Sunday, 19 June 2016

Our Storytelling Learning Centre

Making Up Stories In Kindergarten

What happens when you put together a basket of small puppets, trees, fabric and tree blocks and sit it on a play stand? 

Well in Kindergarten voila! you have a storytelling learning centre. The children make up a story and then practice. When ready, they collect peers from around the room to watch their show. In the afternoon when it is quiet play the two students perform for each other.

PS: It helps when you do lots of modelling and the kids have become very comfortable with story telling.

Sight Word Game

The Button Game

We love this game!! I put our group target sight words in a pocket chart in our group sitting area and hide a button behind one of the words. Students take turns reading a word and then removing it from the pocket chart. If the button is behind it then he/she gets to hide the button and then we begin again. 

I have about 20 words that I use but display 9 at a time. At this time of year it is a mix of Kindergarten and Grade One sight words. Earlier in the year you can play the same game with letter names (upper or lower or a mix) and then later with letter sounds and blends.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Healthy and Waste Free Lunches

I couldn't believe it!!! I was browsing the internet looking for tips 
for healthy waste free lunches and came across this wonderful parent site. Here is the link and below I have pasted a informative and useful post on healthy lunches directly from their site. Read and enjoy!!! There is a lot of information at this site.

Tips for Parents

It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school.
If you're like us, you're always on the lookout for small changes that make a real difference in the world, and packing a waste-free lunch is once such change that's easy to make.

Understanding the Problem
The Typical Lunch:
If you walk around at lunchtime and take a good look at the lunches our children bring to school, here's what the typical lunch will look like:
  • sandwiches in disposable plastic bags
  • fruits and vegetables in plastic bags
  • prepackaged chips, cookies, fruit bars, granola bars, cheeses, and fruit leathers
  • single-use yogurts, applesauces, and puddings
  • crackers, pretzels, chips, and other snack foods sealed in plastic bags
  • disposable juice boxes, juice pouches, juice cans, water bottles, and milk cartons
  • plastic forks and spoons
  • paper napkins
  • reusable lunchboxes and disposable paper and plastic bags
A Waste-free Lunch:
  • sandwiches and other main dishes, fresh fruits and, fresh vegetables, and treats in a reusable lunch container or containers
  • cloth napkins
  • stainless-steel forks and spoons
  • reusable drink containers
  • reusable lunchboxes
  • In this scenario very little trash is generated because foods are bought in bulk or in larger packages. The packaging is left at home for reuse or recycling. Food waste also decreases because with a reusable lunch container, children can re-pack uneaten food instead of dumping it, packaging and all, into the school trash can.

Educating Your Family
Education is the first step in the transition to a waste-free lunch. Talk to your children about why the school has decided to institute a waste-free lunch program. Provide them with age-appropriate information about the negative impact of a disposable lunch. Below is a list of suggestions that will help build communication and foster understanding.
  • Teach children about recycling at home. Encourage them to help separate the recyclables from the non-recyclables. 
  • When you choose not to buy an excessively packaged item, point it out to your children and ask if they can think of some earth-friendly packaging alternatives.
  • If possible, take a trip to your local landfill or recycling facility.
  • Find books on waste reduction at your local library or bookstore. Read them together and discuss how these issues relate to your lives.
  • Discuss where foods come from and how much processing occurs before they get to your table.
  • Search your local, preferably used, bookstore for some good health-oriented cookbooks, including some with large color photographs that you can share with your children. Read them together, look at the photographs, and ask your children to show you which recipes they find most appealing. Make a shopping list together, buy the necessary ingredients, and give the recipes a try. Pack the leftovers for lunch.
  • When eating out, favor restaurants that use reusable plates, cups, and utensils. Talk with your children about why you're making that choice.
  • If you don't finish your restaurant meal, take it home in a reusable container that you've brought from home instead of using the disposable container that restaurants offer.

Quick-reference Lunch Foods
Read this list with your children. Ask them to circle the foods they'd like to see in their lunch boxes.

BreadsSpreads & CondimentsFillingsFruits
(Dried and Fresh)

bread sticks
English muffin
lavash bread
pita bread
pizza bread
rice cakes
sandwich bread

almond butter
apple butter
avocado (mashed)
banana (mashed)
brie cheese
cashew butter
cream cheese (lowfat)
goat cheese
jam (spreadable fruit)
peanut butter
pizza or tomato sauce
pumpkin butter

carrots (shredded)
cheese (lite/low-fat)
chicken salad
egg salad
hard boiled egg
nitrite-free hot dogs
shrimp salad
sliced avocado
sliced cucumber
smoked salmon
tuna salad

Asian pears
cranberries (dried)

orange sections

VegetablesTreatsOtherOther Grains

bell peppers
bok choy
Brussels sprouts
green beans
green salad

seaweed (nori, wakame, hijiki)
shelling peas
snap peas
soy beans (edamame)
sweet potatoes

apple crisp
baked chips with salsa
dried fruit
fruit bar
fruit leather
homemade cookies
notes from home
trail mix
vanilla yogurt with fruit

baked tofu
bean burrito
cottage cheese with fruit
garlic toast
polenta with pizza sauce and cheese 


Tips for Reducing Your Workload
  • If you don't do so already, try packing lunches the night before and keeping them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Make your children responsible for adding the ice pack and placing their own lunchbox near the door or in the car.
  • Teach your older children how to make nutritious, waste-free lunches and then let them make their own lunches.
  • Older children can also be responsible for washing their reusable lunch containers or rinsing them and putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Children of all ages can take responsibility for putting recyclables in the recycle bin.

Want to reduce food waste?
Here are some things you can do...
  • Cut up fruits and vegetables. Children often take 1 or 2 bites out of an uncut apple or banana and throw the rest away. To avoid this, pack cut-up fruits and vegetables in a reusable container. Your child can take a few bites and save the rest for later. 
  • Pack drinks in reusable containers. Children cannot reseal juice boxes, cans, or pouches. Often they drink half (or less) and throw the rest away. To get the most out of your money, buy drinks in larger containers. Send a small amount to school in a reusable container. (Recycle the bottle at home.) Remember, children need plenty of water, so consider making water your beverage of choice. 
  • Before offering your children an afterschool snack, request that they finished their lunch. How many times have you given them a snack and then dumped the contents of their lunch box into the trash? 
  • Ask your child to bring home lunch leftovers. Looking at leftover lunches is a great way to get information about your children's lunch preferences. Find out why certain foods have come back uneaten. Did your child not like it? Was she not hungry enough to eat everything in the lunchbox? Was there a birthday celebration at school that day? Did she share someone else's lunch instead? Maintain a dialogue without criticizing. Consider making a list of foods that your child likes to eat for lunch and update it regularly with input from your child. You may find that she prefers romaine lettuce to red leaf lettuce. By making this simple change, she might start eating salads more regularly. Providing a dip for carrot and celery sticks might make eating them more fun. 
  • Encourage your children to help plan, prepare and pack their own lunches. They're more likely to eat a meal that they've helped prepare. Involvement in meal preparation also teaches them where their food comes from, and it provides them with the confidence and skills they will need to prepare food for themselves later in life. Younger children can cut fruit or make their own trail mix from a selection of healthy items such as raisins, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, whole-grain cereals, and pumpkin seeds.

The above information was excerpted from The Laptop Lunch User's Guide: Fresh Ideas for Making Wholesome, Earth-friendly Lunches Your Children Will Love. Copyright 2002, Morning Run Press.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Kindergarten News May 30th, 2016

Beautiful story telling owls made by Char Waters for our classroom

Dear Families,

We are at the forest this Monday with Morgan for our final NS3 visit for this year  We will be working on making class terrariums. Then on Wednesday we will be at the seashore and on Thursday morning we will travel by public bus to the public library at Hammond Bay Road. I would like at least one adult to join Mrs. Logan and myself on this field trip.

Please send in a small jar with a tight lid this week. Please write or label your child's name on the bottom of the jar. We will be making sparkle jars. Also I am looking for large buttons to add to our class collection which need replenishing.

We have been having fun with doubles and adding on this week. Ask your child to teach you the counting chant and handclap game.
Now that the children are able to do the chant we will add some manipulative to the game to make the counting more concrete.

Our Daily Five has evolved again!! Most of the students are now self directed in their choices of strands and are moving through the framework at their own pace. Ask your child to explain the Daily Five and how it has changed. It is very exciting to see many of the students conferring with each other and moving from writing to word play to reading with a friend without adult prompts or interruptions. Our new white board word building centre is quite popular and I can see that a second tub of magnetic letters and word cards has been added to our wish list.                                                                       

This month's gallery selection is almost complete with just two students needing to make selections. I will create a slide show this week to share with families who can't make family reading on our onsite mornings.

Thank you,

Mrs. McCaw