Vancouver Pen Pals

In Kindergarten last week we were so excited to have finally met our pen pals from a Kindergarten class in Vancouver. They wrote us our very first letter and WOW, were we ever excited!

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We were even more excited to officially meet each other in person over Skype. Each child was paired with a child in Vancouver and we had a chance to introduce our selves.

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We then decided that our first letter of exchange would be a picture of us in our Halloween costume.

The children were excited to create something with a personal touch… their HEADS!

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The children glued their heads to a piece of paper and added the details of their body in costume.

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I can’t wait to have the children finish their artwork and seal their envelopes so we can send them to our new pen pals!

We have so many fun things planned to exchange excitement with our pen pals and can’t wait to share more along the way!

~ Miss Kim

Planting the Seeds of Daily 5!

I am just going to start by saying… more like shouting: I LOVE DAILY FIVE!

I would absolutely recommend it to any and ALL educators!

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I read the second version of this book, specific to elementary grades, and it was such a fantastic read, I couldn’t put the book down! Since then, I have lent the book out to numerous colleagues who are also adapting the Daily 5 principles into their classrooms too! Thanks Gail Boushey & Joan MoserYOU ROCK!

This program is incredible and the way it engages children and provides them with hands-on and fun ways to learn how to read and write is INCREDIBLE!!

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In my Kindergarten class, I started out introducing the children to Read to Self first. We explained what reading to self should look like, what the children should be doing and how they can maintain and lengthen their stamina to read for longer periods of time. The first question most of my kids said to me was: “we can’t read though”! NO PROBLEM! I explained to the children the three ways to read a book:

  • Read the Words (if this is an option at the given time)
  • Read the Pictures (make up a story from the images in the book)
  • Retell the Story (from memory of reading it before)

The children were on board with this and got started right away with choosing a quite spot where they could work on these skills. In my classroom I allow children to sit in any spot that they find comfortable: on the floor, in their chairs, under the tables, in a bucket, with pillows, whatever is comfy and cozy to them, because who doesn’t like to be snuggled up and comfy to read a good book!?

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In this video a child is displaying how they are reading the pictures to create meaning of the story. I love how enthusiastic he is!

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The next part I introduced was Read to Someone. The children understand how to read EEKK – elbow to elbow, knee to knee with their partner and they continue to focus on building that stamina for reading with a peer. The children also work on taking turns with reading pages of the book, as well as choosing only one or two books at a time.

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In this video these children are working together at Read to Someone, taking turns reading the pictures for meaning.

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The next introduction was Listen to Reading. At this station, children can choose a device that allows them to listen to someone reading to them. Children can work at iPads, LeapFrog Tag readers, books on CD and lap tops to do so.

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The most recent introduction was Word Work. These stations are fun literacy games and activities that teach children anything from sight words to upper and lower case letter formation. Children also start blending letter sounds together to form words. Word Work can also be completed with iPad games and activities, as well as more hands-on manipulatives as seen in the pictures below.

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The last component to Daily 5 that I will introduce is Work on Writing. This station will allow children to work on writing skills, allowing them to build confidence with this task. Children can complete free writing, where they let their imaginations take them on writing journeys, or they can use picture prompts, story cubes or Animated Literacy excerpts to help get them started. I am also excited to have the children incorporate ChatterPix Kids into their work which will help  with bringing their pictures and writing to life. An example, shown below, is our writing activity for our thankful Thanksgiving turkeys. Children were able to create a piece of art and add their writing to it. They can then read their writing with ChatterPix, bringing it to life! The kids absolutely LOVE it!

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Children are also always excited to share their learning with family via their Seesaw Digital Journals!

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I love Daily 5 because the children love it so much! They work on independence, doing things on their own, and social skills when partnered with peers. They get to learn through literacy play involving whole body learning, helping to ensure concepts stick, allowing them to master and apply these skills further and in deeper ways!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, otherwise visit me on Twitter @ClimbandGrow!

~Miss Kim

First Week Back!

What an amazing first four days in Kindergarten A at River Valley School!

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We all had so much fun getting to know each other, checking out our new space and meeting new teachers and friends throughout our school!

We got started right away with our new routines and fun classroom activities!

We practiced name writing, played games to help us get to know each other better, built cool structures, visited Ms. Lana at EC for drama, practiced some writing, drawing, and most importantly, we all had a great time!

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We described our first day of Kindergarten in writing and drew pictures about some of our favourite parts!

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Our name collages were also a great way to practice our fine motor skills while creating beautiful art!

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We had so much fun building relationships with each other and getting into our Kindergarten routines! We can’t wait for next week!

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~ Miss Kim

Summer DIY Projects

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Over the summer I spent a great deal of time finding ways to spice up my classroom space for the kids! I worked on a variety of fun DIY (do it yourself) projects, including: a paint chip calendar, storage teacher desk and stools, classroom bathroom sign-out, as well as chair sliders to minimize sound in the classroom.

Here are the new additions with links to the explanations so you too can DIY!

(links coming soon)

Paint Chip Calendar

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Storage Teacher Desk & Storage Stools

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Classroom Bathroom Sign-Out

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Chair Sliders

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Soaking Up the Summer Fun!

During the school year we know how to have tons of fun while learning and socializing with our teachers and peers. Over the summer, we sure do miss each other but it is important to take time to meet new people, play with friends and spend quality time with family members and loved ones. Starting a summer writing program has been a great way that the children in Kindergarten A have been able to keep in touch with their friends. Each child received a writing box filled with the necessary items to keep in touch through writing with peers and teachers. These writing boxes are a great way that the children practice their reading and writing skills, while keeping in touch with friends, not only over the summer but hopefully starting pen pal lines of communication for much longer! I know I personally LOVE receiving letters from my soon-to-be-in-grade-one friends and sending them is just as fun too!!!

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During the summer, a favourite place of mine has always been Calaway Park! Their sole focus is on family fun @CalawayPark and in Kindergarten A we chose to wrap up an INCREDIBLE year together by celebrating here! We had so much fun together, shared laughs and smiles, enjoyed tasty treats and most importantly, made memories that will last a lifetime!

Here are some photos of the great time we had together at Calaway Park. We enjoyed bouncing up and down in eggs and planes, dripping wet from the splashes of the log ride, tummy turning on the spinning rides and tasty sweets on the tips of our tongues! I hope your summer is filled with memories that are just as warm and loving as these ones!

Happy Summer and Enjoy!

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Lots of Love!

~ Miss Kim

Super Spy Dads

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For Father’s Day this year in Kindergarten A, we were excited to celebrate with our Dads! We took off our shoes and socks and put on our spy faces for a little Mission Impossible!

The children in both Kindergarten A and B were so excited to involve their Dad’s in a favourite Phys-Ed tradition at River Valley School!
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To re-energize after all the hard spy work the kids and their Dad’s did, they all enjoyed some delicious iced tea, strawberries and cookies!

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The children all had so much fun spending time with their Dad’s for Father’s Day. They enjoyed giving them their paintings and spice rubs, as well as lots of hugs and kisses!

We LOVE our Dads!

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~Miss Kim

 

EGGS: A Community Display of Creativity

In Kindergarten last week we decided to create a painting that showcased our class in an exciting way! We put our heads together and created something funky and unique, truly showcasing our personalities and the love we share in our classroom community.

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The process for making this art piece was an absolute blast! What an adventure!

We started by having each child, and teacher, choose a line on our canvas. They were only allowed one line and they could have it go ANYWHERE or ANYWAY on our canvas.

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Once we chose our line, we got ready to have some fun with EGGS and PAINT!

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Miss Kim filled 54 eggs with a variety of colourful paints, including sparkly paint…of course 😉 We were ready to start chucking our eggs!

When we got outside on the playground, we decided to stand high up so we could throw the eggs down, forming a SPLAT effect, rather than a SPLAT and DRIP effect.

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We had a blast throwing our eggs and watching them EXPLODE colour all over our beautiful canvas! Take a look at some of the fun we had together!

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We were all COVERED in paint, some more than others, and we had so much fun getting messy while using our imaginations and creating something new!

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After finishing, we let our beautiful painting sit and dry over the weekend!

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On Monday, we were ready to get started with peeling the tape (which was a very challenging process) and then making our marks with our names.

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Each child filled their line, skipping over intersecting friends lines, with their name in all kinds of writing! Big, small, curly, dotted, backwards, you name it, the kids did it!

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The end result was an incredible community piece, representing the colour, excitement and vibrancy that each of us has brought to our year in Kindergarten! The children were excited to showcase this at our Flying Up Celebration this week at the Early Learning Campus and they are all looking forward to Grade One!!!

~ Love: Miss Kim