Oki, Tansi, Taanishi, Hi Kindergarten Families!
Before we could even blink, it seems March has passed us by. Spring Equinox has come and gone, leaving the spring season upon us, and personally, I notice the difference in the longer days. We have more time to learn on the land, play in the sun, and (for me, at least) more time in the day to accomplish all of those spring intentions we have set for ourselves. Your sweet Kinders are doing just that, playing, learning, and growing by the day! Please enjoy some of the highlights of our month.
A big part of the Kindergarten curriculum, as I have mentioned before, is “I am unique”. We take a good look at all of the things that make us unique as individuals including physical traits, our names, our families, and our backgrounds. This month, we launched into this inquiry head first, starting with the book “The Best Part of Me”. The book was written by elementary students who each chose a body part that they liked best. They each give a quick description of why they chose that body part, so we thought, why not do the same? Each of our students chose the part of their body they love best, and gave a quick sentence about why. Some of my favourites included “I like my legs, because they help me snowboard”, “The best part of me is my eyes, because without them I couldn’t watch trains go by”, and “I like my mouth because I eat pizza with it”.
In Kindergarten, science is all about wonder and questioning, as well as an introduction to the scientific process, and exploring STEM concepts (science, engineering, technology, and math). What better way to use our science brains than to help us try and catch a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day. We first read some stories about sneaky leprechauns, watched videos of other children building traps, and used google to get some inspiration. Then we made plans, decided what materials we would need, and worked in groups to decide what the traps would look like. Finally, using tape and recycled materials, we built and painted our traps, set them out, and tempted the leprechauns with some fake gold. The next day we came into our classroom and couldn’t believe our eyes! A leprechaun came through the room leaving a big mess behind him. We couldn’t catch him this time, but it sure created a lot of joy in our classroom. He even left us some gold coins behind!
This month, along with our hard work on letters and sounds, my personal favourite book that we studied was My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith. This book went along nicely with our Social Studies focus of “I am Unique”, as we talked about how each of us need different things to fill up our hearts. Students enjoyed brainstorming what fills our hearts with happiness, as well as an art project to help us showcase our ideas. Some of the things that filled our hearts with happiness were “When people say to me ‘I love you’”, “When I play with my little brother”, and my most favourite “When a pepperoni pizza is on the way”.
March also brought us a really special opportunity to participate in a school wide fun day, giving us the chance to connect with our community in a Covid-19 safe way. Teachers organized a morning full of activities, opening with a round dance, and featuring activities like ice building, planting sunflowers, fence decorating, painting rocks, making kites, playing soccer/ hockey, a scavenger hunt, and a special hotdog lunch. The weather was a little chilly, but we made the most of it. Many smiles were seen all around.
One final reminder that Ms. Lauren returns this month, and as of April 19 she will be your person to contact once again. Thank you so much for the opportunity to teach and grow with your children, and for trusting me with their learning for the last 3 months. I cherish this community so much. You all have such a special place in my heart!
Things to look forward to:
● April 6- Spring break ends
● April 19- Mr. Darcy visits us for virtual drumming
● April 20- Elder Shirley visits us virtual for teaching and dancing
● April 22- Earth Day
● April 26- NO SCHOOL
● April 27- Elder Randy visits us for virtual teaching
I thank you all with an extremely full and grateful heart. Ayyyyy, Hiy Hiy, Miigwech.
Hi Kindergarten Families,
In the blink of an eye, February has passed us by! I have really been enjoying having the chance to work with our smart, intuitive, and creative kinders. It is so hard to believe that it has already been one year since COVID-19 changed all of our lives, but it is so inspiring to be able to see firsthand how resilient and flexible our little ones really are. There is so much we can learn from them. That being said, enjoy some of our favourite learning experiences this month!
This month, our school’s focus was kindness. This aligned well with our Kindergarten curriculum, where we have alot of social skill goals, and work on strategies to contribute to our community, as well as to make friends.
Based on the book “I Promise” written by Lebron James, we came up with a schoolwide plan to put kindness at the forefront of our learning. In our classrooms, we wrote promises to ourselves, to our classroom, to our school, and to our community. I was blown away by the promises our Kindergarten friends wanted to make to themselves and those around them, and even more impressed by the way they held those promises. We especially enjoyed our promises to the school, as our class wrote a thank you card to someone special in our building every day in February. Getting to deliver these cards was a big excitement for our class, and was a great opportunity for the students to see the immediate impact of their kind acts (there were many big smiles and happy tears shed in our building this month!). This focus also transitioned us nicely into Pink Shirt Day, a day created for kindness.
This month, our big literacy focus was on oral retelling. We focused on the book “The Smartest Giant in Town”. The story is about a friendly giant, George, who is self conscious about being scruffy, so he buys himself some fancy new clothes. On a walk oneday, he donates one piece of his new clothing at a time to various other village animals who need help. After giving away all his clothing, he ends up needing to take back his old scruffy clothes. But when the village writes him a nice note dubbing him “the kindest giant in town”, George realizes he would rather be kind than fancy.
Students were tasked with retelling this story, using the book or character puppets to help them. We also focused on self-assessment during this book focus. As a Kindergarten group, teachers created a self-assessment target for students to guide them when thinking about how they did each time they practiced telling the story. Students enjoyed placing their own name on the target where they believe they landed after a retell exercise, and seeing themselves get closer to the middle as they progressed.
For math this month, we continued our focus on number sense. We progressed from counting pictures to adding ten frames to our morning counting routine. Recognizing at a glance (subitizing) familiar number formations (1 to 10) is an important part of number sense in Kindergarten. We learned that in a ten frame, we place our dots from left to right, and that if we see a full ten frame, there’s no need to count, because we just know it is automatically ten. Because some of our class has recently taken an interest in dice after discovering some laying around at playtime, I would like to follow their lead on that, and start to incorporate dice into our morning counting routine next!
We also had one really special and exciting day this month where we spent almost a whole day doing fun math activities… our 100th day of school! Our Kindergarten friends really got a good sense for how much 100 really is as we explored a journal entry “if I could have 100 of anything, what would it be?”, made a special 100 day hat, as well as a necklace making activity where students had to put 100 fruit loops onto a pre-counted mat, and then put them on a necklace which they got to wear (and eat!).
Important Dates Upcoming:
March 15- Daylight savings time ends. Don’t forget the time change!
March 16- Spring Equinox teachings with Elder Saa’kokoto
March 17- St. Patrick’s Day
March 22-26 Parent Teacher Conference Calls- I will call each family for a phone conference in place of interviews
March 24- Outdoor Fun Day
March 26-April 5 Spring Break
April 6 Classes Resume (welcome back Ms. Lauren!)
Ayyy, Hiy Hiy, Miigwech,
Oki, Tansi, Taanishi, Hello Kindergarten Families!
My name is Kaitlin, and as many of you know, I am covering Ms. Lauren while she is away. I am so excited to be with you for January, February, and March. I was fortunate to teach Kindergarten last year here at NLC as well, so I am highly familiar with the students, staff, and even some of our families. It is a great privilege for me to work with our Indigenous populations here in Mohkinstsis, on Treaty 7 land, and to have the chance to learn about and foster the cultures of our students.
Please enjoy some of our favourite learning highlights from the month of January!
This month, we continued our practice with representing numbers 1-10. We started our month by reading the book “Ten Black Dots” by Donald Crews, and making our own pictures with Ten Black Dots each.
We also started a new morning routine, where we count and represent our friends with an equation on the SmartBoard. We count the number of girls, the number of boys, and the number of everyone altogether, and use 1:1 counting skills to drag the correct number of icons into our equation. We also started learning about ten frames, and hope to integrate this form of representing number into our morning math routine.
As we started to get back into the swing of school after winter break, January brought us many great book talks to help us support our literacy goals. Some of our focuses this month included making comments during story time, making personal connections to stories, asking questions, experimenting with sounds, words, word patterns, and rhymes, and associating sounds with consonants that appear at the beginning of personally significant words. We are also continuing practicing our story retelling skills with our favourite books.
I have been so impressed and inspired by the love of books I see in our classroom! Some of our favourite books we read in January were “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis, “Potato Pants” by Laurie Keller, “Pig the Pug” by Aaron Blabey, and “My Teacher is a Monster” by Peter Brown!
Science & Inquiry
For science this month, our students took a big interest in bears, so we ran with it! As many of you know, the Bear (kiááyo) is our classroom animal. We now even have our own classroom bear who we named Twinkly Star!
We talked about seasonal changes and what animals do in the winter, and we look forward to discovering what many more animals do to escape or adapt to the cold. We read and explored many non-fiction books about bears, as well as watched videos, and have even been watching a live camera footage of a bear in hibernation. Some of us got to see the bears move around a little bit in their cave, which sparked a lot of great questions about what happens during hibernation. Check this by clicking this link, if you’re interested! https://www.grousemountain.com/webcam-winter/bear-den-cam.
We also created a play centre around building bear dens! Students made a list of things they thought we might need in order to build a den for Twinkly Star based on photos and books.
We have also been fortunate with lots of great weather in January, and have been enjoying all that ipakssaisstoyi (winter) has to offer us!
Online Learning Info
I would like to first give a huge thank you to Ms. Shauna for all the work she puts into our virtual classroom for emergency at home learning. If your child needs to be away from school for illness or isolation, please visit our Virtual Classroom to help them keep up to date with their learning. You can access the Virtual Classroom via the following link: https://docs.google.com/presen...
Feb 11, 12 NO SCHOOL- Teachers Convention
Feb 15 NO SCHOOL- Family Day
Feb 18- 100th Day of School
Feb 24- Pink Shirt Day (Anti-Bullying Awareness)- Wear pink to show your support!
Ayyyy, Thank You,
Oki, Tansi, Hello families!
Welcome to a new school year! I am very excited to be teaching Kindergarten this year. This is my fourth year at NLC and have taught PE, reading/math groups, EDC, and Grade 1. I am looking forward to working with all of your children this year. Kindergarten is a fun year! Children are doing very well at remembering to wear their masks and sanitize their hands. There are many new routines such as bringing our mask boxes outside so we can take our masks off outside and sitting away from our friends at tables, but they are all adapting really well. I sent home a quarantine package yesterday - please make sure you save the work for if our class happens to go into quarantine. If you need new sheets, let me know. We will also be using Google Classroom to support if this were to happen. I will send out login details in the next couple of weeks.
We have started the year by focusing on the changing of the seasons and the medicine wheel. We go exploring in the field every day and love finding all kinds of things such as ladybugs, leaves, and flowers (and of course making our way to the playground!). We pay attention to the changes happening when we visit the trees and observe what we notice every day. We also have some very big sunflowers which we can see from our classroom and have enjoyed making sunflowers and drawing them in our visual journals.
We are beginning to start letter work and rhyming as well. Most of our days have been spent learning routines, practicing how to line up, push our chairs in, and listen to when I speak and need their attention. Every day we do calendar to practice our counting and learn the days of the week.
We will be having phone interviews next week in lieu of in person parent-teacher interviews. I will call Monday or Tuesday to book a time that works. They will be next Thursday October 8 from 5-8 and Friday October 9 from 9-12. If these dates do not work, please let me know and we can arrange an alternative.
Please do not hesitate to ask any questions. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
October 8-9: Phone Interviews
October 9: NO SCHOOL
October 12: NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving)
Have a great weekend!
Oki, Tansi, Hello Families,
My thoughts and well wishes are with each of you as we move through this new and challenging time in our lives. I hope that everyone is healthy, supported, and has access to the tools that are needed. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns about anything and I will answer them as best I can or direct you to someone who can help.
As we move into online learning, I wanted to share some updates. We will be utilizing Google Classroom and Google Meet to support student's learning. Google Meet is an online video chat where we can all say hello, smudge, do individualized assessments, or share a story. Google Classroom is where online lessons and assignments will be shared. Lessons and work will be up Monday April 20. We are taking into consideration families' technological needs, so there is no need to worry about materials or having access to a printer. We are still waiting on further instructions from the CBE regarding sending home paper packages. Guardians will receive information today via email regarding students gmail accounts and passwords. PLEASE CHANGE YOUR CHILD'S PASSWORD AFTER YOU HAVE LOGGED IN. Your child will receive invites to their homeroom classroom, reading group class/ teacher, and math group/teacher. If there are any issues, please contact me as soon as possible.
In your email that you receive today, there is also an attachment pertaining to your child's Raz-Kids account. This an excellent site that allows children to read books at their level and improve reading, listening, and comprehension skills. Please log in using the username and password that has been emailed to you and explore the books and read-a-louds. Children are to choose a book at their level from the "Level Up" tab; this is the area designed to target each child's current reading level. With each book selection there is a read-a-loud version, an ordinary book version, and other activities Feel free to explore and see how the website works, targeted work will be assigned in the future. The "Reading Room" is a fun area for students to check out a huge selection of books in many genres. Let me know if you have any questions about this site! For login instructions and information, please see the email attachment you received.
Some important links:
www.kidsa-z.com (Raz-Kids login page)
I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.
Oki, Tansi, Hello families,
I hope everyone finds this post well and that you are all healthy and safe. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have during this time and I will try to answer them as best I can; we are still learning more ourselves day by day. It was nice to speak with most of you today. If I was not able to get ahold of you, I did send an email, so please touch base with me so we can have a quick conversation about your child.
As stated, we will be using this blog to post weekly updates regarding what children can be working on in literacy, numeracy, and other subject areas. I have also created a tentative day plan you can use if you like. If closures continue after Spring Break ends, this blog will continue to be updated on Mondays with new information and resources.
Connecting with Family and Spirit
Literacy (Read Aloud, Vocabulary/ Book Talk)
Please watch the read aloud of “The Snail and the Whale”
This is a story that explores the physical beauty of the world and the beauty in helping others. It is about a snail who longs to see the world, so he hitches a ride on the tail of a whale. Together they go on a journey and see icebergs, volcanoes, sharks, and penguins. The snail gets to see how big and beautiful the world really is. The whale becomes beached and the snail gets people together to help save him.
Vocabulary words to explore with your child:
Snack/ Movement Break
Please refer to the gonoodle link as listed below – there are lots of videos to choose from and children love them!
Numeracy (Adding and Subtracting, Number Sense to 20, Counting to 100 in ones, tens, and fives)
Please refer to Miss Kelly’s blog if your student is in her group.
My group has been working with adding and subtracting numbers within 15 (smaller numbers if your child is having difficulty). Please find something your child can use as a counter (lego, crayons, etc). Children have also been taught to make dots to help them solve problems.
We are also working on number sense up to 20 (building, writing, and representing) and counting to 100 by ones, fives, and tens.
I will send out a few worksheets in the next couple days. The websites listed below are also great tools to use to aid in learning. I've also attached a couple of counting videos we have used in class.
There are a variety of things students can do including:
crafts, baking, reading, building, drawing, etc (NO TECHNOLOGY)
Exploration (Social Studies)
We have been learning about the community. Have some fun exploring Google Earth and searching for:
· nearby landmarks
· downtown landmarks
· familiar places
· police stations, hospitals, fire stations, etc
Writing topic: “When I grow up I want to be a….”
It is also VERY helpful to read with your child. Every day we review sounds learned and children have been getting much practice in sounding out words. Encourage them to read simple sentences to you and practice sounding out each word . We are also working through the Dolch Sight Word list (we are currently in the pre-primer/ primer words). It is also helpful to ask some comprehension questions about stories as well.
I will email out some numeracy pages so that children can practice adding and subtracting.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I miss the children already and I hope to see them soon!
Username name: calgarypl
Make an account for free
Letter Recognition Games:
Nasa Kids Club:
National Geographic Kids
(youtube.com also has free gonoodle videos)
Social Studies Resources:
Oki, Tansi, Hello everyone!
My name is Miss Roselyn and I am the temporary teacher filling in until Ms. Lauren returns. I have been enjoying every moment of getting to know the staff and students around this wonderful school!
In my literacy group, we have been continuing on with the Jolly Phonics program to review letter sounds and blends on a daily basis. We have also been using other resources including books, videos and activities in addition to this program and are currently focusing on the /sh/, /ch/, and /th/ sounds.
In my math group, we have continued to practice our counting from 0-100 every day. This week, we introduced the number line as a math strategy and have been talking about and practicing what it means when we say, “one more” or “one less” than a given number, focusing on numbers between 0-20.
Finally, we have just recently started our new Social Studies unit on Community, and have been talking about what it means to be a part of a community, and how Mother Earth, Na’a fits in as well. We have focused on school and neighbourhood communities, and have been exploring Google Earth as one tool that helps us navigate communities around the world.
This upcoming Thursday, January 30, 2020, my class and Ms. Nicole’s Grade 1 class will be going on a Community Walk Field Trip (within walking distance) to explore and make observations about the community surrounding our school. I have attached the Community Walk Field Trip Parent Letter, which was sent home with students on Monday, January 27.
January 30, 2020 – Gr. 1 Community Walk #1
January 31, 2020 – Non-Instructional Day for all students
February 11, 2020 – Gr. 1 Community Walk #2
February 13, 2020 – Teacher’s Convention (NO SCHOOL)
February 14, 2020 – Teacher’s Convention (NO SCHOOL)
Oki, Tansi, Hello everyone,
I hope that everyone had a restful October break. We have been so fortunate to have had some sunny autumn weather and have been outside enjoying it when we can. October was a busy month filled with fall colours and elder visits. As we move into November, the weather is turning chilly. Please remember to send your child in appropriate clothing (hats, gloves, etc) as we often go outside. We are also looking forward to a drumming residency the first week of November and have started our Hoop Dancing club Mondays at lunch.
In October, we continued our work with number sense, focusing on numbers 0-20 counting forwards and backwards. We have also been starting to count in tens up to one hundred and noticing patterns on our hundreds chart. Children have been enjoying some new math centers in which they are building numbers, practicing printing numerals, and playing ten frames games with friends. We will be moving into adding in November.
In literacy, we have been continuing on with the Jolly Phonics program and just recently learned /ai/ sound. Every day, children either focus on a new sound or sight word and work through it in reading groups. Each day there is a new morning message and we read if all together, finding familiar sight words and learning how to read new words by blending the sounds we know. It is excellent practice at home to read to your child and help them sound out words/ recognize words that are very common (sight words - "the", "to", etc). We will be continuing on with this program through November.
November 7: Remembrance Day assembly (11:00am)
November 8: Grandmother Tea Ceremony in the afternoon (please contact the office to RSVP)
November 11: Remembrance Day (NO SCHOOL)
November 14: Photo retakes
Have a great week!
Oki, Tansi, Hello everyone!
Welcome to a new school year. I am very excited for the opportunity to teach Grade 1 at this wonderful school. We have had a busy start to the year learning new routines and making new friends. Grade 1 is often a hard transition from Kindergarten as there is more work and more expectations. Children have also begun targeted reading and math groups that run Monday- Thursday with Ms. Kelly.
Children in my reading group have been spending time learning initial sounds in the Jolly Phonics program. We just learned /u/ and enjoy following along with the songs and actions. We are also learning sight words and are reading sentences every day. Children are being taught to blend learned sounds into simple words such as "cat", "mat", etc. We often play sight word bingo and go on word hunts to help us learn words and sounds.
Math has been a focus on number recognition up to 10 (higher for some) and recognizing groups of objects instantly (subitizing). There have been a variety of games and centers to help solidify this. Subitizing Go Fish is a game we are currently enjoying. Children are also working on their 1:1 correspondence skills and counting objects. As we move into October, there will be a focus on building numbers and learning how to add.
Our science exploration has taken outside to see the changing seasons and learn about colour mixing. We have enjoyed working with fall colours and making some beautiful art for our classroom! We will continue on with colours and seasons for the next few months.
We go outside every day, so please bring appropriate clothing to school for your child.
We have a morning and afternoon snack break, please provide a snack if possible.
Agendas are used as a home-school communication book. I check them every day.
Parent-teacher interviews are Thursday October 10 4:30-7:00 and Friday October 11 9:00-12:00
There is NO SCHOOL Monday October 14- 18. Classes resume the following Monday.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Have a great week!