The Wonderful World of Kindergarten

Welcome to our Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at Dr. David Suzuki School.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ice Ice A B!

It became crystal clear that, after the light table, the next stop for our colourful upper case letters was the freezer. After all, we wanted to keep in tune with our latest gift from Mother Nature! Cold, Colder, Coldest, Frozen Solid!!!

We set out squirt bottles, eye droppers and the letters... encased in ice. Some words were posted on the board and chenille sticks, pencils and paper were available. The letters had holes for stringing together.

Some of the letters spelled words.

There were containers that had frozen completely and others that had not. Water was trapped inside along with the letters.
One container had coloured water that slowly mixed in as the ice melted. 

Imprints were left in the ice where letters had been.

Some children broke letters out with their fingers and others squirted them out.

 "I'm getting all the D's. You get the B's!"

Abby worked at getting the letters out with an eye dropper. Other children searched the water for the letters they wanted to spell their names or one of the posted words… and some made words of their own.

Hmmm… Maybe Ireland is letting us know what we’ll be doing next!

Welcoming Shawn Back From France

Our world traveler has returned to the wonderful world of kindergarten! We couldn't wait to show Shawn where we had been displaying his letters and pictures... and all things 'Shawn'!

We learned so much about how different it was for Shawn when he lived in France. Many of us ate the same food, but the packages didn't have the same colours or pictures. The words didn't sound the same when we sounded them out loud.

Shawn shared his experiences with all the children. He is very good at explaining the things he knows! We all learned so much about France and other countries that Shawn and his family visited.

The children had the opportunity to ask Shawn questions about his time in France. Many questions came from visiting Shawn's blog and discussing the places he visited like the castles.

One of the first centres Shawn visited his first day back was the blocks. With his peers he created a castle which he built many times when he was in JK. After experiencing the real deal in France he creatively added a draw bridge.Isn't it amazing what real experiences will do for children's creativity.

Drawing With Light

A set of transparencies and an overhead projector can be set up just about anywhere. A quiet hallway nook provided a perfect background to have some fun with light.
We notice that children spend more time, and engage in more detailed drawings when they see their smaller details reflect in such a large way!

There is collaboration and discussion. They are patient in their turn-taking.

We hear them valuing each other's input.
We hear wonderful stories. 
Having this little nook also gives children a quiet place to work alone and discover themselves... and their talents... and their own light.

Look At Those Tracks In The Snow

~ True solitude is a din of birdsong, seething leaves, whirling colours, or a clamor of tracks in the snow.~ Edward Hoagland

Children often gather at the window gazing and wondering about the world beyond it. Looking closely... ever-so-closely... some children noticed teeny tiny tracks in the freshly fallen snow.
"Look! Look! Right there! At the bottom... by the bush."

"Yeah. I see 'em. The birds were eating the feeders. They ate mine."

When the children notice and become interested in their world, we wonder with them. We enter into the magic of wondering and discovering like the children do.
We wondered with the children about the type of birds that visited the feeders.

Taking pictures of the many tracks will help us to compare them to some of the ones in the books we are looking at. 

Children like evidence! Some of the tracks were from birds.
 Others were not!
There were questions to be answered.

First thing in the morning, with interest of tracks in the snow sparked, children noticed tracks just beyond our playground. Of course, further investigation was in order.

These, they decided, were definitely NOT bird tracks! "Maybe it's from a bunny? My mommy saw a bunny one day."  "I saw a bunny in my back yard."


"Let's follow them. There's a trail."  
"Where do you think it will lead to?  Will it lead us to the bushes?"


The trail led us to a tree. There was talk of bunnies, holes in the tree, hibernation and squirrels! And it didn't stop there. One set of tracks led to the discovery of another type of tracks. The children compared the size of their hands to this new set. They immediately decided that these tracks were from a dog... a very big dog!

 In the wonderful world of kindergarten, once discovery starts... and we wonder together... the world grows bigger and bigger and... we discover more evidence of one kind or another.

And we make our own tracks.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Light Table Literacy

We always have the most interesting things to explore on the light table. Lately, we've been shining the light on literacy!  The children have been so interested in making their own books. What a perfect time to take our colourful upper case letters and make them available on the light table! We were very interested to see what the children would do with them.
It was no surprise to us to see children immediately choosing  letters to spell their name. A child's name is the first meaningful connection they have to matching letters to their sounds.
Some of the children sorted the alphabet into groups of letters that looked alike. We had a great time trying to think of a word that started with the letter sounds as they moved the letter to a group.

Some of the children spelled their names... then counted the letters to see whose name was longer.

Some of our kindergartners are showing us how ready they are for reading and help others to make their letter sounds!

Literacy, language, letters and a light table illuminating the wonderful world of kindergarten!