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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gobble, gobble!

This past Tuesday was very busy in room 123!
The students had just learned how to draw a cartoon turkey on Monday and were very excited to apply their newly found artistic skills to some fun, fall crafts. Throughout the morning, students rotated through different stations and created awesome owls, thankful turkeys, edible rakes, and a word family coloring page.

During science, we discussed how some things were made when the pilgrims first came to America and the students learned how to make their very own butter. It was a labor intensive process and each student helped to vigorously shake our butter jar, watching in amazement as the cream and salt turned into a clump of butter before their eyes. Of course, we had to taste it and nearly all the students thought it was absolutely fantastic.

We finished our day by inviting our parents and grandparents to join us for some delicious pumpkin pie. Though the air conveniently decided to turn off when everyone arrived, the room was warm with smiles and laughter, which made the heat a little more bearable!

A HUGE thanks goes out to all the families who helped to make our day a success by sending in supplies, helping out with crafts, and joining us for a time of thankfulness.

I hope each of you has a fantastic holiday, enjoying time with family and friends. Remember, school is closed from Nov. 27 - Dec. 2 and will resume on Tuesday, December 3.

You can see more pictures from our fabulous day by clicking on the link below:  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Falling into Learning

This year is flying by at record pace and we have been very busy over the past month. From pumpkin decorating to pajama day to our first field trip at Diamond D Ranch, this fall season has been packed with a variety of fun learning experiences.

A huge thanks goes out to Mrs. Kennedy for taking the time to help our class create the most beautiful and sparkly pumpkin fish for the pumpkin decorating contest. Though there were many fantastic pumpkins on display, none were quite as happy or eye catching as our very own Bright Stanley!

We learned a lot about the importance of keeping our bodies healthy and saying no to drugs and other bad things that could harm us. The school participated in a variety of fun activities to help us remember to say "no" and make smart choices. Our favorite was pajama and silly sock day. We couldn't resist getting a little silly during our group picture! What a great looking bunch of students.

Diamond D Ranch was a great experience for the students. Though Mrs. Callejas was unable to make it, the class had a great time feeding cows, riding horses, attempting the barrel ride, and learning all about the ranch. Our fabulous substitute, Mrs. Foster, will send us pictures soon so we can share our adventure with you.

As we continue to "fall" into learning this season, please continue to work with your child at home. Your daily support of our classroom activities will further ensure the success of your child! We continue to introduce new sight words each week and sometimes, students will forget or mix up words when they do not practice enough. Please make it a part of your home routine to read books (and log them in the agenda), practice sight words, and find ways to count and recognize numbers. You can also have your child practice these concepts using learning websites like and learning videos like Leap Frog's Talking Words Factory. Thanks for all you do to help these students be their best!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Super Scientists!

The students have been learning all about their five senses and the many ways in which we use our senses to explore and observe the world around us. We recently started learning about science tools that can help us as we make observations and take part in exploration. During this lab, students were asked to look at different materials and pick the one they thought would be best to use when cleaning up a liquid mess. They had to answer the question, "which material will absorb water the best?". The students made predictions and then worked with partners to explore pieces of aluminum foil, wax paper, and paper towel using water droppers and observing how each material reacted with the water. Our conclusion? Wax paper and aluminum foil would only spread the mess around. Paper towels are the best choice because they absorb liquids better than foil and wax paper!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Magnificent Math!

Our kindergarten days are packed with all kinds of fun activities and learning. One of the highlights for the students is our math workshop time, especially our math stations. Each week, the students rotate through a variety of learning games and get to work with their table partners to become magnificent mathematicians!
This week, the students explored these stations:

  • Playdough
  • Number Cards

Students will practice forming numbers.  Students will choose a color of playdough, pick a number card, and practice forming that number with their playdough. Then they can practice creating small balls of playdough to match their number.
  • Dice
  • Counting Bears
  • Number Cards
Students will roll dice and create matching sets of objects. Students will practice joining groups by rolling a dice (numbered 1-3) two times and creating a matching set of objects each time. Then they will join the groups together and count the objects in the new group.
  • Math Cut & Paste Shapes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
Students will work to correctly sort and count shapes. The students will cut out hexagons and ovals, sort them into the correct groups, count how many there are of each, and write the matching number.
  • Math Manipulatives
  • Work Mats
Students will continue to explore math manipulatives. Students may choose from the math shelves the manipulatives they wish to explore.
  • Variety of Buttons
  • Envision Topic 1.5
  • Crayons
Students will work to correctly count groups of objects. The students will use buttons as counters and match them to the picture groups on their pages. After counting each group carefully, they will draw circles and color in the correct number of 5 frame spaces to match.

You can play many of these same games at home to help your child continue to master their numbers and become experts at counting, sorting, and adding. Check out these rock stars hard at work!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rituals and Routines!

The first month of school has passed and with it a whirlwind of new information and ideas! One of the most important things your child is learning is how to be a successful student. In class we discuss our rituals and routines until the students understand exactly what to do and when to do it. This enables them to have the best working environment, the friendliest interactions with their peers, and the most respectful discussions with their teachers.
Thank you for continuing to support your child's education by being involved in their school behavior and encouraging them to abide by the classroom rituals and routines. Your support is helping to mold your child into rock star student!
Our administrative staff often come around to make classroom visits and the students have a great opportunity to show our principals what wonderful kindergarteners they are! Mrs. Lewis visited our room and took some snapshots of the students as they participated in some of our class time rituals. Check out this great class of learners!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Much to do in week two!

It is amazing to see the transformations already taking place in this year's wonderful group of students after only two weeks of school. We are continuing to learn and practice our classroom rituals and routines. Some of the students have already become experts and are now helping their friends understand what to do as well!

Today the students participated in a special Reading Kick Off event where we learned the importance of following the rules as well as discussing our reading goals for the year. Champ was there to rock out with us as well as several teachers from our rocking NBE staff. What a fun way for the students to learn that Readers are Leaders!

Please remember to check agendas daily and to sign and return the blue Tuesday Folder the following day. Homework goes home each Monday and is collected from the agendas every Friday. There is no school on Monday, September 2, for Labor Day. Enjoy your long weekend!

* We received information that the code of conduct books are going to be accessible online this year, rather than in printed form (though you may request a printed copy if you need one). Please look in this week's Tuesday folder for information about how to access the online version.*

Friday, August 23, 2013

Week one, already done!

This first week of school has zipped right by! Our class has 20 wonderful students who are learning so much about how to be responsible kindergarteners and how to have fun while still following the rules. Please take some time to talk with your child and have him or her share our classroom rules with you. The more they talk about them at home, the more likely they are to remember them at school.
We began practicing our color coded behavior chart this week as well. Starting Monday, the students' behavior will be recorded from the chart daily and will make up a percentage of their conduct grade.

I have great first day and first week pictures that I can't wait to post on our classroom blog. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for our code of conduct books which have the technology permission slips. As soon as we get those in, I will send them home to be signed and we can start showing you just how much fun we are having in this rock star class!

Thank you to everyone who has sent in supplies, offered to help out in the classroom, and continues to check and sign the agenda daily. You are a rocking support team! :-)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Welcome to Kindergarten!

Hello and welcome to my classroom blog! I hope each of you had a fantastic summer.

It's hard to believe that another school year is already beginning. Your children are going to set out on a journey that will forever change who they are. From practicing in the classroom to rocking out on life's big stage, your children will learn that they can follow their dreams to become anything they want to be. We will take risks, work hard, try new things, and (of course), have fun!  :-)

See you soon!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ready for 1st Grade!

The last day of school has finally arrived and with it, mixed emotions of excitement and sadness for all of us. Our class has formed a strong bond and we will miss each other a lot. Yet the promise of summer and the uncharted waters of first grade keep the anticipation bubbling in all of the students. I hope each one of you has enjoyed your kindergarten experience, whether as a student, parent, or grandparent! I appreciate all of the support you have provided over the past year and I pray each of you will be richly blessed.
Feel free to stop by Sticky Fingers this summer to say hi or come by my room next year during orientation. :-) Have a wonderful summer!
~Mrs. Callejas~
ps. Remember to keep reading and practicing sight words over the summer. Your child brought home a great summer book today with a special surprise in the front cover!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Student?

Our class had a special new student in class today. Her name? Atenea Callejas! :-)
The students were so surprised when Atenea joined them on the carpet for class. She was so polite and made sure to great each one of the them with a sweet, slobbery kiss or a soft touch from her cold, wet nose. Throughout the day she worked with the students as they used their writing skills to try and persuade me to bring Atenea another day, practiced their capitalization and punctuation, and rotated through their math stations. Some of the students even got to read a book to Atenea as she lounged around on the carpet during Reader's Workshop. Ask your child to tell you all about our exciting day with our furry, four-legged new student!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Busy Days!

It is hard to believe that there are only 8 more days left in the school year! We have been busy with all kinds of activities and the next few days will be equally exciting. Today the students participated in Safety Day where they were able to meet police officers, life guards, fire fighters, animal specialists, health professionals, and some special canine visitors (like Nala, the camera shy pup) who taught them all about the many ways to stay safe. Ask your child to tell you some of the important information they learned!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yummy OJ!

This week our class continued to review Functional Writing. On Monday, we learned all about "How to Make Orange Juice". The students were so excited to learn about the process and have the chance to squeeze their own juice. It was a bit messy, but wonderfully delicious and completely worth it! Why not pick up some oranges on your way home tonight? Then, you can let your child show off their juice making expertise and help them practice the steps of functional writing!
Click the link below for more pictures of our fun morning.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crazy about Keiko Kasza!

For the past two weeks, our class has been taking part in an author study on Keiko Kasza. We have learned so much about her and have read as many of her stories as we could get our hands on. We visited her personal page ( and in learning about her, we also discovered her email address. Naturally, the students wanted to write to Keiko in hopes that she would be able to write us back. Keiko Kasza was fantastic and wrote us back the very same day! The students were elated when they read her responses. Since we wrote the email as a class, many of the students asked some very specific questions and made insightful remarks about her books. When she wrote back to us, she addressed each of the students individually - making them feel extra special!
If you get a chance, ask your child to tell you what they have learned about this amazing author. For extra fun, check out some of Keiko's books at your local library or purchase them online!


I would like to add a "Keiko Kasza" section to our classroom library. The books are vividly illustrated and now familiar to the students. It would be great for them to be able to access her books on a daily basis. So, now added to our classroom wish list: "Books by Keiko Kasza!" (ps. We already have The Wolf's Chicken Stew).
A really HUGE thanks goes out to Mr. Dixon for helping us get our Keiko Kasza section started. We now have "My Lucky Day", "A Mother for Choco", "The Mightiest", "The Rat and the Tiger", and "The Dog Who Cried Wolf", as part of our classroom library! Thank you so much :-)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

UNF Wildlife Sanctuary

Today the students spent their time immersed in science and nature. After a short bus ride to UNF, we were given instructions by Ranger Kristin, a clipboard, and a scavenger hunt recording sheet. The students eagerly practiced using their senses to observe the sights, sounds, and smells of the wildlife sanctuary. We learned to stay away from poison ivy by remembering the rule of the leaves, "if there's three, let it be!" The students observed colors and shapes in nature as well as several wild creatures, like turtles, spiders, dragonflies, and even a few osprey! After our hike, we refueled our bodies with a picnic lunch under the trees. It was an excellent day for a field trip.
Back in the class, the students said goodbye to Miss Krista, the intern who has been in our classroom this semester. She created sweet goody bags for each of the students and talked with them about how much she has enjoyed being in our classroom. Though we are sad to see her go, we are excited for her to continue learning and one day have a classroom of her own!

Check out more pictures from our day by clicking here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Egg Extravaganza!

The students were very excited to participate in our class' Easter Egg hunt the day before Spring Break began. Their eyes were wide with excitement as they gazed out over the field where hundreds of tantalizing, colorful eggs were spread out, just waiting to be found by the right child. You see, each child not only had to find 19 eggs, but they had to find the 19 eggs with their name on them! There were also some "smiley" face, or bonus, eggs to be found and one, very shiny, golden easter bunny shaped egg. This was the grand prize egg and the student who found it received money for the classroom store and an extra trip to the classroom store at the end of the day. While other students ran eagerly around the field looking for their eggs and the golden bunny (several of them ran right over it), Patrick planned his route meticulously, carefully searching through the clumps of high grass and clover. His hard searching paid off and he found the prize egg - Congratulations Patrick! All the kids had a great time and we finished the day with cupcakes and juice to celebrate Dakota's birthday (thank you Mr. Dixon!) and goodies to take home for Easter (thank you Mr. White!).
Hopefully, you all had a great spring break and I look forward to seeing 19 smiling, happy faces tomorrow morning as school resumes once more. :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Smart, Super Learners!

Thank you to all the parents who brought the students back to school this evening for the Kindergarten PTA Performance. They were so proud to sing songs for you and show off their superhero dance moves!

You may have heard your child talk about playing games or doing activities on our classroom mimio. The mimio is an amazing tool that transforms our dry erase board into an interactive computer screen. The students use the mimio pen to navigate through activities, answer questions, play games, and even write. It makes our technology more personal for the students and allows them the freedom to make their own choices during our carpet time lessons. Here are a few pictures that showcase just how tech savy your super learners are!

We also received a visit on Sunday from a sneaky leprechaun. Apparently, since no one was at school, he decided to leave us a message on our window along with a new hat for Mrs. Callejas and some "gold" for the kids.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I DO like green eggs and ham!

"I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-Am!"

In memory of a fabulous author, we spent last week reading books by Dr. Seuss. On Friday, March the 1st, the students celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with all kinds of fun events. Students wrote about our favorite part of Cat in the Hat during writer's workshop, painted the cat in the hat during skills block, sorted and counted colored gold fish after reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish during math, and got to experience their own version of Green Eggs and Ham during reader's workshop.
After we read the story, the students talked with their partners about whether or not they thought green eggs and ham would be something they would like to eat. Most of the students thought that they would end up liking it, since the characters in the book liked it so much. They were surprised to find out they would get the chance to see if their predictions about eating green eggs and ham were true!
Check out these pictures, I think you will see that this class can say, "I DO like green eggs and ham! I do like them Sam-I-Am!".


Our class store is also a huge success. The students are quickly learning that sometimes it's better to wait and save their money in order to get something they really want. Some students are also learning that their behavior needs to continue to improve so that they don't have to "pay" the teacher for their bad choices, but rather they can get "paid" by the teacher for their great choices!
Thank you to all the parents and families who have sent in donations to help with the class store. Your support is truly appreciated!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reflex Math

Don't forget to check out!
It is a great website where students can build fast and effortless recall of math facts through fun, learning games. Students brought their login information home last week along with a detailed letter explaining more about the program. If you need another copy, just send an email or a note letting me know.
Please remember that the students do need to complete the activities by themselves for optimal learning and they should not share their login information with their siblings or friends.
Happy learning!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

JCA & Valentine's Day

The students came to school this morning with a double dose of excitement! Not only were we going to see Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but we were also going to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day with all of our friends.
After our bus ride to JCA, the students found themselves immersed in an exciting, energetic version of the classic Goldilocks tale. They danced and squealed and laughed along with the characters as they watched Goldilocks learn the importance of telling the truth and using good manners. Lunch flew by and soon we were back on the bus and headed to class.
Once back inside, the students created a name place and colored a sweet Valentine's picture. Then all the boys put theirs on one side of the carpet and the girls put theirs on the other side of the carpet. I passed out my bags and modeled how to carefully put one on each student's name place. The students were so generous with each other and everyone brought goodies to share with their friends. After all the students finished passing out their treats, there were 19 mountains of love on the carpet! The students used large bags to store their Valentines and even had the chance to choose one of their Valentine's to eat before dismissal.
I also had a mountain of love on my desk and the students wanted me to open and show them all the things they had brought. When that was finished, everyone got a Valentine's day teacher hug and then headed home! What a Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

100th Day & the Sweetheart Dance

On Monday, February 4, the students celebrated their 100th day of kindergarten! Though I was out of the country, the students were able to participate in several fun activities that I left for them with Mrs. Smith. They created 100th day name patterns, read about the 100 baked goods in The Wolf's Chicken Stew, made a 100th day bag filled with 100 treats, and watched a fun learning video about the silent e (just to name a few)!
Then, on Thursday, February 7, many of the students stayed after school to have fun at the Sweetheart Dance. The students danced with friends, bought snacks and drink goodies, and had a great time laughing and playing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seeing in 3D!

Your superheroes have entered the world of 3D shapes. From cones to pyramids, we are learning about the way things around us are made up of solid figures (3D shapes) that have a variety of attributes. Three dimensional shape names can often be tricky. Practice these shapes daily with your child by pointing to common household objects and having your child name the 3D shape it looks like and why. For example, you might show them a can of soup. They would say it looks like a cylinder because it has 2 flat surfaces (or faces) shaped like circles.
You can also play the following sing-along video with your child to help him or her remember some of the most common 3D shapes:

The websites below also have some great games that help students learn both 2D and 3D shape names. Some of the activities are a little advanced and may require an older sibling or an adult to help out from time to time. Have fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

School Survey

As we approach the end of the 2nd 9 weeks, please take some time to let me know how you feel your child is doing and what you think he or she still needs to work on. Your feedback is always important!

Mrs. Reese would also like your feedback to help with our school survey. Please read the following letter and help us out by clicking the link to participate in the survey. Thank you!

This year New Berlin Elementary will be renewing our school accreditation.  What is accreditation? Accreditation is the process that schools go through to make sure they are meeting the standards as outlined by the Southern Association of Colleges and School Improvement.  In an effort to improve our practices here at NBE the district is requiring each school to conduct a parent survey as part of this process. We value your opinion and ask that your take the time to complete this survey. The web survey will be available until February 15, 2013.

In order to complete the survey, please go to:

Please be assured that your responses to this survey will be anonymous. Your honest opinion is appreciated.
Please Note:  If you prefer to have a paper copy of the survey, please return the bottom portion of this letter to your child’s teacher, and one will be provided for you.  Please submit your request by Thursday, January 17.

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Philip Mobley at or (904)390-2016/ (904) 759-6553.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Wanda Reese

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Fun!

Here are a few pictures from our class Christmas Party and the school's Polar Express night. The kids had a great time making ornaments, holiday picture frames, beaded candy canes, reindeer food, and an edible snowman in class. Our special hotdog lunch was delicious and everyone had a great time finding out who their secret Santa was as they participated in the gift exchange. Thank you so much to all the parents and family members who came out to help and enjoy the special day with us! 

I would also like to say thank you so much for all the kind cards and sweet Christmas gifts you sent in for me. I feel so blessed and I hope each of you had a relaxing and fun-filled holiday break! We will be wrapping up our second quarter in just a few weeks. Please help your child prepare for the many upcoming assessments by practicing basic concepts with them daily. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for test reminders in the agenda so you can help your child do his or her best.