Mrs. Wardlow's Kindergarten

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Earth Day 2017

April 22 is Earth Day, so we spent time on Friday doing some “Earth Jobs.” It was a beautiful day to get outside and students were eager to help. They had been reminding me all week that it was our turn to do Litter Pick-Up, and this was the first of our tasks.

 

We also did some weeding in the garden we had planted in the school courtyard, as well as the one by the library.

 

 

By doing these jobs, one of the Core Competencies we are developing is Social Responsibility, in the area of Contributing to Community and Caring for the Environment.

 

Have a HAPPY EARTH DAY everyone!

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Heart Art

We are exploring the use of different materials and shapes to make images. We have tried pattern blocks, paper, and a variety of loose parts.

For Valentine’s Day, we looked at heart art by the artist Page Hodell. See her beautiful and moving artwork here, published in the book, Monday Hearts for Madalene.

We made our own heart art using a variety of loose parts.

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100th Day of Kindergarten!

  
So much learning, so much fun,

100 days of kindergarten!

   
    
 
100 exercises!

 Counting our 100 Collections 

   
   
 
Comparing the Weight and Volume of our 100s Collections
  

100 Cupcakes!

  
Hip hip Hooray! We celebrated 100th Day!

  

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Our Garden Project

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Snowdrops coming up in a Victoria garden.

I spent Family Day weekend visiting my family in Victoria. Spring always comes a little earlier to balmy Victoria, and left me wondering when the bulbs we planted in our school garden might begin to grow. Let’s take a look back at how we planned our garden in the fall…

We started off by exploring bulbs: looking at them, drawing them, and wondering about them.

I asked some students if they would like to try planting some bulbs and the response was an enthusiastic “yes!” But where to plant them? We spent some time looking around the courtyard for suitable spots, then made our proposal to Mr. Leibovitch and Ms. Maharaj. We did some shared writing, some guided measuring, and individual drawings of where we wanted to plant the bulbs.

Our project was approved! Time for Mrs. Wardlow to round up some bulbs and soil. These were provided through some school funds given by Mr. Leibovitch, classroom funds provided by PAC, and parent donations. Thank you everyone!

When we had lots of different bulbs we set to work planning out our garden. It was a tough decision, but we decided that the kind of bulbs we were to plant would be a surprise. The students still don’t know what they will be! However, to help in the planning we decided it would be good to know what colours we might see.

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So much math went into our planning, which we did as a whole group and in small groups: measuring, sorting, patterning, and counting. We also had to practice listening to each other’s ideas, and come to a decision that everyone could be happy with. Sometimes it’s difficult when our own idea doesn’t get chosen, but that is a learning experience, too. We abandoned our original plan when we got a donation of bulbs in multi-colours, which was another great lesson in flexibility: it’s okay to stray from the plan!

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Students working together to measure the perimeter of the area we would use for planting.

 

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Students try measuring the garden box by counting the number of steps around it.

Before we could plant, we had to do some weeding and clearing. The students enjoyed this activity and discovered all kinds of interesting things in the soil. Many thanks to our parent helper who finished off the weeding for us. It was a big job!

Finally, we were ready to plant. Again, this was something that couldn’t have been possible without the help of our parent volunteers.

 

Finally, students reflected on the experience of planting bulbs and showed what they had learned so far.

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Mason: “These are us planting the bulbs.”                                                      Mrs. Wardlow: “What are the bulbs doing?”                                              Mason: “They are getting bigger.”

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Chayce: “Plant the bulb in dirt. Then you water it. Then the sun shines. Then you leave it for some days. Then a flower grows.”

Wow! Looking back, didn’t we do a lot of work to get our garden ready? Our bulbs have been sleeping, and even had a blanket of snow this year. I wonder when they will decide to wake up and start growing.

 

 

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Exploration Centres

Every Thursday and Friday morning we start our day with Exploration Centres. I tell students to put on their thinking caps and off they go to explore materials, ideas, or questions. The centres change throughout the year and are different from our regular free play centres. The centres often relate to a theme we are studying in class, or a math concepts we are learning. Below are some things we’ve been exploring lately.

Math Exploration: What happens when a pattern meets a shape?

Art, Math: How can you use these shapes to make a picture?

 

Science, Applied Technology: Students work together to explore and create with new materials on an old projector.

Literacy: We had a visitor who told us the story, How the Raven Stole the Sun. Afterwards, we continued to explore this story with storytelling. (Can you guess which figure is Raven, which is Eagle, and which is Frog?)

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Many students were interested in colouring characters from the story and spent a long time on their pictures. Below, is Raven with the sun.

 

Exploration Centres let students spend time thinking about, playing with, or practicing a given topic, question, material, or skill. We share our learning afterward to help develop thinking, and generate curiosity to try something new the next time. I’m looking forward to seeing the learning next week’s exploration centres will bring.

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Snow Much Fun!

 

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We took a little time out this week to enjoy this rare snowy weather. It was time to explore, experiment, collaborate, and to have so much fun!

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Working hard!

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Working together.

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Team work – we did it!

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Following the tracks.

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“We’re making an art centre!”

“We made baby snowmen!”

 

Happy snow play, everyone!

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Peace Is…

Around Remembrance Day, as well as remembering those who serve, we talk about ways to create a peaceful world. We read some favourite stories about peace:

 

Todd Parr’s The Peace Book

What Does Peace Feel Like, written by children and collected and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

and a new addition by a local author:

Peace is an Offering, written by Annette LeBox with illustrations by Stephanie Graegin

 

Students talked and worked together to create a picture to answer the question, What is Peace?

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Peace is eating pizza, blowing bubbles, sleeping. – Mason

Peace is Christmas. It’s snowing and making a snowman. – Mikayeel

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Peace is snuggling with my mom and sister. – Georgia

Peace is playing outside with friends. And peace is looking at cats and butterflies and playing with dogs. Dogs are happy even when they are sad. – Lauren

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Peace is friends. Peace is taking turns. – Seanna

I think friends, too. I know – fresh air! And songs, I love songs.

When you are singing songs, do you feel peaceful?     Yup! – Dorian

Peace is snuggling with your family.  – Seanna

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Peace feels like a fluffy cloud. – Morgan

Peace fills your house. It feels like coming home. It’s a parade. – Jemuel

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Peace is about eating healthy food. – Sophia

Peace is helping somebody. Peace is remembering the war. – Y Vy

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There’s a robin and the people are taking care of it. Peace is loving your pet bird. – Samuel

Peace is love. – Kabeer

We drew this together! – Samuel

 

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Pumpkins

We have been exploring pumpkins.

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Students have shown what they have learned in many different ways.

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“This is the inside of the pumpkin with strands and seeds. … I noticed there were dots on the pumpkin. … I remembered you can make a jack o’lantern with pumpkin. – Chayce

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“I think they get bigger when you put water on them.” – Mason

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“These are pumpkins. These are the seeds inside. … I think [strands are] the goo inside… This truck is taking a pumpkin home. You can make pumpkins into jack o’lanterns and you can make them into pumpkin muffins.” – Samuel

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Jemuel identified the flesh and “beans” inside the pumpkin.

Mrs. Wardlow: “What do you know about the flesh?”

Jemuel: “I don’t know … We use it to make pumpkin pie!”

 

 

 

 

 

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Juliet: “This is a truck carrying two pumpkins.”

Mrs. Wardlow: “Who’s driving?”

Juliet: “You are!”

Mrs. Wardlow: “Where am I taking the pumpkins?”

Juliet: “To the school.”

Mrs. Wardlow: “What are we going to do with them?”

Juliet: “One is going to be a jack o’lantern, and one is going to be a pie!”

 

 

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Mikayeel is showing the pumpkins with all the seeds inside them and their green vines and leaves.

 

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Showing the life cycle of a pumpkin, from seed, to vine, to immature pumpkin, and finally, ripe pumpkin.

Using loose parts, play dough, and pen and paper, students synthesized and shared with each other what they have learned so far.

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Harvest

Every fall our amazing music teacher puts on the Harvest Hoedown. Families come, we sing and dance and celebrate together.

What is harvest? I asked the students. They weren’t sure, but thought it had something to do with fall.

We tried different kinds of apples. Most people liked the Granny Smith best – a first in Mrs. Wardlow’s kindergarten!

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Different kinds of squash were brought into the classroom to study. We tried spaghetti squash.

Most of the students didn’t like it, but they were brave enough to try, and enjoyed inspecting the inside and outside of the squash and comparing it to a pumpkin.

We visited the Pumpkin Patch to see the pumpkins growing and took home one for each of us.

 

 

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“We went on the farm. We get some pumpkins. We ask the lady to get some pumpkins.” – Jemuel

 

 

 

 

 

We talked about different kinds of foods we can harvest in our local area in early fall, such as

  • corn
  • pumpkin
  • squash
  • apples
  • pears
  • hazelnuts
  • salmon
  • green and red peppers

 

Harvest is “in fall when lots of fruits and vegetables are ready to eat.” – Sophia

 

…  Then it was time to celebrate with the Harvest Hoedown.

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Look at us dance!

 

 

 

 

“This is Mrs. Wardlow dancing at the Harvest Hoedown.” – Juliet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are learning to

  • make and share observations
  • share our opinion and express our likes and dislikes
  • participate in a group
  • celebrate together as a community. 

We are making connections between seasonal change and the food we eat.

 

 

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First Few Weeks of Division 18

(Edit: A few more permission forms came in so I added some more photos.)

The first few weeks of school are always so much fun – getting to know routines, getting to know each other, getting to know the school and our classroom. Here are some things we’ve been exploring…

Creating and telling stories with loose parts …

 

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Building together …

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Telling stories …

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Reading and relaxing …

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Exploring books with new friends …

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Looking forward to many more learning adventures to come!

 

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