The FUNd Stuff at PNA!


by Jelsea Lemanski | PNA 1st Grade Teacher

Compound words, word sorts, alliteration, scooping, poetry, vocabulary, literature - these are just some of the ways your child has been exposed to words this week. Immersing students in a language rich environment is imperative for their acquisition of new and more complex vocabulary. We may think words such as 'dawn' and 'dusk' are simple words. However, for a child who has not been exposed to them on a regular basis, they are new and unknown.

Students need to be continually flooded with new words and have them used on a regular basis in story telling, read aloud stories, conversation and writing. For example, we are reading Charlotte's Web at the end of each school day. This book has so many opportunities to flood a young mind with new descriptive words (jubilee! runt! dejected! enchanted!) and it's pure joy to see them absorbing these words and rolling them over in their young minds. But it is not merely enough to read these lovely words, give a brief description of them, and then move along. We must find opportunities to use these new vocabulary words in our daily life.

Students this week were exposed to not only a variety of rich vocabulary in our read aloud stories, they were also introduced to compound words and parts of speech. I wish we could all feel the excitement that our young scholars feel when they were made aware that we have names for words! We explored proper and common nouns, adjectives, and verbs - and then used their new knowledge to create a word bank that they could draw from in their writing. To see their language and vocabulary development from the first week of school to the first week of December is just wonderful! They are developing confidence and structure in their sentences, paying attention to detail of letter formation, proper punctuation, and correct capitalization. However we mustn't only limit our assessment of their skills to observing their writing and reading. When we give them opportunities to use their new skills informally, they really thrive! Students loved playing Gingerbread Compounds and were learning new compound words without even realizing they were nearly teaching each other! It is this independence that we hope to foster in PNA students; the ability to independently take control of their learning and enjoy the process of doing so.

Aside from all of our learning in the classroom this week, we also participated in PNA's wonderful winter concert. It was enchanting to see our students come together and so joyfully sing and perform their hearts out. Nothing quite gets me in the holiday spirit as much as seeing a room full of families and children sharing a common theme of gratitude and community. I was so proud of all our students from the very youngest to our oldest for being so dedicated to their performance!

Dusk outside PNA on Thursday was just beautiful - a perfect setting for the winter concert!

Winter Concert

Many weeks of hard work and practice learning new songs and instruments culminated in a delightful Winter Concert, where family, friends, and classmates enjoyed beautiful music.

Click any picture to jump into the slideshow.

Postcards from the Classroom

Take a look at the exciting activities students were involved in last week!

Click any picture to jump into the slideshow.

#GivingTuesday Thank You!

A HUGE thank you to those that supported PNA on #GivingTuesday. Our students have a special message for you all!

Every donation, no matter the amount helps to support independent education at PNA

PNA Auction

Like What You See?

You Can Support It!

Your gift benefits today's students and everyone's future.

Spread the word, and don't let PNA be Anchorage's best kept secret. Let your friends know!

To make a donation or refer a family to PNA, Call (907) 333-1080 or click here to visit the giving page on our website.

Other Ways to Support PNA

Link your Fred Meyer rewards card:

Link your Rewards Card to Pacific Northern Academy by visiting

Whenever you use your Rewards card when shopping at Fred Meyer, you’ll be helping PNA earn a donation from Fred Meyer.

Rewards Customers still get the Rewards Points, Fuel Points and Rebates

Shop with Amazon Smile:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

On your first visit to, you need to select Pacific Northern Academy from the list of charitable organizations before you begin shopping.


Pick.Click.Give. allows Alaskans to donate a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividend to causes they care about statewide.

While applying for your PFD online, your can choose to Pick.Click.Give to Pacific Northern Academy. All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive tax documentation from the State once their donations have been processed. Permanent Fund Dividend applications are available from January 1 to March 31, though Alaskans may choose to add or adjust their pledges online through August 31.

Coming Right Up...

January 1st - Pick.Click.Give!

January 21st - 24th - Brown Bag Talen Showcase (More information to come)

You can also check out all of the upcoming events on our website by clicking calendar under our about PNA tab.

Just One More...

Many Thanks To

John Hardwick and Ral West

As always, our continued success is shared with the people and companies that support us.

Skiva Investments LLC

The FUNd Stuff is a bi-monthly (or so) publication from the staff, students, parents, and teachers of PNA. Want to know more about anything we've highlighted here? Get in touch! (907) 333-1080 or


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
Thank You! 

As always, our continued success is shared with the people and companies that support us.


Many thanks to... 

John Hardwick and Ral West


Skiva Investments LLC



get social!

Follow us to see just how much fun an independent education can be! 



Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 3:15 pm

Extended Day Program: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm

Front Office 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Contact information


2511 Sentry Drive, Suite 100

Anchorage, Alaska 99507

Tel: (907) 333-1080 Fax: (907) 333-1652

Pacific northerN academy is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization
tax id: 92-0145501