March 24, 2017
Monday marked the first day of Spring! Students didn't believe it could be true with all the snow and cold weather but YES Spring is here and I am optimistic we will see it soon! :) Speaking of seasonal changes, this week we began to dive into our weather unit in science. Each week we will explore a different type of weather. This week we studied clouds. We began by exploring what clouds are and how they are formed. We engaged in a science experiment in which we made our very own cloud! Students learned that clouds are made up of tiny droplets of water. Click here to check out the experiment, it's simple and easy to try at home too: Cloud in a Jar
This week was also rather exciting with our field trip to the High School. We watched first grade perform their concert Dreaming Around the World, in which they sang bedtime stories from all around the globe! We were excited to hear songs in different languages and it was apparent how much practice and hard work they put in. Oh and I should mention we took a school bus to get there which was a BIG deal, for some students it was their first time on! Be sure to ask your child about their favorite song or country they "visited".
Thank you for sending in all those 3D shapes, our collection is quite impressive! This week we further explored solid shapes by creating them. We learned that solid shapes are like pop-up books and that you can feel around all sides. Creating them was a challenge but we did it!
This week we were introduced to "The H Brothers" or as what we refer to as consonant digraphs. Digraphs are two letters that work together to make one sound. The H Brothers include the sounds: wh, ch, sh and th. We have a silly story that goes along with the letters to support students in remembering their special sounds:
Ch: Charles is the silly brother. He LOVES trains. He walks around all day saying "choo-choo"!
Sh: Sherman is the quiet brother. He always reminds others to be quiet by saying "shhhhhhhh".
Wh: Whit is the musical brother. He is learning how to whistle. He can't quite whistle yet so he makes the sound "wh-wh".
Th: Theo is the naughty brother. He sticks his tongue out at the others and says "thhhhhhh".
Be sure to ask your child about The H brothers and their special story! Which brother do you think is your child's favorite?
March 10, 2017
This week we read the book How to Catch a Leprechaun written by Adam Wallace. Students were then posed with the challenge of creating a trap that could catch a leprechaun. We began this process by brainstorming ideas and looking at traps other students had created. Student then formed teams and began planning. During the planning process students worked cooperatively to come up with ideas that all team members could agree upon. There were some road bumps along the way but as one student said sometimes you have to "meet in the middle" or "compromise" (yes, their words!). It was a fascinating process to see and by midweek we were ready for the construction phase. Students used boxes and classroom materials to make their ideas come to fruition! I enjoy open ended challenges such as this which encourage students to work as a team, think creatively and problem solve.
The planning phase:
The construction phase:
Read Across America Week and Our Teddy Bears!
Let's Talk Bears:
When our teddy bears arrived to school the room was filled with excitement! Students were instructed to teach their bears everything about Kindergarten so the bears followed them along throughout the day. After a busy day, the bears became tired and were not only ready for a nap but ready to hibernate! Students carefully tucked their bears into our cave to prepare them for a long rest. Much to our surprise, when we arrived the next morning the bears had caused quite the mess! They not only came out of hibernation but had quite a good time in our room when we were gone! Bears were found reading books in the library, stacking cups, playing dominoes and they even wrote us a message! We learned that bears are "semi-hibernators" which means they sometimes wake up from their deep sleep for food or in this case fun! Be sure to ask your child what their bear was doing in the classroom.
Read Across America Week:
Students had fun dressing up for the special themed days! On Flashlight Friday we enjoyed illuminating our books and reading in cozy spots.
We enjoyed sharing about our favorite book characters and dressing up as them!
February 17, 2017
With our snow day on Monday our 100th day and friendship celebration collided! Students thought this was pretty awesome! With SO many fun activities planned we spread them out throughout the week to enjoy.
Highlights of our 100th day included:
Highlights of friendship day included:
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, BES is promoting the LOVE of reading by having “theme days” during the week of February 20-24. Please help your child participate by dressing in themed clothing on the following days:
Monday (2/20)- “Make the World a Brighter Monday”: Be as colorful as you can. Wear a rainbow of colors, or your favorite color, for a “Hip-Hip-Hooray” for the love of books and reading!
Tuesday (2/21) - “Take Time to Dress up Tuesday”: Dress up as your favorite book character or book genre.
Wednesday (2/22) - “Wear Words on Wednesday”: Wear clothing that have positive, powerful words OR write or attach positive, powerful words to your clothing.
Thursday (2/23) - “Throw on your Comfy-Cozies Thursday”: Wear your comfiest attire to snuggle up with a great book. Consider bringing in your favorite book to share!
Friday (2/24) - “Flashlight Friday”: To promote our “Camp-Learn-A-Lot” Family Night on March 16th, dress like a camper (remember your Spirit Wear) and consider bringing in a flashlight to illuminate amazing books as you read through the day!
I took many pictures this week to capture all the fun!
February 10, 2017
Invention Convention: What a wacky week it has been...with 2 snow days and a delay our week felt very short and a little confusing! Today one student asked, "Is today a regular day or a delay day?" I look forward to getting back into our regular routine and schedule! However, within this shortened week a lot happened! Today students enjoyed attending the Invention Convention. Three of our friends in class participated; Matthew, Aiden and Katie! Each student proudly displayed their inventions and did a FANTASTIC job explaining and demonstrating their inventions use. Below you will see Matthew with his Portable Story Creator, Katie with her Rainbow Pourer and Aiden with his Lego Feed. So much creativity in the room today!
Welcome Caleb! Last week we welcomed a new student to our classroom. Caleb we are so happy you are here!
The TEENS: In math we have been introduced to TEEN numbers. We have learned that teen numbers follow three rules:
Based on these rules we discovered that the teen numbers are: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. Of these teen numbers the trickiest are 10, 11 and 12 because they do not say teen in their name. We are learning how to read, write and build teen numbers.
We are published authors and illustrators! It's official, we are now authors and illustrators of our own true stories. This week and last students have been working hard to make their stories ready to publish. Many were sent home, I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did! Next week we will begin a new unit of writing!
January 27, 2017
Halfway Day: This week we celebrated "Halfway Day" meaning we have been together for 90 days and are halfway through our Kindergarten year! It still doesn't seem like this could be true but when I think about how much students have grown in their learning, confidence and independence the pieces fit. :)
Reading: In reading we are diving into books and loving it! Students are learning to read tricky words by using their "eagle eye" to look carefully at pictures for clues, using "stretchy snake" to stretch out the sounds and of course learning to read their passwords in text. When students read books in small group we spend a whole week with them. This might sound like a long time with one book but within this time we:
January 13, 2017
This week we began our author study of Jan Brett and read the story The Mitten. Students practiced the skill of retelling, which involves sharing the who, what, where and the sequence of events that shape the story. We had fun retelling by putting on a play in our own classroom! Students took turns taking on a role of a character in the story. We even transformed our table into a big white mitten to really make the story come alive! You will notice students came home with a retelling bag this week, encourage them to retell the story to you!
We continue to practice our letters and sounds daily and something very exciting is beginning to happen.....we are making words and reading them! We are using our reading friend"stretchy snake" to help us do this. Stretchy snake reminds us to stretch out the letter sounds slowly and put them together to figure out the word. We are practicing reading CVC words which are words like cat, top and pin which begin with a consonant, have a vowel in the middle and end with a consonant.
In writing we are working hard to make our stories the best they can be. We are learning to write 5 star words by remembering to:
Composing and Decomposing Numbers
In math we are learning about making numbers and taking them apart. For example, we know 2 and 4 make six and that 3 and 3 make six. Composing and decomposing are connected math processes that help us gain a stronger number sense.
January 6, 2017
Happy new year and welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday. It was great to see so many smiling faces with lots of fun and exciting stories to share!
This week we explored "new years resolutions" and what the new year meant for us. Students came up with their own goals for the new years, working hard to make them meaningful and personal. They are proudly displayed outside our classroom for all to see! Here's a sneak peek :)
Gingerbread: The season of Gingerbread is upon us! Throughout the month of December we will reading many versions of the gingerbread man and engaging in learning activities centered around this theme. To celebrate the holiday season with us, we welcomed a new friend who has taken up residence in our classroom. His name is Benji and he is a gingerbread baby! To make him feel right at home we are working to transform our classroom into a gingerbread house. This week students created "password candy canes" and peppermints with patterns. We are noticing Benji is becoming more comfortable and he is even exploring different areas of our classroom!
Winter gear: Students are really enjoying the playground, snow adds a whole new element of excitement! Please ensure winter gear is packed daily including coats, hats, mittens, snow pants and boots so students can fully enjoy the outdoors. Students must wear boots and snow pants to play in the snow otherwise they must remain on the paved area to play. Thank you for ensuring winter clothing is labeled to avoid mix-ups. Students are working hard to keep their gear organized in the classroom. It is helpful if you are able to have your students bring in a separate bag to keep winter clothing in (just a reusable grocery bag works). I am finding a lot of students are having difficulty packing up because their backpacks can only fit so much. If you are able to send in a bag we will use it daily to both organize student winter gear and bring gear back and forth between home and school.
Surprise Celebration: A BIG GINORMOUS thank you for all your donations to our upcoming celebration on December 23rd! Please remember that this is a SURPRISE event. Prior to your arrival on the 23rd I will read a gingerbread story. At the end of the story a gingerbread clue will magically fall out of the book! This clue will send us on a gingerbread hunt around the entire school. Our last clue will lead us into the classroom with you all! In the classroom there will be gingerbread cookies for students to decorate at their table spots. Due to the nature of this event, I am looking for a few parents who would like to set up the room when we are gone. This would invovle setting the tables with tablecloths as well as putting out the cookies and materials to decorate. Please send me an email if this is something you would be interested in!
Here is the link to our class donation/sign up page: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0849a9aa29a3f58-gingerbread1
Be sure to ask your child:
November 18, 2016
We celebrated the 50th day of school in style as you can see(teachers included)! Students enjoyed learning about 50 during our literacy and math centers throughout the day.
Be sure to ask your child:
Another highlight of this week included a visit from a REAL veterinarian! With a classroom full of animal lovers (myself included) we were excited! Dr. Jane and Alexis shared what vets do and their important job in helping animals stay healthy. Dr. Jane even brought in her own dog Pearl for demonstrations! We were shown real x-rays of various animals and a variety of tools that vets use. Thank you Dr. Jane and Alexis for sharing this wonderful learning experience, you are important community helpers! (Side note: we now have a lot of friends who want to be vets when they grow up!)
November 14, 2016
Today we began our number study of 6. Mrs. Ruest was our guest teacher during math. She read us a book called Six Sticks written by Molly Coxe. Mrs. Ruest then faced us with a challenge. What could we create with six sticks? Students used 6 popsicle sticks and began planning. Students tried many ideas before deciding on their favorite. Students then glued their sticks to paper and later added background detail to make their idea come to life! What a fun way to learn with 6 and think creatively, thank you Mrs. Ruest!
November 11, 2016
In Social Studies we enjoy making real world experiences come to life for students. With much discussion around voting and the election students were naturally curious. We decided to take this opportunity to learn a little bit about voting and even have our own election in the classroom! We read three books that inspired us which are pictured below. Students learned important vocabulary such as vote, election, ballot, ballot box, voting booth and president. At the end of the week students decided who would be our classroom president for the day. Would it be Grace, Mrs. Leite or Duck?! It was a VERY close call between Mrs. Leite and Duck but Mrs. Leite won (phew)!
October 28, 2016
Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! Thank you for your donation of pumpkins to our classroom. We had fun thinking like scientists and observing our pumpkins. We learned about the life cycle and were amazed to think how such a big fruit (like those in our classroom) once began as a tiny seed. Nature is pretty amazing! Thanks to your generosity each classroom table had their own pumpkin to study. Students measured their pumpkins height, counted how many lines on the outside, made predictions about how many seeds were inside and even got to see if it would float or sink! The best and most messy part of course was exploring the inside. Some friends enjoyed the slimy texture while others thought it was a little "gross" (to quote one friend)!
In math we studied the number 4. We also learned about "Glyphs". What are glyphs you ask? Well, we learned that a glyph is a picture with symbols that gives information. We created our own Jack O'Lantern glyphs to share information about ourselves. Through reading the chart and looking at the shapes used you can tell some information about friends in our class. For example, boys used squares for eyes and girls used circles. If students were 5 years old they used a triangle for a nose and if they were 6 years old they used a rhombus for a nose.
This week was also very exciting as we welcomed a new friend to our classroom. Mitchell we are happy to have you join Team 112!
Dates to Remember and Reminders:
November 1st: Destination Imagination - Parent Information night, 6-7pm BES Cafeteria
November 6th: Daylight Savings time begins
November 7th: Early Release, 12:15, Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 8th: No School, Voting Day, Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 11th: No School, Veteran’s Day
November 15th: Caine’s Arcade, 5-30-7:00pm BES Cafeteria
November 16th: Parent Safety Education Night 6:30-8:30 - Join us to learn about how the school prepares our staff and students for emergency situations and how we address behavior.
November 23rd: No School, Teacher Workshop Day
November 24th & 25th: No School, Thanksgiving Break
October 14, 2016
We have been exploring signs of fall and the seasonal changes happening all around us. What better way to notice these changes than to get outside! We had fun walking around among the beauty of the season and collecting leaves. We read the story Leaf Man by Lois Elhert and were inspired to create our own leaf pictures. Among our creations included a leaf stingray, a leaf fireplace and even a leaf butterfly. We sure have a creative bunch here!
Another highlight of this week included a visit from the Bow Fire Department! Firefighter Brandon and Firefighter CJ taught us the important job firefighters have in keeping us safe. Students were thrilled to tour both the fire truck and ambulance!
October 7, 2016
Reading: This week we studied the letters "i" and "u". We learned these are very special letters as they are vowels. Vowels are in all the words we read and write! Our letter crafts this week included inchworms for the letter "i" and umbrellas for the letter "u". This week students were also introduced to "buddy reading" which is yet another fun way we can practice reading! During buddy reading we sit "elbow to elbow, knee to knee" so partners can each see the pages. We also know that taking turns is very important in buddy reading, we discovered that allowing each friend to read one page allows for everyone to get good practice.
Math: Students were introduced to a large collection of objects and given the challenge to see what the objects had in common. Some items included one cube, a die showing one dot, a clock showing 1:00 and a one dollar bill. Students came to the conclusion that all items represented one. Thus our study of the number one ensued! We spent all week learning different ways to show one and noticing this number in our learning environment. You may have noticed students came home this week sporting a number one crown...that is because they are now experts on the number one! Next week we will study a new number so stay tuned!
Passwords: Thank you for your continued work in practicing passwords at home. Each week we will study two new passwords which can be continuously added to the ring you have at home. If you are looking for some fun ways to practice at home visit this site: http://www.thejennyevolution.com/fun-ways-practice-sight-words/ some of these ideas include using the words in Go Fish, Tic Tac Toe or even turning off the lights and finding the words with a flashlight!
September 30, 2016
Reading: This week we learned all about the letters "n" and "m". We had lots of fun creating newspaper collages for the letter n and mice for the letter m! We are practicing letter formation in a variety of ways with each new letter taught. We "sky write" our letters in the air, use our dry erase boards and of course our pencils. Our lines we use to practice formation have special names which help us in writing our letters correctly. See if your child can sky write previously taught letters at home...all you need is some sky space and a finger (be sure to erase each new letter with your hand so you don't bump your head on it later)! Also in reading, we are continuing to build our read to self stamina. Students were able to read to self independently for 5 minutes! Students are learning how to find a "just right" spot for reading and practiced self selecting. Do you have cozy reading spots at home? See if your child can share what makes a good read to self spot.
Math: We are now shape experts! We have learned to identify squares, rectangles, triangles, circles and hexagons. We not only know our shape names but we can discuss their attributes such as how many sides or vertices, if it has straight or curved lines and making connections to real world objects that are the same shape. We now know that shapes are all around us! During math we also spend time learning about calendar concepts. Each day we count how many days we have been in school and represent this information. We use a hundreds chart where we add a new number each day, a place value chart where we add a straw and a tens frame where we add a dot. Through this daily routine we are gaining a stronger sense of numbers. Students are excited to see how the numbers change, especially when our straws travel from the ones place to the tens place!
Check out these fun shape songs from Have Fun Teaching:
Zones: We are continuing our work with the zones. Students are learning how to read emotions through noticing facial expressions and body language. Students are identifying emotions using language such as happy, frustrated, sad, excited and mad. We discuss how all feelings are ok but what matters most is what we do with them. Students bring such insight into these conversations. When we are able to connect to emotions through experience, understanding is real and meaningful.
September 23, 2016
Reading: Students are continuing to enjoy learning letter sounds with Echo. This week we focused on the letters "b" and "f". Students created bumblebees for the letter b and had fun gluing feathers for the letter f. This week we also learned how to "read to self". Read to self is exactly how it sounds....students reading to themselves independently. The reason we engage in this activity is to become better readers because the more we read the better we become! We created some rules to help us engage in read to self which include:
Although students may not be able to read all the "words" they focus on the ways they DO know how to read which include reading the pictures and retelling the story. When it is time to read to self students find a cozy spot in the classroom to curl up with a book, it's a rather relaxing activity!
Math: This week we learned all about squares and rectangles. We also learned a big new fancy math word, ready for it....vertices! Vertices are the points where two lines meet, also referred to as angles or corners. We are exploring math in the language we use to discuss shape attributes. Another very exciting moment in math occurred today. Students engaged in math centers! Centers proved to be very enjoyable and students did a FANTASTIC job...I think the pictures say it all!
: No School, NEA Day
: No School, Columbus Day
: Daylight Savings time begins
: Early Release, , Parent/Teacher Conferences
: No School, Voting Day, Parent/Teacher Conferences
September 16, 2016
Guided Discoveries: This week we explored watercolors. Students painted to find the "invisible" shapes and just like magic they appeared!
Reading: Students discovered one way they can read a book! They can read a book by "reading the pictures". Pictures tell us a lot about a story and we can use them to make meaning. Students practiced reading the pictures independently. See if your child can "read the pictures" with you at home!
An Owl named Echo: Did you hear we have an Owl who lives in our classroom? Well if you haven't his name is Echo and he is well liked among our Kinders! Echo will be helping us learn about the 26 letters of the alphabet including letter name, sound and formation. I sent home a letter earlier this week to explain about a program we use called Fundations. This week we studied the letter "t".
Math: We are learning about shapes! Students spent the week learning about circles and squares. Students explored their attributes and found real examples of these shapes in our own classroom. Our "shape hunt" included the use of magnifying glasses which really helped us find those tricky shapes!
Phone Calls: It has been so nice speaking with you all. I am still in the process of finishing up calls and emails but I appreciate your time. You have much to be proud of!
September 9, 2016
Guided Discoveries: Students are continuing to learn the uses of our many classroom tools including scissors, glue sticks and pencils. Students have also explored the uses of math manipulatives such as unifix cubes and cusinare rods. Through this exploration students learn how to care for our tools and the ways in which they can be used. Be sure to ask your child what was in the mystery box this week!
Library and Guidance: This week we had our first library class! Mrs. Brewster taught students the importance of caring for our books at home and in school. Students were thrilled to pick out their own books to take home and share with you. We will have library every Tuesday. Students met another special teacher in our school, Mr. B who is our school guidance counselor. We will have guidance class once a month but Mr. B often pops in to say hi!
The ZONES: You may have heard your child speaking to you about the “zones” this week or the colors green, yellow, red and blue. These colors hold a special meaning for our class in identifying our emotions and understanding our feelings. The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum that Kindergarten is implementing to support students in understanding and managing emotions. The colors identify which “zone” students are in. For example, if students are presenting themselves in a happy, calm state they are in the “green zone”. We think of the green zone much like a green traffic light which means go. Students who are displaying “green” behaviors are ready to learn. If you would like more information about this program please visit their official site: http://www.zonesofregulation.com/index.html
Reminder: No school Tuesday for students
Your Children: So a certain teacher may of had their birthday this week. I was so surprised when I walked in to pick students up from Mrs. Ricciardi's classroom! I was showered with thoughtful wishes, hugs and beautiful cards. They truly made my day...I went home later to view them all again!
August 25, 2016
Welcome to Kindergarten! I am excited for the school year to begin and look forward to creating a partnership with you. This website will be a great resource in communicating and sharing classroom happenings. On this site I will post updates, events, photographs and links to useful sites.
I have been busy setting up our classroom and can't wait to share it with you all! I hope to see you at Open House on Monday August 29th from 4:00-5:30pm. When you arrive we will have a little "scavenger hunt" to acclimate you to the classroom. See you soon!