During the first quarter, preschool has been busy exploring several topics.  Our Tuesday/Thursday class began the year learning about our community: what are businesses, what businesses do we have in Hayes Center, how do these businesses help the community, what are the various jobs in the community, etc.  Thanks to some gracious businesses, we were able to explore the Co-op, the grocery store, and the bank to help us dive deeper into this concept of learning.  While our Tuesday/Thursday class was exploring the community, our MWF class was exploring the concept of space.  We explored topics such as planets, the moon, the sun, orbiting, meteors, stars, and more.  We engaged our bodies to be the moon orbiting the earth, we dropped rocks onto playdough to explore craters and meteors, we were able to watch the high school Earth Science class shoot off a rocket, we engaged our pre-writing skills to write our own book of space components, and more.  

During October, our focus for both classes shifted to fall/pumpkins.  We began with explorations of what fall: what changes do we see and feel occurring during fall.  We explored materials that fall off of trees such as leaves, pine cones, and pine needles and were able to engage our creativeness to paint with them.  We also explored harvest and connected our learning with the experiences many have had at home with harvest.  We then engaged our fine motor skills to make our own corn cobs.  Over the course of the month, our focus shifted to exploring pumpkins.  We employed our descriptive vocabulary to identify what pumpkins look like, sound like, and what they can do.  We then learned about the 6 main parts of a pumpkin and engaged our senses to explore these parts in a hands on fashion by manipulating pumpkins and scooping out the innards.  We then discussed the various ways to measure pumpkins such as height of a pumpkin and the circumference of a pumpkin.  We then used cubes and string to measure our pumpkins and engage our comparison, classification, and ordering skills to decide who had the tallest/shortest pumpkin and who had the roundest pumpkin.  We also explored gravity and ramps by having pumpkin races down the playground slides.  We engaged in cooking experiences with pumpkin and created pumpkin cheesecake as well as pumpkin playdough.  As a culmination to our pumpkin explorations, we were able to engage our creativity to paint our own pumpkins.  

Another big focus in the preschool classroom has been on our social and emotional skills.  Young children are learning how to handle their own feelings, thoughts, wants, and actions as well as the fact that their peers have their own individual feelings, thoughts, wants and actions.  Young children need time with groups of other children to explore these similarities and differences in themselves and their peers as well as explicit guidance in tools that they can use to manage different situations.  In order to help our preschool friends manage their individual problems and social problems, we have a specific time set aside to teach social and emotional skills known as “superfriends time”.   Throughout the first quarter we focused this learning time on routines and expectations, identifying various feelings based on facial cues/language cues/physical cues, identify situations that make us feel different emotions, and how we can manage strong emotions when the arise in us.  We read social stories, played games, role played with puppets, created glitter shake bottles, sang songs and more to help us understand the concept of emotions and how to manage them.  Currently, our “superfriends time” has shifted focus to problem solving.   We are learning a 4 step problem solving method and then specific tools that can be used to solve social problems such as telling or friends to “please stop”, taking turns using a timer, trading toys, playing alongside our peers with the same toy, etc.  



Jr. Kindergarten

Junior Kindergarten students have grown in many ways over the course of the first quarter. Though it has only been nine weeks, it is amazing to see the changes and growth that the students have shown. There are three unique and precious personalities!

This quarter, Junior Kindergarten students began working as a JK class individually, in both Preschool and Kindergarten. Students have worked in the Preschool classroom on JK journals to improve skills including prewriting strokes, idea representation, number identification, counting with one to one correspondence, letter identification, writing their names, and many more topics. JK friends are developing skills in the Kindergarten classroom as well. In Math meeting, the students have practiced counting, calendar skills, patterning, learning about the penny coin, and seasons. In Science, they have explored concepts in weather and seasons, healthy food choices, and animals preparing for winter. JK students have small group time to focus on particular skills, like rhyming for example. JK are able to expand on their work in prewriting strokes to practice letter writing with correct stroke in Junior Kindergarten handwriting books.

Junior Kindergarten are participating in Physical Education and Music class. They have enjoyed many games developing skills in coordination and balance in P.E. They enjoy the time immersed in games with peers from other classes. In Music, JK is learning new songs in preparation for the upcoming Veteran’s Day program.


The students are forming their own JK class identity. Recently, the JK kids have shown pride in not only their day to day work but also enjoy distinguishing themselves as a class all their own, developing and growing at a JK pace. They are excited to learn new skills and continue to grow in a wide array of areas.


A, B, C, D, E, F, Gee this first quarter has flown!  The students in Kindergarten are growing in so many ways.  The kiddos have developed physically, socially, and academically.  They are so excited to read and show what they know.  They are proud of themselves and are eager to read to me, para professionals, and parents.  Each and every day they grow, mature, and change.  This is such a dynamic and exciting time in their life and it is such a great pleasure to facilitate their growth!

The students have explored literature of many genres and are so pleased that they now can read books.  It is thrilling to watch the students advance from learning letters, to blending sounds, to reading words independently.  

Kindergarteners, not only enjoy reading themselves, but also appreciate read-aloud stories.  So far this year the kiddos have explored literature units learning about cooperation and discovering how plants and animals change and grow.  

The young learners at Hayes Center Kindergarten have also succeeded in gaining Math skills.  They can count objects, compare groups of objects, and are currently working to describe and recognize two dimensional and three dimensional shapes.

The Kindergarten students are working to gain skills needed in the 21st century including exploring technology, creativity, empathy, and communication.  It is amazing how much these little ones know about using technology! The Kindergarten students enjoy using the Osmos to practice number sense, tangrams, and coding.

We are excited to embark on the fast-paced course of second quarter including the Veteran’sDay Program and the Christmas Music Program! And away we go.

First Grade

During the first quarter of first grade, we have been quite busy! We have reviewed our short vowel sounds and worked on reading beginning and ending consonant blends. First graders have also been hard at work mastering addition and subtraction facts, place value, and counting to 120. In science, we have learned about soil types and erosion and we are now learning all about the sky, our four seasons, and the different types of weather.

Second Grade

First quarter, where did you go?!  Our five stupendous second graders have been hard at work since day one of school.  They have been working on reading comprehension, author’s purpose, as well as many other skills.  These girls love to read and are very motivated to improve their reading levels.  In math we have hit adding and subtracting numbers to 100.  With that skill we have had lots of practice with place value to the hundreds place.  In between all the math and reading we have also enjoyed spending time on opinion writing and narrative writing.  The creativity the students have, has really shown through on their writing.  First quarter zoomed by in a blink of an eye and second quarter seems to be moving the same speed.  I am very excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for us and to see how many laughs and memories can be made. 


Third Grade

First quarter in third grade has flown by. This class is full of many different personalities and  this makes each day interesting and fun.

In math, we have spent most of our time working on different strategies to help solve multiplication and division facts.

 In reading, we have been working on many different skills from contractions, linking verbs, figurative language and doing lots of reading.

 We have only been in school a few months but, I couldn’t be more proud of the growth the third grade students have made. The third grade students are working very hard and I look forward to continuing to watch them grow throughout the rest of the year.

Fourth Grade

We are off to a fabulous start for the 2019-2020 school year!  I have the privilege of teaching and learning from a group of five, fun, and eager to learn students.  Every day is an opportunity to work towards meeting the 4th Grade Essential Targets.  

The students are reading in whole group, small groups, with partners, and independently.  As a class, we have read the book “Because of Winn Dixie” and watched the movie to compare and contrast.  They are also keeping track of their independent reading with their Reading Logs and are encouraged to read daily at home.  We have written several persuasive paragraphs/papers, narrative paragraphs/papers, poetry, and are currently working on a research paper for a Social Studies project on Nebraska Indian Tribes.  

I am excited about implementing Eureka Math and the rigor it provides towards our essentials and standards.  Science is a combination of Discovery Education, Mystery Science, and experiments for “hands on” and better understanding.  

We went on a fun, fitness Field Trip to McCook, NE with many other 4th Graders from around the area.  The day was filled with physical fitness, nutrition, and a special treat!  

I enjoy using the BLOOMZ app with parents.  It allows direct communication through personal cell phones and/or e-mails.  I am able to share announcements, important information, spelling lists, and pictures of what their son/daughter is doing in class.    

“Thank You” for providing your son/daughter with their school supplies and for your support and encouragement at home!

Fifth Grade

We have been learning an array of things in fifth grade this year. We have been very busy with the basic subjects such as math, reading, science and social studies.  In Math we have learned about adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals and place value of numbers.  In Language Arts we have been working hard on spelling and have read the novel “Maniac Magee”.  It is a great book with characters that are similar in age to our students so it helps them to relate to the characters. In Science we have covered Earth and Space Science.  We have talked about the Revolutionary War and the Constitution in Social Studies.  Beyond the basic subjects, we have been focusing on using good manners and doing something positive for someone other than ourselves on a daily basis.    

Sixth Grade

The first quarter flew by and the 6th grade students had many successes in all subject areas. Math begins our school day everyday, the first topic we mastered was ratios. Students worked on part to whole ratios and part to part ratios which led us right into our next topic which was decimal multiplication and division. 6th graders were able to relate decimals to their use of money and other everyday applications of decimals. In all topics of our math students are reasoning why they are performing specific algorithms to find the solution. Students also are able to use their writing skills to explain the math process per topic.

  The sixth grade class began the year by reading the novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Some of the main skills that we worked on with the novel were character traits, theme, main idea, utilizing context clues, and persevering through increased lengths of text. We have found ways to incorporate social studies into reading by having students read NewsELA articles. With these articles students return to the passage to highlight specific information that supports student answers. We have also been monitoring fluency rates of students through the use of progress monitoring weekly. This gives them immediate data to see their reading improvement. They will continue to use these skills throughout the year.

  In writing, we have completed samples in personal narrative, research, and an ode. Students really enjoyed writing their personal narratives and allowed their writing voice to shine through. Our goal for writing is to have students use their knowledge of the writing process (brainstorming, rough draft, editing, final draft) to complete their writing independently.

  Science has been an exciting subject in our day, students have learned about the transfer of energy, and meteorology. We made a trip to NOAA in North Platte to wrap up our unit on meteorology. Students were able to share their knowledge of the subject with the meteorologists. Social Studies has also been exciting for the sixth grade, they are learning about World History. They've studied Life in Egypt and created models of a mummy, a pyramid and also wrote a message to their class in hieroglyphics.

  Our specials include art, coding, and tech; we have found that the kids really have a niche for coding. They have had the honor of hosting the ESU 15 tech director, Todd Wiemers, who has shared his knowledge of coding with them. He will be expanding on their coding knowledge and building it up to possibly coding their own games.

Title One & EL

It is a joy to work with students of all ages and experience seeing them put forth effort, which in turn yields academic growth!! As we well know, children’s abilities develop at different rates. There really isn’t a magical age or grade that guarantees ALL students will academically be in the same place at the same time.  Some students need just a little extra help or encouragement to become more successful, which is when Title I provides assistance. The amount of Title I time students receive varies based on need. It is very fulfilling to be part of the Title I program that offers small group time or one-on-one time for students needing the extra support.

Our EL (English Language) program has grown again this year. We have two different groups in the high school and three different groups in the elementary that are learning and/or improving their English language through the use of the ELAchieve program. This program provides direct instruction, at various skill levels. There are numerous themed units that the students complete throughout the year. We started some of the students with the unit “The Art of Getting Along”, while several groups started with “Healthy Living”. When each group completes a unit, we exchange for a different unit and the advancement with the English language continues.