Mrs. Nealley

Graduated from Hood College/Johns Hopkins
Teaching experience: 23 years
Years at Calvary: New this year
Email address:
Classroom Assistant:  Tracy Racheff


February 2020 Newsletter

Mrs. Nealley’s & Mrs. Racheff’s M, T, Th 3s/4s Class



Happy Ground Hog’s Day and Happy Valentine’s Day! In February, we will have fun shadow science lessons to correspond with Ground Hog’s Day. We will celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 13th. See additional Valentine’s Day information below.


In Science, we will continue with our classroom theme of Animals Everywhere. In January, we learned about Pets, Farm Animals, and Wild Animals. We learned that animals need water, food and homes to survive. Some animals are covered in fur, some in feathers and some in scales. We started learning about animals and their babies. In February, we will study land, water and air animals, including their homes and babies. I encourage you to ask your children about animals, explore the animal books at the library, and have a discussion about animals, asking questions like… How are Pets different from Wild Animals?


Our February composer is Frederic Chopin and our artist is Claude Monet. We will also continue to attend Spanish, Music and Media Class on Thursdays.


This month in Math, we will continue to work on one to one correspondence and number recognition. Here are some simple ways you can support the development of one to one correspondence. Counting together and pointing to objects in a set, as you say and hold up a number for each set. Moving each object into the set as you say each number word aloud. Valentine’s Day provides fun opportunities to count out their cards and or treats for their classmates. We have 10 children in our classroom, a perfect number to count out.


In Language Arts, we will continue learning our alphabet.  The letters Kk, Vv, Xx, Tt, and Pp will be the focus this month.  We will practice writing these letters on the big white board and learning the sounds they make. This month, we will have the children identify their first names without using the phonic picture symbols. I apologize for putting the wrong Nursery Rhyme for January. We did Hey, Diddle, Diddle in January. Therefore, in February, our Nursery Rhyme for this month is “Little Boy Blue.”  We will also learn the story of “The Mitten”.


There are many wonderful early childhood books that support animal themes. Please share some animal books with your child. Here are a few I recommend.


The Mitten illustrated by Jan Brett

The Ugly Duckling illustrated by Rachel Isadora

Pete the Cat Valentine’s Day is Cool by Eric Litwin and James Dean

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond


Warmest Regards,



Claudia Nealley & Tracy Racheff





Reminders and More


  1. Please remember to check your child’s tote bag and folders for work and newsletters and remove completed work and old papers from your child’s tote bag. Thanks!
  2. We will also continue to go outside unless the weather drops below 32 degrees, so please dress your child appropriately for outside play and please make sure your child has mittens or gloves.


Upcoming Important Dates:


February 3rd – School closed for students. Staff in-service

February 4th to February 27th – Calvary Monthly Community Service Project- Diaper Drive for the Frederick Birthing Center

February 6th – Spanish with Meghan Alabanese

February 13th – Valentine’s Day Party

– Music Class with Angela Mayer

February 17th – School Closed for President’s Day

February 20th – Media with Meghan Alabanese

February 27th – Field trip to the Original Playhouse

March 5th – Spring Parent Conferences


Valentine’s Day Party Information


When – February 13th – Parents may join us for snack at 11:20.


Details – The students will make Valentine’s Bags a few days before the party. On the day of the party they will give a Valentine to each member of our class. We have 10 students. Please do not put specific names on the Valentine cards. It is easier for the children just to be able to put the cards in each bag without trying to figure out which bag belongs to which student. Please have your child try to write their own first initial and or name on each Valentine. You may help them write their name. We will have crafts and a fun activity during the day. Please sign up to bring in something for the party.


Home/School Connection:


If a child knows eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they go to kindergarten, they are usually among the best readers and spellers in their class by the time they are 8 years old.” -Reading Magic


Time to Rhyme” by Scholastic Parents Staff tells us that research has found that children who are familiar with nursery rhymes when they enter kindergarten often have an easier time learning to read. Rhyming helps children discover many common word patterns. The more familiar patterns are in oral language, the more easily children recognize them in print.


Here are some more fun ways to use rhymes to further strengthen your child’s language and reading skills.


  • Find many opportunities to sing to and with your child;
  • Seek out high-quality rhyming books;
  • Combine rhyming with rhythmic clapping or movements;
  • Encourage wordplay using poems, rhymes or songs. For example, make up silly rhymes like, Did Matt sit on the Cat? and,
  • Use alliteration. For example, she sells sea shells by the sea shore.