Kindergarten News April 2018

Our learning intention setting process has been the backbone of our learning and development this year in Kindergarten. We have been rooting our learning intentions drawing upon the Aboriginal Enhancement agreement made with the Victoria School District.The more we set daily learning intentions, the more clear we are becoming about how we learn best. The more we set specific activity intentions, which are aligned with specific criteria, our learning and work becomes more precise and well-rounded. The more conversations we have about setting, shifting and re-setting our learning intentions to be best aligned with what we need as learners, the closer to becoming self-regulated learners we are. This has been an exciting process and an empowering journey. 
I wanted to align our learning intention setting process with our Curriculum’s Core Competencies. My goal was to have the learners reflect, but also to celebrate in their learning. I was happy with how nicely the Core Competencies and the Spirit of Alliance teachings align, and after reading a blog post by Rebecca Bathurst Hunt I decided to create a general reflection for my learners to partake in. The reflection is rooted in the teachings of the Aboriginal Spirit of Alliances and the language is taken directly from our Core Competency profiles.
Over time after reading many books both fiction and non-fiction about the four animals; salmon, raven, wolf and bear, the children and I identified character traits for each animal. Each morning the children choose an animal and name the character trait to work on and place a bead near the animal. To deepen their understanding we have begun to expand our perspectives and the children have looked upon their whole day and chose where they would like to build their strengths in any area of their day whether home, recess, classroom or forest time.
On Friday we released our salmon at the fish hatchery in a beautiful forest setting. We learned that in a dark space the salmon turn black and in a light space the salmon immediately will change to a lighter colour. The children were delighted with this piece of information about camouflage and connected with the camouflage game that we played in the forest on Wednesday.
In the classroom our painted lady caterpillars have become chrysalis and are checked daily. We expect them to emerge this week. We also have two goose eggs and ten chicken eggs in the incubator. We began to learn about life cycles with the salmon and now are learning about goose and chicken. It is interesting to see the similarities and differences and a wonderful opportunity for the children to have hands on learning. They have been working on sketching the butterfly and salmon life cycles.
In art we are reaching the end of our watercolour study and children have been blending colours this week using two blue and green. Next week we will use our blending skills to paint some of our life cycle animals for a display.
The children have continued with counting, patterning, sorting and measuring in math during daily math play and I have begun my spring assessment so you will see some additions to their Seesaw portfolios over the next few weeks.
Their journals are filling up with daily writing and I have been conferencing each day with students. Many students have begun to write phonetically and include some of our kindergarten sight words such as; to, is, the, me, my, she, he, ... I have introduced sentence prompts to encourage more independent writing. A sentence prompt is simply part of the sentence already started ... My friend and I like to ______. We are putting these into little classroom books for the children to read during friendly reading or daily five. We have also continued with our daily printing practice using dry erase boards focusing on printing formation, kindergarten sight words and reviewing letter sounds.
Morgan from NS3 has been coming on Monday mornings to work on Force and Motion. The children have been enjoying her lessons and small group work. We still have two rockets stuck in the trees outside of our classroom!!! When she is finished I will continue with some force and motion play in the classroom.
Liz McCaw

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