• "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:  May 13th


    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:


    Catalina Damo!


    On Monday, Catalina 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.


    Ryan Carlin







    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:  


    Kindergarten Chick Project

    Thursday, May 2nd

    We've received our eggs and incubator, thanks to our very generous PTN, and will be tending to it carefully over the next few weeks!  Chicken eggs take 21 days to mature, so patience will be practiced!  Ask your child about our progress...and stay tuned!



    Kindergarten Field Trip

    Monday, May 13th

    Our class is scheduled to visit the Environmental Center at the Manasquan Reservoir today, along with Mrs. Guedes' class.  We'll depart Elms by 9:30 and return to the school for lunch (though we will be 'swapping' lunch times with another class, as it'll be later than our regularly schedule lunch period).  Please have your child dress for the weather, which may include bug spray and sunscreen.  I am unable to apply either of these for your child once they're here and thank you for understanding.


    Kindergarten Celebrates America

    Thursday, May 23rd

    We hope you're able to join us as the Elms' Kindergarten classes perform songs (and some sign language!) celebrating America!  Our show will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria.  A formal invitation and RSVP will be coming home soon!




    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:  as, if, not, little

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

    long and short vowel sounds; digraph sounds for (ch, sh, th, and wh)



    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, will, come, get, have, has, had, of, with, got,  they, went, saw, all, as, if, not, little


    Readers' Workshop:  We're showing our stuff as "Avid Readers" in Unit 4 in our Readers' Workshop curriculum!  We will continue to use leveled books during this time, as well as for our 'book shopping' experience.  Book shopping will continue through next week before concluding for the year.

    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 11, Count Numbers to 100, finishes up this week, as we're ready to move on to Topic 12, Identify and Describe Shapes.  You can expect to find additional support materials sent home early in the week for both topics.



    My friends have made great progress in their numeral writing!

    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."  



    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:  Life Cycles...ladybugs, chickens, and plants, oh my!  We're going to finish out the year learning about many different life cycles!


    Social Studies:  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.