• "We're on a Learning Safari"


    I'm so excited to have your children join me, along with our class mascot, Pete the Cat, on the ever changing adventure of Kindergarten! 


    Welcome aboard and thank you for visiting our Class Page.  It is here that you'll read all about the latest happenings in our classroom.  Each week you'll find updates, not only about classroom events, but information about our weekly curriculum and goals for learning.  If you haven't already done so, please consider joining my Remind group, which will be used to inform families that our Class Page has been updated.  I'll also be using Remind to inform families of any 'last minute' happenings or changes to events.  To join my Remind group, simply text @62bh2e to 81010.



    The only required school supply your child will need is a backpack large enough to hold a 9 x 12 folder.  ALL other school supplies will be provided at school.  While I suggest you have extra pencils, crayons, scissors, and glue available for use at home, please do not send your child to school with any supplies.






     Updated for the Week of:  November 19th




    Thank you for taking the time to meet with me last week during Parent-Teacher Conferences!  I was thrilled to have 100% participation and truly enjoyed getting to know the families of my students a bit more.


    Homework is intended to be a reinforcement of classroom learning.  After meeting with my Kindergarten colleagues, we have opted to assign Homework on Tuesdays.  However, don't be surprised if your child comes home and tells you that their homework is to "go outside and play!" as I'm a firm believer that 5 year olds (and ALL OF US) need to remember what it means to play and enjoy life!  In addition to assigned Homework, reading with your child 15-20 minutes each and every night is highly recommended!  "Book Bags" (as I discussed at Back-to-School Night) will begin to come home soon...we've just wrapped up our first unit and will now be moving on to Emergent Readers.


    I kindly request you do not send in supplies for your child's individual use at school, however, having extra pencils, crayons, scissors, and glue sticks at home will be helpful for use with Homework.  If you are unable to provide these types of supplies for your child at home for any reason, please just reach out to me.  I will gladly make sure your child has what they may need for their Homework experience.  


    This week's Safari Star is:


    I will be selecting our first Safari Star right after our Thanksgiving Break!  

    Stay Tuned!  I'm getting there...honest!


    On Monday, _________ will bring home one of our classroom friends, along with a journal and some other goodies!  They'll use the journal through the week to share about their adventures with their classroom friend.


    Parents, please note, I do not expect Kindergartners to 'write' down everything they do throughout the week, and it's perfectly acceptable for parents to do the writing.  We will use the journal throughout the year as a 'class book' in progress.  The boys and girls typically LOVE bringing this book home as a 'reading' book once everyone has had their turn for being our class Safari Star!


    Our Safari Stars so far...




    Has your Kindergartner come home talking about our adventures with Pete the Cat?  If not, ask them!

    Pete, a story character created by the talented collaboration of Illustrator James Dean and Author/Singer/Songwriter Eric Litwin, is a cool cat with the right attitude and he's taken up residence in our Kindergarten classroom!  He's got lots of great stories to tell and acts a daily reminder to us that whatever the day brings, "It's all good!"




    Please make note of some upcoming dates: 



    Friendsgiving Celebration

    Tuesday, November 27th

    *Please note that I've had to move the date to NEXT Tuesday.  Unfortunately, due a death in my family, I will not be in on Monday/Tuesday of this week.  We WILL make up this activity upon our return from the Thanksgiving holiday break.  Thank you for understanding.

    The boys and girls and I will be working TOGETHER to make our own butter on Monday, just as our ancestors did long ago.  We will discuss how new inventions and processes have made our lives today different than they were for our ancestors, as well as that for which we are thankful.  If you'd like to contribute to the day, please use the following link:  Friendsgiving Celebration


    Thanksgiving Holiday Break

    Wednesday, November 21st-Friday, November 23rd

    Wednesday will be an 'early dismissal' day...please be sure to have plans in place for your child's return home from school.  You can find Elms' early dismissal schedule on the school site.  Additionally, school is closed on Thursday and Friday.  I'm especially thankful to all of you this year for making my transition to Elms such an enjoyable experience!



    Classroom Learning


    I am a strong advocate of interactive and play-based learning!  While the expectations of Kindergartners has increased, developmentally, these little boys and girls are just that:  little 5 year old boys and girls.  It is just as important, if not more so, that my kiddos learn the importance of making friends, taking turns, being fearless, exploring their world, and spreading kindness!


    Our Literacy learning is cross-curricular and I use a Balanced Literacy approach to teaching.  Essentially, that means that students are exposed to skills and concepts needed to read ALL DAY LONG.  This is accomplished not only through direct instruction, but through shared reading, read alouds, and interactive reading and writing.



    *Due to the shortened week last week, and our early dismissal days this week, I will not be introducing any new letters or words this week.  I'll be reviewing next week, as well, with it being another short week.  Ugh!  November!!!  We'll be taking this time to review what we've learned to date and I'll throw in some extra fun projects, too!


    Letters:  p, j

    Sight Words:  can, am, be (these will be introduced AFTER Thanksgiving Break)

    Phonemic Skill:  initial consonant sounds, initial short vowel sounds (for i, u, o, a, e)



    Letters learned to date:  t, b, f, n, m, i, u, c, o, a, g, d, s, e, r, p, j

    Sight words introduced to date:  stop, go, yes, no, I, can, to, the, a, we, look, see, like, my, at, play, is, it, can, am, be


    Readers' Workshop:  We're ready to move on to 'emergent' reading.  Emergent readers rely upon patterns in books that are easily recognizable and repeatable for the boys and girls.  Books will begin coming home upon our return from the Thanksgiving Break, as will a set of sight word cards for your use at home.


    Writers' Workshop:  We are all set to begin our next unit, "Show and Tell".  In this unit, students will practice adding details to their 'writing' to show and tell more about the story they're writing.




    Like Literacy, Math skills and thinking is encouraged across the curriculum.  I love to incorporate stories, songs, art projects, and hands-on activities when teaching, and Math time is no exception.  In fact, Pete the Cat will be making an appearance here, too!



     This week we're wrapping up Topic 4, "Comparing Numbers 0-10".  I will send home the Topic Review on Wednesday.



    Though we're moving on to newer concepts, PLEASE continue to practice writing numerals 0-10 at home, in addition to what we're doing in class.  The following 'chants' are used by me when we're writing our numerals in class:

    1:  "A straight line down, and then we're done; that's the way we make a 1."

    2:  "A candy cane, then a shoe; that's the way we make a 2."

    3:  "Around the tree, then around the tree; that's the way we make a 3."

    4:  "Down, across, and down some more; that's the way we make a 4."

    5:  "Short neck, belly fat; the number 5 wears a hat."

    0:  "Start up top and around we go; that's the way we make 0."

    6:  "Down and around to pick up sticks; that's the way we make a 6."

    7:  "Across the sky, then down a line; we can make a 7 just fine."

    8:  "Make an S, then do not wait; twist back up to make an 8."

    9:  "First a circle, then a line; we know how to make a 9."




    Try this at home:

    Image result for comparing numbers through 10

    Using the words 'greater' and 'less' when talking about numbers gives your child the additional opportunity to become familiar with them.


    Here's a song we use in class!

    Jack Hartmann Count to 10


    And...here's a great resource if you're looking for even more practice!

    Image result for ideas for counting to 10 images

    Click the link here:  Number Recognition Resource



    I often take a thematic approach to teaching across the curriculum.  Most of our Science and Social Studies learning is done through our every day interactions, from our Morning Meeting where we build our classroom community, to stories strategically chosen.  





    Science:  We are beginning to explore the processes involved in Scientific thinking during our Launch Unit.


    Social Studies:  We'll continue to incorporate what we've learned about citizenship and being a good friend daily, however, our primary focus is our Science unit at this time.



    WE are a team…please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns you may have.  I can be reached through the Main Office at 732.833.4680, or via e-mail at vlanger@jacksonsd.org.