The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

February Fun and Festivities…February 13-16, 2018

You won’t find any February blues around the Kindergarten because everything is all pink and purple, red and gold! We often find February to be a month of double celebrations, even double happiness when you consider that we celebrated Valentine’s Day and the start of Chinese New Year in three days. Yes, that might seem like a lot of activity but the Kindergarten loves a good party and we can keep up with the best of them.

For many children in our class, this was their first Valentine’s Day at school so it was a very exciting time of writing Valentine’s, selecting sweets and then placing them in our sweet cardholders.

We heard some very sweet stories about the Valentine’s cards from our families. The children were fascinated with the individual small cards, each one printed by hand, sometimes with help from a grown-up. They couldn’t believe everyone in the class would write a card for them. We think these heartfelt messages and acts of kindness are a gentle reminder to us as teachers and parents about actively teaching pro-social skills, helping the children to develop their social connections and relationships and modelling positive problem-solving strategies so everybody feels calm, comfortable and good about each other.

Thank you to our parent helpers who brought in the most delectable cupcakes and yummy fruit platters for a perfect Valentine’s snack.

We had a fun morning of food and Centres, and then we painted Valentine hearts using a mix of pink and purples with white to practise making and painting tints.

We had a lot of courage in painting the hearts because we had just come off a very successful completion of our owl paintings.

We all have our favourites, and we cannot stop painting these owlets every year! We have finally finished them and they are gorgeous! This is an amazing process for five year old children, an entire class, to all be painting at once. In a carpeted classroom, no less (my room).

First we do the backgrounds…

Followed by “snow” and outlining and painting in the owl…

Then the fun comes by adding to the paint palette and we paint in the eyes, beak and branch.

The final details in black paint and precious! As always, thank you to our inspiration, Deep Space Sparkle!

Chinese New Year

According to the Chinese zodiac this is the Year of the Dog. For people born in the Year of the Dog you have the traits of loyalty, honesty, leadership and hard-working. Well, our Mrs. Campbell is born in the Year of the Dog so this will be a very special year for her!

Christy and I would like to thank so very much our extraordinary parent volunteers who created an amazing Chinese New Year of the Dog celebration for staff and students. Many of the volunteers were Kindergarten parents and we thank you for coming out to support your children.

Our school entrance and hallways were beautifully adorned with decorations our parents brought back from China. Special wall hangings were created and shipped here to Canada for our school.

Inside the gym, the children were dazzled with the sights and sounds of an amazing festival. Red streamers and lanterns hung from the ceiling, colourful wall decorations were everywhere and seven stations provided lots of opportunities for the children to learn about the Chinese culture. There were Chinese painting and calligraphy, the Dragon Dance, games such as hoop rolling and jianzi and making Chinese knots. As each activity was completed, the children asked for a stamp on their stamp collection card.

The children received many trinkets, a bag and balloon, and a special red packet (which symbolises good luck) on the way back to their classroom.

As a final note on Chinese New Year we should have known there was something special going on. I’m born in the Year of the Dragon…and so are this year’s Kinder Cuties! People born in the Year of the Dragon are leaders, passionate about what we do, honest and proud. That’s a lot of personality for one classroom but we’re loving it!

We have a little book addition to our: Celebrating the Family: Kindergarten Social Studies post from a couple of years ago. We’re always searching for great new books to read to our children and that we can recommend for you as well.

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Library Book Exchange is Wednesday. Please remember to return your book to the class basket

Another exciting Grade 7 Popcorn Sale is in its way. This Friday popcorn will be on sale for $2 a bag. The Kindergarten always pre orders so send in $2 anytime this week and we will collect in and order the popcorn.

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Sweet Things….This Week in Our Room: February 5-8, 2018

We might have only been at school for four days this week, but we had lots of sweet activities going on. It’s a really wonderful time to be teaching Kindergarten. Our children are changing and maturing. They are so much more at ease in the classroom, initiate many interesting conversations with us (“that might be something best to share just at home”) and are fully participating members of the Ridgeview student population.

We are now up to “r is a rainbow”! The rainbow is one of our favourite alphabet crafts. The children love to use felt pens and we get a chance to review the order of the rainbow colours, introduce “indigo” and “violet” and just enjoy their company as they are happily colouring.

It’s the beginning of the month so of course we had to make our self-portraits for February. We’re still using our same criteria (big, bright and beautiful) when creating beautiful art. The children are familiar with it and they know what they are working towards. Haven’t the children’s drawing and colouring skills improved this year? Looking back at their September work in our scrapbooks is an authentic and exciting way to see the true growth of our Kindergarten children this year. We can’t wait to show these to you your children’s scrapbooks during our Student Led Conferences in April.

We had a special Big Buddies class on Tuesday to make these gorgeous Valentine cardholders! We love the connection between the Big and Little Buddies. There is definitely a fondness between each pairing (or threesome as we have many more Big Buddies than Littles), and the excitement of our Grade 7s as “teachers” for their Kindergarten Buddy is evident. Of course our Kinders love the undivided attention they receive from their Buddy! It’s a really special and happy time for everybody.

We’ve been learning about the different kinds of families in our classrooms and we’ve been developing a lot of “family vocabulary” and what it all means. We had read the children some excerpts from Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder) earlier this year, and it was gratifying to see the children remember and make connections between what we might call our Mom and Dad to include “Ma” and “Pa,” besides Mother and Father. We have Grandparents, and in our class we call them Grandma, Nana, Grammy; and Grandpa and Poppa. We talked about “sons” and “daughters,” “nephews” and “nieces” and “aunts” and “uncles.” All in all, it’s wonderful for the children to be able to talk about their families and extended families, who is living in their home, the birth order of brothers and sisters and who has “just brothers” or “just sisters” or both or neither. Although this work is in progress (labeling still to be completed), look at these delightful family portraits from our young artists!

We had our own Olympic story this week as we saw more courage and determination in our children than we ever have at their first skating lesson. Our children were so organised with their skating gear, gloves and snacks…thank you to the Home Team (all of our parents) who were working hard behind the scenes. We watched our skaters, both experienced and new to skating, get on the ice with enthusiasm and a “can do” attitude which belies their young age and small stature. They may have fallen down many times on the ice, but they got right back up onto their skates. The children really pushed themselves hard to overcome any hesitations they might have had, and had fun doing it at the same time. Girls and Boys, you’ve made Team Canada proud.

Finally, we have to say a heartfelt good-bye to our wonderful Kindergarten lunch time and playground supervisor, Mrs. Tanya, as she leaves us at Ridgeview for another professional opportunity. Mrs. Tanya has worked with the Kindergarten for four years now, and come to know many of the children and their families. Her patience, kindness and gentle ways with the children are so treasured and she will be truly missed. We send her off with our love and best wishes!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

If your child had made Valentine’s Day cards for their classmates please bring them to school tomorrow or Wednesday. We will help them put their cards into the card holders during our morning Centre Time. The Kindergarten students are also welcome to wear red, pink, purple to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Wednesday.

Library Book Exchange is in Wednesday so please remember to return your book.

We are quite excited about the upcoming Chinese New Year Celebration on Friday, February 16th. The students will be visiting the gym to participate in a variety of activities. Students are encouraged to wear red and gold.

Last call for February Scholastic book orders.

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January Rain Means Cosy Times in the Kindergarten…This Week in Our Room: January 29-February 2, 2018

Just when we thought the rain could not get any worse…then we saw this bit of sunshine in our cloakroom!  Wow…this is really impressive.  Your children must be keeping super neat bedrooms at home if they are doing this at school.  (Note:  this photo was not altered in any way.  Really!)

It might be rainy outside but we are doing our best to make sure everyone is warm and dry at school.

We’re keeping very cosy under our “q is for quilt” craft this week.

 

We finished our beautiful “Snowmen at Night” painting project, based on Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and pictures by Mark Buehner.  This was a three day activity that began with painting in the snowy backgrounds, then pastel drawing and sparkle mod podge for the snowman, and finally a tricky cutting out and gluing of the two pieces together.  The children did an amazing job with this multi-skill assignment.  Thanks always to Patti Palmer @Deep Space Sparkle for her amazing ideas!

The bad weather called for more painting to chase away the rain so we read Caldecott Winner The Snowy Owl by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr, turned on the Baroque music and started painting the backgrounds.  Next week we can show you the finished owls!  

More winter stories to warm our hearts in the Library with our Teacher-Librarian, Mrs. Kennedy.

For more cosy times, we saw our Big Buddies this week!  We’re starting our digital literacy project on Polar Animals.  We spent our first session researching penguins with our Buddies to record the facts for penguin appearance, habitat, food and life cycle.  As you can see, we are well on our way to gathering the information we need!  We hope to have our projects finished by Spring Break to show you at Student Led Conferences in April.

If you’ve come into school by the main entrance, you’ll notice the #choosekind bulletin board.  We’re focusing on a school wide Choose Kind Challenge throughout the month of February.  We’re keeping our eyes open for acts of kindness and filling up our kindness jar.  So far in Kindergarten we’ve seen:

-a child picking up coats from the floor and hanging them up in the cloakroom

-helping a friend tie their shoe, open their snack or zip up their coat

-a child gently guiding a classmate back into line

-children being mindful and demonstrating patience with each other

-letting a friend take a turn first

If everyone could be as caring, empathic and thoughtful as a Kindergarten child, then we are very fortunate indeed.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library is Wednesday. Please remember to return your book for book exchange.

February Homework Calendars went home this week. Please return your January Homework Calendar to the classroom for a winter sticker.

February Scholastic Book Orders were sent home this week. Please return order forms by Thursday, February 8.

Our first skating trip will be Wednesday, February 7th. We will leave promptly at 9:15 so please have your child to school on time. Students will need to bring their own skates and helmets if they are not renting. They will also need snow pants, warm gloves and a warm jacket. A fleece hoodie over a long sleeve t shirt is also a good option as it lets them move more freely. We will send out more information Monday. We will also need each child’s shoe size for the rentals.

We start a new round of Special Helper and Sharing next week. Our sharing theme is Family. We are asking each child to bring in a photo of their family that we will display.  The photos will be returned.  We would also like the children to share three things their family likes to do together. You could help your child write them down on a piece of paper the three things and bring it in along with their photo.  More information is posted on the parent board.

 

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This Week in Our Room; January 22-25, 2018

We’re working hard in the area of phonological awareness as we are heading towards the half way mark in Kindergarten. Letter names and sounds, rhyming words, beginning and ending sounds of words and blending and segmenting are some of the skills we’ve been focusing on. You can emphasise letter and sound recognition (your child can recognise the sound and tell you what letter it is) and sound production (your child can produce the sound of a letter you name or show in print) as we move through the alphabet in class; we’re on the letter P but don’t let that stop you from going ahead to work on the entire alphabet. We also teach letter formation in our weekly alphabet work; check your child’s weekly Itchy’s alphabet page for an example of how we print each letter.

We made these cutie – patootie piglets for Alphabet P this week! Each piglet has a unique personality, just like our Kindergarten children.

We’ve been reading some very special books about Winter the past couple of weeks. One of them is called Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. It is beautifully illustrated and talks about the animal world beneath the snow. There is a second book, Up in the Garden, and Down in the Dirt that we are looking forward to reading in the Spring when we are learning about Plants.

We introduced the sentence frame “I like…” as part of our Winter theme. The children selected their favourite things about Winter from a Winter word bank, cut and pasted their word to the page, and illustrated each one for their “I Like Winter” booklet.

We’ve exploring number right now in Math and in our usual Math Their Way style, have set up a variety of centres for our children to rotate through. Using a familiar routine such as centres, allows our children to focus on the task at hand: they know and understand the expectations of group work including sharing, speaking kindly, cooperating and helping each other to finish their work. We are working towards independence in every activity we do.

For our number centres, we’re using some familiar materials, including pattern blocks and multilinks. We’ve also introduced some new resources such as the red game boxes from the Workjobs of Math Their Way. Inside each Workjob box are gameboards and counters. In Kindergarten we use them for patterning and counting. When we taught Grades 1-3, those same Workjobs were used for addition and subtraction to 10 and multiplication and division. It’s exciting to watch our children explore, create and count sets using many kinds of educational resources also allows them to practise making choices, be flexible in their thinking and show number in many different ways.

In PE we’re continuing to focus on locomotor movement including walking, running, skipping, hopping and jumping. The children are learning to move in different directions (forward, backwards, sideways) and understanding the importance of personal space. We’re into our second week of using small equipment (beanbags).

We wrapped up this week with our school’s January Assembly. We had an opportunity to review the safety rules for moving through the hallways, playground and appropriate language use. We also talked about the #choosekind campaign going on at school from now until the middle of February. We’ll be highlighting kindness (words and behaviour) in our classrooms and school and those those actions can pay themselves forwards.

Upcoming Reminders and Events

Library Book Exchange is on Wednesday, January 31. We had quite a few browsers this week so please help your child to remember to bring their book back to school.

The skating permission slips went home this week. Please mark the two dates on your calendar (February 7th and February 28th). Payments are made through School Cash Online. Permission slips are to be returned to school. We need many volunteers at the rink to help us get skates sized and then put on and laced up. If you are able to join us we’d love to have you.

It’s been a terribly cold and wet week and the many kindergarten children have been complaining about being cold and not wanting to go outside. Please have them dress in layers and have proper boots and rain jackets so we stay warm outside during our playtime.

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Snow and Sparkle….This Week in Our Room: January 15-19, 2018

Can you believe it’s already January 19?  The days are going by quickly as the children are growing up.  We’ve certainly seen quite a bit of growth in height, and stamina, since our return to school from the holidays.  Although there’s still that bit of tiredness that overcomes us in the afternoon, the children are certainly able to push through and finish the day in good spirits.

In the past two weeks we’ve completed alphabet letters N and O and lots of January favourites, such as our self-portraits, snowglobes and mitten and snowmen hangers.

“n” is night

octopus “o”

snowglobes

snowman mitten hangers

We’re delighted to say that the Kindergarten totally knows how to rock out, and that’s what they did when we welcomed The Bluesberries, an awesome blues/rock music group who came to play for Ridgeview students this past Tuesday.  The children danced to the Twist, listened to fan favourites by Jimi Hendrix  (Purple Haze), the White Stripes (Seven Nation Army) and The Beatles (Can’t Buy Me Love) and learned the 12 bar blues.   Thanks so much to our RPAC for sponsoring this school cultural event.  

We’ve started the third unit from Incredible Flexible You, the pro-social program we teach in Kindergarten.  This unit is called “Thinking With Your Eyes.”  The children are learning that their eyes gather information about what is going on around them and what other people are thinking and feeling.  They are showing others with their eyes what they are focusing on; thus, the importance of eye contact when speaking with teachers, family and friends. In other words, at any particular moment what we are looking at is what we are thinking about.  The children are learning to read their social context to understand the thoughts and feelings of others, and how to respond appropriately.

We had a special PE class on Thursday when West Vancouver School District’s Physical Literacy Teachers Amber Wilson and Erin Crawford came to teach a Durable Kid Workshop to both of our classes.  Proud does not even begin to describe how we feel about our children’s ability to participate in the movement preparation instruction.  They were complimented many times not only their physical skills (pivoting, skipping, planking) but on their listening and focus skills.  For Christy and I, this is where we see the benefits of teaching self-regulation strategies to our children and of front-end loading clear and explicit expectations for all lessons and activities.  Well done, boys and girls!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library is on Wednesday so please remember to return books to the classroom before then

Our PE days are Tuesday for both classes. Thursday for Mrs. Campbell’s and Mrs. Zambon’s class and Friday for Mrs. Daudlin’s class. Please make sure your child has running shoes at school.   

Next Friday, January 26th is a District-wide Professional Day.  School will not be in session.

With rain in the forecast for the weeks to come please check that your child has a change of clothes and boots/indoor shoes that fit at school.  We’ve noticed some big growth spurts since the holidays!!

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Christmas Fun…This Week in Our Room:  December 11-15, 2017

We’re well on the journey to Christmas Town where there is a lot of activity happening in the Kindergarten and at home for our children.  We’re hearing a lot about Christmas trees, decorating, shopping and baking at home and it’s so wonderful and exciting.  We’re carefully pacing ourselves here at school as we still have one more week of school plus our two concerts on Tuesday.  Many children are really enjoying making Christmas crafts and colouring during Centre Time which is very calming and keeps their little hands busy, while others are very content to be looking at Christmas books or playing Lego.  

One activity everyone looks forward to is listening to Christmas stories.  We’re reading the children’s books some have brought in for Sharing, as well as old favourites of ours from our family Christmas book collection.  For some great recommendations of Christmas books, click here.

We finished the letter M this week and made “m is a mouse.”  The children love the time spent crafting and talking about what they are creating for each letter.  We will take a break from the alphabet next week and start up again in January with “n.”

We are working hard on vocabulary development with Christmas words and concepts.  We talked about how two words can describe the same thing (ornaments/decorations; gift/present), where stockings can be hung (on the fireplace, on your bed), the differences between holly (red berries) and mistletoe (white berries) and what we’re putting on top of the Christmas tree.

The children are printing a Christmas word book to go with our discussion.

Rehearsals started this week for the Concert and we’re all looking forward to showing off our wonderful singers to you.

What do you get with 35 Kinders, ten parents helpers and two teachers who are crazy about Christmas?  The Reindeer Games, of course!

Our big event was held this past Tuesday.  Thank you to all the parents who so kindly volunteered for an afternoon at this extremely busy time of year.  We’ve written quite a bit about how much fun we have at the Games over the years and this one was no exception.

Besides the Christmas fun, the opportunity for our children to come together as a Kindergarten community to play and learn together is an important part of their social development.  Many of the children have friends in “the other class” so we want to keep on creating occasions, big and small, to maintain these special connections.  For our parent helpers, it’s a great way to connect names and faces for themselves and the children.

The children will be bringing most of their crafts home for Christmas; we will keep just a couple of things for their scrapbooks.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Tuesday is our matinee and evening performances for the Christmas Concert.  We ask that you send your child to school in costume for the day; toques and extra costuming such as the vests we can put on later.

Please feel free to drop by the classroom after the matinee performance and see our beautiful decorations before we start taking everything down to send home with your child.

We hope you have purchased your tickets for the Christmas Concert.  If you need an additional ticket for either show, please speak to us and we will see what we can do!

We will have our last library visit before the holidays on Wednesday.  Please return your library book.

A reminder that classes are dismissed on Friday, December 22 at 12 pm.  We will re-open for school on Monday, January 8, 2018.

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Getting Ready for Christmas…This Week in Our Room:  December 4-8, 2017

It’s been a very busy time and the children are very much in the blue zone.  We know they are feeling tired and a little sleepy by the end of the week.  We’ve had a lot going on, Christmas is in the air, hanging from the ceiling…it’s everywhere.

We’re working extra hard on practising our Winter Concert songs, completing Christmas and Bear projects and dutifully practising our self-regulation strategies.  We’ve been meditating on our beautifully decorated Christmas tree, listening to gentle music and breathing deeply.

This week is “L is a letter.”  We had a lot of fun searching for the letters in our name, the differences between uppercase and lowercase and which way the letters go.

We’ve been focusing on subitizing (recognition of a number set without counting) with familiar (dice patterns) and unfamiliar number arrangements to develop the children’s concept of number.  We had some candy cane fun when we counted a box of 100 mini candy canes (it turned out to be 104) to share with our Big Buddies by using the 10 frame as another way to organise a set and count by 10s.

 

We read a beautiful Christmas counting poem and created our own versions.

The last story for our Bear Literary Theme was a familiar favourite, Goldilocks and The Three Bears.  It’s always fun to read different versions of the same story and to compare the similarities and differences; this is a great literary activity you can do at home which promotes discussion about the story elements (plot, character, theme, setting) and encourages engagement with books.  

We’ve been working on recalling the main events and sequencing them in the correct order.  A fun culminating activity for us was to read the The Three Bears Christmas and make our three bears stick puppets.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Please return report card envelopes next week.  The report and inserts are for you to keep.

The rehearsal schedule for our upcoming Winter Christmas Concert has been announced for teachers and it will mean our regular school days will not be quite as predictable as in the past number of months. We will all have to be more flexible (Christy and I keep saying this over and over again to each other).  However, this is another opportunity for us to see how well the self-regulation strategies we’ve been teaching in class are working for the children.  

At home, the children should be getting a proper night’s rest (10 hours), eating healthy and getting as much fresh air and exercise as possible.  They will need a lot of stamina and resilience to cope with the next two weeks, combined with the excitement we all call Christmas.

Library Book Exchange will be on Wednesday and it will be the last one before the holidays so please return our library books.

 

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Autumn Potpourri…This Week in Our Room:  November 27-December 1, 2017

Like all good elves at this time of the year, we’ve been working very hard in our classroom finishing a myriad of projects.  Christmas activities are woven throughout our day but we’re managing our self-regulation pretty well.  The Advent Calendar we started on Friday, December 1, nudged us from the green zone to the yellow zone; however, a few calming breaths with the smell of chocolate Santas in the air seemed to bring down the energy…sort of.

This week “K is for Kite” and we made some colourful kites to go along with our beautifully printed Ks – no easy task with all those lines sliding back and forward.  We’ve noticed steady improvement and independence in our class’ printing and cutting skills.  We can also see all that monkey bar swinging and hanging paying off for a strong upper body, shoulders, arms and hands necessary for good fine motor control.

We read one of our favourite books, Time to Sleep, by Denise Fleming, and completed some fun activities with a focus on how seasonal environmental changes affect animals, such as migration and hibernation.  Recalling the main ideas and sequencing story events are two of the comprehension skills we are currently teaching in class.  With our buddies, we completed a torn paper hibernating bear art project.

In Math this month, we’re reviewing counting sets, including one to one correspondence, subitizing (recognition of a number set without counting), recognising number patterns on a dice and printing numerals with the correct formation.

During PE we’ve spent a lot of time working on basic locomotor movements and following signals and commands.  Signals and commands include following whistle signals (one whistle means freeze, two whistles means sit down on the spot) and verbal commands such as “find your personal space,” “listening line” and “listening circle.”  We practise these every time we go to PE to ensure everyone is moving safely in the gym.

The children are learning the difference between walking, jogging and running (we will focus on sprinting in the spring when we can go outside for PE).  While jogging and running, the children are working on remembering to use their arms (“hip to lip”) as well.

The children have been practising their skipping (step, hop on alternate feet), hopping (one foot) and jumping (two feet) and building endurance.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Library Scholastic Book Fair and bought books.  We receive a portion of the funds to buy new books and resources for our own library.

Our big event this week was making our Christmas Marshmallow Balls with our Buddies.  The sweet and delicious aroma of marshmallows wafted throughout the classroom, and this was another opportunity to strengthen fine motor skills as the children were threading sequins onto pins, through a mini marshmallow and into a styrofoam ball.  We won’t say anymore as these ornaments will be a special Christmas gift for your Christmas tree.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We did not take out Library Books last week due to the Book Fair.  We will be back on the regular schedule this week.

Wednesday is our Christmas Cracker project with our Big Buddies.  We’re all looking forward to making some sweet treats to give to those less fortunate in our community.

All children should have runners to wear indoors and for PE, and rainboots for outdoor playtime during the rainy days. We’re expecting dry weather this week, but please be mindful of the cool temperatures; a toque and gloves help keep your child warm and cozy for these end of Autumn days.

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Seasonal Changes…This Week in Our Room:  November 20-24, 2017

Well, the weather this week certainly indicates we’re deep into Autumn.  There are leaves everywhere on the ground, it’s pouring rain, the children are wearing their boots (mostly) and raincoats and many are bringing their gloves and toques.  Autumn is here and it looks like Winter is on it’s way.

Inside the Kindergarten classroom, all is warm and cozy, particularly as we’re starting to talk about Bears.  Through studying Bears (real and literary) and the environment around us, we’re also learning how seasonal changes affect animals, local plants and ourselves.

We’re reading some lovely classic stories about Bears during Storytime, including Corduroy by Don Freeman and the Old Bear series by Jane Hissey.  

 

We also made our own Corduroy Bear and dressed him in these lovely green overalls.  The children loved using a paper crimper to crimp the paper and give it that “corduroy” effect.  Everyone couldn’t wait to select their own buttons to help the “straps” stay up.

 

Inspired by Corduroy’s lost button, we have been teaching about sorting and sorting rules using buttons.  We’ve been sorting by size, shape and colour, one rule at a time.  The children were fascinated with four hole versus two hole buttons.  Now, they also know that some buttons have a shank on them and are sewn on differently than buttons with holes.  Of course, that led to everyone checking out their clothes for buttons and the kind they have.

Sorting and classifying, and patterning are excellent Math activities to practise at home with your child.  Your child probably has lots of little things which can easily be used as a collection to sort; you can take turns deciding on the sorting rule.  Using the same collections, you and your child can pattern them together.  We’ve completed AB, ABC and AAB patterns in class.  We have been learning about creating, copying and extending patterns.  Patterns in our environment exist everywhere:  take a look for them the next time you are out and about.

Our little bonus art activity this week was finishing our owlets.

 

Our Alphabet letter this week was “j jumps.”  But our craft was “j jewel.”  It was very much appreciated by all those who love glitter and sparkle, and can never get enough.

Our children are learning two songs for the Christmas Concert, “Frosty the Snowman” and “The Bells on the Sleigh.”  We’re sending home the words for you to practise with your child.  When we find out our costume requirements, we will let you know.  Remember to save the date, Tuesday, December 19, for our Primary Christmas Concert.

Christmas Sharing and Special Helper starts next week.  We will send home the calendar with the date of your child’s Special Helper through Remind.  Not everyone participated in last month’s Sharing so we are hoping that you will be able to help your child prepare for this next round.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Please let us know if you are leaving early for the Christmas Holidays.  This helps us with our planning, and we need to let Ms. Sanford, our Music Teacher know before she begins to organise the standing order for the concert.  Thank you.

Scholastic Book Fair:  November 27-29, 2017.  Please note that the Scholastic Book Fair is just three days this year.  Kindergarten children must have a parent in attendance before making any book purchases; the teachers cannot buy any books on your child’s behalf.  We’ve listed the Book Fair times below.  It’s always a very fun event and a great way to get a head start on your Christmas shopping.  We sent home the preview catalogue earlier this week.

 

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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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