We have been fortunate enough to have UBC students come and volunteer to teach us about healthy eating. Our December activity was to make a healthy snowman out of banana slices, pretzel sticks, pomegranate seeds, currants for eyes and a tiny carrot slice for a nose. Here is a collage of our edible snow people.
Our students have been building increasingly complex structures with wooden blocks. In December, we started using Keva planks that are all uniform in shape and size. I once asked whether that would restrict creativity by using blocks that are all the same. Now I know that the opposite happens. Instead of searching for a particular piece, students are focussed on thinking about what they are building and how they will build it. Keva towers are taller than the children, and we taking slow-motion videos as we knock down the towers. I will include new photos of Keva towers after we go back to school this week.
This is our school compost bin beside our primary playground. Parents are welcome to toss apple cores, vegetable skins, orange and banana peels or other organic material directly into the bin.
We learned that this brown banana peel is yummy worm food. Worms will eat the banana peel and produce rich dirt and compost material that will be used in our school garden.
We then went back into the classroom and took a closer look at worms that Nikoo brought for us to observe. Nikoo also read us ‘Diary of a Worm.’
Some of us were brave enough to gently handle the worms. Ms. Yonka remembers playing with worms and frogs as a child. I was happy just observing the worms with a magnifying glass.
When we look at the beautiful trees and plants in our schoolyard, Nikoo reminded us to remember to thank the worms for recycling materials andy producing the rich soil necessary for plants to grow. Thank you, Nikoo, for this great lesson.
Ms. Kathy has started Roots of Empathy lessons with Division 10. We have Ms. Sophie visit once a month with Baby Matthieu, and we are learning about how a baby grows, what a baby needs, and how to have empathy for others. We had our first visit with Baby Matthieu on November 2 and he is SO cute! He did not cry at all during the entire visit. Please check the bulletin board in the library just beside our classroom for updates about our Roots of Empathy program.
During centres time, students have free choice within the classroom. I have some students who love to read books, some who love to play with Lego, and some who enjoy building with loose parts. Loose parts are small items that can be used for making patterns, pictures or creative arrangements.
During their time playing together, students are learning about how the world works. They learn how to balance blocks together so their tower does not fall. We may have the beginnings of an architect or a carpenter. We test out what keys match 6 different locks. We may have a future locksmith in our group. Many of the students enjoy telling stories and looking at books. We may have future authors, writers and teachers. As we play and discover, we learn more each day.
We are so fortunate to be able to continue our partnership with Nikoo from SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation). Over the course of the year, Nikoo teaches us lessons about our school garden, and shares her passion and extensive knowledge about growing plants as well as growing minds. Division 10 had a great time learning about seeds, and also safely tasting lettuce and calendula petals from the school garden.
Thank you for bringing your children to school on time and ready to learn! If you happen to arrive later than 9:05 a.m., please check in at the school office with your child for a late slip. Our school principal, Ms. Thomas, is really keen on having all the students in the school arrive on time, and maintain excellent attendance throughout the school year.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be gym days for kindergarten this year. We will have gym class after recess from 11:00 to 11:50 p.m. On those days, please have your child wear runners to school, as well as comfortable clothing. Children with long hair will be asked to tie up their hair so they can see better and be safe. Mr. Costea also asks students to take off any jewelry that might get caught during activities or games in the gym. Please ask your child what colour group they are in for gym class. After running warm-up laps, students organize themselves and sit in four groups as they get ready for learning in the gym.
We have already been in class for one week, and Wednesday, September 13, 2017 is our first full day of school! Over the last week, we have already read several stories together. I believe books are a great way to extend oral language for students and to also introduce new concepts.