Sunday, April 29, 2012


I cannot believe May is upon us.  This year is flying by and the children are learning so much!  I am impressed with many of them and how much they have accomplished.  I am looking forward to spending May together and learning a lot more.

In Reading Street we will discuss different ways people travel.  We will talk about different modes of transportation and how animals can be used to help with transportation.  We will read "On the Move."  This will allow us to delve into Social Studies this week because we will talk about all different types of people.  In addition, we will learn two new sight words: where, come.  Please continue to practice what, was, said because these three words were difficult for many of the children.  In addition, we will be working on writing stories this week.  Writing is one of my favorite areas in kindergarten.  I love to see the stories the children develope.  I will be looking at the children's writing for capital letters, spacing, and punctuation.  You may want to check back later this week as I hope to post some of the children's stories!  In centers, we are continuing to work with science and exploring recycling.

In math, we will be delving into subtraction and addition.  The children will be listening to different stories and deciding if it is adding or subtracting.  The children will then draw and write a number sentence for the story.  I am amazed with how well the children are doing on addition and subtraction.  Last week we also watched a youtube video to help us with subtraction (

Finally, please continue to practice letters and sounds.  I know your children know how to do this; however, we are looking for fluency (speed).  The children should be able to tell you the letter in 2 seconds and the sound in less than 3 seconds.  When you work with your child, please only work on letter names and then sounds.  Please do not have your child doing both at the same time.

I hope you all have a great week!  I am looking forward to it :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

This Week in 116...

Children acting out one of our stories!
This coming week will be a fun week.  We will continue to delve into the world of transportation in Reading Street.  We will work with the book "The Little Engine that Could."  The children will work on sequencing, comparing and contrasting, and identifying the main idea.  We will also work with the sight words: what, was, said.  These sight words have been difficult for the children and are easily confused.  Please make sure you take time to practice these sight words. 

In addition, Monday and Tuesday, your child will bring home a letter and a few practice sheets.  This is going to replace homework this week.  There are two sheets of letters.  Your child should practicing reading the letters as quickly as possible.  On the next two sheets your child should practice reading letter sounds.  Your child has the option of reading just the sounds or your child can read the whole word.  As always your child can write stories at home and bring them in to share.  I do love seeing what the children are doing at home!

In math, we will be continuing our work with subtraction.  The children will be assessed on their ability to create a subtraction story and write a number sentence which explains the story.  In addition, we will be checking the chidlren on their ability to write their numbers to 20.  The children are required to create/write a subtraction number sentence and write numbers to 20.

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I wanted to give a quick overview of DIBELS and the assessments your child will take in the middle of May.  DIBELS allows us to pinpoint areas of concern with your child's reading.  This by no means indicates that your child will not be able to read; however, it allows us to look at weaknesses in certain areas.  DIBELS is a predictor of reading success.  In May your child will take 3 one-minute assessments.  I have described the assessments below and have provided a practice sheet for you to be able to practice at home.

1. Letter Naming Fluency - This is a sheet of mixed up upper and lowercase letters.  Your child then reads as many letters as they can for one-minute.  The goal is 40 LETTERS.  This may seem easy, especially since all the children know their letters; however, this is one of the assessments children do not do well.  It is important to continue to practice letter naming even if your child knows their letters.

2. Phoneme Segmentation - This is only a listening and speaking assessment.  Your child will hear a word and then they say the parts of the word.  For example, I may say the word "cat" and your child will break it apart and say all three sounds separately /c/ /a/ /t/.  Your child does not say the letter, but only the sound.  The goal for the end of the year is 40 PARTS OF A WORD.

3. Nonsense Word Fluency - This is where your child sees a sheet of real and make-believe words.  All the words are three letters (mig, bav, kid, wuz).  Your child has one-minute to read the sounds of the word.  Your child does not have to read the whole word, but they need to say the sounds.  At the end of the year your child needs to be able to read 28 SOUNDS.

Practice sheet of letters and sounds

I hope this helps and I have more information on the DIBELS page.  Just click on DIBELS on the left hand side of the page!

Moving Along...

It was great to see the children this week.  I loved hearing the stories they told about what they did while the were off of school.  We did jump right back into our learning and the chidlren are continuing to make progress.  First, report cards were sent home on Friday to the B class and on Monday the A class will receive their report card.  If you did not receive your report card, then you still owe school fees.  You must have paid $37.50 of the $50.  If you are unsure how much you have paid feel free to email or call to check.

In reading this week we will be continuing on with Unit 5 and delving into the question "What kind of transportation helps people do their jobs?"  We will explore this question with the book "Trucks Roll."  In addition, we will work on the comprehension strategy of comparing and contrasting.  We will also review sequencing, characters, setting, and main idea.  The children are doing a great job with their comprehension; therefore, we will work with some higher level questioning to deepen our understanding.  We do have three new sight words this week.  We will be learning: what, was, and said.  I am amazed on how well the children are doing with their sight words.  They are able to recognize and recall them very quickly.  Thank you for your practice at home with this skill.  I did notice during my assessment last week some children are having difficulty with their fluency of letters and sounds.  We want the children to be able to see a letter and say its name and sound instantanously.  The goal at the end of the year is 40 letters in a minute and 28 sounds in a minute.  The letter names is the biggest concern.  The best way to practice is to go through the alphabet 3-4 days a week for 5 minutes.

In math, we are continuing our work with subtraction.  The children are beginning to develop an understanding of how subtraction works.  The children last week worked on telling stories and looking at number sentences.  This week  we will go to the next level with children to writing the full subtraction number sentence.  I encourage you when your child brings home their practice sheet to have them explain this to you.  If your child is able to explain what is happening, your child is then taking ownership of their learning.

Thank you for a wonderful week...I look forward to another fantastic week!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Online Fun...

I know we are asking for you to do some practice at home with your child; therefore, we wanted to give you a link to a practice site which you could do with your child.  The site has A LOT of links to practice variuos skills.  This  gives you a chance to explore with your child.  Also, the site is for all level of students; thefore, if you are unsure of which site would be appropriate please ask.  It allows for all children to practice something.

This particular site is one full of games (reading and math).  One of my favorite games is letter bingo.  This allows for children to practice upper and lowercase letters.  In addition, it helps children practice listening because the computer only says the letter once (if you are not listening, then you will miss it).

This site is one we use in the classroom quite a bit.  It is Starfall.  This particular site has portions which allows children to practice reading and decoding words.  It also allows children to practice simple letter sounds and names.  This site is also kid friendly and does not need much adult help (I recommend you be with your child as they are on the computer to help answer questions and troubleshoot).

Back to Learning...

I hope everyone had a fantastic spring break and enjoyed the fantastic weather.  Also, if you traveled I hope you had a safe and fun time with your journey.  I would love to hear about your entire break.  We have ended the 3rd quarter and the 4th quarter is beginning.  Report cards will be coming out at the end of this week or the beginning of next week depending on what day your child comes to school.  Please review the report card and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

This week we will continue with Unit 5 and discuss the question "What kind of transportation helps us in an emergency?"  We will be reading the story "Mayday, Mayday."  We will be using this read aloud to be discussing cause and effect.  This will allow the children to have a deeper understanding of the story and build their comprehension strategies.  We will be reviewing all the high frequency words we have learned and concentrating on the words: yellow, green, and blue.  It is imperative to continue to practice all of our sight words and to be practicing all of our sounds.  We will be having our next DIBELS assessment in the middle of May.  I know this seems to be somewhat in the distance, but it will be here before we know it.  The children should be fluent in all areas of reading (letter names, letter sounds, and hearing sounds in words).  We will use these scores for report cards and determining your child's next steps.  We are asking for you to practice for about 5-10 minutes nightly.  We will be sending home practice sheets each week.  Please look for these in your child's folder.

The children have been doing a great job with addition.  We will begin to develop an understanding of subtraction.  We will learn the differnece between addition and subtraction.  We will also learn about the subtraction symbol.  One great way to practice subtraction at home is to practice with food or pennies.  You can show your child a set of pennies (less than 5 or 10) and then have them close their eyes and take some away.  Your child then has to figure out how many you took.  This helps with the aspect of mental math.  You can also practice with showing a number sentence to your child and having them try to figure it out (they may need to use materials to help them solve the problem).  One of the most important pieces is to have them explain how they figured out the answer.  This is one of the most important pieces of the mathematical process.

I am looking forward to a fun and exciting week!