Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Week Full of Fun!

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone is enjoying their winter break and having fun with their families! Last week was a blast. I took a large amount of pictures that I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoy them!

Holidays Around the World
On Tuesday, I told the kids that today we were going to be traveling around the world. Some kids said, "For real? Are we going in an airplane!?" "I hope we go to Pennsylvania!!"  :)
The students enjoyed "traveling" from kindergarten room to kindergarten room and learning about different holidays and different cultures. We learned about Diwali, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, and Christmas in Mexico. They took their "passports" with them to each room, and after learning about each holiday, they completed an activity from their passport booklet. 

 Gingerbread Houses
Thank you to everyone who brought in items for the gingerbread houses! They turned out so cute and the students had a ton of fun decorating them. The 5th grade buddies were so helpful too. It was a great opportunity for the kids to learn how to work together as a team. 

Christmas Cards and Wrapping Presents in our PJ's
The kids had a ton of fun making these Christmas cards and then wrapping them up. It was fun seeing  their creativity come out as they created a special surprise for their parents. 

Presents from the Teachers
I hope all the kids enjoyed their gift that we gave them at the end of the day on Friday! My husband is very good at working with his hands and using wood to create amazing things. He actually made all of these by hand. He bought the wood, cut them, sanded them, and painted them. I thought it would be a fun thing for the kids to use to hang on their bedroom doors and also a fun way for them to practice their writing. We hope you enjoy! :)

 Holiday Assembly
At the end of the day on Friday, the entire school fit into the gym and each grade level performed a fun holiday song of their choice. The kindergarten team had fun performing the "Crazy Santa" dance in our Santa beards and Santa hats. :) It was a great way to end the day! 

I wanted to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and kindness with all of the Christmas gifts that you gave me. I felt so loved this week and absolutely spoiled rotten. Thank you so much. I loved everything and feel incredibly blessed to have such supportive parents and amazing students! Thank you!

-Show n' tell on Friday, January 3rd will be: FREE CHOICE (Sorry to the PM kids who didn't get a chance to share their show n' tell last week because of the Holiday assembly. We ran out of time!)

-Thank you to all of the parents who are encouraging their child to go on Raz Kids at home! Please make sure that when your child is reading the stories, that they are reading it out loud to someone. We are having some kids who are skipping through the book quickly just by pressing the next button over and over again instead of actually reading the book because they are wanting to get the gold stars.  Of course this completely defeats the purpose of the program. First, they should listen to the story, then read it out loud to someone, then take the quiz to see if they understood what they read. If they have troubling reading it, or have scored poorly on the quiz, have them do that section again until they have received a better score. Each book should be solid on reading fluency and comprehension before moving on to the next book. Thank you!

-Starting in January, homework will now include working on sight words. On Monday, the kids will have a sheet of sight words glued into their homework notebook for Monday night's homework. This will start on January 6th. Thanks!

-Please remember that even with colder temperatures coming soon, we will still be going outside for recess. The only time that we won't go outside is when the temperature is lower than 32 degrees. Please dress the children warmly for these cold outside days. Thanks! 

Happy Holidays!!!
-Mrs. Hembree :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Week of Fun!!!

Dear Parents,

I can't believe it is the last week of school before winter break! Time has flown by. These kids have already been in kindergarten for 4 months! 

Our star of the week for the AM class was Sydney. Sydney made a bright pink poster. We learned that Sydney loves her dog Buster, loves cheerleading and gymnastics, and likes Taylor Swift. Her family dressed up for Halloween this year together, rocking the Alice in Wonderland theme! Good job Sydney!
Enrike was our star of the week in our PM class. Enrike made an awesome poster! We learned that Enrike has two older sisters and loves his family. His favorite color is orange. He used to live in Puerto Rico and has been doing an amazing job at learning English this year! Good job Enrike! 

 Snowman Craft

A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated items for Operation Paws this last week! I was amazed at your generosity and kindness during this holiday season! I know that the 4 children that my two classes had, will have a great holiday this year because of all of you. Thank you!

Buddy Reading

News For the Week

1. Thank you to everyone who signed up to bring in items for the gingerbread houses! I was amazed at the quick responses after I sent out the email with the sign up. Thank you so much! I have the best group of parents ever! Thanks to you, all the slots are filled for bringing in items and we are going to have a ton of fun this Wednesday creating our houses! There is still one spot open for a parent volunteer in the PM class if anyone is interested. You can sign up here: 

2. Information for Reflex Math is coming home in the orange folders this week. It is similar to  IXL math, with a username and password for each child. It is a program that your child can do at home on the computer. There is also an app for it as well for IPADs, etc. With Raz Kids, IXL Math, and now Reflex Math, the possibilities are endless for the amount of learning that can be done at home! Please use these resources as much as possible over the winter break while the kids are not in school. I look forward to seeing the results that will come through the usage of these amazing programs! 

3. This week is full of lots of fun activities for the students. The kindergarten team is hosting a Holidays Around the World day on Tuesday where the students will learn about Chinese New Year, Christmas in Mexico, Diwali, and Hanukkah. All 4 kindergarten teachers will be preparing and presenting to all the kindergartners at Pinebrook. It will be an exciting day where we can learn about different traditions and cultures! On Wednesday we are having an assembly called, Jingle Jukebox where we can hear some fun holiday music, and we are also decorating our gingerbread houses! On Thursday and Friday we are reading the book, Polar Express, and then watching the movie. On Friday, the kids can wear their pajamas and bring in their favorite stuffed animal and slippers. It is going to be a fun filled memorable week!  

4. The theme for show n' tell this week is: FREE CHOICE 
Bring in something of your choice and tell us three things about it. 

5. We always need more classroom volunteers for centers! If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here: Your help  is greatly appreciated. 

Let's have a great last week of school in 2013! Can't wait for 2014 to begin! :)

-Mrs. Hembree 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Dear Parents,

This week I was amazed at what a great group of kids we have. All of them are so unique and have their own strengths. Thank you for being amazing parents and for having such great little ones! Thank you for sharing them with me. :)

Our stars this week were Julia and Erin. Julia is in our AM class. She made a beautiful poster. We learned that Julia loves cheerleading, Disney princesses, going to the beach, and her family. She has an older brother who goes to Pinebrook. Good job Julia!
 Erin was our star for the PM class. Erin made an awesome poster. She has a little brother that she loves and a mom and dad. She used to live in Maine. We even got to see some pictures of her when she was a baby! Great job Erin!

News of the Week

1. Thank you for those of you who have already donated holiday gifts to those in need for Operation Puma P.A.W.S.! I have been humbled to see all the gifts flooding into the school for those less fortunate. You are all so giving! Here is some more information:

This last week was the official kick-off of our second annual Operation Puma P.A.W.S. Project!  Last year,  Pinebrook worked together to donate over 1,000 items to children in need during the holiday season.  Let's do the same this year and show our community how much we care!  Here is some helpful information for you:

When:  Dec. 2nd - Dec. 12th
Where: Your donated item can be taken to your child's homeroom and placed in the appropriate box.
How: 1) Go to our class Sign Up Genius link.
          2) Sign up for an item
          3) Turn the item in LABELED (With Child #) and UNWRAPPED

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Matner (  Thank you so much for helping us bring cheer to others during this holiday season.  Happy giving!!

2. Thank you to those who have volunteered in the classroom during centers! You don't know how much you are appreciated. Having that extra pair of adult eyes in the classroom helping the kids is so useful. Thank you! If you would still like to volunteer we would love to have you! Here is the link: Hope to see you soon!

3. On the last day of school before the winter break, the whole kindergarten is doing a pajama day! Please wear your pajamas on this day to school! :) You may also bring a stuffed animal and slippers if you would like. Please make sure to bring some warm clothes and shoes in addition to the pajama attire for playing at recess.

4. The winter break is December 23rd- January 2nd! Have a fun time with your family and friends!

5. To see the December kindergarten newsletter go to: 

6. We are so lucky to have access to two amazing programs for reading and math: Raz Kids and IXL Math. These are both amazing opportunities for your children to learn in the comfort of their own home. Please encourage your child to use these programs at least twice a week. The more they are used the better. I know it will make a huge difference! Thanks for your support!

7. The show n' tell theme for this week will be: Bring in something that reminds you of December.

I hope everyone has an amazing and fun week! 

-Mrs. Hembree :) 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December!

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving break and had a wonderful time with family and friends. I can't believe it is already December! The next three weeks are going to be very busy and I know they are going to fly by!

News for the Week

1. The show n' tell theme for this week will be: Bring something that tells about a hobby that you do or a hobby that your family does. I am excited to learn about some of your hobbies! 

2. Thank you to all of you who have already paid for the IXL math program! I know it is going to be a great resource for the students to do at home to work on their math skills. If you didn't receive information about it on Tuesday in the orange folders, I apologize. You will be receiving information about it tomorrow. Please check the orange folders. If you have any questions let me know! 

3. Pinebrook will be participating in a service opportunity, "Operation Paws," over the next couple of weeks. It is a great opportunity to get into the spirit of giving and helps others around us who are less fortunate. Be watching for more information about it on the Pinebrook website. Please feel free to donate gifts any time between December 2nd- December 12th. What a great opportunity to participate in during this holiday season! 

4. Some of you have asked about the roles of myself and Miss Risa in the classroom. Miss Risa is an excellent help in the classroom and is a very valuable tool for me as the teacher. I couldn't ask for a sweeter and kinder teacher's aide. She stays busy during the day making copies, cutting out projects, checking the homework notebooks, going outside with the kids during recess, preparing the milk for drink time, and any other busy work that I need done each day. Having an aide in charge of all of these things allows me more time to prepare lessons for the students that meet the Virginia standards of learning, and make sure that I am giving them my undivided attention each day as I teach them. The kindergarten teachers are very grateful to have full time aides at Pinebrook. They make our jobs so much easier! 

Thanks for all of your constant support!

-Mrs. Hembree :) 
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