Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dear Families,                                                                         April 2, 2015
         Bonjour! March was an extremely busy month and it is hard to believe April has arrived. This month we will be learning about France, we will learn several new songs and count to ten in French. We will also explore some of Matisse’s artwork.  Margaret Wise Brown is the author of the month and we will also be reading books by Fran├žoise. Her stories are about a little French girl named Jeanne-Marie who lives in the countryside of France.
Melrose School’s reading week will start on Monday, April 13th through the 16th. We will be sending home information at a later date. However, to accommodate all of you who would like to be guest readers in my class (mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc.) I will start next week and go through until the end of the month. So, please let me know in the blue book if you are able to come in and I will do my best to accommodate you. The times available are 8:30, 11:30(except Fridays) and 2:00. 
The Osprey have arrived! The birds know it is spring despite the unseasonable temperatures (more daylight). Please be on the lookout for different birds migrating through Jamestown. The Egrets and Red-Winged Blackbirds have arrived and the Glossy Ibis should be arriving soon to the marsh area. So…I’ve asked the children to be aware of them. If you don’t have a bird book available, the Ibis has a long curved beak, long and slender, flocks together both in the sky/ground and can often be seen in the marsh wading or in fields at the farms. It is a major sign of spring, much like the Osprey, which you can see on the platform in the marsh near Zeek’s Creek and on the baseball field at school.
         We finished up our exploration of lambs, Sheep in a Jeep series and circle stories like, If You Take a Mouse to School. We acted out The Three Little Pigs (our version had the wolf so tired and hungry that he fainted and the pigs dragged him back into the woods and enjoyed a cup of tea on the patio of the brick house). Hilarious and very fun!  We will continue to discuss the changes taking place outside. We will also continue with word families and Mother Goose rhymes until the end of the school year which is approaching quickly. Wow! There are only 52 days before summer vacation begins! The children have progressed wonderfully. It is amazing how much they have learned and in how many ways they use their new skills.
         Please continue to encourage your child to read and return the little books each week. We can only send home a new one if the old one has been returned.  Also, please encourage your child to be observant, explore and guide him/her as spring continues to unfold. Notice the spring peepers peeping, bulbs coming up, swelling buds on the trees, birds singing, longer days, etc.
We will begin an egg unit when we return from spring break and the children will learn that egg-laying animals are called oviparous. We will learn about the different animals that hatch from eggs and the process of development, for example: egg, tadpoles, frog, etc.
Important Dates to keep in mind:
No school tomorrow in observance of Good Friday.
We have our spring break that begins Friday, April 16th through the 24th.
Our field trip to Casey Farm is on Thursday, April 30th (more info to follow).
Kindergarten graduation will be Thursday, June 25th (more info to come).
Wish list: Disinfecting wipes.
Have a wonderful long weekend!  Ms. Mitchell

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Building Rapunzel and her Castle

Fire Station Field Trip

K-1 Weekly Newsletter

Dear Families,                                                                 November 7, 2014
          O si yo! Our trip to McQuade’s will be the week of the 17th . Because this field trip is weather dependent, I will not make the final decision until I know the weather forecast. I have included a permission slip so please sign and send back by next Friday. This trip is intended to be an educational experience. The children will be able to pick out a food item, place it in our cart and go through the check out. If you can volunteer to join us please let me know in the blue book. In addition to our trip, we also have a basket in the class to collect non-perishable items for the food pantry. You may send them in at any time. As you may imagine, this time of year can be challenging for some families and your contributions help spread kindness and joy to those in need. Thank you!
          We continue to practice our listening skills, reading different sight words, recognizing letter sounds, inventive spelling and numbers. We are now learning about Native Americans through our literature, languages, stories, crafts, local history and artifacts. We will have a celebration (powwow) after the Thanksgiving break.
          Thank you for sending in different 3-dimensional objects for our shape museum. The children have fun finding concrete objects at home and in the classroom to share with their peers. It really helps them recall and retain the names of each shape. We are currently learning cone, sphere, cylinder, cube, rectangular prism and pyramid. The 2-dimensional shapes we have been learning are circle, triangle, rectangle, hexagon, square, rhombus and trapezoid. In the classroom, they learn by using the 2-D magnetic blocks to construct larger 2-D shapes and 3-D objects.
          Centers this week:
Listening: The children listened to The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and drew about their favorite part.
          Math: The children played a game using ten frames.
          Computer: The children played games using the Lexia program, reviewing beginning and ending sounds and rhyming based on their individual skills. (I have included a sheet with your child’s name and password (mitchell) so your children can  access their account on Lexia from their home computers).
          Art: The children created an animal mask to use while acting out Mrs. Wishy-washy.
Please remember that parent/teacher conferences are also scheduled for the week of the 17th. Each conference is scheduled for 20 minutes. Please help me remain on schedule by arriving on time and concluding our meeting within the 20 minute time frame. If you find you need more time to discuss your child’s progress we can schedule another time to do so. Please remember to attend. I am including a confirmation letter that needs to be signed and returned.  Please mark the date on your calendar and return this sheet to me. Thanks! I am looking forward to meeting with you and discussing your child’s progress.
          Kindergarten has a holiday performance which will be held before the Christmas break. We have not confirmed the date with the music department, but I thought it might be helpful to know ahead of time for planning purposes.  I will let you know the date when we confirm it. In the past, it is has been scheduled in the morning of the last day before Christmas break. More information to come.
          Please remember there is no school next Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 to observe Veteran’s Day. Don’t forget to go to Godena Farm this weekend to check out the Melrose School scarecrows. Our scarecrow is Rapunzel in her castle. Have fun!!! I’ve been editing and organizing photos for our kindergarten blog…thanks for your patience. Hopefully I will be adding new posts today.
Have a relaxing weekend!
Ms. Jane Mitchell

Monday, November 3, 2014

K-1 Weekly Newsletter

Dear Families,                                                                                   October 31, 2014
          O si yo! Hello in Cherokee! It is hard to believe that it’s already November. This month we will be learning different Native American languages. We will be counting in Lakota, singing a lullaby in Iroquois and learning a song in Navajo. The author of the month is Jim Arnosky. He is our introduction to non-fiction writing. He is a New England writer and focuses on local animals. Because animals play such an important role in many Native cultures, this literature seems the most appropriate, interesting and well connected. We will listen to a variety of drumming music and songs throughout our exploration of Native Americans. We will have a teepee set up in the classroom and I will be reading and telling native legends to the children. The children will also learn how the local Narragansett Indians made Conanicut Island their summer residence. We hope to walk to the local library to view some of the artifacts in the Sydney Wright Museum. The artifacts were all found on the island. It’s a very exciting and interesting topic to teach the children and they love learning about it as well.      
We completed two writing assessments recently. One of the assessments asks the children to draw and write two facts about autumn. They are asked to draw and do their best writing. The other assessment asks a comprehension question the children must answer after reading the book Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell. They are asked to do their best job ‘writing’ to describe their idea. They did a good job on both pieces and really enjoy learning to write. They are all very excited about their achievements. Thank you for encouraging this at home as well. I enjoy when they bring in stories they’ve written at home or items to share for our seasonal shelf too.        
Next week, we will begin reading many books that explore different Native American tribes but we will try and focus on the Narragnsett Indians. We have a wonderful map of the island that we can refer to when discussing the location of landmarks in Jamestown such as Beavertail, Watson Farm, Sheffield Cove and Ft. Getty. We will also locate the children’s address on our map too.
Each November we ask families to donate food (canned goods, boxed items, etc.) for our local food pantry. We will have a basket available to collect the food in our classroom. We also ask you to have your children save their pennies and coins so they can buy a food item when we take our annual field trip to McQuade’s Market. We will count the money together and the children will have an opportunity to look in the McQuade’s weekly food flyer and figure out what they would like to purchase with the money they’ve saved. All the food will be donated to the food pantry. This math activity is intended to be a meaningful event, so please help them out by giving them jobs to do so they can earn the money. We are planning to go to McQuade’s the week of the 17th. The weather will determine the actual day. There will be more information to come in the next few weeks.
Wish list: It would be wonderful to receive more disinfectant wipes and Kleenex to help keep our room germ free. Also, please make sure your child is dressed warmly for outdoor play as the weather gets colder.
No school on next Tuesday, November 4th due to Election Day and Veteran’s Day the following Tuesday, Nov. 11th. Also, I will be sending a confirmation notice to each of you with the date and time of your parent/teacher conference next week.  
I hope you were able to go to Godena Farm to see all the wonderful and original scarecrows that all the children at Melrose School created. Our scarecrow was evidence of all the wonderful ideas and work your children did to help create Rapunzel and her castle. This was a group effort although a huge thank you goes to my daughter Haley Barber who created the castle for the children to paint.  The children came up with all the fantastic ideas and each took part in creating something for the project. It was very exciting for them to experience working cooperatively to complete such a project. It helped to build community, friendship and respect for one another. I will post pictures on my kindergarten blog so you can check out the process. It was rather tricky taking pictures and guiding them at the same time. Imagine lots of sticky fingers, paintbrushes loaded with paint and crystals everywhere!   
Have a happy Halloween!  Ms. Mitchell