Happy Turkey Day 2019

During Thanksgiving week, our children talked about everything they are thankful for:

My family

My mom when she makes food for me

Holidays

My birthday

Church

My friends

Animals

My dog living so long

My cat

My stuffed dog

Nature

My garden

The colourful flowers

The seasons

Being at school

Making crafts at school

Coming to school everyday

Staying at school all day

Reading books 

My teachers

We are so thankful to be blessed with our families, friends and the dear Kindergarten children and their families in our care this school year.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Love from, your Kindergarten Teachers

 

This Week in Our Room:  September 30 – October 4, 2019

It was a quiet week in the Kindergarten, the kind where we notice how well the children are settling into their classrooms, remembering different routines (print your name with a pencil, tidy up after you finish eating, shoes and boots go into the cubbies) and encouraging and supporting one another.  Most children are entering the classroom easily and enjoy selecting their playtime Centres. It is a joy to watch the children ask each other to play and the cooperative fun that ensures. They have become more comfortable joining groups of children in play, and feel confident they can share and take turns with their friends.  It is a very sweet time for us, as teachers and students.

The Alphabet continues to take shape as we finished up with the letter B.  The children are having fun with our Alphabet activities from listening to stories to printing letters to brainstorming words that begin with the letter/sound of the week.  We’re doing a lot of phonological awareness activities to train the ear to listen to words and syllables.  

In Math this week, we explored our new pattern for October, ABC.  The children also made a graph of their birthdays so we could see where everybody was born during the year.  They were able to analyse the data to notice which months had the most, the fewest or no birthdays at all.

ELL classes also started this week for students receiving this service.  

As always, this week’s most anticipated event was seeing our Big Grade 7 Buddies for apple weaving.  Our children are very much enjoying this personal, one-on-one (sometimes two, as some children have two Big Buddies) time with their Buddy to make crafts, talk and listen to stories.  We’re looking forward to seeing our Buddies again on Friday for a special Thanksgiving craft!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, October 7 is Photo Day!  Kindergarten children will be photographed first while they are still neat and tidy.  

Tuesday is Library Book Exchange.  Please return your book so you can take out a new one.

Wednesday and Thursday is early dismissal for all grades for Parent Teacher Conferences.  The children will be dismissed at 2 pm. If your child attends Camp Ridgeview, please let them know of the change in our school day.  

 

September Reflections:  This Week in Our Room: September 23-26, 2019

We can feel the winds a-changing, the temperatures are getting cooler, our summer blue sky has become moody and the Kindergarten children are settling into their classroom routines…sounds like Autumn is here.

We’re enjoying a little burst of sunshine to help illuminate the beautiful greens and reds around us as the trees are turning colour.  But we definitely have a call now for rainboots and coats…we realise many families are taking these home for the weekend but we must have them back for Monday.  The children are not comfortable walking around in wet socks and shoes, and it’s not very hygenic for their feet to be damp all day.

We’re progressing slowly in our Alphabet but will start to pick up the pace next week as the children’s stamina for some classwork activity increases.  We had fun making our “b” is a bird craft and practise printing lowercase “b” (down to the line, lift, around and close). We’re using a program called “Printing Like a Pro,” which all Grades K-3 use in our school.

Look at these pretty patterned squares to represent the AB pattern….we were very impressed with the children’s attention to precision as they created their patterns.

We have many, many special and memorable times during the Kindergarten year.  But we’d say over the last number of years the time spent with our Grade 7 Big Buddies has been quite magical, and regarded by both grades as notable for the wonderful friendship and connection formed between primary and senior students.  

Our children have the benefit of knowing and forming an attachment with older students who can help (our Buddies are also our lunch and recess monitors) on the playground, observing positive role models, and taking delight in having a Buddy with whom to make crafts, colour pictures and read aloud stories.

For our Grade 7s, many of them are former Kindergarten children, they are given a position of leadership which reinforces their roles and responsibilities as the oldest students in the school.

Our children were enthusiastic participants in Thursday’s Terry Fox Run.  They ran, walked and skipped their way around the gravel field with their Big Buddies.  In fact, we had to ask the Kindergarten to stop after three or four laps because the Grade 7s needed to start their 2k run!  Thank you to everyone for your generous donations. We exceeded our goal of $1000 and will make a significant contribution to cancer research on behalf of Ridgeview.  Go Dragons!

We have finished a very busy first month in Kindergarten and we noticed our children were starting to slow down a little bit as the week progressed.  They have worked hard, putting all of their energy and focus into listening to the teacher, referencing their peers, remembering the class routines, following the class routines and completing a myriad of teacher-directed activities.  We often hear how Kindergarten children were able to manage very long days at preschool and daycare and now they are tired, a bit short-tempered and not as self-regulated in the evenings.  

Although Kindergarten is all about learning through play, with an emphasis on emotional and social development, formal schooling also means there are clearly defined classroom and school behavioural expectations, a daily schedule of activities and limited choices (usually closed choices, A or B).  It takes time and practise to develop the grit, rigor and resilience needed to be a full-time student. But by Thanksgiving, we will notice a significant change in our Kinders as they will take a huge step forward in their maturity and growth.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, September 30:  please return your September Homework Calendar for a sticker this week.  October Homework Calendars will be sent home on Monday.

It’s also Kindergarten PE so students will need their running shoes.

Tuesday, October 1:  it’s Library Book Exchange so please bring your Library book back to school so you can get a new one.

ELL parents, please join us for an Information Session with Maria Yioldassis, our District ELL Coordinator for WV schools, from 9-10 am.  Translations in Farsi and Mandarin will be provided. Location: Ridgeview Gym

Friday, October 4:  we will see our Buddies for an apple craft.

Hello Fall: This Week in Our Room: 16-19, 2019

We certainly filled our four day week!

Last week we started our Alphabet work with the letter A, in uppercase and lowercase formation with our Itchy’s Alphabet page and craft.  The second part of our Alphabet work includes brainstorming words that begin with the letter sound, drawing and colouring pictures that begin with our letter, and completing a set of printed letters for the children’s Alphabet Book.  In Kindergarten, the children will work weekly on their Alphabet Book and you will be amazed with their printing and drawing over the 26 letters!

As part of our Social Studies Personal Identity Unit, we are talking about ourselves and what makes us special and unique.  Of course, one of those things is our name, and on Wednesday we represented our names in beans! These are such a cute craft, and a great exercise in strengthening tiny fingers for fine motor work.

On Mondays all the Kindergarten has Physical Education together in the gym.  This week we learned about our “home spot,” responding to whistle commands (one whistle is FREEZE, and two whistles are return to your home spot.”  The children are practising their locomotor movement skills (walking, running, galloping, skipping, hopping (1 foot), jumping (2 feet)), stopping on command and personal space.  They did an exceptional job in listening and being mindful of others in a small gym.

We have now had our second visit to the Library and everybody has had the opportunity to take out a Library book.  During Library time, all children are expected to listen attentively, treat all books respectfully and independently join the line to sign-out their weekly books; students can peer reference (look to others) the other children for what to do.  We do give verbal reminders as well to draw the children’s attention to the checkout desk.

Here are the Library Rules from Mrs. Kennedy, our Teacher-Librarian:

-Listen to the teacher and story

-Quiet voices

-Hands and feet to self

-Be gentle with the books

-Return your book on time and not damaged

-Tidy up after yourself

-Read your book silently after you sign it out

We had our kick-off assembly for the Terry Fox Run on Wednesday.  Thank you to our Grade 6 students for their excellent presentation why we run in memory of Terry Fox.

All students will participate in the Terry Fox Run on Thursday, September 26 at 1:15.  Kindergarten students will NOT run the street route that Grades 1-7 run; rather, we will walk/run laps around the gravel field with our Grade 7 Buddies.  We encourage our children to wear Canada’s flag colours of red and white to show their support for Terry Fox’s attempt to run across Canada, and their running shoes.

We are trying to collect $2 (a toonie for Terry) from each Ridgeview student for cancer research.  If you decide to donate $5, then your name will be entered in the draw for a Terry Fox t-shirt.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Hot Lunch:  Please let your child know if he or she receives hot lunch on a particular school day.  It’s very upsetting for the children to receive food they were not expecting, or unfamiliar with, at school.  Please also note that the classroom is not the place to introduce new foods to your child; this needs to be done at home.  We want your children to eat so they have enough fuel in their body to manage a full day of school, and to keep in mind that eating is calming and a significant part of their self-regulation (we are trying to prevent feeling “hangry,” or hungry and angry at the same time).

If your children receives hot lunch, please send cutlery, a lunchkit or large ziploc bag each time.  All Ridgeview students who eat hot lunch are expected to pack out their dirty utensils, and the food packaging which needs to be disposed of at home.  For everyone, teaching your child to wipe his or her mouth with a napkin or paper towel after eating is a social gesture appreciated by everyone who works with your child in the afternoon.

We cannot place the previously opened hot lunch containers in your child’s backpack – past experience has shown us the food containers will spill open.  You’ll need to take some time to show your Kindergarten child how to deal with the empty containers. We will help them as much as possible but any independence they can show helps greatly with the large number of children eating hot lunch in the classroom.

We’re expecting the weather to be wet and rainy this week.  Please ensure your children have their raincoats and rainboots at school for outdoor recess.  Children are not permitted to take umbrellas onto the playground during playtime for everyone’s safety.

Monday, September 23:  please ensure your child has their runners to change into for PE in the gym.

Wednesday, September 25: Kindergarten children will meet their Grade 7 Buddies!  We are excited to finally see our Big Buddies!

Thursday, September 26:  At 1:15, Ridgeview students will gather together on the school grounds for a warm-up before our run.  The Kindergarten children and their Buddies will then complete their run on the gravel field; the Grade 7s will then leave to finish the road run while our classes wait on the playground for the rest of the school will finish.  When everyone returns, we will have a few closing remarks and the draw for the Terry Fox t-shirt.

 

A New Kindergarten Year:  This Week in Our Room: September 4-6, 2019

During a week of glorious sunshine, we began a new school year with our Kindergarten children.  We’ve really enjoyed meeting our Kinder Cuties, and considering it’s the first time they’ve been to school, they have settled in beautifully to their new classrooms and become familiar with their new teachers and classmates.  Gradual Entry is a gift of time so no one needs to feel rushed. We’re on an exciting, magical journey of learning and laughter, surrounded by the love and support of each other, and taking as much time as we need.

Right now we’re in the middle of Gradual Entry, where our children have been attending Kindergarten for two hours a day this first week of school.  We have about half of the class in the morning and the other half in the afternoon; we’re a mix of genders, language and abilities learning together.  The past three days have been focused on creating a calm and peaceful classroom environment, classroom routines and expectations. We’re already introducing the language of self-regulation with our children, going outside to play and met the many teachers who will become an important part of our school life.

Starting on Monday, the children will be able to meet everyone in their class and we know this will be a very joyful experience as there are lots of preschool friends who want to see each other.

Here’s what you need to know for next week:

Monday, September 9:  Children attend Kindergarten from 8:50 am-12 pm.  Please send a non-spill water bottle (no screw top lids) and a healthy snack.  Kindergarten dismisses promptly at 12 pm so we can commence with the first interview for 12:10 pm.

Tuesday, September 10:  Children attend Kindergarten from 8:50 am-12 pm.  Please send a non-spill water bottle (no screw top lids) and a healthy snack.  Kindergarten dismisses promptly at 12 pm so we can commence with the first interview for 12:10 pm.

Wednesday, September 11:  Children attend Kindergarten from 8:50 am-12 pm.  Please send a non-spill water bottle (no screw top lids) and a healthy snack.  Kindergarten dismisses promptly at 12 pm so we can attend the Kindergarten Teachers’ Professional Afternoon which starts at 12:15 pm.

Thursday, September 12:  Here we go!  Our first full day…Children attend Kindergarten from 8:50 am-2:55 pm.  Please send a non-spill water bottle (no screw top lids), lunch and two healthy snacks.  It’s going to be a long day for our Littles so let’s try to remember they are just in Kindergarten.

Friday, September 13:  Children attend Kindergarten from 8:50 am-2 pm to “Meet My Teacher.”  You will be able to come into the classroom and your children can show you around  The children probably need just their water, lunch and one morning snack as they can attend the ice-Cream Social immediately following your classroom visit.   Please note:  you can “Meet My Principal,” Mr. Warren Zerbe, in the gym at 1:45 pm.

Notes to You:

We have incorporated many forms of parent communication into our Kindergarten program so that you are always in “the know.”  

-please sign up for Remind if you have not already done so – we will send you text messages with updates, reminders and the link to our website, theselfregulatedteacher.com where the weekly newsletter will be posted sometime over the weekend (occasionally a Monday depending upon what happened on the weekend)

-our website, theselfregulatedteacher.com, contains our archived newsletters over the past five years, and lots of articles about our current thinking about Kindergarten:  it’s a wealth of information for you and your family. Please take the time to read through some of our blog posts – we’ve tried to make them fun and informative (like a blog should be) and we work hard to stay away from “edu-speak” and jargon so you can just enjoy reading about what your child is learning at school.

-we’re happy to meet with you any time, but it’s best to ask us (send a note or email) for an appointment.  We are unable to have any in-depth conversation with you at drop-off.  Our focus is always on calmly bringing into the classroom, and following the classroom routines at the start of the day.  Please recognise that you ask us for “just a minute,” realistically, it’s going to take much longer and that time takes away from settling the children so let’s meet to talk that’s mutually agreeable.

This week we asked you to:

-sign-up for Remind, the teacher app to receive text messages about our class

-sign-up for a Parent-Teacher Conference on Monday or Tuesday next week

-think about the questions on the Kindergarten Gradual Entry Developmental Questionnaire (yellow sheet) to discuss at our conference

-review your Student Verification Forms to return next week

-post the Kindergarten Homework Calendar (blue sheet) on the fridge and help your child to complete the daily activities (this is optional, but fun)

 

Where We Say Good-Bye to Kindergarten and to Mrs. Brady…This Week in Our Room: June 24-27, 2019 Our final recap for the last week of school…

We had so much fun at our Kindergarten Fun Day last Monday.  The children were almost giddy with excitement as they blew bubbles, played with sand, measured and poured water at the water table, and created sea creature crafts and pictures.  

Thank you so much to our parents who brought in the delicious watermelon and scooped ice-cream!  It’s been awhile since Christy and I have had to wipe tiny faces from ice-cream on cheeks and noses!  It was all very cute.

We continued our Beach theme with Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle and a Deep Space Sparkle art project – we each made a seahorse!  The children are amazingly skilled at cutting using a template and we tissued, mod podged and glittered them to completion.

Wednesday afternoon was a presentation from Life Saving Society Water Wise.  There were four main points for your consideration:

Prepare It

-prepare by checking the weather to see if it’s a good time to be going out in a boat, the lake, beach or in an outdoor pool

-prepare by putting on sunscreen and showing your sun safety:  slip on a shirt, slap on a hat and sunglasses and slop on some sunscreen

-prepare by making a trip plan (who, what, when, where)

-prepare by bringing a whistle — 3 whistle blasts means I need help

Wear It

-wear a life jacket -whenever it’s cold, dark, deep and wavy

-wear a life jacket that fits properly and is suitable for the activity you are doing.  It should be in bright colours and have flotation in the front so you can float on your back.

Know It

-know how deep the water is and what is down below– look before you leap

-know that you should swim with a buddy, not an adult who is watching you from their deck chair or poolside, but somebody who can already swim, is older and in the water right beside you, preferably in a lifeguard supervised area

-know that you can call for help, throw a noodle or floatation device, or reach for someone using an oar or paddle (caution:  Kindergarten children are too light to probably do this)

Share It – share what you know with others!

We sent home the Edu-Pac school supplies for Grade One if you ordered them.  If you left school early, your school supplies are being held in the school office which you may pick up in the last week of August.  Please check the school website for our office hours.

Here’s a message for you from our Grade One Teachers:

Please label the following supplies with your child’s name or initials:

-pencil crayons (each one, just not the box)

-felt pens (each one)

-pencil boxes

-scissors

-pencil sharpeners

Please do not label these supplies:

-notebooks, duotangs, glue, pencils, erasers

On Thursday morning, we gathered one final time as a school community for our beloved Principal, friend and mentor, Mrs. Brady, as she prepares to retire at the end of this school year.  As you remember, we collected $2 from each student to contribute to Mrs. Brady’s gift from the children and staff.  We decided to purchase a Pandora charm bracelet, with a special charm from each grade.

The Kindergarten chose the Fairy Tale Princess charm.  Two children from our classes presented the charm and here’s what they said:

The Kindergarten classes chose this Royal charm to represent our love of fairy tales and all things sparkling and magical.  You are our Queen!

This is the last newsletter for our Kindergarten year.  We want to thank all of our Kindergarten families for their love and support through the year.  We hope you will drop by and visit us from time to time as you pass through the hallways and doors to Grade One!  Have a happy, safe summer!

Starting Over with Self-Regulation: This Week in Our Room: June 10-14, 2019

We spent the week adjusting and regulating ourselves after the excitement of last week’s Sports Day, and changes to our classroom schedule over the last number of weeks.  We are reviewing the structures we’ve had in place since September so that the children are cognizant of the behavioural expectations as we move into the final weeks of Kindergarten.  Now, more than ever, there is a need for self-regulation as these sunny days, late nights and a myriad of evening activities have entered our calendar.  As you can tell, it’s still “business as usual” in the Kindergarten.  We will be working and playing hard right up until the last day of school.

We’ve been over the classroom routines, and focused on what does listening look like?  How do we listen with our whole body?

-eyes on the teacher

-ears are listening to the teacher

-hands and feet are still

-mouths are quiet

Something to consider and talk about at home is direct eye contact.  Who or what we are looking at is what we are thinking about.  So when the teachers ask your child to look at them, we want them to look at us.  Not around the classroom, playing with a shoe or trying to get another child’s attention.  This is especially important during instruction as nobody wants to miss the teacher’s directions for an activity.

We’re going to catch up on some work that was not complete from earlier.  So you’ll notice Math upages for 8, 9 and 10 are coming home.

We have some special art projects we’ll be working on to finish our scrapbooks.  We’ll let you know if the children need to wear play clothes to school because we’re going to be messy.

It was a tiny bit of a flurry this week as wrapped up (literally) our gifts for Father’s Day.  But what fun we had in preparing this very special gift for the Dads, Papas and Poppas in our lives.  We hope you like it.  Please ask your child to tell you a little bit about the process!  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

This coming week is the last week for Home Readers.  We need to count up our books and put them away for the summer.  All books should be returned by Monday, June 24.

Monday, June 17 is the Primary Talent Show.  We have some Kindergarten Performers this year!

Friday, June 21 is the Grade 7 Promotion Ceremony and our children will be presenting flowers to their Buddies and walking them down the aisle.  We always dress up for this occasion.  We expect to be “on” around 11:30 am.  You are welcome to wait for us in the hallway and follow us in so you can see your child at this very special event.  Please watch for the next newsletter on Sunday.

Monday, June 24 is our Kindergarten Fun Day!  We have a “beach” theme (we don’t actually go to the beach), but we will bring out bubbles, our water table, outdoor toys and we’ll be eating ice-cream cones for a fun treat!  If we could please ask one parent from each class to slice up a watermelon for us, then the children could have some fresh fruit as well.  Please let us know if you can help!