There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow is a wintery twist on the familiar story, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. The children easily anticipated the pattern the book would follow, quickly identified rhyming words in the text, and accurately predicted how the story would conclude.
In the photos of the kids in action, you can see that I often invite one of the children to hold the book at the front of the class and “be the teacher” while the story plays on a CD. The children love to be chosen for this job! From my spot on the carpet, I can see that the “readers” have clearly mastered several conventions of print: they hold the book upright, turn pages from front to back, and scan their eyes from left to right. These are excellent pre-reading skills!
The children enjoyed the tactile experience of manipulating and placing the magnetic pieces in the correct order while our group retold the story. This book is also very useful for practicing ordinal numbers i.e. “What did the old lady swallow first, second, third ...?” (premier, deuxième, troisième ...?)”.
Storybooks are excellent tools for fostering a link between literature and mathematical ideas.
Relief from frigid temperatures has meant that we have spent lots of time playing and learning outside. Since our return to school following the Christmas holidays, we have been able to get the toboggans out on many days. The children love sliding down the slick surfaces of the hill where the snow has melted and frozen again. They are great at sharing the sleds, playing cooperatively, and taking turns pulling the toboggans back up the hill.
We have also continued to explore the forested area at the bottom of the school yard. This amazing green space eventually connects with the conservation land of Hanlon Creek and Preservation Parks. On days when the snow is sticky, we have tried to build forts and snowmen. There is a spot in the forest where someone has placed a long plastic pipe to create a snowboard obstacle. The children love racing balls and stones down the tunnel and shouting into the tube to make their voices echo. A group of students recently found a small piece of discarded plywood. They worked together to carry the plywood and carefully laid it across a fallen log. They proceeded to balance on the plywood as if sitting on a see saw. It was interesting listening to their conversations and watching them trade positions and shift their weight on either end to make the sheet of plywood balance. Other students spend their time swinging on the “monkey vines” and piling sticks to build (pretend) campfires to keep warm.
The outdoors lifts our spirits and provides authentic opportunities to experience the natural world, challenge our bodies, and engage in spontaneous scientific pursuits. THANK YOU to our amazing families who support the tremendous learning that takes place outside by sending your children to school with snow pants, warm boots, and extra socks and mittens!
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We have recently been working on a number of Math activities using Smarties. The children began by opening their small boxes and counting the number of treats inside. “Combien de Smarties?” Interestingly, there were not the same number of treats in each package! On chart paper, we recorded the number of Smarties contained in each student’s box. From the information on the chart, we identified which child had the most and the fewest Smarties. We also noticed that several students had the same number of treats as a classmate. Next, the children sorted the Smarties by colour. In French, we discussed whether there were any colours that the children didn’t have among their assortments. At the end, the children were invited to eat their treats. Many students demonstrated excellent number sense and numeration skills. Nous sommes des mathématiciens!
The activities using Smarties addressed several specific expectations outlined in the Kindergarten Math curriculum. Our students:
• counted in French and practiced one-to-one correspondence;
• investigated the idea that quantity is greater when counting forward and less when counting backwards;
• analyzed data;
• compared and ordered quantities;
• investigated addition and subtraction through the use of manipulatives.
We continue to learn about lines as we draw and paint our snowmen, learn about ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc...) through books, games, and lining up, and clapping the syllables in words.
We are now learning about vowels and how these special letter help to make our names sound the way they do, as well as how with a consonant create letter blends (e.g., Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu, Bé, Bè, Bê) and syllables, which together make words (e.g., papa).
This month our journal writing was about their favourite thing to do at school. It is amazing to see their progress since September. They are getting much better at drawing, printing their name, and printing simple sentences. Bravo, les amis !!!!
Thursday is Crazy Hair Day!
Friday is a PD Day, so no school for the students!
Have a wonderful night!
We did so much learning our first week back!
Throughout the rest of the month, we will continue to use the book, The Mitten, to learn about the characteristics of animals, fiction and nonfiction books, to develop our literacy skills (reading & writing), as well as our visual arts skills. For the most of this week, they have been working on drawing a animal that went into the mitten. We talked about how artists do a rough copy first, critique their work, and ask others for their opinion on what they did well and how they can improve it. They have done such an amazing job of this. I will post photos next week of their progress. With these illustrations, we will be creating a simplified large class book entitled, La Mitaine.
This week we learnt a little bit about the badger (le blaireau). We learnt that the badger lives in a clan and likes to dig tunnels underground. The badger is a black and white nocturnal mammal, about the size of small dog, and lives between 11-13 years of age. It an omnivore and eats insects, worms, small rodents, plants. You may want to do a little research together on the following animals: mole, fox, bear, mouse, hedgehog, owl, rabbit, chipmunk, moose, squirrel, or any other winter forest animals you may wish to look up. It's always fun to have a student expert in the class!
Many of the other books that we are reading are related to winter forest animals. This is a great way to solidify new French vocabulary, which allows the children to better understand and enjoy the new French books being read to them.
As you are aware the children work in two groups to allow for better learning environments and better connections with classmates and teachers. They have now named each group, Les prédateurs and Les sages hiboux. During transition periods, they can now go to their group bucket and grab some work to do. They have been very keen on practicing their number skills. Bravos, les amis !
In visual arts, we have been working on painting various styles of snowmen. As you can see with the photos, they are doing quite a fantastic job!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Bonne année ! Happy New Year!
We are off to a great start as we enter a new year!
Welcome Back Mme McMillan!!!!!!
Mme McMillan has returned from her awesome adventures in Australia! We are very happy to have her back in the classroom with us again. The children were also very excited to see her and she is so happy to be working with the "new" JK students. Welcome back, Mme McMillan!!!!!
Oh what fun we are having in the snow! There are so many great activities that the children do when our yard is covered in this white stuff!
This is also a great time to read the book, The Mitten, by Jan Brett. This book offers many learning opportunities, such as animal characteristics, sequencing and ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd....last), a little bit about Ukrainian culture, illustrations and storying writing, story retell, and fiction versus nonfiction reading materials.
After reading this book, we took turns being the animals in the book as we tried to remember which animal came next. We read a simple 10 page booklet and we are creating a big book where each child will be responsible for the illustration and writing piece. The children are excited to create and read their book entitled, La Mitaine!
For most of the month, we will be focussing on fiction and nonfiction books teaching us about animals, winter, kindness, and camaraderie.
The students have been learning that words are made up of syllables. Each day we see if we can count how many syllables are in various words. Try it at home! "How many syllables are in the word 'spatula'?" "Three! spa/tu/la" This also builds their understanding of one-to-one counting.
In math, we continue to focus on learning our numbers from 1-10, especially improving our ability to see the amount without having to count each object in the group. The children are getting so much better at this skill! Bravo, les amis !
We are continuing to talk about the importance of being kind to one another and helping each other out when we are in need. Our bucket is getting filled with so many great acts of kindness! We are so proud!
Thank you for labelling your child's clothing and for making sure that they are dressed appropriately for the weather! We will continue to explore the outdoors, so please send extra socks and mittens to school, especially on those damp days!
Have a wonderful night!
We were so grateful to have Mme Townsend with us for the first part of the year! We are so sad to see her go and hope her all the best in the new year!
The children were excited to make her a card, bake muffins, and create a little farewell party for Mme Townsend. They also talked about all of the wonderful moments and things that she brought to our class:
"I like that she:
played with us
brought home toys for us to play with
did arts and crafts with us
read to us
made books with us
made paper airplanes with us
created fun centres
brought us outside
Mme Townsend is a wonder educator who will be dearly missed! We hope that she comes back to visit! Wishing her all the best!
UGDSB Kindergarten Teacher