"Play is the highest form of research" -N. V. Scarfe
The kiddos have many opportunities throughout the day to play. This is arguably the most important time of day as the most learning happens during this time! We call is explore time as they interact with their environment with friends. Check out the new centers we have in our classroom this month:
Pumpkin construction: the kiddos use a screw driver and screws and insert them into the pumpkin's skin. This is a great fine motor activity as they need to go slowly and hold both the screw driver and the screw!
Math locks: each key has a certain number of beads around the ring. The locks have a number written on them. The correct amount of beads with the correct number, cracks the code and opens the lock!
3 way mirror creations: using pattern blocks, the kiddos are invited to make designs while engaging with reflections!
Making faces: the kiddos are invited to make faces accompanied with different emotions. Here they are exploring the many ways there is to feel using loose parts!
Fidget spinner letters: the kiddos use their fingers to spin the spinner. Whichever letter the arrow is pointing at once it stops, is the letter they are challenged to write on the board!
Alphabet match: using letter rocks and clips, we match the upper case letters together.
Pipe cleaner numbers: this fine motor activity develops number sense too! The kiddos pick a number and string the appropriate amount of beads onto the pipe cleaner. I have a feeling next week we will be ready for some teen numbers too!
First sound sorting baskets: each basket follows a sorting rule. The sorting rule is the sound that the letter in the basket makes. The kiddos sort the objects by initial sound into the basket with the appropriate letter!
Name rock writing: at this center, we pick a name rock and write our friends name with chalk on a tiny chalk board.
Pumpkin picking: here the kiddos are challenged to pick a number, find it in the sensory back and then represent it in the ten-frame
Puppet Theatre: The kiddos have been putting on fabulous shows in our puppet theatre! Our audience have been practicing being great listeners to their friends stories, as well.
Halloween sort: at this center, the kiddos make up their own sorting rule in each spot of the sorting tray. Tweezers are added to this center for an added fine motor challenge!
Witches brew: at this center, the kiddos create a witches brew by following a recipe card or choosing to create their own!
Sorting beads: at this center, the kiddos put their sorting skills to test while they sort the deco-beads and bingo chips into the glass jar with the sorting rule labelled on it! They are challenged to use the tongs to carefully put the beads into the jar
. Letter creation: using loose parts and letter cards, the kiddos create letters on the mirrors. This is a great pre-writing center that they love playing at!
Journal Challenge: this week I introduced the journal challenge that will be renewed weekly! This challenge is a sheet-work activity that the students can choose to do. If they complete the challenge correctly by Friday, they will receive a prize!
For the past few weeks, we have been discussing, experiencing and explore the season of fall. We took a picture in front of our "kindergarten tree" at the front of the school and went on a fall walk to look and to identify signs of fall. Today we explore many different artifacts that our class found from outside, as well as materials like laminated leaves and books from Ms. Kajati.
Check out all the fun we had!!
Here the kiddos are exploring photos that I took on a bike ride I went on last night! The conversation around the beautiful leaves and different trees was amazing. Some kids were identifying the different colors of leaves and how some trees do not have any!
This center has been ever-growing with outside materials from walks and gifts from students at recess! The tray contained many different unique leaves, acorns, pine cones and a sunflower head. The kiddos used magnifying glasses to study the material. We crunched the leaves and discussed adjectives we could use to describe the objects. "The leaves are crunchy!" exclaimed one student.
This center was so exciting!! On my fall bike ride last night, I collected many different leaves that were all sizes, shapes and colors. I laminated the leaves and the students loved looking at the leaves up close while feeling the ridges and pattern on each leaf!
After we were done exploring, we read a book about the Seasons and drew our observations of a fall tree. We spoke about drawing exactly what we see and using realistic colors. After the kiddos were done drawing and coloring, they glued 4 sparkly maple leaves onto their tree!
All week we have been practicing our very first poem in Kindergarten!! We learned our very first reading strategy- to look at the pictures because the pictures are always, always, always about the words. "We See Leaves" was a great poem that everyone enjoyed. Show your kiddo the picture of the poem on Seesaw this weekend and have them read it to you. Happy friday!
We have been so busy in Kindergarten learning new things, playing with newly made friends and having fun!
In math, we have been learning to sort. Sorting means we put things into a group to create a set that follows one rule. So far we have learned about sorting by color and size. In the following pictures, our class worked together to sort the buttons by following the rule "big buttons" and "not big buttons." For color, we sorted the colored leaves by "yellow" and "not yellow." Later this week, we will also learn to sort by shape.
Once we sorted some of the big buttons out, we explored other ways to sort by size including medium buttons and small buttons. The kiddos too their learning into their own hands by getting together with a partner and sorting the buttons in their own way. Check out oursuper sorters in the next few picture!!!
At home tonight, go around with your child and find random objects in the house that you can sort by size or color. Talk about what the sorting rule is and have them place them in the appropriate area. You can also start sorting the objects and have your child guess "your sorting rule" by paying close attention to the characteristics of each object.
Have a wonderful evening :)
The few days we have spent some discussing how our families are another way we are unique. After reading "The Family Book" by Todd Parr, kiddos had the opportunity to share their family photo with the class and tell us all about who is in their family. I wish I could have videoed the discussion. It was the first time the kiddos were completely engaged for a lengthy period of time. They were so excited to share and learn.
After the discussion was over, I gave them the chance to wander the room to compare family photos. It was interesting to eavesdrop on the conversations taking place. By the end of the day, it was pretty obvious we all have amazing and unique families!
Our classroom was a sea of orange today as we learned about Canadian history through "Orange Shirt Day." The kiddos and I started the day off by watching a short video explaining why we all wear an orange shirt. Here it is:
Shortly after, we read a story called, "Phyllis' Orange Shirt" by Phyllis Webstad (also in the video) to further our understanding of Residential Schools and the effect they had on First Nation children.
At the beginning of the story, I presented each kiddo with a nice big, beautiful, orange, paper heart. Throughout the story, I asked them to identify unkind events in the story by crumpling a piece of the heart up to help understand that those actions were hurtful and can make people feel small. By the end of the story, the heart was shriveled up into a ball.
The kiddos were very empathetic of Phyllis and other children who had to attend residential schools. They identified how she must have felt when her orange shirt was taken away, sleeping in a bed that was not hers and not being able to see her family for over 300 sleeps.
At the end of the story, I challenged the kiddos to try and open their heart back up slowly and carefully. I asked them to try their best to make it look exactly the same as when I first handed it to them at the beginning of the story. Some children tried to pull the crinkles out and others used the floor to make it flat again. We discussed the differences between the heart at the beginning and the end of the story. I explained that although we tried to make it look the same, it never will be. This is why we need to treat all people with respect and embrace their unique and special abilities. We promised to work together to use kind words and help one another to create a more positive future!
These little people are already so empathetic, loving and caring. They have all the capabilities of changing the world and are on their way already! You will find the crinkled heart in their back pack. Please take some time tonight to review why we wear an orange t-shirt and remind them of the following:
Last week, we began to discover how each of us is "unique". So far we have concentrated on how our names contribute to making us special, and why we should be proud of them. The kiddos had a chance to create their own "unique" representation of their names.
If you have time, stop by and take a look at the "Identi-tree" we created. It begins to tell the story of our Kinder Family.
Today we read the book, "Chrysanthemum" which tells a story about a girl who goes to school and some girls make fun of her name because its "too long" and "sounds like a flower." The kiddos and I discussed this type of behavior and concluded that making fun of other people is not kind. We spoke about how each persons name holds a special meaning and I encouraged the kiddos to ask you (parents) about how they go their name tonight!
We learned that in Kindergarten we spell our names the "Kindergarten" way where there is only (usually) a big letter at the beginning of our name and the rest are small letters. We sat in a circle and practiced writing our name tracers. The kiddos sure were proud to see and share their names.
Today was an exciting day in Kindergarten as we met our newest friend Mat Man!! Mat Man is a tool we use to help us learn to draw a full human body. There is an adorable song that goes along with the drawing.
We learned that in order to create Mat Man, all you need is big lines, small lines, big curves and small curves. This is terminology and a creation from Handwriting Without Tears. The big lines, big curves (etc) are also used in printing and we will learn that a little later on in the year. Here are some pictures of our Kinder friends creating Mat Man in different ways.
We got together during Circle Time today and drew Mat Man together on chalk boards. It was inspiring to see how hard the kiddos worked on their own individual Mat Man. They were so proud, they wanted to keep it on the chalk board forever!!
Our first day of Kindergarten was a fabulous day full of love, laughter and smiles. We begun to develop new friendships and were introduced to the routines of a brand new school year! It was so exciting to finally have our whole class together for the first time. I can tell this is going to be a special class and an amazing year!! Check out the video full of pictures of our first day :)
As I didn't have all the blog permission slips back, there are some kiddos missing from the class pictures. I also had to delete quite a few group photos for the same reason. Please send back the blog permission slips as soon as possible. If you need another form, send me an email and I can send one electronically.
Summer is flying by! I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather we have had and taking the time to spend time with family and friends. The first day of Kindergarten is quickly apoppproaching and I am growing excited to see some brand new faces :) Kindergarten is such an pivotal point in your son or daughters life. I cannot wait to be a part of it!!
By now, you should have recieved the Welcome to Kindergarten package by mail. There is a lot of information in the package, which I understand can be overwhelming but also exciting! As you go through the information, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns. Take the time to sit down with your kiddo and converse about what Kindergarten will be like (stay all day, independance with shoes/ snack/ lunch, making new friends, having lot of fun, etc.) The more understanding your child has on expectations of Kindergarten, the easier the transition will be for you and your child.
I saw this post the other day and thought it would be a great thing to share with you!
Cherish the last days of summer!!
We sure lucked out on such a beautiful day to host one of our year end field trips. The people at Brandon Bouncy Castles were so kind to let all 75 of our grade ones come explore the exciting property. We enjoyed an afternoon outside in the sun, taking turns and playing with our friends. The kiddos had an absolute blast going down the slides, rolling around inside plastic balls and running obstacle courses. Take a peak at our day:
Its hard to believe that there is only 6 more days of school. These last few days are definitely ones to cherish as we spend them with the great friends we have made this year.