In one of my earlier posts, I ranted a little about Ella getting homework already in juniour kindergarten. Now that I’m reflecting on the year as it draws to a close, I’m amazed. We obviously moved this past year to get Ella into a better school district, but I had no idea how much she would benefit from it already in JK!
She has learned so much from the basics of learning to count, being able to do simple arithmetic, spell short 3-5 letter words (not all words spelled completely correct but I’m still impressed as there are lots that she can spell correctly!), read short books and sound out the words all by herself, create some great crafts and be exposed to some really great teaching methods! Here are my top three favourite things her teacher incorporated in their learning this year:
1. Bean Plant (pictures above) – where they got to grow their own bean plant and nurture it from the bean all the way to the sprouting plant. During the process they observed what was happening by drawing pictures and writing about their findings in their bean diary. I thought this was such a great project in so many ways! I don’t recall doing anything like this when I was going to school until I was in Grade 4 or 5 at least!
2. Clouds – where they were outside one morning looking at the different clouds in the sky. They then learned the names of each of the types of clouds and their characteristics (cirrus, stratus, cumulus). For homework they drew a picture of their favourite type of cloud, identified the type of cloud and wrote a short sentence to describe their cloud. Now when we drive somewhere, we get to make a game out of looking at the sky and spotting the different types of clouds. So much more educational than the “punch buggy, no punch backs” game we played in the car as a kid!
3. Money – they learned about the value of each of the coins, learned a catchy song about money and then open up their own Tim Horton’s station for the kids to take turns buying and paying for their food and drinks. This has opened up many discussions about the value of money, how you earn it, how to save for what you want (although at 4yrs old, this is a tough one!) and at least gets her appreciating that money doesn’t grow on trees or better yet isn’t even needed when you pay for it with the “card”.
I always knew that kids brains were like sponges so why not take advantage of it! My husband and I were joking about how we remember taking naps for a good part of our kindergarten year and kids eating glue – none of this cool stuff Ella gets exposed to. Of course I credit all of this to her fantastic teacher – Miss P!! I am so grateful that Ella will be able to join her class next year as an SK.
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