Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

September Newsletter




Good morning families,

During our first few weeks there is always a lot of information sent home, as well as lots of paperwork for families and new experiences for children. 

We have been working the past few weeks to build stamina for play and learning as well as introducing our learning frameworks to the children. Please expect that future newsletters will be shorter.

Allergies
To the best of my knowledge we have no allergies this year. This means that you are free to include nuts and nut foods in your child's lunches.

I would prefer if you include a water bottle for your child rather than juice in their lunches. Also I have asked the children to save their treats until lunch and eat their fresh foods (fruit, veggies, sandwiches) in the morning. Presently the children have a scheduled snack break mid-morning with lunch around 11:30ish. Children still wishing to eat can resume eating in the early afternoon after music or gym.

FreshGrade
During September I wanted to capture your child exploring the learning centres in the classroom to share with you. These are centres that your child has chosen to explore, most likely multiple times by now. We will have seasonal activities especially connecting nature with art but will pursue inquiry rather than themes which may have been familiar if your child attended preschool. Look forward to our first FreshGrade update on your child's counting over the next couple of weeks.

Guided Inquiry
I have selected our first inquiry- Identity. The children have begun by sharing stories about themselves  - skin colour, eyes, hair, interests, play choices. and will begin to talk about their name (is there a name story?) and practicing printing their name using a variety of art materials and loose parts.

We are nurturing conversations by providing opportunities for children to ask questions about each other to learn more deeply through sharing circles and read alouds. This will transition to family and then our community as we move outside of the classroom into the beaches and forests.

Family Wish Tree
The family wish tree is looking magnificent. If you have not yet sent in your September project please send it in this week as I would like to share your hopes and dreams with the children and post a photo with some of their comments on FreshGrade.

Art
During this inquiry the children are being introduced to some art materials which will be available to them throughout the year. Water colour, tempera liquid paints and tempera paint sticks have been introduced to the children. This week they will continue with tempera paints by being reintroduced to September's Muffin tin painting, but using small squares of paper as well as continue with tempera paint-sticks painting cardboard houses as a combined art/math activity.- How many people live in your house?  We will also bring in some leaves from our forest visit on Monday and paint those as well. 

Last week the children drew self portraits and then did a water colour wash over the drawing. This beautiful work has been hung in our classroom and a short video will be shared through FreshGrade for you along with some of the key books related to our Inquiry. The week before they explored skin colour, mixing paints until just the right match was obtained and then they made hand prints which we have displayed in the classroom.

Cooking Program
This week I would like each child to bring an apple from home on Monday. We are going to talk about how apples are used at home and then do some shared cooking with the apples (and some from our farm).

VIU Pre-service Teacher
We will have Ms. MacDonald, joining us this fall beginning with our offsite visits on Wednesday mornings. Once we receive the practicum schedule we will share it with you. This will be Ms. MacDonald's second year in my program as she is interested in becoming a Reggio Inspired educator.

Upcoming Grants
We have applied for a Cooking Grant of $175.00 which shold cover most of our cooking program this year. Hopefully it will be approved and we should receive the grant in October.

We have applied for and been approved for the Spuds Program. During late February/early March we will receive seed potatoes (together with dirt) to be planted by the children indoors and then moved into the garden in early spring.

We have also applied for and been approved for the bulb program. We will soon be planting the fall daffodil and tulip bulbs around the school and in our school garden.

Buddy Class
Mrs. King, our grade two teacher, will be our buddy class this year. We are looking forward to spending time together in our outdoor program as well as the indoor program. Mrs. King is also a Reggio Educator and we share many of the same learning frameworks such as counting collections and story workshop promoting independent and authentic learning. I am super excited to combine our shared learning  experiences with the children. We will probably meet once a week either in our classroom or offsite locations.

Garden
This year we will work in the garden every couple of weeks with Char, our community gardener, caring for our flowers, fruits and vegetables. Sometimes the flowers will be brought into the classroom and other times we will harvest food to cook/eat. Through this time the children will learn about garden animals, composting, seeds and so much more! Char is also a long time parent of the school, passionate gardener and knows many of our Departure Bay Families.

Thank you,

Mrs. McCaw











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