February 24, 2018

Readers Workshop: Introduction to Non-Fiction Illustrators

BIG IDEA: Non-fiction texts, illustrators, features, purpose

Students learned:

*we call the title of a non-fiction book a TOPIC

*illustrators teach us something new with FACTS

*illustrators use features to catch our attention (cut-aways, diagrams, etc)

*illustrators are sometimes called photographers in non-fiction because they use so many real pictures to teach the reader something new


BIG IDEA:  Finished Unit 3 and took the assessment.

We will also be taking a mid-year assessment soon to see if your child has been retaining all the information taught so far in the school year.  We will be taking the written portion on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The individual oral assessment will vary as students need to taken one on one.

We started taking time tests to check for addition and subtraction fluency.   Kids are shown their time test before they take the next one.  Their goal is to get more correct than they did the last time.  If they got all ten correct, they have to try to get all ten correct again.

Big Idea: Becoming NON-FICTION writers

Students learned….

* how to use a chart to plan their writing before starting a book

*non-fiction writers label IMPORTANT details only

*non-fiction stories can use features (zooming in, labels, captions)

*non-fiction stories have an ending

*non-fiction stories are longer (4 facts and an ending page)

*non-fiction illustrations must be NEAT and DETAILED to help the learner learn

*the difference between a fact and an opinion.

*opinions often have secret words to let you know they are opinions (I think, best, worst)

*non-fiction writers have to teach their reader something using details.

The expectation is that students know 25 words by March to be considered “on-grade-level” and 38-60 by the end of the year. However, the more words students know, the easier navigating books independently, will be. Please know that many of these words are words that your child has already been exposed to and already knows.

Please click on the Sight Word page at the top of our blog for the entire list

Homework is ALWAYS sent home on Thursday and is due the following Wednesday.

Please make sure to have your child

*Write his/her FIRST and LAST name at the top….tall letters tall/small letters small

*Write with a pencil so he/she can fix an errors that might be made

*Fix errors so he/she can grow as a learner

*Write NEATLY and do BEST work

Monday 3/12, Wednesday 3/14, Thursday 3/15: Parent Teacher Conferences- Kindergarten report cards will go home with parents at conferences.

If you have not already signed up for a conference, please do so by Wednesday. Remember 1 slot per FAMILY. If parents are separated, please make arrangements so both parents can attend. 


Please make sure you are reading the assigned chapters on the correct evenings.  We are having lots of fun discussing the question of the day at school the next morning.

Alward Carnival Saturday, March 24th


Class Baskets for Carnival! The PTC will be collecting donations for the class baskets drawings at the carnival! More details will be coming home soon from the PTC, but for now, you can start thinking of ideas of things to go with your class basket theme!

Our class basket theme: Super Heroes


Please help your child take care of their book. If a book is damaged or lost, they will need to pay for a replacement BEFORE they are allowed to borrow another. All books are due back on Monday.


Here is a link to last week’s newsletter for specials and other info:K News 2:22:18-29eeisk





Happy Valentine’s Day!

THANK YOU to all the wonderful parents who organized and created activities for our Valentine’s Party today!  We played LOTS of Minute to Win It games (Valentine versions of course).  We made a super cute Valentine chomper and a really big Valentine card for Mrs. LePard for crafts.  We also had a yummy snack, part healthy/part sweet!  YUM!

Here are pictures of kids and helpers having a fantastic time together!



Kids are beginning to receive prizes/trinkets for turning in Jump Rope for Heart Donations.  While these trinkets are a GREAT motivator to get kids excited to collect donations, the are a HUGE distraction to learning and getting ready to learn in the morning.

PLEASE DO NOT attach them to back packs.

PLEASE DO NOT send them on lanyards necklaces.

PLEASE DO NOT send them to school at all


Please DO…keep at home

ALSO……other stuff

PLEASE  DO NOT send McDonald’s toys or anything hooked to back packs

PLEASE DO NOT have your child wear necklaces, watches, jewelry

We have plenty of toys and tools at school.  We don’t need any extras from home (unless requested by the teacher).    I realize that some of your children may not appreciate this rule, but life does have disappointments too.  Thank you for your help and understanding with this matter.

January 19, 2018

Order Forms for One Book, One School are due Friday, 1/26!

Dear Alward Families,

We are proud to present a unique opportunity to our students and families. Over the coming weeks, we will ALL be invited to participate in One School, One Book. Our school community will be reading a book which will be revealed on February 21.

What is it? In short, all families and staff will be given a copy of the same book. A reading schedule will be sent home to guide your family as you read the book from February 21-March 9. Everyone will also be given a bookmark schedule. Daily events here at school will have students discussing the book, including a kick-off reveal celebration, daily trivia questions, and school-wide celebration at the end.

What does this mean for me as a parent? Our school is asking (regardless if your child is a Pre-kindergartner or a fifth grader) that you read every word out loud as a family. For a few short weeks we will ask you to make reading this book an extra special nightly event in your home. What a chance for you to love literature together!

Why? Readtothem.org shares that, “The benefits of reading aloud are remarkable! Studies have shown that reading to children helps them to listen better and longer, build better vocabularies, understand concepts better, feel positive about both books and learning, and more. When an entire school reads the same book, the buzz and excitement around the book being read increases these benefits, and there is the added joy of building community in the school family.” This is not to mention the added benefit of spending real quality time with your children while promoting the benefits of reading and school! The big question!

How can a fifth grader and pre-kindergartner read the same book? The simple truth –they can’t all read it – but if it is read to them, they can all enjoy a good story.

Sincerely, Mrs. McClure

BIG IDEA:  Story Parts

*stories have titles, authors, and illustrators

*stories have characters  (people, animals, and/or objects)

*stories have settings (where the story takes place)

*stories have events  (beginning, middle, and end….we call it the plot)

*stories have problems and solutions

*we can retell a story by remembering all these parts

BIG IDEA:  Teen numbers and Number Partners

*I can read and write teen numbers.

*I can make/draw teen numbers using a tens group and extra ones.

*I can add number partners using my fingers or a dot picture.


BIG IDEA:   small moment story –  I write it independently.

*This is a story about me.

*It  is real and true, and has already happened to me.

*I can write my story with an introduction. (characters and setting)

*I can write my story with a beginning, middle, and an end.

*I can stretch my words and write the sounds I hear.

This week we were able to take the new sight word list and organize it into smaller manageable lists. Students will be given a word list, once they master the 8 words on that list, they will be handed the following list. Students will have these words posted in the classroom, will work on them with parapros, and will have words at their desk to review. However, it will be very important that students practice at home.

The expectation is that students know 25 words by March to be considered “on-grade-level” and 38-60 by the end of the year. However, the more words students know, the easier it is to navigate books independently. Please know that many of these words are words that your child has already been exposed to and already knows.

Here are the lists.  The eight words are set up left to right….top row week 1 (last week)…second row is week 2 (this week)

a           the          it          is          I          can          see          go

to         we           at         look      am      are          in            for

they     on           you      all         of         and        like         he

said     no           she       this      big        that       not         his

her      will        come     me      him       up         down     was

with     my        do          play      yes       some     have     one

two      what     out        there     your     be       but        had

as         each      get         from     find      them    many    where


One Hundred Day Project!

We will be celebrating the 100th day of school on Wednesday, February 7th! First, we will celebrate by displaying pictures of us when we are 100 years old on the bulletin board! I have attached a picture frame for our “When we are 100 years old!” board. Please help your Kindergartener create a picture of what they think they will look like when they are 100 years old!  You are welcome to draw, create with construction paper, use photos, etc. Have fun and be creative.  Please DO NOT allow students to grab a crayon and draw a quick picture. Please have this be a chest up portrait, not a full body! These will be displayed in the hallway. The portraits are due Friday, February 2nd.

Winter Gear

Please make sure winter gear is labeled.  Kindergartners are a forgetful bunch and they are leaving LOTS of winter wear on the floor.  Please make sure to label so we know who it belongs to.  We also have several kids who have the same mittens (Head brand).  It is important to label.

The weather is also going to affecting winter gear.  Please make sure to send it all!  Our playground is messy, sloppy, and muddy!  Winter gear helps keep your child clean too!    Many of you did not send back a winter “change of clothes” for your child, as so if they get muddy, we will be calling you to come with a change of clothes.

There will be NO SCHOOL on Monday, February 5 and Tuesday, February 6.

Happens the Friday before Winter Break.  Students will be dismiss at 12:15 PM on Friday, February 2

Please remember to email me if your child needs a sack lunch for the day and what kind of milk he/she would prefer.

Valentine’s Party

We will have our party on Wednesday, February 14 from 2:00-3:00 PM.  Thank you to the parents who have volunteered to help.  We have plenty of volunteers.

Valentine Cards

We will be exchanging Valentine Cards with our classmates.  Please send in by Monday, February 12.  That will give kids time to pass them out.  Please make sure your cards are CARDS ONLY….avoid treats, pencils, stickers, tattoos.  These often fall off and get lost…..I would LOVE to avoid  hurt feelings on this special day.  Just click the “Class List” at the top of the blog for kids names.

Make sure your child does the writing on the card to practice his/her printing skills.

Make sure they write neatly, so they can read the names on the card.

Do a few at a time (if needed).  Spread it out over the week….five a night!


Here is a link to last week’s newletter for special’s and other info:K News 1:18:18-2mu43k3


A very BIG thank you goes out to all of the AMAZING parents who came in, helped with the party, and interacted with the kids.  They LOVED having you here and I appreciate everything you did to make today special for them.  Here are some pictures of our celebration today.


Here is a video of the kids singing “Jingle Bells”……hope it works, as I am not a tech whiz!





Make sure to practice dressing in winter gear over vacation.  Kids need to be independent dressers here at school.  A great way to practice is to set a timer and make it a game.  Can you beat the timer?  Or use a stop watch and record how long it takes him/her.   Can you beat the time?

Some of your children are growing quickly and things are getting tight and tricky to put on and zip.  Please watch your child get dressed in his/her gear to check on this.



Make sure to keep your child reading over Christmas break.  We often see kids lose skills they have learned because they are out of routine.  Reading is the BEST thing you can do to keep your child in learning mode.  It also gives you some one-on-one time.  A chance to sit and sustain.  A time to chat/talk about the story and make connections to themselves.  Please try to spend more time with books, than with screens this holiday vacation.  It makes a HUGE difference!  Thank you!


We will have library on Monday, January 8.

If it helps….stick that library book in your child’s backpack tonight!  That way you will already be ready for Monday!


Wishing your family a safe and relaxing holiday season!

School resumes on Monday, January 8.




Oh the weather outside is frightful…..unless of course you like to play in the snow!

Winter Gear

Please make sure to label all winter gear with your child’s name.  We have a lot of black snowpants and they are getting mixed up when kids are taking them off in the hallway.


Please send shoes to school each day.  It is important that your child wear SHOES he/she CAN DO INDEPENDENTLY!  If your child hasn’t learned to tie laces, please send him/her with velcro or slip-on shoes instead.

Change of Clothes

Your child’s extra change of clothes was sent home on Friday.  Please return the bag with clothing that is more appropriate for the season and return it to school ASAP.  We do have more accidents in the winter as kids get busy playing and forget to listen to their bodies.


We had 10 kids (out of 23…some absent) not bring back their library books today.  We have library every Monday.  Please find a system that works for your family so we can get library books returned on time.


Alward Elementary

Santa Shop


It’s that time of year again!  Alward’s Santa Shop will take place December 12 and 14 in the library of school.  Gifts range in price from $1 to $5. Please send your child to school with their shopping money in an  envelope, as well as the list on the back of this form filled out, on their designated shopping day (see list below). Cash or checks are accepted but should be made out to Alward PTC.  Gifts will be wrapped and sent home that day with the students.  We have gifts for kids through adults (there may be some pet items, but supplies will be limited). Shopping time for each student is approximately 5-7 minutes each so please limit the amount of people on their shopping list to allow for that time frame.

We go on Thursday!



All book gifts need to be turned in by Wednesday, December 20th!    We are learning about the spirit of giving and being thankful!


We will be having a special “dress with Holiday Spirit” the week of December 18-22.

    • Monday the 18th: Baby It’s Cold Outside-Wear warm hats, beanies, and scarves

    • Tuesday the 19th: Candy Cane Lane-Dress in Red and White

    • Wednesday the 20th: Ugly Sweater Wednesday

    • Thursday the 21st: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch-Dress up as a Who or other character from the Grinch

    • Friday the 22nd: Long Winter’s Nap-Wear cozy pj’s


Here is the link to last week’s newsletter for specials, important dates, and what we’ve learned.

K News 12:7:17-12s689d

December 1, 2017

Can you believe it is December already….where has the time gone!  Lots of exciting things are happening this month for our class!


Tuesday, December 5th at Fellowship Church

Doors Open @ 5:45

K-2 Concert- 6:30

3-5 Concert- 7:30

A note was sent home with detailed information about the concert.  Doors open at 5:45pm.  You are not allowed to save seats for others, so make plans to meet there at a certain time.  Students need to be dropped off to me (Mrs. LePard) at 6:15….not before.  Remember we are “borrowing” the church for the evening, so kids need to be parent monitored and reminded to use their quiet voices and walking feet.


A book exchange note was sent home along with Scholastic flyers.  If you are ordering from Scholastic for this gift exchange, please make sure to do so by December 8.  I will be placing the order that evening so books arrive in time for the exchange.  Remember to wrap books and put on a tag.  Boys write TO: A BOY….Girls write TO: A GIRL.  Remember to have your child write their name by the word FROM:…so we can thank the right person for the book.

Due December 8.

Please make sure winter gear is labeled with your child’s name.  I am teaching the kids to put mittens in hats, and hats in sleeves so they don’t get lost in the locker…but some are still throwing things in so it is important that they are labeled.

Also, please make sure to wash winter gear weekly, as kids cough and wipe their noses on mittens/gloves/coat sleeves at recess time.  Washing helps get rid of those germs.  YUCK!

Here is the link to this week’s newsletter:

K News 11:30:17-1jbt1ec

It has next week’s specials, save the dates, and what we learned this past week.

It also reminds you that HOMEWORK  is due on or before WEDNESDAY!

November 17, 2017


Students learned:

*What the setting of the story is

*We read “popcorn” words quickly

*How to look at the picture clue (Eagle Eye) to help figure out how to read words

*How to use the picture clue with the first letter (Lips the Fish) of the word to help us read the words correctly.

*We stretch out the sounds (Stretchy Snake) to read the words

We are writing “like a scientist.”  This week we wrote about turkeys.  We due pictures accurately, stretched our labels, and practiced writing using 5-Star writing in our sentences.

5-Star Writing

*capital at the beginning

*spaces between words

*sentences make sense

*print “the school way”

*correct punctuation at the end

We finished up learning to write the numbers 6-10 “the school way”.  Use your practice sheet you received at conferences to help your child remember to print them correctly.

We also worked with our 2-D shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle) and reviewed the attributes for each shape.

Words We Practiced












This Week’s Words




Homework is due on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21 due to Thanksgiving break!

Please remember to have your child use a pencil, write neatly, and fix errors before returning to school.  We need to practice correctly so that correct answers stick in our brains.


Friday, December 1


For Christmas this year, our class will be doing a holiday book exchange.  I will send home more details right after Thanksgiving.  Please do not purchase anything until you get the note.

I will be sending home the December magazines at the end of November.  This will give us time for delivery in case you want to purchase books for gifts.


*Update: Please start sending hats and gloves daily! Only send snow pants and snow boots if there is a lot of snow on the ground. It is time to start practicing putting on snow gear at home. Please remind children how to….

  • Put pants on first
  • Put on jackets
  • Put on boots

When taking winter gear off, students are told to….

  • Put your mittens in your hat
  • Put your hat in your sleeves
  • Put your coat on the hook

Please remember to LABEL all winter gear with your child’s name.  Please practice dressing and zipping at home as we expect students to be independent at dressing in winter gear.  Please remind your child NOT to share winter gear with friends….we have had some issues with lice at Alward school already, and I would LOVE to keep them out of our classroom and your children’s hair.


Tuesday, December 5th at Fellowship Church

Doors Open @ 5:45

K-2 Concert- 6:30

3-5 Concert- 7:30

*More details to come


Here is a link to this week’s newsletter for specials and other information:

K News 11:16:17-1q4shv1




We had a SPOOKTACULAR party today!  Thank you to all the wonderful parents who helped create the games, crafts, and snacks for our party!  We played ghost bowling and pumpkin golf.  We made Halloween mask and jack-o-lantern smiles.  We ate spiders, mummy and vampire teeth, and drank some slimy juice.  A great time was had by all!  Here are some photos  of our spooktacular celebration!