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A Minute with Mme Amy - The View from the First Floor (highlights from my week):
Our students returned from the week off full of excitement and stories about their travels and adventures. Every time we return from a break, I am reminded how special it is that, while all of our students look forward to time off, they are often just as excited to return to school afterwards.
Today, our kindergarten classes celebrated “Halfway Day,” as we are halfway through the school year. This celebration provides many opportunities for our young mathematicians to explore mathematical concepts related to “half,” including quantity, symmetry, equal groupings, as well as social-emotional skills like sharing fairly. This morning, I spent circle time with one of these classrooms, where the children worked together to figure out when half of their school day would be over, how to sing half of the alphabet, and how many students should stand if half the class should be sitting.
Early this week, our grade one classes enjoyed a visit from a guide dog in training (and the dog’s trainer, of course!), as part of their science unit about the 5 senses. Our students were understandably excited about welcoming the puppy to their classrooms, and I was impressed with their thoughtful questions and polite respect of the trainer’s instructions. The puppy enjoyed many pets from eager little hands!
While I hate to wrap up my weekly message on a somber note, I wanted to share some resources in light of last week’s tragedy in Florida. Many of our youngest students do not know about the school shooting at all (and I am grateful for this), but I also know that it is often impossible to avoid news reports and conversations between adults and/or older siblings. It can be tricky to answer young children’s questions about these events in a way that is both respectful of the the situation and appropriate to your child’s age and level of understanding. The first link below provides a guide specific to discussing violence with young children, and the second provides age-by-age suggestions for helping children manage the big emotions that come with any number of events or experiences.
Talking to Children About Violence: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-s...
An Age-By-Age Guide to Helping Kids Manage Emotions:
Picture books are an excellent tool to guide conversations about “big” issues and questions with young children. One of my own go-to resources for excellent children’s literature that addresses a wide variety of social issues is A Mighty Girl: https://www.amightygirl.com/, where you can find recommendations of books, toys, music, and movies for all different age groups, discussing important themes and questions from diverse perspectives. (And, in spite of the name, their suggestions are great for boys and girls!)
Have a wonderful weekend!
Amy Murray, B.Ed., M.S.
Director of Early Childhood Education
Calgary French & International School
403-240-1500, ext 117