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Kindergarten


Welcome to Kindergarten!



Reading

All aspects of literacy will be taught through a balanced literacy framework for instruction. Students will engage in a variety of oral language activities to develop their listening and speaking vocabularies and enhance their ability to communicate effectively. They will be immersed in a print-rich environment to learn the concepts of print, basic phonetic principles, comprehension strategies, and letter identification skills through systematic, direct instruction, individual and small group activities, and time spent exploring and reading books and other print material.




Writing
Students will write each day during writing workshop. Students typically pick their topic but may sometimes be asked to write about a specific topic. Children tell stories early in the year through their pictures. As they build confidence in their ability to hear sounds in words, they will progress to writing letters that represent the beginning, middle, and ending sounds in a word. Although students are expected to spell sight words correctly, we encourage them to "stretch" unknown words out (say the word slowly), listen for the sound, and write what they hear. Spelling words perfectly is not a goal. In fact, when students invent spelling based on their knowledge of letter sounds, they should be praised. Each quarter, students will be graded on the traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, conventions.

Math
Building strong concepts related to number is an important focus in kindergarten. Hands-on, interactive approaches are used to develop number, measurement, and geometry concepts. Problem solving strategies are developed through activities that allow comparing, counting, and recognizing patterns.

Science
The elementary science curriculum enables students to learn about science through a variety of hands-on activities. Emphasis is placed on using the senses to gather information. Students are expected to develop skills in posing simple questions, measuring, sorting, classifying, and communicating information about the natural world. Students will also explore magnets, water, shadows, patterns of weather, plant growth, and the significance of natural resources and conservation.

Social Studies
Students will explore history as it relates to events and people of other times and places, as well as identify traditional patriotic symbols of Virginia and America. In addition, students will learn the concepts of self-control, justice, courage, heroism, and leadership. Students will use maps, globes, and models to investigate how the needs of people in other lands compare and contrast to their own needs while exploring likenesses and differences in customs and traditions. Students will demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen and what is expected of them. Students will be exposed to basic economic concepts to include needs, wants, exchanging money, and saving for the future.

Tips for Parents

    * Read with your child nightly and complete the reading log.
    * Empty your child's folder daily and ask specific questions about the events of the day.
    * Pack a healthy snack each day.
    * Read the monthly newsletter for important information about the curriculum, homework, special events, and                  classroom wish list items.
    * Complete the homework each week with your child in his/her designated "work area."
    * Help your child learn to read and spell the weekly word wall words. Keep the word list that you are given at the  
       beginning of each quarter so that you can review constantly.
    * Check for updates on the teacher's website.
    * Contact your child's teacher when you have questions.

Field Trips
Kindergarten students will attend two field trips this year. In addition, the Math and Science Innovation Center will come to our school for a special "in house" field trip. Permission slips and money are due at the same time.

Volunteers
If you are interested in volunteering your time, please contact your child's teacher. We need volunteers who can prepare projects at home, donate items for special projects, assist in the cafeteria, and work directly with students.

Grading
In order to earn an "E" on the report card, students must exceed the benchmark. For example, if the benchmark is count to 10, students must count past 10.


    E- Excellent
    S- Satisfactory
    M- Marginal Progress
    N- Needs Improvement

Assessments
In addition to regular assessments, students will take the state-wide Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) two times this year, in the fall and spring. It measures students pre-reading skills. The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) is a tool that measures a student's reading level. It is also administered two times, in January and May. The data from these assessments help us meet each student's individual needs.