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

2018-2019 Calendar – This is a link to the 2018-2019 School Year Calendar. Here’s the Day 1-5 Calendar for 2018-2019 if you’re interested.

Ms. Ali’s Phys-Ed Blog – This is Ms. Ali’s Phys-Ed blog. See some examples of what our students do in the gym. This blog will continue to evolve, so check back here regularly to find out more.

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 Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program Document as well as the new Growing Success for Kindergarten. Our play-based/inquiry-based classroom reflects these programs.

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

Parent Resources

“As Safe As Necessary”: A New Way Of Looking At Risk  This article on risky play supports our thinking, and the kinds of experiences that we support in the classroom and outside. There are some great suggestions at the bottom of this article that are worth considering. A fantastic read!

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!

Back To School Guide With McMaster Children’s Hospital – There are lots of great ideas in this resource put out by McMaster Children’s Hospital. Worth checking out before heading back to school.

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.

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. 

Concerned About Your Child’s Behaviour? Don’t Do This! This post provides some great food for thought, and makes us think about the times that we’ve done exactly what this post suggests not to. Certainly a post that has us thinking. What about you?

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.

Easing First Day Jitters – While it’s no longer the first day of school, it’s very normal for the morning transition time to be challenging for some children. There are some great tips in this article to help with this.

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!

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Class Outside – This blog post aligns with so much with our thinking around the benefits of outdoor learning. We really like the thinking around the academic benefits of this kind of learning experience. This is what we’ve noticed as well.

Freedom #5Days5Words – This recent blog post by Kristi Keery-Bishop has a lot of wonderful points to consider as educators and as parents. We’d love to hear your thoughts on some of these topics. 

Full-Day Kindergarten – This resource provides some great general information about literacy learning in Kindergarten and how you can support literacy learning at home. It’s only a couple of pages and worth the read.

Go Climb A Tree – This short article really does highlight the benefits of tree climbing, and aligns with some of our thinking around our time in the forest. Worth a read!

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.

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 that you may see in class to the learning expectations. Hope you find it useful.

HWDSB Math Help – Parent Resource – We recently spoke with some parents that wondered what this “new math” is all about. While math is different in Kindergarten (thanks to the Four Frames), this new HWDSB Resource is worth looking at, even for the parents of Kindergarten students. It explains what math looks like in the classroom across the grades, and it gives some fantastic resources for parents of all children, including Kindergarten. Enjoy!

I Love You More Than The Moon Loves The Stars – In this blog post, Susan Hopkins and her daughter, Siena, share a game that they play. Not only is this game a great one for developing connections with each other, but also reinforces vocabulary and word association skills. This would be a wonderful, calming game to play together at home.

Jump, Wiggle, Learn? Self-Regulation – This is one of my favourite TED Talks. So much to think about here for parents and educators.

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.

Longer Recess, Stronger Child Development – This article speaks to the reason that we have a long chunk of outdoor play versus smaller chunks throughout the day. We really do see a difference for our kids.

Math Talk: Measurement At Home – Along with discussing the value of measurement, this article also shares some great (and easy) measurement activities to try at home.

Nature Activities For Kids – These are some great summertime activities for kids that align with the Four Frames of the Kindergarten Program Document, and allow you to build oral language skills, social skills, and gross motor skills with kids.

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

One In Five – Kristi Keery-Bishop wrote this blog post on Bell Let’s Talk Day, and it’s a great look at the pervasiveness of mental health problems. It actually made me think about the statistics differently. What about you?

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.

Outside Play – We definitely believe in the value of outdoor and risky play, and the Kindergarten Program Document supports this kind of play. This website provides some great parent supports around risky, outdoor play. 

A Parent’s Guide To Literacy And Math In Full-Day Kindergarten – Some wonderful ideas shared in here for how you can support literacy and math in everyday activities at home. Really shares a developmental approach to literacy and math instruction.

Parents, it’s time to get out of the way and let your kids just play! – I think that this statement is true for educators as well, but this article definitely speaks to the value of free play for kids. A great read that Janet Raymond shared on her class blog.

Play Scotland – While some of the ideas here are directly related to experiences in Scotland, many others are good for anywhere. We definitely support the value in play, as also seen in our Kindergarten Program Document, and the links here help support play at home and at school.

Prioritizing Free Unstructured Play May Reduce Teenage Anxiety And Depression – We love the Kindergarten Program Document that speaks to the value in this free play. It looks like there are benefits to it way beyond Kindergarten.

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!

Reading Tips – These are three great, easy reading tips that will continue to support students as they learn to read.

Rough Play and Play Fighting – As we try to decide on what this play might look like at school, we find this article helpful. What do you think? What do you allow? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Secret Power Of Play This article speaks to the value in free play and the kind of play that we support and value in the FDK program.

The Self-Reg Myths #2 – “Self-Reg is going too soft on kids.” – This is such a great video for educators and parents to watch. Think it helps us re-look at punishment, and also consider how we can deal calmly with different problems as they arise.

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

Self-Reg Stuart Shanker Resource – Here’s a link to a wonderful 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.

Self-Regulation: A Parent’s Guide – Some great information in here about Self-Reg and recognizing signs of stress. 

Separation Anxiety During The First Days Of Kindergarten – The suggestions here could be useful as we start our first week of school in September.

The Seven Habits of Self-Reg Parents – This recent post on The MEHRIT Centre blog provides some great connections between Self-Reg and parenting. We’re thinking even more about the application of these same ideas to the classroom. They all seem to connect in some way.

Seven Reasons To Not (Always) Answer Your Child’s Questions – Paula found the link to this wonderful blog post. It aligns with a lot of our thinking on how we respond to children’s questions and develop independence and thinking skills when we sometimes respond without giving an answer.

Sir Ken Robinson Speaks On Outdoor Play – While this article was from a couple of years ago, I think it’s as valuable today as it was then. So glad that I came across this link in a post done by Mrs. Raymond. A great article and a wonderful video that speaks to the value that we see in outdoor play. 

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.

Step Away From The Stickers – I (Aviva) have had some different thoughts on stickers over the years, and have used stickers in many ways that are highlighted in this post. But just like the author, my thinking on stickers has changed. While this post is targeted to educators, it’s an interesting read for educators, administrators, and parents. Would love to hear your thoughts on it. Some good things to consider. 

Stop Telling Kids To “Be Careful” And What To Say Instead – Not only does this post align so well with our thinking, but it also inspired a professional blog post that I’ll be publishing today. Worth a read!

Teaching Kids To Be More Independent – As Kindergarten educators, we really encourage this kind of independence. Here’s a great article with some practical tips for home.

10 Sandwich-Free Lunch Ideas For Kids And Growups Alike –  In the past, some parents have mentioned that their children don’t like sandwiches for lunch, so when we came across this article, we thought that we’d share it. It includes some healthy alternatives to sandwiches.

10 Ways Parents Can Nurture Math At Home These are some fantastic suggestions (for multiple grades) of how parents can nurture math at home. Many of the suggestions include the exploration of math in very meaningful contexts. Worth exploring!

Tiny Trees – A wonderful video shared by Mrs. Raymond, which makes us realize, yet again, the value of outdoor play. 

Value of Blocks in Kindergarten – While this is an American video, the thinking in it aligns with the Kindergarten Program expectations in Ontario. There are some great comparisons to math, which continues to be a focus area for us. With all of the block play happening in our classroom, you can see some general connections to the learning that’s happening through this play.

Voices of Self-Reg – VoicEd Radio hosts a Self-Reg podcast every week. You can listen to previous episodes here. There are even ones around parenting and self-regulation that people might find interesting. Self-Reg continues to be a topic of interest for us.

Walking In Natural Environments Nourishes Parent-Child Bonds – This is a great article that speaks about the value of walking together in nature. Since our school is surrounded by nature, there are definitely lots of opportunities to do this with your child!

Ways To Lighten The Stress Load – At school, we spend a lot of time helping children understand their stressors and different ways to self-regulate. This wonderful resource provides some great options that might help your child at a time of heightened stress. What a wonderful talking point for talking with children too!

What To Say To Little Kids Instead Of “Say Sorry” – This post explores the problems with saying sorry, and another way that we can respond to problems between young kids. The ideas are worth thinking about.

What’s Hiding Behind The Misbehaviours? – A great reminder about stress behaviour vs. misbehaviour.

#WhatWeBelieve – An important quote by Stuart Shanker to think about at this somewhat stressful time of the year.

Why I Advocate For Play In Early Childhood Settings – While this article is meant more for educators, it really does highlight so much of our thinking in the classroom. It’s largely why we make the decisions that we do. A great, thought-provoking article that speaks to the value of play … with the research to support it. 

Why I Meet My Students At The Door Andrew Campbell is an educator that I’ve  (Aviva) known for many years, both through his online presence and through in-person discussions. Andrew always pushes me to think differently, and he often asks hard questions that get me (and others) to see various perspectives. He recently gave this inspiring (and incredibly sad) TedxTalk that I think every parent, teacher, and administrator should watch. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you think. And it will definitely make you see why relationships matter most of all in education. Thanks Andrew!

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 their 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!

Favourite Websites

The Kid Should See This – There are lots of interesting videos here to inspire discussion, investigation, and further interest. Worth watching and talking about some of them together at home.

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