Monthly Archives: June 2016

“Summing it Up”: Teaching and Learning Through the Last Days of School

Dear Families,


Sign says, “Do not touch this home.”

It’s hard to believe it is JUNE! I can’t believe we are wrapping up our Kindergarten Year together. On Friday afternoon, I worked on getting grades and assessments organized for the final report cards. There is so much to celebrate – I see growth in both children’s academic abilities and in their approaches to learning. Many changes happen in rapid succession over the course of the spring! Looking back at writing from the beginning of April to now I see a BIG difference! More and more children are engaging in developmental spelling through authentic uses, such as writing cards or signs to go along with their structures. 

Children came up with words and phrases to describe the Pigeon after reading several Mo Willems books.

Children came up with words and phrases to describe the Pigeon after reading several Mo Willems books.

This past month the kindergarten did an Author Study of Mo Willems. Mo has become one of my favorite authors for young readers because of his illustrations and wonderful way with words that captures the sense of humor and intellect of a small child. His books instantly connect with the kids and they loved reading all three of his series Knuffle Bunny, The Pigeon books and Elephant and Piggie. We did lots of connecting and reviewing of our essential question, “What Makes You Like a Book?” We also compared and contrasted the Pigeon and Duckling. (See our work of the Pigeon to the left.) 

students look on as Miss Val shows them the crab trap.

students look on as Miss Val shows them the crab trap.

in May we also spent time at the Wharf exploring the beach and the crab traps with the Northeastern Marine Science Center. It was a bit of an overcast day, but it was a great learning experience for all! Thanks to the Nahant Education Foundation for continuing to support our learning! 

IMG_1408In closing, I wanted to say how grateful I am to everyone at the Johnson School for helping me over the past two and a half years complete my C.A.G.S. in Education. When I received my diploma from Salem State on May 19, it was because of you. The students in my class for the past three years helped me to become a better teacher. I had to bring in my cap and gown for share time! Also, a big thank you to the para-educators who work with us – Mrs. Billias, Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Detrich. What would I do with out you? 🙂 And I would be remiss without a special thank you to  Mrs. Mulcahy and Dr. Devaux who helped me do whatever I needed for class.  

In the words of Richard Dufour, a great educational leader and researcher, “You don’t need permission from other people to make your school a better place.” My coursework broadened my thinking in how our schools are learning organizations and what we can do to make them better. The Johnson School may be small, but it has wonderful people inside it doing their best everyday. I see it when I walk down the halls or meet with a colleague. There is so much to be grateful for here at our special school by the sea. I will continue to be a teacher leader and help our new administration with their learning goals. I believe there are more good things to come.  🙂

See you on Field Day if not before!
Ms. Purdin

PS: Kindergarten Celebration of Learning – Friday, June 17 at 8:15 a.m. in our classroom!

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