October 2022

October prompts many chats about the changing season. Leaves change colour, what happens in autumn, harvest season, animal migration, Thanksgiving and Halloween.  We talk about how humans and animals prepare and store food for winter and where food comes from.  Autumn ties in with.  Seasonal changes are explored all year with a nature tray equipped with magnifying glasses, kept on the classroom shelf.  Children are welcome to add their own found objects to the tray, which keeps everyone involved in the ever changing and evolving seasons.  Materials on the shelves and art shelves also change according to seasons, themes and special occasions.  Thanksgiving was only a few weeks ago and included a baking project of pumpkin scones.  The last week of October brought pumpkin felt materials, gluing and pasting art, spider counters, black and orange everywhere.  Continent studies of the southern hemisphere has now begun with South America.  Llama, llama!  Cultural Studies enhance the geographical studies, and all done at an age appropriate level with the focus on animals.

Math and language components are daily parts of classroom life, done with materials and games, in group lessons and also individual presentations.  Geometric solids are used in a game where the children must find another object in the classroom that has the same shape.  Geometric hide-and-go-seek.  Puzzles of all sorts, shapes and sizes are available on the shelves and changed regularly.  We use the phonetic sounds of the letters rather than the names of the letters, which supports reading abilities.

Sewing exercises with buttons on cloth, lacing with card shapes, and ring making with tiny crystal seed beads are favourite activities.  Pin poking shapes, cutting paper, and gluing activities are always changing which helps keep the exercises fresh and in demand.  These are all activities that help with fine motor skills, hand to eye coordination, focus and concentration abilities, with really adorable results and easily done at home.  Art is always open with easel painting, drawing, and tabletop paint palettes.  We usually have a teacher directed art for every holiday or occasion, however the value of open art is creativity and imagination.  Priceless. Don’t forget to check out our Instagram page.  The children’s projects are featured a few times each month.

The weather has cooled quickly. With outdoor play being a component of every class, please ensure your child is dressed appropriately.  We can always peel layers off, but cannot magically make a hat or jacket appear.  Please phone to let us know if your child is ill as soon as you can. Daily outdoor activities require many gross motor skills, but gross motor skills can also be quiet exercises.  For this, yoga exercises have also begun.

This year the Halloween craft sewing was a pumpkin stuffie.  Yes, your children sewed the pumpkin.  Simple, cute, fun.  Lots of fine motor work involving concentration skills.  Seed beads changed to oranges and black, and black sparkly playdough was made with licorice scent.  Even snacks were Halloween themed.  The children made treat bags that went home with so many treats from friends.  Thank you everyone for participating in the party and sending in home baked goodies for snack.  We all enjoy these festivities and are so grateful for events to be back to normal.

The Student Led Conference sign-up sheets are available at the front door.  Parents come for short visits and participate in the classroom activities with their child.  Each child will host their guests on a tour of their classroom and the activities they enjoy for a 15 to 20 minute duration.  This allows parents to better understand as they see the classroom through their children’s eyes. It also allows a child to take pleasure and satisfaction in sharing their interests, and introducing friends.  Times will be sent out next week as reminders.  Student Led starts November 16th and ends November 26th.  It is short and sweet, but should not be missed.

Emails were sent out last month reminding parents of Kindergarten registration. Children may start Kindergarten in the same year that they turn five years old.  The first step for public schools is to register with your catchment school.  VSB registration begins on November 1st, ending the last weekday in January 2023.  Private and independent schools will have different registration dates and criteria, and you will have to contact each school individually.  Most schools will give sibling priority, but there will be registration due dates for siblings as well.  If you are uncertain, check the school websites or call the school.  Do not leave registration to the last minute.

Please mark your calendars for upcoming school closure dates.  The Remembrance Day observance is on Friday, November 11th, and the school district closure date will be on Friday, November 25th.  Please remember to tell these dates to caregivers and family members that usually pick up