We had a great first week of full and busy days. We can see the changes in our students as they are learning about their self-regulation, and working on managing their energy throughout the school day. You might have heard your child mention the “green zone” which is the optimal zone for learning. When students are feeling peaceful, calm, relaxed and focused, they are more likely to feel happy and able to direct their attention to their learning. We establish clear and consistent classroom expectations, rules and routines to make the classroom a safe and predictable space. The children know not only what is expected of them, but of their classmates as well. The children feel more secure in their understanding of expected classroom behaviour, and can now put their energy into learning and having fun with their classmates.
Being in the “green zone” begins at the start of the day when the children are lining up to enter the classroom. We encourage the children to wait quietly in line, no running around on the playground (this would be considered the “yellow zone” when energy is elevated), for when the teacher opens the door. Even just this simple routine makes for a smoother transition to the classroom.
Being self-regulated in Kindergarten includes these expected behaviours
On my own, I can:
-pay attention to the teacher
-sit quietly at meeting time
-understand and follow rules
-follow safety commands such as “no,” and “stop”
-share with a friend
-talk and listen to others
-play by myself
-play cooperatively with others
-use strategies to stay calm when I’m feeling frustrated
(from “Welcome to Kindergarten” which occurs in the Spring prior to Kindergarten classes beginning)
We started work on our Alphabet this week. We made an “a is an apple” craft, learned the correct letter formation for uppercase and lowercase A and practised our printing. We are also learning correct printing posture while sitting at the tables:
-bottom on the chair seat
-pull the chair in towards the table
-feet on the floor
-printing hand holds a pencil
-helping hand holds the paper still for printing and drawing
We review this process once or twice a day, everyday, with the children whenever we are completing written activities.
During Math this month we are working on exploring a variety of math manipulatives. The children are learning to share and cooperate and follow a rotation of different activities in small groups. Everyday we are practising counting, patterning colours, the days of the week and completing our weather graph as part of our Math Their Way calendar activities. The Special Helper leads us through these integrated math tasks.
Tuesday was an exciting day for our classes. We planted about 80 succulents, strawberry and rose campion plants in the school garden. The garden has been landscaped to include picnic tables and benches and we are replanting all of the garden beds. We were thrilled that our children will be able to watch the garden grow over their next eight years at Ridgeview.
We had a fabulous weather day for our Terry Fox Run. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations. We ran laps around our gravel field with the Grade 1 students, and were supervised by Grade 7 students and staff. The children showed their Canadian spirit in their red and white clothes. It’s really wonderful to see the Kindergarten participating in our full school events.
Health and Safety: We are working really hard on incorporating all of the health and safety protocols. The children are washing their hands diligently before they enter the classroom, before they eat and after using the bathroom, and after we come in from morning and lunch recess. They are using hand sanitizer when we change activities and after eating. We’re encouraging all of our students to wear a mask inside their classrooms. We have several children requesting a mask each day. Please check with your children so they can bring their own to school. Most children wear the same mask for the entire school day, but some like to change their mask mid-way. We’ve noticed that many children have a ziploc bag of extra masks tucked away in their backpacks which we thought was a fantastic idea!
Mask Etiquette: We’re expecting that masks are being replaced daily so the children have a clean, fresh mask to use each day. Reusable masks should be washed each day. Non-surgical masks should have the ear straps cut before disposing of them.
Upcoming Events and Reminders
Our weekly schedule has now been finalised.
Monday: Library (for both classes)
Tuesday: Music (Division 15, Mrs. Campbell)
Wednesday: Music (for both classes)
Friday: Music (Division 16, Mrs. Daudlin)
Wednesday, September 29, 2021: Individual Photos
Thursday, September 30, 2021: National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (school is not in session)