Presenting Mrs. Taylor's Kindergarten Class Blog!

Follow our Reggio Emilia Inspired class to see what students are learning at Prince Edward School. Visit often, borrow ideas to enhance your learning at home, and most importantly discuss with your child their -- PLAYFUL LEARNING, EXPLORATIONS and DISCOVERIES at school!!!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fostering Writing in a Play Based Program

There are many ways to foster
Writing in a Play Based Program.

Here's some of the writing that happened this week.

Daily sign in/Question of the day

Mystery Box

White boards

Writing Centre
(making cards, mini books, signs, art)
Items that may be at a Writing Centre includes: letter stamps, alphabet books, word cards, magnetic letters, a variety of paper and writing utensils, clip boards, newspaper

Surveying the class

Drawing and labelling

Creating materials for the Dramatic Art Centre

Sign up sheet for Daily Sharing at our last circle

Important Key Notes
  • Molding with clay, using Legos, picking up beads and playing with puzzles all prepare the fingers and hands for writing.
  • Students writing should be authentic (no worksheets).  They love to write about things they are interested in (recycling boxes for dumping and class pets/insects)
  • Every child develops differently.
  • There are many different stages of writing.
  • It is OKAY for children to use best guess spelling (sounding out the words). 

Young children need writing to help them learn about reading, they need reading to help them learn about writing:
and they need oral language to help them learn about both. 
Ideas for Writing at Home
  • create a grocery list together
  • make lists (favourite things, names of family members, places you have visited)
  • make cards for relatives
  • survey family members
  • READ with your child for 20 minutes a day

    Saturday, 22 September 2012

    The Beginning of Our Inquiries

    What a GREAT start to our NEW school year!

    This week my focus was to get to know the students and learn about their interests.  The Full-Day Learning Kindergarten Program at Prince Edward is inquiry and play based.  The majority of our learning projects are student driven, also known as Emergent Learning.

    Here are two excellent examples of the students' inquiries:

    1. Our teaching team noticed the girls were interested in styling each other's hair.  They would pretend to be at a 'Hair Salon', take turns being the hairstylist and customer, and use items around the room as their props.  Eventually, two of the SK girls suggested making a Hair Salon in the classroom.  Together they made a sign and gathered furniture from around the room, and created a list of items that were needed.  They sounded out the words together using 'best guess spelling'.

    On Thursday, getting your hair styled was very popular in the classroom. 
    Both girls and boys visited the centre repeatedly.   

    2.   Caillou - My First Vacation

    A student brought this book in as her favourite read aloud.  The story is about a little boy who is going on vacation and taking an airplane for the first time.  The book also discusses the role of the flight attendant and the pilot.  I expected to follow up the story with a mini-discussion about the students summer vacations.  However, the students were eager to share what they want to be when they grow up.   Teachers employing Emergent Learning, must always be flexible and listen to their students.

    This is what they said,
    Elijah - "Policeman"
    Lucas M - "Policeman"
    Haven-Taylor- "Animal Doctor"
    Kyiah - "Mommy and a teacher"
    Selma - "Soccer player"
    Cristian - "Police car"
    Tyson-Jamal - "Construction Worker"
    Kaylo - "Firefighter"
    Noah - "Policeman"
    Laila - "Mermaid"
    Ella B - "Policeman"
    Izabel - "Policeman"
    Cameron M - "Race Car Driver"
    Ahmad - "Batman"
    Cameron H - "Police Officer"
    Rowan - "Doctor"

       I learned our class will sure be safe with all of the future Police Officers!!!

    Thank you to all the parents and students who brought in their 'favourite read alouds'.

     A pattern using Lego.

    This JK student made two towers. She said, "My second one is much bigger!"

    Painting - Remember it is the PROCESS not the PRODUCT
    Students are always so proud of their pictures. 
    When students bring home their ART, ask them to tell you about their picture. 
    (9 times out of 10 they will have a story to share!!)


    Following instructions on how to draw...

    Fine Motor - Play dough

    Play dough has many benefits for out Early Learners.

    ·         It’s fun.

    ·         Helps to strengthen little fingers, hands and wrists. 

    ·         It is one of the best open ended toys   (it can be anything - food, animals, bowls, shapes etc.) 

    ·         It helps to foster your child's imagination. 

    ·         It helps children develop self esteem -there is no right or wrong.  Children have opportunities to gain mastery over their environment. 

    ·         It is a great release for tension or angry feelings - squeezing, punching, poking are all acceptable if done to playdough.

    At home, please continue to practise printing your child's name with him or her.

    Tuesday, 4 September 2012

    First day news

    We had a great first day!
    It was so nice seeing many familiar faces, eager to learn and excited to explore their new classroom.  Stay tuned for classroom pictures to appear later this week.  The students have been busy observing the grasshoppers, collaboratively block building, pretending in the house centre, creating art to personalize the walls of their room.and so much more.  


    Studies have shown that a good parent-teacher relationship is necessary for maximum school success.  Throughout the year, I will communicate to you primarily through our class blog.  Personal messages will be sent home in the Note totes or communicated through telephone calls, reports, or conferences.  All news and important messages will appear on this blog, please check it regularly. 

    1.    Read with your child every day for at least 20 minutes.  

    2.    Go on adventures with your child to collect objects from the natural world to bring into the classroom to share. (leaves, shells, bird’s nest, etc.).   

    3.    Visit the class blog regularly and discuss with your child what they learned at school today. 

    4.    Contribute Beautiful Stuff  (ribbons, clean yogurt containers, used cards, stickers) to the classroom through the year.  Visit the Blog for more ideas on Beautiful Junk.  

    5.    Actively participate with your child when they bring home the message of the day, mystery object and literacy or numeracy bag.  (more information will follow)

    Also, throughout the year, I will be asking for Guest readers and volunteers.  Volunteers may be needed for special days, field trips, to share any specialized skills/hidden talents, to share your cultural celebrations and to make Playdough for the class.

    This year your child will grow and learn through purposeful play that will be both student driven and teacher directed.  Play is how every child learns best, regardless of age.  It is significant for the emotional, social, cognitive and physical growth, and overall well-being of your child.  This year will be amazing.  Students will have opportunities to collaborate with others, ask and answer questions, use their imagination, take risks, problem solve and be curious about the world around them.

    Thank you for entrusting me with your child this year.  Your child will have many opportunities to play, explore and learn while forming friendships and developing social skills needed in everyday life.

    Your partner in Education