Last week Lucas brought in a very cool Lego creation that he had made at home to show us during his sharing time. The other children were immediately captivated as Lego is a popular centre in our classroom. One of the questions asked of Lucas was how he made it, which led to my casual suggestion that he draw his creation and put the paper on a clipboard so the other children could copy his picture and make it themselves. Which then led to a flurry of activity and flying paper as a number of students wanted to make their own pictures and leave them on the clipboard as well. During our time at this impromptu centre, which extended over a few days, we discussed and researched architects and engineers as well as blueprints and how important they are. We also discovered that being as accurate as possible in our drawings was important when we went to test and build our structures. And then many children 'went back to the drawing board' to adjust where needed. The conversation was rich and exciting as they shared their ideas and what they learned through trial and error. The children were enthusiastic and engaged and eager to create and share. And just as suddenly as it began, the engineering/ blueprint centre was dropped as they moved on to The Art Store (drawing and 'selling' pictures). But the clipboard and their partly finished projects are waiting on the counter for someone to notice them and their interest is sparked again.
On Monday we will have a discussion about what Team Awesome can expect on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and I had better share the details with you before you get a 5 year old's version (which I am sure would include tons of treats in their lunch and a new puppy each). A few years ago BEST added the opportunity to dress up in Halloween costumes during the school day. The children are welcome to wear their costumes throughout the day (or not) but no weapons, masks or gore are allowed. Please note that if your child wears their costume all day it probably will not come home in the same shape it came to school in. Please label all costume pieces with names and refrain from sending little bits and pieces/accessories as they are difficult to keep track of and often end up lost. Various Halloween activities will take place throughout Tuesday, including a costume parade, Halloween safety review discussion, rotating stations in mixed K-3 groups between recess and lunch and a dance in the gym at the end of the afternoon. Fun fun fun!!
Please refrain from sending more than 1 Halloween treat to school each day with your child in November. They will be encouraged to eat their healthy food (ie sandwich) before having the treat at lunch.
Due to an incident that was occurring in the neighbourhood of BEST this morning, the school was put on hold and secure status just as the children were being released for recess. Because staff was unsure of the exact nature of the situation, we defaulted to lock down status which was shortly changed to hold and secure, which means we are inside the locked school with the blinds down but can use the washrooms and move about. The children were assured we were safe and to lighten the mood we had a picnic snack and watched an episode of Storybots, followed by our regular schedule of activities to keep things as calm and normal as possible. Shortly before lunch outside time the hold and secure status was also lifted. Due to the uncertain nature of the situation Mrs. Farber and I decided to cancel our Fresh Air Friday trip to the river and spend the afternoon on the playground and inside the school yard.
After today's events some of the children might have concerns about how safe they are at school or even living in the neighbourhood. As these sorts of situations can bring up strong emotions, please gently probe your child's reaction to our unexpected change in plans today and help manage their stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty so they are not fretful to return on Monday.
Thursday is our visit to the Sunset Farms pumpkin patch (towards the airport) and Team Awesome is very excited. We will be leaving on the bus as close to 8:45 as possible and returning about 11:00. The weather in the mornings has been damp and chilly so appropriate footwear as we will be exploring through wet long grass and leaves, as well as a heavier coat (with a tissue in the pocket), hat and mittens are suggested. Unfortunately, the farm has called and told us that there are very few large pumpkins and those that are left are rotting BUT there should be enough child-sized pumpkins so we can all choose one to bring back to school. If you are joining us and bringing a sibling who would like to take home a pumpkin, the cost is $7.00. We will explore the pumpkin patch and corn maze and ride on the tractor wagon and have a snack from our lunch kit before coming back to school. You are welcome to meet us there if you would like, or there is space on the bus if you are feeling brave.
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 has decided that it is now indeed autumn. To notice all the changes the cooler weather has brought, Mrs. Farber's Friends joined us 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 talked 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?
I have taught many grades, including high school, but LOVE teaching primary.