October Updates somehow got posted after Take Me Outside Day.....please scroll down! Merci !
Wow!!! The month is quickly drawing to an end and soon it will be November! Wednesday is Hallowe'en and we will be celebrating the day dressed in our costumes, dancing in the gym, and parading throughout the classrooms. Please ensure that your child is dressed in their costume at home and that it 's costume comfortable for them to move in. Please refrain from sending in masks that compromise their ability to see. Merci !
We have been engaged in many wonderful learning activities this month! The students are becoming more and more comfortable reading and responding to our daily morning message. For example, "Bonjour ! Comment ça va ? Ça va bien ? Ça va mal ? Ça va comme-ci comme-ça ? or Quel temps fait-il ? Il fait chaud. Il fait froid."
To reinforce the French vocabulary chaud et froid (hot and cold) we did a small experiment with crayons. We examined their cold state and noticed that they remained the intact. We next glued them onto a canvas board and made predictions as to what would happen if we were to heat them up with a blowdryer. When the crayons heated up, they began to melt.
In language we continue to learn a letter each week, along with French vocabulary related to each letter. They are getting so good at remembering all of the items in our letter buckets. So far we have studies the following letters: A, S, T, M, L, & I.
The letter I is always a difficult one in French, as it sounds like the English letter E. Using our new words, we created a simple story and the children about a mouse and an iguana. They each created illustrations to glue onto our storyboard. With this story, they have been practicing reading concepts, such as directionality, letters create sounds and words, words placed together create sentences, and how we use illustrations to help us remember words in our story. Bravo, les amis !
Math is all around us! The shapes we sees, the patterns in nature, symmetry when experimenting with visual arts and music, counting chairs and lunch boxes, building with blocks, puzzles, and creating exciting Duplo/Lego vehicles and villages. Another fun way of learning math concepts is through board games. The newest board game we have been playing with is called "Sum Swamp". We have introduced Rekenreks to the children to assist them with visually learning addition and subtraction concepts.
Another way that math and French language concepts are taught to the children is through various gym activities. Our warm-up activities always involve songs to get us moving (e.g. Hokey Pokey, Tête, épaules, Belle citrouille, etc...) and to reinforce newly acquired French words. As we run around the gym we incorporate the letters that we have been focussing on by reciting the letter poems and acting out the vocabulary (e.g., avion, araingée, serpent, tigre, muffin, etc...). We have also been expanding our ability to create French sentences as we play, "Traverse le Canada". If a child is wearing a colour that we say, they need to reply in French and tell us where the colour is on their clothing (e.g., J'ai blue sur mes souliers). Moving and learning is so much fun!
Throughout the month, we have also incorporated various Hallowe'en songs and poems during our learning time and built our French vocabulary through books (e.g., fantôme, chat noir, sorcière, balai, chauve-souris, chouette, hibou, citrouille-lanterne). We also decorated the classroom with spiders, webs, witches, ghosts, and pumpkins.
Outside Forest play continues to be a highlight of the day! The children have noticed many seasonal changes throughout the last two months. With our science buddies, we have been learning about decomposition, log hotels, leaves, different types of trees and different shapes of leaves, seeds, caterpillars that we see in the fall, mushrooms, and so much more. We planted a sunflower seed and are watching it grow! A month ago, we found a dead skunk and we have been watching how its body continues to decompose and become part of the earth.
Thank you for dressing your child in layers and for dressing them warmly. Although the sun is out, it can be quite cool outside. Hats, mittens, warm coats, splash pants, and boots are so important for the children to bring (extra ones too please in case they get wet). This makes outside time so much more enjoyable! Merci !
Our trip to Chudleigh's was a big success! We learned so much about pumpkins and apples! The swings, slides, and bails of hay were so much fun! It was interesting to learn about the bees, trees, and a bit about our First Nations people. Thank you so much to the parent volunteers who helped us out! Without your assistance, we would not be able to do these things! Merci ! Merci ! Merci !
Have a wonderful day!!!!!!
After our conversations about the three-dimensional nature of pumpkins and the distance between the creases, we dove deeper into our investigation. Since our pumpkins aren’t flat, a ruler isn’t a very useful tool for measuring the circumference (distance around the entire pumpkin) because it doesn’t bend. “What would be a better strategy or tool to use?”
After brainstorming and experimenting, we got out tape and some string. We invited the students to cut a length of tape or string they thought would be long enough to reach around the centre of the pumpkin. We reviewed estimation and reinforced the idea that the length of string needed to be close, but not necessarily perfect. Re-cuts are totally permitted! After arranging the pumpkins by size, we could decide together whether we would need a longer or shorter piece of string to go around the next pumpkin. We also used tape measures to predict and measure the pumpkins’ circumferences. Finally, the children made chains of coloured links the lengths of the strings. They also build stacks of unifix cubes the same heights as the pumpkins.
Through this investigation, the children showed an excellent awareness of non-standard measuring devices such as string, links, and cubes, as well as standard measuring devices such as rulers and tape measures. They also demonstrated clever strategies for using these tools. Bravo!
In our classroom, we have several pumpkins of a variety of shapes and sizes. We provided magnifying glasses and rulers and gave the children lots of time to investigate. The children noticed that each pumpkin was a slightly different shade of orange. Some pumpkins had raised bumps that added texture to their surfaces. We talked about how pumpkins grow on a vine, rather than on a tree like an apple. The students explained how the flattened, dirty side of the pumpkin was the part resting on the ground while it grew.
Next, we investigated the lines on the pumpkins. We counted the number of creases and discussed how we could determine the number of lines without using our eyes. We took turns using our fingertips to feel and count the creases. While exploring, the children noticed that the creases are not the same distance apart everywhere on the pumpkin. Since the pumpkin is three-dimensional, the creases are closest together on the top and bottom and furthest apart in the middle. Great observations!
Children at this age are naturally inquisitive and ask many questions about their world and the things that puzzle them. We strive to build on their curiosity and sense of wonder by providing hands-on, child-centred, and inquiry-based opportunities. By using all their senses and through interacting with their classmates, the children build knowledge and develop understanding. Bravo!
Thank you for the huge interest in volunteering for our Chudleigh's Trip. They will only pay for 8 adults (2 teachers and 6 parents) to enter with our group. If you would like to join us and pay your own admission, you are more than welcome to drive to the farm and meet us there!!!!
Thank you for your understanding! We will have a few more events that you may also like to volunteer with!
Merci beaucoup !!!!!
“Citrouille orange, citrouille orange, qu’est-ce que tu vois?
Je vois une chauve-souris brune qui me regarde.”
In our small groups, we have been working on using magnetic pieces to act out this Halloween twist on the familiar story, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? The children made the connection to this well-known story immediately. They really enjoy assuming a role, handling the pieces, and placing them on the board when their turns come up. They are excellent dramatizers and patient turn-takers!
Using this activity, we review colours in French and introduce Halloween vocabulary (e.g. citrouille orange, chauve-souris brune, lune jaune, monstre bleu, chat noir, sorcière verte, fantôme blanc, etc.) Through the story’s repetition, we also reinforce and practice saying the French phrases, “Qu’est-ce que tu vois?” (“What do you see?”) and “Je vois un(e) ...” (“I see a ...”).
In Kindergarten, mathematics is embedded in play throughout the day, both inside our classroom and during forest time. Math is also explicitly taught through direct instruction and by offering children engaging materials that invite experimentation, questions, inquiry, discussion, and creativity. Frequently, we also use storybooks to introduce and reinforce math concepts.
In the book Leaping Lizards by Stuart J. Murphy, a snake attempts to stage a show, but he realizes the lizards are missing. Slowly, the lizards start to arrive in groups of five or ten until all fifty of them are there and the performance can begin. As we read, the children followed along and counted as the lizards appeared, remembering that the snake is trying to reach a goal of fifty. We used linking cubes to act out the story, with each child creating a row of five cubes. The children counted in French, and practiced one-to-one correspondence by touching each cube only once while assembling their rows. When arranging their groups of five in a line, the students could quickly compare the heights of the towers. If a tower was too high or too short, we knew that it did not contain precisely five cubes. The children used mathematical words such as “more,” “fewer,” and “the same” when counting and comparing.
Next, we combined two groups of five to make a group of ten. The book’s bright illustrations resemble a ten frame, a math teaching tool very familiar to our students. We don’t expect children to count or work with numbers as high as fifty in Kindergarten, but some students are ready for this challenge. Composing numbers by grouping, and counting by fives and tens will prepare children to add, multiply, count money, and tell time as they progress through subsequent years of learning. Excellent!
On a rainy Monday, we spent part of the morning baking banana muffins from scratch. Making our muffins required combining many familiar ingredients including flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. There were lots of opportunities for everyone to help.
When children cook, they’re learning math, reading, and science. Following a recipe involves counting, measurement, and fractions (two teaspoons, three tablespoons, twenty stirs, whole, half, etc.) By mixing with the electric beater and watching adults use the oven, the children learned about kitchen safety and gained confidence from performing “grown-up” tasks responsibly.
Perhaps most importantly, the children practiced important social skills while cooking. Working together and taking turns, waiting patiently for the muffins to come out of the oven, and cleaning up at the end all provided important learning opportunities. The active, hands-on nature of cooking made it fun for the kids, and having a tangible and delicious product to share at the end made the effort worthwhile!
Signs of autumn are all around! During a walk in the forest, we came across some wild apple trees with an abundance of fallen fruit below them. We discussed how the apples would be a delicious snack for passing deer and the other creatures in the forest. As the apples rot on the ground and the seeds return to the soil, we discussed how new apple trees may grow from these seeds if they receive adequate rain and sunshine.
The students were very interested in returning to the apple trees on subsequent days to collect the apples and carry them to other parts of the forest. We walked to the Frog Pond and threw a few apples in the water to determine whether they would sink or float. We proceeded further into the forest to the teeter totter where the children were very anxious to roll the apples down the ramp. We found a golf ball during our wanderings and compared the speeds at which an apple and the golf ball traveled down the ramp. Our forest provides authentic opportunities to engage in spontaneous scientific pursuits. Returning to the same areas in the woods over a long period of time helps us notice the seasonal changes that are all around us.
UGDSB Kindergarten Teacher