Thursday, 30 October 2014

Happy Halloween in the Haunted Cafe

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 This post is to share a Halloween Freebie with you!  The kids have been having so much fun in the weeks leading up to Halloween.  We carved the pumpkin that we picked on our recent Pumpkin Patch Trip.  It's actually much bigger than it looks.  It took both my E.C.E. and myself to roll it across the floor and somehow haul it onto the table!  There was lots of goop (pulp) and many seeds to scrape out.

The kids have also been having a great time at our Haunted Cafe.  My wonderful E.C.E. Mrs. Caruso set this one up for the kids.  They have been taking turns playing different roles:  customer, chef (some in the witch role), server, etc.

Even my daughter and her friends have been busy playing before their own school day starts!

At the end of each month we discuss what we learned and what we liked.  Many of the students chose to write about the Dramatic Centre.  Here we are using our phonetic writing in our Memory Books.

"I liked the Haunted Cafe Dramatic Centre."

"I liked the Haunted Cafe."

If you would like to create a Haunted Cafe in your Dramatic Centre, here is a little FREEBIE for you...A poster/sign and menu.  Simply purchase the cauldron, plastic spiders, insects, etc. at your local dollar store.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Kindergarten Learning Goals

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I made the Ontario Kindergarten Learning Expectations into large posters for a friend of mine who teaches K at another school within our School Board.  Her Principal wanted to see all the teachers talking with students about what the expectations were and wanted them posted visually in the class.  She wanted staff going over 'Success Criteria' with students so that students knew what was expected of them.  In her school, some teachers have a 'Learning Goals' wall or bulletin board.  I thought this was a great idea, since giving students the vocabulary for what they are expected to do helps them focus their learning.  Posting the expectations serves as a visual reminder for students for what the expectations are.  A lot of the learning in Kindergarten happens around the room at a variety of learning centres.  So instead of placing the learning goals on a board, I've placed them around the room at the various centres.  This helps students remember how to use the centre and what they should be doing at that particular place in the classroom.

The curriculum document has so many great examples of what that expectation might 'look like.'  For example, the expectation 'communicate in writing, using strategies that are appropriate for beginners" is very general.  As a class we talked about what that might look like and came up with our own success criteria (blank page provided in the package).  We wrote it out together and posted it at our Writing Centre (which is not the only place where writing takes place, but it seemed appropriate).

This is our Building and Blocks Centre.  It has blocks of various shapes, sizes and textures, as well as 3-D solids and a variety of play materials such as dinosaurs, animals, etc.

 This is our book shelf.  Here we talked about looking at pictures to help us gain an understanding of what the text might say.  We talked about conventions of print (front cover, directionality of text, etc.), and I see the students remembering what to do when selecting a book.  They will follow the print with their fingers, look at the pictures to help them figure out text, and their sense of story when 'reading' has improved too!

 I have a math wall where I like to post pictures of the children engaging in mathematical exploration.  This past month we worked on sorting and classifying.  Our learning goal was placed on our Math Wall and our pictures and text demonstrate our learning goal in action.

I would love to hear if anyone else uses or posts learning goals in their classroom, and in what format?
Tomorrow is Friday and it's our Thanksgiving long weekend!  Enjoy!