• Monday, September 25th 

    Thank you to all who returned Practice Sheet #1 today. If you forgot to return it today, please send it in your child’s Daily Folder tomorrow. Practice Sheet #2 is coming home in folders today. Please remember that your child needs to complete this in pencil. 

    You will also see your child’s work from Literacy Stations coming home in folders. The students did well last week with our first week of Literacy Stations. Literacy Stations is an important time in our day for students to complete group/partner work reinforcing our reading skills, while I teach differentiated small group lessons.  I look forward to seeing the students grow with independence, cooperatively working with others and producing quality work while working in stations. 

    Today, we began our third week of our 95% phonics program. We are focusing on the letters Nn and Aa this week.  Here is some more information about this phonics program. 

    We reached three goals with the school No Hassle fundraiser. YAY! We will celebrate this by having a pajama day, glow party, and a popsicle party! We will keep you informed of when the reward days will be! Thank you all so much for your support during this fundraiser! 

    We started our unit on Community Helpers today. It is not too late to submit your picture and sentence to share with the class. Please see last week’s post for more details. 

    Thank you to everyone who has turned in the permission slips and money for our farm field trip in October. The forms and money are due September 29th. I am still missing money and forms from several families. 

    Please read this informational note about Rock Your School on Friday, September 29th. If you are available to help decorate the hallway and prepare items for the Rock Your School event, please use this link to sign up. We need volunteers that can come without children at 4:00 on Thursday, September 28th. You will need to bring a ladder that can reach the ceiling tiles.  Thank you for your willingness to help!

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    • Thursday, September 21st 

      Here is next week’s newsletter: September 25-29 

      Thank you to everyone who has turned in the field trip forms and payment. Both forms and payment are due no later than September 29th. 

      Next week is the last week of the first quarter. I am continuing to collect data and complete one on one assessments with the students for their first nine weeks report card throughout next week. If you know in advance that your child will be out of school for any day next week, please let me know so that I may adjust my assessment schedule to ensure your child’s first nine weeks assessments are completed. 

      Community Helper Project:

      We will be studying Community Helpers next week. I need every parent to email me with two things: 

      1. A picture of you at work. Whatever your job, whether you are an engineer, accountant, fireman, sales clerk, stay at home mom, or a doctor, I’d like you to send me a picture.  

      2. A sentence about how your job helps others. Please explain it in a way that 5 and 6-year-olds can understand.

      Please email me these two things as soon as possible. My email address is athespe@madisoncity.k12.al.us I will share your picture and read your sentence to the class during Community Helper Week. Your child will be so proud to have your picture shared with the class. Thank you for participating!

      Tomorrow is the last day of the No Hassle Fundraiser! Please consider giving a donation to our school. Send it in the envelope that was provided. Or, you can give online by clicking this link: No Hassle Fundraiser.

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    • Monday, September 18th
      Our first Practice Sheet is coming home in folder's today. As you read on the newsletter, please don't do it all at once - a little each day will benefit your child. This is a picture of what to look for in the folder: Practice Sheet Picture. Also, refer back to the letter naming video Mrs. Hester shared last week for guidance.

      Today, we began our second week of our 95% phonics program. We are focusing on the letters Tt and Pp this week.  Here is some more information about this phonics program. 

      The students were so excited about our first day of Literacy Stations. It went well for the first day!

      Please continue to practice the lunch numbers at home with your child. This makes checking out a new library book easy and speeds up the long line of children buying a school lunch.

      No Hassle Fundraiser - The No Hassle Fundraiser is happening now through September 22nd. Please consider giving a donation to our school. Send it in the envelope that was provided. Or, you can give online by clicking this link: No Hassle Fundraiser.

      Don't forget to send me your Community Helper picture and sentence. Your child will be so excited to see your picture in class!

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    • Thursday, September 14th 

      Here is next week's newsletter: September 18-22

      Your child's progress report is in their backpack. It is not too late to watch the videos that were posted on Monday. Watch to the end of both videos and you'll know what to do. Thank you for keeping yourself informed. 

      Community Helper Project - We will be studying Community Helpers the last week of September. I need every parent to email me with two things: 

      1. A picture of you at work. Whatever your job, whether you are an engineer, accountant, fireman, sales clerk, stay at home mom, or a doctor, I’d like you to send me a picture. 

      2. A sentence about how your job helps others. Please explain it in a way that 5 and 6-year-olds can understand. 

      Please email me these two things by September 21st. My email address is athespe@madisoncity.k12.al.us I will share your picture and read your sentence to the class during Community Helper Week. Your child will be so proud to have your picture shared with the class. Thank you for participating!

      Kindergarten Field Trip - Our first field trip is October 18th. The informational note and permission slip were sent home today. Please send the completed forms and payment at the same time. The forms and payment are due on September 29th.

      No Hassle Fundraiser - The No Hassle Fundraiser is happening now through September 22nd. Please consider giving a donation to our school. Send it in the envelope that was provided. Or, you can give online by clicking this link: No Hassle Fundraiser.

      Enjoy your weekend! 

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    • Monday, September 11th 

      I have 2 quick videos that I would like you to watch today:

      The First Nine Weeks Progress Report will be in your child’s backpack on Thursday. Please watch this video to know what to expect and what I need you to do. It should answer any questions you have about the Report of Learning Folder: Progress Report Video

      I made this video about the activities we’ve been doing in class to help with letter identification. Please watch this video to the end. It is only 5 minutes. Letter Identification Video

      Thank you for watching both videos!! 

      Columbia's No Hassle Fundraiser is happening now through September 22nd. Our PTA raises money to support students and teachers. The annual fundraiser is hassle-free! Funds are used to enhance the school, purchase classroom supplies, host school events, and spruce up spaces at the school. You can use the envelope that was sent home last week to make a donation or you can donate online. Here is the link: Donate to the Fundraiser

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  • Friday, September 8th

    Here is next week’s newsletter: September 11-15. Please take a few minutes to read the newsletter each week. I appreciate you doing your part to keep yourself informed about classroom learning.

    As you know the last several weeks we have been going over the letters of the alphabet with our letter experts. During this time we talk about what the letter looks like, the sound it makes, how to write it on the lines with correct letter formation, and how to recognize its sound at the beginning of words. If your child still does not know all of their letters automatically, a great way you can help them is by using flashcards with the letters not in alphabetical order.  Another great tool to use with your child is the website Starfall.  Here is the link to the website with the letter blocks that helps your child with the sound the letters make. 

     

    We are doing our best to learn how to use our bodies with all of these new spaces and friends! This means that sometimes we need reminders about personal space and keeping our hands to ourselves. Kindergarten is all about learning how to communicate with our words and our bodies - with our families, teachers, and peers! Please encourage your child to use their words to express themselves, and remind them that if they need help, they should tell a grown-up right away!

     

    As you will read in our newsletter, another way that you can help your child is by learning to open items that are sent in the lunchbox independently.  We have a very short time in the lunchroom, our schedule for lunch is from 10:20-10:50. While this may seem to be enough time by the time we go through the lunch line, get settled at the table, then open containers, about 10 minutes has passed. Then we lose another 5 minutes for cleaning up. If your child still struggles with opening the container then consider changing what you send the lunch item in or open the container enough that your child can finish the process successfully. I appreciate your help with this! 

     

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  • Tuesday, September 5th

    I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend! 

    We will finish learning our letters with our Letter Experts this week along with continuing sorting words/pictures based on the beginning sound.  You have probably also noticed our math worksheets where students are learning to write the numerals correctly on the lines.  If you see where I have written the number correctly next to  your child’s please help them with this one on one at home.  

    Please remember to send a snack daily with your child. I keep a few extra, however those are for students experiencing food insecurity.  We eat a very early lunch at 10:20 so by snack time students are usually hungry again. 

    Please also remember to return your child’s library book to their backpack after reading it each night. Students must return their book to receive a new one, and everyone enjoys getting to go to the library for a new book!

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    • Thursday, August 31st

      Here is next week’s newsletter: September 4-8. Please take a few minutes to read the newsletter each week. I appreciate you doing your part to keep yourself informed about classroom learning.

      CES Yearbook order forms are in your child's folder today. The cost is $35. Forms and payment are due December 15th.

      No Hassle Fundraiser -  The No Hassle Fundraiser is happening September 8th through September 22nd. An information page was sent home in your child's folder today. Please consider giving a donation to our school. Send it in an envelope labeled with your child’s name and No Hassle Fundraiser. Or, you can give online by clicking this link: Member Hub.

      When your child comes to school each day, please make sure your child:

      1. Has a water bottle filled with water and ice

      2. Has the blue Daily Folder inside his/her backpack

      3. Has their library book

      4. Is wearing velcro or slip-on shoes

      Thank you!!!

      Weekend To Do List:

      1. Practice your lunch number! This is used to check out new library books.

      2. Remove papers from the daily folder. 

      3. Let your child practice rolling up their rest mat.

      4. Send rest mats back on Tuesday.

      5. Enjoy the LONG weekend!

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    • Monday, August 28th

      This week our writing focus is on writing our names. This includes making only the first letter uppercase. The rest of the letters should be lowercase. We are also working on writing our letters with correct formation and orientation to the line. That means tall letters are tall, small letters are small, and letters that fall should fall below the bottom line. All letters should touch the bottom line. Currently, our focus is on writing our first name, but you are welcome to start practicing writing your last name at home. 

      We are also working on using scissors correctly. We talk about how our elbow is by our side, scissors are pointing away from your belly, the thumb is up and we use a straight wrist while cutting.  We tell students scissors go open and shut while the other hand is holding the paper firmly while turning the paper.  These fine motor skills are very important.  By developing their fine motor control, children are able to access so many more things, and become confident and able students.  It would be very beneficial to practice these scissor skills at home as well.

      Remember to send one snack and a water bottle daily. We prefer the water bottle that has a straw or mouthpiece. The water bottled with an open top create a lot of water spills in the classroom. Also, remember that it should only be filled with plain water. Thank you!

      Our classroom is in desperate need of tissues. We are completely out of tissues at the moment.

      Please check and empty the BLUE Daily Folder everyday. Some folders are returned to school not emptied and papers are falling all over the floor.

      Tomorrow is School Picture Day. This picture will be used in the yearbook.  

      Thank you for reading this post and for your support! :) 

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    • Friday, August 25th 

      Thank you for attending Parent Night!! I appreciate you giving your time to get on the same page with me for this school year. If you missed it, I sent the handouts home in your child’s folder today and here are the slides from the presentation. This in no way encompasses everything I shared in the meeting, but it provides you the main topics: Kindergarten Parent Night slides.

      Please complete this Classroom Directory form

      Rest mats are coming home today. After washing the rest mat, let your child practice rolling it up independently. Please return the rest mat on Monday.

      Poetry notebooks are in backpacks today. I hope you enjoy cozying up and reading these with your child. Leave the poems in the notebook and send the notebook back to school on Monday.

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  • Monday, August 21st 

    Throughout the past few weeks we have focused on getting to know each other and learning our rules and procedures.  We go over our rules each day to help us continue to learn procedures and expectations.  We have made numerous posters that will serve as reminders for our expectations and goals.  Having structure and organization in a classroom is essential for a positive, productive learning environment. We have also discussed the importance of doing our best with all our work.  You can help your child by encouraging him/her to follow our classroom rules and by giving simple directions to follow independently at home.

     

    Last week, our kindergarten students had a library orientation lesson.  We learned our way around the library.  This week, we will return to the library and have a lesson on how to take care of library books. Your child’s first school library book will come home on Wednesday! Please read their book each night and return it the next day!

     

    Important: I’m looking forward to meeting with all of you on Thursday at 5:30 in Columbia’s Media Center. Here you will hear from all of the kindergarten teachers for about an hour. Then, parents will be dismissed to go to their child’s classroom. It is important that each child have one parent present for the meeting, preferably the parent who works with the child on school work and will be communicating with me.

    Class Shirts: Remember to order our class shirt using this link: Class Shirts Our class is ordering the PURPLE shirt.

     

    Lunchroom Food:  The lunch menu is available on Columbia’s website so you can talk to your child about what is being served daily. If you know the food options are something your child does not like, please consider sending a lunchbox. 

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    • Friday, August 18th

      Thank you for continuing to participate in our Color Weeks daily colors! We are enjoying learning about colors. We have had fun learning about primary and secondary colors this week.

      Please carefully read the following regarding our new Student Absence Form available via your PowerSchool Parent Portal:

      * Please do NOT submit check in or check out excuses through your portal. This new system is ONLY for all day absences. Once you have checked your student in or out using the iPad in the front office, that is all that is needed.

      * Please be patient as we work with this new system. You may receive automated emails, voicemails, or texts saying your student has an unexcused absence. If you know that you have submitted a daily excuse via your parent portal or signed your student in/out at the front office using the iPad, please know that we are working to update attendance records. Updating may take up to 72 hours.

      * If you do not have a parent portal or if you need your password reset, please email: dkherwig@madisoncity.k12.al.us

      Remember you can order your child a class shirt at this link: Class Shirt Orders. You will want to be sure to order a shirt for your child because we will wear them often throughout the school year. Please reach out to me if purchasing this shirt is a hardship for your family. Thank you!

      A glance at next week:

      Reading - identifying beginning sounds, Letter Experts for L, M, N, O and P. We are continuing to learn about rhyming words.

      Math - comparing groups of objects as equal, greater than, or less than, comparing groups of objects to five, and comparing numerals 0-5

      Please remember to send a snack and a refillable water bottle every day with your child. Also, for safety reasons, please do not send glass water bottles or containers to school.  I also ask that you empty your child’s blue Daily Folder every day and look over the papers that are in the folder.  It helps you to see what your child is learning at school, as well as see important papers that I send home providing information that you need. 

      Helpful weekend to do list:

      1. Cozy up and enjoy reading your child’s poetry notebook

      2. Wash your child’s rest mat

      3. Have your child practice rolling up and securing their rest mat until they can do it

      independently 3 times in a row.

      4. Please have your child practice their lunch number on the paper I sent home at Open House.

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  • Monday, August 14th

    There was a sea of RED at recess today! The kids looked great! We are looking forward to continuing our colors for the next two weeks. Please see the flyer Kindergarten Color Weeks.

    One of the “specials" classes that your child receives each week is a STEM class.  Each nine weeks our STEM teacher, Mrs. Vandiver provides us with a newsletter of the activities the students are working on. You can read this newsletter at the link: STEM Newsletter. 

    Scholastic News money is due. If you have not already sent in your money, please send $8.00 in an envelope labeled with your child’s name and “Scholastic News.” Please remember to finish your child’s All About Me Google slide if you have not already done so. 

    Thank you to all who practiced rolling rest mats this weekend. I can tell the students who practiced and they were proud to show me how they could do it! If your child did not practice, please have them practice when mats come home this Friday. 

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    • Thursday, August 10th 

      We will have Color week for the next two weeks in Kindergarten!! We want to encourage your child to wear the specified color. Click on the link to read the note with all of the details: Kindergarten Color Weeks Thank you for participating!

      It is time to order our Kindergarten Class Shirt!! Our class will have purple shirts. The cost is $8.00. Here is the link: Class Shirt Orders  If you are not able to pay online, you can send cash in an envelope labeled with your child's name and "class shirts." Let me know if you have any questions.

      Rest mats will be sent home on Friday. After washing the rest mat, let your child practice rolling it up independently. Please return the rest mat on Monday.

      Poetry notebooks will be in backpacks tomorrow. I hope you enjoy cozying up and reading these with your child. Leave the poems in the notebook and send the notebook back to school on Monday.

      Fine Motor Skills - Please give your child opportunities to write/draw with pencil, color with crayons, and cut with kid scissors. These activities, along with playing with playdough, lacing beads, and picking up small objects will help build the muscles in their fingers which leads to improved handwriting. 

      Any student in Kindergarten - 5th grade is welcome to sign-up to be apart of our Drama Club Chorus. Here is the link to sign-up: Finding Nemo Chorus The deadline for sign ups is August 18th.

      Finally, if you haven’t done any of the following, please go ahead and do so: 

      1. Send $8.00 for the Scholastic News

      2. Write a note to me about your child (directions were sent home at Open House).

      3. Finish All About... slide of your child

      4. Sign up for text messages: Text @hespe2324 to 81010

      5. Connect to your child’s Seesaw account - see email from last week

      6. Put a complete change of clothes in your child’s backpack.

    Comments (-1)
    • Tuesday, August 8th

      This morning, I emailed each family a Google Slide for you and your child to use when making the All About slide. The directions were provided in the email. I have access to the slide, so you just need to email me once you are finished adding the pictures, captions, and Fun Favorites. Remember to let your child practice presenting with you so they know what to say to the class. Thank you!

      If you haven’t paid the $8.00 for Scholastic News, you can send it in your child’s Daily Folder.

      Class Shirts are available for purchase. Please visit this link to order your child's class shirt. This is the shirt we will wear on field trips and to field day. Of course, your child can wear it on any regular school day too. When ordering please make sure you order the correct color. The purple shirts are for Mrs. Hespe's class.

      I’m looking forward to meeting with all of you on Thursday, August 24th at 5:30 in our classroom for Kindergarten Parent Night. It is important that each child have one parent present for the meeting, preferably the parent who works with the child on school work and who will be communicating with me. The meeting is for adults only. Thank you for making your attendance a priority. 

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  • Friday, August 4th

    We've had a wonderful first day with the girls on Thursday and the boys today! We had busy days learning our classroom rules, taking a tour of the school, and getting to know our classmates. We look forward to having all of the students here on Monday.

    Our Kindergarten Parent Night is on Thursday, August 24th at 5:30. It is important that each child have one parent present for the meeting, preferably the parent who works with the child on school work and will be communicating with me. The meeting is for adults only because it typically lasts 1.5-2 hours. Thank you!

    Friendly Reminders ~
    If your child is bringing a lunch box from home, the packed lunch needs to have a drink included. The snack water bottles are not brought to the lunchroom. If you want to send a water bottle for lunch and there is not room inside the lunchbox, your child needs to know that it is for lunch so he/she can put it on the lunchbox shelf. If it is not in the lunchbox, then it will need to be labeled with your child’s name and the word “Lunch.”
    Your child should have a reusable water bottle containing water and one snack for our afternoon snack time. If you want your child to have a choice, please let them make that choice at home before packing it in the backpack.
    Your child needs to wear tennis shoes without laces. This means they need to have velcro or slip on.
    Please check your child's blue Daily Folder each afternoon and send it to school every day.
    If your child is missing school supplies, send them to school as you get them. Be sure to tell your child to take it out of his/her backpack and give it to me.

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  • Wednesday, August 2nd

    Thank you for coming to Kindergarten 101 and Open House! Here are the slides from the presentation for you to review: Kindergarten 101

    This school year, we will use Seesaw to share pictures from our days at school. Sometimes I will even share a video. I sent you an email with the invitation to sign up. Go ahead and sign up for access to your child's digital portfolio. You'll be so glad you did!

    Here's a To Do list to help you prepare for your child's first day:
    - Please tell your child if they are buying lunch or if they have a lunchbox. You will want to do this each day because it is a question I will ask the students every morning when we do the lunch count.
    - Pack your child's snack separate from lunch. The snack can be in a zipper pocket of the backpack or in a "snack bag." They only need one food item. Examples of a small snack include: a small bag of pretzels, an individual bag of goldfish, an apple, granola bar, etc.
    - Send a water bottle. Double check the lid to make sure it is secure before putting it in your child's backpack. Write your child's name on the water bottle.
    - Send the red folder that you received at Open House.
    - Send any school supplies that you forgot to bring to Open House.
    - Have a gallon bag with a change of clothes (see the K101 slides for an example).

    I look forward to seeing the girls tomorrow and the boys on Friday! If you are walking your child inside on their first day, please walk them to the gym. I'll meet you there at 7:25. 

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