My name is Jennifer McCandless and I teach Kindergarten at Tonganoxie Elementary School. I grew up in nearby Lawrence, KS and graduated from the Lawrence Public School District. Growing up in Lawrence, I always dreamed of attending the University of Kansas and “officially” becoming a Jayhawk. Four years later in the Spring of 2013, I was lucky enough to be placed in a Kindergarten classroom at Tonganoxie Elementary School for my spring internship and loved every minute of it! That very same spring, I graduated from the University of Kansas with my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and was offered my dream job: teaching Kindergarten at Tonganoxie Elementary School.
When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my family! Growing up between two brothers, Jason and Justin, my love for sports quickly grew from not only playing several sports but also to watching sports whenever I could! Whether it is KU basketball, the Royals or the Chiefs, I will always cheer loud so they can hear me J. Besides watching sports I also enjoy spending time in the sunshine on the golf course with my dad, baking yummy desserts with my mom or shopping with my sister-in-law, Tiffany!
Kindergarten is a place for children to be exposed to and explore a wide variety of objects, playthings, activities, songs, and literature. Students will be engaging in a wide variety of learning centers this year which include different types of pictures books, patterns blocks, listening stations, computers, puzzles, and math centers. Throughout the year I will include educations tubs of “toys” which will reinforce fine motor skills as well as math, reading, and thinking skills all while the students perceive this task as “playing”. I plan to do art projects that correlate the letters being studied. Our projects encourage good listening skills, following directions, and improvement of fine motor skills.
As well as being a place for exposure to a variety of experiences, kindergarten is most definitely the place to gain an academic foundation for reading and math skills. Learning the letters, their sounds, how to print the letters, reading basic sight words, sounding out and spelling simple words are key elements of our reading program. In math, the children will learn numerals, counting, sorting, patterns, and shapes, as well as how to do simple math problems. The children are introduced to steps in problem solving and strategies to solve problems. This problem solving method will be continued beyond the kindergarten year.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns that you have about your child! You can reach me by phone at the elementary school (ext. 4069) during my plan time. You can also email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please understand that I am not always able to reply immediately as I am teaching most of the day, but I will get back to you as soon as possible!
Please visit my classroom website! This will be my primary source of communication this year.