'Till next week. Have a great weekend.
What a wonderful start to the new term we have had so far. A newly arranged classroom, new Junior Kindergarten students to meet, newly introduced Drama and Dance programme with Miss Hood and, AND ladies and gentleman a new synthetic field for the children to use. It is going to be a great year! (Especially as we no longer will have sand and dust whipped into our faces on windy days!)
These first couple of weeks we have enjoyed getting to know each other (Name Hangman as proved popular) and learning the procedures/routines of the classroom. We mostly know each other's names now so have been able to drop the name tags which is nice. Children seem to be enjoying the structure of the day (particularly snack times) and have done a great job of settling in. Our Senior Kindergarten students have really made the JK's welcome and many have taken on leadership roles within the classroom helping them out and modelling the appropriate behaviours expected within the classroom. WELL DONE SK's
With the fine weather that we have been having, we have done out best to get outside everyday for our morning DPA (Daily Physical Activity) which includes a little run around the new sports pitch along with simple movements to help wake up the body and mind to start the day. Students have also enjoyed using the variety of outdoor activities that we are able to use for outdoor centres including: tracing, drawing, giant sponge blocks, dinosaurs, bean bags, skipping ropes and balls.
We certainly are a musical bunch this year and I LOVE IT! Each day we make time to have a little class sing-a-long which seems to be going down well. The power of music and singing really enhances children's ability to learn pattern, rhythm, and rhyme - skills that are invaluable in helping children learn to read and gain many mathematical concepts. Some of the songs that we've learned can be found by clicking these links: Zoom Zoom Zoom We're Going to the Moon, Five Little Speckles Frogs, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.
This year we are introducing the Scholastic Book Club. Each month we will be sending home flyers containing a range of titles to choose from. It will be great way to excite your child about reading and support the classroom at the same time. Please see the letter that went home this week for all the details.
'Till next week. Have a great weekend.
I am looking forward to sharing information with you about what we get up to in the classroom this year through a weekly blog. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section.
Just a quick peek into some of the explorations and creations that have been taking place in Rm 003.
May 4th - May 15th
Happy Victoria Weekend. I hope that you have had a good one so far and making the most of the long weekend. We've had a busy couple of weeks in Room 003 and have certainly been enjoying the opportunity for outdoor learning that the weather has been giving us recently. Long may it continue I say! Some of the explorations included looking at the part of a tree where bark had become detached, drawing up a Four Square court using chalk by counting 10 steps along each side of a square to create an even sided square court and then counting in five steps along each side to find the middle thus creating the "Four Square" playing area. Some students also learned the football (soccer) game "Five-Alive".
Our final "Pupils of the Week" were chosen last week and congratulations go to Aidan and Jadon. Both made interesting presentations from the "Anticipation Box". A picture next to Captain America aboard a Disney cruise brought a big discussion as to whether this was the real Captain America or just an actor... It was decided that it must have been an actor - because the real Captain America would not be on a Disney Cruise! Home drawn pictures were also a hit and were described with exuberance and in detail.
The phonemes over the past two weeks that we have been looking at have been "x" and "q". It was noted how "q" is always followed by "u" and actually sounds like "k" and "w" to produce "kw". With "x" a similar discussion was had in that it sounds like "ks". Some of words that were suggested by students included: quick, quiet, quack, and question. Some of the offerings for "x" were: axe, excellent, exhibit (which I thought was pretty darn good for a 5 year old) and exercise. What phonemes will we discover next week? Stay tuned...
Our Jump Rope for Heart assembly included the Kindergarten classes this year and we enjoyed watching the presentation by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to introduce the purpose for the fundraiser, the fun that can be had skipping and the awesome thank you gifts that could be earned for participating students. The whole school target this year has been raised to a whopping $20,000 which means, in a school of 784, each student only needs to raise about $25. That's less than half the cost of a medium "Double Double" each day for a month! Here is hoping we reach our goal. The Jump Rope event will be held on June 8th.
Students have been busy this week learning and writing about insects. We have also started to make some crafty caterpillars out of all the egg boxes that you have so kindly been sending in to us. They are coming along very well and have been great way to engage the students and raise excitement for when we get our live caterpillars into the classroom of our animal study / investigation. A big thank you goes out to everyone who has already sent in their $1.50 contribution and to Ms Kussner in Rm 115 who has organized the caterpillars' safe delivery (due some time this week, after the Victoria Day Weekend). Students will have the opportunity to feed, care for and observe the caterpillars and watch their dramatic change into butterflies. The process should take around two weeks and we will do a butterfly release from the roof top garden when they are big enough to be let go.
We welcomed the parents of potential kindergarten students this past Thursday who walked around the classroom to see what we were getting up to. Many had nice things to say, were impressed with the independence that the students were demonstrating and liked the activities that the students were engaging. The class certainly made a good impression and did everyone proud!
After reading the story "Where the Wild Things Are", kindly brought in by B.T. we were inspired to create monsters of our own. Each student drew a creature with the head, body and legs of a different animal. We then stapled these together, cut them horizontally where the different body parts met and voila, we are on on the way to making our very own Monster Flip Book. Just a few edits, additions and final touches to be made and we should be able to publish this week.
One student also went onto write their own little story during Journal time. With a few prompts, but not many, this is what the author E.T. produced. Great effort and dedication to completing a truly exciting piece of writing E.T.
Until next week, I hope that you've enjoyed the updates about what we've been up to and do feel free to leave a comment.
March 27th - May 1st
Apologies for the lack of Blog last week. A couple of students made the comments that they couldn't find it so it is nice to know that my thoughts and ramblings are being read and actively being looked forward to - so thank you very much for that!
These past two weeks saw us focus on the phonemes "z" and "ch" respectively. Students worked well to come up with words that contained these sounds, found the syllables (big sounds) and identified the phonemes within them successfully. The writing wall filled up pretty quickly with ideas along with the names of students who contributed them
We had our Character Assembly last Thursday morning which introduced the new trait of "Integrity". The award winner for last month's trait of "Cooperation" was Emilia and we give her our congratulations.
Our "Pupils of the Week" were Harry, Eli, Mika and Sabrina. All great nominations.
Last week we began work on our Mother's Day cards and crafts. I can 't tell you too much other than the students had great fun making the craft (it has a very useful purpose) and got pretty creative with the cards. We hope that you like their efforts and enjoy the gifts :)
Have a great weekend 'till next time.
April 20th - April 24th
This was certainly one of the busier weeks in the classroom and school as we focussed on Earth Week activities. The students did a great job of wearing the various colours of clothing for the ascribed days and certainly enjoyed themselves. A particular hit was the bring a stuffy to school day where we were able to discuss why animals are important, what endangered actually means and get to look ay Ms. Jordan's photos on the Smartboard of lions and gorillas. We also watched a short animation film that highlighted many of the choices that people make each day that contribute to climate change and provoked thoughts about how we can all do something to help reduce consumption and look after our planet. Click here to see the film. Thanks for sharing @WhitneyMarie_F
We started the week of with Simone, Ryan's mom, coming in to volunteer with the students. The students enjoyed the math game that she played with them and we thank her very much for her time :) Another visitor who came to classroom, and will be coming in on a weekly basis is Ms. Webb. Ms. Webb is an OCT Registered Teacher and parent in the school who is helping in a number of classes around JW. She will be supporting the Guided Reading programme for SK students and we extend a warm welcome to the classroom. We chose to speak French this week during attendance and had some interesting thoughts on where France actually is on the map!
The "Pupils of the Week" were Harry and Eli. Students enjoyed looking at their presentations of a little "electric bug" that vibrated around and of a Spiderman model with moving limbs. Both students spoke engagingly about their toys and looked very professional as they used the microphone, fielding questions from a very enthused carpet of classmates. Well done boys!
Our phoneme this week was "Z". Some students noticed that it looked a little like the digit "2" while other observed that it was a flipped "S" but with straight lines and not curved. Had you walked in the classroom on Monday you may have thought there was a swarm of bees on the carpet with the prolific sounds of "zzzzzzz" coming from little mouths. There was also the observation that "z" feels like a vibration on the the tongue whereas "s" is a little softer.
There was no "Reading Buddies" this week as Ms Herbert's class were away but students still managed to explore books and complete their responses. Pleasingly, many of the SK's supported their JK classmates and Ms Jordan and I enjoyed circulating the room listening to students, supporting their reading and discussing the stories being read or facts being found out.
Classrooms should rarely be silent. We learn through language and this is particularly true in the Kindergarten classroom. However, on Thursday afternoon we were silent for a very good reason. The "Vow of Silence" campaign for "Free the Children" sought to raise awareness for those children who do not have a voice of there own and are unable to to stand up for their human rights. It was a really big success across the school and in particular for Rm 003. I must confess, the challenge for 31 students (minus those students on holiday/away) to remain silent for at least 10 minutes was one that I didn't think could be accomplished. Well, I WAS WRONG!!! After watching a short video and completing a shared reading activity the students really embraced the significance of why we were being silent and some even chose to draw pictures and write sentences during their "silent time". Special commendation must go to L.V. who really went above and beyond in her response. Oh and incase you are interested, our total time being quiet hit 15m 29s. Congratulations everyone !!!
A truly memorable week was had by all and although we should be thinking about how to care for the Earth every day it was good to have a week to really focus on - in the words of Carl Sagan - this "Pale Blue Dot".
Until next time, have a good week :)
April 13th - April 17th
It has been a while since we had a full week in the classroom but we've certainly made good use of the five days that we've had together. We welcomed Ethan's mom, Hua, on Monday who worked with students during the morning period and ensured that we kicked off the week with a good start.
The "Pupils of the Week" were Sasha and Ryan. Our suspicions that Sasha likes to play with LEGO were confirmed and we also discovered that he enjoys playing the game of pool. Perhaps this will progress into the wonderful high paced game of Snooker when he gets bigger! Meanwhile Ryan is a big fan of chocolate ice-cream and we learned that his favourite animal is the cheetah! With the warmer weather coming there should be plenty of opportunity for him to indulge in many an ice-cream delight.
Talking of the warmer weather. We have been able to take our activities and exploration outdoors more often this week and the students have certainly enjoyed the time outside from exploring puddles and the rings that occur when you drop stones in them to using chalks on the walls. Fun and learning was certainly had by everyone and long may this fine weather continue.
Our phoneme of the week was "th". We explored how it can actually make two sounds as demonstrated in the words "THEM" (hard sound) and THROUGH" (soft). A subtle difference but a difference nonetheless. Some of the words that we identified that used both of these sounds were: these, they, the thunder, threw and throne... Oh and "throw up" was mentioned a couple of times too - it was decided we only had to write up "throw".
Students continued with their Dragonfly projects this week by adding a splash of colour to their insects using acrylic paints on the dragon flies themselves, pastels to add details to the foreground and glued tissue paper tiles to complete the sky. They are looking fantastic and we'll put pictures of them in the Class Art Gallery for you to view online when they are finished. Students also researched Dragonflies and other animals of their choice using the website "pebble go" on the computers in the classroom.
A new game called Waggle was introduced which is great dice game to reinforce number recognition, one-one correspondence and fine motor skills. We rolled a dice and collected the number that was shown with unifix cubes and placed the "unifix tower" on the game board. The first player to complete their board wins. So simple, so fun and so easy for students play themselves.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who has emailed me about the languages and heritages that we have in the classroom. At first glance you would never realize or appreciate the diversity that is within the classroom. This week we focussed upon calling the attendance in Italian and locating Italy on the world map. Some with more success that others. But I suppose Italy and Iceland do both start with the same letter!
Until next time, have a wonderful week!
April 6th - April 10th
Another short four day week began this past Tuesday with a visit from my wife (Laura) and our baby girl Audrey Alannah in the afternoon. The students were very excited to meet them both and enjoyed the story "The Girl Who Lost Her Name" that we read together at the end of the day. All students were super well behaved, respectful and calm around the little one. They were also very nice to Audrey !!!
Our letter / phoneme (smallest unit of sound within a word) of the week was "W". We practised going down the worm, up the worm, down the worm and up the worm to form an accurate "W" and investigated words that use "w". In addition, we also contemplated why the letter is called “double-yoo” and not “double-vee”!
Our "pupils of the week" were Grace and Branden. We learned that Grace really like horses and also enjoys horseback riding. Branden meanwhile has a preference for dogs and a enjoys playing with and creating things with LEGO.
With the coming of spring we have been turning our attention toward nature and the outdoors. We began an art project using glue and shaving foam to create 3D Dragon flies. All the students managed to do a good job and the plan next week will be to paint them. We discovered from our dragonfly book that while dragonflies are insects they are not actually flies...or dragons! Whoever named this insect is a right fibber and the cause of a rather big conundrum!
Ms Jordan was away on Thursday and Friday so we welcomed Ms. Rehana and Mr Yeung in her place on each day respectfully. Students were very welcoming. We learned how to say "hello" in Punjabi from Ms Rehana - "kemcho" and took advantage of Mr Yeung's guitar playing skills on Friday afternoon by jamming along to some classic tunes including "Down By The Bay" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". We were also treated to a very energetic performance of “We Built This City” by some of the students. And so it was, with the excitement of our Friday afternoon sing-along, some of the Mr. Zippies did not make their way into the students bags but should be coming home on Monday ready for return on Wednesday morning.
March 30th - April 3rd
Happy Easter, Passover and long weekend to everyone. Although it was a short week we still crammed a number of things in and had a lovely four days.
We began by introducing the “y” phoneme (smallest unit of sound within a word) and students enjoyed writing their own words containing the “y” phoneme on our Word Wall. Some of the suggestions were "yes", "yucky", "yesterday" and "young". We also questioned why and what makes the pipes go “clang”, observed that the number 9 is a flipped “d" and explored reflections using our new mirrors and manipulative centre. This certainly proved a big hit along with our bunny tower building activity.
Our “Pupils of the Week” were Cole and Mia. We learned that Cole is quite taken with Vultures after learning about them last week when we looked at “V” and watched a short video clip on the SmartBoard. We discovered that Mia's favourite colours are pink and purple - perhaps her favourite phoneme is also "p" ?!?
The Character Trait Assembly celebrated the winners of this month's trait "Honesty" and we congratulate Harry who was selected to receive the award from Room 003. The new trait of "Cooperation" was introduced by some of the other Kindergarten classes and we will be looking closely this month for students that are trying extra hard to demonstrate this over the coming month. Also in the assembly we listened to a heartfelt presentation about the Nicola Kids Triathlon. If you have active kiddo's , want to have a great day out and help a worthwhile charity in support of SickKids Foundation, please click on the link above to find out more.
The Bake Sale was a huge hit this week. Thank you very much for your support towards this initiative, I know that the students loved going up and looking at all the goodies and in total the class raised just shy of $80, AMAZING! As you were probably aware the it was April Fools day on Wednesday so the minimum spend was obviously not $1000. We had fun with the students though by informing them that we may have to give the cakes and cookies back because we didn't raise the target number. There were few worried faces, offers to give back their uneaten cookies willingly and a couple who clued in that we were joking. I mini lesson was then given about the origins of April Fools day and how it came about. Successful April Fools prank played... Check :)
We finished the week with a number of deliveries from the Easter Bunny. Each student was able to locate an egg that had been hidden within in the classroom. .The quickest find was within in 7 seconds and the class worked together really well to help find the final egg that was proving highly illusive in the Drama Centre. I think fun was had by all and everyone completed the hunt enthusiastically and fairly. It was a fantastic afternoon.
Mr Zippy should have come home this week with some funky Easter crafts and your child's reading book. Happy reading and writing, see you on Tuesday.
March 23rd - March 27th
Welcome to my first weekly Blog where I will look to highlight some of the things that we got up to this week in Room 003. Upon talking to many of you, the common answer when you ask your child “What did you do at school today honey?” is often “nothing”. I remember very clearly saying the same thing to my parents when I was little...well, until I was 16 and headed into sixth form ;) So, in an attempt to keep you a little more updated about what we are up to in the classroom it is my plan to keep you informed via this this little weekly review. Enjoy.
We had a good week this week with Didget, Mika’s mom, volunteering on Monday morning to help get us back into the swing of things after March Break. We introduced a new dice game called “Tenzies” which students enjoyed playing. The object of the game is to collect ten dice of the same number. This is the “Tenzie” number and agreed upon before the roll of the first dice. A great game for practicing counting and number recognition. Be sure to check out the rules on my resources page here and play at home. Some students also launched an investigation into the origin of the wood chips around the playscape. Could they have come from the trees nearby? Comparisons were made and some thoughtful questions asked and answered.
The “Pupils of the Week” this week were Daisy and Ethan and we got to learn a little more about them in their presentations that they made to the class. Way to go!
As you probably remember, our weekly Show and Tell has been replaced by our Anticipation Box. Open to Pupils of the Week first and then other students who are interested. It has begun to get some traction with the class who are invited to bring in an item from home that they wish to share with the class. This is placed in the box at the beginning of the day so that that class can "anticipate" what is in the box. This is a great way for students to learn to "wait and see" and builds up an excitement throughout the day. Some contributors this week were Jaylen who spoke about Camp Wabikon and Brandon who presented a special Pokemon card.
The highlight however must be the visit of author Michael Duhmel on Wednesday morning to read his new book “Benjamin” all about the adventures of a pigeon who lives in Toronto. Find out more at his website www.bejaminthepigeon.com The class seemed to enjoy his visit very much and demonstrated some wonderful JW hospitality.
For those of you on Twitter, you would have seen we welcomed a new “addition” to the classroom. A lovely plant to brighten up the Reading Centre and we all had the opportunity to name it as the week progressed. On Friday we had narrowed it down to 16 potential names and held knock out rounds of voting to set up a final between the names “Sparkle” and “Phoebe the Blueberry”. Phoebe took the vote with more than half of the class and we also took this opportunity to explore the concept of “more than” and “less than” while voting. Phoebe is looking forward to being watered next week by the new students of the week. Who will they be? Find out on Monday via Twitter :)
Students completed their Rainbow Wall Writing this week with the focus being on what they did over their March Break and our monthly paintings were also completed. We focused on using our fingers to create different lines, patterns or images and students came up with some very interesting images. Check them out in out gallery that will soon be up and running.
Until next time, I hope you all found this little blog interesting and I look forward to catching you during the week. Plus 8 tomorrow TGI Spring J