December 17, 2012

Thai Exchange Teacher

Today our class had a visit from a teacher from Thailand. Her name is Nina and she came in to talk to the kids about what life is like for Kindergarten children in Thailand. Did you know that Thai children begin Kindergarten at age 3 and remain Kindergarten children until they are 6? They also learned about the uniforms they wear to school and saw photos of a Kindergarten day there. Nina taught the kids how to say "hello" (Sa-wad-dee Ka-girls, Sa-wad-dee Krub-boys). They also learned how to count and write numbers to ten.

December 6, 2012

Reading to Pre-Buddies

Our class has been hard at work writing books that incorporate a patterned sentence structure. They have also been learning the first three reading strategies for reading predictable books. This week the children wrote two predictable patterned sentence structure books and they shared them with the Pre-School kids right next door today.

December 4, 2012

Today the children were introduced to This is a fun interactive website that they can work on at home as well. They each have a designated computer time during the week in which to practice computer skills. They will be exploring several more learning websites in the upcoming months.

Rainbow Writing Popcorn Words

Today the children enjoyed eating popcorn while rainbow writing their popcorn words! Yummy!

November 9, 2012

We Are Readers & Writers!

Wow! These kids are really proud of all the reading and writing they are doing. Today I introduced a recording sheet for them to use while they are reading. On this sheet they have a list of eight sight words that have been formally introduced. They were instructed to use their "Super Hero Reading Powers" to read to find these words and to record the ones they found. They loved it, especially since they were also introduced to clipboards as a new "cool tool" for learning in our classroom! Here are a few photos I snapped as the children were quietly working during Reading Workshop today:

November 8, 2012

Upcoming "Mindfulness" Seminar For Parents Hosted by the SCS PTO

On Tuesday evening, November 13, from 7:00-8:00 PM, Shelburne resident Marilyn Neagley will present a free seminar on mindfulness to all interested adult community members in the SCS Library. This presentation will be of particular interest to parents and care-givers of children at Shelburne Community School, where mindfulness training has recently been introduced and integrated into parts of the curriculum. The goal of this forum is to inform parents & care-givers of what's already going on in schools. Marilyn will introduce mindfulness to parents and show how mindfulness can look when introduced to a classroom. Then parents & care-givers can help reinforce the mindfulness exercises that the children are learning in the classroom. Marilyn is the Director of Talk About Wellness ( and co-editor of Educating from the Heart ( She has led three in-service trainings for SCS and has most recently presented at the Vermont School Counselors’ Conference and at the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. This seminar is presented by the SCS PTO as part of its mission to strengthen the partnership between the home and the school. Marilyn’s presentations are sponsored by grants from the Ferguson Foundation and from Holly Bartlett Johnson of Wind Ridge Publishing. Free babysitting will be provided by the PTO. Please contact Alice Brown, 985-4918, if you have any questions.

November 2, 2012

New Classroom Restaurant

Welcome the to Journey Team Restaurant! May we take your order?
The children have been having fun incorporating reading and writing skills into this Choice Time Center. It's very popular as you can imagine!

What's New?

A new month means new topics and learning tools within our classroom. Please be sure to ask your child about our new writing center. The children have been invited during Writing Workshop to become authors and to begin writing their own books. You will probably see and hear some book making happening at home. I showed them how to create some very small books using one sheet of paper, scissors, and a stapler (limit of two staples per book:)! We read the story Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk which is about a mouse that secretly writes books and hides them in the library stacks for children to find. This book inspired the children to write little books of their own. We have created a display shelf for them to place their books. Very cute! Next week we will be working on choosing topics to write about and stretching words out to write the sounds they hear.

November 1, 2012

Class Photos

This is just a reminder that class photos will take place on Wednesday, November 7th. Our team's photo time is 8:30. This is also picture retake day if you wish for your child to have pictures retaken. Please email me if you are wishing for your child to do this so that I can make plans. Thank you!

Volunteers Needed on Thursday, Nov. 8th

Next Thursday and Friday the Vermont Symphany Orchestra will be at SCS for a K-2 presentation of the instruments. It is called the VSO Petting Zoo. Our team needs 8 "handlers" from 10:30-11:30 on Thursday. Please email me at if you are interested in coming in to help for that hour. I think "help" means being at one station to help the kids handle the instruments. I would like to get 4 volunteers from our classroom. Please let me know asap.

October 29, 2012

Journey Team Important Notice for October 31st

Journey Team Special Notice For October 31st • The Journey Team will be having a Pajama Day on Wednesday. Please remember to be sure that the children are dressed for the cooler weather. (Mrs. Kendrick’s class has P.E. on this day so it may be beneficial not to send them in footed pajamas as they will get very hot running around the gym.) • We will also be walking to the Pierson Library on Wednesday (weather permitting). We plan to leave at 12:45pm to go to enjoy a story or two with the Kate Bosley, the Children’s Librarian, at the Pierson Library. We plan to return by 2:15pm. • Please note that the children should not bring costumes to school to wear on Wednesday.

October 22, 2012

Confence Sign Up

This is just a reminder to be sure to go to our team webpage to sign up on my classroom wiki for a conference. The day is November 12th and it is approaching rapidly. If those times do not work, please email me and we can figure out another day/time.

Plans for October 31st

Halloween is almost here and I thought I'd jot a quick note about what our team does for this day. We plan to invite the children to have a pajama day. Please do not send costumes to school for this day. Our classroom will be having a special healthy morning snack together that is being coordinated by our room parent. I have asked that she contact only a few parents to help supply food and other items. Please do not send in candy for this special snack. We have all of the fun and food covered!:) I am also trying to coordinate a special walking field trip to the Pierson Library for a story or two in the afternoon but am playing phone tag with the librarian trying to make this happen as part of our Me and My Community unit.

What's happening this week?

Here is a quick breakdown of the academic topics that the students are studying this week. Reading: Being a Reading Problem Solver, We study books to grow ideas, and How to Read for Deeper Understanding. Writing: We are writing problem solvers, When you think you are done you have just begun, beginning book making. Math: Numeral formation, patterning. Social Studies Theme work: Me and My Community-What does a community do for its members? How can a community meet its members basic needs?

October 9, 2012

It's Workshop Time

This week the children have begun Reading and Writing Workshops. In each, there is a 10 minute mini-lesson that targets a whole group skill. Then the children independently read from their book boxes books that are "Just Right" books. They have many books that they have made and are now choosing books from within our classroom library. While they are book box reading, I am pulling small groups of children to work on target skills that each child is needing. These groups were formed based on data that I collected during the month of September from assessments. Some groups are working on alphabet letter and sound recognition, some on phonological/phonics skills, and others are beginning guided reading groups. I love this time of year! They are all blossoming so much!

Beaver Fever!

Today the children learned about the beavers and muskrats in Hands On Nature. They watched an interesting puppet show, worked in small groups to eat like beavers, and observed some beaver/muskrat pelts and skeleton skulls. Very cool! Be sure to ask your busy beaver about what s/he learned.

October 5, 2012

More Letters...

Creative Alphabet

Today the children enjoyed reading the story called Albert's Alphabet by Leslie Tryon. In this book, a principal wants the school carpenter to build an alphabet for the walking path on the school playground. Albert finds that he does not have enough materials and he very creatively used materials from within his workshop and outside to make the alphabet. After the story reading, the children had the opportunity to creatively make a couple of alphabet letters on their own using our large letter key cards. Here are a few of the letters that I photographed. The kids loved this activity! It sparked wonderful creative and cooperative skills.

October 4, 2012

Just FYI

Class Picture day will be November 7th. They will be doing picture retakes that day as well.

October 3, 2012

More Totally Terrific Child Photos

Key skill Practiced: Sentence Structure
Key Skill Practiced: Letter Formation
Key Skill Practiced: Sentence Structure
Key Skill Practiced: Letter formation

October 2, 2012

Totally Terrific Class

We are now finished honoring each of our classroom friends as a "Totally Terrific Child". This activity was a great way to get to know each child as a unique and interesting individual. It was also a great opportunity to beginning work in key phonological awareness and phonics skills. We worked on letter and sound recognition, letter formation, syllables, rhyming recognition and production, sight words, sentence structure, and beginning Writing Workshop routines. All of this was accomplished and some very important Kindergarten skills have been front loaded so that the children have been given a sneak peak at some of the skills we will be diving into more deeply in the coming months. The month of September was also spent gathering baseline assessment information on each child in literacy and math. Next week we will begin formal Reading and Writing Workshops. The children will also begin small group work in all academic areas which will ensure that all learning needs are met at the level where the children are at. You will also hear this called Differentiated Instruction. We are also beginning a new unit called "Me and My Community" next week in Social Studies. I have subscribed to a Scholastic newspaper for Kindergarten aged children called "Let's Find Out". When these come home, please reread it with your child. Try to have them read it to you using their "tracking fingers". (They can teach you about this!)

Imagination Playground

Our school is so lucky to once again be able to host the Imagination Playground. On Monday, the children got a chance to go for the first time. After a short discussion on expectations and the power of team work, our class build this structure using these cool building materials. VERY COOL!

September 25, 2012

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Today our class read the book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. It mentions how everyone has an invisible bucket that they carry around with them. When they are happy their bucket is filled with drops and when they are sad their bucket drips and can become empty. Bucket fillers are those people who do nice things for others. Bucket dippers are the opposite and they cause drips from others' buckets. It talks about how when you fill someone's bucket, you also fill your own because it makes you feel good to be kind to someone else. Ask your child if s/he has put drops in someone's bucket today.

September 18, 2012

Marble Jar Reward

They did it again! Our awesome class filled our classroom reward marble jar. To celebrate, they all enjoyed popsicles.

Curriculum Night Reminder

SCS Kindergarten Curriculum Night will be this Thursday, September 20th from 6- approximately 7 PM. Please come to the cafeteria a little before 6 PM to pick up a packet with your child's name. This has some great information to look at before we start the presentation. We have lots of great information to share with you about your Kindergartener's year! This is an adult meeting time. Please find alternative childcare for children if you can. Hope to see you there!

Math Work Places

In the beginning of the kindergarten year, much of our time in math is spent discussing 2-D shapes and patterning. Every day the children participate in 10-15 minutes of Calendar Math. So far, the children have learned about the 12 months of the year, the days of the week, and numeral formation 0-10. After short daily mini-lessons on different shape concepts, the children have been introduced to five work places which they work at as I pull small groups of students to work on additional skills. The following are pictures from the current work places. These math work places switch out frequently and are a lot of fun. The work places not shown below are pattern blocks and unifix cubes.
Playdough Numbers
Geoboard Shapes
Polydrons: Hayden used 2-D triangles to create a 3-D pyramid

September 14, 2012

Our class has been talking about how cool it is to be unique. The students listened to a story called Elmer by David McKee. This book is about an elephant who is very happy being unique. The children discussed how they are each unique and special by partnering up with "Eye to Eye, Knee to Knee" bodies. They also shared connections that they had with their partners. Then they set to work making their own personal unique Elmer to take home. ENJOY!

Mira and Kareem are Totally Terrific

The students are doing a great job getting to know each other. During our "totally terrific" name writes, most students are choosing to first practice the names on writing grid boards together during our whole group instruction time. I am also seeing many children making connections to others' shares and children are seeking out new friends to talk with based on new facts they are learning about one another. They are making connections!

September 11, 2012

Special Visitors

Our Journey team was very lucky to receive a special visit from 24 Japanese college exchange students from Saint Michael's College today. These visitors sat with the kids in small groups and showed them how to write their names in Japanese and how to make special warrior hats. Before they left, we sang songs together and we ended by teaching them one of our classroom favorite songs called the Months of the Year Line Dance.

Creepy Crawly Spiders

Today was our first Hands On Nature lesson. The children learned about different spiders through a puppet show, about the parts of a spider by dressing me up like one, and a scavenger hunt to find different types of spider webs.

September 7, 2012

Totally Terrific Zoe

Zoe was our totally terrific child for today. We learned that she has a dog, four people in her family, and she loves to visit Shelburne Farms. Zoe said that she has lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins that love her. Thanks for sharing Zoe!

Extra Practice

Today I sent home an alphabet song that the kids have been singing and learning to read. Please have them sing it to you, using 1-1 match on the letters as they go. It is very cute! Please keep it in a good place at home for s/he to refer to often. I also sent home a number rhyme sheet that you can use with your child to practice number writing.

September 6, 2012

Totally Terrific Hayden

Hayden was our honored student for today. The children noticed that he has 6 letters in his name. I introduced white boards and markers to them and children got a short handwriting lesson for the letters in his name. We learned that Hayden enjoys visiting Story Land and he loves Legos. His favorite color is orange and he has made "so many new friends" this year. Thanks for sharing today Hayden!

September 5, 2012

After creating hopes and dreams clouds for their kindergarten year, the children worked together to come up with our classroom expectations. After a long list of rules such as no hitting, punching, spitting, and stomping on feet, we all decided that we wanted a positive spin to expectations that would hang proudly in our classroom. So, after some thoughtful discussion, the children all promised with to be their best selves all throughout the day. This is our classroom rule/expectation.

Various Photos from the First 5 Days of Kindergarten

This is our Art teacher Mrs. Caraher. She came to our classroom last Friday to talk about what it means to do art. They read a fun story together and then she showed them different ways to use one crayon.
These girls are buddy reading while waiting for snack time to end.
These two children are painting their hopes and dreams clouds after participating in a guided discovery of our classroom watercolors.
Madisen shares her finished dream cloud.
This was the students first time meeting Mr. Lewis, our P.E. teacher. They are very excited to go visit him in the big gym tomorrow. Don't forget to have them wear their sneakers.

Totally Terrific Child

Today James was our first Totally Terrific Child. We learned that his favorite color is gold, that he loves to do gymnastics and artwork. James played baseball last year and loves to play with his older sisters. The class made their first book for James after studying the letters of his name. For the next 16 days of school, one child per day will be honored as our Totally Terrific Child.

September 4, 2012

Wonderful Start to the Week

The children had a great day back from the long weekend! I was surprised at how much they remembered about our daily routines from last week. I love to watch all of the new friendships blossom! These first six weeks of school are spent getting to know each other, learning classroom routines and expectations, and participation in guided discoveries of classroom materials. Guided Discoveries help students to understand how to use and care for classroom materials so that the materials can be readily accessible for academic activities later. We have begun to weave our initial Social Studies Unit called "The Story of Me" into these beginning weeks. In this unit, the children will learn about how people have unique qualities that make each and every one of us special. I have begun initial assessments in literacy and math. This will help me begin to gather information on each child so that I can begin to group children for small group activities in math and literacy. Activities for small group work may include students being grouped by ability and at other times by topic interest. I always try to integrate our theme topic throughout the curriculum as I am planning for instruction (currently "The Story of Me"). Please be sure to ask your child about the following: The Marble Reward Jar, Chee Chee Cha, Razzama Tazzama, Hopes and Dreams Clouds, Calendar Math shape patterns, our new classroom Elmo and projector, Choice Time Centers, and our classroom expectation that the children worked together to create which they identified as "Be your best self"! I will post photos from the first 5 days of school tomorrow. Have a relaxing evening.

August 29, 2012

A Couple of First Day Photos

Here are two photos from today that I thought were cute. One photo is of the kids working with Mrs. Burritt, the Music teacher. The other is of a table group of kids who are waiting for the school day to begin by enjoying a tub of alphabet, nursery rhyme, number, and song books.

Great First Day of Kindergarten

We had a very fun first day together. Along with many new stories and songs, the children began to practice classroom and school routines. We did many community building activities. One favorite activity was Tunnel Tag outside. Mrs. Burritt, the music teacher, came to the classroom for music class today. The kids were all so excited to play in the classroom at Choice Time in the four centers we opened today: blocks, doll house, drawing, and the game closet. I cannot wait to introduce more of our room to the tomorrow using a technique called Guided Discovery. Be sure to ask your child about the following: The Freeze Game, Months of the Year Line Dance, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, The Birthday Graph, Self Portraits using multicultural skin color crayons, lunch time, recess, and quiet time.

August 27, 2012

PTO Representative Needed

Are you looking for a fun and interesting way to help out your kindergarten child outside of the school day? If so, please consider being our classroom representative for the SCS PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization). This entails attending monthly meetings and emailing me a brief summary of the meeting to post to our classroom blog. Last year a summary of meeting notes were provided to members to pass along via email to teachers so that was really simple and handy. I believe that childcare and dinner are provided. There are a lot of fun, energetic members of this dynamic group at SCS who help make a difference in every classroom in many ways. In the past, the PTO has supported our classrooms by fundraising to help supplement classroom supplies and materials, awarding grants to classrooms to buy technology and tools, and organizing school wide assemblies and special events. They run the Holiday craft fair in December and the annual Jog-A-Thon in the spring. So, come join to fun and become part of a great group of people. Please email me if you are interested.

Dates to Remember

I thought that I would pass along some important dates that I just heard about. School Picture Day-October 3 Fire Prevention Day-September 19

Building Community

It was nice to see so many children and families at Open House tonight. Thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy schedules to come in. This time of year is spent building the classroom community into a positive, friendly atmosphere for the children. This process begins even before school starts. So, thank you for helping make the beginning of our year together start on such a positive note.

August 19, 2012

Do you want to be a classroom volunteer or chaperone at SCS?

To Volunteer in the Classroom, you must fill out the Agency of Human Services form and a confidentiality agreement. To Chaperone a Field trip you must do the above and also have your fingerprints done. The cost of fingerprinting is $25.00 and the fee to file at CSSU is $15.25 for a total of $40.25. After you have been fingerprinted, you need to chaperone at least once a year to keep the fingerprints and paperwork valid.

August 15, 2012

Welcome New Kindergarteners!

I am so excited to have you in our kindergarten class this year! You will be learning so many new things. You will learn about letters, numbers, and eventually you will start to read and write! Kindergarten is full of fun activities like singing songs, art projects, and playing games with friends. We will all have a great year full of new and exciting adventures together. See you soon!

June 13, 2012

Yay, You!

Yay Kindergarteners! What a great job you did this school year. I am so proud of each and every one of you. Have a great summer and I hope to see you out and about! The following quote is from a book called YAY, YOU! by Sandra Boynton. I read this book to our classroom today and thought it would be a great quote to end the year. "And whatever you do- now or later, big or small, loud or quiet- whatever you do, don't worry. Just try it. Whatever you do, whether near or so far, I know you'll be great"

June 8, 2012

Journey Team Spirit Days

Next week, our team will be having spirit days. On Monday it will be Favorite Hat Day. Tuesday will be Dress Like Your Favorite Story Book Character Day. Wednesday will be Favorite T-Shirt Day. Please do not go out to buy anything new for these days. Just look around your house and see how creative your child can be.

Team Picnic Fun

Yesterday was so much fun and such a beautiful day! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to play with us. At Morning Meeting circle today, the kids all agreed that this field trip "was the best one ever!" I also want to thank you for the generous gift and beautiful class photo. It was all so nice of you and such a surprise!