Saturday, September 26, 2009

Self Portraits

This week, we looked in the mirror and painted our own faces!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This is an aerial view of the math centre. There are counters to put in the muffin tray -- one counter in #1, two counters in #2, etc. The counters are animals and can be sorted by colour or by species (kinds) -- there are cats, bears, turtles, etc. We also have coloured popsicle sticks. Two students made a design around the edge of the table. Next, I asked them to make a pattern with the sticks.
Materials in the math centre change often. We have many math activities that focus on number recognition, number relationships, counting strategies, quantity relationships, one to one correspondence, comparing and ordering, measuring, graphing, patterns, shapes, and sorting.

This is the block centre. The blocks have taken quite a beating in the last few weeks! We start the year with the lighter blocks and then move to different kinds of wooden blocks. Two students built this "house". The living room is the red room at the back.

Monday, September 21, 2009


We're learning this poem:
Through this poem we can learn so many things! Upper case letter, lower case letters; letter spacing; word spacing; punctuation; what is a title?; sight words (is, are, as, can, be). We won't learn them all at once, but we'll learn a new poem every week or two, and keep practicing what we have learned as well as learning new skills. This week we'll be focusing on upper and lower case letters, as well as the word" is".

Sometimes the students tell me stories about their paintings (sometimes they don't). This one says:
"My monster has a snake head and a tornado body"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September Calendar

The helper of the day gets to be the teacher! He or she stands beside the calendar and points to the numbers on the calendar and counts (with the rest of the class). As well as learning the numbers between 1 and 31, it shows students that we count from left to right and sweep back to the left and down a row when we get to the end of a row. It might sound easy to adults -- but at the beginning of the school year it has been confusing when we get to 5 and, WAIT -- where is 6??? Oh, there it is down there!! It takes a lot of concentration to say the numbers and point to the numbers with the pointer at the same time!

The helper also gets to pick the person who is going to say the missing number (the current date). That chosen student has to find the missing number located under the calendar (today it was easy, there is just one number, number 18 -- usually there are at least 5). [The hardest numbers to identify are 11, 12 and 13 -- because they don't say "one", "two" or "three" in them -- if your child is having a hard time with these, practice occasionally when you see these numbers in the environment, such as numbers on houses, on the tv, or in the grocery store]

The calendar will get a bit harder next month when there is is a pattern with the numbers. Check back at the beginning of October to see what this means!

We talk about the days of the week, the month, the season and the year. The calendar also shows the passage of time and shows upcoming events such as birthdays and special school events..

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We're all here!

The furniture is all set up, and the children have arrived. Unfortunately, my voice has disappeared. But life went on , and we made it through the first week, with many smiles and very few tears.

This is an example of our daily message. Sometimes our message is just informational, and sometimes we read it more in depth. Many of the new Junior students have already learned to "read" parts of the message. They know that the first line might say "Hi Boys and Girls", or "Hi Girls and Boys". They can look at the icon above the word, and in a month or so we'll drop the icon because they'll know that Boy is the word that starts with B, and Girl Starts with G. Gym has a gym shoe icon above it. Love has a heart. Ms. Brown is written with brown marker. The message usually says who the helper of the day is. The helper will take the message home (in the Thursday folder). It's a great tool to use at home to learn sight words, upper and lower case letters, spacing between words, and punctuation. We didn't make it through all of these books this week (with new students arriving daily, and Ms Brown losing her voice) but we'll have them all read by the end of next week (plus many more!)(don't forget to click on the pictures to see them larger!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to my world!

Welcome to my new blog, Ms. Brown's Classroom. I'll be using it to help inform the parents of the children in my classroom what we're doing.

(For readers who aren't parents of current students, I teach split classes of Junior and Senior Kindergarten Students in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I may have 3, 4 and 5 year olds in the class! There is a morning class, currently with 20 students, and an afternoon class of 16).

Over the next few weeks, I'll try to give you an overview of our kindergarten day. I'll be explaining what "centres" we have in the classroom, and what we do in the centres.

I'll also try to give overviews of what we are working on each week. I'll show what books we are reading (and why we are reading them). I'll show our poems and list our songs. I'll show our math and science activities. I'll show some writing examples and I'll explain how to interpret them. And of course, I'll be showing lots of art!

Arriving at school at the end of August, I met this pile of furniture!Even now that the furniture is all set up, the classroom still seems empty. It only comes to life when the children are there. Unfortunately I won't be showing pictures of the students in this blog, but I will show their work. Parents, you will be able to see pictures of your children doing many activities in this classroom when we meet in person on Open house night, which I believe is scheduled for Thursday, October 1.

If you ask a 4 year old, "What did you do at school today?" They usually say, "I don't know" or "I played". Whle we do have structured teaching time each day, research has shown that young children learn best when they are engaged in play based activities.

Just Playing

Author Unknown

When I'm building in the block area,

Please don't say I'm "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play: about balance and shapes.

Who knows, I may be an architect someday.

When I'm getting all dressed up, setting the table, caring for the babies,

Don't get the idea I'm "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play:

I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint, or standing at an easel,

or molding and shaping the clay,

Please don't let me hear you say, "She's Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm expressing myself and being creative.

I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair "reading" to an imaginary audience,

Please don't laugh and think I'm "Just Playing."

For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with

choice things I find,

Don't pass it off as "Just Playing."

For, you see, I 'm learning as I play.

I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some plaything at my school,

Please don't feel the time is wasted in "Play."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate.

I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods,

Please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to follow directions and see differences.

I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,

Please don't say I'm "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning how my body works.

I may be a doctor, nurse, or an athlete someday.

When you ask me what I've done at school today, and I say, "I Just Played,"

Please don't misunderstand me.

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work,

I'm preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I am a child and my work IS play