Saturday, May 31, 2014

Getting Ready For POLs- We Are Amazing!

Hello Kindergarten Families,

How are you?  I am well.  I personally am busy doing so much: a list of things I love to do to finalize the school year and make it special and memorable, stockpiling books and projects (knitting, drawing, writing) that I am making sure are ready for our drive through Baja this July, a collection of gifts and handmade items for my family and childhood friends who we plan to visit in the SB area after Portland... and  a list of yummy and cool places to check out in Portland, when the lower grade teachers go to the Opal School Symposium right after our school gets out. (If you have any good Portland suggestions, let me know!)  So many things to be excited about!  I feel lucky.  For so many reasons!

This week our biggest focus in class just might have been how awesome we are.  We said this a lot.  Well, that, and amazing.  Each child worked on the components of their POL (greeting, info about themselves and the work they are showing, what was hard, what they're proud of, what they are learning about how they learn, and a closing comment).  We began by doing each of the parts as a morning share so that it didn't feel overwhelming.  Next, I partnered the students and they practiced and gave each other feedback.  Finally, we worked in small groups so that their practice could be supported and critiqued by more than one peer.  They really got into the process and were helping each other with parts they might speak a little more about.

This is their first "real" presentation of this style, so we are looking at it as a learning moment.  Everyone who gets up and tries will feel successful.  This is a pretty brave thing: getting up in front of peers and parents to share your work and reflections.  I will be there to help, if necessary, but I also know that each of them may not remember exactly what they said (when I have presented at national teaching conferences I have felt this way- "What did I even say- I was so nervous!") but they will remember that they prepared and executed a presentation and that they are capable of doing this!  These kids are so competent in so many ways!

Here are some photos to show you what I was lucky enough to witness:

Other news:
*Artifacts and coins are still coming in from students and families often, and that is so exciting!  Bring your child in to show you what's new.
*I made one final floor plan for this year to return us to meeting on the carpet (cozier and larger space) and so this meant a few other areas changed to.  I refreshed some of the topics in the room, or put out some other interesting items so that we are always learning.
*We are finalizing our letters to the military and fire fighters.  Please email me if you have a military address we can send to!
*This week we begin our next secret project, finish our story problems, habitat observations, coin practice and time practice.
*Come in and check out your child's story in progress.  I made up some little booklets which they are filling up with their creativity.  We are authors and illustrators!
*The End of the Year party will be themed: Friendship Game Day!  They have a few different new games in the works for this fun day.  I just love their creativity and how they come up with new ideas.  That should be a fun day: Thursday the 12th, at 10am, all families are welcome! (snack and volunteer help sign ups to go out this week!)
*New songs and poems: we began them early so that we would have a little more time to learn them in June.  I have a feeling your child already has a favourite- which one is it?

Okay, I will stop so I can import the photos and publish this.  Have a great rest of your weekend!  Love, Jennfier

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Fun Day At The Farm!

Hello Kindergarten Famililes,

Last we we were off to the farm!  Even though it was hot, the day turned out to be nice.  Thank you to the drivers who took their time to drive so far and keep us safe. Many friends said it was their first time seeing a cow. They were interested to see the difference, since we had researched the different types of cows.   For me, it was interesting to learn about all the ways they recycle and the new type of projects they have incorporated, including algae experiments and waste management.  Nice to hear that they plan to have their own creamery, too!  Yum!

As usual, the activity features were also a ton of fun.  If your child wasn't able to make it, maybe next year you can go out for their pumpkin events and enjoy the grounds.

Have a lovely day, Jennifer