Sunday, September 20, 2015

Our Class!

What a wonderful group of children we have this year! We had a lovely first week and are looking forward to the many adventures will we have together!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

October 2

Families a gentle reminder that there is no school for children on Friday, October 2 as it is a PD day. Many thanks! Enjoy that time together with your little ones!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mixing the Primary Colours

We have been discussing the primary colours and what happens when we mix yellow, red, and blue. We placed these three colours of paint on the art table and invited the children to experiment with colour mixing. 

What beautiful and unique art they created!

Miss J. also had a neat science experiment on the science table. Why don't you ask your child to explain to you how the blue and yellow liquid travelled through the paper towels to create green in the middle jar?

Thursday, September 17, 2015


The children have been very interested in creating intricate, circular designs using a variety of loose parts and pattern blocks. We introduced the word 'mandala' to them. It has been interesting to see what shapes and patterns they can discover and identify. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wish Wreath

Our family 'wish wreath' with all the hopes and dreams you have for your children written on paper ribbons is looking lovely on our door!

Promoting Math Language

We again encouraged the children to string objects onto yarn using plastic needles. In an effort to embed math language into the experience we purposely displayed various sizes of beads at the centre. The children quickly realized that not all beads would fit over the needle and this led to an interesting discussion using much math terminology to describe the beads (e.g., big, little, size, measurement). The children also began to sort the beads into piles that did and did not fit the needles. Meaningful math opportunities embedded into playful experiences help children understand and appreciate topics that can sometimes seem abstract in isolation. We love to see meaningful math emerge in our work!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sewing Dots

Developing fine motor skills is important for young children. Activities that strengthen the small muscles of the body can help children become proficient at drawing, writing, grasping and manipulating small objects, and fastening clothing. We engage children in many interesting and complex tasks in our classroom to help develop small muscle strength, fine motor control, and dexterity. 

This afternoon we encouraged the children to again explore the recycled material 'dots' and consider how they might use a plastic needle and yarn to string or sew their own creation. This was a VERY popular centre as many children were eager to experience sewing!

It was interesting to see the children persist and use different strategies to problem solve how to string the foam objects that did not have any pre-cut holes - many realized that with enough force the needle could be pushed through the material.

Be sure to check out the following link to see what other fine motor activities we've done in the past. Many of these are easy to implement and would be great for families that are eager for activities to try at home together.

Dot Day!

We celebrated international Dot Day today by reading the book 'The Dot' by Peter Reynolds...

...and finding many creative ways to make our mark in our classroom!

We used dot dabbers. 

We built with dots. 

We even painted with dots!

We tweeted about what we did and Peter Reynolds tweeted us back! It was very exciting to connect with this author!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wonderful Start!

Families we are off to a wonderful start this year! We have had a very successful morning and are enjoying getting to know your little ones!

What a great year it's going to be!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Virtual Tour

Welcome to our classroom! Returning to school is always so much fun after a great summer! We especially love enriching our learning space with some of our favourite Autumn decor!


Displayed around our room you will find Autumn treasures and some of our well loved books! Many are about starting school and being in kindergarten! We look forward to reading them over the next few weeks with our children!

Our dramatic arts centre was very popular with the visiting JKs who came in for interviews this past week. Complete with authentic cooking tools, children will be able to role-play imaginative scenarios in a comfortable and familiar 'home' environment!

The cozy nook has been turned into our reading area! We hope that the children will help us fill the empty bulletin boards with beautiful and authentic works of art!

Our writing area is stocked with paper, markers, pencils, crayons and any other tool that might be needed to create meaningful drawing and writing. Our class mailbox sits patiently, waiting for the children to write letters to one another!

The science area has many treasures to explore; we are hoping the children and their families will send in interesting 'found' objects from their yards and neighbourhoods as the seasons change. We especially love rocks, sticks, nests, insects...

The art centre is Mrs. McLennan's favourite centre! We have carefully displayed many diverse tools and materials for the children to begin exploring. This week we will read Peter Reynold's book "The Dot" and encourage children to be like the main character, Vashti, and 'make their mark' in some amazing way!

Stay tuned for more pictures of the classroom as our first few weeks unfold!

Almost there!

Just a few more hours! Wishing you and your little one a great and restful Sunday evening! See you bright and early tomorrow morning! We will welcome children at the playground door - families can feel free to enter the classroom together with their child, help him or her put personal belongings in the cubby, and meet us on the carpet for some playtime!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Making the First Day Great!

Before the first day...

In the weeks leading up to school, practice walking to school or to the bus stop often so it begins to feel like a familiar routine. If you child will be riding the bus, attend the bus orientation and go over the bus safety rules a few times.

A few days before school starts, begin getting your child and yourself used to the bedtime and wake-up schedule that will be required during school.

Get everything ready a day or two in advance.

The day before, let your child pick out what they will wear on the first day of school. Let your child choose a favourite outfit from clothes that are already 'broken-in' and comfortable.

Try to get your child, and yourself off to bed a bit early so you're both well rested in the morning.

The first day...

Get yourself and your child up early enough to eat a calm, unhurried breakfast. Keep things as normal as possible; if your child normally has cereal for breakfast, make cereal this morning.

When you say goodbye to your child the first day, make it quick, light, and reassuring.

Your child will be reassured by a warm hug and a reminder that you, or their usual caregiver, will be picking them up or waiting at home after school is finished.

Some parents feel a temporary sense of loss when their child goes off to school. If you're feeling that way, plan a special activity for yourself that you can look forward to during the first days of school. 

After school...

Plan a special dinner with your child's favourite foods to celebrate the first day of school.

Use the first day of school to start some routines for the rest of the school year. One of these routines is to talk with your child every day about what happened at school. Here are some questions that can help to start the discussion:

  • Did your teacher read you a story today?  Tell me about it.
  • What did you do in school today that you really liked?  Tell me why this activity was so special for you.
  • What are you looking forward to doing tomorrow at school?
Another great routine to get started on the first day of school is displaying your child's school work. After you and your child have discussed what he or she has brought home from school, display it on the fridge or hang it on an inexpensive bulletin board hung in the hallway or bedroom at your child's eye level.

Use those precious few minutes before bedtime to snuggle with your child and read him or her a bedtime story. 

We have an open door - please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

First Day Anxiety

Freshly pressed school clothing, a new backpack full of supplies, and a child clinging to your legs refusing to let go...welcome to the first day of school! Although children are eager to begin kindergarten, it's understandable for most to experience first day (first week, or even first month) anxiety. Imagine what it must be like to suddenly leave the comfort of home and be dropped into a new environment where everything and everyone is different. This anxiety is normal and we will help you and your child to get through it!  Please speak directly to us if you are concerned about your child's anxiety at starting school and we will do our best to provide support and strategies for helping with the transition to school.  
Here are some tips you might also find useful:

Downplay the milestone. For some children highlighting the first day of kindergarten as a really big deal makes them more nervous than they already are. Instead of making a huge fuss about starting school, try comparing kindergarten to something your child is already familiar with, such as going to daycare, the Ontario Early Years Center, or a music or sports class.  Explain that kindergarten will be a place where he or she will make friends and have fun, just like he or she may have done with groups of kids before.
Connect school to home. Bring your child with you to all events that happen before school including parent interviews. This will provide your child with an opportunity to meet us and see our classroom ahead of time. Please send in a 4 by 6 inch photo of your family (all members included, pets too) that we will display around the classroom. This will help your child to feel more connected to their home life while at school. When your child goes home at the end of the day, engage him or her in a conversation about what they did during the day. Talking to your child about his or her day at school can help connect school to home life.
Read books together about starting school. Reading about other children who might have fears and anxiety about starting school may be comforting to kids who are experiencing the same feelings. Here is an excellent list of books about starting school.  
Try to minimize your own anxiety. Just as it's perfectly normal for your child to feel some anxiety on the first days of kindergarten, it's absolutely normal for you to feel anxious when you see your child upset or when a life change like your child starting school occurs. It's also understandable that you may experience some frustration when you see other children playing happily in the classroom while yours is still clinging for dear life to your legs. Don't hesitate to speak with us about your concerns and how we can help plan for a smooth transition for your child into our classroom!
Don't stay too long. Reassure your child that you (or another caregiver) will be back at the end of the day (or waiting at home) and say a quick goodbye at drop-off time. Lingering will only make it more difficult for your child to see you go, and he or she may cry harder the next time because he or she may see that it's an effective way to get you to stay. As heart-wrenching as it may be for you to walk away while your child is upset, chances are that he or she will be playing happily soon after you are out of sight. We recommend that you don't sneak out without saying goodbye as this may undermine your child's trust and could worsen his or her separation anxiety.
Identify his or her anxiety. Find out exactly what your child is afraid of. Talk to him or her and find out what he or she is worried about. Concerned that you won't return? Afraid someone will be mean to him or her? Worried he or she won't know where the bathroom is or that he or she won't know what to do in the classroom? Once you establish what the specific fears are you will be better able to address your child's concerns and work with him or her and our teaching staff to find ways to handle them.
Send along a favourite comfort object or reminder of you. If your child has a favourite lovey (e.g., blanket, stuffed animal) send it along the first few days. We will ask children to keep their object in their backpack unless needed to help through a transition period. Sometimes having a favourite comfort object nearby helps provide children with a sense of security. Another wonderful item is a mini photo album filled with pictures of your family and home.
Don't put a time limit on how long it should take for anxiety to pass. For some children, first day anxiety may not last beyond a few days if it happens at all. For others, tears and school fears may go on for weeks. Just as each child has his or her own individual set of experiences and personality, the time it takes to adjust to school will vary from one child to another.
Don't hesitate to talk to us! We are here to help make your family's transition to full day kindergarten as smooth as possible.
Read professional resources to help you cope. An excellent book that we have recommended in the past for families is Nancy Balaban's "Everyday Goodbyes: Starting School and Early Care. A Guide to the Separation Process".

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September Newsletter


Families, please visit this link to view our complete September newsletter A paper copy will be sent home in your child's mailbag the first day of school. 

Quick Tips

  • Send in extra set of clothes including underwear and socks (label with child’s name)

  • Please ensure shoes are labeled and can be put on and off independently(preferably Velcro). Due to safety concerns, flip flops are not permitted

  • Mailbag will be sent home daily, please check every evening and return to school the next day

  • For the safety of your child, please check in with a staff member and say goodbye before you leave

  • Please inform us if there are any changes in your child’s home time arrangements (put note in child’s Mailbag or phone the school), children will not be sent home with anyone other than the designated person without parental permission

  • Please inform us if there are any changes in your child’s health


Wow! What lovely families and children we have! It has been so exciting to meet new friends and say hello to many of our returning children these last two days! We are so excited for the first day of kindergarten next week!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Welcome Back!


This past week Miss J. and I phoned each of you to say hello and welcome you back to a wonderful, new school year! We are so excited to see our returning SKs and meet our new children! If you are a new family to our class and would like to schedule an interview for this week, please contact the school for a time. Our first day of school with the children is Monday, September 14. See you soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We Can't Wait...

...for our first day of kindergarten! We've been busy setting up our learning environment and are so excited to meet our new students and welcome back our returning SKs!

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