Sunday, 30 September 2012

Learning Through is REALLY happening!

I know I've told you before. I will tell you again. I love this program. I love that children aren't forced to sit at a 'math center' and count. I love that children aren't forced to sit at a 'writing center' and write. But yet-they still go to these centers and CHOOSE to do these things.

I love that when they think they are just sitting at a table playing with jewels-they are actually learning. Learning things that would have been "taught" to them anyways, but in our classroom they are learning when they are interested in learning. Also-they are helping teach their peers. 


I headed over to our Hands On Thinking Center (Math) to find the kids sorting the jewels. Up until this point in time-they had mostly been just looking at the jewels, admiring their beauty. Some of them would put them on a laminated ten frame we have in the center. But this particular day I walked over to find one child had sorted her bag of jewels. She had sorted them by colour, and then by shape. She had discovered a math skill all on her own-and now we could really roll with this whole sorting thing!

I also observed this:

The little boy sitting next to her had completely patterned his bag of jewels! On their own, based on their own interest and idea of what they wanted to do with the jewels, we had both patterning and sorting. A-MA-ZINGGGGGGG!

We asked these children to share with their classmates what they had created while playing-and our class has been sorting and patterning ever since. :)

During outside play at the end of the day on Friday, I took my camera out-hoping to catch something wonderful. They never disappoint!

This little guy had collected stones and patterned them in a big/little/big/little (AB) pattern. He was of course, very proud of his work! There was also a group of girls that had patterned red leaf/green leaf, and stick/stone. It's kind of magical to see them playing and learning and not even realizing it's happening! :)
Now that the class is hooked on patterning, we will be planning some patterning activities for this week. Providing them with materials to pattern with, and allowing them some time to share their amazing work with their classmates. The sharing segment works wonders. The children see what their classmates have done-we provide them with the vocabulary to go along with their work-and the desire to pattern spreads like wildfire.
Done for tonight. It`s a seriously big night in my world. I am a t.v. addict. There. I said it. I am. My favourite show season premiers tonight. Dexter. (every show I watch on t.v. is my favourite show f.y.i.) I'm off to prepare my snack, and work on our new fall sensory bin. Which I will photograph being manipulated this week.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

5 Reasons I Love Fall....

Reason #1-Pumpkin Spice Latte. Salted Caramel Mocha. Pumpkin Steamer. Salted White Hot Chocolate. It's the season I return to drinking hot beverages at Starbucks instead of the iced coffee drinks.

Reason #2- Crisp. Cool. Amazing. Air.

Reason #3-The fair. Where I am from. We have a fun little fair. The schools in our county are all closed for the day. The kids get free passes to the fair. It is called Young Canada Day. They can go to the fair, experience the culture of our area, ride rides, show school spirit. There are teams from each school that compete in various sporting events like cheerleading, road races, tug of war. The fair lasts a week but the excitement of Young Canada Day resonates for months.

Reason #4-We are only 1 season away from Christmas.

Reason #5-Opportunity to Learn. As school starts, the temperatures are still generally very warm here. So fall tends to be the first real change of temperatures that the kids experience during the school year. It's sometimes a gradual change, sometimes not. It gets them talking about the weather because it is different from what it has been.

A lady bug found by one of the other kinders in another class during our outdoor play period.

There is also such a noticeable change is surroundings. The leaves change colour and then begin to fall off. The kids notice these things, and therefore want to talk and learn about them. This idea works perfectly with the ELK program. Child directed. Child guided. Child initiated learning.

This season change has done just that for our kinders! The first cool day turned out to be a COLD day. 2 degrees!! We went from shorts to winter coats for that day! Insanity!

It did get them asking questions and got us answering questions. At the end of each school day we have about 25 minutes of outdoor play. Sometimes we just play on the climbers. Sometimes we have outdoor tasks. Their outdoor task this particular day was to find some fall items. Like a scavenger hunt only we didn't tell them what they had to find. They just had to tell us what they found that was fall-like.

Most of them brought us leaves. Some of them pointed at the trees and said things like "I see signs of fall because some leaves on that tree are green, and some are red." or "I see leaves on the ground that fell off the tree."

The next day-many of them collected leaves that they brought in and set on our discovery table. This made for a good sensory exploration which many of them documented in their discovery journals. We also have some milkweed and cattails on our discovery table right now. Some drew those. Some traced their leaves!

We decided to read them a book about textures. It included some descriptive words about textures (soft, hard, rough and smooth). It also had a portion on rubbings. We put rubbing materials out and many of them got right to making their own leaf rubbings.

Their abilities amaze me. Sitting watching them do the rubbings, listening to their conversations amazes me. I don't know why. Because I know they are smart. They outsmart me everyday. I loved hearing them helping their friends. "You aren't pushing hard enough to make a leaf. Push harder. You did it!" I love hearing them encourage one another. They take such pride in their work. I love that too. We are really encouraging them to write their name on all their work. All we ask is they try. Even if it's only the first letter and doesn't end up looking like anything. Everyone gets A for effort. Today one of our JK kids wrote his whole name. All 5 letters. PROUD EDUCATOR MOMENT meets PROUD CHILD MOMENT! great. super.wicked. feeling. I love my job.
Another leaf activity we have done already was our leaf creations at our production center. I glued one leaf on each piece of paper I had, and set them on the production paper along with some pencil crayons. I showed the kids what would be in the production center and told them they could turn their leaf into anything they wanted.
This one was a firefighter. Amazing detail. The red on top (his hard hat of course) The black squiggly lines on the right hand side (his fire hose). You can't see it but around the stem of the leaf-there is one red boot. He also has hands and arms, and of course those big eyes and a smile! :) All of this from one of our JK students. I love this one a lot because as a quick observation for this child I was able to jot down in the Social/Personal domain of the E.L.E.C.T. Document: 3.1-recognize people in their community and talk about what they do.
Easy Peasy. Lemon Squeezey. Observation noted, and can be looked back on for future reporting. (perhaps one day i'll blog about how I document observations.)
This one was a boyfriend. HA HA. The girl sitting next to this child drew a Princess, and so this little girl drew a boyfriend for the princess! :)
This one is a butterfly. Some of them are still very interested in the butterfly life cycle that is a part of our discovery center right now!
A leaf found by one of our SK boys that had him thinking hard about what made those little holes.
Ramble. Ramble. Ramble.
Sorry. Just wanted to squeeze in a bunch of fall ideas. It's so easy to get caught up in all the learning that is to be had during the most wonderful season.
Sidenote. If you came here looking for fall programming ideas I hope the rubbings helped. There are so many avenues you could explore. Our class is just beginning so I will be sure to post more as they occur! This blog post is part of a Fall Blog Hop over at the Teaching My 3 Blog. You could hop over there to gather more fall planning ideas! Enjoy! :)


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Challenged Learning

We have a group of kids who never. ever. want to leave the blocks.

It is super that they love to build. BUT.

They had stopped building. They would come on Monday-build a super fantastic awesomely amazing transportation device of some kind or another, and then ask us to save it to work on next learning block, and they would never actually work on it. They would keep it 100% the same, drive it around and then want to save it again and again and again. SO.

The Block Challenge.

Before our center play yesterday we explained to the whole kinder class that blocks would be open and available to be used-on the condition that they were participating in the block challenge.

The only rules to the block challenge: they had to build a structure of some sort. They had to draw their structure after they were done building it. They had to write a word about their structure.

This is a structure being built.

It worked sooooooo well! The 'regulars' went right to the block center. They built, taking their time-to make it extra amazingly awesome. They went right away to get their paper and writing materials and they got to work. We had towers, we had houses and we even had a museum!! :)

The best thing about this was that we had 3 children I had never observed playing in blocks before-taking part in the block challenge!

We now have all of the block challenge writing pieces, displayed in our "Look What I Made" binder. We quickly decided that the "Look What I Made" binder would be a good way to 'save' their work that they are proud of without actually taking the materials out of the hands of other children who could be using them. So-anything they want to save now, gets a photograph taken, and they have to write a word or sentence about it and it is displayed in the binder!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pete the Cat Freebie!!

So earlier on in the life of this blog-before I was truly playing to learn in kindergarten, I blogged about Pete the Cat. If you missed it. Find it here!!

I love Pete the Cat. Not only do I love Pete the Cat, but every human I've ever shared it with-has also loved Pete the Cat. I shared it with the kinders in our class a week ago, on a Friday afternoon. It's one of those books. You know the type. High energy, catchy phrasing and a CD to go along with it that makes the whole class go crazy with rock and roll dance moves. Hence why it tends to be a FRIDAY AFTERNOON activity.

The kids loved it. Obviously.

So-we did it again today. Twice.

I have zero plans tonight and my own children and sound asleep, and my husband has devoted himself to a very manly weekend of hunting ducks, so I sit here blogging.

While the kinders were dancing today, and walking along and singing Pete's song, I got an idea to make a kindergarten class edition of Pete the Cat. The remix you could say.

So tonight while  avoiding doing the laundry I designed a template that I will SHARE! FOR FREE. Because that is how I roll.

I hope to use this template this week. I think if we put the Pete the Cat CD on repeat-their creative juices would really get flowing, and this book would be amazing and fun, and a real learning activity!

I can think of like 5 more things off the top of my head that I want to do with a book they are enjoying sooooo much. But I'll save those, along with an update of how this book making goes, for another post.

 It is Friday night after all. See you next week.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Importance of Getting Dirty and Clean.

Sand and Water play. It's where it's at in our room.
We don't have too many any kids that say "No way! I will not play in the sand and water."
Each of them have their preference.
There are some kids that will just scoop dirt but never really make their hands touch it, and there are some kids that can't stand having a drop of water on their clothes and will leave water play as soon as it gets sloppy. That's okay. It is an important option to have available.

Here's why.

It promotes cooperative play. Our sand and water tables each hold 4 children. That is what we allow in the centers at any given time. There are only so many accessories in those tables, and they have to learn to share them. Kindergarten Rules.

The amount of science and math they learn from sand and water play would amaze you! They learn to measure and pour. They learn the different consistency of the materials. How the sand is different from the water, how the water feels with bubbles in it vs. how it feels with no bubbles. Our kinders described it to me as "fuzzy with bubbles" and "soft with bubbles".

Right now our sand table looks like this:

Our sand table started off with traditional sand toys. Buckets, shovels, rakes etc. This week my teaching partner switched it up to this. They are loving it! :) I observed a boy sticking his fingers in the sand to make little holes and when I said "What are you making?" he said "pot holes." so matter-of-factly. They have made roads, and hills, a mountain and even a tunnel! Their imaginations are going wild!!!!! So-in addition to the math/science and cooperation, they are using their creativity.
Our water table did look like this:
Traditional water play toys. It started off with no bubbles, and then we added bubbles, and now those toys are put away. We now have a set of foam alphabet shapes. They float and they stick to the sides of the water table. Both things that our kinders discovered their first day using the materials. I also witnessed a child making  an alphabet sandwich today! He had about 10 letters all stacked, pretending to eat it, and he called it an alphabet sandwich! <-----again. Creative? I think so.
Is it messy? Yes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
See the pretty little water table up there^? Well-it may look absolutely state of the art-but don't be fooled. It's by far the most useless piece of equipment if we are measuring its convenience. It is so hard to empty. It has a totally inefficient tap to drain it. BUT-----again. It's worth it. They love it. They use it. They learn from it.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Have you read about what we are doing in our discovery center these days? If not-you can catch up here !

We wanted to extend this a bit-and see where our kinders minds take us next. So we decided to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Most people know about this book-if you have been living in the dark-STEP INTO THE LIGHT! It's super. While teaching about the life cycle of a butterfly, it also carries a bunch of other teachable topics. There is opportunity to learn counting and the days of the week, there is potential to discuss nutrition, whats healthy vs. whats unhealthy and the effects it will have on our bodies

It also opens the window of opportunity to discuss self esteem with the children. That is why it is one of my favourite stories to read to my own children. I love conversing with them about transforming from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, about how everyone has the opportunity-even people who start out as "unremarkable caterpillars", to realize their full potential and become amazing, beautiful, complex beings, just like the butterfly.

Well I read it to the kinders based only on the fact that we have our own caterpillars transforming in our classroom currently. I was hoping they would make the connection to our discovery center-and they did!

They also noted-that our caterpillars looked differently then the very hungry caterpillar. Ours are yellow and black striped, Eric Carle's is green with a red head! Only 2 weeks into the school year and their observational skills are blossoming!!

To extend this a little-we provided the class with materials at our production center (arts and crafts), to make their very own hungry caterpillar. They had brown paper bags, scissors, a picture of a caterpillar, grocery flyers, and glue. This is what they made:

A little grocery shopping bag for the caterpillar with whatever the children thought he would like it eat!
Also, all the caterpillar and butterfly talk seeped out into the other centres.
We had noticed that many of our children need help with their cutting skills. They were wanting to use scissors and we know how great that is for them to practice, but we were using SOOOOO much paper. So we opened up playdough, and only put out scissors to go with it. They would cut that playdough until the cows come home.

I overheard 2 children sitting, and cutting playdough, building a caterpillar.

Some spectacular sounding out of the word Caterpillar by one of our kiddos! Along with an awesome drawing of the very hungry caterpillar! :) We are making huge steps towards success already! They are learning through playing with the chalk!
And finally-two of the journals. We don't as a rule make the children do journals, but we leave them open on our Graphic Communication table (writing center) and allow them to come and go as they please. Most of them do it without being asked-sometimes we put the bug in their ear to inspire them! We have science journals and writing journals. These masterpieces are part of our science journals!

The top one a cocoon, and the bottom one, of course a beautiful Monarch! :) I am loving the interpretations of whats happening in our room!

We are Krazy for Katerpillars in Kindergarten. (hmmmm...sounds like a bulletin board.)

Friday, 14 September 2012

This is my family....


Super week in our room! :) Our routines are getting faster-the kids are starting to know what is expected of them during transitions and are doing it with less reminders.

Our classroom is coming together one piece of furniture at a time. Today our tables and chairs came into our room! We have matching tables and chairs-that are the right size for our little guys! :)

Our kids even got some computer time today in the library-something they all look forward to! Each time I tell them our library teacher is coming I am bombarded with "Is it com-pooters?????"

We did a lot of great things this week. We have begun observation recording. We painted today for the first time! We made our first big book as a class together, that will hopefully be laminated next week and added to our hands on thinking books next week. We practiced our routines, and our ability to play cooperatively in all of our centers.

We also worked on these:

In our writing folders we encouraged the children to introduce us to their families. Some children did. Some children didn't. That's okay. It gave us a chance to see what stage the children were at in their drawings.
They also did self portraits.

Two examples of self portraits being worked on by JK students. We were impressed!
We also were able to start working on concepts of print in our morning message this week.
Productive week.
Job well done.
Now I am off for the weekend. So ill see you Monday! :)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Butterfly Extentions....

Alright so the other day I was here telling you all about our Discovery Center!

We still have caterpillars but all of our beautiful monarchs have been released into the great wide open.

Yesterday fantastic things happened in our world! The kids are really getting into this whole bug thing.

It started when one little girl found a classroom critter. We caught it very gently, in a bug container and put it on display in the discovery center.

Soon enough-kids were gravitating towards it. We had ourselves a cricket!

This child sat in a chair staring at the cricket for about 5 minutes before she picked up this blue "diamond" we had sitting near discovery in our hands on thinking center (math). The kids have been sorting the diamonds, and rocks and other materials. But she grabbed the diamond and was pointing it at the cricket. When I asked her what she was doing she said "seeing if he can see the blue one."
She then picked up a red diamond and pointed both diamonds at the cricket and exclaimed "Look! Now he's a shiny purple one!"
Cue the epic background music. She sat down at a center. Without being persuaded to do so, and made her own observations! The discovery center is right by a window so the light reflecting off the two diamonds and back onto the crickets home-made the cricket look kind of purple!
This cricket led to fantastic conversation.
After recess the cricket was placed on the production (art) table, and supplies were left at the table. Children sat down, and drew the cricket! Some of them drew a cricket and a dog. Some of them drew their dad. But still-some of them drew a cricket!!!

Above is the process, and then the product. Have I told you yet that I love my job?
While sitting with the small groups that came and went to the production center, they asked many questions. I started this conversation by saying "I wonder if the cricket likes it in there?" This was followed by amazing inquiry. Such as, but not limited to:
"I wonder if he drinks coffee?"
"I wonder if he eats animal food?"
"I wonder if he walks?" and then was followed by a shrieking "He does walk!!!!!" when he moved.
"I wonder how he gets away from predators?" (Yes, I'm serious. First week of school and some of our kinders are using the word predators!!) :)
"I wonder if he is sad?"
"I wonder if he likes cookies?"
And my favourite statement: "He's cricketing!!!!!!!!" upon hearing him make his cricket noises!
The kids are seriously interested in discovery.
We also had a guest speaker today. Our vice principal brought in part of his butterfly collection to show our class.

Beautiful. The kids learned some new vocabulary from our speaker. He taught them the words camouflage and metamorphosis, as they pertain to butterflies! :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


As stated up there ^ .......Whoa.

Overload today. Busy. Busy. Busy kinders. Our day today ran so smoothly in the morning, and by second recess it seemed to fall apart. We had kids melting down, we had kids laying on the floor during a dance lesson being taught by the Grade 8 kids. Today I must have said "This is not a choice." 30 417 times. We are all about giving choices, but some things, are just not optional. Like walking. to the library.

Phew! I feel better now. Thank you for allowing me to have my own mini meltdown. Tomorrow will be better.

So! I promised I would be here with a super duper addition to our classroom. Please keep in mind that our room is STILL not complete. We are waiting for tables, easles, smart board etc. Lots of things still to come. We are waiting patiently and making do with what we have for now.

Our book nook. Remember the little area we had dreamt would become an inviting little corner for our kids to settle in with a book? Well it is slowly becoming that vision!

Our reading tent, and a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree!!!
We added the tent first. My lovely husband built it for us :) super grateful. The kids lived in it the first day. With books. Turning pages. Having conversations. It was the stuff kindergarten staff dreams are made of. No one had to be coerced to read a book. They went in on their own. Flipped pages. Exchanged the books for new ones.
The next day for our literacy circle in the morning we introduced the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. If you have ever read a children's book. It was probably this one. I asked the kids to look around when the story was done and see if they noticed anything from the book in our classroom. I got answers like "The alphabet!!" "Words!!" and then finally "A Coconut TREE!!!!!!!!!" I told the children we could decorate it, by making it its own set of letters.
The kids have been sitting under it reading. They have asked if we can make some coconuts for it-but so far none of them have made one.
We also have Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3-on the agenda for the week. Our literacy focus this week has been the alphabet. Each day we have been reading alphabet books in the morning , and number books in the afternoon. The kids have been counting various things around the room and today during nutrition break we overheard them singing the A,B,C's to their lunch monitors! SUCCESS!
Our discovery center is seriously blossoming. I will be back tomorrow to tell you more about the extentions on the butterfly life cycle we have happening!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Discovery Center Excitement!

I know today was officially the first day with a full class but we already have uber exciting things happening in our room! :)

Some of those exciting things are happening in our Discovery Center! This is what is normally known as Science! :)

We put out a little butterfly tent on Friday in our Discovery Centre with some caterpillars, a plant, and some pupa in it. We came to school this morning to see 2 beautiful Monarch Butterflies hatched! We want some photo documentation of this to display in our classroom, and for the children to reflect on, since it all happened so quickly.

Here are some photos I took!

This was so amazing! The chrysalis right before the monarch broke out!
One of the little caterpillars that are crawling around in our tent!
A monarch right after we tagged him. Wondering about the importance of tagging a monarch. Check this out!
The pupa leftovers.
Both of our monarchs ready to be released!
You can see what an exciting day this must have been. Now I will say-my teaching partner and I were excited to see the butterflies this morning but we really wanted to test the observational abilities of our kinders. Soooooo-as hard as it was, we didn`t say anything and sure enough-as soon as we went to our centers to learn-a little girl noticed! We had a table available this morning for children to document what they were seeing in the discovery center-and they took full advantage of the center. We left out paper, crayons and pencil crayons, and many of them sat down and tried their hardest at creating an observation.

This was one of the observations that was documented by an SK student. Caterpillar and Butterfly-both positioned at the top of the paper, as this is exactly where she observed them to be in the tent.
We really wanted their observations to be their own. We said very little unless we were asked questions. We will put out some butterfly life cycle books, books about caterpillars etc. to expand on their inquiry.
All of these exciting things that are happening really have me anxious to see what this year will bring! :)
If you have any suggestions on how we could expand on this in our room. Please, please leave me a comment! I LOVE suggestions!! :)
I`ll be back tomorrow to show you what my awesome husby has helped me with for the classroom! :)


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Introducing Routines and Welcoming Kinders....

Hello Readers! I am a couple of days late in posting-and please excuse me. I have been seriously exhausted.

I am not sure if it's because I had gotten into my summer routine-and my tiredness is due to a change in that routine-or if it is because kinders are just really exhausting little people.

I have a feeling my body will adjust to this change and I wont be so dead tired every night.

So Thursday/Friday we met our class! Half of them came each day. Monday we will have all 23 together! The first two days were mirror images of one another. We wanted to introduce our expectations, welcome them to the room and give them a tour of the school, as well as try to make them feel comfortable being away from their parents and at a big new school!

We started the days with a book that is used frequently in the first days of school in many kinder classes around the world. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. If you aren't a teacher but have kids of your own, and don't already own this. BUY IT! It's an adorable story-with the power to change the course of their transition into school (or daycare!).

Meet Chester:

The book sitting beside Chester is The Kissing Hand! I can't take credit for this fabulous guy! He's a raccoon puppet bought by the teacher I work with! Super, Super Idea! The children loved him! We used Chester for several things.
We introduced him, and then went on a scavenger hunt of sorts around our classroom. Chester had left little notes in each of our play centers explaining what could be done in each center and what the expectations were in those centers. Each letter directed the kids to the next center. They were excited about Chester leaving them notes.
The next help we received from our classroom helper was his leading us around the school! Our school is a big confusing area of winding halls and rooms-to me. So I can only imagine how overwhelming it might be for the kinders. Chester had left handprints (kissing hand) on important places in the school. Each hand contained a clue about where to go next. Our important places were the office, the computer lab, the gym, the library, the janitors room, the water fountain, the resource room and the vice principals office.
The children got to meet many important people in the school and get a feel for where everything was-even though this is something that will take a while for them.
Lastly-the children were told of how Chester LOVE LOVES listening to stories. We told them that anytime they wanted to-they could read or picture walk with Chester by their side. I can't wait to see this happen.
Tours and changing from inside shoes to outside shoes and back again took up the bulk of our day. I did take some pictures of the other things we did. I will post with a brief explanation.
A student working on their Chester Raccoon headband. We coloured and decorated and wore them on our tour around the school!

Exploring our sand and water sensory tables! This was a big BIG hit!
Imaginations are already being used in Kinder room 15! :) Playdough center creativity-2 snakes! :)
So much more happened that wasn't caught on camera. We made kissing hand hand prints for moms and dads with a kissing hand poem attached, we explored our outdoor play space and we all got to share our favourite thing about the first day of school.
We are in for a super year. :)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

First Freebie! Rules and Expectations!

Alright-I apologize in advance for whatever this blog may lack today. I have a kazillion things going tonight. One of which includes cutting out over 100 feet of laminated goodies for our kindergarten program! This is what I'm working on:

Yep-that's a pile of laminated goodness. Those letters? Our playdough place mats I made! My hope is that the kids will explore them by rolling playdough out to make the letters! :)

Tomorrow we have half of our kinders in class! The other half come Friday! (Gradual Entry). We have a whole bunch of good stuff planned for them! It's really important to us that we establish rules and routines right away. While deciding what would be important to us in the class-we were discussing use of materials and toys in the room-and we began laughing and chatting about how some of the materials may be new for some of our kids! Example: Glue and scissors. We want to teach them right away the safe way to hold scissors and the proper way to use glue to minimize the waste that happens. Alarms went off in my head about a song I learned wayyyyyy back in my college days of gathering resources to make a resource binder. I am glad to say that I put that resource binder to good use-by digging it out of storage and finding my little cue cards with songs on them.

I knew I had a catchy song to teach our expectations with the glue. I typed it up. Added some pretty clip art, printed it and then laminated it, and tomorrow morning we will hang it above our art cart-and teach it to the children.

So for my faithful readers: My very first freebie! It's  the poster I made! You can laminate it and hang it above your art centre, you can introduce it in your circle, or you can just get that little jingle stuck in your head and be singing it all day long (that will get the point across too!)

My clip art cred goes to Discovery School ! and I can't say whom gets credit for the cute little songs as I think it's just one of those cute little rhymes passed down for years! :)

Hope you enjoy it!

I'd love to share my place mat freebie with you too! Comment if you are interested in the place mat and if I get a few interested people-I would be happy to make that my next freebie!

Wish me luck cutting out 100 feet of laminated goodness.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Parent/Teacher Entry Conferences....

Well. A picture of me on my first day of kindergarten!

Everyone needs a picture on the first day of school right? ;)

We didn't have regular classes today in the Kindergarten room, as we have 2 days of Parent/Teacher Entry Conferences.

Basically this means-parents of our Junior Kinders come in with their child-meet both the teacher and I and go over some "stuff". This "stuff" consists of our policies on pick up, volunteer information (for any parents who are willing and able to volunteer with our class), pick up and drop off times, allergies, and basic information about their child.

These conferences also consisted of an assessment of where these JK's are at. Concepts of Print, whether speech should be addressed, and printing of their names.

The conference also allows us a quick peek into family dynamic, and their personalities!

We also opted to take a picture to document how tall they were when they started kindergarten! :) We kind of really have a frog theme going in our class this year! The frog's were a hit with the JK's who came in today. This is how we documented height:

This measured their height in a non standard form. Each child walked up to the frogs-stood beside them on the right hand side and we counted together "how many frogs tall" they were. At the end of the year we can have them stand back against our frogs and see how they have grown! Most exclaimed with "I'm 7 frogs tall mom!!" Completely adorable.
We also had them sign in. This was an easy way to get them to attempt to print their own names-without them feeling pressure or feeling like they were being tested.
We made a WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN chart-where upon entering the room they were directed to "print their name" so we could see who is going to be in our class!
This gave us an idea of where they are at in terms of being able to print letters.
Every child who was in, was shown their cubby (I observed this to be one of the most exciting things for them. Each of them were excited to see they had their own cubby-with their name in it.)
We have more of these conferences tomorrow and then the real fun begins! :)
Looking forward to a fantastic year with our divas, our shy guys, our sassafrasses and our spitfires. :)

Monday, 3 September 2012

'Twas the night before kindergarten.....

After what has seemed like the longest half of a summer ever-it is the night before my first day of kindergarten. Kind of. :)

I hate to wish summer away-and I am more then grateful that I was able to spend hours and hours with my children and husby this August-BUT i have been counting down the days until tomorrow morning.

I am not sure if I explained this all to you before-but this career move is something that I have been working at for a long time. It started in my second year of post secondary at Fanshawe College. It was being whispered about in the ECE community that the government was thinking of instating Early Learning in Kindergarten classes-and I immediately got excited. As details emerged-the excitement grew. I graduated in 2005 and immediately got hired at a daycare-the program was not yet in schools. I worked for several years at the daycare-gaining experience. I supervised an After-School program, I worked with toddlers, infants and preschoolers, building my knowledge on early learning. I volunteered at 2 different schools in their kindergarten classes, I made connections, I worked on the casual list to get my name in the schools and to meet principals, I crossed my fingers hard and I worked harder to get an interview-and here I am! :)

I feel ready and excited to finally be doing what it is that I have dreamt of doing for the last 8 years.

I feel relief and excitement over the teacher I have been paired with. So far-we mesh well. We share many of the same opinions and thoughts on the program, and I think our strengths and weaknesses will compliment one another. I feel optimistic about our ability to allow these kinders to grow and learn through inquiry and play.

AND---I feel uber excited about this blog! Slowly-my numbers are growing. People are reading it! And it can't just be my mom-because no matter how much she loves me-she would not view my blog over 1000 times to read the same 6 posts! :) So that means-there are more of you!

I encourage and BEG you to keep coming back. I can't wait to share our class with you. I hope you take ideas from this blog-and use them in your own class-or with your own children. I also hope you share ideas with me :) I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog. Comments excite me like nothing else :)

See you back here tomorrow with my full report on MY FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN! :)

(We are meeting some of the sweet Junior Kinders and their parents tomorrow for Parent/Teacher Kindergarten Entry Conferences.)