Favourite Links

We will continue to add links here throughout the year. If you have any link suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment so that we can add the website here. We would love to hear your ideas!

School Board/Information Websites

2016-2017 Calendar – This is a link to the 2016-2017 School Year Calendar. Here’s the Day 1-5 Calendar for 2016-2017 if you’re interested.

Transportation Department For The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board –This is a link to the Transportation Department Website. By clicking on this link, you will be able to find the phone number of the Transportation Department as well as the e-mail addresses of different people at the department. Please pose all bussing questions directly to this department.

Rousseau Website – Please subscribe to this website to find and read all important school information.

The Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program Document – You can read here about the new Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program Document as well as the new Growing Success for Kindergarten. Our play-based/inquiry-based program supports these programs.

Volunteering In Schools – This page includes important information about volunteering in schools.

Parent Resources

A Level Is A Teacher’s Tool, NOT A Child’s Label – This is a fantastic article on levelled reading by Fountas & Pinnell. While we may have shared it with you before (through an email), it’s one worth posting here and sharing again. Lots to think about, especially for our beginning readers.

50 Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids – These are some great, inexpensive activities that allow children to develop their reading, writing, oral language, math, social skills, and fine and gross motor skills. They’re also lots of fun!

Active For Life – This is a great resource for parents to help with developing physical literacy skills.

All The Rage: Are spinner toys a useful concentration tool or bad distraction? – Talking with a parent today made me think about this spinner toy and Stuart Shanker’s opinion on it. I think this article is worth reading.

Back-To-School Jitters – Suggestions To Help – While some students are really excited to start school, others are nervous/scared about coming back (or beginning for the first time). Here are some great suggestions that might help with this.

The Best Questions To Ask Around The Dinner Table – This article provides some great questions to consider when talking to your child at home.

Building Relationships Between Parents And Teachers – TED Talk – This is a fantastic TED Talk that really speaks to the value of home/school connections.

Climbing Trees: Learning To Make Good Choices In Childhood – This post echoes many of our thoughts about tree climbing and time spent in the forest. I (Aviva) added a comment on the post that further extends my thinking on this topic. 

Dear Parent: About THAT Kid – This is a blog post that was published almost two years ago that is as meaningful to us now as it was back then. It’s a post worth reading, and will hopefully have as big an impact on you as it does on us.

Doing Mathematics With Your Child: A Parent Guide – There are lots of great suggestions in this resource of ways that you can support your child’s math learning at home and through everyday activities.

Do’s and Don’t’s To Get Your Child Ready For French Immersion – With many SK parents exploring French Immersion for next year, you may like this list that I found on Twitter.

The Downside Of Year-Round Hockey – I think that this article supports the outdoor learning environment that we have at our school. A very interesting read.

The Family Dinner Project – We’re big believers in the benefits of family dinners, and this website shares some great tips about how to make them happen, why they’re beneficial, and some family dinner success stories. Worth reading! The post titled, “Want Kids To Be Better Readers: Have Dinner Together” is one of our favourites!

Growing Up Royan: First Day Of School – As a Kindergarten educator, this post really spoke to me. I think it can help us see the school experience from a child’s perspective, and even think more about how we can support students in this new environment. I’m hoping that this post might inspire a discussion around these important topics.

Growth Mindset Questions – These are some great questions to ask your child to help them develop a growth mindset. They may be some questions to consider when problem solving or conversing with your child over the holidays.

Guide To The Four Frames – Anamaria Ralph, a Kindergarten teacher in Toronto, wrote this blog post to explain the Four Frames in the new Kindergarten Program Document to her parents. It’s a great post that includes many pictures to help connect the play in class to the learning expectations. Hope you find it useful.

Inspiring Your Child To Learn And Love Math – There are some very interesting resources and information available here

Instill A Love Of Math – This is a great article for parents with some links to home options available at the bottom. It really align’s with Jo Boaler’s thinking on mathematical mindsets. Worth reading.

Jo Boaler At #OAMELeadership2016 – Royan Lee, a fellow Ontario educator, made the Sketchnote in this blog post after listening to Jo Boaler speak today. I think that the points in here are worth thinking about when it comes to teaching math. 

Jo Boaler’s TEDxStanford Talk – This was a great video shared during our PA Day inservice today. I think that it’s further complemented by this blog post by Kristi Keery-Bishop.

Linking The Forest To Self-Regulation – This is a wonderful blog post that captures how we feel about our time in the forest at Rousseau School.

New Study Finds The Real Key To Early Literacy – More interesting reading that Mrs. Raymond shared with us this week. This article really complements how we approach literacy instruction, and aligns with the information that a Speech Language Pathologist shared with me a couple of years ago at Dr. Davey School. Her recommendation was to take down word walls, and here’s why.

Ordinary Moments – This video really sums up the pedagogy behind the new K Program Document. “Noticing and naming” allows students to see the links between these ordinary moments and the learning that they’re doing.

Putting The Risk Back Into Play – A great article that really sums up our thinking about outdoor play. Mrs. Raymond wrote an excellent post about it here. Thanks for sharing this article with us!

Race to Nowhere Blog Post Royan Lee, a fellow Ontario educator, made the Sketchnote in this blog post after watching the documentary, Race to Nowhere. I think that the points in here are worth thinking about, and now I’m eager to watch the documentary.

Raffi’s Self-Regulation Song – As mentioned below, self-regulation is reinforced a lot in the Kindergarten Program. Here’s a link to the recent Raffi song about self-regulation and different ways that we can self-regulate. There are many different ways to self-regulate (get to “calm”) — dancing and gardening are some other ideas. How do you self-regulate? This could be a great topic for home discussion.

Risky Play: Why Children Love It And Need It – Mrs. Raymond shared this link on ELP 2’s blog, and it’s a wonderful article to read and think about. We definitely support the thinking in this article, and try to support students as they engage in “risky play.”

Self-Reg Website – This website provides links to numerous resources and strategies to support self-regulation at home and at school. Aviva has recently also started blogging once a month here.

Self-Reg Stuart Shanker Resource – Here’s a link to a wonderful new book by Stuart Shanker about self-regulation that is geared for parents. There are lots of practical ideas shared in the book, and even as an educator, I’ve (Aviva) found it to be a very interesting read.

Self-Regulation Tips For Parents And Teachers – Here are some self-regulation tips that you might find helpful at home. Self-regulation is discussed and supported a lot through the Full Day Kindergarten Program.

Storytelling Activities – Our students have recently become interested in storytelling/plays. Here are some great home activities that you can do to extend this interest at home. Storytelling and plays are both great for developing oral language, reading, and writing skills.

Summer Reading Activities – While this is an American website, and depending on the skills and interests of your child, all of these activities may not apply, there is still a really comprehensive list given here. We hope that this website gives you some summer reading options.

Superhero Costumes Come To Parents’ Rescue – This is a very interesting post about play, superheroes, and self-regulation.

The Secret To Raising Creative Kids Is Easier Than You Think – This is a great article on “raising creative kids” and “boredom.” While it speaks to parents at home, we wonder about the implications for educators in the classroom. The article really aligns with the large blocks of free exploration time and the use of loose parts, which are both emphasized in the finalized Kindergarten Program Document.

To Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure – This is a wonderful TED Talk that Mrs. Raymond shared on their class blog earlier in the week. Her “brave girls” video is worth watching as well. Our daily visits to the forest help to encourage this adventure, and this is such a wonderful thing for all children: boys and girls. We love having a program document that encourages and supports this outdoor learning time. 

What Screen Time And Screen Media Do To Your Child’s Brain And Sensory Processing Ability – While this article really targets parents, it also makes me (Aviva) think about the classroom implications. How much is too much? How do we take this data into consideration when planning classroom activities and considering technology use in the classroom?

Why Kids Need To Spend Time In Nature – This is a great article that highlights the value of kids spending time in nature. Outdoor learning is an essential component of the Kindergarten Program, and this explains why this time is so important. Thanks Mrs. Raymond and Mrs. Carte Combs for sharing this article on your blog.

Why Kids Who Climb Trees Do Better In School? – This article was shared by Mrs. Raymond and Mrs. Carte Combs. It provides some very interesting information about the link between tree climbing and working memory. Definitely worth a read!

Why We Need To Make Math Relevant To Kids – This is a great article that speaks to the value of making math relevant to kids, as well as provides some home learning options. We’d love to hear what you try.

Favourite Websites

Google Arts And Culture – With student interest in visual arts, you may want to explore and talk about some of the artworks featured on this website. Please note that you may not want to share all of the artwork featured here with Kindergarten students. Previewing the site first and then choosing what artists to explore more would be recommended.

Google Earth – Many students started to explore Google Earth in class on Friday. There are so many great connections to reading, writing, and comprehension. Google Earth has great math potential too with a wonderful connection to spatial sense.

Kodable – This week, some students in the class started to explore Kodable on the computer. It’s a great coding website that students used together. This website addresses math (directional language, elapsed time, number recognition, and counting) and problem solving skills. It’s available as an app as well. 

Oxford Owl – We learned about this website in the summer thanks to Miriam Trehearne’s new educator resource. There are hundreds of free e-books and resources online that you can use with your child. Like the take home reading books that your child brings home, these books can also be used to support reading at home. On the cover of each book are suggested activities for before, during, and after reading. You’ll also notice that for the Kindergarten age range, there are a number of wordless picture books. These books are great for developing vocabulary and comprehension skills that are very important parts of the reading process. As you move through the books, they gradually get more difficult. We will email you the username and password information. 


Storyline Online – We have shared a couple of stories from this website. All of the stories are read by actors and actresses. Just a different way to share and discuss some favourite books together!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – On Friday, one of our students shared her passion for butterflies. This is one of the stories that she shared with us that sparked a lot of discussion on caterpillars and butterflies. Maybe this story will spark further conversations at home.

Favourite Apps

Explain Everything – We have started using this app with a few students in the classroom to help them capture their thinking. We help students add in photographs, and then they can write, draw, and talk on top of it. This is a great way to encourage the use of new vocabulary and to extend on thinking that children may write about. 

Pic Collage – Students are starting to use Pic Collage (an iPhone, iPod, and iPad app) to take photographs of their work and explain their thinking. Some students are writing sentences telling about what they did. Others are attempting to sound out individual words, and a few others, are orally sharing their thinking and we’re writing down their thoughts. Then they can see the written words, and even start recognizing (and reading) some of them. Pic Kids is a great student-friendly version of this app without the worry of advertisements. We use this version in class with the students.

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