear runners to school. 

Wednesday, January 22 is our school Lunar New Year (Year of the Rat) Celebration).  Our children will be participating in a variety of stations set up for us in the Library.  Many thanks to our parent volunteers who create these special events for us and for the beautiful lantern decorations throughout the school.

Thursday, January 23 is Badminton for Mrs. Daudlin’s class.

Friday, January 24 is a Professional Development Day for teachers.  School is not in session for students.


Happy New Year!  This Week in Our Room:  January 6-10, 2019

Happy New Year and welcome back to Kindergarten!  We’ve had a strong start following our routine to school.  The children have done well settling back into the routines, and they’ve remembered quite well the expectations for self-regulated listening and behaviour.  We’re so proud of them and it is wonderful to see how much they’ve grown in only two weeks.  

We got right down to business on Monday morning with our Alphabet work on the letter “m.”  The children are working hard on their printing, especially following the correct formation for printing the letters.  This is very important because in the next year or two, speed will also become necessary in printing. We’re not worried about that yet…rather, our priority is taking the time to lay a strong foundation for correct letter formation which will contribute to increased speed, in addition to the correct shape, size and spacing between letters and words.

After much anticipation through the week, we finally got to make our “m is a mouse” craft.

We’ve been blending three sounds into words (CVC – consonant, vowel, consonant) as part of our phonological awareness to train the ear to listen for the sounds, the sequence of the sounds and manipulate the sounds to say and read words.  For example, b-a-t is bat. We can manipulate the “b” to a “c” and say c-a-t- is cat. (Remember, we’re saying the sounds, not the letter names).

A fun way to practise is to say rhyming word families:  bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, vat.  

Manipulate the “a” to “e” and you can say:

Bet, get, jet, let, met, net, set, vet

We had lots of fun with our District Physical Literacy teachers on Tuesday.  The children participated in a variety of circuit training stations using small equipment.  They listened very well and participated fully in the different activities.

It’s the start of a new month so we drew our January self-portraits.  They might look chilly, but each drawing is warm with love!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

The big news for next week is the weather.  It’s going to be cold. The children should all have waterproof mittens or gloves they can put on themselves.  They are managing their boots, rain pants and jackets to the best of their ability. Some children still find zippers and snaps challenging but they are persevering.  We are teaching them to pull out the sleeves from their wet jackets to dry properly between the morning and lunch recess.

We’re playing badminton now (Mrs. Campbell’s class started on Friday) in PE so students must have running shoes to wear in the gym.  Crocs, slippers, dress shoes and fashion boots are not suitable footwear for PE. Please keep a pair of runners at school all the time.

Library books should be returned for Tuesday.