Kindergarten News

January 2016

Curriculum Update

In literacy... We are learning how to read and write pattern books. Our children are using strategies to solve tricky words and are beginning to realize how frequently they read our word wall words in books. We are also thinking about the heart of a story or the main idea. This is helping us think through what we want to say about the topics we are writing about. An example of a pattern book is: We like our Angry Birds game. We like our books. We like our friends. We like our toys. We like our teachers. Children benefit from extra practice with these skills at home. Help them think of topics for their pattern book writing, then they can think about what they want to say about their topic. The last step is thinking of a pattern to repeat on each page that will fit their topic.


In Math...we have been focusing on numbers within 10 and their relationships to quantities. Within this unit, students have practiced recognition, counting on from various numbers, putting together and taking apart numbers. Along the way, they have been learning how to explain their thinking. We have begun introducing word/story problems in math and the children have focused on recording different ways they can solve the problem.

Please continue practicing counting and number recognition at home. These are essential skills your child needs to continue building their number sense.

We will be starting a new unit on Measurement.

Our focus questions for this unit are:

Why are objects measured?

What are different ways objects can be measured?

What attributes of an object can be measured?


Because the unit on measurable attributes is just beginning, we will not be assessing your child in this area on the Learning Feedback Document. Also, any skills that relate to understanding addition and subtraction and place value will not be assessed until the 2nd half of the year.

Building a Culture of Thinking

We continue to build a culture in our classrooms that supports students thinking as they work through new concepts and connecting ideas. We use thinking routines to help students organize their ideas and build on the ideas of their classmates. Here's a little more about one of the routines we use:

I See... I Think.. I Wonder

This routine helps students make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations; to stimulate curiosity and set the stage for inquiry. We use this routine when we want students to think carefully about why something looks the way it does or is the way it is.

Special Classes

Please send in your child's grey "Specials" shirt that has their name on it. They need it as soon as possible. Thanks!

Media Center Update (Jen Palecek)

In Media classes, we have been learning about the different procedures used in the library and computer lab. We have also been learning about how to take care of books and have been reading book titles that were nominated for the Michigan Great Lakes Great Books award. We are also starting to log onto Chromebooks in the lab and are working on basic computer coding activities.

January Word Wall Words

Please practice the following words! Thanks!

it, on , so , do, he , up, like

100th Day of School

We will be celebrating the 100th day of school on Wednesday, February 17th. (Unless there is a snow day) The children will bring in 100's Day collections from home and participate in various 100's Day activities. This is not considered a classroom party but is a classroom event for students. Please have your child find 100 of something to bring to school to share with the class by Friday, February 12th. Examples: paper clips, pennies, candy, foam shapes, etc. Please make sure they will fit into a quart size bag or smaller.

Valentine's Day in Kindergarten

Important Dates

Monday, January 18th

Professional Development Day for staff; No School for Students.


Thursday, January 28th and Friday, January 29th

Record’s Day for staff; Half Day for Students. Dismissal is at 11:31 a.m.

Learning Feedback Document (formerly known as a report card :) )

We are extremely proud of how our students have grown. Thank you for all the support at home! You will be receiving a hard copy of your child's Learning Feedback Document on February 8th. This date has changed since the last NSE Newsletter.


The ParentVue portal is an important part of our Student Information System. In this portal parents can view their child’s attendance, transportation information, academic progress, and update important student information like phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc. As we continue to work toward paperless communications, please plan to use ParentVue regularly.

It is important that you take the time to set up and activate your account if you have not already done so. You will need an activation key to do this. Here’s how:


1. Email SynergySupport@clarkston.k12.mi.us to request an activation key. Provide the following information in your email:

  • Your Name

  • Your Student(s) Name

  • Your Student(s) Date Of Birth

  • Your Home Address

  • Your Phone Number

Also, please make sure to take some time to review the information in Parent Vue and make sure that we have the most accurate and updated information, particularly phone numbers and emergency contacts. To access ParentVue (once you have activated your account):

  1. Go to the Clarkston Schools’ webpage www.clarkston.k12.mi.us

  2. Choose the Resources tab and then select ParentVue

If you would like to discuss your child's growth or have any questions feel free to contact us by phone or email

Contact Information