Health and Safety Notes to You: This Week in Our Room: January 25-28, 2021

We’re settling down into our groove this second term, which is typically a busy one with much growth shown by our Kindergarten children.

The children’s printing is beginning to grow by leaps and bounds.  They are trying very hard to be mindful of correct letter formation.  It’s not easy and they really have to think and concentrate.  Sometimes we can hear their self-talk as they are repeating the sequence of printing strokes to themselves.  But in doing so, the children are also recognising the letters, practising their letter sounds, the sequence of letter sounds to spell words, and we can begin showing them spelling patterns through rhyming words. 

Allergy Awareness

We decided to elaborate a little more here for your interest and information about our Allergy Awareness.  

At Ridgeview School, classrooms with students who have nut allergies are designated “nut awareness zones” evident by the placement of this sign outside the classroom door.  This is done individually by classroom, on a classroom specific basis.  

In Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin’s class), we have a student with very severe dairy and nut allergies which can result in an anaphylactic reaction. You were originally informed during the Welcome to Kindergarten slideshow to refrain from sending nut-based products to school and we remind the children frequently to be aware of allergens when eating.  

However, with new students to our Kindergarten over the past few months, we thought it would be a good idea to review our expectations for both Kindergarten classrooms, although this applies primarily to Division 16 this year.

-the children are able to eat dairy based products in the classroom (milk, cheese, yogurt).  Children always remain seated while eating.  They have learned to eat carefully in their personal space and to clean up after themselves.  We’ve been very successful with hand-washing/sanitizing and wiping down tables in the event of spills.

-please do not send any nuts or nut-based products to school.  This includes peanut butter, foods containing nuts eg., Nutella, trail mix, cookies with nuts, and please also be aware of granola bars containing nuts.  Read the label everytime.

-we remind the children regularly not to share food in the classroom.  They should only eat the food their parents have prepared for them, or food that was ordered from the Hot Lunch Program.  Due to Covid-19 this year, there is no food brought into the classrooms to share, and there is no eating of food on the playground during school hours.

-we discuss allergies frequently and have learned that other students and some parents in our class not only have food allergies, but many are allergic to animals.  The children are definitely familiar with allergy, possibly symptoms and prevention strategies.

-we have discussed learning to live with allergies in a classroom setting.  It is rare that we do not have one to two students a year in Kindergarten with allergies.  Because we are teaching our children about empathy, acceptance and inclusion, we can also teach them how to support their friends with allergies and consider how we are all able to enjoy eating and socialising safely together.

If you have any questions regarding food allergies in the classroom setting, please do not hesitate to contact your classroom teacher.

Emergency Preparedness

Thank you to everyone for your kind understanding regarding the recent power outage and school closure.  These do not happen very often (just the second time in about 20 years at Ridgeview) but it certainly is unsettling as everyone tries to figure out what is going to happen next.  Please continue to check your emails from our school office, and you can always visit Ridgeview’s school website.

We had a fire drill practise last week and we were very pleased with the children’s behaviour.  It is expected behaviour that the children will not talk in line and follow all teacher instructions immediately.  The children cannot hear us if they are talking among themselves.  All the practise we do waiting and walking in line quietly pays off when we quickly issue directions in emergency situations.  We work quickly as a school to bring all students outside in a calm and orderly manner and line up by division on the grade field.  Once the fire drill is declared to be over, we return to our classrooms in the same self-regulated manner.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Mask Etiquette:  please remember the reusable masks should be worn only once before washing.  The children sometimes get food on the inside of the masks and they must be washed. We are very appreciative of the high number of students who diligently wear their masks to school every day.

Disposable masks should be changed daily.

The children took home their new Library Books last Friday.  Books will be due on Friday, February 5.

Winter Fun: This Week in Our Room: January 4-8, 2021

We’ve had a very fun first week back at school.  We were so happy to see all of our children return happy and healthy from the Christmas Break.  

We have spent our first few days of school reviewing the health and safety protocols to keep everyone safe.  Diligent handwashing, hand sanitising, two to three children at a Centre and social distancing to the best of our ability are essential to maintaining a healthy classroom for students and school staff.  We are favouring hand-washing over hand sanitising in the classroom, and taking the time to review constantly and consistently how this skill is to be completed.  It’s important that the children understand that hand-washing is a school expectation and are compliant when following the school rules.

The children settled in well to our regular classroom routines, focusing on the teacher and listening carefully to instructions.  We’re continuing our work on self-regulation, and taking the time to practise our breathing and reflect while listening to quiet music.  These strategies leave us feeling calm, relaxed and refreshed before we begin our learning activities.

This week a third Hot Lunch meal (pizza) is being offered for Friday.  Please note that if your child orders pizza, he or she must bring the pizza box home to recycle.  If your child orders sushi, chicken strips or hot dogs on Wednesday and Thursday, please remember to send a large ziploc bag to bring home the packaging.

The children brought home three Library Books this week so please keep track as it will be a big return day in two weeks.

We were busy this week with our Alphabet work on the letter k.  We made some cute K kites and drew patterns and symbols for decoration.

As we begin every month, the children drew their January self-portraits.  We continue to be amazed at how well they have progressed in their directed line drawing and use of five colours or more to make a beautiful presentation.

We made the most wonderful multi-media snowglobes at the end of the week.  The children have become accustomed to using a variety of art materials.  They enjoy learning about the differences between crayons, felt pens and pastels and their specific functions; using their scissors for cutting shapes; and observing how special tools (snowflake hole punch) and finishes (Sparkle Mod Podge) can create interesting effects.

This term we are working on Numeracy and counting.  We’ve spent some already working on subitizing (recognizing how many in a set eg., dice formations) and now we are learning about Part-Whole relationships and Number Conservation.  Ours is a play-based, manipulative math program so the use of a variety of manipulative items for counting, sorting, patterning, and creating sets is essential.  We spend several days before beginning each new unit of instruction in free exploration so the children are familiar with the manipulatives and ready to receive our instructions for their learning tasks.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Sharing and Special Helper:  The next round of Sharing and Special Helper begins in a couple more weeks.  Our theme will be “Family.”  We’d like each child to bring in 1-3 photos of their family and be ready to talk about their family’s three favourite activities to do together.  We will send home an example through Remind in the next couple of days so you can help your child to prepare.