Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

October 10th Newsletter

Good morning and happy long weekend,

I wanted to share with you some of the work that your child is enjoying each day. Most of it is hands on and is working with either a peer or group of peers.  I can't wait to share little videos and photos with you once our electronic portfolios become available.

We enjoyed the company of our two VIU student teachers last week, Ms. M and Ms. S. They spent the time observing and interacting with your children. They will return for Wednesday mornings in the classroom with our children for the remainder of this month.

We have been working on our first guided identity inquiry, through play, structured talks, activities and picture books. Last week the children cooked applesauce in small groups and began to notice similarities and differences amongst themselves  such as who had tasted homemade applesauce before, who regularly cooks with their family and a few food preferences They have also begun to notice other things such as family habits. On Thursday the children mixed paints to match their skin colour and did a painted handprint. On Monday the children will be encouraged to notice the similarities and differences in their skin tones.

In Math the children have been counting orally to ten and back down to zero, building number sets up to five and creating simple patterns using their bodies during line ups and circle games. I have also introduced taking a survey and will engage the children with this activity regularly over the next few weeks.

The children have been introduced to a few group games such as finger flashes (instantly recognizing dot patterns), counting circles, counting collections of loose parts and movement surveys such as stand up if you have a brother..... They have been introduced to and practised learning partner activities using hands on activities which include counting, sorting, patterning, dice games, wooden number blocks, puzzles and matching games.  During this time the children are expected to choose an activity, complete the activity and then move to a new activity. 

In literacy we have been exploring the Jolly Phonics program using big books, practising the movements to help the brain connect the letter name with sounds. Most of our literacy play has been focusing on letter names and sounds through sequencing, matching, sorting and upper case/ lower case grid work. They have also been introduced to and practice a daily pre-printing program which includes a playful approach such as air printing, printing on the back of a peer, on their palm and on a dry erase board. The children are doing a pre-printing program at the end of most days which includes directional step by step drawing on a dry erase board and generally playing with letter names and sounds.

The children have been introduced to and practised  interactive writing. This is a research based pre-writing program which is a daily part of the Kindergarten program. We co-create a story together using kindergarten criteria, then the children are given loose paper to sit with a partner and create their own unique stories. I have just begun to introduce criteria beginning with the weather and a ground line. Over the next weeks the children will add more criteria to their stories. Each day one child chooses the topic and the finished collaborative story goes home with that child the next day. 

Reading with a friend has been introduced and practised during September and the children are enjoying sitting with a friend each day to look through a class bin of books.

The children have met with their Grade Two Big Buddies and completed a craft together, Roller Coaster Art. We displayed it in the hall, but it will come home on Friday. We will have buddy groups  most Wednesday afternoons and some offsite mornings. Half the class will travel to Mrs, King's room while half of her class comes to us. Each month the groups will rotate classrooms. So for example, Group A went to Mrs. Kings room for October and in November they will stay in our room and Group B will go to Mrs. Kings room.

The show and tell schedule will begin this month. If you child misses a day please do not stress, simply practice with your child and send when he/she is ready.

In PE Mrs. Radigan and I have introduced materials such as scoops and balls as well as taught a few PE games to the children. On Fridays they will rotate through PE stations with Mrs. Rollheiser.

Our first offsite mornings were amazing and the children were energetic and engaged, After circle time and snack they explored their site and played a wide area game before returning to the school.

If you did not make it to Open House, please feel free to visit our classroom I am in the room most mornings except Thursdays because of supervision and this Tuesday as I have a pre-school meeting.

Thank you and my apologies for the length of this first newsletter.


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