• "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:  March 18th


    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) are now coming home nightly.


    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:


    Kylie Davis!


    On Monday, Kylie will bring home one of our classroom friends, along with a journal!  She'll use the journal through the week to share about her 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...












    Ryan K.


    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:  





    Supply Cart

    Thursday, March 21


    Supply Cart during Lunch periods for those wishing to make a purchase.


    Spring Pictures

    Friday, April 5


    Further information will come home soon regarding Spring Pictures.




    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:  uppercase letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

    Sight Words:  for, him, her, his

    Phonemic Skill:  blending CVC sounds to decode words; beginning, medial, and final sounds, 

    long and short vowel sounds; word families for short a/a/ (-ad, -at, -am, -an, -ap, -ag)



    Letters learned to date:  all lowercase letters have been introduced; all uppercase letters have been introduced...look for the FUNdations workbook to come home later this week!

    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, you, and, me, your, our, he, she, this, or, that, do, here, an, on, are, so, us, up, down, in, out, said, did, for, him, her, his


    Readers' Workshop:  We're ready to build our reading muscles as we begin Unit 3 in our Readers' Workshop curriculum, "Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles"!  We will continue to use leveled books during this time, as well as for our 'book shopping' experience.  Soon, I'll be providing parents with some meaningful information about ways you can add to your child's experience at home.

    Book shopping will take place as follows:

    Monday:  red

    Tuesday:  orange

    Wednesday:  yellow

    Thursday:  green

    Friday:  blue

    In the event of an absence or a planned school closing, shopping will take place the following day whenever possible.  Especially in the early stages, shopping can be a timely process, so I appreciate your patience.


    Writers' Workshop:  I am absolutely AMAZED at how much the boys and girls are growing as WRITERS...real, honest to goodness, WRITERS!  We've been busy practicing using our BRAVE spelling, stretching out words, and writing down the sounds we hear when trying to spell.  Please...do not spell FOR your child.  Encourage them to use their Kindergarten spelling when writing.  At this time, we are beginning our sentences with an uppercase letter, we use spacing between our words, and we end our sentence with punctuation.  We are also practicing to read our writing back to our 'thinking friends' using the same powers we use when reading books.  WOW!  Just wait till you see what they've been 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!



     Topic 9, Count Numbers to 20, continues this week.  We'll be learning how to read, write, count, and compare for numbers through 20.



    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:


    POST-IT MATH ACTIVITY - Quick and easy math activity; addition facts; fact families; math problems; learning about addition; hands-on math lesson; learning to add from Busy Toddler

    This is something we've done in class to practice fluency with addition (and subtraction...just change the post-its).  



    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:  Hang tight...though we'll still talk 'science' when opportunity arises, our focus is now shifting to Social Studies.


    Social Studies:  We've started our next unit, "My Community".  Additionally, we will continue to use our Scholastic reader, "Let's Find Out" to explore the world around us.



    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.