Monday, October 29, 2012

All right!  We've jumped in and are now navigating the exciting and challenging waters of the half-day kindergarten second term!  Here is a brief overview of what we are doing/will be doing this term:

We are full-swing into penmanship.  Your child worked on the letters Bb and Dd last week, we are doing Ff and Hh this week, and we will continue at a rate of two letters per week.  We are working on those penmanship sheets in centers during class, but if your child doesn't finish in class or does not do the penmanship center for a given letter, the sheet will be sent home as homework.  Those need to be done in 2 or 3 days and sent back to avoid letting them build up and becoming stressful.  Please remember to do them in pencil only, so that mistakes can be worked on!

Spelling "lists" went home for the first time today.  Please refer to the explanation letter that went home last week for guidelines in assisting your child to study.  The Words Their Way program is unlike any spelling system i did as a student, but i have now spent several years doing it with my students, and the results are undeniably measurable and fantastic!  Each of you will also get a personalized email with specific instructions depending on which spelling target your child is working on.  First test next Friday!

Our phonemic awareness focus this term is syllables.  Please work with your child to "clap out" syllables and assist to get this vital piece of the reading puzzle mastered!

PLEASE READ WITH YOUR CHILD DAILY!  This is absolutely essential to your child's success in reading.  At least 20 minutes a night, your child needs to be read to OR be listening to and reading along with Raz-Kids, OR reading on his/her own (IF your child is reading fluently).  If nothing else, please read with your child every day.  Thank you!

Farm report assignments will be sent home tomorrow.  Thanks to all of you for your support on the homework concerning finding farm products in the home.  The children's papers are posted in the classroom, feel free to come and check them out!

In writing, we are working still on personal narratives, with an emphasis right now on choosing "small moments" to write about.  Some of the writing coming out of the Kindergarten is awesome!

In math, we are continuing with our curriculum textbook.  Your child should have 3 to 4 pages a week of homework.  Please keep up on this and send it back as soon as it is done.  Because I get to look at and record all of the sheets, please realize that they will not all be returned home the same day they are turned in, but I promise to do my best to keep them flowing back to you ASAP!  We are also starting our number sense work next week.  More to come on that...

In Spanish, we are keeping sharp with our counting from 1-20 as well as our color words and names of family members.  Ask your child for a few words in Spanish!

Well, I think that's all for now.  Thanks for your support for your child and for Channing Hall!

Mr. Matt

Monday, October 22, 2012

2nd we go!

Now that all single letters and their sounds have been presented in class, we will begin "word families" study.  This means more sounding out and reading words.  For the next couple of weeks, we will be working with word families containing the letter Aa.

As a class, we will learn the process of our Words Their Way spelling program this week.  next week, students will be taking home spelling lists to work on, with a test on Friday.  Please see the letter that is sent home today for more details, and watch for an email specific to your child later in the week.

Our phonemic awareness lessons on rhyme will now transition to lessons on syllables.  Rhyme is important to keep practicing, so feel free to do rhyming practice and games at home to keep your child's skills sharp.

We start penmanship practice today!  One of our centers will be penmanship, and two letters per week will be introduced and practiced.  Penmanship homework will be sent home on Wednesday and Friday.  If your child does not bring a practice sheet home it means that the sheet was finished in class.  Please have those returned by the following Monday.  Also, please be sure that penmanship is done in pencil to allow for erasing and refining.

Halloween party this Friday!  Here are the guidelines as published in the Weekly Howler:

This year we will celebrate Halloween on Friday, October 26th.  There will be no parade this year. Students are welcome to wear Halloween costumes that are school appropriate and modest. No masks or weapon related items. Class parties will start at 12:00.  With clean up at 12:45 p.m.  We know this is a day the students look forward to and are hoping that by having this celebration on a short day we will preserve the actual Halloween day for academics. As there are always many parents on campus, if you are volunteering in the classroom and are parked in the fire lane, please plan to take your child at 1:00 p.m. so that we can have all the parked cars off campus by the time afternoon pickup starts at 1:20 p.m.  There is also parking available at Smith Fields Park or the car corral (across the street from the park).  We know this is a day the students look forward to.

 The times listed above are different for us, of course, but the other guidelines are still in effect.

Lastly, thank you very much to all of you who came in to volunteer last week and make it possible to get so much of our assessing done.  You really made the difference!

Report cards will go home this week!  I will send an explanation letter home with the report card.

Thanks for your support and all that you do!

Monday, October 15, 2012

OK, here we are in the last week of the term!  That means this week will be doing assessments, so anyone who would like to come assist in the classroom while Ms. Jennifer and I do the assessments, please feel free!

Thanks to all of your support on our Annual Giving campaign.  I know it got a little intense at the end there, and I truly appreciate all that you did to make the campaign a success.  The festival was a blast!  I really enjoyed seeing so many of you there!

This week's sight words are the full set of 20 term 1 words.  We will assess on reading those this week.  We will also finish up with presenting letters and letter sounds this week with our last two letters, u and z.

Thanks for all you do!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Well here we are into October.  I can't believe how fast time is flying!  We actually reach the end of the first term next week!  With that in mind...

Next week Ms. Jennifer and I will be doing end-of-term assessments.  So, we would like to request any assistance that you could offer in volunteering.  Even if it is not your regular time, or you can't do a regular set time, please feel free to come in anytime on Monday the 15th, Tuesday the 16th, or Wednesday the 17th.  The more helpers we have, the quicker and more efficiently we can get through the assessments.

We will be assessing sight words, shoe-tying, and counting, which you could practice at home in preparation.

This Friday night (October 12th) is our Harvest Festival:

Harvest Festival
Friday Oct. 12  •  5:00pm to 8:00pm

Pumpkin Painting • Pony Rides • Face Painting • DJ • Balloon Artist •
Cupcake Walk • Games • Bounce House • Hot Dog •
Pizza • Popcorn • Cotton Candy
TICKET PRICES -$1.00 per ticket
Pony – 3 tickets
Pumpkin Painting – 2 tickets
Games and Bounce House – 1 ticket
Hot Dog – 3 tickets
Pizza – 2 tickets

The kindergartens have prepared some cool blankets with a class picture for the auction, so be sure to check them out and bid high!

This week is also our annual giving drive.  The donations that come from Annual Giving go directly to the students in the school, and these funds really do make a difference.  I know that times are financially tight, but please be open to donating whatever you feel you can to assist the school is doing bigger and better things for our kids.

The Field Trip on Monday was awesome!  Thanks to our fabulous volunteers for making it possible.  I will be posting some pictures soon for you to enjoy.

We ave started our new IB unit, entitled E-I-E-I-O.  It is an inquiry into how we share the planet.  The Learner Profile Attributes that we will be focusing on this time are Inquirer and Knowledgeable.  We will be doing a research project and oral report in a few weeks, watch for details!

Please remember to READ DAILY with your child.  20 minutes minimum!  Remember also to record your reading minutes in the reading log and send those to school on Tuesdays (library day).

Inside shoes are going well!  The students can change their shoes quite quickly now, and the floors have never looked better!  Thanks for your support in this, you'll see direct positive results as soon as we have snow and mud outside...

Thanks for all you do to support your child's education!