Messages from the Classroom


14 January, 5:00 to 8:00 pm: 2019 Family Math Game Night K-12 at the Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough. AB PIP has included some great new games this year. Read the flyer.

15 January 15, 6:00 pm: Silver Unicorn Bookstore will host a Middle Grade Book Club with local author Rebecca Caprara focused on Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again. Rebecca will also also to talk to participants about what kind of books they like reading and help them on their writing projects. Last month Rebecca did a blackout poetry exercise. Click here for details regarding other upcoming events at the Silver Unicorn!

Monday, 21 January- No School; MLK Jr Day

24 January- Camp Fair at Merriam School

25–27 January: The Friends of the Acton Libraries will hold their Winter Book Sale. The Preview Sale for Friends members is Friday evening, January 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Memberships are available at the door. The Book Sale is open to the general public Saturday, January 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, January 27 is ‘Half-Price Day’ from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Remember… if you bring your ABRSD ID, you receive a 50% discount!

6 February: Celebrate Global School Play Day! February 4, 2015, was the first annual Global School Play Day for students in schools around the world. In year one, over 65,000 students participated! Over 177,000 students took part in 2016. In 2017, over 283,000 kids celebrated Global School Play Day. In 2018, over 385,000 students from 58 nations participated. The hope is to reach 500,000 students in 2019! WE WILL BE CELEBRATING THIS IN THE CLASSROOM!

18-22 February: Winter Recess- no school


In the Classroom:

Welcome to the new year of 2019! It has been a crazy start for me because I got hit hard with a virus and have been out a bit but I am excited to be back with the children. I want to send my appreciation out to Nicole and Anne for keeping the classroom moving forward.

This updated news will be shorter due to my absences and I will have more to fill you in on in the next few weeks.

I wanted to post here my sincere appreciation for the gift cards, the flowers and the many individual gifts I received for the holidays. All touched my heart and I love each of you for them!

90th day of school- We are fast approaching our 90th day of school. We celebrate that in our classroom because it is the "halfway" point. I tell the students they are no longer Kindergartners once we have been halfway through the school year. Now they become "almost first graders." It is very exciting to think of themselves as not being so new at school and having looked at how much they have developed.

Student Led Conferences (SLC) - The K students will be doing their conferences in the beginning of March. They are done at a different time then the other grades ( 8-15 Feb). We are setting the details this upcoming week for K SLCs and I will have more information for you to book a time with your child. What is a Student Led Conference? The conference is led by the student, with no teacher present. The student informs their parents about how they're doing, they share work with their parents, they share goals going forward, and they share what kind of learners they see themselves to be. It is a very powerful experience for both the student and the parents. As a teacher, it is very rewarding to see that each student uses this opportunity and risk to share who they are with the most important people in their life. Look for more info to come!

Phonics: You may have noticed that the work coming home looks a little different since we returned. The students are now focusing on ten different skills when making words: Letter Naming, Rhyming, Onset Fluency, Blending, Identifying Final and/or Medial Sounds, Segmenting, Adding Phonemes, Deleting Phonemes, Substituting Phonemes, and Language Awareness. We are then sounding out 8 words and trying to write what we hear. The response to the change from daily sounds and CVC words has been great. The students are amazing us with their skills and they seem to love and respond to the activities.

Reader’s Workshop: We have moved on the Mo Willems books. We are loving Piggy and Elephant. There are so many different reading skills to these books: the author is the writer and the illustrator; words are used in different sizes and fonts to help give meaning; there are word bubbles that show talking and thinking; the word bubbles are in the same color as the character speaking or thinking; there are different sentence stops (periods, exclamations and question marks:, and, the illustrations show movement with simple lines. After noticing all these things in the books it is really hard to pick the books up again and not notice. This makes it so enjoyable to share the books!

I hope to start wordless picture books in the next two weeks. I can't wait to share our experiences with you!

Writer’s Workshop: We have not had a chance to revisit this area since we have returned because I have been out. We will pick back up this week with our writing. We are using our pictures to help make stories and using our labeling and sentence writing skills are well.

Mathematics Workshop: (Not updated this week) We have started our next unit of study in Math. Unit 4 is focusing on measuring and counting. Students measure and compare the lengths of shoes, tape strips, and other objects. In this context, and via the Counting Jar, they continue to practice counting and representing quantities. Students also develop strategies for finding the total after a small amount is added to a set. Here is a family letter from Investigations that gives you recommendation for activities you can do at home to support your child in this unit.

I also love a Mathematics blog called You Cubed and found a really good article Twelve Steps To Increase Your Child’s Math Achievement And Make Math Fun Math should be something all children should enjoy and should find useful throughout their play and daily life. I hope you will take the time to read it.

Social Studies: We are looking at our Hands and all the incredible things we can do with our hands. We also are talking about the ways hands are used by others.

Science: As we adventure into Solids, Liquids and Temperature we are looking our our classroom window and waiting for a nice big snow. We have created lists of solids and liquids we know and we have talked about what makes something a solid and what makes something a liquid. We will explore changing things from solid to liquid and liquid to solid. This is a fun unit and the students love the explorations we do as we look at the changes.

We are working on the importance of recycling and how we can reuse daily items instead of throwing them away. Again, if you have any really cool recyclable items, please share them with us at school.

Recyclables Requested- We are in need of recycled items. Here are some suggestions:

  • Lids from any item
  • Egg Cartons
  • Old t-shirts we can rip apart
  • interesting packaging from gifts
  • boxes with lids
  • tubes
  • cans

Enjoy the month of January and I look forward to having more things to share with you as we progress.

Who Are We? Project

Kindergarten children benefit from a range of experiences to help them develop an understanding and appreciation of themselves and the world around them. The Who Are We? project incorporates activities that center on your child’s familial world as well as those that transcend to their global community. This interdisciplinary study encourages kindergarteners to notice the similarities and differences that exist amongst people both near and far. Their developing understanding of family and community will be expressed through the many collaborative and individual activities created and placed inside a personally created “Me” box which will be housed at school. The study will culminate with the sharing of these boxes.
Activities will be differentiated to enrich student learning. These activities may include interviews, graphs, timelines, collages, murals, art projects, writing pieces, class and individual books, creative drama and music. We will be reading fiction and non-fiction books together about the lives of children around our world. In addition, there may be times when your child will need your assistance in completing an activity. Our first at-home activity will be sent home with your child next week. Please look for the return date on each project. We appreciate your willingness to support your child’s learning at home.
By the end of the study, kindergarteners will be able to answer the following essential questions: • How are the students in my class the same and different? • How are our lives and cultures the same and different from children in other parts of the world? • What are holidays and why do we celebrate them?
If you have any specific considerations you would like us to be aware of, please notify your child’s kindergarten teacher. We’re excited to begin!
Look for attachments here when we begin asking for home support. I will send reminders when I add them.
The Story Behind My NameFamily TreeMy Holiday Celebrations

Here is a sample set of clues that a Mystery Reader might write:

My favorite book when I was in Kindergarten was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

I was the middle child, only girl in my family growing up.

My family has two dogs as a pets.

I love to watch cartoons with my family.

My favorite family vacation is going to the Cape every summer.

Remember, you are a mystery to the class, so PLEASE try not to tell your child when you will be coming! Please feel free to drop me a "secret" note or email if you have any further questions.

Tips for choosing a book:

Please bring a book that your Kindergartner loves or one that you love!

Picture books make GREAT read alouds.

The book needs to be short enough to read aloud in 15-20 minutes.

If in doubt, bring in two short read alouds.

Themed books (ex. seasonal) or books related to you, your child or your family (ex. culture, family pet, occupation) work great, too!

The sign up link for Mystery Readers is at:

Karen’s Room 135 Mystery Readers

Absenses and Transportation Changes

When your child is going to absent or late contact the school Safe Arrival line 978-264-3373 and leave your child's name, grade, classroom teacher and brief reason for lateness or absence before school begins for the day. After you have done that it is requested that you email me at and let me know your child is going to be late or absent for the day. This is really helpful and appreciated!
If your child has a change in transportation then you should send in the pink dismissal form signed and stating the change. Kindergartners can not change buses nor can they go down to the car pickup place. If you are picking up your Kindergartner then you must come into the building and sign them out at the office.

Take Home Folders

We have Home/School folders for every child. These folders will go home every school day and should return the next school day. Please place any notes in this folder as they are checked every day. All classroom work and important school correspondence will be sent home in this folder.


We love to celebrate birthdays! Due to allergies and health guidelines we skip cupcakes and sweet treats. Instead we make every child a personal birthday book and recognize this special day.

K Math Games for Home:

Number Line Run. Help kids recognize numbers and number order with this fun and simple sidewalk chalk game.

Math Hunt. Search around the house for the correct number of objects on the cards.

Sticky Note Math Match. Match sticky post it notes to numbers during this fun move and learn activity.

Life Size Math Board Game. Make a big board game kids can walk on to practice identifying numbers and number order.

Backyard Number Hunt. Hide number sticks in the backyard for the kids to find and order.

Lego Brick Math Games. Kids can practice ordering, sorting, and more with Lego bricks.

Egg Counting Game. Put those plastic eggs to use by setting up a number identification game.

Flight School Number Game. Turn the kids into airplanes as they zoom from one numbered cloud to another.

Sticky Hundreds Chart Activity. A hundred chart can be used for tons of number practice–making it big on contact paper makes it lots of fun.

Number Scavenger Hunt. Send kids on a hunt to match the numbers to their corresponding set.

Number Splash Game. Throw water balloons at sidewalk chalk numbers to practice identification, higher and lower and what comes next when counting.

Sidewalk Chalk Counting Maze. Go outside and practice counting on a big chalk maze.

Fire Hose Practice Game. Let kids use water squirters to “put out” the correct answer to simple addition or subtraction facts.

Indoor Hopscotch. Count as you play hopscotch using this easy to make game.

Frog Jump Measurement Game. Introduce non-standard measurement to kids with this fun jump and measure game.

Turkey Feather Hunt. Go on a hunt to find colored feathers and then use them to create simple math patterns.

Class Wish List Items

At the beginning of the year and throughout the school year there are various items we need in the classroom. If you are willing to make a donation of the items it is greatly appreciated. Items we are needing to begin the school year include:
  • Lysol wipes
  • Tissues
  • Fat and skinning colored markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins

Ten Frame Games

Game 1: Ten-Frame Flash4 players
Materials: A dozen ten-frames with dot arrangements on them, a blank ten-frame for each child, counters. You could print off these sheets: Dozen Ten-Frames.pdf and BlankTenFrame.pdf.
Rules: One child shows a ten-frame for a count of three, then hides it while the other children place counters in the same positions on their frames from memory. The 'flasher' shows the card again and helps each child check his/her display. After three cards the next child has the chance to show numbers and so on, until everyone has had a turn.
Variations/Extensions:1. Points can be awarded for each correct response. The child with the most points wins.

Game 2: Twenty3-4 playersMaterials: Blank ten-frames (two per child), counters, dice. You may wish to print off this BlankTenFrame.pdf.
Rules: Each child takes a turn to roll a die, places that number of counters onto his/her ten-frames, then announces the total number of counters on the frames. The winner is the first player to fill all twenty spaces.
Variations/Extensions:1. Each turn could include placing the correct numeral cards under the frames.2. Each player can also announce the number of counters needed to reach twenty. The exact number must be rolled to win the game.

Game 3: Guess What?2 players
Materials: Blank ten-frames, counters, a large board to act as a screen/barrier between pairs of players. Here is a blank ten-frame you could print off: BlankTenFrame.pdf
Rules: One player secretly arranges some counters on a ten-frame. The other player asks questions that can be answered yes or no, trying to gain enough clues to work out the arrangement of counters. For example: Is the top row full? Are there 8 counters? Is there an empty box in the bottom row?
Variations/Extensions1. As players become more skilled the number of questions can be counted. The player who asks fewer questions wins.

Zones of Regulation Chart.pdf

Open a web browser and go to You don’t need a Google account to access it, because it’s free to all.

In the text box on the left, type in the entire URL (including the http://) of the website you want to view.

On the right, choose the language you want to see the website in.

Click Translate.