The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

Autumn Days….This Week in Our Room:  November 14-17, 2017

We’re settling down after a few busy weeks of Hallowe’en celebrations, our Remembrance Day assembly and a then few days away from school for the Professional Development Day and Statutory Holiday.

We know the train to Christmas town will be pulling out soon– it’ll be warm and cozy and lots of fun.  We have many special activities planned for our Kindergarten children, and of course our Christmas Concert on December 19.  But before we get there, we’re going to spend some more time learning about, and appreciating, seasonal changes and how they affect us, animals and our environment.

This week’s Letter of the Week was “i.”  We made a cute insect to go with our printing which we’ll bring home next week.  It was nice for the children to have a break and form a simpler letter with fewer strokes, than some of the trickier ones we’ve been learning over the past few weeks.

We’re enjoying shared PE classes in the gym with both classes.  We’ve been working on listening and remembering commands and whistle signals from the teachers while working on locomotor movement (running, skipping, hopping, jumping), and playing simple games.  Safe behaviour in the gym is our top priority as we’re all moving around at the same time, so staying in our personal space and watching out for others is an important part of our teaching and learning.  

We thought we’d step away from our usual routine on Friday and have a special day.  We decided to have a Leaf Morning and take some time to explore our school ground.  It was a beautiful autumn day, cold and sunny, so what better way than to go for a walk and look for leaves?  

We kicked off our day with Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins.  Then, we took a wonderful, lazy stroll through our playground and browsed the different leaves around us.   With a 2 minute time limit we ran back to where we saw our precious leaf and joined the teacher again.  We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but we have SO MANY leaves on the playground.  From all over the neighbourhood so we have some amazing choices.

Back in our classroom we looked at the shape, texture and colours of our leaf.  Many children were intrigued with the vein designs on their leaves.  Some children traced their leaves, some children copied their leaves, but everyone’s final result was beautiful.  What a lovely way to enjoy the sunshine, feed our senses and create another delightful memory.  

Click here for more Autumn books we have read this year.

 

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Christmas Cracker Buddy Event, December 6.  We’re excited to be making Christmas Crackers with our buddies.  These sweet treats mean a great deal to those in need in our local, and greater, communities.  Thank you again for your generous candy donations.

Primary Christmas Concert, December 19.  We’ll be holding a matinee and evening concert with our Primary children performing.  We’ll let you know further details regarding tickets in the upcoming weeks.  

If your family is planning to leave school early for the Christmas holidays please let your teachers know as soon as possible, particularly if your child is going to miss the Christmas Concert.  

 

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Peace Is…A Time for Reflection and Remembrance.  This Week in Our Room:  November 6-9, 2017

This year we had to quickly change gears as we just celebrated Hallowe’en last week.  Now we find ourselves preparing to observe Remembrance Day.  

We talked a lot about what Peace means to each of us on a personal level. Todd Parr’s excellent book, The Peace Book, helps us to understand peace is all around us.  Our family and friends, our environment, and acceptance and appreciation of others can help us find peace within ourselves. The children were quite reflective, and very thoughtful, as they expressed their ideas.

We focused on several symbols this year as part of our Remembrance Day learning.


We read a Poppy is to Remember and made poppies using an acorn squash and a potato.  One of our art techniques this term was learning about printmaking.  The children were fascinated to watch us cut open the squash, remove the insides, then paint it to make the prints.

We made our small Canadian flags in honour of Canada’s role as a peace keeping nation and read the story Why I Love Canada by Daniel Howarth.

We made peace doves with our Grade 7 Buddies. We always feel peaceful with our beloved Buddies.



We contributed some of our crafts to the displays of student artwork for the Remembrance Day Assembly.


The Remembrance Day Assembly is a formal, serious Assembly.  We are expected to be silent from the time we leave our classrooms, walk down the hall and make our way to the gym. We were very pleased with how our children visibly demonstrated excellent self-regulation throughout the ceremony.  Teachers of the upper grades always observe how calmly the Kindergarten is able to sit, and for a long duration (about 35 minutes).  

Sometimes people think small children cannot sit still, without talking or demonstrating unexpected behaviour, in serious situations. We know otherwise. We know our children can, and do, learn strategies for self-regulation and are able to use them appropriately according to their social situation.  

We knew from the program there would be a long segment where the children would need to really self-regulate their bodies.

The first was the playing of “The Last Post” and “Reveille,” beautifully performed on the trumpet by one of our Music teachers, Mrs. Soderling.  We had asked the children not to cover their ears if the music was too loud; rather, they were to close their eyes and breathe deeply.  We know from our strategy of listening to peaceful music in class that our children would be more than able to manage their energy.

Second, between these two performances is a minute of silence.  A minute can be a long time.  We noticed the children were doing a lot of quiet deep breathing to help them get through, as we had taught them they might need to do.

Before we left for the Assembly we had explained to the children we practise self-regulation strategies every day so that when we need to use them, we’re ready. And we certainly did justice to all of our practise these two months.  

Remembrance Day 2017…in honour of those who have served, and continue to serve, their countries.

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Scary or Spooky?  Putting our Self-Regulation to the Test…This Week in Our Room:  October 31-November 3, 2017

We put our self-regulation to the test with an exciting week of costumes, cupcakes and crafts…we’re certainly feeling the aftereffects of a late night and the post-sugar haze of Hallowe’en Week (who really keeps track of all those small chocolate bars left in the bowl?)  

Self-regulation is very much about managing one’s emotions.  The children had a very exciting few days before Hallowe’en, never mind the actual Big Day itself and the anticipation of an evening’s fun with their family.  It would be so easy to let our energy up-regulate from the Green Zone to the Yellow Zone, but we know based on experience we all would not enjoy ourselves in the same way nor is it appropriate for the social situation (the classroom).  Indeed, several times over the past week we discussed with the children how we can all have lots of fun without getting carried away, and the importance of pacing ourselves so we would still have energy for Trick-or-Treating at night.   

We found trying to stay as close to our regular routine as possible really helped everyone to stay calm and relaxed throughout the day; it made the day more predictable which in turn can reduce anxiety of the unknown or unfamiliar as this was the first Hallowe’en for some of our students.  The activities themselves may have been all Hallowe’en themed, but we stayed true to our daily structure, our daily deep breathing practise and our self-regulation tools of the Time Timer and the Breathing Ball.  As we compared notes at lunchtime and afterschool, we noticed that there was a happy buzz in the classrooms, the children were cooperative and pleasant with one another and we felt good about how everyone was doing.  Scary or Spooky?  Neither one.  We’d say Self-Regulation passed with flying colours. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves….

We finished our Painted Pumpkins on Monday.  They are so cute, interesting and unique!  The children were really using their cutting skills as they cut out many facial features for their jack-o-lanterns.  They were particularly interested in arranging the eyebrows to give their jack-o-lantern a specific expression.

We thought the children were remarkable on Hallowe’en Day.  After posing for multiple pictures, we walked through the school hallways and classrooms for our annual Hallowe’en Parade on our way up to the gym for the Hallowe’en Assembly.  At the Assembly, we were treated to the Grade 7 Dance performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Hallowe’en songs from the Grade Two/Three Primary Choir and a reading of The Thirteen Nights of Hallowe’en. Our children joined the rest of the school in a rousing rendition of “Dem Bones.”  We saw a slideshow of the first two months of school by Mr. Parslow, our Vice-Principal, and Hallowe’en safety protocol was reviewed.  The Kindergarten children sat attentively and patiently, and were good audience members.  

In case you missed us at the Hallowe’en Assembly, here are Ridgeview’s Primary (K-3), ELL, Music and Library teaching staff.

Next week is our school’s Remembrance Day Assembly.  This will be a very serious Assembly, and much different than the Hallowe’en Assembly.  Please click here to learn more about our school’s expectation for Assembly behaviour.

 

Following the Assembly, our classes had their regular snack and recess playtime.  For the remainder of the morning, we had fun Hallowe’en Centres including playdough, Hallowe’en colouring and a Hallowe’en necklace craft.  Thank you so much to our parent volunteers who helped out with our Centres and made spider cupcakes with all of our students.

 

 

We still went ahead with our Alphabet work, so we made our “g is a garden craft,” in addition to our regular printing activities.

We’ve completed our October pattern of the month, ABC, with these amazing Hallowe’en shape patterns.   

November’s pattern is AAB.  

We’re almost halfway through the current Sharing and Special Helper rotation.  We’re so pleased with the Alphabet sharing the children are bringing to school.  It’s certain given us plenty to talk about!  We want to give you a heads up for the next Sharing theme which will be “Christmas at My House.”  We know we will be asking some of you to open those Christmas boxes far earlier than usual!  We’re asking the children to bring a Christmas tree ornament, Christmas stocking, Christmas family photo or Christmas story from home.  Please do not purchase anything new.  The idea would be to bring something to school which is part of your traditional family celebrations.  Please see us if you have any questions.

In keeping with our Healthy Eating philosophy at school, we’d like to remind everyone that eating Hallowe’en candy is an unexpected snack to have at school; it’s expected the children would bring their regular healthy food.  However, we have it on good authority from the Great Pumpkin that Hallowe’en candy for another day or two next week would be acceptable.  Please do not send any candy to be eaten in class that may contain nuts or tree nuts.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We’ll be collecting Hallowe’en candy for our Christmas Cracker project in December.  In a school-wide Buddy project, we make decorated Christmas Crackers stuffed with the leftover candy for several charitable organisations.  For some, these crackers will be the only sweet treat they will receive this year.  Thank you for supporting us in teaching your child about the importance of compassion and giving.

Wednesday, November 8:  Library Book Exchange for both classes

Thursday, November 9:  Remembrance Day Assembly for Ridgeview students

Friday, November 10:  District Professional Day (students are not in session)

Monday, November 13:  Statutory Holiday for Remembrance Day (staff and students are not in session)

Tuesday, November 14:  School re-opens 8:50 am start

 

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Hallowe’en 1.5…This Week in Our Room: October 24-27, 2017

We’re really into our Hallowe’en groove this week. So this week makes 1.5 weeks of thinking and dreaming about Hallowe’en.

It’s a very exciting time for the children, with Hallowe’en crafts, reading Hallowe’en stories, Hallowe’en classroom decorating and fun school events like the Hallowe’en Family Skate. Everyone is trying super hard to stay calm, relaxed and focused on learning…and that includes the teachers! We’re making sure we’re taking the time everyday with the children to allow our brains to rest as we listen to quiet music, practise our strategy of deep breathing to calm our bodies (will probably need to pull this one out next Tuesday) and checking in with each other about our feelings and emotions throughout the day.

Look at these cute painted bats we made with our Big Buddies! Each one has an individual personality….

We buiding up some anticipation for our painted pumpkins. Last week, we outlined our pumpkins and drew in the ribs with white pastel. This week we did some colour mixing using the pumpkin as our palette, with yellow, orange and red paint. After a shave and a haircut (we cut out our pumpkins), we’re ready to add some spooky features to create a very fun pumpkin patch next week! This great project is from the website Deep Space Sparkle, which is an amazing art resource for teachers.

We love to spread out the steps for making special projects to teach the children that it takes time and patience to create wonderful things, and that that is perfectly fine. In fact, slowing down, taking our time to enjoy the process and concentrating on each step is all part of developing mindfulness. It’s the little things like feeling the difference between crayons and pastels, observing the texture of the paint and the colour mixing or moving your scissors to cut out a large and unwieldy shape that encourage the children to focus on their senses, and enjoy the moment of making art with their classmates in a happy and creative context.

Our Grade 7 Me to We Team is organising the “We Scare Hunger” campaign to collect non-perishable food and some non-food items for the Harvest Project. We are collecting items in large boxes in the front foyer of our school. You can leave your donations in the boxes or your child can bring them to class and we will take them upstairs during the school day. Thank you for your generosity.

The most needed items for the Harvest Project include:
-canned baked beans, canned fruit and fruit cups, canned tomatoes, canned vegetables
-canned meat and canned fish
-canned soup (10 oz and 14 oz)
-pasta sauce – tomato or cream
-peanut butter and spreads such as sunflower or almond butters
-granola bars, cookies and crackers
-coffee (1 lb pack, ground)
-flour, sugar, salt (not more than 1 kg)
-oil, vinegar (500 ml bottles maximum)
-rice (1 lb package only)

-toothbrushes individually packed, toothpaste (small and medium size)
-soap, shampoo, conditioner
-toilet paper
-diapers (size 4, 5, 6)
-grocery gift cards
-men and women’s socks and underwear

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Tuesday, October 31. Hallowe’en Parade and Assembly. We sent home a Hallowe’en notice on with the children today with a few reminders about next week’s Parade and Assembly. We encourage everyone to dress up and show their Ridgeview spirit. The children will change out of their costumes at recess.

After recess, we will have a fun time with Hallowe’en themed centres and crafts, with a cupcake station to make a snack for lunch dessert. We will have quiet time with read aloud stories and a short Hallowe’en video in the afternoon. Hopefully the weather is good so we can get outside for some fresh air. School finishes at 2:55 pm as usual.

Wednesday, November 1 Post Hallowe’en. School will start late on Wednesday, November 1, to allow your little witches, ghosts, monsters and fairies to sleep late after their evening Hallowe’en festivities. We will see everyone at 10:40 am.

Wednesday is also Library Book Exchange.

Thursday, November 9 Remembrance Day Assembly. The Kindergarten will be joining Ridgeview students at our school Remembrance Day Assembly. This is a serious assembly and expected student behaviour should fall in line with the formality of this event. Click here to learn more about the expectations Ridgeview School has for student behaviour during school assemblies.

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Self-Regulation Check-in (aka Hallowe’en is Coming):  This Week in Our Room:  October 16-19, 2017

As these beautiful autumn days slip by, we’re settling well into our routines and enjoying Kindergarten Life.  The children have become very familiar with ourselves and their classmates.  There are always lots of smiles, cheerful faces and the highest praise, “I like school!” from our little ones.  Words to warm the heart…

A big part of our self-regulation is the ability to get along with others.  It’s wonderful to see the children inviting each other to join in play, or the confidence they feel in simply approaching a group and knowing they can be a part of it.  Sharing and turn-taking is never easy…it’s challenging for us as adults, so imagine how your children are asked to do that all day long!  We’ve been modelling and practising the language necessary to cooperate together:

“When you’re finished, may I please have the blue/red/yellow crayon?”

“I’m just waiting for ….. to finish.”

“Will I be able to have a turn to paint today?”

We continue to be amazed and delighted at watching our Kinder patch grow and mature.

Although we’re still over a week away, we’ve having fun decorating our classrooms in anticipation of the BIG Day.  Today we were informed that the children are VERY EXCITED about Hallowe’en.  The countdown is on….

But we better go back to the beginning…starting with our Alphabet work on the letter E.  We made our sweet  “e is for Earth” craft and tried to include everything we love about the Earth’s gifts to us — rainbows, flowers and trees, snow-capped mountains, spouting whales and more.  We’ve started printing in our beautiful Alphabet books that will be a special treasure your child will bring home at the end of the school year.

Because all thoughts have turned to Hallowe’en, we’re creating shared language experiences by discussing Hallowe’en vocabulary.  We’re building a word bank of pictures and labels, and it’s been very enjoyable to hear the children talk about their pumpkin patch adventures, describe the differences between a pumpkin and jack-o-lantern and explain exactly what “trick or treat” means.

In Math we’re working on creating and repeating ABC patterns during Free Exploration time.  The children are learning that each pattern should repeat itself at least three times so we know it is a true pattern.  We’ll make some fun Hallowe’en patterns in the upcoming days.

Of course our highlight of the week was making our Hallowe’en wreaths with our Big Buddies on Thursday.  We’ve been practising using templates, spreading our fingers to hold them firmly in place before tracing, then cutting them out.  We had some decorating fun with silly faces and lots of stickers to create a lovely display in the classroom.

We painted these little bodies in anticipation of Bat Week next week in Kindergarten.  We’ll finish them with our Big Buddies.  We’ve asked the Grade 7s to bring a Hallowe’en storybook to Buddies to share with our children on Wednesday.

 

We’ve had a couple of rainy weather days now in October.  At Ridgeview, unless the rain is a deluge, the children are expected to go outside for morning and lunch recess.  Thank you to everyone for sending in a raincoat with your child.  Students should also have a pair of boots to wear outdoors; it’s not healthy for the children to wear wet socks and runners on their feet for the remainder of the day.  At the same time, we do not want students to be wearing their boots all day; all children should be wearing runners or other indoor footwear in the classrooms and hallways.  Children are not to wear boots in the gym.

Hallowe’en Update

Ridgeview is holding our annual Hallowe’en Parade and Assembly on Tuesday, October 31.  The children are invited to dress up and we will be part of a parade that makes it way through the classrooms and hallways to the gym for our Assembly.

Please remember that children are not allowed to bring weapons to school as part of their costume.  This includes swords and light sabres.  These are best left at home.

On Wednesday, November 1 we will have a late morning start.  School will not begin until 10:40 am.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library Book Exchange on Wednesday for both classes.

Tuesday, October 31 is our annual Hallowe’en Parade and Assembly. Parents may watch us parade down the halls of Ridgeview!

Wednesday, November 1 is a late start for all students.  We will not begin school until 10:40 am.  Dismissal will be at the regular time of 2:55 pm.

 

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Autumn’s Harvest:  This Week in Our Room:  October 10-13, 2017

It’s been a golden end of summer as we’ve moved into the most delicious autumn we’ve been able to recall in the past number of years.  We’re enjoying sunny, warm afternoons on the playground, reading some brilliant new books about seasonal changes and watching our Kindergarten children grow, change and mature.  

We knew that post-Thanksgiving is a special time as we watch our classes take significant step forward in their self-regulation.  We’ve really worked hard on our self-regulation strategy of deep breathing.  Most of the children realise how good it feels to breathe deeply and feel their bodies relax and become more peaceful.  

This week, we’re solidifying our routine by including the Zenergy chime as part of developing mindfulness.  After listening to quiet music to calm ourselves (right now we’re listening to a personal favourite, “Deep in an Ancient Hawaiian Forest” from the movie “The Descendants”) we play the chime once and think about the sound.  We’re training our brains to focus.  We lead the children through a deep breathing sequence, and then play the chime a second time.  The children are learning to gently push away small noises they might hear, concentrate on their breathing and have a few moments of meditation when their mind can simply relax.  The most important take-away from this strategy is that the children know their breath is their friend – it’s always with them, it can help them to calm down, relax and be refreshed no matter where they are.  

Next week, we will start to discuss our emotions and feelings and the importance of sharing how we feel with others.

We worked on upper and lowercase D this week.  Lowercase “d” can be tricky because many children confuse it with lowercase “b.”  When practising printing at home with your child, remember that we print all letters left- to right, top to bottom.  

For lowercase “b” the stick is printed first (the left side of the letter) from top to bottom, then the circle is formed (the right side of the letter).  Both parts of the letter must touch without crossing over.

For lowercase “d” the circle is formed first (the left side of the letter), then the stick is printed from top to bottom (the right side of the letter).  Both parts of the letter must touch without crossing over.

Printing is all about precision, and so we strive to teach the children to at least try to form the letters correctly.  Forming the alphabet letters correctly will actually help your children to print neatly and quickly (this will become apparent and necessary as they move through the grades), and surprisingly, requires less energy so printing is not a tiresome task.   It goes without saying that it takes years of practise to have beautifully formed letters that sit on the line, with consistent size and spacing.  Each child arrives at this point when they are developmentally ready and is greatly influenced by their pre-printing experiences such as colouring, drawing and other fine motor play including playdough and Lego.

As classroom teachers, we recognise that each child has a different style to his or her printing and it’s exciting for us when we can identify a child’s piece of work without looking at the name printed at the top of a page!

We made these beautiful tissue paper apples last week.  We finally have everyone’s finished and up on the bulletin boards.  Are these not absolutely amazing?  The children separated small pieces of tissue paper (we’re always looking for activities to strengthen small fingers for strong fine motor skills) and glued them onto their apple cut-out.  Some mod podge and a whole lot of gold, red and green glitter later…well, if you could see how they capture the light in our room, they are breathtaking.

As part of our personal identity unit in Social Studies, we’ve been doing a lot of activities around our names so this week we thought we’d expand our knowledge and start to chat about our last names.  This discussion proved to be a little more challenging for our classes because not all the children have necessarily been required to say their last names very frequently and were a little shy to talk about it.  We think this is an important opportunity for you to talk about your family name so your child feels more confident in stating both their first, and last names.  

For our class activity, we created our initials using fruit loops.  The classroom smelled really good, and the children were very respectful about not sampling the fruit loops.  (Telling them that some of the fruit loops were left over from last year, and had been touched by MANY MANY hands, may have somewhat dampened their enthusiasm for tasting.  But our conscience is clear…we’re telling the truth).

We completed our October self-portraits with these cute pumpkin backgrounds.  It’s only our second self-portrait this school year and we are delighted with the children’s drawing, cutting and glueing skills.

Our Kindergarten children have completed a lot of fantastic work this week.  We’d say that so far, this year’s harvest has certainly been one of plenty.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Friday, October 20 is a Professional Day; students are not in session.

Monday, October 23 is a Curriculum Implementation Day; students are not in session.

Sharing and Special Helper:  we’re starting another round of Special Helper soon and we’re ready to include Sharing.  Sharing is similar to the former “Show and Tell” but we will be giving a specific theme to follow each month.  Our theme this time is going to be “Bring 3 Objects that Begin with the First Letter of Your First Name.”  All three items must fit in a small ziploc bag.  We’re quite strict about that rule so please help your child to locate the appropriately sized items; your child should know the names of what he or she has brought to school.  Please Note:  if your children forget to bring their Sharing on their Special Helper Day, we will not be allowing them to bring it on another day. We’ve done this in the past and it frequently results in a backlog of Sharing and takes away from the child whose Special Helper day it really is.  Please check the posted calendar for your child’s Special Helper Day.

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Turkey Talk…This Week in Our Room:  October 2-6, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving week in the Kindergarten and we’ve been cooking up all things turkey. We’ve been making cards, colouring, reading and expressing our gratitude for one another.

The highlight of our week was meeting our Big Grade 7 Buddies and making the turkeys for our annual turkey patch.

 

These turkeys should have made their way home by now and will be a very adorable centrepiece for your Thanksgiving table.  

We’ve had two very fun activities with our Buddies now (Terry Fox Run last Thursday) and each pairing is developing a strong relationship.  Little Buddies gain so much in having positive examples set before them from senior students; it’s like having another big brother or big sister to show the children what to do and how things work.  Big Buddies learn empathy, compassion and patience as they slow their own work rhythm to help tiny hands manage scissors and gluesticks, or gentle reminders to focus on the teacher.  Christy and I have been working with Buddies since our Chartwell days and certainly since we’ve been together at Ridgeview – that would be the past 23 years.  A Buddy Program ranks among the most beneficial and popular activity for both Big and Little Buddies alike.

In Math we’re learning October’s pattern, ABC.  We’re using this pattern on our monthly calendar, the colour calendar and we represented it in turkey feathers as well!

 

We read some fantastic books the past couple of weeks on the Thanksgiving Theme:

  • Franklin’s Thanksgiving (Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark)
  • Cranberry Thanksgiving (Wende and Harry Devlin)
  • Thanks for Thanksgiving (Julie Markes and Doris Barrette)
  • Thanks for Thanksgiving (Heather Patterson and Mary Jane Gerber)
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (Dav Pilkey)
  • The Thankful Book (Todd Parr)
  • A Turkey for Thanksgiving (Eve Bunting)
  • Bear Says Thanks (Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman)

Thanks for Thanksgiving (Patterson and Gerber) was our inspiration for discussing what we were thankful for this holiday.  Sometimes it seems natural for children to talk about material objects – toys or digital devices – as what they’re thankful for but we really try to guide their thinking to reflect on their family, friendships and world gifts we might otherwise take for granted:  clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe, birds in the sky.  Everyone illustrated their idea and the teachers scribed the writing for our “Leaves of Thanksgiving.”

 

We finished the letter C this week and made these cutie caterpillars as our Alphabet craft.  We’ll send these home next week.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

All Ridgeview families should wait outside until the first bell has rung to signal that you may enter the building.  We understand that everyone wants to come inside, particularly in the cold mornings; however, this is a working and preparation time for teachers and we are frequently meeting with staff or parents.  Once your children have entered the building, please do not leave them unattended or supervised by another parent.  Children are to wait quietly beside their parents, and enter the classroom calmly and in a self-regulated manner after the teacher opens the door.  Parents, please say your good-byes quickly and quietly so the children can walk directly into the classroom to begin their day.

As we requested earlier this year, students should all have non-spill, refillable water bottles.  Screw top bottles are not a good idea for our age group as it’s very easy to knock over the open bottles.

In addition, a medium sized Ziploc bag is necessary to hold the garbage created from snacks throughout the day.  It also keeps your child’s lunch kit cleaner, rather than having yogurt, small bits of food and wrappers mixed in with their food.

School is closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Monday, October 9.

School re-opens on Tuesday, October 10.

Early dismissal days this week are Wednesday October, 11 and Thursday, October 12 next week at 1:30 pm.

October Scholastic orders due Thursday October, 12.

 

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This Week in Our Room: September 25-29, 2017

 

 

Last year we started on a quest to find new and creative updates for our Alphabet letter crafts and we think we’ve found a winner for b….b is a bird!  Thanks again to Pinterest for the never-ending supply of cuteness.

Probably the best way to describe this week was rockin’.  We had such a busy week and the children did so well, demonstrating a lot of flexibility, patience, a “go with the flow” attitude that made each day very enjoyable despite the continual interruptions to our usual routine.

 

 

Tuesday was our first Primary Terry Fox Assembly, organised by the Grade 1-3 teachers.  The Kindergarten was invited to join the rest of the Primary students to listen to a presentation and watch a short video about our Canadian Hero,Terry Fox.  The Grade 2s also sang a Terry Fox song and invited us all to join in.  We learned a great deal in our short time together to ready us for Thursday’s big run.

All Ridgeview Primary students completed their Physical Literacy assessment which is simply a baseline of information on the children’s physical skill levels, including running (stopping, pivot, run back), hopping (on one leg, then the other), kicking a ball and throwing (overhand).  We were pleased with the children’s excellent listening and ability to quickly follow instructions from our Physical Literacy Specialists, West Vancouver Teacher Mentor Amber Wilson and Mentor Erin Crawford.  The children will be re-assessed in the Spring to celebrate their personal achievements.

We are pleased to welcome Ms. Amanda Sanford who will be teaching Primary Music at Ridgeview.  Our children attend Music class twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, with Ms. Sanford in the Music Portable.

The children are really enjoying the stories and book exchange during Library.  It’s very important our classes get into the good habit of returning their Library books on time.  We recognise this is a new routine and appreciate your support in helping your child to remember to pack his or her book the night before.  We encourage you to send the book back for Tuesday to give yourself one day’s grace in case you forget.

We could not have asked for better weather for the Terry Fox Run on Thursday.  What a glorious day, blue skies and a sea of children in red and white running for a very important cause.  The Kindergarten children had a “meet and greet” with their Grade 7 Buddies and completed their warm-up on the sport court led by Mr. Meldrum.  Then, we all walked down to the gravel field to run or walk two laps with our Buddies.  The children ran like champions and still looked quite fresh as they were finishing their laps.  Our Grade 7s left us at the playground while they went for their neighbourhood run.  We all met up on the playground for a few final remarks by our organising teacher, Ridgeview Vice-Principal Mr. Parslow.

  • Hot Lunch Update:

It was a bit of a hit and miss this week to the introduction of Hot Lunch at school.

Monday

-pasta with butter and parmesan cheese was much enjoyed (two thumbs up)

-pasta with marinara sauce was well received or not well received depending upon the student (one thumb up)

Tuesday

-the hot dogs looked quite appealing (Mrs. Campbell and I were thinking if they were chili cheese dogs they could have been a hit with the adults in the classroom) (two thumbs up)

-the macaroni and cheese was deemed “very cheesy” (two thumbs up)

Wednesday

-the chicken strips and grilled cheese sandwiches came bundled with the children’s request for ketchup or plum dipping sauce, all wrapped in foil bags and it was all nice and hot (two thumbs up)

-we overheard one of the children say, “This (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) is really good!”

Thursday

-the chicken teriyaki was rated “good” by the children but was cold or “a little bit warm” by the time it was delivered to our classes (one thumb up)

Friday

-Rocky Mountain Pizza was a huge hit (ham and mango, cheese, pepperoni)

-having personally eaten this pizza at school and in the restaurant, we can definitely say two thumbs up!

-the pizza boxes must go home. Please do not recycle them at school.

Milk and Juice

-we’ve had some major milk and juice spills (table, carpet, cloakroom) when we tried to send the leftovers home so what we’re going to do from now on is when your child has had enough to drink, we’re pouring out the remains and recycling the wet containers at school

Important Events and Reminders

Raincoats and boots.  Too many children did not have a raincoat during Friday’s downpour.  Although we had a few “loaner” jackets, we did not have enough for everyone.  Please bring an extra raincoat to school that you can leave in the cloakroom with the weather being so unpredictable.

October Homework Calendars were sent home this week.  Please send back your September Homework Calendar (even if it’s not totally finished) next week for a sticker.

Scholastic Orders for October were also sent home.  Please have your order form returned to school by Friday, October 13.

Wednesday is our first Buddy Day in class.  We’re making a fun Thanksgiving craft!

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This Week in Our Room: September 18-21, 2017

This week we continued with the letter A.  At the beginning of the year, not only are the children learning about the letter names, sounds and formation of upper and lowercase letters, we are carefully teaching the structure of each of our Alphabet activities. After all, we’ve got 25 more letters to go! Like how we organise much of the Kindergarten, routines are safe and familiar for our little learners whether it be in how we line up, get ready for snack and lunch or remember to print our name at the top of the page

We’re completing two alphabet printing tasks at school, in addition to our stories, brainstorming and other literacy activities. We’ll start sending home one printing sheet every week and the other we are collecting for the children’s Alphabet books which they will proudly bring home at the end of the school year. Attached to it will be the children’s Alphabet craft. You can help your child practise their sounds by posting each craft in a highly visible space such as your kitchen or in your child’s room. Next up: Letter B.

The children have been free exploring the classroom math manipulatives. Now, they are ready to start taking on a few small tasks while working in their small groups. September’s math pattern is AB, so the children have been creating AB patterns at their table groups. The children have been rotating through the five tables, each with a different kind of manipulative. They are extremely creative as you can see from these teddy bear patterns.

We also reinforce what we’re teaching in class through our morning Centres time where we will invite the children to apply their skills to a new manipulative.

We started an informal round of Special Helper this week without Sharing. We’ll include Sharing, which always has a theme in our classrooms, after each child has had a chance to be the Special Helper, be the line leader, sit in the Special Helper chair and lead the class through the morning Calendar. The Special Helper rotation is always posted outside our classrooms on the Parent Notice Board.

In Social Studies, our focus is on Personal Identity, and we started with making a fun project with our names, Bean Names! We were super impressed with the children’s fine motor skills and perseverance in placing the beans carefully along the glue lines.

We encountered quite the rain deluge earlier this week. Please send your child with a coat everyday. We are trying to get into a good habit of at least starting with a coat for the beginning of the morning and lunch recess. We know the children get very warm from running, so they may ask permission from the duty supervisors to return to the classroom with a friend and hang up their coat. We do not want children leaving their coats on the benches or hanging from the playground. Finally, if you’ve not yet sent in an extra change of clothes in a small shopping bag to hang on your child’s hook, please support us in getting these things organised.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Thank you to everyone who made a Scholastic purchase. Please return your child’s order form on Monday as we cannot complete the ordering process without it.

Your student verification forms and emergency comfort kits are now due.

We have many students whose families have not yet completed the Policy and Procedures online forms. This is the online form which gives permission for students to do a walking field trip off the school grounds (Terry Fox Run, events held at WVSS and the Kay Meek, nature walks to Chatwin Park). We receive a daily notice from Mrs. Lytle of which families have not signed off on this requirement. If you are not certain this includes you, please check in with us or at the office. And a form must be completed for each of your children, not one for your family.

Tuesday, September 26: Terry Fox Assembly for Primary students. We realise the Terry Fox Run may be new for some students we so will take some time with the other Primary classes to have a short talk about Terry Fox’s courage, his dream to run across for Canada and his legacy for all Canadians.

Wednesday, September 28: All West Vancouver Primary students will be participated in our District Physical Literacy Program. We will be gathering a baseline for basic movement skills so each student can work towards a personal goal. Please ensure your child is wearing running shoes to school on Wednesday.

Library Book Exchange for both Kindergarten classes.

Thursday, September 28: Ridgeview’s Terry Fox Run. The Kindergarten children will be joining up with their Grade 7 Big Buddy to run a lap or two around the gravel field (please note we do not leave the school grounds). First, we will participate in a group warm-up. Then, following our run we will wait on the playground for the rest of the school to complete their off-site run before we finish with some closing remarks from the Grade 6 student organisers. At this time, the draw for the Terry Fox t-shirt will be held. We encourage our children to wear red and white clothing (your Canada Day t-shirts are perfect) and everyone must wear runners.

Please remember to bring your toonie for Terry. All proceeds are donated to the Terry Fox Foundation. For donations of $5 or more, students will receive a raffle ticket for the t-shirt draw.

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This Week in Our Room: September 11-15, 2017

It’s been a very, very busy week in Kindergarten but we’re pleased to say the children have held up extremely well under a fairly challenging schedule.

Our children were dismissed early on Monday and Friday this week as we held our Parent Intake Conferences as part of the Gradual Entry for Kindergarten. Thank you very much for attending your Conference. We are missing many of the Developmental Questionnaires we sent home as part of the Conference. Please take some time this weekend to fill it out and return to your classroom teacher. We will contact you to speak further if we have any questions or concerns.

Lunch went very nicely this week, as it was the first time we’ve all eaten together other than snack. Please note our classrooms are NUT AWARE. We ask everyone, in the spirit of goodwill, to please carefully check all packaged food items such as granola bars, cookies and crackers and breads. Cashew nuts, walnuts and pistachios and of course, peanuts, are the nuts we are particularly wary of in both classes.

 

 

In class, we’ve begun working on our Alphabet, starting with the letter A as our Letter of the Week. We complete a variety of activities for each letter:
-read an Alphabet story
-work on sound production (making the sound) and sound recognition (recognising the sound), -teach the correct formation of each letter
-brainstorm words beginning with the sound
-draw pictures in crayon and label in pencil each one

 

We’ve also began the first of our monthly self-portraits for Kindergarten. We love to watch the children draw and how they see themselves. Our general criteria for all artwork is:
Big – fill your space (use the whole sheet of paper)
Bright – use five colours or more
Beautiful – do your personal best

Wednesday was a big day for both classes. We have our Music and Library classes back to back. We were very pleased to see how well the children are self-regulated as they move through the hallways, quietly walking and watching the teacher ahead of them.

Our school Library has been newly renovated. Thanks to the fundraising by the RPAC (Ridgeview Parent Advisory Council) the Library has a whole new look with new shelving and furniture. It’s calming tones of grey and white certainly make it a self-regulated environment in which the children will be relaxed, focused and ready to learn.

Mrs. Kennedy, our Teacher-Librarian, clearly set out the behavioural expectations while in the Library.
-quiet voices
-walking feet
-be responsible and do not leave any messes (no books to be left on the floor)
-be respectful (kind and polite behaviour is expected from everyone)

On Thursday we held our Kindergarten Curriculum Morning for parents to talk specifically about our classroom routines and class expectations. We used the app Haiku Deck haikudeck.com to build a slide presentation on our iPad mini of pictures around our classrooms and school. We had an excellent turn out and thank you to everyone for taking the time to stop by and meet the teachers.

As part of our Meet the Teacher Curriculum Day, our school also held an Ice Cream Social mixer for all students afterschool. Students were all treated to a free ice cream cone. Naturally, the Kindergarten was in an elevated state of emotions (yellow zone and very excited in the sweetest ways possible) for the rest of the afternoon as everyone anticipated their ice cream cone…which was extremely delicious. Thanks to Mrs. Brady for providing ice cream tickets for the school staff as well.

Next week there is talk of rain. It’s a good idea to use a small shopping bag, labelled with your child’s name, to place an extra set of clothes to be hung on your child’s coat hook. Also, if it’s raining, children should bring boots to school and indoor shoes they can put on themselves. Children should not wear their boots in the classroom as it makes the floor wet and slippery. If your child wears shoes with laces, he or she must be able to independently tie them. We really encourage slip-on, or velcro fastened, runners.

Reminders and Upcoming Events

Next Wednesday is going to be a very big day for us.

Wednesday is Library Book Exchange for both classes. Please help your child to return his or her book on time. We strongly recommend bringing your book back on Tuesday so you have an extra day in case you forget. Students are not allowed to borrow a new book unless the previous book has been returned.

Wednesday, September 20 is Photo Day. We always start with the Kindergarten classes to capture them at their best before snack and recess playtime. Please arrive promptly for school at 8:50 am as we begin shortly after the morning announcements.

Friday, September 22, is a Professional Day. Students are not in session.

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