Back to School Letter 2010

August 30th, 2010 by Robin White

August 11, 2010

Hello ____________________ and Family,

I am so excited to see you on the first day of school, Wednesday, September 1st. In your backpack please bring a snack and a drink. All kindergartners will stay for lunch. You may bring your lunch or buy a hot lunch for $2.00. At 12:05 most kindergartners will board the bus to go home and rest. (Yes, parents, you may pick your child up at that time if you wish.)

On one of the first three days of school a small group of student will stay for the afternoon. We will learn how to line up, how to use the playground equipment, how to take care of our classroom, and much more. We will also have some one-on-one time to get to know each other better.

I would like you to stay for the afternoon on

_______________________, ______________________________________________

I will be having an optional Kindergarten Open House on Thursday, August 26th from 3:00 – 4:00. Students will be encouraged to complete a scavenger hunt to acquaint themselves with the classroom. Once the scavenger hunt is completed students will have time for Free Choice. Be thinking of any questions I may answer during Open


See you soon,


Mrs. White’s Final Edition 6/17/10

June 16th, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – The Final Edition  06/17/10

What an incredible year!  It has been amazing to watch the growth and learning which has occurred in our kindergarten room.  I am very proud of each and every student in our class for their hard work and accomplishments.  I would like to express one last THANK YOU to all parents who helped in the classroom and behind the scenes.

Below are a few things with which you might try to keep your child engaged and busy over the summer:

In the car practice counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, beyond 100
Learn double addition facts 3+3, 5+5
Practice subtraction of smaller numbers 9-1, 7-2, 15-0
Estimate and count cereal in the bowl before adding the milk
Cut out shapes in magazines, make a collage
At the grocery store have you child read and compare prices
Make a summer journal – remember to let them stretch out the words
Make cookies or brownies together
Keep a record of the outside temperature
Write a letter and put it in the mailbox together
Take a walk/hike together. Talk about what you see and hear
Play card games (Go Fish, Top-It)
Use scrabble tiles to match letters, build words, or sentences
Make an ABC book by cutting out/drawing pictures that start with a given letter
Play concentration/memory
Make letters with playdough or bread dough
Use beans, noodles, cotton balls, and/or shells to make a project
READ with your child.  Please keep them reading over the summer.

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News 6/11/10

June 13th, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – June 11, 2010

Paper clocks are coming home in folders today.  We made these about 2 weeks ago.  If you have TIME to work with your child using the clock please only expect them to show you “o’clocks”.  (Keep the long hand on the 12 and have them adjust the hour hand to show you 2:00, 5:00 etc.) We also discussed the difference between analog and digital clocks.  Ask your child to tell you the difference.

We used calculators to solve addition and subtraction number stories.
We played missing number problems (subtraction).  The students detected how many objects were added or subtracted from an upside down bowl.

In Handwriting we have been working on writing our names on the line.  The first letter should be capital and the rest lowercase.  We have discussed some letters stay in the middle (between the lines – a,c,e,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x,z), some are attic letters (b,d,f,h,i,k,l,t) and some are basement letters (g,j,p,q,y).  In your child’s folder you will find the template we have been using.

On Friday morning before field day began we transplanted our sunflower plants.  The “Kindergarden” is located behind the basketball hoops in the parking lot.  As you drive by school this summer keep your eye out for how tall they will grow.  You’ll be amazed in September!

Depending on the weather Monday, June 14th or Tuesday, June 15th the kindergarten class will be walking to my house for our end of the year gathering. We will play with the dress-up box, enjoy a healthy snack, and RUN WILD!  We will leave school around 1:30.  Any parents who wish to come are welcome.

__________________________has my permission to walk to Mrs. White’s house.
parent signature

_____ I would like to help chaperone.

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News - June 4, 2010

June 4th, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – June 4, 2010

I apologize for the thrown together newsletter.  It’s been a crazy week with just 3 ½ days of school. I’ve been in and out of the classroom attending many meetings.

We completed our NWEA computer tests – 4 tests in all, 2 reading and 2 math.  The average finishing time for a kindergarten student is about 20 minutes per test.
End of the Year Everyday Math Assessments: I have been checking each student on the 18 end of the year skills and will complete this next week.

Finished the United States song.
Idaho, Utah, Arizona, don’t forget about Nevada
Washington, Oregon, California, don’t forget about Alaska.

Writing – option to write in journals or write down a song.
Each student is having their chance to be the line leader of the day and to help write the message.

We continue to learn about plants.  We read the big book:   Plants We Eat
Our sunflower seeds are growing so fast they need to be transplanted outside in our “kindergarden” but Mrs. White needs to prepare the patch! (Hopefully this weekend.)

We played the game TROUBLE (a counting game).
We worked with our clocks to tell time to the hour.
We free explored with magnets.
We acted out The Little Red Hen  with puppet masks.
We played with big blocks and Legos.

Optional homework: Everyday Math p. 55

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News 5/28/10

May 28th, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – May 28, 2010

It’s that time of year . . . assessment time.  For the past 2 weeks  I have been assessing the students in the DRA – Developmental Reading Assessment.  By the end of kindergarten all students should be able to read DRA Level 3. This year’s kindergarten students have done extremely well.  I’m very proud of their progress.  You will be able to see your child’s DRA level on his/her report card which goes home the last day of school.

On Monday Lily brought in a water bug and a caterpillar. She left these on the science table for us to observe.  By Wednesday the caterpillar had made a cocoon.  I hope we are in school when it hatches.

On Tuesday I attended a grade-level meeting with all kindergarten teachers from RSU #1.  Mrs. Otis was in charge and the students were well behaved as usual.

In Literacy we continue to read frog stories – both fiction and nonfiction.   (Ask your child if they know the difference between these terms.) At shared reading (charts) we learned a song about money.
One penny is just a penny.          Five pennies is a nickel.
Ten pennies is a dime.          Twenty-five pennies is a quarter.
Fifty pennies is a half dollar.         One hundred pennies is a dollar.
One dollar is what I’m saving in my piggy bank.

At Centers
*Mrs. A.’s concept of the week – LEFT.
*The students made clocks which we’ll keep at school for a few lessons.
*The students used magnifying glasses to observe and draw displayed insects.
*Students played with the puppet theater.
*Students used the very hungry caterpillar to crawl through foam cut-outs of the foods from The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.
*The students read and discussed a Science Weekly about plants and living things.

Update on United States song:
(Row, row, row, your boat) Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont
Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey
Delaware and Maryland
Virginia, West Virginia
North Carolina, South Carolina
Kentucky, Tennessee
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, all in a row
Michigan and Wisconsin, but that’s not all we know.
(Yankee Doodle) Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia
Don’t forget about Florida
Don’t forget Hawaii
These are the United States and we all think they’re great!
Chant:  North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas
Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico . . .

With the hot weather I hope you are gearing up for the summer months.  You will have the little darlings in just 12 ½ more school days.  I hope you can set time aside Monday – Friday or every other day for reading or writing.  These babies aren’t babies anymore.  They are independent and capable of having a silent reading, writing, or rest time when you need a break.  Make it a part of their routine.  They’ve worked so hard for me all year long and should continue to do so for you over the summer.

As we are near the end of the year, please check your house for any of the following: overdue library books, classroom books in Ziploc bags, a small plastic baby from the dollhouse (2 inches), Fisher Price farm animals – chicken and horse.  Thanks for looking around.  Have a nice long weekend.

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News 5/21/10

May 21st, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – May 21, 2010

Kindergarten is all about LIFE CYCLES.  (Seasons, Months, Apples, Pumpkins, Butterflies, Frogs, and coming soon Plants)  For the next few weeks we will be talking about frogs and their life cycle.  If your child comes home singing “Frogs in the Road, It’s a Rainy Night”  or “Frog Went A-Courting” you can guess where they learned it.  We would love to fill our aquarium with some frog eggs?  Does anyone have a nearby pond?

In Writing this week the students were given a choice for morning work:  they could either write in their journals or they could write a friendly letter.  It sounds like a big task.  However, for 156 your child has been reading a morning message I wrote or we wrote together.  Ten students chose to write a letter.  Some were to grandparents, parents, friends of the family, or the characters Frog or Toad.  (We read a story where Frog wrote a letter to Toad because he never gets mail.)  They did a really nice job.

In Motor Group with Mrs. Ost the students have been working on Left and Right. This week the students used masking tape to make a train on the floor.  The engine (student in the front) leaned left or right and the class copied.  They did this to a catchy locomotor tune.

A big THANK YOU to our bus driver Doug for letting us borrow some of his butterflies and moths from his collection.  He has been collecting them since he was a boy.  These butterflies and moths are mounted in beautiful glass display cases so we have been able to check them out without harming them.

Students sequenced the characters to the book Jump, Frog, Jump.
Students cut & pasted the Life Cycle of a frog.
Students played sight word bingo.
Students practiced representing double digit numbers with bundles of tens and ones.
Students played Hop to the Pond (number board game).
Students planted sunflower seeds in cup containers which we will transplant outside in a few weeks.

Optional homework:  Everyday Math page 54

Miss Mace/Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News 5/14/10

May 14th, 2010 by Robin White

Kindergarten News- May 15, 2010

Miss Mace’s News

Movement of the week: Bean Bag Toss
Penmanship: we practiced two new lowercase letters: v and w.
Literacy: We have been identifying compound words in poetry. We read the poem “If You Find a Little Feather” and reviewed “Things to Do If You Are the Rain”. Students know that compound words are made up of two words joined together to make a new word. We have also been talking about the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.
Science: We are continuing to study life cycles, and have been learning about the life cycle of a chicken (egg, chick, adult). We watched a short clip of real chicks hatching, read about chicks, and learned many interesting facts including:
Chicks take 21 days to hatch
A chick starts as an embryo in the egg
Chicken eggs can be white or brown
It takes chicks five hours to hatch from their eggs.
Chicks have an “egg tooth” to help break the egg shell when hatching
There are more than 100 breeds of chickens in the world.

My last day at West Bath School was this Thursday, and I will be graduating from Farmington on Saturday. I couldn’t have asked for a better school to student teach in or a better class to work with. I have loved getting to know your children and I will truly miss them. It was so nice to meet you all and I want to thank you for your support.

Mrs. Whites News
At Centers:
Mrs. A’s Concept of the week: RIGHT
Math: We practiced representing a number with bundles of craft sticks: tens and singles
Science: Students completed an assessment on the life cycle of a butterfly
Motor: Students had a chance to play TWISTER or CHUTES & LADDERS.
Literacy:  Students read a booklet about frog and butterfly life cycles.
Computers:  Students played the Force & Motion game.

On Thursday afternoon we had a small send off party for Miss Mace.  I purchased an L.L. Bean bag with embroidered initials.  All the students signed the bag.  Mrs. Raedel’s class joined us for a healthy snack: popcorn, cheese & crackers, watermelon, and a brownie bite! We will all miss her . . . It will be a very strange feeling not to have her in the room after 16 weeks.
If your child is interested in writing a letter to Miss Mace her address is:
Miss Ashley Mace
28 Beech Ridge Road
York, ME 03909

Optional homework:  math page counting by 5’s, 2’s, and + / -

Miss Mace’s Kindergarten News - May 6, 2010

May 6th, 2010 by Robin White

Miss Mace’s Kindergarten News- May 6th, 2010

REMINDER: There is NO kindergarten tomorrow due to screening for next year’s class.

Movement of the week: How Many Ways Can You Carry a Bean Bag?

Penmanship: Last week, we used special whiteboards with lines to practice the lowercase letters c, o and a, which all start with a “magic c”. This week we practiced lowercase letters g and d on the whiteboards.

Literacy: We have been learning about poetry and have been reading poems that focus on different concepts. We read “Things to Do If You Are the Rain” by Bobbi Katz, and learned about the soft and hard sounds that c and g can make. We also read “To My Mother on Her Day” by James Morrill, and practiced identifying sight words.

Science: We have continued to study butterflies. Students should be able to tell you the four stages of the life cycle (egg, larva, pupa, adult).

Rest: After 15 minutes of rest, we have been doing “reading buddies” for the last 10 minutes. This gives students a chance to pair up and practice reading to each other. We have talked about finding the “just right book” so that each student is reading at their own level.

At Centers:
Mrs. A’s Concept of the week: AFTER
Math- students were introduced to the concept of division, and learned that dividing something in half means there must be two equal parts. We practiced dividing graham crackers in half so that everyone could have an equal piece.
Literacy- we read butterfly and caterpillar poems. We also identified letters in the word “caterpillar”, and put these letters in order to spell the word and make a cute caterpillar.
Science/Literacy- we used rice and different types of pasta to represent the life cycle of a butterfly. Students then practiced writing the stages of the life cycle.

On Wednesday we attended a Space Day assembly with the whole school, and did “air-robics” with Mrs. White!

Thursday, Mrs. Otis covered for me as I traveled to Farmington to present my Student Teaching Portfolio.

Optional Homework: “Half Snacks” math activity pg. 49- Divide food items in half to create a half snack.

Enjoy your weekend! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL!

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News 4/30/10

April 30th, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – April 30, 2010

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATE – Friday, May 7th there will be no kindergarten classes so we may screen next year’s incoming class.

Miss Mace finished the Force & Motion unit with one last lesson using technology.  She introduced the students to a website:
The students choose soft pushes or hard pushes to race a car around a track.
The class also watched a Magic Schoolbus Video titled Playing Ball.  It discussed the vocabulary words we have been studying: friction, force, motion, push, pull, and gravity.

Currently in Science we are learning about the lifecycle of butterflies and moths (also learning what makes an insect an insect).  Thanks to Doug, the bus driver, and the Cliffords for sending in fabulous encased butterflies for us to check out.

At Centers this week:
*Mrs. A.’s Concept of the Week – BEFORE
*In math we rolled dice to form number sentences which we recorded and counted.
*In literacy we read a poem titled In the Box which we highlighted rhyming words, circled sight words, then read with a pointer.
*In literacy we read a booklet about the lifecycle of the butterfly.
*We used watercolors to paint butterflies.
*We traced our hands to make butterflies.

The states song continues:
Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont    (Row, row, row, your boat)
Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey
Delaware and Maryland
Virginia, West Virginia
North Carolina, South Carolina
Kentucky, Tennessee
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, all in a row
Michigan and Wisconsin, but that’s not all we know.
Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas    (Yankee Doodle)
Louisiana   . . . .

I can’t believe tomorrow is May 1st!  This year is flying by . . . only 33 school days left.
Next week Miss Mace will be the classroom teacher on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the following week she will do the same.  I’ll be allowed to visit the classroom at snack time and help out at centers.  Miss  Maces’ last day with us will be May 13th and she will graduate from UMF on May 15th .  I’ll be exhausted without her!
Optional homework:  math word problems

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News 4/16/10

April 16th, 2010 by Robin White

Mrs. White’s Kindergarten News – April 16, 2010

Thank you to all parents who came in for conferences.  It’s always a worthwhile day.  It was nice catching up with all of you.  Also a big THANK YOU to parents who donated books from the Book Fair to our classroom!

I was out with strep throat on Monday and Tuesday but Miss Mace and Mrs. Otis kept the classroom running smoothly.

This week we had a discussion during morning meeting about 2 hot topics.
The first topic:  boyfriends and girlfriends in kindergarten.  We decided it would be more appropriate for 15 and 16 year olds to have boyfriends and girlfriends.  We are classmates and should be friendly to all.  The second topic:  tattling versus reporting.  If someone hurts you or your feelings you speak to them directly and ask them to STOP.  If it continues you tell the teacher.  If it does not concern you then leave it to the people involved.  Tattling in kindergarten becomes an issue because children tell on someone just to get them in trouble. Developmentally they are learning to self-regulate and to do this they notice it in others. We will continue to work on this issue.

News from last week :
Monday, April 4th was a very exciting day in kindergarten . . . Believe it or not Sir Isaac Newton came to visit.  He had many interesting things in his briefcase which connected to his life:  a small globe, an apple, a kite, a windmill (pinwheel).  We learned he lived over 300 years ago and was a famous scientist who loved learning about force and motion.  This lesson was Miss Mace’s kick-off to her Force & Motion Unit.  She must design and teach 5 or more lessons.  She designed a scientist’s notebook the students are using to record their research.  Lessons have included using clay, using marbles on different surfaces, making a box into a moving object.  More to come after vacation.

Friday morning we traveled to Morse High School to see the Portland Symphony Orchestra play music based on the theme Under the Sea.  The musicians played a song and then stopped and explained about the instruments.  Morse’s  auditorium was filled with kindergarten, first and second grades from our entire union – Bath, Woolwich, Phippsburg, and West Bath.

Friday afternoon the entire school participated in an hour of Movement.  The students chose from basketball with the White Shadow, jumprope with Mrs. Bradeen, hip hop with Tami from Full Circle Dance Studio, Robin Newell from the Bath Y, tae kwon do with Master Hall and/or volleyball with Mr. Carter.  As I write this newsletter I pray for sun but realize our rain plan will probably be in effect.