Monthly Archives: November 2012

‘Tis the Season for Report Cards, Conferences and Traditions

Once the turkey and pumpkin pie are eaten, it is time to think about report cards and parent conferences. It can be a stressful time of year for a kindergarten teacher. A few years ago, the kindergarten report card was revised to reflect the changing expectations of the curriculum – both academically and socially. I am happy with the new report, mostly because I think it gives you – the parent – more information about your child as a learner. When you receive your child’s report card on November 30, please know that I thought about not only where your child began at the beginning of the term, but how far they have come when making their grades. Bring the report card with you so we are able to discuss it at your parent conference.

Foggy helps me wrap my holiday books.

While next week will be a busy one for me with parent conferences, it will also be one of kindergarten traditions. During the holiday season, I wrap up all my holiday children’s books and put children’s names in a hat. Each day a child’s name is chosen and they get to unwrap a book, which then we read together. It is a fun way to hear lots of different texts – personal holiday favorites from my childhood, Christmas books from around the world, Chanukkah books (My all time favorite is Latkes and Applesauce), some Kwanza books and I recently have found some shared traditions books as well.

This time of year can be a busy one for families. Lots of parties, activities and excitement waiting for you know who. Make time for your child to have some quiet family time too. While it is exciting for young children, it can be overwhelming with so much anticipation. Curl up with a good holiday book from your own collection or from the library!

A friend who is a librarian just posted this quote and I love it! So true!

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
~Emilie Buchwald

We will also be doing a mini thematic unit on the Gingerbread Man. As an early Christmas present to myself, I just purchased two new versions of the gingerbread man story from Amazon! We will read several versions of the classic story, do retelling activities, an art project, some math and a writing piece.

I am also pleased to announce we are bringing back the Kindergarten tradition of singing at the Jesmond Nursing Home! When I sat on the Johnson School Strategic Planning Advisory Council a few years ago, it was important to us that there was a strong school to community connection. One thing the kindergarten began to do was sing at the Jesmond during the holidays. Since this began, other grade levels have sung or done other service projects for various community groups during the year, not just at the holidays. We will be traveling to the Jesmond on Tuesday, Dec. 18 in the morning. Details to go home in the folders soon.

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Our Fiftieth Day of School Was a Nifty One!

The Leaders of the Pack!

Our first fiftieth day of school celebration was a great success! Thanks to the families for being so creative with the children’s fifties wear! I think the T-birds and Pink Ladies looked great, and they brought a smile to everyone’s face as we marched through the hall. I could not have asked for a better day. What fun!

Best talk of the day was about what a jukebox was. Most children thought I was saying juice box – and yes, they had seen one of those before!

Playing Race to 50!

In the morning, I set up stations for the children having to do with the number fifty. They had to trace numbers to fifty, play Race to 50 (rolling a dice and counting on), put 50 cotton balls on a poodle and make patterns on records. In the afternoon, we had a “sock hop” with real fifties music, hula hoops and a game of limbo.

Dr. Devaux tells us about growing up in the fifties.

We also had a special guest in the afternoon – our superintendent – Dr. Devaux came down and spent a few minutes talking to the children about life and school in the fifties. (We won’t give away his age here, but he did admit he was a teenager in the 50s!)

This will definitely be added to my list of Kindergarten events from now on! Ask your child to count to 50 for you and we are working on skip counting, so try seeing if they can skip count by 5s and 10s to 50 as well.

children read to one one another.

Between this week and last week we also began “Read to Someone Else” time as a part of the Daily Five literacy block. The children are enjoying reading to one another. We are still in the beginning stages of this, but I am seeing many promising things happening so I can only imagine where we will go from here.

Before I sign off, just a reminder our Thanksgiving Show is this coming Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in the cafeteria. (If we weren’t busy enough!) I hope you and your family is able to make it. We will go downstairs following the performance for snack and our cast party.

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A Noteworthy November


Another crazy busy week in Kindergarten! I hope everyone had a great time trick or treating last night. Thanks to our room parents for providing a fun craft for us yesterday afternoon. I’m just finishing up our professional day here, and realizing we have a SUPER PACKED week next week. Thanks to the PTO, we not only have one wicked cool assembly next week – but two!

On Monday, we will have a Planetarium show in our gym. I have never seen something like this before, and am excited to experience this with the children. Our program will be an introduction to the night sky.

On Tuesday, we will head to the Fire Station for our rescheduled field trip. I’ve never had a hurricane stop us from going before! Luckily our Fire Dog hats are ready to go and we will head over before snack and be back around 10 for the rest of our morning.

Then on Wednesday we will have another presentation, this time on Owls, brought to us again by the PTO. We will see the Owl presentation at 9 a.m., which means we will miss P.E. that day, but these bird folks have come to school before and they are excellent! I know we have some owl fans in here!

Thursday, we will be back to a somewhat normal schedule, however, in the afternoon we will head to the cafeteria for the annual Veterans’ Day ceremony presented by the 6th grade class. It is always fun to see our buddies on stage!

Friday we will relax and will do some writing since we will have many subjects we could write about after a week of experiencing so many different things. During the week we will be finding time for read to self time and be finishing our second unit in Everyday Math as we get ready for the 50th Day of School on Tuessday, November 13!

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