Kindergarten News – 12/7/2018

There are some exciting things happening in kindergarten at the moment! We planted our salad ingredients’ seeds in our garden in Science, we learned how past Native Americans survived off of the land during Social Studies, we are just one lesson away from having studied every alphabet letter’s sound in Language Arts, we practiced representing addition story problems with equations during Math, we have begun to learn about some winter holidays’ traditions in Art, we continued learning the basics of programming code in Robotics, we talked about the importance of service during Circle Time, we learned how to effectively toss and catch objects during PE, and we have been practicing for next week’s Winter Concert in Music.

Announcements:

  • Grades K-2 will be performing in the Winter Concert on Thursday 12/13 at 6:30pm in OTA’s cafeteria/garage. Students should arrive by 6pm wearing blue, white, black, or silver. Admission is free, and seating is first come first served. Questions should be directed towards Ms. King.
  • OTA’s annual Sock Drive is from Monday 12/10 to Tuesday 12/18. Please consider bringing in brand new socks to donate to StandUp For Kids. Not only do we get to help keep homeless kids warm this winter, but we will also earn a Free Dress Day if our class donates at least 100 pairs of new socks.
  • Winter Break begins on Thursday 12/20. School resumes on Monday 1/7. Wednesday 12/19 is a minimum day with 12pm dismissal. It is also the day of our “Room K Snow Day” wintertime party, organized by Megan (our Room Parent). To make this day even more exciting, students are encouraged to wear ugly sweaters to school for Spirit Day.

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 11/30/2018

We had another successful week in kindergarten! Students have been extremely excited to learn more about addition since the start of the school year, and this week we finally began to do that. Students are learning how to use tools (counters, number chart, number line, etc.) to solve addition problems up to as high of a number as they can count. It is so fun to make connections of using addition in our every day life! (Ask your child to show you how they can use addition strategies to figure out this problem: We have 14 boys, 9 girls, and 2 teachers in our class. How many friends are in our class? Challenge: We have 7 extra table spots. How many friends would be in our class if those spots were taken?)

Announcements:

  • It’s the season when kiddos tend to get sick. Thank you for letting us know when your child comes down with a contagious illness, so that we can be more watchful of related symptoms in our friends and be extra cautious to prevent germs from spreading.
  • A new month is starting soon, so those of you who purchase school lunches: don’t forget to place your order in advance so that your child will not be at school without a lunch next week.

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 11/16/2018

We had another successful week in kindergarten! Some of the highlights were: planting our lima bean seeds, completing our first writing assignment, categorizing our play yard and classroom library, learning how to do CPR/use an AED/use an EpiPen, going on a field trip to see our school friends perform a play, and having a lockdown drill!

Announcements:

  • Thanksgiving Break is from Monday 11/19 to Friday 11/23. There will be no school on these days.
  • As a reminder, ELA and Math workbooks come home once we finish each unit. We do not complete some of the workbook pages in class. These incomplete pages may be used for extra practice, but they are not required.
  • As we get further into the school year, more volunteering opportunities will become available. In addition to Lunch Helper spots, Guest Reader spots have now been added to the Quarter 2 SignUpGenius.
  • If you are looking for holiday gift ideas for your child, consider ordering books using our class’s Scholastic Book Club account. Our class code is QJ3GL. Using this code helps us to earn points to put towards new books for our classroom library. I will confirm shipment for the next group of orders on Monday 11/26, so place your orders by then.

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about anything. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful break! 

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 11/9/2018

It seemed like a short week with so many minimum days, but we still made quite a bit of learning progress. We have moved on from studying seasons/weather and continents to our plant and Native Americans units. Your child is now ready to: help you survive storms, adapt to seasonal changes (and explain why we do not have distinct seasons where we live), guide you through some of the world’s most notable places, and be able to locate each of the seven continents on a world map!

Announcements:

  • There will be no school on Monday 11/12. Happy Veterans’ Day!
  • We still need more chaperones for our Alice in Wonderland field trip on Tuesday 11/13 from 12:30-2:30pm. If you are available to be a field trip chaperone, please sign up here. Please remember to drop off your child’s booster/car seat on this day so that they can come on this exciting field trip with us.
  • There will be a Show ‘N Tell theme next Friday 11/16. The theme is: Something I Am Thankful For.
  • Thanksgiving Break is from Monday 11/19 to Friday 11/23. There will be no school on these days.
  • OTA grades K-2 will get to participate in a musical performance this year. Save the date for our Winter Concert on Thursday 12/13 at 6:30pm in the OTA garage. Ms. King is organizing this event, so questions should be directed to her. She will send home an event flyer next week.
  • To help you interpret your child’s MAP assessments report, here are some helpful resources: Common Core State Standards and MAP Growth Guide. For those of you who are interested, I can send you the automated, detailed report of the individualized skills that your child is ready to develop.
  • Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with us this week during our parent-teacher conference. If you feel like we need more time to talk, or if you thought of additional questions/concerns/suggestions, feel free to reach out to schedule another meeting.
  • This is just a reminder that Megan Spangler, Brooklyn’s mom, is our Room Parent. Feel free to use her as a resource if you have questions or concerns that you would like to voice to a fellow kindergarten parent.

Have a safe, long weekend! We will see you all back at school on Tuesday.

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 11/2/2018

We have successfully made it through Quarter 1 of our school year. What a huge accomplishment for your kindergartner! Get ready, because we are now at the point in our school year in which most parents tend to see their child become more fluent readers and writers in the blink of an eye. 🙂

Announcements:

  • Parent-teacher conferences are on Wednesday 11/7, Thursday 11/8, and Friday 11/9. These are all minimum days with dismissal at 12pm. If you missed the sign-up link, you can find it by clicking here. We will go over your child’s Quarter 1 report card and Fall MAPs assessment score report, along with anything else that you would like to discuss. If there is still more to talk about once our 15 minutes are up, then we can schedule another time to meet so that we do not cut into other parents’ conferences. To maximize our conference time, I recommend becoming familiar with our grading system prior to meeting by clicking here. Your child is invited to attend, and even encouraged to come, so that they can start getting used to taking responsibility for their own learning like the “big kids.”
  • Normally, we do not plan field trips so close to each other or plan them so last-minute. However, we were recently notified that some students will be starring in the play Alice in Wonderland, and they have invited grades K-5 to watch their performance on Tuesday 11/13. We will drive there at about 12:30 and arrive back at school at about 2:30. If you are available to help chaperone this last-minute field trip by driving students 1.3 miles and watching the play with us, please sign up here. Permission slips for this field trip were sent home today. Please sign it and send it back by Monday so that we can reserve a ticket for your child. This field trip is free to attend.
  • Daylight Saving time ends on Sunday, so make sure to set your clocks back an hour so that you do not arrive at school an hour early.
  • A school-wide decision has been made to suspend Extended Learning projects in all grades K-8 until further notice. The projects that used to be mandatory are now optional. The optional projects for Quarter 2 have been posted here.
  • The Current Topics and Volunteering kindergarten website pages have been updated for Quarter 2. While the older grades’ daily schedules change each quarter, kindergarten’s daily schedule will remain the same.
  • In addition to the Halloween party photos posted below, click here to view the photos taken by our parent volunteers.

I am looking forward to meeting with you at our conference next week. Have a great weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 10/26/2018

Monday’s field trip was definitely the highlight of our week. We are already talking about our next field trip! Students were also excited to share their very first Extended Learning projects during Show ‘N Tell today. I am very proud of students for working so incredibly hard on these assignments. Thank you for helping to guide your child to extend their learning at home. It was great to hear that most students enjoyed doing their projects and are growing their love for learning outside of the classroom.

Announcements:

  • Wednesday 10/31 is Halloween. Students may wear school-appropriate costumes if they would like. The following is not allowed: revealing costumes, violent or graphic images, excessive blood or gore, pretend and real weapons, and inappropriate props. Masks may only be worn during the school parade. Students who choose to not dress in a costume must wear their OTA uniform. OTA is having a Halloween parade and costume contest at 9am on the field. Parents are welcome to come watch. Since everyone in our class celebrates Halloween, kindergarten will get to participate in academic Halloween activities during the school day and then some fun Halloween activities from 1:30-2:30. If you would like to volunteer to help out with our activities during that time, let me know via email.
  • Friday 11/2 is a minimum day, with dismissal at 12pm. As a reminder, we have snack but not lunch during school hours on minimum days. This day marks the end of Quarter 1, so OTA is having a Spirit Day. It is Free Dress and Crazy Hair Day! The Jogathon awards ceremony will be held on the field during our morning assembly on this day.
  • Parent-teacher conferences are on Wednesday 11/7, Thursday 11/8, and Friday 11/9. These are all minimum days to make time for conferences. Keep an eye out for the sign-up link, which will be emailed to kindergarten parents on Monday morning.
  • In addition to the field trip photos posted below, click here to view the photos taken by our amazing chaperones.
  • It is so exciting that most students are already readers. To find out if your child is a considered a “reader” yet, you may refer to your child’s grade on the most recent English Language Arts assessment, which was posted to the PowerSchool gradebook earlier this week. It is “normal” for students to take longer than others to grasp this concept, so if your child is not quite there yet then do not worry since we are still in the beginning stages of our reading curriculum. Students may “catch up” by practicing memorizing their letter sounds at home. Students with a perfect score can be challenged by practicing reading and writing our kindergarten sight words.

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

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Important Jogathon Message

From the Jogathon Committee…


We had a smooth and successful Jog-a-thon!!  Thank you to all the volunteers, teachers, and students for your hard work and participation.  Please continue to collect your donations this week.  For those of you that have donations pending per lap you ran, you should have received your JAT certificate with your individual total so you can request final donation payments. We are in the process of uploading this data to Pledgestar for those families/students who have pending "per lap" donations in Pledgestar.  We will let you know when that information is complete.  In the meantime, for all other manual donations (via checks), Please turn in to your teachers by Friday.  If you have multiple checks, please ensure the student's name and grade is clearly marked so we know where to apply the donations.  Thanks so much!!

Kindergarten News – 10/19/2018

It was such a fun week for students leading up to the Jogathon all week long: practicing pacing themselves while running in PE, making Jogathon posters with their fourth grade buddies, having circles to learn how to apply our core virtue words (such as teamwork and perseverance) during the Jogathon event, and more. Thank you once again for all of your support through this fundraiser! Because of your support, we are able to provide all OTA students with a better education.

Announcements:

  • Kindergarten’s field trip to The New Children’s Museum is on Monday 10/22. On the morning of our field trip, please drop off your child’s booster seat or car seat (labeled with your child’s name) to be used during the drives to and from the field trip site. This can be placed inside of the garage closest to the field. Safety is our priority, so students without a booster or car seat will stay behind at school. We will leave OTA at about 9am and return to OTA at about 12pm. While at the museum, our class will be led by a museum tour guide to explore some of the exhibits and participate in an art project. We will resume our normal school day once we get back to school, so please send your child to school dressed in their PE uniform and with all of their school belongings (backpack, folder, water bottle, snack, lunch, etc.).
  • Quarter 1 Extended Learning is due on Friday 10/26. There is only one week remaining to complete and turn in the mandatory projects.
  • The Show ‘N Tell theme for Friday 10/26 is: showing and explaining any one of your Extended Learning projects.

Don’t forget to drop off your child’s booster/car seat on Monday. Have a great weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)

Kindergarten News – 10/12/2018

Kindergarteners have enjoyed participating in various Project-Based Learning projects this week. Ask your child about these challenges that we have solved/began to solve: How can we, as nutritionists, plan a healthy meal? How can we, as meteorologists and researchers, plan an appropriate outfit to wear the next day? How can we, as explorers, teach others about the continents we “visit”?

Announcements:

  • Thanks to all of our committed parent chaperone volunteers, we are able to go on our class field trip to The New Children’s Museum on Monday 10/22. We really appreciate all of the parents who are helping to make this experience possible for our kindergartners. More details about the field trip are to come next week!
  • Students have only two weeks to complete and submit all of their Quarter 1 Extended Learning projects. All projects are due by Friday 10/26. Please make sure to read all of the directions, found here, to meet all of the project requirements to earn full credit.
  • OTA’s Jogathon event is on Friday 10/19, which is a minimum day. Dismissal is at 12pm, unless you will be bringing your child home after the event. We will not have lunch during school hours on this day. However, please still have your child bring a backpack to school with a snack and a water bottle. Students will receive their Jogathon T-shirt on the morning of the event to change into beforehand. Make sure to dress your child in their fastest running shoes! Families are welcome to come cheer us on at the event. Kindergarten will be the first class to run. There is not much time left to get pledges to raise money for our school. There will be prizes for the most pledges and top earners in each class. Please help us meet our goal of having 100% participation!

Thanks so much for your continued support. Have a great weekend!

– Alex Halverstadt (“Ms. H”)