Online Learning - Take 1!

Hello!

Welcome to our first week of online learning. Thank you so much for your patience as I figure out with my Kinder team and with myself what is going to work best. This is a difficult time for all but I am so inspired by your resilience and your dedication to your children's learning. 

That being said, we have decided at NLC that we are going to use Google Classroom as our main platform for learning, and I am excited to see how it works out for us! Ms. Allison has sent out some information about this platform, as well as information about Google Meet. You can find the link to our person classroom for Kindergarten Rm124 here: https://classroom.google.com/u...

Instructions for how to use Google Classroom and Google Meet:

  • To access Google Classroom and Google Meet, students will need to login in to the Google Chrome browser. 
  • On tablets and phones, students will need to download Google Classroom and Google Meet from the APP store or Google Play and login on the APP.
  • If you don’t have a computer or tablet/phone, you can access Google Classroom/Meet on an Xbox and PS4.  Click on the video links below for instructions. 
  • I will be hosting optional weekly Google Meet times where the students can say "hello" and hopefully see their classmates. There will also be other videos and learning opportunities.  

Head over to the Google Classroom for more information- good luck and see you there!


I have added each student via their own CBE email addresses. Parents, please check your emails, as I will be sending your child’s email login. I will also include your password for this email account. We have reset them, however I encourage you to reset this password again to something you will remember.


In this classroom I will be posting the following weekly:

  • A levelled phonics/writing lesson (each child will receive a group to follow along with, 1, 2, or 3)
  • A levelled math lesson
  • A read aloud for you to listen to
  • A table plan with a variety of other learning activities to keep your child active in their learning

See this weeks very FIRST table plan below! (open on google classroom to find clickable links)


Please remember that your wellness and the wellness of your family comes before anything else! Alberta Education recommends only 5 hours a week for K-5 learning time (just 1 hour a day!). Reach out to myself, or to the school if you need assistance with anything. I am also available for phone calls, or by email at any time.

Stay well and talk soon!



Love, 

Ms. Kaitlin 


At Home Learning Opportunities- March 16-20

Oki/Tansi NLC Kindergarten families,

Below is our Week 1 blog post for Kindergarten students. We would like to share with you some things you can do with your student this week in order to keep them busy and their brains active. These are suggestions - feel free to adapt the schedule and the activities to suit your home.


 A daily schedule- routines help to keep your student regulated, and minimize the amount of change and stress they may be feeling while not at school engaging in their regular routines.

Here is a suggestion about what your day might look like:


9am

Wake-up

Eat a healthy breakfast, make your bed, get dressed, put PJ’s away.

9am-10am

Morning Walk

Go for a walk if it is nice outside. Ask your child what they notice about the weather, the seasons, what is changing (when did the sun wake up/go to sleep, what new animals are out, what noises do we hear?)

If it is too cold or raining – do YOGA!

10am-11am

Academic Time

Choose one of the activities below.

11am-12pm

Creative Time

Lego, drawing, colouring, crafting, play, music, cook something, bake something, make something from all those toilet paper rolls!

12pm

Lunch

12:30pm

Chore Time

Help your family to clean something in the house. For example

Day 1- Wipe all kitchen counters and doors

Day 2- Wipe all door handles, light switches, and desktops

Day 3- Wipe bathrooms, sinks, toilets

1:00-2:30

Quiet Time

Read a book, draw a picture, have a nap

2:30-3:00


3:00-4:00

Academic Time


Play

Choose one of the electronic games/apps listed below.



Free Play!

4:00-5:00

Afternoon Outdoor Time

Ride your bike, walk your dog, walk around the block, go to the park OR pick one of the outdoor learning activities.

5:00-6:00

Dinner

6:00-7:00

Free TV Time

Enjoy some TV some, tablet time, etc.

Wind down for bedtime

7:00-8:00

Bedtime Routine

Take a bath, brush teeth, put on pajamas, put away electronics, read a bedtime story, go to sleep

Websites/Apps

Read to Your Monsterhttps://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/my_account (each classroom has their own links with your students names)

·      Child must login at the following link and type in their first name to access their account 

·      If you are using the app, type in your username (first name) and the number 4816490 next to the star. 

www.starfall.com - pick K for Kindergarten

www.abcya.com - pick K for Kindergarten


Academic Activities

Scholastic Learn at Home:

-Visit the Scholastic Learn at Home Website https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

-Select your grade



Set up your free Bookflix account and then follow the links to complete the first 5 days of activities.  Activities include language arts, science, math and social studies.


Movement/Breathing Ideas

·      Cosmic Kids (Yoga)- https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

·      GoNoodle (Dancing, Stretching, Breathing, etc.) https://app.gonoodle.com

·      Koo Koo Kangaroo (Sing/Dance Alongs) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJfz4ZD1ADS08wFg70j0Niw


Songs

https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperSimpleSongs

Many of these are songs that we sing daily in our classroom, and you child will likely know and be able to sing along to.

Outdoor Learning

At Home Learning Dates: 3/16 to 3/20

Week #1

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Outdoor Learning

How many steps? I.e from your front door to the sidewalk?  Count the steps to 10 different places.

Find a tree.  Give it a name.  Draw a picture and tell it a story.

Go outside and say hello to your tree and Natoosi.   Give your tree a hug and sing “This House"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC88CS1-Ulc

Go on a scavenger hunt.  Try and find these things:

Something green

Something brown

Something to sit on

Something that flies

Something that crawls

Search for a rock.  Wait for one to speak to you.  Ask Na’a if you can borrow it, and tell her that you will return to that spot when you are done.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with ANY questions.  At the point, email is the best.  My email address is:

kewalker@cbe.ab.ca

Please know that your health and safety both mental and physical are our top priority at Niitsitapi. This information is not intended to be mandatory homework, rather some suggestions about what you can do while at home with your child. 

We hope to update you all soon. Please stay safe, stay healthy, stay home, and let's flatten the curve!

With love,

Ms. Kaitlin


 February 2020

Who Am I?

Over the last month, we have been slowly asking ourselves this question! In Kindergarten, this ties in with one of our big focuses, which is “I am Unique”. Our book study this month was Trudy’s Rock Story by Trudy Spiller and it inspired us in so many aspects of our learning. The story is about a young girl from the Gitxsan Nation in Northwestern British Columbia who hears a story about rocks from her Grandmother. She is told that there are special rocks who call to us, and that we can share our stories with those rocks, especially when we are upset. 

In our classroom, this inspired us to go outside and search for our own special rocks to talk to when we are upset, or even just want to tell a story to someone. We borrowed them from Na’a, and we will return them to her when we are finished with them. For now, they sit in a jar in our classroom for our use!  

We know that rocks are called “Okotok” in Blackfoot, and that they have spirits just like us. We also know that they have many stories kept within them, as they have been on the earth long before us. This inspired us to tell our own stories of the people who came long before us, and made us who we are. We are slowly working on our own “Rock Stories” with help from our families, and can’t wait to share them with you! Stop by our classroom to find out who's Blackfoot name is "Spopii" (Turtle), who is a grass dancer, and who's family was a part of Louis Riel's fight for freedom!



Preparing for Spring

We are preparing to go into the next season in our circle, spring! We are wrapping up our inquiry on space, and are looking forward to talking about the Earth! We will be asking ourselves what impact we make on Mother Earth, and how we can better take care of her. We look forward to getting to see our outside world come to life with blooming leaves and flowers, and the awakening of some animals and insects! We planted tomato, basil, and strawberry plants and are patiently waiting to see if they sprout.


                    


Very much looking forward to what the month of March has in store for us in Kindergarten 124!


Ms. Kaitlin


January 2020

Introduction  

Oki, Tansi, Hello Families!    

My name is Ms. Kaitlin Walker and I am so thrilled to be the teacher in Kindergarten Rm124 this year. We know there have been a lot of changes, so thank you so much for your patience! I am working especially hard to build consistency and routine in order to keep our classroom a comfortable and safe learning space. I thank you all for supporting this transition.   

In order to get to know me a little bit, I will include some brief information about myself. I myself was born and raised in Calgary, and graduated from the University of Calgary in 2018 with my Bachelor of Education specializing in Early Childhood Elementary. After that, I was offered the opportunity to teach Grade 2 & 3 on Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement in Paddle Prairie, Alberta. After spending a year up north, I decided to find my place back in Calgary, and am thrilled to have been presented with the opportunity to teach here at Niitsitapi Learning Centre. 

I am also excited to share that I have set up a Class Dojo account in order to help you feel more a part of our classroom. This class website will allow me to post about our learning, send out reminders, update you on how you can be involved, as well as allow you to send me private messages. If you have not received the paper or email copy invite and would like one, please contact me ASAP!

Sky Science Inquiry

Before winter break, we were reading the book “Darkest Dark” by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and the students immediately took an interest in space. They had so many questions that it inspired an inquiry project surrounding sky science. We have been working so hard to turn our classroom into outer space, so be sure to ask your child about this project, they all have many wonderful learnings to share!

We started by building a "wonder wall" on which everyone put one thing they are wondering about space, or one thing they want to find out. 

We had the chance to learn about the International Space Station, and made a list of the things we would need in order to build our own. Computers, a control board, and a Rocketship were among the things we made with recycled materials.

Students also had the chance to make the planets in our solar system with paper mache. We were lucky to get to have a conversation with Elder Randy about the sun (nato’si), moon (ko’komiki’somm), and stars. He shared with us that the big dipper is his favourite constellation, and reminded us about the north star who is there to guide us.


I look forward to updating you on the progress of this project, and sharing everything we learn from it, and I look forward to the remainder of this school year!

Ms. Kaitlin


Hand to Heart 

Oki families, It is with very mixed emotions that I am sharing this news.  I have accepted a new position with the Calgary Board of Education as an Indigenous Education Learning Leader and will be leaving Niitsitapi Learning Centre.   I am so grateful for this place, this community, and your children.  Working with each one of them has been an absolute joy.  They have taught me so much and I carry each one of them in my heart.  I know they will be in good hands when I leave, and I look forward to hearing how they are doing.   "Indigenous ways of knowing often remind us that change is natural; that there are stages of growth in life that we must embrace ... and this is one of them." ~ miskanawah website With hand to heart, Ayyy, thank you.  Miss. Sarah

What Time is it Mother Earth? 

“Life is a one day event.” ~ Elder Casey Eaglespeaker This year we will explore the idea of TIME as our inquiry topic of interest. Inquiry is a journey that is responsive to the learner. Individuals take on the role of teacher and learner as they make-meaning in a space that embraces curiosity, considers multiple perspectives, and honours Indigenous worldview.  It is integrated into all subject areas, providing the learner with opportunities to wonder, explore, discover, and make connections.   An inquiry topic or question provides a unique lens through which children can make meaning of the curriculum in an authentic way; in a way that makes a difference to them and extends outwards to community, to place, and to land.  It is the common thread that weaves through ideas, curricular concepts, personal passions, and tradition, focusing the learning with intention and purpose.  

 To guide our thinking, we will consider these questions: 

What has brought us to this moment? How will our choices now

affect the next seven generations to come?

How can we capture a moment in a story?

What can we learn from the memories held by our Elders, our

ancestors, and our non-human relations?

What does transformation teach us about time?

What do our Elders teach us about time as Indigenous thinkers?





Lessons from the Land 

We LOVE learning on the land. Our favourite time of the day is when we pack up our wonder wagon and head across the field to greet our tree friends, especially one particular tree named Clementine.  Nature is our greatest teacher and we grateful for the gifts of life Na’a provides to us.  When we look to our non-human relations, they tell us the season has changed.  It is autumn – o’ko.  A time when to turn inward, to let things go that no longer serve us, and to prepare for a time of greater darkness and scarcity.  We have observed changes in temperature, in colour, in light and shadow… learning from the land allows us to make meaning of our world in an experiential, sensory manner.  As we explore, play, investigate, connect, and inquire, we are developing skills and building knowledge in early literacy, early numeracy, scientific concepts, social interactions, and much more.  As we continue to visit the land on which Niitsitapi Learning Centre is on, what will we hear if we choose to listen?  What will we learn when we open our hearts and connect with our spirits?


WE MATTER! 

Every day is Orange Shirt Day at Niitsitapi Learning Centre! We are proud of our cultures, our ancestors, and the little humans we are.  We worked together to create this orange shirt, extending positive intentions with each stitch.  When you make something, your energy becomes a part of the creation – your story is told through your art.  This shirt is our story of strength, of resilience, and of pride.

“It is a great gift indeed to love who you are.”  ~ Katherine Applegate, Wishtree


Building a Classroom Culture of Community

In the beginning of Kindergarten, everything was new to us – the place and the people!  It was important to create a sense of belonging within our learning environment, and for everyone to feel like they were an important part of our community.

Circle teachings tell us that everyone is equal.  We sit side by side, each of us with something of value to contribute.  Talking circles help us to get to know each other as we share some of our favourite things, what we feel gratitude for, and which emotions we are feeling at a particular moment.  Circle brings us together to begin and end the day in a good way.  We listen to each other’s stories, celebrate successes, and help to solve problems. 

Learning tasks invited us to play with the letters in our names, using a variety of materials including paper, string, beads, playdough, sand, and shaving cream!  We read stories about little humans like us, and talked about what makes us unique.  

Making a number of self-portraits introduced ourselves as learners and artists, and brought life to the walls of our learning space.  Playing with mirrors, building faces, and learning about the characteristics that make us special strengthened our circle of self, and the connections we create with each other.

We are kind.  We are brave.  We are smart.  We are curious.  We are Niitsitapi!



Welcome to Kindergarten 2019-2020

Hello families,

Welcome to a new school year!  My name is Miss. Sarah.  I come from Treaty 6 Territory, in what we now call Saskatchewan, where I grew up amongst fields of grain and beautiful living skies.

I am excited to be teaching Kindergarten again at Niitsitapi Learning Centre this year. I have been working for the Calgary Board of Education for the last fourteen years in a variety of positions. I am passionate about early childhood education, as well as holistic approaches to learning that value Indigenous ways of knowing and being. I look forward to getting to know the children and families who are a part of our community this year.

As the school year begins, we will be spending the first few weeks getting to know our new friends and learning to recognize and write our names.  We will learn to be more independent by hanging up our backpacks, zipping up our coats, putting on our shoes, and cleaning up classroom materials. 

A few reminders to make sure everyone is prepared for Kindergarten:

  • Students need a pair of INDOOR shoes that can remain at the school and are appropriate for physical education.
  • Make sure your child is dressed appropriately for playing and learning outside everyday.
  • Students have a better day at school when they get lots of sleep the night before.

Looking forward to this year of learning together,

Miss. Sarah


What Does it Mean to be Alive?

This year's inquiry to find answers to this question was absolutely amazing.  We investigated and explored curricular concepts through the lens of our inquiry topic and have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things.  We have learned from our Elders, teachers, the land, and each other - developing theories and receiving teachings that will impact who we are and what we go on to do in this world.  Life is a gift, and we thank Creator ... Ayyy, Hiy Hiy, Miigwetch.  


Under the Sea

Playing with water provoked questions about life in underwater worlds.  What is life like for the water beings that inhabit the oceans around Turtle Island?

We were fascinated by the information we discovered about the ecosystems and symbiotic relationships of ocean life.  Creating ocean inspired art with a variety of materials gave us opportunities to share our learning through visual representation.  

We wanted to share our learning with others, and asked our Grade Three buddies to collaborate with us in a mini-inquiry into sea turtles, their life cycle, and current threats to survival.  We used non-fiction text and internet research to find information about their stages of life, habitat, instinctual behaviours, and physical appearance.  We loved learning about the baby sea turtles especially, and were curious about the journey from nest to sea!

We were saddened to learn that many sea turtles die because of plastics in the ocean, such as plastic bags and drinking straws.  We worked together to construct a life-size green sea turtle made entirely of the plastic waste that threatens their life under water.  Creating this piece of recycled art provoked great conversations between the youngest and oldest learners of our school, as we discussed the causes of pollution in our oceans, as well as the importance of taking care of Mother Earth and all living beings.  


Water is Life

Water is the greatest of gifts on Mother Earth.  Our Elders teach us that it sustains life and cleanses living things.  On a rainy day this spring, Elder Randy told us we should be thankful for aohkii, in its many forms and ways of supporting life.  He talked about the rivers flowing through our city, and taught us the traditional Blackfoot name, Moh'kins'tsis, meaning where the Bow River meets the Elbow River.  We extended this learning into a talking circle, in which we shared why we are grateful for water.  We also co-created a sketchnote to document are knowledge and wonderings about this natural element. 

Some of the reasons we are grateful for water are...

We drink it.

We like to swim.

It helps the trees and flowers grow.

We can cook with it.

Fish and whales need it for their home.

Some questions we asked about water were...

Where does rain come from?

Is all water salty?

How can fish breathe underwater?

Where does water go when it disappears (dries up)?

Why do we need water to survive?

We played with water in a variety of learning experiences that taught us about the properties of water and scientific concepts such as surface tension, condensation, evaporation, and buoyancy.  As mathematicians, we explored capacity as we filled and emptied different containers with water and estimated which would hold the most.  Sensory experiences invited us to create visual art and music using water, and a few of us experienced what it feels like to be wet after a few splashes and accidents using this liquid in our play! 

                                                            

These two books remind of us our relationship with water, and our responsibility to protect the water that keeps us healthy and provides homes for many of our nonhuman friends.  Without water, there is no life...


Na'a is Waking Up!

Although the spring equinox came and went months ago, it is only recently we have begun to notice changes outside our classroom window.  We are so grateful to be able to spend much of our time outside on the land connecting to, and learning from, our nature friends. 



Circle teachings often connect the colour yellow to the East, and the season of spring.  These teachings differ between cultures but one thing remains constant, that the bright yellow of the sun rises in the East each morning, bringing with it a new day and new possibilities.  The season of spring is much the same - a time of new beginnings as life begins again for the plants and animals who have rested through the winter and are just awakening, and for the new babies who will be welcomed into the natural world.  For us as two legged beings, perhaps it is a time of awakening for us as well.  The new season is an opportunity to move on from any darkness in our lives, and to embrace the light surrounding us.

What does this mean when you are only five or six years old?

We have considered this idea during talking circles and in conversations about stories we have read, and these are some of our ideas that will bring more light into our learning community:

"I will not say mean things to my friends.  I will use kind words."

"I don't like feeling mad.  I will do things that make me joyful."

"Sometimes learning is difficult.  I will say, "I can try!"

The concepts of light and dark were ones we explored when we learned about the Winter Solstice.  At first, we connected darkness with negativity and fear but then discovered that there are things that are dark that we find interesting and beautiful, including: the night sky, the mystery of outer space, and the protection of a bear's den.  Maybe we need the dark things in life to better appreciate the light. 

These are a few books and traditional stories that we love connected to these ideas:

Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun

Raven Brings the Light

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

Whimy's Heavy Things by Julie Kraulis

Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds

We  look forward to finishing our school year with light, love, joy, and connection!

"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." ~ Theodore Roethke


The First Thunder

Did you hear that?!!

We have been watching the sky outside our classroom window; noticing the changing colours, the movement of clouds, and the different examples of weather.  One day, one of our friends observed dark clouds moving towards the school and exclaimed, "It's going to rain!"  Rain it did, and with the rain came thunder!  This provoked much conversation and excitement about the sounds we could hear and memories we had of storms experienced before. 

This learning provocation invited us to create storms using paint (and even a little glitter!).  We had stories, pictures, and video to inspire our visual representations of a thunderstorm.  Watching lightening streak across the screen, and listening to the sounds of pouring rain and rumbling thunder made this learning experience seem much more real - almost like painting amidst a real storm!

There were so many great ideas shared as we painted our storms; we realized we had many different theories and wonderings about this thing called Thunder.  We searched our classroom library for books about thunder and made a list of questions we wanted to ask Elder Randy during his next visit.  When Elder Randy came, he told us that The First Thunder is an important event in his Blackfoot community.  There are special ceremonies and songs after the first thunder is heard.  There is also a story about Ksistsikom (Thunder) that has been told for many generations.  

This is an animation of Saakokoto's graphic novel, KSISTSIKOOM:

This is a written version of the traditional story from the Glenbow Museum:

Storytelling is an important part of our cultures and our classroom.  We considered the question, "How can sounds help to tell a storm story?"  We played with a variety of instruments to make the different sounds of a thunderstorm: rain, wind, lightning, thunder, stars, sun, clouds, etc.  It was a bit noisy but we had lots of fun telling stories this way!


We are storytellers through song, dance, words, and symbols...a story helps to make sense of the world around us.  Right now that story lives in sound, inspired by the sky. 


Tobacco Teachings

Tobacco is one of the four sacred plants Creator has given to us.  Our school was gifted with some tobacco plants which are now growing in our living wall in the hopes that we will be able to harvest the seeds for new plants and dry the stalks and the leaves to make tobacco bundles.  We often stop to observe any changes and say a few words of kindness to encourage their growth!  

Like all living things, tobacco plants have a life cycle that can be understood using the Medicine Wheel.  The plant goes through stages of life including seed (germinating), seedling (sprouting), mature plant (growing), flower (harvest).  Watching these stages, and waiting for changes, teaches us patience and appreciation for the current stage of life.

Watching plants grow helps us to learn what is necessary for their survival.  We have discovered that these plants need soil, light, warmth, air, and water.  They also need a lot of space because they grow quite tall.  Lastly, like all living things, we believe they will thrive with love!

They have also given us an opportunity to consider mathematical concepts such as shape and measurement.  

"This plant is almost as tall as me!" ~ Nahla

This observation initiated a conversation about how we could measure the plant and words we can use to compare size such as big, small, short, tall, and height.  

We are grateful to Na'a for providing us with what our tobacco need to grow to be healthy, and look forward to creating bundles that we will gift to our Elders when asking them to share their knowledge with us, and to Mother Earth when we ask to use something from our natural world. 

Below is a great video that further explains the traditional use of tobacco: 


The Heartbeat of Na'a

The beat of the drum - the heartbeat of Mother Earth.  Mr. Darcy came to visit us for a special week long residency.  The sounds of drumming and singing filled the school.  He shared teachings about how to show respect to the drum, and taught us a new song.

We were interested in the animals who gave their life for us to have our drums and wanted to look more closely to see if we could figure out which animal was used and examine how the maker of each drum laced the hide to the wooden frame.  We sketched hand drums and our school gathering drum, remembering to look for small details that make each one unique.  


We also told stories using pictures and words about our learning experience with Mr. Darcy.  We are practicing using the letter sounds we know to help us turn our ideas into written text.

We can't wait for Mr. Darcy to come back and are so grateful for the time he spent with us. 

Drumming is healing.  Drumming is culture.  Drumming is Niitsitapi. 


Looking at Life Through The Eyes of Bear

What is life like for these furry, ferocious friends of the forest?  We sought to find out more than the basics we already knew - or thought we knew...

  • Bears live in the forest. ~ Faith
  • Bears have claws. ~ Kilo
  • Bears sleep in a cave. ~ Erin
  • Bears eat berries. ~ Kayden
  • Bears can climb up trees. ~ Orlando
  • Bears scratch their back on a tree. ~ Nahla
  • Bears eat humans! ~ Neo

To investigate the life of this animal, we needed to know where to look for information.  We collected books from our school library, searched for reliable websites on the internet, and brainstormed experts who might be able to help in our learning.  We also transformed a corner of the classroom into a winter woodland, which inspired imaginative play and sparked new wonderings.

As we learned about the species of bears living in the Canadian Rockies (and sometimes our city!), we discovered interesting facts about their daily behaviours, seasonal survival skills, and unique instincts.  This new learning was discussed, theorized, and questioned during exploratory learning tasks and play experiences.  It was documented through the co-construction of documentation such as this bear's den.  

Bears were the perfect subject for a variety of art projects.  Painting and sculpting were our favourites and we had many visitors stop by to comment on our creations.  

          


Investigations into the natural world naturally bring up conversations about sensory experiences, habitats, basic needs, relationships, comparisons, and new vocabulary.  Inquiring into what life is like for a grizzly bear, compared to that of a black bear or polar bear, gave us an abundance of opportunities to connect curricular topics and apply our developing literacy skills and mathematical understanding.  Acting as little biologists required us to observe, question, analyze, manage information, use numerical data, communicate effectively, and demonstrate creativity.  

As spring arrives and instinct causes the bears to stir from their state of torpor, we are looking forward to learning about life in other parts of our planet.  We are leaving our den to continue our search for answers about what it means to be alive...

How grateful we are to have so many gifts of life from Na'a (Mother Earth)! 

Happy Spring!  


Life is Love

Eagle teaches us about love.  Flying closest to creator, as well as walking the land with us, Eagle reminds us to show love and kindness to all living beings.  To love others we must love ourselves.  During talking circles over the past few weeks, we have focused our ideas on what characteristics we love about ourselves, and our friends. 

"_____, I am grateful for you because you are _____."  

"I love that I am _____."

Last week, our morning exploration turned tables into valentine stations and red and pink pattern-making areas.  We counted heart shaped beads and created a LOVE-ly number line with some paper hearts and string.  Loose parts such as felt, wooden people, heart cutouts, and a variety of other pieces created stories about friendship - and even a wedding! 

We have been noticing and discussing the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.  This learning was extended through visual art, in which we built heart sculptures and created beautiful mixed media canvases.  Although there was an abundance of red, pink, and purple in our learning space recently, we considered which colour(s) represent love to each of us.  The story What Color is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla prompted great conversation and inspiration for our paintings. 


Kindergarten has moments of conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and BIG emotions.  Despite the challenging moments, we are a community of learners who care for each other and show love and kindness throughout our days together.  This impromptu hug was observed near the reading window last week.  Makes your heart happy! 

"You have been my friend, replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. ~ E.B. White, Charlotte's Web









           

Ms. Kaitlin

Online Learning - Take 1!

Hello!

Welcome to our first week of online learning. Thank you so much for your patience as I figure out with my Kinder team and with myself what is going to work best. This is a difficult time for all but I am so inspired by your resilience and your dedication to your children's learning. 

That being said, we have decided at NLC that we are going to use Google Classroom as our main platform for learning, and I am excited to see how it works out for us! Ms. Allison has sent out some information about this platform, as well as information about Google Meet. You can find the link to our person classroom for Kindergarten Rm124 here: https://classroom.google.com/u...

Instructions for how to use Google Classroom and Google Meet:

  • To access Google Classroom and Google Meet, students will need to login in to the Google Chrome browser. 
  • On tablets and phones, students will need to download Google Classroom and Google Meet from the APP store or Google Play and login on the APP.
  • If you don’t have a computer or tablet/phone, you can access Google Classroom/Meet on an Xbox and PS4.  Click on the video links below for instructions. 
  • I will be hosting optional weekly Google Meet times where the students can say "hello" and hopefully see their classmates. There will also be other videos and learning opportunities.  

Head over to the Google Classroom for more information- good luck and see you there!


I have added each student via their own CBE email addresses. Parents, please check your emails, as I will be sending your child’s email login. I will also include your password for this email account. We have reset them, however I encourage you to reset this password again to something you will remember.


In this classroom I will be posting the following weekly:

  • A levelled phonics/writing lesson (each child will receive a group to follow along with, 1, 2, or 3)
  • A levelled math lesson
  • A read aloud for you to listen to
  • A table plan with a variety of other learning activities to keep your child active in their learning

See this weeks very FIRST table plan below! (open on google classroom to find clickable links)


Please remember that your wellness and the wellness of your family comes before anything else! Alberta Education recommends only 5 hours a week for K-5 learning time (just 1 hour a day!). Reach out to myself, or to the school if you need assistance with anything. I am also available for phone calls, or by email at any time.

Stay well and talk soon!



Love, 

Ms. Kaitlin 


At Home Learning Opportunities- March 16-20

Oki/Tansi NLC Kindergarten families,

Below is our Week 1 blog post for Kindergarten students. We would like to share with you some things you can do with your student this week in order to keep them busy and their brains active. These are suggestions - feel free to adapt the schedule and the activities to suit your home.


 A daily schedule- routines help to keep your student regulated, and minimize the amount of change and stress they may be feeling while not at school engaging in their regular routines.

Here is a suggestion about what your day might look like:


9am

Wake-up

Eat a healthy breakfast, make your bed, get dressed, put PJ’s away.

9am-10am

Morning Walk

Go for a walk if it is nice outside. Ask your child what they notice about the weather, the seasons, what is changing (when did the sun wake up/go to sleep, what new animals are out, what noises do we hear?)

If it is too cold or raining – do YOGA!

10am-11am

Academic Time

Choose one of the activities below.

11am-12pm

Creative Time

Lego, drawing, colouring, crafting, play, music, cook something, bake something, make something from all those toilet paper rolls!

12pm

Lunch

12:30pm

Chore Time

Help your family to clean something in the house. For example

Day 1- Wipe all kitchen counters and doors

Day 2- Wipe all door handles, light switches, and desktops

Day 3- Wipe bathrooms, sinks, toilets

1:00-2:30

Quiet Time

Read a book, draw a picture, have a nap

2:30-3:00


3:00-4:00

Academic Time


Play

Choose one of the electronic games/apps listed below.



Free Play!

4:00-5:00

Afternoon Outdoor Time

Ride your bike, walk your dog, walk around the block, go to the park OR pick one of the outdoor learning activities.

5:00-6:00

Dinner

6:00-7:00

Free TV Time

Enjoy some TV some, tablet time, etc.

Wind down for bedtime

7:00-8:00

Bedtime Routine

Take a bath, brush teeth, put on pajamas, put away electronics, read a bedtime story, go to sleep

Websites/Apps

Read to Your Monsterhttps://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/my_account (each classroom has their own links with your students names)

·      Child must login at the following link and type in their first name to access their account 

·      If you are using the app, type in your username (first name) and the number 4816490 next to the star. 

www.starfall.com - pick K for Kindergarten

www.abcya.com - pick K for Kindergarten


Academic Activities

Scholastic Learn at Home:

-Visit the Scholastic Learn at Home Website https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

-Select your grade



Set up your free Bookflix account and then follow the links to complete the first 5 days of activities.  Activities include language arts, science, math and social studies.


Movement/Breathing Ideas

·      Cosmic Kids (Yoga)- https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

·      GoNoodle (Dancing, Stretching, Breathing, etc.) https://app.gonoodle.com

·      Koo Koo Kangaroo (Sing/Dance Alongs) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJfz4ZD1ADS08wFg70j0Niw


Songs

https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperSimpleSongs

Many of these are songs that we sing daily in our classroom, and you child will likely know and be able to sing along to.

Outdoor Learning

At Home Learning Dates: 3/16 to 3/20

Week #1

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Outdoor Learning

How many steps? I.e from your front door to the sidewalk?  Count the steps to 10 different places.

Find a tree.  Give it a name.  Draw a picture and tell it a story.

Go outside and say hello to your tree and Natoosi.   Give your tree a hug and sing “This House"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC88CS1-Ulc

Go on a scavenger hunt.  Try and find these things:

Something green

Something brown

Something to sit on

Something that flies

Something that crawls

Search for a rock.  Wait for one to speak to you.  Ask Na’a if you can borrow it, and tell her that you will return to that spot when you are done.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with ANY questions.  At the point, email is the best.  My email address is:

kewalker@cbe.ab.ca

Please know that your health and safety both mental and physical are our top priority at Niitsitapi. This information is not intended to be mandatory homework, rather some suggestions about what you can do while at home with your child. 

We hope to update you all soon. Please stay safe, stay healthy, stay home, and let's flatten the curve!

With love,

Ms. Kaitlin


 February 2020

Who Am I?

Over the last month, we have been slowly asking ourselves this question! In Kindergarten, this ties in with one of our big focuses, which is “I am Unique”. Our book study this month was Trudy’s Rock Story by Trudy Spiller and it inspired us in so many aspects of our learning. The story is about a young girl from the Gitxsan Nation in Northwestern British Columbia who hears a story about rocks from her Grandmother. She is told that there are special rocks who call to us, and that we can share our stories with those rocks, especially when we are upset. 

In our classroom, this inspired us to go outside and search for our own special rocks to talk to when we are upset, or even just want to tell a story to someone. We borrowed them from Na’a, and we will return them to her when we are finished with them. For now, they sit in a jar in our classroom for our use!  

We know that rocks are called “Okotok” in Blackfoot, and that they have spirits just like us. We also know that they have many stories kept within them, as they have been on the earth long before us. This inspired us to tell our own stories of the people who came long before us, and made us who we are. We are slowly working on our own “Rock Stories” with help from our families, and can’t wait to share them with you! Stop by our classroom to find out who's Blackfoot name is "Spopii" (Turtle), who is a grass dancer, and who's family was a part of Louis Riel's fight for freedom!



Preparing for Spring

We are preparing to go into the next season in our circle, spring! We are wrapping up our inquiry on space, and are looking forward to talking about the Earth! We will be asking ourselves what impact we make on Mother Earth, and how we can better take care of her. We look forward to getting to see our outside world come to life with blooming leaves and flowers, and the awakening of some animals and insects! We planted tomato, basil, and strawberry plants and are patiently waiting to see if they sprout.


                    


Very much looking forward to what the month of March has in store for us in Kindergarten 124!


Ms. Kaitlin


January 2020

Introduction  

Oki, Tansi, Hello Families!    

My name is Ms. Kaitlin Walker and I am so thrilled to be the teacher in Kindergarten Rm124 this year. We know there have been a lot of changes, so thank you so much for your patience! I am working especially hard to build consistency and routine in order to keep our classroom a comfortable and safe learning space. I thank you all for supporting this transition.   

In order to get to know me a little bit, I will include some brief information about myself. I myself was born and raised in Calgary, and graduated from the University of Calgary in 2018 with my Bachelor of Education specializing in Early Childhood Elementary. After that, I was offered the opportunity to teach Grade 2 & 3 on Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement in Paddle Prairie, Alberta. After spending a year up north, I decided to find my place back in Calgary, and am thrilled to have been presented with the opportunity to teach here at Niitsitapi Learning Centre. 

I am also excited to share that I have set up a Class Dojo account in order to help you feel more a part of our classroom. This class website will allow me to post about our learning, send out reminders, update you on how you can be involved, as well as allow you to send me private messages. If you have not received the paper or email copy invite and would like one, please contact me ASAP!

Sky Science Inquiry

Before winter break, we were reading the book “Darkest Dark” by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and the students immediately took an interest in space. They had so many questions that it inspired an inquiry project surrounding sky science. We have been working so hard to turn our classroom into outer space, so be sure to ask your child about this project, they all have many wonderful learnings to share!

We started by building a "wonder wall" on which everyone put one thing they are wondering about space, or one thing they want to find out. 

We had the chance to learn about the International Space Station, and made a list of the things we would need in order to build our own. Computers, a control board, and a Rocketship were among the things we made with recycled materials.

Students also had the chance to make the planets in our solar system with paper mache. We were lucky to get to have a conversation with Elder Randy about the sun (nato’si), moon (ko’komiki’somm), and stars. He shared with us that the big dipper is his favourite constellation, and reminded us about the north star who is there to guide us.


I look forward to updating you on the progress of this project, and sharing everything we learn from it, and I look forward to the remainder of this school year!

Ms. Kaitlin


Hand to Heart 

Oki families, It is with very mixed emotions that I am sharing this news.  I have accepted a new position with the Calgary Board of Education as an Indigenous Education Learning Leader and will be leaving Niitsitapi Learning Centre.   I am so grateful for this place, this community, and your children.  Working with each one of them has been an absolute joy.  They have taught me so much and I carry each one of them in my heart.  I know they will be in good hands when I leave, and I look forward to hearing how they are doing.   "Indigenous ways of knowing often remind us that change is natural; that there are stages of growth in life that we must embrace ... and this is one of them." ~ miskanawah website With hand to heart, Ayyy, thank you.  Miss. Sarah

What Time is it Mother Earth? 

“Life is a one day event.” ~ Elder Casey Eaglespeaker This year we will explore the idea of TIME as our inquiry topic of interest. Inquiry is a journey that is responsive to the learner. Individuals take on the role of teacher and learner as they make-meaning in a space that embraces curiosity, considers multiple perspectives, and honours Indigenous worldview.  It is integrated into all subject areas, providing the learner with opportunities to wonder, explore, discover, and make connections.   An inquiry topic or question provides a unique lens through which children can make meaning of the curriculum in an authentic way; in a way that makes a difference to them and extends outwards to community, to place, and to land.  It is the common thread that weaves through ideas, curricular concepts, personal passions, and tradition, focusing the learning with intention and purpose.  

 To guide our thinking, we will consider these questions: 

What has brought us to this moment? How will our choices now

affect the next seven generations to come?

How can we capture a moment in a story?

What can we learn from the memories held by our Elders, our

ancestors, and our non-human relations?

What does transformation teach us about time?

What do our Elders teach us about time as Indigenous thinkers?





Lessons from the Land 

We LOVE learning on the land. Our favourite time of the day is when we pack up our wonder wagon and head across the field to greet our tree friends, especially one particular tree named Clementine.  Nature is our greatest teacher and we grateful for the gifts of life Na’a provides to us.  When we look to our non-human relations, they tell us the season has changed.  It is autumn – o’ko.  A time when to turn inward, to let things go that no longer serve us, and to prepare for a time of greater darkness and scarcity.  We have observed changes in temperature, in colour, in light and shadow… learning from the land allows us to make meaning of our world in an experiential, sensory manner.  As we explore, play, investigate, connect, and inquire, we are developing skills and building knowledge in early literacy, early numeracy, scientific concepts, social interactions, and much more.  As we continue to visit the land on which Niitsitapi Learning Centre is on, what will we hear if we choose to listen?  What will we learn when we open our hearts and connect with our spirits?


WE MATTER! 

Every day is Orange Shirt Day at Niitsitapi Learning Centre! We are proud of our cultures, our ancestors, and the little humans we are.  We worked together to create this orange shirt, extending positive intentions with each stitch.  When you make something, your energy becomes a part of the creation – your story is told through your art.  This shirt is our story of strength, of resilience, and of pride.

“It is a great gift indeed to love who you are.”  ~ Katherine Applegate, Wishtree


Building a Classroom Culture of Community

In the beginning of Kindergarten, everything was new to us – the place and the people!  It was important to create a sense of belonging within our learning environment, and for everyone to feel like they were an important part of our community.

Circle teachings tell us that everyone is equal.  We sit side by side, each of us with something of value to contribute.  Talking circles help us to get to know each other as we share some of our favourite things, what we feel gratitude for, and which emotions we are feeling at a particular moment.  Circle brings us together to begin and end the day in a good way.  We listen to each other’s stories, celebrate successes, and help to solve problems. 

Learning tasks invited us to play with the letters in our names, using a variety of materials including paper, string, beads, playdough, sand, and shaving cream!  We read stories about little humans like us, and talked about what makes us unique.  

Making a number of self-portraits introduced ourselves as learners and artists, and brought life to the walls of our learning space.  Playing with mirrors, building faces, and learning about the characteristics that make us special strengthened our circle of self, and the connections we create with each other.

We are kind.  We are brave.  We are smart.  We are curious.  We are Niitsitapi!



Welcome to Kindergarten 2019-2020

Hello families,

Welcome to a new school year!  My name is Miss. Sarah.  I come from Treaty 6 Territory, in what we now call Saskatchewan, where I grew up amongst fields of grain and beautiful living skies.

I am excited to be teaching Kindergarten again at Niitsitapi Learning Centre this year. I have been working for the Calgary Board of Education for the last fourteen years in a variety of positions. I am passionate about early childhood education, as well as holistic approaches to learning that value Indigenous ways of knowing and being. I look forward to getting to know the children and families who are a part of our community this year.

As the school year begins, we will be spending the first few weeks getting to know our new friends and learning to recognize and write our names.  We will learn to be more independent by hanging up our backpacks, zipping up our coats, putting on our shoes, and cleaning up classroom materials. 

A few reminders to make sure everyone is prepared for Kindergarten:

  • Students need a pair of INDOOR shoes that can remain at the school and are appropriate for physical education.
  • Make sure your child is dressed appropriately for playing and learning outside everyday.
  • Students have a better day at school when they get lots of sleep the night before.

Looking forward to this year of learning together,

Miss. Sarah


What Does it Mean to be Alive?

This year's inquiry to find answers to this question was absolutely amazing.  We investigated and explored curricular concepts through the lens of our inquiry topic and have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things.  We have learned from our Elders, teachers, the land, and each other - developing theories and receiving teachings that will impact who we are and what we go on to do in this world.  Life is a gift, and we thank Creator ... Ayyy, Hiy Hiy, Miigwetch.  


Under the Sea

Playing with water provoked questions about life in underwater worlds.  What is life like for the water beings that inhabit the oceans around Turtle Island?

We were fascinated by the information we discovered about the ecosystems and symbiotic relationships of ocean life.  Creating ocean inspired art with a variety of materials gave us opportunities to share our learning through visual representation.  

We wanted to share our learning with others, and asked our Grade Three buddies to collaborate with us in a mini-inquiry into sea turtles, their life cycle, and current threats to survival.  We used non-fiction text and internet research to find information about their stages of life, habitat, instinctual behaviours, and physical appearance.  We loved learning about the baby sea turtles especially, and were curious about the journey from nest to sea!

We were saddened to learn that many sea turtles die because of plastics in the ocean, such as plastic bags and drinking straws.  We worked together to construct a life-size green sea turtle made entirely of the plastic waste that threatens their life under water.  Creating this piece of recycled art provoked great conversations between the youngest and oldest learners of our school, as we discussed the causes of pollution in our oceans, as well as the importance of taking care of Mother Earth and all living beings.  


Water is Life

Water is the greatest of gifts on Mother Earth.  Our Elders teach us that it sustains life and cleanses living things.  On a rainy day this spring, Elder Randy told us we should be thankful for aohkii, in its many forms and ways of supporting life.  He talked about the rivers flowing through our city, and taught us the traditional Blackfoot name, Moh'kins'tsis, meaning where the Bow River meets the Elbow River.  We extended this learning into a talking circle, in which we shared why we are grateful for water.  We also co-created a sketchnote to document are knowledge and wonderings about this natural element. 

Some of the reasons we are grateful for water are...

We drink it.

We like to swim.

It helps the trees and flowers grow.

We can cook with it.

Fish and whales need it for their home.

Some questions we asked about water were...

Where does rain come from?

Is all water salty?

How can fish breathe underwater?

Where does water go when it disappears (dries up)?

Why do we need water to survive?

We played with water in a variety of learning experiences that taught us about the properties of water and scientific concepts such as surface tension, condensation, evaporation, and buoyancy.  As mathematicians, we explored capacity as we filled and emptied different containers with water and estimated which would hold the most.  Sensory experiences invited us to create visual art and music using water, and a few of us experienced what it feels like to be wet after a few splashes and accidents using this liquid in our play! 

                                                            

These two books remind of us our relationship with water, and our responsibility to protect the water that keeps us healthy and provides homes for many of our nonhuman friends.  Without water, there is no life...


Na'a is Waking Up!

Although the spring equinox came and went months ago, it is only recently we have begun to notice changes outside our classroom window.  We are so grateful to be able to spend much of our time outside on the land connecting to, and learning from, our nature friends. 



Circle teachings often connect the colour yellow to the East, and the season of spring.  These teachings differ between cultures but one thing remains constant, that the bright yellow of the sun rises in the East each morning, bringing with it a new day and new possibilities.  The season of spring is much the same - a time of new beginnings as life begins again for the plants and animals who have rested through the winter and are just awakening, and for the new babies who will be welcomed into the natural world.  For us as two legged beings, perhaps it is a time of awakening for us as well.  The new season is an opportunity to move on from any darkness in our lives, and to embrace the light surrounding us.

What does this mean when you are only five or six years old?

We have considered this idea during talking circles and in conversations about stories we have read, and these are some of our ideas that will bring more light into our learning community:

"I will not say mean things to my friends.  I will use kind words."

"I don't like feeling mad.  I will do things that make me joyful."

"Sometimes learning is difficult.  I will say, "I can try!"

The concepts of light and dark were ones we explored when we learned about the Winter Solstice.  At first, we connected darkness with negativity and fear but then discovered that there are things that are dark that we find interesting and beautiful, including: the night sky, the mystery of outer space, and the protection of a bear's den.  Maybe we need the dark things in life to better appreciate the light. 

These are a few books and traditional stories that we love connected to these ideas:

Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun

Raven Brings the Light

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

Whimy's Heavy Things by Julie Kraulis

Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds

We  look forward to finishing our school year with light, love, joy, and connection!

"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." ~ Theodore Roethke


The First Thunder

Did you hear that?!!

We have been watching the sky outside our classroom window; noticing the changing colours, the movement of clouds, and the different examples of weather.  One day, one of our friends observed dark clouds moving towards the school and exclaimed, "It's going to rain!"  Rain it did, and with the rain came thunder!  This provoked much conversation and excitement about the sounds we could hear and memories we had of storms experienced before. 

This learning provocation invited us to create storms using paint (and even a little glitter!).  We had stories, pictures, and video to inspire our visual representations of a thunderstorm.  Watching lightening streak across the screen, and listening to the sounds of pouring rain and rumbling thunder made this learning experience seem much more real - almost like painting amidst a real storm!

There were so many great ideas shared as we painted our storms; we realized we had many different theories and wonderings about this thing called Thunder.  We searched our classroom library for books about thunder and made a list of questions we wanted to ask Elder Randy during his next visit.  When Elder Randy came, he told us that The First Thunder is an important event in his Blackfoot community.  There are special ceremonies and songs after the first thunder is heard.  There is also a story about Ksistsikom (Thunder) that has been told for many generations.  

This is an animation of Saakokoto's graphic novel, KSISTSIKOOM:

This is a written version of the traditional story from the Glenbow Museum:

Storytelling is an important part of our cultures and our classroom.  We considered the question, "How can sounds help to tell a storm story?"  We played with a variety of instruments to make the different sounds of a thunderstorm: rain, wind, lightning, thunder, stars, sun, clouds, etc.  It was a bit noisy but we had lots of fun telling stories this way!


We are storytellers through song, dance, words, and symbols...a story helps to make sense of the world around us.  Right now that story lives in sound, inspired by the sky. 


Tobacco Teachings

Tobacco is one of the four sacred plants Creator has given to us.  Our school was gifted with some tobacco plants which are now growing in our living wall in the hopes that we will be able to harvest the seeds for new plants and dry the stalks and the leaves to make tobacco bundles.  We often stop to observe any changes and say a few words of kindness to encourage their growth!  

Like all living things, tobacco plants have a life cycle that can be understood using the Medicine Wheel.  The plant goes through stages of life including seed (germinating), seedling (sprouting), mature plant (growing), flower (harvest).  Watching these stages, and waiting for changes, teaches us patience and appreciation for the current stage of life.

Watching plants grow helps us to learn what is necessary for their survival.  We have discovered that these plants need soil, light, warmth, air, and water.  They also need a lot of space because they grow quite tall.  Lastly, like all living things, we believe they will thrive with love!

They have also given us an opportunity to consider mathematical concepts such as shape and measurement.  

"This plant is almost as tall as me!" ~ Nahla

This observation initiated a conversation about how we could measure the plant and words we can use to compare size such as big, small, short, tall, and height.  

We are grateful to Na'a for providing us with what our tobacco need to grow to be healthy, and look forward to creating bundles that we will gift to our Elders when asking them to share their knowledge with us, and to Mother Earth when we ask to use something from our natural world. 

Below is a great video that further explains the traditional use of tobacco: 


The Heartbeat of Na'a

The beat of the drum - the heartbeat of Mother Earth.  Mr. Darcy came to visit us for a special week long residency.  The sounds of drumming and singing filled the school.  He shared teachings about how to show respect to the drum, and taught us a new song.

We were interested in the animals who gave their life for us to have our drums and wanted to look more closely to see if we could figure out which animal was used and examine how the maker of each drum laced the hide to the wooden frame.  We sketched hand drums and our school gathering drum, remembering to look for small details that make each one unique.  


We also told stories using pictures and words about our learning experience with Mr. Darcy.  We are practicing using the letter sounds we know to help us turn our ideas into written text.

We can't wait for Mr. Darcy to come back and are so grateful for the time he spent with us. 

Drumming is healing.  Drumming is culture.  Drumming is Niitsitapi. 


Looking at Life Through The Eyes of Bear

What is life like for these furry, ferocious friends of the forest?  We sought to find out more than the basics we already knew - or thought we knew...

  • Bears live in the forest. ~ Faith
  • Bears have claws. ~ Kilo
  • Bears sleep in a cave. ~ Erin
  • Bears eat berries. ~ Kayden
  • Bears can climb up trees. ~ Orlando
  • Bears scratch their back on a tree. ~ Nahla
  • Bears eat humans! ~ Neo

To investigate the life of this animal, we needed to know where to look for information.  We collected books from our school library, searched for reliable websites on the internet, and brainstormed experts who might be able to help in our learning.  We also transformed a corner of the classroom into a winter woodland, which inspired imaginative play and sparked new wonderings.

As we learned about the species of bears living in the Canadian Rockies (and sometimes our city!), we discovered interesting facts about their daily behaviours, seasonal survival skills, and unique instincts.  This new learning was discussed, theorized, and questioned during exploratory learning tasks and play experiences.  It was documented through the co-construction of documentation such as this bear's den.  

Bears were the perfect subject for a variety of art projects.  Painting and sculpting were our favourites and we had many visitors stop by to comment on our creations.  

          


Investigations into the natural world naturally bring up conversations about sensory experiences, habitats, basic needs, relationships, comparisons, and new vocabulary.  Inquiring into what life is like for a grizzly bear, compared to that of a black bear or polar bear, gave us an abundance of opportunities to connect curricular topics and apply our developing literacy skills and mathematical understanding.  Acting as little biologists required us to observe, question, analyze, manage information, use numerical data, communicate effectively, and demonstrate creativity.  

As spring arrives and instinct causes the bears to stir from their state of torpor, we are looking forward to learning about life in other parts of our planet.  We are leaving our den to continue our search for answers about what it means to be alive...

How grateful we are to have so many gifts of life from Na'a (Mother Earth)! 

Happy Spring!  


Life is Love

Eagle teaches us about love.  Flying closest to creator, as well as walking the land with us, Eagle reminds us to show love and kindness to all living beings.  To love others we must love ourselves.  During talking circles over the past few weeks, we have focused our ideas on what characteristics we love about ourselves, and our friends. 

"_____, I am grateful for you because you are _____."  

"I love that I am _____."

Last week, our morning exploration turned tables into valentine stations and red and pink pattern-making areas.  We counted heart shaped beads and created a LOVE-ly number line with some paper hearts and string.  Loose parts such as felt, wooden people, heart cutouts, and a variety of other pieces created stories about friendship - and even a wedding! 

We have been noticing and discussing the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.  This learning was extended through visual art, in which we built heart sculptures and created beautiful mixed media canvases.  Although there was an abundance of red, pink, and purple in our learning space recently, we considered which colour(s) represent love to each of us.  The story What Color is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla prompted great conversation and inspiration for our paintings. 


Kindergarten has moments of conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and BIG emotions.  Despite the challenging moments, we are a community of learners who care for each other and show love and kindness throughout our days together.  This impromptu hug was observed near the reading window last week.  Makes your heart happy! 

"You have been my friend, replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. ~ E.B. White, Charlotte's Web









           

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Today we sent a year end message to families about our planning for school re-entry this fall. Re-entry survey results and a transportation reminder. Check your email to read it online: https://t.co/qFKMVzfIHS #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/2V4iqs1Xqo

Due to increased traffic, we’re experiencing issues with the online report card feature of PowerSchool. Check out these instructions on how to view your report card marks/indicators. Sorry for the inconvenience! https://t.co/8FwiAq3JGW #yycbe #WeAreCBE https://t.co/luTVdQ5J6M