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!