Summer is over and fall is certainly certainly on its way. In fact, it seems as if it arrived when we weren't looking because wasn't it just too sunny and too hot out there? In Kindergarten, one of our Big Ideas in Science is that daily and seasonal changes affect all living things and therefore we keep a close eye on the weather. In September Team Awesome was surprised we changed the season from summer to fall when it seemed as if it was still summer outside but with the leaves beginning to fall they have decided that it is now indeed autumn. To notice all the changes the cooler weather has brought, we went on a 'Signs of Fall' walk around our school. We began with a review of our senses and which ones we could use to investigate changes fall has brought to the world around us. We smelled the air, we listened closely for autumn sounds, we felt the cool wind on our faces and tried to taste it with our tongues and talked about which things we love to eat in the fall (pumpkin pie!). Then we used our sense of sight and touch to search for signs of autumn in our schoolyard and finished up with a brief discussion of the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. Throughout our walk we gathered up items Mother Nature had thrown away to make a poster to label and display so we could share our signs of fall with the rest of the school. Now, how will we make a 'Signs of Winter' poster?
Today was our first Fresh Air Friday and your child will come home with stories of all their adventures down by the river. We always begin by marking out our play perimeters and looking for things that might be unsafe. We participate in a lesson and accompanying activity and then the children are off to play and explore. Playing outside gives the children the chance to experience the natural environment and have adventures. They play games, test their physical limits, express themselves and build self-confidence. There is more space and freedom for big movements and they are able to push the play boundaries outside, where there is room to run faster, climb higher and jump further which are good for their health, fitness and physical as well as mental development. It might mean some tears, a scrape or a fall, but ‘risky play’ helps children learn from mistakes and bounce back. We love Fresh Air Friday and love that Team Awesome does too!
Tuesdays will be our library day and the children were very excited for our first visit. They met Ms. Kipp, our librarian, and her assistant Mrs. Bisong, and had a look around the library. Ms Kipp showed us how to use our Spot Cards to mark our place when we remove a book from the shelf, she read us Mr. Wiggle's Book, which reminded us how to take care of books and then we chose a book and signed it out on the computer with Mrs. Bisong. We will be bringing a new book home every week as long as we have returned the book we borrowed the previous week. If the book becomes lost or damaged, it will have to be paid for before another book can be signed out. We put our books in our backpacks to keep them neat and clean for the trip back and forth between school and home. Returned library books can be taken out of their packs and put in the Library bin beside our door. We love going to the library!
Mrs. Philips will be in our learning spaces before lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays to sing, dance, act and do art projects with Team Awesome while we try to get caught up on things (imagine a hamster running on a wheel). Team Awesome is always interested to see what exciting things Mrs. Philips has planned for us and we are going to enjoy all her activities this year!
As you know, we have a 12:30 dismissal on Wednesday, Oct. 18 due to parent/teacher interviews. Because of the current situation these are mostly by online meeting this year on a must-needs basis. We will have been in school for four weeks and we met with you all before school started. We also see many of you once or twice a day. Team Awesome has mainly been working on routines and social responsibility and getting settled in since the beginning of September. The children have been great and at this time we have no serious concerns. If that changes we will certainly contact you and set up a meeting. And of course you can set up a meeting with us any time you have a concern as well. We will, however, be sending home a student self-assessment accompanied by a teacher assessment focusing on social responsibility this week.
If you would still like to set up an online meeting with us next week we would be happy to do that, just email us sometime before next Tuesday as we will have some time available between 1:30 and 3:30 for 15 minute meetings.
The school is required to conduct two lock down practices during the year and our first one will be Thursday of this week. During the procedure an announcement will be made over the PA system that just says, "Lock down." Because our classroom doors are locked at all times in case this procedure needs to happen for real, all that needs to be done is closing the doors and keeping the children as quiet as possible (we usually whisper-read a book). We will be explaining to the children that we need to practice in case there is an emergency in the school that requires us to stay inside our classrooms. Because they are four and five year olds who have active imaginations they will inevitably come up with all sorts of situations in which this procedure might happen. Please rest assured that at no time will we be elaborating on reasons for which we might have to activate the lock down procedure. Mostly the children see it as an adventure but sometimes they become anxious or scared, especially when the door is rattled from the outside to see if it is locked. We try to answer any questions and relieve their fears before/during/after the activity but some extra hugs and explanations might be needed at home. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Law at the school.
Mrs. Bowden &