Friday, April 13, 2012

Important Dates

I hope everyone had a great spring break. Coming back I have realized how quickly time is passing. We have 7 1/2 weeks of school left. I sent home an April calendar this week with some important dates, but just want to review them and add some additional dates so that families can plan effectively until the end of the school year.
April 23rd - PTA sponsored Skate Night @ Classic Skate Center (notes were sent home this week)
April 27th - Cookie Dough orders will be available to be picked up.
May 1st - Kindergarten students eat lunch at school to learn procedures. More info coming.
May 1 - 9 -Online Sign up window for end of year testing appointments. More info coming.
May 7th - Around the World @ Butler Elem. sponsored by PTA.  More info coming.
May 9th - Kindergarten Fieldtrip to Hogle Zoo. PM class will come in the morning that day. More info coming.
May 11th - All take-home books need to be returned.
May 14th - 16th - End of Year Testing for Kindergarten. No classes will be held.
May 23rd - Bobcat Award Cut-off. Notes will be sent home beginning of May with # of goals accomplished.
May 28th - Memorial Day (No School)
May 30th (Wed.) - Class Program for Kindergarten (tentative)  AM - 10 a.m.    PM - 2 p.m.
May 31st - PTA Carnival (evening)
June 1st - Bobcat Award Assembly @ 9 a.m.
June 4th - Field Day
June 5th - Last day of Kindergarten (regular schedule)
Hope this helps with your plans for the rest of the year. Please watch for more details about upcoming events. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to ask.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring is Really Here!

Spring Break is here officially, but our classes have been experiencing spring fever for several weeks. The students can hardly wait to break out their shorts and flip flops. (I know I feel the same way). The weather changes so drastically and quickly in the spring. We can have snow in the morning and 70 degree weather by afternoon. As our classes have discussed weather these last few weeks, I have really encouraged the students to be prepared for any weather. Please help them make wise choices. Also, a note of caution...I know how much everyone loves flip flops, but they are so dangerous on the playground. I have seen so many skinned knees and elbows because of students running with flip flops. There are other types of sandals that offer better control and yet are still nice and cool on the feet. Have a great Spring Break!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thank you to all for the great support at Parent/Teacher conferences. They are such a valuable tool to recognize growth and chart a course until the end of the year. Congratulations to those students who were chosen to participate in the SALTA or Dual/Immersion Program. First grade will be an exciting and fun challenge! As we look to first grade, our biggest goal is to develop reading skills as much as possible. Thank you to those who return the "Road to Success" reading tickets. I know there are  many who are reading each night with their student and not sending back the tickets as well. Just keep reading! Whether students are independent readers or not, reading books together is the best thing I can think of to foster a child's love for books. This month Butler Elem. is sponsoring a "Literacy Night" on Thursday, March 22nd from 6 - 8 p.m. This will be another great opportunity to get excited about reading. Authors Mark and Caralyn Buehner (Snowmen at Night) will be giving a presentation along with sponsored activities in each grade level. Also, each child will have the opportunity to choose a free book. Sounds like a win/win to me!

Friday, February 24, 2012

March Madness

This is the time of year that I start feeling a bit of panic as I realize how quickly the end of the year is coming. It truly will be June, before I know it.  And there is still so much we want to do. We have definitely picked up the pace of our work, in preparation for 1st grade. But it's also comforting to look back and see how far the students have come. Kindergarten is a year of phenomenal growth, both academically and emotionally. One of our big goals is to help students become as autonomous (independent) as possible. It empowers children to know what to do when situations/problems arise. Although we can't forsee every possible situation, they can learn to think about possible solutions. This is such a HUGE skill.  When someone comes to me with a question or problem, I try to ask them what they think would solve it. When there are disagreements between students I listen to each side and ask what they think would solve the problem. If one student acts aggressively toward another student, I ask the non-aggressive student what the other student can do to help them feel better. I think the idea of focusing on solutions as opposed to the problem goes a long way to our personal happiness and success.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Presidents Day!

This week we have been discussing our country's presidents, in particular George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. As I try and relate information that has taken place so long ago, I sometimes wonder if the students are really understanding things. And just when I think the information may be over their heads, someone makes a comment that shows a connection, which inspires several others to comment, and soon the whole class is buzzing with their personal knowledge about the subject. I have come to realize once again, how important it is to educate our leaders of the future. They will be the ones in charge when I am sitting in a care center. I want to make sure they understand our past, our present, and our future. Don't be afraid to talk about current events with your student, just do it on a level that they can understand. As we discussed how George Washington served as president for two terms and then refused a third term, someone realized that there are many people wanting to be our president on the TV. The better informed our children are, the stronger they will be as adults.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Check the backpack!

Notes were sent home this week with instructions for registering online for parent/teacher conferences during the first week of March. The window opens on Valentines Day 2/14 and will close at midnight on 2/28. If you did not receive the note, please let me know and I will be happy to send another one. Or you can look at the download on this blog that was used to register for mid-year testing. Our Kindergarten appointments will only be 10 min. because I have so many students to fit in. But it should be  adequate time. Just a reminder to not include any treats with nuts, peanuts, or peanut butter in the student's valentines. Thanks!

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Fun

   February is such a fun month because of Valentines. One of my favorite experiences is to watch Kindergarten students open their valentines from classmates. Each one is a treasure to them. They get so excited about the ones they have given out, as well as the ones they receive. It is so exciting for them to see what someone else has chosen for them. This provides so many great learning opportunities. I sent home a class list on Wednesday so that students may begin addressing their valentines. This is such good handwriting and spelling practice. Some students will be able to do most of it on their own. Others will need help and support. My suggestion is that students work on several each day, and try to accomplish it over a period of time. Valentines may be brought on Monday, Feb. 13th or Tuesday, Feb. 14th. They will be distributed in class on Tuesday. Students will be making a large valentine folder in class to keep their valentines in. They do not need to make a valentine box. Please remember not to include any treats with nuts, peanuts, or peanut butter. Thank you!