Thursday, 29 January 2015

Kindergarten News

Kindergarten January 29th News

Forest Play
Thank you for ensuring that your child is dressed for outdoor play. It’s wonderful to see the children warm, dry and immersed in MUD as they play in our forests and fields. Judy Wickland, a local environmentalist, has been joining us for stream exploration and is helping us to identify plants and trees in our local forest.

We are planning to continue with three forest mornings; Monday, Wednesday and Fridays each week. Please feel free to join us if you have the time. We usually leave at 9am. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we are staying on site but spending about an hour enjoying the back fields.

Yoga By The Sea with Kathy Beleveau
We are so fortunate to have yoga teacher and author Kathy Beleveau for five weeks of yoga on Thursday mornings. Some popular poses have been cat pose, downward dog and seal. Be sure to have your child pose for you. This experience has been funded by a Healthy Living Grant and is being shared with Ms Keith’s K/1 class. 

Pattern Day Thursday February 5th
We have been playing with complex patterns this month and have decided to celebrate patterns by having a special pattern day. Students are going to wear something that has a pattern on it. We will read stories with patterns, create patterns in art, play some pattern games and eat fresh fruit arranged in patterns on skewers. Students will be signing up to bring in fruit to share. A note will go home Friday Jan 30th to allow you time to get the fruit.

Family Lunch Tuesday February 10th
We are inviting parents and extended family to join our class for a pot luck lunch. Please bring your family’s favourite dish to share. Plan on a serving for about four. We are hoping to eat outdoors if it is dry, so please dress warm. Lunch will be 12:10 to 1pm. If the weather does not cooperate we will eat in the classroom. I hope that you can join us.

Milner Gardens Feb 2nd
We are going for our 4th visit to Milner Gardens on Monday. The bus fee has been partially covered by a Wild BC grant with the balance paid for using a parent fee of $5.00. The facilitator cost has been covered using classroom funds. Our next Milner day will be Wed Feb 11th. 

Writing Conferences
Student writing conferences are going great. They are learning to set personal writing goals and reflect on their strengths. Many students are beginning to add words and sentences to their picture stories and will begin to use their writing journals in February.

Jolly Phonics
We have completed all 42 sounds and been practicing making words and printing on dry erase boards. We will begin printing practice in our Jolly Phonics printing books next week in small groups.

Nanaimo Early Literacy Profile
I have finished my mid year literacy assessment and our class has moved from 49.9 % vulnerability to 5.26%!! Wow your kids ROCK!! I have expanded the learning targets to include more time on rhyme using books, songs, props and circle games. To encourage greater participation I have sent home a small assignment for the students to do with you. I will have a couple of students share their rhyming bag each day until they have all had a turn.

News Clues
Thank you so much for helping your children to practice their news clues. They are all so interesting and the children gather together with enthusiasm, listen attentively and are learning to ask great questions as well as make personal connections.

Mrs. McCaw :)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Framework For Instruction

As a new teacher, I first read about this framework during my first year teaching kindergarten in the book, Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children by Fountas & Pinnell. It the very first framework that I used consistently in teaching and I have continued to use it in my daily practice. 

I was delighted to come across this clearly written version of the guided release model at Terri Mack's  website Strong Nations (a pubishing house and local book store) and wanted to share it with you. This framework can easily be applied to math, science, social studies, ... for example swap out the language to become more thoughtful ..... instead of readers.

A Framework for Instructions

  • Provide daily opportunity for students to witness a modeled read aloud.
  • Introduce the strategy as a tool that can be used to help students become more thoughtful readers.
  • Use appropriate literature to model the strategy with the students.
  • Give explicit explanations and directions as you are modeling.
  • Reflect on the process.
  • Provide daily opportunity for guided reading.
  • Use appropriate literature to model the strategy.
  • Create opportunities for the students to participate in the process.
  • Provide encouragement and feedback.
  • Have the students reflect on the process.
  • Provide daily opportunity for students to read independently.
  • Continue to provide modeling and practise.
  • Create opportunities for the students to practise independently (individually, with partners, in small groups, and as a large group).
  • Have students share and reflect on the process.
  • Provide encouragement and feedback.
  • Provide daily opportunity for shared or interactive reading.
  • Provide opportunities for modeled writing, shared writing, guided writing and independent writing.

What is a favourite framework that you use in your daily practice?

Thanks for stopping by,

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.


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.

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.

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,