This and That Highlights Edition:  This Week in Our Room: January 20-23, 2020

We couldn’t decide on a title for this week’s newsletter.  We’ve been unbelievably busy going here and there, doing this and that and finishing up our bits and pieces.  But we absolutely accomplished a lot, we can promise you that.

So we’re just going to focus on the highlights of the week:

Alphabet:  This week was printing of the letter “o,” which, the teachers have decided, needs more work in the coming weeks.  Many of our children have a habit of starting from the bottom and forming the letter clockwise. Actually, we start at the top and our pencil moves counter-clockwise, “around and close.”  We will continue to develop mindfulness in printing the “o” and work on improving letter formation next week.

Good thing we had these cutie-pie “O is an octopus” alphabet crafts to complement our printing.


Math Centre Rotations:  The primary focus during the second term for Kindergarten mathematics is on number sense.  Although many of the children are very skilled in rote number counting, we are developing their sense of number through subitizing (recognizing “how many” in a set eg., dot patterns on a dice); part-whole relationships (the number of objects remains the same even if arranged differently); creating and counting (one-to-one correspondence) sets of objects; partitioning (breaking down numbers into units which are easier to manage such as 5s and 10s; and cardinality (the actual count or number of items in a set)

Badminton:  We had the most wonderful instruction from our wonderful coach, former two-time Olympian Anna Rice.  The children learned so much about badminton basics (equipment, stance, racquet grip, shuttle hold) while incorporating physical literacy skills.  Division 15 (Mrs. Campbell) has finished all four of their lessons; Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin) will have their final lesson (due to the snow day) on February 19.

Lunar New Year Celebration:  Gung Hay Fat Choy! It’s the Year of the Rat and we celebrated with some amazing learning centres in our Ridgeview Library last Wednesday.  Many, many thanks to the numerous parent volunteers who created the five centres (candy making, make and take dumplings, Chinese symbol window decorations, Chinese brush painting and the traditional game of Touhu).  We created a lot of fun memories and the children enjoyed all of their take home goodies.

Winter Art:  We’ve been making lots of winter themed art and we’d have to say, it’s almost as much as playing in the snow!  We made the most adorable snowglobes, and we are mid-way through finishing our winter landscapes. We’ll have more to share with you next week!

Upcoming Events and Reminders
Lunar New Year in the Kindergarten.  All this week we will be celebrating Lunar New Year with a set of on-going crafts and colouring pages during Centre Time.  It’s going to be a fun and colourful time!

On Wednesday, we have asked the Kindergarten parents in our Chinese community to bring some food to school for a fun tasting of noodles, dumplings, oranges and fortune cookies for our children.  We’re going to begin around 11:30 in Mrs. Daudlin’s classroom.  

Children should bring a small plate or bowl so we can serve them a few food items to try; we will provide forks and chopsticks.  We understand some children may be reluctant to taste some new foods and that’s ok if they just want to have an orange slice and a cookie.  This is meant to be a fun time to celebrate the new year and enjoy the company of our friends.

Tuesday is Library Book Exchange.

The weather seems temperamental again this week so raincoats, rainboots and an extra pair of pants and socks are a good idea to have on hand.

 

Snow Day!  This Week in Our Room:  January 13-17, 2020

Snow was our watch word all week and we certainly had a #snowmageddon here on the Westcoast, and indeed, through much of BC.  The snow was a delight for the Kindergarten. They really enjoyed their time to play, at home and school, in the snow. There was a lot of snowman building on the playground and we were delighted to see the Kindergarten children working together on a common goal.

One of the things that became quite noticeable this week is the level of independence the children need to be to be dressed appropriately for the snow weather.  There is only one teacher for a Kindergarten classroom. The children learned quickly to put on their snowpants first, followed by ski jacket, snow boots, hat and finally, waterproof gloves or mittens.  They’ve discovered that pulling on their gloves first is not conducive to putting on their jacket, and doing up their zipper; and boots before snowpants just doesn’t work.  

You can support your child by allowing them to dress themselves at home, and getting ready to go outside.  We know it takes time and practise, and we’ve been through it ourselves with our own children and many classes of Kindergarten children.  With only one teacher assigned to a classroom full of children; it’s impossible to help each and every child at the same time. Fortunately, Kindergarteners usually figure out it’s faster to just do things for themselves (get their own crayons, put on their shoes, open their own food containers, put on and zip up their jackets) instead of waiting around for the teacher.  

Our job as parents (and teachers) is to teach independence so our children can practise self-care, learn, work, play, make and sustain friendships and manage on their own.  Every time we give our children the gift of independence, we are giving them skills for life.   

Part of the fun of winter is indoor activity, so we’ve started badminton with former two time Canadian Olympian, Anna Rice.  Coach Anna has taught badminton to all of our Ridgeview students over the past few years and we are so fortunate to have her at our school again.  The Kindergarten is starting with the basics, learning badminton terminology (shuttle, cork, feathers; racquet, grip, body, neck, head) and how to hold the shuttle and throw underhand over the net — all of this in just our first lesson!  Coach Anna is emphasising the physical literacy skills with our children and teaching them an appreciation for the world’s fastest sport!

Back in the classroom, our week was somewhat disjointed but we carried on with our alphabet work (“n is the night sky”) and play based activities for developing number sense in Math.  We’ve also been reading some wonderful stories about winter, including the classic, Sadie’s Snowman by Allen Morgan (illustrated by Brenda Clark) and Charlie and Lola’s Snow is My Favorite and My Best by Lauren Child.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, January 20 is Badminton for both K classes.  Children must wear running shoes.

Tuesday, January 21 is Library Book Exchange for both k classes.  Please return your book so you can borrow a new one. Tuesday is Badminton for Mrs. Campbell’s class so please wear runners to school. 

Wednesday, January 22 is our school Lunar New Year (Year of the Rat) Celebration).  Our children will be participating in a variety of stations set up for us in the Library.  Many thanks to our parent volunteers who create these special events for us and for the beautiful lantern decorations throughout the school.

Thursday, January 23 is Badminton for Mrs. Daudlin’s class.

Friday, January 24 is a Professional Development Day for teachers.  School is not in session for students.

 

Happy New Year!  This Week in Our Room:  January 6-10, 2019

Happy New Year and welcome back to Kindergarten!  We’ve had a strong start following our routine to school.  The children have done well settling back into the routines, and they’ve remembered quite well the expectations for self-regulated listening and behaviour.  We’re so proud of them and it is wonderful to see how much they’ve grown in only two weeks.  

We got right down to business on Monday morning with our Alphabet work on the letter “m.”  The children are working hard on their printing, especially following the correct formation for printing the letters.  This is very important because in the next year or two, speed will also become necessary in printing. We’re not worried about that yet…rather, our priority is taking the time to lay a strong foundation for correct letter formation which will contribute to increased speed, in addition to the correct shape, size and spacing between letters and words.

After much anticipation through the week, we finally got to make our “m is a mouse” craft.

We’ve been blending three sounds into words (CVC – consonant, vowel, consonant) as part of our phonological awareness to train the ear to listen for the sounds, the sequence of the sounds and manipulate the sounds to say and read words.  For example, b-a-t is bat. We can manipulate the “b” to a “c” and say c-a-t- is cat. (Remember, we’re saying the sounds, not the letter names).

A fun way to practise is to say rhyming word families:  bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, vat.  

Manipulate the “a” to “e” and you can say:

Bet, get, jet, let, met, net, set, vet

We had lots of fun with our District Physical Literacy teachers on Tuesday.  The children participated in a variety of circuit training stations using small equipment.  They listened very well and participated fully in the different activities.

It’s the start of a new month so we drew our January self-portraits.  They might look chilly, but each drawing is warm with love!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

The big news for next week is the weather.  It’s going to be cold. The children should all have waterproof mittens or gloves they can put on themselves.  They are managing their boots, rain pants and jackets to the best of their ability. Some children still find zippers and snaps challenging but they are persevering.  We are teaching them to pull out the sleeves from their wet jackets to dry properly between the morning and lunch recess.

We’re playing badminton now (Mrs. Campbell’s class started on Friday) in PE so students must have running shoes to wear in the gym.  Crocs, slippers, dress shoes and fashion boots are not suitable footwear for PE. Please keep a pair of runners at school all the time.

Library books should be returned for Tuesday.  

 

A Time for Giving…This Week in Our Room:  December 9-13, 2019

The weather outside this week was indeed frightful, but inside was so delightful with our Christmas Elves and Reindeer we could not help having fun, fun, fun.  

There was a lot of rain this week, never mind the utter deluge that poured upon the Kindergarten on Thursday.  Coats, boots and extra clothes are certainly getting a workout. We’re anticipating more rain this week so please check in with your child regarding that extra set of dry clothes and changes of socks.  We’ve noticed the children want to change their socks more than anything else when they get wet.

This week was our week of giving…our first give was our wonderful Christmas Concert for our families.  The children looked charming in their holiday best clothing and sparkled with their tinsel garlands. They had a chance to use their self-regulation strategies of deep breathing and calming countdowns to help maintain their focus on their job (performing) and remain quiet behind the stage.  We were pleased to note that the children quickly engaged with our leading them and it made a noticeable difference as we saw all eyes on Mrs. Soderling and much improved singing over the two shows.

Our next give was our annual Christmas Party for the children, The Reindeer Games.  Thank you to all of our parent helpers for supervising our tiny Reindeer in their Christmas crafts and activities:  Reindeer Food, Reindeer Colouring Books, Jingle Bell Bracelets, Reindeer Gift Bags and Christmas Playdough. The children wore their bracelets home, but we will send home their colouring books, reindeer food and gift bags in the upcoming days.  We have one more special Christmas craft to make and package up in the gift bags.

Our last give this week were the beautiful Candy Bags we made with the donated Hallowe’en candy from November.  Every class in our school met with their Big Buddy class and put together these sweet treats for the Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House.  We’ve talked quite a bit about giving to those less fortunate than ourselves and the importance of being generous.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

This will be a quiet week in our classrooms.  We’re finishing up some Christmas writing and math activities and as we’ve already mentioned, we have another special craft to make.  Our schedule will return to normal with Library on Tuesday, and Music class in the portable on Tuesday and Friday.

Friday, December 20, is the last day of school before the holidays.  Please note we are dismissing at 2 pm.

 

Jingle All the Way…This Week in Our Room:  December 2-6, 2019

Our train to Christmas Town has left the station and we have been busy as Santa’s Elves getting our classrooms ready, practising for the Christmas Concert and just being all round jolly and happy.

We’re really looking towards working on our self-regulation these days, and no more than the Christmas Concert.  We had reminded the children that there is a lot of standing around and waiting patiently for our turn to perform, and using our eyes and ears to notice our social situation (rehearsing for the Concert) is essential.  On Thursday, our classes made their teachers so proud with their excellent attention to Mrs. Soderling in watching for their cues to step onto the stage, find their spots and sing like angels. You are in for a musical treat!  You’ll notice we are using our self-regulation strategies of deep, focused breathing and calming countdown when we are away from our classrooms, to calm our bodies so we are ready to listen and learn. We tell the children that their breath is their friend, and it can really help them to relax and centre themselves, something we all need during this busy season.

We’ve been getting our classrooms ready for Christmas.  Our Angel Christmas Tree hangers are hanging from the ceiling.  We love the sunlight flashing off the streamers.

Our December self-portraits are on display now.

We met with our Big Buddies to make a fun reindeer craft.

The children are very much enjoying looking at Christmas picture books by the Christmas tree.  

We’re already into the chocolate Santas and Snowmen in the Advent Calendar.

We’re having lots of fun with Christmas music.  We often play “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (the Michael Buble version) for our clean-up song, listen to trumpet player Chris Botti’s “The First Noel” or “The Christmas Song” for meditation and feel the Christmas vibe of music ranging from The Carpenters (we date ourselves) to Glee.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

This is going to be a very busy week, so early bedtimes, regular meals and lots of fresh air are some of our suggestions as we look at a fun, but unregulated few days.

Monday, December 9:  Christmas Concert dress rehearsal – our children DO NOT need to wear their Christmas best.  Please save it for Tuesday and Wednesday. We will wear the Christmas crowns we’ve made at school.

Tuesday, December 10:  All children perform in the first of two Concerts this week so even if you are not attending, we need all the Kindergarten voices.

Children should arrive at school in their Christmas best.  If they have a thin shirt to put over top to get them through pass recess and lunch eating that is great.  Then we can help them remove that shirt and they are good to go on stage.

Parents:  you will want to arrive by 12:30 as parking will be crowded and the line-ups will be long to get a seat in the gym.  Please bring your tickets with you as they will be collected at the door. A non-perishable donation to the food bank is appreciated.

Wednesday, December 11:  same as Tuesday.

Thursday, December 12:  Eat, Play, Rest.  The Kindergarten recovers from our two shows.

Friday, December 13:  in the morning, we will have our annual Christmas party for the Kindergarten, the Reindeer Games.  Children can show their Christmas spirit and wear Christmas themed shirts, their Christmas crowns, fun Christmas jewelry (Mrs. Daudlin) or their pyjamas, if they wish.  Please keep in mind that if your child is wearing pyjamas, they should wear something warm underneath, plus their heavy jackets, as it’s cold during playtime.

During the afternoon, we are working with Buddy Classes and creating Christmas Cracker Treat Bags to give to the Covenant House and the Union Gospel Mission to support their Christmas dinners for those in need.  Then, we will gather for a school assembly in the gym to celebrate the accomplishments of the first term at school.

 

November Round-Up… This Week in Our Room:  November 25-29, 2019

We’re back, after an incredibly busy two weeks at school and home.  We’ve had a lot going on with the leaving and welcoming of new students, starting up new units of instruction while continuing our Alphabet work and lots of art and decorating our classrooms for Christmas.  And we’ve really only just begun to get started on Christmas…

The Kindergarten children love to make their alphabet crafts.  It is such a wonderful time for us as well, as we frequently do part of each craft in small groups where we can have a little chat with each student, make some close-up observations of fine motor work and enjoy the social interactions between the children.

G is a gumball…using bingo marker stampers was new for many children so everyone thoroughly had fun making the gumball machines;

H is a heart…we like to use stickers a lot in some activities.  The dexterity the children need to remove the backings of the stickers is impressive.  Have you tried it yourself lately? It is very fussy work, but determination perseveres in the Kindergarten;

I is for Itchy the inchworm…definitely one of the cutest crafts we make for the Alphabet.  We applied our knowledge of AB patterns for the tummy, practised “pinching” the legs to create a bend and added our favourite goggly eyes.

 

We just completed a mini unit on Bears for the last two weeks of November.  Our focus was the difference between “real and pretend” and non-fiction vs fiction.  We’ve been working a lot on sorting by rules so this gave us another opportunity to sort pictures of real and pretend bears and explain our justifications.  We read the classic bear story Corduroy by Don Freeman and (in our minds) a new classic, Time to Sleep by the amazing Denise Fleming.  For Corduroy, we emphasised the three parts of a story (beginning, middle, end), orally retelling the story in our own words and sequencing the events.  In Time to Sleep, many children were familiar with the concept of hibernation so we we introduced “migration” as well.  We talked about the signs of winter in our environment, or clues for the animals to begin preparing for hibernation.  Again, we focused on orally retelling the story in our own words and sequencing.  

For those of you familiar with Corduroy, you’ll remember that buttons were important in the story.  Corduroy has lost a button from his green suspenders and is searching for one in the department store.  Thankfully, after he is purchased by Lisa, she sews a new button on so his suspenders stay up.  

We read aloud The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid to extend the children’s learning about buttons.  It is an excellent primary history storybook about buttons and their various purposes over the years.  For several Math classes, we explored the class button collection, sorting by many different rules: four buttonholes; two buttonholes; style; shape; shank or no shank.  We counted buttons, played with groups of more and less and patterned like crazy. Everyday the children showed us the kinds of buttons they had on their clothes and to discover shank buttons on one pretty sweater was fantastic!

Christy and I have talked many times about how this year’s Kindergarten classes love to listen to read aloud stories.  We probably read two to three stories a day, and we can tell by the quiet in the room (punctuated with lots of laughter at the right times and the occasional comment of surprise) that the children love their stories.  

Image from Google

A charming set of books we discovered when our children were young are the Old Bear Stories, written and illustrated by Jane Hissey.  The books about Old Bear and his friends are about a group of stuffed animals and their adventures at home. Jane Hissey is a British writer and her vocabulary is reflected in her books.  Words such as “rucksack,” “torch” and “trousers” make for interesting discussion and what we call those items in Canadian English. The stories leave us feeling warm and cosy, and the children can absolutely relate to listen how these furry friends solve their problems in their nursery, kitchen and garden.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We are about to enter the busiest time of the school year….Christmas.

Division 16 (Mrs. Daudlin) will be taking a short break from our regular Special Helper Calendar while we wait for Division 15 (Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon) to finish their current rotation.  We both will have two Special Helpers a day for the last ten school days before Christmas.

We understand Christmas Concert tickets will be distributed to families very soon.  As a reminder, both Kindergarten classes will perform on both days of the concert (we need all those voices).

Mrs. Daudlin’s class parents attend on Tuesday, December 10 at 1:30 pm (we are Division 16 and even Divisions attend on the 10th).

Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s class parents attend on Wednesday, December 11 at 1:30 pm (we are Division 15 and odd Divisions attend on the 11th).

Please note:  the audience will be very crowded for this Kindergarten-Grade 5 performance so get in line early for your seats.  You will want to be arriving at school not later than 12:30/12:45 to get in line at the gym.

Monday, December 2:  Kindergarten Dental Screening.  The Screening begins promptly at 9 am so please arrive on time for school.  

We’re going to start a little Advent Christmas Calendar at school.  We have purchased chocolate Santas and Snowmen from Purdy’s Chocolates so we will keep track and one child a day will take one home until we get to the last day of school.  We will ask the children to take the chocolate home to eat at your discretion (they are getting our teeth checked on Monday, after all). We will remind them Santa is watching!

Tuesday, December 3:  We’re back to our regular schedule of Library Book Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, December 5:  We will have our first run-through of the Christmas Concert.  The children can come to school in their regular school clothes.  They do not need to dress up until Tuesday of next week. We are going to do the dress rehearsal in our everyday clothes (we have cleared this with Mrs. Soderling, our Music Teacher).

Friday, December 6:  We will see our Buddies to make a Christmas craft.

 

Lest We Forget:  This Week in Our Room:  November 4-8, 2019

It was a thoughtful and reflective week in the Kindergarten.  Much of our thoughts, discussions, stories and activities revolved around our preparation for the Remembrance Day assembly.  

In the Kindergarten classroom, we focus on “what is peace?” and how the events of the past have shaped our present and future where we can have the freedom to choose to live our lives as we wish.  We talk about the significance of the poppy and represent that in our creative efforts. Our children made Canada flags, printed poppies (with an acorn squash and potato, no less) and sharing, drawing and writing our thoughts about what peace means to us.  We contributed much of our art to decorate the gym.

For many of our children, attending a serious assembly, such as Ridgeview’s Remembrance Day ceremony, is their first opportunity to see what it feels like to be part of a large school united in thought and intention.  

Our student population assembled silently in the gym, many children dressed in black, white and red.  The Kindergarten children sang “O Canada,” 400 voices strong. The Grade 7 Assembly Committed hosted our ceremony and wove the history of the world wars and the story of John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” throughout student presentations.  We listened to our two singing groups, the Grade Two/Three Primary Singers and Ridgeview Voices (Grades 4-7) under the direction of our Music teacher, Mrs. Soderling. Grade 3 students spoke about the Highway of Heroes, the stretch of highway from Trenton to Toronto, Ontario, which honours Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.  Finally, we listened to the emotional trumpet call “The Last Post,” followed by a moment of silence and then “Reveille,” performed by a Grade 7 band student.

Our children were exemplary and we were (and are) very, very proud to be their teachers.  The children listened carefully, focused on the speakers and presentations and were mindful of their social situation and what we (as their teachers and as parents ourselves) would deem to be important, appropriate and expected behaviour.  We wish to thank you for working together with us to help prepare your children.

We also know, as part of their foundational learning, that the Kindergarten’s understanding of self-regulation, including learning and practising strategies to self-regulate their bodies, developing their social awareness and knowing about and understanding feelings, is an essential part of getting along together and being part of the greater community.  It is at moments like this, we are reminded again of the importance of teaching self-regulation and other pro-social skills so that our children are able to make friends, maintain social relationships and relate well to others.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We’re still collecting Hallowe’en candy donations.  We will fill small with the candy treats and donate these to our sister school, Grandview Elementary in Vancouver, the Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House.  Thank you for your generosity.

Save the Date:  Our Winter Concert will be on Tuesday, December 10 and Wednesday, December 11 at 1:30 pm.  We will let you know more details as they are released to us. For certain, we will have a run-through of the show on Friday, December 6 and a dress rehearsal on Monday, December 9.  Our songs will be taught during Music class.  

If your child is going to be away anytime between now and the last day of term, December 20, please let us know as this helps us in choosing dates for our special days in Kindergarten.

Monday, November 18 is a Professional Day and students are not in session.

That’s a Wrap:  Hallowe’en in the Kindergarten…This Week in Our Room:  October 28-November 1, 2019

Our classrooms were filled with fairy tale characters, superheroes, community helpers and tiny animals on Hallowe’en Day, and what a wonderful day it was!

We’ve been getting ready for the past two weeks to mark what has become one of the most popular celebrations ever:  Hallowe’en. Our home and school neighbourhood displays ranged from the adorable to the macabre. But in our classrooms, all is sweet and fun (we were gently reminded by our students, “not too spooky.”

We really kicked off our decorating with our Hallowe’en wreaths.  Our Big Buddies helped us with the tracing and cutting of the characters, but the funny faces and sticker placement is all Kindergarten.  This is a really fun activity to complete with our Buddies. Many Kindergarten children have become quite proficient with their fine motor skills, so our Buddies are allowing independence to reign and learning to provide support only for “the tricky bits.”

Drawing and painting our huge pumpkins is an art activity we very much enjoy teaching.  It’s important for the children to work on a variety of scales, and this terrific Deep Space Sparkle art project allows for the children to make as large a pumpkin as they wish.  We drew the pumpkin ribs with white pastel, colour mixed yellow, orange and red paint to create a textured effect and individually made stems and leaves. Aren’t these pretty? 

We considered leaving the pumpkins as they were, but the children wanted to turn them into jack-o-lanterns, and who are we to refuse?  Black and white construction paper and some new drawing and cutting directions (“fold your paper in half, draw a circle, and cut them both at the same time”) gives the children another practical strategy for making faces, and answers the question, How did you get the eyes to both be the same size?

This past Tuesday we had our annual Hallowe’en Centres Party.  Thank you again to the many parents who volunteered their time either through baking, running a Centre or both!!  The children coloured their Hallowe’en books, played with Hallowe’en playdough, made spider cupcakes and ghost ornaments and we finally finished our bats.  It was so much fun, and the chocolate cupcakes were as sweet and gooey as all cupcakes should be.

 

We read many Hallowe’en storybooks, listened to lots of Hallowe’en music and completed some writing activities, too.  Here’s our past Hallowe’en big book, “On Hallowe’en Night” that was the final literary task before we pack up our decorations.

Now, about all that candy you collected on Hallowe’en.  Every year Ridgeview creates candy gifts for our sister school, Grandview Elementary in Vancouver, the Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House.  This is a Christmas Buddy activity, and we use any Hallowe’en candy donations from the children. We would gratefully accept any candy (except for those marked with Hallowe’en symbols).  Your children can bring the treats they are not going to eat to the classroom and we will have a spot to collect it.  

Upcoming Events and Reminders

October Homework Calendars are due any time now, and into next week.  You can return it even if it’s not fully complete. 

Friday, November 8 is the Ridgeview Remembrance Day Assembly.  We have a very high standard of behavioural expectations for this Assembly.  The children are to enter the gym in silence, be self-regulated and very calm.  There is NO APPLAUSE during this ceremony. We will be reviewing these expectations (and others) and ask that you do so as well. We do not expect to have to remind our students about behaviour during the ceremony. Please refer to our previous post on Assemblies here

Monday, November 11 is Remembrance Day and school is not in session.

 

It’s Pumpkin Time!  This Week in Our Room:  October 15-18, 2019

The weather has been wet and wild, but inside the Kindergarten all is cosy and warm.  We’re so proud of our classes and the way in which they’ve settled very comfortably into the classroom routines.  The children are becoming more confident in selecting their own morning centres, joining groups of friends and asking if a closed centre can be opened just for them (we almost always say “yes”). 

This week we read the perennial favourite Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as our Alphabet kick-off story to the letter D.  We take our time when printing lowercase “d” as we want to differentiate from printing lowercase “b.”  As we teach each new letter, we are supporting the children in using the lowercase letters they know when printing their names.  At this time, we are reminding them to print lowercase a, b, c and d as these are the letters we have taught in class.  We’re teaching e this week.

Do we ever love math patterns!  We’ve been exploring, copying and creating patterns with math manipulatives since the first week of school.  We always begin with manipulatives as it’s concrete and the children can physically show us their thinking and learning.  Now, we’re moving onto the connecting level as the children are connecting the concrete with the abstract. 

Here, you can see the children have made their multilink trains in an AB pattern.  This is a concrete representation of the pattern.  And now we’ve asked them to connect their understanding and represent their learning by colouring in the squares to match their trains.  Amazing!

We started one of several Hallowe’en art projects this week with drawing a beautiful pumpkin and colour mixing orange, red and yellow paint to fill in the spaces between the ribs.  This was a great opportunity to reinforce the BIG in our criteria of BIG, BRIGHT and BEAUTIFUL when creating art.

BIG means to fill you space

BRIGHT means to use five colours or more

BEAUTIFUL means to do your personal best

We will finish our pumpkins with stems, leaves and faces in the days ahead.

On Thursday, we were confidently informed by our classes that they knew exactly what to do for Shakeout BC and they did exceedingly well during our earthquake drill.  As a matter-of-fact, as soon as we mentioned “earthquake” several children chimed in with “oh, under the tables.” When queried about how they knew what to do, their unison answer was “preschool.”  We practised our Duck, Cover and Hold so when the “earthquake” came on via the PA system, we quickly (and safely) moved into action.  

For this practise, our building was deemed “safe” and we did not need to exit the school.

We saw our Big Buddies on Friday to work on our Hallowe’en wreaths.  Our Buddies are learning to encourage the Little Buddies to take more responsibility for the drawing, cutting and gluing parts in our crafts.  The Little Buddies are enjoying this time in our week as they are very much adored and certainly the centre of their Big Buddies’ attention.

Last year we had a big LEGO drive at Ridgeview to create a mobile LEGO cart in the Library.  Many children donated a cup of LEGO from their personal collection. Now, teachers are able to book a special time for their classes and that’s just what we did for a rainy Friday afternoon.  We were absolutely impressed with the dexterity and creativity of our children to build their models.  

The rainy weather has meant that the Kindergarten children have been taking recess outdoors.  They are real troopers, changing into boots and raincoats, sometimes up to three times a day. Their independence in taking their shoes and boots on and off, and doing up snaps and zippers has increased tremendously.  

There’s been a lot of puddle play (including falling into some rather large ones), flying down wet slides and lots of wet clothes.  The children have an opportunity to change their clothes, but we also ask you to send along an extra pair of socks (or two) so their feet are comfortable all day.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Monday, October 21:  Please remember to have the children’s inside running shoes at school for PE.

Tuesday, October 22:  Library Book Exchange

Friday, October 25:  Provincial Professional Development Day – school is not in session for students

Save the Date:  Thursday, October 31 is our Hallowe’en Parade.  Parents will be able to watch us walk through Ridgeview’s spooky hallways!  The parade will start shortly after the morning bell. Please come by our classrooms to help take off your child’s costume, or send a bag that we can safety pack it into if you are unable to make it to school.

Happy Turkey Day 2019

During Thanksgiving week, our children talked about everything they are thankful for:

My family

My mom when she makes food for me

Holidays

My birthday

Church

My friends

Animals

My dog living so long

My cat

My stuffed dog

Nature

My garden

The colourful flowers

The seasons

Being at school

Making crafts at school

Coming to school everyday

Staying at school all day

Reading books 

My teachers

We are so thankful to be blessed with our families, friends and the dear Kindergarten children and their families in our care this school year.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Love from, your Kindergarten Teachers