Cooking in the Kitchen with Cass

Dear Parents,

We have been oh so busy in our second week of Kindergarten! We started off the week on Monday introducing ice cream paper! The paper consists of strawberry at the top, vanilla in the middle, and chocolate on the bottom! This paper helps the kiddos form their letters the Superkids way and how fun since it is ice cream flavors! Then at the end of the day, we each enjoyed a scoop of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream! What an awesome surprise!!
This Thursday, we completed the lesson plan with our first Superkid, Cass! Our class put their best writing forward when it came to forming the upper and lower case C. We hope that you were able to practice the form with your child during the week too! They all worked so hard and we are proud of their accomplishments, as we know writing our first letters can be a tough one at the beginning! The class continued to identify words with the /k/ sound and we added to our growing list of words. This is a fun activity for them, as they like to learn about unfamiliar words and what they mean. We’ve been impressed by their dedication coming up with the most unique one! We encourage you to find those unique words with your child.
At the end of our lesson with Cass, we decided to follow one of her very own recipes in the back of the book and made cool cups! It was a great treat for our Fabulous Fun Friday to enjoy our popsicles, and guess what? The popsicles were sweet (and very delicious)! We hope that you all have a chance to make them together as a family too!
On Friday, we got to meet our next Superkid, Oswald! He loves odd animals. We learned that he likes ostriches and ocelots. Did you know ocelots look like giant cats? They also live here in the United States- but mainly in Texas or southern Arizona. In the upcoming weeks, our class will focus on the letter O and the short O sound. Be on the lookout for interesting animals that start with the short o (/ah/) sound- like an octopus!

Our mathematicians were hard at work this week too learning how to sort by the same shape and same size, as well as sorting by color. The kids have really embraced this concept and we have even suggested to them that they can sort some of the toys in our class during free play. It’s such an awesome part of our day to see the children putting what they’ve learned into real-world applications. We’re so proud of them!

Also, please remember that Parent Night is virtual and will be held on Thursday 8/27/2020 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.  I will be going over the Superkids curriculum, as well as other important aspects of your child’s learning, such as math, handwriting, and science. I hope to see you there! Mrs Mazor will hold a Zoom meeting at 6:30 that evening as well. Be on the lookout for a Zoom invite email that I will send during the week.

Lastly, before I forget, the word of the week is: OSWALDERIE (another great tongue twister!)

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Steele

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, What A Great First Week We Had So Far!

Wood Acres wonderful families,

What a wonderful first week at school! Mrs. Patel and I are enjoying your amazing children. It is a wonder that we have only completed the first week as we are in such a groove! Last week, we worked on classroom rules, explored our creative learning centers and we also worked on how to organize our classroom. We found out that everything has a place and it stays in the same place all year, so that the children can find things and put them away more easily. We read “Amazing Me” and “Llama Llama Misses Momma”. We worked on our fine motor skills by dot painting the letters in our name and exploring with play dough. We utilized our gross motor skills during playground time and PE.

We are in for a rich year of learning at the Woods! Mrs. Patel and I are very excited to be on this adventure with your precious little ones. This week, our theme is “Friends and Family”. We will share our family photos with the class, create a family tree and make friendship bracelets along with a friendship salad. If you have not done so, please bring in a family photo so that your child can share it with our class.

Unfortunately, due to the backorder of school bags we aren’t able to provide the children with bags this year. Kindly, could you please have your child bring his/her backpack from home. We are so sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Why fit in when you are born to “Stand Out”!
Dr. Seuss

Have a safe and healthy week
Ms. Orsano and Mrs. Patel

Greetings from Mrs. Leagan

Hello and Happy Saturday!
I hope you are out and about enjoying this great day. Honestly,I am relaxing and stitching after the busy week we had learning how to social distance, keeping our masks on, and protecting each other from our germs. However, we are IN school and that’s been the best part of all. I already adore all of my students in 2nd grade and we have only just begun.This upcoming week will be quite different than the first week of school because this past week was mainly reviewing concepts from last year,getting to know each other, and learning our schedule and routine. On Monday, we will begin reading in our Journeys textbook; begin Chapter 1 on Addition and Subtraction, and talk about the Constitution in history as well as start science,spelling, language arts, and so much more. Thank you for initialing your student’s homework folder every night and returning it to school. Please continue to do so because it’s important for you to know the daily homework assignments, read any messages from the office administration or me, and send in any notes that help me stay informed about your 2nd grader. In your student’s homework folder, you will find the first spelling list and homework sheet. It will be up to you and your student to pace the timing for the spelling homework. These 20 words will come from this week’s reading story and spelling lessons for this week. Your student can get it all done in one weekend or pace it, so your student can do a different activity before it’s due on Tuesday, August 25. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.Hopefully, your student showed you their take-home folder because there is a lot of information and papers you want to take out and read through for Monday. Since we are beginning to read in our Journeys textbook, on Friday, August 21, your student will give us a quick presentation about themselves using 3-5 small items that tell us more about their recent journeys or some information about them. In addition, there is a paper cutout of a person that your student should create to make it look like him or her. Enjoy the journey and memories, and I am looking forward to getting to know my students a little bit better. Please clean out the papers in your student’s red homework folder and take-home folder and return them to school on Monday to be filled again throughout the week. Thank you.

I believe that’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll see your super student on Monday.

Yours truly,
Cheryl Leagan
2nd grade teacher
The Wood Acres School

What a Wonderful Week in Kindergarten!!

Dear Parents,

We have had a busy and exciting first week in Kindergarten! I know your children came home each day with exciting news about their new friends or tales from the playground. On Monday we chased the silly gingerbread man all around our campus! We visited the Art room, P.E room, the Library, and computer lab. We never did catch that gingerbread man, but he was nice enough to leave us a treat in our classroom 🙂 Our class has been hard at work exploring the classroom as well, especially the science center! It boasts an impressive telescope that faces out the window to peek at the outdoors and the microscope has taken center stage with all the slides to view, as well as studying gems and shells! The boys and girls also learned to use a quietly raised hand when participating in circle time at our seats of course, and they have mastered helping one another, showing kindness and respect! In addition to exploring our classroom, we were lucky enough to have our Art teacher, Mrs. Doughtery grace us with her presence!!  We created our first masterpiece by completing part of a quilt and then we finished making rocket ships out of different shapes!

On Tuesday, we introduced the class to our very first Superkid, Cass! Cass is a cook, who also has a great assistant: her cat, Coconut! Everyone has worked hard to come up with different words that start with the letter C with the /k/ sound. Some examples of the words they came up with include clip, cap, casserole, Christine, car, corn, and carrot. We’ll keep adding to our list too! Our class has also worked on tracing and drawing circles to prepare for the upcoming week in writing the letter C. Cass has kept us all busy with her silly concoctions in the kitchen. Did you know her favorite recipe to make is carrot cookies? Delicious!

This week our class also started their very first math lesson! Everyone learned about same, alike and different; as well as sorting. The kids really embraced the activity by sorting everything from magnets to puzzle pieces. Ms. Steele and I wore our matching Be Kind shirts on Friday, the kids knew right away that our shirts were alike but not the same! Nothing gets past these kiddos! It appears we may have some mathematicians on hand as well and we are looking forward to challenging the class with some math fun in the upcoming weeks.

Also, be sure to check in with our class blog each week to find out what the Word of the Week will be! Each week, we will be pulling a word from our Superkids, Social Studies, Science, and Math lessons to share with you and your child. When your child tells us what that Word of the Week is on Monday, they will get a special prize! For the week of August 17th, the W.O.W is CASSEROLE CONCOCTION.
It’s a tongue twister for sure, but it’s Cass’s specialty, filled with all sorts of tasty vegetables (like carrots and corn)! We are both so thrilled to be a part of your child’s journey in learning and exploration at Wood Acres! Each day is a new adventure and we are so grateful and blessed to be a part of your child’s education!

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Steele

What a Wonderful Week in Kindergarten!!

Dear Parents,

We have had a busy and exciting first week in Kindergarten! I know your children came home each day with exciting news about their new friends or tales from the playground. Our class has been hard at work exploring the classroom, especially the science center! It boasts an impressive telescope that faces out the window to peek at the outdoors and the microscope has taken center stage with all the slides to view, as well as studying gems and shells! The boys and girls also learned to use a quietly raised hand when participating in circle time at our seats of course, and they have mastered helping one another, showing kindness and respect! In addition to exploring our classroom, we were lucky enough to have our Art teacher, Mrs. Doughtery grace us with her presence!!  We created our first masterpiece by completing part of a quilt and then we finished making rocket ships out of different shapes!

On Tuesday, we introduced the class to our very first Superkid, Cass! Cass is a cook, who also has a great assistant: her cat, Coconut! Everyone has worked hard to come up with different words that start with the letter C with the /k/ sound. Some examples of the words they came up with include clip, cap, casserole, Christine, car, corn, and carrot. We’ll keep adding to our list too! Our class has also worked on tracing and drawing circles to prepare for the upcoming week in writing the letter C. Cass has kept us all busy with her silly concoctions in the kitchen. Did you know her favorite recipe to make is carrot cookies? Delicious!

This week our class also started their very first math lesson! Everyone learned about same, alike and different; as well as sorting. The kids really embraced the activity by sorting everything from magnets to puzzle pieces. Ms. Steele and I wore our matching Be Kind shirts on Friday, the kids knew right away that our shirts were alike but not the same! Nothing gets past these kiddos! It appears we may have some mathematicians on hand as well and we are looking forward to challenging the class with some math fun in the upcoming weeks.

Also, be sure to check in with our class blog each week to find out what the Word of the Week will be! Each week, we will be pulling a word from our Superkids, Social Studies, Science, and Math lessons to share with you and your child. When your child tells us what that Word of the Week is on Monday, they will get a special prize! For the week of August 17th, the W.O.W is CASSEROLE CONCOCTION.
It’s a tongue twister for sure, but it’s Cass’s specialty, filled with all sorts of tasty vegetables (like carrots and corn)! We are both so thrilled to be a part of your child’s journey in learning and exploration at Wood Acres! Each day is a new adventure and we are so grateful and blessed to be a part of your child’s education!

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Steele

FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Our first day of Kindergarten was a fantastic one! We are all getting to know each other and are keeping very busy. Things are a little different this year, but I am so proud of your children for keeping their masks on almost all day! It is not easy! Kudos to them!
This morning, we had a Gingerbread Man hunt around campus early but sadly we were never able to catch him! When we got back to the classroom we found Gingerbread cookies left by the Gingerbread Man himself! We were all very thankful for that!!
This afternoon we made an entry in our journals and were outside for story time!
Recess on the playground was also lots of fun!
Tomorrow, we are meeting our first Superkid!! We will also have ART with Mrs. Doherty.
Enjoy our first official class picture of the year! What a memory with those masks!!!
Thanks for sharing your children with me!

Distance Learning in Early School

The unprecedented turn of events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in our community has completely altered the way that spring typically looks on our beautiful campus.  Distance learning has developed quickly into the best way for our teachers to stay in touch and keep their students learning.  

Even before the decision was made to pause in-school lessons, I was meeting with our teachers to begin developing a plan to facilitate distance learning.  You will not be surprised to hear that every teacher embraced this challenge and began exploring and sharing their ideas on how to best facilitate this new model. 

With every new post, the teachers are working to discover what content will be the most helpful for the students while keeping it fun, engaging, and meaningful along with how best to get the material to them.  They are also being mindful of each family’s time and ability to support the lessons and activities. They are aware that many parents are trying to juggle multiple responsibilities throughout the day. With that in mind,  the teachers are seeking a balance between active and independent learning. This balance is also helpful when working with early school learners as their ability to focus on a task depends in large part on their age.

In an article in Parents.com,  Leslie Harris O’Hanlon states, “Child development experts say that, on average, a 4- or 5-year-old child should be able to stay focused on a task for two to five minutes times the year of their age. So, young kids should be able to focus between 4 and 20 minutes, possibly more, depending on the task.”  It is also important to give yourself permission to leave a task undone if it is becoming too arduous.  

We want nothing more than to get back together in our classrooms and on our campus so that we can once again share the laughter,  our love of learning and care for one another.  

What a joyous day when we again meet!

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted…a handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbors, a crowded theater, Friday night out, a routine checkup, the school rush each morning, coffee with a friend, the stadium roaring, each deep breath, a boring Tuesday, and life itself. When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be, and may we stay that way- better for each other because of the worst.” Laura Kelly Fanucci

May I add…when we return, may we give thanks for our school, our teachers and staff, and the joy of learning together.

May we be ever thankful for supportive families, natural creativity, the ability to adjust, the ability to wait, the ability to know this, too, shall pass.

What a joyous day when we again meet!

Judy Thigpen

Springing into action!

Dear Parents,

What an incredibly busy week we have had preparing for things to come. This is definitely a school year for the books. 

Cass is officially the Superkids first Supernoodle. For her first task as the boss of the club, she has decided to have her friends go on a scavenger hunt. Here the Superkids will find the items on her list and then deliver them to Cass. The list consists of a lemon, some buttons, a comic, a red mitten, a hot dog, and some globs of mud. Your kids have worked hard to master the letter M this week. We have practiced our words in spelling bee’s and also practiced our handwriting too! Next week you all will start the P, V, W booklet with your children. 

We also concluded chapter 9 in math which had us learning all about money. We learned everything from the actual coins, the value of each, fair trades, and last but certainly not least, how to add and subtract our money. So next time you head to the grocery store, which I’m sure will be very soon since we are all in need of TOILET PAPER ;), challenge your child by letting them add amounts from the shelves!

This week in Social Studies we continued to review the different cardinal directions North, South, East, and West. For watercolor Wednesday, the kids got to pick a watercolor sheet that represented different things in North America. We had options from the painted ladies in San Francisco to the Statue of Liberty in New York. We also discussed the fact that Canada is North of The United States, and Mexico is South of us.

In science, we scurried over to the lab to finish our unit on measurement. The kids had a really great time in the lab for this unit. They were all such amazing young scientists when using the pan balance and gram bears.  We learned about centimeters, meters, and volume. On Friday we did a special experiment with rainbows by using skittles! I can’t wait for you to see the pictures! We were also able to show each child how a rainbow forms inside a prism. 

As you now know our school has decided to close for the next three weeks. I can’t even begin to say how much of a bummer this is as I will dearly miss your children during our time away. This is certainly not goodbye. Please make sure you are all staying safe and healthy. I care about all of you deeply and want us all to return when it is time. Be on the lookout each morning for an email from me stating what to do for the day in your packets. Please remember I am only a phone call or email away and that I am here for each and every one of you! The kids can’t wait to facetime me to see Guinness my pup, he just gets all the attention lol 😉

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Kathie