Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Note From Ms. Swick

Hello! I would like to introduce myself. If you haven’t already heard, I am the new student teacher in Mrs. Koch’s classroom. I am looking forward to having a wonderful few months getting to know the students and Mrs. Koch’s classroom. I feel very lucky to have this placement.
            I started last January as a post-baccalaureate student at Union Institute and University. Once a month I have been traveling to Brattleboro to meet with faculty and students from the program to discuss all the reading and writing we have completed. It was great to return back to school. I wanted to be a teacher as a young child (both my parents were teachers), but I wasn’t ready as an undergrad student. I “wanted to see the world before I taught others about it” as I like to put it. My B.A. in Anthropology is from the University of New Hampshire. I completed a couple years of AmeriCorps, plus some other volunteer work in various places, much of which involved working with young people. I was also a recruiter for internships for college students for the SCA before having my daughter in 2010. For the past couple years, I’ve done childcare at home.

            My experiences vary and now I look forward to learning the ins and outs of teaching as much as I can in the coming weeks. Thanks to Susan Koch, your children, and Union Elementary, I know I will learn in a great environment. Feel free to ask me any questions. I look forward to meeting most of you this winter/spring. Additionally, I will be taking pictures and videos for my licensing portfolio, which will be seen by my faculty. If you prefer to not have your student’s pictures used, please let me know. And of course, all information is confidential. Thank you.

Special ECO trip to North Branch Nature Center

The kindergarten classes will be going to the North Branch Nature Center on Thursday, January 29th for a day of winter fun! We will be using GMTA transportation and going in two groups, one group in the morning and one in the afternoon (see below for when your kindergartener will be going).  Students must dress appropriately for a day in snow.
Here are some images from the trip to NBNC last year:

In order to have a successful day, we will need parent volunteers to help with activities.  Due to the limited number of seats on the bus, volunteers will need to meet us at North Branch Nature Center by car.  Please let us know if you can help!

The Kindergarten Team

Group 1- Ms. Closter, Mrs. Bates,and half of Mrs. Koch’s class:
Evelyn, Elizabeth, Mason, Brody, Erika, Zane, Devontay
Leave UES at 9:00 am- return to UES 11:00 am (leave NBNC at 10:45)

Group 2- Mrs. Wrigley, Mrs. Dostie, and half of Mrs. Koch’s class
Ayden, Liam, Anna, Amanda, Irebe, Thea,Lucia

Leave UES at 12:15 pm- return to UES at 2:15 pm (leave NBNC at 2:00)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin's Big Words

We read this wonderful book about Martin Luther King Jr. We had a comicated and interesting discussion about the work of Dr. King, and our ongoing daily efforts to ensure that all people are treated fairly.

We also looked closely at the beautiful spectrum of skin colors in our classroom.
We then watched a lvideo highlighting the life of Martin Lurher King Jr.
Please feel free to view the video through this link:

Mrs. Francke is our School Counselor

Mrs. Francke visits our class each week to share social stories, and to help students practice social skills and strategies. Lessons so far have included: being a " bucket filler", personal space, and " tattling vs warning". We are really enjoying these times with our school counselor.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Puzzling Together

We spent some time this afternoon working cooperatively to complete a puzzle.Each student got a puzzle piece to examine carefully.  Kids helped each other with hints about corners, and edge pieces. Features of "the Starry Night" were also discussed in the group. I overheard" I think this is a swirly star". " this has dark colors and widow lights, so it must go with the village." This  must be part of the Cyprus tree."I see the moon." Tomorrow we will be finishing up kindergarten versions in the style of Vincent Van Gogh.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year

I am excited to return to our classroom tomorrow, and can't wait to see all of the kindergarten smiles again. I spent some time organizing our classroom with my daughter. We set up a classroom post office for dramatic play time. If you have any extra stationary supplies, envelopes, stamps or materials that might be used, please send them in!

We also set up a corner table for reading groups to meet. We will be starting to meet in small groups to set reading goals, and to review strategies.

Reading table

Helper extraodanaire!

A Chilly Fire Drill

Fire drills in the winter are mandatory, and create opportunities for creative ways to stay warm. These friends snuggled under my scarf to stay warm together!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

December ECO fun!

We had a perfect day for ECO with fresh snow, warm temps, and tons of adult helpers. YAY! Kids got to explore the different ways that animals get ready for winter. They tracked deer, slid like river otters, traveled like birds, built snow caves like grouse, and stored seeds like squirrels, chipmunks and other small critters.




Many thanks to Onion River Sports and Kip for their donation of a hammock, to ensure that everyone can enjoy outdoor classroom days.Thanks to our PE teacher MJ for facilitating the hammock acquisition.
 It was our first day to try the hammock, and it
was really fun!! 

Maria, Ryan, Gavin, Jose, Katie Swick, and Mike were able to join us for the entire afternoon. Many thanks! We hope you can join us again!

A Special Story Time

We had a visit from Amanda's grandma, known fondly as Jo-Jo. She read a special story, THe Polar Express, to the class, and also gave each kindergarten kid their own bell. One student pulled me aside and asked if she was actually Mrs. Claus…. thanks so much for the lovely story time, at a hectic time of year!

Sally the Super Reader Visits!

We were lucky to have a visit from Sally the Super Reader in December. She passed out special badges for all kindergarten kids who were practicing their super reader strategies. She  shared her cape, asked about the super reader strategies that kids used and spent some time reading with kids at Reading Workshop. Sally  was wowed by the kindergarten readers in our classroom.


Thanks for the visit Sally!