Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hope for Haiti

As (I hope) you know, our school is collecting money to aid Haiti in their recovery from the recent devastating earthquake.
A student in the afternoon class came to school today holding a box that said "Hope for Haiti". The box was full of paper money and coins -- collected from family and friends.
(the TDSB is actively supporting the Canadian Red Cross and Free the Children).

Here is his letter: (click on it for a larger view)(published with permission from Lucan's family)
(and while this was scribed by someone else, I am sure that these were Lucan's words, because, yes, he is this eloquent)( Thank you to Lucan and to your family and friends for your heartfelt letter and your generous donations)

On Friday, January 29 the whole school is having a "spirit day" The theme is "Hats and Lollipops" We are asking that each student donate $1 to the Hope for Haiti collection for the privilege of wearing a special hat and eating a lollipop that day. On that day only we will be allowed to wear hats in the school -- and we will be providing lollipops for students who want one. Don't worry -- we won't be allowing them to run around with lollipops in their mouths (we have already spoken about the dangers of this). In Room 9, I will be reading a book (books?) while they have their lollipops. (Please bring a special hat from home -- or make a hat in the classroom!!!)

Friday, January 22, 2010


Although we haven't really had packing snow this year, and haven't made our own snowmen, we read quite a bit about snowmen. So we tried to make some inside.......We used large sheets of blue construction paper and first painted a big snowman with a brush and with a sponge. This is another way to practice ordering (a small circle at the top, then a medium circle, then a big circle at the bottom). Actually, most students preferred to make the big circle first at the bottom. I think that's because in real life, you make the big ball first. In painting, however, it just makes you get paint on your sleeves. Sorry about that.....
They are glittery, but you can't tell from the photos.Then we added lots of stuff!
Ask your child what book we got our ideas from (Snowballs)
We are hanging these up in the classroom. They are so bright and colourful, and make our class such a happy place!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where's the snow?

January was supposed to be all about snow! It still is, but we've had to put some of our science activities on hold. The morning class was able to collect a jar full of nice clean snow and wait for it to melt and then observe it (all full of black bits -- ask your children where they think the black bits came from -- we had some VERY interesting answers). We all agreed that we shouldn't ever eat snow. The afternoon class will try that experiment whenever it snows again.

We've been reading many books about snow! Our favourites have been Snowballs, Stella Queen of the Snow, Stranger in the Woods, and Littel Puppy Lost. Ask your child what their favourite book was, and why. They could also try to retell you the story.,

Sunday, January 10, 2010


This activity was about more than just making a pretty tree. It was all about ordering.

We had been discussing sizes and the terms that describe sizes: big, little,medium, larger, smaller, big, bigger, biggest, etc) . We talked about Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One bowl was big, one was medium sized, and one was tiny. We even acted it out!

Then I gave each student a sheet of blue construction paper with a star near the top. They were to place the 6 green strips under the star, starting with the smallest one, then continuing down. When they were finished, I asked them to check their work, and I asked each child if the smallest one was at the top (under the star) and the biggest one was at the bottom. If they said yes, then I handed them the glue bottle. When they were finished gluing, I gave them squares to be the tree trunk -- and then we emptied the hole punch and glued on some little circles to make the snow (we made dots of glue using a toothpick). This activity showed me who needs a little more help with ordering -- while we all had fun! My favourite part about this math activity was that even if the ordering was a bit off, the trees still looked great, and it gave the kids the confidence they need to just "have a go".

A big part of kindergarten is about taking risks and making mistakes, and knowing that it's okay to make mistakes. Doing it yourself is way more important than having it done "perfectly". "Perfect" in kindergarten looks far different than "perfect" in grade 2! That's why many students go home with shirts on inside out and backwards on pool day! (I don't think that I ever use the word perfect in class -- I say "doing your best")

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Zippity Do Da Club

Each student will be part of the Zippity Do Da club when they are able to put on and zip up their own coat. Almost everyone in the class could do it at the beginning of the winter break -- we're hoping for full class participation in January!

Our order for putting on our winter gear:
1. Snow Pants
2. Boots
3. Coat
4. Hat
5. Scarf
6. Backpack
7. Mittens

We always put our mittens on last so we can zip up our own zippers (and put on our backpacks at home time) -- I realize that at home you might want to put on mitten's first, but it is extremely difficult for Ms. Brown to help individual students when 19 other children are getting all hot and sweaty and impatient!

It appears that January will be COLD! Please send your child with full outdoor gear each day as we try to go outside for at least 15 minutes daily unless the TDSB tells us that it is too cold to play outside (i.e. if the wind chill is -20 to -28 C)

Welcome to 2010!

Please excuse the recent sparse postings. There have been some "technical difficulties" with the blog lately. I have recently dedicated a camera to the classroom (to be left at school). Problems arise when I am at home and the camera is at school. January will begin with many postings about our December activities!