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Sunday, April 6, 2014

This Week In Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

This week we will be busy getting to a good stopping point before leaving for Spring Break.  We have a lot of fun activities going on this week including our field trip to see Henry & Mudge Live on Tuesday, an African Drum and Dance assembly on Wednesday and our Easter Celebration on Friday.  This week will certainly be a full week of work and play!  Here's a peek at our week:

Language Arts:
This week in ABCs we will continue to work our way through digraphs with the ch digraph.  We will focus on words that begin and end with /ch/ such as chain and church.  During reading we will work through a nonfiction series that relates back to our Mrs. Wishy-Washy reading from last week.  We will read nonfiction books about farm animals that were introduced on Mrs. Wishy-Washy's farm. 

Religion:
This week in religion we will create coffee filter butterfly wings for our beautiful Very Hungry Caterpillar Lent bulletin board.  We will also spend time reading several versions of the Easter story.  On Friday, we will have our last Stations of the Cross as a class before leaving for break. 

Math:
This week in math we will begin our new topic (Topic 12 - Measurement).  We will begin by identifying different ways we can measure things and comparing objects by length.  As we move through our last few math units we will continue to work on addition/subtraction skills during our morning meeting as well as during transition times throughout the day. 

Science:
This week during science we will finish our Healthy Eating unit by learning about the diary group.  We will complete our My Plate Projects and be ready to being our last science units of the year upon returning from Spring Break (Caring for Our Earth & Plants).

Notes & Announcements:
  • Class pictures will be taken on Monday.  All students should wear their school uniform for the class picture.  
  • Tuesday we will travel to Towson to see Henry & Mudge Live.  Due to the timing of the trip we will eat lunch early in the classroom then will have an afternoon snack upon returning to school.  
  • We will have our Easter Celebration on Friday afternoon.  
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Our Spring Field Trip will take place on Friday, May 23.  Our End of the Year Celebration will take place on Friday, June 6.  
Have a wonderful week!  I wish all families a relaxing and rejuvenating Spring Break!  I look forward to beginning the last leg of our Kindergarten journey together upon returning on April 22nd.

Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning!
Mrs. Weatherholtz

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This Week In Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Once again I'm opening this post with "I can't believe it's snowing!".  This week though, we get a sure sign of spring - MLB Opening Day!  We have two weeks before we begin our Easter Break and we have lots to cover in that time.  Here's a peek at our week.

Language Arts:
In ABCs we will conclude our study of the -OT word family by creating flowers for an -OT family flower pot.  We will begin to discuss the sh digraph and focus on it in the beginning, middle and end of words throughout the week.  In reading, we will be practicing many skills (identifying story elements, making predictions, identifying characters and character traits) by doing a close ready of the story Mrs. Wishy Washy.  This week we will focus on the fiction story and next week we will work through several farm animal nonfiction texts related to the story.

Math:
This week we will be moving quickly through Topic 11 (Decomposing Numbers 11-19).  Students should come away from this topic knowing that 10 + a signal digit number greater than 0 = a teen number (for example:  10 + 5 = 15 or 15 = 10 + 5). 

Religion:
In religion this week we will work on creating our Very Hungry Caterpillar bulletin board.  In doing this project, we will continue to focus on prayer and recognizing Lent as a time of growth and change to become closer to God.  We will join our 8th Grade buddies at mass on Friday.

Science:
This week in science, we will continue to work through our Healthy Eating unit.  We will focus this week on the Protein group.

Dates to Remember:
  • Field Trip:  Tuesday, April 8th we will see Henry & Mudge live in Towson
  • Field Trip:  Friday, May 23 we will visit the Carrie Murray Nature Center (details, payment information, chaperone information and permission slips will come home after Spring Break)
  • End of the Year Picnic Celebation:  Friday, June 6th at Patapsco State Tire Park (details to come later in the year)
If you have any questions regarding the above information please let me know.  Have a wonderful week!

Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning!
Mrs. Weatherholtz

Sunday, March 23, 2014

This Week in Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

This week will be fairly low key with all older grades completing standardized testing throughout the week. Our schedule will be slightly altered to help accommodate other classes specials schedules due to testing but other than that we do have a pretty regular week.  Here's a peek at our week:

Language Arts:
This week in ABCs we are continuing to focus on reviewing word families and working through our newest word family, the -OT word family.  We will work on various word family activities throughout the week and complete our -OT family study with a fun blown paint art project that is always super fun!  In reading, we will work through a student book of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover and focus on popcorn words and reading fluently with a partner. 

Math:
This week in math we will finish up Topic 9 by decomposing the numbers 8, 9 and 10.  We will begin our next topic Decomposing Number 11-19.  

Religion:
In religion this week we will continue our focus on changing to grow closer to God during Lent using The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a model of change.  We will continue to focus on prayer and will be sending our shut-ins and seminarians prayer flowers that students painted during religion last week. 

Science:  
We will continue to work through our Healthy Eating unit in Science this week.  We will focus on the grain group this week.  We will be having a nutrition assembly on Friday that will fit in wonderfully with this unit.

Notes & Announcements:
  • Homework this week is OPTIONAL as all older students do not have homework because of testing.  I recommend continuing to read a story with your child each evening/night as it provides early readers the opportunity to hear fluent readers read aloud and promotes that reading is not just for homework but is  also a great "just for fun" activity!
  • The "Sweet Tooth Booth" will be open during lunch Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Items are 25 cents each.  If students purchase more than 1-2 items (depending on size) each day, they will be able to choose one item to have as dessert with their lunch them will bring the rest home for an after school or evening snack.  PLEASE REMIND YOUR CHILD THAT ANY MONEY THEY BRING TO SCHOOL IS ONLY FOR THEM TO SPEND.  STUDENTS ARE SO GREAT ABOUT BEING WILLING TO SHARE THEIR MONEY SO THAT A FRIEND CAN ALSO BUY A TREAT BUT SHARING/GIVING MONEY IS NOT ALLOWED AT SCHOOL.
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the above information.  Have a wonderful week!
Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning!
Mrs. Weatherholtz

Monday, March 17, 2014

This Week In Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Another snow day...........I guess even though spring is only days away, winter is not finished with us yet.  I am hopeful that with the first day of spring we will start to see those great signs of warmer weather to come :)  Snow days are fun but we are getting to the point where we're getting a bit behind so the next few weeks we'll have to work work work to get back on track - I'm hoping we'll get lots of outside recess time too though....we need it!  Here's a peek at what our week will look like:

Language Arts:
This week in ABCs we are going to be focusing on the -OT word family.  We will review the previous word families we've worked through (-at, -an, -ug) and we will begin to look at beginning consonant blends (two consonants at the beginning of words that each make their own sound but blend together such as tr in tree or st in stop) and digraphs (we will focus this week on sh at the beginning and end of words) with this word family.

In reading we will work through several St. Patrick's Day themed activities including both poetry and fiction stories.  We will also complete a rainbow activity looking at all the colors of the rainbow and thinking of thinks in real life where we see these colors. 

Great iPad App Alert:  At the Kindergarten Teachers Conference tons of iPad apps were thrown my way and one in particular stood out for reading.  If your child is working on reading their sight words in text (this app will be a bit low for fluent readers that know and can read all their sight words) this app could be a great way for them to practice at home (or in the car).  The app is called "I Like Books" and it is a paid app ($1.99) but I think it is worth every penny.  If you purchase the app you get a library of 37 sight word books with great nonfiction photographs.  If you'd like to check out one of the books without buying the app you can search "I Like Books" and you can download individual books for free.  Each app has the options for children to read them book themselves, have it read to them or record themselves reading to play back and listen! If you download this and use this app I would love your feedback!  Thanks!

Math:
This week in math we will continue working on creating numbers in multiple ways.   This week we will work on creating 6, 7, 8 and 9 in multiple ways (for example:  6 = 3 + 3 and 6 = 4 + 2).  We will also do a fun skittle activities focusing on addition in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Religion:
This week in religion we will use the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a focus of change during Lent.  We have read the story once and will continue to reread and do various activities that help us understand that Lent is a time to change so that we grow closer to God.  We are focusing on prayer as a class and are praying daily using a simple prayer stone to help the children understand that praying is a way to build a relationship with God.  We attended our first Stations of the Cross on Friday with PK-2nd grade and the class did a great job - we will continue to learn about the Stations of the Cross in class weekly.  On Friday, we will join our 8th grade buddies for mass at 9:00.

Science: 
We will continue to work through our Healthy Eating unit in Science this week.  We will focus on the vegetable group and begin the grain group.  The class is enjoying learning about healthy food and sharing their likes (and dislikes) of all things healthy :)  I'm noticing LOTS of healthy snacks coming in during snack time - EXCELLENT!!  The children are excited to tell the class what they've brought for snack and lunch that is healthy!   

Notes & Announcements
  • Tomorrow we will travel to Goucher College for a field trip with 1st and 2nd Grade.  If there is any type of school delay or closing (fingers crossed that will not be the case) I will let you know as soon as I know what that will mean in regards to our trip.  
  • Thursday, March 20th:  Healthy Snack Sale
  • Signed report card envelopes are due Friday, March 21st.   
  • Mark Your Calendars:  Our Spring Field Trip to the Carrie Murray Nature Center will be Friday, May 23.  Our End of the Year Celebration will be held at Patapsco State Park on Friday, June 6th  (Please Note:  That date has changed due to the large number of snow days throughout this winter.
If you have any questions regarding the above information please let me know.  Have a great week!

Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning,
Mrs. Weatherholtz

 


Sunday, March 9, 2014

This Week In Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Happy Daylight Savings Day!!  This is one of my favorite days of the year because I find it just wonderful to look out the window at 6:45pm and be able to still see the sun up in the sky!  I am certainly looking forward to warmer days that are coming our way this week and am planning some extra outside recess time to make up for all those February days stuck inside!  

This week all Kindergarten students will take the Scholastic first grade readiness test.  This is a test that focuses on all of the math and language arts skills we've been practicing all year and there is a big portion of the test that focuses on listening skills.  I will chat about the test with the class tomorrow to help them be ready for their testing group (I will test the class in thirds so one group will go Tuesday, one group Wednesday and one group Thursday).  There is nothing extra that needs to be done at home to prep for the test - just a good nights sleep and a healthy breakfast.  Please let me know if your child will be absent Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of this week as soon as possible.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this week's testing. 

Language Arts:
Scholastic testing will take the majority of our ABCs and Reading time this week.  We will finish up one Dr. Seuss activity that we did not get to complete due to the snow days last week.  We will also complete some morning work that focuses on recognizes ending sounds.  

Math:
This week in Math we will continue to work our way through our Addition and Subtraction units.  We will focus on identifying if oral story problems are addition or subtraction and what strategies we can use the solve the problem.  We've focused on 4 strategies to solve addition/subtraction story problems:  counting on fingers, using manipulatives/counters, using a number line and/or drawing a picture.  We will also work on decomposing the numbers 4 and 5 (For example:  4 = 2 +2 and 4 = 1 + 3).

Religion:
This week in religion we will continue to focus on Lent.  We will spend a lot of time during Lent focusing on prayer and have created beautiful "Prayer Flowers" that will be sent to our shut-ins and seminarians that have been assigned to the Kindergarten class.  We will attend Stations of the Cross with PK, 1st and 2nd grade on Friday.

Science:
We will begin to dive into the food groups this week in our Nutrition Unit.  We will focus on the fruit group this week.  We will begin to cut out fruit from food magazines and build some of our favorite into a "My Plate" model.  

Notes & Announcements:
  • We are currently collecting canned goods (corn, peas and baked beans) for the Elkridge Food Pantry.   We send a huge donation in celebration of our 100th Day of school and are now back to our goal of 25 items for he food pantry.
  • Burger King Night - Thursday!!  This months proceeds will go to the Kindergarten class and technology program.  
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the above information.  Have a wonderful week!
Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning,
Mrs. Weatherholtz

Sunday, March 2, 2014

This Week In Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Can you believe the weather forecast!  I would love to have a regular week of school but the Polar Vortex may have different plans.  This week we will enter into the season of Lent with a school-wide Ash Wednesday Mass.  Here's a peek at our week:

Language Arts:
This week in Language Arts we will celebrate Dr. Seuss!  We will focus on rhyming as we read our way through lots of Dr. Seuss favorites.  
  • Tuesday - Silly Socks Day
  • Thursday - Fun Hat Day
Math:
This week we will begin working our way through our second addition/subtraction unit where we will focus on making numbers multiple ways.  For example, 4 = 2 + 2 AND 4 = 3 + 1.  We will work on making the numbers 4-10 in a variety of ways.  The class did a great job on our first addition and subtraction units.  Kindergartners tend to find addition easier than subtraction.  We learned many strategies to solve both types of problems.  Students should be able to complete addition/subtraction problems using one of the following strategies:
  1. Count on fingers
  2. Use manipulatives (counters)
  3. Draw a picture
  4. Use a number line
Religion:
This week in religion we will get ready for the season of Lent and work on Prayer Garden Flowers for the shut-ins assigned to our class.  We will also send these Prayer Garden Flowers to the seminarians we are praying for.  We will attend mass on Wednesday with our 8th Grade buddies.

Science:
We will begin our new unit in Science this week - Healthy Eating.  We will begin by taking a look at the My Plate model and  working our way through the fruit group.  Thank you for all the donations that came in for our new Grocery Store dramatic play center - it looks great and I think the class will enjoy having it as a new center.   

A new donation request:  Throughout our new unit we will be cutting out foods from magazines to create our own healthy plate.  I have many food magazines but would like to have enough for each student to have 1-2 to browse through.  If you have any food/cooking magazines you'd like to donate for cutting (then recycling) please feel free to begin sending those our way.  I found last year that Food Network and Rachel Ray magazines have lots of great pictures. 

Notes & Announcements:
  • Healthy Snack Sale - Tuesday, March 4.  Apples and oranges will be sold for $1.00 and fruit bars (NutriGrain) will be sold for $.75
  • Field Trip permission slips and payments are due March 4th.  Any student not having their permission slip and payment in will not be allowed to attend the trip with the class.  Please get those in ASAP.  
  • Please make sure your child is wearing appropriate school uniform shoes to school each day they are in their uniform.  Specific information can be found in the school handbook.  If your child is wearing snow boots to school please make sure they have their tennis shoes available to change into for the day.
If you have any questions regarding the above information please let me know.  Have a great week!
Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning,
Mrs. Weatherholtz

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This Week In Kindergarten

Dear Kindergarten Families,

We may just have a full week of school this week - maybe the winter weather is behind us for the year and we can continue to focus getting ready for first grade.  I will be out of the building both Monday and Tuesday attending the state Kindergarten Conference - Mrs. Hopping will be subbing in the class along with Ms. Cramer.  I will return on Wednesday with lots of fun new ideas for the coming weeks!  Here's a quick peek at our week:

Language Arts:
This week in ABCs we will spend some time reviewing sight words and -AT and -AN word family words.  We will also complete some assessment skills for upcoming report cards.  In reading, we will focus on readings related to Dental Health Month and President's Day (George Washington and Abraham Lincoln).  

Religion:
In religion we will continue our God Gives Me Feelings unit by reading books about our feelings.  We will wrap up our feelings unit this week and begin to prepare for Lent.

Math: 
This week in math we will continue to work through our first subtraction unit.  We will focus this week on using manipulatives and pictures to solve stories about separating groups.  For example:  There were 4 lady bugs on the log.  2 lady bugs flew away.  How many lady bugs are left on the log?  *Students should be able to solve this problem independently by the end of the week.*

Social Studies:
We will continue to work through our US Symbols unit in Social Studies.  This week our focus will be on the Liberty Bell and the White House. 

Notes & Announcements:
  • Please continue to send in empty boxes and cans for our grocery store dramatic play center (March).  Thank you to the donations that have already came in - this center is going to be great!!
  • Please see the Friday Flyer for information regarding the Healthy Snack sale on Friday.
  • We will be having a birthday pizza celebration on Friday.  Please feel free to send in a lighter lunch on Friday if your child can have pizza.  Hot lunch will be served as usual if you have already ordered.  
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the above information.  
Happy Playing, Laughing & Learning,
Mrs. Weatherholtz