Meet Emily… Full-day Kindergarten has exposed her to helpful information processing strategies!
Story shared by her Teacher
When Emily came into the Kindergarten classroom, she faced several personal challenges with her speech, information processing, focus and completion of tasks. Additionally, Emily was shy and had lacked confidence to speak to peers and adults. Emily was provided with strategies that helped her process information that was given during teaching as well as when following instructions to complete tasks. Thanks to full-day Kindergarten, Emily was exposed to strategies more frequently and consistently.
Throughout the 2019-2020 school year (including online learning), Emily was given opportunities to build her confidence and work on her speech by sharing with both large and small groups about things she found interesting and exciting. By the end of the school year, Emily looked forward to her opportunities to share and also developed the confidence to ask questions to peers about what they shared.
Moving into Grade 1, Emily has confidence in asking for help when she is stuck and she has created her own routines and processes for daily things such as getting ready for recesses and home. She also has been able to focus more during instruction and is able to participate with limited cues and reminders from educators. Emily is excited to begin Grade 1!
Meet Jonas… Full-day Kindergarten helped his personality and love of learning shine!
Story shared by his Teacher in June 2020
I come into each new school year excited and eager to meet the students, introduce them to the classroom and school, and watch them as they engage and socialize with each other for the first time. On the first day of class, I was eager to know more about each child and discern who might require some extra attention. The last person to enter the room was Jonas, who cautiously entered the classroom holding his mother’s hand.
Immediately, I recognized he was a very shy young boy. His parents advised me that, although he was very bright, he had only moved to Canada from Lithuania 11 months before. He also had a tremendous amount of difficulty expressing himself in both Lithuanian and English. His parents were unable to understand what he was trying to say the majority of the time, and feared that his communication difficulties would hold him back, especially as a new language was introduced. In fact, the reason they sought out a school that offered full-day Kindergarten was to provide Jonas with as much opportunity as possible to grow his language skills.
Over the course of those first three months, his parents, our inclusive learning specialists, and I, worked on identifying strategies to help improve his language and communications skills. By January, Jonas’ proficiency and articulation skills improved and he was confidently interacting with his peers and inviting them to play with him at recess and during center time. As a result, Jonas’ increased comfort at school was evident and his personality and love of learning began to truly shine through. His infectious laugh and effort became a staple each morning and his positive outlook, especially with table time activities, rubbed off on those around him.
I am also extremely proud of my amazing students who were so helpful, patient, and accepting of Jonas from the very beginning and supported him while he found his voice!
Meet Harley… Full-day Kindergarten provided her with the much needed opportunities to learn!
Story shared by her Teacher in June 2020
Like I do with all my other students, everyone enters my classroom with a clean slate. As L. M. Montgomery said “Each day is a new day with no mistakes.” Harley entered the class as a shy little girl. She hadn’t had the opportunity to go to preschool or play with children her own age. She couldn’t identify her name, the number 1 or any of the letters of the alphabet. She couldn’t count, had poor pencil and scissors grip, unable to cut on a line or even copy her name, but she had spunk and tenacity. Harley wanted to learn, she just needed the opportunity to do so.
I never had a problem with Harley. Even though she wasn’t able to do a number of things at first, she was a leader in demonstrating self-regulation. Throughout the day, literacy and numeracy was incorporated into the program and Harley slowly started to learn how to write her name, identify some of the letters of the alphabet and count to 5 by December 2019.
In January, Harley started to put up her hand to answer questions, talk with her peers by giving her opinions and was willing to help others. It took consistency as well as opportunities for trial and error, which a full-day Kindergarten program provides. By the middle of March 2020, her mom and dad were noticing a change in Harley’s behavior at home as well and how much she had learned. Harley was now able to identify all the letters of the alphabet, identify half of her letter sounds, count to 18 and match numbers to a number set up to 10. She developed a love for drawing, coloring, making crafts and playing blocks with the boys.
During COVID-19, Harley attended all her Google meets and did all her assignments. By the end of June, she learned how to rhyme and identify the numbers one less and one more of a number but, most importantly, Harley learned her own unique interests and talents.
Meet Ian… Full-day Kindergarten gave Ian the foundation for a successful life!
Story shared by his Teacher
Ian came to Kindergarten with moderate language and fine-motor delay as well as behavior challenges that were affecting his education. People may ask why didn’t his parents get help for their child before going to Kindergarten? Ian’s parents, like other first-time parents, thought his behaviors were typical for his age group.
Kindergarten is often the first time parents hear that their child’s behaviors are not typical to their peers. Ian was able to read and write his name, count to 5 and identify 4 letters, however his behaviors were having a negative effect on his education and social relationships. In order for Ian to continue to learn, his behaviors needed to be addressed. Skills and strategies were developed to help Ian understand social behaviors through consistency, trial & error and time. Even with these strategies, it was determined in December that extra professional help from the community was needed to help the school, parents and most importantly, Ian.
Fortunately, Ian’s parents had the financial means to have their son evaluated independently, but there was a long waiting list for assessment. So we continued to work, developing interventions at school. By January these interventions: cooling down his body; using words to express his feelings; or taking a break began to slowly have a positive change. Ian began to implement the skills and strategies he learned at school, which helped his routines and academic skills.
Thanks to the support of the school and the community, Ian’s parents saw improvement in the home environment as well. By March 2020, Ian was able to identify all the letters in the alphabet, read 30 words and count to 29. During the pandemic, he attended all Google meets, did all the assignments and even sent notes of care to his teacher. Full-day Kindergarten gave Ian the foundation for a successful life.
Learning at Home (Story shared by a parent)
Parents of Edmonton Public School students are engaging their kids in learning too! Parent Mrs. S shared, “Our day started with playtime; we dressed up in costumes & had a family dance party. We then studied the solar system, making a Mars rover and planets using recyclable & craft supplies.”
May 1 Reading for Life Stories
Some of our participants were very intentional about what they chose to read and do during our first ever virtual event.
City of Edmonton's Mayor Iveson proclaimed May 1, 2020 as Reading for Life Day so Councillor Esslinger enjoyed the afternoon FaceTime reading with her grandsons.
Edmonton City Police Chief McFee read and reflected on the impact of trauma and building confidence.
Edmonton Public Schools' Superintendent Robertson was grateful to catch up on some important reading that's been on his to-do list.
Engaging students in an exciting day of remote literacy-based activities was the objective Assistant Principal Mr. Card at Donald R. Getty School had in mind when he signed up to participate.
***Check out more stories on the Foundation's Twitter and Facebook accounts.***
Our May 1 Reading for Life adventure has no limitations!
Create a critter book club and spend some quality time with your furry friend(s), your bird or even your fish! Invite your friends and family to join you. More information about how to get involved is available at https://foundation.epsb.ca/events/readyforlifefundraiser/
Join us: Reading for Life remotely is FUN!
You're invited to our May 1 Reading for Life adventure! https://foundation.epsb.ca/events/readyforlifefundraiser/ Reading remotely is FUN especially if it's about a Very Hungry Caterpillar! For example:check out the video of Princeton School's full-day Kindergarten teacher reading to his Kinders. https://youtu.be/SFy0DUGEnm8 Please HELP spread the word by sharing this post via social media and inviting your family, friends and colleagues to get involved.
Reading is magical!
Even our Superintendent Darrel Robertson is taking time on May 1 to virtually participate in our Reading for Life event with one of his fave fantasy books. Join him and help children who come to the classroom at a disadvantage: https://foundation.epsb.ca/events/readyforlifefundraiser/
The Magic of Reading for Life!
Dr. Suess books are magical and timeless! Join us on our May 1 virtual Reading for Life adventure and share the joy of reading to and with your family. https://foundation.epsb.ca/events/readyforlifefundraiser/
Be imaginative! Host a puppet show and check out ideas at https://www.seussville.com/
It's National Kindergarten Day
The Lauderdale full-day Kinders are visiting online with Grade 4 buddies to practice the alphabet & celebrate the letter "C" from their fave Cat and the Hat book. They are getting ready for their May 1 Reading for Life activities! https://foundation.epsb.ca/events/readyforlifefundraiser/
We miss our friends!
So sweet, we had to share! "We miss and love you all! We hope you are staying safe at home. Love your Lauderdale School family. Virtual hugs." Full-day Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Rand chose the word ‘love’ because she is really missing her Kinders. Enjoy a peaceful long weekend friends.
Thank you to the Edmonton community...
We’re all in this together and you are a testament to the saying ‘when the going gets tough; the tough get going!’ Here’s the latest message from our Foundation.
Congratulations Lauderdale Kinders!
It's been an adventure shifting to a new normal of distance learning for kids. But, we have lots to be thankful for! Our Kinders already had 6 months of quality teaching & learning in full-day Kindergarten classrooms, setting them up for success to continue learning at home.
Thank You Realtors Community Foundation Edmonton and Area
We heart the REALTORS Community Foundation Edmonton and Area for their very kind and generous donation to support our full-day Kindergarten programs next year. Their Foundation has been empowering Edmonton and grassroot charities since 1986 by engaging the REALTOR® community as donors, volunteers and champions. So grateful for their support during a very challenging time.
Kindergarten Class Mantra!
Here’s a motivational message our full-day Kindergarten teacher from Princeton School shared with students & families. “We are all leaders! Be smart, be kind & be respectful.”
Thank You Edmonton Civic Employee Charitable Assistance Fund
Thanks to the Edmonton Civic Employees Charitable Assistance Fund, many of our Kinders have already been given their summer backpacks filled with crayons, paints, paper, books to read, board games, etc. to keep them busy. ECECAF is made up of 9 unions and associations with a combined total of 11,000 members who have gifted our students with supplies, runners, winter woolies and field trip adventures every year since 2011.
Every Child is an Artist!
These days schools are not open, however our full-day Kinders are continuing to create masterpieces with the supplies sent home with them on their last day at school. Huge thanks to the staff and volunteers who thoughtfully and very quickly stuffed the kids backpacks.
We sure MISS the opportunity to connect with students, families and staff at #EPSB and our schools! But that’s not stopping us from sharing stories about the good things that are happening for and with everyone despite the distance. STAY TUNED because we are eagerly putting some amazing stories together that will make you smile!