Several of our Kindergarten Program Personal and Social expectations address heritage and culture, and we're glad about that- we take opportunities throughout the year to celebrate local cultural traditions. This week, all 3 kindergarten classes were split into 10 groups and we rotated around the rooms doing fun activities related to the Fall and Hallowe'en. There are lots of pictures below- check them out! You can see how carefully we have linked our fun activities to the areas of social, math, language, and arts celebrations. This is just one way that we integrate our expectations rather than experience them as separate subjects. We teach the whole child!
We are learning about how to show and talk about quantity. When we were sorting, we wanted to talk about which group had more or less. Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 are numbers we learn to just recognize without counting, no matter if we are talking about a numeral, a word, a set, a tally, a cube face, counters on a 5-frame or fingers on our hand.
Years ago I would have wanted to teach and test this knowledge with fill-in-the-blanks sheets, flashcards, or pencil and paper assessment tasks. Now I find the children can tell us more about what they know when they have chosen play materials and have picked their tables for working at. They can relate everything they know about quantity back to the number line, which is something we want them to do all the way through school.
Have a look at our work and play in action, to see how the children are so eager to show what they are doing at math centres, and the kind of counting they are doing.
This week, we decided to change our kitchen centre into something else. We thought about and talked about what other community buildings we wanted to create, and what community helpers we wanted to practice being. We voted between a fire station, a hospital, a restaurant, and a pet store. Pet Store was the winner! We made a plan and followed our plan to bring in items from home and school to make a PetSmart. Our PetSmart reminded us of a real PetSmart, and included pets, labels we made, money, a pet hospital area, pet doctors, xrays, real betta fish, flyers, pets, first aid materials, the list goes on and on! Our PetSmart was full from the very first day, with different children adopting roles of pets (in costume), pet owners, store clerks, animal doctors and hospital workers. We will keep our PetSmart until interest wanes, and then being the process all over again. In the past we have had a bakery, a Subway, a people hospital, a post office, a Tim Horton's, and an Ice Cream shop!
This week, we went to Round's Ranch for our field trip! Field trips are so important for solidifying our learning, making lasting group memories, experiencing new things, and even the bus ride is lots of fun! Round's Ranch does a great job combining outdoor play experiences with learning about pumpkins and the pumpkin life cycles. We worked and played so hard that many of us fell asleep on the bus ride home!
In Kindergarten it's so important to be able to learn the words to tell ourselves and others about what we're feeling on the inside. Dina Dinosaur is the Principal of Dinosaur School and she visits us every Friday to learn about our class and talk about our feelings, how to make and keep friends, and what to do if we don't feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Her friends Wally and Molly will also visit and talk about different things that have happened to them and if their choices led to warm and fuzzy feelings, or yukky feelings.
Self-regulation is not the same as self-control. Controlling our self and our body is a part of regulating ourselves, which is a part of the bigger process of being able to start something or to stop something. It's also knowing that different things that happen to us and that we do bring us to a place where we have to make a choice. We make choices that are good ideas, that lead us and others to feel warm and fuzzy, or choices that are bad ideas and lead us and others to feel yukky on the inside.
Sometimes we just wake up feeling Blue (sick, tired, grumpy, sad) on the inside, and our voices, faces and bodies show that we are feeling Blue. Sometimes we are Yellow (anxious, frustrated, silly), perhaps on the way to feeling Red. Feeling Red (scared, angry, hot, shouting, very silly), along with Yellow or Blue, is a place everyone, even adults, visit, but no one wants to stay. We will learn about and practice ways to move from Yellow, Blue and Red Zones back to safe Green (warm, peaceful, happy).