Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Quilt

Macklin had this wonderful idea to create a beautiful Christmas collage picture for his mom. We loved it so much that we decided to make a class quilt using his work as a model. Check out our our beautiful work. We decided to display it in the hall to contribute to the school-wide festive spirit.




Liz

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Kindergarten News December 2014


Kindergarten News--December 2014

PJ Day
On the last day of school before winter break we are having a PJ day. Students can wear their PJ's to school (I know I am) and bring a stuffed animal.

Forest Mornings
We have ended our forest mornings until after winter break because of this week's winter storms and upcoming special Christmas activities. A new schedule will come home next week with the planned forest days, news clues days and any special events/guests for January.

I have booked a class field trip on January 20th to visit the Nanaimo Museum's First Nation Primary Program as well as a tour of the Bastion. Parent drivers will be needed for this field trip. I have applied for a grant that closes on December 15th, and hope that the funds will cover the expense of the student workshop.

Writing Workshop
You have probably noticed that your child brought home their November writing. Each student has chosen their best piece to leave at school for their learning portfolio. They will continue to select their best piece for the portfolio and bring the rest home to share with you each month. They have been cultivating a habit of writing a story almost every day and are beginning  to develop Kindergarten criteria. Once we have decided on the final list I will share the criteria with you.

Science
Our forest mornings have taken on a nice framework which includes time for exploration and play as well as investigations and inquiry. We have enjoyed storytelling, read aloud, talking circles, math, games (prey & predator) and learning about structures.

Part of their new learning is to sketch objects in nature. I have begun guided drawing lessons in the classroom with students using nature objects and experiments like our Forest In a Jar.

Math
Mr. Tardif has been working with your children on sorting by one attribute. They have continued with daily practice of patterns, counting, 1-1 correspondence and sequencing numbers. We enjoyed a special math this week calculating if we have enough xmas cookies left for each student to have one.

Reducing classroom waste
To reduce the significant amount of paper towels used each day, we would like to try having each child bring in a hand towel to use instead of paper towels. The children will use their own towel and take it home to be washed on Fridays. Using the towel gives the students an opportunity to cut back on the amount of trash they produce. I would like to begin this in January. Please ensure that your child's name is on the towel.

Jolly Phonics Parent Evening
Thank you to the parents who were able to attend our parent evening. We are having a lot of fun with the phonics program and it is important for you to understand the program and how it is being used in your child's learning.

Class Phone List
I will be sending home the class phone list on Monday. If you have not sent in your form but would like to be included please ensure that it is sent by this Friday.


Report Card Envelopes
Please return the empty report card envelope so that it can be re-used for the second term.

Thank you,



Liz

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Kindergarten Classroom Photos


I finally had a few minutes to take some pics of the new classroom teaching areas. I will do a separate post about our play areas. We began the school year with mostly bare walls but it did not take long to fill them with student work. There are many wonderful elements to this classroom. For example all of the boards are at a height of 22 inches, perfect for Kindergarten students. 

The room is long and wide. We have a complete wall of windows to let in sunlight and frame our beautiful view of the ocean. There is an entire wall of shelving for blocks, puzzles and board games. There are 3 walls of display boards and two dry erase boards. Also there are three display boards in the hall. 

In one corner there are extra closed cupboards, a sink, some display shelving and open shelving for art materials. I don't have a paint easel (but Santa might buy me one!) but painting at the table seems to be working just fine.
This is an idea I saw on Pinterest. We collected leaves during one of our forest mornings then I set up a leaf centre and children made critters. Once they were on the wall I painted them with Modge Podge because they were starting to dry and crack. 
This is our Birthday Wall. I found this idea at Fairy Dust Teaching. She had been visiting different Reggio Kindergarten and Preschools and shared this idea at her blog.  Each student has the first letter of their name and on his/her birthday they paint the letter and then decorate it with materials from our art area. The letters are made from mdf and cost about fifteen dollars for nineteen letters. They were made by my husband, but you can purchase them at Michaels for about $3.00 each less 40% with a coupon.
Each day the children answer a simple question. They write their name on a sticky notepaper and then we sort, count and talk about what we learned about ourselves.
We use the pocket chart to organize our daily math work stations. Partner A carries the math tub while Partner B chooses the table. Then they sit side by side and play the math game. This framework is taken from Debbie Diller's book Math Work Stations. Th math tubs are the white tubs in the Ikea shelving under the calendar wall.
This is one of our Listen To Reading areas for the Daily Five Framework. Students first learn and practise the song/poem during circle time. Later when the class knows the poem it is posted on this wall for easy access. The alphabet letters above were drawn by Kindergarten children many years ago and I still use them for my directed draw program.
This is our calendar wall. When we do calendar I choose sticks from the fair turns jar for jobs. A few of our calendar jobs are read the month, the number, name of the day, weather, count the cubes in the jar, blast off, add a sticker to the stamina chart, sing the Jolly Phonics letters, abc, sight words and review the agenda. The activities at this wall change throughout the year.

I purchased two powerful magnet hooks at the local teacher store, Kool and Child. They hold our alphabet name chart as well as the Daily Five stamina chart. The three coloured papers with names are the literacy groupings for the Daily Five Word Work.

These groupings are flexible so the names are backed with magnetic strips. If you look at the green tubs you can see coordinating stickers to indicate which tubs are for each grouping.

This is our alphabet/word wall. We sing the abc song each day and then "catch the letter/word". Lately students have been enjoying reading the words independently.  The words come from the students as they contribute ideas for our cloze activities such as The Spider Spins A Web.

I framed the letters using auto detailing trim from our local Canadian Tire Store. The frame helps students brains find the letter more quickly. I found the research and idea at Chalktalk Kindergarten Blog.


This is our forest inquiry wall. We have our forest artifacts here for students to use in their play. Some examples of artifacts are a bird's nest, piece of coal, beach stones, tree cookies or sticks.

There are also some tools like magnifying glasses, rock crayons, paper and directions for rubbings as well as bug jars for holding bugs for an afternoon and some science books.


Thanks for stopping by,

Liz

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Nature Corner



The cupboard for our nature corner finally arrived today carried in by 3 big strong grade seven students. We now have a 6' long cupboard with 3 shelves to display our nature objects. 

We got to work right away setting up a display, deciding what to put on the shelves and what wonderful nature ideas we would play with next. I LOVE IT!! and I think you will too. Honestly this is the best room ever.

The best part was that this morning Elijah and Noah carried the sticks, stones and pine cones over to their play area and created habitats for the little stuffed animals.


Liz