Kindergarten News – 5/24/2019

We worked on lots of fun learning projects this week! Students worked in partners to write and illustrate stories using the Book Creator app on our iPads. We used our new knowledge about time and number patterns to create a new class schedule that we will try out for a day next week. We also completed a few more science experiments to learn about: static electricity, oil and water molecules, and left/right dominance. We studied royal people in the fictional stories of Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We also learned the ‘Bossy e’ spelling rule, in which the letter ‘e’ tells the vowel before it to say its name (instead of its sound) in vowel-consonant-‘e’ words, such as plate and bikes

Announcements:

  • There is no school on Monday 5/27. Happy Memorial Day!
  • Click here to fill out your yearbook order form. If you order a yearbook, please bring cash or a check made out to OTA for $25. Dedications, due by Friday 5/31, are an additional $5.
  • Ms. King, the music teacher, is looking for music volunteers. Contact her at [email protected] if you are interested in helping out during kindergarten music class. Musical experience is not needed.
  • Students wrote, illustrated, and recorded stories on our iPads this week. Our stories are the next parts to a story that we heard in class, so they won’t make much sense out of context, but we still wanted to share them with you. Click here to read/listen to them.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 5/17/2019

Kindergartners were champs getting through MAP testing this week. These assessments are long and challenging, but we did it! The most exciting part of the week for students seemed to be our egg drop STEM lab. Students worked in teams to design protection that would allow an egg to safely fall from the second story without breaking. Four of our six teams had successful drops. Another highlight of this week was continuing to practice more complex math strategies while: adding more than two numbers, changing addition problems into subtraction problems, and skip counting by finding number similarities. Students also enjoyed experimenting with LittleBits in Robotics to build circuit combinations in preparation for our electronic engineering projects. 

Announcements:

  • Reading level notices went home this week. Your child was assessed one last time this school year to determine their current reading level, which was explained in the handout. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
  • MAP score reports will go home with Q4 report cards in mid-June. However, I have the scores now and would be happy to email them to you if you do not want to wait that long.
  • There is no school on Monday 5/27. Happy Memorial Day!

As always, let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Have a great weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 5/10/2019

We are getting close to the end of the school year and are beginning to finish up some units in our curriculums. (But of course we will never really stop learning about these topics because life is not about learning in units or subjects. It is so fun and beneficial to integrate everything we learn into our life experiences!) We have completed our measurement unit, and we look forward to spending the next couple of weeks getting a preview of “first grade math,” using more complex problem-solving strategies. This week we learned from YouTube’s Dr. Binocs about the science behind natural disasters and body parts (brain, skin, etc.). We also learned about the role that royal families play in their kingdoms, and how kings and queens differ from presidents. For a bonus lesson, Officer Amber paid us another visit to talk with us about safety tips. We also learned that ‘ee’ is a vowel team that makes the long ‘e’ sound because: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” Lastly, we worked on a writing/art surprise for our moms. 🙂

Announcements:

  • The online auction items end at various times throughout the evening on this Sunday 5/12. “Pajama Party with Ms. H and Ms. T” has 6 slots available (4 near the beginning of the list and 2 near the end of the list). The auction tends to get very busy right before it ends, so don’t miss out on the last hour!
  • Kindergarten will complete our Spring MAP assessments on Tuesday 5/14 and Wednesday 5/15. Please always let me, as well as the office, know in advance when your child will be absent, especially on this important day. More information about these assessments can be found here.
  • Mark your calendars for our short kindergarten graduation ceremony on Thursday 6/13 at 9am. More details will be announced when we get closer to that date.
  • Thank you all very much for your contribution to our Teacher Appreciation Day gifts. Your thoughtfulness in making our day extra special was very appreciated. You knew all of our favorites too! Thank you for all that you do to support us and your child through their kindergarten journey.

Wishing a very happy Mothers’ Day to all of you wonderful moms! I hope your weekend is extra special. Enjoy the Mothers’ Day project that your child made for you this week. 🙂

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 5/3/2019

It was so great getting to know students’ grandparents and special friends today! Thank you for helping to arrange this memorable experience. Our main academic focuses this week were: independent reading comprehension, opinion writing incorporating everything we have learned as writers so far (using complete sentences, uppercase versus lowercase letters, spacing, punctuation, handwriting, phonemes, sight words, illustrations, etc.), measurement of different mathematical attributes (length, height, weight, capacity) using various tools, the invention of some common objects (pencil, paper, chocolate, microwave, etc.), and the introduction to kings and queens. I encourage you discuss these topics with your child to reinforce what we are learning so that your child can apply their new knowledge to become even more engaged in learning!

Announcements:

  • OTA Nacho Average Gala is tomorrow, Saturday 5/4. Click here to purchase tickets to our biggest fundraising event of the year. All proceeds directly benefit our school. Thanks so much for your continuous support to make OTA an even better school than it already is!
  • Field Day shirt orders are due by Tuesday 5/7. Click here to see the shirt design. As a reminder, purchasing a shirt is not required.
  • OTAlent Show is on Friday 5/10. Students will be attending the show during the school day. Families may watch a second performance at 6pm at Pacific Martial Arts (0.3 mile from OTA).
  • There will be no Show ‘N Tell on Friday 5/10 because we will be at the Talent Show during our usual Show ‘N Tell time.
  • This year’s Teacher Experiences have been announced! Get a preview of the online auction items by clicking here. Kindergartners came up with the idea of “Pajama Party with Ms. H and Ms. T.” Six students will get to join us for a night of fun at school on Saturday 6/8 from 4-8pm, doing activities and going places on campus that are normally off-limits: bake treats in the staff lounge, build a fort in the classroom, have the playgrounds all to ourselves, order pizza, watch a movie, not have to follow most school rules, and lots more fun!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 4/26/2019

We got a lot done during our short week at school! In Language Arts, we focused on forming complete sentences while answering opinion prompts. We practiced our sight words and using uppercase letters. We also had our in-class poetry recital. Great job to all students for working so hard to prepare their poems, and congratulations to our kindergartner finalists: Cora, Gavin, and Milana. Milana earned first place in the grades K-2 bracket! In Math, we finished our geometry unit and have moved on to learning about different types of measurement. This week in Social Studies, we learned about Barack Obama’s presidency and the story of how Mount Rushmore came to be. In Science, we continued learning about how things work. This week’s focus was on animals (how birds fly, why chameleons change color, how bees make honey, etc.). We practiced our drawing skills using different types of lines in Art. In Robotics, we learned about the difference between robots and computers, and we also learned more about generating electricity.

Announcements:

  • Grandparents’/Special Friends’ Day is on Friday 5/3 from 9-11:15am. Guests are invited to come to our classroom to experience some of the activities that we get to do in kindergarten. Guests may take their kindergartner home early, as long as they check out with a teacher before leaving. Students without a guest, and students who do not go home with their guest(s), will be dismissed at the regular 12pm minimum day dismissal time.
  • OTA Nacho Average Gala is on Saturday 5/4. Click here to purchase tickets to our biggest fundraising event of the year. All proceeds directly benefit our school. Thanks so much for your continuous support to make OTA an even better school for our students!
  • We are starting to prepare for our annual Field Day event, which will be on Friday 6/7. Kindergarten’s team color is purple this year. If you would like to order an official Field Day shirt, you may send back the completed order form that was sent home today along with $10. You are not required to purchase a shirt. Students who do not order a shirt will be asked to wear a purple shirt, such as their Jogathon shirt, on that day. Orders are due by Tuesday 5/7. Click here to see the shirt design.

Have a great weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 4/19/2019

Kindergarten had a great start to Quarter 4! Here is what we did in academics this week in our core subjects… We learned new reading comprehension strategies, and we had more practice in writing letters and notes. We practiced analyzing and creating flat and solid shapes. We learned the science behind some of our bodily functions (sneezing, yawning, hiccuping, etc.). We learned about Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation and about Theodore Roosevelt and his compassion. 

Announcements:

  • There will be no school on Monday 4/22. Happy Easter and/or Happy Earth Day!
  • Our in-class poetry recital is on Tuesday 4/23. As a reminder, we will not be working on this mandatory assignment in class, so this must be prepared at home. Students will be judged on the following: knows the poem well enough to recite without mistakes, enunciates clearly and audibly, and shows understanding of rhythm/line breaks and meaning/tone. Click here to read more information about this assignment in a past newsletter.

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Have a great long weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 4/12/2019

Congratulations to students and families for making it through Quarter 3! We finished out the quarter by electing our two new class greeters, Elijah and Cora, with our fourth grade buddies’ help. We learned about Thomas Jefferson’s involvement in writing the Declaration of Independence along with the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty. We were introduced to some more notable scientists: Thomas Edison and Neil Armstrong. We learned the basic format for writing letters, and we wrote letters to our grandparents and special friends. We reviewed uppercase letters and continued progressing our reading comprehension, sight word, and phonics skills. We analyzed and compared 2-D and 3-D shapes by comparing vertices, sides, and surfaces along with the ability to roll, slide, and stack. We learned about how motors operate, and we built our own motors. We practiced overhand throwing and fielding ground balls. And lastly, we learned about Mozart and musical beats.

Announcements:

  • Today is the end of Quarter 3. Report cards will be mailed out soon. Grades are explained here, and individual assessment scores can be found here. Let me know if you have any questions about your child’s quarterly grades.
  • The following kindergarten website pages have been updated for Quarter 4: Current Topics, Volunteering Opportunities, and Optional Homework Projects.
  • There will be no school on Monday 4/22. Happy Easter and/or Happy Earth Day!
  • Students have less than two weeks left to prepare for our in-class poetry recital, which is on Tuesday 4/23. As a reminder, we will not be working on this mandatory assignment in class, so this must be prepared at home. Click here to read more information about this in last week’s newsletter.
  • OTA has a special program on Friday 5/3, in which grandparents (or special grown-up friends) may come to our classroom to do fun activities with us. Yesterday your child brought home an invitation for Grandparents’/Special Friends’ Day. Students chose whom to invite, but names were written in pencil and can be changed. Please forward on this invitation to prepare for our exciting day!
  • A message from Mr. C: Get your tickets now! OTA Nacho Average Gala, Saturday, May 4. Tickets available at the following link: Gala TicketsWant to volunteer at the event? Sign-up now and we’ll send you a promo code for $40 off admission priceCheck out live auction previews, the generous gala sponsors, a sneak peek at Teacher Experiences in the online auction, and more #OTAGala and Osprey Online Auction information. Be sure to FOLLOW the Parent Foundation on Facebook and Instagram for important event tips and announcements. We look forward to seeing you on May 4 at Liberty Station.
  • A message from Yearbook Committee: Call for yearbook pictures! It’s that time! The school year is over in 10 weeks! It’s time to submit the photos you’ve been taking all year so they can be included in the 2019 OTA Yearbook… First day of school, Jog-a-thon, Halloween, holiday parties, field trips, sports, spirit days, school dances, family events, pictures around campus, pictures in class, music, STEM… etc! Please email pictures to: [email protected] or [email protected].

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 4/5/2019

A week off had us feeling refreshed and ready for lots more learning this week! We learned all about poetry in Language Arts. In Math, we became more familiar with the different flat and solid shapes that can be found in our environment. In Science, we learned about how some notable scientists changed how we live. This week, our focus was on these scientists: Jane Goodall, Mary Anning, and Marie Curie. We learned how George Washington became our first president, we became familiar with the symbolism of the American flag, and we continued preparing for our class greeter election in Social Studies.

Announcements:

  • Friday 4/12 is the end of Quarter 3. It is a minimum day, with dismissal at 12pm. It is also Spirit Day: Tacky Tourist Day. (A Google search will present you with some ideas.)
  • OTAlent Show forms were sent home this week with students who expressed interest in auditioning for the talent show. Completed forms are due by Friday 4/12. Let me know if your child did not receive a form and would like one.
  • Our annual Poetry Contest is coming up. It is mandatory for all OTA students to participate, so please read on. We will not be working on this project in class, so this must be prepared at home. Students are expected to memorize and recite a poem from their grade level’s list of poem choices. Click here to view kindergarten’s poem choices, click here to search for the text of your child’s chosen poem, and click here for poetry recital tips. Each kindergartner will recite their chosen poem to our class on Tuesday 4/23. Three kindergartner finalists will be selected to recite their poems alongside the finalists from other grade levels on Friday 4/26. You will be notified right after our class recital if your child is a finalist, as parents of finalists will be invited to watch the final competition. Good luck, and have fun!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 3/22/2019

To supplement our routine learning tasks, we have continued to work on some fun Project-Based Learning projects in kindergarten. During these projects, students collaborate to solve real-life challenges. The following are some of students’ favorite projects at the moment. How can we, as candidates/voters, elect two greeters for our classroom? How can we, as readers, teach younger students how to read? How can we, as mathematicians, reorganize the rectangular tables in our classroom? Ask your child how we decided to complete each of these projects. 🙂

Announcements:

  • There will be no school during Spring Break, from Monday 3/25 to Friday 3/29.
  • Our kindergartner authors have finished writing their fiction stories. They have requested to include kindergarten families at our read aloud session! You are invited to come watch each student read their completed story to the class on Friday 4/5 at 8:30am in the kindergarten classroom. No need to sign in; just show up if you are able to make it.
  • The optional Q3 projects are due on Friday 4/5. Feel free to bring these in, as we would love to see your child’s hard work if they completed these projects at home.
  • Tickets for OTA Gala (our school’s biggest annual fundraiser) are now available. Buy tickets now for early bird pricing. Find more information here.

Have a safe, fun, and relaxing Spring Break! We will see you back at school on April Fools Day… The kiddos might want to be very attentive on this day. 😉

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 3/15/2019

This week, kindergartners were very excited to begin a new unit of study in Science: Famous Scientists. We finished up our Colonial Towns unit in Social Studies, and look forward to beginning our Presidents unit next week. We learned the double consonant spelling rule and wrote half of our fictional stories in Language Arts. In Math, we continued practicing using number charts as tools to help us develop tens and ones skip counting patterns. Our favorite part of the week was definitely getting a visit from a leprechaun, even though we had to clean up a huge mess!

Announcements:

  • Kindergarten will get to attend the Book Fair during school hours on Tuesday 3/19. Scholastic Book Fair now has a digital payment option for students. Click here to sign up your child for their eWallet account. The Book Fair will be open to families on Wednesday 3/20 from 3:15-4:15pm in the Media Center.
  • There will be no school during Spring Break, from Monday 3/25 to Friday 3/29.

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)