The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

This Week in Our Room: March 6-10, 2017

Okay, what’s going on with the weather? We certainly seemed to need these this week.

We’ve made it to letter “u is an umbrella” before Spring Break, certainly a reason for celebrating. The children have done an amazing job, working very diligently week after week, to do their printing, alphabet crafts, and drawings and labels in their Alphabet Books. A few more weeks until we get to “z” and then we will be focusing on literature themes.

We welcomed Mrs. Bundic’s Grade Two class this week and last with their Reader’s Theatre presentation.

We’ve had a big focus on numeracy this term. We’ve been working on subitizing (recognising familiar number patterns such as dice formation), counting and creating sets using boxes of classrooms treasures and using 5 and 10 frames as frameworks to help us think about and organise our counting of numbers (eg., 3 and 4 is the same as 5 and 2). Here’s some work the children made this week to show different ways to make 7 using blocks.

We have finished painting our beautiful snowy owlets and to add to the “bird” theme, decided to make some baby penguins for a fun craft!

We would like to wish everyone a fun and sunny Spring Break!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

School re-opens for the Third Term on Monday, March 27.

Please return your report card envelopes in the week following Spring Break. We will recycle them for the final report card. The report card itself is yours to keep.

We will begin Dance in PE. All children should have running shoes to wear. Our first lesson will be on the Monday following Spring Break.

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room: February 27 – March 3, 2017


img_0176We’ve been quite this busy this week with a potpourri of activity.

This week saw us create “t is a tree,” thanks again to Pinterest. We made a few modifications with our “fruit,” using sparkling sequins. The Kindergarten has come to expect there will always be lots of glitter, sparkles and sequins in most crafts we do. It was a bit of a relief for the children to work on “t” as the simple straight lines are ones everyone can understand. We’ve had quite a few challenging letters lately, such as ‘q” and “s” which have lots of curves and circles. It’s a good reminder for all of us that it’s ok to take a step back and work on something simple, practise our skills and feel successful with our efforts.

We’ve almost finished all of our beautiful snowy owl paintings from Deep Space Sparkle. This was quite a feat for Kindergarten. Every student painted their backgrounds (pink or blue) at the same time; that means liquid tempera paint on all the tables and every Kinder child has a paintbrush. The next day, everybody painted their owls white. We’re pleased to report we had no spills or major mishaps to the carpet. We moved to small groups for the next phase which was painting the details such as yellow eyes, orange beaks, a brown branch and black for outlining and other finishing touches. Funnily enough, lots of children got paint on themselves this time.

img_0174

In PE this term we have been learning to use small equipment such as bean bags, hoops, skipping ropes, frisbees and scarves. We learned how to safely use each piece of equipment during specific lessons. We’ve been focusing on staying in our personal space while moving around the gym, obeying whistle commands and cooperating with our small group in a station approach. We now have stations set up around the gym with specific tasks for each piece of equipment. Some fun dance music while we’re at each station has made it a lot of fun!

We met with our Big Buddies to continue working on our iMovies. We’ve completed the research and image collection and now we’ve moved on to the business of movie making. You’ll be able to read more about our digital literacy projects in our next post.

The Grade Two students in Mrs. Bird’s class also came to visit us on Wednesday with a Reader’s Theatre production from a Frog and Toad story. We were so pleased with the Kindergarten children’s attention and good manners throughout the student reading. We look forward to a visit from Mrs. Bundic’s Grade Two students next week.

img_0175This was really good practise for us as on Thursday we joined Grades 1-5 to watch an excellent play by Dreamrider Productions called “Zero Heroes.” In this story, Esmeralda and Goober, our heroes, taught us about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. “Use it for a minute and it’s garbage forever” was repeated to us several times.
-we all need to look at the amount of garbage we’re creating and try to reduce it
-we can refuse to purchase and use things which are disposable
-we need to compost our organic food waste and plant material in the Green Bin program
-buying things might be entertaining, but it doesn’t make us happy. Often, these one time purchases end up in the trash
-each thing we purchase uses up a piece of the earth: we take things from nature, turn it into a product through factories, use it once and then toss it into the dump
-all the purchases we make come with packaging and that is another thing for us to consider
-a litterless lunch is one positive step we can take to reducing the amount of garbage we create

Can you believe it’s already March? We cannot believe how fast we sped through February. But another month has gone by so of course we had to draw our Penguin self – portraits for March.

img_0177

Upcoming Events and Reminders
We are meeting with parents who are interested in helping us to plan our Persian New Year celebration in Kindergarten. We are meeting in Mrs. Daudlin’s room on Monday at 8:15. This meeting is for parents only. Please arrange to have your child arrive at school with another parent. Children are not allowed to wait in the hallway.

Library is on Tuesday for both classes. Please remember to return your Library book.

Friday, March 10 is the last day before Spring Break. All students are going to be dismissed at 2 pm. Please mark this on your calendar. School resumes on Monday, March 27.

Ridgeview is sending home Second Term Report Cards on Friday, March 10. We are unable to send them home before that time if you are leaving early for Spring Break.

If you are going to be away before or after Spring Break, please inform us and the office.

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room:  February 20-24, 2017

img_0178We’re riding along a fast moving Alphabet Train as we finished “S is a snake this week.” These cutie snakes are a favourite as the children are very independent as they work on their individual designs.  We were really pleased with the children’s effort for the printed letter “s.”  It’s not easy with its curling backwards and forward motion but there was a lot of perseverance demonstrated in completing the assigned printing tasks.  Some of our more experienced printers have taken up our challenge to have all printed letters sit on the line, with consistent spacing and shape, and a sense of proportion between upper and lowercase letters.

We’re almost finished our second unit of instruction on Family in Social Studies.  This week we referred back to the family photos and accompanying notes from the children’s Sharing theme on “My Family” to talk about the favourite activities we do with our family.  Everybody chose the one that was most meaningful to them, drew a picture with our criteria of Big, Bright and Beautiful, and then dictated an accompanying sentence.

The next challenge was in sorting out our ideas and classifying them into different kinds of family activities:  celebrate together, read together, eat together, grow together were some of the labels we used.  The children understood each of the labels and decided where to sort their drawings.

family

Wednesday was double the fun as not only was it Pink Day (a focus in the Kindergarten on pro-social behaviours) and Big Buddy Day.

Thank you to everyone who helped their children find a pink or white shirt in support of Pink Day.  We read aloud What It Means to Be Kind by Rana DiOrio and Stephane Jorisch as our inspiration, but our children already have a very good concept about kind, gentle, polite behaviours.  They all understood that kindness does not mean buying or giving someone gifts.

Rather, we talked about, and put into action, some of these pro-social behaviours:

Saying “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome.”  “You’re welcome” was new for some students but we all know now to use that phrase following “thank you.”

Holding the door open for the student or adult behind us, and make sure we look behind us to ensure that person has a hand on the door.

At home some of the children have learned “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and carefully explained that if you do not have kind words to say to another person, do not say anything.  You can say the words to yourself in your thoughts, but they do not come out of our mouth.

When another student or the teacher is clearly in need of help, it’s a kind gesture to go and offer or volunteer to help.  We have to say beyond a doubt, that this particular age group is among the most helpful we have ever found in our years of teaching.  We know we owe it to you, their parents, for having raised such socially conscious children.  Truly, Christy and I have more help from our children than we have little jobs for.  But the pleasure the children take from being “the teacher’s help” is enormous.

Wednesday morning also found us working with our Grade 7 Buddies on our digital literacy project, our penguin iMovies.  We’ve spent three weeks preparing for today, with two sessions on fact collection and one session on image collection before starting to create the iMovies, which will take a couple of weeks.  We have an upcoming blog about Kindergarten Digital Literacy:  the Next Step where we will describe the process in detail.

penguins

Friday was the big day that we all savoured with anticipation, waited patiently for and counted down the sleeps…Popcorn Day!  Popcorn Day is definitely an exercise in self-regulation.  The huge trays of popcorn bags we purchased on behalf of the children tempted us all late morning until mid-afternoon but not word was said by the children except how looking forward they were to eating theirs.  Thank you for supporting this Grade 7 Graduation Fundraiser.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Please remember to wear (or have) runners at school for PE.  It’s not safe for the children to wear any other kinds of footwear besides runners in the gym.

Tuesday: Library Book Exchange.  Please remember to have your child bring his or her book into the classroom and place it in the Library Book Bin.  Although we ask everyone to check their backpack before we leave for the Library, some children do not know their book is in their backpack, only to find out after Library is over that their book was there the whole time!  As a result, those children were browsers during Library time and did not get to borrow a book.  The children should place his or her Library book in their backpack tonight or Monday night so they know the location of their book.  Although the children are just 5 years old, they are certainly ready for personal responsibility and independence in dealing with their Library book.

Thursday:  We are going to see DreamRider Productions “Zero Heros” on Thursday morning.  This production will focus on reducing waste, including food scrap composting; reusing and recycling and the impact of our actions today on tomorrow’s future.

 

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room:  February 14-17, 2017

 

fullsizerender-2Our week started with all things sweet and delightful…and we are definitely talking about the Kindergarten!

On Valentine’s Day, we were very busy helping our sweet young things with their precious Valentine’s cards for their friends.  We have to mention that we were very impressed with all of the printing of names which the children had independently completed.  Quite a feat, as we know all too well the time, effort and care required in printing neatly a class set of names.  All the cards were carefully tucked into the beautiful cardholders, with lots of treats and goodies, to take home and open and admire with families afterschool.  Since we’ve been teaching Kindergarten, we’ve decided to have the children open their Valentine cards at home.  Many children like to give a little gift with their cards, such as a chocolate or tiny box of stickers or tattoos.  We know how sad the children can become if they lose track of the cards and small treasures so it’s best that the card opening happen safely at home.

We had a delicious snack of cupcakes and fruit, thanks to our classroom parents.  And for the rest of the week many of our children kept saying how February 14 was “the best day ever” at school so it looks like our Valentine’s affair was truly a sweet memory.

We’ve so enjoyed the respite from the snow the past few days.  How easy it’s been just to switch to rainboots (and sometimes not even those) and a jacket for playtime.  We had a wonderful afternoon on Thursday with lots of children demonstrating their strength on the swings and how well they can “pump” after getting a big initial push from the teacher.

We’ve been having lots of fun with our Alphabet as we motor towards the last few letters.  This week was r is a rainbow” and the children loved colouring them in and reciting the colours in order.  As part of our Alphabet practise, we print the letter of the week in upper and lowercase, draw a few pictures beginning with that letter and label them.  We also do a lot of brainstorming, encouraging the children to look around the classroom for environmental print from the multiple alphabets we have up in the classroom, think of words in categories (animals that begin with “r”? food? sports? numbers?) or the objects around them.

The children love to print their own labels and we have really been emphasising over the last four weeks listening to the order of sounds in the words, particularly the CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words to spell words independently.  For example, cat what’s the first sound? “c,” the second sound “a,” and the last sound “t.”  We want the children to listen for those important first and last sounds of words.  It also gives us an opportunity to talk about spelling patterns such as -at.  We can generate a whole lot of words with that specific spelling patterns (bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat), but more practise with rhyme and manipulating the individual sounds in a word.  We want to develop the children’s phonological awareness to help them be successful readers and writers.  We’ve written about the importance of phonological awareness here.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Library day on Tuesday!  Don’t forget to return your books for book exchange.

PE Days:  Division 15 (Monday/Thursday), Division 16 (Monday/Wednesday).  The children must have runners on these days!!

Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday, February 22.  The entire school is encouraged to wear pink shirts in recognition of anti-bullying.  A white is shirt is ok too.

Popcorn Sale on Friday, February 24.  The Kindergarten will be participating so please send in $1 sometime this week so we can pre-order a bag for your child.  It will be a fun Friday treat to have a popcorn snack outside with all of our Kindergarten friends.

 

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room: February 6-February 9, 2017

img_0169Love is definitely in the air. We’ve been talking a lot about love these past few days.

To start off, there’s Big Buddy Love. Valentine’s Day is around the corner so on Wednesday we saw our beloved Grade 7 Big Buddies to make our beautiful Valentine cardholder bags. They are just gorgeous. We still really enjoy these kinds of crafts, using simple materials like paper bags, construction paper, glue and scissors. We did get a little fancy with the foam hearts and stickers.

img_0167

Then there’s Classmates Love. Well, we need something to fill those cardholders so our children have been very busy printing Valentine’s at home for their classmates. We ask the children to bring a card for everyone (or at least all the girls or all the boys) so everybody feels good about their first Valentine’s Day at school. The children have been bringing in their finished Valentine cards for their friends and are so excited to be placing the cards in the bags. This is a new experience for many children, and an opportunity to talk deeply about friendship.

img_0170And now we can talk about Family Love. The Big Idea about Families in Kindergarten is that “Stories and traditions about ourselves and our families reflect who we are and where we are from.” We did some brainstorming about what it is we love about our families. Whether it be soccer, skiing or baking, the common thread through all of the children’s ideas is that they love to spend time with you. No wonder why people call it “the gift of time.” There’s never enough time to spend with the ones we love.

img_0172

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Saleema Noon Parent Presentation on Wednesday, February 15th 6:30 at 8 p.m. in the library.

Library book exchange for both classes on Tuesday. Don’t forget to bring your books back and put them in the class book baskets.

Last call for February Scholastic Book Orders. Please return any orders by Tuesday, February 14.

We have started our next round of Sharing. Our theme is “Alphabet”. A schedule and information sheet are posted on the Parent Board.

Enjoy your Family Day weekend!

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room: January 30-February 3, 2017


img_0163It’s been a power packed week of activity in the Kindergarten.

So it’s pretty clear we’re having a great time finding new ideas for our alphabet crafts. The children were so happy with their “o is an octopus” last week and were tickled pink with their “p is a pig” this week. As we head into the latter half of the Alphabet, the children are using familiar strokes to print the letters so we’ve noticed a nice uptick in the consistency of correct formation of lowercase letters. We’re continuing to focus on size and spacing of letters, and an uppercase letter followed by lowercase letters for names.

img_0158Monday was a joyous celebration for the Year of the Rooster. The children came dressed in red (for good luck) with several students wearing traditional Chinese clothing. We started our day by welcoming each child with “Gung Hay Fat Choy” (I grew up with Cantonese speaking parents but I regret my own Chinese is very, very limited) during the daily attendance and were delighted at how every child tried to repeat the greeting back to the teachers, and so warmed our hearts.

img_0160

 

 

Over the years we’ve amassed some very fun crafts and Centres for ourimg_0162 children, including banners with beautiful Chinese symbols, tangram puzzles, a colourful dragon and lucky money envelopes.

A homemade dragon constructed by Jacob and Benjamin

A homemade dragon constructed by Jacob and Benjamin

We read a traditional favourite of ours, Ed Yeung’s Lon Po Po, a Chinese version of “Little Red Riding Hood” which fascinated the children with its twists and turns. The children gloried in representing the story in pastels with a watercolour wash. We’ve cut the watercolour paintings into panels, a Chinese art form. We’re beginning to use pastels more often as we recently learned at a webinar by Patty Palmer of Deep Space Sparkle, that pastels and crayons are actually better colouring tools than felt pens for young hands as they give the range of depth of colour and texture the children are trying to achieve.

Finally, we ate a delicious Chinese “banquet” provided by our classroom parents. The children enjoyed the Chinese noodles (they emptied a huge pan) and fried rice; many tried the dumplings, eggrolls and meatballs and everyone ate the oranges and fortune cookies. Juice and fresh fruit rounded out our meal. All the children took home a “lucky money” red envelope filled with candy. We wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

img_0159

As many of you know, we had our lockdown drill this week. This is an important procedure for the school, particularly the Kindergarten if it’s the first time they’ve been through a lockdown. We’re practising for what we would do if there was an intruder in our building. Our classroom doors are locked from the hallway side and the lights are turned off. The children sit against a designated wall and are asked to stay quiet until we are released when the West Vancouver Police Officers open our classroom door to find us.

We are proud to say the Kindergarten was very self-regulated and extremely calm during the entire lockdown. We explained to the children what to expect (listen carefully to the teacher; stay quiet in your spot and breathe deeply to keep your body relaxed; there will be a loud knock at the door and the police will come in; the teacher is here to look after you and will let you know when you can talk). And they followed our instructions perfectly. The police officers were so pleased with how quiet we were and said so several times. This reminds us again the importance of pre-loading our children with the information or knowledge they need to know before they try something new. When we are clear and make explicit our expectations our children are able to respond appropriately.

As if all this wasn’t enough, we still had Library, Music, PE and met with our Buddies to continue researching for our digital literacy projects. Your Kindergarten child has been been playing and learning very hard this week so time to rest this weekend is very much in order.

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Save the Date: We’re going to have a small Valentine’s Day Party in class. The children will make Valentine cardholders with their Buddies next Wednesday. They can bring their Valentine cards for their classmates on Thursday, Friday and the following Tuesday. We will help them put the cards in the cardholders, which the children will bring home and open with you afterschool.

So there are no hurt feelings, when you are printing the cards with your child please remember to give Valentine’s to all the boys or all the girls or everyone. We will send home a class list of first names next week.

Children will need their running shoes for PE and Library Book Exchange is Tuesday. Please help your child by reminding them to bring the Library Books into the classroom; do not leave them in their backpacks. We have a book bin in the classroom to collect the books.

It’s Reading Break on Friday, February 10 and school is not in session. School is also closed on Monday, February 13 as it’s BC’s Family Day. Enjoy your long weekend!

The February Scholastic order forms went home this week. Please return any orders by Thursday, February 9th.

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room:  January 23-27, 2017

img_2552We had a full week of activity as we near the half way point of Kindergarten…we know!  And we’re just as amazed to find ourselves in the middle of the school year with our sweethearts.  Where has the time gone?  We’ve already started the January birthdays, another indicator that the children are growing up quickly.

We’ve been busy with our Alphabet, and we finished “o is an octopus” on Friday.  We’re working hard on learning and practising the letter names and sounds.  During your nightly read alouds, you can focus on the letter of the week by looking for words beginning with that letter on each page; point out words you see in the environment or make a small collection of 5-10 items you have at home to grow your child’s vocabulary.

One of the most important things we can all do as adults is model our own love of reading, literature and the written language.  Something fun for your children would be to read aloud your childhood books to them, if you have not already done so.  We have brought many of our own children’s books to read aloud to our classes.  They love to hear the dedications and know how old our kids were at the time they received the book.  It’s fun for us, too, to revisit well-loved favourites

In the Library, Mrs. Kennedy read aloud the beautiful, My Heart Fills with the Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Julie Flett, and then the children shared some of their ideas of happiness…

img_2544

One of things we’ve noticed about lunch this term is that pizza is a very, very popular choice for our little eaters!  Lots of children are bringing pizza from home and we’ve also had thumbs up for the Hot Lunch Pizza which is from the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company.  So if you’re looking for an idea for a special once a week treat, this might be something worth considering.

fullsizerenderIn Social Studies, we finished our last lesson on Personal Identity with talking about our feelings.  We chose the book Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes to share with the class.  Poor Wemberly worries about EVERYTHING and Mom, Dad and Grandma try to encourage her “take it as it comes.”  We know our Kindergarten share the same concerns…who will they play with today?  Will they like their lunch?  Will they be the last one to be picked up at home time?  These are very real concerns for our children.  We talked about other words for worried, such as anxious and nervous and what might be the opposite feeling we can find in ourselves by taking a few deep breaths to calm down the amygdala and clear our mind…confident, brave, peaceful.  

At the end of the lesson, when we talked about how they were feeling today, almost all the children felt “happy.”  We think we probably have the most fabulous professional ever…who else gets to be in their workplace surrounded by “happy” all day long?  Our next unit in Social Studies is “Family.”  Thank you for sending in your gorgeous family photos for Sharing.

Chinese New Year officially began on Saturday, January 28, but we will have a small celebration on Monday this week with some fun Centres and Chinese food “tasting,” thanks to classroom parents.  We got a head start by working on our dragon masks to decorate our rooms.  We sent home a Remind last week that if you have something red to wear, please do so.  We can never have too much good luck!

img_2557

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday – Chinese New Year Celebration in class

                   PE in Division 15 and 16 so please wear runners to school

Tuesday – Library Book Exchange and Music for both classes

Wednesday – School-wide Lockdown drill

                          PE in Division 16

Thursday – PE in Division 15

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching… we will be sending out information about our class celebrations in the next week or two. Stay tuned….

 

2 Comments »

This Week in Our Room: January 16-19, 2017

img_6443We’re continuing to update our weekly Alphabet Crafts and this week’s cutie is “N is the Night Sky.”  We love it and the children love it as well.  Thanks again to Pinterest and Christy for modifying this project to make it perfect for those sweet Kindergarten hands.  Stayed tuned for our adorable letter “O” craft!

The children found “n” an easy letter to print, having just completed “m” last week.  We’re really nudging the children along to print their names starting with an uppercase letter followed by the lowercase letters we’ve taught so far (a-n).  It’s really exciting to watch them printing their names so carefully.  When you’re printing at home, please watch your child’s letter formation – we typically go from top to bottom, left to right, when printing our letters.  We’re trying to discourage them from printing from the bottom to the top – to gain speed while printing, and staying neat, is going to require some mindfulness to form letters correctly.

img_6442Our big excitement this week was the introduction of the Mystery Box Inquiry.  We’re teaching the children to ask questions.  What better way than by hiding an object connected to our theme or Big Idea in the Mystery Box, and having the children ask us questions so they can make a logical guess about what’s inside?  Although they do make many guesses, we’re re-framing those guesses into questions (eg., is it a blue jay? Reframed to “What kind of bird is inside?”) to teach them the 5W question words (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How).  For more on our teaching of Mystery Box Inquiry, click here.

All of this mystery leads to our Digital Literacy project this year, which is the creation of iMovies with our Grade 7 Buddies.  Led by District Innovation Teacher (Elementary), Cari Wilson, and our Buddy teacher, Mr. Patterson, we will be researching penguins to collect data and images.  Ms. Wilson will visit our classrooms in about a month’s time to build the movies with us.

We have our Art favourite projects we like to do every year and our “Snowmen at Night” is really fun.  This project takes us 4-5 art classes to finish; it’s rewarding to observe the children’s patience as they finish each step yet anticipate the next one…excellent self-regulation.

img_6444We start by reading the delightful Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner as an inspiration before drawing our own snowmen with pastels on light blue construction paper.  We love to use pastels with the Kindergarten.  The children are easily able to get bright, vibrant colour from pastels without having to press as hard as with crayons.

Once the children finish the drawing, they use one of our favourite craft supplies, Sparkle Mod Podge, to complete their snowman.  The children find Sparkle Mod Podge intriguing as they are painting with a glue that dries clear leaving a beautiful, sparkling finish.

img_6441

Next, they paint a snowy background on a dark blue background. While it dries, they cut out their snowmen and we support any child who has difficulty negotiating around the stick arms.  Finally, snowmen and snowy backgrounds are glued together — another wonderful example of an Art and Literature integration, perfect for Kindergarten.

FullSizeRender-24

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We hope the rainy season is done for now.  We’re wondering if the snow, sunshine and cold weather was a better option than the rain?  Regardless, we’ve gone from snow boots to rain boots, swapped ski jackets for rain coats and many children are continuing to wear gloves and mittens.  It’s still quite chilly when they are outside during the morning recess.  We mentioned last week in our Remind texts to please send along extra socks.  We’re not sure how they do it, but puddle water seems to just jump into those playful little boots and we all know how uncomfortable wet socks can be!

Please ensure the indoor shoes you’re sending to school are runners.  We need those for PE and children are not allowed to wear shoes that may mark our gym floor.

We’re back to our schedule and LIbrary will be on Tuesday this week so please remember to return your Library books on Monday or Tuesday.

 

Leave a comment »

This Week in Our Room: January 9-13, 2017

img_0149We had so much fun this week making our “m is a mouse” alphabet craft. Aren’t they cute? Thanks to Pinterest for this great idea and Christy for modifying it so our Kindergarten could make them. While these may look simple, our aim for the alphabet crafts is to create activities that have multi-step instructions (putting our listening skills to work), specific art skills and processes (using a template to cut out the ears), a variety of art materials (paper, googly eyes, pompoms) and tools (scissors, gluestick). People who know us well know that Christy and I love crafting and creating and have been doing so for many years. What a pleasure it is to be able to share our passion with our students! Creating by hand, whether it be crafts, cooking and baking, carpentry or woodwork, brings an immense sense of satisfaction, and feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence in knowing that you can do it yourself. What better grade than Kindergarten to start developing a positive self-image?

At Monday’s cultural event, hoop dancer Teddy Anderson performed for our school. Teddy talked about the importance of seeing all people as a family as part of one world. We can appreciate one another as individuals and each of us bring our own unique gifts to our collective group. That understanding is part of our own classroom culture, where we have really tried to emphasise with our students that we, and the children, are a family. We love one another, we work together; we might not always agree, but as a family, we expect ourselves to be willing to work through issues and come out stronger on the other side.

We’re beginning our next unit of instruction on number sense, including counting and one-to-one correspondence, subitizing (recognising quantities of 6 or less without counting eg., dice and domino patterns) and number conservation (eg., 2 and 4 is 6; 3 and 3 is 6; 6 is 6 no matter what the arrangement). We’ve organised the children into small groups and are moving them through a centre rotation so they have a variety of math experiences focusing on a specific number.

img_0148

We started our Winter theme with a true classic, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. We’ve done some brainstorming on What is Winter? and made our sparkling snowglobes to decorate our classroom and hallway.

img_0151

We’re just loving the family photos the children have been bringing in for their Special Helper and Sharing Day. Thank you so much for supporting your child by helping them to get organised. Everyone loves to hear about the three favourite activities in each family. So far, most of us all love to go to the park, swimming and out to eat or get hot chocolate with our family. We’re posting the family pictures in our classrooms for now and we will return them at the end of the term.

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Please remember to have runners at school for PE days. We must wear runners in the gym.

Our Grade 2 students have initiated a Battery Recycling program here at Ridgeview. We want to remind everyone that you can send your old batteries and small electronics to school. We have a special collection box for them (in the hallway for Mrs. Daudlin; for Mrs. Campbell inside the classroom). Grade 2 students will come by regularly to empty the box. Special thanks to Colin and Colten who will be collecting for Division 16 and Emma and Elika who are collecting for Division 15.

img_0150

Tuesday, January 17: Library Book Exchange
Friday, January 20: Professional Day (students are not in session)

Leave a comment »

This week in our room: January 3-6, 2017

image from google

image from google

Happy New Year and welcome back to school! We hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday with friends and family. This past Christmas was certainly a transitional one for my family as my daughter had University exams for the first term in December, and my son performed in his last Christmas Concert as a high school student. Although there will be more exams and different musical performances in the future, it is bittersweet to see one’s own children so independent (yes, we do want them to become independent and spend most of childhood working towards it) and knowing we are in for years of change as they emerge as young adults. As parents we will forever be adjusting and changing as our children grow up. So we encourage you to treasure this very precious time while your children are still young, filled with wonder and curiosity and the magic we know as Kindergarten.

We started our return to school gently, taking some time to quietly review our classroom expectations and rules. After two weeks of spending time in our pyjamas, grazing rather than a regular meal schedule, and a lack of routines while in the holiday mode, it can be hard for students (and teachers) to readjust to the structure of their classroom. Talking about how we play together cooperatively, the volume of our collective voices in the classroom and following the group plan instead of our own plan are an essential part of getting along so harmony and peace can reign throughout the kingdom.

We’ve been a little tired, but still managed to accomplish a lot this week. We worked on the letter “L,” and made our “l is a letter” craft.

img_0139

We were totally impressed with the children’s January self-portraits. The children did an amazing job drawing themselves in their winter outdoor clothes. When we look back to their self-portraits from September to where they are now, we can see the maturity as their fine motor skills have become more refined.

img_0140

Mrs. Kennedy read these two fantastic books to us during Library Time.

img_0138

img_0137

Our big news has been the snow, of course. Many children have become very accomplished over the holidays with the speed at which they are able to independently get themselves ready. Our saying is “coat, boots, gloves” so they can still do up their coat zippers with their hands before putting on their gloves or mittens. We are expecting these cold temperatures to continue so consider getting a pair of waterproof snow gloves or mittens. The children really want to play in the snow, make snowballs and pick up pieces of ice. If your child is mostly playing on the play structure or on the swings, wool gloves are just fine. We’re reminding everyone to keep their gloves in their backpacks, although many enjoy drying their toques and gloves on the classroom heaters so they are warm and toasty for the next outing.
Upcoming Events and Reminders
We’ve started our new rotation for Sharing and Special Helper. Our theme this month is “Family.” We would like each child to bring a recent photo of their family on their Special Helper Day and a piece of paper with your family’s three favourite activities of what you like to do together. Please also note all family members’ names for us. Our focus in Social Studies this term is Family and we are launching our unit of instruction by getting to know all of our classroom families a little bit better.

Now that the gym is cleared of the stage, we can go back to having PE. Mrs. Campbell’s and Mrs. Zambon’s class have PE on Mondays and Thursdays; and Mrs. Daudlin’s class has PE on Mondays and Wednesdays. The children should have the runners at school on these days. They cannot really participate in running activities with boots or dress shoes.

Monday, January 9: Cultural Event with Teddy Anderson, Hoop Dancer
Tuesday, January 10: Library Book Exchange

Hot lunch for this term can now be purchased through Munch-a-Lunch.

We’re having a Professional Day on Friday, June 20. Students are not in session.

Leave a comment »