Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

A Typical Day In Kindergarten          In our Reggio Inspired program the children flow from one learning activity to another.    As educators we teach with intention and follow the BC Early Learning Framework which encourages us to offer both a place based nature program and play based experiences for your children. To nurture independent habits of mind the children begin their indoor morning with familiar routines such as undressing, completing a check in and transitioning to a table activity and is followed by a transition to literacy or math play.  During exploration one teacher is observing while the second is in the  Atelier , supporting learners.  Here are some examples of our Reggio Emilia program: Digging and pouring in a sensory table Spacious learning areas  to support experiences like block building Experimenting with art and drawing on an easel, paper, or other materials Discovering insects, leaves, and flowers, and sorting and collecting things they find in the playground...
The BC Early Learning Framework places an emphasis on process learning with materials that are open ended and encourage children to use their imagination and creativity. It is presented as some of the most important experiences to offer our young learners. I believe that block play is an excellent centre to provide your learners with both open ended play and provide opportunities to grow creativity, imaginative play alongside social emotional learning as children learn to play collaboratively. This is and has always been my favourite spot in my early learning classroom. I have made the biggest investment in time, money and program and I consistently see tremendous growth in children through this centre. While there are substantial barriers to Kindergarten classrooms having a really great block centre, it does have the potential to become the largest, most popular and valuable learning centre in an early learning environment. It will also be your most expensive centre. It takes planning...
Dear Families, I hope that you are enjoying this time together as our family has. We have been playing board games, doing puzzles, baking and lots of cooking, sleeping in and spending time in nature. With the increase in COVID numbers we have really hunkered down and stayed close to home over the past weeks as I am sure many of you have. We loved having Ms. Macdonald with us for three weeks and enjoyed many mornings offsite at the forest and seashore. Her kind, gentle approach enabled her to build strong relationships with your children.  She will return to classes in January and continue to visit a half day each week until her second practicum which begins the week of Feb 14th. As we transition into the cold and wet winter months, we will reduce our offsite mornings to 2 or 3 per week; Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays weather permitting . As much as possible we will begin our onsite mornings outdoors. Please dress your child for the colder weather including warm socks, mittens, hats an...
Good morning families, We have enjoyed our first week with Miss Macdonald and are loving having two teachers and a pre-service teacher in the classroom working  with   and supporting your children. Miss Macdonald's lessons will focus on providing the children with knowledge and strategies for mindfulness drawing upon our Social Emotional Curriculum. She will also be extending our pattern play to continue building this understanding with the Kinders. We are offering the children increased the opportunities for literacy play goals; concepts of print, letter names & sounds, producing a rhyme and beginning to recognize Kindergarten sight words.  Our teaching team has planned some special activities with your children for December which include: baking gingerbread cookies making a family gift christmas art for your home tree ornaments as a family gift family christmas card using water colours family story play using loose parts family traditions and celebrations   Pattern Tinker Box...
Dear Families, The rainy season has definitely arrived and we are transitioning to staying onsite during our stormy mornings but trying as much as possible to go offsite and have outdoor play during November and December. Please send your child to school dressed for the weather as Mrs. Noble seldom schedules an indoor recess. Both Miss Sherry and I will be away on Wednesday morning at a district workshop. We will do our very best to prepare the substitute teacher for a onsite morning with the children. Ms. Macdonald will begin her practicum at the end of November and will remain with us through to December 17th. On Monday we will begin inviting your children to share their name stories. I have already shared my name story with the children and Miss Sherry will be sharing her name story on Monday. I have been working with students 1:1 on letter formation focusing on a few students each day either offsite or in the classroom. This ...
With the onset of our rainy season we will have some mornings onsite but still continue with our outdoor play. It was so lovely to come in from puddle jumping on Wednesday to some hot cocoa and marshmallows. We borrowed mugs from the staff room and I brought hot cocoa and milk from home. Mrs. Lambert donated mini marshmallows. It made me realize that the children would really enjoy having a warm drink station in the classroom and I would enjoy the easier set up rather than trekking to the staffroom to borrow the kettle and mugs.   I am interested in setting up a  warm drink station in the classroom and am looking for the following donations: electric kettle used large pot ladle small mugs (not plastic please) spoons hot cocoa milk apple cider berry tea 1 pkg mini marshmallows tray dish soap Please let me know if you would like to donate an item. Thank you, Liz McCaw...
http://www.paper-and-glue.com/2017/01/winter-stem-build-snowflake-tinker-tray.html Winter Stem Tinker Tray from What We Do With Paper and Glue I have included loose parts in my kindergarten program for years and am continuously amazed at the engagement, creativity and language that develops with the playful open-ended experiences that my learners enjoy. Over the years I have become a big fan of tinker trays. It started in our class atelier when I happened upon some great wooden trays at a garage sale and then it grew from there. The boxes were the perfect size to fit on the atelier tables and easy to fill using repurposed berry boxes with small treasures. Once the art tinker tray is introduced to the children they are really great at keeping it organized and I leave it on the shelves all year. If this is something that you decide to offer your students I always recommend just taking your time and begin with small quantities in the sections. I simply replenish the art materials regularl...
Good afternoon We are having beautiful weather this weekend and I hope that you are enjoying outdoor family walks. Our family has been walking Colliery Dam and Lynley Valley and we are feeling rested and ready for tomorrow's spooky festivities. This week, Ms. Macdonald, our pre-service teacher, will be joining us for five full days to observe the children. We expect to be offsite all five mornings and look forward to spending that time together.  Please check our November offsite schedule to sign up for our offsite mornings. Ms. Welte, an ECE has been hired as my full time teaching partner (and with Mrs. R on Fridays). She will begin on November 15th and continue full days until we are licensed for childcare. Then she will transition to accommodate family before or after school care. As soon as we are licensed the district will sharing the details with families. A second ECE will be hired to ensure that families can access before and after school care. I have completed the counting...
Dear Families, Now that the wet, colder weather has arrived please plan on sending your child to school with thick warm socks and warmer boots. Add two bread bags & a pair of socks to your child's backpack in case they have wet feet one morning. We have been having lots of fun reading Halloween books, creating scary pumpkin faces and enjoying fall art activities in the classroom. In our outdoor learning I have introduced the five senses beginning with touch, smell and taste. It was lots of fun, hands on learning. Next week we will continue with five senses activities in the forest talking about hearing and sight.  The children are terrific counters and are quickly demonstrating mastery of counting objects to ten and higher. Many are using strategies like make a new pile, line up the objects and touch & count. These strategies help the children with accuracy. To encourage numeracy growth we have begun to play Mystery Number using numerals 1-5.  I have introduced simple patte...
Good morning families I hope that you are enjoying your long weekend as I am with our family. This is the first year ever that I have not hosted dinner. Instead I am the pie maker and we will gather at our daughter's home for Thanksgiving dinner. Scholastic book order brochures will be coming home on Tuesday. If you wish to participate in this online program our class code is  RC232105. 20% of purchases will be donated to the class by Scholastic as a credit. This is used to purchase books for the students. We have continued with our Identity Inquiry and the children are exploring names through hands on activities with loose parts, read alouds, art materials and circle games. This week we will explore our family and do an art activity connected to how many people live in our homes. Please remember to send in your family photo. We had our first cooking session on Thursday. The children made applesauce and will be enjoying it on Friday morning with Mrs. K. Next week we will make be d...
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 ch...
I have been enjoying slowing down my days this month, sleeping a little later, walking everywhere, swimming in the ocean most mornings, listening to audio books and working in my garden. I have been doing a lot of cooking and inviting friends over for lingering lunches to taste test my new recipes. I am feeling rested and healthy and like many teachers, starting to think about school, my new group of learners and setting up our classroom.  I always minimally set up the room so that lots is left for the children and I to co-construct together. I plan to bring in fresh flowers from the garden, twinkle lights, lots of books and set up a few learning centres. I find that  being intentional and waiting for the children accelerates our classroom community as we choose what to put up on the walls and what additional resources to add to our collections. Do we need more art material; clay, playdoh? Or do we need more construction materials; cardboard, blocks, magnet tiles? Are there enough tabl...