Monday, December 22, 2014

Nutcracker Performance

Thank you all for coming to our Nutcracker Performance! The students were very proud to show you our Russian Peppermint dance! What a wonderful way to celebrate such an exciting time of the year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014 Newsletter

December 19, 2014

Dear Parents,

It's hard to believe our holiday break begins on Wednesday next week!  We have had a very exciting month of school and have learned so much.  The children have done amazingly well with all the excitement and changes in our schedule.

One of the highlights for this week was our Nutcracker Field Trip!  It is always fun watching the children get excited when they hear the familiar songs and see their Nutcracker characters on stage!  We want to thank Mrs. Valente and Mrs. Broy for chaperoning our field trip.  We had a wonderful time!

We are very excited for our own Nutcracker performance that will be on Monday and hope that you will all be able to make it at 9am to watch us!  The students have been working very hard and are excited to be able to perform the Russian Peppermint dance for you!  If possible, please have your child wear red tops and black bottoms on Monday for the performance.  Thanks!

We have almost finished our first unit in Fundations and are looking forward to working with uppercase letters in January.  We have been busy working with some Kindergarten sight words, writing in our journals, and illustrating our “Good Night” books that will start coming home after the students read them to the class.

We will be sending a bag full of art projects home on Tuesday with your child.  We apologize in advance for all the glitter that you will be finding all over your house now!  We hope the students will take great pride showing you all their special Nutcracker, Gingerbread, and Christmas projects. We are very proud of all they have accomplished so far this year!

I sent home a packet today in your child’s blue folder.  It contains a letter about guided reading instruction that will start next month, a book at your child’s reading level, the list of Kindergarten high frequency words, some name writing practice sheets, some lined writing paper, a blank January writing journal, a 100s chart, a math game, and a reading log.  Several parents asked me at our conference to send home some extra “homework” for their children.  None of the activities in the packet need to be returned but I would be happy to look at whatever your child completes and sends back in.  Feel free to copy any of the pages so you have extra sheets to use.  Your child can write in their journals, record books they are reading, practice the high frequency words, practice counting to 100, and have fun playing the math game!

I also wanted to let you know that I've added some resources to my blog.  Some parents had asked me about math and reading websites and apps that their children could access from home.  These are listed under the Pages section on the right side of my blog.  I hope you enjoy exploring some of them!  Please let me know of any others that you might already use with your child.  I will take a look at them and maybe add them to the list!

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan
Kerry Marsh

A Reminder:  School will be back in session on Monday, January 5th.

We could also use some large brown paper bags with handles.  Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nutcracker Field Trip

We had a wonderful trip to the Strand Theater to see "The Nutcracker Ballet!" The students enjoyed hearing the music we have been dancing to and seeing their characters on stage.  We want to give a special thank you to Mrs. Valente and Mrs. Broy for coming with us!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Battle Dance

We have been practicing the different Nutcracker dances in preparation for our field trip tomorrow.  Today we did our Battle dance in the gym with the other Kindergarten classes.  The students pretended to be either soldiers or mice and enjoyed battling with each other until they were all "wounded" on the floor!  They had a lot of fun and were super cute!  They will be super excited to see the Battle scene in the real performance tomorrow!

Gingerbread People

We have been reading several different Gingerbread stories including the Gingerbread Man, Boy, Baby, Pirate, Cowboy, Girl, and Friends.  We compared all the different characters and the different endings too.  We made our own gingerbread people to decorate our hallway.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scenes from the Nutcracker

Check out our Nutcracker characters!  Students worked together in small groups to help decorate their life-size Nutcracker characters.  The walls in the classroom and hallway now tell the story of the Nutcracker.  There is glitter everywhere but they are so beautiful and are helping us to get more and more excited to go see the real performance!

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We have been busy getting ready for our Nutcracker Performance on Monday, December 22nd!  We had our first practice on stage in the auditorium this week and will hopefully have a chance to practice more next week.  The students did a great job and are very excited for the actual performance.  We hope you can make it at 9:00am on the 22nd to enjoy all the hard work that has gone into it!  If possible, please have your child wear black bottoms and red tops on the day of the performance.

We are also really looking forward to going to the Nutcracker Ballet on Wednesday.  Please be sure to have your child eat a nice, big breakfast that morning because we will not be eating snack or lunch during normal school hours.  If your child attends the After School Program, please send a lunch for him/her to eat there.  More information about the trip will be going home on Monday.  Chaperones should be at the school by 8:30am and will be riding on the bus with us.

The students have been busy writing in their journals, completing their “Good Night” books, making Nutcracker projects, and practicing the letters and sounds we've been learning in Fundations.  We will be practicing our last two lowercase letters right after the holiday break and will then start working more with the uppercase letters.

We have also been reading and comparing several different versions of the Gingerbread Man story, including the Gingerbread Girl, Boy, Man, and Cowboy.  We still have the Gingerbread Baby, Pirate, and Friends left to go!

This certainly is a busy and exciting time of the year.  The children have been doing a wonderful job concentrating on their work and learning new things.  We wish you all luck as you finish preparing for the upcoming holidays!

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan and Kerry Marsh

Wishlist items:  Small and large paper plates

Happy Hanukkah!

Mrs. Sneider came in to our classroom today to teach us a little about Hanukkah, which will begin next week!  She read a story and taught us how to play the dreidel game.  We also made menorahs with our hands!  Thank you Mrs. Sneider!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Readers' Theatre

We read Eric Carle's Polar Bear, Polar Bear and then made our own version!  The students chose animals, made animal masks, helped write the script, and then practiced, practiced, practiced to come up with the final product!  We hope you enjoy our version of Polar Bear, Polar Bear!  Click on one of the links below to view.  We have two videos.  Each has half of the class in it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 5, 2014 Newsletter

December 5, 2014

Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure meeting with all of you for conferences.  If you have any questions or concerns throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  We don’t have to wait for progress reports to go home or for scheduled parent conferences to have a conference.  We can talk any time!  You should all be very proud of your children.  We have certainly enjoyed the beginning of the year with each of them!
Don’t forget to join us for our very own version of the Nutcracker Ballet on Monday, December 22nd at 9:00am.  You won’t want to miss it!  We have been practicing the dances for the Nutcracker and will be focusing on our Russian Peppermint dance for the performance a lot next week.  If possible, we would like the children to wear red tops and black bottoms on the day of the performance but any combination of red and black would be fine.

We have been making our life-size Nutcracker characters that will soon be beautifully displayed on our classroom walls and in the hallway.  I trace each student as a Nutcracker character and then students work together with other students in their group to decorate them.  We have been very impressed with the students’ cooperation and hard work.  We also kept busy this week working on our innovations, writing in our journals, learning poetry, decorating our gingerbread boys and girls, and reading stories.  The students have been doing a great job working hard and focusing, even during this busy and exciting time of the year!

A few other reminders:  It is definitely feeling more like winter outside and it is necessary for students to wear warm coats, hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, and boots (when there is snow).  It would also be very helpful if they could practice putting these items on and taking them off at home to make preparing for recess and dismissal a little less time-consuming.  You can probably imagine how difficult it is to get 18 students all bundled up to go outside!

Also… There seems to be a little confusion with book fairs, library books, and the Used Bookstore.  Our school has a Used Bookstore periodically throughout the year where students can either buy a used book for a quarter or bring in a used book to trade.  There is typically one per month and it is completely optional.  We will have one on Wednesday, December 17th.  If you would like your child to participate in it, please send in either a quarter or a used book on or before that day.

Our class went to the school’s Book Fair on Wednesday.  The students looked at all the books on display and made wish lists.  We tried to explain that just because the books are on their wish lists doesn’t mean that they will get them!  If you would like to purchase any of the books on the wish lists, please send in money with the list of books you would like and our librarian will fulfill the order.  I believe the book fair will be here until Tuesday.

Our class goes to the school’s library every other Wednesday morning.  Students are given the opportunity to borrow one book from the library and bring it home to read.  These books do need to be returned within the two weeks.  We have a blue box in the classroom where we keep them until we go to the library again.
The only other books circulating around are our class books that the students worked together to create.  These books have a class list on the back and need to be returned to school the following day so other students may also borrow them.

Hopefully this will clarify all the book confusion!  Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan and Kerry Marsh