Autumn Medley:  This Week in Our Room:  October 9-12, 2018

After the holiday weekend, it was hard to get our usual rhythm this week at school. Sometimes we find that when we miss our Mondays and not going to Library and Music on our regular days.  But on this gorgeous Sunday as we write up the newsletter for our short week, it seems we were still very productive and have made some very good progress in all areas of our learning.

Boho Birds… Beyond Adorable!

This week we’re most proud of the beautiful boho birds we made for “theCardProject,” which is an RPAC fundraiser for our school.  Each classroom teacher selects an art project to make with his or her class, and these often incredible pieces of art are turned into cards, journals and other stationery items.  We’ve written a charming blog post detailing all of our children’s efforts which we will post and you can read later this week (and also the reason why this newsletter is late).

For now, let us say how very, very proud we are of our KinderArtists who each made a sweet birdie using mixed media.  It was so fun to work with our children, who were the best of listeners and followed many directions incredibly well. We are always uncertain about how well our art project will be received by the children.  As to be expected in Kindergarten, the range of their fine motor skills is vast; we’re trying to find a project that they can all do mostly independently, feel pride and accomplishment, yet is lovely enough beyond the eyes of the artist (it is a fundraiser, after all).

But this year we think have something very special.  We know you are going to love the children’s little birds and purchase some thoughtful gifts for yourself and your extended family members (you’ll also get the original art as well which is definitely frame worthy– priceless!)

We worked on the letter “d” this week, pasting beautiful paper diamonds to a lowercase d.  In a moment of thrift, we used up the leftover pieces of scrapbook paper from the boho birds to make some very pretty diamonds.

We’re taking our PE classes outside right now with the good weather because this might not happen again.  We have been working on fitness, using the playground circuit and we introduced the agility ladder as well following the Physical Literacy (PL) Assessment last week.  The Foundation Skills of running, hopping, jumping, throwing and kicking are ones we will be focusing on (we also review skipping and galloping). We’re using the agility ladder to add excitement and challenge for our children whose PL skills are already well developed.  Part of the assessment was also the vocabulary, comprehension, and ability to follow the instructions given by the PL teachers, which we will follow-up with in class.

More fun…and art…on Friday with our Big Buddies.  Now, we know we just had Thanksgiving but we realized we wouldn’t see our Buddies again until October 26 (Professional Day on October 19) so we had to make start our Hallowe’en Wreaths.  (We personally realise it’s all about perspective when we saw the Christmas decorations and decor in Michaels and HomeSense this weekend, and the Hallowe’en bits and pieces were on clearance, but we digress….).  So to keep our excitement in check, we decided to just trace our templates (ghost, moon, pumpkin, bat) and glue them on and save the decorating (once we’ve located our Hallowe’en stickers) for the week ahead. Although we had some sad faces (Grade 7s, not the Kinders), we know we’ll be happier working on Hallowe’en crafts the closer we get to Hallowe’en!  Christy and I are not one for rushing through each celebration and holiday. We like to savour and enjoy it for what it is…part of our self-regulation.

Thank you again to Mrs. Kennedy, our Teacher-Librarian, for squeezing us all in our Tuesday so we could have our new Library books.

We also wish to formally welcome our UBC Teacher Candidates (Student Teachers) Miss Ellis and Mr. Pang to Ridgeview Kindergarten.  They will be visiting on Thursdays to observe your Kindergarten Teachers, and have a two-week practicum in November. In the new year, they will continue their weekly visit and have an extended practicum in the Spring.  Christy and I are known as School Advisors and we will be observing and evaluating their practise teaching, along with a UBC Faculty Advisor.

Christy and I both had amazing practise teaching experiences (Christy right here at Ridgeview; and mine was in the Saanich School District) with very knowledgeable, experience School Advisors.  Although we’ve had quite a few Teacher Candidates come through our classrooms over the years, it is always our Professional responsibility to mentor today’s promising young people in the most worthwhile and satisfying helping profession, that of TEACHER.  

Finally, our heartfelt thanks to our BFF and webmaster extraordinaire, Ms. Cari Wilson (Innovation Teacher for Technology) @kayakcari for creating our new header for theselfregulatedteacher.com.  It is gorgeous and we love it! Thanks, Cari!!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

There’s lots for the next few days…

Monday is Library Book Exchange.  Please return your Library Book to get a new one.

Thursday, October 18 is Early Dismissal for all students at 1:30 pm.

Friday, October 19 is a Professional Development Day.  School is not in session for students.

Monday, October 22 is a Non-Instructional Day.  School is not in session for students.

 

A Kindergarten Thanksgiving: This Week in Our Room: October 1-5, 2018

At this time of the year, there’s always plenty of reasons to give thanks and we can’t think of a better one than a great start to school!  Our Kindergarten children have worked extremely hard for the past five weeks.  They are settling in well to their classrooms, making new friends and learning the importance of looking at and listening to the teacher.

In Kindergarten, we spend a large part of each day reviewing and reinforcing classroom routines.  Establishing and following classroom routines is an essential part of understanding what it’s like to be a student at school.  In Kindergarten, the foundation for learning Christy and I build is preparation for the many years of schooling ahead.  In the past few weeks the children have learned:

-how to quietly enter the classroom and settle down with books

-stand to sing “O Canada” with the rest of the school respectfully, and with pride

-find their snack bags and water bottle, choose a seat at the tables and wash their hands

-ask to use the washrooms and use them independently

-set the tables with school supplies and tidy up after themselves

-borrow and return a school Library Book, and put them in the Library Book Bag

-line-up, hands to self, when we transition between activities

-locate where to print their name on a page

No wonder everybody is tired at the end of the day!  But this is a tiny fraction of all the children have learned to do.  You can read more about what your children know in a previous post, Our Kindergarten Classroom Routines.

We were really busy during Turkey week (but then again, when are we not?)  We applied our knowledge of simple math patterns (AB, ABC) to our turkey feathers.  

We read several Thanksgiving books as our inspiration for our “Leaves of Thanks.”  The children did a great job with their brainstorming about what they were thankful for.  We know that children are thankful for what is close to their hearts — their family and friends.  It’s all very special.

I am thankful for:

-my family

-kisses from my parents

-love and flowers and hearts

-dancing and listening to music

-walking across the street with my mom

-lights everywhere

-my sister

-my friends and cousins

-the clean air we breathe

-rainbows

-the world

-feeding

-winter and snowmen

-our Kindergarten classroom and teachers

-apples

-the kittens I’m am getting after my renovation is done

-my auntie

-being outside in nature

-my dog

-hugging my brother

-the white puppy my mom is going to buy me

-feeding the ducks

The District Physical Literacy teachers also completed their assessments this week.  The children ran “there and back,” hopped, threw overhand, kicked a ball and walked backwards so we could look at their balance.  This information is to create a baseline so we know the areas to focus on during PE instruction for our classes, not only for skills but for comprehension of the concepts and instructions.  We were thankful for a gorgeous sunny day that the children could be outside and participating in the physical tasks that were set out for them.

It’s the holiday weekend so we want to wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day.  We’re looking forward to catching up with our own children who are returning home from University for the next few days.  We can honestly say that time goes by very quickly when you have children; it feels like our kids were just in Kindergarten themselves and now they are young people starting their lives and creating individual paths for themselves.  The time when your children are young is very, very precious.  Take the opportunity to be present with them to enjoy the magical adventure of their childhood.  There’s so much that we all have to be thankful for.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Please keep track of the calendar for Sharing and Special Helper so you know when it’s your child’s turn.  We do not allow children to bring in their Sharing on another day if they forget on their own Special Helper Day.

Monday, October 8 is Thanksgiving Monday and school is closed.  School re-opens on Tuesday, October 9.  Please return your Library Books for Tuesday.

Sunny Days:  This Week in Our Room:  September 24-28, 2018

We’ve started off Autumn with a week of fabulous weather.  How lucky is that? The Kindergarten are still wearing shorts and enjoying recess time without jackets.  It’s a wonderful time, and we are noticing how much bigger, stronger and faster the children are out on the playground. They are developing a lot of confidence in their physical abilities.

We’ve had a very productive week, beginning with these beautiful blue birds for our alphabet “b” craft.  We sent home the apples for “a”. For the next 25 weeks, you will receive a new alphabet craft! Please keep the letters, and put them up on the wall at home, so you and your Kinder can be practising alphabet names and sounds.  

We’re always looking for activities to develop fine motor control, and these Bean Names pretty much fit the bill. The children were exceeding patient, selecting their beans and holding them in liquid glue to make a pleasant design.  It’s always great fun to see them reading the names once our artwork has gone up on the wall for viewing.

In Math we’ve starting tubbing rotations for Patterns.  The children are working in small groups, and using a variety of math manipulatives for free exploration; and now we are requiring them to make AB patterns using the different materials.  We’re enjoying the “gallery walk” we take around the tables to admire each other’s patterns.

We also started our Social Studies Unit on Family.  In Kindergarten we begin by talking about our personal identity.  This week we read It’s OK to Be Different by Todd Parr.  The children love the bright colours and simple shapes Todd uses in his artwork, and the positive message that each of us is unique and special.  We brainstormed about some of the personal talents each of us have and activities we enjoy doing. Next week we begin talking more about our names.  If your child has a story around his or her name selection (eg., your child was named after someone in your family or a family friend), please share this information with your child so he or she can tell us about it at school.

We saw our favourite Grade 7 Buddies on Friday!  Any guesses about what we made? These Thanksgiving cuties will be sent home next week.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday is Library Book Exchange.  Please return your Library book so you can borrow a new one!

Thursday, October 4, our Physical Literacy teachers for the school district will be coming to Ridgeview to complete the baseline physical literacy assessments for all Kindergarten children.  Our children should all wear runners to school.

The October Scholastic Order went home today.  If you would like to place an order please do so by Wednesday, October 10th.

If your child has completed their September Homework calendar please bring it back to school for a special sticker from the teacher.  October calendars went home today.

We’d like to remind everyone that dogs (and we are dog lovers ourselves) are NOT PERMITTED on sports fields, school facilities or playgrounds in West Vancouver.  Please do not bring your dog onto the Ridgeview property.  This includes carrying your dog onto the school grounds.  Many children and adults are afraid of dogs, and they should feel safe at school which, according to westvancouver.ca, are dog free areas.  Thank you for complying with your municipal by-laws.

This year we’ve noticed quite a few children putting their fingers in their mouths and noses.  As you can imagine, with the number of children overall in the Kindergarten that is a lot of opportunity for germs to spread.  We are asking your children everytime we see them do this to wash their hands with soap and water. Another skill would be to teach your children how to use a tissue correctly when they blow their nose.  We’d greatly appreciate your support in these hygiene concerns.

Remembering Terry Fox:  This Week in Our Room: September 17-20, 2018

Well, for a four day week it was a pretty busy one in the Kindergarten.  

This week was all about Terry Fox, one of our Canadian heroes.  We’ve been collecting toonies, reading stories, discussing the Canadian flag and reflecting on Terry Fox.  Despite being very young, the children bring wisdom and deep understanding to Terry’s accomplishments. They knew Terry was going to run a long way, this goal would require a lot of perseverance and that it takes just one person to make a difference.  The children brought their enthusiasm, donations and #RidgeviewPride to a great day!

We kicked off Terry Fox week with an Assembly on Monday about why we were having our annual Ridgeview Terry Fox Run.  Although many students are familiar with the name Terry Fox, not all children knew about Terry’s dream to run across Canada to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.  Grade 6 students spoke aloud of Terry’s run and our participation in it. Two of the ideas we took away from the Assembly were:

-Terry Fox has made it acceptable to talk about cancer

-Terry Fox realized that the money raised contributes to cancer research, and that cancer research contributes to hope

Thank you to our Grade Six students, under the direction of Ms. Rice and Mr. Parslow, for arranging this informative session for our school.  Each day this week the Grade Six students have visited our classrooms to tell us a few more facts about Terry and to collect our donations. Thank you to everyone for sending your children in with toonies.  The children are developing pride in participating in social causes. They knew they were part of something bigger as they each placed their money in the collection envelope.

There’s nothing quite like a sea of red and white to get your Canadian-ism on.  For the run, our children warmed-up with Mr. Meldrum and Mr. Paterson leading the way.  We met our Grade 7 Buddies for the first time and enjoyed a brisk walk/run with them around the gravel field, then waited for the rest of the school to return from their neighbourhood run.  We all felt a sense of unity as we worked together towards a common dream, Terry’s Dream.

“I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try” – Terry Fox

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We’ve had our first week of Hot Lunch at school.  The lunches have been generally well-received by the children.  We’d appreciate it if you’d check in with your child to ensure they like their food.  It’s very difficult if your child doesn’t like the hot lunch and then has nothing else to eat.  

-please send a ziplock bag to school so we can send home the uneaten food, empty drink boxes and other packaging

-if you order milk in the 250 ml cartons, please ensure your child brings a recyclable cup for the milk, or knows how to drink from the carton (please do not send plastic straws to school

-even if you order hot lunch your child still needs a morning and afternoon snack to give them enough stamina for the full Kindergarten day

Monday is Library Book Exchange.  Please remember to return your library book to take out a new one.  

Friday is Big Buddy Day.  We will see our Buddies to make a Thanksgiving craft (yes, it’s almost Thanksgiving!!)

 

This Week in Our Room:  September 10-14, 2018

We’ve had a wonderful first full week in Kindergarten, which included our first full days at school.  It’s been a very special time as we get to know the children, listen to their stories and experience the joy of playing and creating together.

We started our Alphabet work with “a is an apple on a branch,” from Itchy’s Alphabet.  Each week we are introducing a new alphabet letter name, sound and printing formation. In Kindergarten the children are printing using an oversized Tri-Grip pencil to work on a correct pencil grip.  We were very pleased to note that many of the children are able to print their own names, mostly in uppercase letters. We will gradually shift to the standard practise for names of an uppercase letter followed by lowercase letters over the year, so that will be something to look for in the weeks ahead.  Click here to read more on our thoughts about Phonological Awareness.

In Math, we begin with Free Exploration of math manipulatives.  This time to explore and discover the math materials we will be using to develop a sense of number cannot be underestimated.  The children need the time to play and appreciate all that they can do with pattern blocks, square blocks, beads, multilink blocks and links so when asked to complete specific tasks, they are able to bring their attention to our requests.  Click here to read one of our most highly read posts Math, the Kindergarten Way.

We had a fun time during our first Library visit to meet Mrs. Kennedy, our Teacher-Librarian.  Mrs. Kennedy showed us how we enter and leave the Library, and where we sit for Storytime. Library visits and Book Exchanges will be on Mondays for both classes.

We were very busy this week with not one, but two, Art projects.  The children made Tissue Paper apples, and their first self-portrait for September.  We save all of this gorgeous work and collect it for the children’s scrapbooks which they will take home in June.

We’ve been on the playground for Recess Playtime both as a Kindergarten group and with the full school.  Although there are a lot of children playing, particularly at lunch, our children are respecting the boundaries and expectations for outdoor play.

 

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Ridgeview’s Terry Fox Run takes place on Thursday, September 20.  The Kindergarten will walk/run laps around the gravel field with their new Grade 7 Big Buddies.  We will do a warm-up on the blacktop and then move down to the field. While the rest of the school runs the school route through our neighbourhood, Kindergarten children will wait on the playground.

Our school tradition is to wear red and white clothing.  We will be giving out the “I’m running for….” stickers for children to wear on the back of their shirts.  Please complete the stickers at home.

We’ve been hoping for more late summer sunshine but we seem destined for rain.  It’s time to send in a change of clothes for the children to keep here at school.  Please place in a small shopping bag, labelled with your child’s name to hang on their hook.  You can also bring in your child’s rainboots to keep in your child’s cubby in the cloakroom.

Music Class with Mrs. Soderling starts on Monday this week.  We have Music on Monday and Wednesday.

Individual student photos will be taken on Tuesday, September 18th.  The Kindergarten students usually have their photos taken right at 9am so please be on time.

It’s a Professional Day on Friday, September 21 so school is not in session for students.

We know September is a busy time with a lot of forms coming home, and requests from the school.  We are still looking to collect Student Verification Forms and Comfort Kits. If you have not yet paid your child’s School Supplies fee, you can do so through schoolcash online. If you are uncertain of how to do so, please see Mrs. Lytle in the office.

 

Our Return to School:  This Week in Our Room: September 5-7, 2018

A warm Ridgeview welcome to our new Kindergarten children!  We’ve had a super fun time during this week’s Gradual Entry meeting all of our delightful Kinder Cuties and helping them to settle in, meet new friends and explore new classrooms.

We will be continuing with Gradual Entry for September 10-14.  Next week’s schedule is as follows:

Monday, September 10:  8:50 am-12 pm for all Kindergarten students.  Please bring a snack and a non-spill water bottle.  Please be on time to pick-up your child. Intake Conferences for Kindergarten parents begin this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 11:  8:50 am-12 pm for all Kindergarten students.  Please bring a snack and a non-spill water bottle. Please be on time to pick-up your child.  Intake Conferences for Kindergarten parents continue this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 12:  8:50-12 pm for all Kindergarten students.  Please bring a snack and a non-spill water bottle.  Please be on time to pick-up your child. The Kindergarten Teachers are attending a Professional Learning Session for the afternoon.

Thursday, September 13 and Friday, September 14:  8:50 am-2:55 pm for all students.  Please bring two snacks, lunch and a non-spill water bottle. Please indicate to your child that one snack is for the afternoon and label them if you can.

 

A full day in Kindergarten is a very fun, but very long day.  We’ve been teaching Kindergarten for 12 years, the past 7 in full day K so we know that a certain amount of self-regulation, rigor and resilience are needed to push through each day.  Although your child may have attended daycare for a full day or preschool, your child is now receiving formal schooling in a BC public school. In addition to the Kindergarten classroom rules and routines, there will be the behaviour and academic expectations that we uphold and will be teaching your child.

A good night’s sleep and healthy snacks and lunch, go a long way to helping your child bring his or her best self to school, participate fully in our amazing Kindergarten program and be on the road to becoming a life-long learner.

Reminders and Upcoming Events

We’ve tried to judiciously send home only a few forms at a time for you.  There are many to complete in September so just do your best and let us know if you need any help or support.

Kindergarten Parent Teacher Conferences are being held on Monday and Tuesday next week. Please sign up for your time if you have not already done so.

Student Verification Forms were sent home on Wednesday this past week.  Those should be reviewed, changes made if necessary, and returned to school on Monday, please.

Kindergarten Homework Calendars are optional for completion, but the children love doing their little task each day.  Check/Star/Sticker each activity as its finished, and at the end of the month, return the homework page for a sticker.  (Then we will send home the next one!)

Comfort Kit bags were sent home this week.  As you prepare a bag for your child, we realize it can be upsetting to do so as you anticipate what you and your family might do in the event of an Emergency.  We believe that preparedness is key for any Emergency and you are helping and supporting your child in the best way.

Remind is a teacher app we encourage you to subscribe to in order to receive the texts from your classroom teacher.  These are meant to be helpful reminders to you about what’s upcoming, or quick mentions of fun things we did at school and we send a few photos through the year as well.

theselfregulatedteacher.com is our Kindergarten website.  There is a wealth of information here for you all about our Kindergarten.  Don’t have time to read through the whole website? Then just follow along by reading our weekly newsletter.  We usually post on Friday (sometimes the weekends if it’s really busy) and send you a link through Remind. It provides a great basis of communication for you and your child as you will know everything about school.  You can extend the learning by looking for some great story books, drawing a picture or just have a cosy time by talking some more about the classroom.

“Meet My Teacher” for Grades 1-7 have an early dismissal at 2 pm on Friday, September 14.  Kindergarten is in session until 2:55 pm. Kindergarten Families are encouraged to visit the Ice-Cream Social at the undercover area across from the portables after dismissal.

 

This Week in Our Room: June 18-22, 2018

There’s always some uncertainty around this time of the year.  We’re trying not to talk too much about Grade One, as not all the children are really ready to think about what’s ahead.  They are having so much fun in Kindergarten, solidifying friendships, maturing steadily and managing the demands and expectations of the full-day program more easily.  For some children, they are not ready to leave the coziness and safe feeling of their classroom.  They’ve expressed their feelings, often with tears, a few times this spring.  We’re trying to be sensitive to their needs right now and focusing on the positives of good weather and a summer break to spend with their family and friends.

Our big event this week was preparing for, and participating in the Grade 7 Promotion Ceremony.  True to form, the Kindergarten children outdid themselves again.  They were perfect.  Thank you to all of our parents for dressing the children so beautifully.  The Kindergarten looked lovely and we were so pleased with their composure as they walked their Big Buddies down the aisle.  They really took everything in stride, from carefully handling the roses (thorns and all), some taking two or three turns all the while maintaining the careful order to ensure each Big Buddy walked with his or her Little Buddy.

We’re not sure who had to practise more self-regulation, the Kindergarten or their five teachers.  Special thanks to Mrs. Brady for the delicious snack of cookies and lemonade we enjoyed in the afternoon.

Sarah Donald from the West Vancouver Public Library came to visit us on Wednesday afternoon.  We heard about many new books at the Library, all available for us to borrow this summer holiday!  Don’t forget to enroll your child in the Summer Reading Program.  

We wrapped up our Fairy Tales study with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and talked about what does a happy ending mean for the storybook characters.  We furthered our discussion on magical characters and objects and made connections across many fairy tales events that occur in three.  We started this theme with Once Upon a Golden Apple and finished with reading The Balloon Tree, both written and illustrated by Phoebe Gilman.  The children were delighted with the number of common elements they recognised in a modern, classic Fairy Tale.

This is our last classroom newsletter of the school year!  We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our Kindergarten community and felt well-informed of your child’s schooling.  We’ll publish our good-bye letter to our Kindergarten children next week.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, June 25 is a Fun Day for Kindergarten.  We’re calling it our Beach Day, but we’re not going to the beach.  Instead, we will have some fun activities at school.  We will bring out our water table, sand trays, and blow bubbles.  This will take place from morning recess until lunch.

Thursday, June 28 is our last day of classes.  We’re going to take some time enjoying being together and talking about our favourite parts of Kindergarten.  Dismissal time is as 12 pm for Kindergarten only.