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
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.
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 program supports these programs.
Volunteering In Schools – This page includes important information about volunteering in schools.
A Level Is A Teacher’s Tool, NOT A Child’s Label – This is a fantastic article on levelled reading by Fountas & Pinnell. Lots to think about here, 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!
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 three 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.
The Exception That Proves The Rule – There are lots of different thoughts on homework, and over the years, I’ve thought differently about it too. This wonderful blog post details the kind of homework that I think is worth exploring at any time of the year. With the summertime here, and people heading off on vacations or doing some exciting activities together, maybe there’s a little wisdom in this teacher’s letter to her student that you can also use. Enjoy!
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!
Fountas and Pinnell Say Librarians Should Guide Readers By Interest, Not Level – A wonderful, thought-provoking article shared by a fellow educator that also supports the change in our Home Reading Program. Worth reading.
Games For Phonological Awareness – This resource shares some simple, but meaningful, activities for developing phonemic awareness skills in children. We play a lot of similar activities during transition times in the classroom.
Entering JK/SK/Grade1 this year? Try some fun games to play for phonological awareness. pic.twitter.com/L7EiDQGd6v
— ONTSpecialNeeds (@ONTSpecialNeeds) September 18, 2017
Get Outside And Connect: Roll Down A Hill – Mrs. Raymond shared this great article on their class blog. It discusses the benefits of rolling down a hill, and other types of outdoor activities that we encourage in our students.
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 this summer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Separation Anxiety During The First Days Of Kindergarten – I wish that we found this resource to share earlier, but in the meantime, the suggestions here could be useful as we start our first full week of school on Monday.
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.
Summer School Lesson Plans – While I would argue that probably all of these activities have a literacy link (not just the one listed under “Literacy”), this is still a great list of summer activity ideas.
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.
Understanding Your Child’s Reports – This year, instead of having observations in Kindergarten, there will be a Communication of Learning: Initial Observation sent home on October 30th with a follow-up interview on November 2nd (in the evening) or 3rd (during the day). This resource will help you understand the Communication of Learning: Initial Observation. Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions.
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!
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 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 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.
Oxford Owl – We learned about this website last 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. 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.