Friday, July 2, 2010

Beautiful Stuff

We'll be doing lots of art exploration in our newly expanded "art studio" this year. We'll be collecting small "stuff" to create with. If you are ready to toss anything, consider putting it aside for us.
  • toilet paper rolls
  • clear salad/lettuce containers (boxes) [for storing our stuff]
  • used greeting cards (just the front are fine, but feel free to give the whole card)
  • old calendars (I'll remind you again in December/January)
  • broken calculators (we've pulled a few apart this year and used the buttons in our art)
  • wrapping paper (used) (small bits are fine)
  • tissue paper (again, small bits are fine -- I cut it up)
  • broken jewelry
  • buttons, beads
  • shells, small pieces of driftwood
  • yarn, fabric scraps (small is fine)
  • wallpaper
  • wood scraps
  • small twigs, acorns
  • wire
This year I'm hoping to have lots of parent volunteers helping with the class. Some duties are administrative, some are directly working with the students. Some things will be able to be done at home, and then sent back the next day. Starting in October, I will need a parent to help for 5 or 10 minutes at entry time (am and pm). Please consider giving 5 minutes of your day to help us run our "borrow a book" program!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A wonderful year!

We have had a wonderful year in kindergarten :) . Thank you to all of the parents for lending me your most precious children!

Throughout the next week I am going to post some of the pictures and work that we finished throughout June. June was a whirlwind for me (us!) and I had so little time for the blog. The good news is that this spring I took a course in Kindergarten curriculum and learned so much! (It was every Tuesday night and 4 full Saturdays, hence the lack of time!). I am going to try hard to post on the blog weekly next year.

Change is good!
The Ontario Government has expanded the 2006 Kindergarten curriculum -- it is very similar to the old one -- you can have a look at the draft version here. (yes, it is the Full Day Learning document). The Toronto District School Board is leaning toward an inquiry based program (that's a good thing :) . I have been working with the Early Years Department to really embrace this in our classroom. I will spend much of the summer reading and planning for our class! Feel free to email me and ask any questions -- or voice any concerns (you can leave a comment here on the blog if you'd like) (or find my email under my "profile").

If you would like to read more about emergent curriculum and inquiry based learning and teaching -- Google "Reggio Emilia". The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
(this sounds pretty much perfect to me)

We go back to school on September 7 (teachers are in the week before). All of the SKs moving to Grade 1 will go back to school on September 7, as will the JKs moving to SK. See you then! Have a safe and happy summer!