June began with our Under the Sea theme. Australian studies finished with the Great Barrier Reef and transitioned to the oceans of the world. So many activities and so many lessons about the ocean. Many of you heard stories at home about the levels of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, and the ocean small world in May. But in June we talked about keeping our oceans clean and safe. The pre-K children were particularly curious and had a lot of insight and suggestions during discussion time. The wood seahorse art projects went home and then we started on our final projects.
The Father’s Day gift was the first early years woodworking project for most of the children. The children were taught about how a tree grows and what the grain in the wood is. Then each child sanded their own wood block (with the grain) to smooth off the rough edges. After gluing the wooden Dad and Me figures, the blocks were treated with mineral oil by all the little hands. To finish, a metal picture holder was added and those gorgeous wood photo blocks were sent home. There is something about natural wood that we always find so attractive. Just get your children to oil it with mineral oil to bring out the natural beauty. We hope all Dads and Granddads had a wonderful day.
The year has passed by so quickly. Hard to believe the school year has come to an end. We start each year with ‘All About Me’, then autumn, migration, and Thanksgiving. Our travels this year took us across the southern hemisphere starting with South America and the rain forest animals. We worked with a small world with different layers and canopy of the rain forest, and the animals that live there. We moved onto Africa where we discovered the lands and animals through small world trays, t and about the people and their lives. There was discussions on how precious water is and how fortunate we are to live here. We visited the pyramids and spelled our names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Our continent studies finished with Australia, where we met strange and exotic animals that are not found anywhere else on earth, including the only egg laying mammals on the planet. Pre-K children did a continent booklet for each continent. Each continent had an art project focused on a relatable object found on that particular continent. The projects are not random. Every year we celebrate the events and festivals of light; the Moon Festival, Diwali, Hanukkah, Khushali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year. With these celebrations we learn much about cultures and differences, but mainly we learn about similarities. We did science experiments and had ‘Show and Tell’ days, along with the very popular weekly yoga exercises. We hatched butterflies and grew sunflowers. We peeled carrots and apples, squeezed orange juice and baked many different foods. Children measured and stirred and grated and whisked to make healthy snacks and yummy foods. Every year we learn about recycling and what to do to make this planet healthier. We compost daily at the end of each snack. Every day brings Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, and Language Arts. Ring making with tiny glass beads continues to be a huge hit as well as sewing buttons. Printing and writing skills have exceled due to these fun pastimes. We have had a very full year and it has flown by. Really flown by.
Our last week included group parties for all having birthdays in late June, July and August. Every friend had the opportunity in class to walk the Earth, and sing the birthday song, ‘It takes a year for the Earth to go around the Sun’. Extra clothing changes, indoor slippers, progress reports and file folders went home on the last days of classes. The 2018 tax receipts went out for our friends heading off to Kindergarten. The teachers gave each child a book as a gift.
The last two days of classes include practices for the picnic races. This always leads to chats about safety and reinforcement of life skills. Many thanks to all families over all the years, who gave us x-rays (with the background stories) from their children’s mishaps so we can relate the many cautionary tales. Thank you Finnigan our brand new set of x-rays of your broken wrist. The cast is quite a sight and the first deep purple we’ve had in the classroom. It’s time to also remind the young ones about safety of all kinds. Shade and sunblock and staying close to parents. Look twice before you cross the street, look again before you move your feet. Look both ways twice (no cars-no trucks-no bikes). And please look out for bikes! Bikes can be fast, quiet and very dangerous. We still have the x-rays from our friend who was playing in the playground and got hit by a bike trying for a shortcut. Years later and many dental bills later, she has her smile back. Yikes! Hold hands, look out for each other and please be safe. Ride your bike with your family, and wait for them before crossing the road. Important things to remember, and worth reminding.
Our year end picnic started off in a very blustery sort of way. Fortunately that blustery wind blew the clouds away and we had a lovely and warm afternoon. The team races were quite a hoot and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. After our big lunch of pizza, potluck and desserts, we finished our picnic day off with the handing over of the bubble wands. What a joyful sight to see. Children laughing and bubbles. Lots of children and lots of bubbles. Thank you all for participating in the day, the potluck lunch and the treats. Thank you for all the lovely thoughts, sentiments, gifts and cards. Everyone played a part in making it a wonderful day and a very amazing year. Thank you.
A big huge thank you to Miss Maria, our amazing afternoon volunteer. Miss Maria’s warmth, affection and sense of humour are contagious, and the children adore her, and so do we. The children are always asking when Miss Maria is coming next. It’s great to be popular. We are grateful and blessed. Thank you Miss Maria. See you in September.
We have made friends, and made lovely memories. We shared stories, laughter, joys and even a few sorrows. We appreciate each and every individual child who are all so different and are all so very, very amazing. They have grown before our eyes. Everyone plays a big part in the success of a school year. Thank you for your Scholastic Book orders, which gives the school points to buy more books. The children adore books and so do we, and every order helps. Thank you for taking our shopping lists on your vacations and adding to our cultural programs! Thank you to all the parents for coming in and helping us with special Hanukkah, Diwali and Khushali celebrations. Thank you for teaching us how to speak Swahili and what life is like in South America, Africa and New Zealand. Thank you all for the knowledge you impart, your dedication, support, and your sense of humour. If we have forgotten to mention anyone, please forgive us, and know we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for the weekly healthy contributions in the community basket for the children’s snack. Thank you for the donations of your children’s too small clothing, which will land in the hands of families less fortunate. Thank you for participating and for giving your time. It takes a village. Thank you for being such a wonderful village. Our Kindergarten children are embarking on a new and exciting journey. We will think of you often, knowing that you are so ready for Kindergarten! We say goodbye to families who have had two, three and four children come through our doors. And goodbye to families who are moving on to other adventures. You will all be missed. For those friends who are returning in September, we will send an email out in early August about the August drop-in day. We look forward to hearing your stories of summer adventures.
Wishing you a fun and incredible summer. Safe travels!
- An email is on the way with our annual ‘What to do’ list of activities around the city and province (all family affordable, many free). Hello summer. Please be awesome!