Division 20 - Kindergarten

"Play is the highest form of research" -Albert Einstein

SPORTS DAY!!

What a great day for Sports Day! Division 20 had so much fun participating in all the events.  I was so impressed to see all the great team work in our class.  The children were cheering each other on and were so positive throughout.  We started the day with a school wide BINGO event in our classrooms and Hanna was lucky enough to win a BINGO round for her team.  After recess we went outside to participate in the outdoor events.  Have a look through the photos to see all the events and ask your child about them.  What was your child’s favourite event?  I loved watching as they finished off Sports Day with a whole class limbo under a skipping rope!  Great team work today Division 20:)

 

Mud Kitchen!

This afternoon we took our Explorations outside and were able to use our new Mud Kitchen!  Thanks to our amazing Head Teacher Ms. Delvecchio, who repurposed this side board and turned it into a mud kitchen for us to use outside.  The children loved using the watering cans, shovels, buckets and other materials to dig, explore and create with, outside our classroom.  Along with the Mud Kitchen, children were exploring story telling with a new outdoor Story Workshop kit.  We were building, measuring, drawing and having so much fun enjoying the wonderful weather and taking our learning outdoors.  Ask your child about their time outside today!

 

Some Advice From Our Kindergarten Experts

We talk a lot about emotions and building a vocabulary of feeling words at school. Our Class Charter – the ways we agree to be in our classroom – was created around the question: How do we want to feel at school? Recently, we have been looking back over our whole year in Kindergarten and noticing how our feelings might have changed from the first days that we started together in the Fall. So many of our kids reported that they remembered feeling nervous, scared, and a little bit excited when they started school. Now that they are Kindergarten experts, excited has stuck, but feelings of nervousness faded long ago. As they get ready to move on to Grade One, we thought that they might have some words of advice for our new Kindergarten students so that they will feel excited to come to Brentwood Park in September. Here is what they said.

“You will practice not being scared when you come to Kindergarten. You won’t be scared anymore because you will have so many friends! You should know that you need to try something, and then, if it doesn’t work, you don’t have to try it again. Like the monkey bars. I tried it. I learned that you can’t do the monkey bars with sunscreen on your hands!”

  • Abbie

“I have a picture in my brain about the start of Kindergarten. I’ve locked it up. I am going to roll my eyes back. My eyeballs have tiny hands to unlock them. Okay, I found it! I felt great and positive in September! It’s okay to feel nervous, but you are going to be friends here. You are going to have a great time. You will never want to go home, because you will have so much fun here!”

  • Ava

“I was feeling scared at the beginning. I got my friends from playing with them. I just copied what they were doing and then we played. And then I find new friends!”

  • Bomin

“Don’t feel nervous. It is kind of hard to say why, but it will be fun!”

  • Filip

“I was feeling nervous, scared and afraid at the beginning of Kindergarten. But it gets better and better until I wasn’t scared anymore. Kindergarten is so much fun! Don’t feel nervous, because when you come here, it will get better and better for you, too.”

  • Hanna

“If the new kids are feeling nervous, I think I can be one of their friends. It will make them feel good and then maybe they will play with me every day!”

  • Isaac

“At first I am nervous, but then I am not shy anymore when I met my friends.”

  • Ishaal

“Just tell them, it’s okay. Just try it out. Try to be brave. Just go and play. Once the first day just ends, they will feel better.”

  • Jasper

“If they are feeling nervous, we should just tell them about all the things that are at Kindergarten, like the big blocks and making stuff. The first time they are at school, they will be nervous, but don’t worry. They won’t be nervous the second time. They just need to introduce themselves.”

  • Karden

“Something surprising about Kindergarten was I was doing art for my first time in my whole life. But here’s the thing, when I tried it, I was loving art! The new Kindergarten kids should just try something new. They might love it!”

  • Kayden

“I was feeling nervous, but excited, too. Because it was a long time for Kindergarten to start. I met new friends. If the new kids are feeling nervous, we will be friends with them and help them. They won’t be new for very long.”

  • Kelia

“I felt happy to go to school. It’s not scary at all. You will be playing at Kindergarten and meeting new friends. If you are scared right now, you should know that it will be okay. You will feel better when you get to school.”

  • Madelyn

 

What can we do to help the new Kindergarten kids, if they are feeling a little bit nervous about starting school?

“Smile.”

  • Marcus

“They should know that it’s okay if people don’t like you at first, because maybe other people will like you. You will meet lots of new friends.”

  • Noya

“I was feeling kinda nervous and a little scared, because I didn’t know if the teachers were going to be bad or if they would be nice. They are nice! If the new Kindergarten students are feeling a little scared, I would tell them, ‘Do you want to sit beside me and eat snack and lunch?’ Now I’m feeling sad that Kindergarten is almost done.”

  • Olivia

“If you don’t know about Kindergarten, you can look on the Kindergarten blog. You’ll make new friends.”

  • Omar

“I was feeling nervous and excited. But there was already kids that I knew. They should know that it is going to be okay. When you get used to it, I think you’ll like it – when you know everybody. But also, boys are hard, because they like to play soccer.”

  • Paige

“I was feeling excited and a little bit nervous at the beginning of Kindergarten. If they are feeling scared, I will play with them and I will be their friend. I want them to feel happy at school!”

  • Sofia

 

 

 

 

The most surprising thing to our Kindergarten experts, is to find out that their Kindergarten teachers feel nervous and excited each year we begin with a new class of students, too. Really! We do. But then the year begins and soon, just like our experts advised, the nervousness disappears and we can’t imagine having to say goodbye and get ready for a new year and a new bunch. We will miss you, Division 20.

Love, Mrs. Fleming & Ms. Di Spirito

Thinking Like Mathematicians: Finding the “est” in Kindergarten

Kindergarten kids naturally use comparative language in their play. They sort and order objects (and each other!) by comparing height, length, age, the level of difficulty of a task and numerous other measurable attributes. This is often where we begin when thinking about and exploring Measurement in Kindergarten.

First, we talk about what they are doing and what we are noticing as they play. When towers start rising, we might ask, what is the tallest tower you can create with these building materials? And how do you build a stable base so it is not the tippiest tower and falls over on your friends?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, what is the longest track you can make for a ball to roll down? And how can you make that track the curviest, bumpiest, or fastest track yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we introduce some different tools for measuring. A measuring tool might be anything that we have many of in our classroom, like cubes or crayons. In Division 20, we started with popsicle sticks and a challenge to find things that are longer, shorter and equal to the length of that stick. We did the same challenge with a ruler. Both gave us practice in estimating length and lining up objects to compare them to our measuring tool. We found that the trickiest challenge was to find an object that is exactly the same size as our tool. Sometimes we had to add smaller things together to equal the length.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Kindergarten, we do not have to use standard units of measurement, such as centimetres and inches yet. Instead, we measured with caterpillar rulers and decided that by far, the tickliest thing to measure, was our own feet. We also had to problem solve to figure out what to do if what we are measuring is longer than the tool we are measuring with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are continuing to explore measurement tools to compare length. Measuring tapes allow for measuring the tallest and longest things in Kindergarten – including the very tall and possibly quietest member of Division 20 – our Kindness Robot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying goodbye to our butterflies

Yesterday afternoon we said good-bye to our butterfly friends.  Division 20 along with Division 21 released the butterflies near the Brentwood Preschool’s garden.  We invited the preschool class to watch us release the butterflies as well.  The children were all so very excited to see our butterflies come out of the netting and fly away.  Many of the butterflies landed on the preschool’s flowers and some flew towards the school.  We are hoping that once we plant our own butterfly garden outside our friend’s will return to visit!  We ended our day with an afternoon of outdoor explorations where the children happily saw some of the butterflies flying around our property.

 

Click on the link below to watch a video of this special moment!

Goodbye Butterflies!

 

 

 

Butterfly Garden

Our caterpillars have now made their chrysalis’ and have been transferred over to  our butterfly net.  Division 20 are anxiously awaiting the arrival of some painted lady butterflies.  Each day the children investigate the chrysalis’ and see if any changes have occurred.  Today our class and Mrs. Allanson’s class, got together to read the story “Butterfly Park” by Elly Mackay.  This led to a discussion about what we would need to create our own butterfly garden here at Brentwood Park.  The children had so many wonderful ideas from planting beautiful flowers, to creating fences and houses for the butterflies.  They were so excited to plan out and draw what they would like in our butterfly garden.  The next step is to make our very own butterfly garden outside our classroom.  Below are some of photos of the class planning out their gardens!

 

Our chrysalis’

Some butterfly art

Explorations

Have you been wondering what we do when we play?  Children learn through their play and it is an important part of their development.   Cognitive skills like math and problem solving can be learned when playing with boxes or pretending to be at a grocery store.  When we are exploring outside children are learning using their physical abilities such as balancing on rocks or running on the playground.  Play is also important because children learn to use new vocabulary which is an important part of language development.  We know that play promotes social skills such as learning to share, taking turns and being kind, which are always important social skills that we are working on.  Literacy skills are also developed during play whether it be by creating a menu for a pretend restaurant or writing a book, children are using their knowledge of letters and sounds to begin to read and write.   Today we used boxes, butterfly books and paper airplanes as our inspiration during play.  Do you see some future engineers, artists, writers and builders in this bunch?

 

 

Caterpillars

Our larvae is growing!  We have some pretty big caterpillars in the jars now.  The children love being scientists and making observations about the caterpillars.  “They are getting so big.” said Filip.  Madelyn noticed “They look like they have tiny spikes on them.”  “Soon they will make a chrysalis” said Kayden.  We made some observations and drew what we saw in our “Butterfly journals” this week.   Ask your child to tell you about what they wonder or what they have noticed so far!

 

 

What is in the containers?

Yesterday some mysterious containers showed up in Division 20.  The children made some predictions about what could be inside. The children noticed that the mysterious black things were moving!  After some discussion and guesses most of us were in agreement that those black crawly “worms” were something living and probably some kind of  insect.  Ask your child to tell you what we discovered was actually in the containers!  A hint is in the third picture below:)

 

 

Bunny Directed Drawing

Each month since December we have been completing a directed drawing and our skills have improved so much from our first try!  Division 20 followed step by step instructions and this past week drew and used water colours to paint a Bunny.  Feel free to share your thoughts about our skilled artists in our comments section!

 

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