Monday, June 28, 2010

Final Centre Activities

Here's a short slideshow of the students working at the final round of our literacy and math centres. Watch this slideshow with your children and leave a comment here telling about their favourite centre and why they enjoyed it. I look forward to hearing about what my students have to say.

Have a great summer!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saying Goodbye!

I can't believe that there are only two days of school left! This has been such a wonderful year. Last year, I left Kindergarten (after teaching it for eight years) to move to Grade 1. I wanted this move, I even asked for this move, but as I was packing up my classroom to move, I was worried that maybe I had made the wrong decision. I loved teaching Kindergarten, and for years, I told people that I couldn't imagine teaching anything else, but here I was doing just that. I'm so glad that I did! This has been an incredible year of teaching and learning, and I truly do LOVE Grade 1!

Since I team-taught SK last year, I basically taught all of the students that are now in my class. Saying "goodbye" to these students after two years is a very difficult thing to do, and while the excitement of the summer is definitely looming, so is the sadness of the end of the year. I want to dedicate this blog post to my amazing students that have taught me so much over the past two years.

Here are the top five lessons (in no particular order) that I have learned from you:

1) Don't be afraid to try something new! It's okay if it's hard the first time, for it won't be as hard in the future. My students learned lots of new concepts this year and tried lots of new tools, and despite any difficulties they may have had, they knew that what they were doing would be easier in time.

2) Never give up! I remember a few times that my lesson wasn't working according to plan, and my students chimed in with, "Don't worry, Miss Dunsiger! You can do it!".

3) Set expectations high, and students will meet everything that you expect of them and more! If I ever mentioned that an activity might be difficult, my class always replied with, "We're in Grade 1 now. We can do it!" And you know what? They always did!

4) Be genuine. Show you're having fun because you really are having fun! Six- and seven-year-olds are always genuine -- they always tell you what they're thinking and feeling -- and they can tell if you're not being genuine too! If they see you enjoying yourself, they will as well, and the learning will come through this enjoyment.

5) Don't be afraid to admit that you don't have all the answers! Let your students teach you something new, and let them teach each other new things too. I learned something new from my students every day, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thank you, Grade 1's, for an incredible two years of learning and laughter! I will miss you next year, but I wish you all the best in Grade 2!

Aviva, or as my students would say, Miss Dunsiger :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Team Work

I am lucky to work as part of such a wonderful team. I was reminded of this on Wednesday when the music teacher came to tell me that her video was complete. All of the Grade 1 and 2 students have taken a special interest in Waving Flag, and so the music teacher used her incredible talents to put together a video of the students dancing to this song. She gave me the video, and my class helped embed it on one of the Music Glogs that they created during literacy centres. They loved watching themselves singing and dancing on the "big screen" (in this case, the SMART Board). They asked me to tweet about this video being on the glog, and I did. Within minutes, @rmcdonald17, direct messaged me to say that he shared this video with his class in Manitoba, and they liked it so much, that they requested to watch it again and again. My students were thrilled! We have collaborated many times with Mr. McDonald's class, and they loved knowing that their successes could be celebrated by their "other Canadian friends." I am fortunate to be a part of so many wonderful teams, and in this case, I can thank many of them: from Mrs. Ledroit (the amazing music teacher) to my students (the awesome people that thought of tweeting this video out in the first place) to my Twitter PLN, and in this case, more specifically @rmcdonald17 (the fantastic Grade 2 teacher that I'm lucky to consider both a colleague and a friend)!

I hope that all of you have had some wonderful experiences like this one, and I hope that you'll leave a comment here and share them too. Can't wait to read about some of the highlights of your year!


Right-click on the glog and choose "Full Screen" to make it bigger.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spring Fling: What A Night!

Friday, June 11th was Spring Fling, and it was quite the night! The weather was perfect, the attendance was great, the variety of activities was fabulous, and the food was yummy. It was an evening to remember, and one that would not have been possible without the amazing volunteers on our Home and School Association. These volunteers worked for months to plan the activities, order the tickets and prizes, arrange the food, and ensure that the evening was a great success! Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with these same volunteers on a number of different activities, and I cannot say enough positive things about them and what they will do for the students at the school. We could not have had this event without you, and the countless hours you put into it have not gone unnoticed. Many thanks for all that you do and all that you continue to do to ensure the best for all of the students at the school. This blog is for you!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Building Park Structures

On Friday, all of the Grade 1 classes built park structures. The students had to use a variety of 3-D recyclable materials to build their structures based on the plans that they created. They needed to explain why their structures held a small toy, and what they would add or change if they were to re-build their structures. Above are some photographs from this exciting day. Look at these pictures with your children and talk to them about this building activity. What did they learn from this activity? Please add a comment here letting us know.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Three Little Pigs Meet The Big Bad Blowdryer

As part of our Structures Unit, the students were divided into groups of two or three to design a house to keep a little pig safe when the Big Bad Blowdryer came for a visit. Please watch this short Photopeach Slideshow with your child and talk about the different houses and why they worked in protecting each little pig. The students will use their newfound design knowledge to create their park structures on Friday. They can't wait!

Hope you enjoy this slideshow as much as the students enjoyed the designing and building process! Who knew school could be so much fun?!?!