Kindergarten Newsletters 


This week we turned our dramatic play center into a grocery store. Lots of fun has been had, making grocery lists, running the cash register, and bagging groceries. Next week we will add price tags and practice paying with pennies, nickels, and dimes.

In Phonemic Awareness, we are working to segment short words into their individual sounds. We have jumped from box to box as we say each sound, touched boxes on the smartboard and used our beginning phonics skills to spell CVC words. This skill is essential for writing.

In Math, we are working on counting sets of cubes by 10s and 1s. While many children know the 10s count sequence, we are just starting to link those number names to actual sets of objects. Today we also learned how to draw some 3D shapes. While this was a difficult new skill – I was so happy to see how many Kindergartners used persistence power until they could master it!


This week we finished up our unit on medial short vowels. Most children can now isolate and identify the vowel sound in short words such as cat, wet, mop, lip, and bug. Don’t worry if your child still has occasional difficulty with 1 or 2 of theses sounds – even though we are moving on, our future skill work will continue to give us lots of practice.

Children with a strong grasp of vowels sounds worked briefly with our friend “super e” (also called magic-e or silent-e).

In math we are working on naming the number that comes just before or just after a given number. This concept is also worked on when we ask what is one more or one less.

Students have been excited to see new items come in to help fill up our basket for the Spaghetti Dinner. So far we have a fire poker, marshmallows, chocolate bars, corn holders, wooden skewers, and hot cocoa.


This week Kindergartners celebrated their 100th day of school. They counted 100 Cheerios into sets of 10s to make bird feeders, sequenced numbers to create a 100 chart, created with 100 items, built a 100-piece puzzle, and sang a 100th day song to others around the school.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

Kindergartners are currently working on learning their “diver letters” (p, r, n, m, h, b). These lowercase letters all are created with the same beginning strokes – “dive down, swim back up, and over”.

In Math, we are working on 2-dimensional geometry…we compare, examine, identify, and sort 2D shapes in a variety of ways. Students are also invited to construct a variety of shapes using elastics, polydrons, and and both wooden and paper pattern blocks. Children also use pattern blocks to create a hexagon in multiple ways (using triangle, rhombus, and trapezoid blocks.)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.G.B.6 Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes.


Our Kindergarten Readers are really taking off!  Beginning readers need LOTS of practice with early text, so please make sure to listen to your child read from his/her book-bag. On nights that book-bags are not sent home your child can read just-right books by using our on-line reading program, Raz-Kids.  Information for how to log in to this program are included in your child’s folder.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.4  Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

On Wednesday we said good-bye to Mr. Giordano with special golf balls the Kindergarten and PreK had decorated for him.  We also wished our evening custodian a happy retirement.

Kindergartners had the opportunity to share their finished How-To books with their book buddies this week.


In Phonemic Awareness we are working with our short vowels.  We found that the short /o/ and /u/ sounds are usually easy to figure out but that /a/, /e/, and /i/ all sound pretty similar.  Children play both whole group and small group games with these sounds each day.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B  Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

In Writing, we are working hard on making sure our writing is readable – using our best penmanship, leaving spaces between words, using the word wall, stretching out tricky words to hear all the sounds, and rereading what we have written to make sure it makes sense.  We have been setting individual productivity goals, trying to increase from 1 or 2 sentences to whole page, or from a whole page to 2 pages, or even a whole book in one workshop!

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2  Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.


In Kindergarten this week we introduced new baggies of words to work with in our literacy centers (most of our class has moved onto list B).  Students practice building, writing, and spelling their words to make reading and writing of them more automatic.  An updated list of your child’s known words will come home at the end of January.

CCSS.ELA- Literacy.RF.K.3c  Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

During our number corner time each day, we have the opportunity to investigate and record different ways to decompose the numbers 3, 4, and 5.  From this we learn that sets of objects can be split up in multiple ways.  For example, 4 can be, 4+0, 3+1, 2+2, 1+3, or 0+4.  Each day we study the calendar marker and then create both vertical and horizontal equations, and number trees to match.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.OA.A.3  Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).


In Math, we have introduced the coins – penny and nickel. Several of our new games help students practice naming each coin, identifying their values, and counting total amounts of money.  Our work with nickels also
helps us work on counting  by 5s.

In Phonemic Awareness, we are working on isolating medial vowels, differentiating between long and short vowel sounds, and identifying vowel sounds. This week we focused on the easier identified long vowel sounds and for the rest of the month we will be working with short vowels in the medial position.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B  Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

  • Short vowel songs @  Click on the lowercase vowels at the bottom of the page to hear letter specific songs.

In Writing, we have started our non-fiction unit on “How-To” books. We started this unit by using picture card sets where students had to look carefully to determine what was being done and then put the steps in order. We then wrote directions for each step.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2  Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.


In math our newest game “Foxes and Dens” has us rolling 1 numeral die and 1 traditional dot die – we say the numeral first and then “count on” from there with the dot die to determine how many in all.  As a challenge some students are even writing equations to go with their 2 dice before moving their chip.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2  Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

In Reading we are working  with partners to remember to use all of our Superpowers when encountering a tricky word.  Partners are getting really good at giving hints and tips instead of giving the answer. Our newest Superpower is “Persistence” so we have been talking about how good it feels when we don’t give up and finally accomplish something – like zipping, bike riding, whistling…and even READING.

In Phonemic Awareness we are working with the tricky digraphs ch, sh, and th.  We have played lots of games to help identify those sounds both at the beginning and the end of words.

We have finished learning our uppercase letters.  Students will now work on any letters they have difficulty with.

Print many upper- and lowercase letters.


Our social curriculum is currently focusing on being “Problem Solvers”. Problem Solver Lessons work to provide children with the words and confidence to stand up for themselves when something is bothering them.  We have been role playing different situations and brainstorming the words we can use to fix things all by ourselves (and still be kind at the same time).

In math we have started working with number lines.  Our first game with this new tool is called Scrambled Number Line.  It challenges children to put numerals 0-10 into their correct spots on a number line without being able to see all the other numbers. Students build on what they know    about numerical order to figure out where their missing number goes.  They are tasked with explaining their thinking as they go along, for example a student might say “I know 6 goes here…because 6 comes after 5.”

In Writing Workshop, we are working to increase the quantity of words we are able to write each day by starting with a quick sketch instead of a full illustration.  We are writing true stories that include Who, Where, and What happened.  And then adding speech bubbles to tell what people said and felt.


In our new math game, “Grab Bag Count and Compare”, children determine who’s cubes are greater and who’s cubes are less. Then they work to answer “how many more? or how  many less?”  Students are also working on putting numerals and sets of dots in order from least to greatest and using ordinal number words.   We are starting to use objects to solve simple story problems and tally marks to recognize numbers as 5 and some more.

In phonemic awareness we did a quick study of how to isolate and identify ending consonant sounds (quick because these kiddos are such hard workers).  Next week we will bounce back to beginning sounds as we focus on the most common digraphs – ch, sh, and th.

Our cafeteria is getting new tables!  So on Thursday and Friday, December 13th and 14th, while construction is going on in the gym, there will be no breakfast available and bag lunches will be served in the classroom.

IT IS COLD OUTSIDE…please send hats and mittens each day.


I really enjoyed getting to meet with so many families during conferences this week.  If you missed your conference and want to set up a new one just let me know.

In math the week we began to look at combinations to make 10 (9+1, 8+2…), the concept of odd and even numbers and “doubles” equations.  Students are also working on recognizing and naming 3D shapes – sphere, cylinder, cube, and cone as well as using positional and ordinal words.

By June, Kindergartners are expected to count to 100. While many kids already understand the counting pattern they often skip one or two of the tricky teen numbers. If this sounds like your child, try finding time to practice at home. There are so many opportunities to count. How many steps to the front door? How many jumping jacks can you do? How many windows in your house?

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.1  Count to 100 by ones and by tens.

In reading we have begun to work with small books containing familiar words and predictable text (the chair, the desk…) or (I can see the chair, I can see the desk). It is so exciting to hear students exclaim “Wow, I can read this whole book!”


As part of our daily math practice this week, Kindergartners have worked together to count up to 20 AND back down again starting from a number other than 1.  Most Kindergartners are successful at counting beyond 20 but may need additional practice reversing through the teen numbers.  We also continue to explore the concept of doubles and have begun learning how to write equations (or number sentences) to accompany our math work.

In Reading, we continue to work on the tricky letter sounds of Q, W, & Y. We  also are practicing the  reading strategy of getting  our mouths ready when coming to a tricky word – this means making the beginning letter sound while looking at the picture for a clue, AND making sure our word choice makes sense and sounds the way people talk.

Reminders:Parent–Teacher Conferences are coming up soon.  If you would like to discuss your child’s progress, please sign up for a meeting slot online.  If you are unable to sign up online, or unable to meet at this time, just write me a note so we can set up a time together.

Now that colder weather has arrived, please make sure all hats and mittens are labeled with your child’s name or initials.


Kindergartners finished up the first segment of the Handwriting Without Tears program this week by completing their “magic c” letters. These letters C, O, Q, G, and S are all created by starting with a C and then adding on different strokes. We will now move onto uppercase letter practice in workbooks.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.1.A  Print many upper- and lowercase letters.

In Math we are learning about doubles and odd and even numbers. We used this brand new skill to help split up our play food to share with our new preschool classroom.

In class we are focusing on isolating and identifying the most common sounds for all 26 letters. We spilt up daily into small groups for these activities. Our small, flexible, groups allow me to tailor the individual sets of letter sounds to the students’ needs.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A  Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B  Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.


At this point in the year, Kindergartners are pretty good at hearing the beginning and ending consonant sounds in words.  They are working hard when doing shared or individual writing to stretch out their words and say them s-l-o-w-l-y so they can hear as many sounds as possible in the word.

In Reading Workshop, we have learned that we can be “SUPER-READERS”.  Super readers take a picture walk before they read to get their brain thinking about what is happening and what words they might see. They also look for words they know, point crisply under the words, and use their sound power to help them figure  out tricky words.

It was so great to see so many families able to join us today for our first Family Friday of the year.  For those of you who could not come – don’t worry…your child was still able to participate in all activities and hung out with members of his/her “school family”.  Our next Family Friday will be on Friday, December 21, 2018.  This event will be a mini-concert and potluck.


In Math Workshop we have added 2 new games: Number Racks and Count and Compare Dots.  In Number Racks students are working on answering “how many” questions about the number of red and white beads and how many altogether.  When students make a number greater than 5 they are beginning to recognize those numbers as a set of 5 and some more.  In Count and Compare Dots students are working on recognizing sets of dots to 6, counting dots to 10, and identifying whether the number of dots is greater than, less than, or equal to another set of dots.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.5  Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.

Kindergartners have learned the names and purpose for using 3 different types of punctuation (period, question mark, and exclamation point), and have practiced using the matching tones of voice for each during our shared reading activities. Some adventurous writers have even added them to the end of sentences in our daily shared writing.

Our Dramatic Play center has been transformed into a farm stand with apples and pumpkins to pick and purchase, leaves to rake up, and a tractor to drive.


Kindergartners helped with fall cleanup in the school greenhouse on Tuesday morning – emptying old plants and sorting pots. We found one tomato plant that was still alive…this sparked a fun science conversation!

In phonemic awareness we are working on recognizing and producing rhyming words. Children who are already proficient rhymers use this time to work on beginning reading skills in a guided reading group.

CCSS.ELA- Literacy.RF.K.2a  Recognize and produce rhyming words.

Literacy Center time is used to work with kids in small groups – each at their individual skill level. While some children are meeting with adults, others are working at independent centers with ABCs or words. The Common Core State Standards expect Kindergartners to “read common high-frequency words by sight”. In our room we call these words – sight words or star words. So far this year we have introduced 12 words in our morning message and shared reading activities (go, to, we, is, it, at, the, can, see, and, will, you). Most students can read 4 to 8 of them independently.

CCSS.ELA- Literacy.RF.K.3c  Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

  • Word Bingo @ abcya – start at the Preprimer level and work your way down the list.
  • Sight word memory game @
  • Roll and Write – your child roles one die – says the sight word associated with the number of dots shown and writes it once – then roll again. Make sure your child says the word each time.
  • Popcorn words @ fun4thebrain


Our Kindergarten program uses the Handwriting Without Tears program.  In this program the capital/uppercase letters are introduced first due to their similar sizing and strokes.  All uppercase letters (except J and U) can be made with a combination of big or little lines and big or little curves. Letters are introduced with wooden blocks and then on little chalkboards using the “Wet, Dry Try” method (using a wet sponge to write the letter, then a dry towel, and then finally chalk).  We are currently working on our “Frog Jump” letters (F, E, D, P, B, R, M, N.)  These letters are all started in the upper left-hand corner with a big line down and then your pencil “jumps” back up to the top for the next stroke.

Fun ways to practice writing letters at home include writing with your finger in a plate of salt, or in a pile of shaving cream on a table.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.1.A  Print many upper- and lowercase letters.


This week in math we learned two new games that we can choose during Math Workplace time:  Spill 5 Beans and Beat You to 5.  In Spill 5 Beans, children shake 5 two-sided beans and then count and record how many beans landed red side up.  In Beat you to 5, children take turns spinning a dial and counting and stacking the correct number of cubes onto their game boards.  Both games also support students in reading numbers to 5, counting objects with one-to-one correspondence, and recognizing the number of objects in a collection of 5 or less in any arrangement.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.OA.A.5 Fluently add and subtract within 5.

In our daily word work time we have been working to identify the difference between letters, words, and sentences.  Two sentence rules we have learned so far, are that they start with an uppercase (or capital) letter and end with punctuation.  Our daily journal often starts with the star word “we”, and students are getting good at reminding me to make the W big.


This week we began our  Reading Workshop.  Our first anchor chart teaches us that as readers we can look at words in the world and think about what they might say.  Then we can “read” the word and learn about the world.  We have been using this strategy to explore some exciting non-fiction books and to read the print in our classroom and hallways.

We have enjoyed reading several versions of  The Three Billy Goats Gruff, discussing the job of an illustrator, and then voting on which version had the best pictures.  Other favorite books enjoyed this week include Caps for Sale, Mrs. Wishy-Washy, and The Three Pigs.  These books will later be featured in our storybook unit.


We have started our Kindergarten year off with lots of activities surrounding a storybook favorite – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. We counted the number of letters in our names, went on letter hunts in magazines, sorted letters and  words, and built letters with a variety of materials.

Class discussions and activities have also featured the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  By Carol McCloud.  You may have heard your child say “I got a bucket filler card”. This means your child did something to fill someone’s invisible bucket by performing an act of kindness such as:

  • Helping a friend pick up something that spilled.
  • Raising his/her hand and waiting to be called on.
  • Cleaning up when he/she was done working/playing.
  • Walking quietly in the hall.
  • Sharing supplies.

Homework:  Kindergartners will receive math homework every few days. These worksheets will say “home connection” at the bottom.  Please help your child by checking his/her folder and reading the directions if needed.

PTO:  Our PTO is looking for an adult to be the Kindergarten “Room Parent”.  The purpose of the room parent is to help get more parents involved in school activities.  If you are interested in filling this role, please let me know.

Meal Plan:  Don’t forget to fill out your child’s weekly meal plan to help avoid confusion here at school.


Welcome to Kindergarten! Our first few days have gone smoothly and I have enjoyed getting to know your children.

Folders:  Communication folders should be sent to school daily.  Please leave your child’s meal plan in the folder.

Snack: Snacks are not provided for students in Kindergarten so please make sure to send one with your child each day.

Recess Attire: Please make sure your child has appropriate shoes to wear on the playground. Students in flip-flops will not be able to play on the equipment or ride on the tricycles.

Extra Clothing:  If you have not already sent in a set of clothing for your child to keep at school, please use the provided bag to do so. An extra pair of underwear and pants are the most essential.

Ice Cream:  Ice cream is sold of Fridays.  It cost .50 cents.  Ice cream cannot be bought with your child’s lunch account – money must be sent in on Friday morning if you want your child to have ice cream.