• "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:  January 7th


    Happy New Year, Kindergarten Families!


    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.  Right now, your child has an envelope in their folders serving as their Book Bag.  Come January, we'll transition to the real deal.


    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:


    Karly McManus!


    On Monday, Karly will bring home one of our classroom friends, along with a journal and some other goodies!  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...








    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: 




    Candy Bingo

    Wednesday/Thursday, January 16/17

    Please refer to the PTN page for details about this event.  


    Schools Closed

    Monday, January 21



    Jackson Schools are closed today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.




    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:  review of all lowercase letter

    Sight Words:  do, here

    Phonemic Skill:  final consonant sounds



    Letters learned to date:  t, b, f, n, m, i, u, c, o, a, g, d, s, e, r, p, j, l, h, k, v, w, x, y, qu, z

    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


    Readers' Workshop:  We're knee deep in 'emergent' reading.  Emergent readers rely upon patterns in books that are easily recognizable and repeatable for the boys and girls.  We were recently visited by Reader Man!  He came by to let the kiddos know we're ready to earn our Super Powers during this newest unit.  Big stuff ahead!!!  Our 'big kid' book bags will be coming home this week, one day at a time.  Book shopping will occur once per week, based upon the color of your child's book bag.  Bags will go home, and need to come back to school every day!

    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:  We're well into 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.  Boys and girls are finishing up their first piece about the treasures they've brought in from home, and just as soon as we're done, they'll bring those treasures home again!



    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 6, Understand Addition continues this week, and will continue again into the new year.  Kindergartners are expected to add for sums to 10.  We're now using the plus (+) and equals (=) symbols to write addition equations.  We're going to finish up our Topic this week, but will be taking a few extra days to practice with some fun activities in class.



    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:



    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:  This week we're going to revisit the five senses before moving on to our next unit about forces and interactions.


    Social Studies:  We will continue to use our Scholastic reader, "Let's Find Out" to explore the world around us as we transition into our next unit in Science.



    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.