GREAT JOURNEYS LEARNING CENTER
Notes from the Teachers
We hope everyone had a wonderful and fun Spring Break! It’s always nice to have a bit of a breakafter a long Winter! Now that Spring is officially here, we are hoping for some great weather so that we can do some awesome learning activities outside! Not only is the fresh air fantastic for all of us; it’s also nice to explore our natural world and discover what we can learn from our surroundings. Although Mrs. Brailsford was away for Spring Break, she and Mrs. Weld have spent some time planning for our next themes and we think the students will really enjoy them.
Request for Donations of Used Items
We are always looking for items to enhance our classrooms, both inside and out. If you have recently done some renovating or have some leftover materials from a project, or even if you are just doing some Spring cleaning, please keep us in mind! As they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure! Please see the Donations attachment with this newsletter to give you some ideas of those items for which we are searching. Please don’t be limited to our suggestions; if you are looking to get rid of some stuff, we’d be happy to hear about it!
Reggio: We all really enjoyed our Dr. Seuss activities last month! We enjoyed stacking turtles in Math, making a non-Newtonian fluid (Oobleck) in Science, and experimenting with rhyming and nonsense words in Language and Literacy (to name a few!) As always, we enjoyed learning new games and playing old favourites with Ms. Peterson in Phys. Ed. Who knew exercising could be so much fun?! Because we have students of varying ages, abilities and interests, it is not always easy to explain or name all of the activities we have been working on, as the list would be long. However, in general, with the younger students, we have been working on recognition of letters and their sounds, using picture cues to tell what a story is about, making connections between the stories we read and our own lives, and learning about rhyming words. In the area of Numeracy, we continue to practice rote counting, identifying numbers and making sets of up to ten – twenty items, as well as promoting an understanding of how math relates to our daily lives. In Science, we give students opportunities to explore their world through their senses, hands-on activities and their natural curiosity about their environment. With the older students, we build on the same skills and introduce pre-reading skills, word-building practice, printing, story-telling, and more. In Numeracy, we introduce addition and subtraction, increase student understanding of classification and patterning and encourage students to practice math skills in their everyday lives (counting out plates for the dinner table, measuring the sugar when making cookies, etc.). In Science, we continue to use the students’ curiosity as a guide to the activities we introduce.
Montessori: Last month, we spent a lot of time getting to know one another and the children's likes and interests. We covered many of the wonderful Montessori materials by doing oneon-one demonstrations and group activities. We introduced new material during our circle time and we enjoyed our many practical life exercises. Our favorites are the grinding of spices (aniseed, cloves and whole black pepper corns!) and also the grating of nutmeg (which I'm sure many of you have received at home to enjoy! :) The children helped to take care of our classroom by watering the plants and wiping down their work surfaces. So far we have covered.......
1) The cylinder blocks for visual sense and pre-writing skills;
2) The long red rods are also visual and are indirect preparation for mathematics. We also made a maze where the children removed their shoes to walk through it and back out again;
3) We covered the Binomial and Trinomial cube for early Algebra;
4) Insets of design which helps us prepare for the study of geometrical design, along with pencil control and prereading skills.
5) We introduced the knobless cylinders which help us recognise differences in dimensions and similarities when using all 4 sets.
The children really enjoy building very high towers with these sets! Next month, we will continue to master most of our What We’ve Been Learning!
Upcoming Events April – May 2017 Montessori continued… classroom materials. We will concentrate on our Sandpaper numbers 1-10 and letters. We will practice our names using the movable alphabet. We will introduce phonetic grammar (Nouns and Verbs) and the pink pre- reading material at circle time. We will continue with our pre-writing journals and our Insets of design. If anyone has any questions regarding your child’s personal development, you are more than welcome to come and see me after class. Thank you. Mrs. Weld
April Themes: Season-Spring Week (1) Parts of a Bird Week (2) Easter and Easter crafts Week (3) The Plant Week (4) Parts of a Spider/Insects
May Themes: Space Week (1) Space Travel Week (2) The Solar System Week (3) Living in Space Week (4) Day and Night
June Themes: Hygiene and Healthy Eating Week(1) Care of the Environment Week (2) Care of our Planet Week (3) Care of the Person Week (4) Grace and Courtesy Themes in the Reggio room will be related to, but not necessarily exactly the same as, those listed above.
New Staff: You may have noticed a new face or two in the classrooms! We are pleased to introduce you to Mrs. Devika Banerjee, who will be joining us effective April 10; she is quite familiar to the students, as she is one of the Music teachers from Harmony Music School who teaches us each week. She will be joining us part-time as a teacher. As well, Ms. Jennifer Brailsford, Mrs. Brailsford’s daughter, has been working with us recently, while we have been looking to add to our staff. Ms. Brailsford will work part-time each week until more permanent staff is available, at which time she will stay on as a substitute teacher. You may have also seen Ms. Kimberly Brailsford, who has been joining us as a regular volunteer. We are happy to have all of these helpful ladies with us!
Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Now that Spring is here, we know that the weather can, and will, be a mix of rain, snow and sunshine. Please make sure that your child comes to school each day with clothing appropriate for the changes that can occur during the day. On colder days, they may still need snow pants; most other days, jackets and water-resistant pants will likely do the job. On very hot or sunny days, you may also wish to send a sunhat and sunscreen with your child, or provide these to remain at school. As I’m sure you have noticed, our back yard can sometimes get quite muddy. We will do our best to keep the muddy clothes to a minimum, but we cannot promise that they won’t happen. We feel that the benefits of fresh air and room to run outweigh the risks of mud; the students are so eager to get outside each day. We appreciate your understanding!
Lost and Found: We have a few clothing items that have been left behind! There are a few mittens and three pairs of socks that have lost their owners. Please take a look on the white counter in Room 204 to see if any of the items belong to your child. Thanks!
Important Safety Notice: Please make sure to always close the fire doors at the end of our hallway when you enter or leave; we are required to have that door shut during the hours that Great Journeys is open, for student safety. Thank you so much for your cooperation.
1. Regular school hours are 9:00 am – 11:30 am/12:30 pm – 3:00 pm (or 9:00 am– 3:00 pm for full-time students). It is very important for the operation of the school (staffing hours, etc.) that all students are picked up on time. Although we understand the occasional unforeseen circumstance that may delay your arrival, frequent late pick-ups will result in late fees (of $1.00/minute per child) being assessed. We allow for up to a fifteen-minute late pick-up on a rare basis; however, please do not expect that this courtesy will be extended if you are frequently late.
2. Please take your child to the washroom each morning/afternoon before bringing them to class. Much class time is used taking children to the washroom just a few minutes after their arrival. Thank you!
3. We are a nut-free school. Several items containing nuts have come to school recently; please be sure to check ingredients carefully.
4. Please ensure your child has a full set of spare clothes in his/her locker, as accidents and spills can happen to anyone!
Very Timely Reminders: 1. Hot Dog Day is Wednesday, April 19. Hot dog orders are due this Thursday, April 13. 2. There is NO SCHOOL this FRIDAY (April 14), as it is Good Friday.
Important Upcoming Dates Friday, April 14, 2017 Good Friday – NO SCHOOL
Friday, May 5, 2017 Professional Development Day – NO SCHOOL
Monday, May 22, 2017 Victoria Day – NO SCHOOL
to Nahom who turned 4 on April 10!
to Ms. Peterson who will celebrate on April 14!
to Mrs. Smuszko who will celebrate on April 17!
to Alisa who will turn 5 on April 20!
We hope you all have fantastic birthdays!