Sunday, December 10, 2017


Final Month of 2017 

Hard to believe that we are almost half way done with our year in kindergarten!! It is flying by and the kids are learning and growing more with each passing week. Thanks for all of the work you do with your child at home! Here are a few upcoming dates to note: 

                                    Friday, December 8, 2017- Visit from Parker Library librarian
                                    Thursday, December 21st- Holiday Party 12:30-1:40 
                                     Friday, December 22, 2017- EPR's available (report cards posted) 
                                     December 22- January7th- Winter Break- no school in session 
                                     Monday, January 8, 2018- School Resumes

Thank you to Kelly Detter for taking the lead with our holiday party. 
Please look for an email from her and help out in any way that you can! 


In math we have been focussing on a geometry unit in which the kids are exploring with shapes and the pattern blocks. We are taking this to a new level by learning the names of shapes like hexagon, rhombus and trapezoid. The students are learning that certain shapes can fit inside other shapes. They can see that parts can make up a whole. They can count and graph the shapes that they have used to make up a picture. 
Rolling a special die to play a game called "Fill the Hexagon!" 


We have combined all of these subjects over the past few weeks to make the biggest impact on their learning about the SUN; which is a kindergarten curriculum requirement. They had some great schema from the beginning of the year when we experienced the eclipse! But now they all know quite a bit more. We used websites, the Pebble Go app, read non-fiction books together and watched video clips from BrainPop and Discovery Ed to learn more everyday. Then the students wrote in their own non-fiction book about what they learned! Here are a few examples from 4 different students' books:
"I learned that the sun makes the ocean rise." 
"I learned that the sun is far away! 93 million miles"

"I learned that the sun makes plants grow." 
"I learned that the sun is hotter in the core." 


Here are a couple of cute kids in their pilgrim hats the Friday before we went on break! 

First Thanksgiving in the United States! 

Veteran's Day

We enjoyed listening to and learning about being in the Army from this veteran.  She visited Gold Rush on Veteran's day and has a nephew in our Buddy class. She was kind enough to answer all their great questions. They were an excellent audience. 

Monday, November 6, 2017



Thank you for providing festive snacks and coming to our party and parade to celebrate together! 
It was a fun day in kindergarten! Loved all their darling costumes! 


FOOD DRIVE NOV 6th - 17th
BOOK FAIR NOV 13th - 17th


We have been working on building our schema(background knowledge) with non-fiction books and writing. Students made a Pumpkin Book with two pages about things they already knew and then after doing some research about pumpkins, they all wrote a final page about one thing that they learned. We will continue this process with other new topics. I was most impressed with how much schema they already had about BATS!! When reading non-fiction books with your child you could ask them what they already know about the topic before you read and then ask what they learned or what they know now after completing the book. 

Next, we began writing a personal narrative story about an adventure that they went on. Some examples of what they are writing about are a trip to Boondocks, the zoo, Costco, Pumpkin Patch or the mountains!

Finally, we have been creating class books during our Author time. Thanks for reading the books at home with your child, making a comment in the back and returning them to school the following day. They love these books! 


We spend a good portion of our day working on our reading skills! We have our guided reading groups four times a week. Thanks to our volunteers who make this small group time a reality. The kids do well and learn a lot in these small connection groups. The students also have their own individual time to read the books in their reading envelopes and their song books. We have been working on building stamina in this area. We strive to be able to read quietly for longer periods of time. After I read a picture book aloud we do small mini-lessons on a variety of topics. Some literacy topics that we have focussed on lately have been the concepts of beginning, middle and end, rhyming, predicting and questioning. Please continue to read to and with your child nightly! Practice those letters, sounds, sight words (whichever your child is focussed on) and do the homework for the word sort each week! All of these skills will help them succeed! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fall Into Kindergarten


Thank you to everyone who came to cheer us on as the PUPPIES raced for the first time at GRE’s annual Digger Dash. The kids were super excited and they ran fast! Here are a few pictures of the fun! Congrats to Natalie Heller and Remy for running the most laps for our class AND our class had the most laps total for the 5 kindergarten classes. Way to go Puppies!

Alphabet Chant  

Ms. Marchese made a video of our Alphabet Chant to use in class each day. We practice this so that we know those important sounds well.


Your kindergarten students were surprised to learn that our Alphabet Chart was not just for those who didn't know the alphabet. Now that they are beginning to know the chant inside and out, the main purpose of the alphabet chart is to help them become independent writers. They will each have one in their writing folder to use as a "spelling" tool. 

How to Spell a Word
Once you know what word you want to spell follow these steps:
1.              Say the word slowly.
2.              Tap it out. (they know how to do that)
3.              What is the first sound you hear?
4.              Find and point to that sound on the chart and the picture that begins with that sound.
5.              Copy the letter.
6.              Go back to the word...what other sounds do you hear? Find them and repeat.
What about Sight Words?
On the back of the Alphabet Chart is a small "word wall" of sight words they can copy. If they can read it, then they can copy it. If they can't, its better to sound it out. They need to be able to read whatever they write, and so if it is a word they can't read...well, that defeats the purpose! Don't be tempted to spell words for them. The goal is to develop independent writers. You can't follow them around in life spelling words for them. (That is google and spell check's job!)

What CAN I do to help them?
Ask them what sounds they hear. Help them say it slowly and identify or "tap out" the sounds they hear. Go back to the beginning and start with the first sound. Let them find it on the chart and copy it. Continue with other sounds they hear. Don't worry about them getting all the sounds on paper. They will get more sounds as they develop an ear for it.  

Practice Game
Get the chart out. Say a word. Help them hear the sounds in the word. Have them find and point to each sound as they hear it. For sight words, say a word on the back and let them find it. Feel free to add sight words on the back as they learn them. You'll notice that not all sight words are there, so add the ones they use the most. 
We have been working hard to develop number sense by counting, writing numbers, learning and practicing math vocabulary, and using that vocabulary to share our thinking and observations. We made groups, sets, sorted, counted, drew, wrote numbers, categorized, graphed...and will continue to work on a variety of concepts around numbers going forward.

Grab and count 
This is a game you can play at home to practice number sense. 
1.              Look for a collection of coins, buttons, legos, macaroni, or something similar around the house, and put it in an open container.  
2.              Have your child grab a handful (or pinch) of items out of the container and place it on the table.
3.              Let them count what they grabbed.
4.              Have them write that number on a piece of paper and draw a picture representing that number.

BIG NUMBERS SONG- This is a song on YouTube that I played a few times. Now some of the kids ask me to play it when they walk in the door! If you want to play it over fall break for them…go for it. This song helps them learn to count and write the numerals to 100!

Here are some links to games you can play at home provided by our Investigations Math Program. These links contain an online version of many of the games that we have learned or will learn soon!
·                Math Games
·                Math Tools
·                Math Words and Ideas

Monday, July 24, 2017

Back to School 2017

My name is Hays Padrnos and I have the privilege of being your child's kindergarten teacher this year. I can not believe that we will start school in just a few short weeks! This will be my 14th year of teaching with 12 of those years being in first grade and kindergarten. I am one of those lucky individuals who knew what I wanted to be when I grew up from way back in first grade. I never wavered from that desire and started my teaching career straight out of The University of San Diego.  This is my 14th year of teaching because I also had the opportunity to stay home and be with my three daughters while they were young. My two oldest daughters will be a senior and a sophomore at Chaparral High School and my youngest will be a sixth grader at Pine Grove Elementary. I grew up on the coasts of Virginia and Northern California but also lived and taught in Las Vegas, Nevada for four years. When we moved to Colorado I taught for three years at St. Mary's Academy in Cherry Hills Village and then worked in DCSD on and off in different capacities for 8 years. I have lived in Parker for the past 18 years, and I feel lucky to call this beautiful state my home.

Here is a picture of me and my family on the beach where I spent many summers:

Being a kindergarten teacher is a true joy. Every day students make me smile, laugh and surprise me with their great capacity to learn and grow in one short year. I love being there as their journey into education begins and I believe that a large part of my job is to help them fall in love with learning and school so that they start off on the right path! This job also takes patience, a sense of humor, creativity and an absolute love of teaching; all qualities which I believe I possess. Two of my girls were in afternoon kindergarten and I remember that time fondly. We had time in the morning to spend together and then I dropped them off after lunch for the afternoon. I hope you and your child enjoys this schedule as much as they did. I am excited to be a member of the amazing Gold Rush Elementary community! Can't wait to meet my students in just a few weeks!

Here are a few things that are good to know as we begin:

In order for me to get to know you and your child please email me a letter and let me know a little bit about your child.  Please include anything and everything you think I should know about your child both academically and socially.   Please email me your letter by August 4th! My email address is   Please also feel free to email me with questions or concerns! 

Monday, July 17th – July 31st – Online Express Check In
Online Express Check In began at 12:01 AM on Monday, July 17.  Click here to login.  You will use Online Express Check In to update your contact information, pay school fees and sign up for volunteer opportunities.  Please note that some of the forms need to be printed and turned in to your teacher during Meet Your Teacher Day on Monday, August 7, or the first day of school.  All students must register via Online Express Check In by July 31st.  For assistance please contact one of the individuals below:
·       GRE Registrar Anita Rudman: or 303-387-7707
·       GRE Administrative Assistant Janis Panico: or 303-387-7704
·       Student Data and Information Services Summer Hotline: 720-433-0095
·       Business Services: 720-433-1244
·       IT Support Center: 303-387-0001
Monday, August 7th - Meet Your Teacher
Gold Rush believes that it is essential for students to have the opportunity to meet their teacher and visit their classroom prior to the first day of school.  Families are welcome to visit their classroom on Monday, August 7, and drop off school supplies.  We want to ensure that families are able to spend time with the teacher in a small group setting so we ask that you sign up for one of the times shown below by clicking here for our online scheduler.  The online scheduler will be available July 17th through July 31st and the password is digger.  Each time slot is reserved for a maximum of six students.  The sign up is first come first serve, so please sign up as soon as possible if you have a preferred time or wish to align siblings’ times. (Just FYI: We will be with Mrs. Brown's AM kindies as we share a classroom.) If you ordered an Edukit, it will be delivered to your child’s classroom.  Click here for a map of teachers’ classrooms.
Sign Up For One of The Following Times on Monday, August 7th


Thursday, August 10th -  First Full Day of School
The first full day of school for students in grades K-5 is Thursday, August 10th.  Students can meet me on the front blacktop on the first day of school right outside the kindergarten door. Our school day is from 12:30 to 3:30.   
Click here for the 2017 2018 Conventional Calendar
Click here for information regarding the Rolling Start to the School Day
Click here for general drop off and pick up procedures.