We use Seesaw here at Pal-Mac Primary to communicate with families. Seesaw is a simple way for teachers and students to record and share what's happening in the classroom.
Seesaw gives students a place to document their learning, be creative and learn how to use technology.
Each student gets their own journal and will add things to it, like photos, videos, drawings, or notes.
When there are new Seesaw posts, families can be notified via app notification, email or SMS.
During the pandemic, Seesaw has really become our lifeliine to staying informed and keeping our community going virtually.
Please join the moment you have your family code!
play is learning
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning.
But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. "
There is a common misconception that playing is not learning – or is the opposite of learning – and therefore play does not have a place in the primary classroom. This thinking has become more prevalent as the pressures of accountability have forced more academic content into the kindergarten curriculum, transforming kindergarten into what looks like “The New First Grade”.
However, play should not be
treated as a break from
learning, but instead as the
way that children learn best.
In fact, play is a young
child’s fundamental mode
of learning. That is why play
can be found all day long in
Young Fives in math,
Even in the strict adherence to the Covid 19 regulations, your child will be playing every day!
There is no bad weather,
only bad clothing choices.
A generation ago playing outdoors in nature was usually taken for granted; but times have changed. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation. Research tells us that children need to spend time outdoors and have contact with nature to grow and develop into healthy human beings.
“Nature is important to children’s development in every major way – intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically. Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development.” (Kellert, 2005). Also, spending time outdoors has a positive impact on symptoms of stress, attention-deficit disorder, on self-control and self-discipline.
We go outside almost every single day to the playground or for walks around the neighborhood and village. We head down the street to the nature trail by the canal to play, hike, and explore.
The only things that hold us back is if the windchill is below 20 degrees or if it is raining hard. We will definitely be getting outside a lot this year since being outside is better than being inside for Covid reasons.
The Whole Child
Mindfulness, Social Thinking, and Responsive Classroom
are social-emotional learning tools that create healthy habits of the mind. We don't use a reward system for behavior. We are growing self-regulation in students through the modeling and practice of mindful tools.
We encourage wait time, negotiation, and empathy. We help children identify their feelings and how to channel those emotions positively. We spend a great deal of time throughout the year practicing acceptable behavior in all situations. We practice kindness and thoughtfulness every day.
We are cultivating happiness and well-being. We also work hard on self-reflection. We do Child-Led Conferences (Parent/Teacher and Child attend). We help the children evaluate their own progress both emotionally and academically throughout the year.
Mindfulness Social Thinking Responsive Classroom
inquiry-based learning and PYP
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” - Albert Einstein
No matter how you define success, problem solving
skills are fundamental for our children to thrive in
We all need the capacity to identify and solve problems
in order to adapt to an ever-changing world, navigate
key relationships, and contribute to family, local, and
Children are fully competent and capable of building their own theories about the world around them. They have been doing so since birth. First through listening, and watching then mouthing everything around them and finally through asking questions. Anyone who has ever had a three year old ask them why over and over and over again in a series of “why” questions knows that children naturally want to understand the world that they live in.
Yes, children are born predisposed to problem solve, however, adults can play a key role in children’s problem solving development and scientific thinking. The kinds of experiences we offer children and the way in which we allow them to own those learning experiences can help them turn their infinite capacity for wonder into strong and flexible problem solving skills.
What we do matters!
Inquiry-based learning means that we honor our children’s ability to drive their own learning. We are placing student questions and ideas at the center of the learning process. Students are encouraged to ask questions then investigate their own queries about the world.
Teachers ask open-ended questions and engage students in problem-solving processes. The educators document the learning as a process to take each child from where they are as a learner to where they need to go next.
We document the children’s work through photographs, video, written word, displays, etc., to tell the story of the children’s early childhood experiences. Every child has their own portfolio on Seesaw, consisting of artwork, photographs, information related to developmental milestones, and more.
We utilize documentation panels to provide visual evidence of the learning process using photographs, artwork, data, and other samples of work in the hallway in front of our classroom.