Saturday, December 31, 2011

School Year Fun...

Staff Sing-A-Long Performance
This year to add some joy into the holiday season the staff decided to have a sing-a-long with the children.  Here are a few pictures from the event.  It was a lot of fun and the children had a great time!

Happy New Year...

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday break and a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holidays with our Buddies...

On Tuesday we had our buddy meeting with our 3rd grade buddies from Mrs. Ryba's class.  In November and December we have been discussing kindness in our meetings; therefore, we decided to make Holiday cards for our friends.  We brainstormed ideas on what to write to our friends (the children had some awesome thinking).  Then, the children decorated the cards and the placed a candy cane inside of them.  The children were thrilled to give them to their buddy as a sign of kindness!  We also read the book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and found examples of kindness.  Thanks to Mrs. Ryba's 3rd graders for another great meeting!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last week of 2011...

This will be our last week of school for 2011.  It is amazing how quickly the year has gone and how much the children have learned.  We will not be having Reading Street lessons this week; therefore there will not be a Family Ties or Reader this week.  We will be reviewing all learned letter sounds, decoding, letter names, and a few various other items this week.  I encourage you to still take time to read to your child and continue to work on letter sounds and simple 3 letter words.  This is important as we will be having our DIBELS assessment when we return from break.  In addition, the children will be bringing home a journal to be able to write in during their time off.  When we return we will be doing a lot more writing and journaling.  This is probably one of my favorite things to teach young children; I love writing.  I look forward to reading what the children did over their time away from school.  The children can return these to school on January 3rd or 4th.  I will read them and allow the children to read them to the class.  (Please note I do not expect words to be written correctly.  I encourage the children to segment the word and write the sounds they hear.  For example, if your child was trying to write "pick," I would expect to see the word "pik" or "pic."  If your child was trying to write "present," I would probably see "prznt" or "prezt")

In addition, I have completed the first round of math assessments.  Many children are having difficulty with counting to 50.  Many children are able to count to 39 and then skip to 50 or they make it to 49 and skip to 60.  The second quarter requires children to be able to count to 50.  The children have also been exposed to 4 3-D shapes, which they will be assessed on this coming week or when we return from break.  These shapes are: cube, sphere, cone, and cylinder.

I hope you all have a great holiday break!  I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on January 3rd for the B class and January 4th for the A class!  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We are preparing for our winter celebration next week.  We will have our celebration beginning around 1:45 and lasting until 2:40ish.  The children will be having a snack, making a craft, and playing a game.  Please do not send in any items, unless you are asked.  I do not want too much food as I do not want to be wasteful.  In addition, we have various food allergies in the room and my goal is to be able to have all children participate and enjoy the foods available!  If you are willing to send in items, please leave a comment and I will let you know what is needed.  Thank you for all of your support!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Great Week...

This coming week we are going into Unit 3 of Reading Street and will be reading "Little Panda."  We will be working on two letters and their associated sounds: Nn and Bb.  The letter Bb is a short sound; therefore, please do not have your children add the "uh" sound.  In addition, we will have three new sight words: she, me, with.  We will also be continuing to work with our other sight words and using them in writing sentences.  Please encourage your child to be writing at home on their days off.  We love to see what your child does on their day off and they can bring their writing into class and share.  In our centers we are working with writing, math, art, and reading.  The children are able to view and browse through various holiday books and choose their favorite, in the math center children are exploring 2-D and 3-D shapes, the art center the children are working on creative thinking with various items, and finally the writing center we will be working on writing about the holidays!

In math, we will work on two new 3-D shapes.  We will work on the cone and the cylinder.  The children are required to identify these two 3-D shapes for the report card.  The cone is typically an easy one to remember because of ice cream and a party hat.  The cylinder is harder for the children because the children do not use this shape or have experience.  The children will work with all the 3-D shapes and explore them in the way they move, look, and other properties.  In addition, we are also reviewing 2-D shapes and the similarities and differences of 2-D and 3-D.

Finally, we are planning the "Winter Celebration" for the children.  The celebration will be held on Thursday the 22nd and Friday the 23rd at 1:45.  We are asking families not to send in items unless asked too.  This is important as we do have allergies in the classroom and we want to make sure we are able to include everyone and not to exclude them.  We will be sending out more information in the coming week!  We appreciate your patience and your help as we plan a great celebration for the children.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This Week's Fun...

This week, we will continue our work with the letter Ii.  The children did very well with the short Ii sound last week and we are looking forward to creating more words to blend with the letters we have learned.  Our sight words/popcorn words will remain the same this week, “for” and “he”.   Please practice these words, and previously learned sight words/popcorn words, with your children at home!  It should take them no more than 3 seconds to identify the words.

We will be extending our work with segmentation this week and continuing to bridge this into our writing.  Last week, we saw some amazing writing in our writing centers.  The students are beginning to segment the words and write the sounds that they hear.   Please remember when you are looking at their work, it is developmentally appropriate for children to only hear the first and/or last sound of a word.  Some children may be able to hear and write the middle sound too, but remember this is the last sound the children hear!

In math, we will be introducing the concept of 3 dimensional shapes.  On Monday/Tuesday, children will be introduced to the sphere.  For many children, this is an easy shape for them to relate to as they have experience with baseballs, basketballs, tennis balls, toy balls, etc.  On Wednesday/Thursday, children will be introduced to the cube.  Again, many children can relate to this shape as they have experience with building blocks, cereal boxes, wrapped present boxes, etc.  To extend their learning, you can have your child sort different 3 dimensional shapes found in your home!  This is a fun way for them to learn and play at home!  As we learn our 3 dimensional shapes, we will be comparing them to our previously learned 2 dimensional shapes! 

As a class, we will also continue counting to 50.  Counting will be done daily, as children need to be able to count to 50 by the end of the second quarter.  Please encourage your child to count at home!  The more practice they have, the better counters they will become!

We have been completing many 2nd quarter assessments over the past few weeks and we are very pleased with the progress we are seeing.   Thank you, again, for all of your extra support at home and continuing to review activities/lessons with them at home when they are absent!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Great Bobcats...

As a district and a school we discuss how to be a buddy and not a bully.  In addition, at W-T we have have a bobcat pledge, which we recite and discuss.  The Bobcat Pledge is:

I will be responsible for my own actions.
I will be respectful to classmates and adults.
I will take pride in my work.
I will stop, think, and make a good choice.

When I notice a child following the bobcat pledge they can earn a pom-pom for our jar.  This happens throughout the whole school; therefore, a child can earn a pom-pom from any staff member.  When our jar is completely full, we earn a special surprise.  We were able to fill our jar this week and will be having our surprise today for the 'B' class and next Friday for the 'A' class.  When your child comes home you can ask them "How were you a good bobcat today?"  I am very proud of their hard work thus far this year!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

OMG! December Already...

This week ends November and begins December and I cannot believe we are already this far into the year.  The amazing thing is we have only had school approximately 30 days because of the unique schedule (this shows just how important being at school is every day).  I am pleased with how the children are working hard and learning a lot too.  I sure hope you have seen this at home.  In addition, please continue to work on letter sounds, sight words, and numbers at home daily.  The progress made would not be possible without your help at home as I only have them 2 or 3 days a week.  In addition, it is important for your child to be at school.  If they are ill and have to miss school please contact me and I can let you know what your child has missed.  It is helpful for you to review these things with your child.  In addition, if you another child in the school I am able to send home work with them.

This week we will be working on the letter Ii and its sound of /i/ as in igloo, insect, ink, etc.  This sound can be easily confused with the short e sound as in elephant, elevator, escalator, etc.  We will be working on this particular sound and reading a series of new words with short i and a.  This will allow us to have some new words to work with and to blend.  In addition, we will be working with new sight words or "popcorn words."  This week the words are for and he.  We will continue to work with segmentation and begin bridging this into our writing.  The children will begin to develop an understanding of when you are unsure of how to spell a word, you can segment the word to hear all the sounds.  Currently, it is developmentally appropriate for children to only hear the first and/or last sound of a word.  Some children may be able to hear the middle sound too, but be aware this is the last sound children hear.

In math, we will conclude our work with 2-dimensional shapes by learning about the hexagon (six sides).  We will also review all the shapes.  We are working with some children on a deeper understanding of 2-dimensional shapes by learning their attributes and why the shapes are this way (the difference between a square and a rectangle).  Research has shown us it is important to extend their thinking and develop a deeper understanding of a specific items (this means we just do not want them to identify the shape, we ask questions and delve into their thinking).

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This week we only have school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  We will be continuing our work from last week and having a little Thanksgiving fun on Tuesday and Wednesday!  If you are traveling I hope you have a safe trip.  I also hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  I look forward to hearing the children talk about what they did over their mini break.  I would love for your child to draw a picture of what they did on Thanksgiving and try to write a sentence (they can bring it to school when they return for me to check and for them to share).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buddy Fun...

Today we met with our 3rd grade buddies from Mrs. Ryba's classroom and worked together on kindness.  We learned this week is World Kindness Week and discussed ways to be kind to one another.  We came up with the ideas of helping friends pick up things, holding the door for friends and adults, saying nice things, giving hugs to our friends, smiling, telling each other nice things, and many more.  Each buddy group worked together to trace their hands and write a way to be kind.  We then took the hands and placed them in a circle to make a kindness wreath for the holidays (we made two so one could hang in Mrs. Ryba's room and one could hang in our classroom...we mixed up the hands so each room has some kindergarteners and third graders).  We made the wreath so we could be reminded of many ways to be kind to one another.  It was wonderful to see the many children working together and the 3rd graders helping the kindergarteners with their writing, cutting, and tracing.  Our 3rd grade buddies are such a kind group of children.  The children are already looking forward to seeing them in December, plus they love seeing them in the hallways at school :)


Sunday, November 13, 2011

What is Going On...

We have a great deal of learning taking place in the next week and half before Thanksgiving! This week will begin by completing our work with the letter Pp. Please remember to encourage your child to make a short quick /p/ sound. We want to make sure that the children are not saying /puh/, as this will make it more
challenging when children begin to blend words together. After we complete our unit on the letter Pp, we are going to move on to the letter Cc. We will be working with the children on how to produce a hard Cc sound. On some of their papers, you may notice this written like /k/. The hard Cc sound is comparable to our Kk sound (candy, cup, cat, color). Throughout the next week and half, we will also continue to work with the sight words/popcorn words: like, we, and my.

Please continue to practice all letters, letter sounds, and sight words at home. Your continued support and work with your children at home has become very evident in the classroom. We greatly appreciate all of your extra time and effort.

Ideas for Letter/Sound Practice at Home:
1- Have students identify letter names on flashcards.
2- Have students go on a letter hunt in your home to find specific letters.
3- Have students identify letter sounds on flashcards.
4- Have students go on a sound hunt in your home to find specific items that start with a specific sound (a, m, t, s, p, c).
5- Have students begin to practice blending sounds into words. Place three letter cards in front of your child (with a vowel in the middle) and have your child begin to blend the word. Please remember, these do not have to be real words...they can be nonsense/make believe words as well!

In math, we will be continuing our introduction to 2-dimensional shapes. This week, we will review our previously learned shapes (circles and squares) and introduce the students to triangles and rectangles. Children will continue to practice identifying these shapes, as well as compare and contrast these shapes.
Also in math, we will be continuing to count to 40. Remember, students are required to count to 50 by the end of second quarter and 100 by the end of the year!

Please remember conferences are this week and next week. Purple confirmation sheets were sent home last week with report cards. Please return your confirmation forms so we can confirm your appointment. If you are unable to make the scheduled time, please let us know a convenient number or email address to
contact you. Due to our limited number of conference slots, we will need to have a phone conference if you are unavailable to attend. Please know, we worked very hard to accommodate all requests for conferences, but had to fill slots on a first come-first serve basis.

Next week (November 21st-23rd) is a short week and all students will have a Thanksgiving Fun Day! We are looking forward to this time with your children to celebrate Thanksgiving. There will be three 45-minute rotations for the children on Tuesday (B Day Students) or Wednesday (A Day Students). We have been studying Thanksgiving all month and working on having the students identify people and things they are thankful for! We are looking forward to showing you some of their Mayflower Pilgrim Patterns and their Thankful Turkeys!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Report Cards...

This past Friday concluded the 1st quarter.  We have completed all the required assessments and you will receive your child's report card at the conclusion of the week or beginning of next week.  One change has been made to our report card.  We are no longer using AP/NP to report grades.  The district has made a decision to use Y/N to report grades as yes or no.  When you receive your child's report card you can look at the required skill and then next to the skill will be either a Y or N.  If your child receives a Y, this would mean your child can do the skill as listed without any assistance.  If your child receives an N, this would mean your child cannot complete the skill as listed.  Your child may have progressed throughout the quarter; however, they may still have not yet met the required skill.  For example, all children need to be able to identify 13 uppercase letters and 13 lowercase letters.  Your child may have progressed, but if they are unable to identify 13 letters, then they would receive an N.

If you have any questions please feel free to call or email.  I will also be taking time at conferences to review the report card with you.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lots of Learning...

This week is a short week for children.  We do not have school on Tuesday and Friday of this week.  On Tuesday teachers have Professional Development and on Friday it is Veteran's Day.  In addition, Tuesday is election day and I hope everyone will go out and vote.  West Clermont has an operating levy on the ballot (Issue 12).  We would love to have your support as it will allow us to bring back transportation and other vital programs to the schools.

In the classroom we will be working on the letter Pp.  This letter has a short quick sound and says /p/.  When you practice this sound try not to let your child say /puh/ (this would mean your child is producing two sounds rather than one).  This is important when children try to blend words together.  We will also be working on new sight words or popcorn words (like, we, my).  Please continue to practice all the letter sounds we have learned.  You can write the letters on a card and have your child say the sounds.  In addition, you can place three letters out with a vowel in the middle and have your child begin to blend the word.  These words can be real or make believe.  It is okay for your child to read a make believe word because the purpose is to practice blending.

In math, we are beginning our geometry unit.  Children will be introduced to 2-dimensional shapes.  This week we will be studying circles and squares.  Children will work on comparing and contrasting these shapes.  We are also working on counting to 40.  At the conclusion of the 2nd quarter all children are required to count to 50 and by the end of the year to 100.  These next few weeks for our table work at the beginning of the day will be working on number writing.  Our goal is to have all children counting to 100 as quickly as possible.

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Parent-Teacher Conferences are quickly approaching.  The conferences will be held on November 15, November 18, and November 21.  You will need to send in all purple forms if you wish to schedule a conference. I only have a limited number of available times; therefore, all forms need to be turned in by November 4.  If you have not sent in a form and you can email me your request.  I will try and honor your first choice, but it may be necessary to have your second choice. In addition, there was an error on the form. On Monday, November 21, the times are from 4-7:30. If you have any questions please let me know. I look forward to talking with many of you about your child's progress.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

November Homework...

November Homework

November is Rolling In...

This coming week we will be doing a lot of learning.  In reading street we will continue our study on how animals and plants are unique.  We will be working on the sound of Ss.  Currently the children have learned the sounds m, t, a, and now s.  In addition to know the sounds in isolation, we have been working on putting these sounds together to make words.  Children should be able to blend (saying the sounds to form the word) and read the following words: mat, tam, sat, and sam.  When practicing blending with your child, have your child say the sounds slowly without stopping (mmmmmmaaaaaaat).  Furthermore, children should also be able to read the sight words: I, am, have, little, to, a, the, is.  In addition, please continue to practice letter identification with your child. Many children are doing extremely well with this skill and some need to continue to practice.  I will be sending home your child's October alphabet assessment on Wednesday and Thursday!

In math, we are continue to work on counting and comparing numbers.  Children will work on counting a specific set of objects and identifying the corresponding numbers.  I will also be asking various questions to the children to work on comparing and ordering.  We have been working a lot on this skill to develop a solid foundation of number sense.  Research shows this foundation will make it easier when we begin to add and subtract in the spring.

Since November is upon us I will be sending home a new homework calendar.  Please keep this safe as it has all of our sight words and math activities to complete at home during the month.  In addition, please continue to complete the Family Ties sheet as this corresponds to what we are doing in the classroom.  I am seeing a lot of progress from the children who are completing these quick activities at home.  It is important to continue this practice since children are at school only 2 or 3 days a week.

October Buddy Meeting...

On Thursday we worked with Mrs. Ryba's 3rd grade class on our bully free prevention.  Children worked cooperatively and created posters about our school rules and procedures.  This was a way for everyone to review what we do at WT.  One of my favorite things a group wrote was "Everyone is included at WT."  Thanks Mrs. Ryba for a wonderful meeting and we look forward to our November get together!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Fair...

I hope everyone has had a great week thus far!  I know we have had a great time in the classroom working extra hard.  We worked on the new "popcorn" words or sight words: have and is.  We will be going to the book fair next week. 
Our scheduled days and times are:
Monday the 31st from 10:30-11
Thursday the 3rd from 10:30-11
If you would like you may join us while we do our shopping.  We would love to see you there.  If you cannot join us and would like to send in money with your child, please do so on the specified day.  In addition, it will be open during our lunch from 12:45-1:15 and I believe during our recess 1:15-1:45.  You may come up during this time and take your child to the book fair too.  Also, you are more than welcome to join your child for lunch too.  The Tuesday group brought home information today and the Monday/Wednesday group will bring more information home tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Popcorn Words...

Part of our Reading Street program is to work on our sight words.  We call them our "Popcorn Words" because you have to know them right away or in a "pop."  The children love thinking of them as popcorn words and it gets them excited about learning new words.  Sight words are words you are unable to sound out and are irregular; therefore, the children have to know them by sight.  Today one of our parents sent in popcorn for a snack.  As an added bonus she wrote our words on the bag.  The children love grabbing a bag and seeing which words were listed. The children then showed each other their bags and all the kids were reading various words.  Thank you Caleb and Caleb's family for providing this wonderful snack!

We have learned the following words:

News About Me...

Some of you may have heard news about me this past week from your child.  Shannon, my wife, and I will are expecting our first baby in the spring (currently she is due May 4th; however, since children have a mind of their own, it will be interesting to see when the baby actually arrives).  We are looking forward to not finding out if it is a boy or girl.  We would like to be surprised (if any of you really know me this may be a surprise to you).  I will be letting you all know more information as the time comes closer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Exciting Week...

This week we will be working on the letter sound /a/ as in apple, ant, and ax. The children will begin to develop the understanding of decoding simple words, such as, tam, mat, and am. As you are at home working you can show your child these letters and have them begin saying the sounds. You can place the letters m, a, and t on a card and mix them up and have your child say the appropriate sound. This is the beginning skill to decoding words. In addition, please continue to work on letter identification with your child. I am in the process of assessing the children and to obtain an AP for first quarter your child will need to be able to identify 13 uppercase letters and 13 lowercase letters. You may have noticed on Wednesday or Thursday your child has been bringing home a book with letters, sounds, and a story. This is what we use in our reading groups during the week. Your child should be able to show you how he or she can read the letters, sounds, words, and sentences. You can have your child be the teacher and teach you how we complete the booklet in the classroom. This is a great way for your child to take ownership and show you what they are learning.

 In math, we are continuing to work with counting a set of objects. We are going to be working on tagging. This is when you touch each piece you are counting. This allows children not to count the same object twice. This is a common mistake when children have to count a set of objects. All children have to be able to count to 50 at the end of the second quarter; therefore, we are working on counting to 20. You can help by having your child count at home. This is great in the car, at the grocery store, at home while you are cooking, etc. We will also carve a pumpkin on Wednesday and Thursday. We are going to use the seeds to count and explore the inside of a pumpkin. We will take measurements of various pumpkins and order them by size. 

The quarter ends on Nov. 4th; therefore, I will be completing all the final assessments. I want to thank you for all of your help thus far this year. I have seen a lot of growth in all the children! I look forward to continuing to work together to make this a successful year!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sentence Reading...

You may have noticed in the decodable stories sent home on Mondays they are repetitive.  These are known as predictable sentences.  This basically means the sentences are the same except for one or two words.  Sometimes children learn to memorize these stories; therefore, they have difficulty when the words are in a different place.  One way to increase word knowledge and understanding is by writing the sentence on a strip of paper.  Once you write the sentence give it to your child and have them read it aloud.  Once they read the sentence, your child should cut the sentence up.  Finally have your child try to put the sentence back together.  You can also make up another sentence using the words and have them recreate another sentence.  You can also try to "trick" your child by placing a word, which does not fit and have them try to figure out the word which needs to be thrown away.  Here is a clip of one reading group completing this activity in the classroom:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Learning This Week...

This week we will continue to work on letter identification and letter sounds. We will work on the letter Tt and the sound /t/. When working with your child be cautious not to add an /u/ sound at the end. For example, the beginning sound of top would be /t/ not /tuh/. This is important when children learn to blend words together. We will also be continuing to work on our sight words of a and to. We will also be working on the sight word of the. This particular word seems to confuse some of the children. One thing you can do at home is play memory with the sight words by writing the words on index cards and have your child try to match them. In addition, when they find the match they would need to say the word. One of the most valuable things you can be doing with your child right now is simply reading to them. I would recommend taking your child to the library and having them choose some books and throughout the day or evening sit down and read with them. This promotes vocabulary development, fluent reading, comprehension, and word identification.

In writing we are working on writing the sight words and letters. Almost all the children can write their name with a capital letter and lowercase letters; therefore, we are ready to move forward with writing words and sentences. This will take place whole group and during our small group time.

Finally, we will continue to work with counting sets of objects and focusing on counting a set without counting. This simply is when you roll a dice, you know exactly what number is shown without counting the dots. We are working with numbers 1-5. We have simply made cards with dots on them and we show the children and they must tell the amount on the card. This is quite fun because we have turned it into various games in the classroom and the children are really working hard in learning this. We are working on this skill because when we begin to add the children have a great number sense and how numbers work.

The end of the quarter is approaching; therefore, if you have not paid your school fees please do so. If you cannot pay the $50 now, you can pay it quarterly in the amount of $12.50. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or email! Have a great week!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What's Happening in 116...

This week we will begin working on the Mm sound!  Students should be able to correctly identify Mm, make the /m/ sound, and identify words that began with the /m/ sound.  We will also be continuing our work with the concept of a character in a story.  This can be reinforced at home by reading a story with your child at bedtime and then talking with them about the characters in the story.

At this point, your child should be able to identify all of the letters of the alphabet (not all of their associated sounds). If your child is unable to identify all of the letters, please partner with me as we work on this skill. 
We will be working on this skill with your children during reading groups; however, since we are only at school 2-3 times a week, I do need your help and support at home.  If you are able to spend 5-10 minutes every night working on letter identification with your child, it would be a huge help.  

Also this week, we will begin working with the sight words “a” and “to”.  Many of the children are doing very well with the word “little”, but “the” has continued to be a little tricky for them!  Currently, the children have learned 4 sight words (I, am, the, little).  Please continue to review the “Family Ties” throughout the week to reinforce the skills we are teaching in the classroom.

In math, we will be continuing our work with ordering. Children will be working on ordering various objects from smallest to largest, longest to shortest, numbers 1-5, etc. To work with your child on this skill at home, you can: 
1) have your child "order" 3 toys from smallest to largest or largest to smallest
2) have your child "order" groceries (a box of cereal, a can of soup, and a box of raisins) from shortest to longest
3) have your child "order" number flashcards 1-5

REMINDER FOR TUESDAY: Tuesday is picture day.  All students that attend on "B" day will have their pictures taken.  Please send in any picture money on Tuesday.  For the "A" group, students have the opportunity to come in on Tuesday, or they may have their pictures taken on our makeup day.  Please see the handouts sent home last week in your child's blue communicator folder!

Fun Times in Kindergarten...

On Friday we are able to experience art, music, or physical education.  We experience this type of learning for about an hour while children are assessed one-on-one.  This allows for everyone to be engaged in a learning environment while we gather great information to continue making instructional decisions.  The assessments the children are checked on are a review of skills taught over the past two weeks (this is because children are only at school on Friday every other Friday).  In the pictures above we worked on cooperating and working together as a team in the gym!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reading Groups Begin...

Our reading groups began today and they went smoothly.  The way we are running reading groups is each child will be in their assigned group for 20 minutes.  The other 20 minutes will be for independent work.  This work will be review from our story and our learning skills for the day.  Your child may bring home some papers unfinished.  This is okay.  I will mark on the paper if your child was not working on it correctly or not following directions.  If your child was following directions and working, then you will not see anything marked.  I encourage you to have your child finish these sheets at home as they will help provide extra practice at home on the skills.  These would be great to work on when your child is not at school.  This would allow for the learning to continue between days.

If you have any questions feel free to email or call!  I will post more about reading groups in the next few days!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Classroom Fun...

Welcome October...

This week we will be working on the final letters of the alphabet. At the conclusion of the week your child should be able to identify all letters of the alphabet (not their associated sounds). If your child is unable to identify all the letters please partner with me as we work on this skill. I will be working on this with them during reading groups; however, since we are only at school 2-3 times a week, I do need your help. If you are able to spend 5-10 minutes a night that would be fantastic. We will also be working on the sight words of the and little. Many children are doing well with the word little, but the is tricky. Currently the children have learned 4 sight words (I, am, the, little). As you may notice our adopted reading program moves quickly; therefore, please review the "Family Ties" throughout the week to work on the skills we are teaching in the classroom. In math, we are working on comparing and ordering. Children will be working on ordering various objects from smallest to largest, longest to shortest, numbers 1-5, etc. In addition, since we are beginning a new month, you will receive the October math homework calendar. I have also included on this calendar the sight words for reading and I also listed the story of the week. I thought this would be helpful to you all so you know in advance what we will be working on.
Oct. Calendar

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our Buddies...

As a school we have a bully prevention program. One of our ways of working with preventing bullying is having buddy classrooms where we discuss various character traits and work with how to be good friends. Our buddies this year is Mrs. Ryba's 3rd grade class. Today our buddies came down and we worked on how to be a good friend. We read the book "Friends," which is one of my favorite books about friends sticking together, making decisions together, and working together. Next, the children worked together to create a list of being a buddy. In addition, each child received a 3rd grade buddy they will be with all year. This will allow the children to foster a relationship with another child in the school. Once the children met their buddies together they drew a picture and wrote about what friends do. We look forward to our monthly get meetings to learn about friendship. Thank you Mrs. Ryba and her children for having a great meeting!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's Happening in 116...

We are working on sorting...

This week we will continue to work on letter identification of all letters up to Ss.  Many children need to continue working on letter identification of upper/lowercase letters.  In addition, we will begin to learn new sight words (or popcorn words I like to call them): the and little.  Last week I assessed all the children on sight words and letter identification.  Some children did okay, but many struggled with the words I and am.  I showed them am first and I second and the children were unable to tell me the words in the correct order.  Please continue to work on this at home as I continue to work on this at school.  We will also be working on listening to initial sounds.  This would mean what do you hear at the beginning of cat.../c/ (the children have to say the sound, not the letter).

In math, we will finish up our work with sorting and children will be assessed on their ability to sort.  We were unable to complete this last week, but I will be checking the children's ability to do this on Wednesday and Thursday.  You can practice having children sort things into groups at home.

Finally, we are almost complete with all the state and district mandated assessments.  I will be sending home information on how your child did on the DIBELS assessment at the conclusion of this week or the beginning of next week.  I will let everyone know when I will be sending these home for sure to make sure you know to check your child's folder.

I hope everyone has a great week.  The children are learning procedures extremely well.  I will be letting you all know about some donation items which we may need in the classroom to continue our learning experience.  Thanks for all of your support...I am loving everyday with your children!

Letter Identification...What Can I do...

Many children have not learned the entire alphabet.  Reading Street moves through the identification phase extremely quickly and then we move onto sounds.  You can help your child by learning the alphabet at home.  Here is one of the best ways to have your child practice and not feel overwhelmed.

First, take a stack of letter flashcards (if you do not have flashcards, then you can use index cards).  Make sure the uppercase and lowercase are NOT on the same card; therefore, you should 52 cards.  Go through the cards only once and make two piles: ones your child knows and ones your child does not know.  You should only give them about 3 seconds to tell you the letter (if it takes longer, then place it in the don't know pile).

Second, show your child 2 of the I don't know letters and tell them the letter name.  Have your child repeat the letter name to you.  Place these 2 letters in the stack of the letters your child knows.

Next, every night or twice a night go through the pile your child knows.  When your child can correctly identify this entire pile, go back to the "I don't know pile" and pull our 2 more letters.  Show the letters to your child and tell them their names.  Have your child repeat them to you.  Then go through the pile with your child once or twice a night.

Finally, you can continue this process until your "know pile" has every letter in it and you are working on all 52 letters.  This process makes it less daunting and the child is not having to see all kinds of letters and a lot they may not know.  This also makes it less frustrating on you as you are not having to possibly fight with your child.

If you need any help or guidance or materials, please let me know and I can help out!  We use this process at school too with many children and we have a lot of success.  I will be sending home alphabet identification sheets to let you know how your child did this week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Science and Art Fun...

We have been working on learning our colors and identifying them by name.  We started with the primary colors and now are working on secondary colors.  Last Friday with the Tuesday/Thursday class and tomorrow with the Monday/Wednesday class we worked on mixing blue and yellow to make green!  This has been a perfect tie into our science curriculum and experimentation!

Smartboard Fun = Reading Street Fun...

Part of our day is working with the Smartboard to enhance our learning experience.  We use this piece of technology quite a bit during our Reading Street lessons.  Students interact with the correlated lessons.  Reading Street provides daily instruction in phonics, alphabet knowledge, comprehension, and writing.  Students use the Smartboard to listen to stories, interact with stories, and guide them through various learning experiences.  One of our exciting moments is working with sequencing where children sequence the story we read together throughout the week.  All the children were engaged and working together to piece the story back together.  This technology allows me to enhance the experience by pairing real-life instruction with technology for a full real experience (especially since we are in a technology age).

Currently Reading Street is moving through alphabet knowledge and sight words.  In the next week we will begin differentiated groups to allow a full experience for all children.  This will allow us to meet the needs of children who are below level, on-level, and advanced.  Miss Todd and I are looking forward to this experience for your child.  We will provide you with more specific information on how the groupings will work and who will be working with your child.

This year is off to a great start and I am looking forward to continuing to partner with you throughout the year!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


The first two weeks of school in Kindergarten is getting to know your child personally and academically. Children have been completing various papers in the classroom for us to get to know where they are and what we need to do to challenge them. In addition, to the items we are working on in the classroom, we have formally assessed them on the DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) and the KRA-L (Kindergarten Readiness Assessment - Literacy). You can check out more information regarding DIBELS on the page designated for this on the left hand side. Overall, DIBELS allows us to assess children on specific skills necessary for children to become successful readers. The KRA-L is a state mandated assessment to allow us to have a baseline on what children know when they come into Kindergarten.
I will be continuing to work with children over the next week and begin pulling small groups to begin working on specific skills for each child. Check back later on for more specific information on reading/skills groups.

Week 3...Looks Like Fun...

This week we will continue to work on letter identification of letters Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, and Jj. The children are doing pretty well with identification, but some still need to continue to work on identification. We will also continue to work with the words I and am. You may want to put these on flash cards and practice them with your child. Please remember to mix up the order or you can hide them throughout your house and have your child go on a hunt or if you have magnetic letters you can have your child practice building the word on the refridgerator (a cookie sheet works well too). In addition, please continue to work on name writing with your child. This is what we will be focusing on during our writing time. In math, we will work on the vocabulary word sort. Children will begin to focus on sorting objects into groups. At this time children only need to be able to sort by one attribute (color, shape, size, etc. and be able to explain how they sorted.

This past Friday the yellow group had their first "Fantastic Fun Friday" and the Blue group will have theirs this week. On Fridays children will experience Phys. Education, Art, or Music class taught by Miss Todd or myself (luckily between the two of us we are pretty well off in these areas). While the children are experiencing this type of learning, the other teachers will be assessing children on various skills of the week. This allows for us to make better decisions about how to teach your child. This past week we worked on Art and color mixing. We learned primary colors and explored how colors mix. The children posed a lot of great questions and had some great thinking about what would happen, which allows us to tie into our science curriculum.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Upcoming Great Week...

I hope all the children had a great first week and I hope they shared something we did at school with you all. It was a fun and hectic week. We are working on learning procedures of the classroom and the school. The children are learning these procedures, some are picking them up faster than others, but I am positive the children will have them down in the next week or so. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know your child and have enjoyed working with them.

This coming week we will continue to practice procedures, but also begin into our literacy and math curriculum. We will be working on the letter identification of letters: Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee. In addition, we will work on rhyming words and identifying the high-frequency words of I and am. In math we will begin to work on sorting and explaining how we sorted. We will also be working on writing our names with a capital letter at the beginning and then lowercase letters. We will be sending home a homework letter on Monday/Tuesday explaining how homework will be completed this year. Please look for this in your child's folder.

We do eat lunch late at school. Our lunch time is 12:45; therefore, the children have a long time between when they arrive at school to when they eat lunch. We do have a snack around 11 to help them make it to lunch. Miss Todd and I will be sending home a letter explaining more about snack at school later this week. Please encourage your child to eat breakfast before coming to school or you may purchase breakfast at school for $1.10 (if you are on free lunch breakfast is free and if you are on reduced lunch then breakfast is reduced).

I want to also take this moment in expressing my gratitude in your help with the drop-off/pick-up. It is becoming smoother each day and this would not be possible without your help and your patience.

Friday, September 9, 2011

More with the Kissing Hand...

Both group of children continued to work with "The Kissing Hand". We joined with Miss Todd's room to create a special Kissing Hand! These will be displayed in our kindergarten hallway and will then be sent home! I am sure your children have told you about the special Kissing Hand project we completed. If your child did not mention it, you should ask them about what the did.

The children were also introduced to centers. Many of the children did a nice job working well with one another. I was very proud of their hard work. We will continue to learn our center procedures next week!

Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us today!

**Reminder: Please remember to send in all forms and your child's school dues. Thank you!**

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Kissing Hand...

We had a great day with the Blue Group! We read "The Kissing Hand" and learned about Chester as a character. We made a Chester puppet, which the children colored and cut. I am a believer in having the children do their work by themselves and me to aid in their ability; therefore, you are seeing what your child actually did at school. I do help the children with holding their scissors and to begin having them line up their paper. Also, I help the children work on gripping of pencils/crayons. Many children were doing an awesome job holding the scissors and pencils/crayons correctly. I will put a post about this later on this week or this weekend.

I was thrilled to get to know your children better and look forward to the year. Both groups of children are working hard on procedures and learning "school." I know it has been hectic with all the changes and the kids are doing extremely well working through it. Please be aware your child needs to bring lunch money each day and/or you may prepay your child's lunch through the account online. You can access this through the West Clermont website and go to the "For Parents" section.

I cannot wait to see the children this week. We will be continuing our work with "The Kissing Hand."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yellow Group What a Great Day...

We had a fantastic first day with the yellow group of kids. We began learning our procedures and we read "The Kissing Hand" and learned about Chester as a character. We also had an exciting time of eating lunch in the cafeteria and also we went outside to play. This typically does not happen this early on, but it is a little cooler out and I want to take this moment to let you know about our outside policy for recess. We go outside as much as possible; therefore, please dress for the weather. We will go out as long as the temperature with windchill is above 32 degrees. During the cooler months of the year, please send in hat and gloves because it is always nice to get some fresh air.

Also, thank you for being patient with the transportation today. It went as smooth as possible and it will only get better as the everyone gets into the routine. Also, if your child is going to be picked up different please send in a note or call the office prior to noon. This gives ample time for the message to be passed on to myself and/or the office (943-6900). If you send in a note I will get it in the morning and pass it along to the office.

Finally do not forget to fill out all your forms for school. This is important so we have the correct contact information. This helps with communication! Thanks again and I am looking forward to seeing the blue group tomorrow!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Day Arrival...

I am getting more excited about the first day of school, which is Tuesday for Group B and Wednesday for Group A. When you arrive at school to drop off your child you have a couple of options. First, you may stay in the drop-off line of cars and your child will be helped out of the car by a staff member and will help direct your child where to go. Second, you may park your car in a parking spot and escort your child up to the front of the building. I want you to be aware all staff members will be outside and collecting children by grade-level; therefore, you will want to look for Miss Todd and/or myself. Once we have all the children we will begin to walk down to the classroom. Adults will not be permitted inside the school because everyone will be outside (I know this is a change from the other night). We are trying to figure out the smoothest way possible to help children in the building and alleviate as much congestion as possible. I know some of you were worried about your child not making it inside or out of the car and you wanted to walk your child inside. Mrs. Schmidt has decided to allow you to park your car and escort your child to the front of the building where Miss Todd and myself will be, but once we have your child you will then be able to leave. Unfortunately due to the nature of staff members being outside, you will not be able to escort your child inside. If you have any concerns or worries please email ( or call (943-6929) and I will try and help.

This should be an exciting year for your children and I am eager to start! See you all this week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great Open House...

Thanks for everyone who came out to Open House tonight! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the children and meeting my new friends for the year. I know we will have a fantastic year! I want to thank all of you in advance for your patience during the arrival and dismissal. We are going to make sure your children are safe! As always feel free to contact me with any questions. I know Miss Todd and I are quite excited and have some exciting plans for this coming year!

Monday, August 29, 2011


One of the highlights of many children at school is lunch (you may be thinking, why lunch, but it seems to be an exciting part of the day). Kindergartners will know be eating lunch. Here is the September lunch menu. Students will choose their lunch at the beginning of each day. If your child will be bringing money please place it in a zip-lock bag or a small container inside their bookbag. Also, you can prepay for lunches in the cafeteria to their account (this is the easiest way because the child does not need to worry about losing money. You can check out the website here: