Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Dear Parents,

We have had another great week! It is hard to believe that October has almost come and gone and November is just around the corner. These kids are now true Pinebrook Pumas!

Our AM star of the week was Saistha! She made a beautiful poster. We learned that Saistha likes Barbies, strawberries, cherries, and likes to ride her pink bike! She also has gone apple picking!
Our PM star of the week was Samkari! She made a wonderful poster! We learned that she has a brother and a sister and that she likes to go to Chuck E. Cheese! We also learned that she loves pink and likes doing crafts, art, and working with beads.
Thank you to everyone who brought in the leaves!!! Our leaf animals, "class pets," came out great and the kids really had a fun time making them. After reading, "Look What I Did With a Leaf!," we thought about what animals we could create with the leaves. The kids came up with creative ideas and they all turned out fantastic! Keep an eye open for them at parent conferences, and take a closer look.....they are hanging up outside of our classroom. 

On Friday, we had a small in school field trip with the firefighters! The firefighters came and visited the kindergarten at Pinebrook! They learned about how to stay safe in a fire and how to stop, drop, and roll. The firemen gave them each their own red firefighter hat and a bag of goodies!

News for the Week

1. For the star of the week, I will no longer be supplying construction paper for the students' posters. I have found that the posters that I have been giving out are getting bent, ripped up, and ruined inside of their backpack on their way home from school. The poster doesn't end up looking very nice when the background paper is bent up. So, when your child is the star of the week, feel free to use any sort of paper or poster board that you have at home. This will also allow your child to choose the background color that their poster is made on so they can have their favorite color. My only wish is that the poster goes horizontal and that it is around 14 x 20 in size. That makes it easier to fit both the AM and the PM star posters on the same bulletin board. Thank you! Let me know if you have any questions. 

2. Please encourage your child to leave any toys, bracelets, necklaces, or anything else that will be a distraction to their learning, at home. We have had some issues with students bringing these times to school and then getting distracted with them at the carpet and distracting those around them. Unless the item is for show n' tell, people keep them at home! Thanks!

3. This Thursday is our first class party! We will be having our kindergarten fall harvest party! Please reply to the emails that the room moms have sent and bring in some party items that they have requested. Also, please print and fill out the form that the room moms have emailed to you to give your child permission to eat the party food and well as have their picture taken at the party. If desired, your child can wear a costume to school that day as long as their costume is a book character. Most costumes can be found in a book but let me know if you have any questions with this! Please no weapons or masks. It is going to be a fun day! 

4. Parent teacher conferences are right around the corner! Thank you to all of you who have signed up already! I am excited to see you and discuss all the glorious things that your child has been doing in the classroom! Please leave your child at home for this event. Each conference will last 15-20 minutes. I will try my best to stay on track with times which can be a challenge because I know there is so much to discuss. However, please be respectful of the time of the people before and after you, knowing that if there is still more to discuss after the 20 minutes has past that we will need to set up a later day to continue our discussion. Please try your best to be on time for the conference as well and hopefully we can work together to keep on schedule. Thanks! 

5. Thank you to all of you who have donated items to our classroom! You are all so great! I couldn't do it without your constant support! 

6. The homework has been going so well. I have been very impressed. Thank you for your diligence in this and teaching your child that homework is important. There will be a new calendar for November coming soon!

7. There will be no show n' tell this week. We will continue the following week! 

Have a fabulous week!
-Mrs. Hembree :) 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hello Parents!

Dear Parents,

This has been another great week. It flew by with only having 4 days and I can't believe it is already the weekend again!

Jalyn was our AM star of the week. She brought in a beautiful poster. We learned that Jayln loves Angry Birds and had an Angry Birds birthday cake. She also loves swimming, macaroni and cheese, and her family. 
 Daniel was our PM star of the week. Daniel also brought in a great poster. We learned that Daniel has a dog named Go Go, and that his best friend is Kyle, which is also his cousin, and they are in the same class! He has traveled to Hong Kong and is learning Chinese from his grandpa.
 This week we made our class pumpkin path and hung them up in the hall outside of our classroom. They all turned out so differently but all so cute! We talked about how pumpkins all look different and are unique just like people. Their task was to create a pumpkin however they like by only using scissors, glue sticks, and paper. It was fun to see all of the different outcomes!
This week, Miss Risa and myself, along with the 3 principals and 13 other teachers, slept on the roof of the school! It was actually a lot of fun. Besides the hour or so of rain, the weather was perfect! The wind was a little strong in the middle of the night and was blowing the tents around, so that kept us up a bit. :) Thank you for all the people who stopped by to say hi that night and for those of you who brought us food! Here are some pictures....

We had 5 tents set up and lights all around so we could see where we were walking. 
Mr. Cramer, Mr. Thiessen, Mrs. Rodgers, Ms. Higgins, getting interviewed by a student. 
 Me, standing up by the school sign. 

News for the Week

1. Thursday folders are for 1 way communication from staff to parents. Please do not send notes back to us inside the Thursday folders. Any notes that are sent to us please put inside the orange folders. Thanks!

2. A couple weeks ago, the school yellow handbook was sent out. The front page needs to be signed and returned to school. There are still about 8 of you who haven't returned that front sheet. Please return it as soon as possible. Thanks! (The blue kindergarten handbook does not need to be signed and returned but is just informational for parents.)

3. Some of the room moms have sent out a party permission form for parents to sign giving your child permission to eat the food at the party as well as get their picture taken. If you have received an email about this, please print and sign the form, and then return it to me as soon as possible. Thanks! We need this info soon so we can have a fabulous Fall Harvest party on the 31st. 

4. I have noticed while assessing students that there is a problem with how they are saying their letter sounds. This issue was addressed to me in a Pathways trainings a couple weeks back from Loudoun county. Many students know most of their letter sounds very well, but say them incorrectly. When asked what does a letter say, they will add an extra sound at the end. For example, when they say the letter B sound, instead of saying "B," they say, "Bu." Or for T instead of saying "T," they say, "Tu." They add that "uuuuu" sound at the end of the letter sound. This creates difficulty later on when they are learning how to read and they add that extra sound into the word causing confusion with how the word is pronounced. I tell the kids to say the sound shorter and clip it off as it comes out of their mouth. This helps. This is a difficult subject to address in writing and would be better understood in person. I will be explaining it further in parent teacher conferences if I feel there is a need. Otherwise, try to catch it at home, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email! 

5. Show n' Tell this week will be: Bring something from the past. Tell when, where, who it is from, etc, if relevant. It could be a picture from the past, toy, memory, etc. 

6. Thank you for all of the parents who helped to bring in the leaves for the leaf animal creation project! We made them on Friday. There will be some pictures next week of their leaf animals. :)

7. Sorry about the confusion with picture day and the picture packets. The packets were given to the staff the day before picture day so it wasn't our fault that they were given with not much notice. If you didn't end up paying for pictures and you want your child's picture taken, then there will be a picture re-take day coming soon. More details to come.

8. Parent teacher conferences are November 4th and 5th. Please schedule a time on

9. We are in need of white Elmer's glue for art projects. If anyone would like to donate some to the class that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Have a great week everyone!

-Mrs. Hembree

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Patterns and Pumpkins!

Dear Parents,

I hope all of you are enjoying the rain out there. When is it ever going to stop?! :) I am very glad that the roof sleeping event got postponed because all of the teachers and principals would have gotten soaked! So this Thursday night, cross your fingers that it isn't raining so you can see us on the roof! Also, this Friday is pajama day for the whole school! So all the kids need to wear their pajamas to school this Friday. Slippers are allowed as well. If by chance the rain continues to pour, then the roof sleeping and the pajama day will be postponed yet again. I will send out a notice in the orange folders if there is another change. 

This week I felt so grateful for the generosity of all of you! Thank you for all of your help with the pumpkin activity and for all of your donations with pumpkins, newspaper, and other school supplies. You make my life as a teacher so much easier! Thank you!

Our stars of the week this week were Gianni and Jeremy. Gianni brought in a great poster. We learned that he loves Spiderman and basketball and that Michael Jordan is his favorite basketball player. He has twin little brothers that he loves. 
Jeremy was our other star of the week! We learned that Jeremy speaks Spanish and English and that he also loves Spiderman! We got to see some pictures of Jeremy when he was a baby with his family.

In math this week, we learned about patterns. We used our pattern blocks to make AB patterns, AAB patterns, ABB patterns, and ABC patterns. The kids had a great time creating their own patterns at their desks. Here are some pictures. 

How many seeds are inside of a pumpkin? 
This is the question that we posed to the kids on Friday in our STEM pumpkin investigation project. We even had one of our principals, Mr. Cramer, helping as well. Thank you Mr. Cramer! The kids had a great time investigating and analyzing the pumpkins.

First, the kids were to make a group prediction of how many seeds were inside of their pumpkin. 
We recorded the predictions on the promethean board for each group. 
Later we recorded the results and compared the two numbers. 

Some pumpkins were big...
and some pumpkins were small. 
We measured the pumpkins with cubes. How many cubes tall is your pumpkin?
We collected data and then recorded it on paper. We also counted how many lines the pumpkins had on the outside, drew a picture of them, figured out their size, and wrote describing words of how the pumpkin felt on the inside and the outside. 
Then we chopped the pumpkin up and dug in! 
We separated the seeds from the pulp using our fingers and spoons. 

One group in the AM class even had a white pumpkin! We were curious to find out if the white pumpkins and the orange pumpkins had the same number of seeds!
Then we figured out the best way to count the 10s! 
So we started putting the seeds into piles of 10. 

We realized that the bigger pumpkins had more seeds than the smaller pumpkins. The white pumpkin had no real difference in the number of seeds than the orange pumpkins. The kids had a great time!

News for the Week

1. Show n' Tell this week will be: Bring one of your favorite books. Be ready to tell why you like it and if it is fiction or non fiction.

2. October 14th, Monday, is Columbus day so there will be no school.

3. Please check out the homework and calendar tabs on the home page of the blog for upcoming events. 

4. Class pictures are this Wednesday the 16th! Come ready to smile!

5. Scholastic book orders are due on the 15th. If you have already ordered them online, then you will be receiving them shortly. On the 15th, I will send for all of the orders. They will then be shipped to Pinebrook and your children will take their books home in their backpacks. The more books you order through our class code, MFD2Q, the more free books we get for our classroom library! 

6. Homework is really going great! Thank you parents for supporting your children in this and helping them to be more responsible. Remember, homework notebooks are due every Friday and will be returned again to you on Mondays. 

7. It is so important that your kids are on time each day to school. We don't want them missing out on crucial information and instruction. Please try to get your children to school on time each day and to pick them up each day on time as well. Thank you! 

This week we will be learning about Christopher Columbus, making our leaf art projects, making some silly pumpkins, working on centers, and lots more! It is going to be a fun and busy week! Remember if you ever need me, you can reach me at I am here to help! 

Enjoy the long weekend!

-Mrs. Hembree :) 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Roof Sleeping and Pajama Day Postponed.....

Dear Parents,

Just to let you know, the roof sleeping for the teachers and the principals has been postponed to next Thursday the 17th instead of tonight. They wanted to keep the teachers dry because of the weather forecast of 50% chance of rain. Therefore, the school pajama day will be postponed to the following Friday, the 18th. On Friday the 18th, the students are allowed to wear pajamas and slippers to school for the whole day!

Thank you!

-Mrs. Hembree :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Investigation Volunteers!

Dear Parents,

A huge thank you to all of you who have volunteered to bring in pumpkins and newspaper for our pumpkin investigation project! We have had a few people volunteer to come in on Friday to help but we still need more volunteers! We need 1-2 more volunteers for the AM class and 3-4 more volunteers for the PM class. If you are able and willing to come in and help please let me know! We need you to make this activity a success! 

Thank you!!!!

-Mrs. Hembree :) 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

We Love Fall!

Dear Parents,

What a fun year this has been so far! I am really enjoying teaching your kids and seeing them progress in so many ways. I think I have the best job in the world!

Our AM star of the week was Dylan. We enjoyed getting to know Dylan more this week. We learned about a lot of his favorite things. His favorite restaurant is McDonald's, his favorite treat is Sweet Frog, and one of his favorite movies is, "Wreck It Ralph." He likes to go bowling and wants to be a doctor when he grows up. Yay for Dylan!
 Our PM star of the week was Nikhil. We saw many of Nikhil's baby pictures on his poster and learned that his favorite food is dumplings. He even got to go to Niagara Falls and see the waterfall with his family! Way to go Nikhil!
 We did some more graphing in math this week and graphed about our favorite color, choosing between red, blue, green, and yellow. We made two different graphs, one for the boys and one of the girls and then compared them. The kids loved seeing what color had the greatest amount of kids and which color had the least amount of kids for the boys and the girls. It seems like blue was definitely the most popular color for the girls and the boys in both classes. :)


We started doing some new centers this week and getting used to how centers work a little more. We added in the listening center where the kids listened to the book, "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves." It fit well with our shared reading poem called, "Leaves."

 We also started up our writing center where we got to write stories and draw pictures about Halloween! We talked about the difference between real and make believe stories.

 At the Word Work center, the kids were able to build words with the magnetic letters and then write the words they found on white boards. They built and wrote some of their new sight words they have been learning as well as their names. 
 The kids always enjoy doing computers in class and learning through the computer programs during centers. They are loving working on Starfall and Pixie. 
We also started our poetry center where they get to read and do activities with the shared reading poems  that we have been reading since the beginning of the year. This is a great activity to build reading fluency and confidence.
 We started doing Buddy Reading this week! The kids chose their partners and a place to sit around the room and started reading! It was amazing to see them get excited about their books! They showed their partners their favorite parts and all the interesting things they have noticed. 

Thank you for helping your kids bring in all of the cute family pictures and drawings! It was so fun for me to see all of the family pictures and to see where all of these cute kids come from. They are blessed with such great families! It was fun hearing them share what they like about their family too. Thank you for all of your support and for being such great parents and role models for your kids. 

News for this week:

-Please remember to check your child's orange folder daily. We often times put notes and information in these folders that needs to be read on a daily basis. 

-Don't forget to sign up for parent teacher conferences on Sign Up Genius! Conferences are November 4th and 5th.

-Homework started on Tuesday! Please remember to do homework every night to develop a since of responsibility and ownership in your child. The homework calendar is in the back pocket of the orange folder. Please complete each assignment in the homework notebook and then return to school each Friday. If you lose the calendar it will be posted on the Kindergarten Pinebrook website.

-The 1st quarter is half way through. We will be sending out report card information soon. We will also send home notes, when necessary, letting you know which skills your child needs to practice. 

-No school on October 14th in honor of Columbus Day.

-Order Scholastic books by October 15th. Remember to use my class code. 

-Picture day is October 16th. Get your smiles ready and say, "Cheese!" 

-PTA meeting is on October 21st at 6:30 PM. 

-The Fall Festival is October 26th from 5-8 PM. There will be lots of fun fall activities so make to come!

-Our Kindergarten class Fall Harvest party is October 31st. The kids are to wear a costume to school that day that is a book character from a book. We are having a costume parade and a party. 

-Many of you have asked for a list of the wish list items that are still needed in the classroom. Here are some things that are still needed:
                     -white glue (Elmer's)
                     -colored computer paper
                     -Avery file folder labels 
                     -Super strength plastic sheet protectors for a notebook
                     -3 small cookie sheets (Can get at the Dollar Store, used for magnetic letters)
-The calendar and homework tabs are now up and running on the class blog, You can check there for dates of important events that are coming up!

-On Thursday night this week, the principals and 17 teachers, (including me!), are sleeping on the roof of Pinebrook! Why would be do such a crazy thing you might ask? Because the students met their goal for the fundraiser and raised enough money!!! So, that means we are up on the roof! Great job everyone for selling so much! So now, I will be sleeping on the roof of the school this Thursday! It should be exciting, cold, and memorable. :) 

-Don't forget to bring in your leaves for the leaf art project by this Wednesday the 9th. The leaves should be all different colors and sizes. Refer to last week's post for directions on what to do with the leaves. Thanks!

-We are learning about pumpkins this week. On Friday, the 11th, we are doing a STEM pumpkin investigation project where we are estimating the number of seeds inside of the pumpkin and then finding out ourselves by cutting into pumpkins. A sheet was sent home on Friday explaining about this project. If you would not like your child to participate for any reason, please let me know. We need 5 parent volunteers for AM and 5 more for PM. We also need people to donate pumpkins and newspaper. If you would like to volunteer let me know by sending in that sheet and checking the appropriate line and writing your name. We need lots of help with this so please contact me if you can help! Thanks! :)

-Our show n' tell topic for this week will be: Bring your favorite stuffed animal. Please don't bring anything too big. Their stuffed animal should be able to fit inside of their backpack. If you don't bring something that goes with the topic, then please don't bring something else to show. Thanks! 

Thank you for reading!!!! Let's have a great week!

-Mrs. Hembree :) 
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