Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Read, read, read!  

Our Jazz reading contest is in full swing, and our kids are doing great!  Our AM class is in 2nd place in the school, and our PM class is in 6th place!  Please keep reading DAILY, and be sure to record those minutes on the special Jazz Reading forms.  Remember that there is a read-a-thon in the cafeteria on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school for those who would like to get a few extra minutes!

The results of the Jazz Reading, as has been mentioned before, go far beyond the prizes and the recognition for minutes read.  Children who participate and read daily really do sharpen skills in reading, vocabulary, and fluency.  This is a great opportunity to really push for a short time a see some amazing results!

The regular homework of reading (or being read to) at least 20 minutes a day is of course still in place.  For the contest, however, the classes (both AM and PM) have decided to step it up and go for an hour a day as a goal.  That's seven hours a week!  Times 50 students, that means 21,000 minutes a week!!!  Go for it!!!

Of course, we need to remember to keep up with our other studies as well - math, sight words, spelling, etc.  We have stellar kids - I know we can do this spectacularly!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hope you all had a lovely 3-day weekend!  This week we are back in full swing!  Here is a bit of a term 3 overview:

Penmanship:  We are close to finishing our single letter penmanship.  When we are done, we will be only doing one sheet a week, and the penmanship will vary from first names to sight words.  We will not have a penmanship center, so it will be sent home on Monday, due on Friday as homework.

Sight words:  We are on our next set of 20 sight words!  Several students have cleared both 1st and 2nd term words and have received a certificate for both.  When your child is ready, please have him or her ask to be assessed again on 1st or 2nd term words if a certificate has not yet been brought home.  Only one attempt per week please!

Writing:  We are now working on opinion writing as a precursor to persuasive writing.  Consequently, there will be opinion papers periodically coming home instead of stories during the third term.

Reading:  We continue to have reading as our main push in Kindergarten.  It is so VITAL to all other academic skills throughout your child's school career.  Our benchmark goal is to have all students cleared of level B by the end of the third term.  I will work one-on-one and in small groups with the students here.  We will work on phonics, sight words, sounding out, context, comprehension, decoding, and other strategies.  Please, please, PLEASE be sure to do at least 20  minutes of reading DAILY with your child.  I cannot overemphasize the importance of this.  It is absolutely essential.  Please work with me to assist your child to become a great reader!

Phonemic Awareness:  We are working on isolating beginning and ending sounds this term.

Spelling:  Please keep up on the spelling with your child, especially if your child is working on a level outside of the Kindergarten curricula. 

Math:  We are working on subtraction for a while more, then we will move on to number decomposition.  In our math stations, we continue to work on number sense, measurement, etc.

Thanks to all of you who volunteer in the classroom, it makes a HUGE difference with what we can and can't do here!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year everyone!  

I hope you all had a super Winter break.  It is really great to be with the kids again after such a LONG vacation. 

This week is assessment week in preparation for report cards that will go home a week from Friday.  That mixes up our schedule a bit for the week, but we plug along!  As Ms. Jennifer and I do assessments, the students will do writer's workshop, math and math stations, etc.  Feel free to come in this week even if you are not regularly scheduled!  Thursday will be a short day (Friday schedule), and students will be off on Friday.  Just one vacation after another!

New spelling lists went out today, along with an explanatory email.  I am proud of how well the class is doing!  For your information, anything not Beginning Consonant, Ending Consonant, or Short Vowel is actually 1st grade level spelling.  A refresher letter with home study ideas was sent as well.  Since this week is short, we will have our spelling quiz on Thursday.

This week's sight words are all of the term 2 words.  A sheet went home today with all 20 words.  Please do sight word shopping at a store with your child.  it's important for your child to see and notice these words in the world around us.

As always, please remember the daily reading.  At least 20 minutes, your child needs to read, be read to, or do Raz-kids.

thank you!