Friday, 18 September 2015

Great Learning in Room 122!

Wow, so much learning has been happening in Room 122 in the first two weeks of our year! I will do my best to share as much of the amazing learning as I can.

The students have been putting their mark on our classroom. They are adding their writing, drawings and creations. We are continually adding to our 'Beautiful Stuff' alphabet and can't wait to share the completed project.

Students hang their daily writing on this wall everyday. It has been wonderful to see their creations!

Whole Body Listening is something we are working hard on when we are listening to a story or when we are working with friends. See video here.

We use a 'flow of the day' to help the students know what the day will bring. We also have a choice board to help the students regulate themselves during our 'Thinking and Learning Time'.

Students work hard to do their personal best everyday.  They do their writing all over the room. Clipboards are available for students to bring their writing to their creations. This encourages literacy in all areas of our room, as students are writing in the drama centre, the math centre and the building centre!

Literacy activities are available all throughout the room. Out students love reading and are great at 'Reading to Self'. 

Reading to self
M.A. writing words with magnet letters.
These girls are looking at their portfolios which highlight all their learning from JK. We are excited to fill them up some more with their learning in SK.
J.B. reading a book to get inspiration for his daily writing.
E.W. sorted the letter sticks by colour

“Before the onset of formal schooling, young children do not only memorize … and they do not only employ mechanical skills. They do not operate only on a ‘concrete’ level. Instead, we can say fairly that young children are splendid little mathematicians. They deal spontaneously and sometimes joyfully with mathematical ideas. This is what real mathematicians do.”

This quote is so true! The students are exploring math concepts constantly throughout the day. We have seen students exploring numbers, sorting, area, measurement, capacity, tallies, shapes and so much more! It is so exciting to see how complex their ideas are and challenging them to push their thinking further.
L.R. discovered that the square on the carpet could fit more small stones inside it than big stones. She then began exploring with another sized object.
A.A. measuring how long his cube tower is. He is demonstrating an understanding of how to use a measuring tool. He told me "you have to start measuring at the 1".
Creating a pattern using loose parts.
Building fine motor and numeracy skills with this activity.
Using squares to make a picture.
A number line representation on our math carpet.
Demonstrating an understanding of numbers using loose parts.
"Light blue, dark blue, light blue, dark blue" (an AB pattern).
E.W & Mrs. Eslami working on a number line.
E.W. then shared his learning with the whole class.
Measuring can happen anywhere! I overheard a group of students comparing the size of their water bottles while sitting in the cubby area.
It was a feast in the drama centre! Students have been talking about what healthy foods they can be eating.

This group of students created our school on the light table. Each student added their own detail to the picture.

"I can hear the sea!" J.C. then listened to the other shells in the class to see if they also had the sea inside them.
A.H. & A.S. created this movie theatre. The movie Frozen is playing inside and a movie about A.S.'s family is playing outside.

"The tower is taller than us!" This group of students worked persistently to build this tower. Even though it fell over a lot, they persisted to make it taller than them!
"We made a lava bridge. It is made of metal so it doesn't get broken"
A new addition to our weekly schedule is 'Outdoor Learning'. It has been great to get the students outside and to explore our kindergarten yard. They have been demonstrating not only gross motor skills, but math skills, drama skills and also building social skills.

A.R & M.F- "We made a bark picture! It's a house and a tree."

We have been making new friends these past two weeks :)
These two girls found bark and were measuring to find out which one was bigger and which was smaller.
A.A & L.L. worked together to order these pieces of bark from largest to smallest.
Y.M. created his house outside.

Ms. Tompkins- what do you love about outdoor learning?
L.R.- I love taking care of trees
L.L.- to discover stuff that never gets found in the trees
A.R. - I like being outside because you get to find lots of leaves
D.M.- I like picking up bark
E.B.- I like to run very fast like Elsa
A.A.- you can find lots of bugs in the trees and grass
A.S.- butterflies!
E.B.- one was white and the other was black!
I.S.- I love the tree and climbing on the tree

Outdoor learning has been such a huge hit with our students that we are bringing the outdoors inside this week with our new sensory bin.

With so much amazing thinking and learning happening in just two weeks, I am SO excited to see what this year will hold!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Our 2015 Learning Environment!

We are so excited about another year in Room 122! 

We have worked hard to set up our classroom environment to be a 'third teacher' for our students. Susan Fraser states, “A classroom that is functioning successfully as a third teacher will be responsive to the children’s interests, provide opportunities for children to make their thinking visible and then foster further learning and engagement.” (Capacity Building Series, (2012, p. 67)) The materials we put out have been specifically chosen to engage and challenge our students. Throughout the first few weeks, we will be observing how the students interact with the environment and adjusting things as necessary. We want our students to independently explore the classroom environment, which provides opportunities for literacy and mathematics in every area.

Our math area
Lots of open-ended materials for students to explore which encourage exploration in all math strands.
Shape provocation

Patterning provocation
Number provocation
Our building centre
Open ended materials to encourage creativity. Paper is available for the students to sketch or write about their structures.
Family wall-- as parents are the first teacher of the children they deserve a place in our class and this allows the students to see their families during the day.

Wonder window 

Writing area 
Lots of choice for templates available for students' writing.
Word books to support writing.

Lots of writing tools available for the students to promote independence when writing.
Our daily writing wall awaiting students' work.
Art materials for the students and professional resources for educators.
Letter, sight word and name provocations. 

Our self-regulated snack table
Drama centre-- we chose to set it up as a home for September, as this is something familiar for all students.

We are really looking forward to the year ahead!

"Every child is a different kind of flower. Altogether they make the world a beautiful garden."