Kindergarten News December 2017

Merry Christmas!!!!

As our winter break begins I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the past few months. Your children have been such a pleasure to know and teach this year each with their own stories, interests and passions. They have been very busy constructing their learning and building relationships amongst each other as well as with other adults in our room.

Some highlights of the past few months have been:

Time spent with our 3 wonderful student teachers which provided hours of opportunities to support your children in their academic learning, enjoy conversations and take risks with the knowledge that adults were close at hand if support was needed. It was very hard for the student teachers to say goodbye as they loved their time with your children and had grown very attached.

We enjoyed our visits to Milner Gardens, learning about changes in the season as we moved from summer to fall and fall to winter, talked about trees and played in a larger forest.

We travelled many times to Neck Point by city bus (Thanks so much to our many, many parents and grand-parent for your awesome support) visiting both the seashore and the fairy forest. We played games like Frozen Critter, Four Corners and the Camouflage Game. We compared natures glorious colours to paint chips to help us understand camouflage, used loose parts for both literacy and math and build our own fairy homes out of clay. During our last visits in December the children began to construct land art using nature’s loose parts.

We visited Departure Bay Beach many times with other classes; Mrs. Radigan,
Mr Vanstone, Mrs. Cowan, Mrs. Richardson and even Mrs. Noble visited with us.

At Woodsteam Park we explored a smaller, familiar forest, collecting loose parts, constructing stone cairns and building dens for small animals. The children noticed changes in the season in the physical environment with nature, weather and even themselves. We met with Kylie and her preschool group on Tuesday mornings where your children became the big buddies.

During all of our mornings we enjoyed conversation circle, storytelling, wide area games and time for exploration. Almost all of the learning and assessment was in small groups facilitated by an adult.

In the class room the children have learned to independently move at their own pace through a literacy framework which includes journal writing, word work, read with a friend, read by yourself (from their own book box with a just right book and some your child selected from the classroom collection) and listen to reading.  Each strand was introduced on its own and slowly merged until the children began to flow from one strand to another at their own pace and with minimal support. They have begun to notice themselves as a learner and are on the road to growing into reflective learners.

During the fall we began our shoebox home reading program and our family reading book bag program. The children have been practicing their emergent book together each day and then it is sent home for continued reading. Thanks so much to Kitty for helping to organize and sort the bags each week.

In our math program the children counted daily by ones, twos and beginning in December fives. They sorted, organized and counted loose parts. We used familiar routines like Counting Jar, Math Journals, Math Partner Play and many circle games, songs and stories for our math program.

During early December, the children completed their first inquiry Math Patterns in Kindergarten and exceeded my expectations with their enthusiasm, hard work and collaboration.

We met with our Grade 7 Big Buddies (Mrs. Richardson) each Thursday afternoon and did lots of fun activities together; nature art, math game, reading, drawing and lots and lots of conversation. The Grade 7 Big Buddies surprised us with an amazing gift of hand sewn gift bags with story stones and some delicious sugar cookies.

The Kindergarten cooking program has been very successful with a combination of new and familiar recipes. We know that reintroducing food to children with an invitation to taste provides opportunities for children to try (in time for some) something new. Having parents come and cook with the children is so much more than just cooking. The conversations, pride of sharing and giving has been an important contribution to building our community.

Finally thank you so much for participating in our monthly pot luck lunches. I love to stand back and listen to the conversations as we share a meal together.

Have a wonderful family break and see you in January.   Mrs. McCaw

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