Ms. Kranzush's Kinders

Kind and Smart and Good at Heart

Curriculum Night

On Thursday, September 29th, we will hold a Kindergarten Curriculum Night at 5:30 in our wing's common area. We will talk about academic learning targets for the year as well as go over information about our Forest Days program and Growth Mindset. There will be playground supervision for school-aged children.

Please let us know if you can attend by clicking here:

FROG Binders

Frog binders go home every day and come back the next. They are used partially for communication and partially to teach responsibility. Please get in the habit of checking it every day. Some days they'll be empty, but some days you'll have tons to look at. All weekly class work will come home on Fridays. Periodically throughout the week there will be information from the school that comes home. Starting next week, kids will be able to show you how their day was by coloring an apple chart (see below.)

This is also a great place for you to leave me a note if something has changed in your child's schedule for the day - whether it's a lunch change or pick up change or whatever. I check binders every morning.

Email vs. Phone call

Your child keeps me very busy throughout the day! If midday there is a change in your child's dismissal schedule or something that you need me to know right away, please call the office and leave a message. There are days that I never check my email until the kids are gone for the day! If there is anything else that is not pressed for time or just informational for me, feel free to email me. I'll get back to you just as soon as I can.

Thanks for your understanding with this!

Apple Charts

On Monday, we are starting our behavior chart "for real." We'd been practicing all last week. It is a rainbow chart and each student has a clip with their name on it. They move up or down the chart throughout the day depending on their choices in class. It is a sliding scale; starting each day on green. Clips get moved up for working through something tough, having a great learning day, helping a friend, etc. They get moved down for bad attitudes, hurting another friend, defiance, etc. The colors are:

Purple: Star Student
Blue: Awesome Day
Green: Ready to Learn
Yellow: Warning
Orange: Teacher's Choice (apology, take a break, etc.)
Red: Call home

I'd like to be very clear that "bad" colors (yellow, orange, red) are not meant to be used as a punishment at home, but rather as an opportunity to talk about the problems and figure out solutions or work towards better days. Similarly, "good" colors can warrant similar conversations and celebrations over what went right. In class, we use it as a way to show that positive and negative interactions all have good and bad consequences. We talk about it A LOT. We can start a day out badly, but fix it through our choices (or vice versa.) We can make mistakes and recover from them. I certainly don't have all purple days in my life, so it's unrealistic for us to hold kids to that standard. Ending their day in green is great. Occasional yellows happen, too. What's important is the conversation that goes along with the color.

Upcoming Events

September 29th - Kindergarten Curriculum Night 5:30pm in our common (wing) area
September 30th - Movie Night - Zootopia - 6:30 in the gym
October 5th - National Bike/Walk to School Day (See Oct school newsletter for more info)
October 25th - Pumpkin Patch Field Trip (suggested donation $5)
October 14th - Pine Ridge Fun Run
Movie Night

Forest Days (free of cost for all trips) - We will talk more about this program at curriculum night

Oct 17th - KD the Tree Lady

Nov 17th - Sunriver Nature Center

Dec 12th - Discover your Forest-

Jan 20th - Environmental Center - animal tracks

Feb 24 - Art with Judy - Found Art

Mar 17th - Audobon Society - birdwatching

Apr 21- High Desert Museum - Owls

May 12th - Upper Deschutes Watershed Council - stream study

June 2nd - Family Day and BBQ


Please supply one snack for the whole class once per month. In the past, I've had schedules for everyone, but it never worked out, so instead please drop a snack off at the first week of each month. We have room for fresh/refrigerated items and dry storage for cracker-type items. We'll always eat the fresh stuff first and save the rest for the end of the month. Thank you!

Character Trait - Engage

Every 6 weeks we work as a school on different character traits. At the end of the 6 weeks, a student from each class wins the Character Trait Award and a special lunch with Mr. Gehrig and Mr. Myers. The first character trait is "engage." (We will work on this trait until the beginning of November.) This is a pretty big concept for kinders, but another way to come at it is "participation." We want students to be active participants in their own learning, not just be physically present at the school. What does this look like? Having a great attitude about what we're learning. Making connections between something at school and something at home. Understanding that everything we do is important. Asking questions about what we're learning if something doesn't make sense. There are lots of ways to be engaged!

ABC Bootcamp

At the beginning of the year, we do an ABC Bootcamp. We focus heavily on a letter every day. It's a great refresher for kids who already know their ABC's and a quick hit for those who have some to learn. (Our overall goal is for all kids to be solid on letters/sounds by Christmas break at the latest.) This is a small portion of our day. We spend much more time on other skills throughout the day, focusing on kids' individual skills and growth. On Friday the 15th, we finished letter F and will continue every day until we hit Z.

Specialists Schedule

We rotate through our "speciaists" each week. Our schedule is:
Monday - PE
Tuesday - Music
Wednesday PE/Music (alternating every other week.)
Thursday - Library
Friday - Social Skills

It's always a good idea to wear tennis shoes every day, though, so that your child can run at recess and mileage club. (Mileage club is an optional PE enrichment program where kids run laps at recess or during PE and try to accumulate a marathon over the course of a year.)

Kate Kranzush

This summer, I spent a few weeks working with an NGO in Rwanda as part of the Bend Rwanda Teaching Collaborative. It was a great experience and gave me some good opportunities to reflect on my own teaching practice while helping a developing educational system.