Thursday, April 2, 2020

Hi JK Parents and Friends!

Here's a little video of me.  Sorry parents!  :) .

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I loved this quote from Emerson! "The April winds are magical." Let's hope all of this is a truly magical time and amidst all of the tragedy we find some hope and goodness. It reminds us to consider what is truly essential and important.

Happy Thursday! I know I'm not the only one who is wishing the entire month of March was an April Fool's Day joke. Right?

Unfortunately, it's not. And, we're still at home adjusting to a new normal for the foreseeable future.

It looks like there will be some great warm days in the next week or so, so try to take advantage as much as possible while being safe. Today's focus is birds. With these activities, you can teach kids about birds, do a fun craft, and even make a tasty treat for the birds in your yard.

First, I have a fun backyard birds unit study for you to share with your children. There is a printable, a video, a book list, and more included in the post. This is a great way to sneak in some learning today.

Next, turn an old paper sack and some plastic Easter eggs into a fun Baby Bird Nest craft. If you don't have any plastic eggs, make your own from crumpled up paper, tape and paper, or anything else you can find that resembles an egg shape!

Lastly, choose one of ten homemade bird feeders to make with your little ones. Then, sit back and do some birdwatching. I have seen many Robins by my house, and love hearing the hopeful chirps of Spring!

Take care!

Ms. Massey

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hi JK Parents and Friends!

Signs of Spring are showing themselves all over our neighborhoods!

Happy Friday!
Following are a couple of links for some Spring Break ideas.  I will update blog and continue to add to it periodically throughout the break so check back for more.  Not all of these can be done now while we are social distancing and at home, but most can be modified!  I love the puppet theater!  There are so many things on line but sometimes it's just overwhelming.  It's nice to narrow it down and concentrate on the theme and I think that helps.

Minute to Win it Games!

There are many virtual field trips.  I like the guided ones and not just the answering questions responsive ones, but you will have to see which your children prefer.

Check out the Student Art Galleries for Ms. Stein's Art Challenges. If you have time over Spring Break continue with these challenges and send Ms.Stein your images so she can add them to the Galleries. You can submit artwork multiple times! 

Here is a Ms. Stein's Spring Break Art Challenge for you to try: 

If you have any questions or are looking for art ideas over Spring Break let 
Ms. Stein know; she is more than happy to help. 
In the meantime check out Ms.Stein's Instagram page for more Art Challenges over the break.

Feel free to search for "sh" words.  Make a list of "sh" words.
Practice recognizing and writing sight words. You can even have them make their own flash cards from index cards and decorate.

They can show you our movement to that when we say (for instance)
"S-H-E-SHE-POPCORN!" beginning with our feet, then knees, then middle then shoulders then  jump up.
Make a writing center new by having them cut pictures from a magazine or cut out popcorn words to make a collage.  (Ethan reminded me of this fun idea this week!) .
Put shaving cream on a cookie sheet and have them practice writing words with their finger.  This gets their hands so clean and smells so good!

This is a great time to begin a collection.  There are pen pals from different countries available through educational sites if that holds an interest.  I love the thought of making their world's bigger while the space they can use is small.   Try looking and connecting to other countries and learning about things that are completely foreign.

Music and Movement:
If you have Alexa, try animal workout!  If not, try another Cosmic Kids Yoga-to the Gruffalo!

Mrs. Dinelli!
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Math & Science:
Growing Things continued!

Have a lovely break and keep in touch!

It is going to be rainy for days ahead.  Just one more day and then we are on Spring break for two weeks.  Typically, we would all be looking forward to a break and maybe even a trip to visit somewhere warmer or someone special, but this year I am wishing Spring break was already over and we were all back at school.  Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing.  Lila and Charlie love seeing your photos and videos too!

Growing an avocado!  My friend has one in her living room her son started years ago, and it's over 5' tall now!  Keep the growing things going.

We love Khan Academy and IXL for Math fun!  Try those if you get a chance.

Write your name and pretend you are Ms. Massey and practice what you are amazing at doing and the things that are really challenging for you!  I know you can do it all!  Start at the top and leave a finger space between your first and last name!  You can even add your middle name.  Practice writing things you see.  Sound them out and use "Stretchy Snake" to get all of the letter sounds.  Even if you get the first and last sounds in a word it's great!

Do you remember our morning meeting and all of the things that we do?  Attendance-count the people (and animals) in your house.  Line up your stuffed animals and count them too!  Sing the weather song, pretend you are doing calendar or make your own calendar.  Talk about your schedule for the day.  Sing the Spring song and the March Song! Here they are:
We can start practicing the April song soon.  Read a story to someone, and practice rhyming words.  Say your thankful poem and tell everyone what your are thankful for.  I am thankful for you!

There are many things we're thankful for,
You can find them near and far,
There are many things we're thankful for,
Here are some of what they are!

I will be adding more things today, but feel free to go through all of the days below and see what you might want to do or watch or try, or try again.  Have fun and be kind to each other.  I miss you!

Ms. Massey


Music and Movement:
30 minutes of Spring Music and Movement!

A link from Ms. Stein!
Sharing Photos!
Tony Cragg inspired Found Art Figures Challenge #1

Ezra and Aviv have been busy learning about plants!  Aviv will be ready for Roycemore soon!  :)

Math and Science:
Plant Life Cycle Video:

Bill Nye Plant Video:

See if you can cut out each stage in the life cycle of a plant and put them in order.  Print twice and you can cut them out to play a memory game.

Literacy/Read Aloud:


Spring/Growing Things!
Try this one today for a bit of exercise!  Lila and I are struggling to find fun activities to do that don't involve team sports!

Enjoy some pics from our Growing Things Theme!  How fun to have a Nana to plant with that works in a flower shop!  Lucky Isla.  We love the succulents and Pansies!

 Sanaya's Art Challenge!

Arlo's Indoor Flower Garden!

Have you found lots of letter "Ss" items?  We put letter "Cc" things in letter jail that make the "Ss" sound.  Ceiling, cement..

Monday: Remote Learning

We are continuing our "Growing Things" theme this week and practicing writing and finding things that begin with the letter "Ss".

If your child is interested in building their rainbow from home, they can color a rainbow and cut out each arch.  Beginning with the red one, and adding to until they reach violet, they can build their rainbow for each time they are showing you great listening skills, or being a kind friend, or helping you.  Charlie will send a message just for them, each time they build their entire rainbow.

Science, Math, Literacy:

If you are lucky enough to have some extra celery or some celery that is too wilted to eat, (or can find some leafy stalks of any kind) try this experiment to help the children learn the science of absorbing water and how the plant administers water throughout to keep it healthy and thriving.  I love using different colors to make a rainbow.

If you have vegetables that have the roots and top leaves still on them these are great to discuss the parts of a plant we eat, sometimes the root, sometimes the leaves, and sometimes both.
I love this story to introduce the idea of different parts of a plant and how we use them.

Tops and Bottoms

Fun facts about fruits and vegetables:

Have them guess and then explain the characteristics of a fruit vs. a vegetable.

I like to cook with them during this theme and use The Sneaky Chef cookbook to make delicious things with amazing ingredients hidden inside.  When they help with the cooking, the food always seems to taste better!  Brownies full of nutrients, and meatballs full of vegetables.

Make a list of "letter s" things, and also a list of "letter c" items that make the "Ss" sound.

Choose a math game to play together.  If you have cards, play a few games of "War" and have them tell you which card is higher.  It's fun and easy!  Have them identify the 6's vs. the 9's.

Write a letter to someone and ask them what their favorite vegetables and fruits are.  I would love see them learn to write the address and the return address, along with the correct placement of a stamp.  We can still practice social distancing by mailing letters and bringing back the art of handwritten correspondence.

Fine Motor:

Art Challenge #2 From Ms. Stein: (If any issues opening please let me know-so sorry, just lots to figure out best way) . Cut and paste this link into browser.

Try some guided drawings to create some Spring flowers!

It is snowing as I write this, and spend some time reflecting on the school year and the multiple tasks and activities I have yet to teach them.  Let's hope we are back in time to enjoy our ant farm or I will have to video that from home.

Make some play dough and create some flowers and other plants out of it.  Add some pumpkin spice to make it smell yummy, or cinnamon, or vanilla extract.  Let them help you measure the ingredients and talk about wet and dry ingredients and the difference in the measuring cups to use for each to get the exact amount.


This is our Spring Song we have been learning at school.  It's short but still might drive you a bit crazy.  :) .   Click on listen and go to Spring Song!  You can also listen to The March Song.  We sing these each day in our morning meeting.

Mrs. N:
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Reading/Music-Mrs. Dinelli:

Have a great day and I will check in tomorrow.

Missing you all!

Ms. Massey

Social Emotional:
(which should ALWAYS be first! :) )

P.S.  Dr. Glader says hello and asked us to pass this along.  She's our school Social Work Consultant and is simply wonderful and is here to help should you need her!  I think we all need her!

Hope you doing well. 
Can you please let the kids in your class know I am available to have a phone, FaceTime, or Skype session with any of them?

Gretchen Witte Glader, Ph.D.

School Social Work Consultant

More pics of your time away from Roycemore!  Keep em coming.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hi JK Parents, and hello to Arlo, Alicia, Carolyn, Claire, Ian, Sebastian, Kaden, Sanaya, Dean, Beatriz, Joaquin, Ethan, Ezra, Isla, Leon and Zach!

This is the most important thing I might write all day:
Please don't feel like you need to try to replicate 6 hours of school each day.  The kids are going to be great and are not going to be behind in any way.  They won't, I promise.  The 4 most important things you can do are as follows:

1. Read Aloud
2. Lunch w Learning (listen to podcasts-auditory learning away from a screen to allow their minds to paint the pictures)
3. Play Games
4. Spend time outside (even if it's cold and even if it's raining!)

Choice Activity Board

Here are a couple of videos from Mrs. Dinelli!  I have more to send just figuring out best way for all.

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Happy St. Patrick's Day/Week to you!  Welcome to remote learning Covid 19 Era, aka Corona Virus 2020.  We are an "ever rolling with it all" JK class of amazing children, and we will show you how in this crazy time away from our classroom we don't even miss a single beat.  Please continue to read on to see how much we are learning about growing things and plants, and the multiple people who are taking care of us as we "remote learn" in our home environments.

And....Happy Birthday to Alicia!!!  We are sad to miss getting to celebrate with you, but are sending happy birthday wishes to you.

Handwriting Without Tears practice at home-Letter "Rr"  

What a week.  I am still trying to understand this new surreal world and embrace the gift of time we have been given at home.  And, I will try not to eat my way through this month.  :) . The refrigerator needs to have a time release lock.  I am happy to have our JK family with whom to journey through this.

I loved seeing both pics and videos yesterday-and chatting with you throughout the day.  (I will limit videos just for space reasons but keep sending it all!) . Please feel free to send any suggestions about our remote learning and anything that would be helpful!  No pressure, just love seeing what you are doing and liking.  It's more difficult to differentiate learning when it's remote, as our add ons and classroom activities allow for individual attention and assessment, but am hoping you are able to access and modify all of the different resources to make it best for you. 

I am attaching a link from Ms. Stein for an art challenge (which she will be sending bi-weekly), a link from Ms. Hilda for a read aloud she will be posting each day, a song from Mrs. Dinelli (she is posting on her FB page so please find her there as well!), and a science experiment you can easily replicate at home with water, pepper and soap, and a video about plants.  It's a bit advanced (the video on plants) but I am hoping they/you will pull something from it.  Ask your children questions before the video about different plants.  Is grass a plant?  Is a tree a plant?  Is the seed for a tree huge?  Is an acorn a seed?  Let them know it's typically a Kindergarten Video but Ms. Massey said they are smart enough to learn something from it and tell you about it after!  And, she also said most JKers would get too wiggly to watch it but that your brains are so smart you would be able to sit through it since it's only the same amount of time as half of a Paw Patrol episode.  :) . 

After the video, ask your children what they learned and what they could teach you about plants.  I would love to create a KWL chart if we were in the classroom.  (K is what they already know, W stands for what they would like to learn, and L is what they learned after we have completed our study.) . Let me know what responses you receive or any particular areas of interest.  My favorite plant is a ficus tree or a tulip.  I wonder what their favorite plants are?     

We are so busy at school and have so many people contributing to their learning, it's a bit overwhelming to include everyone's now that it's all taking place outside of our school.  It's a great reminder of the incredibly enriching environment we have at Roycemore.

Madame's pre-school class website where you can find lots of songs for your child to sing along to-
Trotro-A favorite French cartoon-

Ms. Hilda Padlet Link:

Plant Video Link:

Art Link:

Experiment Link/Video-Ms. Massey
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Please feel free to send along results from your scavenger hunt, activities from yesterday, and any questions about our week.  Be sure to have them take time out to write and draw.  And if you haven't tried Star Wars Yoga, it's a great physical break!  

Ask your child if they would rather have 20 fingers or 20 toes and why.  I love our question of the day on our morning message to prompt conversation.  I miss hearing their creative ideas.  

Log in to download this, or find another one that works for you!  I always search on PreK or Kinder and click "free" to start my search.  Thanks for being patient as I forget that I am logged into all of these as you need to be to download.

Math & Science:
I loved the experiment with pepper, water, soap and a finger.  It's a great visual to remind us how easy it is to repel germs with simple soap.

I saw some great counting and categorizing from you and enjoyed seeing the Math games you played together this week.

There is no magic book or lesson that teaches children to read, but the combination of speech with symbols and pictures and communicating, and learning that those symbols stand for sounds, and put together they create words and words tell stories.  The Dr. Seuss books we have been reading and checking out from the library are wonderful with all of the CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words.  These are easy to sound out and unlike many sight words they follow the rules we have learned about letter sounds.

Continue to listen and watch the Zoo Phonics videos while doing the animal motions and making the sounds.  I add the long vowel sounds as well since the videos only make the short vowel sound.  The kids all know this, and will add them now themselves.  Read with them, and look for blends and digraphs (so combined letters to make a sound, like "ch" or "sh".  Or "ing").  This will help their fluency as they are reading.  Talk about the beginning, middle and end of stories and the characters.  Some of you have been asking about purchasing our RAZ (Reading A-Z) Books and the BOB books.  I like keeping these special for school reading because it seems once they are available at home they lose their magic of reading groups at school.  Any reading that you do is great and practicing on sounding out/decoding each word and not guessing is important.  Holding an actual book and turning pages is important.  For now, the public libraries are open.  These are the reading strategies we use at school.  Some are also working on the "rules" of words, ie if the word ends in an "e", the vowel sound is long as in "cone".  This is still a big concept for 4-5 year olds regardless of their reading level.
reading strategies

Work on writing and illustrating books that have characters and give those characters meaning by talking about what qualities make them nice or fun or interesting.  This is fun for them and makes me laugh.  Ask them if they would be friends with these characters.  Use the purple/green book to write a story.  Make it appealing by giving the front cover the most colorful illustration and write what the title will be and your name.  You are the author and the illustrator!

Should we all meet up online for a chat this next week?  I would love to see and hear from you all.

Zoo Phonics have been fun for you to all dance to.  "Who Let the Letters Out" remains a favorite.  Thanks to Mrs. Dinelli for her fun songs and finger plays.  Sing the "March Song" or ask your children to sing all of the months of the year songs we have learned.  They love the Weather Song too.

Happy Primary Day as well.

We can take a virtual vote and tally the results.  We typically talk about voting and vote on our favorite animal at this time.  Feel free to send results and I will post.

Have a lovely day!

Ms. Massey

Monday, March 16, 2020

Hi JK Parents!

Well what a week!  I will begin tomorrow with our remote learning, but here is a summary of our past week in JK.

500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins was so funny and the pictures still scare me like they did when I was little.  We read another favorite of mine, The King's Stilts.  These longer books with more complicated plots and characters hold their interest and help build their ability to focus and engage for longer periods of time as we near the last part of JK.  I have spoken with some of you but please feel free to visit our library when we are back, and look for series and chapter books to read together.  You will find many series at public library too, until then.  Lila loved "The Magic Treehouse" Series and many others I read to her.  It helped hook her into the love of reading.  Now she's lost in Percy Jackson world never to return.  :) . I miss the days of Beverly Cleary.  Sigh.

Fine Motor:
We completed March self portraits.  They are my favorite so far!  We are building quite an art portfolio for you to take home at the end of the year!

We have been reading about the circus and admiring Dr. Seuss's creative imagination, and how he made the characters so endearing and cute!  My dog, Charlie, has the "Grinch Feet" with long fur on his paws.  They all have a similar fluffy dog like appeal.

They all practiced scissor skills while coloring and cutting shamrocks for our Leprechaun Trap!  Team work was amazing on this project, as they all worked together to make it beautiful to attract that sneaky leprechaun.  (We had to move this up in a hurry so thanks so much to Mrs. Dinelli for making that happen in my absence Friday!).

Social Studies/Literacy:
We celebrated the colorful holiday of Holi and made tshirts with paint and stencils.  The children completed a color by number sheet too and loved hearing a story about Holi.  Thanks so much to Sanaya's mom for the fun activity and sharing this with JK!

We had a visitor, Madeline from 4th grade!  She came to Irish Dance for St. Patty's Day celebration.  What talent and how sweet of her to share with us.

We visited the Kindergarten room to find out what Kindergarten will be like!  The children had K buddies who showed them around the room, centers, toys, library etc.  They were all happy to be together.

We wrote rhyming books and illustrated them, using Dr. Seuss as our guide.  I loved that they drew Trufula Trees!  We learned some interesting facts about Dr. Seuss, and talked about his being the author and illustrator.

The children practiced writing Qq's, remembering to begin with "magic C" for lower case "q".

Math & Science:
We had a cup challenge using Dr. Seuss red and white hat bottoms and worked to build the tallest tower.  Arlo holds the record of 8 cups!  Ethan came up with a new way to stack them that provided a better base and structure, and they all aligned them carefully.  They love challenges as a class!  It was a fun beginning to our day.

Their handwriting is impressive with them concentrating on the upper and lower case letter scale.  They will slip a bit over the summer with more time outside where they should be! be sure to encourage their writing centers and sending letters or creating pictures etc.

We talked about Bartholamew Cubbins and his 500 hats and how many sets of 10 and 100 add up to make 500.  It's nice to make bigger comparisons with real numbers and not "make believe" numbers.  I love to hear all of their estimations when we begin carefully considering amounts.

The children learned about hand washing and invisible bacteria!  We practiced different strategies to wash all of the bacteria off and stay healthy.

Continue to practice rhyming with all of the Dr. Seuss books.  They are fun to read and full of CVC words, popcorn words, and fun characters to engage children as they are decoding and rhyming, memorizing and loving reading.

More to come tomorrow with lots of information about our remote learning.  I'm excited to engage in a new way and ride this wave of crazy with you all. 

Ms. Massey