Autumn is Here…This Week in Our Room: November 9-13, 2020

We had a lovely Remembrance Day Assembly on Tuesday and we were so pleased with the children’s self-regulation during this solemn time.  Thank you so much to Mr. Zerbe and Mr. Parslow, our fab admin team, for putting together such a meaningful video for our virtual assembly.

You would have seen some of the Kindergarten art work, including our Canada flags and peace doves, featured in the video.  We are very proud of our students for their artistic contributions of these iconic symbols.

We are coming to the end of our first theme for Sharing and Special Helper.  We were just so delighted with the response!  Thank you to all the families for your support and diligence in helping your child to be prepared.   Being the Special Helper is a real leadership opportunity for the children and they have done so well with their Sharing and speaking aloud.  We’ve noticed an increase in confidence when the children are leading the class during Calendar time, and their understanding of patterns and counting.

We start our new Sharing and Special Helper theme, “All About Me,” this week.  Please check your Reminds from this week for the information chart and calendars for your child’s Special Helper Day.

This week we finished the letter “f” and worked on the formation for “5.”  We’ll be sending home these activities in the next day or so.  We also made our November self-portraits and created ABC patterns around our names.

We have created some beautiful laminated envelopes with the children to bring home their special schoolwork from September and October.  You will be absolutely thrilled with your child’s treasures, and you’ll be able to see their growth over the past number of weeks in their drawing, colour and printing.  The envelopes will need to be returned back to school so we can use them again at the beginning of December.  

Ridgeview School tries to support the local community for those in need as much as possible during the school year.  Due to COVID-19, we’ve been unable to do some of our traditional charitable activities, such as the Hallowe’en Candy Collection to make Candy Gift Bags at Christmas.  However, after much careful thought and planning for health and safety, Mrs. Meldrum’s Grade 4 Class is organising a Glove, Toque and Sock Drive.  They will be collecting NEW Adult size gloves and mitten, toques and socks.  We have a donation bag in our classrooms; donations will be collected by the Grade 4 children.  Kindergarten children wishing to donate will bring their contribution and place it in the bag.  Children who donate will have their name recorded on a paper “sock” which is “hung” on the Sock Drive Clothesline.  We will send a photo along on Remind as the  contributions are made and socks are hung. 

As much as we have enjoyed having a quick word with you on the playground, with the dropping temperatures it’s getting chilly outside to be chatting!   We’re going to maintain ourwelcome to each child as he or she enters the classroom, and our good-bye to each one at the end of the day.  Please send us an email if you have any questions or want to let us know something eg., a change in pick-up.  We will try to get to you as soon as we can.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We’re expecting a serious week of rain this week, so here are some things you can practise at home if your child is not independent with rain wear and rain boots, and a few useful reminders:

-when the teachers ask students to wear a coat, we are doing so to keep them comfortable for the remaining portions of the day; we both have students trying to line up continually without coats and/or boots and this slows the entire class down while we wait for them to change and go outside

-please check-in with your child regularly that their boots still fit; we will try to let you know when they are starting to struggle with putting them on

-practise a working sequence of getting ready:  rain pants, rain boots, coat, zip  or button up your coat, hats, and then gloves and mittens.  When gloves are the first thing to be pulled on, we are inevitably called to help with coats, rain pants and boots. 

-pulling out the sleeves from wet coats, and sleeves and legs of a muddy buddy, after they’ve taken it off to dry for the next playtime.

Peace is…the Kindergarten Children: This Week in our Room: November 2-6, 2020

This week we began talking about Remembrance Day with our children.  We read several books and discussed some of the iconic symbols such as the poppy and peace doves, and the concepts of peace and freedom.  Our emphasis is what does peace mean to each of us on a personal level and how that makes us feel.

We were truly moved by some of the charming thoughts the children had about peace.  This poem by the Kindergarten children is inspired by The Peace Book by Todd Parr.

Peace is my home.

Peace is playing with my friends.

Peace is making a new friend.

Peace is helping others.

Peace is taking a nap.

Peace is being creative with my mom and dad.

Peace is being with my family.

Peace is watching nature.

Peace is growing a garden.

Peace is planting flowers.

Peace is snuggling with my dad.

Peace is speaking kindly.

Peace is playing kindly with my friends.

Peace is helping others.

Peace is spending time with my family.

Peace is sharing a meal.

Peace is a clean ocean for the dolphins.

Peace is my fish.

Peace is playing soccer with my friends.

Peace is swimming in the pool with my friends.

Peace is having good dreams when I sleep.

What a beautiful world we have, and a bright future ahead of us, with these thoughtful and inspirational ideas about peace from our Kindergarten children!

We are having our virtual Remembrance Day assembly in our own classrooms on Tuesday, November 10 at 11 am.  Mr. Zerbe and Mr. Parslow have prepared a special video for us to watch.  We will give the children their poppies to wear for the class ceremony; we are collecting a small donation for the poppies – $2 would be a fine amount.  Please send this next week if you can.  Thank you.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Wednesday, November 11:  Remembrance Day – school is not in session

Tuesday, November 17:  Kindergarten Physical Literacy assessments – all students need to wear runners to complete their locomotor assessments.

Hallowe’en Fun: This Week in Our Room: October 26-30, 2020

We had a lot of Hallowe’en fun this week with our Kindergarten children!  

We worked hard to keep our activities and crafts in line with COVID-19 restrictions.  The children have been diligently washing their hands before, during and after Centre time.  We were pleased that during Art, and for crafts, all children can use individual paintbrushes and pastels.  And our classroom parents really supported us in providing special Hallowe’en snacks for their own children in the afternoon.  It was a lot of organisation for our parents on Friday (costumes, regular snack and lunch, special snack, library books) and we thank everyone so much for their efforts.  We will get through this together as we are all in it together.

We finished our cute spooky bats which the children brought home with them for the weekend.

We painted beautiful jack-o-lanterns, inspired by Patti Palmer and her amazing website for teachers and parents, Deep Space Sparkle.

We tried a new craft this year, project Candy Corn, which was great fun, using cut tissue squares (developing good fine motor skills as the children had to separate the squares and glue them on individually) and a candy corn template.  We topped the candy corn with Sparkle Mod Podge and crystal glitter for a beautiful finish (more glitter = more fun).

The children dressed up in their best Hallowe’en costumes (oh so cute!) and everyone brought their own special snack for a treat while we watched “Room on the Broom,” from the book Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.  Did you know that “Room on the Broom” won an International Emmy Award in 2013 for Kids: Animation?  This movie is recommended for children 3-7 years old.  It is absolutely delightful, voiced by a stellar British cast.

The excitement of Hallowe’en is always followed by a more sombre time, as we prepare for Remembrance Day at school.  Our focus will be on peace, and what peace means for each of us on a personal level.  We will also talk about the poppy and its significance, and what it means to be a Canadian.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Please return your October Homework Calendar.  November Homework Calendars were sent home last week.

Monday, November 3:  Photo Retakes – please advise your teacher if your child is having a photo retake so we do not miss anyone.

Wednesday, November 11:  Remembrance Day:  school is not in session

Kindergarten Mask Etiquette 101: This Week in Our Room: October 13-16, 2020

Now that we have settled into the classroom routines, and falling into a rhythm of our Kindergarten day, it’s time to return to talking about the COVID health and safety protocols.

As your Kindergarten teachers, we are very careful in the classroom with handwashing, hand sanitizing, cleaning the tables, individual Kindergarten school supplies per child and resources and Centres on a 3 day rotation to help reduce the spread of germs.  We usually follow most of these practises, COVID or not.

Today, we want to talk about mask hygiene and etiquette for our Kindergarten classes.  For the protection of the children, and the teachers who come into contact with our students who are wearing masks, please go over the following points with your child:

-ensure the mask fits properly, over the chin and nose – the mask must be worn over the nose, not beneath, to be worn correctly

-reusable masks should be washed daily 

-disposal masks are a one-time use and should be replaced daily – please remember to cut the ear straps before disposal as small animals can get trapped in the straps in the landfill

-do not touch the mask – this is becoming a problem in both classrooms; the children cannot touch their mask.  When we see them do this, they are asked to wash their hands again.

-do not pull down the mask to talk to another student, the teacher, or to cough

-if your child is going to wear a mask, our expectation is that the mask would be worn for the day and taken off only to eat at snack and recess; not on and off whenever they choose

-when the mask is removed for eating, it should be placed in your child’s lunchbox, not on the table.  We have addressed this every day with the children.  The masks cannot be left on the tables while eating.

We are working very hard every day to keep our children, the classroom, hallways and school safe.  It’s important to remember that each of us has a responsibility to keeping our Kindergarten community, and each learning cohort (each Division) safe and healthy.  We are really proud of the Kindergarten children and how they have been flexible, resilient and compliant with the myriad of healthy and safety protocols.  Let’s keep working together because we are all in this together.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

These rainy days are hard when the children have to get themselves ready to go outside to play.  We are helping as much as we can while wearing our masks due to close proximity; but there are a few things you can practise at home to help increase your child’s independence.

-practising the snaps of the raincoats – very tricky because the snaps are stiff

-practising how to zip up your coat

-pulling sleeves out when you take off your coat – makes it easier to get ready for the next playtime recess and allows the raincoat to dry properly

-running shoes for classroom use and rainboots for outside – please do not send your child to school in a hybrid “shoe/boot” and not plan for them to change.  Students must change their shoes on a rain day and have some kind of indoor shoe to wear.

The children notice the number of woodchips accumulating on our classroom carpet when other students do not change their shoes – and no one likes sitting on a dirty carpet.

If you have not yet paid your school fees, please do so.  You’ll need to access School Cash online which was linked within the September school ebulletins.

If you have not yet signed off on the 2020-2021 Policy and Procedures Form, go to our Ridgeview website, then to “Parents” and then “Forms.” It’s located there.  This should be done ASAP.

Sharing and Special Helper begins tomorrow!

Friday, October 23, is a Professional Day.  Students are not in session.

September Wrap-Up: This Week in Our Room: September 28-October 2, 2020

It was a full week with the Kindergarten here all day, everyday  And we’d have to say the Kindergarten was pretty awesome as they persevered through a week filled with activity.

The week started with a long wait to get our photos taken, but the children were very excited to see the gym where the photos were being taken.  They waited quite calmly and were able to see lots of other classes as they were coming through.  The children were pleased to finally walk up the big staircases to the main floor, our classrooms being downstairs.

We usually complete our Alphabet work a letter per week, but we always take a little more time at the beginning of the year.  The children completed their Itchy’s Alphabet A page and “a is an Apple” craft.  The children will complete a craft for each alphabet letter.  These little crafts will look fantastic in a long line in your child’s room, or the kitchen, where the children can see it and say the alphabet names and sounds.

During Math, we’ve been using a variety of concrete materials to explore. We know the children need time to explore and play with the math manipulatives before starting to use them intentionally for patterning, developing number sense and counting.  The children did a great job of using the pattern blocks, wooden blocks, multi-links, beads and connectors. 

The children have enjoyed their Music teacher, Mrs. Soderling, who is teaching them new songs and dances.

This week was our first Library Class Book Exchange with Mrs. Kennedy, our Teacher-Librarian.  The children will get a new book every two weeks and they must bring back their Library Book to get a new one.  We are very strict about that rule, so we recommend bringing back the book well in advance of the due date.

Our Ice-Cream Social was delicious and enjoyed by all!

We sent home the following note today:

Today your child is bringing home two reusable face masks provided for them by the West Vancouver School District.

Please label your child’s mask as each child has exactly the same one.  Students are encouraged to have a mask with them at school during the day and to wear it if they feel comfortable doing so.

Upcoming Events and Reminders:

Early Dismissal on Wednesday, October 7 and Thursday, October 8 next week.  School will dismiss at 12:50 pm.  Grades 1-7 will have their Parent Teacher Conferences.
Thanksgiving Day on Monday, October 12 is a holiday.  All schools will be closed.

First Week Together:  This Week in Our Room:  September 21-24, 2020

We had a lot of fun together this week, bringing all of our children together.  For the first hour of the day, they were very quiet, looking at each other and trying to process who all these new children were in their classroom!  But by the end of the morning, and certainly by the end of this week, the children were finding new friends, continuing to settle into their routine and enjoying being part of “the big school.”

The main routine we are working on is Centre Time where we have two “shifts” of play time.  Centre Time is essential for the children as it’s their opportunity to play, to use the social language of play, to practise the skills of sharing and cooperation and to enjoy the friendship of their classmates.  We see the children using their creativity to colour, draw and build whether they are drawing a picture of themselves or using Lego bricks to make a tower.  We observe them work through social situations in the House Corner that they might be thinking about, during sustained, imaginary play.  And we listen to their use of oral language to ask for a specific toy or spot to sit – the children are very familiar with, and use phrases like “be nice,” “take turns,” “make it fair” and “share with your friend,” so not only are they well-versed in UN diplomacy and negotiation, we think the future looks very bright.

The other part of our Centre Time routine is the regular hand washing or hand sanitising we do “between” play shifts (in addition to before and after eating and after outside play).  The children have adapted to their routine very quickly and everyone remembers to come over for a “hand sani.”

This week we started with the literacy instruction of the Alphabet.  Although many children are familiar with their letters, our main focus for the next 26 + weeks will be on developing the children’s phonological awareness, or their ability to attend to the sound structure of language.  When children have strong phonological awareness, they understand language is made up of sounds (phonemic awareness), syllables, rhymes and words.  While we do not teach the children to read per se, in Kindergarten, we are, as with self-regulation, working on establishing a firm foundation upon which to build an understanding of language and love of literacy (reading and writing).  

We have written an extensive blog post on our perspective of a balanced approach to reading instruction and phonological awareness which you can read here.

We also teach the formation of the printed letters for both uppercase and lowercase, and strongly encourage the children to begin printing their names in upper and lowercase letters as they learn each one.  We usually average one letter a week; however, as we are just getting started, you’ll notice that it’s about two weeks.  We send home a completed printing sheet and our delightful alphabet craft, so as soon as yours comes home, you know we have moved onto the next letter.  

Upcoming Events and Reminder

It’s a big week, everybody.  But at least the weather is calling for sun.

Monday, September 28:  Photo Day for Individual Pictures.

Tuesday, September 29:  Terry Fox Day.  We will be running a lap around the field (runners are a must) with Mrs. Campbell’s class.  We will be mindful of social distancing as we complete our run.  Our school goal is to add up all of the laps the students run, and see how many marathons we will have completed.  Please wear red and white, to celebrate Terry and our country’s colours, on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 1:  Fire Drill.  We will explain the fire drill procedure to the children before the actual event on Thursday.  We will reassure the children and explain it’s like an earthquake drill, it’s just for practise so we know what to do in case of a real emergency.  The bell will be loud, but the children should not really cover their ears in an emergency situation:  they must be able to hear the teacher at all times.  The children will line up and follow us across the playground and we walk down the stairs to the grass field where we line up by Division number (we are the last two Divisions).  The most important thing we emphasise is no talking so students can hear the teachers, and to walk for everyone’s safety.  This is one of the many times where we can observe the children’s growth in their self-regulation.  We will do better as a class if everyone is calm and focused on the teacher at all times.

We have traditionally held Ridgeview’s Ice Cream Social in early September as a mixer for parents and students following a Meet My Teacher event.  However, as we are unable to have parents in our school building during this time, we still wanted to do something special for the children, so the Ice Cream Social will go ahead on Thursday.  The children will be given individually wrapped ice-cream sandwiches as they leave the classroom and can enjoy them with their parents after school.  

*students attending Camp Ridgeview will eat their ice-cream at after school care; we will send their treat along with them

Classroom Schedules:  Finalised at last!

Division 15 (Mrs. Campbell):

Monday:  Music, PE

Tuesday:  Music

Friday:  Library 

Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin):

Monday:  Music, PE

Thursday:  Music

Friday:  Library 

 

Hello and Welcome Back!  This Week in Our Room:  September 14-18, 2020

A very warm welcome back to school from your Ridgeview Kindergarten Teachers!

Christy and I are delighted to welcome all of our new Kindergarten children and their families to Ridgeview.  We have had an amazing first week of gradual entry for our students and they have been perfectly delightful and adorable all at the same time!

It’s been a long time since we have written our weekly newsletter and blog post.  We last posted just after we went to Remote Learning and decided to stop as we were in daily communication with our Kindergarten families and truly, we missed being able to talk about our children in person, and show their schoolwork.

But now we’re back so it’s time to get started again.  We will try to post weekly, or biweekly, as we adjust to our new normal back at school.  Cleaning protocols, a complete overhaul and re-organisation of school supplies and Centre Time, and thinking of new ways to make Kindergarten fun, thoughtful, intentional and sustainable in a COVID-19 aware learning environment is causing us a bit of a paradigm shift!  But it’s all good and we are so happy to be providing in-person instruction for our littlest learners.  The children are absolutely the best part of our day.

This week our primary focus has been getting to know the children, establishing classroom routines and going over the classroom rules and expectations.  Classroom routines are really important to us:  they give the children a sense of order and predictability so when they enter the classroom they know what to expect and what to do.  The children feel more confident knowing what is the expected behaviour in the classroom, not only for themselves but what is expected of their classmates.  In this way, we can kindly remind each other to be “our best self.”

We’re looking forward to meeting with you this week in our virtual Early Intake Conferences.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Remind:  we love to use Remind, the teacher app, so please make sure you have signed up to receive our text messages.  Depending upon your carrier, you may have to download the app, which we really recommend.

Early Intake Conferences:  if you have not emailed your teacher to confirm your time, please do so.

We are in session from 8:40-11:40 am from Monday to Thursday.  

Friday, September 25, is a Professional Day and school is not in session for the children.

Beginning Monday, September 28, Kindergarten will be in session from 8:40 am-2:40 pm.  Our children will require a morning snack, lunch and a non-spill reusable water bottle.

Happy Easter from Our Homes to Yours…April 6-9, 2020

This past week completes our first attempt at Teaching and Learning from Home.  Although it was something we had ever expected to put into place, we are so pleased to read the emails from our parents, and see the pictures of student work from our Kindergarten children.  We want to thank all of our Kindergarten parent community for working with us to support our young learners.

Today is Easter weekend and we wanted to wish all of our families a Happy Easter.  We wished so much to have been at school, having our traditional Kindergarten Easter with the children.  But seeing as we were not able to, and at a time such as this, our focus instead is on our families, that you (and we) are all together, healthy and safe.  With everyone staying at home, we’re finding there is return to more family time, more connecting, more reflection and an appreciation of, and gratitude for, the simple things.  

Spring is a season of renewal and change, a season of light and fresh blooms, new hopes and new beginnings.  Let us be hopeful in this time of uncertainty, and know we are all in this together.

 

Teaching and Learning from Home…From Our Homes to Yours:  March 30-April 3, 2020

When we said good-bye to our Kindergarten children at Spring Break, we knew there was uncertainty about when we would return to school.  But hopeful and ever-optimistic that we are, we thought perhaps we might all be able start together this past Monday. But over the past number of days, then weeks, with the steady cancellation of concerts, travel, professional sports, and provincial and national expectations to #stayhome #physicaldistance and #flattenthecurve, we now find ourselves in the unusual position of teaching remotely from home.

Mrs. Daudlin’s Learning Space

We count ourselves fortunate to be teaching and working in West Vancouver School District as communication has been excellent.  We have known exactly what’s been happening in our district through our district and school’s broadcast videos, Microsoft Team meetings and emails.  Because we are teachers with young children in our care, our concern is heightened for students and their families. We know and understand the importance of the daily routines for children and the structure and support that school provides for them.  And us.

So what is it like to be working from home?  Well, we’re kind of in the same position as most parents working from home (planning and tasks to be completed, virtual meetings and connecting with others) except that we don’t have young children living with us anymore.  Instead, our University-aged children arrived at the front door a week or two ago with all of their laundry, assignments, projects and up-coming exams. Universities have closed and our kids are also learning remotely. Good thing we never took over their empty bedrooms to turn into craft and wrapping rooms.  Suddenly, the kitchen is in operation 24/7 (lots of late night eating), the lights are on till late (watching Disney +) and the bathroom is really the last room left for privacy. And it is AWESOME that our kids are back. 

Mrs. Campbell’s learning space

For the first week of “school,” starting tomorrow, we’re going to be working on setting up personal learning spaces with our Kindergarten children, creating a homemade Math Their Way calendar and completing a few Easter activities.  In our emails with parents, “routines,” “guidance” and “independent work” emerged as common themes as ways for us to support them at home. We’ve decided to provide a weekly overview of learning activities, and also create daily schedules for families who want more structure.  We want to make learning available for our children but allow all families to take what works best for them during this time.  

Our parents have told us their children are missing us (very tearful for everyone) and their classroom and friends.  The children (and certainly all of us) want to know when will this all be over?  Although none of us have the answer to that question, actions we can all take are to keep washing our hands, stay at home, and stay connected with our friends and family virtually.  

To our dear Kindergarten children, we love you and we miss you so much.  Be kind to your family. We are all in this together.