This week, the students started to examine the needs of the living things in our classroom. On Monday, we examined our snail habitat and the students started to question if the snails had everything they needed to be healthy and happy. The students noticed that the leaves had dried up and inferred that the snails may need fresh food daily and a light mist of water in order to stay hydrated and fed. They started to ask more questions about what our snails needed during our daily, "I Wonder" session after outdoor inquiry. The students also looked at different types of lines made by snails using loose parts.
The students also looked at the habitat we had for our classroom worms and decided that their home was not big enough. Luckily Felicity the Fairy left us the supplies needed to make a proper worm bin. The students worked to build this worm bin together. When they were done, they helped write out the instructions of how they did this in our gardening centre. During this process the students discussed how worms can help the earth by breaking down organic matter such as vegetables, fruits and even paper to make new soil. We discussed how this soil was filled with nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen which helped plants to grow.
After looking at the plants, worms and snails in our class, the students noticed how all the creatures were all so different and how these differences made them special. During our morning surveys we examined how we were all different but similar at the same time. We all have feelings, we all have family, we all need food, a home, water and air to live. We talked about how because we are all different and have different strengths we can all learn from each other. We played a lot of drama games that challenged others to "guess what we are good at!" We sang songs about being unique and special. As a final writing piece this week the students drew a picture and wrote about one thing that they were good at! We hope you can check out this writing outside of our classroom.
This week, our friend Felicity the Fairy asked us if we could find a living thing to care for in the class. During our daily outdoor exploration the search began! Students found many snail shells in our school garden but only a few held living snails. Upon returning to the classroom the students generated a series of "I Wonder" questions about our new found snail friends. These questions lead our weekly inquiry.
Later in the week, the students found that Felicity the Fairy had left them step by step instructions on how to build a snail terrarium. She also helped answer many of our questions on the snails by bringing us a snail book.
To help us to study even more living things and as a grand opening of our classroom gardening centre, Felicity the Fairy brought us succulent plants and instructions on how to build our very own fairy gardens for the class. The students worked as a team to construct our first fairy garden and then worked at centres with an instructor over the course of the week to create 3 others. While transferring different plants from one container to another the students examined the plants' roots. Through their questioning, they learned that the roots help to anchor the plant and deliver water and nutrients to it.
Throughout the week, students also continued to build their number sense through our daily math routines and hands-on exploration in learning centres. This week as a group we learned the game Race to 20. Here the students examined place value and learned how when a 10s frame is full in the 1s place we trade it in for a group of 10. Students also continued to work on their number formation, pencil grip and fine motor skills through their daily number tracing.
In writing this week, students continued to work on our letter of the week "S" and our word of the week, "you". We played a quick game each day to chant the spelling of this word in silly ways. Student also had the opportunity to work as song writers this week and write a lyric to our classroom lullaby, "This Little Light of Mine." The students also had the opportunity to make a name bracelet with letter beads. We also started working on a class book which will be revealed soon!
In our classroom, instead of just reading stories, and orally telling stories to the students we try to put the students in a story. Each Monday after they have settled in the student read a morning message left to us by one of our classroom characters. This is either from Felicity the Fairy or our friend Lightning the puppet who Felicity has brought to life. This message sets a problem for the student that they would like help with. This week, Lightning was feeling sad because he didn't know how to write any of his letters and he really wanted to learn to write his name like the students had done last week. He asked the students if this week they would be able to teach him the first letter in the alphabet, "A a" and the sound that it makes. Felicity the Fairy said if we worked hard to teach Lightning she would bring a gift from Fairyland for us to reward us for our hard work. This week she brought us the materials we needed to make our own fairies.
Each morning when the students walked in, after they had put away their indoor shoes, backpacks and special folders, the students worked quietly on hands-on letter exercises. They built and practised their names and the letter A in a variety of ways. We also learned that if we held a small shell with our baby finger, ring finger and middle finger it can help us to grip our pencil properly. When the students had worked on this activity for a couple of minutes they settled down on the carpet to read letter books.
During outdoor inquiry this week, Felicity the Fairy encouraged us to find something we found magical in nature. The students found a variety of loose parts in nature which we sorted together on the pavement outside. The students guessed if I was sorting these objects by colour, size or shape. As many of them collected a variety of sticks which they believed to have magical powers, we used these sticks to play a game called, "This is a stick...but it is not a stick it is a...(and used our imagination to transform it into something else)." Something else we found outside were living things...cicadas in particular. The students carefully cared for the cicada by returning it to a nearby tree.
In the afternoons, after they came in from lunch the students were greeted with spa music. This helps to calm them down after a busy play session. After changing into their indoor shoes the students settled into our math routine. They have the opportunity to work on hands-on math activities before coming to the carpet for our mini lesson. This week we have been working on counting how many days we have been in school using a giant tens-frame on the carpet and singing our numbers to 20 through dance and movement. Whenever the students are done, they have a chance to rest and read number books on the carpet.
Rocking our Routines
This week the students in room 128 have done a fantastic job in familiarizing themselves with our classroom routines. Each morning when they come in they have been working on independently taking out their special folders from their backpack and putting it in the right bin. They have also worked to change into their indoor shoes and to sign in before coming to the carpet.
Other routines the students have been working on have been to listen to their bodies when they are hungry or need to go to the bathroom. We have worked on the steps each day on what to do when you have that "gotta go" feeling including the importance of washing our hands when we are done. Students have also learned that they can put one finger up during a lesson to give me a secret signals that they have to go to the bathroom or put up two fingers if they are thirsty. Students have an opportunity to have their snack during our morning and afternoon centres time. They learned this week that when they have had their snack they can move their magnet to the checkmark board. This helps our Kindergarten Team keep track of who may still have a rumbly tummy.
The students in room 128 also discovered that we had a series of characters living in our class this year. A fairy named Felicity came and brought a puppet who did not have a name to life. The students worked together to vote on different names for our new friend. After the results were tallied, Lightning was the winning name chosen for our green monster friend.
Felicity the Fairy really wanted to get to know all the names of our students. She gave the students a challenge to cover their names from natural material found in our school garden. The students worked hard to find natural materials and make their name cards.
As the students found natural material to make their name tags we sorted what we found. The students played "Guess My Sorting Rule" and uncovered I had sorted the sticks, leaves and wood chips by colour, size and shape. We also looked at how some of the sticks were curvy and how some were straight and this was the same as the lines in our names.
On Friday, when the students had finished decorating their names, Felicity the Fairy left us a gift to uncover in our school garden. They were stones with our names on them and a book. We found out that these stones were worry stones and whenever we felt worried in the class we could hold it to our heart and it would make us feel better.
For the first week of school, the Kindergarten students will be meeting each morning in the Runnymede/Mountview school garden. Our Kindergarten team looks forward to seeing you there at 8:30 am. As the bell rings at 8:45am for entry, the students will have time to play together and parents will have time to take pictures before saying their goodbyes and entering the building. Look forward to seeing you there!
Thanks to our hard work from the construction team, our supportive administration, the caretaking staff, our dedicated kindergarten team, parent council and over twenty Mountview current parents and alumni...our classroom is up and running! The fact that we were able to assemble this classroom in less than 24 hours speaks to the strength and dedication of our community. Thank you to all who were involved!