Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First day snack (GOING FISHING)

This year in Kindergarten we have a camping theme with the room. Today the kids had a fishing snack.
Here is what you do:
1. Hand out blue napkins (for the pond)
2. Hand out goldfish (for the fishies in your pond)
3. Hand out skinny pretzel sticks
4. Add a spoonful of peanut butter
And challenge the kids to go fishing by taking a pretzel stick, dipping it in PB and then sticking it to fish. 

They had a blast!

First day letter!

Dear Kindergarten Parents,
       Welcome back to school and welcome to Mrs. Griffin’s Kindergarten.  I hope you received my “welcome” letter via the blog.  We have 11 Happy Campers in our classroom this year.
       Be sure to take a moment to go through the Alta Kindergarten folder folder for classroom and school wide information. The folder is a great way to transport information between school and home.  Please keep it in your child’s backpack and check it daily. 
Here’s some important classroom information:
Weekly Specials Schedule:
Monday:      Computer @ 12:10-1:00
Tuesday:     PE @ 12:10-1:00
Wednesday:  Library @ 12:10-1:00
Thursday:    Music @ 12:10-1:00
Friday:       Art @ 10:20-11:10       
REMEMBER TO WEAR Tennis shoes ON Tuesday FOR PE.  Gym shoes may be left in your child’s cubby so they’re always here if you’d like.
***Return library books every TUESDAY!
       VIP of the WEEK” (sharing)
We will begin having the “VIP” in the next few weeks.  Everyone will get a chance to be the “VIP” (name will be drawn). The VIP will have lots of RESPONSIBILITIES such as taking care of the class mascot (a monkey named Virgil) for the week at home and writing about his adventures, sitting in a camping chair with a stuffed animal and most importantly bringing in the special journal on Friday to share about the adventures with Virgil.  All week we will be learning different things about the VIP (through their ALL about me poster). After 11 full weeks of VIP, we will begin MYSTERY bag sharing (more info to come on this later). Sharing is an important time to build speaking and listening skills and get to know each other better.  Please try to avoid toys and knickknacks.  We want to see and hear about pictures, nature, pets, trips, crafts, books, science collections, something related to class theme, etc.
Each month (or so), I’ll send home 3 orders from Scholastic Book Club:  See Saw books, Lucky books, and CLICK.  These clubs provide great, inexpensive books and materials.  Also every order helps build bonus points that I use to order books to build our classroom library.  If you place an order, please make check payable to Scholastic Books, not to the school or me.  I’ll keep you posted on due dates in the weekly newsletter.  The first book order will come home in the next few weeks. **PLEASE let me know if you are interested in handling the book order. It is a great way to volunteer and help me out.

School begins at 8:00 and ends at 2:30. Children shouldn’t arrive at school before 7:50.   Please make every effort to have your child here on time so we can have as few classroom disruptions as possible. We encourage you to send your child to school on the school bus. The bus is always on time and it saves gas.

For the first few weeks of school there will be no official homework (except our ALL about ME project) *Comes home Wednesday night. We’ll get that started later. I encourage you to read to your child every night. Reading to your child is important for building literacy and sharing the joy of reading.

We have several things going on in our classroom to support positive behavior. We will be using “Behave your Beans”, which is a system I have established to support good behavior. There are 3 jars in the room with a big bowl of dried beans next to them. Individual children can earn the class a bean by demonstrating good behavior. Example: Doing exactly what is asked of them or remembering their rules and setting an example. The class as a whole can also earn a bean for good behavior. Example: working quietly, nice line, and good reports from other teachers. Once one jar is full, then we have extra recess time or choice time, two jars full will reward the whole class with a special treat from Mrs. Griffin’s house, three jars full will reward the class with the most magnificent surprise so work hard to see what that is.
NOTE: I will explain more about Positive Behavior support during our PARENT night.

**Please talk about these at home too! **

I love having volunteers in the room. I would like to set up a schedule on PARENT night. Right now the children and I need to spend time building our relationship and become comfortable with routines and expectations. This is all part of building a strong classroom community. I will begin using classroom volunteers in October.

I will be posting a newsletter on the BLOG every Monday updating you with news in our classroom, explaining upcoming events and as communication from me to you so please read the BLOG, as it will have IMPORTANT information. I will be sending this via email unless you request a paper copy.

**PARENT Night is Thursday, September 8th at 6:00 – 6:30PM**
This is a time for us to discuss important Kindergarten information, learn about curriculum, and get to know each other. No children please. This is all for now. Please feel free to email or call if you have any questions or just want to say HI! I am looking forward to a great year together.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome letter...can you believe it's almost time?

Dear Kindergarten Family,

Hello! My name is Mrs. Griffin, and I want to welcome you as members of our Kindergarten classroom community. I am excited to be your child’s teacher and look forward to exploring and learning with them this year. Beginning August 31st, we will start getting to know each other as we build our classroom community and establish routines. This is my eighth year in the school district and my fourth year at Alta Elementary.
       Now you might be wondering, “Who is this Mrs. Griffin?” So I will tell you! I grew up in a small town in Alabama, just ten minutes from the Florida line. I attended college at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, where I studied Elementary Education and played on a basketball scholarship. I moved to Wyoming after graduating in 2002. I originally came to see what winter was like because I had never seen snow before. I fell in love with the mountains and met the man of my dreams on my first night in the valley. That man is now my husband Jordy. He has been teaching for the past eight years at Jackson Middle School, but will now be the BIG room teacher. We moved to Victor, Idaho seven years ago and have a great cabin in Pole Canyon that we share with our two-year-old son, Whityn, two cow dogs, two crazy laying hens and one kitty that loves to hunt.
       I enjoy snowboarding, skiing, and a good workout in the winter months. In the summer I enjoy anything outdoors, including riding my new mountain bike, hiking, climbing, canoe camping, horseback riding, playing softball, and running. I am happiest in the mountains. My husband and I spent a lot of time adventuring with our little boy Whityn this summer. Some highlights include traveling back east to Vermont, New York and Canada…canoe-camping on Elk island…wakeboarding on the Palisades…jumping up and down during the Michael Franti concert…and celebrating Whityn’s 2nd birthday. I hate to see summer come to an end, but am excited to see a new year begin with you.
       Now that I have shared a little about myself I would like to learn more about you. Parents, please write a letter that will help me get to know you and your child. Include interests, strengths, challenges, allergies, and any other information that you think will help me provide a comfortable learning environment for your child. Please send the letter with your child during the first week of school.
       I am delighted to have you as part of our classroom community, and look forward to a fun and exciting year.