2 Short Weeks!

Hello! The past two weeks were short and sweet. But we crammed in a lot of fun activities!

Before Easter Break, Kindergarten learned about the Indian holiday Holi (pronounced like ‘holy’). This Spring holiday celebrates the rebirth we see in nature and focuses on acceptance and inclusion! It is celebrated with a big parade where people throw colorful powders made from flowers and make themselves into a rainbow! We read the book Festival of Colors by Khabir & Surishtha Sehgal to learn about this holiday. Then we did a little experiment with markers, napkins, and water. We colored napkins and then sprayed them with water to watch how the colors bled, spread, and mixed with each other to make something different and beautiful! Students had so much fun waiting for the final results.

For Easter, we read about the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. We also watched some videos that explained why we paint eggs and do egg hunts on Easter and why we celebrate with an Easter bunny! Both eggs and bunnies are symbols of new life, just as Jesus rising from the dead was a start of a new life for all of us.

In Science, we made diagrams of plants and labeled them! We have been talking about how plants are affected by the weather and how some plants survive better in some climates than others. To connect to weather, we also read the book Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld which is about a very small cloud which finds her own purpose providing water to a small pond for frogs! This then led into a conversation about animal environments, which we will continue learning about in the next couple of weeks!

In Math, we are working on breaking apart numbers 11-20 so that we can use them for addition and subtraction problems! Students have been creating their own Math problems for each other to solve (and me, LOL!). This chapter is very much a review, and just a chance for students to strengthen their skills of counting up to 20 fluently. Soon we will be working on learning about money and time!

In Reading, we have been working on reading words with consonant blends — two consonants next two each other in a word that make distinct, individual sounds. Sometimes we say these blends quickly so it’s hard to realize they are two separate letters making two separate sounds! But with practice it will get easier and easier! Tapping out words and doing so quickly has been our big focus lately in order to become more automatic with the skill. Students also reviewed sight words, and worked on coming up with their own sentences in their journals using sight words. We really are trying to have students remember their rules of capitalization, punctuation, and spacing when writing sentences as well.

This week we also had another visit from Ms. Byron, our school guidance counselor! Kindergarten is still talking about naming their feelings, especially anger, and learning how to recognize those feelings on other people’s faces.

We also welcomed a new student this week, Izaiah! So excited to have a new friend in our room.

Please don’t forget to sign up for parent-teacher conferences which will be on Thursday, April 15, 2021. That will be a half-day of school so that we can have our virtual conferences all afternoon and evening.

Feel free to let me know if there are any questions or concerns you have. Have a wonderful day!

 

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

March Recap!

Hello! I apologize for missing the last couple of newsletters. Things have been extremely hectic outside of school. So let’s recap everything we have been doing this month! Get ready for a long one!

In reading we have continued to hammer in identifying the middle sounds in words. Students have been doing lots practicing pulling out the middle sound by stretching out the word. We stretch out the middle sound in order to make it more known. These middle sounds and vowels are what is trickiest for Kindergarten which is why we have been so focused on it. We also added some new sight words to the board which are words we see so often that we know them easily like ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘in’, ‘so’, etc.

 

We are also trying to work on our sentence writing! Some students need some more work being comfortable coming up with their own sentences, and trying their best without anyone else’s help to write the sentence. This would be a great thing to encourage them to start doing at home! Maybe find a journal or notebook that is just for them that they can use to practice writing whatever they feel like.

We introduced consonant digraphs, which is when two letters work together to make one sound. We made a chart to help remember them: sh-, th-, ch-, ph-, and wh-. The trickiest ones is ‘ch’ vs ‘sh’ and ‘ph’ vs ‘th’. Part of this is due to the way a lot of children speak, but the more we practice annunciating our words the easier this will get!

This week we also focused in on the letter Yy! The letter Yy has many different jobs and sounds that it makes, so students were asking a lot of questions about it. We learned that when the Yy is at the end of a word it can either make the long e or the long i sound.

We also have been drilling building words, decoding them, and tapping out the sounds in 4 sound words. We have been using letter cards to show students how we can replace certain letters and sounds and it changes the whole word.

 

For Saint Patrick’s Day we learned all about Saint Patrick and why we have a holiday named after him! We learned about clovers and shamrocks and made our own, and we also wrote a sentence about what we are lucky for! We read a story about a lucky duck who went looking for a four leaf clover to find some good luck, but realized that having some good friends would give him the good luck he wanted the whole time! It was called Lucky Ducky by Doreen Mulryan. On Saint Patrick’s Day we watched a video about Irish dance and students had a fun time trying to Irish dance themselves! We also played bingo and students got to win prizes from the prize box!

In Math, we have been wrapping up our chapter on subtraction and doing an in depth review of numbers 11-20! In order to keep these review sessions fun and interesting, we have been doing centers very often. Having manipulatives and seeing addition and subtraction sentences in many different ways makes it more and more like second nature.

We even utilized our rock box in our classroom to practice counting up to higher numbers! We have been skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. We’ve been trying to recognize patterns in the numbers that will make it easier to remember which numbers to use.

On this page, addition and subtraction problems were mixed together!

Here is a link to two songs that Kindergarten goes absolutely nuts for, which we use to practice our skip counting:

We are also working on doing our work independently getting better at double checking our own work to make sure we aren’t making silly mistakes!

In Science, our talk of planets and the Earth has evolved into talking about the weather and plants, which only grow on Earth. We read a story by Eric Carle called the The Tiny Seed. This story shows all of the things that have to go right in order for a plant to grow fully! We also read a story from our reading curriculum books about plants that grow in the desert, which was very informative for both topics. Many students had not known what makes a desert unique, so it was a fun introduction to different environments and climates and how they affect the things that live there. We will continue learning about plants and maybe even get one of our own….stay tuned!

We also read a very wonderful book called Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. We used this story as our new class book report and we also got to talk about what does it mean to be a scientist! As we recapped the events of the story we realized that Ada is a scientist because she observes the things around her, asks questions, and then does experiments to test out her ideas. We discussed how we can all be scientists too, even though it’s not our job!

As a supplemental tool, we have been watching the show Ask the Storybots (on Netflix Kids) every once in a while during snack time (we usually split one episode up between 2-3 days). We watched the episode about how planets are formed and now we are watching the episode about how flowers grow.

We also brought back some partner yoga, which students are getting better and better at as they get bigger! This week we also tried some guided meditation. Kindergarten learned that yoga gets our bodies ready for meditation so that it is easier for the mind to relax. Here is the one we did:

Ms. Byron came in this week to talk about the emotion of anger and how it can make our body feel. Students learned the important message that it is okay to be angry, but it is not okay to be mean! Students also learned the word empathy and that it can mean learning to figure out how other people are feeling. Kindergarten does a wonderful job of naming their feelings and comforting others who are feeling bad.

We also have been talking about gender stereotypes. Lately, students have been saying a lot of things like, “Girls can’t have big muscles,” or “Boys need to save the girls,” or “That is a boy or girl color.” Statements like this can be harmful because they give way to negative connotations about the genders, especially at this formative age. We read a book called Pink is for Boys which helped reiterate the concept that colors especially should not have a gender and that everyone can enjoy all the colors. If you would like to discuss this further with me personally, do not hesitate to reach out! I minored in Gender & Women’s Studies so this is a topic I am very passionate about and would be happy to share how it influences my teaching philosophy.

Next week is a short week due to Easter break — we will not have school on Thursday or Friday. The following Monday will be a Flexible Instruction Day! Wednesday the 31st of March is a dress down day with jeans, but students must bring in $1. Please be sure to check your student’s folders and have them complete the homework assignment by Wednesday of next week!

Please let me know if there is anything that you need from me or if you have any questions. March has been very hectic but Kindergarten is enjoying every second of it!

Thank you again for your patience and understanding.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

Welcoming In March!

Hello everyone!

Happy weekend! Kindergarten has accomplished a lot this week — let’s get into it.

In Reading this week, we have been buckling down on reading sentences! Most of our work in our workbook this week was reading sentences and finding the right words that were missing from the sentence, or being able to match the sentence to the appropriate picture. This shows a student’s comprehension of what the words in the sentence actually mean! We also have continued to work on building and decoding words, even if they are silly words that don’t really exist. We did this as morning work, but also incorporated this into our centers this week! Students had to build words using some special dice, and then write down all of the words they built and read on a white board.

We also have been intensifying our small group work so that students can be making larger strides in their reading progress. I’m so excited with what I’m seeing! They have really been using the different strategies that they have been taught (breaking up the word, tapping it out, stretching it out, etc.) and putting them into practice. I would urge  you all at home to have them keep reading anything you have, as often as they can. They more they can practice using these strategies the better! Really encourage the process of trying to figure out the word, or praise the specific letter sounds they got right. Also, be sure to keep having them practice their letter sounds so they stay sharp! Particularly the vowel sounds. It’s easy for kids to mix up the vowel sounds, so we want to make sure that we are constantly reviewing it both at home and at school. Here’s a fun video we watched that reviews letter sounds!

Watch the Letters Get Down-Reggae Remix (2018) MISTER B-Dr. Anthony Broughton – YouTube

In Math, we have been increasing the difficulty of our subtraction problems. Students are now subtracting by 4! The vocabulary of taking things away has been most key for having students comprehend this concept! They have had lots of practice using the different strategies try to show them concrete evidence of subtraction concepts. Students love to draw pictures to help understand it, which is what we use the SmartBoard for! We are still continuing our skip counting and working on recognizing higher numbers.

We’ve continued learning about the sun and the moon, and we started this week by making our own! We looked at some real pictures taken by NASA of the sun and the moon. Students were fascinated by how they both looked so different than what we imagine them to look like. We also watched some informational videos while we made our suns and moons to help inspire them.

Some students even made their moon to be different shapes to reflect how the moon looks different depending on what phase it is in!

Here is what the windows in our classroom look like now that we have our suns and moons up! They are on either side of our lists that we made last week.

 

On Wednesday, as part of our celebration for good behavior, we went outside for some extra recess. But before we made our way to the playground we stopped in the lawn beside the church to have some outdoor story time! We read a beautiful book called Dear Children of the Earth, which is written in the form of a letter from the Earth to all of the people living on it asking us all to take care of our home and all the animals that live here with us. Kindergarten loved the beautiful and unique paintings in this book. They also really enjoyed the sunshine!

 

Students loved having a special pizza snack, and even got creative with it! It was well deserved!

We also learned this week about the meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day and where it began. We will talk about this more next week! We also will start to talk about Lent and Easter, as it gets closer and closer.

I hope you all get to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, stay safe!

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

Finally Done With February

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Kindergarten had an awesome week, let’s look back at what we did!

In Math Kindergarten has started skip counting by 2s. Below is a fun video we watched to get them more familiar with it, it’s a tricky skill! being able to look at all of the numbers and visualize actually skipping over the odd numbers will make it easier.

We also have begun our subtraction chapter! At first, Kindergarten wanted to keep adding and had some trouble understanding that we were switching gears and now taking things away. But they soon got the hang of it! We have been using the vocabulary “take away”, “take apart”, “minus”, and “subtract”. During centers this week, they got to practice counting higher numbers and use white boards with me to practice writing these higher numbers correctly. We also got to bring out the flexible seating options while we did one of our worksheets!

In reading we have been doing lots of hands on activities this week, which is why you probably noticed there were not many worksheets sent home for this subject! Students have been using whiteboards, puzzles, our SmartBoard, and have done some projects to strengthen our skills! The whiteboards have been helpful in connect the sounds students here to text, students have to write the word first and then decode it. We reviewed our sight words by being given two choices and then circling the sight word I asked for! Students have begun to start sounding out words that have 4 different sounds in them. This will be a challenge, but they have been doing so well with three sound words that I have no doubts they will be able to rise to the challenge. I did some progress monitoring for them, and I’m so proud of the progress they have been making!

Students also created their own ABC puzzle tournament during Morning Work time! They finished their work early and split into teams to see who could finish their respective puzzle faster. It was awesome to see them creating this moment for teamwork and healthy peer competition all on their own.

If you’d like to have your students practice their syllables (which we do usually as an exit ticket or a time filler), here’s a funny video that helps explain it and can give you some ideas for words to have them clap out!

Syllables! | Scratch Garden – YouTube

In Science we started talking about the planets! We read a book about Mae Jemison, the first black woman to go to space, and students were extremely fascinated by the job of astronauts! We started with the book The Sun is Kind of A Big Deal. This introduced the students to the concept of the solar system — they learned about the planets and even a song from my childhood to help remember them, what the Sun does for us, and how the Earth moves! We used one of our bouncy balls from the Cozy Corner to be the Sun and the students got to take turns pretending to be the Earth and the Moon, it was a lot of fun to see them try to spin in time with each other! We also read a book called So That’s  How the Moon Changes Shape! by Allan Fowler which explains the moon phases and had lots of photographs of the moon that the students enjoyed. We then made two lists about what we know about the Sun and the Moon to compare and contrast the two and got to spend time reading other books from our classroom library about space. It’s been fun to let the students guide the direction of this topic and I’m interested to see how we further our learning about space!

Here’s the planet song we learned, it’s from Blues Clues!

Blues Clues – Planet Song Music Video! By Hanksterman/Merry Xmas Everyone! – YouTube

This week we had another OperaTots lesson. This time, students got to do it together on the carpet, and we did lots of dancing! We will be taking a little break but the next time we join Ms. Emily we will be watching the opera!

Students were so excited that we got to have recess outside almost every day this week. It’s been so long, but the fresh air was much needed!

We also read the story My Mouth Is A Volcano by Julia Cook, which teaches students why it’s not polite to yell out and interrupt others when they’re speaking and offers strategies to help practice keeping our voices off until it is our turn. Now when I hear students try to yell out, I remind them that their “volcano is erupting” and that we need to fix that!

Please don’t forget to have your student complete their homework that is in their yellow folders (due on Friday), and be sure to check out all of the information in the Keep At Home side of the folder! There is information about lunch, the pepperoni roll fundraiser, and more.

Your student might have informed you that I am going to start gradually decreasing the frequency they get snack in order for them to get accustomed to not having it. Next year in first grade, they only receive snack when the school provides their fruit or vegetable snack a couple times a week! It’s crazy to think about but we are getting so close to the end of the school year!

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

 

 

A Short and Snowy Week In February

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Here is a recap of how our week went!

In reading this week we are still practicing middle and ending sounds. We did some puzzles to put together words that had short i sounds, long e, and short e sounds! We are practicing decoding (a fancy word for “sounding out”) words more and more, and students got to pair up and practice reading some sentences to each other from their reading workbooks. They love helping out if someone gets stuck, and this positive encouragement and help from peers can help build confidence and engagement! Now that students know all of their sounds we are working on them being able to apply this knowledge and do it quickly! The goal is to have them reading automatically. Drilling the letter sounds and sight words at home will make this easier!

We also did another class book report, but decided to combine it with Social Studies! We are still learning about “the past”, so we read a story about Jackie Robinson. This was our first book report on a non-fiction story, so it looked a little different than usual. But Kindergarten gave all of the information needed because they were really into this story! They loved that Jackie Robinson played many sports, and they were inspired by his ability to make “good choices”, as we call them in our classroom, even in the face of adversity. Talking about Jackie Robinson even inspired a conversation about women’s rights back when he was alive! A student asked, “How come there were no girls playing baseball?” We had an honest discussion about this, and I told them that in the future we will be learning about some famous black female athletes as well. I am so proud of how perceptive they are and how they challenge these stories!

In Math we are finishing up our chapter on addition! Students had a couple of “projects” (aka, assignments that are a multiple step process and require more time) that had to do with addition, including doing a multistep color by numbers and using manipulatives to complete a cut and paste addition sentence making ten. We are still reviewing numbers 11 to 100, and students are getting better and better at writing these bigger numbers correctly! We did a lot of fun counting games and even did a worksheet to practice identifying higher numbers correctly.

 

Here is a link to a great skip counting video you can watch at home for practice!

Students also had TWO visits from the school guidance counselor, Ms. Byron! They learned about how to be assertive, confident, and direct when asking for something or telling the truth about something that happened. They also practiced identifying feelings through facial expressions and body language! These are both two important social-emotional skills that we will continue to work on on our own. On Friday we had our second OperaTots session! Students learned the plot of the opera they are going to see, and learned some theater vocabulary like stage, audience, curtain, etc. They even got to look at different pictures of different kinds of theaters and stages! They of course got to dance and sing quite a bit as well.

Be sure to have your student submit their homework (the dominos addition page) by next Friday. I am looking forward to next week and all of the fun new things we will do!

Love,

Ms. V

A Week Full of Celebrations

Hello everyone!  I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day, and are enjoying your day off today!

Last week was fun and a little bit crazy, let’s check out what we did!

One thing Kindergarten has been consistently working on since learning about short and longs vowel sounds is the silent e! When there is a silent e at the end of the word, it makes the vowel in the middle “say it’s name” (aka, a long vowel sound!). Here is a fun song that can help students remember the difference.

On Monday, students read the story Jack B. Ninja by Tim McCanna. This story is about a kid who goes on a ninja mission, only to find out the bad guys were his family in disguise just to give him a birthday surprise! This story was a rhyming story, and is a play on the nursery rhyme Jack Be Nimble. After we read the story, students then had to look at pictures from the story and put them in the order that they happened in the story. This sequencing activity tests student’s comprehension skills. We also did an activity where we had to name the characters in the story and then write who they are. I have been pushing Kindergarten to work on their sentence writing more and more, as I want them to have lots of experience with this before first grade! Even if they are not spelling every word correctly, it gives me insight into what sounds they are hearing in a word and how their brain is connecting the sounds to the letters. It also encourages their creativity! An easy way to encourage this at home is to have students write a sentence of their own either about a story they read together or give them a random word to use in a sentence!

We have also been working on finding some new fun ways to review some old skills! Working on letter sounds and matching upper and lowercase letters by making a game out of it, and taking our workbooks to the floor to practice decoding or reading words. We are still reviewing vowels and the different sounds they make, and we will soon be moving from words with 3 sounds to words with 4 sounds! We also are continuing working on writing sentences independently, which includes having Kindergarten students “build” words on their own!

On Wednesday we celebrated Mikel’s sixth birthday! It was very exciting and we had a great time listening to some dance music, making cards for him, and eating ice cream after he shared his adorable baby pictures.

Also on Wednesday, we got to have our first session with a program called OperaTots! STBCA has partnered with the Pittsburgh Opera to do their special virtual program. Students used their tablets to join Ms. Emily on Zoom, and she taught them about what an opera is, sang some songs with us, and introduced us to the opera that students are going to be able to see in a couple months at the end of the program.

On Thursday we celebrated our 100th day of school! We dressed up and did some super fun activities like reading stories about the 100th day of school, practicing writing to 100, and making bracelets to practice our skip counting to 100 by tens!

Students built things using 100 popsicle sticks…

And they also came up with ideas of what they would do if they had $100! Some of their ideas were so creative! This was also some good reading practice.

Kindergarten also had some incredible costumes, they really hit the nail on the head! LOL!

In Social Studies this week, as we continue to learn about the past, present, and future, we learned about Ruby Bridges! Students were fascinated with her bravery and that she is still alive today! We read the children’s version of her autobiography.

On Friday, we celebrate Valentine’s Day! Students made valentines for you, their parents, and got some special treats! They also made Get Well Soon cards for their classmate Sydney who has been sick for the past week or so. We hope she returns soon! Also a special shout out to Reid’s grandmother who made cute Valentine’s Day masks for the whole class. They are lovely. 🙂

It was a fun-filled and exciting week! I’m looking forward to this one being just as great.

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

 

 

Catholic School’s Week!

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a good weekend! I apologize for this being late. Here’s what we did last week during out short Catholic School’s week!

Monday we had a snow day, and Tuesday (even though there was a delay) was class color day! Kindergarten was yellow, one of my favorites! Some students let me take photos of them in their favorite spot — the gym. We have been having recess in the gym for a while due to the weather, and Kindergarten is making the most of it.

In Math we are continuing to practice our adding! Students have been doing these worksheets independently, as so many of them are doing so well with where we are at with addition. We continue to practice counting up to 100 and working on being able to tell the difference between larger numbers. On Wednesday it was Red, White, and Blue day and we got to play some Bingo! This was a great way to practice recognizing larger numbers in a fun way! We had many winners, most of them took home some candy prizes!

This week we have been brushing up on some old skills, and trying to work on making students more automatic with their letter recognition and letter sounds so they can use these schools quickly and effectively when reading! We did a lot of small group work and utilized games, whiteboards, and other manipulatives! We also are continuing to work on our sentence writing. Students were given notebooks to keep in their desk where they can practice sentence writing, making sure they have nice handwriting, proper spacing, capitalization, and punctuation! We will be reading stories about how the past is different than the present (and the future!) which ties in nicely to Social Studies. We also have been enjoying using our tablets. They got to not only play games but also listen and read along with some virtual books!

It was lovely getting to speak to you all during Parent-Teacher Conferences! Students enjoyed having a half-day, and I enjoyed being able to brag a little bit about how wonderful this class is.

Friday morning we had Mass, and in the afternoon we had our movie day! We got to watch The Princess and The Frog and eat popcorn. Yum!

I sent out an email earlier today detailing some events going on this week, but we will be celebrating the 100th Day of School, Mikel’s birthday, my birthday, and Valentine’s Day this week! It will be a hectic but very exciting week in Kindergarten, so stay tuned!

 

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

 

Wrapping Up January!

Hello everyone! I hope you take advantage of this three day weekend!

Here are our hallway decorations! We have our collaborative flowers on either end of our self-portraits. We use this to enforce the idea that we are all unique and special, but this is what makes our community so beautiful! Can you spot which one is your student’s portrait? Which one is their flower?

In Reading this week, we worked on the letter Uu vowel sound! Here is a video to go over the different sounds the Uu makes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWiRgOuaS84

I also have another video for you all to watch together at home, so you can practice the vowel sounds at home as well!

We are continuing working on ending and middle sounds. This week we focused on words that end with Tt and Pp. One big activity students did was cutting out pictures and putting them on a chart to sort them by Tt, Dd, and Pp ending sounds. We also did some small group work to focus on the individual skills that some students need!

On Thursday we got some time to play our File Folder games, which also work on ending sounds, beginning sounds, and letter recognition. A fun way to review these skills!

Another exciting tool we got to use is the tablets! Students all have their own tablets that stay in their desks. The tablets have a few apps downloaded that we will be using for centers and/or independent work. We might even use them as a prize in the future! This week students got to go on Khan Academy Kids (an app I very much recommend for everyone to use at home) for some letter recognition and letter sound practice, and with Mr. McKay they used Everfi which is a website that combines Social Studies and Reading skills!

This week we read a story called How Anansi Got His Stories and Mosni Can Help, which are two different folktales. The former is from West Africa and the latter is from Mexico. We talked about how folktales help teach kids important life lessons, and they are told to the communities over time. We also watched another Anansi story on Youtube, which I linked below!

In Math, we are continuing working on addition vocabulary. We have been using terms like “in all”, “altogether”, “put together”, “add”, etc. We also have been working on some additional math skills, like transposing numbers (flipping the numbers around, being able to tell the difference between 32 and 23 for example), subitizing (being able to count groups of objects quickly) and identifying numbers 11-20. We used cubes to help practice identifying numbers and showing it with quantities, which students love to use to build! We also played a game where I would say a number and students would have to come to the board and circle the number I asked. This helps with transposing numbers and making sure that we are listening to the names of numbers. This is an easy skill to practice at home as well! And continue practicing counting all the way up to 100 at home!

 

Students also got to meet the new baby gerbils that are in middle school! They were so cute and little. We tied this into our continuing discussion on mammals. We also watched an episode of a show on Netflix called, If I Were An Animal. This show has real videos of animals and teaches students different aspects of how they survive in the wild. I totally recommend it for you all to enjoy at home!

The Museum of Kindergarten is looking beautiful! We have a wide range of art in there right now. Thank you to Sola, Matilda, Jalija, and Sydney for their art!

This week we also celebrated our first birthday in the classroom! Matilda turned six! We had ice cream with syrup and sprinkles, made cards for her that included some of her favorite things, and she got to do a special show and tell of some baby pictures of her! Students loved asking her questions about the pictures and what her life was like when she was little.

This week Gregory made a much anticipated return from vacation. We also received a new student who had previously been in virtual school, Sydney! While we were very sad to say goodbye to our friend Brandon, who will be doing virtual school, we are also excited to explore the new dynamic in our classroom with our new friend.

Next week is Catholic School’s week, and every day we will be doing something new! Be sure to check the Option C flyer that was sent out with more details.

Monday: Pittsburgh Dress Down Day

Tuesday: Class Color Day (Yellow for Kindergarten)

Wednesday: Red, White, and Blue Dress Down

Thursday: STBCA Day

Friday: Pajama Day

 

Also, don’t forget that there is homework for your student to complete in their folder! They have until next Friday to complete it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

Ms. V Has Lost Track of What Week It Is!

Hi everyone!

I hope your weekend is going smoothly. Let’s recap what happened during this short week in Kindergarten!

Students got to do a lot of independent work this week due to having so many assessments still going on. I’m proud of the way they have been getting better at focusing even when I am not leading them, and trying their best before relying on me for guidance. They also have been great at watching out for each other and keeping each other in check, which is equal parts adorable and helpful!

In Reading this week we have been working on the letter Ii vowel sounds, both long and short! We had to rush things a little bit due to having an unexpected day off this week, but they handled it like pros! We did some more assessments for ELA called Skill Inventories. We will keep focusing on isolating ending and middle sounds in words, but they have been doing great with blending sounds to figure out what a short word is after sounding it out. Please keep having them practice reading on their own any books you have at home! Even just reading to them, pointing to each word as you read it, helps them catch on to many phonics concepts. Students are working on refreshing their memory of word wall words and using them in sentences! Be sure to also keep practicing have them name individual letters at home, and then saying the sound. We don’t want them to lose any skills while they learn new ones!

Here’s a song to listen to/dance to/learn to at home:

In Math we focused on breaking apart numbers 8, 9, and 10! Students are definitely starting to get the hang of this, with the help of some handy dandy counting cubes! We had our DIBELS Math assessment this week. Most students did great, and this is tricky because each part of the assessment is only one minute long. Some things students can work on at home, regarding their Math skills, are working on counting on from numbers other than 1 (have them start at 5 or 12!) and work on recognizing numbers 20 and higher! Double digit numbers can be very confusing, so the more practice the better. I’m excited to start doing some more small group work with them in Math so make sure everyone is on the same page. Math centers are some of my favorites!

     

In Religion we are still continuing our lessons about how we are all made perfectly in God’s image, and to illustrate that we did self-portraits of ourselves! Students had to follow step by step instructions in order to make sure the portrait was large enough to be seen well on the paper and that the coloring was done correctly. They all turned out so beautiful, it was wonderful to see students make positive observations about themselves! These will be hung up in our hallway alongside the flowers they made.

In Science this week, we read the story What Do You Do With A Tail Like This? which shows different body parts of different animals and explains why that part is unique and important to that animal. We had fun picking out the mammals featured in the book!

If you haven’t heard, Kindergarten has been FASCINATED by the ice on the playground! They love to pick up big chunks and watch it melt due to their body heat. They also love to try and break the chunks of ice by stepping on them. We’ve had many scientific conversations about the weather, temperature, states of matter, and more just based on them playing outside. It’s so enriching when their learning comes from natural experiences!

We are so close to filling up our classroom behavior jar and earning another class-wide prize!! Students have submitted some ideas as possible prizes, and once they are approved by Mrs. Michael we will vote on one of the prizes. Keep an eye out for what that may be!

Here are some silly pictures that made me laugh this week. Kindergarten is exhausting, but they always keep the days interesting!

 

I also just want to say that I am so, so thankful for this wonderful and amazing group of kids. Every day they make me smile and laugh, and show me so much love. Getting to be their teacher makes the hard times so much easier. So thank YOU parents, for raising such incredible little people! Keep up the good work!

Love,

Ms. V 🙂

Hello 2021!

Hello again everyone!

I am so glad to be back in Kindergarten. I missed all of the students so much.  Last week they were with our building substitute, Mrs. Ketchum. She was so impressed with their behavior, and they were great helpers to her. I am so proud!

This week we are jumping right back into the nitty gritty! We had our DIBELS assessments this week. Everyone has been making great progress! We are currently learning the differences between vowels and consonants, and the difference between a long vowel and a short vowel. This week we worked on the letter Aa, and differentiating between the short and the long sounds it makes! We have been practicing isolating every sound in a word, and picking out a sound that is either in the middle or at the end of a word. For their homework this week, they have to learn the word ‘little’ which we will be adding to our Word Wall. Please be sure to practice their flashcards that I sent home as well!

Last week with Mrs. Ketchum, Kindergarten did a class book report on the book The Water Princess by Susan Verdie. This story is about supermodel Georgie Badiel’s childhood, and her dreams of bringing clean drinking water to her African village.

In Math, we have started learning how to break apart numbers. This is the foundation for adding and subtraction, breaking apart numbers into two groups in different combinations. This week we focused on breaking about numbers 2-7, and next week we will do more numbers. Then we will start doing some addition! This is one of my favorite things to teach in Math, and I’m so excited to see Kindergarten catch on to these concepts! Once they get the hang of it, they truly blossom. This is also quite easy to practice at home!

In Science this week and last, Kindergarten learned about the differences between different kinds of animals — starting with mammals! We read a story about squirrels this week, and we talked about how we know they are mammals because of their fur, their legs, their ears, and the fact that they have babies!  The story, The Secret Life of Squirrels, is fictional. But the author took real pictures of squirrels, which the students got a big kick out of. Then we did an activity afterwards in which we made an obstacle course to complete, and reviewed positional words like ‘around, under, next to’ etc. Students had so much fun! I’ll send a video of them completing the course in an email.

In Religion this week, we read the book I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown and his son Jason “Rachel” Brown. The story is like a conversation between the father and son, and the father is letting his son know that he was born perfect, just the way he is! We had a conversation about how we are all made perfect the way we are, in God’s image. We also went around and said one thing that we like about ourselves. Some notable comments were, “I like that I’m talented!” and “I like that I’m intelligent!” These positive affirmations are important to build self-confidence, even at a young age. Afterwards we designed our own parts of a flower which will be used for a collaborative art piece this week. We noted that everyone’s flowers are unique and different, but they are all beautiful in their own way. Just like us!

In Social Studies this week we learned about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We read the book below, and watched some videos about his life!

We also listened to this story written by his son and what is was like for him growing up.

Throughout the rest of the year in Social Studies we will continue to talk about famous historical figures and the past, present, and future.

Students have also been practicing controlling their voices during class time. Please remind them how important it is to remember there is a time and a place for everything!

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Love,

Ms. V 🙂