Dear Families,
    LOTS of illnesses still going around...
General Classroom News:
    Please make sure your child comes in with all the necessary cold weather gear ~ heavy, warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves. We go outside every day, unless it is in the single digits! If it makes things easier for you, your child can leave a pair of shoes/sneakers here at school so that it's one less thing to remember to pack. Please mark your child's snow gear!! You'd be surprised how all those black snow pants look alike...
    Spirit Week info:
    Monday ~ America day (think red, white & blue, stars & stripes)
    Tuesday ~ dress alike day (let's chat on Facebook about a class plan...)
    Wednesday ~ Wacky Wednesday (mismatched clothes, crazy hair, etc)
    Thursday ~ Theme Thursday (K is doing "beach day"; beach towels ok, but                         no bathing suits please!)
    Friday ~ school color day (K will wear green)


   We continued working on Unit 3. In this unit, have been working on putting our letter sound knowledge to work to help us read consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words such as cat, mud, fin. We will be spending the rest of the year working on this skill. We will also continue working on alphabetical order and rhyming words as well as identifying ending sounds of words.
    This week's new words were and & be. While we will be continue working on these skills, this coming week I will be doing a quick assessment with each child to see how he/she is doing with these skills. It will help to inform my instruction, and will also let us know who might need a little extra help.

Writer's Workshop:
    We continued with the writing unit, All About, which focuses again on writing informational books. We talked about always collecting ideas as a scientist. We reviewed and practiced the previous skills of planning your book across fingers and adding diagrams to teach about your topic.

Literacy Work:
    This week, the children listened to Will You Be My Valenswine? and did a response identifying the characters and the setting of the story and practiced last names, upper and lower case letters on Writing Wizard. There were also bonus Valentine's Day activities ~ a family Valentine (did you get yours?!), sorting trick words according to the number of letters, spelling CVC words with letters on hearts.

Reader's Workshop:
    We continued with the reading unit, Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles. We talked about thinking about the whole book to help you figure it out. We looked at ABC books to reinforce using letter sound knowledge to figure out words. We also added to that: Look at the beginning of the word, Blend the sounds together, Look across the whole word. We practiced these skills together reading the story My Bug Box.

Math Work:
    We begin our math time with some whole group work. We always do the calendar for the day (an interactive calendar on Starfall) and count the number of days of Kindergarten. We continued working on writing number sentences. They did count down & sit down from 14 (still very challenging for many of them!!). They played different versions of the hiding game and practiced "justifying" how they knew how many were hiding (another challenging task for many of them!). On Valentine's Day, they sorted & graphed candy hearts.
    The activities in the math bins this week were again: playing dominoes; playing 5's partners Go Fish; playing Pass It On (combinations to make 5); Roll & Build (adding 2 dot die); practicing numeral writing with roll & rainbow write; Add & Cover Bump! (adding 2 dot die); # quantity match (matching up different representations of numbers). They did different math activities on ABCya!. When they met with me, we worked on understanding, representing and writing number sentences.

Fun Friday:
    Our fun Friday activities were all about being a scientist. We talked about simple machines and watched a Mystery Science video about knocking down a wall and then they had the challenge of trying to knock down a wall (of cups) with a (paper) wrecking ball, without knocking into the houses behind the wall. What a fun discussion after! I read Lance Dragon Defends His Castle with Simple Machines. We read Science Spin: A Purr-fect Invention and I challenged each child to think of an invention that would solve a problem.
    PBiS is a school-wide behavior program, with school-wide behavior expectations. The over-arching expectations are:
    P personal best
    A act responsibly
    W work and play safely
    S show kindness


Science/Social Studies:
    We worked more on our kindness booster. I read the story If You Plant a Seed about the effects of kind vs. selfish acts. We read Let's Find Out: Animals with Heart (on Valentine's Day, of course!). They watched a video about being a scientist and conducting experiments. 
    Mrs. DeBellis came in and reviewed identifying emotions based on people's facial expressions. She had the children match up based on matching facial expression pictures and then share something that makes them feel (happy, sad, frustrated, etc). She then read The Way I Feel.

    Have conversations with your child about his/her day, favorite parts of school, stories I have read them, etc. Read with your child every day. Have your child "read" his/her favorite book to you ~ it's a great way to practice story retelling! Have your child get outside to play as often as possible.
    Your child can practice the letters and trick words that we have learned as well. Your child can practice naming & writing the letters. See if your child can do the drill for each letter. Also, you can have your child practice reading the trick words, or find them in the stories you are reading together. Your child can also practice writing his/her first name the "school way" (only the first letter capitalized). 
    These are just suggestions, not expectations! Some days your child may be willing, looking for something to do while an older sibling is doing homework, etc. NEVER let it become a battle! As soon as your child resists, drop it! It is far more important to have conversations with your child, play games, read books, go outside to play, etc.

School Sing:
    School Sing is a K-4 activity that takes place every Friday morning from 8:45-9:15 a.m. in the cafeteria. We sing songs (of course!!), birthdays and individual students are celebrated, and we collect for various service agencies in our community. Each child in our class will have a turn to be celebrated. When it is your child's turn, I will send home a poster for you to fill out and have your child decorate. We will display the poster, and any 5-7 photos you might want to send in, in our classroom for the week before it is shared at School Sing on Friday. Families are always welcome to join us for School Sing!
    Not sure what happened, but I gave incorrect information last week! We will be collecting for Franklin County Animal Rescue until March 23 . Needed items: cat & dog food; cat & dog treats; cat & dog toys; puppy pads; toilet paper; paper towels; coconut oil; small paper plates; all natural cleaning supplies; latex gloves; cat & dog beds; blankets & towels; gallons of water; brushes; cat scratchers; litter and litter boxes.

100th Day:
    Our 100th Day of Kindergarten is now on Monday, Feb. 19. Please have your child count out 100 pieces of a small snack food ~ Cheerios, Cheez-Its, raisins, craisins, etc. Remember, no nuts! Also, if your child would like to do a project and bring it in to share, that would be fun! It could be a 100 piece puzzle, a 100 piece Lego building, 100 pennies, a collection of 100 toy cars or dinosaurs, 100 stickers, etc. Have fun with it!!

Upcoming Dates:
    Feb. 19 - 100th Day of Kindergarten
    Feb. 23 ~ robot building!  PLEASE consider coming in to help out!!!
    Feb. 26 - March 6 ~ NO SCHOOL (winter break)