Mrs. Bryer's Newsletter

September 17, 2012

Mustang Brag!

The class received a mustang brag from me on Friday at morning assembly. Every child that bought a lunch Wednesday and Thursday of this week was able to punch their lunch number into the key pad without assistance. That is amazing! It was only possible with your help. Thank you! It allows us to get through the line quickly and have a few more minutes to eat.

Nuts and Bolts

  • I will continue to email this link and include the newsletter in the folders. A parent told me it was helpful to read the email at work.
  • Conference reminders went home Friday. I am required to meet with everyone so please help me out and schedule a conference if you haven't already.
  • Turn in the t-shirt order form by MONDAY. Your child's shirt is FREE!
  • Please keep your child's lunch account positive. If you receive a negative balance please take care of it quickly. After the charge is more than a few dollars your child will no longer be able to charge and they receive a cheese sandwich and milk. This does not make for a fun day!
  • Daily Folders are expected to be returned daily. I will check the calendar for notes and leave you any notes as well. The children are reminded each morning to turn in their folder. If they do not, I will not give them their daily sticker/smiley face. This class really likes stickers so I will try to put a sticker on the calendar each day your child meets the classroom expectations. Sometimes time only allows for a drawn smile and quick check. I will leave a note if they did not meet the expectations of behavior.
  • Please remind your child of the lunchroom expectations. They are to stay in their seat, raise their hand for help, eat/touch only their food, and stay at a level 2 (talking quietly). On Friday, our class received a class write up during lunch because so many children were not following the expectations.
  • Class snack is provided by parent sign up. If your child does not like the current snack they can bring an alternative. Please know that it MUST be a healthy snack or they will not be allowed to eat it.
  • Additional food to the hot school lunch are not necessary. Children are beginning to bring extra food to take to lunch to eat with their hot school lunch. Please be aware that the school lunch is nutritious and filling. They are not able to eat all that they have and food is being wasted.

Daily Schedule

Our daily schedule has been tweaked. When you move into a new house you have to work to figure out where the furniture fits best. When you move into a new school, you have to get a feel for the flow of your day. I have made some change to our daily schedule with our academic blocks. We will also now go to recess at 12:30. This will allow us to have a large, uninterrupted teaching block in the afternoon. We will have our snack at the end of the day while we enjoy our last story for the day. I will send an updated daily schedule in the folder on Monday.

Classroom Expectations

The children are "rockin' and rolling"! They are working hard at following directions and remembering the expectations of the classroom. I am teaching them to be observant. If you are not sure of what to do, take a look around. Sometimes seeing someone else moving to complete a task will be enough of a reminder as to the direction given.

I have high expectations in my classroom. We have 21 children in our class family. First and for most they need to be responsible for our bodies and our words. We take Thumper's motto, "If you don't have nothin' nice to say, don't say anything at all." This is hard for kindergarteners because they often want to say whatever comes to mind. We are learning to filter our thoughts.

I am also trying to help them find their helpful words. It is impossible for me to attend to every report from a child. For example, "She touched my paper." They think it important that I know every interaction between every child. I am trying to teach them, " I don't like it when you_____, please _________." For example, I don't like it when you touch my hair, please keep your hands in your lap." If their words stop the undesirable action then they have taken care of it themselves. If not, they are to come back and I will help them with their situation. If the initial incident causes anyone to get hurt they are to make sure I know right away.

Handwriting Without Tears

The children are working hard to learn the correct letter formation. Please help to reinforce at home with correct pencil grip, beginning letters at the TOP, and using the four basic strokes. We have begun to work on the little curve letters. We call these the "Magic C" letters. They all start with a little curve (c) and keep going to make a new letter. These letters are: c, a, d, g, q, o. We are also working on writing numbers 0-6.

Chants for Writing Numbers

1- big line down

2- around and back on the railroad track. Two! Two!

3- around and around the tree, that's how you make a number 3

4- little line down, little line over, go to the top and drop a big line down

5- short neck, belly fat, back to the top and give it a hat. That's how you make a number 5!

6- down and around

Social Stations

I have added social stations for two reasons. We need time to play with each other. We have a young group of children that need that natural social interaction. There is a lot of learning going on during this time. It is also a great time for me to interact with the children on a non academic task that is less threatening for some. It is also a great time to pull individuals to assess them.

I am also using it as a motivator. We are having difficulty with transitions. This is expected but we were making little progress. Adding the chance for social stations at the end of the day was a great motivator for children to work together and get ready for the next task.

Water Bottles and the Bathroom

Please remind your child that drinking water from morning assembly is not allowed. Their bottles should stay in their bags until we get to the classroom. They are drinking before I arrive for morning assembly and not closing the lids. We are leaving a wet mess for the PE coaches. They do not have time to mop up before the first group comes in for the day. If the bottle is closed when they leave your car or the house we should be in good shape.

We have made a revelation! The bathroom issue has been reduced. It turns out that many children were fearful of the automatic toilet. It is very loud in the small bathroom. This is my first experience with automatic toilets in the classroom and it never crossed my mind. We now put a post-it note over the sensor so that they children can flush it when they move away from the toilet. This seems to be helping. They are also doing a good job remembering to flush. Please model at home washing hands after using the bathroom. They often come out and try to go right back to work without stopping at the sink first.

If you have not already done so, please send in a complete change of clothes including socks. It is helpful to have a change of clothes on hand for spills and accidents.

Don't forget to wear your colors! Monday- purple Tuesday- pink Wednesday-brown Thursday- black Friday- gray

Fun Friday Science Experiments

Sound Vibrations

Baggie Bombs-baking soda and vinegar