This week the students walked into a newly set-up classroom with a whole new set of routines and they were incredible. It was as if both kindergarten classes had been together all along.
We started our week off with a gift from our classroom fairy. She let us know that she had heard how amazing we were at caring for each other so she decided to bring us a classroom pet to care for. She also let us know that the classroom pet was going to go through a big change, just as our class had. She left us a song about the characteristics of living things and had us guess what the living thing was. We learned in the song that insects have 6 legs and 3 body parts. When we saw that this was one of the clues about our pet we guessed it was an insect. A few students shared that caterpillars went through a big change. They guessed our pet correctly!
The more we studied our caterpillars and the life cycle of a butterfly, the more it made us think of patterns in nature. The students found repeating segments on the caterpillars and made caterpillar patterns with 2D pattern blocks. Students spoke about how the life cycle is a pattern that repeats over and over again. They acted out this process in song, through drama and drew this process.
Students explored symmetry and reviewed their primary and secondary colours while making different butterfly art projects.
Students also wrote about what they had learned about the butterfly life cycles. It was wonderful to see so many ages and stages of writing. Some students worked on their pencil grip by holding a small magic crystal in their hands and wrapping three fingers around it. This helped them hold their marker with a pincer grip.
Our senior kindergarten students started sounding out their words and copied scribed sentences about the butterfly life cycle. The junior kindergarten students worked on letter recognition and fine motor skills by tracing over words relating to the butterfly life cycle. We also incorporated math and shapes as they created symmetrical butterfly art. As we played with shapes we ran out of hexagons. Students learned they could put two trapezoids together and three rhombuses together to make hexagons.
What a week filled with enthusiasm and new learning. We can't wait to see what next week brings.
This week our theme was caring for each other and treating people with kindness. In our first read aloud we reflected on how if we want to care for others we have to care for ourselves too. We read a beautiful story called, "I am Enough." After we had done this, we made self-portraits out of tree stumps and objects from nature. We counted how many objects we used and learned about how tree rings can help you learn the age of a tree.
We also read a story called, "The Kindness Quilt". We decided to make a classroom kindness quilt to display acts of kindness we had bestowed upon others. We used 2D shapes to make a pattern border on our quilt square first. We talked about the names of each shape and the type of pattern we used (AB, AAB, ABB or ABC).
On Wednesday we listened to the story, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today." We learned that everyone has an invisible bucket over their head and when we do kind things it fills their bucket and when we do unkind things it dips from their bucket. We learned the Bucket-Filler song and brainstormed ways we could be kind to our classmates and family. We also explored symmetry and shapes by making origami buckets.
The Senior Kindergarten students learned to draw buckets and wrote down one way they could fill someone else's bucket.
Finally, on Friday we read stories about Thanksgiving. We spoke about how when we tell others we are thankful for something they have done it fills their bucket. We also spoke about how just by noticing the things we are thankful for, it fills our own buckets. We were thankful for a lovely week together!
This week, we continued on with our theme that we are all different and because of this we can learn from each other. We explored how we all have different opinions, tastes, stories, experiences and strategies to face hard feelings. We talked about how we need to respect each others differences.
On Orange Shirt Day, students learned about a little girl Phyllis who attended a residential school. She was so proud to wear her new orange shirt on her first day of school but when she arrived, she was told how they all needed to dress the same and her individual voice did not matter. The students spoke up and made connections that this was not kind because we all need to learn from each other's differences. We made self-portraits to show that each child and their individual voices matter.
Students also learned about their primary and secondary colours when we painted rocks orange. We had a scavenger hunt to find primary colours in the yard (red, yellow and blue) and secondary colours in the yard (green, violet and orange). We used our knowledge of the primary and secondary colours mix orange for our rocks. We then wrote on them, "I Matter". Students were also encouraged to use these as worry rocks at home as we have our ladybug worry rocks in class.
This week, we also learned about another strategy to deal with our individual worries. We read the book Ruby finds a worry. This book taught us that just by telling someone our worry, it helps the worry to get smaller and go away. We made worry dolls in class. Our classroom fairy brought us the supplies and told us the fairies we made would have magical powers. Felicity the Fairy said that when we whispered our worries to our dolls that they would get smaller.
This week, students also learned that we all have different things that bother us and what we can do if someone is "bugging" us. As a playful activity, we made bugs out of items from nature. We learned the classroom script we could use when someone does something to bother or bug us. The students learned to put their hands on their hips in a confident way and say, "I don't like that. It makes me sad and mad and I want you to STOP!" The students also learned to draw bugs on Kids Art Hub.
Another wonderful book we read this week was Carla's Sandwich. This book taught us that we all like to eat different foods and all have different tastes. The student designed a specialty sandwich based on what they like to eat. As an outdoor activity, they created a mud kitchen in our kindie yard and made different food creations! As a math activity we also learned about measurement, fractions and capacity as we prepared sand playdough together.
We were so proud of our hard working students this week and look forward to another amazing week ahead!