Week 3: Plants and Animals

Hello Parents of Room 104,

Our specials this week are: Monday – Art, Tuesday – World Language, Wednesday – Gym, Thursday – World Language, Friday – Gym

Sight Words: the, of, and, a, to

I will be sending our first weekly homework packet home this week. You will find the packet in the second sleeve in your student’s take home folder. Homework is due this Friday, I still like to check the homework everyday but I will take a grade on Friday. Upon requests from many parents I will be sending home a handwriting practice sheet for each day in the homework packet as well. If you have questions please reach out to me.

I want to encourage all parents to sign up for our classroom dojo to stay up to date with classroom news.

This week we will be studying the following:

Reading: looking for things we can read in the world, growing our stamina on independent and buddy reading, and to read books cover to cover.

Phonics: exploring letters and sorting them on how they are different from each other, identifying letter names and shapes. We will be focusing on letters J-N in ABC Bootcamp.

Writing: adding pictures and sounds to create writing pieces, adding more writing to our pieces when we think we are done, and building our independent writing stamina.

Math: play a game to develop oral counting skills ,create a representation to show our collective birthdays ,create a class T-graph to represent our ages ,counting out objects to represent the number 5.

Science: explain that monarch caterpillars can only live where there are milkweed plants for them to eat, investigate to answer unit question of what plants and animals need to live and grow, explain that plants grow from seeds and that plants have stems, leaves, flowers, and roots.

Social Studies: Tell what a good choice is and what a bad choice is, tell ways to be a good friend, tell ways to be a good friend, work on our Leader in Me binders and goal setting.

Week 1: Welcome to Kindergarten!

Hello Families of Room 104,

I am so happy to welcome you to Room 104. Each week I will update this blog with the week’s specials, sight words, events, and what we are focusing on in our classroom. This first week we will be focusing on building classroom routines, procedures, and getting to know each other. I will ask that on the first day please send your student with a small object that begins with the letter A. For example, an apple, ambulance car, ant toy, etc.)

Our specials for this week are: Tuesday – World Language, Wednesday – Gym, Thursday – World Language and Library, Friday – Art.

This week I will be sending home many important forms to fill out and info sheets to read. A few that I want to highlight are: Classroom Dojo sign up code, Kindergarten Info flip book, CPS School forms, ABC Bootcamp info sheet, classroom calendar and newsletter, and the monthly project ‘All About Me’ book page. Please see all due dates listed in the calendar.

For the first day please come early as Mr. Mason will host a back to school prep rally. I will be checking students in by my door (Door 3 by the playground). I will be taking in school supplies and I have set up first day pictures for the morning. I will invite students inside at 8:45, at this time parents will give their last goodbyes. No parents will be able to enter the classroom once the school day has started.

I will ask all parents to sign their students out at dismissal. If your student will be taking the bus please double check with the office that they are routed. If someone that is not the listed parent picking up your student always communicate their name and have them bring their I.D. for me to check for sign out.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out. My email is vmelanson@cps.edu.

Let’s have an amazing week!

Sincerely,

Ms. M

Week 17 – Happy New Year!

Hello Parents of Room 104,

Sight words: their, she, if, how, do

Specials: Monday – World Language, Tuesday – Gym, Wednesday – World Language, Thursday – Gym, Friday – World Language

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were restful and wonderful. I will send out the classroom newsletter and calendar tomorrow (1/8). If you have not filled out the parent volunteer form, please do so. If you want to check if you have been approved, send me a dojo or email.

We are starting new units of study this week. In reading we will be learning Readers Theater by preforming our favorite books. This unit will culminate in a performance which parents are invited to (please fill out volunteer form for this event). In writing we will be learning ‘How to’ books where we teacher the reader things we are experts in. In Math we will be starting unit 5 which focuses on operations and algebraic thinking (ten frames, equations, addition strategies) and geometry. In Science we will be learning about physical forces (pushes and pulls) through designing a classroom pinball machine and using magnets. Lastly, in Social Studies we will be learning about community and community jobs.

Thanks!

 

Week 16 Happy Holidays!

Good Afternoon Parents,

Sight words: Please practice all your sight words this week for a good review. I will be giving a final test on all our sight words this Friday

Specials: Monday – Gym, Tuesday – World Language, Wednesday – Gym, Thursday – World Language, Friday – Art

Our field trip to MSI will be tomorrow 12/18 and we will be leaving at 10:00 am. Students should bring a bag lunch that they can throw away when they are done eating. If you would like to meet us there all parents are welcome to meet us there.

Our Winter Assembly will be this Thursday at 9:15. I would advise coming early and grabbing a good seat, this event is packed and I want to make sure you guys get a good view. I will be taking pictures/videos during the event and afterward to save the memories.

One last thought, our Winter Party will be this Friday at 2:00. We will be having snacks, decorating trees and cookies, building ginger bread houses, and many more great activities. I hope to see you there!

Week 15

Hello Parents!

Sight words: there, use, an, each, which

Specials: Monday – World Language, Tuesday – Gym, Wednesday – World Language, Thursday – Art, Friday – World Language

Field Trip to MSI is 12/18 and all money and permission slips are due 12/14

I wanted to update you on a few new procedures. As you have seen, I will be sending home a monthly calendar and newsletter going over our daily specials, all events, reminders, and our monthly learning focus. You will find our calendar and newsletter in the first plastic sleeve in your folder. The homework packet will be in the second sleeve to prevent them from falling out of the folder. You will find our daily sight words on the homework packet and I will be posting them on the blog as well.

I have also been sending home various extra practice pages or work that I think your student would benefit from. Please treat these extra practice pages as homework and send back the next day for me to give feedback.

I have been testing students on their sight words using a booklet. Each page has 2 weeks worth of words on it, and when students have mastered a page they unlock a sticker for their book. On Fridays I test on this week’s words and previous week’s words. I like this system because it gives students extra opportunities to master their first 100 sight words. For students who have mastered their sight words we are working on our second booklet focusing on short and long vowel fluency and phrases. I will continue to send home sight word tests and words that your student needs to review.

I put all our whole group learning objectives for the month on our newsletter. However, I believe in differentiation and teaching to your student’s specific learning continuum. I use daily assessments, exit tickets, and observations to inform my small group targeted instruction. If you ever have questions around what your student’s goals are for small group please let me know and I’ll be happy to share.

If you have any questions send me a text via dojo or email any time. I’m happy to help 🙂

Thanks!

Ms. M

Bringing the Spooky to Week 8

Hello Parents of 104,

It’s been a busy time in Kindergarten. I apologize for not updating the blog, I have been brain storming on how best to utilize this blog space. I decided to give updates on what we are learning in the classroom and what you can do at home to mirror what is happening in the classroom.

First some updates, I will be sending home monthly calendars and newsletters going over big events and goals of the month. I have been sending student work home. Most of the work I send home daily is independent work that is done during center time. I may ask your student to correct the work, or I may send home extra practice sheets as needed. All student work that needs to be corrected will be in the front pocket of the homework folder. All other student work will be in the back pocket of the homework folder.

Many of you have been asking for more resources that you can use at home. I am a big fan of Raz Kidz for reading. I assign books to listen to, read, and take little quizzes on. If you would like to try it out you can click here or you can go to the app store and download the app on your phone or tablet. The teacher user name is vmelanson and it will log you into our classroom. For math I like to use education.com kindergarten math games. I will also be sending home practice pages as needed in addition to the homework and home links.

The first quarter is ending and we will have report card pick up on November 14. I only have a few parents sign in for their appointment. Please let me know when you can come, I will have the list available at drop off/pick up. During report card pick up I will go over your students report card, their portfolio of work, their Leadership Notebook, and their academic goals for the year. If you can not make it on November 14 please email me so we can make arrangements.

In the classroom we have been focusing on many different skills outlined below:

Reading: we have been learning all of our Reading Super Powers. They include: pointer power, picture power, first letter power, sound power, and re-read power. Students have learned to use these super powers to help them figure out those tricky words. I have seen your students begin to apply these powers in an authentic way during our 15 minutes of independent reading and with support during guided reading. We have been focusing on comprehension questions like what happened at the beginning, middle, and end, characters, setting, and we will be going into problems and solutions in November. In guided reading groups lessons and activities will be differentiated to focus on the specific level your student is at. For example, we may be working on beginning, middle, and end during our whole group lesson, but in guided reading we are focusing on problem and solution. This model gives students ample exposure and support.

Writing: we are beginning to write sounds and sight words in our stories and how to books. We have begun learning about instructional texts and what we can teach our readers. We will be clapping sounds out, listening for sounds, and adding detail to our writing. At this point I’m pushing students to write three step instructional book about a topic they know a lot about. If you would like to support this at home a fun activity would be to have your student write directions for common activities. For example, how to brush your teeth or get ready for school. Then you can post their writing so they refer back to it everyday.

Math: We are beginning to explore the foundational structure of equations and number stories. For example, we are acting out word problems and using pictures or our figures to prove our thinking. In the classroom I push the students to explain their thinking over getting the right answer. At home I would encourage to notice math around you in your everyday life. For example, ask your student what costs more, how to categorize objects, what has more/less, and to informally notice equations like adding things or taking things away.

If you have any questions I’m always happy to help. Reach out any time 🙂

Let’s Roar for Week 4

Hi Parents of Room 104,

This week has been amazing! We hit our 15 minutes of independent reading and we are in full swing with our literacy centers. Every morning we begin with independent reading. This is a time for your student to go to a variety of comfry reading spots and practice reading. I encourage students to pick books of interest as well as assigning  books at their proper reading levels. Children learn to read by reading every day during this uninterrupted time. We are learning to read books cover to cover, and to use our pointer fingers to track print. We learned picture power to help comprehend stories. We are still testing students individually to match the proper reading level and skills.

In writing we are drawing stories where there are people doing something. This helps build foundational understanding of formal sentence structure and parts of speech. We are beginning to add words by focusing on beginning, middle, and ending sounds. We are introducing ending punctuation, specifically periods. I am encouraging students to ask themselves “does my story have a person/people and are they doing something?” Before they add punctuation. This step will help alleviate common grammer misconceptions later on.

In mathematics we are well on our way to working independently at our centers. I design my math block to have a variety of centers focusing on different modes of learning. For example: whole group lessons, small group work, technology, fluency practice, application assessments, creative math journal pages, and kinesthetic math tubs and games. This allows ample opportunity for students to apply mathematical concepts in a variety of settings.

Please send the signed permission slip and field trip money to me ASAP! The school needs time to write a check and I can not accept money on the day of the trip.

Also, please sign up for the snack list. I want to thank all the parents who have participated in our snack. You have made room 104 a wonderful place for our students.

If you have any questions please reach out anytime.  The only time when I can’t speak is during arrival. If you would like an early morning meeting please let me know and I’ll be happy to accommodate.

Have a great weekend!

Ms. M