Woodlawn Early Years School

November 2021 Newsletter

A Message from the Principals

November is a busy time for our teaching staff as they prepare the first report cards of the year and prepare for student led conferences. Report cards will be available on the Parent Portal on Friday, December 3 at 4:00.

Student led conferences are an opportunity to meet with your child's teacher and to see the important work that has been happening in the classroom during the past term. Your child's teacher will conference with you and your child for a ten minute period. This will be a virtual meeting through Google Meet. Your child and teacher will share his/her learning with you prior to the conference. We ask that parents take some time to review their child's work before the conference. Communication about learning can occur effectively in student involved and student led conferences. The more student involvement there is, the more effectively the communication can support learning. More details will be sent home shortly including the dates, times, and sign up information.

This past month, we learned about bus safety. We learned about the many ways we can be safe while on the bus and getting on and off the bus.

In addition to keeping our students safe on the bus, we also want to make sure our students walking and getting picked up are also safe. For students and families that need to cross our busy streets, we are asking that they are crossing with our crossing guards. We have a crossing guard on Barkman Street, Henry Street (in front of our school), and when kids are crossing the parking lot on the side walks. We ask our kids and families to wait safely behind the crossing guard until they tell them it is safe to cross. Crossing Henry from our parking lot to the church parking lot is very dangerous because drivers are expecting people to be crossing at the crossing guard. We thank you in advance for following these safety guidelines and helping our students stay safe.

Karen Fraser and Tara Reimer

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Message From the School Counselors


Oftentimes when our children feel stress in their bodies they react explosively and “flip their lid.” They may act aggressively, become defiant, throw tantrums, cry persistently and / or become argumentative. In order to better understand where this behaviour comes from we must understand how our brains function when under stress.

Self regulation draws a clear distinction between three parts of our brain. The Blue Brain (Neocortex), the Red Brain (Limbic System) and the Brown Brain (Reptilian Brain). Our reptilian brain is the oldest part of our brain that helps regulate our motor actions and metabolic functions to help keep us safe when threatened. Because this part of our brain’s only focus is to keep us in survival mode it is not capable of rational thinking. When we are in survival mode our responses to stress can be either a fight, flight or freeze reaction. Our Limbic brain was developed to deal with the complex demands of society and is oftentimes irrational. This area of our brain is focused on emotions/feelings, social behaviour, making attachments, storing memories and our habits. When it senses a threat it kicks our reptilian brain into action and will remember the occasion for future reference - making it easier to revert to our brown brain when a similar situation arises. Finally, our Neocortex: the newest part of our brain, supports our ability to think, plan, listen, rationalize, speak and be conscious of what is going on around us.

For self-regulation to occur the BLUE BRAIN and RED BRAIN need to maintain balance. The reason why we want our children to have this balance is because they are most curious and receptive when these two parts of the brain are working together. Each brain serves as a brake on the other. When a child goes into the red brain the teeter totter gets stuck on hypo or hyperarousal. The strong primitive emotions rule and the blue brain is left unconnected. At the same time the blue brain can be an energy hog and we need the red brain to help settle this down when it is beneficial to do so.

Well-being requires both “brains” working together rather than against each other. A RED BRAIN without a BLUE BRAIN is a child who is demonstrating stress behaviour. Self-regulation helps us recognize the signs that tell us when children are slipping out of a balanced brain state. Being able to notice this happening and understand why enables us to help co-regulate our child back to a balanced state. As children get older they eventually learn through this co-regulation and are able to self-regulate on their own.

Please check out this youtube video that helps explain why we lose control of our emotions:


Literacy News


When you’re out and about with your children, it may not be the ideal time to read or write with your children, but it might be the perfect time to be occupied with verbal games that build literacy skills.

Let’s try one now! Try to guess what I’m thinking of …

“I’m thinking of something that is yellow.

You hold it in your hand.

Do you have a guess or do you need some more clues?

It starts with the sound /p/.

It needs to be sharpened from time to time.

Ready to guess now?

Yes, I was thinking of a pencil! Now you think of something and give me clues!”

Games like these can be done in the car, in a waiting room, or at the dinner table. You don’t need any supplies and they can be modified to be more simple or complicated depending on your child’s stage of learning. Verbal games can help to occupy pockets of down-time while helping to build oral language.

Another quick game called “Sound Tennis”. In its simplest form, you pick a beginning sound and go back and forth with as many words as can be thought of that start that way. You could add a category to make it a little more challenging.

Category examples:

  • Animals that begin with the sound /k/. (cat, kitten, chameleon, crow)

  • Two syllable words that begin with the sound /f/. (flailing, fraction, phantom, photo)

  • Any word that has the sound /oy/. (oil, joystick, oyster, coin, annoy)

These ideas came from Childhood101.com. Check out their website for more verbal games that build literacy skills!

Mrs. Harder

Numeracy News - Problem Solving

Working on problem solving in numeracy is a great way to help students develop a conceptual (or deep) understanding of a variety of mathematical concepts. We give students many opportunities to work on problem solving in school. Often this becomes a way to introduce a new concept, explore multiple ways of thinking, or to see if students are able to transfer their learning into a problem situation. This is something that you can work on at home with your children too. Try to resist the temptation to step in and help them right away. Part of the success comes from productive struggle. When children are faced with a problem, they will often come up with their own ideas on how to solve the problem which is great! They may say “I don’t know” right away, but if we wait or encourage them with “hmmm what do you know already, or let’s try something and see”, they will start to take more risks.

Here are a couple of problems you can pose to your children at home...

We are having Grandma and Grandpa over for dinner this weekend. How many knives, forks, spoons, and plates will we need? Do we have enough chairs at the table?

If you are baking: This recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, but our 1 cup is in the dishwasher. Is there any other measuring cup that we can use?

How many loaves of bread will we need this Saturday to make sandwiches? (Here there are a lot of unknowns - resist the urge to tell your child how many people are eating, how many sandwiches they will eat, how many slices of bread are in a loaf, etc. See what they ask and come up with).

How many days until Christmas? (or a birthday, or a special family event).

Show them something in your home (a set table for dinner - but with a few things missing, unfolded socks, an egg carton or box of cookies with some missing, etc.) Try asking some of these questions: What do you see? What do you notice? What are you wondering? You can both create a problem from their answers. For example, if they say that there are some eggs missing, you could ask them to figure out how many eggs are missing and how did they know?

Numeracy Challenge for November

Math is important everyday, but we choose to make it extra special in November. November is our Numeracy Month. This year, we are going to kick off the month with a virtual assembly. The kids will watch a video from, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had (Tracy Zager, 2017). In this video (feel free to view it again with your child), Tracy has her own children try to find math around their home. Sometimes we see math only as paper and pencil work with questions and answers. We try to help our kids see that math is so much more and can be found in lots of the things we do at home too.

Challenge: Your child will receive a slip of paper that says:



Where do you see math at home? Draw a picture and write about one place you see math at home. Ask your family for help!

If your child brings in this slip, they will be entered to win a basket (one per grade group). The basket will have some fun activities that have math embedded.

Happy Numeracy Month,

Tara Reimer & Monica Martens

Indigenous Perspectives

My great grandparents arrived on Turtle Island in the 1920s and 1940s and settled in Treaty One territory. What does it mean to be a signatory to Treaty One? What is my responsibility as a descendent of people who settled in Treaty One territory? I am still learning what that means for me. The treaty between the Crown and the Indigenous peoples in Treaty One was an agreement between two sovereign nations. But that's not how history has played out. If your family is not Indigenous to Turtle Island, when did your ancestors arrive? Which treaty did they agree to in arriving to these lands where treaty agreements were made on their behalf paving the way for their arrival? To look up which treaty your family was signatories to, go to native-land.ca (toggle the switches so just the treaty switch is on).

Last month the 2LR class created a landscape that took up half of their classroom to represent what Canada looked like long ago, before the signing of the treaties. They built and created the changing landscape as the settlers arrived and talked about how this affected the Indigenous nations that already lived here and how it continues to impact them. This week the 4G class is zooming with Blackfoot knowledge keeper Stanley Knowlton from Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Hunt, a UNESCO heritage site, to learn more about how and why the buffalo have disappeared and what the buffalo mean to the Blackfoot people.

News From the Parent Advisory Council (PAC)

PAC would like to send out a BIG THANK YOU to all the volunteers who contributed to our Staff Appreciation day that was held on October 7th. All staff at Woodlawn school were extremely grateful.

Stay tuned for more ways we can spread cheer.

Pizza Sales came to an end on October 29th and orders will be sent out November 10th. Please stay tuned to your emails and social media for updates.

Interested in joining PAC?

PAC works to support our school. We do this through fundraising for various projects, providing feedback to all administration, and organizing special appreciations/activities for the students and staff.

We welcome everyone to join us for our next meeting that will be held on during the day Tuesday November 9th. Location TBD.

If you have any questions for PAC, please reach out to Sara Richards, PAC president at woodlawnelementarypac@gmail.com

Picture Retake Day is Coming

Mark your calendars for picture retake day which is Wednesday, November 10, 2021. Please call the school office at 204-326-6110 if you would like a picture retake for your child/children.
Kindergarten parents of students in KG2, KM2 and KR2: Please bring your child to school for 10:00 am on November 10 if they require a retake.

Please contact Lifetouch at 1-866-457-8212 if you have any questions about picture orders.

Transportation Information

Any urban or rural bus that will be late due to weather or mechanical issues are listed on the HSD website under the bus delay tab.

Go to the drop down menu of Services where you can choose:

Bus Delay Bulletins where any bus that is late is posted with the approximate delay.

Thank you for checking these options before calling the Hanover School Division Transportation Department with your questions regarding bus delays . Any questions for transportation please call 204-320-2347.

Student Safety

If your child will be late or absent please notify the school in one of the following ways:

**Leave a voicemail at 204-326-6110 anytime

**Email woodlawn@hsd.ca and your child's teacher (teacher's emails available on our website at woodlawn.hsd.ca/about/staff/)

**Enter an absence request through your Parent Portal account

**Write a note in your child's agenda

**Phone the school at 204-326-6110 before 9:00

As a safety measure our policy is to phone home if we have not heard from the parent/guardian of an absent student. If necessary we will also phone workplaces and emergency contacts to make sure the student is safe. Any student that is arriving late (after 9:05) is to check in at the office before proceeding to class.


If it is necessary to pick up your child/children during the school day (9:05-3:30) please sign them out at the office. Your child may not be in their homeroom when you come for them, please allow yourself some extra time before appointments when picking up your children. We ask parents/guardians to avoid picking up children during their activity break as supervisors are busy supervising outside and will not be able to easily locate your child.

The end of the day dismissal time for all students is 3:45.


In the interest of maximizing learning time in the classroom and keeping interruptions to a minimum, please make "home time" arrangements (including school pick up times, appointments and other arrangements) with your child(ren) before they leave for school in the morning.

Please write a note in your child's agenda if home time arrangements are different from your normal routine, whether your child is to go home with someone else, or to wait at the office to be picked up. Notes in the agenda will help to eliminate confusion for the student and teacher at the end of the school day.

**If you must phone the school regarding home time arrangements for your child please do so before 2:45.

Healthy Living

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