Reading information

Hola familias,

It was great to see many of you at last night's Reading Night!  I hope it was helpful and you were able to get questions answered and a better understanding of what's to come in reading with your child.  If you were not able to join us, you will find a parent packet in your child's backpack today with information about the 100 Book Challenge reading program used at LILA.  Here are some of the important notes and FAQs...

  • Soon your child will be bringing home a bolsa azul (blue book bag) with their Spanish materials.  Your child's teacher will let you know when they begin sending them home (probably sometime next week).  This will be essential to send to school every day so your child is able to exchange books and bring home resources.  This will also be a way for us to communicate with you on your child's progress and goals.  Each student will be bringing home books at their level everyday, and eventually reading lists that we will mark off for you to see progress.
  • The first level is the "yellow level" books, which are pattern books.  The goal at this level is to recognize and repeat a pattern, understand that the unknown word on the page correlates to what is in the picture, and to follow the words with your finger.  Students are NOT "reading" at this level and sounding out words!  It is more about building confidence and routines, as well as establishing some early skills.
  • The school-wide expectation for reading is that students read 10 steps per week, half in English and half in Spanish.  1 step = 15 minutes.  So if you read 2 steps a night, you can have the weekend off, or if you have a busynight you can make up for it on the weekend.  Right now, most students are not yet able to read the whole 15 minutes, so you might need to break it into smaller pieces.  You will probably also find that the Spanish books we send home are very short and will not sustain them the whole time--we ask that they read it 3 times to practice fluency (reading smoothly) then you can play games and make the step fun by incorporating activities to practice letters/syllables/words with the lists we will share with you.  We try to have ideas for games on our websites but are always happy when you or the students share new ideas with us!  When your child completes their 15 minute step, they will celebrate by coloring a piece of their reading log.  These will be sent home and collected monthly.
  • It is our job as the teachers to teach them Spanish.  If you are not a Spanish speaker, your job as a home coach is to establish the routines and encourage them--please don't try the Spanish if you are unsure :)  Since half of your steps should be done in English, this is a time you can help with English words and do your usual read alouds with your child -- listening to books is developmentally appropriate at this age and counts as a step!  As a coach, remember to ask questions, make connections and predictions, and just get them excited about reading.  Remember, students will not get English reading instruction at LILA until 2nd grade, so please help by supporting it at home!
  • If you are reading in English at home, it will not "mess up" what we are practicing in Spanish.  You may notice a little mixing up of the vowels for now, but it is normal and they will get over that hump.  Reading in two languages actually makes kids stronger readers!  All the things you practice in English--sounding out a word, reading from left to right, comprehension questions--are the same skills we are practicing in Spanish and support each other.

As we begin sending home materials, we will continue sharing information.  I'm sure you will come across more questions as well, so please don't hesitate to ask--I'm positive you are not the only one wondering about it!  

Once you have read over the parent packet and talked about it with your child, please send the Home Coach Contract on the last page back to school.  This will let us know you accept your responsibilities as coaches and are ready to use and take care of the materials being sent home.

Thanks for your help on this journey!

Snack Awareness for Profe Marina’s Class 2015-2016


Snack is an important time of day and helps our students stay focused and energized for the day.


To help keep all students included and safe during snack time we ask that you do NOT bring any snack with nuts, peanuts, tree nuts, pistachios or any snack processed in a tree nut factory, as there is a kid in our classroom with a severe nut allergy.


Some healthy option ideas include: yogurt, apples, mandarin oranges, other fresh fruit or vegetables, cheese sticks, raisins, etc.


We appreciate your contribution, thank you for helping make our snack time an enjoyable time for all students in our class!


Profe Marina and Profe Ana

¡Hola familias!

It was so nice to meet you all at conferences!  There were a lot of good questions that I would like to take minute to share with everyone in case you have the same or I forgot certain info in all my repetition.  There are also a few things I just want to remind you of before the first day of school tomorrow.

Good Questions:
  • Can they buy just a milk from school and bring their lunchbox from home?  YES!  They can even skip the long lunch line and just go straight to the milk and type in their pin number.  
  • How does Quiet Time work? (Tiempo Tranquilo)  Every day we will have 20-25 minutes of rest time.  For the first few weeks when everyone is very tired, we all just rest--later in the year they will have the option of resting, reading or drawing.  If your child would like to bring a small blanket, towel, mat, small stuffed animal (for resting, not playing) etc that would be fine.  If it is easiest, they can leave it on their hook at school--this usually works best in a bag such as a reusable canvas grocery bag.  Please let me know when you will want me to send them home for cleaning.
  • Breakfast is FREE for kindergartners?!  YES!  HOWEVER.... Last year we found that for the first week of school when we meet outside on the grass that it is too difficult for us teachers to send students in alone, then still have them come back outside and find our class.  For that reason,we ask that students eat breakfast at home for the first week, unless a parent or sibling is able to bring them in to eat as well as back to our line before we walk in together at 7:50am.  Starting the second week it will be much easier for us to steer them towards the then familiar cafeteria as they trickle in independently.  They do not even need to enter their PIN number--it's free.  Also, they stop serving food at 7:50, so please arrive earlier if you plan to eat at school.  Thank you for your help and understanding in this!
  • When will folders be sent home and homework collected?  The first day of each week students will bring home their folders containing their class work, homework, and papers from the office. During conferences I told you that Tuesday was the chosen day to send folders home. However, it will be the first day of each week as the other kinder classrooms. Please be sure to take time to check these!  Any homework sent home will be collected the following Monday.  Please be sure your child always has their folder on Mondays to safely get everything home to you!  (We will start sending these home the second week)
  • What do I do if I have a change in end-of-day transportation for my child?  Anytime you have a change in your usual transportation, please email both me and Laine Krohnke lkrohnke@lakesinternational.org (in charge of transportation and end-of-day lists distributed to teachers). If it is last minute towards the end of the school day, call the office directly.

First day info:

(Please see the note above about school breakfast!) 

  • Please remind your child that from now on I will only be speaking in Spanish!  But they can still talk to me as normal.  It is normal for them to be a little upset about this at first--you will be amazed at how quickly they get comfortable and can comprehend a lot of what I say!  
  • Be sure your child knows where they go at the end of the day.  If anything happens and adults are trying to help, it is great when they can tell us their first and last name, their teachers name, and where they are going (curbside, inside pickup, church lot, Explorer Club, bus).
  • If your child rides the bus, be sure you write both their SHUTTLE # and HOME #.  Morning is easier--they get picked up at home, then just find a LILA bus.  Afternoons it is important that they know both numbers in case they get separated from their bus buddy and an adult is trying to help them.  (You should have gotten a blue bus tag to write this on.  Please add teacher name too!)

I think we are going to have a great group this year and I am excited to start having fun and getting to know the new kiddos!  I hope you have a great rest of the week and let me know if you have any questions.

Profe Marina

As part as our unit:

Central Idea:  We can make connections to others through writing.

Inquiries into 

L1: The evolution of writing  (throughout history, as well as the evolution of their own writing from scribbles to drawings to letters to sentences).

Today we studied about the Egyptian writing. The children wrote their names with the Egyptian characters as hieroglyph on our handmade papyrus. They are open-minded and flexible to turn into the main characters in the writing history. Also, we did a Egyptian crowns and necklaces.

We had the visit of a dentist. We want to be informed students and having the visit of a professional helped us to know how to take care of our teeth. Then, the children got to practice with our pets' visitors. Also, They were great communicators telling which kind of food they need to eat to have healthy teeth.

Spring Break!

Students are really coming along with their writing skills, and that's going to be our new unit we start after break!  I will usually give them a sentence starter and they write the rest with inventive spelling (see below).  We have started writing multiple sentences, so remind them to start with a capital (and that is usually the only capital), spaces between words (dos deditos/two fingers), and a period at the end.  And remember that if they ask for help, help by sounding out the words--not telling them the letters to write.  And as we say in class...it's ok if it's not perfect!  It's very common at this stage to leave vowels out (think about it...the letter "B" sounds like it already has that E attached to it!).  
  Sentence starters we have practiced:  Yo veo (I see), Yo tengo (I have), Yo quiero (I want), Me gusta (I like)...  If they seem like they are getting bored with these, encourage them to write about their family and friends.  Example: My brother has brown eyes.  My mom has long hair.  Their vocabulary is pretty awesome by now!

We have been practicing a lot of addition and subtraction lately.  They love doing it with dice, and I often give them a counting tool (blocks, number lines, etc.).  
We have also been learning about tally marks and they can write those for days!  Have them write a number and the matching number of tallies. 

Check your child's blue bag for any new word goals that you could post around your house to practice.

More ideas for power words

Here are some more ideas to help you keep up the great work at home.

When working on new words, make a big deal out of each word.  Look at it.  Talk about it.  Ask what they notice about it.  Write it in lots of different ways.  Turn it into art.  Have kids say it, write it, trace it in the air, trace it on the table, trace on someone's back.  Have them wear it.  Post it on a wall.  Reference it throughout the day.  Read it before going out the door.  

Incorporate all of their senses to activate long term memory -- visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile.  Involve the whole body.  
  • Have kids slowly stand up (or sit down) while sounding out a word.  
  • Make sand paper tracing cards (write the word with glue then sprinkle sand) to touch and trace while sounding out.  
  • Write words on clothes pins that they can squeeze or even wear!
  • Incorporate music or rhythms 

Make it fun!  Here are some more games to play:

  • Power Word Flash:  Using the orange (mastered) and yellow (goal) words from their laminated lists, make some flash cards.  Then "flash" a word -- if they can read it before you count to 2, they get the word.  It is important for review and confidence to include those words they have already mastered in with their new goals.  This is a great way for them to learn what fluency is and practice it in a fun way.  If they don't get it in time, no worries!  Put it back in the pile so they can try again.  They will love "beating you".
  •  Go Fish:  Make a double set of words so you can play.  Each player gets 5 cards and asks the other player for words trying to make a set.  "Do you have gusta?"  If not take one from the middle.
  • Concentration:  Using a doubles set of power words, lay them upside-down.  Each turn, choose two and try to find pairs.  If they are not a pair, put them back.
  • Dice Run:  Lay out all words in a line.  Using a marker (animal, car, etc.) roll a dice, move that number of words, and read the word you land on.  This is a great way to incorporate one-to-one correspondence which is a math AND reading skill!!  (the most common mistake being repeating the space they start on for their first step)

-http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/spanish_for_children  This has great links to pronounce letters and numbers in Spanish--the one thing I would be careful of is that we usually focus on the letter sounds more than the names because that can confuse their reading and writing a little when trying to sound it.  This site also has some good games!  
-http://www.tudiscoverykids.com/  Discovery Kids en Español.  Check out the Juegos (games)!
-http://pbskids.org/lab/es/  PBS Kids en Español 

Conference's schedule

posted Oct 13, 2014, 7:27 PM by Marina Ortega   [ updated Mar 3, 2015, 2:15 PM ]

Tuesday, October 14th / Thursday March 5

2:40 Lars Larson

3:00 Haley Upton

3:20 Eli Steinke

3:40 Silas Peterson

4:20 Sasha Hunter

4:40 Lauren Mitchell


5:00 Bella Tucci


5:00 – 6:00 Break


 6:00 Makai Gonzalez

6:20 Kingston Droz


6:40 Tristan Noggle


7:00 Kevin Westergaard

7:20 Jaise Zimmerman

7:40 Olivia Morehead


Wednesday, October 15th /  Friday March 6

8:40 Brodie Chase 

9:00 Blair Bartels


9:20 Lily Sturgill


9:40 Avery Sammon


10:00 Jacob Palmer


10:20 Janessa Dainty


11:00 Antonio Gavin


12:00 Devin Enebak

12:40 Logan May


1:00 Sophia Conklin










IB (International Baccalaureate)

posted Sep 6, 2013, 11:56 AM by Marina Ortega   [ updated Aug 31, 2014, 10:29 PM ]

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