Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Swimming
A friendly reminder that the first swimming class starts next Monday at 10:30am. If your child requires practice, it would be a great idea to try changing into and out of the swimsuits this weekend. If you are interested in helping out next Monday, please meet us on the 1/F by 10:20am. Parents, Grandparents and Aunties are all more than welcome to come and help out but we are encouraging independent skills so are asking all volunteers to help promote these skills also. If you are helping out, please verbally encourage students to change independently instead of physically helping them. All volunteers are then invited to watch the swimming lesson on the 2nd floor observation deck.

SeeSaw
I am starting to post meaningful engagements students are taking part in on SeeSaw. The posts are spontaneous to a specific learning moment. With that being said, the number of individual posts may vary week to week. Thank you for your support and please continue to extend your child’s learning by staying up to date to the happenings in Prep C. Here is the updated parent letter for our current unit of inquiry on Sharing the Planet.

Some of the posts on SeeSaw this week are connected with Plastic Free Seas. Dana and Tracy from PFS came in to talk about how plastic in our ocean is affecting our planet. Here is a video, created by a CDNIS alumni that day. Please continue to encourage your child to reduce, reuse, and recycle!

Field Trip to HK Park
Thank you to everyone who handed in the field trip forms already.We would love to have 8 parent volunteers to accompany us on the field trip (however we only have room on the bus for 5). There will be other opportunities to help out on field trips during the year so if you can not come this time, or it is full you will be our first priority next time. Once I have compiled all the forms, I will send an email out to the parent volunteers assigned for the trip. Stay tuned!

Halloween
Halloween is fast approaching! Here is a quick rundown for Tuesday, October 31st.

8:00-9:00: Prep C Class Party

9:10-9:30: Recess

9:40-10:15:  Prep-Gr 2 Parade and Catwalk on the 6F pitch

10:20-10:45:  Prep-Gr 2 sing along in the Forum

For more information about the Prep C class party, please speak with Radha (thank you for organizing!).

Parent Observations
Parent observations start next Monday. Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your time for a brief discussion regarding the checklist. We would like to remind parents to look at the notes regarding one parent per family, and just a reminder that if any student’s learning becomes disrupted due to a parent we may have to ask the parent to leave.

Parent Talk: Emotional Resilience
Emotional resilience refers to a person’s ability to adapt, manage and overcome stressful situations. A child who is emotionally resilient is better equipped to cope with adversity and recover from hardship. Fortunately, emotional resilience can be fostered and nurtured and in this parenting talk, Dr Ying Kan will share the latest research on emotional resilience and suggest practical strategies to support your child. Join us Wednesday, October 18 from 12:30pm-2pm in the LLAC Lobby. RSVP here.
Week 8

This entry was posted in Updates.

October Important Dates

Fri Oct 13th – Lower School House Day (come in House/PE shirt)

Mon Oct 16th- First Swimming Class (updated time 10:30am to 11:30am)

Mon Oct 16th to Wed Oct 25th- Optional Parent Observations

Wed Oct 18th- Class Photo at 8:15am (regular uniform, not PE)

Fri Oct 27th- Dress Down Day (theme TBA)

Tues Oct 31st- Halloween festivities in class and at school (more info to come)

 Repost Items

Living Things Parent Experts

Prep is beginning a new Unit of Inquiry (Oct. 10-Nov. 17) about How Living Things Depend on Each Other.  We’re looking for different ways to make the Unit come alive and promote meaningful inquiry.  One way is through experts, and this is where you come in!

We’re looking for family members who have experience with plants or animals and can demonstrate and talk about how living things are connected to each other and us and how our actions may impact them.  Some examples might be a pet owner that is willing to have their pet (comfortable with children) come in for a visit and discussion, a passionate gardener who can share their expertise about growing plants in HK or a volunteer for an organisation that works with animals in danger or in service.

If you would like to be a “Living Thing Expert”, or are not sure if your expertise fits with the Unit, please let me know.

Optional Parent Observations

Prep parents are invited to come in and observe the class and their child learning within the classroom. These observations are 45 minutes in length and parents are encouraged to fill out a checklist when observing their child to be used as a point of discussion for the Learning Conversations on November 3rd. Parent Observations will occur during the weeks of October 16th-25th.

This entry was posted in Updates.

That’s a Wrap on WWA!

Dear Parents,
Wow, what a great first half of term! Thank you (to all the parents) so much for all the support and positivity to the first half of the term. The students have all settled in and I often get told about how wonderful the class is by other teachers. It is a special group of students that really care for each other. I apologize in advance that this email is packed full of information, but I will be repeating quite a lot in future emails.
We officially finished our unit of inquiry ‘Who We Are’ today and have sent home a blue folder with some of your child’s hard work in it. This has been a fantastic unit as the students were able to reflect on their growth and personal changes and have really challenged themselves academically, emotionally and physically. Please keep in mind that the information included in the blue folder is just a snapshot of what your child has worked on this term. Throughout the unit of inquiry, there were many other mediums used for children to demonstrate their learning.
Our next unit of inquiry is ‘Sharing the Planet’ and the central idea is ‘Living things depend on each other’. We will have a parent letter posted on the blog the first week back with some vocabulary and ways to help at home. We are asking for parents to either send a physical copy, or an email of your child taking action at home (or during the break) regarding the central idea. We will start the next UOI by discussing these pictures and will have a strong emphasis on action throughout the unit.

Living Thing Experts! 

Prep is beginning a new Unit of Inquiry (Oct. 10-Nov. 17) about How Living Things Depend on Each Other.  We’re looking for different ways to make the Unit come alive and promote meaningful inquiry.  One way is through experts, and this is where you come in!  

We’re looking for family members who have experience with plants or animals and can demonstrate and talk about how living things are connected to each other and us and how our actions may impact them.  Some examples might be a pet owner that is willing to have their pet (comfortable with children) come in for a visit and discussion, a passionate gardener who can share their expertise about growing plants in HK or a volunteer for an organisation that works with animals in danger or in service.

If you would like to be a “Living Thing Expert”, or are not sure if your expertise fits with the Unit, please contact your child’s teacher right after the October Mid Term holiday to discuss this exciting opportunity!

Class Parent
We are very appreciative of Radha (Tara’s mom) who volunteered to be our class parent this year. It is always very helpful to have a class parent, especially someone as organized and helpful as Radha to manage parties, parent volunteers and other events. Thank you Radha!
Parent Observations 
Prep parents are invited to come in and observe the class and their child learning within the classroom. These observations are 45 minutes in length and parents are encouraged to fill out a checklist when observing their child to be used as a point of discussion for the Learning Conversations on November 3. Parent Observations will occur during the weeks of October 16-27. More information, including a sign up will be available on the class blog after the midterm break.
Swimming
 The class visited the swimming pool yesterday and met Coach Darren, Coach Bessie, Coach Gary and Coach Ashley and learned where they will be changing and a few expectations to make sure they can start swimming safely. Please refer to the information sheet sent home earlier this week for more info.

 

Seesaw Presentation

Thank you to all the parents who came to the Seesaw presentation on Wednesday. If you were unable to attend you have received a letter in your child’s folder that has instructions on how to download and start Seesaw. We appreciate all the feedback and the ‘likes’ and comments already! Right now Seesaw is teacher directed with the hopes that by the end of the year the students will be responsible for posting their learning and commenting on it. We encourage parents to review the posts together with your child at home and discuss their learning and understanding of the concepts. At this point comments are encouraged however questions would be best answered within a conversation.
If you would like to review the presentation, please click on ‘Useful Resources‘ on the class blog.
And here is a note in regards to privacy when using Seesaw:
To respect others’ privacy, we ask parents NOT to share class or group posts in Seesaw (multiple students) on social media or publicly. If the post is individual and only has your own child involved then we leave any decision about sharing to the parent’s discretion. Thank you for your cooperation with this important protection of privacy.
Week 7 Video

We wish you a restful and relaxing midterm break and will see everyone October 10!
Esther
This entry was posted in Updates.

In with the New, Out with the Old

School Communication
As you know, we will be starting to use Seesaw as a digital portfolio tool for your child. I hope that you will be able to attend the workshop this Wednesday (8am to 9:10am in LLAC) to understand SeeSaw better and how it will replace a hardcopy portfolio this year. It’s not too late to sign up for it now! 
In addition to Seesaw, we have several other tools to help you stay up to date with what’s happening in our class:
– Class blog – this is primarily used to hold static information (eg. timetable, calendar, unit overviews etc) and once Seesaw is up and running, it will no longer be updated weekly.
– Remind app (@cdnisprepc) – this is where I will publish upcoming events and reminders about different things (eg. Dress Down Day, weather info, etc)
– Personal Twitter account (@es_ip) – from time to time I will post photos of things we are doing in class and share interesting reads about play-based learning so feel free to follow on twitter
-Class Whatsapp- for those who are interested in participating in class events outside of school, please speak with Radha (Tara’s mom) for more information
Thank you for being flexible as we make the switch from using the Class Blog to Seesaw. As you can see, there are many ways in which we will continue to keep you up-to-date on what we are doing.
IB Workshop
This Thursday and Friday, I will be away attending an IB workshop in Japan. Ms. Joanne will be teaching on those two days. If you have any questions or concerns, please email myself and Joanne. One of us will get back to you as soon as we can.
Pancake and PJ Day
Just a friendly reminder that students are encouraged to come to school in their pajamas this Wednesday. Students who are part of the school lunch will be served pancakes, drink, veg, salad and sausage at no extra cost. Students who are part of the home lunch program and would like to buy pancakes are asked to bring in exact change ($34) in an envelope labeled with their name and class.
This entry was posted in Updates.

Growing Independence in Prep C!

Inquiry
We have been talking a lot about what helps us grow. The four things include:
– healthy diet
– exercise
– sleep
– independence
We have been exercising in class to stay healthy. Besides yoga, the students have really enjoyed the dance videos from GoNoodle. Feel free to try them out at home!
We talked a lot about the importance of being independent. If we don’t try things for ourselves, we may not learn all the essential skills that will help us grow. Students came up with some excellent ideas of how they are independent at school and at home.
“I can make my own bed.”
“I can tidy up after I play.”
“I can bring a friend to the nurse if he is hurt.”
It has been an unbelievable journey for me to witness the students’ growth since the beginning of the school year. Over the past 6 weeks, the children have settled in wonderfully and made the classroom their second home. They are recognizing and celebrating all of their peers for who they are. They are also continuing to learn to collaborate with eachother. Day by day, the students are requiring less reminders and blossoming into independent leaders of the future!
We continued to link our unit of inquiry with the Ontario math curriculum. We compared standard units of measurement from non-standard units of measurement, measured our friend’s feet and the height of our Grade 6 buddies using unifex cubes. Looking at the results, students reflected on their learning and communicated with others why they think the Grade 6 buddies are taller.
Healthy Snack Party
To wrap up our discussions and activities on healthy foods, we will be having a celebration this coming Tuesday on September 26th. Please kindly send in a healthy snack that can be shared with the class. The students have brainstormed some ideas and will be sending home their planning sheets later today. Feel free to send in something else that is not listed on your child’s planning sheet.
Special Events
Mystery Reader: Ms. Dove (ASA Coordinator) dropped by to explain to us what she does on a daily basis. She then read a book called I Like Myself which focuses on celebrating the uniqueness of everyone.
Dress Down Day: Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but laugh and giggle at how creative the “book characters” looked! Thank you to everyone who participated and made a donation.
Book Fair: What a wonderful experience it was for children to handle their “own” money and to spend wisely. During our time at the Book Fair, we also used comparing words such as more than, less than to understand what we could and could not buy.
Pancake and Pajama Day
Next Wednesday 27th is Pancake and Pajama day. Students (and teachers) can wear their pajamas to school (no dress down fee).
Pancakes will be served in the cafeteria:
–  Prep to Grade 1 – $34 (comes with drink, veg, salad and Sausage)
–  Grade 2 to Grade 6 – $37 (Includes sausage, drink and dessert)
Like last year, Students in Prep – G2 who are buying pancakes on the day should bring exact change in an envelope labeled with their name and class. Students in G3 – 6 may pay with cash or Octopus card. Students with school lunch will receive pancakes at no extra cost.

Early Years Moves from Paper to Online Portfolio with Seesaw (repeat item)
We invite all Early Years parents to a parent workshop on Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 from 8:00-9:10AM at the school’s LLAC lobby.  At the workshop, we will present about the purpose of portfolios, the role of parents and how they can access their children’s online portfolio.   Please use this link to sign up for the workshop.

Before you attend the workshop, please download the Seesaw’s family App on your personal device so that you can use it to access Seesaw.  We will have limited amount of loaners at the workshop for those who need them.

Swimming
Click here for more information on Swimming.

Week 6 Video

Important Dates
Tues Sept 26th- In class Healthy Snack Party
Wed Sept 27th- SeeSaw Presentation (8 to 9:10am), Pancake and PJ Day
Thurs Sept 28th- Jonah’s Birthday
Fri Sept 29th- Last day before the October Break (school resumes on October 10th)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Esther

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

Inquiry
Extending from our current knowledge of what helps us grow, this week we zoomed in on what foods help us grow. Students were first asked to draw a picture of a snack they had earlier in the day. Using a venn diagram, students then placed their picture under “Helps Us Grow” or “Doesn’t Help Us Grow”.  All the children were collaborating and discussing why some foods were healthy while others were not. This is one interesting conversation I heard:

A: I know! Butter is healthy because people add it on their bread.

B: So?

A: Well… it’s healthy because it makes the bread super yummy.

B: It makes it yummy because it’s fat and oily. Just like chocolate. It isn’t healthy.

Then, we analyzed what makes food healthy. We talked about the 5 food groups and how it is beneficial to eat a “colourful” plate of foods. A great activity is asking your child to label and count the number of food groups on his/her dinner plate!


On the side, students continued their inquiry on who has the largest feet at school? After using a variety of non-standard units (such as pencils and unifex cubes) to measure, students were keen to use other measuring tools (such as measuring tape). As a class, we discussed what is the same and what is different about standard and non-standard units. During centre time, students extended their investigation and began looking for the width/height/length of friends, teachers and classroom furniture as well!

In case you were wondering, the results are in! The teacher with the smallest feet is Mrs. Adams (Grade 1 teacher) and the teacher with the largest feet is Mr. MacPherson (Gr 4-6 Vice Principal). We are thankful to have so many teachers who were willing to lend us their “foot” without advanced notice.

Special Events
International Library Day
The International Library Day is a fun celebration of literature around the world. Parents set up booths representing their country and have info, books, etc about the country. A special thank you to Catherine (Minjoon’s mom), Ji Young (Hannah’s mom) and Mik Young (Jeyou’s mom) who volunteered at the Korea stall.

Mystery Reader
Mr. Grantham (Mr. G) was our special speaker this week! Mr. G gave us three clues about himself:
1) I wear coloured socks.
2) I love mint chocolate chip ice cream.
3) My middle name is James.

It was wonderful seeing teachers who work with other grades volunteer their time to read with the younger ones. Stay tuned to find out who is coming next!

Early Years Moves from Paper to Online Portfolio with Seesaw
Pre-Reception, Reception and Prep classes are using Seesaw this year to document their learning journey. Seesaw gives children a platform to capture and reflect on their learning – in real time. Seesaw will give parents a window into classrooms/learning spaces and into your children’s learning process. It will form an integral part of the way in which we assess, record and report on your child’s growth and development over the year.

We invite all Early Years parents to a parent workshop on Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 from 8:00-9:10AM at the school’s LLAC lobby.  At the workshop, we will present about the purpose of portfolios, the role of parents and how they can access their children’s online portfolio.   Please use this link to sign up for the workshop.

Before you attend the workshop, please download the Seesaw’s family App on your personal device so that you can use it to access Seesaw.  We will have limited amount of loaners at the workshop for those who need them.

Seesaw for Family links: https://web.seesaw.me/platforms-parents/

Week 5 Video

Enjoy the extra day off Prep C! See you all on Monday.

Esther

Rain Rain Go Away!

Unit of Inquiry

It is without a doubt we have had many rainy days at school this week. However, it sure didn’t stop us from engaging in lots of fun and purposeful play both in and out of the classroom.

This week, we linked our unit of inquiry with an important math concept, measurement. After reading The Dot by Peter Reynolds, we discussed how each dot was a different size and colour. As a class, we came up with a list of words to describe size (small, medium and large). A student mentioned how we can be more specific by giving detail and using words such as “super tiny” and “extra large”.

After our discussion about size, we shifted our focus to measuring height. The class was faced with the challenge to line up from shortest to tallest without speaking to eachother. It was quite challenging at first as students simply lined up where they wanted to stand. But once we got the ball rolling and students observed how others were going back to back to compare eachother’s height, it didn’t take long until the class successfully completed the task. Some sentences we used in our conversations and practiced writing include:

  • _______________ is shortest.
  • __________ is taller than ____________.
  • __________ is tallest.
  • ____________ is as tall as ___________.

Today, the students were given the question: Who has the largest feet at school? As a class, we made predictions and brainstormed ways to find the answer. We talked about the tools we would need to measure and people to consult for help. After meeting with several staff at school, we listed “next steps” and formulated questions to further our investigation. Stay tuned!

Next week, in addition to completing our LARGEST FEET CHALLENGE, we will begin considering and analyzing factors that help us grow (e.g. sleep, exercise, healthy diet). More specifically, we will list and differentiate healthy foods from unhealthy foods.

Click here for the updated Parent Overview for this unit.

Special Events

Art with Mr. Brown: In case you were wondering why your child came home with a painted-on uniform, it’s because Mr. Brown (art teacher) came for a visit! He surprised the children with lots of colourful paint and art mediums to use. We introduced the elements of line and the students really enjoyed making straight, wavy, curvy, circular, thick, thin and parallel lines.

The first Prep assembly took place earlier today in the Alan Dick Forum. Ms Kipfer (Ms. K) reviewed proper assembly etiquette and Mrs. Benusa shared a silly version of Shake the Sillies Out with the children.

Mystery Readers: Ms. Cheung and Mr. Brown

A very special Happy Birthday goes to Avery who turns 5 this Sunday on September 10th!

Week 4 video

Launching new UOI- Who We Are!

Unit of Inquiry (UOI)

We began the week unpacking the Central Idea for the UOI on Who We Are. As humans grow, they go through changes and challenges. We dissected the Central Idea and further investigated what changes and challenges mean. As a class, we discussed the changes humans go through as they get older. We also compared human and animal life cycles and practiced sequencing stages of life independently and in small groups.

We then shifted our attention towards defining and understanding what Challenges mean. We talked about challenges people face as they get older. Then, we analyzed some challenges that babies, children, teenagers, adults and elderly go through. Next, we made meaningful connections to our lives by discussing what challenges we face in the classroom. The students mentioned how sharing, taking turn and being patient are some challenges we go through. As a class, we brainstormed and modelled ways to solve the problems mentioned.

Students also participated in several “challenges” in the classroom. One of the challenges involve students having to build a bridge (using the supplies given), to help the bears stay safe from the incoming flood. It was wonderful seeing the children collaborate with others and experiment through trial and error. Afterwards, we counted the number of bears and ordered the total from smallest to largest.

Meaningful Action 

The House Centre is a big hit in Prep C! It is slowly developing into a Michelin worthy restaurant! We have voted on a name for the restaurant. While Airport Food and Prep C Restaurant were popular names amongst the ones brainstormed, Express Foods had the most votes. Some students helped create the menu while others were busy writing recipes for the chefs to use. Through these hands-on student-led inquiries, children are learning about:

  • procedural writing (recipes)
  • turn-taking
  • name, number and letter recognition
  • counting forward and one-to-one correspondence (money handling)

Special Events

Mr. Ben came in to speak to all of the Prep classes about the challenges he goes through as a marathon runner.

Mr. Adams and Mrs. Kipfer were our Mystery Readers this week. They both shared some of their favourite books with the students in Prep C.

We met our reading buddies earlier this week. We enjoyed reading books with them in the classroom.

We also had a visit from Ms. Chutke (the lower school counsellor) who spoke about how to solve small problems with friends. Ms.C and Keslo’s strategies are well known to the students, especially the students who were in Reception last year. She will be visiting the class regularly for a full period but is also always available for extra support if students need it during the day. The first few weeks of Prep are an adjustment period for students as they transition to a full day programme and they learn new social strategies and skills. I have posted a Kelso’s Wheel poster on the blog for you to use for reference. For students who are coming home and sharing their experiences we suggest these ideas:

·  Ask your child what strategy he/she used. (“I don’t like it when…”  “Can you please…”)

·  Ask your child if she/he told the teacher (we cannot help unless we know of the situation). Encourage your child to tell the teacher the following day.

We encourage parents to come directly to the teacher, rather than going to another child’s parents.

Week 3 Video

Have a fabulous weekend,

Esther

This entry was posted in Updates.

First Week of FULL DAY – check!

Wow this week sure flew by! The students have been busy engaging in purposeful play and familiarizing themselves with daily routines. Everyone was extremely adaptable and will continue practicing how to:

  • unpack and pack their bags
  • head to and from recess independently
  • choose when to have their morning snack (within a timeframe)
  • eat lunch in the 12/F cafeteria
  • take care of their personal belongings
  • engage in safe and collaborative play with peers
  • solve minor problems with some guidance (I don’t like it when… Can you please…)

Even though I have started completing literacy assessments in the classroom, the majority of my time was spent engaging in play with the children. At the moment, the priority is developing trusting relationships with the children and deepening my understanding of their needs and interests.

This week we started looking at the Primary Years Programme (PYP) key concepts for this unit of inquiry (UOI). We focused mainly on CHANGE. Using the book, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, we discussed how humans change. Then, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and analyzed how humans and animals are similar and different. Next, we stretched our thinking and explored meaningful connections within our community. With the unexpected arrival of Typhoon Hato, we talked about how the change in weather directly causes a change in the environment.

Next week, we will unpack the central idea and dive into learning about different changes and challenges in the world.

Here is a quick summary in snapshots of Prep C in Week 2 of school!

Ms. Joanne was a great sport and took over the class on Thursday and Friday while I attended an onsite workshop with other teachers. It was an incredible experience learning from the Early Years consultant, Fiona Zinn. We focused a lot on connecting the IB programme with reggio-inspired learning concepts. I very much look forward to applying what I have learned at the workshop in the classroom with the children.

As mentioned in the forms sent home, a HUGE thank you to Radha who has volunteered to be our Class Parent for the year. Please return the form if you wish to take part in the class social group.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!

Esther

This entry was posted in Updates.

Info from Curriculum Day

Thank you to everyone for attending Curriculum Day. For those who were not able to attend, here is the slideshow and video from last night.

Ms. Joanne and I have really enjoyed getting to know the Prep C students this week. They are all full of personality and a bundle of joy to teach! We are all very excited to begin the full day program next Monday.

Gentle reminders:

  • ASAs (after school activities) start next week
  • subscribe to the blog
  • download and sign up for Remind (phone app) with class code (cdnisprepc)
  • return washed hat and send lunch (if applicable) to school starting next Monday

 

Have a great weekend,

Esther

Prep C Curriculum Day Slideshow

This entry was posted in Updates.