Summer is over and fall has certainly arrived. In fact, it seems as if it arrived when I wasn'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 all the falling leaves has decided that it is now indeed autumn. To notice all the changes the cooler weather has brought, Team Awesome took 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 and leaves and pine cones, we listened closely for autumn sounds and crunched leaves in our hands, we felt the cool wind on our faces and talked briefly about which things we love to eat in the fall (pumpkin pie!). Then we used our sense of sight to search for signs of autumn in our schoolyard and finished up with a 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?
All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world. – LM Montgomery
As you know, we have a 12:41 dismissal on Wednesday, Oct. 20 due to progress reports. Because of the current situation these are mostly by interim reports or an online meeting or phone call 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 next week so look for those in zipper bags.
If you would still like to set up an online meeting, or an outside distanced meeting with us on the 20th we would be happy to do that. Just contact us sometime before Tuesday Oct. 19th as we will have some time available between 1:30 and 4:00 for 15 minute meetings. If you just need a very quick check-in, that can be done outside at pick up/ dismissal time.
What can you help with at home? We are just beginning to introduce sight words and those will be listed on every Friday Housekeeping post starting last week so you can practice at home if you wish. We have also begun our introduction to the letter names and the sounds they make and the children will bring home a coloured picture with a song at the bottom to discuss/ practice most weeks. And any little paper books that come home that the children have been practicing in school and coloured can also be read a few times to family members to gain fluency (ie My Book of P). We are learning how to be good game partners and beginning to play couples' math games with dice- skills which are easily transferable to family game night.
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. Kipp. 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 will be taken out of our packs and put in the Library bin to keep them safe until next visit. We love going to the library!
As you know, BEST participated in Orange Shirt Day last week. Orange Shirt Day was designed to educate people and promote awareness in Canada about the Indian residential school system. Prior to the day, we read and discussed a version of Phyllis Webstad's story called "Phyllis's Orange Shirt" which presents a complicated issue in a simplified way for younger students. We wanted them to understand why we were preparing to wear orange. On the actual day, we read the book "You Hold Me Up" by Monique Gray Smith which was written to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. It fit well with our ongoing encouragement to show love and support for each other and to consider each other's well-being in their everyday actions in our learning spaces. Following the book we shared how others held us up. We wish you could have been there to hear the wonderful things the children had to say about their families and the things that made them feel loved. Simple things like hugs and being silly together and playing. It was heart-meltingly sweet and a lovely way to wrap up the lesson.
Mrs. Bowden &