A week in review: November 12 – 16, 2018

Thanksgiving Week

This past week was an incredible one in Kindergarten; I feel as if we are all adjusting to this transition very well and the kids are so eager to learn!

As I am stepping into this new role I am trying a few different things. One thing you may hear about is our bucket of bears. This is an incentive for the kids to transition quickly and quietly. When they do a great job I put a bear in the bucket. When they receive 25 bears they will be rewarded with a pajama day in which they may also bring a small stuffed animal or small pillow. We have also started a tally mark “game” where I receive a tally for calling someone by the wrong name (which is made a bit harder because there are twins in the class!) After 20 tallies the kids will receive a small treat. Your children seem to respond well to these types of incentives and we can also use the incentives for opportunities for us to practice counting by fives and counting on!

I am looking forward to this coming week and the wonderful holiday that it brings; so very thankful for all the love and support I have received from you and for the opportunity to teach your amazing children! God is good!


  • November 20: All school chapel (9am)
  • November 20: Friends-giving Celebration(see below)
  • November 21-23: Thanksgiving vacation

A Few Additional Reminders:

Friends-giving Celebration: Please remember to send in 20 bite sized pieces of your child’s favorite food on Tuesday morning. I welcome you to be as creative or simple as you wish. Please send the food in pre-cut and ready to eat. If it is a food that should be eaten warm you could send it in a thermos or a glass container. Thanks for helping us celebrate Thanksgiving together.

School wide Thanksgiving Donations: We will be supporting Parkview Home and Harvest Stand Ministries this Thanksgiving season. Household items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, shampoo, toilet paper, paper plates and cleaning supplies may be dropped off in the hallway during the next week.

Nativity Project: In December we will begin our Nativity project. Please bring in a shoe box with your child’s name on it and at least 6 toilet paper tubes inside of it by Wednesday, November 28. I will be sending a sign up genius out soon for help in class making the characters as well as the material needed for them.

Volunteers: If you have signed up to volunteer this week and haven’t talked with me please let me know. I think I have touched base with everyone for this week. I will still need my Tuesday lunch volunteer as we will be continuing to have our grade level meetings on Tuesday at noon! I am hoping to have a bit more clarity with this after the holiday. Thank you for your patience!


Bible: This week we continued our stories on Abraham and Isaac. We were also able to say our Bible verse, Genesis 8:22. There were a few who were gone when we said this who will get a chance to do it this week.

Word Wall Word/Morning Work: we

Handwriting: Z,C and O

Daily 5 (Read to Self/Work on Writing/Listen to Reading): We were able to do two rounds of Daily 5 in a row for the first time this week. We continue to listen to reading, work on writing and labeling, read to self and work in groups with me. Their stamina is continuing to grow and I am hoping to introduce the last two parts(read to someone and word work) of Daily 5 this week! In December we will use our work on writing time to write Christmas cards, if you want to cut the fronts off of any cards you receive the kids love to write on those like they are postcards! Please send them in anytime!

Writing workshop: We are continuing to work on labeling both as we write and with extra activities.

Interactive Read Aloud: This week we read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey and practiced predicting what might happen next. We also tried blueberries afterwards and I found out that many of my kindergarten friends don’t like blueberries!

Exploring God’s World: This week we continued learning about God’s earth. We predicted whether or not the earth was more water or land and then played a fun game to figure it out! We passed an inflatable globe around and charted where our fingers landed. It was so fun to see their reactions as we found out there is definitely more water!

Math: This week we took a test like older kids would do! We spread out around the room as I guided each question. The kids did amazing and I am thrilled with their knowledge from the last unit!

Afternoons: We are working on a daily routine for the afternoons. Mondays and Wednesdays we will be doing math centers and Tuesdays and Thursdays we will be doing literacy activities. This week we made a class Thanksgiving book of things each student was thankful for. The books we make as a class are some of their favorites to read! We have also continued grocery store during play time as well as art center which is a favorite! If you have any extra beads at your house feel free to send them in they love making bracelets and necklaces!

A week in review: November 5 – 9 2018


As I’ve been reflecting over this past week I think a good place to start this letter is  2 Corinthians 12:10, “Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake:for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  Sometimes I believe we need to walk through difficult times, as the ZCS community has done this past week, to experience the amazing strength that God provides.  I want you to know that although this situation is not ideal I am so happy to be able to have the opportunity to step in and teach your children for the rest of the year.  I believe God in his providence led me here for this moment.  A little background for those of you who don’t know me well; 10 years ago my husband and I had our fourth child, shortly after his birth we found out he was born with a form of Down syndrome.  So to make a long story short we ended up finding this beautiful community known as ZCS.

I have been involved with the school as a substitute teacher, a long-term sub, and an aide in this classroom.  I absolutely love your children and will do everything in my power to make sure that they don’t miss a beat and this transition goes as smoothly as possible.  I ask for your prayers and support as these first few weeks will be a lot of learning and adapting until we settle into our new “normal.”


I would like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about who I am. I grew up in Hudsonville, MI, which is where I currently live and earned my degree in education from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids.  I have been married 25 years to my high school sweetheart (a child bride🙂) and have four children.  We attend Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville.  Our oldest daughter, Bailey, is a senior at MSU majoring in dietetics. Our second daughter, Taylor, is a sophomore at MSU and majoring in special education as well as a part of the MSU swim team.  Our third daughter, Lindyn, is in eighth grade at Jenison Jr. High and is involved in choir, orchestra and play productions. Our fourth child, Treyton, is in third grade here at ZCS and has his three sisters wrapped around his little finger! My hobbies include running, sometimes marathons, and I am an avid sports fan.  My favorite teams are the Denver Broncos, the Detroit Tigers and MSU everything.  If there is an MSU football or basketball game you will usually find me there with my girls, as well as, of course, watching Taylor and the MSU swim team!  I also love to shop and bake; with three girls there a lot of opportunities for both!!! I hope this helps you feel like you know me a bit better and please ask me any questions, I love to talk!

Important Dates

  • November 20: All school chapel (9am)
  • November 20: Friends-giving Celebration (see below)
  • November 21-23: Thanksgiving Vacation

Thoughts for Today

  • I know that Kaleigh had volunteers sign up for things through December and I am thinking I will probably be able to use most of you.  For this coming week however I will NOT need any of the volunteers.  Thank you for your understanding with this as I’m working to get the curriculum flowing again and working through some minor kinks.  Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions. My new email is larnold@zcs.org  Please email me at this address from now on as this is what I will be checking! Thank you!
  • One change this week….we will be having library in the afternoon on Wednesday instead of the morning due to a scheduling conflict.
  • I would like you to know in advance that I will be gone on Friday November 16.  This is something that has been on my schedule since August.  Taylor has two big swim meets that I have been planning on attending. One such meet is this weekend at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and the other key meet I plan on attending is the B1G Championships in February at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. I already have a substitute for Friday and I will talk to your kids about it this week.  Please make sure they understand that I am not leaving. I will only be gone for one day.  My heart is torn on this one but I know the college years are fleeting for my daughter.  Thank you so much for your understanding on this.
  • On November 20 we are going to have a Friends-giving celebration together. I would love for you to send in 20 BITE SIZE PIECES of your child’s favorite food. We will then each get to try and enjoy your classmates very favorite food. I welcome you to be as creative or simple as you wish. Please send the food in pre-cut and ready to eat. If it’s a food that should be eaten warm you could send it in a thermos or glass container. Thanks for helping us celebrate Thanksgiving together.
  • PLEASE continue to check your child’s hair for lice. Also, continue to put your child’s coats, sweatshirts, hats, and gloves in the dryer for 30 minutes on high to help prevent the spread of lice. I sent home the towels again today for a 30 minute dryer ride. 🙂 If you notice lice on your child, please contact me or the school office immediately. I know it’s not fun and sometimes embarrassing, but we are here to help and support you!
  • 🙂Many of your parents turned in their Gifts of Being Grand pages during Grandparents Day. If you need another copy of the form please click here.  I would love these by the end of November. Thank you for helping to create a lifetime memory for your child.


I will normally go through and tell you subject by subject exactly what we did but with the craziness of this week I am going to condense it a bit.

We were able to get in Daily 5, math-practicing counting and writing numbers, writing workshop which included labeling, we also learned about the first Thanksgiving and why we celebrate it along with making Oreo turkeys. Our word wall word this week was we. Finally in handwriting we did the letters X and Y.


Please do your best to follow these guidelines as it makes our transition to going outside much easier!

Ready or not (I’m never fully ready) I think that time of the year is quickly approaching! A few notes about snow gear that will make things run a lot smoother in our classroom:

  • Please clearly label all of your child’s gear- this includes boots! A tip- sometimes hand-me-downs have a label with a different name. Please cross it out and write your child’s name. 🙂
  • Please send the gear in a reusable bag like the ones we use for towels.
  • I will work hard to make sure the bag goes home every night. Please check to make sure gear is dry by the morning. This might mean throwing it in the dryer. (Hey, it’s good lice prevention too!)
  • We do our best to keep our wet/dirty boots outside of our classroom where we often sit on the floor. (Wet buns are not fun!) I will mark a place in the hallway– one for each child- where your child may take off and neatly place his/her boots.
  • Before school students may go outside without snow pants- it really isn’t that long of a recess. Snow pants are required for all other recesses. 
  • I will take your lead on what you would like your child to wear on the bus ride home. Just let me know!
  • It is SO helpful if you encourage your child to at least try to independently take their gear on and off. Practice, practice, practice! I love to help kindergartners zip their coats, but our goal is to encourage independence by the end of the first few weeks.

Thank you for your help as we make the transition to colder weather together!

Thank You!

I appreciate all of the love and support you have already shown to me this week (and treats!). I am looking forward to the remainder of this school year.