Class of 2029: Kindergarten Orientation 2016

Dunlap Grade School Kindergarten Families,

I am eager to welcome the Class of 2029 to our school as our newest group that we will be able to lay the foundation of lifelong learning for. If you are like me, you look at the children sitting next to you and feel like it was both a moment and a lifetime ago that they came into your lives. You are beaming with both pride and excitement as much as you are with worry and trepidation as they are on the brink of starting kindergarten.

To the kindergarteners, look up at mom or dad right now and tell them, “I got this.” One more time, “I got this.”

And they do… Sure there may be some hesitation, worry or concern, but they are going to amaze you. They are going to grow, develop, and make you proud. They are going to learn how to read letters, words, and sentences. They are going to learn to write to share their feelings and ideas. They are going to learn about numbers, shapes, and math-problem solving concepts. But, they are also going to learn to become more independent. They are going to learn to be a good friend.  They are going to learn that mistakes are ok and we learn from our failures. They’re going to learn all of that and so much more.

But what’s more, just as they will learn from the fabulous educators in this building, we will learn from them and just as quickly as they went from being a baby to being here tonight embarking on kindergarten, you are going to blink and this class of 2029 is going to be graduating high school and you’re going to remember the day they started kindergarten and smile and remember how far they’ve come. Because… they’ve got this.

Sight Words in Kindergarten

Sight words are so vital at the kindergarten level.  It is so important for beginning readers to learn their sight words. Sight word recognition improves reading fluency.  It allows the student to focus on reading comprehension rather than sounding out words.  This allows students to focus their efforts on “reading to learn” rather than “learning to read.”  We work on sight words in many different ways in our classroom.  We do have flash cards that the students can work on during our Daily 5 literacy centers.  We also work on sight words in more active ways.  For example, we take sidewalk chalk outside and the students practice writing the sight words on the blacktop.  This is a fun and engaging way for the students to recall their sight words.   When we do read a loud books, the students pick out the sight words in the story.

Many of these activities can be done at home as well!  It is getting a little colder outside, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy some sidewalk chalk!  Students would also love reading stories with you at home!  When you get done reading a page, have your child pick out the sight words.  They really love finding their sight words in stories.   There are also many different sight word songs on YouTube that we play in our classroom.  The kids love to sing and dance and don’t even notice they are learning the sight words!  In the Resources Page of our blog is the list of our sight words for the entire year.  We are currently working on theme 5.  Keep up all the hard work you are doing with your child!  We definitely notice all the work you do at home.  We greatly appreciate all the support!

Some Resources for you to use at home:


Welcome Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. Weiss

District Strategic Goal #3:

Create a Satisfying and Productive Classroom Teaching Environment

Welcome Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. Weiss

We are happy to announce that Michelle Weiss will be the new Kindergarten teacher at DGS. Mrs. Weiss has been teaching at PALS Preschool and Daycare for the last 3 years. She has also recently graduated from Bradley University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education after completing her student teaching in Kindergarten at Hines Primary School in Peoria. She is excited to meet DGS families and is looking forward to a year of learning and fun! Welcome Mrs. Weiss!

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100th Day of School

District Goal #2: Create a Satisfying and Productive Classroom Learning Environment

The kindergarten students celebrated the 100th day of school on Tuesday! Students collected 100 items from home to bring in for the celebration!  Students and teachers dressed up like they were 100 years old and participated in 100 day activities! They made great creations with 100 red cups, used their imagination to create artwork with the numbers 1, 0, 0, counted 100 fruit loops to string a 100 day necklace, and completed 100 piece puzzles! They continued practicing counting to 100 by ones, fives, and tens throughout the day! These activities reinforce number sense and math concepts.

Many other grade levels also completed activities related to the 100th Day of School. First grade students created T-Shirts while Second Grade Students developed drawings and stories about what it would be like when they are 100 years old! It was such a great 100th day of school!


Submitted by: Britney Barackman  

Kindergarten Sink or Float Activity

District Goal #1: Continuously Improve Student Growth and Achievement

Kindergarten teachers asked students to bring in one object to test in their Sink or Float Experiment today!  The students made predictions for each object and then they tested the objects! They graphed their results on their Sink or Float Graph.  They tested 42 items total and the students were surprised to see that 29 objects floated! This activity was done in collaboration with both kindergarten classes! This activity demonstrates how students can integrate math, literacy, communication and science concepts in one activity. Look how fun Science can be in kindergarten!

Submitted by: Miss Barackman


Kindergarten Science Day

Miss Barackman’s class had great behavior in the month of November so they had a Science Day! They mixed colors, created their own “snow”, made lava lamps, and even made silly putty!

At the end of the day, Miss Barackman created a volcano! We talked about mixing ingredients and how to make new colors by mixing two colors together! It was a so fun learning about science with experiments!image

Kindergarten Healthy Kids Day

Kindergarten had a fun “Healthy Living Day.” They just finished Theme 3 in their reading curriculum. The primary goals of the unit was to teach students about Good Food to Eat. They celebrated the conclusion of the unit with a “Healthy Living Day!” They applied what they learned about vitamins and healthy foods.  The kindergarten classes went to the park, where the enjoyed healthy snacks and participated in exercise stations!  It was a fun day!


Submitted by: Miss Barackman

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A Glimpse into Kindergarten

In the coming days, each team of teachers has prepared a glimpse into their grade level. We will start with a message to our Kindergarten students from Miss Douglas and Miss Barackman!

A Glimpse into Kindergarten

A very special time is beginning for you here,

We’ll learn so many new things throughout the school year.

Our days will be filled with lots of learning and fun,

And we will keep busy until the day is done.

So many shapes, letters, and number, oh my!

Learning to write between the worm line and the sky line.

One thing that we will do that will really be great,

Is learning to read – we can’t hardly wait!

And never forget, that although you are new,

You will make many new friends to help you through.

We are very excited to meet you, and then,

Begin our many adventures in Kindergarten!

See you on August 16th!
Miss Barackman and Miss Douglas

Mrs. Kurth honored as Silver Apple Award Winner

Mrs. Judy Kurth was honored Wednesday Night at Weaver Ridge during a regional banquet celebrating excellence in teaching and dedication to the profession. Judy received the “Silver Apple Distinction” and recognition for her years of service to students and families in the Dunlap community. She celebrated the honor with many Dunlap Grade School and Dunlap School District colleagues! We are proud of her contributions to education and our profession. She makes DGS proud!

Kindergarten American Flag Unit

Goal #1: Continuously Improve Student Growth and Acheivement

The kindergarten class has been busy learning facts about the American flag. They made flags, wrote a report and even had Fifth Graders show us the correct way to display the flag.

If you are interested in learning more about flags, check out:


Submitted by: Judy Kurth

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