About Kay Lindsay

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So far Kay Lindsay has created 48 blog entries.

Grade 1 and 2 Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Families,

The Grade 1 and 2 Service Learning project swung into full gear today. After identifying our project back in October as The Apple Problem and learning basic facts about apple trees, today we moved to action. This afternoon, the children embarked on letter writing. First, we read Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s picture book The Jolly Postman. This got us thinking about letters and how we can use them to seek information from experts by asking them questions that may help us solve the Apple Problem. After identifying who these people may be, such as orchard farmers and arborists, we filled three sheets of chart paper with questions ranging from “What do you do with all the apples that fall to the ground, rot and get mushy?” to “How do you know if your apple trees are healthy or not?”

The children then worked with a partner to write a letter in which they had to:

*introduce themselves

*explain why they were writing

*pose 3-4 specific questions

*thank the experts for their time

Our next task will be to edit the letters, write final copies, sign them and address the envelopes.

We promise to keep you posted as we move closer to solving The Apple Problem!

All the best,



By |2019-02-06T19:14:51-04:00February 6th, 2019|

Wintertime in the 1/2 Classroom

Dear Families,

The winter months are busy ones here in the 1/2 classroom. I often refer to January, February and March as “crunch time”. A great deal of work gets done during this time period.  With Ski Fridays replacing afternoon academic time, we find ourselves with our noses to the grindstone. Intense work across the curriculum leaves little time for free choice during our days. So please make sure your child has enough food to sustain them throughout the day and be forewarned that they may come home quite tired.

This winter our science unit will have us studying bears. January is our month to learn lessons in courage for Social Studies. On top of the continued work we do in math, reading, and writing, this year’s class has made an additional request. So enamored with our afternoon read-aloud The World of Pooh (which includes both A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner), we will be taking two of the children’s favorite chapters and making them into mini-plays. So there will be lines to learn and movements to memorize. Although very informal, there will be a performance here in the classroom for all of you. Details to be determined – stay tuned!

Report cards come out later this month. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

As always, thank you for sharing your children with all of us here at BCD!


By |2019-01-02T09:55:34-04:00January 2nd, 2019|

Developing a love of reading

Dear Families,

Developing a love of reading is something we work towards in the Grade 1/2 classroom. Although not every child is going to love reading, my hope is that every child develops at least an appreciation of reading. Fortunately, this year’s class is filled with children who love books of all kinds and who love to read. From the nonfiction books about volcanoes, which prompted many thoughtful questions in social studies, to the always popular children’s books like Miss Nelson is Missing, to our end-of-day read-aloud, The World of Pooh… The words we read spark images, the images spark imaginations, and new worlds open up our hearts.  All day, every day, we are surrounded by books, including books that we have written.

Ways to Foster a Love of Reading at Home

* Read aloud to your children as often as possible.

* Keep books of all kinds in your home. Children who grow up surrounded by books          tend to become lifelong readers.  It is said that a home without books is like a house without windows.

* Model reading whenever you can, by sharing what you read with your children:  online news, recipes, a local newspaper, or even a piece of mail.

A few days ago, two students walked across the room with their noses in their books. We were transitioning from reading time to music class, yet they just couldn’t stop reading.  It was one of those moments that teachers of young children hope for, and it is one that all of us can help to create.

All the best,



By |2018-10-30T08:03:12-04:00October 30th, 2018|

Fostering Independence

Dear Families,

Friday was our 26th day of school. Your children have been working very hard and already are developing into capable young people. How do I know this? By the many things they do independently throughout the school day. Establishing routines early in the year, paves the way for their newfound sense of security to move about our classroom with ease and confidence.

When the children arrive in our classroom they have three tasks to perform. First is to sign-in on a clipboard indicating if they will be picked up by a parent, taking the bus or going to PM at dismissal time. Second, they read the Morning Message and answer the question at the bottom. Third, they go to the white board to learn what the Morning Work is for the day and they get to work!

Do they sometimes need a reminder or some help reading words? Of course they do, but they own the process and the routine. At Morning Meeting they sit together as a class, and under their own leadership, proceed through the steps of greeting each other, sharing, re-reading the Morning Message, filling-in our calendar and weather chart before reviewing our schedule for the day.

Thank you for getting your children to school by 8:10. As you can see, your children accomplish a great deal within the first hour! I look forward to talking with you all during Parent Conferences on November 1 and 2.

All the best,




By |2018-10-15T08:01:49-04:00October 15th, 2018|

Why Kindness Matters

Dear Families,

On our first day together in Grade 1 and 2 we read Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Throughout the story we talked about ways to show kindness and why treating each other with kindness is important. In the story, the teacher has each student drop a small stone into a bowl of water. As they drop the stone each child shares an act of kindness that they performed. She tells them each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world. It is one of our classroom goals this year to spread kindness throughout our classroom and the BCD campus.

This week we will go on a hike to find “kindness” stones which we will gently drop in water so that we can see the ripples spread wider and wider.  Throughout the year, we will be putting paper stones (that we painted and cut) on our Kindness Wall each time one of us is the recipient of an act of kindness.

I hope your child enjoyed our first week of school as much as I did. Thank you so much for sharing your child with all of us here at BCD!


By |2018-09-11T11:38:10-04:00September 11th, 2018|

Nurturing a love of writing in children

Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd Grade authors at BCD!  They recently hosted two very successful Authors’ Teas, reading aloud the stories they wrote and illustrated to audiences of family and friends.  Afterwards, many of the guests observed, “We never wrote stories like this when were in 1st or 2nd Grade!” and some asked, “How do you encourage children to write so well?”

The answer is this.  We read a lot in the 1-2 classroom.  We talk a lot about what we read.  We close our eyes and try to picture in detail the passages we most enjoy.  We wonder.  We question.  We reflect.  We predict.  We imagine.  In doing these things, we come to admire and care about the work of authors and illustrators.

When a love of reading, writing, and storytelling permeates a classroom, children naturally long to become storytellers themselves.  They look forward to the chance to weave their own tales through pictures and words.  They jump into the process (some more boldly than others!) by first creating a map of the story they want to tell.  Then, after writing a first draft, they share the draft with their classmates, answering questions and soliciting suggestions to fill in gaps and add details that will enrich their second drafts.  Some young authors are so inspired that they even write a third draft before producing their final work.

Just as we care about the authors and illustrators whose books we read, we care about our work as authors and illustrators.  We hope you’ll care enough to stop by the classroom sometime, browse our Authors’ Shelf – currently boasting more  than 18 books! – curl up on the couch, and lose yourself in a tale of imagination woven by one of our very own authors.  They’ll love it, and so will you.

By |2018-05-08T12:48:11-04:00May 8th, 2018|

What would you say if someone asked…

Dear Families,

This morning the First and Second Graders responded to the following prompt:

If someone were to ask you “What is your favorite thing about BCD?”, what would you say?

Here are some of their responses:

“I would say everything, like skiing, reading and gym.”

“I would say it is the teachers, because they are so nice and helpful.”

“I would probably say Writers Workshop or gym or music.”

“I would say that everyone makes you feel welcome.”

“I would say people will welcome you if you are new and they will not exclude you. The teachers are also very helpful. They will play games to help you learn and that is what I like about BCD so much.”



By |2018-04-10T12:48:05-04:00April 10th, 2018|

Service Day in Grade 1-2

Dear Families,

We had quite a day yesterday filling our hours with all things “trees”!

In the morning we went for a trail hike. Looking up, down, and all around we came upon a variety of things from uprooted trees and a yellow caterpillar to a lone mushroom, lots of lichen, moss and flowers of varying colors. This morning we read Sue Williams’ story I Went Walking, converted the title to We Went Hiking and created our own version of the book based on what we saw during yesterday’s hike.

We also worked on two art projects that focused on trees but in very different ways. First we took a look at the painting Tree of Life by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. The children then painted their paper gold, let it dry, and then with brown paint created the tree trunk and swirling branches to mimic that of Klimt. Later in the afternoon, they worked with oil pastels to add design elements to the branches as Klimt had done. The results are hanging in our room – please come take a look!

Our second art project was making leaf prints in a most unusual way. This involved the children pulling a fresh leaf from their BCD trees. In general, we ask the children not to pull leaves off of their trees, but in this instance we needed fresh, healthy leaves that would have lots of chlorophyll within their veins.  Once back inside, they each placed a leaf on some cardstock, covered it with papertowel and then gently hammered the leaf to release the chlorophyll. All of that hammering resulted in some beautiful prints.

We ended our day working with Mrs. Allentuck’s fourth grade class to make tissue paper flowers to be presented to all of the grandparents and special friends who are visiting on Friday. We made close to 100 flowers!

Enjoy the long weekend with your children.

All the best,


By |2017-10-06T10:16:22-04:00October 5th, 2017|

Week 2 – Our BCD Trees

Dear Families,

This week the first and second graders were assigned a BCD tree to study throughout the year. Our young Arborists are working in pairs (with nine in the class, one child is working independently) placing each first grader with a second grader. This week their first task was to find their specific tree by using picture clues, then record in writing and drawing three details of their tree, make a bark rubbing and measure the circumference of the trunk using string. During math class we compared the lengths of string, learned about rulers and yard sticks and set about finding the circumference in inches. We will be observing these trees from September through June noting the changes, characteristics, and recording information in individual tree books.

In conjunction, the class is also embarking on our community service project for the year. Along with our tree study we are going to create a document for the BCD community that will identify and map the trees on campus.

Next time you are on campus, ask your child to show you his/her BCD tree!

All the best,




By |2017-09-14T15:27:30-04:00September 14th, 2017|

September 8, 2017

Dear Families,

The school year for first and second grade is off to a great start!  On Wednesday we read one of my favorite books, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. In this story, when Miss Rumphius is a young child her grandfather tells her there are three things she must do in her life, the third being that she must do something to make the world a more beautiful place.

The children were then asked to draw and write about what they will do to make our year in the classroom great. Their responses were thoughtful and poignant. Here is what they had to say:

*I will make the year great by helping people remember to talk with kind words when they are angry.”

*I will help others do what I can do and they cannot do, so they will help me with something that I am struggling with. For an example, I read a book to one of my classmates.”

*I will be kind to other people and I’m going to make this a good year. I will make the school a better place by sharing things with other people, and I will remember to smile.”

*I will make the year great by sharing with the first graders.”

*I will listen to the ideas of friends and others, and I will help others with work that is hard for them.”

*I will always remember to smile because it makes people feel good.”

*I will do everything the teacher says every day, even when I am bored.”

*I will take care of the classroom.”

*To make BCD a great place, I will help with the 2-year-olds.”

Thank you for sharing your children with us. They are delightful!





By |2017-09-08T16:14:53-04:00September 8th, 2017|