• MS Awareness

  • Sisters of Saint Joseph

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  • Gr1 - Using the smart board to enhance math skills

  • Ash Wednesday

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Teacher Biography 

 Mrs. Zajac - Mrs. Booth 



Greetings! My name is Olenka Zajac. I am the kindergarten teacher at St.
Athanasius School. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood
Education at Chestnut Hill College. My graduate work was completed at Arcadia
University, where I earned a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood
I was nominated for recognition as a distinguished teacher by the National
Catholic Educational Association. I received a certificate of recognition for my
service to the school community from the office of Representative Dwight Evans. I
have presented workshops on effective classroom management practices.
I have been involved in church and community activities since childhood.
I taught for 12 years at the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center. I serve on
my parish council. I volunteer at the homeless shelter in my community. I am a
member of the St. Basil Academy Alumnae Association.
I am bilingual. I have a fluent knowledge of the Ukrainian language. I have an
elementary knowledge of French. I can give the kindergarten children a basic
introduction to a foreign language. I like to sing, play the piano, and strum the
Teaching young scholars: It is my vocation and privilege to help children grow
academically, socially, and spiritually. My students develop the skills necessary to
become confident, competent young adults by learning the value of hard work.
The skills that are needed to thrive in a 21st century workplace, such as the
abilities to think creatively and to work collaboratively, are developed in a setting
that is well-organized and nurturing.
I also have the pleasure of working with students from grades 1 through 8. I
work with those children who read at our liturgical services in church. I am the
moderator of a visual arts club (writing, drawing, etc.). The children are given
opportunities to develop leadership skills and to display their talents.
email: gradek(at)saschool.org


Class News



St Athanasius Feast Day


 ***Please read with your child for 10 minutes every day.


*Dress code:  Please check the handbook.  The children need to wear regulation shoes and socks.

*Arrival procedure on inclement weather days:  The children enter the building through the main entrance and wait in the hall in a single line for the teacher.  The line is formed outside the first grade classroom (Mrs. Ward's room).

*Specials:  Gym class/Wednesday   Computer class/Wednesday     Music class/Thursday

*Recommended sleep time for 5 year-old children: 10-13 hours of sleep, including naps

Recommended sleep time for 6 year-old children: 9-12 hours

(This information is based on recommendations made by the American Academy of Pediatrics.)

*Life skills:  The children should be able to take care of their needs in the bathroom.  

*School uniforms:  Please stop by the school to tell the ladies in the office if your child needs a component of the uniform.  We have previously-owned items that may be taken home.

Gym class:  The children will have gym every Wednesday.  The children need to come to school dressed in the regulation gym uniform and sneakers.  If your child does not yet have the regulation gym uniform, please have your little one wear the every-day uniform with sneakers.

Please check OptionC once in a while for a general description of what we're working on in the kindergarten.

Please remember to send an absence note upon the return to school of your child.  The note should state the date of and reason for the absence.


*The children are learning that they are responsible for their belongings:  pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, sweaters, jackets, lunch boxes, etc.

*Sight words:  Sight words are not sounded out.  The student looks at the word and reads it.  [I, the, is, like, and, see, a, we, to, me, my, come, with, you, what, are, now, how, find, this, will]  The word list will be posted throughout the year.

*Social skills/problem-solving:  The children are reminded to say please and thank you.  The children are reminded to ask for help when necessary: I don't understand.  I need help.  I don't know.  May I please...

*Work and study habits:  The children will let their parents know if they need new composition books (journals), glue sticks, and/or crayons.

*Measurement: The children engage in activities in the classroom and science lab that allow them to use measurement words such as volume, milliliters, grams, pan balance scale, long/longer/longest, tall/taller/tallest, short/shorter/shortest, big/large, small/little, medium, compare, weigh, ruler, meter stick...

*We will sound out 3 letter words with the short e sound in the middle of the word (g-e-t=get   b-e-t=bet  l-e-t=let  p-e-t=pet  w-e-t=wet  m-e-t=met   r-e-d=red   b-e-d=bed   Fr-e-d= Fred  T-e-d=Ted  N-e-d=Ned  p-e-n=pen  m-e-n=men  th-e-n=then  d-e-n=den...)


*Literacy development:  The title is the name of the book.  The author is the person who writes the words.  The illustrator creates the pictures.  This information can be found on the front cover of the book and on the title page.

*Number recognition:  Name numbers 0-60.

* We are working on addition equations.  The children draw dots for both numbers that are added.  They count the dots and write the sum.

We are working on subtraction equations.  The first number tells us how many dots to draw.  The second number tells us how many to cross out.  The remaining number of dots is the difference.

*Number order:  We are working on completing a sequence of numbers that does not begin with 1, for example- 10, 11, 12.....20.

The children are learning to identify number sequences that are ordered from lowest to highest.      Example:  8, 9, 10 (correct)   5, 7, 6  or  9, 8, 7 (incorrect)

*We are working on color word and number word recognition.

*Telling time:  The children are learning to tell time on the hour.  They are using analog and digital clocks.

Ordinal numbers:  Recognize the order of an object or picture (first through tenth).  What is the position of a particular shape within a row of shapes?  Is it first?  Is it fifth?  What is the third shape?  What is the eighth shape?

*Fractions:  Can you draw a line to divide a shape in half?  We will be working on dividing shapes into thirds.

*Religion:  We started the holy season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, March 6. This is the 40 day period of preparation for Easter- the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, from the grave.

*The children are learning about 3 dimensional shapes:  Cylinder, cube, pyramid, sphere, cone

*We will study African American history and culture for the remainder of the school year.

*Social Studies:  Please ask your child what he/she remembers about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad.  Does your child remember anything about Rosa Parks?

*Phonological awareness/spelling:  The children look at pictures.  The name of the picture is spelled, with a couple of letters left out.  The children have to figure out which letters make the missing sounds to complete the spelling of each word.

*Fun with Dr. Seuss: March is Dr. Seuss Month.  I have an extensive collection of Dr. Seuss books that I will share with the children.  The children are invited to bring their Dr. Seuss books from home. The books have to be inscribed with the student's name.  Dr. Seuss books are helpful to beginning readers, especially books such as Hop On Pop or Fox In Socks.

The children are invited to wear Dr. Seuss hats, headbands, or shirts (over the regulation uniform) on Fridays during March.  This is contingent upon good behavior.

*Math:  We are working on addition and subtraction word problems.  We do this in small groups.  We use shape pieces from our hands-on kits.  Example:

The dinosaur has 2 pizzas.  He is very hungry and wants to eat 6 pizzas.  Should he add or subtract?  How many?

What is the first piece of information that we have? (The dinosaur has 2 pizzas.)

Place 2 shapes on the table in a row.

How many shall we add?  Add 1 at a time and count.  Add those shapes to the second row.  Stop counting when you have 6 pizzas.  

How many did you add?  (Count only the ones in the second row.)

Write the equation.  2+4=6

*Science: The children are learning about the steps of the scientific process. First, we form a hypothesis/guess about something.  Next, we perform an experiment or activity to find out what will happen.  We observe what happens.  We analyze.  Why did something happen?  We record/write about our experiment/observations.

***Third trimester grades for letter/sound associations and identifying letter sounds will focus on all consonants and all vowels.

*Phonemic awareness:  a. The teacher makes the letter sounds.  The children blend the sounds to say the word.  Example:  t-a-g  (teacher)    tag (children)

b. The teacher says the word; the children break it into sounds.

*Small group work:  The children work at activity centers or on projects while I work with small groups.  Mrs. Booth also helps the children.  The children work with puzzles and blocks.  It is important for children to develop their visual/spatial skills. These skills help children understand math and science concepts.












Homework- Week of March 11; due- March 15

1. Addition:  Please work on the pages from the math book.

2. Learn to recite your address loudly and clearly.


****  Don't forget to read together.



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