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Kindergarten News June 6, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Important Dates:

June 11 – Kindergarten Portfolio Share in the classroom right before the picnic from 5:00 – 5:45

June 11 - All School Picnic 5:30 – 7:30

June 12 – Butterfly Ceremony (Kindergarten Graduation) 2:00 – 3:00

June 14 – Last Day of School/Early Dismissal


Between visiting the Tilth Garden and having Maria come and visit, we have had a fun past two weeks. Here are some pictures that capture these moments….
























































Check out Maria’s Blog at


Butterfly Ceremony!

We hope that you or someone special to you can make it to the Butterfly Ceremony on June 12.  If your student does not have someone to represent them at the ceremony, please let us know ASAP.  We will find someone at the school to represent them.  Your kiddos are busily working on their wings to flutter into first grade. 







There are no words to express what an amazing year we have had in Kindergarten!  It is always astounding to see all the different ways Kindergartners grow.  We are constantly amazed.  Thank you so much for your support and help over the past year!


Remember when…  











Kindergarten News May 23, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Important Dates:

May 24 – In-Service Day School Closed, Extended Day Open

May 27 – Memorial Day School Closed, Extended Day Closed

May 30 and 31 – Maria Coryell-Martin, Artist in residence comes for her final visit

June 10 - Music Portfolio Share from 8:20 – 9:00 (Head straight to the Music room)

June 11 – Kindergarten Portfolio Share in the classroom right before the picnic from 5:00 – 5:45

All School Picnic 5:30 – 7:30

June 12 – Butterfly Ceremony (Kindergarten Graduation) 2:00 – 3:00

Read to the end to see what is happening in P.E. and Computers


Magical Musical Moments!

After much practice, patience, and perseverance, the Kindergarteners put on a most magnificent show.  We are so glad so many of you were able to come and see their hard work.  While many Kindergarteners felt nervous and excited before the show by the end they were extremely proud of their accomplishments. 


Wired for Reading

If your child is making some very strange fishy faces in the mirror, it could be because we recently learned about the pucker tip stop in Wired for Reading.  This being translated into parent language means the “ch” and “j” sounds.  Ask your student to tell you all about it.  In Kindergarten, we have been making many discoveries through their reading and writing about blends th, ch, and sh.

At home activity – Go on a word hunt with your student to try and find words around your house, in magazines, books, newspaper, signs, etc. with these blends.  Or play around with these blends to think of words and nonsense words with these sounds.



Over the course of the next month and half, the kindergarteners will be learning about wood as part of our new science unit, Wood. We will observe the properties of wood and paper using our senses and conduct “fair tests” (investigations) to find out more about them.  Each lesson begins with focus questions such as: What do your senses tell you about different kinds of wood? What do you look for when you match different kinds of wood? What happens when you put drops of water on different kinds of wood? The five main types of wood we will be investigating throughout the unit are basswood, pine, cedar, plywood, and particleboard.  We have been taking a close look at the grain, layers, and properties of these different types of wood.   

We know that children do better in school when their families are actively involved in their learning.  Here is one activity that you can do with your child at home to strengthen your child’s understanding of wood. 


Family Activity:

Have your child go on a “Wood Hunt” and find things around your home that are made of wood.  Ask your child what they observe about the wood.  What does it look like? Is it painted? Stained?  Can you see the grain? How does it feel (smooth, rough, bumpy, etc.)?  Have them compare two different types of wood.  How are they the same?  How are they different?  Ask your child if any of the types of wood they found at home are similar to the wood samples that they have looked at in the classroom.


Butterfly Life Cycle

In addition to our science work with wood, we continue on with our life cycle focus.  This spring we are studying the life cycle of a butterfly.  Both classes were introduced to the butterfly life cycle and reinforced their knowledge by sequencing the different life stages.  The kindergartners have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  In the story, Eric Carle calls the chrysalis a cocoon, the students talked about that this stage is now called the chrysalis or pupa stage.  Of course, the grand finale of our studies is the butterfly ceremony where the students (sniff, sniff) flutter off to their new adventures.


Math Nest and Frog Pond!

This spring students are beginning to revisit and extend some of the concepts that they learned earlier in the year.  Through the workplaces students will be practicing their skills with estimation, mathematical organization, and counting quantities to 30 and beyond using cubes, pictures, and coins.  They are beginning to solve and create story problems that involve addition, subtraction, and multiplication (3 whales, how many flippers?), and division (8 eyes, how many frogs?).  They generate and share their thinking both orally and in the form of pictures and numbers.  The spring time is very busy in kindergarten and is interwoven with problem solving and skills development!


Meridian School- Health and Fitness News- May 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians,        

A Look Back on April:


April was a review month for the lower school students (K-1-2).

We enjoyed playing some of our favorite games (one of which,
“Artery Avengers” relates directly to maintaining a healthy heart).


In April, all grades also were involved in our new tennis unit. Equipment has been provided to us by the USTA and I have been following their tennis curriculum: “Physical educators guide for teaching tennis in school”. The goal for the students was simple: to build early confidence in the game of tennis - one of the very few sports individuals can play for a lifetime.


May’s Plan:

During the month of May, the Kindergarteners will be involved

in a variety of “two minute drills” focusing on: balance, speed,

coordination, agility, and strength activities. Some of the track events such as the 50 and 100 meter dash, soft-ball throw and standing long jump will also be introduced. We will continue to work on these skills during our June classes.


All grades will be involved in a pedometer unit. They will learn that in order to maintain their health and be considered “active”, a person needs to take at least 10,000 steps per day! Can you think of different ways to increase the number of steps you take every day?



Kindergarten has had a wonderful year in the computer lab! As a specialist, I feel very fortunate to work with the students from the time they start at Meridian until they leave in fifth grade. I watch them grow and develop through the years, and I’ve never had a group of incoming students pick up skills and understand abstract ideas as fast as this year’s group, and I’m very excited about what they will prove capable of in the coming years!

In computer class this spring, students are completing a project called “Pixels & Pointillism”. We learned that a pixel is a “picture element”; a small dot of color used to make up images on the computer screen. We used several graphics programs to zoom in on photos to see the pixels that form them. We compared the pixels of a computer image to the paintings of Pointillist painters such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.  Using pixels on the computer screen, we explored how painters used dots of color, closely grouped, to create new colors and patterns. Finally, each student chose a subject (examples include dragons, octopus, butterflies, jaguars, and princesses). They were given a black-line master of the image and then used MS Paint to fill in colors and apply dots in multiple sizes and color variations to create their own Pointillism style images.  While working on these projects, we are learning more about communicating with the computer, especially learning to recognize how the computer tells us things in the form of pictures and words (for instance, icons and buttons).  We’ve learned more about saving work on the computer, and some beginning project management skills as we think about our project from beginning to end and consider the best order to do the steps in.

Their finished images will be printed and come home before the end of the school year. 








Kindergarten News April 25, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Important Dates:

April 29 – May 3 Kindergarten Independence Week

May 6 – In-Service Day School Closed, Extended Day Open

May 10 – Current Family Open House 8:45-9:45 a.m.

May 24 – In-Service Day School Closed, Extended Day Open

May 27 – Memorial Day School Closed, Extended Day Closed

May 22 – Kindergarten Music Performance (9:00 – 10:00)

May 22 - Ms. Bode’s Class to Tilth Children’s Garden (1:00-3:00)

May 23 – Ms. Leja’s Class to Tilth Children’s Garden (1:00 – 3:00)

May 30 and 31 – Maria Coryell-Martin, Artist in residence comes for her final visit

June 3 - Music Portfolio Share from 8:20 – 9:00 (Head straight to the Music room)

June 11 – Kindergarten Portfolio Share in the classroom right before the picnic from 5:00 – 5:45

All School Picnic 5:30 – 7:30

June 12 – Butterfly Ceremony (Kindergarten Graduation) 2:00 – 3:00

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in Library!

Welcome Back! Welcome Back! Welcome Back!

We hope you all had a fun and relaxing spring break.  Everyone seems to be rejuvenated and ready for this final push to the end of the year.  It is going to be fun, full, and a speedy 8 weeks! Now it is that time of year for the….

The Kindergarten Independence Challenge


What is the Kindergarten Independence Challenge, you might ask?  All year we have been prepping your Kindergarteners to become confident and independent learners.  They have developed strong routines and problem solving-strategies throughout the year to help them with this.  Now it is time for them to put what they have learned into practice.  Starting next week, April 29 –May 3, your child will independently come into the classroom.  With any big transition, we want to remain positive and supportive.  Our morning notes will be more kindergarten student-friendly in order to help them feel successful in their routines.  We are totally confident in every student’s abilities to be completely successful in this new challenge.


Global Studies was such a fun, creative, and busy time.  Here are some photos to take a look back at all your student's hard work and learning during the Global Studies Museum Week and those leading up to it!!

























































Thank you to all of you for your help and support during Global Studies!


Library Newsletter April 25, 2013  Kindergarten


Library Update


Students have covered a lot of ground since January.  In addition to practicing using good library behavior, they have been learning where different kinds of resources are located in the library (picture books, folktales, non-fiction, chapter books, magazines, etc.), learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction, how to make a search of Meridian’s library catalog, what call numbers are, and important parts of non-fiction books.  Your children will be learning how to make efficient searches using “Umbrella Thinking”.  Umbrella thinking involves parsing a sentence that describes what you want to find in order to identify the Big/Umbrella idea and then, if needed, to determine specific details. In coming weeks, we will continue with the topics noted above and begin working with indexes of books to find topics that aren’t obvious from the cover or table of contents.


All students continue to learn Dewey Decimal categories—using Dewey Ducks to represent all ten categories—and how each Dewey Duck can be used with “umbrella thinking” described above. Ask which Dewey Duck is your student’s favorite and why.


Our picture book read-alouds this semester pertained to the continent of South America, for example, Adventures of Riley: Amazon River Rescue, a realistic fiction story featuring Riley learning about the Amazon by getting lost with his cousin.


Writing skills practice continues to focus on recognizing where punctuation is needed and how it is used. The level of kind and purpose of punctuation used in my daily message has grown progressively challenging. 


Imagination and artistic skills were encouraged through entries in this year’s University Book Store’s Bookmark Contest.


Coming in May

The Meridian School Book Fair at University Book Store will be May 5; look for more details in the Spyglass.



Kindergarten News March 28, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Important Dates:

April 5 – Global Studies Museum Morning and Early Release 1:00

April 8 – 19 - Spring Break

April 22 – School Resumes

May 22 – Ms. Bode’s Class Tilth Children’s Garden (1:00-3:00)

May 23 – Ms. Leja’s Class Tilth Children’s Garden (1:00 – 3:00)

June 12 – Butterfly Ceremony (Kindergarten Graduation) 2:00 – 3:00

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in NeoArt.


Thank you everyone for your support at the Thrill of Brazil Auction!  It is always fun to have an evening of celebrating Meridian and hanging out with you.  As Kindergarten parents, we feel that you deserve a metal for making it through your first auction.  We appreciate all the support and encouragement you give us.  The Kindergarten teams hopes you all enjoyed yourself!!


Something fun from the Library….

University Book Store’s 27th annual Bookmark Contest is underway.  This year’s theme is “Books are made of AWESOME.” Look for entry forms in your child’s Thursday packet.   I will be collecting entries in the library until the deadline Friday, April 5, 2013.  You may also place them in the envelope on the Library’s bulletin board –or- deliver them to University Book Store by Friday, April 5.   Paula Palmer, Librarian


Global Studies

Imagine Children’s Museum Adventure

To begin thinking about our Global Studies Museum, the Kindergarteners took a full day to explore the elements of a fun and interactive museum.  While at the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, the students participated in a program entitled “Tree Treasures” where they learned all the useful and important gifts trees give us.  The students made some great connections from our previous field trip to Theo Chocolate and the Cacao Tree.  In the afternoon, the kindergarteners were able to explore, learn, and play through all the various exhibits.  A few of huge hits were the dramatic play theater, the balls and ramps room, the airplane, water world, and of course the humongous playground on the roof.  It was a truly fun day! A big THANK YOU to all the amazing volunteers!


Special Guest!

We also had the privilege of having Martha Hill come into our classrooms and teach us about Ecuador.  She brought in many wonderful handmade artifacts to share with us from Ecuador.  Such has woven pillows, blankets, bow and arrow, and spear.  Martha taught us about some of the similarities and differences between living in South America and living in Seattle.  One similarity that Martha discussed was the love for soccer in Ecuador.  Martha and Jonathan were showing some soccer spirit in their fabulous Ecuador jerseys.  Many of the students were excited about this commonality between Ecuador and Seattle.  Martha also shared with the children a delicious traditional treat made of corn and cane sugar.  Thank you so much Martha for sharing about your home and culture!

Rain Forest Math

Claudia has been busy teaching and working with small groups of Kindergarteners about how to use ruler as a number line to solve simple addition problems to solve a puzzle revolving around the rain forest.  At home you can practice this skill of using a ruler as a number time to solve simple addition and subtraction problems together as a family.






Kindergarten News March 14, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Important Dates:

March 18 – No School, Teacher In-Service Day

March 21 – Kindergarten Field Trip to the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett

March 23 – Meridian Auction

April 5 – Global Studies Museum Day

April 8 – 19 - Spring Break

April 22 – School Resumes

June 12 – Butterfly Ceremony (Kindergarten Graduation) 2:00 – 3:00

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in Spanish.

Spring Forward

Ah, the days are getting longer and the flowers are beginning to bloom.  All these signs point to spring fever.  As the days get longer, there becomes an increasing challenge to get Kindergarteners snuggled into their beds in a timely fashion.  Your friendly Kindergarten team would like to encourage you to persevere with your regular scheduled bedtime.  This ensures the students are well rested and ready for a big day of learning and decreases wild and wiggly behavior. 

Our Plane Trip to Brazil!

Did you realize that your Kindergartener has been in Brazil for the past week and half?  Meridian Airlines flight 4649 took off at 9:15 am to Manaus, Brazil.  The passengers boarded with a buzz of excitement and their suitcases in hand.  Luckily everyone remembered their passports and listened as the captain described our route.  During the flight, the passengers enjoyed educational entertainment about South America and the Amazon Rainforest.  It was a smooth flight all way to Manaus.  Once in Brazil, we were greeted with delicious snacks provided by our very gracious Brazilian ambassadors.

Since visiting South America, Ms. Leja’s class has had a roaring good time learning more about their class mascot the jaguar.  They continue to write down their wonderings and are currently working on some fun art projects revolving around jaguars.  Ms. Bode’s class has been in a fantastical forest frenzy, learning all about temperate and tropical rainforests.  Come check out their bulletin board comparing the two different types of forests. 


Both Kindergarten classes are excited to be introducing book buddies this week.  Just right books will be coming home with your kiddo this week.  Our goal is to focus on fluency and building a strong foundation for the love of reading.

Here is a little more information about….

 Book Buddies

Connecting reading at school and at home

  1.  Bringthis book safely from school to home.
  2.  Keep this book in a safe place.
  3.  READ, READ, READ your book.
  • A grown-up can read it to you.
  • A grown-up can read it with you.
  • You can read it to a grown-up.
  • You can read it to your stuffie.
  • You can read it to your pet.
  • You can read it to your grandma on Skype.
  • You can read it to yourself.
  • You can read it with your whole family.
  1.  Write down the name of the book and the date(s) you read it.
  2. 5.  Bring this book back to school and trade it for a different one when you are finished -maybe the next day or maybe in 5 days.


Spanish in Kindergarten

Since November, Kindergarten students learned words related to family members, body parts, clothing, classroom objects, feelings, food and fruits.  Numbers up to 30, days, months and colors are reviewed often in our lessons. We also review greetings, weather and seasons in the introduction to each class. Students were exposed to total Spanish immersion by playing games, following commands with actions, listening to books and following stories. Storytelling is very popular in kindergarten. I used felt characters with familiar tales like “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” and “Teasing Mr. Crocodile.” Sometimes I made up stories using the target vocabulary. Students practiced expressions like Me gusta or No me gusta (I like or I don’t like), tengo hambre, frío o calor (I am hungry, cold or hot), or their typical question: ¿Dónde está Rosco y dónde está el sombrero? (Where is Rosco and where is the hat?)

As part of our cultural curriculum, kindergarteners learned about Colombia with “o.” We read books and looked at pictures of big cities like Bogotá, the Andes Mountains, and the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts. I also showed them my special box filled with artifacts from Colombia including la chiva (traditional bus), the coffee farmer, balconies, traditional dancing cloths, the sombrero vueltiao (hat) and  molas (elaborate embroidered panels made by the Kuna Indians). Students enjoyed my cumbia dance with a typical folkloric dress. They listened to music from different regions of the country and learned about the different dances. We talked about coffee, flowers, bananas and chocolate. Finally, students learned about our sister school, Instituto Alexander Von Humboldt in Barranquilla, Colombia. We watched a video about the school and wrote letters for our friends. When learning about cultural aspects, I speak English and Spanish, depending of the content.

Binder: When you see Spanish pencil and paper work in your Thursday packet, please remember to add it to your child’s Spanish binder and encourage your child to finish and share his/her work with you. It will be easier for them to point at the pictures when you read the words.   

Some of the books we read: Margaret and Margarita- Margarita y Margaret by lynn Reiser,¡No me Gusta mi Moño! by Hans Wilhem, Froggy Sale a Cenar by Jonathan London, Froggy se Viste by Jonathan London, La Oruga muy Hambrienta by Eric Carle, Fiesta para 10 by Cathryn Falwell, La Semana de Cookie by Cindy Ward, Tomie Depaola, and Todos Somos Iguales… Todos Somos Diferentes by Los niños de kindergarten de la Cheltenham elementary school.

Some of the songs we sang: Los Meses del Año (months) to the tune of La Macarena, La Familia, Queso is Cheese, Mi Carita (My Little face),  Classroom Objects to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell, 1,2,3 Chocolate, Days of the Week to the tune of Are you Sleeping.   


Websites: I encourage you to check out this free website to review basic vocabulary. It has fun games and songs for kids. . This You Tube video is great for Las frutas:



Three Cheers for Kindergarten!!!


Kindergarten News February 28, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Important Dates:


March 5, 2013:  Parent forum in the Gym from 8:30- 10:30 am

Courageous Conversations for Parents and Teachers:

The Everyday Dynamics of Privilege and Race. Workshop facilitated by Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D.

March 6, 7, 8 – Parent Teacher Conferences early dismissal 1:00. Extended day will be open.

March 18 – No School, Teacher In-Service Day

March 21 – Kindergarten Field Trip to the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett (details to follow)

March 23 – Meridian Auction

April 5 – Global Studies Museum Day

April 8 – 19 - Spring Break

April 22 – School Resumes

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in Technology.

Valentine’s Day Bake Sale!

The Valentine’s Day was a huge success all around.  After much preparation of making signs, finding a recipe, and getting parent help, the Valentine’s Day Bake Sale raised over $300.00 to help buy around 5 acres of the rainforest in South America.  Valentine’s Day started off with bang and kept going.  Both Kindergarten classes spent time with their third grade buddies, exchanging valentines and playing some fun games.  It was a day full of community, friendship, yummy treats, and love!

Welcome to the Math Nest and Frog Pond!

This week in Kindergarten, we had a huge math morning on Tuesday.  Both classes rotated through different math games and work places throughout the morning.  We will begin to move out of working with money and into story problems.  In the next lessons, students will begin to enact, solve, and finally create their own simple addition and subtraction story problems.  Students will be asked to act out story problems narrated by the teacher.  Story problems will be presented in words and pictures.  Students will then be asked to show their own thinking on personal chalkboards through drawings and numbers.  A great home extension is to create your own story problems at home, possibly around the dinner table.

Nature Journals

We had the pleasure of having Maria Coryell-Martin, our artist in residence, visit us last Thursday and Friday.  Last Thursday morning, Maria introduced the idea of positive and negative space when looking at the world around them.  They learned that positive space is those shapes that you can physically touch, while negative space are those shapes that you cannot touch.  For example, a tree branch is positive and the space between the branches is negative.  Maria connected this concept of positive and negative space to that of a winter scene.  The children learned the term silhouette and practiced drawing a winter scene using only silhouettes with a sharpie.  On Friday, we ventured outside briefly through the wind and the rain to observe the world around us with this new concept of positive and negative space.  After being outside for a bit, we came back inside to the warmth to finish our silhouette drawings by water coloring the negative space/background. We will have one more visit with Maria this spring before the year is out, but we will be in correspondence with her until then while she is in Greenland documenting research on narwhals and polar bears!!  To follow her adventures in Greenland you can follow her blog on her website ( and posting updates here:  Maria will also be part of Polar Science Weekend, which is an upcoming fun event at the Pacific Science Center:



Kindergarteners continue to enjoy their computer classes, so much so that I’ve begun to call them Computergarteners! Our list of software activities continues to grow and now includes Trudy’s Time and Place House, Thinkin’ Things 1 (Toony the Loon’s Lagoon), and Crayola Beginner’s Art Studio. Students have also been introduced to word processing software and have explored creating text and then formatting it. They really enjoy looking for fun and funky fonts! They’re learning to “talk” to the computer (by clicking, highlighting, and typing), and then “listen” to the computer’s answer (in the form of toolbars and menus).

Our next objective is to start saving and retrieving our own work from a folder on the network, and we’ll be doing this by being robots. Being a robot involves the students at their computer, following along with me on the large screen as we complete a task. We do this step by step, often stopping to explore different options, or to understand what is happening. The children’s responsibility during this time is to listen and follow the instructions (“Click on this”, “drag that”, “type your name”). The children are enjoying being robots and often beep their answers back to me! 

Later in the spring, students will explore the idea of pixels on a computer screen and at the same time learn more about pointillism and impressionist art.  All projects and artwork are saved to each student’s digital portfolio, and will come home in printed form throughout the year.



Kindergarten News February 7, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Important Dates:

February 7 – Science Night 6:00-7:00 for Kindergarten.  All other grades 6:30 – 8:00.Teachers love chocolate too!

February 14 – Valentine’s Day Bake Sale (8:20 – 9:15 am) and Party in the afternoon

February 18 & 19 – No School

March 6, 7, 8 – Parent Teacher Conferences; early dismissal 1:00. Extended day will be open.

March 18 – No School, Teacher In-Service Day

March 23 – Meridian Auction

April 5 – Global Studies Museum Day

April 8 – 19 - Spring Break

April 22 – School Resumes

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in Music.


Welcome to the Math Nest and Frog Pond!

The kindergarteners are expanding their math knowledge using familiar frameworks.  For example, we continue to use 10's frames to have the students organize their counting, but now we are using two 10's frames to introduce the students to twenty.  This is a big transition for some of the students, as understanding teen numbers can be tricky.  Coins are the current math theme.  You might notice that our calendars have a coin pattern this month.  In addition, the students have been introduced to two new coin games.  The first game is “Sock Boxes and Coins.”  During this game, the students recognize pennies and nickels by name and value, count to twenty, explore counting strategies, and compare quantities.  The second game is “Race You to 15 cents.”  The students are building upon the skills needed in “Sock Boxes and Coins” by trading in pennies for a nickel and counting by fives to fifteen. 


Wired for Reading

As the Kindergarteners delve deeper into their mouth laboratories, we are beginning to introduce the vowel sounds.  Since we have been busy trying to stretch out our words, it is time to start introducing those crazy vowel sounds.  At this time, we are introducing them slowly.  Each baby vowel sound or short vowel sound has a picture and visual cue that connects with the sound. See if your student can tell you any of the baby vowel sounds and their clues.


Global Studies / Science

Theo Chocolate is the SWEETEST field trip we have ever been on (pun intended).  Kindergarteners had a great time touring the factory, wearing hairnets, tasting different chocolates, learning about the theobroma cacao tree, and watching how each delicious chocolate is handmade and wrapped.  Visiting Theo Chocolate was a nice way to tie in many themes happening in Kindergarten.  Now that we are visiting South America, we will take a closer look at the theobroma cacao tree and other trees in South America.  Theo chocolate is also inspiring us for our Valentine’s Day Bake Sale to help raise money for the South American Rain Forests.  Come pick up a yummy treat for someone special on Valentine’s Day in the Kindergarten rooms. 










Notes from the Music Room




It has been a delight to see kindergarten students enjoy learning new rounds that celebrate the frosty nip of winter and the promise of spring. Their growing confidence in their ability to support their group led to steady progress with managing to maintain their part without becoming distracted by the other group singing a different part of the song. They were excited to begin learning to play the xylophones and shared new ways to create music on an instrument with a partner. They made great progress in starting and stopping together and in finding the most effective and appropriate way to hold the mallets and hit the bars to make a clear sound. They also worked hard at the challenging task of singing a song at the same time as accompanying themselves on the xylophones.


We have explored partnered creative movement through mirroring (face-to-face imitation of a partner’s movements with white scarves) and shadowing (following a partner and imitating their movements as they move through the room). As we approach Valentine’s Day activities, this shared enjoyment sets the stage for delightful ways to help each other and discover new opportunities for caring and friendship.


I look forward to seeing where this year’s exploration of material connected to this year’s Global Studies focus on South America leads them in the weeks to come.


Kindergarten News January 26, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Important Dates:

January 25 – Kindergarten Pajama Day (Have your student bring in their favorite winter hat!)

February 1 – Theo Chocolate Field Trip (Leja’s class leaves at 10:00, Bode’s at 10:30)

February 4 – Report Cards Released

February 7 - Science Night from 6:00 - 8:00

February 18 & 19 – No School

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in P.E.

Welcome to the Math Nest and Frog Pond!

 In Kindergarten, we are beginning a new unit that will take us all the way into the spring time.  The primary focuses of this unit are counting, comparing, sorting, measuring, and early computation. This winter we will primarily be dealing with reading, writing, and understanding numbers to 20.  Many sessions involve Work Place games and activities in which the Kindergarteners will race to see who can be first to collect a given number of cubes or pennies, or count how many objects or pictures there are in a particular collection.  We will be expanding the students’ knowledge on ten frames by using and working with double ten-frames or pictures of Unifix cubes in stacks of 10.  By having these pictures and objects organized by groups of 5 or 10, students will learn new counting strategies.  We are beginning to notice that students have different approaches to working with the tens frame.  At this point, some students are beginning to notice addition and subtraction problems within the tens frame. This is not a Kindergarten standard, but we continue to support students at their various levels.


As Kindergarten ventures farther and farther into the world of “best guess” spelling, we are working on stretching out our words.  We are focusing on finding the beginning, middle, and end sounds within CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words and blending those sounds together to create a word.  Along with this stretching out of words, students learn the tricky work of learning baby vowel sounds.  We will just begin to introduce these vowel sounds.  We continue to work with our best guess spelling in our writings, such as Weekend Reports and Journals. Please remember that reading and writing is like rocket science and takes much patience and perseverance!   


Global Studies

Kindergarten is still focusing on the world around us personally and our step books.  Both Kindergarten classes have done a pre- assessment of the students as to what the map of the world looks like to them.  We covered up our maps, put our globes away, and let the students draw what they think the world looks like.  At the end of Global Studies, we will do the same activity and notice the similarities and differences between the two maps.  The Kindergarten classes have also both begun their auction projects, which both revolve around South America.  Stay tuned for more details on that!



Meridian School- Health and Fitness News- January 2013

Important reminders:

In order to be safe and comfortable, please have your child wear shoes and clothing appropriate for PE on days in which their classes are held.  Decisions on whether to hold classes inside or out are often made based on weather, so it is important to make sure your child has gym shoes in his/her locker (for those days when we are inside) as well as warm outerwear (for the days we are out)! 

Interesting web links (related to our current units):  

Bowling: and

The President’s Challenge:



Dear Parents and Guardians,

In January, the students spent two weeks learning about healthy eating and making good food choices. Students played games using food models that offered great workouts and reinforced learning objectives.

Our students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades have been involved in fitness testing.  Each test is design to measure one of the four main areas of fitness: 1.Cardio-Respiratory Endurance (mile run). 2. Flexibility (Sit & Reach). 3. Muscle Endurance (60 second curl-ups). 4. Muscle Strength (Pull-ups). Each of these assessments is used to determine a baseline score for further goal setting and training purposes.  In some cases, students will develop their own training plan that targets areas for personal improvement.



The start of February signals the mid-point of the school year which offers the opportunity to look back on past achievements and set future goals. Using their individual first semester fitness data, the students of the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will complete realistic and challenging fitness goals for the second semester. The details of these goals will be kept in your child’s portfolio.    


 During the month of January, we are having an In-School Bowling Unit. The unit covers various bowling techniques, including the 3 step approach, some related fitness activities as well as instruction on how to keep score. This unit is sponsored by West Seattle Bowl.

In December, our circus group had a chance to perform three shows in the Chapel Performing Center.  It was a great experience for the students involved and I would like to thank the staff of the "The Holiday Big Broadcast" for inviting us to perform before the musical.

 Thank you,

Regis Thevenet





Kindergarten News January 10, 2013

Kindergarten News

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Important Dates:

January 11 – Global Studies Kick—Off for FMM

January 21 – MLK Jr. Holiday No School

January 22 – Teacher In-Service No School

Febraury 1 - Field Trip to Theo Chocolate (details to come)

February 4 – Report Cards Released

February 18 & 19 – No School

*Read to the end of this newsletter to find out what is happening in Library


Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

Kindergarten is beginning to transition back into the swing of school after winter break. In the coming weeks, we will hit the ground running with Global Studies.  The kick-off happens this week for Friday Morning Meeting.  During the kick-off, we will begin by meeting in the gym to view a slide show of previous Global Studies Museums and adventures.  Following the slide show, Kindergarteners will meet as a whole to discuss and write down their wonderings about South America.

Welcome to the Math Nest and Frog Pond!

      It is a brand new year and this means exciting times for our calendar work!  In Number Corner this month, we have been discussing the pattern of the months and noticing that there are 12 months in a year to help understand why we moved from 2012 to 2013.  Kindergarteners are also learning the vocabulary yesterday, today, and tomorrow in hopes to make this concept more concrete



Spirit Week

The last week of school before winter break was a fun filled week.  Kindergarten had a blast wearing mustaches and whiskers, being the color red, spending time with their buddies, sporting pajamas, and showing Meridian Spirit.  Here are some fun photos from that spirited week….






















Library Newsletter January 10, 2013


Curriculum Update

In preparation for Book-it Theater’s presentation, all students learned during discussion of Thank You, Mr. Falker about disabilities that may not be readily visible and revisited bullying behaviors and what they can do to address it or be allies. 


Writing skills practice includes recognizing where punctuation is needed and identifying the various kinds and purposes of punctuation used in my daily message. 


All classes are learning or reviewing Dewey Decimal categories—particularly how to use “umbrella thinking” when finding topics of interest. Umbrella thinking is the skill of broadening a topic to a general idea and then pulling out specific ideas that fall under that overarching idea.  For example, the umbrella topic “food chains” can cover specific topics of habitats, predators, prey, carnivores, etc. This skill will serve students when they are looking for those topics that don’t appear in the title or on a book’s or magazine’s cover. This strategy strengthens student’s ability to move back and forth between broad and specific ideas and provides them with a better understanding of how to approach research—especially when a topic can make it a challenge to find resources.  This strategy can also strengthen use of a book’s index. 


Another way students are learning to remember Dewey Decimal categories is to practice using “Dewey Ducks.” Dewey Ducks are little rubber ducks characterized in a way to represent a Dewey Decimal category to help students to associate specific topics in various categories.  For example, a duck wearing a cap and baseball glove and holding a baseball represents baseball; knowing that makes remembering that sports is included in the 700s Arts and Recreation much easier and much more fun.



 Kindergarten  Students have been getting lots of practice using good library behavior (shoes off, toes to the wall; hand sanitizer; respecting each other’s bubble of space; listening and making contributions during read-alouds, using and returning shelf markers; sharing nubby cushions and earphones; quiet voices sharing library books and magazines; shoes on and lining up to go).  They are very reflective during their self-assessment regarding the number of library points they’ve earned: listening to and following directions, respecting library resources, respecting each other and personal space, reading quietly, on task 100%. 

Kindergarteners have been introduced to and learned so much along with library behavior—what “searching the catalog” means, where to look for clues or signs that help us find what we want, what call numbers and spine labels look like and what they tell us [I maintain they are addresses that tell us where they live on the shelf. E = Everybody picture book, F = chapter book, Dewey Decimal = non-fiction or folktales/poetry, B = Biography]. As I read more books aloud, Kindergarteners are learning a variety of genres; for example, folktales and fairytales (The Mitten), tall tales (Apples to Oregon), and realistic fiction (Fly Away Home).

Now that we are in the New Year, your child will be excited to learn the number of checkouts is now 4.


Meridian Library Catalog

Do you know that you can access the Meridian library catalog from off campus?  Link to the Meridian web page, click Library from the menu on the left, and then click on Library catalog (external) from the menu on the right.



If you have specific requests or suggestions about your child’s reading (e.g., comprehension level, interests, challenges, list of particular title recommendations), or access to e-readers or players for listening to audio or using digital books, or family resources available from the library, please contact me.


For more information, stop in the library, call 206.632.7154 ext. 605, or e-mail


Kindergarten News December 13, 2012

Kindergarten News

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Important Dates:

December 17 – 21 Spirit Week (check Thursday folder for details)

December 21 – FMM – Meridian Entertainment (K-2nd grade) Early Dismissal 1:00

December 24 – January 7 Winter Break

January 7 – School Resumes

January 11 – Friday Morning Meeting Global Studies Kick Off!!

January 21 – No School MLK Jr. Holiday

January 22 – No School Teacher In Service Day

  • Read to the end for Neo Art News


Literacy and the beginning of Global Studies

Last Friday your busy Kindergarten teachers met with our fabulous literacy coach, Andrea Smith.  The majority of our time was spent sorting and leveling our readers for the students to use to choose “just right” books to go into their book bags.  We identified holes that we have in our reader book inventory and made a plan for ordering.  When we met, we also made a plan on how to integrate literacy into our Global Studies unit.  We are beginning this week by using our Step Book as a foundation for writing.  What is a “Step Book?” you may be asking yourself.   A Step Book is one way we take the abstract concept of our location in the world into a more concrete concept for the students.  We start small with a ME page.  The students copy, “This is me.” from a sentence strip and draw a self-portrait.  From here, we add a page about our house, street, neighborhood, city, state, continent and world.  The students will use each page to generate ideas to write about during Daily Five.  This week the students will work on stories about ME.  Next week, the students will start thinking about stories that happen in their house. 

Welcome to the Frog Pond and Math Nest

Every month our calendar has a new pattern and voabulary to build upon.  November's calendar focused on butterflies and begining to use the vocabularly up, down, to the right, and to the left. This month’s calendar pattern is all about a bear and his box.  Each day the bear appears in a different location, and the students make predictions about where the bear will be until the pattern is determined.  We are building upon locational vocabulary such as below, to the left of, to the right o,f behind, in front of, above, inside, and outside.  Also last week, the Kindergarten team had the opportunity to meet with our math couch, Cindy Neace, and discuss the curriculum with her.  On the parent board outside the Kindergarten classrooms, there are some new Math Home Connections if you would like to do a little extra practice at home.




Greetings from Neo Art School!


Greetings from Neo Art School!

Thank you for the opportunity of providing quality, knowledgeable, resourceful and applied art education for the Meridian School. We are fortunate to have been able to
interact so fruitfully for all these years, and are excited to continue our tradition of art exploration into the future. We look forward to your visits to the Neo Art room #121 in the GSC so you can view and appreciate the fruits of your children's creative vision. Our project goals and objectives build observational and decision making skills, creating a student that is more aware, alert and able to communicate abstract ideas in a visual manner.

We opened our art exploration by fusing our Global Studies 2012 interest, South America, with our always exciting and longed for three dimensional ceramic unit. Students in first grade were introduced to the fine arts through the creation of two different types of hand built pottery. This project helps students understand the elasticity of the medium compared with their own personal flexible strength
in manipulating the clay. Students learned to create an opened form with afitted top along with an open coiled pot. Students worked with tempera cakepaint to add color to their little pots, which were then coated with a clear plastic (intended for indoors). Students were given an open palette of color so that we might learn more about the individuals; the psychology of their
natural color choices. This knowledge helps us to learn about the personality that drives their artwork, and we can often offer assistance in a more
personalized way.

Students learned about the pottery of prehistoric South American civilizations as they worked, and discovered how we learn about past civilizations through the ceramic art
surviving over millennia. The ceramic unit is a favorite of all students across grade levels, and helps with the development of fine motor skills through the
mastery of technique in manipulating clay. Ceramic art is fired at 1880 degrees and if it isn't well made technically, it just doesn't survive the gauntlet of
fire. Students learn to be attentive to detail through this reality, and learn to appreciate and determine what things they can and cannot change through
their own effort. The fruits of their labor were available for pick up last month during parent conferences, and hopefully are now gracing your home!

We entered into our two dimensional art exploration through the development of a line, shape and color abstract composition. This classical area of exploration focuses on elements
and principles of design. This study also helps us to determine who is adept at drawing the basic shapes (circle, oval, rectangle, triangle, square), lines
(vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curvilinear) and colors. It is a great review of knowledge learned in kindergarten. We can also identify and work with
individuals who need more instruction. So much relies on a student being able to draw what they see, both in their head and with their eyes. It is actually
easy to draw if you realize that all things are created by just combining these basic shapes, lines and colors. First grade students love to demonstrate their
mastery of the basics of design through careful consideration of their compositions, This project is entertaining to create as students learn about
contrast, blending, direction, and control in their artwork. The exquisitely colorful finished artworks shine like glass, with no two compositions coming
close to resembling each other, yet the same ingredients were utilized in all compositions.

The magic of art! We will be displaying the artwork around school and the GSC, and will alert you when first grade art is featured. Meanwhile, we
will hold their art in their school portfolio, waiting for either the end of the year to come home, or another appropriate earlier time.

Students are now completing their seasonal investigation of art, understanding how and why art came to
provide comfort in times of stress or less. To cheer ourselves through the rather colorless winter to come, we are utilizing copious amounts of warm fall
colors in the creation of gratitude books. The finished product of love will come home for our families over winter break.

Students have painted and printed with several different mediums in several different styles, using brushes, brayers, sponges and other non-traditional applicators. We've chosen leaves as the background subject of our books, and have rendered as many tree leaves as possible throughout each individual book. Students are quick to offer the tree name for leaf shapes, with all being able to name shapes and most favoring the
ginko! We are incorporating drawings in our books, about what we are grateful for in our families. We are helping with words as encouraging children to relatively spell and add their own voice. You will treasure the results of this art exploration for years to come, and no doubt you will have a tear in your eye just as we did when we witnessed the sweet and joyful work of the children.

Feel free to visit our room before or after school, and see where creativity is born and nurtured through art exploration. We are offering Winter Break Classes along with after school classes
starting in January. Avoid those winter blues! Add some color to your child's winter, and think creatively! Be smart, take part and do art! For more information, check our website There are also registration forms outside our door! Have a great holiday and look forward to our next unit of study - papier mache!

Cheers!  Linda Demirel Barnes, Russ Barnes and Magic Demirel----Neo Art School






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