Kindergarden Canvas

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ― Aristotle

It’s Okay . . .

Todd Parr wrote a great book called It’s Okay to be Different

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We had fun this afternoon creating artwork in the style of this book. I had the class copy the words “It’s okay to” onto their paper and I helped those who wanted help with the words in the rest of their sentence.

Prior to being hands on with the project, we viewed samples of what other Kindergarten students had done via viewing a blog on the Smartboard (My friend, Ms. Hales, did this project with her class. ) I had students also come up and circle all the sight words we recognized in the other students’ work.

Here are our creations which I have since displayed in the hallway.

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Enjoy your weekend. The sun has made an appearance!

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100’s Day

On Monday March 4th we will be celebrating 100 days of school. We will be doing special activities that day. If you would like to be involved please let me know.

A few of the activities we will be doing are:
– make a crown and decorate it with 100 dots from a bingo dabber
– make a necklace using 100 Fruit Loops
– jump up and down for 100 seconds

If you are able to, please have your child create and bring a collection of 100 items to school. We will then compare the volume and mass of sets of 100.

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Writing Process

It is a challenging process for a Kindergartener to transfer an idea in their head to paper. Throughout the year I scaffold instruction in order for a child to be successful.

In the fall we create framed booklets: a simple pattern with a single word to fill in (a child copies a word or traces over a highlighted word). Children learn that text flows from left to right, there are spaces between words, and there is punctuation at the end of a sentence. Meanwhile I am working on letter identification and the sounds associated with letters. I also do intense teaching of phonological awareness skills – the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds in words. We need to be able to hear the parts of words prior to being able to effectively translate it to print.

By January students generally have a solid grasp of the aforementioned skills. I now set a blank paper before them and model how to get the idea out if their head onto the paper. I start by setting a purpose. I make my instruction explicit. For instance, on Monday we practised the skill of recounting. “Today you are going to practise the skill of recounting. What did you do on the weekend?” I shared with the class some of the things I did. I explained that it is helpful to share your thoughts with a friend as a friend can help elicit information from you and clarify your thinking. I modelled how to do a walk and talk. I took a partner by the hand, we walked and he shared what he did over the weekend. I asked him who and where questions. I then partnered up children and had them do a walk and talk. When I called everyone up to the carpet I highlighted students who asked their partners questions that elicit information. I then randomly called on children to report out what their partner said. Next I modelled on the Smartboard how to do the actual writing. I told the class that my goal is for them to put spaces between words and to use at least one letter to convey a word.

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I said that it is important for me to see your ideas in print and encouraged them to use bubblegum spelling and robot arms to figure out the letters in words. I sent them off to work. Here are some of the results.

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After a child has completed his/her writing he/she needs to read it to two friends, then come read it to me. When a child reads it to me I have a mini conference informing the child what he/she did well. e.g. I noticed that you remembered to put spaces between words. If I notice that a sight word that we have been working on is misspelled
I ask the child to correct it. For instance, last week ‘my’ was one of the sight words we focused on so I asked a child to go back and fix it. Finally we celebrated our hard work by having Author’s Chair.

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Word Work

We are doing word work during our Morning Pages. The class is having fun using special tools within Notebook software. See the photo below where students highlighted words and used a star pen to circle a tricky chunk.

I am having students circle sight words and highlight little words within big words.

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Valentine’s Day

Thank you to everyone for making the day a success. A special thank you to Adam’s family for creating and managing the Valentine Cookie station. Thank you for helping your child with cards and for the special treats. Here are a few pictures from the day.

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Week of the 12th

This week we’ll be focussing on learning how to spell the words to & from. I gave each child a list of names of students in our class. There are paper hearts in the creation station
for those who wish to make their own valentines.

On Thursday we will have a special day. We will start off with our school’s annual Jump Rope for Heart event, which family members are welcome to attend. It is a fun filled event replete with school spirit. Division 10 will
be performing to Feist’s Sesame Street version of the song 1,2,3,4. The class decided to start off the song with dancing, followed by yoga (Sun Salutation series) and finish with skipping. After recess Adam’s mom will come in and help the class ice cookies. We will also be doing a special valentine art activity. In the afternoon
students will go to music. When they return we’ll have snack. If you’d like to send some treats please do so. We’ll finish the day with centres.

I am teaching the class to count in French. Whenever we line up I count in French and get the class to echo back to me. I am also teaching them a French song which involves a lot of movement (I Like to Excercise).

Also in honour of Valentine’s Day I taught the class the chorus to Neil Sedaka’s song, Breaking Up is Hard to Do. As soon as you utter Do Do Do, Down doobie do do down, your child will start grooving along . . .

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Week in Review

Thank you to all the families for coming in for our student led conferences, which were a success. I enjoy that students were able to demonstrate leadership skills and be able to articulate their learning.

Our math unit on mass is now completed. Our next unit will be on volume. For the next week we will be reviewing how to properly form numerals as well as learning how to print Chinese numbers. (I have a booklet students will complete and will send home when done. )

During the conferences several parents had questions about the reading process. I will create a document and post it on the blog. It will be several weeks before I’ll be able to complete it as I am currently working on report cards.

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