School Board/Information Websites
School Year Calendar For The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board – This is a link to the 2015-2016 School Year Calendar.
Transportation Department For The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board – This is a link to the Transportation Department Website. By clicking on this link, you will be able to find the phone number of the Transportation Department as well as the e-mail addresses of different people at the department. Please pose all bussing questions directly to this department.
The Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program Document – This is a link to the Kindergarten Program Document with the expectations that we will be meeting throughout the year. You may see reference to these expectations in the learning and activities that we share.
Parent Articles, Websites, Resources, And/Or Experiences
50 Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids – These are some great, inexpensive activities that allow children to develop their reading, writing, oral language, math, social skills, and fine and gross motor skills. They’re also lots of fun!
Bedtime Calculator For Kids – Sleep is really important for children to function well and be able to learn at school. This bedtime calculator helps with suggested bedtimes, and gives more information about the importance of sleep. Even as an adult, I found the information very interesting.
Bedtime Tips – Many parents have indicated to us that they would like some tips about how to get their child to go to bed. It’s really important that your child has a good night’s sleep. Children, like adults, need sleep to learn. Hopefully these tips will be useful!
Building Literacy Skills At Home – There are lots of suggestions here, along with additional links, for how to build your child’s literacy skills at home. These are practical ideas that align with what we’re doing in the classroom.
Doing Mathematics With Your Child: A Parent Guide – There are lots of great suggestions in this resource of ways that you can support your child’s math learning at home and through everyday activities.
Engaging Outdoor Activities For Kids – These are 10 outdoor activities that you can try out with your child to build a variety of skills. With the beautiful weather here now, it’s nice to have options for learning outside.
Goodreads List of Books – Here’s a list of books from Goodreads that are all great for Kindergarten children. These are books that you might want to check out at the Hamilton Public Library over the March Break. What a great place to go to and read when you’re off together!
Home Math Ideas – This article includes a variety of simple math activities that you can do with your child at home to reinforce and learn new math skills (including concepts connected to number sense, geometry, and measurement).
Literacy Tips – These are some fantastic literacy tips, with quick and easy ideas for how you can develop your child’s reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
Oral Language Tips – I just found this list of tips for developing oral language skills with your child. Strong oral language skills are essential for developing reading and writing skills. Take a look at these ideas, as they may give you some options for home use. If you want any more ideas, please let us know.
Phonemic Awareness Activities For Home – At school, we’re really working on developing phonemic awareness skills (e.g., syllables, rhyme, segmenting sounds in words), as there is a strong link between phonemic awareness and reading skills. This resource has a page of different phonemic awareness activities that you can do at home. I really like the suggestions as they’re easy to do, even as you’re getting ready for bed, packing lunches, or making your way to school in the morning.
Raffi’s Self-Regulation Song – We’ve been working a lot on self-regulation this year. Adults and children need to be able to self-regulate in order to learn. Here’s a link to the recent Raffi song about self-regulation and different ways that we can self-regulate. We spoke in class about others ways that we self-regulate, including dancing. How do you self-regulate? Talk about this together at home.
Ramp-N-Roll – Our students have taken an interest in creating and experimenting with ramps. Here are some ramp activities that you can try out at home to build on this interest.
Reading And Writing With Your Child: A Parent Guide – There are lots of great suggestions in this resource of ways that you can support your child’s reading and writing skills at home and through everyday activities.
Reading Tips For Parents Of Kindergartners – This is a short list of wonderful suggestions of ways to read with your Kindergarten child … and even just support language development. All of these ideas could be done in any language. They are worth trying out together at home.
Self-Regulation Tips For Parents And Teachers – Here are some self-regulation tips that you might find helpful at home. Bedtime and screen time are issues that many have talked to me about before, so the ideas here could be useful.
Summer Reading Activities – While this is an American website, and depending on the skills and interests of your child, all of these activities may not apply, there is still a really comprehensive list given here. We hope that this website gives you some summer reading options.
Taking Responsibility At Home – This resource has some fabulous suggestions for how children can take more responsibility at home. I especially like how it provides different ideas based on age.
Wesley Urban Ministries Programs and Services – We recently found out that Wesley Urban Ministries offers a variety of programs for school-age children as well as younger children (babies and toddlers). Check out their website for more information.
Favourite Websites/Online Classroom Resources or Videos
Alphabet Phonics – Students enjoy singing along to this song as they review the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make. Help your child make meaningful connections to these letter-sounds by highlighting them when seen in the community or around your house.
Down By The Bay – Down By The Bay is a fun rhyming song that helps students hear rhymes and create their own. Encourage your child to make his/her own verses for this song. Some students may even want to draw pictures to accompany his/her verses, or even try writing them out. If your child is finding it difficult to make a rhyme, try giving him/her part of the verse, and seeing if he/she can create the rest (e.g., Have you ever seen a cat, _________________?).
Five Frame and Ten Frame Math Activities – These math activities help students develop their counting and subitizing skills (recognition of number amounts without counting them). Children may enjoy playing these games at home over the summer. You can choose between the five frame and ten frame options depending on your child’s strengths and needs. The number concepts emphasized in these games also help with developing addition and subtraction skills.
Humpty Dumpty – Nursery rhymes are great for language development. Students can even play with the rhymes to make some of their own. This is one of our favourite nursery rhyme songs: Humpty Dumpty.
Incredibox – We used this web-based program in class for students to create beats for their own songs and dance moves.
Just Dance Webmix – The students love dancing along to the songs here, and even creating their own moves in response to the music. This provides a great opportunity to work on moving to the beat of the music. Enjoy!
Nursery Rhyme Songs – Students really enjoy this compilation of nursery rhyme songs. We often use them to review rhyming words and develop different language skills.
Sesame Street Rhyming Game – This Sesame Street Rhyming Song/Game is a great way to review rhyming words, and even have your child play with adding a beat to his/her rhyming words. You can listen along and try creating different rhyming words together. Children that wish can always draw pictures and/or try to write the words using letter-sounds.
Starfall – There are many different activities on this website to review letter-names and sounds, as well as beginning reading skills. The difficulty varies, so children and parents can select activities that align with their areas of need.
Storyline Online – Students may enjoy listening to these stories read by different celebrities. This is a great way for your child to hear reading and for the two of you to discuss books together.
Top 50 Hit Songs – The students really enjoy these favourite Kindergarten Nursery Rhyme songs. These types of songs are great for developing vocabulary and phonemic awareness skills. Have fun singing them together at home!
Unite For Literacy – Doug Peterson, an Ontario educator and presenter, shared this website on his blog last weekend. This website works through the Internet on all devices as well as computers. There are numerous free, children’s eBooks here, that students can listen to online. You can also choose from a large selection of languages for the narration. This website is definitely worth exploring.
Vermicomposting – This is a great video on vermicomposting, which will complement our visit to Eco House today. You can watch this video with your child to develop some new vocabulary and generate questions. Children can also draw, write, and/or talk about what they heard, allowing them to work on their listening comprehension skills connected to a topic of interest.
Willaby Wallaby Woo – This rhyming song is the one we’ve used during attendance time before. Students love creating silly rhymes for names and/or different nouns (e.g., Willaby Wallaby wudents, an elephant sat on the students).
ABC Magic 4 – This iPhone, iPod, and iPad app allows students to practice initial sounds as they find pictures that begin with the same sound. This app was suggested by our school Speech and Language Pathologist as one for further developing phonemic awareness skills.
Pic Collage – Students are starting to use Pic Collage (an iPhone, iPod, and iPad app) to take photographs of their work and explain their thinking. Some students are writing sentences telling about what they did. Others are attempting to sound out individual words, and a few others, are orally sharing their thinking and we’re writing down their thoughts. Then they can see the written words, and even start recognizing (and reading) some of them.