Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

June 4th Newsletter

Good morning and happy Saturday.

I hope that you have some awesome plans. Our family is heading out to the Duncan Market for some fresh produce and a visit with friends followed by dinner at a local farm. Weekends are the best aren't they.

This week we were fortunate to meet Nanaimo Science at the seashore for some tide pool observations using dip nets, buckets and shovels. The Kinders enjoyed using the digital microscope as well as viewing the mini habitat that the scientists set up for us.

The reorganization of our block centre combined with a refresh of our loose parts, especially the yarn cones and cardboard tubes, has resulted in some amazing stories - space travel, school, deep sea fishing, car tracks and many more. If you are interested in knowing a little more about loose parts I have recently posted a mini slideshow. Just follow the link below for access.

Playing with Loose Parts

Our family science is winding down and has been very popular with the children. I love all of their enthusiasm, the questions and requests to repeat some of the experiments. I added a few of our own experiments as well including the much requested upcoming rainbow volcano. Water play has resurfaced as a popular centre with lots of bubbles, scents like lemon juice, food colour, corn starch and a few rubber duckies.

While they are playing and exploring the centre there is a lot of math happening such as volume and weight. How much water will fit into this jar? Can we measure it? What do you think will happen if we drop this (duck? jewels?) into the jar?

This week we will add science as well by inviting them to add frozen coloured ice cubes so that they can experience a solid turning into a liquid.

Our exploration with Clay continues to be of interest with many of the children. This month they began to add water to the clay and enjoy the smooth moist texture created by spritzing clay with water. Naturally this led to water being added to the playdoh which created a gooey texture, still lots of fun and a totally different sensory experience!!! Many of the same children alternate between clay and water play.

This month our literacy focus has been on enjoying stories, looking at books with a peer, building stories with loose parts,  exploring onset, rhyme and Kindergarten sight word hunts using a word catcher. Some of our Kinders are continuing to review alphabet letter and names. As a group we are enjoying both the Heggerty and Jolly Phonics program.

Our inspiration coding from Inquiry Teacher

Our June math is comprised of playing with 2D & 3D shapes, counting by 1's and 2's, lots of sorting and continuing with pattern exploration. We took coding and storytelling and mixed them together to retell the story of The Three Little Pigs inspired by Kindergarten educator, Rebecca Bathurst Hunt
Our final science study is one of the most fun MATTER. The children have begun to compare solids, liquid and gas. On Wednesday they discovered that a liquid does not have shape but instead takes the shape of the container. We even poured some of the water onto the tray to see what shape it took and what happened when we moved the tray.

These final few weeks of Kindergarten will include a wrap up of our learning frameworks as I want to  slow down and set aside time for enjoying our mornings at the seashore or forest, visiting the grade one classrooms, playdates with the two other kindergarten classrooms and special celebrations like our upcoming Class Birthday Party. It is such fun to co-plan these celebrations with the children, lots of discussion, creative problem solving, compromise and excitement surrounds these celebrations and wish we had started earlier in the year.

You can expect to see the student math and writing journals, song book and literacy portfolio come home. Please take the time with your child to look at their work.

Thanks so much for sharing your awesome children with us!!!! We have been so lucky to have played and learned together in our beautiful space, forests and seashore. 

Liz McCaw

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