Michelle Whelan » WELCOME TO MRS. WHELAN'S KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM!

WELCOME TO MRS. WHELAN'S KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM!


 
Mrs. Whelan
 
 Kindergarten Teacher
*B.A. Elementary  Education-University of Nebraska
*Masters of Education-Concordia University
*33rd year of teaching
*Kindergarten teacher in Deerfield#109 for 25 years
*Married 33 years to husband Michael
*Proud mother of two sons:
:Mitchell junior in college
:Miles 12th grade Carmel
*Hobbies include:  biking, walking, swimming, traveling and spending time with family
 
I am so excited to be teaching at St Francis de Sales!

Sign-Ups are under Construction and not ready to be used yet.  Thanks for your patience.( ALSO PENDING COVID GUIDELINES:)
 
    
Please sign up for Guest Reader! 2021-2022
We're using SignUp.com (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming SignUps.
 
 
Please sign up for Guest Reader Sign-Up 2018-19! 

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: 

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on SignUp.com:  https://signup.com/go/oPVQsVz
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on SignUp.com) 
3. Sign up! Choose your spots - SignUp.com will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy! 

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.
 
 
Book Titles can be found at the library, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Thanks!
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.
 
 
Please sign up for ROOM HELPERS! 
 
 
We're using SignUp.com (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming SignUps.
 
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:
 
1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.com: https://signup.com/go/uStpHhz
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
 
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.
 
 
 
 

Please sign up for WRITER's WORKSHOP!
 
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: 
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on SignUp.com:  https://signup.com/go/JVFEiMe
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on SignUp.com) 
3. Sign up! Choose your spots - SignUp.com will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy! 

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

 
 
 
 
Special Classes & Recess
Kindergartners attend special classes according to the table below.  Please have them wear Uniform and  gym shoes on PE days.   
        
 Mondays Art
   Tuesdays  P.E. and Music
Wednesdays Art
 Thursdays Spanish and Tech 
 Fridays P.E. and Library
 
 
Weather permitting, kindergartners go outside for recess every day.  Please help them be ready by sending boots, snow pants, hats, and mittens when needed.  Also practice zipping zippers and tying shoes at home; children who can do these things for themselves have more time to play. Please have all items labeled with your child's name. 
 
 
Water, Snack, & Lunch 
Please stock your child's backpack every day with these refreshments: 
  • a full bottle of fresh water (to be re-filled in the afternoon, if necessary).
  • a morning snack of fresh or dried fruits and/or vegetables only (NO canned fruits  or pickles); this should be packed separately from the lunchbox for easy retrieval.
  • a healthful lunch that your child can manage as independently as possible (including a drink, since kindergartners' water bottles stay in their classroom).
 
Things to Keep at School
Each kindergartner should have a full change of clothes to store in the classroom.  Please pack these items in a large ziploc bag, and send them to school.   Students also need to send in a large t-shirt or paint smock. ALSO on the first day of each week, kindergartners should bring a clean beach towel or blanket to use during read-aloud/relaxation time.   Towels/blankets will be sent home at the end of the week, to be laundered and returned to school the following week.
 
 
 
 
School Absences
If your child is sick or unable to attend school, please call the school office and report the absence to our school nurse. Planned absences require the submission of a special form that can be picked up from the office.  According to school policy, homework will not be distributed in advance of a planned absence but can be sent home after the child's return.
 
 
Parent-Teacher Communication
Mrs. Whelan is best reached by email: mwhelan@stfrancislz.org and strives to respond within 24 hours.  Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions and insights about your child.  Formal communication about your child's learning progress includes the following:
  • Parents-teacher conferences:  Watch your email for how to schedule.
  • Progress reports posted in January and June.
 
IMPORTANT:  Anytime your child will leave school in a different way from usual, please send a written note to school with your child that morning.  It will be added to the Dismissal Chart for the day.  Parents are encouraged to avoid making changes in the middle of the school day, but last-minute changes are sometimes unavoidable.  For occasional last-minute changes in how your child will leave school, please call the school office or send a remind message.  Mrs. Whelan is busy working with children during the school day and may not get a last-minute email or voice message in time.
 
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Seesaw
Seesaw is an online journal service, designed for schools.  Each kindergartner will have their own journal.  Mrs. Whelan and your child will periodically add entries from school, such as photos, videos, drawings, and notes.  Parents will be able to create an account for viewing their own child's journal entries from a personal electronic device.
 
 
 
Homework in Kindergarten
Practice makes progress!  Homework in Kindergarten helps provide skill practice and contributes to learning success.
  • Reading: Sight Words (a.k.a. High Frequency Words) are words that appear frequently in text and often defy decoding strategies.  Memorizing them contributes greatly to reading fluency.  Sight word baggies will be prepared in class on a regular basis and sent home for flash card style practice.  You also can help your child learn our Kindergarten sight words by using the ideas on our "Sight Word Practice Activities" listed at the very bottom of this page.  An optional monthly reading log is also provided to build excitement about reading. 
     
  • Projects: Occasional projects will be assigned with adequate time to be completed at home and returned to school.
 
 
Remind Text Message:
  • Text messages: Please sign-up by using your smart phone.  If you choose to receive these emails, please text the number: @b46af4
    In the message space, please type: rmd.at/
 
 
Here are two free options to choose from:
 
Birthdays in Kindergarten
Birthdays are special in Kindergarten, and we enjoy celebrating them as follows.
1) The birthday child receives a crown, a pencil, duckie and a card from Mrs. Whelan.  He or she stands and the entire  class can sing "Happy Birthday" to him or her.
2) The child may bring a small inexpensive non-food gift for each member of the class, if parents choose.
3) While parents are not able to visit on birthdays, we do take a photo of the child and post it on Seesaw.
4) If your child's birthday falls during summer vacation, we will celebrate on or near the half-birthday or in the month of May.    
 
 
Star of the Week
Each student will be assigned a week to be our special "Star of the Week".  We enjoy learning about each of our kindergarten Friends! Ahead of time, your child will receive an "All About Me" poster to complete and bring to school on Monday of their special week.  On Monday or Tuesday, Mrs. Whelan will help your child present his or her poster to the class.  On Friday , your child may bring items for show-and-tell . All items will be sent back home .   On Friday, your child will receive a    small bag of  prizes/gifts from Mrs. Whelan.
 
 
Parent Volunteers/ALL THESE ACTIVITIES ARE PENDING WAITING TO SEE COVID GUIDELINES:
Parent volunteers make a difference in Kindergarten!  
  • Guest Readers bring a pre-selected book to class  and write questions to ask the  students about the story.  This will check for  comprehension and understanding of the story.   Sign up will be sent soon on a Google Document.
  • Field Trip Chaperones supervise small groups of students during field trips, and on the bus to and from.  Indicate your interest on Curriculum Night.
  • Writer's Workshop  help students use their emerging reading and writing skills to express their ideas. This will occur at the beginning of the day  on Mondays.  Watch for an email invitation in October!
  • Class Room Helpers will help with  Centers .
 
 
 
Scholastic Reading Club
We participate in the Scholastic Reading Club to help families find compelling books to read with their kindergartners at home.  Scholastic also rewards our classroom with additional books when we make purchases.  Book Orders will also be sent home monthly.  Participation is not required but if you are interested, please visit Scholastic Reading Club at any time or wait for the monthly flier to be sent home (copy and paste this Activation Code: LB6XL )
 
 
Sight Word Practice Activities:
Sight Words (a.k.a. High Frequency Words) are words that appear frequently in text and often defy decoding strategies.  Memorizing them contributes greatly to reading fluency.  Help your child learn our sight words with the following suggestions:
 
 
Looking for other ways to practice sight words?  Check out these fun ideas...
 
1) Word Ladder (for one player and a helper): Choose 15 sight words and write each on an index card.  On poster board or a large piece of paper, draw a 12-step ladder.  Give your child something to use as a game token.  Turn over cards one at at a time.  For each word he or she reads correctly, your child can move their token one step up the ladder.  Victory is reaching the top (after reading 12 of the words)!
 
2) Concentration (for two or more players):  Pick 15 words.  Write each word on two cards for a total of 30 cards.  Turn these over in an array and take turns flipping two cards at a time and trying to make a match.  Be sure to read each word as you go.  When all the cards are taken, the player with the most wins!
 
3) Bingo (for two or more players) :  Choose 24 sight words and write each on an index card.  On paper or card stock, create a Bingo card with a 5 x 5 array for each player.  Write the word FREE in the center square.  Write one of the selected sight words in each of the remaining boxes.  Be sure to vary the location of the words from card to card.  Cut out plenty of squares from colored paper to use as markers.  Use the deck of index cards to call out one word at a time.  Each player covers that word on their card.  The first player to cover 5 boxes in a row wins!
 
4) Zip Words (for one player and a helper): Speedy readers who can "zip" through their words is the goal of this one!  Draw a 2-column chart on a piece of paper.  Label one column ZIP and the other UNZIP.  Make a set of flash cards with as few as 8 or as many as 30 of the sight words taught so far (or use your child's Sight Word baggies).  Take out a word, and let your child see it for one second.  Hide it or turn it over and ask your child to tell you what the word was. If your child tells you the word, it goes in the ZIP pile.  If not, it goes in the UNZIP pile. When all the words have been shown, tally the number in each pile and record these in the appropriate columns.  Play a few more times, challenging your child to increase the ZIP number.  Keep the chart, and play again a day or two later.  Watch as the numbers on the ZIP side grow!  
 
5) Oh No! (for two or more players):  Write all sight words on small pieces of paper (or use words from Sight Word baggies).  Add several pieces of paper that say "Oh no!"  Stuff all of these in an empty tissue box.  Set a timer for 3 minutes.  Take turns pulling out a word.  If you can read it, keep it. If you get an "Oh no!", your stash goes back in the box.  Whoever has the most words when the timer goes off wins!