- Azaan is proud of his Spiderman hat, Jacqueline loves her robot puppy, Gideon showed us his backpack and Abigail had a stuffed kitten.
- Don't forget to jump your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
- I will be asking you to send 1 or 2 small boxes, tubes etc. with your child on Monday, Mar. 14 so we can build leprechaun traps. In previous years the pesky little guy has made fools of us all by eluding our traps so hopefully this is the year we catch him and get rich!
- Tuesday, Mar. 15, we will be reading with Mrs. Weber's class in the afternoon.
- Wednesday, Mar. 17, we have a presentation from the City of Kamloops with Mrs. Farber's class.
- Thursday, Mar. 17 is St. Patrick's Day and students often wear green. We will be working on some activities Thursday and Friday.
- Report cards will go home on Thursday, Mar. 17, rather than the previously scheduled Friday, Mar. 18. Please sign the envelope and return it to me for the final report in June.
- We have rescheduled this week's Fresh Air Friday to next Friday, Mar. 18 as Mrs. Farber was away today.
- Spring Break begins Saturday, Mar. 19 and the children return to school on TUESDAY, April 5. Unfortunately there will be a substitute on that day. :-(
- The Week In Photos will be light this week as I forgot my camera at home two days.
- A few of the Buddy Bag dates/names got switched around for this weekend.
- My black polar fleece light coat is still missing. It has a stand up collar, full front zip and a pocket on either side. I think it is a Polar Tech brand in women's Medium (small?). It fell off the back of my chair while the children were getting ready to go at the end of the day last week and someone went home with it. If you see it, please return it as it is a favourite (and it gets cold in here!).
- There are a few winter items still hanging about on top of our hallway shelves that likely won't be needed again this year. Please have a look and take home any items that belong to your child. The Lost & Found is also bulging at the seams so glance in there too.
This is the time of year the kindergarteners begin to feel "too big for their britches", as my dad would say. We are more than half way through the year and staring down the barrel of grade one, which we have begun to discuss a bit to help lessen the anxiety the change sometimes causes. They are feeling comfortable in the classroom and around the school and have become used to encountering new and sometimes tough situations and dealing with them successfully on their own. In fact, they are being encouraged to try and deal with things on their own before asking for help. They have become very independent throughout most of the course of the day and are ready to take on the world- and all the adults in it. As bits of these types of behaviours are showing up in the classroom (as it does most years in the spring), you might have noticed some of it at home: their voices are a little louder, they are a bit more demanding or give a bit more attitude when answering a request. They are slower to do as they are asked, they are asking more questions about why they are required to do things or more prone to pouting and being slightly disagreeable or whiny. In their confidence and burgeoning independence they are testing boundaries and looking for guidance, even if that's not what it sounds or feels like sometimes. Think of it as an early practice session for their teenage years- yay!
Build It Bin
Has Team Awesome by any chance mentioned the Build It Bin at home yet? The Bin has been a project Mrs. Farber and myself have been working on for the last two years. We are big proponents of small loose parts in our classrooms. Loose parts are any items that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. Loose parts can be used alone or combined with other materials. There is no set of specific directions for materials that are considered loose parts. You have probably seen photos of Team Awesome members fiddling with loose parts on tables in our classroom.
Mrs. Farber and I were dissatisfied with the play opportunities for our students outside and while searching for better ones two years ago, we saw a video that used large loose parts outside and we were thrilled- "How come we didn't think of that?!" We started scheming how we could bring loose parts to all the children at BEST out on the playground. We wrote a proposal and submitted it to Mr. Hembling, who then passed it on to the school board, where it was stalled for the better part of a year. In the meantime, we made presentations to the other staff and the PAC selling them on the idea of loose parts outside. While waiting for our proposal to get the nod to go ahead, we wrote another proposal for a Creativity and Innovation grant through the school district to get some funding for a storage unit and it was accepted. YAY! And the loose parts proposal was as well- double YAY!
I would like to say that after that it was as easy as buying a bin and throwing some junk into it but, unfortunately, there are always bumps in the road. No matter. The Bin is here, it has loose parts in it, the children are being trained how to use it appropriately, and we have a timeline to open the Bin at lunch hours after Spring Break. Will all go smoothly? Probably not. But the learning opportunities for the children are rich and engaging and exciting and we can't wait!!
The Week In Photos
We have finally- despite many many interruptions- finished off our polar animals unit. The unit wound up at the end of last week with an experiment- you probably saw the photos in last week's The Week In Photos post and had no idea what we were doing. We learned that polar animals are able to stay warm in such frigid temperatures because of a thick layer of blubber. The children thought it was a silly idea that fat could keep animals warm so we put fat to the test. We slipped one hand into the 'blubber glove' made of lard and left the other naked and then submerged both into icy water. The blubber glove won hands down- pardon the pun! It kept our fingers toasty warm while the other hand could barely stand to be in the water longer than 10 seconds. It was left on the science table for the afternoon so Team Awesome could have another go at it but I'm not sure anyone was willing to retest our conclusions. I think I'll forego the blubber and keep my down-filled coat for next winter.
Do you know what cup stacking is? (If not, check it out here. This boy is so fast it's unbelievable.) Our school district sponsors a cup stacking tournament every year in March for students in kindergarten through to grade six and last Thursday the sponsor teacher for BEST, Mrs. Sauka, invited the primary children to her room to try it out. Many Team Awesome members were very excited to spend their lunch hour trying something new and came back to class enthused to do it again. As a 100 Day activity on Friday I put 100 cups on the carpet to see what the children would do with them. And they spent more than 30 minutes working together to build, and rebuild, and rebuild, a giant cup stacking tower with absolutely no guidance from me. It was awesome!
100 Days Smarter!
Mrs. Bowden &