Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

March 24th Newsletter

Happy spring

I have been busy playing in our garden. It is only a year old so everything is pretty small but it is nice to see that the plants survived the winter and there are blooms on the flowering bushes.  Despite the cold and wet weather I have enjoyed hikes almost every day and lots of cuddles with our granddaughter (after a five day wait period from school due to COVID).

I have some fun activities planned for the children, some of which was decided with them prior to the break in preparation for spring. A few of the new resources purchased through grants and PAC funding have arrived including a large Grimm rainbow and platforms for building with it as well as more gem blocks for the block centre. These were purchased to further encourage and support loose parts play.

We expect to continue with the outdoor program and will begin our beach visits in April with Miss Macdonald. 

This coming Wednesday March 30th I will be away in the morning at a district workshop and Mrs. Macarthur will be the teacher substitute. She was in the room when Ms. R. was away and the children really spoke highly of her.

Mathematical Encounters with Clay

“The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations, and the richer their experiences. We must widen the range of topics and goals, the types of situations we offer and their degree of structure, the kinds and combinations of resources and materials, and the possible interactions with things, peers and adults.” 
~Loris Malaguzzi

For the spring I am highlighting the natural material of CLAY, which I picked up from the Clay Studio downtown last week. 

Natural clay is used around the world as an artistic medium that provides sensory, kinaesthetic and aesthetic opportunities for play. How might using clay as a mathematical material support students in playing with mathematical ideas when providing some slabs of clay, water and some tool? What might students investigate? What mathematical thinking and reasoning might occur? What opportunities for play with language are created? - Janice Novakowski

This recent quote from Janice in our Reggio Learning Series shares excellent wonders about the upcoming work with clay and will guide my observations of your children. We will also be using the clay as a exploration centre and in the atelier for process art.

Picture courtesy of Art Bar

Earlier this month, we discussed ideas for potential 
projects. After a few structured talks and a presentation
from grade 3 student,  Georgie Stokes, the spring topics have emerged; birds and science experiments. I have been busy during spring break curating resources including books, artifacts and loose parts for the bird project. 

I would like for the children to do science experiments as a family project and so have prepared a google document for you to sign up for a day in April or May that works for them. If you are not using google I will also send home a paper copy and you can email your preferred dates. This will go home the first week after spring break.

Part of the Physical Education curriculum is Body Safety. A family letter will go home next week explaining the program goals. Body safety is introduced in preschool and then re-introduced in Kindergarten. If your child did not attend preschool then you may want to discuss body safety this week so that it is a little familiar when we have our whole group lessons. 

I have been participating in the Reggio Learning Series with the most recent being The Mosiac of Marks, Words and Materials taking place April 13. We have been asked to gather mark making tools and surfaces such as those pictured above. I am excited to explore this concept and share my new learning with your children.

Our professional learning team have been busy working on Social Emotional Well-Being and I am looking forward to our April meeting where we will share our learning, discuss next steps and plan for our district celebration of learning in May.

I also wanted to remind parents that you are welcome to participate in our classroom program if you have completed the Volunteer form and RCMP check. Information is available at the SD68 parent portal site located in the link below:

Thank you, Liz McCaw

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