Welcome to Kindergarten!

Welcome to Kindergarten!

My name is Jessica Bretl and I am your child’s kindergarten teacher for the 2016-2017 school year. I am excited to start our learning journey together!

Throughout the school year I will be sending weekly email updates about our class events and curriculum. Getting ready for day one, please see the information below.

Classroom Open House & Supply Drop-Off:

  • Friday, August 26 from 8AM-9AM in room 200 (our classroom!)
  • You are welcome to bring your kindergartner (and any siblings/ family members if you’d wish) for a brief classroom tour, meet me and drop off any school supplies.
  • If you do not have your supplies yet, no worries, you can bring them during week one!
  • If you can’t make it on Friday, that is okay too! I know it is late notice & you may already have plans. We will see you on Monday morning for the first day of school!
  • Please note: We use community supplies in our class, so there is no need to label your child’s supplies, or buy special themed folders, etc.

Lunchroom Volunteers:

  • We are looking for volunteers to help the Kindergartners have a smooth lunch experience the first two weeks of school.

Monday, August 29th:

  • is the first day of Kindergarten! Yay!
  • You will receive an email from Mr. Ellwanger (our principal) in the next few days with more directions about where to line-up on Monday.
  • I will meet you outside to pick up the class a little before 7:55 AM- when the first bell rings. Please give your hugs, kisses and goodbyes to your child at that time. I ask that parents say goodbyes at our line-up spot & not enter the building with us — experience shows any crying students recover much faster with a clean break & fast goodbye.🙂
  • It is often helpful for kindergartners to pack a lunch from home on Monday. If you plan to have them buy a hot lunch and/ or milk/ chocolate milk, that is a great plan to start day two, three or four… but with all of the new events for day one, purchasing lunch is an extra step that you may not want your child to worry about on Monday. Also, I am a big supporter of kindergartners getting in on the action of making their own lunch at home- with your guidance!
  • Please send your kindergartner to school with a backpack, a labeled water bottle, a healthy, nut-free snack & their lunch — with an additional drink/ water bottle separate from their classroom water bottle.

Lastly, please take a moment to fill out this 😀 survey 😀to better help me take care of your kindergartner on day one!

I’m looking forward to a wonderful year of learning and fun! Feel free to email me back any questions or thoughts you feel I should know right away about your child!

~Jessica a.k.a. Ms. Bretl to the kinders🙂

End of Kindergarten Update

Hello Kindergarten Families,

Can you believe the last day of kindergarten is tomorrow?!😀🙃

  • We have had a fun end of the school year… From research project presentations, the Zoo field trip, Friday’s Olympic Day & Beach reading day… we have been busy with special events! Check out pictures from the end of the year here.
  • Today we toured the 1st grade classrooms & talked with all three 1st grade teachers, Ms. Banks, Mrs. Dolan & Ms. Las. The kindergartners asked the important questions; "Where are your ipads?" "Do you have chill out?" "Where can we read?"🙂
  • Tonight is an all school picnic from 5-8 pm. You can also purchase a 2015-2016 yearbook tonight at the picnic! Details below.

  • Tomorrow (our last day) is also busy with fun events.
  • All families are invited to the kindergarten block party!!
  • From 10 AM- 1 PM, on the 200 North Harvey Ave block. Right across from the playground.
  • Parents encouraged to bring balls, frisbees, blankets and chairs!!
  • 10am – Visit from our outstanding OP Fire Department!!
  • 11:15am – pizza being delivered. Will have table with fresh veggies and cut up fruit. Huge water cooler.
  • 12:15pm – a visit from the ice cream truck! Kids will get to choose from 4 options.
  • Tattoo station, face painting station, table with art supplies, bean bag toss, water balloon relay with wooden spoon.
  • Parents are invited to bring outdoor games, bubbles, chalk, balls, frisbees, blankets and chairs!!
  • At 1:15, parents are welcome to attend the end of the year assembly on the black top, North end of the school – by the basketball hoops & USA map. The assembly will last about 20 minutes. Students will walk back into their classrooms to say goodbye & get their end of the year packet & report card.

It has been a pleasure working with the kindergarten parents from room 200 this year! Thank you for your support, and sharing your children with me! I know this group will do wonderful in first grade (and beyond)!

~Jessica

6-1-16 Class Update

Hello Kindergarten Families!

Wednesday, June1st: Today was "Meet Your Team Day" at Beye! We are preparing for Olympic Day on Friday. All students got to meet their Olympic Day team & team captain (a Beye staff member).

Thursday, June 2nd: Tomorrow is our Brookfield Zoo field trip. A separate email went out yesterday to all parents that are planning to chaperone at the zoo. If you are planning to come to the zoo and did not receive a chaperone information email from me, please let me know!

  • Students should pack a disposable lunch for tomorrow.
  • Students should wear their Beye School kindergarten blue t-shirt.
  • Students should wear comfortable walking shoes.

Friday, June 3rd: is Olympic Day! Students are invited to dress in their team’s colors. They should also wear sunscreen & comfortable gym shoes as 1/2 their day will be outside. Water bottles (labeled) are also welcome. Parents are welcome to come help volunteer, or simply stop by to cheer your team(s) on!

Lucy- Italy
Asher B. – Italy
Lucia- New Zealand
Benicio- Ethiopia
Elijah- Jamaica
Jael- USA
Asher K- Thailand
Everett- Nepal
Ben- Israel
Max- Croatia
Helen- Japan
Grayson- Morocco
Ella- China
Andrew- USA
David- Nigeria
Miles- Switzerland
Armani- New Zealand
Evelyn- Spain
Zachary- Korea

Also, all parents are invited to the kindergarten block party on the last day of school Wednesday, June 8th from 10-1. Please note there is also a special teacher dance at 1:30 for all parents to attend on the black top by the USA map (near the commons).

Whew! Hard to believe we are near the end here!
Let me know if you have any questions!
~Jessica

Class Update 5-23-16

Hi Kindergarten Families,

We are in the home stretch! The end of the year is sure busy!🙂 Before you know it, you will have a 1st Grader!

Updates:

Tomorrow is pajama day!

  • We are having "Sharing" this week in morning meeting about something you are proud of… students are welcome to bring something in, but can also just tell a story. Please help your kindergartner prepare what they’d like to share (it can be a very simple story).
Here’s our sharing schedule:

Tuesday: Everett, Andrew, Asher B, Jael

Wednesday: Helen, David, Zachary, Miles, Ella

Thursday: Elijah, Benicio, Asher K, Grayson, Salma

Friday: Lucia, Ben, Evelyn, Armani, Max

  • Beye Discovery is here this summer in June & back after school in the fall! Don’t miss out on this amazing, high-quality summer camp and after-school program.
  • Order your 2016-2017 School Kits Now! Save yourself the hassle of end of summer shopping and order your child’s school supplies for next year online. Order school kits by going to www.carlsonschoolkits.com. Select Oak Park, William Beye Elementary and then the grade your child will be entering next year. The kits will be delivered to your child’s classroom for the first day of school.
  • ABC countdown is in full swing. Thanks for supporting your kindergartner each day by checking out the ABC calendar schedule & preparing for their day’s event.
  • Tuesday 5/24 Pajama Day – Students can wear their pajamas!
  • Wednesday 5/25 Quiz Show Day- Nothing to prepare
  • Thursday 5/26 Rock Paper Scissors Day– Nothing to prepare
  • Friday 5/27 School Spirit & Sunglasses Day– Students are welcome to wear blue, Beye wear and sunglasses
  • Tuesday 5/31 Thank You Day– Nothing to prepare

What We’ve Been Learning in Kindergarten:

  • This week we are finishing up reading assessments -both for Common Core standards and DIBELs (Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy)
  • Math: We are practicing subtraction word problems and decomposing teen numbers.
  • Reading & Writing: We have been learning how to use context clues to understand the meaning of a word in a non-fiction text. Our stories have focused on the theme "seeds".
  • We are also writing about our dream gardens this week!
  • Decoding skills: We are discussing what to do when you reach a word you do not know. You may have seen some bookmarks come home to tell you about each skill from the day. So far we have learned:
  • Eagle Eye – Look at the pictures for clues
  • Lips the Fish- Get your lips ready. Look at the first letter(s). Say that sound.
  • Stretchy Snake- Stretch out the word slowly. Then put the sounds together.
  • Chunky Monkey- Look for chunks yo know (ing, ed, am, at, ost, etc.)
  • Tryin’ Lion- Try it again! Reread the sentence. Does it make sense?
  • Skippy Frog- Skip over the word you don’t know! Read to the end of the sentence. Hop back to the skipped word and try it again.

How to Help at Home:

  • Help prepare a quick "sharing" about something your kindergartner is proud of (see schedule above).
  • Finish the Kindergarten research projects. Presentations will begin at the end of this week! I can’t wait!
  • Please make sure you’ve sent in the Brookfield Zoo permission slip. We have about 50% of our class’ forms turned in… All families are welcome to attend this field trip- meeting us at the zoo is a free admission for your car. It’s a fun day! We hope you can come.

Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, June 2nd: Brookfield Zoo Field Trip (all families welcome!)

Friday, June 3rd: Olympic Fay (all school field day)

Wednesday, June 8th: Kindergarten Block Party (all families welcome!) & last day of K!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments

~Jessica

Brookfield Zoo permission slip 2016.docx

5-16-16 Class Update

Hello Kindergarten families!

Tomorrow is the big THREE PIGGY OPERA!

We hope to see you and your kindergartner at 6 pm in the Beye School commons!

Three Piggy Opera

  • Students should wear a pink, white, or brown shirt with dark pants or skirt.
  • 6 pm in the commons for the slideshow, then parents & family will head to the auditorium. The kindergarten piggies will shortly follow for their performance!
  • 6:40 in the auditorium = Three Piggy Opera

Updates:

  • ABC countdown is in full swing. Thanks for supporting your kindergartner each day by checking out the ABC calendar schedule & preparing for their day’s event.
  • Tuesday 5/17 Kindness Day – Nothing to prepare
  • Wednesday 5/18 Legos & Lemonade- You are welcome to bring in some Legos.
  • Thursday 5/19 Mismatched Outfit Day– wear a whacky outfit
  • Friday 5/20 Numbers Mania Day– wear something with a number on it
  • Monday 5/23 On our way to First Grade Writing Day– Nothing to prepare

What We’ve Been Learning in Kindergarten:

  • We had an assembly this morning from the Oak Park Public Library about the Summer Reading Program. Students are encouraged to sign up for the summer reading program & check out books from the library regularly! This is a great way to build excitement about reading and a free supply of books! The summer reading program starts June 1st.
  • Math: We are practicing subtraction word problems and decomposing teen numbers.
  • Reading & Writing: We have been reading many variations of the Three Little Pigs story. Students are practicing identifying the beginning, middle and end of a story.
  • We are also practicing how to use context clues on a page (the surrounding text & pictures) to figure out the meaning of a word… This is different than "decoding" the word by trying to read the word. The goal here is that once you know what the word is, but don’t know the meaning of that word, you can use clues to try to figure it out.
  • Example: "The house reeked of pig." We discussed what we thought "reeked" meant based on our knowledge from previous pages that the wolf said he could smell pig.
  • Decoding skills: We are discussing what to do when you reach a word you do not know. You may have seen some bookmarks come home to tell you about each skill from the day. So far we have learned:
  • Eagle Eye – Look at the pictures for clues
  • Lips the Fish- Get your lips ready. Look a tthe first letter(s). Say that sound.
  • Stretchy Snake- Stretch out the word slowly. Then put the sounds together.
  • Chunky Monkey- Look for chunks yo know (ing, ed, am, at, ost, etc.)

How to Help at Home:

  • How is the kindergarten research project going? Maybe consider heading to the Oak Park Public Library to sign up for the summer reading program & check out some books for your research project!

Upcoming Dates:

Tuesday, May 17th: Three Piggy Opera performance at 6 pm, Beye School

Thursday, June 2nd: Brookfield Zoo Field Trip (all families welcome!)

Friday, June 3rd: Olympic Fay (all school field day)

Wednesday, June 8th: Kindergarten Block Party (all families welcome!) & last day of K!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

ABC Countdown 2016.doc

Friday 5/13

Hi Kindergarten Families,

I wanted to let you know that tomorrow we will have a "Lockdown Drill" as a whole school. This is a district mandate to practice. For your information, a Lockdown Drill means students are asked to sit quietly in an area of the classroom, out of sight of the door. The teachers will lock the door and Mr. E and an Oak Park police officer will walk around to make sure we all have the procedure down. It takes about 5 minutes.

To keep it as peaceful as it can be, we believe the best approach is to talking about this with with young children is to keep it simple. We do not get into the details of why we have a lockdown drill, but simply say we are practicing how to be safe; that sometimes the safest place for us to be is in our classroom.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to be here tomorrow. However, I did introduce the concept to Kindergartners today and I am confident in our substitute, Ms. Alexander, who is a retired Oak Park D97 teacher.

In my experience, the Lockdown drill seems to shake up adults in the building and parents at home more than students (probably because we have been alive longer and have seen the news more regularly). I feel all of our students in room 200 will be able to successfully go through the Lockdown drill and then carry on with their day. However, if you feel your child requires more discussion, feel free to carry this on at home (but I advise you to be careful what you share, as home discussions often trickle into our classroom).

Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

Looking forward to seeing you all at 6 PM on Tuesday 5/17 for the Kindergarten Slideshow and Three Piggy Opera!

~Jessica

Parent Volunteer tomorrow?

Hello Kindergarten Parents,

If there is any parent volunteer that has a green thumb and is available tomorrow, we would love your help with some planting. Let me know if you’d like to come in!

Thanks!
~Jessica

5-2-16 Class Update

Hello Kindergarten families!

We finalize our space unit tomorrow with our planetarium field trip! Read below for more updates!

We had a great Space Day and Space Unit... check out our pictures here!

Updates:

  • Tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/2) is our Adler Planetarium field trip.
  • Students should wear their blue faces shirt.
  • Please also make sure they have a disposable lunch, labeled with their name.
  • The May homework is a change of pace from the work packets. I am asking each child to work on a small research project at home for the next three weeks. The last two weeks of school we will present our findings in our class. An information sheet went home today — although some students may not have gotten a sheet today: this happens when you ask five year olds to sort papers into the mailboxes sometimes😉 The information sheet is attached to this email and I will have more to send home tomorrow. The projects are due on Tuesday, May 24th.
  • Tomorrow is the start of the last 26 days of Kindergarten🤗🤔 (How did that happen so fast?!). We will celebrate our kindergarten year with an ABC countdown! An ABC countdown calendar should have come home today. Please post it somewhere in your house to help you and your kindergartner know each day’s theme. An extra paper is attached to this email, as well. Some days we ask the kindergartners to bring something small (ex: a stuffed animal) and some days we ask them to wear something specific (ex: pajamas, a hat, or sports shirt). I thank you in advance for the extra effort it takes to help manage this process as a parent!🙂
  • Please hold Tuesday, May 17th from 6 pm-7:30 for your kindergartner’s performance of the Three Piggy Opera. It is adorable! You may have received an email from Mrs. Rosenblum and Mrs. Hansen about the Spring Arts Festival. It states that Kindergarten’s concert (The Three Piggy Opera) starts at 6:40. This is correct. However, in the email it asks for students to report to their classrooms at 6:25- we have since changed this plan. We would actually like all kindergartners and their families to report to the Beye School commons at 6pm. We are sorry for any confusion. Together we will watch our kindergarten slideshow. Once that concludes, parents will go to the auditorium to watch the kindergartners perform the Three Piggy Opera. All kindergartners should wear a pink, white or brown shirt with dark pants or skirt.

What We’ve Been Learning in Kindergarten:

  • We continue our social/ emotional learning about reacting to problems with appropriate responses. This week we will role play various kindergarten problem situations in our morning meeting.
  • This week we are starting our seeds unit! For the next few weeks, we will carry out many experiments with seeds, plant our own seeds and read seed and garden related stories.
  • We are working on learning new words in these said seed and garden texts; using clues from the surrounding text, pictures on the page, and our background knowledge (Reading Literature Standard 4).
  • We are also comparing and contrasting two similar literature stories on the same topic (Reading Literature Standard 9).
  • This week we are focusing on literature. We will read many stories with characters that have experiences with seeds and gardens, such as: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, My Garden by Kevin Henkes, and Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel.
  • In math, we are focusing on fluently knowing subtraction facts up to 5. (Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standard 5). We are also working on drawing, acting out and using other manipulatives to represent subtraction problems (Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standard 1 and 2)

How to Help at Home:

  • Ask your child what topic interests them to make a report on… go to the public library and ask the librarian if they can help you find any books on this topic. Check the internet for kid-friendly articles. Print them out. When you’re ready, read them with your kindergartner- even showing highlighting important information or taking notes. Check out kidrex.com for a kid-friendly search engine.

Upcoming Dates:

Tuesday, May 3rd: Planetarium Field Trip- bring a bag lunch

Tuesday, May 17th: Three Piggy Opera performance at 6 pm, Beye School

Thursday, June 2nd: Brookfield Zoo Field Trip (all families welcome!)

Friday, June 3rd: Olympic Fay (all school field day)

Wednesday, June 8th: Kindergarten Block Party (all families welcome!) & last day of K!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

cleardot.gif

May Research Homework.docx
ABC Countdown 2016.doc

4-26-16 Class Update

Hello Kindergarten Families!

Here is our update today- this is the 30 year old edition – today is my birthday🙂 and my favorite quote of the day goes like this; "Ms. Bretl, how old are you turning?" I showed 3 fingers & then 0 fingers. The response was, "She’s turning 13!" A few were very excited about my 13th birthday and then we’re gently corrected by their peers. Here are our updates this week…

Updates:

  • What to know for Space Day Morning: Students are invited to wear any space gear (t-shirts with planets on them, etc.) they have or can wear red/ white/ blue since we will make NASA astronaut helmets. We have 6 volunteers coming in- this is awesome! A separate email to the parents that volunteered will come tomorrow with more details about the morning’s activities.
  • We are looking for one more chaperone to the Planetarium on Tuesday, May 3rd! Let me know if you are able to come!
  • The Three Piggy Opera is coming up! Tuesday, May

What We’ve Been Learning in Kindergarten:

  • We have been busy learning about the planets! We completed our solar system books and are getting ready to record them tomorrow with the help of some parent volunteers… look for an email with the recordings to come home soon, along with your kindergartner’s book! Pictures of our space day and writing to come soon…
  • In math, we are learning about strategies to use when adding two numbers we don’t have memorized. We have discussed the first few & will add a few more each day:
  • 1. Using a ten frame.
  • 2. Using your fingers
  • 3. Drawing a picture
  • 4. Using counting cubes
  • 5. Using a number line
  • 6. Count on
  • In our morning meeting, we have been working on analyzing our problems and trying to have the proper reaction. This is a tough lesson for many kindergartners. We started with brainstorming a list of their problems – the problems varied and sincere:
  • "I got cut in line."
  • "My mom told me I couldn’t have a third cookie for dessert."
  • "My grandma died"
  • "My cousin didn’t share his toy with me."
  • "I had nobody to play with at recess."
  • "Somebody took my favorite marker."
  • The next day I introduced a number scale and we made a poster together about the size of problems. The 3rd day we looked at our problem examples again and tried to give them a number. In the next few days we will focus on how to find a reaction that fits your problem… IE: It is okay to cry and get very upset if someone is sick or dies…. It is better to shrug your shoulders and say "oh well. I can move on" if someone takes your marker. … Feel free to use this same discussion at home in any way you think will help your kindergartner.

How to Help at Home:

  • Practice tying shoe laces!🙂 This is a kindergarten/ first grade skill that only gets better with practice.
  • Take a long string (wiki stix are great if you have these) and make circles are words in a book or newspaper that your child can read by themselves. Celebrate with them!

Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, April 28th: Space Day- wear your space gear or red, white, blue

Tuesday, May 3rd: Planetarium Field Trip- bring a bag lunch (unless you requested one from the Beye lunchroom)

Tuesday, May 17th: Three Piggy Opera performance at 6 pm, Beye School

Thursday, June 2nd: Brookfield Zoo Field Trip (all families welcome!)

Friday, June 3rd: Olympic Fay (all school field day)

Wednesday, June 8th: Kindergarten Block Party (all families welcome!) & last day of K!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

~Jessica