Monday, August 5, 2019

Welcome to Kindergarten!

I am looking forward to meeting all of you at the Ice Cream Social on Monday, August 19th! Classrooms will be open to visit from 5:00-5:45 pm, followed by the PTA sponsored ice cream social in the gym from 5:45-6:30. You will have a chance to check out your new classroom and mingle with new friends! I will be eager to see you there. I hope you all had a fantastic summer- I cannot wait to hear about the fun things you've done!  I am so excited for our Kindergarten adventure to begin. See you soon!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Hello, Summer! Hello, First Grade!

What a fantastic Field Day we had last Friday! I loved the enthusiasm and teamwork I saw from the students on this day. I was also surprised by the aim and power these kindergarten friends have in their throwing arms! Wow! It was a beautiful day filled with fun, quality time with our friends and parent volunteers, and popsicles 😊 Special thanks to our class leaders, Mr. Funk and Mr. Teich for leading our groups to the various games and keeping us all safe!

We had a blast with our end of the year personalized learning project, where we worked together in groups to design a play space and carry out our plans as a group. We enjoyed creating and playing in an art studio, preschool classroom, grocery store, and pet shop!

Our fifth grade buddies visited us to hear the non fiction books we wrote after doing our animal research. We were so proud to share our hard work with these caring and encouraging fifth graders!

We also loved visiting the first graders in Mrs. Johnson's room, and finding out about all of the amazing things to look forward to in first grade!

And now we are officially first graders! I will miss this class dearly. I am so excited for all they will learn next year, and to see them spread their wings and make new friends! They are ready for this next challenge. As we read our last book of the year together, Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou, I was reminded of how they've blossomed into all different kinds of flowers. May they all continue to grow and bloom!! Enjoy your summer together, and best wishes in first grade!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Classroom News

I hope everyone has been enjoying the warm weather and special end of the year activities! It is hard to believe we are approaching summer, and that these kindergarten friends are almost first graders! We have reached that point in the year where they are demonstrating independence and work habits that show me they are more than ready for the next chapter!

During reading workshop, we are wrapping up our study of nonfiction selections. We spent time comparing fiction and nonfiction, and identifying nonfiction text features that help us to gather important information about a topic.

We have also been practicing nonfiction writing, as we wrote about a special person in our lives, as well as our favorite season.

Next, we began our research project. Using, we each selected an animal we would like to learn more about. Through PebbleGo and nonfiction books from the library, we researched our animal’s body features, food, habitat, and life cycle. We took the notes from our research and created a page for each subject in our book. We are excited to finish publishing our books and share them with fifth grade buddies next week! 

Our animal research goes hand in hand with our current science unit on animals and plants. We have learned that animals have four basic needs, air, water, food, and shelter, which they are able to find within their habitat. We are now learning about and observing what plants need, and how they are the same or different from animals. We planted our own zinnia seeds, and are excited that they have sprouted and starting to grow taller! We are eager to watch their continued growth, and for each of us to bring home our own plants at the end of the year.

We also had the pleasure of observing an animal in real life who uses our courtyard as a habitat each spring, Gertrude the duck! Her ducklings hatched, and we loved seeing them scurry past our windows, or go swimming in their makeshift pond. Whenever I heard a chorus of squeals or “awwwww!”, I knew we must pause to observe Gertrude and her ducklings!

Once Gertrude feels that it’s safe for her babies to enter the wild, she leaves the courtyard through the school, and exits on the playground side of the building. She does this every year, and it is the sweetest experience! Below is a video that was created last year after her journey was captured on film.

After we had completed our last class behavior board, we voted for a special time in the courtyard, reading from our book bins. Unfortunately, that happened right before Gertrude’s arrival, and we didn’t want to disturb her. So once she left the courtyard and we had a nice day, we ventured outside to have a peaceful outdoor reading session!

Our kindergarten musical was a smashing success, and this group of performers was full of enthusiasm as they performed for the first time on Dryden’s stage. I was so proud of them! You should’ve received a link by email to the private sharing site where you can download photos and videos from the musical, but if you did not, please let me know and I can send it to you again!

Our math instruction recently has been all about addition and subtraction. We have tried out strategies like using cubes, using our fingers, drawing pictures, and counting up or back to solve addition and subtraction problems. We have practiced with word problems, picture problems, and simple fact practice to strengthen our addition and subtraction skills!

One exciting rite of passage we participated in was our practice lunch!, This helps to make the lunchroom not so intimidating on the first few days of school next year. We learned all about how to go through the lunch line, where to sit, what to do if we need help opening items, and how to clear our garbage and recycling, and where everything goes. They did a fabulous job!

I can't wait to see what the last bit of kindergarten brings!