Kindergarten RoundUp!

It’s Kindergarten RoundUp time! So, this week JEF visited the Kindergarten and TK classrooms to explore some of the inspiring things Junction Elementary has to offer.

Dr. Seuss’ birthday makes for an exciting week in Kindergarten. In fact, all that fun really culminates on Friday – “Fun Friday”. On Fun Friday, the students break up into small groups and rotate through different activities led by teachers, aides, and parent volunteers.

Ms. Wood is the Kindergarten teacher. In between teaching the alphabet and numbers, what really shines in Ms. Wood’s classroom is her passion for teaching children lessons in kindness. You can visit her class web page here to learn more about her class, her impressive credentials, and see photos of her classroom in action.

On Friday, Ms. Wood was teaching her students how to finger paint a scene from “The Lorax”.

“Put your hand in the air and swiiiiirlll,” instructed Ms. Wood, “That’s what you’re going to do on the paper.”
Three young boys quietly whispered, “dot… lift… dot… lift” in unison, as they placed white dots on black tree trunks while simultaneously admiring each other’s work.

As I listened to Ms. Wood’s art instructions, I became distracted by the squeal of hot rod tricycle tires from the playground. I had to take a look for myself.

Three little boys fervently raced around the blacktop track during their group’s rotation to the playground.

When the race ended, I wandered next door to Mrs. Gifford’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classroom. The two classrooms are connected by an interior door. Each classroom has a sink, bathroom, and a sliding door to the large playground shared between Kinder, TK, and Preschool children.

Mrs. Gifford’s spark of excitement can light up a room. Check out her classroom web page here. Her role is to help children who are slightly too young for Kindergarten to begin their transition into a full day of learning with a little bit more flexibility.

After reading her group the Dr. Seuss story, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Mrs. Gifford led them to a table of bowls filled with…Oobleck!


The kids couldn’t get enough of the slimy goo in the bowls. Mrs. Gifford explained to me, “It’s not even that hard to clean up!” … sure ?

Nearby at the cooking station, Mrs. Culp was helping the children prepare their own serving of “green eggs and ham,” which consisted of green pudding, a Nilla Wafer, and sprinkles.

A special treat at the cooking station this week.

Fun Friday is nothing short of brilliant.  From the Library, to music, to outdoor play, arts, crafts, and cooking, the children work hard all week to earn their participation in Fun Friday.

Aften bidding farewell to the Kindergarten and TK students, I found myself wandering about the school snapping photos.

Johnnie was mowing the lawn on his tractor and the fresh cut grass smell lingered in the air.  I could hear the school band practicing. The slightly older elementary children ran about their “big kid” playground. In the distance beyond the giant oak tree, I could spot a snow capped Mt. Burney far in the background, and in the other direction, Mt. Lassen.

Junction is really the best of two worlds: It has the small town country feel that brings a sense of unity and community to the campus and makes children feel at home. Yet at the same time, it has all the amenities of a suburban campus – extracurricular activities like sports and music, STEM clubs like Robotics, Book Club, Student Council, and the support of a community who, by the way, voted last June for a school bond that will bring Junction School, a long time community staple, to the same modern facility standards as newer schools in the area (construction starts this summer ?).

JEF encourages families to enroll your youngsters in Kindergarten (or TK, or Preschool for that matter) at Junction Elementary School in Palo Cedro, where they’re sure to experience years of magic in learning. Kindergarten Roundup goes through the month of March. Visit the front office for details, or contact JEF to chat about it.

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Highlights of the Junction Kindergarten Program:

Differentiated instruction at our Language Arts/Reading Stations

Music, Library, Computer Lab/Technology Programs are offered weekly.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) trained K and TK teachers

Hands-on Learning; Math manipulatives, Zoo Phonics

Kindergarten Electives once a week:

Fall – Around the World ~ Art, Games, Cooking, and Music

Winter-Spoken Word ~ Poetry, Readers Theater, Dance

Spring – STEM ~ Engineering, Physical and Chemical Science

Fun Friday Stations: Art, Cooking, Science, Library, Engineering, Outside Play

3-4 Field Trips

Snack Time Daily

Free Choice Time/Play in the afternoons promoting social and emotional development

Basic Daily Schedule

8:30-10:10 Language Arts/ Reading Stations

10:10-10:30 Snack and Recess

10:30-11:35 Math and PE Stations

11:35-12:15 Lunch/Recess

12:15-1:00 Calendar; Share; Read-Aloud; Math

1:00-1:30 Writing

1:30-2:15 Singing, Reading, Extra Work Time, Free Choice Time

Music, Electives, Computer Lab on certain days

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