# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  ”As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  -John F. Kennedy

Language Arts In Action:  We met Pickles the Pig, and practiced -ig family words by making some funny pigs in mud.  We also wrote -it family words using a whiteboard app on classroom i-pads.  We read the baggie book, Come In, which highlighted our newest sight words:  ”he,” and “come.”  We practiced correctly printing our first round stroke letters:  C and O.  During Writing Workshop, we added personal word wall folders to our writing caddies, so that we can write words we know how to spell  easily in them for reference.  We also practiced reading and telling our stories to our writing partners so we could give each other suggestions and support in our writing.  We discussed using a storyteller’s voice and storytelling words when telling and writing our stories.

Math Star Minutes:  We continue to practice with counting and changing quantities.  When we play Grab and Count:  2 Handfuls – we grab two different handfuls of colored cubes.  We count each color, and then decide on the total.  In Build On, we turn a number card over, build the number in the ten frame, then roll a 1-2-3 dot cube to change the number accordingly.  We played a new version of Roll and Record, by rolling a 1-2-3 die, and an traditional die, then adding the two amounts together and recording the total.  Racing Bears is a favorite math game.  We roll a die and move bears toward the honey pots the correct number of spaces.  Splitting or combining rolls adds an element of strategic thinking to the counting game.  The game One More, One Fewer has introduced the plus and minus signs to our class.  We also told and acted out joining (addition) and separating (subtraction) story problems to retell and solve.

Super Scientists:  Enjoy this slide show from our Ants unit.

Social Studies Scene:  We finished the chapter book, If You Sailed on The Mayflower, which taught us  a great deal about the first Thanksgiving.  We also read a humorous present day Thanksgiving story, This Is The Turkey, which we enjoyed.  Thanks to the Kundu family for donating it to us from the school book fair.  We also painted colorful handprint turkeys and brainstormed other foods we could eat in order to “Save The Turkey!”  We worked hard to create some beautiful Native American headbands, pasta necklaces, and vests, which were worn at our Kindergarten Friendship Feast.  A huge thank you goes out to all families who provided the goodies at our feast, and to Ari’s parents and Anna Jean’s dad for helping with the set-up and clean-up.  All foods were a big hit, and the kids looked adorable in their first Thanksgiving costumes.

Happy Happenings:  We enjoyed celebrating Alexandros’s sixth birthday last week!  Thanks for sharing the Monster Trucks book with us…cool stuff!  We’re sad to say good-bye to our friend, Madalene, but know she will have a wonderful time in her new home and school in the northern suburbs.  Keep in touch, Madalene!

Nuts and Bolts:  The powdery days we’ve had lately, remind me that it is time for you to update your child’s extra clothes which are kept at school for emergencies. Please send in clothes appropriate for cold weather, and I will make sure they are stored safely in your child’s locker, should we need them.  Thanks!

It seems that August was but a moment ago, and we are already at the end of the first trimester.  Your child’s report card for the first marking period will be arriving in the mail after Thanksgiving.  It has been a great start to this new kindergarten year.  My lively, lovely kindergarten kiddos are very near and dear to my heart.  As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, please know that your children are very near the top of my list.  I wish you all a fun-filled, food-filled, family-filled, Thanksgiving!

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  The doer alone learneth.”   – Friedrich Nietzsche

Math Star Minutes:  We practiced counting out loud to 20.  Please practice this at home if your child is not yet able to do this.  I would like each child to be able to count to 20 by the end of our first trimester which is at the Thanksgiving Break.  We upped the difficulty in our comparing names station, by now taking 4 name towers and arranging them from shortest name to longest name and recording.  We played Ordering Cards, in which we chose four cards and arranged and recorded them from the smallest number to the largest.  We looked at data when we created the graph, “Would You Rather Play Inside or Outside.”  We counted the responses for each and compared the groups to find which was smaller, which was larger, and how many more there were in the larger group than in the smaller group.

Super Scientists:  We wrote “prescriptions” for what to do when you are sick.  Then we got to wear a dr. costume for a picture with our prescriptions.

Social Studies Scene:  We read T Is For Turkey, about the first Thanksgiving.  Thanks to Julia for purchasing the book for our class at the book fair!  We made Mama and Papa turkeys that look so cute hanging in our room.  We also painted Pilgrim portraits.  We learned about setting goals with the help of skits by the older students at our School Spirit Assembly entitled, “Begin With The End In Mind.”  Congratulations to William, who won an All-Star bracelet for being a leader and working and playing quietly in our classroom!

Happy Happenings:  School is in attendance on Veteran’s Day, Monday, Nov. 11th.   We are looking forward to learning from a real veteran, Emmett Harootyan’s grandfather, who will speak to our class tomorrow.

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  ”Next to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently attained.”  -James A. Garfield

Math Star Minutes:  We continue to count and compare.  It has been fun using connecting cube towers with our names to count the letters in each and compare who’s names are shorter, longer, or the same as ours.  We read Chrysanthemum, a story about a girl with an unusual and long name.  The name tower Chrysanthemum is in our counting jar, so we are counting and recording how many letters in her name in our counting jar books.  We also played Grab and Count:  Compare.  We grabbed cubes of different colors and compared and ordered the towers by length.  On Halloween we had tons of fun with math stations like Candy Corn Teeth, Halloween patterns, Halloween Number Match and Who’s Haunting The House.

Super Scientists:  It’s the perfect time of year for our new unit about staying healthy.  We recorded what we know and also what we want to know about being sick and healthy.    We talked about how our bodies feel when we are sick and put those symptoms on a body diagram on the promethean board to illustrate.

Happy Happenings:  A BIG thank you to all of you who contributed games, prizes, crafts, and snacks for our Halloween celebration.  We all had a “spook-tacular” time!  A special thanks to Louise Dechovitz and Roopal Kundu for organizing our party.

Nuts and Bolts:  This Friday, Nov. 8th, we will be participating in the school-wide Pajama Day, which students earned for doing such a tremendous job with the school-wide giftwrap fundraiser.  Your child is welcome to wear his/her jammies and bring slippers this Friday!

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  ”When you know better, you do better.”  -Maya Angelou

Math Star Minutes:  We added a fun Halloween math game to our math workshop.  Who’s Haunting The House has us count the number of ghosts and pumpkins in each spooky house, record our findings and compare to find more or less.  We also compared quantities in the card game, Compare, which you might know by the name War or Battle.  We also met on the rug to discuss different counting strategies such as moving objects as we count them, lining up objects as we count them, counting backwards, or counting by 2′s.

Super Scientists:  We learned about the life cycle of an ant.  Did you know ants spin cocoons like moths?  Then we completed a life cycle activity to show the ant as an egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Social Studies Scene:  We concluded our Skills For Learning unit, in which we learned to listen, focus attention, use self-talk, and be assertive to help us do our very best at school. We began a new unit on understanding feelings.  Understanding how to identify feelings will help us move from a developmentally egocentric perspective, and begin to learn how to be aware of and have empathy for the feelings of others.

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Math Star Minutes:  We continued investigations in counting with objects in our counting jars, and with new activities like Inventory Bags.  We each chose a bag with a number of objects, then counted and recorded the contents.  Our favorite Inventory Bag seems to be the one with the eyeball erasers!  We also learned to play Who’s Haunting The House?  We counted how many pumpkins and how many ghosts are in a haunted house, then recorded the totals on a graph.  Different houses have different amounts.  We began to talk about comparing more/less, and longer/shorter.  We went on a longer/shorter hunt around our classroom using a “ruler” of a ten cube tower.

Social Studies Scene:  Our Second Step social-emotional curriculum is teaching us to use some basic learning skills in the classroom, such as focusing attention, using self-talk, and being assertive when faced with a problem.  We really like the Snail and Puppy puppets who help to illustrate these concepts.

Super Scientists:  We learned about ant jobs through creative drama.  We pretended to be scout ants and guard ants.  We love crawling through the big blue ant tunnel in our classroom when we are pretending.  We read Ant Cities by Arthur Dorros to learn even more about ant societies.  We reviewed ant body parts by singing our “Head, Thorax, Abdomen” song and by putting together an ant body part puzzle.

Nuts and Bolts:  Please remember no juice or sports drinks are allowed in water bottles for use in the classroom.  They are fine for the lunchroom, but not in our carpeted classroom.  Thanks!

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Language Arts In Action:  We met Polly Popcorn and Carlos Camera, and listened for the sounds /n/ and /c/ in words.  We reviewed our sight words I, a, my, and the.  Our newest sight word is “go.”  We had fun recognizing it in the classic story, Go Dog Go.  We read baggie books using our sight word vocabulary.  Our books this week were The Party, The Farm, The Ball Game, On The Wall, and I Go.  We read and discussed some stories with a family theme, including What Will Mommy Do While I’m At School, Busy Bear’s Family, and Be Bim Bop.  A comprehension skill we focused on this week was identifying characters.  In Writing Workshop we practiced listening to our writing partner’s story and asking questions to help our partner add more to their stories.

Math Star Minutes:  We sorted, counted, and recorded the objects in our counting jars.  We learned a new game that helps us practice counting and writing numerals.  It is called Roll and Record.  We also played a counting game called Build It with a partner.

Super Scientists:  We learned ant body parts by singing the song, “Head, Thorax, Abdomen.”  We looked at an ant body parts diagram on the promethean board, then found and colored the different body parts on our own diagrams.  We especially love observing our ant farm and gazing through our ant glasses at our science Exploration Station.  The ant glasses come equipped with lenses that allow us to see multiple images, just like ants must see with their compound eyes!  We planted our bulbs and recorded the planting in our Beautiful Bulb Journals, with drawings and words.

Social Studies Scene:  We painted pumpkins and decorated them with feelings faces to reflect the feelings we’ve been learning to use with I-Messages (angry, sad, happy, frustrated, glad, etc.)  We concluded our first social studies unit with a Citizenship Ceremony in the ITC with the other kindergarten classes.  We celebrated being the newest citizens of Avoca West, with rights (the right to play at recess, the right to learn and grow at school, etc.) and responsibilities (rules of school).  We learned to say the Avoca West School Pledge and we saw a cool BrainPop Jr. video about citizenship.  We also participated in our first all-school Spirit Assembly which had the theme, “Being Proactive.” Congratulations to Luke, who won an All-Star bracelet at the assembly!

Happy Happenings:  Happy birthday to Dylan!  Glad we could help him celebrate! Next Tuesday, Oct. 8th, all October birthday kiddos get to have a birthday lunch with Dr. Gendel!

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  ”Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”  -George Washington Carver

Language Arts in Action:  This was a big week in language arts, as we began our literacy stations routine.  We call them our “Brain Stations,” and we rotate to different small groups that involve direct instruction in phonics and guided reading, listening to reading at our Story Station, Word Work activities, handwriting practice, etc.  Switching from station to station makes our mornings go pretty quickly and allows for differentiated instruction.  This week we reviewed the sounds for m, s, r, and t.  We met Nosy Norman and learned the sound for the letter n.  We listened for Nosy Norman’s /n/ sound at the beginnings and ends of words.  We reviewed our sight words:  a, I, and my.  We learned to read the sight word “the.”  We used our sight words to read the books, My Room, My Dog, In and Out, and The Party.  In Writing Workshop, we are adding pages to our stories!  We practiced using our fingers to plan our stories and we learned we can add to our ideas using staples to make booklets or tape to make scrolls.  We are learning to distinguish that pages in a book need to be about the same topic.

Math Star Minutes:  We used a deck of cards with attributes like thick, thin, red, blue, triangle, circle, small, and big to play a sorting game with our attribute blocks.  It was fun to sort and categorize the piles until they were all gone.  We also began a unit on counting.  The focus will be representing the number counted and using one-to-one correspondance to count objects accurately.  We read Anno’s Counting Book by Mitusumasa Anno.  Then we began creating our own counting books modeled after Anno’s.  We had fun choosing dot stamps, stickers, stamps, magazine pictures, and our own illustrations to represent the numbers on each page.  We also learned to play Grab and Count, in which we grab a handful of cubes and accurately represent it on the Grab and Count recording sheet using pictures and numbers.  We painted fall trees and had to count and paint the correct number of leaves.

Super Scientists:  We welcomed the onset of Autumn.  We created some beautiful fall leaf collages.  We also have ants!  They are busy at work in our ant farm, and we love checking in on them.  We read a couple non-fiction books about ants and we drew our best ants as a a pre-assessment of our knowledge of ant body parts.

Social Studies Scene:  In our Second Step social-emotional lesson, we practiced using self-talk like “Time to Focus” in order to help focus our attention when listening and learning.

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  ”Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”   William Butler Yeats

Language Arts in Action:  We met two new letter friends, Sammy Snake and Robbie Robot.     We listened for the /s/ and /r/ sounds at the beginning and end of words.  We learned to read our second sight word, “a,” and practiced reading it together and independently in the story, The Kitchen.  We read You and Me and discussed opposites. We “shopped” for books from our classroom library, and added them to our Just Right reading boxes.  We practiced writing the letters E, F, and D.  We learned that writers can revise their writing by looking at their work and adding details to the pictures or adding words.  Our “When You Are Done, You Have Just Begun” chart helps us remember the revising process when we draw and write stories.  Next week I will be assessing the children individually and will begin to differentiate language arts instruction once this is completed.

Math Star Minutes:  We explored buttons and came up with words to describe specific buttons.  Then we learned to use their characteristics to play a Button Match-Up Game.  We counted objects in our counting jars, and recorded the outcome with pictures and numbers in our counting jar books.  We explored other math materials like color tiles and attribute blocks.

Social Studies Scene:  On Sept. 11th,  Patriot Day, we learned that the term “patriot” stands for people who love and help to take care of their country.  We read a book called The Pledge of Allegiance to help understand what the Pledge means, and we began our daily routine of saying the Pledge and singing My Country ‘Tis of Thee together.  We had fun making patriot bracelets with red, white, and blue beads.

Super Scientists:  We “adopted” the tree outside our classroom.  We went outside for a close look at it, and pondered what animals might make their home in our tree.  We drew what our tree looks like in summer in our Me And My Tree Journals.

Happy Happenings:  Happy birthday to Lucas this week!

Nuts and Bolts:  Field Trip Fees are due on Monday, September 16.  The fee is \$23.00 for all three kindergarten field trips, and checks may be made out to Avoca School District 37. Picture Day at Avoca West is Thursday, Sept. 19th.  Please complete your picture order form and return it to school as soon as possible if you are placing an order.  Individual photos and class photos will be taken.  Many thanks!

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  ”You can keep all your small dogs. You can keep all your black, white, brown, and spotted dogs. I’ll keep Clifford…Wouldn’t you?”   -Norman Bridwell

Math Star Minutes:  We practiced counting around our classroom circle to decide how many students are in school each day, and then figuring out how many are absent.  We took a look at our September calendar and sang the Days of The Week song, and counted the days in September.  My goal this first trimester is for your child to be able to count aloud to 30, so you can practice that at home and keep going if they are able.  We got to explore some of the math materials we’ll be using this year including geoblocks, pattern blocks, and connecting cubes.

Social Studies Scene:  We read Clifford’s Manners and discussed how manners/rules are found in many different environments and situations.  We each drew a rule we knew, then we sorted our rules into the appropriate categories: rules that keep us safe/healthy, rules that help us be organized, and rules that help us work and play well together.  We read Grody’s Not So Golden Rules and laughed at the predicaments his not so golden rules created.

Nuts and Bolts: I have a few families who have not yet signed up for October and February parent-teacher conferences.  If you did not sign up for a conference at our Back To School Orientation night, you should have received an e-mail from me with some conference times available.  If you did not receive that e-mail, and have not yet arranged your conference times, please contact me at kellys@avoca37.org and I’ll be happy to add you to my conference calendar.

# Mrs. Kelly’s Corner

Words of Wisdom:  “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  - Nelson Mandela

Language Arts in Action:  We had some big, red fun listening to some Clifford The Big Red Dog stories, including Clifford’s First School Day and Clifford Is A Star.  We decorated our Back To School Orientation stars with markers and sparkles and hung them from our ceiling.  We made Clifford headbands, complete with floppy red ears and will wear them next Wednesday for our Clifford Day celebration.  If possible, please have your child wear something red to school on Wednesday, Sept. 4th to help us celebrate Clifford Day!  We also had fun creating our own, Getting To Know You class book, which will help us learn each other’s names as we read it each day.  Every student will get a chance to bring the Getting to Know You book home to share with you when it is complete.  We made our first visit to the school library.  We will be checking our books from the school library on Fridays  and the book will be due back at school on or before Friday of the next week.

Social Studies Scene:  We learned that a rule is a statement that helps us stay safe or get along together.  We took turns pulling some activity statements out of a class cookie jar.  We decided whether each activity statement was a rule or not a rule and sorted our magnetic statements together on the whiteboard.  For example, the statement “Play hopscotch,” is not a rule, but “Look both ways when you cross the street, ” is a rule. We each also got a cookie from the cookie jar to celebrate learning about rules.  We visited different stations around Avoca West to learn more about school rules for the playground, lunchroom, restrooms, hallways, and school assemblies.  Please click on the following Student Handbook link to acquaint yourselves with our expectation for student behavior during school:  http://avoca37.org/parentsandcommunity/files/2013/08/Avoca-Booklet-2013-1.pdf

Happy Happenings:  We helped Joey celebrate his birthday on the very first week of school.  Happy birthday, Joey! Each child will be able to celebrate his or her birthday and will also be featured on our “Rock Star Student” bulletin board during this school year.