What's New in Kindergarten?


(Photo courtesy of Mr. Robert Moy.)

On May 4, K-106 and K-123 got together to share Persuasive Writing pieces.



Click here to see our Animoto!                

                             PUBLISHING PARTY! 

K-106 and K-123 will be having a publishing party on Thursday, March 16, 2017. It will begin at 8:45 and end by 9:45. 

The kids have been working hard on their "How To" books.

Please make sure that at least one grown-up in your family attends the publishing party. 

Each child will present an excerpt from their book. After that you will be able to sit together with your child and hear them read the whole book to you. Then you can write a compliment in the back of your
child's book, and in other classmates' books as well.

WRITING PROJECT DUE ON  (or before) FEB. 14, 2017   





Children should write a simple, but personal message to each classmate.

It can say, “You are a great artist.” or “I like playing spy with you at recess.”


Make sure that you write the name of the person you are giving it to, and your own name on each Valentine.


You can use store bought cards or make your own, but make sure that you write a special message to each child.


We’ll exchange them on Tuesday, Feb. 14.


NO CANDY PLEASE. The messages will be sweet enough!


(Some store-bought Valentines come with candy. If you choose this type of Valentine please remove all food items before bringing them to the classroom. We have children with allergies as well as a “no sweets” policy at school, so please be vigilant about following this direction. Thanks for understanding!)


K-106 and K-123 will be having a publishing party on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016. It will begin at 8:45 and end by 9:45. 

The kids have been working  hard as science authors, looking closely at nature's artifacts and writing about them.

Please make sure that at least one grown-up in your family attends the publishing party. Anderson siblings are invited too. Make sure that their teachers know about it well in advance.

Each child will present an excerpt from their book. After that you will be able to sit together with your child and hear them read the whole book to you. Then you can write a compliment in the back of your child's book, and in other classmates' books as well.      


To help children work with text that supports their growth as readers (decoding words and comprehending meaning), students are assessed and then matched with books that we call “Just Right Books.”  This means that they can read them independently. They should be practicing new skills in these books to become even stronger readers, at any level.  There may be new words or concepts in these texts, which will push readers to practice their new reading skills. We ask that you support them by setting aside time for them to do this work at home.  We will send home their “Just Right Book” baggies on Monday. These will have a mix of JRB’s and Star Books (aka Old Favorites). They will begin to orchestrate a number of new strategies in all of these books. 

Your child’s Just Right/independent reading level A-Z (that means the level that they can read and comprehend with 95% accuracy) will soon be posted on Engrade. (Please see NChandonnet@schools.nyc.gov for your Engrade password if you do not have it already). You’ll also be able to see the letter level in the “just right” book baggie that he or she will be bringing home every day. We ask that you be responsible, initially, for making sure that EVERY book that goes home in the baggie (and the baggie) comes back to school each morning so that we can do our reading work with those books at school.  (One tip is to keep the baggie in their backpack and only take out the book you need and then have your child put it right back in the baggie in the backpack. This will help reinforce a new habit of reading but also being responsible for the books.)

Many of our students are reading at level Pre-A or A. That means that the appropriate books for them to read independently have very predictable patterns, with one sentence on a page, and lots of colorful pictures. Once they get used to practicing the strategies below, their reading levels will soar.


Begin by reading them the title and talking about what they think the book will be about (relying heavily on the picture clues). Then read them the first page, which will initiate the pattern in the book.  After that let them work on reading the books aloud to you. Getting the words exactly right is NOT the point in A/B books.  We are looking for children to point under one word and say one word, track correctly across the text, hold the pattern, use the pictures to figure out logically what the changing word in the pattern is and eventually to use the letters to help them solve the unknown words in the patterns. They should also be able to name a few important details from the text when they finish the book (i.e. talk about the book, don’t just put it down and read the next one. See ideas below.)


We know the A-E books are short and not as rich or interesting as the old faves. We still need your kids to read those books and for you to read them to your child when you do see saw reading. As we mentioned, they are coordinating many literacy skills as they learn to read. We also expect that kids will read and re-read these books a few times. This is excellent practice in sharpening their skills. 


With any level text, if your child gets stuck on a word, DON’T give the answer right away. Here are some prompts you can say, to help your child to word solve:

            “Look at the picture for a clue.”

            “What’s the first sound of the word?”

            “What word would make sense here?”

            “Is there a part of the word that you know?”

            “Have we seen this word somewhere else in the book?”

            “Skip that word, and read to the end of the sentence and think about what word would make sense using all that you know about word solving and the story.”


            If none of those prompts work, then read the word aloud, and move on. Please try to refrain from asking your child to “sound out” unknown words. At this stage that may not work, (think of trying to sound out cough or science) and so we encourage the use of other strategies for now.  After reading the books aloud to you once, your child can practice reading them alone.


You can also just let them read the book without knowing what a word says. This will not hurt them.  They should be able to comprehend and continue word solving in books they read at 95% accuracy.  As with reading old favorites/star books, restrain yourself from feeling like you have to “teach” your kids how to read. Rest assured that we are doing a lot of work at school. However, they will have small charts with skills and strategies they have learned in class. You should take a look at these and encourage your child to practice these skills at home too.


When you “seesaw” read with your child, Star books are a good choice. You can take turns each reading one page at a time, or you can take turns reading books to each other. 


It is a good practice to have a brief discussion about each book read, regardless of who is doing the reading. It could include any of the following topics:

·      Sequencing the events of the story.

·      Telling the main (or “big”) idea.

·      Identifying the characters and the settings.

·      Telling about your favorite parts, or favorite characters.

·      Comparing the story to your own life experiences.

·      Comparing it to another book like it.

·      Inventing a new ending.

·      “Casting” a pretend movie version with people you know.

·      Explaining why you liked, or didn’t like a character.

·      Identifying a problem and its solution.

·      Describing a part of the book that surprised you.


In a non-fiction book, be sure to talk about

·      New facts.

·      Things you wonder about.

·      Special parts of the book (Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, Chapter Headings)

·      Special parts of a page (Labels, “Zoomed-In” Pictures, Captions)


The children are so excited to take home their first class baggie filled with “just right” books and Star books, starting on Monday! Make sure to leave the baggie in your child’s book bag when not in use, so he or she can have the books for daily Reading Workshop lessons in class the next day!  Happy reading!


Here are our kindergarten classes on Storybook Character Day.
Animoto - click here

K-106 and 123 had an inter-class publishing celebration.

Here is an Animoto of the two classes reading their first "published" book to their new friend.

Publishing Celebration - click here.



We've been looking for numbers at The Anderson School, and discussing the reasons they are important. For example: 

* Numbers on the classroom door help people find the right room. 

* Numbers on a calendar help us keep track of the date.

* Numbers on the exit doors help us find our way out during a fire drill.

See if you can find numbers at home and in your neighborhood, and tell why they are important- or what their job might be.


We've also been doing lots of math at our morning meetings. It includes:


·      Counting the days of school as they pass, adding cubes and marking tens and ones on the place value chart. 

·      Learning the days of the week and the monthly dates on the calendar.

Ask your child to sing the “Days of the Week Song “to you!


We have also been identifying shapes in our environment, and exploring how pattern blocks can fit together to make new shapes.



In class we have been reading fiction books and non-fiction books. (aka "stories" and "learn about the world" books.) We've been practicing how to read a book from cover to cover  (beginning with making predictions based on the cover), turning pages from the corner, and also sharing books with a partner.

We are assessing each child individually to see what they can already do as a reader. Some children can look at the pictures and tell a story about them. Others can read conventional print. In a few weeks we will gear the children towards "just right" books of different levels, based upon the meetings and assessments we’re doing now. 

An important concept is that readers re-read their books over and over again, and notice new details each time!



            We’ve launched Writing Workshop! The children are thinking of themselves as authors. Some of the Writing Workshop lessons have included:

How to tell a story, or teach something through your pictures

Adding letters, words, and sentences about your pictures

How to revise a previously worked-on piece by adding more pictures or words

Thinking hard in order to come up with a topic.


(Please note that in Writing Workshop, the children use pencils without erasers for now. We ask them to cross out instead of erase. We will send one of those pencils home for you to  keep. We also expect children to spell for themselves, based upon lessons that we do in Word Study. So it's fine if your child's spelling of dinosaur is D, DSR, DOORPSOR, dinasr, dannaswr, or XPORVVSURO. It's just important that they start adding print to their pictures, and we will help them grow as spellers.)



            Classmates are learning about each other in STAR NAME.  Through portraits, name puzzles, interviews, and phonics, we get to know more about the Star Name of the day and write a book about them. We’re learning how to speak, listen, and ask questions and follow –up questions, to get to know each other better.



            We are learning about the five senses with Mr. Moy.  His website has more information.  We have launched our TREE study as well. We are learning about the parts of the tree by making diagrams and using the inquiry approach to add on to our prior knowledge of trees.  We are getting ready for a trip to observe and record trees in Roosevelt Park. There we will also collect objects from nature to use in our upcoming writing unit, Looking Closely.


 Writing is an integral part of the Kindergarten curriculum. The students will be experiencing a variety of genres during Writing Workshop. Whether they are writing narratives, informational texts or opinions, they will often draw from their own lives. In order to create the spark for their writing ideas, we would like each student, with parent help, to decorate the covers of their yellow writing folder with things that will give them writing ideas. This folder will be kept at school in a special place and used daily during writing times. 

How to decorate:

 Please use two pieces of 81/2” X11” paper (like the kind in your printer) and decorate them with photos that will remind them of important people and events from their lives.

 Here is a photo of Ms. Cohen’s pages:


 In addition to photos, you might also wish to include:

 ·        lines from favorite songs, books or poems,

 ·        favorite words (this can be words with special meanings or words that just sound interesting!)

·          anything else that reminds your child of important people or events from their life.

We will slip the papers into the pockets in the front and back of the writing folders. Here is what Ms. Cohen’s writing folder looks like with the covers in:



Each of my decorations has a story behind it, and memories flooded over me as I lovingly arranged (and rearranged) them onto the front and back of my folder, before putting them in place, and writing captions.  Please reminisce with your child as you help prepare his or her folder decorations.

Send them to school in the communication folder when they are finished. We will slip the completed pages into the clear pockets on the front and back of the folder.

Let us know if you need any help!


Ms. Cohen and Ms. Skolnik

September 15, 2016
Dear Parents,

Thank you for joining us for Meet the Teacher Night! It was a pleasure to meet you and talk about our curriculum and goals for kindergarten.

Please feel to contact us with questions or comments.

Ms. Cohen, lcohen5@schools.nyc.gov
Ms. Skolnik, sskolnik@schools.nyc.gov

September 8, 2016

Dear Kindergarten Families,


We would like to welcome all of you to The Anderson School!  We are so excited to meet your children and we look forward to getting to know all of the Kindergarten families throughout the 2016-17 school year!  We are dedicated to making the transition to elementary school a successful one.  In addition to this packet, the red folder includes a Daily Dismissal Notification form and a Questionnaire. Please fill out those pages and return them in your child’s communication folder as soon as possible.


            Please send your teacher an e-mail with the subject line “Your child’s name e-mail addresses.” For example, if your child’s name is Charlie, you’d the subject would be

Charlie’s e-mail addresses.

In the body of the e-mail, include your child’s name and all e-mail addresses where you’d like us to send messages. (See the closing of this letter for the teachers’ e-mail addresses.)



Important Dates in September:

September 8th- School begins (early dismissal at 1:00)

September 9th- First full day of Kindergarten

September 15th - Meet The Teacher Night


Here are some guidelines regarding our school and classroom policies and procedures that should help answer many questions and provide for a smooth transition.


  1. School Arrival- Arrival is at 8:20 A.M. It is imperative that your children arrive at school on time each morning. Even being a little late for school can cause anxiety in a child (and parent) in addition to missing morning routines and opening lessons.  We all want your child to profit by getting the most time at school.  We will pick the children up from the auditorium each day at 8:20 A.M.  Fifth grade “Safety Patrol” will escort the kindergartners to the auditorium from the front door. If children arrive late, an aide will escort them to the office to receive a late pass.  Early drop off begins at 7:55. Children may eat breakfast between 7:55 and 8:10. If your child will be having breakfast at school, please be sure to bring her/him by 8:00 to provide ample time to eat before school starts.


  1. School Dismissal – Dismissal is at 2:40 P.M.




*On SEPTEMBER 9th, KINDERGARTEN WILL BE DISMISSED FROM THE SCHOOLYARD AT 2:25 P.M. (a little earlier than the usual 2:35, to give us all a chance to practice dismissal safety)


*Kindergarten students will be dismissed in the yard at 2:35 p.m. all year long on a daily basis starting TUESDAY, September 13th, 2016.


*Busing for Kindergarten begins on the AFTERNOON of THURSDAY, September 15th. Contact Donna Smiley for more details.



At the end of this packet is a “Daily Dismissal Notification Form” which we would like you to fill out and return once you are certain of your child’s daily dismissal schedule.  We will use the information you provide to post daily the manner in which your child should be dismissed on any given day. 


Any changes in dismissal procedure, whether it is for one day or long term, must be reported to your classroom teacher immediately.  This is especially important for children who ride the bus home.  A note must be backpacked to the classroom teacher in the RED folder: otherwise we have to send your child home in his/her normal manner that day.  In the event of an emergency or if you forget to place a note in the folder, please call the Anderson Main Office (212-595-7193) and fax (212-496-2854) a note stating the change. This is school policy and must be adhered to strictly for the safety of your children.  Non-bus children may not take the bus home with another child (e.g. for a playdate).




  1. Absences- The school has requested that you call the Anderson office (212-595-7193) to inform them when your child will be absent. When the school’s voicemail picks up, there will be an option to report a child’s absence. Choose this option and leave a message with any pertinent information.


Once your child returns to school, please be sure to also write a note stating your child’s name, classroom number/teacher, date and reason for absence. Please also submit doctor’s notes if applicable.


  1. Vacations- Parents sometimes wish to take their children out of school for a week-or-more trip, or a few days before a school holiday. Please realize that your child will be missing important lessons if this occurs, and please consider the message conveyed to your child- that school may be missed now and then in favor of a time away. School is obviously a priority for your child during the academic year.  He/she should come to school everyday, unless ill.


  1. Communication - Please use the RED folder when sending notes to teachers and be sure to check them DAILY for messages. Once you have read a note in the folder please remove it so that your child’s teacher knows that you have received it.


While communication between home and school is important, school policy dictates that appointments must be made for private conversations. I cannot meet with parents before or after school unless an appointment has been made. Please contact me in advance by a written note, or e-mail, and I will respond to you quickly.


  1. Supplies – The list of Kindergarten supplies is available on the Anderson School website www.ps334school.org. You can send the items in a little at a time.


  1. Health/Food Matters – Please inform your classroom teacher as soon as possible if your child has any health issues such as allergies, asthma, dietary restrictions, etc. that warrant attention from teachers and/or the school nurse.


  1. Snack/Lunch – We will have a 10-minute snack time every afternoon.  Please have your child bring in a small healthy and yummy snack. Examples are: fruit, carrots, yogurt, pretzels or cheese and a small juice box and/or water bottle. PLEASE TRY AND REFRAIN FORM SENDING NUTS, AS WE ARE BEING MINDFUL OF ALLERGIES. Please do not send in glass containers or soda cans. Paper napkins and any necessary plastic spoons or forks should be sent as needed.  PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S SNACK WITH HIS/HER NAME AND THE WORD “SNACK.” This helps to avoid confusion between lunch and snack.  It will take a few weeks until your child gets the hang of eating lunch in the school cafeteria. Eating for 25 minutes, then lining up to go to recess, is a new routine. Children who don’t finish eating in the allotted time, will be permitted to continue eating in the classroom, after recess. 


  1. Change of Clothes – We ask that all Kindergarten families send in an extra set of clothes for your child in the event of a bathroom accident (accidents do happen!).  Please send stretchy pants, underwear, and socks in a sealed Ziploc baggie labeled with your child’s name as soon as possible.


  1.  Labeling – Write your child’s name in all personal items that might get lost or misplaced: backpack, water bottle, lunchbox, snack, sweaters, jackets, and hats.




If you have any more questions please feel free to backpack a note in your child’s red folder, or send an e-mail. Questions will also be addressed at Meet the Teacher Night on Thursday September 15th. We look forward to meeting and getting to know all of the Kindergarten families!






Ms. Cohen- lcohen5@schools.nyc.gov

Ms. Skolnik- sskolnik@schools.nyc.gov




We were treated to a cooking lesson with Chef Cynthia of WITS (Wellness in the Schools). The kids had fun chopping the apples (skins and all) and eating the applesauce. Everyone remembered Chef Cynthia's three rules:
1. Wait for everyone to be served before you eat.
2. Take a mindful "thank you" bite.
3. Don't "yuck" somebody else's "yum."

"Bon appétit,  it's time to eat!"

WITS Chunky Applesauce Recipe, to try at home


        The connection between school and home is a big part of what makes  kindergarten a successful experience. Talking about your child’s time in school helps him/her remember events, solidify the learning experience, and practice conversational skills. It also keeps you abreast about our goings-on.  You might have asked your child, “What did you do in school?” and gotten the response, “I don’t remember.”

        Conversation Homework is a way of helping children remember, and share the knowledge with you.  It’s best to begin your conversation with a broad, open-ended question such as, “What did you do in school?” If that doesn’t yield results, you can narrow it by asking things like,“What books did you read?” “What math project are you working on?”

        The broader questions require more critical thinking skills, which is an important part of our curriculum. If your child is not there yet, he or she will hopefully get there over the next few months if you make talking about school a regular part of your day.

Samantha Skolnik,
Sep 9, 2014, 1:09 PM