Sunday, September 29, 2013

October Is Just Around the Corner!

 Dear Parents,

This week we had a ton of fun learning about apples. I know the kids had fun doing the apple taste test at home too and then talking about it at school. Thank you to all the parents who helped with that and making that possible for your children. They loved graphing the different types of apples and seeing what types were the most and least popular within our class. Here are some pictures from shared reading with our poem, "The Apple Tree."

Thank you to all of the parents who have donated things to our classroom from the class wish list and for art projects! I am so grateful to all of you! Thank you so much!  What a giving group! Also a thank you to the parent who ordered tissue paper from Amazon anonymously and put it into my school mailbox. :) We will be using all of the donated tissue paper on Monday for our fall art project. Thank you,  thank you!

This week our two stars were Siena and Chase! We learned about both of them and what they like to do. What sweet children We learned that Siena does cheerleading and dance and has an older brother that goes to Pinebrook. She loves to eat chocolate and ice cream!
Our other star for this week was Chase! Chase told us about all the fun outdoor activities that he does with this two older brothers. He loves to go tubing, swimming, bike riding, and boogie boarding. He loves being outside. 

Show n' tell was a success this week! The kids brought in lots of items that reminded them of fall. They brought in leaves, apples, pumpkins, and lots of other fun things. Here are some pictures:


Our show n' tell theme for this Friday is: Family- bring photos or drawings of your family. Tell their names and something about them. I'm excited to see all of the family pictures!

As most of your probably noticed, Thursday folders were not sent home this week. The Thursday folders are the white envelope folders that get sent home on Thursdays. The new school policy is that if the Thursday folders are empty because of having no new school information to send home, then the Thursdays folders do not need to be sent home that week. Last Thursday, the folders were empty, so because of that, they were not sent home. Sorry for the confusion! 

Also, the students' shared reading notebooks were not sent home this week. We had some trouble in both classes of everyone bringing back their shared reading notebooks by Monday. It was hard to continue on with the shared reading program without everyone having their notebook in class. Thank you for those that did remember to return them on Monday! I wanted to make sure we got most of them back before giving them out again. They will be given out again this Friday. 

Our first kindergarten class party will be on October 31st this year. We are having a fall harvest party. The kids are invited to wear a costume to school that day for the party and for the kindergarten costume parade that will happen earlier on in the day. The school policy is: all costumes worn to school need to be a book character from a book. The thing is, there is a book about almost everything, even witches and pumpkins so I am sure that we can make most costumes work. If you aren't sure if the costume that your child has chosen is school appropriate, feel free to email me! Also, there are no weapons, or masks allowed with any costume. To make it easier on your child as well as Miss Risa and I, please have the costume that your child wears to school easy for them to take on and off independently as needed to use the bathroom throughout the day. Thanks! 

There is a book that I love called, Look What I Did With A Leaf! We will be doing a project with leaves and using leaves to create pictures of different animals. Over the next week, please help your child collect leaves and bring them to school by Wednesday, October 9th. This is what you should look for in your leaves:

- All different colors
-All different sizes (Really big ones are good for bodies. Tiny ones are good for eyes, noses, beaks, and feet. Grab all different sizes.)
-Prepare the leaves before bringing them to school. Take the time to rinse and press the leaves. If you wait too long, your leaves will become brittle and curled and won't be easy to use for this project. Once you have collected them, rinse them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Blot them dry between two pieces of paper towel. You then want to put them between pieces of newspaper and place something heavy on top like a big book so they can be flattened. Make sure the leaves aren't touching each other or overlapping or else they won't dry properly. They should be under the book flattening for about 4-7 days for best results. 

I know the kids will have a ton of fun doing this project! Thanks for your help in collecting leaves!

With October starting this week, homework will also be starting. Homework in kindergarten is to first, review topics taught in class, but more importantly to develop a since of ownership and responsibility in each child that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. There will be a monthly homework calendar coming home with a small assignment for the kids to do each night. It will be put in the back cover of the orange folders. Please leave it there. The homework notebooks (composition books) will start coming home as well this week. The kids are to do their nightly homework assignments in their homework notebook. You can leave the homework notebook in their backpacks each day or leave it at home until Friday. The homework notebook needs to be turned in each Friday! We will look over it and then return it. Each new month, a new homework calendar will be inserted into the orange folder.  Thanks for your support with this!

At the end of each day, we read a small portion from a chapter book. Right now we are reading, "The Chocolate Touch," and the kids are loving it. It is amazing that even though there aren't many pictures, they still are completely engaged in the book and listen so intently. As each day is wrapping up, they request the book and ask if we are going to read it that day. They love it! One of my goals as a teacher is help the children develop a passion for books and reading and I can already see that starting to develop and it is very exciting. :) Ask your kids about the book at home!

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

-Mrs. Hembree :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

We Love Kindergarten!

Dear Parents,

We had a great week last week! It is so fun getting to know your kids and their fun personalities! I have such a great group. This will be a fantastic year.

Star of the Week started this week! In our morning class, our first star was Rilynn. She brought in a fantastic poster! We learned so many great things about her and got to see on the poster as well as in person her doing her "silliest face"! We learned that she loves ice cream, animals, and wants to be a vet when she grows up. Her best friends are twins. Way to go Rilynn!
For our afternoon class, our star was Nolan. Nolan also brought in a wonderful poster! He had so much fun sharing about his favorite movies and TV shows. We learned that he likes eating cake and pizza, and going to the beach. His favorite color is red. Way to go Nolan!
We started centers this past week. During centers, the children are able to choose different places that they want to work throughout the classroom. They also started going to the computer lab as well as using the classroom computers. It is fun to see them working and creating things at centers and on the computers. They also have really enjoyed the library and all the fun books. We have started our independent reading portion of Pathways so they have gotten many opportunities to "shop" for books that they find interesting to them. Here are a few pictures of some of the kids during centers:

Reminder: the children do not need to wear their name tag necklaces around their neck anymore to school. We now know their names, their buses, and how they get home so the name tags are no longer needed. They are turning into a distraction at the carpet because they like to play with them and twist them as they are sitting. So please leave them home. Thank you!

Shared reading books went home on Friday. I hope that you enjoyed reading them over the weekend with your child. I was a little nervous about sending them home, worried that they wouldn't get back to school. Please remember to bring their shared reading notebook back to school each Monday. Mondays are the day that we start a new poem for the week and glue it into our notebook so you can see how leaving it at home can be a major problem. Thank you!

Also, the students are losing a lot of their clothing items and leaving them at school. I think it would be helpful if names were written in the students' jackets so that we can return them to the rightful owner. Sometimes we will hold up a jacket in both classes and no one will claim it. I think the children get confused of what things are theirs. :) Thank you for helping out with this!

Show n' Tell went well last week. It was fun seeing what all the kids did over the summer. Here are some pictures of some of the kids and their items:

Our show n' tell topic for this coming Friday is: Fall. Bring something that represents fall or reminds you of fall activities. The first day of fall this year is Sunday the 22nd! Let's welcome in the new season by talking about it at show n' tell!

This week is Johnny Appleseed's birthday. Our theme for this week is apples. There will be an optional homework assignment coming home on Monday in the orange folders for the kids to do with their families. It is an apple tasting activity where the kids get to find out what type of apple they prefer to eat, between- yellow, green, and red. In the past, we have done this activity at school, but with the new no food policy, the activity will now be done at home. This is a fun thing for families to do together. Please return it to school no later than Thursday, or as soon as it is completed. On Thursday, we are going to be graphing the results in class. Have fun!

We are doing a fall art project this week using fall colored tissue paper. (yellow, orange, red) If anyone has any extra tissue paper at home that they would like to donate to the class for this project, let me know!

This week we are also focusing on graphing, centers, independent reading, and writer's workshop. It is going to be a busy and fun week!

Thanks for reading,
-Mrs. Hembree :)

P.S. If you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for parent teacher conferences on Sign Up Genius! Thanks!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kindergarten is the Best!

Dear Parents,

Thank you to everyone who came to Back to School Night last Thursday! We had a great turn out. It was good seeing all of you again and connecting names to faces. We have such a great group of supportive parents this year. Thank you! Also, I have been so appreciative of all of you who have brought in items for the classroom. Thank you so much for your help and donations. It helps so much!

Star of the Week starts this week! I can't wait to see everyone's posters that they make and get to know each of the kids a little more throughout the year. The children are always so excited to share with their class about themselves and the things that are important to them. When it is your turn to make a poster, please make sure that you make it going horizontally, not vertically. This way I can ensure that both the AM and PM posters fit on our Star of the Week bulletin board at the same time. Thank you for your support with this!

This Wednesday we have our "Reading is Magical" assembly to honor the kids who read over the summer and kept a reading log. We had a couple kids in our class participate in this event and turn in their log. Way to go! The assembly will be from 8:15-9:00 in the gym. Of course only the AM class will be at school to see the assembly because of the morning time. However, PM children are invited to come as well to watch if desired, as long as they are accompanied by a parent to supervise and stay with them. I encourage you all to attend! It will be a great assembly to get the kids excited about reading!

Show n' tell is starting this week! We will be doing lots of different show n' tell themes to keep variety throughout the year with the items that the children are bringing in. For our first show n' tell of the year, the theme will be: What did you do this summer? If you went on a trip you might bring in a picture or souvenir that you got while visiting that place. If you went to the beach, you might bring in a shell or something that reminds you of the beach. If you stayed home and played outside, you might bring in something that reminds you of that. Have fun with this and be creative! I can't wait to see what you bring!

Shared reading notebooks will be going home this Friday. Please use this opportunity for you and your child to read over the poems that they have been working on in class. This is a great opportunity to build a school to home connection and support your child in their learning. Please remember to put the shared reading notebook back into their backpack to return to school on Monday morning so we can continue with more poems and activities for the next week. Thank you!

Thank you for those who have already signed up on sign up genius for parent teacher conferences. I think this will be an easy and convenient way for everyone to schedule times for this event. If you haven't signed up already, please do so as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely you are going to end up with a time that isn't suitable for your schedule. I hope to meet with everyone these two days, (November 4th and 5th) and discuss your children's success in kindergarten!

This week we will be focusing on rhyming words, independent reading, and nursery rhymes. We will also be learning more about days of the week, months of the year, and money coins. The kids should also be excited about having their first computer class in the computer lab where they will get to do fun and educational computer games and activities. This week as well, we will be having our first Guidance lesson. Guidance is a program that focuses on social and life skills such as friendship, bullying, responsibility, honesty, tattling, sharing, etc. We are excited to learn about these skills and implement them into our kindergarten class!

Again, thank you for support and constant kindness towards me! I am very excited to be teaching at Pinebrook this year! Please feel free to contact me at if you ever have any questions or concerns. I'm here to help!

Have a great week!
-Mrs. Hembree :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back to School Night!!!

Dear Parents,

We had a great first week of school! I am so impressed with all of your children! They are all so cute and are excited about learning and coming to school. I can’t wait to get to know each one of them more throughout the year and to see how they progress educationally as well as socially.

A huge thank you to all of you who have brought in things for the classroom! Thank you so much! I really do appreciate your generosity and I promise that your things will be put to good use. :) 

I am sure all of you have noticed that the orange folders started coming home last week. Please continue to check them each night and return them to school each day. Every day when the kids come to school they are responsible to turn their orange folders into a bin inside the class. Please help them with this by reminding them to check their backpacks before school to see if it is ready to go each day. Thank you!

The Thursday folders (white envelopes) started coming home this week as well. Please check those every Thursday and then return them to school every Friday. Thank you!

Back to School Night is this Thursday at Pinebrook! Please be at the school by 6:30. There will be two sessions available for you to attend in case you have other children that attend Pinebrook and will be visiting other classrooms as well. I am excited to see all of you again and give you more information about this upcoming school year.

There has been a little change for birthdays. If your child has a birthday during the summer months, we will be celebrating their half birthday during the school year instead of right before summer break. I will email you when the dates get closer to notify you of this event. When your child has a birthday, parents are invited to come in and read their child’s favorite book to the class. If this isn’t an option because of work, etc, you may also send their favorite book with them in their backpack for me to read to the class. Either option works fine. I will be contacting all parents as their child’s birthday, or half birthday, gets closer. Thanks!

As discussed at orientation, if your child is prone to accidents it is a great idea to pack some extra things for them in a Ziploc bag with their name on it. All extra sets of clothing and underwear for school will be stored in each child’s backpack, not kept in the classroom. We are unable to store the extra things inside of the classroom due to a lack of storage space. Thank you for your cooperation!

We still have some parents who haven't turned in the emergency forms, the questionnaire, and the volunteer sheet. If you have them at home please return them to school as soon as possible. If you need some extras because you have misplaced them, let me know. I have some extras. :)

Please feel free to contact me anytime by email with questions or concerns- Also, you can keep connected with me through the weekly blog post every Monday at 

Again, thank you for sharing your darling kids with me! I am very excited for this school year!

See you Thursday,

Mrs. Hembree :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Please remember to bring in a pencil box for your child (See link below for an example). It was mistakenly forgotten on this year's class list. For those who have not brought in your supplies please bring them in ASAP or contact me.

Thank You!
Mrs. Hembree

Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome to Kindergarten!!!

Dear Parents,

The first day of school is here and I am so excited!!! Thank you to all of you who came to orientation last week! It was so fun meeting all of you and all of your sweet little ones. Seeing their faces made me even more excited for the year to begin. We have such a great group!

Please remember to have your child wear their name tag with their going home information everyday for the first 2 weeks of school. Having this information readily available will make for a smooth transition between home and school. We want them to be safe!

Please visit the classroom blog on a regular basis to keep updated with what is going on in your child's classroom. It is a great way for me to communicate regularly with you and for you to feel connected to your child's learning. There will be a new post available every Monday.

A huge thank you to all of you who have already brought in items for the classroom! Thank you so much! We appreciate your kindness and generosity and promise that your items will be put to good use.

Mark your calendars for Back to School Night on September 12th at 6:30. It will be a night packed full of information that will be valuable to you for this upcoming school year. You don't want to miss it!

Your child will bring home a back to school packet in a manila envelope tomorrow. Always remember to check their backpack each night for important information. Please go through this packet thoroughly and return back to school as soon as possible. Also, always remember to check and return the orange folder daily. Thank you!

Please write your child's name on all clothing items brought to school such as jackets, coats, gloves, boots, etc. Please also include their name on their backpack. This way we can keep all their items straight and return them to the right owners.

I am so excited for this school year! I promise that Miss Risa and I will do our best to make this year great!

Thanks for reading!
-Mrs. Hembree :)
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