Tuesday, 18 February 2014

An Invitation to Learn

I was first introduced to "Invitations for Learning" at my York University Kindergarten Additional Qualification Course instructed by Joanne Babalis. Invitations for learning, or provocations, are just that- an invitation presented by educators for students to learn, ask questions, and explore. With the potential to turn into an inquiry, teachers often document the learning of the students that visit the provocation, through video clips, photographs, work samples and written observations. 

The following video is an invitation to learn about Inukshuks after a read-aloud of
 "The Three Snow Bears" by Jan Brett.   

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

"I will let them be little, fill their hearts with laughter, help them grow wings, nurture their sense of wonder, inspire them to believe, and love them like there's no tomorrow." 

From our hearts to yours, Happy Valentine's Day! 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Yes, this is Kendrgordin!

As I walked by the make-shift magnetic board on the storage door in the classroom, this image caught my eye: "Kendrgordin?" My first reaction was that of any kindergarten teacher- a sense of pride in my student who independently went over to the letters and sounded out such a BIG word that connected and was meaningful to their life. My second reaction had me wondering "why did the student decide to put a question mark at the end of the word?" I decided to capture the image with my camera and let it sit there with the hundreds of other images I had collected over the school year. Weeks later, I am confronted with this image again as I scroll through my pictures. I revisit my wonder and I come up with my own theory as to why the question mark sits at the end of "Kendrgordin?"  

Looking at the transformation that our classroom has gone through over the last five months, I too question if this is in fact kindergarten. My DECE, Zoe, and I are always amazed at the end of each day at what our students have accomplished in the classroom. Are four and five year old children really capable of such higher order and critical thinking skills? Are they really able to self-regulate their behaviours throughout the day; make independent choices and decisions for their learning? Are these the same children who, on the first day of school, were crying for their parents and falling asleep on the carpet?

Each and every child comes to us with prior knowledge, experiences, and interests. They have their own individual stories; each one beautiful and unique, no two stories the same. As they explore, play, and inquire in the classroom, they add to their own individual stories, and grow and change in ways we could never have imagined. They transform, just like our classroom, and will continue to do so for the rest of their lives.

So to answer the question that was written across the door; YES, this is Kendrgordin!

Here is a compilation of photographs to highlight some of the learning that has been taking place over the last five months in our classroom.