Ms. Holly's Update 4-9-18

Hi Families! I hope you all are having a nice weekend. Here is this week’s newsletter:

Important Reminders:

1.       Please return your child’s yellow and white “Thursday Folder” on Mondays!

2.       Try to schedule in some time to work with your kids on their letters and letter sounds at home. This can be brief – 5 to 10 minutes a day! Try to engage in some fun activities rather than flashcards. Some ideas are listed below. If your child is struggling, just focus on the letters and letter-sounds in their first name. Children get a “gold star” on the wall and a prize for mastering all their letters and letter sounds. Some of them are very motivated by this right now!

Important Dates:

1.       Monday, April 9th: PALS assessment window begins; applicable to children going to kindergarten only! More information below!

2.      Monday, April 16th: Library books DUE! This will be our last time visiting the library this year ☹ 

3.  Thursday, April 19th: Centennial Elementary will be hosting a Kindergarten Information Night from 5:30 to 6:30pm

4.   Friday, April 20th: Come to the CARNIVAL!  It's on Friday, April 20, sponsored by PTO.  There's a soft opening from 4:00 - 5:00 pm for children with special needs.  The carnival officially opens from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.  We are celebrating our youngest learners during the Week of the Young Child. Tickets will be sold for carnival games, snacks, and more.  Food will be available for purchase from local vendors. We'll need all volunteers on deck.

5.   Monday, April 30th: Family Wellness Night at Spark! in the cafeteria. 

6.   May 1st: Prarie Ridge will be having an Open House beginning at 6pm.   


PALS stands for “Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening.” It will be administered to all students heading to Kindergarten. Students will be assessed with PALS again at the start of Kindergarten, in the Fall. If they score below a 28 on PALS in the Fall, they will be placed on a READ (“Reading to Ensure Academic Development”) plan to support their literacy skills.

PALS consists of a few different sections. Your rising Kindergartener will be assessed on their knowledge of rhyming, beginning sounds in words, alphabet recognition, letter sounds, spelling, and concept of words. Here are some ways you can support your children at home to practice these skills:

To support rhyming:

-Read books that have rhyming words in them, like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. or Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, etc.

-Think of words that rhyme with different body parts, ex. Head- bed, sled, Ted.

-Read and sing Nursery Rhymes.

To support beginning sounds:

-Think of words that start with the same sound as your child’s name.

-Give your child a letter.  Identify the name of the letter and then help him/her make the letter sound.  Have him/her take the letter and find something in the room that starts with that sound.

-Go through the alphabet and think of words that start which each letter. Make it a challenge to get all the way to the end.

To support alphabet recognition:

-Talk about the different letters on the signs all around the environment.

-Play “Go Fish” with letter flashcards

-Have your child make the letter out of clay, pipe cleaners, finger paint, or form the letter with her or his body.

To support letter sounds:

-Sing the alphabet sound, but try singing the sounds instead of the letter names.

-Find objects around the house and identify what sound they start with.

-Talk about words that have digraphs, for example: sh- shirt, shoe, shower, ship, etc.

To support spelling:

-Help your child sound out words

-Ask your child to clap each letter in a simple word, for example, mat- /m/ /a/ /t/

To support concept of word:

-Model pointing at words while reading a book.

-Practice identifying sight words quickly by playing games like sight word bingo.

I would highly recommend you watch this literacy movement video, “Letter Sounds Workout,” by Jack Hartmann at home: We have been doing it a lot in class and the kids love it!

What We’ve Been Learning:

STEM: We have been continuing to study nursery rhymes! We have been talking more about rhyming words and have learned the following rhymes: Hey Diddle, DiddleTwinkle, Twinkle, Little StarStarlight, StarbrightJack be NimbleHickory, Dickory, DockMary had a Little LambBaa, Baa, Black SheepDo You Know the Muffin Man?Little Miss Muffet; and The Itsy, Bitsy Spider. Next week we will be focusing on Humpty Dumpty and will engage in a STEM design challenge to create a structure to help Humpty not to break when he falls!

Letters: Reviewing all letters plus learning sounds for chsh, and th.

Colors: Reviewing all colors.

Shapes: Reviewing all shapes.

Number: 17

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!

~Ms. Holly and Ms. Michelle

Tagged in Smith