The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

Big Buddy Promotion Ceremony

Image from Google

It occurred to me this week that this was the first time in three years I have not had a child graduating from high school.  I’ve been pretty busy until this last school year with teaching Kindergarten full time, layered with a busy home life of my own children playing sports and performing in the Fine Arts. I was in a non-stop graduation mindset for 24 months.  My daughter graduated in 2016, then Christy and I had the double whammy of her daughter and my son graduating in 2017. There was a lot of shopping for special occasion clothing, graduation events and University and Scholarship Applications.

I can put it all behind me now until University graduation.  This year no one from my home is graduating.  Christy has a year of reprieve until her youngest graduates two years from now so we’re taking a deep breath of relief for this spring.  But we do have our Kindergarten children’s participation in the Grade 7 Promotion Ceremony to look forward to on Thursday, June 21.  

So you are not rushed next week, here are our expectations for Kindergarten attire for the big event:

Girls– dress or skirt, dress shoes or sandals (no flip flops)

Boys– a button-up shirt with a collar and tie if you have these items (please do not go out and buy them) or a t-shirt/long sleeve shirt withouta large logo on the front, pants or shorts, dress shoes or cleaned up runners.

At this time, we are still trying to fix the exact time our children will be walking the Grade 7s down the aisle.  We know for sure it will be in the morning, around 11:25 am.  You are welcome to come and watch and shed a few years with us as we realize how quickly this magical year has gone by.   We suggest you arrive for 11:15 am and wait for us in the hallway to pass you. Then follow us in.  As soon as more details are shared with us, we will inform you.

 

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Cinderella Story…This Week in Our Room: June 11-15, 2018

Well, our dear friend is back in town and her name is Cinderella.  This is our favourite Fairy Tale of all and we’ve enjoyed reading many different versions of the Charles Perrault classic.

We’ve been talking about all things magical, including the magical people and icons that appear in Fairy Tales.  When we think about reading as comprehension, we are activating our prior knowledge to “hang” the new knowledge and ideas we learn.  We need to have the appropriate prior knowledge in order to make sense of what we are reading for understanding (comprehension).  We always recommend reading and talking about stories with your child at home.  If English is your second language, then we encourage you to speak with your children in your home language where they can use their high level vocabulary, language structures and questioning skills more fluently.

Your role in helping develop your child’s oral language and building upon his or her understanding of the stories by making connections with other stories and experiences you’ve shared is developing prior knowledge. Looking for patterns and common elements in stories is really important as our children are building their foundation knowledge about story structure which contributes to their ever-growing knowledge base of literature.

We’ve started to explore measurement in non-standard units this week in Math.  We’re using words such as “longer” and “shorter” when comparing lengths and “taller” when referencing heights.

High Touch High Tech gave an excellent Science Workshop on “Newton in a Nutshell.”  Our children were physicists, scientists who like to study movement or motion, and forces, in the classroom laboratory.  They learned about safely in the lab, talked about gravity, performed several experiments in small groups and then were able to visit five different activity Centres during which they tested Newton’s Three Laws:

  1. Objects in motion stay in motion.  Objects at rest stay at rest.
  2. The bigger the force the faster the motion.
  3. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Thank you to everyone for your contributions to make amazing educational programs such as these possible.

We had another Science program visit Kindergarten to Grade 4 on Thursday, “H2Whoa,” from Dreamrider Productions.  H2Whoa is a play about water conservation, starring Planet Protector Esmeralda and her playful companion Goober.  Together they teach the children about the water cycle, strategies to reduce water consumption and ultimately, to overcome the evil Evaporator from stealing all of the Earth’s water.

We also had a massive growth in our bean seeds last weekend.  We decided to send them home to transplant into the ground, or at least a larger pot.  The pots we’ve used are compostable so you can transplant the entire plant, pot and all.  Next week is supposed to very hot, great for bean growth.  The beans still need a lot of regular watering.

It’s been five years now since my own Dad has passed away (1928-2013).  I’m a tremendous reader today because of the love of books he fostered within me and my sister.  My parents have always supported me in my schooling and career, my Dad in particular, to follow my passion and love of what I’m doing.  31 years later, I’m teaching your child in Kindergarten, still very much enjoying this delightful age group and working with Christy, my amazing teaching partner, because of my Dad’s love and belief in following my heart.  So to all of our Dads, Happy Father’s Day with love.  We’ve made you a little gift in class that we know you’ll want to share with your little one.  And thank so much to our parent helpers who help us to make all things possible in the Kindergarten!

 

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It’s More Than Just Fairy Tales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Self-Regulation and Some Thoughts on Curriculum Integration.This Week in Our Room: May 28-June 1, 2018

This was a fun week of curricular integration for Literature, Science and Art in the Kindergarten.  We do a lot of integration of subject areas in our classrooms; it allows us an opportunity to create layers of meaningful content and greater depth, as well as helping the children to see the connectedness of what they are learning.  Our students come to realise that everything they learn is not in isolation, but instead connected to structures, or frameworks, and understandings that help them to make greater sense of their world.

We’re on to our third Fairy Tale, “Jack and the Beanstalk.”   We read several versions, including this sweet one by Mara Alperin and Ag Jatkowska.  We’re continuing to explore story structure by recalling what happened at the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.  We’re beginning to think about the characters beyond who is good (expected behaviour) or bad (unexpected behaviour) and reflecting upon their role in the story as either a main or secondary character.  We’ve been teaching and reteaching story structure because that literary understanding will always be a key to reading comprehension, the goal of reading any text.

You might have noticed we are referring to the “good” and “bad” behaviour of story characters as “expected” or “unexpected” behaviour.  Those are the terms we use in class, as part of our Zones of Regulation vocabulary, whenever we are reflecting on our own conduct.  Leave it to us to always find a way to view all teaching and learning through the lens of self-regulation.

It’s interesting for us to make reference to the literary characters of Little Red, the Woodsman, the Wolf in “Little Red/The 3 Little Pigs” and Jack and the Giant in terms of the Zones as the children are very insightful into the characters’ energy levels and motivation.  This discussion can pave the way for the class to talk about our own behaviour.  For example, the Kindergarten know that the Wolf is in the Red Zone because he wants to eat the Little Red/3 Pigs thus, his body is out of control.  It’s safe for the children to talk about it because the Wolf is far removed as a storybook character; however, they all understand chasing and eating someone is not ok.  What’s most important for the children is they know the Wolf needs to down-regulate back to the Green Zone; it’s their thinking about the strategies for calming which tells us what they have learned.

For our Science integration we are learning about Growing Things.  The week’s lesson was on the parts of a seed:  the embryo (baby plant), seed food (part of the seed until the plant forms leaves to make its own food) and the seed coat.  Our fun craft for Jack was the planting of bean seeds – real life integration and a connection between our environment and what we’re currently reading.  We had lots of fun playing in the soil and making our plant markers.  Thank you to our parents for digging in the dirt with us!  We are waiting with excitement for the first baby sprout…we watered the seeds well to get through the weekend.

Continuing on our Fairy Tale Theme, we started our Royal Kinder Portraits, another great drawing and painting activity by Deep Space Sparkle.  More integration with our umbrella theme of Fairy Tales and providing further learning experiences for fine motor skill development – a must in Kindergarten.  Here, we use a template to draw the crown with pencil, then trace and decorate with pastel.  Next, we draw a “U” for the face; everybody has a good sized, proportional face thanks to the crown template.  We drew in the facial details with the expertise of children who have drawn 9 self-portraits already this year, in addition to many faces and figures just because they love to draw so much.  Next week we will begin painting the portraits in small groups.

We’ve come to the end of Geometry with reviewing the properties of Triangles and reading the fabulous Shapes that Roll by Karen Sagel and Steve Wilson.  We’ll start some fun work on linear measurement next week.

Sports Day 2018

Well, the Blue Bubblegums and Red Ring Pops held their own and competed at a fierce level on Sports Day.  Although we compete for points, a Ridgeview Sports Day is about team spirit, excellent sportsmanship and fun, fun, fun!!  Thanks to all our parents and grandparents who came out and cheered on our mighty athletes, small in stature, but giants in enthusiasm, energy and team loyalty.  The Grade 6 Leaders looked after their Kinder teammates really well.  They ensured the children made it up to the washrooms when necessary and supported them for the more challenging relays.  

In usual Kindergarten fashion, the special Sports Day Snack (iced cookies) and the prospect of face-painting after their participation in the Sports Day relays were the most anticipated events of the day.  We’ve been teaching the Kindergarten for many years, and it reminds us again that our children, while they’ve grown and matured so much emotionally, socially and academically, are still very much little people.

For us, it was a “no tears” Sports Day (children, not teachers) and it didn’t rain so we can’t ask for more than that.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Our Ridgeview Me to We team is selling Ridgeview silicone bracelets.  They are $2 each and we are taking orders for them.  Some of the children have tried it on; it’s a little big but everybody seems to be quite pleased that it’s not slipping off.  

Sharing and Special Helper continues with our “bring your favourite plant” theme.  We’ve been getting some beauties in to class and really enjoy their beautiful fragrance.

All Library Books need to be returned next week.

Please return your May Homework Calendars this week for a sticker.

If you have not made your $12 donation for our High Touch, High Tech “Newton in a Nutshell” Science workshop on Wednesday, June 13, please do so through SchoolCashOnline.  A purple notice was sent home earlier this week with the online link.

 

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Just Breathe…This Week in Our Room:  May 22-25, 2018

We’ve been pretty busy for the month of May and it’s nowhere near over yet.  Since the run up to Student-Led Conferences at the end of April, we’ve worked on our Mother’s Day paintings; completely cleared out (like June) then restored (like September) my classroom for Mayfair; presented to the WV School Board our collaborative work on digital literacy, guided inquiry and the Big Buddy program for “Penguin Movie Magic;” and then held “Welcome to Kindergarten” for the incoming Kindergarten children.  Next week we will be having team meetings for Sports Day which falls on Friday, June 1 this year. It’s probably a fair comment to say we have a lot going on right now. As creatures of habit, we’re certainly looking forward to having a return to our calm and quiet routines so we can just enjoy being with our students in our classrooms for the last few weeks of our Kindergarten year.

There’s no doubt in our minds that the children’s self-regulation has been sorely tested with the schedule changes and upheavals over the past few weeks.  And we’re pleased to say that for the most part, the children have been able to draw upon their knowledge of deep breathing for calming no matter where we are (line-ups, waiting for assemblies, listening during our tennis lessons) and are still taking our practise time for self-regulation strategies quite seriously.  We’ve noticed that the children’s breathing postures have really improved over the school year, they are able to settle themselves quickly to listen to calming music and they are picking up on the social cues for when they need to regulate their own emotional state (the teacher is explaining a difficult concept so they must listen; lessons are getting longer and more complex with numerous steps so they must engage; we had a fire drill last week where they must focus).  

We’ve continued to view our children and lessons through a self-regulation lens where we the teachers act as co-regulators to help our students self-regulate, but we also have been careful to observe, reflect and adjust when necessary, our lessons so that during this busy time our children are not overwhelmed by everything going on around them.

We’re working on our new Science Unit on “Growing Things” now and enjoying the first few Sharings our children are bringing in.  For this round of Sharing and Special Helper, we’re asking everybody to bring in their favourite plant. We’re happy to receive a photo of your garden or of a plant that’s too big to bring in to school.  We had a fun lesson on what plants need (food, fertiliser, water, air, time, love) and made these lovely folders to hold our school work.

In Fairy Tales, we are reading “The Three Little Pigs.”  The children are very familiar with this tale, and able to talk about the story in terms of its beginning, middle and end.  We’re examining the story element of character, and had a lively discussion about the good and bad characters in this story.  We especially enjoyed reading Wolfie’s Secret by Nicola Senior, a twist on the traditional tale where Wolfie actually hides his secret aspirations to become a baker.  He’s treated rather poorly by the three pigs once they find out his true ambitions, but like any good story, everything works out happily ever after for wolf and pigs alike.

This week we finished our work on squares, and will wrap up our Geometry Unit with lessons on rectangles and triangles.  We’ve been having a lot of fun with “shape searches” throughout the classroom and looking around for these familiar silhouettes both indoors and out.

Sports Day

We will take a moment here to review what’s happening this week for Sports Day on Friday, June 1.  Sports Day is a grand tradition here at Ridgeview. All of the schoolchildren are divided into four colour teams.  This year, Mrs. Daudlin’s class is BLUE and Mrs. Campbell’s class is RED.  These are the colours our children should be wearing on Sports Day.  Parents are welcome to dress up in your team colour and watch the fun.

On Sports Day, please arrive on time at your child’s classroom.  We will quickly move to our meeting rooms after attendance so please try not to be late.  We usually perform our cheers on the playcourt so that is a great spot to meet our team and you can follow your child’s individual team around the Sports Day activities.

Our children are placed on mini-teams of students from Grades 1-6.  They will be led by Grade Six children around the activities that are run by Grade Seven students.  

Around 10:40, following the Freezie Break, the Kindergarten children will be brought to the playcourt to meet Mrs. Campbell and myself.  We’ll go back to our classrooms and eat our usual snack. We know the children are often really hungry on this morning so please send a BIG snack.  Then there will be time for Centres and face-painting by our Grade 7s if the children wish.

Please note that Kindergarten children are dismissed at 12 pm on Sports Day from their classroomsIf you have ordered a Sports Day hot lunch, you’ll pick it up from the school kitchen and enjoy a picnic lunch out on the field.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

This Wednesday is the last Library Book Exchange so please return your book if you’d like to take another one.  Mrs. Kennedy has arranged some fun Library Events for the remainder of our Library Days, including a visit from the WV Memorial Library to talk about the Summer Reading Program.

Sports Day is Friday, June 1.  Please ensure your child has been sunscreen application before coming to school.  We will only be outside until 10:45 at the latest, then moving inside for the rest of the morning.

Our upcoming Science workshop “Newton in a Nutshell: a focus on force and motion” will be taking place on June 13th.  We are asking for a $12 donation to cover the cost of having this mobile science program come to our classrooms. Please make your payment through School Cash online.

 

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Bits and Pieces….This Week in Our Room: May 7-11, 2018

We’re shifting gears as we finished up our Alphabet Books and moved onto our big literary theme for the school year, Fairy Tales. We’ll be reading, discussing and comparing similar versions of several Fairy Tales for the next few weeks.  We are learning about the elements of a story (plot, character, theme, setting)and story structure (beginning, middle, end).  If you would like to read some of the stories ahead of us, we will be reading these stories for teaching purposes:

Little Red Riding Hood

The Three Little Pigs

Jack and the Beanstalk

Hansel and Gretel

Cinderella

Snow White

We’re already read so many stories from the wonderful books the children have brought in for Sharing. We’re reading everything from the traditional tales to the Disney version to fun riffs off of familiar stories (we read The Ninjabread Man and that brought the house down with hysterical fits of laughter which was fantastic).  It’s wonderful for the children to learn how writers play with language to create humour.

We started our next Math unit in Geometry.  We’ll be studying 2- and 3- dimensional figures in class, their properties and classifying familiar items in those shape categories.

The weather held up for our nature walk to look at Living and Non-Living things on our school grounds.  This was the first lesson for our unit on “Plants are Living Things.”  Everyone will have a chance to bring their favourite plant or flower to school for our next round of Sharing.  We will let you know when we are ready to begin.

We are well into our Home Reading Book Exchange routine.  The children know we are just going to exchange our books on three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  They love to look through the little books and we see growing independence in their remembering to bring in their book bag and choosing their new books.  We’ve seen the children enjoy sitting at the table reading through the little books and it’s a very special and joyful time for us to see their developing love of literature.

We saw our Big Buddies this week and finished the wrapping for our Mother’s Day gifts.  You’ve already had a bit of a preview at your Student-Led Conference but know that the children were very much thinking of their Moms as they created these special gifts from their hearts.

There’s a lot of excitement building around Mayfair, which takes place this Saturday, May 12, 11 am-3 pm.  Daily donations of books, used sporting goods, tombola bags and today’s cupcakes and cakes for the Cake Walk are coming in and will make for some fun stalls and activities.  There is going to be a lot of fun!  The sun is supposed to shine so purchase your tickets early, grab your hat and sunscreen and come and enjoy the day!  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library Book Exhange on Wednesday.  We only have three more weeks to exchange books from the library.  On June 1, Mrs Kennedy will be ending book exchange in preparation for her year end library organization.

Friday, May 18 is a Professional Development Day so school is not in session  Monday, May 21 school will also be closed for Victoria Day.

With the warm weather please make sure you child has a non-spill water bottle at school every day.

 

 

 

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This Week in Our Room: April 30-May 4, 2018

We’ve taken a much deserved week to slow down and just enjoy playing in our classrooms and getting caught up on some bits and pieces around the classroom.

We’re just about finished our Alphabet Books.  Some of the children had missed pages due to sickness or travel so they did their best this week to get caught up on at least the printing and receiving their Alphabet stickers!

We read the delightful 10 Black Dots by Donald Crews and completed the sentence frame “___ dots can make a ___” for individual pages to contribute to a class big book.  The children were asking what happens to all the big books we make every year?  Well, we take all the books apart every June, sort out the pages by student and create an individual big book for every child with just his or her own pages. It’s another keepsake from Kindergarten that your child can read over the summer.

Speaking of reading, WOW!  Did we ever have a lot of fun and excitement this week with our Home Reading Book Exchange!  The children diligently read their books each evening and today we had a flood of books returned and ready to be exchanged.  This is such a fun part of Kindergarten for us when the children are eager to read these little books independently.  Remember to return this weekend’s books on Monday for the next set.  

We are going to be asking the children to select the books themselves so not to worry if the books on occasion are a bit too easy (excellent to develop oral reading fluency) or a bit too hard (excellent for you to read and teach some new vocabulary and sight words).  We all encounter reading materials of this nature.  But it’s the strategies of using the picture clues, looking for smaller words in big words and context which helps us with our comprehension.

We also wanted to thank one of our Ridgeview families for donating this great stack of home readers to the Kindergarten.  We’ll be adding these to the Home Reading baskets so gives our children even more choices when choosing their own books!

Using our Bonus Bank earnings from the Scholastic Book orders this year, we purchased this set of Melissa and Doug Fairy Tale Castle blocks.  It’s gorgeous and sparking lots of fairy tale vocabulary – the children love the wishing well, the horse and carriage and the archers and creating fun scenes with pieces and acting them out.

As everyone knows from the Reminds, we had a rockin’ day on Friday.

We finished our tennis lessons this week.  The children learned to use a tennis racquet, toss and catch the ball across the net and stay in their court.

We had our class photos taken and were lucky to escape any rain during our panorama photo with the entire school.  

We had some additional schedule changes so Mrs. Daudlin’s class will have their Library Book Exchange on Monday as we were unable to fit it into Friday.  We also moved Forest Friday to Monday as we ran out of steam for an outdoor playtime.

Reminders and Upcoming Events

Library Book Exchange is back to our regular day now, Wednesday.

Forest Fridays continue with the good weather so please keep your rain boots at school.

Keep the Tombola loot bags coming in!  Our goal is to collect one from each student as the prizes from this fun Mayfair event!

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Student Led-Conferences: Postscript….This Week in Our Room: April 23-27, 2019

Thank you to everyone for attending our Student-Led Conferences.  It’s always such a special time to see the children’s classrooms and view their work.   You warmed our hearts with all of the deep love and affection you had for your child’s first school efforts.  An extra special thanks so all the parents who sat down in the Meeting Area, cross-legged, to do the actions during the Calendar Time Centre.  We appreciate your kind, thoughtful and appreciative words in our Guest Book so much.  It’s such a privilege to be your child’s first teacher for their first foray into formal schooling.  We’re glad they are having so much fun and we look forward to many more exciting things we will do together in Kindergarten!

Much of this week was spent preparing for our Student-Led Conferences.  We sponge painted our paper plate flowers for our classroom trees.

The recording and response pages from our Numeracy Centres were collated into individual Math books for our children.

We brought the scrapbooks up to date.  This gorgeous keepsake of each Kindergarten child’s work will be yours at the end of the year.  It’s been organised by month and we’ve kept the best of everything for you!

We squeezed in the last letter of our Alphabet Book and we’ll make a sweet little zebra next week to finish your Alphabet wall.

There was some very intense Lego building in the classroom as well to help break up the busy days.

You can see the Kindergarten Visualising Learning bulletin board outside of my classroom.  Here, we have a few photos of the Big and Little Buddies doing their research for their Penguin Movie Magic project.  This Project is an integration of digital learning with the guided inquiry process we use in Kindergarten.  At Student-Led Conferences you saw the final version of weeks of hard work.  We will be posting in more detail about our experience later next month.

We had our first Forest Friday playtime.  It was a very refreshing way to finish off a great week at school.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

You should have received the results of your Kindergarten child’s Vision and Hearing Screening from this past Wednesday.

April Homework calendars can be turned in any time next week.

Tennis continues for a second week.  Please remember to wear your runners for safe play.

Library Book Exchange is different for next week only.  Mrs. Campbell will have Library on Tuesday.  Mrs. Daudlin will have Library on Friday.

Class and School Panorama Photos will be taken on Friday, May 4.

Mayfair is Saturday, May 12, 2018.  This is a very exciting school fair Ridgeview holds every second year, and a “not to be missed event.”  There will be lots of “fair” activities, food and fun.  If you are interested in volunteering please contact Kerra Sugden at kerrasugden@gmail.com. The RPAC needs lots of support to make this wonderful event a success.

All students are requested to help contribute tombola prize bags.  We will be sending home the ziploc bags with instructions for your to read.  Pictured below are a few ideas.

 

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Kindergarten Art and the Loveliness of Spring…This Week in Our Room: April 16-20, 2018

With our usual can-do attitude, Christy and I decided that if Spring was going to be slow in arriving then we would make it ourselves.  And that is how we found ourselves creating a lot of beautiful art this week so our classrooms will be as lovely inside as the beauty (when it gets here) we find outside our doors.  We think it worked…we’ve had some beautiful sunshine in the past couple of days.

In Art this term, we are focusing on line, shape and colour.  We’ve drawn these oversized flowers with curved lines (drawing a “u”) using black pastels, and with tempera paint pucks, painted in each petal.  We know that Kindergarten children can use a paintbrush correctly to paint.  But this year we wanted to give our young artists an opportunity to use different sized brushes for different purposes, and several kinds of paint mediums, from dry tempera paint pucks, to liquid tempera to liquid acrylic paints.  We know that part of our role is to expose the Kindergarten to various art techniques and resources so we are very happily providing as many art experiences to our children as we can!

Our Big Buddies dropped by this week and helped us to make these adorable robins!  The robin is an iconic symbol of spring so looking up at all those red tummies is a very cheerful sight.

In addition, our blue chicks are all finished now and greet us each morning from their friendly perch.

 

Our latest round of Sharing and Special Helper is now on its way with Fairy Tales.  Please assist your children in finding a favourite Fairy Tale from home to bring to school and we will read it aloud during Storytime on their Special Helper Day.  If you still have your Fairy Tale book from your childhood, you might consider allowing your child to select a story for us to read.  We still have all of our books from when we were young and look forward to showing our classes how we still treasure the stories of our past.

This week we wrapped up our explorations up to and including the number 9.  One new Centre we tried in our Activity Rotations was using dot formation cards for subitizing (instant recognition of a number).  These are based on dice patterns and it’s quite interesting watching the children count in sequence (eg., 1, 2, 3, 4), or count on from recognising the formation (eg., 6,7).  We asked the children to choose a dot formation card, make a matching set with counters, then copy it with bingo markers.  

We were quite impressed at how well they independently managed a lot of materials on the table, followed the directions (most of the time), then double-checked their work by counting without being asked.  We liked how they didn’t skip the step of making the set of counters, but instead,listened and rememberedthe teacher instructions.  This is a BIG step for Kindergarten, and a very important part of their self-regulation which is going to be absolutely necessary for them as life-long learners.

Earth Day is on Sunday, April 22 this year, and a school wide activity for Ridgeview students was to participate inDo 1 Give.  This year’s focus was a Book Swap where each student would donate at least one book, and could then choose a new book from the collection.  Thank you to everyone for your generous donations!  Our classes had a wonderful time browsing all of the donated storybooks, and everyone chose something special to take home.  

Our favourite day of the year, Student Led Conferences, is fast approaching next Thursday, April 26.  Please note that school dismisses at 2 pm.  You’ll need to promptly pick up your child on time as we will start our Conferences immediately following the bell.

Here are some things you need to know before your child’s Student Led Conference:

Please bring your child with you.  There seems to be some confusion about whether your child came or not, but yes, your child will be conducting this conference, not myself or Mrs. Campbell.

Please make arrangements for siblings.  This is a time just for Kindergarten children and their parent(s).  We have tried to have the Conferences with siblings in the classroom but truthfully, siblings need attention and detract from the hard work of the Kindergarten child.  Older students may wait quietly in our cloakroom with a book of their own.

Please share positive feedback only with your Kindergarten child.  Your child has worked extremely hard since September and shown tremendous growth in all aspects of school life.  Today is a day to celebrate their achievements!

Please be on time for your Conference. We still start and end conferences promptly so every family can have their maximum amount of time to enjoy their child’s school projects.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Wednesday, April 25is the Kindergarten Vision and Hearing Screening with Vancouver Coastal Health.  They will begin promptly at 9 am so please be on time for school.

Thursday, April 26-Friday, April 27is Student Led Conferences in the Kindergarten.  We dismiss at 2 pm on Thursday.

 

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Looking Forward to Spring….This Week in Our Room: April 9-13, 2018

It is just a Vancouver thing or are we always waiting for Spring sunshine? Judging from the wet coats, wet heads and changes of clothing we’ve been through in the past couple of weeks, we think we’re pretty much still waiting. Of course, our definition of Spring is sunshine and warmer temperatures, not all this rain. But rain it will, so hopefully drier days and lots of flowers will follow.

As part of our wishful thinking, we read aloud I See Spring by Charles Chigna and illustrated by Ag Jatkowska. Everyone drew a picture and completed a sentence frame for our “Spring Is” big book that we can read aloud in class during Book Time.

This week we read the delightful, Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood. As an avid mystery book lover myself, I always hope that one day our students will embrace this fascinating genre. There’s nothing quite like being an armchair sleuth and using your “little grey cells,” as Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot, so eloquently stated to solve a mystery.

We love you so much that the children covered their Alphabet Craft “x” with kisses for you!


We’re finishing up our Math Unit in Numeracy with Explorations for 8 this week. We’ve made pattern block fences, bingo marker pictures with 8 dots, created and copied block pictures for 8, practised printing formation for 8 and counted sets from 6-10.

These activities are part of a weekly math rotation we complete over a couple of days for each number, 0-10, as part of the Numeracy and Problem Solving content for Kindergarten Math. The children are very familiar with the routine of rotations around the tables, where each table has different math materials and manipulatives. We intentionally schedule time every week from September to December for Free Exploration. This time we spend as a class during the Fall, talking about number, counting and what it looks like to work cooperatively with a small group of students, is essential for us before we begin our focused work on Numeracy.

We’re working on a big craft right now, our Spring Blue Chicks. The chicks are halfway to finishing sprouting their paper “feathers” but here’s a tiny sneak preview. They should all be finished for Student Led Conferences on Thursday, April 26. We’ve already been working on them for four days. The children are really learning about patience and perseverance as they complete this fine motor strengthening activity. We’ve been crushing small sheets of tissue paper to glue on and the determination on the children’s faces to finish is very impressive for five- and six-year olds.

The “Do 1 Give Challenge” is coming up on Thursday, April 19. As part of this recycling initiative to reduce paper consumption and take care of our Earth, each child is requested to bring in one book to donate. (Please ensure the book is clean and in good, readable condition). We will keep track of all the names of donors. Then, Mrs. Campbell and I will arrange all the books for the children to peruse, and everyone who brought in a book will be allowed to take home a new one from our collection!

Speaking of recycling, the Grade Two children in Mrs. Bird’s and Mrs. Tsumura’s class have started their Battery Recycling Program. Our Grade Two team of Sophie, Emma and Belen have made these gorgeous boxes to collect the batteries. Please send in your old batteries, and our team will remove them weekly for proper disposal.


Our book recommendation for this week is the delightful, The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino. This story is a wonderful reminder that we have all have special gifts, and should follow our heart.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Save the Date: Thursday, April 26 is Student Led Conferences! This is the Kindergarten Team’s favourite day of the year! We love the opportunity to invite you to visit your child’s classroom and show you all the amazing learning our KinderCuties have completed this year. Please remember this is a special time for you and your Kinder, so please make alternate arrangements for siblings. Older students may wait quietly in our cloakroom for their family. Our sign-up will be posted on Monday, April 16th outside the library.

On Thursday, April 26 students will be dismissed early at 2 pm. Conferences begin promptly at 2 pm.

Wednesday is Library Day so please return your books on time.
We did put in a request for a return of rainboots and extra changes of clothes. This week was definitely a strain on laundry as we got caught twice in heavy rain showers.

Ready, Set, Learn takes place on Saturday, April 28. This is a free community event at the West Vancouver Recreation Centre from 9:30 am-12 for children 3-5 years old and their families.

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Our Third Term in Kindergarten Begins…This Week in Our Room: April 2-5, 2018

We’re easing back into the school week…one of the children asked if it was home time at 9:30 am on Tuesday morning so we knew right away our return to class should be gentle, patient and unhurried. We need to adjust our teaching so we can meet as many needs as we can.

The longer we teach, the more we know that listening and observing the little cues and signals from our children is vital to understanding where they are in their self-regulation. We know that if the biological needs of food, thirst and sleep are not met, the children cannot self-regulate. The same can also be said for the emotional need of knowing their teacher will care for, and look after them during their school day. From the moment the children enter the classroom each morning, our attention must inspire confidence and trust so they can continue with their number one job: to play and learn.

We’ve allowed for extended Centre Time every morning this week. Many of our children are quite tired from travel, and being out of their regular home and school routines and schedules from the holiday. They’ve missed their friends and need the time to be able to re-connect, play and chat. We’re observing many positive social interactions around the Lego table and in the House Corner, and this has led to sitting with new friends at snack and playing in bigger groups on the playground.

We have been reviewing the classroom rules and routines this week. Some of the things we’ve been talking about with the children include:

-please wait outside your child’s classroom (for Mrs. Daudlin, please wait outside the school building) until the 8:50 am bell rings.
-this month we are making it our goal to pick up all food from the floor after we eat at recess and lunch. Sometimes children are so busy talking at lunch they are not mindful of their eating habits. We do not wish to create any extra work for our school custodians so we will be vigilant about cleaning up after ourselves.
-our line-up when we go from one place to the other were very chatty before the holidays. Children should stand quietly with their mouths closed, hands to self, as they wait for teacher instructions.

You might be following the NCAA College Basketball March Madness tournament, but we are in a Final Four of our own…Alphabet letters, that is! It’s a very exciting time for everyone as we anticipate completing our instruction of the Alphabet sounds and letter formation by the end of April. We will continue to focus on phonological awareness (the sound structure of language, including sounds (phonemic awareness), rhyme, syllables and words) as we build the solid foundation of oral language skills the children need to have before reading and writing. Click here to read our extensive post on phonological awareness as part of a balanced approach to reading instruction.

This week we worked on the letter “w” and made these adorable watermelon w’s.

Our West Vancouver Physical Literacy team came by this week to see how the children are developing in their physical literacy skills. Walking, running, skipping, hopping; backwards toe-to-heel walking; kicking and throwing were observed. We were really pleased with how the children listened and performed the required tasks.

Please note we have adjusted our Peanut/Nut Aware classroom posters for further clarity:

We ask you to please check the food you send to school, particularly shared food such as birthday treats. Read the label every time. If in doubt, please speak with your classroom teachers.

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Sharing and Special Helper theme is “Collections.” We still have another week to go before we start our next theme.

Kindergarten Vision and Hearing Screening by Vancouver Coastal Health Public (VCH) School Nurses takes place on Wednesday, April 25. Please try to be present at school. Parents will receive the screening results shortly afterwards (usually within a week).

Save the Date: Student Led Conferences for Kindergarten will be held on Thursday, April 26 from 2-4 pm or Friday, April 27 from 8:15-8:40 am. There will be a sign-up sheet posted for you to enjoy a Conference led by your child about the work we’ve completed in class. In Kindergarten, our Conferences last for 25 minutes so please be aware of this if you sign-up for multiple conferences as our schedule will differ from the rest of the school. Conferences are a very special time for just the Kindergarten student and parent(s) so please make arrangements for siblings if possible.

We are collecting a few things right now:
-Scholastic Book Orders for April are due on Monday, April 9. We sent home the Student Flyers before Spring Break, or you can go to http://www.scholastic.com to view them. If you decide to order online, please let your teacher know.
-Report Card envelopes for Second Term. We will re-use these for the Third Term Report Cards.
-March Homework Calendars are due. Return your calendar for a sticker!

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