Saturday, 19 September 2015

A wonderful start to our journey of learning!

I would like to share some learning moments that have taken place over the the past couple of weeks. To say that I am amazed and proud of the children is an understatement. I'm not sure if any of you remember what it was like being a child of this age range and dealing with so many new things! Below are a few examples of the many new skills the children are learning and practicing:

  • learning to identify our belongings
  • changing our shoes (outdoor/indoor)
  • signing-in using the portraits we drew of ourselves so we know "How many children are here today?"
  • lining up and walking quietly in the school to other classes (e.g. gym, music, health, library)
  • being gentle and careful with the materials in our classroom and treating them with care while we play
  • following our co-created Classroom Agreement: sharing, being nice, being safe, being helpful, being respectful, and being patient
  • learning to take turns at different exploration areas in the classroom and at our self-regulated snack area
  • listening to our bodies when we are hungry or need to go to the bathroom, by taking the time to eat our snack or use the washroom
  • learning about feelings and how to identify how we feel
  • solving disagreements by talking things out with our peers or asking a teacher for help if upset/frustrated
  • cleaning up after ourselves if we want to explore another area
  • following instructions and transitions (e.g. outdoor exploration time, sharing time, lunch time, fire drill procedures)
  • being attentive, listening to stories, and responding to questions or comments
  • investigating different types of writing during exploration time (e.g. draw a picture, add words, My Story template, make a card, write a book etc.)
  • getting to know each other better (creating community and fostering relationships) by sharing our nature treasures and playing fun name games
  • making choices of where we want to play and doing our best work by thinking of an idea before creating

Some beautiful moments from our time together...

An SK friend supporting his new JK friend with using materials purposefully to create at the light table. 

Counting the numbers of cubes used in their creations! 

Building a castle together using natural materials and loose parts. 

C. D. used the jewels and tiles to create the letter C and D which are her initials! Why are they creating on mirrors? It allows objects to be viewed from another dimension.  

  Sorting the name tags into piles by the number of letters in each name.

 Co-creating our classroom agreement. The children suggested each item. They have the opportunity to sign the agreement showing that they are willing to follow their rules.

New friends creating a restaurant at the light table. 

A group of children decided to attach all the cubes together and see how long they could build it. Then they took the tape measure and stretched it out to try and find out how long it was. Placing real life materials in the classroom gives children the opportunity to explore, and be motivated to understand and learn their usage.  

Listening to their friends share their creation! At the end of the sharing questions and comments are asked. Each presenter takes turns picking from the audience!    

Creating a number line together! 

This melted my heart! One of our new JK friends was having a sad day missing his family. Our SK friend held his hand all day and decided to make this picture for him to feel better.

These two friends are quite interested in the rocks that one of their peers brought in as their nature treasure. I love the discussion they were having about what they noticed!

This new JK friend independently self selected the materials she wanted to use for her art creation. Taking direction very well, she used both hands to carry each container from the Art Studio shelf to her working area. As you can see in the photo, some materials are stored in glass jars. Children are very competent and capable. Respecting and learning how to treat materials is very important in creation relationships with the classroom environment.

I was wowed by the collaboration between these three friends! They came up with an idea and together build the city of Toronto! It includes a house with a family and kids, a garbage dump complete with a ramp and cylinders that take the garbage, and a tunnel leading to a restaurant that is on the island! Look at the detail in their work! The spool is the house with windows on the outside! They even have a boat with a driver to get to the restaurant! The restaurant has two chefs and the round lids are the tables! in this picture they are sharing their creation with their friends. Such rich oral language was used to tell the story!

The children worked hard drawing their little self portraits so they can fit on the ten frame grid. This will be a daily sign-in both in the morning and after lunch. It's a great authentic activity to get to know each other's names, as well as encompassing a whole lot of purposeful math!

The first sketching and oil pastel experience of the year! For some friends, this was their first exposure to using such art materials and sketching still-life. I am proud of their work, but more importantly, I am proud that they all attempted! 
*Not all pictures fit in the camera frame. All children chose to sketch.

These two friends are taking their time and placing jewels over the letters they chose to explore. 

Z. G. creating his birthday banner using a plastic sewing needle, string, and beads.

F. D. is creating her birthday banner! Children really seemed to enjoy this activity. It allowed them to slow down, focus, and use their fine motor skills! 

Many of our friends posed with their nature treasure! The stories about their treasures are amazing and allows us all to think and wonder about the different finds! 

Our wonder window allows children to use a binocular and observe the changes that may be happening in our school yard (e.g. the leaves changing colour, birds flying by, and weather changes)

Going to the Rock Garden for our first Outdoor Exploration! Children were fascinated with the sparkly rocks and the white bark on one of the trees! Other children enjoyed riding a "pony" on a big rock, planting a garden, and playing rock tag together!

I heard these two friends singing the alphabet song together as they supported each other with writing letters they knew! 

I also heard these three friends singing the alphabet song while following along in their Lego Alphabet book!

These two new friends decided to both work at the sand table. They thought of an idea and created this amazing castle! Crouching down with their My Story template, they are attempting to draw what they see!

After playing a name game with the name cards, these children decided to try and put the names from the "biggest" to the "smallest" name! Counting and comparing was required! Their reasoning with each other was quite interesting. It was nice to see such collaboration. 

These three friends decided to create a house with people sleeping on their beds on the top level! They are using a My Story template. We have been talking about what a story is and I hope that using this template will allow for more role playing and imagination.

Starting to explore patterns using open ended materials and the following guiding questions: What is a pattern? Where do we see patterns in real life? What different patterns can you make? This was M. K.'s first attempt with some support from myself! I should mention that provocations such as this, are open for selection by children. If I see that some children have yet to visit a provocation, I will invite them and engage with them in their exploration. If they do not want to participate, I may ask if they can come in the afternoon or the next day. I usually have a good response. We want to allow children as much choice as possible so that they maintain a positive outlook on learning without forcing when they are not ready to engage.

In My Heart is a wonderful story about feelings expressed by your heart. We hope children are able to self select a feeling rock based on how they feel and perhaps may even want to draw their feeling using the writing materials! Learning to be empathetic and treating others with kindness starts with learning about feelings and being able to recognize them.  

The birthday banners are complete! Children gained so many skills from this experience! Focusing, slowing down, using fine motor, and above all, unleashing their creativity!

I hope you are all proud of the children as much as Mrs. Powell and I are! 
We will continue to practice and extend our learning! 

I will leave you with a great poster about using specific questions/dialogue to encourage!



  1. Wow! And this all happened in just one week?! Great job, Room 109! I wish I was in Kindergarten again.... :)

  2. Actually in two weeks, but the children are still learning and we continue to practice daily!

  3. Beautiful post, so intentional and inspiring. Loved it!

  4. Inspirational! Thank you for sharing! Did you make the C is for carrot signs or were those from a book or something? Looking forward to following your classroom this year - it's clearly off to a great start!

  5. Thank you for the kind words Anna! I purchased the food alphabet cards from Australia. You can find them here: