Mrs. Niswander’s Kindergarten Class J

While our school is closed, I am truly missing your children. I hope you are getting to spend quality time together. Please know that if you need ANYTHING, you can reach out to me via email at 

 The most important thing right now is for you to have fun with your child, show them love as you always do, and keep them excited to learn-whether they are at home, outside, at a friend's house, or at school! 

In terms of working with your child is home, I realize this time can be uncertain, scary, and difficult. All of this work is optional.

The more you work with your child, the stronger bridge we can build between your home and our classroom.  


  • READING/WRITING: Have your child read 1 of their take-home books to you and then write 2-3 sentences about what happened in the book.
  • WRITING: Have your child write a story focusing on the beginning, middle, and end. Help them try to focus on 1 topic and write about that topic throughout their story.
  • MATH: Have your child complete 1 page of MATH from their Origo Student-Workbook.
  • SCIENCE: Work with your child to identify, write about, and draw Non-living and Living things that they can see in their daily life/outside.
  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Have your child identify different community helpers. Work together to match simple descriptions of work that people do and name that job such as police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors etc. Work with your child to identify different wants and needs. Explain what a want is and what a need is: a want is something you don't need to survive, and a need is something you must have in order to survive like water, food, shelter, clothes.
  • DREAMBOX: Have your child complete 20 minutes of DreamBox on an Ipad/Computer/Tablet/Phone. They will use their QR code to log in! 
  • LEXIA: Have your child complete 20 minutes of Lexia on an Ipad/Computer/Tablet/Phone. They will use their QR code to log in! 

I have also linked helpful educational websites/our Clever login for DreamBox and Lexia in my "Helpful Links" pages! 

While we are closed, you can also work with your children on the following units:

Math Unit:

Number Sense

Counting Set Numbers 0-20:

 Counting with one-to-one correspondence, Tell how many are there, reading number 0-20, writing numbers 0-20 and representing numbers 0-20

Counting forwards to 100: 

Counting orally to 100

Identifying the number after (0-100) and the number before (0-10) without counting:

 When given a number, for example, 20 the student can orally and write the number that comes before which is 19 and the number that comes after which is 21.

Compare and order numbers of three sets: 

Ordering numbers from least to greatest and greatest to least and knowing which set (pile) has more, fewer or the same.

Counting forwards by 10's: 

Orally and representing sets or piles of 10 to count by 10's to 100

Part-Part Whole up to 10: 

Students can take a whole number for example 5 and say and write how many combinations to get to 5 such as 2 and 3 make 5, 5 and 0 make 5 or 4 and 1 make 5.  Please note I understand you may want to use + or - but make sure your child knows and understands that number sentence ___ and ___ make ____ first. Then you can add in the symbols. Students need to Fluent with part-part whole numbers 1,2, 3, 4 and 5.  When they can say and write all the combinations to 5 then start with the numbers 6,7,8,9 and 10.


Identify what is a penny, nickel, dime and Quarter, how much each coin is worth and how many pennies to a nickel, dime and quarter.  This would be great to use real coins and have them count out pennies to make a nickel, dime and quarter. 

Single-Step Story problem addition and subtraction (total up to 10): 

A sample, Ben has 2 toys and his mom buys him 3 more how many toys does he have now?  When solving problems please have your child draw a quick picture such as circles to represent the toys then have them write out the number sentence like this 2 and 3 make 5.  Do the same for subtraction but when making circles have them cross out the number being taking away.

Reading Unit:


Reading: listening to short various poems and please continue reading fiction and non-fiction books to build vocabulary and sight words.


When reading discuss meanings of various words.  This does not mean they need to write that word.


Before reading: Make a prediction on what you think will happen in the story by the cover page? How did you come up with that prediction?

During Reading: What do you think will happen next? How is the character feeling? What do you think will happen at the end?

After Reading: Who were the characters? Where was the setting? What happen first?  What happen in the middle? What happen at the end? Did you like this story? Why did you like it or not like it?


Rhyming: being able to listen to a story or poem and hearing which words rhyme and words that do not rhyme such as hat and bat rhyme or chair and bear rhyme.  Please note that not all rhyming words have the same ending so it very important that your child can hear the rhyme before looking at the word.  A picture sort is great for this.

Blending and Segmenting words: blending and segmenting is where your child blends sounds together to create a word such as dog.  Your child will hear sounds in the word d-o-g to make dog. Have your child be the robot talk which is saying the word slowly so they can hear all the sounds. You can use a sound box which is just three boxes together and hey can put each letter in the box to mak

e the word.

Short vowels, digraphs and blends:

Short vowel: have you child identify/write short vowels in words like:

A: cat,pan,pad, ham,lap

E: led,pet,ten,web,leg

I: lip,sit,six,pin,pig

O: mop, cob, fox, dog,got

U: tub, cup, sun, bus, jug

Digraphs: digraphs that I have taught are TH, PH, CH, SH, and WH.  Digraphs are two letters that hug each other to make one sounds such as: Ship, Chip, Thin, Whale, Phone etc. you can do a picture sort with different digraphs and have them sort them under the correct digraph like you have a picture of a ship you child has to put that picture u

nder the digraph SH. 

Blends: the blends i have taught so far are ST, SP, BR, CR, DR, FR, TR, PL, FL, GL, CL, SL.  Blends are two letters that hug each other to make two sounds.  Please Note that we just started blends not to long ago but I just wanted to provide this for you. You can have your child sound out different words that have blends in them such as frog, star, tree, block etc. 


Descriptive Writing

Print and handwriting:

have your child keep practicing writing letters correctly on the lines and Neatly, only use upper case letters at the start of a sentence Not in the middle of a word or their name, write left to right and have them practice spaces in between words.

Narrative and Descriptive Writing:

have your child generate ideas to write about such as an experience they did, favorite things they like to do, or they can make up a story and be an author.  Once they have an idea have them start writing about it using their letter sounds to spell a word and remember it is okay if they don't spell a vocabulary word correctly has long as they are using their sounds to spell it out but if it is a sight word please make sure it is correct.  When your child is writing have them use spaces in between words, and this unit is all about descriptive words so have them use color words, sound words, rexture words, number words, size words etc to describe what they are writing about.  For example, I am writing about my favorite toy i like.  I can say I love to play with my big red truck.  It goes so fast like flash.  It can make turns and cool sounds. 

Drawing Pictures:

after you child writes have them draw a detailed picture of what they wrote about.  Please make sure their picture matches their words. (your child will probably say I know cause I say it a lot).  When they are drawing have them draw the descriptive words they said in their writing. If its a big red truck have them draw a big red truck.


Its important to have your child read what they wrote to you or anyone in the family.  They love to share their work. 


Living and Non-living things

Identify living and Non-living things: 

 understand the differences between living organisms and nonliving objects. Key concepts include

 a) all things can be classified as living or nonliving

 b) living organisms have certain characteristics that distinguish them from nonliving objects including growth, movement, response to the environment, having offspring, and the need for food, air, and water. 

 Basic Needs of Living Things: 

understand basic needs and life processes of plants and animals. Key concepts include 

a) animals need adequate food, water, shelter, air, and space to survive; 

b) plants need nutrients, water, air, light, and a place to grow to survive. 

c) plants and animals change as they grow, have varied life cycles, and eventually die; and 

d) offspring of plants and animals are similar but not identical to their parents or to one another

Changes over Time:

 understand that change occurs over time and rates may be fast or slow. Key concepts include 

a) natural and human-made things may change over time; and

 b) changes can be observed and measured.

Social Studies:

Review of Unit:


 Community Helpers: Your child can match simple descriptions of work that people do and name that job such as police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors etc.

Making choices: people make choices because they cannot have everything they want.  Explain to your child about people work to earn money to buy the things they want.

Wants and Needs: Explain what a want is and a need. a Want is something you don't need to survive and and need is something you do need to survive like water, food, shelter, clothes.

Let's come together during this uncertain time and make the most of it! I am trying to find joy in all of the blessings in my life, and I am certainly counting working with your children as one of those. 
Stay safe and God bless.  


Mrs. Niswander 


I am a Kinder teacher here at Fitzgerald (the BEST school on earth)! I love teaching and feel so blessed to be able to work with sweet children each day! I am a teacher who believes in empowering, affirming, and loving my students. I believe that children have to feel psychologically and physically safe in my classroom in order to perform beyond the best of their abilities! Learning only happens when kids feel psychologically safe and secure, is optimized when their physical needs are met, requires kids’ active engagement in the learning experience fueled by self-motivation! I am a passionate, loving, and energetic teacher. I received my undergrad from Northwestern University, where I also played D1 lacrosse. I completed my Master's degree in Education at George Mason University, where I played my graduate year of D1 lacrosse!


Personal Message

Hi! I am so grateful to be teaching at this amazing school! I love teaching Kindergarten! I love seeing my kids engaged, excited, and self-motivated to learn. I love your child as my own and want them to feel like they can accomplish anything if they set their minds to it! I am a teacher who deeply believes in the power of creating a loving community in my classroom. When my kids feel like they are part of a family in my classroom space, they can practice essential social and coping skills that will empower them for the rest of their lives! I want my kids to feel that they are able to reach their dreams. I am also a teacher who knows you are an integral part of your child's education. When you and your family work with your child at home, we can build a powerful bridge between home and our classroom that will set students up for success!