Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays From Div.14! May your holidays be merry and bright! 

Ms. Allocca

Festivities Happening This Week

Wow! I can’t believe Winter Break is right around the corner. We are having so much fun in our classroom and with school events that time is just flying by! I do not want it to end. Last week was really eventful and fun with all the Christmas festivities we had planned. Get ready for another busy, but fun-filled week ahead! 

It’s that time of the year we have all been waiting for….our Christmas Concert is finally here! We will be having two performances- the afternoon performance is from 1:30-2:30pm. Doors will open at 1:00pm. The night performance is from 7-8pm. Doors will open at 6:30pm. Please do not arrive any earlier than 6:30pm as doors will still remain locked. Tickets are required for the evening performance only so remember to bring your tickets. In addition, students will need to be dropped off at their classroom by 6:30pm to get ready for the performance. As for our costumes, please ensure your child wears a red or green sweater/top with black pants if possible. If you would like to bring their costumes to school earlier (on Monday), just make sure they are in a bag. 

In addition, report cards are being sent home on Wednesday. All the documents inside the report cards are for you to keep. However, you will need to sign the envelope and return it back to the school as soon as possible. A notice will be sent home shortly regarding parent-teacher conferences that will be happening in January. Please stayed tuned. 

Lastly, this Friday is PJ day. Students are encouraged to wear their PJs to school to earn points for their house teams. If students do not wish to wear their PJs to school, then they are welcomed to wear a shirt in their house team colour to still be able to participate and earn house team points! 

 

See you soon! 
Ms. Allocca

Gingerbread Hunt, Hanukkah, and Button Blankets…Oh My!

Last week was a very fun, but busy time in our classroom with all the Christmas festivities we had planned. We began our week with a gingerbread hunt. We first read the book, “The Gingerbread Man Loose in The School.” This book describes what happens when a class leaves for recess and their just-baked Gingerbread Man is left behind. An adventure soon ensues as the gingerbread man encounters various people, objects, and locations throughout the school in order to find his way back to the classroom to see the students. The next day, students then had the opportunity to bake their very own gingerbread cookies! They were all smiles as they had a fun time rolling out the dough and cutting out gingerbread-man shaped cookies. I think the flour ended up mostly on the students then our cookies! However, when we went to go check after recess to see if our gingerbread man cookies were done baking, the oven was left open with a clue describing how our cookies were gone! Students were not thrilled about this. They even began to blame Waddles, our penguin visitor from the North Pole, as they started to formulate possibilities of how and why he stole our cookies. So we followed the clues left behind for us and began our hunt for our missing gingerbread cookies throughout the school. As we visited various locations in the school (e.g. the gym, library, music room, the playground) we saw our classroom lights on from the playground, and ran as fast as we could to find our gingerbread cookies right in our classroom! The students were so excited we found them and that Waddles didn’t eat all of the cookies. The students then came to a conclusion that Waddles was now on the naughty list for playing a mean trick on us. In the afternoon, we listened to Christmas carols and decorated our gingerbread men. I think this was the students’ favourite part of the day. I’m glad they had a fun time. It was quite an adventure filled with many laughs.

On Thursday, we had a special visit from Ms.Brandi, our Aboriginal Learning Resource Teacher, who provided students the opportunity to create button blankets. We learned how button blankets are a special regalia worn for ceremonial occasions such as potlatches and graduation. And the symbol portrayed on each button blanket is a form of identify of the wearer’s family heritage and can only be worn by that individual. How interesting! For our button blankets, we had a cedar tree which symbolizes the secret tree of life and a salmon which symbolizes the celebration of life and is a primary food source for the Northwest Coast Indigenous people. It was a such a pleasure to have Ms.Brandi in our classroom! The students really learned a lot about the significance of button blankets and had a wonderful time creating their very own button blanket. Hopefully they had an opportunity to share their learning with you when they got home!

In addition to all our Christmas festivities occurring in our classroom, there was another holiday celebration occurring, Hanukkah! Through stories, students learned about what Hanukkah was, how many days it lasted for, and what individuals do each night for the eight nights of Hanukkah. Following our discussion, students had many questions about what a Dreidel was. So I brought in several wooden dreidels for students to see what it was and how it worked. After learning about the symbols painted on the dreidel, we played a dreidel game as a whole class in lieu of the fifth day of Hanukkah. The students really loved it when they got “gimel” because that meant they got to take all the tokens from the middle of our pot.

 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Get ready for another busy, but fun filled week ahead! 🙂
Ms. Allocca

Sneak Peak At The Busy Days Aheads

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing weekend! Hopefully, you found some time to check out all the amazing Christmas Festivities that are happening around town. 

It is hard to believe how fast time is flying by and that we are almost half way through the month of December. With all the great things that we have planned at the school and in our classroom, I just wanted to remind you about some of the upcoming events. 

Thank you to those of you who have brought in non-perishable food donations to our classroom these past few weeks! Your continued support and generosity is greatly appreciated. This is the last week that we are collecting non-perishable food items for our Food Drive Hamper Donations. Our class will be collecting boxes of granola bars or real fruit snack packs. However, if you wish to donate any additional non-perishable food donations, they are always greatly appreciated. Please give what you can as no donation is too big or too small. You have until Friday, December 15th if you wish to donate. 

The students have been working very hard rehearsing their songs and learning their dance moves for our Christmas Concert on December 19th. They are doing a wonderful job! There will be two performances (afternoon and evening). If, for any reason, your child will be absent that day, please let us know ASAP. As for our costumes, our class will be dressed as elves! Please ensure your child is wears a red or green sweater/top with black pants if possible. 

Aside from rehearsing for our Christmas concert performance, our class has been very busy celebrating the season with Christmas festivities. One upcoming activity I am excited about is that on Thursday, December 14th, Ms. Price, our Aboriginal Learning Resource Teacher, will visit our classroom to create button blankets with the students. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the significance of these button blankets and then have a hands-on experience in creating their very own to take home. For this specific activity, I am looking for 1-2 parent volunteers who are available to help out in the classroom. If you are interested in helping out on this day, please let me know ASAP. 

Ms. Allocca

Wondering Wednesday

What a beautiful day it turned out to be for our Wondering Wednesday! The sun was out and shining, but there was still a cold, crisp air that is reminding us that winter is right around the corner. It sure was cold this morning but that didn’t stop us from having fun! Division 14 was bundled up in our layers and were all set for a fun, filled morning of exploring and learning around our school grounds.

With the cold weather lately and temperatures dropping, the frost on the ground led to some great discoveries and discussions. The frost provided an opportunity for students to take our magnifying glasses with us on our Wondering Wednesday and do many of the things real scientists do — make observations, describe using our senses, create questions, and wonder/discuss about possible solutions! It was a fun experience getting to see the frost up close as it created a lot of amazement and questions from the students. This amazement soon changed when the students began to find all different types of rocks that were buried beneath the frozen sand. Students found rocks of all different colours and wondered why some rocks had layers. Take a look at the pictures below to see what we got up to on our Wondering Wednesday adventure this morning.

Our next Wondering Wednesday will be on December 20th. Can’t wait to see what students will discover next! 

Ms.Allocca

Aqua Van Visit

A little over a week ago, our school was fortunate enough to receive a visit from Aqua Van, a new Vancouver Aquarium outreach program designed to inspire the stewardship of all aquatic habitats and encourage the discovery of connections between animals, environments and humans. The students really enjoyed their small group presentation as it provided them with a fun, hands-on learning experience of our marine habitat. It was also exciting to be able to see different intertidal animals (marine invertebrates), such as sea urchins, a crab, and sea stars, up close and even touch these marine animals! The students also got to feel an Orca’s jaw and teeth and observe what an otter’s skull looks like. It was a fun experience to be able to have our very own marine experience in our school gym as the students were smiling the entire time and having some laughs!

 

Ms.Allocca

Reading is Fun!

Our Family Reading that has been occurring in the classroom over the last couple of months has been a huge success so far! We have had moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, caregivers, and many other family members drop in and read with their child and/or a few of his or her child’s classmates for approximately the first 15 minutes of the day. It is such a delight to see everyone having a wonderful time bonding with one another and sharing a laugh. Take a look at the pictures below to see what Family Reading looks like in Div.14’s classroom! 

Family Reading happens in our classroom every Monday and Friday from 8:55-9:10 am. You are not required to participate or even stay the whole time, but if you are able to join us at any point, please feel free to come in and read a story with your child and his or her classmates. You are always welcomed! 

Ms. Allocca

The Great Pumpkin Investigation

Fall is my favourite time of the year because it is pumpkin season! Pumpkin season means pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin carving, but what about some pumpkin science?

During this term, Division 14 has been very busy learning about and exploring our theme on pumpkins. We had previously learned how pumpkins grows, the lifecycle of a pumpkin, and the different ways we can use pumpkins. But the students were very excited when I brought a pumpkin into class this past Monday for us to explore and investigate! Throughout the investigation, the students had a chance to do many of the things real scientists do — make observations, draw and label diagrams, measure, compare, estimate, observe, and describe — all while exploring a real pumpkin!

We began our investigation by inviting the students to investigate the outside of their pumpkin. This is the part where we were able to put our 5 sense we have been learning about to practice! Together, we discussed its shape, its size, its stem, and any special features or markings it had. Then students were sent back to their desk to carefully document the pumpkin. This meant drawing the pumpkin exactly how they saw it. Next, we gathered back to measure the height of our pumpkin. The students loved using their estimation skills! After discussing how we measure and when we should stop measuring, we began stacking unfix cubes from the bottom up. To our surprise, our pumpkin was 15 unifix cubes tall!

Now that we thoroughly investigated the outside of our pumpkin, it was time to get to the fun stuff….investigating the inside!! One of my favourite responses to what we thought was inside the pumpkin was “pumpkin goo.”  After cutting off the top, we observed what the inside of the pumpkin looked like. The students were not too fond of the smell, describing it as “sweet yet, yucky and dirty.” Then, after estimating how many seeds we thought there were (e.g. 50,000, 100, 20) we dug out the seeds and grouped them into groups of 10. To our surpirse, our pumpkin had a total of 656 seeds! Who knew that many seeds could be in a pumpkin.



We were lucky enough to conclude our pumpkin investigation by tasting pumpkin seeds. After trying our seeds, the general consensus was that a majority of the students gave it two thumbs up and even went back for a second tasting!  

Pumpkin Patch Fieldtrip

This past Tuesday, the students and several primary staff went on a fieldtrip to Taves Family Farm (Apple Barn) in Abbotsford. Although the day started off on a bit of a rough note, nothing could stop our students from having an eventful and fun day at the pumpkin patch! They represented Kitchener well and were all smiles from beginning to end. We were lucky enough that the rain decided to stay away and that we had beautiful sunny weather with a cool, crisp air.

On our way to Taves Family Farm, it was a fun, yet squishy bus ride! For many of the students, it was their first time being on a bus, which made this fieldtrip even more special and exciting. One thing I learned about all the kindergarten students was how much they love to sing! One particular song the students kept singing was “O Canada” because we forgot the order of the song to “The Wheels on the Bus.” What an entertaining way to start to our day!

When we got to Taves Family Farm (Apple Barn), our class began the tour at the apple sorting station. At this station, we learned and observed how a machine sorted apples that are picked according to size. We also discussed the various ways apples can be used for in our ever day lives. Next, we visited the petting barn where we saw various animals such as chickens, bunnies, goats, and pigs! The bunnies were the most popular among the students. However, the kids were not too fond of the smell radiating the petting zoo, but we had a good laugh about this. From the petting zoo, it was a short hayride to the pumpkin patch where students got to run in the field and choose their pumpkin. There were so many pumpkins to choose from, I do not know how the students decided on which pumpkin they wanted to take home. Although this was most students’ favourite activity, I do not think anything could top the inflatable jumping pillow we got to go on after our tour! It was nice to see the students laughing and smiling with their friends. Take a look at the picture below of our adventure to the pumpkin patch:

Thank you to those parents who came on this fieldtrip with us and volunteered their time to help supervise small groups at the farm. Without you, these fieldtrips would not be possible so thank you! For those who we were not able to have join us, or those who were unable to come on this trip we hope you will be able to join on a future outing. 

 

Ms. Allocca

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful and relaxing weekend with family and friends. We are very lucky that the sun is deciding to stick around for awhile longer with this beautiful weather! Just a reminder that there is no school Monday as it is a holiday.

In addition, our school walk-a-thon is this week, October 12th. The PAC is still looking for parent volunteers to be stationed along the route and our class is looking for several parents to join us on our walk. If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know asap! 

Have a wonderful weekend and see you Tuesday!
Ms. Allocca