• Digital Days

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 2/12/2020

    Minnesota winters can be hard, but thankfully schools around the area have implemented Digital Days.  Some people love them, while others hate them.  Being a teacher, I have to admit, they are a lot of work (making videos, organizing papers, correcting papers, checking folders, sending home new information, etc.), but I am so thankful our school has implemented them. 

    In my first year of teaching, I taught 3rd grade in Hutchinson and we had a lot of snow days.  Our last day of school was always the first week of June (even when I was a student there), but we had to add 3 or 4 extra days at the end of the year.  But, that didn't include all of our staff days we had to make up.  So, my last day of teaching in Hutch was June 16th--yes, JUNE 16!!  That was also the summer I was offered a job to teach in Springfield, where my start date was August 1st, as I was starting in Kindergarten and needed to be available at Kindergarten camp.  With that being said, I loaded up my old classroom, moved into a new house in a town 65 miles from my family (which I have never done before), and set up a new classroom in a grade level completely different from what I was used to. 

    If we would have implemented digital days back then, my summer would not have been so crazy and the school year would have ended on a different note.  Making up snow days is hard on everyone involved.  When they are added to the end of the year, students are burnt out and little knowledge is being absorbed at that time.   But, on digital days, as we have now, the students are working on the curriculum relevant to their current studies.  They are able to see a lesson, maybe review a few items, but they are learning and most kids enjoy it.  

    With that being said, embrace digital days and learn with your students.  Take the opportunities to sit with them and work on the lesson-together.  It will make both of your days better and your child will love spending those few minutes together.  


    Have a great snow day and enjoy the time with your kids.  They grow up too fast and soon they will be moving out and chasing after their dreams.  

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  • Post Conferences

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 11/11/2019

    Last week we had conferences and it is always a great experience to share with families.  I used to stress about conferences each year, but I havea now realized parents do not want to see work samples of their students, but hear the things I have to say about them.  I use this time to share strengths and weaknesses of their child, as well as allow parents to ask questions.  Each conference runs a little different, but it is so important to connect with famlies and reflect on the school year thus far.


    I would like to thank each family who attended conferences and share their throughts with me.  Please remember, if there is anything you ever wonder about or feel I should know, please contact me.  The best advice I have ever received is to stay connected with parents.  Please see my Class Dojo page with any updates and pictures, as well as feel free to message me with questions or concerns.


    Happy November!

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  • Stamina

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 10/4/2019

    This year we have been working very hard on building our stamina while reading to self.  Many people think, how can Kindergarten students read to self, when they do not know how to read.  In our classroom, we teach them three ways to read a book, including look at the pictures, read the words, and make up your own story.  Lately, students have been looking for specific letters in the book, counting how many they see or finding our sight word for the week.  They have really enjoyed this time and have pushed themselves to accomplish 11 minutes of stamina time thus far in the school year!  They are very proud of their time and ask when they will get to work on it next.  


    If you are working with a younger child at home, see how well they can read the book.  Have them look for specific words or letters, make up a story, or point out important parts of the pictures.  The more details they notice, the more interesting their stories will be!  


    Thanks for reading-

    Mrs. V

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  • Homecoming Week

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 9/18/2019

    This week is always a great time for community to come together and cheer on our Springfield Tigers.  It has been wonderful seeing so many students dressed up each day to go with the themes.  Thank you for all your support this week and I look forward to seeing you at Tiger Trek on Friday!

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  • WOW!! People are amazing!

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 7/17/2019

    Yesterday I wanted to try something new for the upcoming school year.  Each month I send home Scholastic Book Orders, but not all families are able to purchase books throughout the year.  I went to my Facebook friends to ask if they would be willing to "sponsor" a child for $9 a year, allowing each student in my classroom to receive one free book each month, with a total of nine books throughout the year!  In less than 2 hours, I received 22 people who wanted to donate to help my Kindergarten students find the love of reading.  It was truly amazing to see all the comments of people willing to help! Each of my students will receive a brand new book each month that they will get to keep and enjoy in their home.  I cannot wait to see their smiles on their face when the first book order comes!  It will be a truly amazing experience for each and every one of them, including myself!

    So thank you to everyone who helped and to everyone who helps classroom teachers out throughout their lifetime.  Teachers will do anything to help a child out, but when we have additional support, we are so blessed! Once again, thank you!  We really cannot thank you enough!  


    Mrs. V

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  • Resources Added!

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 7/8/2019

    Take a look at my new page I added to my website!! I created a list of Website and Applications that I have found since starting my technology class that I think would be beneficial for students in Kindergarten.  When I find new ones throughout the year, I will continue adding them to the list.  If you know of any good websites that you think other students will benefit from, PLEASE share them with me!  


    Mrs. V

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  • New Math Resources

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 7/1/2019

    I came across two new math resources that seem benefical for Kindergarten students.  


    1. SplashMath- Great interactive website that allows students to work on specific math skills and there is no log-in required.  I will be implementing this resource into my classroom this upcoming year.

    2. FreckleMath- Another math resource, but after hearing from classsmates in my technology course, it requires additional implementation that is not always possible during the school day.  Would be a great resource to use at home that allows students to review the information we are learning. 


    Mrs. V

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  • Something New and Improved

    Posted by Jena Veenstra on 6/9/2019

    While taking my Master's classes, I have been enrolled in a technology course which is teaching me new ways to implement technology into my classroom.  One resource he would like us to create is a PLN (Personal Learning Network), which allows us to connect with other teachers.  I added my PLN into my classroom website, to allow myself to showcase my resources with others in my building, as well as around the world.  I hope you enjoy the blog and can learn something new throughout the years!

    Mrs. V

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