Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Routines

Dear Kindergarten Families,

The kindergartners did an amazing job preparing for and delivering Mass on Thursday.  I was so very proud of them!  We are thankful for all of the love and support from our parents to make this a successful time for us.  Three Cheers for Kindergarten!!!

Over the past few weeks we have dramatically changed up our morning routines.  Now, when the children arrive at school they have four tasks to complete. 

1.            The first task is the Morning Message:  At this station children are to take a reading pointer and read the message using the reading strategies. Later in the morning we dissect this message to talk about punctuation, proper sentence structure, and for the children to share how they used the reading strategies to accomplish the task of understanding the message.

2.            The second task is the Morning Question:  At this station the children are to read a daily question. They answer the question by adding their name clip to a “yes” or “no” container.  Our answers are then graphed to compare and contrast. 

3.            The third task is writing a Morning Prayer: At this station the children are to write a special prayer intention for the day.  The writers are to use proper spacing and spelling of “popcorn and baby” words and phonetic spelling of unknown words.  These prayers are later brought to our Morning Prayer time to be shared with the whole group. 

We are using the Five Finger Prayer introduced by Pope Francis as our daily inspiration:

•             The thumb is a reminder to pray for those closest to us: family and friends.
•             The pointer finger reminds us to pray for our coaches and teachers.
•             Our tall finger reminds us to pray for all leaders: our principal, priest, the Pope, our       President…
•             The ring finger reminds us to pray for those that are sick and suffering.
•             The pinky is to remind us to pray for ourselves.

4.            The fourth task is a Morning Activity Page:  Children are to complete a rotation of activity pages on phonics, reading, math, writing, and religion at their seats before we gather for Morning Prayer.  Now that each child has had an opportunity to be the star we are having a star for the day.  This child will lead the class and help with special tasks as before.  They have been also given a new task of completing and presenting the morning calendar routines to the class.  They are really enjoying their new routines.  The Star for the day will be bringing home the Sharing Sack with information attached on how to prepare.  The Door Holder will be bringing home Fuzzy Bob our class Traveling Buddy to visit your home complete with a journal to share about your adventures.

I am seeing daily jumps in our reading and writing progress these past few weeks.  The culmination of our classroom post office coupled with our Reading Binders, new morning routine additions, literacy centers, and journal writing has cultivated a major spike in our progress.  The children are buzzing and enthusiastic about practicing all of the new skills they are learning and are becoming more and more confident readers and writers.    It is springtime, and with it comes enormous gains in both confidence and abilities.  The children are feeling strong in their new found reading and writing skills.  I have seen great strides from each and every one of my students. We are also working hard on our addition Math facts and understanding the process of addition. Three cheers to Kindergarten!

Up Coming Events:

Monday: Return Friday Folders and Book Binders go home.

Tuesday:  Kindergarten is in charge of St. Michael’s lunches-please give generously.  Book Binders go home.

Wednesday: Oregon Zoo Field Trip – Pack your lunch in a paper or plastic sack.  We do not want to lose lunch boxes at the zoo.  Chaperons please meet me outside of the classroom after drop off for instructions.  It looks like we will be taking two buses to the zoo and can accommodate chaperons as well. Book Binders will not be going home this evening as I will not be able to reload these as we will be off campus most of the day.

Thursday: Grandparents & Special Friends Tea- Please let me know if your child will be expecting a guest so that I can prepare our students to host activities for our visitors.

Friday: No School- Teacher In Service Day

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!


Leigh Ann

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