February 12 – 16

Don’t forget that this Wednesday is our Valentine’s Day party! We will start the party right after lunch (around 11:00), so if you would like to come eat lunch with your child before the party you are welcome to join us! We will decorate a cookie, make a craft, and then have a small snack. After the party we will head outside (weather permitting) for recess. I hope to see you all there!

We have a lot of learning to do this week! In phonics we will begin learning about reading and writing words with consonant blends. A consonant blend is two or three consonants, at the beginning or ending of a word, that blends sounds together to make one sound. We will focus on these blends:

bl, cl, fl, pl, sl, gl, br, cr, dr, fr, tr, gr, sm, sp, st, sc, sn, sw, and sk

In Reader’s Workshop we apply our lessons about blends into reading them in books. We have focused a lot on getting our mouths ready when reading unknown words by looking at the beginning letter (or letters), so we will now begin thinking about looking at the ends of words too (I call this carrying your eyes to the end of the word).

In Writer’s Workshop we are getting close to the end of our How To Unit. We will continue applying everything we have learned about what good authors do and look at text features in How To books to see what we can add to our own writing!

In math we are still focusing on the beginning concepts of adding and subtracting. We have begun reading and analyzing story problems and showing how to solve them using words, pictures, and numbers.

I am looking forward to another fun week!

A message from Mr. Cathey

Hello parents,

Coach Callahan will soon be helping our students participate in Jump Rope for Heart.  This is a national campaign that is hosted by The American Heart Association.  It’s a great event to raise funds and awareness in the fight against heart disease and stroke.  These are the No.1 and No.4 killers in America.  It’s also great to promote heart healthy living in our students.


Here’s where you come in…Volunteers are needed throughout the week at different times.  Below is a sign up genius.  Please clicki on the link, check your schedules and see what spots could work for you.  Thank you for being a part of such an amazing community that supports our kids so well!  We hope to see you here.




“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”

-John Dewey


Jason Cathey


Frey Elementary School

You Matter To Me.

This week in Kindergarten (1/29-2/2)

We are embarking on another fun and busy week!

In Reader’s Workshop we are working on building on our reading “super powers!” We have been talking a lot about how many of the books we read in class have patterns, which make it easy to know what will come on the next page. However, we also have talked about how, many times, the pattern changes on the last page. We are NOT going to let those sneaky authors trick us though! We use our other reading “super powers” so we won’t get tricked. The Kinders are practicing using their sound power (look at the first work and get their mouth ready by making that sound) and their picture power (then check the picture). Finally, we use our snap word power to check our reading (we ask ourselves, does it sound right?). I am so proud of the amazing readers we are becoming!

In Writer’s Workshop we are continuing to work on becoming “how-to” authors. This week our focus will be on putting diagrams with labels in our books, writing as many books as we can, and tackling those long words with many letters and sounds.

In Phonics we are finishing learning how to write uppercase letters. We also practice our sounds (vowels in particular) every day. We will also begin thinking about how c and g make a hard and soft sound.

In math we are learning about making number combinations. We are looking at how we can take two groups of objects and combining them to make a large group (this is an introduction to the concept of addition). We are also working on being able to fluently make combinations that equal 5.


We Love Sight Words!

These are the sight words that we will be working on until the week of February 12. I will add the next group of words after that week.

here, say, am, little, she, new, funny, too, not, want, three, now, away, there, four, was, with



Welcome back!

Welcome back Kinder parents! Even though we have not yet had two full weeks this semester, we have already started a lot of great learning!

Reader’s Workshop

In Reader’s Workshop we are beginning to learn about tackling more difficult books. As most of you have probably noticed from the books that have come home with your Kinders, many books at their current level have a predictable pattern which helps build a strong reading foundation. For example, you may have seen a pattern similiar to this: “I like apples, I like bananas, I like oranges,” etc. However, we are learning that often times, the pattern changes on the last page in harder books to ensure that the reader is attending to the text. We will be learning about how to use those patterns (using Pattern Power!) when reading, and what to do when the pattern changes at the end of the book.

Writer’s Workshop

We have a family of excited Kinder authors because we have started writing “how-to books!” The Kinders had to think of something they knew a lot about, and now they are writing step by step procedures to teach something about that topic. Some examples of the topics are how to make waffles, how to organize, how to play baseball/basketball, how to take care of cats/dogs/puppies, etc. This is a super fun unit of study in writing and I can’t wait to see all the different books that your Kinders are going to write!


In math next week we will begin learning about adding and subtracting to 5. We are learning how to compose (add numbers up to 5) and decompose (breaking apart numbers up to 5).

I will post the sight words on which we will be working next week (I left them at school and I am typing this from home).

Have a great weekend!

This (short) week!

What a fantastic sing-a-long and holiday party we had on Friday! Thank you to Alia Hoyt and all the wonderful families that donated items to our holiday party! We had so much fun!

Tomorrow the Kinders will be rotating through all of the Kindergarten classrooms to learn about different Christmas/New Years traditions (this is a Kindergarten social studies standard). That will take up most of our day.

During the rest of the week I will be finishing assessments for the report card for the second nine weeks. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY ARE EARLY RELEASE DAYS.

Have a wonderful week!

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I apologize for getting this blog out so late this week. We were essentially without power the entire weekend (we lost power at 4:30 PM, and although it came back on Saturday at 6 AM, it went out again that same morning at 11:30 AM and it didn’t come back on until Monday at around 4:30 PM). Therefore, with trying to keep my family safe and warm I just didn’t get a chance to post until today.

That being said, we are back and ready to celebrate! Our holiday song fest will be at 8:15 AM Friday morning in the cafeteria (you may want to be there earlier to get a seat). If you are facing the stage, we will be in the middle of the stage but toward the right side. Immediately after the song fest we will go back to the room for some yummy snacks and some crafts. I look forward to seeing all of you!

This week your child will not be bringing books home to read from reading groups. This is because we are nearing the end of the nine weeks and I am doing formal assessments for the report cards. Many of these assessments take place during guided reading/literacy center time so we will not be reading new books.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and I will see you on Friday!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Hello Kinder parents! We have so much going on during this time of year! During the excitement of preparing for Christmas, we are still learning!

In reading, we are learning about and applying all of our reading “powers” to help us become readers. We have learned how to use pointer power, partner power, picture power, reread power, sound power, and persistence power! All of these different “powers” (or reading strategies), are helping us become independent readers. I am amazed at how much these wonderful Kinders have learned and are applying when reading!

In writer’s workshop we are still writing true stories about ourselves. We have a checklist that we use to make sure our writing has all the components we need before we begin a new piece. Some of the components that we are working on are:

  1. Do we have a beginning, middle, and end to our story?
  2. Does it tell a story (who was there and what they did)?
  3. Do we have finger spaces between our words?
  4. Do we have a capital letter at the beginning and punctuation at the end?

In math this week we will begin measurement. We will begin by simply learning about how we can look at different measurement attributes (tall, short, long, big, small, heavy, light) and then begin discussing how to arrange objects from tallest to shortest and vice versa.

Have a great week!


Tis the Season to show Gratitude!

I want to take a moment to pause and say how thankful I am for all of you and your wonderful children. I feel extremely blessed and thankful every day for the privilege to teach your children and to work at such an amazing school.

We are finishing up our Can-a-Thon at school this week, but we are still in need of more cans. Each class was challenged to create something out of the cans and there will be a judging on Thursday for who has the best creation. The Kinders voted and a Christmas tree won the most votes. Therefore, we will be wrapping and decorating cans and stacking/arranging them to look like a Christmas tree. We have some cans, but not enough to make a large tree. If you have any extra cans, please send them in by Wednesday.

Don’t forget that our feast is this Thursday, November 16, from 10:50-11:30. I am looking forward to seeing you all there! If you are planning on coming, the administration/cafeteria staff has requested that you please make sure your child has enough money in their account to cover him/her and all of his/her guests. This will make the line go quicker which is a good thing because we usually have a big crowd during these feasts.

Have a great week!


November 6-10

Hello Amazing Families!

I apologize for not posting on the blog last week. With three cases of pink eye (me included), Halloween, and everything else that went on last week, my time slipped away from me. Thank you so much for your understanding and patience!

We had so much fun last week wearing our costumes and participating in fall centers. I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Mrs. Hoyt, Mrs. Wade, Mrs. McGrew, Mrs. Chandler, Mrs. Guarnieri, Mrs. Edwards, and Mrs. Covert for arranging the centers and providing the activities and yummy snacks! Please forgive me if I left out names if anyone else helped. It was such an amazing afternoon!

The sight words for last week and the upcoming couple of weeks are:

we, be, play, yes, for, come, by, come, said, this, he, one, or

This list brings us to Thanksgiving Break. I will post the next list after the break.

In writing we are continuing to work on writing true stories about ourselves. We have really starting focusing on writing stories that are readable by others. The Kinders are beginning to write sentences in their stories (one or two per page). We are also beginning to talk about capital letters at the beginning of the sentence (we call it the line leader) and ending punctuation. However, this is a skill that is worked on all year (and the years to come), so please do not be alarmed if you don’t see those things in the work that comes home.

In reading we are working hard in guided reading groups. We have been talking about using “pointer power” (making sure that we are saying matches what we are pointing to on the page), using our “snap words” (sight words) to monitor our reading for accuracy, and getting “our mouth ready” or looking at the first letter in words and checking the picture. Thank you so much for reading the book with your Kinder that he/she brings home in their reading bag and returning it promptly the next day.

In math we are focusing on how to write teen numbers, comparing numbers (which is bigger or smaller), and learning about what is one/two more and one/two less than a given number.

Finally, in social studies we will be learning about why we celebrate Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving.


Have a wonderful week and thank you for all you do!