Messages from the Classroom


15-19 April - Spring Recess


Book Recommendations

As you may have noticed, we love books and reading. Many of the students are reading books by themselves and some are still enjoying the pleasures of being read to but we love books. I have put together a list of books that interest this age group now through 2nd grade. There are hundreds of other books that are fantastic and I could list more and more. Below are a some that I would recommendation for independent and shared reading and below that are a few recommended for parent reading.

Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis

Who Would Win? Series by Jerry Pallotta

Kung Pow Chicken Series by Cyndi Marko

Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton

A to Z Mysteries Series by Ron Roy

Dragon Slayers' Academy Series by Kate McMullan

Thorfinn the Nicest Viking Series by David MacPhail

The Ice Cream Kid by Todd Clark

Dragon Masters by Tracey West

Zapato Power Series by Jacqueline Jules

Ranger in Time by Kate Messner,

Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne

Baby Mouse #1: Queen of the World! by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Dora Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo

Nikki & Deja by Karen English

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey

Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything by Lenore Look

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald,

Violet Mackerel’s Remarkable Recovery by Anna Branford

Parent Reading List:

The Parents We Mean to Be by Richard Weissbourd

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish


In the Classroom:

Clothing- It's getting warmer and it's a bit wet. Please make sure your child has shoes they can get muddy and a change of socks.

Phonics: We continue to daily review phonics and works with building words through sounds and letter combinations. Every student is absorbing and eating up words. It is a lot of fun to see them read and make these new discoveries.

Reader’s Workshop: We are still reading poems and wordless books. We will be finishing up wordless books next week. Poetry will continue on through April and maybe longer- we really like it!

We are meeting in Guided Reading groups and discussing, sharing and using strategies for reading books.

Writer's Workshop: We are working on How-To books and decided as a class to focus on "How to Hatch Chickens". Since it will take a while to hatch out the chickens the books will take a while to produce.

Mathematics Workshop: We are moving on through Unit 6 of Investigations. This unit is based on "How Many Now? The focus on this unit is on combinations, counting and addition/subtraction. Students do a lot of recording of different ways keeping information or data. The focus will be on the idea that one number can be broken apart in many ways: 6 is 3 and 3 or 5 and 1 or 2 and 2 and 2. Students also count sets of objects and continue making sense of addition and subtraction through story problems and games.

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 still focusing on Who Are We and will wrap that up by break. The students are also looking at kindness and how it impacts others and themselves. It is fun to see and hear them using words and skills they are learning.

Science: We are looking in our "Backyards' at Living and Non-living things. We have read information and discussed what the basic needs are for living things and will continue by looking closely at plants and insects. This week we planted tomato plants and have them growing right next to the chicken incubator. An old farmer friend of mine from Virginia sent me fertilized chicken eggs (although I am not sure the breed) and we have them incubating in the classroom. My hope is that they pip before break but if not, we will enjoy baby chicks when we return from Spring break. We are looking at the inside, through models, of chicken eggs based on each incubation day period and we are noticing and wondering. It is very exciting and I am sure you have heard about it from your little person.

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

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

Thanks !

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.