Friday, December 28, 2018

Classroom News

What an exciting time we had leading up to Winter Break! I cannot believe we fit it all in, but we worked hard and accomplished so much. Here are a few of the highlights:


We wrapped up our reading workshop comparison of gingerbread stories, and during writing workshop, we worked on a couple of pieces about gingerbread. We wrote about what would happen if a gingerbread man jumped out of our ovens, and later wrote about who or what we would run from if we were gingerbread men. I love seeing each child's creativity shine through in their writing ideas. The book Gingerbread Baby lent itself nicely to a summarizing activity where we completed a flip book, identifying the characters, setting, problem, and solution. This was a nice way to conclude our gingerbread study and review the overarching theme of identifying and comparing those story elements across all of the gingerbread stories.

We also continue to work on our letter formation of lowercase letters utilizing the Handwriting Without Tears tools. We love taking turns practicing on the whiteboard before our individual practice time!


During math, we've been focusing on the idea of same and different. We read the story, The Ugly Duckling, and identified similarities and differences. We also used math manipulatives to practice demonstrating the concept of one more, or one less. Finally, we worked on comparing sets of items and identifying which set had fewer items, and then how many fewer objects there were. This is a concept that is often tricky to grasp, but it was impressive to see these kindergarten mathematicians think through the problems.


Our kindergarten computer programmers had a fantastic time using the BeeBots to develop their coding skills. I was so impressed with their problem solving approaches and teamwork when they encountered an issue.

Cardboard Challenge

Another special activity we spent time on over the past two weeks was the Cardboard Challenge! In Kindergarten, we do a modified version with a bit more structure, just to introduce the youngest students to the process of designing and building their project. Next year, they will have the freedom to create anything they can dream up! First, we used our imaginations to design gingerbread houses out of cardboard. Our first step was to identify what features a gingerbread person might need in a gingerbread house. Next, we came up with our design on paper to accommodate our gingerbread person's needs. Finally, we moved on to construction! With a little cutting, taping, gluing, and a whole lot of glitter, our designs came to life! I was thrilled to see our kindergarten friends coming up with such creative ideas and executing them with the materials we had on hand. They loved sharing their cardboard creations with the students in Mrs. Schindler's 5th grade class. The 5th graders, in turn, shared with our kindergarten students the narratives they wrote to go with wordless picture books!

All About Me Week

We loved learning more about Jack! He shared with us a picture of his beautiful family, and told us about them. We discovered that his favorite sport is football, and he also loves to play Mario Kart! One thing we already knew about Jack is that he loves Star Wars, and he shared with us a couple of his favorite Star Wars figurines. He also brought an UNO card, because he enjoys playing UNO games!

We were excited to welcome Jack's mom as our guest reader! She made us giggle with the Elephant and Piggie book, I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems. She also came at the end of a building session for our cardboard challenge, and graciously volunteered to help us clean up. We so appreciated her jumping in to assist us!

Winter Wonderland

The PTA, Mrs. Sessler, and Mrs. Beane put on a fabulous Winter Wonderland experience for the students to enjoy on the last day before Winter Break! They honored our Facilities Operations Manager, Mr. Bob, on his last day at Dryden before retirement. Each table group shared a word to describe Mr. Bob. Afterwards, they worked on coloring pictures and letters to go into a book for Mr. Bob, along with other winter fun! They were cozy in their pajamas the whole time, as the excitement for Winter Break was building.

Speaking of the excitement for Winter Break building, we enjoyed the 5th graders and Mr. Deptula surprising us one day with a festive winter sing along!

When we return from Winter Break, we will be celebrating the filling of our behavior board again! We took a vote to decide how we would celebrate, and apparently we cannot get enough of pajama day, because they chose to have a pajama and (short!) movie party. We will do this on Thursday, January 17th. I will send home a reminder as the date nears!

I sincerely hope that everyone is having a fantastic break with their families! This is such a sweet group of kindergarteners, and I feel so lucky to spend my days with them! They have already grown and learned so much, and I am eager to see them continue to progress in 2019. I also want to thank you for the sweet cards and gifts for the holidays, you are all too kind! Thank you for sharing your most precious gifts with me- I absolutely love working with them. See you in January!

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