Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reading Little Books

A few weeks ago we listened to  I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss. Of course, we all know that isn't true. In Kindergarten, we read with our eyes open and often, we point with our finger under each word. Just like in counting, when we read, there's a one to one correspondence.
When your student brings home a blue envelope, they will take a book out and read to an adult, a sibling, maybe even a pet! Please encourage them to point under the word, unless that doesn't seem necessary anymore. If they get stuck on decoding a word, have them look at the picture for clues. They should look at the beginning letter/sound of the word for another clue. We may not know all our letter sounds yet. At this point in time, the sentence pattern and picture clue may be our best bet.
After they have read the book, ask them questions about the story. Who are the main characters? Why did they act the way they did?
It's early in the school year, yet many children are already excited about learning to read. If they brought home a book to read to you, this means they showed me that they were interested. Have fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

     The photo you see here is of a birthday celebration from another country, not our school. However, soon our students at Mt. Desert Elementary, will again experience our unique way of celebrating birthdays. For the kindergarteners, this will be an initiation into our tradition.
     Near the end of each month, we celebrate the birthdays of all the children and adults in grades K-3 for that month. Sometimes, for practical purposes, we combine months. August birthdays are celebrated along with September birthdays, for instance.
     At a specified time, we gather in the Forum. Classes often perform. Those with birthdays that month come forward and we all sing the birthday song to them. Classes take turns being the host. Chef Emily and Jan often help by preparing the snack. Some classes prepare the snacks.
     Most importantly, we feel this celebration builds a school community. It's also a way for us to celebrate birthdays in our school equitably. We ask that parents not send in special snacks on their children's  birthday. 
Another note regarding birthdays: we ask parents to only send invitations to school if there is one for every child in the class. Otherwise please deliver personally (not at school) or by mail. Soon, I'll send home a list of the names of all our kindergarten class. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Volunteer Needed

     Throughout the year, we'll have a need for help with various jobs. One job I can think of right away is "Book Repair". Kids bring books to me that are ripped. I've been putting them away until they build up to around 6 books. I'm looking for a parent volunteer who'd like to repair them. I provide the tape. Right now, I'll ask that you let me send them home with your student and you do this job at home. After 6 weeks have passed and the children have learned the routines of kindergarten, you could choose to come in at Choice Time or some other scheduled time and do the work in our classroom. Thanks for considering and stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities.