The Self-Regulated Teacher

Our personal journey towards self-regulation in Kindergarten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Spring Medley: This Week in Our Room: March 12-16, 2018

On this beautiful sunny afternoon do we dare say…spring is coming? (Note: we whispered those words).

Well, if not spring, then certainly Easter showed itself as our little KinderBunnies participated in all things pink, yellow and purple.

Although it’s a little early to start talking Easter, we had several requests that the Easter Bunny make a short appearance in the classroom. And who are we to turn down a sweet opportunity? Especially when it involves jelly beans and chocolate.

It was a bit of a potpourri as we were winding down some of our projects.

Here is our gorgeous “v is a vine.” We’re getting close now to the end of the alphabet!

We completed a myriad of Easter crafts like our bunny baskets with our Grade 7 Buddies. We had a mini-Easter egg hunt (one egg with goodies inside) and a task to complete as well! We matched the letters that were hiding in the eggs to a cute Easter colouring page with a special message.

We also made torn paper eggs decorated with sparkle mod podge and layered with pink and purple sparkles. The children really love to make crafts and this makes a huge difference in developing their fine motor strength and control (very important for printing, drawing, colouring, cutting and pasting).

Wednesday was our opportunity to visit the Nowruz display to celebrate the Persian New Year. We were able to view beautiful Persian artifacts in our glass cabinet and the haft seen table. Thank you to our hard-working parents for explaining the significance of all these objects, and for making the pretty treat bags for all the students in the school! Our children were extremely good listeners and were able to remember many facts from the short video they watched in the Library.

Mrs. Kennedy also read us The New Year’s Goldfish, by Solmaz Parveen and Tata Bobokhidze.

With a few students away in each class, Christy and I decided to put both classes together for Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. We had so much fun! You might remember that Christy and I use to job-share (50% each of the teaching week) so we have a great teaching synergy with both of us in the classroom.

First, we started off with the hottest ticket in town…Kindergarten lunch with all the children in my room! We actually had enough chairs! Joined by four Grade 7 monitors, our lunch time supervisor and the classroom teachers, the children thoroughly enjoyed the social time of eating and chatting with their friends. It was actually not too loud…..

After playtime, we all gathered together again for an Easter story, The Chocolate Rabbit by Maria Claret. It’s the story of little Bertie Rabbit and how through a chocolate mishap, his father (a famous Easter egg painter) comes up with the idea of making chocolate rabbits for Easter.

Next, we made wax crayon resist Easter eggs, with a focus on line, shape, patterns and following teacher directions. We gave our eggs a paint wash with tempera paint pucks and then filled our Easter basket!

This morning we all gathered in Christy’s room for a fun time with Centres! It’s important we continue to foster the friendships and connections between all the Kindergarten children. We want the children to get to know everyone in Kindergarten, maintain their friendships with friends from preschool while making new friends as they move along through school.

Happy Easter to all of our little bunnies and we will see everyone back at school on Tuesday, April 3!

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This Week in Our Room: March 5-9, 2018

“U” might be for umbrella, but so far, at the time of writing, the rain has held off. We’ve enjoyed some pleasant, bright days here at school. Such a relief for the children when they hear they do not have to wear their boots on the playground.

The children were charmed with these cute umbrellas “u’s” and they loved putting the stickers on and drawing the handles (“Hey, it’s a J!”) underneath. It’s fun when they can independently complete a project without the teacher hovering with the glue bottle for finishing touches.

With U being complete, this means we are into the tail end of the Alphabet! What an accomplishment for our Kindergarten learners as they have worked so hard learning their sounds, printing their letters (hopefully with the correct formation), making alphabet crafts and drawing pictures of words beginning with the letter of the week. Phew! Five letters to go and we are so excited. We’re looking forward to focusing on our literary theme of “Fairy Tales” when we are all finished.

For Inquiry learning, we see our role as helping our children to develop their sense of wonder, curiosity and questioning skills. We’ve been working diligently on the 5Ws (Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?) with our Mystery Box Inquiry. We’re using our theme of polar animals, with a focus on Penguins and their needs, and how they live and adapt to daily and seasonal changes. You can read more about this process here.

 

We’ve been working on this strategy for a few years now and continue to have great success with it. We place an object in the Mystery Box and introduce the 5Ws. We teach the children how to ask questions using the question words…it’s difficult at the beginning. Everybody wants to guess! But we keep persevering as do the children and they have become quite the experts in their questioning. We’re teaching the children to ask questions to gather information; when they guess, “Is it a whale?” they gain no useful knowledge from us to help them to make a logical guess. Here’s a sample from this week for the Lego fish we had hiding in the box (fish are one of the foods penguins eat). We answer as though there is a real object in the box, otherwise it’s too confusing.

What does it feel like?
What colour is it?
What does it eat?
How big is it?
Where does it live?
Who uses it?
What does it like to do?

These are all great questions and we’re having to give a lot of useful information so the children are really thinking about our answers and listening to the questions of their classmates. Some of our Inquirers are asking checking questions to confirm their thinking before they get to make a guess!

Penguin self-portraits for the month of March were completed with tremendous colour, detail and some pretty awesome fine motor work! We’re super impressed with these backgrounds. Wow!

Here’s some fun we’re having in Math this week. We’re working on our Math rotations for the number 6. We’ve been counting out treasures to make sets, printing the numerals and the letters for “six.” So we thought we’d add another fun activity, “Roll the Dice.”

 

We created a recording page for the children. In their groups of three or four, each student took turns rolling their dice and everyone watched. Each student recorded with bingo markers the number of dots that matched the number that was rolled. Then the second student took a turn and so it went around the table.

We had some private hysterical laughter watching the children encourage their dice by giving it a good or shake rub before they rolled (they are too young for Las Vegas but they’ve certainly seen some professional dice rolling). Each of them wanted to roll the high number and there was a little disappointment when one, two or three came up. But like all good team members, they followed the teacher’s instructions and played the activity as expected.

We finished painting our Lon Po Po drawings. They are so beautiful and vibrant. We cut the paintings, panel style, and mounted them on construction paper.

We also wanted to say “thank you” to our Principal, Mrs. Brady, for buying us new paint brushes, water buckets and paint pots. It was pretty much like Christmas opening our new supplies to be ready for our next big project!

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We would like to have all Library Books returned for our last Library day before the holiday. Please have all books back to school for Wednesday, March 14.

Please let us know if you’ll be leaving early for the break.

We will be having a big classroom clean up and will be sending home our spare clothes for a wash and an inventory before the break.

Dismissal for Spring Break is at 12 noon on Friday, March 16.

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This Week in Our Room: February 26-March 2, 2018

The past two weeks were exactly what we needed…lots of time in our classroom to play with our friends, have fun making crafts, sunshine and cold weather and slowing down the pace after a busy week of February Celebrations.

We’ve made our “s is a snake” and “t is a tree” alphabet crafts.

There was much discussion around whether or not snakes had stripes, polka dots or both but in the end everybody chose to draw what made them happy. Sometimes that is best.

The following week we had a talk about apples in the tree and what colour choices we might make to represent them in sequins. This is definitely one of the best things about Kindergarten…you never quite know what we’re going to be talking about.

We’ve been practising making sets of numbers and counting them. We’re learning that numbers can have a variety of combinations but the number itself is always constant. We’re using two sided bean counters to prove this.

We’ve had fun with lots of counting from 1-20 using 1-1 correspondence. For some of the children, their finger doesn’t move as fast as they are counting aloud. Suddenly, they’ve counted to 25 but we only had 20 objects! We’ve found a counting wand or pencil really helps them to slow down the pace so pointing and counting are the same.

In all the flurry of February we forgot to make our February banners for our scrapbooks. We love these colour choices of red and purple! Then the next day, time for March banners!

We’re just wrapping up a few more activities for Chinese New Year. We made our beautiful dragons on Monday, complete with rainbow beards. During Centre Time the children have been playing with tangrams and making animals and objects.

We were fascinated with Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert and Robert Andrew Parker, and the adventure of fox friends, Chou and Wu Ling. We had fun using the tangrams and patterns to create pictures.

We read our favourite all time story for Chinese New Year, Lon Po Po by Ed Young. It’s the story of “Little Red Riding Hood,” but it takes place in China. We enjoy the discussion of similarities and differences between different versions of familiar stories and this one is a great place to start. For our Art project, the children drew with pastel and then gave their drawings a wash with paint using the tempera paint pucks. The children loved this technique and were fascinated with how the oil based pastel resisted the paint. Some of them realised they could have printed their name in a more contrasting colour to their paint choice, but is this not what learning is all about?

We been really enjoying the children’s family sharing. It is so wonderful to see your family photos and to hear your child talk about their favourite activities as a family. It’s especially heart-warming to hear the children make connections between how families can enjoy the same kinds of outings and activities, and then learn about new things they didn’t know about.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

Please let us and the school office know if you are going to be leaving early for the Spring Holiday which begins on March 16 at 12 pm. School will be dismissed early so please advise Camp Ridgeview if your child needs to be picked up by our after school care.

We’re still wearing our boots for rainy days, so please ensure you have them at school. The children have developed a good habit of wearing gloves now, even if it’s not snowy, just so they can stay a little warmer.

Library Book Exchange will be on Wednesday.

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February Fun and Festivities…This Week in Our Room: February 13-16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First we do the backgrounds…

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

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

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

Chinese New Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events and Reminders

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

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

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

Last call for February Scholastic book orders.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-a child gently guiding a classmate back into line

-children being mindful and demonstrating patience with each other

-letting a friend take a turn first

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

Upcoming Events and Reminders

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Reminders and Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

“n” is night

octopus “o”

snowglobes

snowman mitten hangers

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

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

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

Upcoming Events and Reminders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events and Reminders

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

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

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

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

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

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