A Week in review: March 18-22

So at the Arnold house we are all into the March madness basketball tournament and having loads of fun with it, and I think in school as well we have hit a bit of March madness! We have been working so hard trying to get as much done as possible, as well as fighting some illnesses, but we are almost there! Spring break is just around the corner. I encourage you to help your child finish this upcoming week strong!

Also, I wanted to let you know that I thought your children did an incredible job at our music program on Tuesday evening. Their joy and enthusiasm is so contagious!

Thank you all for your effort to have them there on time and looking AMAZING!!

Important Dates:

  • March 27: March is Reading: Beach day *dress in bright colors or beachy clothes (no    swimsuits)
  • March 29-April 7: Spring Break
  • April 26: Field trip to Critter Barn-more information coming in the days ahead


 Bible: This week we concluded our study of the miracles of Jesus, learning about Jesus walking on water, feeding the 5,000 and raising Lazarus to life. I love the discussions we have during our Bible time. The theme with the miracles of Jesus has been a discussion of how amazing our God is! With a God like this we know that we never have to fear what may come!

Word Wall Word: who-we also talked about how the “wh” makes a different sound than just a ‘w.”

Daily 5: We were able to do 6 rounds of Daily 5 this week! We are all becoming better readers and are continuing to learn to use context to help us figure out words we don’t know. We also took a brief break from writing books during our Daily 5 to writing words we saw around the room! The kids did a great job with this!

Phonics: we added –ad to our list of word families and we also listened to words and divided them up to hear the first phonological sound and the string of letters that make the final sound (onset and rime). For instance c –at or  c –ake , then we practiced writing them on our white boards.

Math: This week we have totally focused on our teen numbers. We are working on grasping the idea that the 1 at the beginning of the teen numbers stands for 10!

Writing Workshop: We are continuing to learn about small moment stories and some of their characteristics. Ask your child about my example (hint: Treyton made a really big mess in my kitchen!) We then thought of messes we made and talked with a partner about ideas for our own stories. Next week we will begin the writing process!

Up in Lights: This week Sam DePoy was up in lights. Sam’s mom came and shared about him and his whole family was able to join him for lunch. Sam’s favorite colors are blue and yellow and his favorite song is Hail to the Victors. Mrs. Arnold had a little bit of a hard time with that 😉  Sam has a great sense of humor and we are so blessed to have him in our class!

Afternoons: We were able to enjoy quiet time, playtime, art and recess as well as math centers and Daily 5. One afternoon we also helped the 4th graders with their survey for their annual Market Day!

Week in review: February 25-March 1

It’s hard to believe that it is March already! It was nice to have a full five day week and have the students back with a more consistent schedule. I am so excited to see all of the growth that has occurred in your children since the beginning of the year and am looking forward to talking to many of you during conferences. Please look carefully at this week’s letter as there are a lot of fun things coming in the days ahead!

Important Dates:

  • March 5: Optional Parent Teacher Conference
  • March 6: March is Reading: Waldo at Night *Wear pajamas and bring a flashlight
  • March 13: March is Reading: Waldo goes to the Game *wear sports gear
  • March 14: Chapel with artist-illustrator Joel Tanis-more information below
  • March 19: Elementary music program-more information below-7:30
  • March 20: March is Reading: wear stripes like Waldo!
  • March 27: March is Reading: Beach day *dress in bright colors or beachy clothes (no swimsuits)
  • March 29-April 7: Spring Break

A Few Additional Reminders:

Big and exciting news: We will be welcoming a new student, Daisy, to our class on Monday!

On March 14 we will be having chapel at 11:00 in the media center with Michigan artist-illustrator Joel Tanis. We will be selling Dan and Joel’s book, Lulu and the Long Walk. A form should have come home on Friday if you are interested in purchasing the book. If you can’t find the form please let me know and I will get you another. The following is some information about how this idea started:

My name is Jill Koning and I am a ZCS mom with kids in 4th, 2nd and preschool. I had an idea that I wanted to pass onto you both for a chapel at ZCS perhaps in March or when it would work for you. My husband and I recently joined a committee for Blood:Water Mission in the Holland area. Blood:WaterMission helps African organizations to address their water HIV/AIDS issues in their communities (bloodwater.org). As a committee we are wanting to raise awareness and support in the Holland area. Joel Schoon- Tanis, a local artist, is also on this committee and has a passion for this mission. He is going into several local schools in March (reading month) to not only promote reading but more importantly to speak about using our gifts to help others. He illustrated a book called Lulu and the Long Walk” by the lead singer of Jars of Clay, Dan Haseltine, who is one of the co-founders of Blood:Water Mission. They are selling the book and 100% of the money raised will go to helping communities in Africa. Joel would love to return to our school and speak about loving and serving others through our gifts and perhaps draw a bit too. We would love to send home a note to the parents with the opportunity to purchase the book ($20) and all the money will go directly to Blood:Water to those in need of clean water.

On March 19 we will have the opportunity to take part in the Spring Elementary Music program. This is new for the kindergarten classes this year. The following information is from our music teacher Ms. Kristin Baron:

Our Spring Elementary Music Program is quickly approaching! Mark your calendars for Tuesday evening, March 19, at Community Reformed Church in Zeeland. Two short performances will be held: K/1/2nd grades at 6:15pm, and 3/4/5th grades at 7:15pm. Families who do not have students at both levels do not need to stay for both events as there will be transition time. More details to come!


Bible: This week we began our study of the miracles of Jesus. We started with learning about His first miracle, turning the water into wine. We talked about how amazing it is that OUR GOD can perform miracles and He still does to this day!
I also introduced our new Bible verse Luke 7:22b:

“The Blind will receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor.”

Word Wall Word: on

Daily 5: This week we continued to meet in groups with me as well as working on writing, reading to self, reading to someone, listening to reading and word work. Everyone should have one new book in their book bag to practice reading over the weekend. My hope is that very soon we will be able to do additional rounds of Daily 5 and each student will be able to bring two books home.

Phonics: This week we listened to the book, “A my name is Alice” and the students thought of words that began with the first letter of their name. They then practiced writing them and drew pictures to match!

Math: This week we worked on counting on from 5 and drawing circles in a ten frame format to represent numbers.

Writing Workshop: We made pattern books all on our own this week and most of us reached 4 pages! We also learned about surprise endings and added some fun last pages to our books!

Handwriting: This week we worked on uppercase J

Interactive Read Aloud: This week we read the book, A Chair for my Mother, and learned what a flashback is in a story. We also talked about flashbacks in our lives.

Up In Lights: This week Leah Russcher was Up In Lights. Her mom came to share about her and all three of her sisters ate lunch with her! Leah is such a joy to have in class and her smile is the best! We are so glad you are in our class Leah!

Afternoons: This week we continued to enjoy art, play time, quiet time, and also were able to write a class book about 100 day and attend our kick off to reading month chapel!

A week in review: February 19-22

I am so looking forward to this next week and thinking that we may have 5 days! It has been a long time. I feel like this week went well and that things went well with the substitute for the two days I was gone. It was very exciting watching my daughter swim but I missed all the kids and am so looking forward to Monday!

Important Dates:

  • February 26: 100 Day
  • February 28: No PM Elementary Bus
  • March 1: No PM bussing
  • March 5: Optional Parent Teacher Conferences

A Few Additional Reminders:

100th Day is this Tuesday and I can hardly believe it has finally arrived! We will be doing lots of fun activities that day to celebrate the number 100! One thing we will be doing is dressing up like super heroes! Mr. McAboy will be dressing up like Zero the Hero that day and surprising us in our room as well! Please feel free to use anything you have at your home to make your child into a super hero, be creative and have fun! Do not stress about this as all of your children are super heroes already! We just want this to be a fun day for the kids!

March 5 is Optional Parent Teacher Conferences please email by Thursday, February 28 to let me know what you would like to focus on during our conferences-social, emotional, or academic. Thank you in advance!

Just a reminder that library is on Wednesdays. Lately we have been missing quite a few books and library just isn’t as fun when we can’t get new books!


Bible: This week we studied the Lord’s Prayer and made a little book to remind us of it. This coming week we will begin studying about the miracles of Jesus.

Word Wall Word: my

Daily 5: This week the students should each have one new book in their bag. We also added a different activity to our word work portion of Daily 5, putting three letter words together in consonant vowel consonant format. Please continue to practice their word wall words and blending cards and as always keep reading with them!

Phonics: This week we worked on listening to words in consonant vowel consonant format and tried to figure out the beginning, middle and end sounds. We also played a little game to reinforce our knowledge of syllables.

Math: We worked on learning different ways to make ten by grouping 10 crayons into different amounts and then making math equations.

Writing: We are continuing to write pattern books. This week we specifically talked about where to finish your sentence when you run out of room at the end of a line. (return sweep)

Engaging God’s World: We are continuing our study of motion. This week we used different sizes and shapes of balls and experimented with how they moved and what affected that movement. We are continuing to learn new positional words as we study as well; words such as under, over, behind etc.

Handwriting: I and T

Up In Lights: This week Ellie Dekker was Up in Lights. Her mom and dad came and shared about her and her sisters also came to have lunch with her. Ellie has a smile that lights up our classroom and we are so blessed she is a part of our class!

Up In Lights: Last week the Up in Lights portion of my newsletter somehow got deleted so I wanted to share about Dylan Stewart as well! His mom came to share about him and then his dad brought him lunch along with his two brothers! Dylan’s fun spirit is an amazing part of our class and we are so blessed to have him as well!

Afternoons: This week we were able to get back into a bit more normal pattern with our afternoons including Daily 5, math centers, art, recess, quiet time and play time. It is so nice to have our entire class all day on Tuesday and Thursday!!!

A week in review: January 14-18

Kindergarten Days!

It has been another busy and productive week in our kindergarten classroom! We are truly back into the swing of things after Christmas break! We are continuing to work hard while also learning to be good friends and classmates, another very important part of kindergarten! Here are just a few reminders for you. I sent the towels home today to be washed if you could please send them back on Monday. Also library books need to come back on Wednesday for your child to be able to check a new book out. Lastly, I have noticed this week that many students run out of food by our last snack and then they want to share. I am trying to avoid that as there are so many illnesses going around right now. If at all possible throw something extra in your child’s lunch just in case. Thank you in advance for your help with this!

Important Dates:

  • January 21: In service day for all teachers, NO SCHOOL for students
  • January 24: All School Chapel with Cleo Kennedy
  • January 28: Field Trip to For the Kidz gymnastics
  • February 13: 100th Day more details coming soon
  • February 14: Valentine’s Party more details coming soon
  • February 15-18: No school Winter Break

A Few Additional Reminders:

Our Field Trip is scheduled for January 28 at For the Kidz gymnastics in Wyoming MI. I believe I have received all my permission slips already, way to go parents! Also, if you signed up to drive please make sure that the office has a copy of both your driver’s license and your proof of insurance before we leave or you will not be able to drive any children. I will also be sending home driver’s guidelines for those who are driving us which need to be signed and returned! Thank you for your willingness to drive and your help in this regard. One other matter of importance is we are in need of car seats so if at all possible if you drive your child to school could you please bring a car seat in for them on that morning or even the day before. That would help us immensely! I am so looking forward to this field trip and I am sure the kids will love it!

We have only ten bugs to go in our class incentive jar! When we reach our goal we will be having an indoor picnic. I would like to do a “class fruit salad” for this if you would be willing to contribute some of your child’s favorite fruit please let me know!

One final reminder, there is No School on January 21 as there is a professional development day for the teachers.


Bible: This week we started full swing into our study of the ministry and life of Jesus here on earth. We learned about how Jesus chose 12 disciples and how they picked up everything to follow Him. We also discussed how we are His disciples now and how we can point others to Him by the way we live.

Word Wall Word: and (keep practicing a, at, and, am, go, here, I, is, look, like, me, see the, up, we)

Daily 5: Each child was able to add a new book to their bag this week. Enjoy reading this with them and make sure to send their bag in on Tuesday. In the next few weeks I’m hoping to add some cards with sight words to their bag as well as some cards that will have dots under each letter so they can learn to say each sound slowly and then slide them together to say the word. We will be practicing them at school so they will be able to show you how they work! I am very excited about this!

Phonics: We continued to work on ending sounds this week by playing a game where we matched the ending sound to a letter on the game board.

Math: This week we noticed patterns when we subtracted one. It is simply counting backwards one number. We then talked about how when you add one the pattern just becomes one more. We are continuing to work on simple addition and subtraction with manipulatives. Finally, we learned about a triangle and talked about different things we see that are triangles.

Writing Workshop: Last week we started working on creating pattern books and we will be continuing that over the next several weeks. A pattern book is a book where each page starts with a phrase such as “I like..” or “I see..”. Right now we are simply writing one page on our own but my goal is for them to be able to write a four page book. This week we specifically worked on “finger spaces” between our words as we write.

Engaging God’s World: Gravity was our focus this week. We had so much fun throwing or dropping different sizes and shapes of different items, including a feather, weighted balls, light balls, tissues, paper and pretend block bricks. We learned about the effect gravity has on everything on earth and how whatever we drop always goes down. It was very interesting to see their reactions as they saw the feather and tissue took the longest to drop. Our discussion was amazing and I think we have a lot of mini scientists in our class!

Interactive Read Aloud: We read The Mitten by Jan Brett and sewed a mitten of our own. We learned about sequencing and then retelling the story by putting the animals into the mitten.

Up in Lights: This week Sawyer Ipema was Up in Lights. Sawyer’s mom and siblings came to share about him and his dad came and had lunch with him. We loved looking through his favorite book about dinosaurs and learning from him some of their names. We are so very happy that Sawyer is a part of our class!!

Afternoons: This week we were able to do math centers as well as learn about feelings and that it is ok to be sad or worried or homesick or even to not know how you feel. We also learned that it is ok if your feelings aren’t the same as your friends. We are working on being understanding of the feelings of those around us. In addition we enjoyed our regular play time, quiet time, snack, recess and art!

A week in review: December 17-21

Happy New Year!

I hope that this letter finds you rested and relaxed after the holiday season.  My prayer is that you all enjoyed some wonderful time with your family and friends as you celebrated Christmas.  It was a great time in the Arnold house but we are all ready for a normal schedule again! It seems like yesterday we had our last day of school but it has already been two weeks! We had such a great week before Christmas including our chapel which was enjoyed by everyone! Also thanks again to Kristin Tubergan and all who helped and donated to make our Christmas party a success! It was so fun to watch the kids enjoying the celebration! Thank you too to the large number of parents who came to cheer us on at the Jingle Jog. What a great way to raise money for our sister school in the Philippines! Now get ready 2019, here we come!

Important Dates:

  • January 18: End of the semester
  • January 21: In service day for teachers, NO SCHOOL for students
  • January 28: Gymnastics trip to For the Kidz

A Few Additional Reminders:

Thursday Afternoons-On January 10 all students will begin to attend on Thursday afternoons. If you want to add any additional afternoons please let me know at this time! I am looking forward to having two afternoons with the entire class!

New incentive-After finishing filling our bucket of bears and having our pajama day we are now starting a new behavioral incentive! I have decided that we will be putting 25 “bugs” in a jar, since often our picnics are invaded by little creatures! J Once we reach 25 bugs (we already have 5) I will be bringing in some big blankets and some picnic food on top of whatever your child eats for lunch! It will be a fun and unique experience to all eat “picnic style” together!

Here is a link to a Sign up Genius for lunch helpers through May. Thank you in advance for your help!

Please continue to practice putting on Snow Clothes at home! This allows us to make the most of our time in the classroom! Thank you!

Our next Field trip is scheduled for January 28 at For the Kidz, a gymnastics center located in Wyoming, Mi.  Here is a link to a Sign up Genius for volunteers for this as well.  It will be a morning field trip and more details will follow soon.


Bible: We finished up our unit on the birth of Jesus, one of my favorites as well as the students, and now moving to Jesus’ ministry here on earth.

Word Wall Word: here

Daily 5: I was able to meet with most of the students this week and hand out some new books.  My goal is to be able to meet with each student twice a week as we will now all be here on both Tuesday and Thursday afternoons! When you practice reading at home with your child please make sure to emphasize with them how important it is to point to the words as they say them as this will help them when the word and books begin to get harder! I’m hoping to begin assessing their knowledge of letters and sounds this week to see how far they have come!

Phonics: We learned this week about first and last words in a sentence. We made a fun list of some of our favorite foods to practice this!

Interactive Read Aloud: We read an all time favorite this week, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, and practiced our prediction skills!

Up in Lights: Ailie Bouwkamp was Up in Lights! Ailie’s mom, dad and sister joined us on Thursday and shared about her as well as joined her for lunch! It was fun getting to know a bit more about her! She is such a fun part of our class with her smile and fun sense of humor! Ailie we are so glad you are in our class!!!

Afternoons: This was an especially fun week because we had Christmas singing with K-5th grade with Mr. Meyer.  We were also able to do some gingerbread graphing! We graphed which part of the gingerbread man we ate first.  The majority of our class bit the head off first! We also enjoyed our usual play time and quiet time as well as recess, snack and art!

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!