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Tuesday February 11th, 2014

Posted at 2:03pm

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On a chilly winter morning before school starts, a crowd starts to build on the playground of Prince Edward School. Students and parents listen attentively; watching one person as she energetically engages the audience.

It is Linda Lee, an Early Childhood Educator and member of the Prince Edward Early Years team. Every morning approximately 10 minutes before the school bell rings, Lee greets the JK/SK students and gives them a “jumpstart” to learning. This jumpstart includes engaging the students with interactive, hands-on activities that enable them to connect their learning with the environment.

“If we can get our students engaged and excited to learn while getting their parents involved, we are helping to support their learning,” says Lee. “The hook is our environment. Our students are deeply interested in nature. We want the students to be engaged in meaningful learning and are always looking for and trying to peak their personal interest.”

“Ms. Lee’s enthusiasm for learning seems to be contagious even in the morning,” says James Tole, a Prince Edward parent. “My son loves to come to school every morning just to see what Ms. Lee will be doing.”

Lee is a part of an Early Years team consisting of four teachers and four Early Childhood Educators. Prince Edward was one of the first schools within the Greater Essex County District School Board to be selected to implement a full day, every day Kindergarten learning program.

“We are really proud of our Early Years program. Our classroom is evidence of the success that our students have had with learning through inquiry,” says Jennifer Abela, a Prince Edward Early Years Teacher. Abela displays her students’ work along with a commentary of what they have learned using the student’s own words.

Lee, Abela and the Prince Edward Early Years team have a variety of activities to engage the students throughout the day from bringing thermometers outside to test the temperature of frosty puddles to using bamboo to create unique frames to showcase student work.

“I can’t wait to see what activities the team comes up with next,” says Prince Edward Parent James Tole. “I’m sure it will be exciting, even in the morning.”

Prince Edward will be hosting a Kindergarten Open House on Wednesday, February 12th at 5:30 to 7:00 P.M. and welcomes parents and students to experience a day in the life of a Kindergarten student on Thursday, February 13th from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. All 2014/2015 future Kindergarten students and their guardians are invited to attend.

Guest article by Jen Minovski

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