Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Changes in Nature

We have spent the past several weeks making observations about how nature changes!  We selected seven places around our school that we have been keeping an eye on.  It has been a lot of fun listening to the students comment on how things have grown and changed.  Along the way, we also jump, skip, tip-toe, walk on a "tight rope," and do jumping jacks.  It has been an enjoyable learning experience!  Nature is amazing!

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We had a great week in Room 115 and got a lot done!  We completed a class book called "Plants and Animals Change Our Environment."  There won't be enough time to circulate this book to students' homes so I have posted pictures below.  They did a great job!

The students continue to write narratives and in their journals.  They have been illustrating poetry and working in their Hungry Kindergartner books.  They also started creating a 3D map of the Public Garden area in Boston this week.  I will be sure to post pictures of the completed map in a couple of more weeks.

Please send in the $3 to cover the cost of the Swan Boats field trip.  If you are chaperoning, please send in an extra $3 for you too.

I will include more details next week about all the other upcoming end-of-the-year events.

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!  No school on Monday.


Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We’ve had another fun and busy week in Room 115!  We enjoyed releasing our butterflies today.  It was a beautiful day to go outside and watch them fly away!

The students learned a lot about birds this week and more about the life cycle of frogs.  We even made frog puppets to use as props as we sang “Five Green and Speckled Frogs.”

We finished all of the Kindergarten math lessons that are apart of our curriculum.  The students are very excited because I told them that I will be teaching a few first grade lessons to get them ready for next year.  A paper went home in their folders today that explains the ten “Step Up” lessons that we will be working on.  It will give you a nice peek at what the lessons may look like next year.  If they are ever incomplete when they go home, feel free to finish them with your child but it is optional.

If you have not sent in the $3 to cover the cost for our next field trip, please do so as soon as possible.  Checks can be made payable to Francis Wyman Kindergarten.  It will cost $3 for chaperones who will be coming with us.

The students have finished their Very Busy Spider books and have brought them home.  They did a great job on them.  I would encourage them to read them at home many times.  It’s also a great idea to have them point to the words as they read.

Please continue to practice the sight words and fluency facts.  I will be getting ready to assess them for the final time in a couple of more weeks.

We will start preparing for our trip to the Swan Boats in Boston on Tuesday, June 6th.  We will be reading Make Way for Ducklings and the children will be learning a bit about Boston and the walk we will be taking.  We will be creating a three-dimensional map showing the Commons, the Public Gardens and the area around the State House.  We could use some empty boxes so make into buildings.  If you have any empty cereal boxes, cracker boxes, or cardboard milk/juice cartons, please send them in.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

                               Melanie Duncan

Dates to remember:   May 24 - Used Book Store ($0.50 or book to trade - optional)
                                May 24 - Library (Please return book)
                                May 29 - Memorial Day - No School
                                June 6 - Swan Boats in Boston
                                June 9 - Field Day
        June 20 - Walk to Simonds Park
        June 23 - Last Day of School (half day dismissal)

Friday, May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Where does the time go?!!  I can't believe that it is mid-May with only a little more than a month of school left to go!  We have been learning a lot about nature, including plants, insects, life cycles, and woodland animals.  In another week or so we will start learning about Boston and some of the places we will see on our next field trip.  Information about the Boston Swan Boats trip went home last week.  If you are interested in chaperoning this trip, please let me know and be sure to send in the $3 to cover the cost.  Please also send in the $3 to cover the cost of your child’s trip as soon as you are able.

We have been learning more about butterflies and other insects this week.  All of our caterpillars have turned into chrysalises and will hopefully turn into butterflies really soon!  We spent time this week drawing and labeling the life cycle of a butterfly and will do the same for frogs next week!  It’s exciting to see some real life cycles right in our own classroom!  We made butterflies to add to our giant flowers and we also made dragonflies to decorate a dragonfly poem.

The students planted pumpkin seeds this week.  We are anxious to watch them sprout and grow.  After a couple of weeks, students will be able to take these plants home and can transplant them into the ground or a larger pot.  Hopefully some pumpkins will grow by fall!

The students have been enjoying our new topic in math.  We measured lots of classroom objects to compare lengths; we compared our own heights by getting in order from shortest to tallest; we learned about capacity by pouring water and dry macaroni into different containers; and we used a balance scale to compare weights.  We also spent most of a day just exploring with the different math tools and materials.  Students have also been working on the ST Math program and have been making good progress.  A few students are even getting close to completing the program!  I would recommend that students log on to ST Math at home and try to use it every once in awhile to see if we can complete the whole program by the end of Kindergarten!

Please continue to work with your child on their subtraction fluency facts to five (5-3=2, 4-1=3, etc.).  I will be testing the students on these to see how fluent they are.  The goal is for students to tell me the answers within three seconds.  I would also encourage you to work with your child on counting to 100 by 1s and 10s and practice recognizing and writing numbers to 20.  Those teen numbers are tricky!  Don’t forget about the sight words too!  I’ve been busy assessing students on all sorts of things this week and will continue into the next week or two.  I’m impressed with how far they have come this year!

Mr. Musselman presented a Magnet Show earlier this week.  The students enjoyed learning about magnets, their poles, and the push and pull forces.  It certainly was a busy week!

Thank you also for all the special things so many of you did for Teacher Appreciation Week.  The luncheon was amazingly delicious and the other pictures, gifts, and kind words were all very much appreciated.  It is truly a pleasure working with each of your children and seeing how much they have grown this year!

I would like to extend a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers in Room 115!  We hope the gifts your child gives you will be special and meaningful.  You have permission to open your gifts today.  Your gift will most likely need water before Sunday!

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan

PS...Students are welcome to bring sunscreen in their backpacks to put on before recess but it may also be easier to apply it in the morning before school to save time.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Special Author Visit

Jeannie Shaw is an author of several children's books and most importantly, Emery's grandmother!  She came in this week to read a special book about planting seeds, but not just any seeds....helping seeds!  She also gave students a little helping seeds reminder and challenged them to find a special way to help another person.  It was a special treat having her visit our class!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Magnet Show

We enjoyed a special Magnet Show presented by Sean Musselman from the Burlington Science Center today.  He taught us all about bar magnets, horseshoe magnets, ring magnets, and magnetic poles.  The students were making predictions, sharing their observations, conducting experiments and doing other scientific activities!  They were fascinated by the magnets' ability to push (repel) and pull (attract).  Mr. Musselman also had students help demonstrate how an electromagnet works.  Before dismissal, we watched a video on the white board that showed a huge electromagnet picking up and tossing vehicle parts and other large appliances.  The students loved it!  We will have magnets in the classroom for students to explore with during the rest of the week.