A Peek Inside our Classroom: Read to Self

Each day the kids spend a few minutes participating in Read to Self. This activity, which we sometimes also call book box time, is exactly what it sounds like. The kids read by themselves. While kids do need reading instruction and to participate in literacy activities, it is so important that kids spend time each day actually reading. At this point in kindergarten, the kids are looking at the pictures and thinking about the story and a few children are reading words as well. The kids choose books from the class library to keep in their book box for this time. We will gradually add alphabet charts, sight word lists, and books from our small group instruction to our book boxes as well. For now, read to self is just about enjoying books and building focus and stamina.

Golden Broom!

Our class earned the golden broom! Each week the custodians pick the cleanest k-2 classroom and the cleanest 3-5 classroom to award the golden boom. In our class we work hard to put our crayons, papers, books, and toys away. We clean up our crumbs and spills from snack. We stack chairs and pick up the floor daily so our custodians can wipe our tables and vacuum easily. We also work on keeping the bathroom clean.

The kids were pretty proud of their hard work!

School Transition Book

Beginning kindergarten is amazing and challenging! Each child has a unique response to starting a new school or grade level. Some kids are so excited, others are nervous, others are calm. Many children are a mix of all these things and more! All feelings and responses are ok. If you anticipate your child having trouble with this transition, one thing that can help is to help them get used to the idea with a personalized story. You can make the book and read it together each day to help your child make sense of their new school. Here is a resource with a printable book you can print and personalize for your child. If you do not have a way to print at home, email me and I am happy to print it for you here at school.

Boo Hoo Breakfast

Kindergarten parents are invited to the Boo Hoo breakfast! Head to the Media Center after you drop off your child on the first day of kindergarten for breakfast, visiting with other kindergarten parents, and a good cry if you need it! Thank you BEU PTA and our awesome school counselor, Ms. Harris and Mrs. Davison for putting on this special event!

A Helpful Phrase to Encourage Kids

Our little ones love our attention! They love to tell us all the things they know, they love to ask us questions, and most of all they love to show us how they can do everything! While we want the kids to feel heard, encouraged, and loved- we don’t want to turn them into praise junkies! How do we acknowledge and encourage kids without conditioning them to need our praise or to value our praise over their own internal motivation?
One phrase that can help is, “I love to watch you ______.”

When we say, “I love to watch you_____, we are communicating that we care about them and also encouraging them to continue the process of doing things. We are not telling them they are doing well, but that we enjoy that they are doing. The process of doing something is where real learning and discovery take place.

Here is the link to the article where I learned this phrase if you would like to read it.

End of Summer Newsletter

We had a wonderful summer school session! We made friends and connections, and became familiar with the routines of school. The kids enjoyed practicing letters with songs, poems, coloring, and crafts. We learned about circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, hexagons, pentagons, rhombuses, ovals, and the numbers 1-10. We enjoyed chalk drawing, painting, puzzles, games, songs, and read aloud. I am proud of all the kids accomplished and excited to see them learn and grow in kindergarten!

Here are a few things to practice at home to prepare your child for the upcoming school year:

Student id number
Writing first name
Counting to 20
Letter names and sounds (The students will learn them first trimester and they do not need to be mastered before kindergarten.)
Identifying numerals 0-10
Counting sets of objects up to 10
Fastening and unfastening shoes, jackets, backpacks, and lunchboxes independently
Following one and two step directions
Unstructured play indoors and out
Please don’t worry if there are things on this list your child is still working on when they begin kindergarten. Any exposure to these skills will be beneficial to your child.
*Important Dates for the beginning of kindergarten are on the back of this sheet.

Have a wonderful summer!
Layla Cunningham

Important Dates for the Beginning of the School Year
Please check the school web site to stay informed of school events at www.cpsk12.org/beu.

August 13th- Meet the Teacher Night
Meet the Teacher Night is from 3:30-5:30 pm at Beulah Ralph Elementary. Meet your teacher and see you classroom. You will also sign up for a kindergarten screening appointment.

August 15th and 16th- Kindergarten Screening
Bring your child for your kindergarten screening appointment at the time you signed up for at Meet the Teacher Night. This appointment gives teachers valuable information about our students and helps guide our instruction at the beginning of the school year.
The 15th and 16th are regular school days for all other grade levels besides kindergarten.

August 19th -First Day of Kindergarten
Arrival is from 8-8:20. Dismissal is 3:20.


Each day we work on our beginning math skills by focusing on a shape or a number. We discuss the concept and the kids color a page in their math book related to the shape or number. We also sing songs to practice counting skills and practice typing our student identification numbers daily.


We have been learning about shapes! Yesterday the kids used play doh to make the shapes we have been learning about like squares, circles, rectangles, and squares. At first it was a challenge to figure out how to mark straight sides and corners.