Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Pics...

When we return from winter break we will be reading various snow/winter stories. In conjunction with this unit in reading, we will be doing some writing of what we can do in the snow. If you have pictures of your child playing in the snow, standing in the snow, etc. please send them in. We are going to use them for a book. If you want you can email me the picture and I can take care of the printing or if you want to send it in that is fine. The pictures will not be returned because they will be in our class book and in your child's end of year celebration book.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I want...

First, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season! The children a couple of weeks ago created a predictable chart of "I want..." The children told me what the wanted for the holidays and I recorded what they said. We then read the sentence and found words we knew. I typed them up and gave them a strip of their sentence. The children cut their sentence apart and created a "puzzle." They had to put it back together and illustrate their sentence. Here are the stories we created...

AM Class

PM Class

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gingerbread Houses Galore...

(more pictures located on the "Pictures of Us Learning" page)
We enjoyed gingerbread stories all last week and we have one final one on Monday, "The Gingerbread Girl." I hope the children have been telling you about these books when they come home from school. Also, this past Friday, we had a blast building our gingerbread houses. The children did a marvelous job working together, sharing materials, and listening to directions to build a great house. I hope you enjoyed the houses when the came home! The children were so proud of themselves after they were finished. I was also proud of how hard they worked. Thank you to everyone who sent in materials to help with the gingerbread houses to make it a success. We also have one last "surprise" project on Monday for the children to work on as my gift to them.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we will be taking a trip on the "Polar Express." We will be talking about trains, shapes, counting, and sequencing. The children will also be writing about where they would go on a train. We will be reading the book and then watch the movie. In addition, the children can wear their pajamas to school on Wednesday as part of our unit. I think the children are going to enjoy this week at school.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reading Fun...

We are having a blast this week reading various gingerbread books. We are working on predicting what is happening and also sequencing the events in the story. We have read "The Gingerbread Man" and the "Gingerbread Baby." We took a survey today and the children decided "The Gingerbread Man" was their favorite. We have two other books we will be reading, which I think will turn out to be their favorites. One is "The Gingerbread Cowboy" and the other is "The Gingerbread Girl." I am really excited about reading these books. The children are loving listening to them and they are doing a great job sequencing.

We are also working on sight words. A sight word is a word the children read within 3 seconds. If they are unable to read the word within the allotted time, then it is not considered a sight word. The best way to practice these words at home are on flash cards. You can also have your child write the word with crayons, markers, and even in the snow. The words we have learned thus far are: see, said, I'm, I, and, the.
Happy Reading!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying their snow day! During your time off, I would love for the children to take time to write a "story" about what they did during their day. The children should draw a picture and color it, label a couple parts of the picture, and try to write a sentence. The children should use their inventive spelling and segmenting skills to write the sounds they hear. Of course you may help them, but I would like to see it in their handwriting and their ability to use their sounds. I look forward to seeing their stories and we will read these in class in the next day or so when we return.

In addition, I would also love to find out what books you are reading during your time off. Have your child write down their favorite book they read. You can ask them questions as you are reading with them: who is in the story, where is the story taking place, what happened first, second, last, etc.

Enjoy your day! I cannot wait to see the children when we return!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Week...

We are beginning one of my favorite units this week, Gingerbread (the other ones occur in January and May). In Literacy we will be reading "The Gingerbread Man" and other gingerbread stories. We will be working on sequencing and then comparing/contrasting the various stories. In math we will be working with nonstandard measurement, relative position (above, under, over, across, etc.), and 3-D dimensional objects. On Friday we will make gingerbread houses. Your child will bring home their house on Friday too and you may display it at your home for the holidays. You should have received a pink sheet detailing our project. To make the project a success we need your help in supplying some materials; however, this is optional for you to send in the items. We are in need of graham crackers, small candies, and frosting. I circled a specific item for your child to bring in to make sure we had a enough of everything; however, you are more than welcome to help supply other items as well. I know the kids will be excited to make the houses! Thank you in advance for your help and as always thank you for everything you do!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank You Miss Bailey...

Today was Miss Bailey's last day of student teaching in our classroom. We surely are going to miss her. She has been a huge asset to our classroom and the learning that has occurred. She has taught the children so much during her 16 weeks in our class. I am very thankful to have such a great student teacher who was able to help your children so much. I know Miss Bailey is very excited about graduating college and beginning her teacher career wherever her path may take her. She has promised to come back and visit!

Good Luck Miss Bailey!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tech Fun...

This past week I was given a website to engage the children in a fun way to work on letter names. This site also has many other fun games for learning. You can go the site and visit the kindergarten section. It is: I hope you all enjoy it!

3-D Fun...

The children this past week had the chance to explore 3-D shapes and then had the opportunity to build 3-D shapes. The children had a great time using marshmallows to build this shapes. The children had great discussion on the difference between 2-D and 3-D. The children learned 2-D shapes are flat and are on paper; whereas, 3-D shapes are objects you can feel and have sides and can put in your hands. This allowed the children to have a concrete definition of the difference between the two. We are going to go into the similarities and differences between 2-D and 3-D. For example, we will look at a square and a cube. I look forward to listening to the discussions we have.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shape Fun...

This past week we have been working on identifying 2-Dimensional shapes. The children have to be able to recognize circle, rectangle, square, triangle, and hexagon. The children are doing a fantastic job recognizing them. We went on a shape hunt around the school to see what shapes we noticed on the building. We were able to find windows that were rectangles and squares. We even saw the circle window on top of the building. We noticed the bricks were rectangles and a metal piece that looked like a diamond, but we were smart kindergartners and knew it was a square standing on its point. We made shape posters by looking through magazines and looking for a particular shape. The children worked as a team at their tables to complete the posters (I will say they did an AWESOME job working together)! We challenged the children to look for hexagons and I was amazed on the objects they found in the magazines. The children were able to find snowflakes, beehives, and a game that were all in the shape of a hexagon! We are moving into 3-Dimensional shapes and will notice the similarities and differences of the objects!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am thankful...

Pictures of our great Feast...thanks for all of your help...I am thankful to be working with such fantastic families! There are more pictures of our feast on the following link:

AM Class

PM Class

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Fall Feast...

Our Fall Feast will be this Tuesday (November 23 at 9:30 and 1:15). We are very excited about our feast and activities for the day. We are asking for children to bring in one thing of nuts, fruit, and/or vegetables. We will be having the items you bring in, a little bit of turkey, and milk to drink. To make this day a success we are in need of volunteers to help on this day. If you can volunteer please come a little early to help cut and set out food. I know the children will appreciate your help and they love to see their parents at school! We would love to help Your children have been very busy creating Pilgrim hats, Native American Headbands, Necklaces, and Turkey Plates! We have been studying the various lifestyles of Pilgrims and Native Americans. We have been comparing and contrasting thier life to our ours today. We also have been talking about what we are thankful for and writing about this. This is probably one of my favorite days in Kindergarten! I cannot wait to see the children and take lots of pictures. I will share those with you all once the feast concludes!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We are three-fourths of the way through our conferences. I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed talking with each one of you about your child's progress. If you have not had your conference you may be scheduled for next Tuesday (Nov. 23). Your children are very important to me and I love each one of them. I have seen growth in them since the beginning of September and I look forward to seeing them continue to grow as learners and kids throughout the year. I have to say "Thank You" to all of you for helping your child. I only see them for just less than 3 hours a day and without your support at home, then the growth would not be occurring. I just continue to ask you to work through letters, sounds, and numbers. I mentioned to some of you some of the key skills we are approaching in 2nd quarter. Children must be able to count to 50, write numbers 1-10, and begin to show alphabet knowledge when writing words. Please continue to work on these skills at home. I am hoping you are seeing some transfer skills of your child beginning to do (try) to read words as you are out and about. They are becoming little readers and they are soaking up lots of knowledge! I look forward to continuing to work with you throughout the remainder of the year. If you have any questions or thoughts which arise please feel free to call, email, or send in a note. I will get back with you within 24 hours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cover, Uncover, Deck of Cards...

Math is upon us and I have to say it is one of my favorite things to teach; however, if you ask Miss Bailey (our student teacher) she says everything is my favorite thing to teach and read because I use this statement quite a bit (I must love kindergarten). We have been working really hard on number sense these past few weeks. We learned how to play Cover & Uncover. This is a simple game which you roll a dice and cover up the number shown. You then roll the dice again and cover up the next number. The object is to be the first person to cover up your board. Next, you then can play this with all the numbers covered up and then try to be the first person to uncover your board. The kids really enjoy this game. Another great game is using the deck of cards ace through 10. We show the kids the ace and they learn this means 1. We then take the cards and ask them to "steal" a card. Then the other person has to figure out what card is missing. It is a fun game where kids must understand numbers and order of numbers. I have to say the kids are doing a great job learning math! They are becoming mathematicians! Thanks for your continued support!

Our Feast...

Those of you new to kindergarten may not know this tradition we have and those of you who are returning kindergarten parents, it's again that time: The Annual Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast (November 23 at 9:30 & 1:15). To make this a success we need your help! We ask for you all to help supply the food we eat at the feast. We are in need of the following: nuts, fruits, popcorn, and vegetables. We ask for various types of nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc.). In regards to the fruits we ask for some traditional fruits and some nontraditional fruits which kids may have not experienced. In the past we have had star fruit, grapefruit, pomegranate, and kiwi. If you can help supply any of these foods, let your child's teacher know. In addition, we are looking for volunteers to help with set-up, cutting, and serving the kids this day. There will be more information coming out at the beginning of next week!

The kids are getting very excited because we have been reading various thanksgiving books and talking about what we are thankful. We will be making a classbook of the predictable sentence "I am thankful for..." I appreciate your help and look forward to annual feast this year!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Report Cards...

Well we made it to the end of the 1st quarter :) Report cards will be coming home on Friday (Nov. 12). You will notice your child will receive one of two grades (AP or NP). An AP means your child has achieved the required goal. If your child receives an NP, then your child did not mean the required goal. We assess the children over the entire quarter on required skills and the children have multiple opportunities to meet the goal. If your child receives an AP, I would like for you to continue to work on the skill and ask in depth questions or begin working on a harder skill. If your child received an NP for a skill, then I would continue to work on the skill at home so your child can achieve the goal. We continue to work on these skills at school; however, we need your support at home too. We are working together as a team to help your children. I urge you to keep your child's report card so you can see the skills we will be working on in the 2nd quarter. Each quarter the skills become harder and more in depth. We will use the report card during your child's conferences.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Sound / Beginning Sounds...

One of the important beginning skills in kindergarten literacy is the ability to isolate the first sound or beginning sound of a word. It is important for your child to be able to hear a word and then tell you the first sound they hear. For example, if you would say "cow" then your child should be able to say the first sound back to you "/c/" not the letter name. You can practice this for about 5 minutes a day anywhere. You can practice while cooking dinner, standing in line, shopping, in the car, etc. All you have to do is say a word and ask your child to tell you the first sound. You can use family member names, various food items, game titles, television shows, etc. When you say the word to your child, say it in a normal tone and at a normal speed. I would only concentrate on first sound. When you notice your child has the ability to identify the first sound, then you move to ending sounds of the word. If your child does not say the correct sound, then tell them the beginning sound and ask them to repeat it to you. For example, if you say "What's the first sound in cow?" and your child says "/mmm/," you should say "I hear the /c/ sound. What do you hear?" and have them say "I hear /c/ at the beginning of cow." You can also go to the DIBELS page and check for more information regarding First Sound Fluency:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vocabulary Parade...

We had a great day on Friday with our vocabulary parade! The children came to school with some great words and great costumes. We were able to parade around the building and show off our words to everyone. In the afternoon our winner was Morgan with the word "static." She had a costume with socks stuck to her. We also had children dress up as: zigzag, champion, luminous, nervous, x-ray, etc. The children did a fantastic job! I dressed up as stamina and wore some of my marathon gear!

I also want to thank our room parents for organizing our "snack party" with some great treats for the kids to eat when we returned from the parade. I will post some pictures in the upcoming days. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jamming to Rhymes...

One of the skills in literacy is to be able to recognize and identify rhyming words and also produce rhyming words. We have been working on rhyming words (recognizing, identifying, and producing) during our morning/afternoon carpet time. During this time we also work on our letters, sounds, number identification, and counting. Friday afternoon the kids had a little surprise when we had a jam session to "Make a Rhyme, Make it Move" by Jack Hartmann. Miss Todd's class came over and joined us for the fun! Today we had a chance to do the song with the morning class. I think they loved it! Check it out below to see the fun!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Read Well...

It is amazing the kids are working so hard in our Read Well program. There are lot of things you will see coming home from our program. You may find yourself looking at this and wondering "I do not get this" and/or "I do not know what to do with it." I want you to know you are not alone! Our program is different and I want to help you understand it the best I can. This will only help you help your child at home. Follow the link to read more about Read Well and view two short videos in relation to Read Well: . I hope this helps! I want to work together as a team to help your child in reading and math!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Smart Board, Smart Learning...

We have been using our Smart Board to help our learning. This tool we use is like a huge computer monitor you can touch. Just imagine your monitor bigger than a big screen TV that you can touch. This technology is allowing us to help our students learn 21st century skills. This is not the only way your child is learning, but it is allowing us to teach your child using another modality of learning. We are able to tap into the visual, auditory, hands-on, etc. learner. The children love using our Smart Board in literacy, writing, and math. Some of the other technology in the building is our sound system. I wear a microphone which amplifies my voice in an equal setting across the room; therefore, all the children in the room can hear equally my voice. It is amazing how much we are all learning together and at times, the children are learning faster than the adults. If you have not had a chance to come in to the school and check out our Smart Board or the other technology, please feel free to stop in and check it out!

You should check out some of our favorite sites we use on our Smart Board to help us with our letters, sounds, and math:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Letters, Sounds, Oh My...

You may have heard your child coming home singing various songs and chants we do in class. These songs and chants help your child associate letters and their sounds in a catchy way. You can help us at home by asking your child what the sounds of various letters. In addition, you can say a word and ask your child what sound do you hear at the beginning of the word. You can do this in the car, while washing dishes, shopping, etc. because you do not need anything. In addition, letter recognition is important because children need to recognize letters when it comes to writing. Take 5 minutes and show your child a set of letters and ask them to tell you the letter. The best way to do this is to go through the alphabet once and make two piles (ones they know and ones they don't know). Once you go through the pile, take 2 letters from the "don't know" pile and add it to the "know pile" and only go through this pile. Once your child knows all the letters in this pile, choose 2 more from the "don't pile" and add it to the "know pile." Once your child can identify all the letters in the newly formed "know pile" you add 2 more from the "don't know" pile. This process continues until all the letters are known. This process also allows the child not to be frustrated because you are only working on letters they know and 2 unknown letters. Finally, thank you for all of your support at home...the success of your child is a partnership between school and home!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Fun...

In math this week we have been concentrating on counting objects and recognizing a set. We have been working really hard tagging and making sure we touch each item we count. We also been lining up the objects so we do not count an object twice. Yesterday the children were introduced to the ten frame board to help us count. Children rolled a dice and then placed "spiders" on the ten frame boards to represent the number on the dice. The children worked in pairs to allow for children to begin to develop sharing and teamwork skills. Counting is a key skill to be successful in math. Children need to be able to count a certain number of objects. Futhermore, we want children to be able to recognize a number on the dice without counting it. Any type of game using a dice will help with this skill. We will be working on other "dot" arrangements for these numbers. We want the children to be able to able to take their knowledge and apply it in other formats.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Writing, Patterns, and Much More...

This week we all become writers! We received our "Writer's Notebooks" this week and we wrote our first story. Now for kindergarten that is drawing a picture, but it was an exciting moment in our class as we received our special books and wrote the first story. Many children talked about their pet or sports. One child had a great story about a queen and dragon. I absolutely loved this moment. The children were so proud of their worked and did a super job. We then sat in a circle and some of the children shared their stories with the class. We will be working in our Writer's Notebooks about 2-3 times a week. We will be working on drawing a detailed picture, labeling our picture, writing words, forming a simple sentence, and then by the end of the year we will be writing 2 or more sentences about our story. Ask your child about their "Writer's Notebooks" as I feel they are just as excited as I am. Check out a few of these pictures showing the children working!
In Math we worked on making simple patterns with pattern blocks. We made AB and ABC patterns. The children were playing figure out my pattern. They had to guess what was missing in the pattern and explain how the pattern worked. Some children were having trouble explaining. Ask your child why? or how did you know this? when working on homework or when they say something. This helps with explaination which is an important skill in education!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fantastic Week...

We had an AMAZING week this week. I cannot believe it is over! We learned the letter Ee and the long sound. Just wait, before you know it your children will become basic readers! We worked on writing the letter Ee! In math, we worked on comparing and the children compared fabrics, cookies, buttons, etc. They have done a fabulous job with this. This past week also was our first week of homework! I was VERY happy because we had a 95% return rate. I am thinking next week we can make it to 100%! If you did not turn in your homework and you would like to, feel free to turn it in on Monday. Just as a reminder homework is sent home on a Monday and needs to be returned by Friday. There is usually 4 practice activities for you to complete, which allows for you to do one a night! In addition, please work on identifying letters of the alphabet, writing their name, and counting!

Finally, today was a special day because we had our first school wide "Buddy Meeting." We met with the third grade (Mrs. Ryba and part of Mrs. Coleman's class...Miss Todd's class meets with Mrs. Matheny and the other part of Mrs. Coleman's class)and completed an activity with BrainPop Jr. regarding bullying. We also will have third grade pals. We are looking forward to working with our third grade pals throughout the year! We had a blast and are looking forward to learning from them!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ribbon Cutting...

We had a great day at the ribbon cutting ceremony! There was a huge turnout and the kids were fabulous. In addition, Miss Todd held the ribbon along with Mrs. Brown, who retired at the end of last year. This represented the new and old. Madison from my PM class also held the ribbon along with another child from each grade level.

I also want to thank all of you for supporting West Clermont in the new building of WT and Amelia Elementary. The learning space is absolutely wonderful and we are thankful our children have this space!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony; Sept. 19

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Week of Fun and More to Come...

What a great week of learning! We have been practicing our routines and the letter A. We will continue to work on our routines this coming week; however, we will begin learning the letter E this coming week. The letter E is the long sound of /ee/ (the sound of /ee/ in words like eel, eagle, me, he, see). We have been working in centers this past week and again this coming week. Last week the children were able to build with blocks and legos to work on sharing and teamwork. In addition to blocks and legos, the children worked on making a coconut tree with letters of the alphabet since we read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom." This also helped us work on our cutting and gluing skills. We also worked on puzzles. Puzzles are great for children to do to help with spatial awareness. It helps in math when we talk about geometry. We will be continuing to work on our writing our names. Please continue to help your child with this. We are looking for a capital letter and the remaining letters to be lowercase. In addition, please watch your child on how he or she grips the pencil. Your child should "pinch" the pencil at the bottom with their thumb and index finger and rest it on their middle finger.

I am looking forward to another great week. The afternoon class will go to music on Monday and the morning class will go to physical education on Tuesday. Do not forget we do not have school on Friday due to Professional Development for teachers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


PM Class...

Well we are off and running to an exciting year of kindergarten. I absolutely love this age and love how far we come with the kids. Currently, I am reminded of how important routines are for our children. We are practicing, practicing, and practicing these routines in the classroom. We are working on coming in and hanging up our backpack, getting out our folder, and going to our seat. We are working on carpet routines. We are working on table and center routines. As you can tell we are working on A LOT. I must say many of the children are doing a great job learning the routines and are doing them well. We are also working on various academics and learning the routines of Read Well (this is our literacy program). We are learning the letter A and the sound associated. Our cheer with letter A goes "A says /a/, Ant on an Apple, /a/ /a/ /a/." The kids are enjoying learning the song. In addition, we are working on handwriting and pencil grips. Please have your child pinch the pencil with their index finger and thumb. Also, we are working on going from top-to-bottom. Later in the week we are going to work on scissor/glue skills :)

We are having a blast in Kindergarten!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Class is Set...

We had a fantastic Kindergarten "Match Night!" We had a wonderful turnout of our families to find out their Kindergarten teacher and I must say I am quite EXCITED to get the year started tomorrow with my 25 and 24 kids in the morning and afternoon! We should have a fantastic year and I look forward to sharing our learning with you. I know Miss Todd is just as excited to get the year started with her wonderful children too.

A few pieces of information...if you have not turned in your first day packets please do so. This has important information regarding your child and health information. In addition, in the parent packet there is some more information to fill out about your child. We are also asking for your email address so we can send out our newsletter and other information. Many parents in the past have really enjoyed this. In the next week or so we will be sending out information regarding room parents and volunteers.

Once again...I am looking forward to this great year!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Open House...

We had an amazing school-wide open house on September 2nd. The turn-out was great. We had a lot of kindergarten parents come through the building. As you know we checked addresses on our list, but please still send in your bus card with your child to make sure yoru child gets home okay on the first few days of school.

In addition, we will have one more open house just for kindergarten on September 9. This is when you will find out your child's teacher and visit the classroom. We will also have the children's name on their cubby. You will also get to take home their first day project they make on their staggered day!

Miss Todd and I are looking forward to working with all of you and are looking forward to a fantastic year!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Almost Time...

Well I must say I am getting eager for the start of school! It should be an exciting year with all the changes. We have TONS of technology, which should only enhance your child's learning. In addition, our space is perfect for learning. In addition, we have a new teacher joining us at WT (Miss Todd)! She will be teaching an AM class and then unfortunately she will have to travel to Merwin to teach a PM class. I have met with her throughout the summer and I am thrilled to have her as a co-worker. We have a fantastic gym for physical education, an art room that is unbelievable, the music room (I wish I could have her room) is awesome with a huge bay window, and a media center perfect for library.

We will have an open house on September 2. I will be there from 6-7:30. You are more than welcome to stop by to see the kindergarten classrooms. We will have a more "formal" open house on September 9 beginning at 6. As a reminder we have made some changes to how we are doing the kindergarten class lists this year. Here is a reminder of how we will be working this new system: Some of you may have realized when you went to school to find out your child's teacher the kindergarten list was not posted. Assigning children to classrooms is a difficult task and when we design the class lists we try to get an even mix of gender, ability, behaviors, etc. in each of the classrooms; however, with kindergarten it is a toss up because your child has not been to our school. Therefore, we have decided to try something new this year! We are going to wait three days into school before we make classroom assignments. You may be thinking this is odd, but we feel this is going to help better serve your child. The first three days of school are staggered for kindergarten children; therefore, your child will only come on Sept. 7, 8, or 9. This one day allows your child time to see the school with just a few other children, it allows us to assess your child's needs, find out a little bit about your child, etc. Once we have met all the children we will then assign your child to a classroom. All kindergartners will start on September 10th in their assigned classroom. This process will allow us to have an evenly mix of children in each classroom. Please do not worry or stress about this process. We will be communicating with you throughout the whole duration of this process. On September 9 the classroom assignments will be posted at 5 and then a parent meeting will occur at 6. After the parent meeting you will be able to visit your child's classroom and meet their teacher. We are very excited about this new process and truly feel like this will best meet the needs of your child! If you have any questions or concerns about this process please feel free to email me or call the school at 943-6900.

I look forward to meeting everyone and beginning our journey of learning with the children!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Working Hard...

I have been up at school a couple of days this week trying to get the classroom all together. It is crazy thinking last year we were in an old building and looking at the new building being built. After spending some time in the building it is absolutely beautiful and I know you are going to love it. The technology, lighting, openess, colors, furniture, and I can go on forever are perfect! I have been spending a lot of time trying to get the room unpacked and finding a home for everything we will use. I am coming along and here are a few pictures of our learning space in progress.
I will be continuing to work in the classroom trying to get everything accomplished before the children arrive. The building is almost ready; however, if you drive by you are probably noticing one of the most important pieces is still being worked on...the parking lot! This should be complete before school begins! Have a great couple of weeks and see everyone soon!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Some of you may have realized when you went to school to find out your child's teacher the kindergarten list was not posted. Assigning children to classrooms is a difficult task and when we design the class lists we try to get an even mix of gender, ability, behaviors, etc. in each of the classrooms; however, with kindergarten it is a toss up because your child has not been to our school. Therefore, we have decided to try something new this year! We are going to wait three days into school before we make classroom assignments. You may be thinking this is odd, but we feel this is going to help better serve your child. The first three days of school are staggered for kindergarten children; therefore, your child will only come on Sept. 7, 8, or 9. This one day allows your child time to see the school with just a few other children, it allows us to assess your child's needs, find out a little bit about your child, etc. Once we have met all the children we will then assign your child to a classroom. All kindergartners will start on September 10th in their assigned classroom. This process will allow us to have an evenly mix of children in each classroom. Please do not worry or stress about this process. We will be communicating with you throughout the whole duration of this process. On September 9 the classroom assignments will be posted at 5 and then a parent meeting will occur at 6. After the parent meeting you will be able to visit your child's classroom and meet their teacher. We are very excited about this new process and truly feel like this will best meet the needs of your child! If you have any questions or concerns about this process please feel free to email me or call the school at 943-6900.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Unpacking Learning...

I was able to go into school on Monday to begin unpacking all of our items we will be using this year. It is amazing all the various items we use in kindergarten to help children learn; however, our space is just perfect! The room is still a work in progress! I am thrilled we still have a few weeks left to get our room ready. I know you will be just as happy as I am with our beautiful room and building. I am looking forward to having children fill the room in about 4 weeks. As I unpack our items for our classroom, you may be thinking about supplies to buy for your child. This year West Clermont has decided to go to a universal supply list for all 8 elementary schools. Kindergartners only need to bring a pair of Fiskar scissors and a large eraser. We can always use donations of various items, but that will be coming out later on once I figure out what we may still need. I look forward to seeing all of you soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August is Here...

The summer is winding down faster than I can believe. Next thing I know I will be starting to set up the classroom and getting ready for the kids to arrive! I am quite excited to get the children in the classroom and begin teaching in our wonderful learning space. I know everyone will love it. I had a meeting this morning at the building and had the opportunity to walk down and see our space and I placed a few pictures of the room (check out the link to the left). I'm excited about getting in there and adding my touches to the room to make it fantastic!

As we continue towards the beginning of school take some time to make sure your child can recognize his/her's first name, recognize a few letters, write/attempt first name, button/zip pants, and just enjoy reading to them! If your child can do more, that is great!

I cannot wait to meet all their smiling faces on the first day and I am sure your smiling faces will have tears of joy as they head off to school!

Monday, July 26, 2010

me as a learner...

I just returned from my vacation in Florida with my wife, Shannon, and mother-in-law, Sharon, and did I learn and reflect a lot. We had a fantastic time laying around on the beach, walking on the beach, swimming, a lot of leisure reading, and other relaxing things. One interesting parts to the story is we are all educators; therefore, a lot of our conversations as we laid around was on the topic of education. Shannon teaches 5th grade, Sharon is a Speech-Language Pathologist and then there is me, the Kindergarten teacher...this ended up being a wide spectrum of views on various topics.

The first thing I learned was patience with Shannon spending a week and half with her mother in a 2 bedroom condo. The second thing I learned and reflected upon was the idea of a team. Shannon reminds me of where children need to be by 5th grade (on a daily basis) and her frustrations with how far children have gotten and some who still have difficulty reading, writing, or working on math. Sharon then brings up the point of communication disorders and the special education side to our discussion. The constant variable in our discussions was we need to keep children at the center and continue to focus on their individual needs. We came to understand, which we all knew and reaffirmed, was it takes a team to work with each child and to have children become successful. One saying which comes to mind is "Rome was not built in a day" and I also think Rome was not built by one person. We talked about the team of teachers (general education teacher and special education teachers even if the child is not identified) and adults and other children who could be apart of this team to help children succeed. We all agreed family plays a key role in helping children succeed. We see kids for approximately 35 hours a week (in my case I only see kids for about 14 hours a week), but they are home 128 hours week (I did not subtract sleeping from this total); therefore, family plays a huge role in your child's education. We all agreed it is our job to educate your child and to provide interventions for further instruction or enhanced instruction, but you can help provide a link from home to school with various things because you are part of the team. Helping provide a link from home to school can include playing simple games, reading to your child aloud, talking with them, running around in a park, etc. The three of us agreed we want to provide a team approach and work together because you know your child best (especially in my case since I may be their first teacher and W-T will be their first school). I look forward to knowing them and learning about who they are as the year moves forward! I am looking forward to working with each "team" to help provide the best education for your child! One of my goals is to provide the best education and experience for your child to help them become lifelong learners.

The third thing I learned was take time and enjoy life. I was able to read leisure books along with professional books and have some great discussions. As I write this post I think about the times I have read to my niece and nephew and the discuss the book (it is always fun to listen to a child's perspective).

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!

If you are interested here are some of the books I read: Little Bee (this was one of my favorites) by Chris Cleave, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, The Art of Racing in the Rain (a perfect book for anyone who has a pet...its sad, but FANTASTIC) by Garth Stein, and House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

As with me the rest of this summer will be continuing to learn!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Half Way There...

I was thinking about this coming school year today and it came to me we are half way to the start of the school year. I always get excited about the upcoming school year. I am looking forward to meeting the new kids and helping them grow into learners. I also get excited about working with parents in helping their child succeed. I then become nervous about the year because we have a new building and all new procedures; however, we get to learn it all together!

I am sure you are beginning to have mixed emotions about the upcoming school year as this may be the first time you are leaving your child at school! It is an exciting time of your child's educational career as the learn social/emotional skills along with academic skills. You may also be wondering if there is anything you can do to help prepare your child for September 7. A few things you can do is have your child write their first name, recognize the letters in their name, recite the alphabet in various speeds, count sets of objects in less than 5, read to your child and have them sit and listen to a book (5-7 minutes), and practice buttoning/zipping their shorts/pants. You may be thinking this is a lot, but you can do this in short time periods, at the dinner table, in the car, etc.

I think we will have a fantastic year and I look forward to seeing the smiling children and their mom, dad, and other family members September 7!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!  I know I am.  I just returned from a fabulous trip to New Orleans.  I was able to attend the National Education Association Representative Assembly.  It was a great time working together with educators from across the nation.  Stay tuned for a post regarding what occurred!  In a couple of weeks I get to head down to Florida for a vacation with my wife.  We are headed to Anna Maria Island.  It is about an hour south of Tampa.  I am sure I will have a funny story to tell when I always seems like something happens!
If you are doing anything exciting or visiting some great places (even in the State of Ohio) please share!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today W-T Elementary was informed we received an "Excellent" rating on the Ohio Department of Education report card.  This is very exciting for everyone at W-T!  This was a perfect way to end our years at the "old" building and prepare our "entrance" into the new building.  Thanks for all of your hard work at home in helping achieve this goal.  We look forward to next years "Excellent" rating too!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I have started to create a page for the DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessment. I have had many questions regarding the assessment and what it looks like and how it is given. On the left side of this page your will see a link to another page "DIBELS." I have started to describe the assessment and will include video of what the assessment looks like. I want to caution you though, when you view the video it is not exactly the way the assessment is given. We are under strict guidelines on what to say and the vocabulary we use; therefore, to keep the assessment valid I cannot use the exact language. I have included just a rough idea of how it is given and what it would look like. I hope this helps and check back often. I will be updating the page with more information about all the tests and more videos!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Travel Fun...

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer vacation! I know I am...I was packing tonight for a short trip to Chicago for some family fun this weekend. This made me think about what you could do in the car if you are traveling to help reinforce some skills. I have some great memories growing up being in the car traveling. Every year we would go on vacation and would travel for sometime in our van. It was fun, tiring, and at times stressful with my brother and sisters. This time in the car gives you a prime opportunity to talk with your children about various topics and to play some great games. One of my siblings favorite games is the "Alphabet Game," as you drive look for a word that begins with A and then B and go through the alphabet (X is hard and when I got to Q I always hoped for a Dairy Queen would be close by). This game I still play on long trips with my wife, Shannon (yes...I am a dork like that). The Alphabet Game turned into a competition between everyone in the car...I will say I was a champion, but if you ask my siblings they may say they were. You can play this game with using sounds or letter identification. You could also change this to numbers and search for numbers on various signs. Another game is "I spy" and you can encourage your children to use various geometry terms to help reinforce math skills. We would also do a lot of word searches. I loved working on these in the car and my sister, Susan, and I would work together to finish the search. If you have any great games, let me know...I would love to learn some new ones!

If you are safe!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome Miss Todd...

On the last day of school we had to say good-bye to the other kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Brown decided to retire at the conclusion of the year. Mrs. Brown taught kindergarten for 30 years...that is about 1500 children! We are sad to see Mrs. Brown leave and we wish her the best. Even though we are sad about her leaving, we are excited about Miss Todd.

Miss Todd was hired to replace Mrs. Brown. Miss Todd will be at W-T only in the mornings and will travel to Merwin Elementary to teach in the afternoon. This is due to enrollment numbers at both W-T and Merwin. I am excited about working with Miss Todd next year. I think you will be just as excited to have her part of the W-T family! She is very excited about teaching kindergarten and working with the wonderful W-T staff and families!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Fun...

Summer has arrived! I cannot believe the school year has ended. To all of my Kindergarten graduates, I hope you have a fantastic summer. Please take time to read, write, and work with numbers. This will help you become a strong first grader. To all my parents, thank you for a FANTASTIC year. This year would not have been successful without all of your help. I hope you have just as good of a year in first grade. I am looking forward to my new kindergartners in the fall. It will be here before we know it; however, we will have an amazing building to learn in.

Check back throughout the summer for other updates about what I have done over the summer and new information for the fall! Enjoy your summer vacation!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On our way...First Grade...

Well on Friday, May 28th it will be official…your child will be a first grader. It is amazing the year has come to an end and thinking back to how much they have learned this year. I first think back to the first few days in August and think…wow…some were just “babies.” I also think back to many of the children could not even recognize and write their name, recognize their letters and numbers, and did not even know what to do at school. The children throughout the year have learned not only their letters, but have become readers. All the children have met the end of the year Read Well goal of unit 10 and can read/blend basic three letter words. Some of the children are already reading early literature books. I have seen a huge growth in writing. The children came into school scribbling or just writing random letters. All the children can write a simple sentence and may be even two. It has spaces, capital and lowercase letters, and punctuation. In math, we have gone from sorting and patterning to adding and subtracting and thinking about numbers. All I can think of is one word for this year…AMAZING!

I can honestly say I have been lucky to teach your child this year and I have learned from them too. I have enjoyed coming in everyday to see their smiling and innocent faces eager to learn. I look forward to watching them in the hallway next year as first graders and watching them grow! Thank you for all of your hard work this year at home because without your dedication this year would not have been a success!

Friday, May 21, 2010

AM make-up day...

Monday the AM class will stay all day to make up the last of the three 2-hour delays from January/February. If you do not wish for your child to stay all day, then you will need to pick them up at 11:55 from school. In addition, you will need to send in a packed lunch with a drink if your child is staying. Your child will ride the bus home from school on the same bus they ride to school in the morning. If you have a special transportation request you will need to call or send in a note.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It is an exciting time in kindergarten as we begin to prepare for the Kindergarten Graduation Program. The program will take place on the last day of school, May 28th, and will start promptly at 9:30 and 1:15 in the gym. Please dress appropriately for this event and we ask for the children not to wear flip-flops, as this is a safety concern. The program will be the conclusion of your child’s kindergarten year. It has been an EXCITING and FUN year! I am thrilled to have been a port of your child’s education!

Monday, May 10, 2010


We had our DIBELS assessment today.  The kids did a fantastic job showing what they have learned in reading.  There are three scores you will receive.  The first assessment is Letter Naming Fluency.  This is where there are a set of random letters and the chidlren have 1 minute to name as many as possible.  The benchmark for the spring is 40 letters per minute.  The second assessment is phoneme segmentation.  This assesses if the chidlren are able to hear the sounds in each word.  For example, if I would say "mop," the child would say the three sounds /m/ /o/ /p/.  The children have to be able to produce 35 phonemes in a minute.  The final assessment is Nonsense Word Fluency.  The children are shown a page of three letter words and the children have to read each sound or read the whole word.  The children have to produce 25 sounds in a minute. 

Overall, you should be EXTREMELY proud of your child.  They "ROCKED" today! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Caterpillars to Butterflies...

We are working on our literacy and science unit on caterpillars. We have read a great non-fiction book "I'm a Caterpillar." The children loved it and learned a lot of information. We have also been observing them and having a blast. Our caterpillars have been growing and two of them today went into their chrysalis. We have learned the differences between cocoons and chrysalises. You should ask your kids what the difference is and ask them to keep you updated on our little friends!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Field Trip Fun...

We had a FANTASTIC field trip to the Children's Museum on Friday! The kids had a lot of fun and this would not have been successful without the great chaperones. I want to thank everyone who chaperoned the trip today! You all did a fantastic job and the children told me how much fun they had! I heard a lot of great things once we returned to school. The kids were talking about what they did at the museum and then explained some great thinking on the science behind a few of the water activities and the "ball" area. This was very memorable for the kids and I hope to have some pictures posted here by Monday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fun with Plants...

Last we started our plant unit in literacy and science. We started off reading a nonfiction book regarding plants. We learned about the parts of the plant and then drew a diagram with labels. The children did a fantastic job on learning the parts of a plant and the jobs of each part. We then came the exciting part of planting our own plants! The children then learned about observations and recording what they observe. Today was a highlight for many children in the classroom. About half of our seeds sprouted and the children were THRILLED! The children drew what they saw and then wrote at least one sentence about what they see. I am AMAZED by their observations and what they are writing. These young learners are becoming scientists! I cannot wait for the next few days to watch their excitement continue as we continue to learn about plants!