Our Wonderful Kindergarten Classroom Environment!
Meet Mrs. Jensen!
Hello! My name is Francisca Jensen and I am thrilled to be a part of such a diverse school district that is filled with many gifted and talented young children. I am very enthusiastic about the curriculum and know that it will impact our students in a great way!
I wanted to take this time to introduce myself and help you learn more about what I have to offer your children at Wilson Elementary School!
I have been married for almost 11 years, this November 26th! My husband, Derick, works as an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Central Oklahoma and is, currently, working on his doctorate in Adult and Higher Education. He comes and volunteers, as he can, so if you see him around, or hear about him, say, “HOWDY”, don’t be shy — take the time to say “hello!” I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in December 2003. In 2006, I achieved a goal of mine, and received my Masters Degree in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, emphasis on Diversity in Students. I continued my love of learning as I worked on my 2nd masters in Early Childhood education. I graduated in July of 2014, so I am thrilled to utilize the new knowledge I gained throughout the years! In addition, this will be my 13th year at Wilson and I love to teach at such an amazing school! I received my National Board Certification and continued my learning to attain an English as a Second Language certification in Oklahoma. I have served on two National Committees through the National Education Association and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Last year, I served on a committee to review and revise the National Board certification assessment and the Oklahoma Early Childhood assessment for certification; as well as to write standards for High School students who want to join the field of education for Educators Rising. I want to serve as a leader so I can learn how to help your children be successful in their educational endeavors.
This year is filled with lots of great activities planned! I am confident that I will meet your expectations and look forward to helping your children grow in their knowledge and sharpen their skills and talents. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Working with children and the community has been a dream of mine. Children are the leaders of our future and I am thrilled to be one of the people in Norman to help educate our leaders, your children. I look forward to meeting you and hearing your ideas! Let’s hang on and get ready for an incredible time learning and growing to impact our vastly changing society!
The Classroom Climate!
Classrooms should have a positive environment that enhances learning in order to encourage and support students to be risk-takers. Students need to feel successful and confident in the material being taught. Students succeed when they have self-confidence. Through these environments, children have many opportunities to learn from each other and to be immersed into the great wonders of this world!
Our classroom will be structured around building respect for the individual as well as the classroom. A positive learning environment allows students to feel safe and comfortable enough to discuss their thoughts on different issues. In order to create relationships with the students and their learning, the student and the teacher need to be able to share information and ideas about the work. They must be involved in the learning and sharing process. It is up to the teacher and the students to make meaning of the information being taught. Through this environment, students will be building respect towards their peers by understanding their differences and learning about the way their peers think. Therefore, I ask that all children come prepared to have a safe and fun learning experience by bringing a positive attitude, best manners, and fun spirits to school EACH and EVERY day!
BUILDING A SAFE & POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
At school, we teach students how to manage his/her own behavior and to take ownership of his/her choices. It is vital that students follow our classroom rules and understand how important it is to keep a positive learning environment. All students deserve a safe place to learn and grow in their academic adventures. Below is a list of classroom rules and some of the “consequences” that may occur if a child chooses to make a sad choice:
Ø Be safe.
Ø Be respectful.
Ø Be kind.
Ø Be good listeners.
Based on the Responsive Classroom philosophy, my goal in my classroom is to provide an orderly, consistent, and predictable approach to discipline that nurtures empowerment, self-respect, and the social skills of cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. I will reinforce, remind, and redirect student behavior when possible. However when consequences are needed, the consequences given will be respectful, relevant, and realistic.
The type of consequences given will be determined by the situation. There are three types of logical consequences:
Ø Take a break (the child will be asked to remove him/herself and have a seat in a cool off area until they are able to rejoin the group.)
Ø Loss of privilege (e.g. a child may lose the privilege of using scissors for an activity if they are running or using the scissors in a hazardous way.)
Ø Apology of Action (e.g. a child writes on another child’s paper, they may be asked to erase the writing or help to correct the other child’s work. They will not be asked to do the other child’s work for them.)
Please take the time to review this information with your child, as I will throughout the school year. Thank you!
Other ways I strive to keep a positive learning environment:
Beginning Meetings/Closing Meetings:
* Your child will have the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with friends during our “beginning meeting” and “closing meeting.” These meetings will serve as the time that your child will get to know other students through sharing ideas about our “topic of the day,” learn new things through the activities/assignments we embark on, and recall information we learned throughout our busy day!
Quiet Spot/Thinking Area:
* We will have a “quiet spot” or a “thinking area” available if your child needs some time to reflect and think about his/her behavior. We ask that children come prepared to have good manners and learn with all the students in a safe and positive way, but if your child needs a moment to stop and take some time out of the activities we are doing, he/she may choose to go to the “quiet spot” or the “thinking area.”
* At the beginning and end of each day, the students will have the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about their morning or their day. They may share things they liked or didn’t like, how somebody helped them feel good about something, happy, or not very excited, or an idea about a specific topic. By discussing this as a group, the students will be expressing their feelings and communicating how they like to be treated.
* Mrs. Jensen will be watching the class to see who has used his/her nice-to-be-with manners. If she catches them using them and being the best Wilson Wildcat manners, he/she will have the chance to be the Star Student!
PBIS is a way to help children learn social skills, behavior, and academics throughout the common areas of the school building. The most strongest impacts or goals for PBIS are to: support social competence through behavior interventions and social skills; and, to support academic achievement. As a Wilson teacher, I collaborate with my colleagues, staff, and parents to provide the best learning experience for my Kindergarten students.
As a part of the PBIS program at Wilson, students will have the opportunity to earn “Wildcat Tickets” to show off their Wildcat spirit by showing the Wildcat way! Students can share with you all about how they earned them! This is a special thing for the wildcats!
Other ways to celebrate good work and achievement!
“Caught You Being Good”:
* If a child is caught doing his/her job, being nice-to-be-with, being friendly or respectful, or using any other kind manners, he/she will receive a slip of paper and receive a chance to win a prize at the end of the day!
* Students will learn greetings and closings so that they may communicate with their friends when they see them in the morning time and when they leave in the afternoon! Students will understand that it is nice to greet a friend when they see them and say goodbye when they are leaving for the day.
* Students will learn a new celebration every week. These celebrations are good to know so that children may cheer and share in someone’s joy and good work! When students are “caught doing their job,” they may earn a celebration as an individual, or as a team! Be on the look-out for the HAPPY songs and chants your child brings home to share with you!
**We strive to give all students a safe and healthy learning environment. We respect , care, and take care of one another in our classroom.**
Parent Volunteers are Welcomed!
I have learned that a successful classroom incorporates help from family members, community partnerships, and educational staff. I believe that there should be an open-door policy between these people because it allows conversation for concerns and new ideas. In addition, parents will feel a part of their children’s classroom and their learning. By building relationships between teachers, administrators, parents, and the community, children will have more opportunities to learn through many views.
I wanted to take this time to invite parents to come and volunteer in our school and classroom. Parents are an essential component to the success of our classroom and school, so please feel free to come and visit us! Our class and school will feel blessed with your presence!
Each Thursday, your child will bring home a folder that is filled with his/her completed work. In addition, there will be fliers that inform parents of future endeavors. Please have your child return their folder with a parent’s signature by Friday morning. If there is anybody interested in volunteering to stuff Thursday folders, please contact me as soon as possible! You will be a great help!
We will not be sending out a snack calendar. Each family will be responsible for providing snacks ONCE each month. Please bring a healthy snack that is individually wrapped for the class to enjoy each month! Mrs. Jensen and Mrs. Schemm will be storing the snacks to enjoy throughout our days in school. Thank you, in advance, for providing healthy energy-filled treats to help our stomachs stay full until dinner time!Here are examples/ideas of snacks you can bring:
* Graham Crackers * Peanut Butter Crackers * Fig Newtons
* Vanilla Wafers * Cheese Crackers * Cereal Bars
* Cheez—Its * Cereal (Fruit Loops, Cheerios, etc.) * Chex-Mix
* Fruit Roll-Ups * String Cheese * Apples, Grapes, etc.
Pick—Up Plan for your Child After School
I will only dismiss your child with the appropriate adult on the "after-school plan" list. Please make sure to have your "After-school Plan" up-to-date in the office so that I will know the adults your child has permission to go with. If you need to make changes to whom can pick up your child, you MUST make those changes in the office. If you need to check out your child before school is out (doctor appointments, early release from school parties, etc.), you will need to go to the office and have the office personnel contact us. You may not come and pick up child and then go to the office. This is to make sure your child is safe while in our care. If your child attends daycare, he/she will be picked up by their daycare in the "pick-up" area. Please make sure to show your "student dismissal" pass. We will dismiss children outside by the cafeteria doors. Please find a safe parking spot and come to the teacher to pick up your child. Your child will be dismissed to go with you once you and the teacher acknowledge that you are here for your child.
It is very important to have your child at school by 7:50 a.m.! Students may begin arriving at 7:25 a.m. to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. Students MAY NOT come into the classroom until the bell rings at 7:40 a.m. Prior to 7:40 a.m., they must be in the cafeteria. If a parent chooses to wait with his/her child, you must wait in the cafeteria or outside. The first week of school, parents may drop off his/her child at the classroom, but after the first week, students are expected to enter the classroom, independently. Parents may watch them go in the classroom, but are asked to allow him/her to go in the classroom, by themselves. School is the place to be! Please make sure your child is here every day to learn as much as possible! We work together, learn as a group, and build friendships in our classroom! If your child is not here, they will miss out on learning from him/her and building relationships, and we will miss out on learning from them! Remember, school is dismissed at 2:50 p.m. We dismiss on Frank Street (it is a ONE-WAY street).