• "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 18th




    Welcome to Kindergarten, Elms Families! 


    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. 


    Every student will be supplied a red Elms folder supplied by our PTN.  I ask that this folder be returned to school daily and be used for communication between school and home.


    Homework will be given once a week on Tuesdays.  It is intended to be a reinforcement of classroom learning.  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 come home with your child at a later date.



    This week's Safari Star is:



    Dominic Couto




    On Monday, Dominic will bring home our classroom friend, Pete the Cat, along with a journal!  They'll use the journal through the week to share about their adventures with our 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:  


    American Education Week Visitation

    Monday, November 18th, 9:20-9:50

    Kindergarten Visitation will take place at this time.  Please join your child and me in the classroom to experience one of our Morning Meetings!  ID will need to be presented upon your arrival to Elms, so please plan accordingly.


    Parents, please know that the Kindergarten classes are scheduled for an assembly at 9:30.  If you are attending American Education Week visitation, you are welcome to join us for the assembly.


    Parent Teacher Conferences 

    Tuesday, November 19th-Thursday, November 21st


    Currently, all of my families are scheduled for a conference meeting with me next week.  I kindly request you arrive for our scheduled meeting time, as I have just 15 minutes scheduled for each family...and we'll need it!  I will review formal and informal assessments I've completed with your child, as well as anecdotal notes.  I'll share what to expect for upcoming report cards and our curriculum for the remainder of your child's Kindergarten experience.  Please come prepared with any questions or concerns you may have, as well.



    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.




    Letters:  p, j

    Kindergarten List Words:  is, it

    Phonemic Skill:  initial consonant sounds



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

    Kindergarten List Words introduced to date:  yes, no, stop, go, I, can, to, the, a, we, look, see, like, my, at, play, is, it

     Please keep the Kindergarten List Word cards sent home with you at Back-to-School Night for your use at home.  I will send home a list of all the words indicating the order in which the words will be introduced for your reference.


    Readers' Workshop:

    Currently, we are launching our newest unit, Emergent Readers!  We're practicing our reading skills with familiar storybooks and are busy learning HOW to use tools to help us read!  We're looking for words we know (sight words), using the pictures to help us understand what's taking place in the story, and pointing to words as we read.


    Writers' Workshop:  

    Just as we're learning that we are readers, students will also learn that we are writers.  As I introduce our first unit, students will begin to recognize that writing is one form of communicating with the world around us.  Our focus will be on narrative writing, or storytelling about ourselves.  Kindergarten, or inventive spelling, is encouraged and I will not typically 'spell' out words for the children.  Our goal is to have the boys and girls listen for the sounds they hear and put them on the paper.



    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!



    Topic 4, Comparing Numbers 6-10, will be introduced this weekIt will follow a similar format to Topic 3, where numbers are compared using words such as greater than and less than.


    At the onset of each new Topic, I will be sending home an introduction for the Topic, as well as suggested 'homework' resources for your use at home.  The workbook 'homework' is recommended, but optional and will not be collected or expected to be returned to school.  At the close of each Topic, I will send home a review of the material covered.  At times, it will be partially completed in class.  When this occurs, typically we'll have done it together.



    Use what you have around your home to create the concept of number sense for your child!



    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."  



    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:  "Seasons and Weather"


    Social Studies:  Customs and Traditions, "Holidays Around the World"




    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.