This is by far the most exciting and fun way to celebrate and share learning!! A play based program still calls for understanding and insight into how the learning is happening, and what better way than to welcome all into our learning celebration! After following a lead into fairy tales in 2010, we had a child suggest we have our very own “Ball”!. As a larger team, both FDK programs flew with this idea and embarked on a memorable occasion for all!! We will share with this and other experiences by using our newsletters that are shared with parents. A big thank you to our local paper for always being so supportive in promoting our Full Day Kindergarten Program.
Photos have been changed due to privacy concerns.
Our Very Own Fairy Tale (newsletter November 2010)
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Full Day Kindergarten not so far away, played forty-nine loyal children in search of their very own learning of fairy tales. The learning began when the students took particular delight in the dragon and princess costumes in the dramatic center during Halloween. It evolved into a fairy tale study, involving the building of a castle, literacy experiences allowing each child to choose and create their own fairy tales and led to the children expressing a desire to have their very own ball!!
It was with the support and assistance of our loyal parents and staff, including our Teacher Librarian, who provided additional literacy experiences, the involvement of our planning time teacher for dance expression, and the involvement of our Special Assignment Teacher, Anne for numeracy through the exploration of “capacity” related to having punch at the ball. Geometry was incorporated through the making of stained glass windows, patterning through the design of banners and crowns, and data management through a survey related to the pattern in which the banners should be hung. The students also designed family crests, incorporating Religion, “All About Me” into our learning. A very special thank you goes out to Mr. Poli, the Grade. 8 teacher for his talents, and to thank our grade 8 students (Eucharistic Celebration partners and reading buddies) who clearly demonstrated how the St. Mary community works together across the grades.
In the interest of our families, and to enable our parents to continue this learning experience at home, a tally was taken with the children. The favourite fairy tales read and explored within our program classes were “Rapunzel”, “Cinderella”, and “Little Red Riding Hood”.
It is with great honour we thank our very own Superintendent King George, his Administrative Assistant, one of our school council co-chairs, our regional councillor, our city councilor Bob Callahan, our local paper Photographer Bryan Johnson, and ELP parents and grandparents for attending and celebrating this grand event with us!
The honorable Leona Dombrowsky, the minister of education, wanted to be with us to celebrate with the children at our ball, however she couldn’t, but she sent her best wishes for our exciting culmination, and she wanted our students and staff to know that she plans to come and visit our classrooms very soon. We are so excited about her upcoming visit to our wonderful little school with the heart!
We were so excited about providing this special event for our students, and inspired and amazed at how this celebration of learning evolved through the play-based early learning full-day kindergarten program. A day that will be remembered and cherished by all!
…And They Lived Happily Ever After!
The Red Fox (newsletter November 2011)
Bring Back the Wild
“We can make a difference”
Toward the end of October, we watched a Red Fox wander into our playground. We studied him from the safety of our classroom windows and then through the outside doors. For a good five minutes, we watched him and he watched us. Then he slipped stealthily through a hole under a portable to rest for the day. This encounter fascinated the children and started us on an exploration of animals and their habitats.
We pored through informational texts discovering interesting facts about Canadian animals. We read fiction starring animal characters and learned about hibernation, migration and camouflage. We demonstrated our learning at the Dramatic Centre by role-playing bird families in our nest, by playing veterinarian at our ELP zoo and teaching our friends animal facts just like our Earth Ranger friends do.
The story of The Little Red Hen promoted a love of acting out stories with puppets and masks. It also sparked an interest in bread-making where the children learned the importance of following a recipe closely. Turns out that adding several extra scoops of flour and a bucket of water from the bathroom is very enjoyable, but makes for bread that is the size and weight of a curling stone. Fortunately for us, our Co-op student, Rochelle is an avid baker and made us some very yummy bread. Our home-made butter turned out much better since we stuck to the instructions and we all enjoyed Rochelle’s warm bread spread with our sweet butter. Mmmmmm.
Having been bitten with the acting bug, many of the students put on the play Bear Goes Over the Mountain to rave reviews. It was introduced by the other children singing “The Bear Went Over The Mountain”. Thanks to our Grade Eight reading buddies for assisting with mask-making. A follow-up to this performance was a Reader’s Theatre presentation of Bird Homes.
Animal literature starred in our Math activities too. One of our favorite stories was My “Sister Ate One Hare”. We explored different ways to answer the question, How many animals did the sister eat? We enjoyed it so much that we even wrote our own story, Mr. Poli Ate One Tarantula. We demonstrated our learning of different ways to calculate totals as we discovered just how much Mr. Poli really can eat. (hint: It’s a lot of strange animals.)
One of the highlights of our animal lead was the Earth Ranger’s presentation. The children enjoyed the snake and the antics of Timber the Pine Marten but were absolutely spell-bound as the owl swooped closely over-head. The entire school enjoyed the exhibition and now the staff and students of our little school are so excited to share that we were able to raise just over $1000 dollars from the children and families to help the Earth Rangers and the animals! hoping to raise up to $500 to help the Earth Rangers save endangered animals. (For more information about school presentations please contact Amy Vyse by following this link- www.earthrangers.com ). Our “Gala” community presentation celebrating our cause, hard work and learning was a great success that captured and shared all the fun and learning experienced during this play lead!
All in all, we’ve had a lot of fun learning about our animal friends and how we need to respect the environment. We know now that together we CAN make a difference.
Looking forward to our next play adventure!
1000 Cranes for Japan (March 2012)
As our little flat Stanley had recently come back from his trip to Hong Kong our connection was strong with this side of the world when devastation hit Japan back in March of last year. As a class we began a challenge the entire school would embark on- creating a 1000 paper cranes for hope!
Together our little school planned a day of “Hope for Japan” combined with children, loved ones and our school community we spent the day folding and creating beautiful colored cranes! We were successful in sending almost $900.00 and 1000 cranes to aid Japan during this time of need!
Our little Stanley journeyed with the cranes as they flew to send love and hope!