Teacher:  Mrs. Colleen Middlemiss
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Co-Teacher:  Mrs. Cathy McLoughlin
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Welcome to Kindergarten! We are “Beary” glad to meet you!

The theme throughout classroom and the year is bears. There are bears everywhere! Mr. Bear (the classroom bear) has a mystery item or items in his basket each day. The children are detectives and have to try to figure out what Mr. Bear wants us to learn about for that day. Mr. Bear’s basket might even contain a few surprises for the children.

The kindergarten class involves an interactive approach to learning skills and concepts. Technology is utilized throughout the curriculum through the use of a smartboard, computers and Ipads.  Many manipulatives and real life examples are used in the classroom, as well. Our lessons each day vary between whole group and small group instruction.  By utilizing the small groups, we are better able to meet the various needs and learning styles in the classroom. The children are encouraged to explore the world around them and to be proud of their accomplishments. We are an active classroom where each child’s voice is heard. The class motto — always try your best — helps each child to feel proud of what they are capable of doing.  We also foster our school motto — choose kindness first and make good choices.

Here is some information about the programs used in the classroom:

Check out the monthly newsletter page to see the many interesting topics being discussed in the classroom.

Reading:  The reading program used is the Superkids reading program. Within this program, the children are recognizing each letter, the sound associated with the letter, writing the letter, and reading sight words.

Math:  The math program used is Eureka math.  Within this program our math lessons utilize the smartboard as well as many hands on activities to learn skills and concepts. Some of the skills we work on are recognizing numbers to 100, comparing numbers, 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, and addition and subtraction.

Science and Social Studies:  Our science and social  lessons are based on monthly themes.  We incorporate the use of the scholastic magazines Science Spin and Let’s Find Out into the curriculum as well.  Our themes are Farming, Christopher Columbus, The Pilgrims, Native Americans, Needs and Wants, Weather and Seasons, Presidents, Kings and Queens, The Five Senses, Recycling, Plants, and Colonial America.

Religion:  To help us explore our relationship with God and Jesus, we use various bible stories.  We are involved in morning prayer exercises with the school and also say prayers for snack and lunch time.

Guided Reading:  The children work in small groups during this time, based on their skills and abilities. The children are working on reading skills at their current ability level, including recognizing and reading sight words and reading a book at their reading level.

Writers Workshop:  The children work in small groups during this time.  We work on learning to express ourselves though both drawings and writing.  Each month a piece of work is saved in our writing portfolio, which is then saved and passed on to be filled until the child graduates from eighth grade.  Some of the topics we work on are:  personal narratives, acrostic poems, informational writing, procedural writing, and opinions.

S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math):  This is a collaboration program with our first grade class.  The children work in mixed ability groups each Friday afternoon, completing various activities based on the monthly topic.  We incorporate the use of quality literature or a scholastic magazine to introduce the topic. Guest speakers and or field trips are also incorporated into the program to enhance the skills and topics. The topics are:  apples, Native Americans, the Gingerbread Man, weather, dental health, Easter candy, recycling and plants.

Picturing Writing:  Three times a year the children use this dynamic program to create a book.  The program fosters literacy through art and is a progression of literature, art and writing experiences designed to teach the key elements of writing to students.  The lessons incorporate reading quality picture books that support the focus of the day.  The three main topics that our class books will focus on are:

-Time of Day — Sunset, Twilight, Night, Dawn

-Who Am I? — Animal Book on Penguins, including a description of the animal and an acrostic poem

-My Year in Kindergarten – Sequencing book about the beginning, middle and end of the year

If interested in learning more about our kindergarten program and the school, please come for a tour of Bishop Dunn on a Touring Tuesday or to the Open House on a Sunday in January.