Monday, January 31, 2011


Winterfest - Saturday, February 19th - 11am-2pm

Amherstburg Public's Parent Involvement Council is holding the first ever Winterfest on Saturday, February 19th, 2011 from 11am - 2pm.   This indoor carnival will feature games, prizes, food and demonstrations.   Please save the date and look for the flyer that will be coming home with your child.

Painting Still Life Pictures

One of our children brought in a beautiful lily flower. We placed it in a vase and invited the children to paint pictures of what they saw.

Their work was spectacular! It was interesting to see them with such focus as they observed the flower and then tried to replicate what they saw using paint.

Although the children observed the same flower, their paintings were all unique interpretations of what they saw!  We were just amazed at the attention to detail and colour!

Some Ontario Curriculum Expectations that this activity fulfilled includes:

2.2 demonstrate a willingness to try new activities (e.g., experiment with new materials/tools, try out activities in a different learning centre, select and persist with challenging activities, experiment with writing ) and to adapt to new situations (e.g., having visitors in the classroom, having a different teacher occasionally, going on a field trip, riding the school bus)

2.3 demonstrate self-motivation, initiative, and confidence in their approach to learning by selecting and completing learning tasks (e.g., choose learning centres independently, try something new, persevere with tasks)

V1.1 demonstrate an awareness of personal interests and a sense of
accomplishment in visual arts (e.g., contribute pages to a class book using their own ideas; offer to make a puppet for a play; create a sculpture from clay)

V2.2 explore different elements of design

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Importance of Early Literacy

"In the first three years of life a child will learn more than an adult can in 10 years."

Read more about the importance of early literacy and how critical the first three years of life are for children in the Windsor Star article Windsor Kids Play for Literacy, which discusses a recent event held at Devonshire Mall.  

If you have young children at home and are interested in ways you can support their literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten, visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website ABC123 Tips for Parents

Friday, January 28, 2011

Connecting Science and Literacy

Earlier this week we read a story called "Hair Heads". This nonfiction books discussed how seeds grow - from when a seed is planted until the sprout turns into a big plant.

After reading the book Mrs. Oshar helped children plant their own seeds at the science center.

After planting the seeds the children wrote about what they did and predicted what the seeds might grow into. This gave them an authentic, invested purpose for engaging in writing.

We placed small versions of the book "Hair Heads" at the listening center and encouraged the children to revisit the text. The children were able to read the information again in the book while following along with the CD.

After listening to the book children were able to vote on whether or not they liked the text. Whenever we noticed children voting, we asked them to explain their response to the book and why they voted a certain way.

Some Ontario Curriculum Expectations fulfilled by these activities include:

1.6 use language to talk about their thinking, to reflect, and to solve problems

2.4 respond to a variety of materials read aloud to them (e.g., paint, draw, or construct models of characters or settings)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Writing!

Thanks to the wonderful suggestion of one of our parents, we turned two shoe organizers into mailboxes for the children. After explaining that each child and teacher in our class had his or her own compartment for 'special deliveries' we encouraged the children to write cards and letters at the writing table and deliver mail to one another. Needless to say there was much interest and excitement by both the writers and receivers of mail!  The children used classroom resources (e.g., word wall, name cards, printed phrases at the card center) to help them write their messages. What fun!

Some Ontario Curriculum this activity fulfilled includes:

4.1 demonstrate an interest in writing (e.g., choose a variety of writing materials, such as adhesive notes, labels, envelopes, coloured paper, markers, crayons, pencils) and choose to write in a variety of contexts
(e.g., draw or record ideas at learning centres)

4.2 demonstrate an awareness that writing can convey ideas or messages (e.g., ask the teacher to write out new words for them)

4.3 write simple messages (e.g., a grocery list on unlined paper, a greeting card made on a computer; labels for a block or sand construction), using a combination of pictures, symbols, knowledge of the correspondence between letters and sounds (phonics), and familiar words

4.4 begin to use classroom resources to support their writing (e.g., a classroom word wall that is made up of children’s names, words from simple patterned texts, and words used repeatedly in shared or interac- tive writing experiences; signs or charts in the classroom; picture dictionaries; alphabet cards; books)

Spectacular Spectacles

We read a book today called "Spectacular Spectacles" and were inspired to make our own!  First we read and discussed the book.

Then we referred to some non-fiction books that had pictures of masks and other fancy face coverings in order to help us create our own.

Here are our creations!

Some Ontario Curriculum Expectations fulfilled by this activity included:

1.5 use language in various contexts to connect new experiences with what they already know (e.g., contribute ideas orally during shared or interactive writing; contribute to conversations at learning centres; respond to teacher prompts)

1.7 use specialized vocabulary for a variety of purposes (e.g., terms for things they are building or equipment they are using)

2.4 respond to a variety of materials read aloud to them (e.g., paint, draw, or construct models of characters or settings)

2.10 retell information from non-fiction materials that have been read by and with the EL–K team in a variety of contexts (e.g., read-alouds, shared reading experiences), using pictures and/or props

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Inspired by Art Books

We changed the books in our reading nook today! After a visit to the school library we selected a number of non-fiction books about famous artists and their paintings. We discussed these books briefly with the children before putting them in the genre basket in the nook. During free choice time we noticed a number of children exploring the texts and the interest in using the paint easel was higher than usual.

Some Ontario Curriculum fulfilled by this activity includes:

2.10 retell information from non-fiction materials that have been read by and with the EL–K team in a variety of contexts (e.g., read-alouds, shared reading experiences), using pictures and/or props

V3.  use problem-solving skills and their imagination to create visual art forms (e.g., choose materials to make a three-dimensional structure stable; choose an alternative way to fasten their materials if the first way is unsuccessful)
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