Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31, 2014 Newsletter

October 31, 2014

Dear Parents,
This has been a very fun week here in room 115!  We had a wonderful day at the Zoo on Tuesday and want to thank Mrs. MacDonald, Mrs. Fragoso, and Mrs. Suhail for coming with us!  We also enjoyed our Halloween Parade today.  It was fun to watch everyone get dressed up.
We will start learning about the Wampanoags and Pilgrims next week.  I hope the students will be able to comprehend a little about how different it was to live 400 years ago.  The students will be making their Wampanoag costumes and will start to weave placemats soon.  We will be focusing on families and homes during the next couple of weeks.  They will make family collages, which will include everyone who lives in their homes and they will create a class book with their houses and addresses.  It would be great if you could work with your child on memorizing his/her street address.
The students have been working hard in math. We are still working on writing our numbers, one to one correspondence and different math language (i.e. which is more or fewer, etc.).
We are looking forward to Miss Lyons’ return this coming week...or Mrs. Marsh actually!  I’m sure the students will help her get caught up on all that she missed!  We want to say a really BIG thank you to Miss Laquidara for her help during the past couple of weeks!

Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

Melanie Duncan

We still need brown grocery bags for our Thanksgiving projects.  If you could ask for some at the grocery store the next time you go, that would be helpful.  Thank you!

Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings this weekend!

Happy Halloween!

It certainly was an exciting day!  The children enjoyed dressing up in their Halloween costumes and parading around the school.  We enjoyed some Halloween songs and stories and even did some Halloween patterning in math.  We also talked about being safe while trick-or-treating.  I'm glad Halloween was on a Friday this year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Franklin Park Zoo

We had a beautiful day at the Zoo!  Due to a lot of traffic and navigating a new route to the Zoo, we arrived later than we had hoped.  After a whole lot of "Are we there yets?" we finally arrived and saw some really cool animals, including a leopard, a red panda, prairie dogs, zebras, wildebeests, ostriches, two tigers (even a white one), a roaring lion, a camel, an anteater, tapirs, and so much more.  We even got to see some gorillas up close!  There was so much we didn't get to see.  Don't be surprised if your child asks you to bring him/her back to the Zoo!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall and Halloween Art Projects

We have been busy decorating our classroom!  The students drew, painted, and cut out some fascinating zoo animals, used their hands and some beautiful fall colors to paint trees, and painted some nice, plump pumpkins to make a pumpkin patch for our Halloween bears.  We also decided to decorate our classroom door for a school-wide contest.  We made handprint spiders, brainstormed some rhyming words, and then made a web by matching the words that rhyme!  We are looking forward to our trip to the zoo and all our Halloween festivities later this week!

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014 Newsletter

October 24, 2014

Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying all the beautiful autumn changes that are happening outside and the cooler weather too!  It is an exciting time of the year for the children and it is a busy time in the classroom.  It was nice to finally get outside for recess today.  We were all so glad it had stopped raining!
We had a special visitor from the Burlington Public Library today.  She shared some stories with us and talked about some of the special programs the library offers.  She also gave students forms to fill out to get their own library cards!  If your child would like a card, please fill out the form and return it straight to the library.
We are looking forward to our trip to the Franklin Park Zoo on Tuesday.  I will send a reminder home on Monday but students will need a disposable bagged lunch and snack as well as a drink…and warm clothes too!  Chaperones should be here by 8:45am so we can leave by 9:00am.  We are hoping for a beautiful day.
As you can see from the work coming home, the children are continuing to make books.  We have finished the Mom and I Went to the Zoo innovation and have been reading them to each other.  I would encourage the children to reread them as much as possible.  It’s also good to have them point to the words while they read them.  We also made a class book based on Mrs. Wishy-Washy. The children continue to write in their journals, illustrate poetry, and work with beginning sounds and rhyming.
Next week we will begin learning about Thanksgiving, the Native Americans, and Pilgrims.  We will start the unit by reading a book by Kate Waters entitled, "Tapenaum, the Story of an Indian Boy".  This book has accurate information and photos taken from the Wampanoag village at Plimouth Plantation.  It is a book that depicts the lives of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags in the 1620's.  We try to emphasize how different their lives were from ours, but that family was then, and is now, very important.  Hopefully they will come away from this unit with a tiny bit of understanding and thankfulness for all we have today.
We will also be making costumes and artifacts that would be used by the people of the day.  This is in preparation to wear to our feast the week of Thanksgiving. Students will dress up as either Native Americans or Pilgrims and we will eat our snacks from home together with the other Kindergarten students in the cafeteria.
We will need large brown paper bags to make our Wampanoag costumes.  If you have any extras or can ask for some at a grocery store, we would really appreciate it.  Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan

Also… don’t forget that the Halloween Parade is on Friday.  You are welcome to stand outside the office in the lobby area at 9:00am to watch us parade by!  Children are invited to bring their costumes in a labeled bag to change into.  They will be changing out of them after the parade.  If you do not want your child to participate, please let me know as soon as possible.

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014 Newsletter

October 17, 2014

Dear Parents,
It's hard to believe October is more than half way over already!  We have been doing a lot to prepare for our field trip to the zoo on Tuesday, October 28 and we have even started some Halloween projects. If you haven’t sent in the $7 to cover the cost of the field trip, please send it in early next week.
The children have spent time working on their individual innovations of Mom and I went to the Zoo.  They are working very hard on their illustrations, which are looking more and more like the animals they want them to be.  They love all the new animal and Halloween songs, chants, and poems we are doing.
We have started our third topic/unit in math.  Our focus has been on numbers six to ten.  The students have been making a lot of progress writing their numerals.  I will continue sending homework home next week so they can continue practicing them.
The students have also made costumes for the bears they painted and cut out.  They were quite creative as they made their bears into superheroes, princesses, and many other Halloween characters.  Check out the pictures posted to this blog!
We will need a lot of large brown paper bags for our Thanksgiving unit.  If you could ask for some at the grocery store or send in any you may have at home, it would be greatly appreciated.
We had a safety officer come in on Tuesday to talk with us about bus safety.  The students enjoyed learning some useful tips and practicing jumping off the back of a bus!
Next Friday, we will be having a presentation from the Burlington Public Library.  One of their librarians will be doing a story time and will give each student information about signing up for a library card.
We went to our school library on Wednesday.  Please have your child return his/her library book as soon as he/she is done with it to make sure they can sign another one out.  Also, please make sure you read and return our class books as soon as possible too.
Please fill out the parent conference form I sent home with your child today.  I will try to schedule conferences at the most convenient times for you all.  I am looking forward to meeting with you all!
Please consider practicing shoe tying and coat zipping at home.  It will save a considerable amount of time in the classroom…especially getting ready for recess!  Thanks!

Have a great weekend!
Melanie Duncan and Kerry Lyons

PS… The Kindergarten will be having a Halloween Parade on Friday, October 31st at 9:00am.  Students are welcome to bring a costume to change into for the parade if they wish to participate.  Please let me know ahead of time if you do not want your child to participate.  Parents are invited to watch the parade.  You can stand in the lobby as we parade by!  It’s a lot of fun!

PSS… We wanted to share some exciting news with all of you.  Miss Lyons is getting married tomorrow!  We are looking forward to her return at the beginning of November.  In the meantime, Miss Laquidara will be helping in our classroom!

Halloween Bears

We have been learning about mammals (including bears) and have also learned some cute teddy bear poems.  We decided to paint and cut out our own teddy bears and get them all dressed up for Halloween!  Thank you to the moms who helped with this messy and very involved project!

My Teddy Bear
By Marchette Chute

A teddy bear is a faithful friend
You can pick him up at either end
His fur is the color of breakfast toast
And he's always there when you need him most

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10, 2014 Newsletter

October 10, 2014

Dear Parents,

We are already preparing for our trip to the Franklin Park Zoo on Tuesday, October 28.  We have already started learning about animals and will learn more about mammals next week.  The children have begun an individual innovation entitled, Mom and I Went to the Zoo, which they will bring home to read in a couple of weeks.

Please send in the $7 for our field trip and let me know if you are interested in chaperoning for the Zoo.  I can only take three chaperones on this trip so I will get back to you when chaperones are selected.  I am hoping to select chaperones by the middle of next week.

Students made crocodile and monkey puppets this week to use as props when we sing our zoo song.  They are all so unique, because they draw and cut the parts of the puppet themselves.
The children continue to write in their journals and to illustrate poetry.  We have been introducing various poems and chants, which help the children to hear rhymes.

We have been sending home papers for them to practice writing numerals.  This is homework that they have to return the next day.  We ask that they use a pencil to write the numerals using the Fundations pencil grip (pinch the pencil close to the tip with thumb and pointer finger and use the rest of the fingers to rest on the table).  All numbers and letters should be written from top to bottom.  The Fundations papers are for students to practice at home.  They do not need to be returned to school.

We have been doing a lot with comparing and ordering numbers in math.  Students have shown a lot of improvement with writing their numbers.  I will be introducing students to a website that I like to use frequently, mostly with math, although it includes many subject areas.  Please feel free to check it out ahead of time:  Click on “math games” and then under the heading “early math” click on the games “Count and Order,” “Order Numbers 1-10,” and “Count to 10.”  These games help reinforce some of the concepts we are practicing in math.  They are simple but the students typically enjoy them.  There are many other games and activities on that website that your child would probably enjoy at home.  I will use some of them throughout the year.

Hearing and vision screening will start next week and will probably last for a couple of weeks until all the Kindergarten students are screened.  If there are any concerns, someone will contact you.  If your child wears glasses, please make sure he/she brings them to school during the next couple of weeks until the screening is over.

Don’t forget that there is no school on Monday due to Columbus Day weekend.  Enjoy the extra day!

Melanie Duncan and Kerry Lyons

Zoo Puppets

The students made crocodile and monkey puppets to use as props during a song we have been singing..."We're Going to the Zoo." That song will probably be stuck in my head most of the rest of October!  It was a fun way to end a busy week!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cross-Section Diagrams

We have been learning about cross-section diagrams during our writing unit on informational writing.  We cut open one of the apples we picked at Parlee Farms last week to see what was inside, drew a picture of what we observed, and then labeled the important parts.  It certainly has been fun learning about and enjoying apples this fall!

Friday, October 3, 2014

October 3, 2014 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

        It's hard to believe that September has come and gone and October is already here!  We have finished most of our apple projects and will be starting our unit on mammals and other zoo animals soon in preparation for our field trip to the zoo at the end of this month.  More info about this trip will be going home next week.  Once we confirm the date, please let me know if you are interested in chaperoning.  The number of chaperones for this trip is limited so I will most likely be drawing names from a basket.
        We had a wonderful day at the apple orchard on Tuesday.  The children enjoyed picking apples and pumpkins, eating a picnic lunch, feeding the goats, and playing in the hay maze.  We want to say a special thank you to Mrs. Delaney and Mrs. Collins for coming with us!
        As always, we have been working very hard in Room 115.  The children completed two class books this week, Apples Up on Top and Room 115 Likes Reading.  The books are now circulating to your homes along with three others.  Make sure to have your child read the book with you before you return them the next day. Please try to return them the next day so someone else can bring them home to share!
The children also took their first journals home.  They wrote their words in their best guess spelling.  We help them by saying the words with them and accept the letters they hear.  You will be able to see tremendous growth as the year progresses.  They also brought home their Brown Bear, Brown Bear books.  They read them to the class and should be very proud of their work!  These books can stay at home for them to practice reading!
Students have also practiced writing the numbers 1-5, which are not always easy to do for those 5 and 6 year old hands!  We have also begun a new unit in math and have been working more with counting.  The students have been doing very well with their homework.  Students should complete them at home with pencils and then return them the next day.  Hopefully the extra practice will help students to learn them better!
        We started having parent volunteers come into the classroom to help from 9:00-9:50am with our art projects.  I sent a volunteer calendar home to parents who emailed that they were interested in helping.  I will send an email towards the end of the month asking for volunteers for the month of November.  You can respond with the days and how often you are interested in helping.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan and Kerry Lyons

PS...Don’t forget to have your child practice putting on his/her jacket/sweatshirt.  It is greatly appreciated!