StrongStart Year End Celebration!

StrongStart Year End Celebration!

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate yet another successful year of StrongStart!  Despite the cloudy weather, it was well attended with both in town StrongStart families as well as many Outreach StrongStart families!

The entire SD60 Early Learning Team would like to wish you all a HAPPY & SAFE SUMMER and see you in September!

 

 

 

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Childbirth Focus Group

Childbirth Focus Group

The Northern Health Authority and UNC are hosting two focus groups in Fort St John later this week –  Thursday at Community Bridge and Friday at the FSJ Health Unit.  For more information, contact Amber Hui, Research Managerwith Optimal Birth BC at amhui@cfri.ca or at 604-875-2000 ext 5372.

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We grew French Fries!!!

We grew French Fries!!!

 

We grew FRENCH FRIES…potatoes!!!
(Well the start and a little help)!
I struggled with the decision to let them find what was grown naturally or stick a few potatoes in the soil for them to find! I decided that it would be more rewarding and send the strong message to the children hands-on where we get our food!
We were still able to see the natural start to potatoes on the roots and the excitement of actually finding potatoes!
We then made french fries and ate them! According to the children they were the best french fries ever!!!!
While eating the snack they brought there were many connections made to the food and origin: “Look, my white cheese stick is made of cows milk”, “my cucumber came from a garden”, and discussed that pickles came from a garden as well…
I think that this has been a great learning experience for all of us and excited to have planted that seed (pun intended…LOL) within the children that our food comes from the hard work and care of farmers or homegrown and not magically appearing on the shelves of “Walmart” or the “Grocery store”!

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SD60 wants you to know, you are your child’s first teacher

SD60 wants you to know, you are your child’s first teacher

Tip of the Month for June – feelings & emotions.  Children who can identify and name their own feelings and recognize feelings in others have an easier time both learning and building relationships.  These monthly tips are aimed at helping families enrich the preschool lives of their children, and they can be heard on both SunFM, 98.5, and MooseFM, 100.1 daily.  To download and print, click Early Learning Tip June Feelings and Emotions 2015

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Discovery, wonders and excitement of nature!

Discovery, wonders and excitement of nature!

“Contact with nature may be as important to children as good nutrition and adequate sleep” (Gill 2005)

I have had the opportunity the last several weeks to experience some of nature’s most wondrous transformations with the children! It all began around or just before Earth Day in April! We started to look at various seeds and through a few activities watch them develop their roots, sprout and in our potato bin, grow in to a plant!

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This wasn’t the end of our experience however! Both StrongStart and Preschool had the exciting opportunity to watch in both kindergarten classes the process of “Egg to Chick” and “Caterpillar to Butterfly.” StrongStart was very fortunate to help release the butterflies into the outside world which the children thought that “this was amazing!”

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Involving the children in these experiences have reinforced my beliefs on the importance of providing children of all ages with the hands-on opportunity to witness and participate in the discovery, the wonders and excitement of nature! Not only do children see the transformations, but are learning and developing so many skills!

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It takes cooperation and planning with others to plant a garden and it takes patience and responsibility to care for plants and animals so they can grow and develop.

Children are able to get creative in the way they approach their interactions with nature; digging in dirt, what they grow, and inspiration that transfers into their play or art! And I truly feel that if children have the opportunity to be involved in something so precious as nature, it will contribute to nurturing and gentleness towards others as well.

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Although the chicks have returned to the farm and the butterflies have been released outside, our experience with nature is not finished for the school year! We continue to provide sunlight and water to our potato garden and anticipating the day when we will dig in the dirt and find potatoes! It is our hope to find potatoes in the dirt and finally make the “french fries” we have grown!

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Primary’s Away…StrongStart will Play!!!

Primary’s Away…StrongStart will Play!!!

This morning I received an order including two new plasma cars. A child helped me and Theresa build them and repair a third. Because the primary classes went on a field trip, our end of the school was empty!!! It was decided that we should try out the cars up and down our hallway to make sure they worked!

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The smiles say it all!!!

Tale of Two Preschools

Tale of Two Preschools

Earlier this week Robert Ogilvie Preschool had an opportunity to visit the Aqua Van ( the Vancouver Aquarium comes in and presents its wonders to the schools, through a traveling van). This being a great opportunity for the children to see some aquatic animals they might not have ever had the chance to see, we thought it would be awesome to invite Duncan Cran Preschool to join us on this adventure.

But you just can’t ask a whole class to hop on the city bus and come for a half hour… So Lana and myself decided to plan a whole field trip around this event. This would include a ride to RO on the city bus, the Aquarium presentation, free play time in the RO preschool room and snack before leaving and calling it a day.

Now its been a few years since I was in school and “awhile” since I was in preschool myself, but I don’t remember ever having the chance to visit another class in a whole different school.

Would this had made a difference on how I viewed school?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of classes Skyping other classes in different parts of the province, country and some in other parts of the world, for cross border projects. I’m also aware of growing up in a small town about the same size of Fort St John and feeling a competitive vibe coming from other elementary schools. Once I made it to Jr High, there was this great divide between the other Jr high in our community. Children did not talk or interact with the “Rival” school. Why?

What made us have this opinion of each other?

Was it because we only came together during competitive sports events?

Now here’s a word: “Community.”

 This is a word that school districts around the province have been striving to make a mission statement  in their schools. Making our children have a sense of community towards their own school, thus making them better students and members of the community.

What a better way of doing this but by starting with our early learners, and showing them that we have “friends” in many schools.  Taking them to each said school, having them feel welcome and comfortable in that school just as they were there and attending.  Meeting on a regular basis and allowing true friendships to happen.

What a better way to do this then through “play”.

So we planned and what Lana and I saw was amazing… The children quickly grew comfortable with each other and played together like they had been attending school along side of one another all year.

This got both teachers thinking. What if next year with our preschool classes, we made at least four “field trips” into each others classes. Working on the premises that we could grow friendships and community between the two schools.

As you look at the pictures below you will see the children learning and playing with out biases of “whose from which school”. Lana and I may have started a new Inquiry for next year and we will keep you posted on the planned visits for next year.

To say we are excited is an understatement.

Here’s to hopping that this initiative starts a trend for community building in our school district.