ABCs of Kindergarten
ABCs of Kindergarten
The “ABCs” of Mrs. Davis' Kindergarten:
A Handbook for Parents
Absences: Please call the office if your child will be absent that day at 303-387-6725. In an effort to keep our children as healthy as possible, we ask that you keep your child home until he/she has been symptom-free for 24 hours (fever, vomiting, diarrhea). There’s no need to email me. THANK YOU for your cooperation!
Arrival: School starts at 8:35 a.m. Students may start arriving anytime between 8:25 and 8:35. They are to come in the front door (no lining up outside anymore) and come down to our classroom. Please try to have your child to school on time so we can start learning right away!
Allergies: If your child has food allergies, please provide me with a bag of safe snacks for your child to eat throughout the year (10 or so should be good). There are times kiddos bring in birthday treats, etc. and I’d like to have something yummy and safe to give your child. Thanks!
Bathroom: Please help your child learn independence when it comes to using the bathroom. I can not "help" them in the bathroom so please make sure your kindergartener knows how to use it appropriately. Even seasoned bladder-control experts can have an off day! In case of an emergency, there are extra clothes in the office for accidents. If this does happen, please just send the laundered clothes back to school as soon as you can.
Backpacks: Your child should bring his/her backpack to school every day. They will have things to bring home in their green folders!
Birthdays: Birthdays are VERY special in kindergarten! Your child may bring in a birthday treat on the day of his/her birthday if they would like. Treats need to to be individually wrapped snacks due to allergies. Please no huge birthday cakes! You can send the treats in with your child in the morning or bring them to school before noon. If your child has a summer birthday, the class will celebrate it in May. If your child is having a birthday party and would like to invite the whole class, or ALL the girls or ALL the boys they may bring the invitations to school. Otherwise, please invite children during non-school hours to avoid hurt feelings!
Conferences: You will have the opportunity to participate in two parent/teacher conferences during the school year. Of course, if any concerns arise, we can schedule a meeting at your convenience.
4Cs: At Heritage we teach with the 4Cs in mind - Communication, Critical Thinking, Cooperation, and Communication. These 4Cs will be intertwined into the everyday curriculum.
Dismissal: School doesn't actually get out until 3:30 but I'll dismiss them a few minutes early (around 3:25) to avoid getting trampled by those big kiddos running out of school. If you'll be picking your child up, please do so at the back door by the playground. If your child will be attending Base Camp, someone from Base will come and walk them to the cafeteria at the end of the day. If your child will be taking the bus home, we will make sure they get on the correct bus (the kids will walk out early with the first graders and a first grade teacher.)
Email: Email is the quickest and easiest way to contact me. I am able to check email throughout the school day and will respond as soon as possible to questions or concerns! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Email Sharing: I’d like to be able to share your email with other parents for party sign-ups, play-dates and invitations. If you would NOT like your email shared, please let me know as soon as possible.
Fun: Kindergarten is a time for FUN! I promise to have fun with the kids everyday!
Field trips: Kindergartners will have some opportunities for field trips throughout the year. Permission slips will be sent home when dates and times are determined.
Fine motor practice: Fine motor activities help develop hand muscles. Working with Play-Doh, using markers, crayons, pencils, pens, and scissors will strengthen your child’s hand muscles. Stronger hand muscles will help your child’s writing skills and encourage proper letter formation throughout the year.
Green Folders: These will be sent home everyday and will include any notes from the office or me as well as finished work. They are to be sent back to school daily.
Homework: I’m not a believer of daily homework for 5 year olds. Your child may occasionally be sent home with a small project to work on with your help. Other than the occasional project, please read to your child everyday. He/she can also start reading to you, too!
IPads - We are incredibly lucky here at Heritage because we have one-to-one devices for every child in the school. In kindergarten, every child will have his/her own IPad to use at school.
Independence: Kindergarten is a big transition for children and families! We gently encourage the children to be as independent as possible. We are focusing on how to be kind, helpful and responsible! Be sure to encourage your child to continue these behaviors at home.
Journals: The kindergartners will have a variety of journals to work on throughout the year. Writing journals will be composed of children’s writing on specific or free choice topics. As a kindergartner, ‘writing’ is not limited to correctly written sentences. Sometimes writing is a combination of words, letters, shapes, or drawings that show their thoughts
Kindergarten: The kindergarten year is a special time for you and your child. Although academics are important, they are not the sole focus of our program. We aim to support and develop your child’s social, emotional, and physical development as well. We want your child to become the best kindergartner they can be!
Lunch: Your child has a choice of bringing lunch or buying lunch from school. There are always 2 hot lunch choices and you can view the lunch menu online on the Heritage website. Purchasing milk daily is also an option. You can put money into your child's lunch account by sending in a check (made out to Heritage Elementary - in an envelope labeled "Lunch Money") with your child or you may pay online. Lunch is $2.85 and milk alone is $.75. If you'd like to join your child in the cafeteria for lunch, please do so! We eat lunch at 10:30 everyday The children LOVE it when a parent surprises them for lunch. You may just sit and chat, bring your own lunch, or pick up something extra special for the two of you at a restaurant.
Love: I promise to love your child and my hopes are that they will LOVE kindergarten, LOVE Heritage, and LOVE coming to school each and everyday!
Lunch Number: Your child will have a student ID number which they will be using all through their Douglas County schooling. It is also their lunch number, which they will eventually need to memorize. I'll be sending their numbers home the first week of school. Some might have their numbers memorized in days while others may not have them memorized until first or second grade. Rest assured they can definitely still get lunch! We have clips for them with their numbers on that they can use all year!
Label all of your child’s wearable items: This includes jackets, backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles (and in the winter -boots, mittens, snow pants and hats). This cuts down greatly on lost items! Also, check through the lost and found throughout the year for any missing items!
Library: We have library once a week and your child will have the opportunity to check out books. I'm unsure of our library day at this time but will let you know as soon as I find out!
Math: Math concepts are covered daily. Encourage your child to explain what they are learning in math throughout the week. You can always expand your child’s math knowledge by using everyday objects to count and add. Show your child how you use math every day as well!
Mystery Reader: We encourage all parents or grandparents to participate in this fun activity! You will simply sign up with me (in the weeks to come) to share a story with the class. The “mysterious” part is that your child doesn’t know when you’re coming… the kids love this!
Newsletter: A newsletter will be emailed to you every week sometime between Thursday and Saturday. Be sure to read it for important dates, what we have been learning about, and other special news.
Outdoors: Recess is outdoors everyday, weather permitting. If the weather is rainy or too cold, children will have indoor recess. Please put sunscreen on your child before school on these hot sunny days. Please send your child in with weather appropriate clothing and extra warm clothes in the winter months! The school rule is that we will go outside for recess if the temperature is above 20 degrees. In the winter we go out almost everyday, so your child will need boots and snowpants.
Play -Play is a child’s “work” and is an important component of our kindergarten day. Play benefits the social, emotional, and physical development of children. During play, children are creative and innovative, learn how to socialize and share, and demonstrate resiliency and problem solving skills.
Progress Reports: These will be sent home twice per year - in December and in May.
Parties: Kindergarteners love to celebrate holidays and other events. We will be having parties throughout the year which I will let you know about ahead of time in my newsletters. Volunteers and donations are greatly appreciated – so be on the lookout for upcoming events! Three parties we always have are the Halloween Party and Parade (the morning of October 31), the Winter Party (the morning of Dec. 15) and the Valentine's Day Party (the morning of Feb. 14). All parents are invited to the parties so mark your calendars!
Phone Calls: Feel free to contact me through phone calls whenever needed. My cell number is (303) 330-2233. However, during the school day, I am actively engaged with students so I cannot answer my phone. Phone calls interrupt the education time throughout the day but I will return your call within 24 hours.
Parent Portal: You should have received instructions when you registered on how to set up your Parent Portal account online. If you need help, please contact the front office. You will access field trip payments, progress reports and lunch balances all on Parent Portal so please get it set up soon. Thank you!
PTO - Below is a short blurb from our PTO President, Jill Montoya:
On behalf of the Heritage Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) we would like to welcome you to the Heritage Team! Our PTO consists of parents and teachers working together to support and enrich learning experiences and build a connected community! We focus on FUNdraising and FUN-making! We hope you will join us at some of many of our PTO sponsored events this year: Back to School Bash, Mother Son Night Out, Father Daughter Dance, Silent Auction, and more! We encourage all families to get involved! Become a PTO member to get discounts to all our events, volunteer at an event, or join us at a PTO meeting! It takes a village, and we are so happy for you to be part of ours!
Questions: Please don’t hesitate with questions or concerns! Feel free to write a note and send it inside your child’s folder, email me, or give me a call!
Reading: We will start, establish, and expand reading skills in kindergarten! Please read with your child every day. Also, allow your child to read to you. In kindergarten, we have three ways to read: read the words, read the pictures, or retell the story. All these forms of reading help your child develop reading skills and an excitement for reading! Encourage any and all reading your child may do!
Snacks: We will have two snacks each day so please send your child with healthy snacks everyday. PLEASE do not put the snacks in your child's lunch box. Just put them right into his/her backpack. Healthy snacks could be fruit, vegetables, granola bars, pretzels, cheese sticks, etc. (not cookies, candy or brownies). We have a VERY early lunch so make sure to pack substantial snacks to get the kiddos through the afternoon.
Show and Share: Children will have a chance to share an item once per month. This will take place on the first Friday of every month. If your child brings in a toy from home, please be sure it fits in his/her backpack and is inexpensive!! No IPods, IPads or other breakable items.
Specials: Everyday your child will participate in "Specials" which consist of Art, Music, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and PE. They will have each special for 5 days in a row before moving onto a new special. During the PE rotation your child will need to wear tennis shoes to school.
Science and Social Studies: We integrate our science and social studies instruction within our World Class Outcomes. We will be exploring a variety of topics throughout the year!
Shoe Tying: Please work on shoe tying with your kindergartner! Once your child has mastered the skill, he/she will become a "SHOE TYING EXPERT" in our classroom.
Technology: Your child will be learning how to use an IPad, IPad Apps, and how to code on IPads once per week for 45 minutes. Our technology teacher is Mrs. Daniels.
Toys: Please remind your child that toys from home should not be brought to school unless the toy is a show and share item!
Transportation: It is very important that we safely get your child to their proper form of transportation each day! In order to keep everyone updated on how your child will get home, please email me how your child is getting home from school each day. Do this by this weekend please. If there is a change in the way your child will be getting home, send me an email by 11:30 that day (or call the office and they can get the message to me). Unless we hear otherwise from a parent/guardian, your child will be sent home the way that’s normal for him/her on any given day.
Unique: Each child comes to us with gifts and needs that are unique to him/her. We rejoice in each child’s uniqueness and will do our best to teach him/her according to his/her individual needs. We strive to differentiate our teaching so that each child can be the best kindergartner he/she can be!
Visitors: When visiting the school, please sign in at the office and you’ll receive a “visitor” sticker. You'll need to bring your Driver's License in with you the very first time you come to the school during the school day. When leaving, please remember to sign out.
Volunteers: There will be many opportunities for parents to assist us this year. Volunteers are greatly appreciated throughout the year to keep our classroom running smoothly. Be sure to check your emails as I'll be setting up a volunteer schedule in the weeks to come.
Water Bottles: Please send your child with a reusable water bottle each day. This water bottle should contain water only.
Writing: Kindergartners are beginning to learn so many new things and writing is one of them! Your child’s writing will develop tremendously throughout the year. A kindergartner’s ‘writing’ may not look like an exact letter formation, and that is okay! Squiggles and scribbles are the beginning of the writing process! Encourage your child to write about what they draw at home. If you don’t know what it says, you can ask your child, “Can you read this to me?” or “Wow! Tell me what you are writing about. That looks interesting!”. These are ways to encourage your child to excitedly continue writing!
“X-tra” Time: Kindergarten students are notorious for learning at different speeds. Some might come in not knowing a single letter or sound while others may already be reading. Because of this, I will take each child from where he/she is and teach accordingly. In other words, if a child doesn't know letters and sounds, we'll start there. If a child can read, we will move on from where they are. There's no sense in boring children - or teaching over their heads. Some just need "x-tra" time...
Younger Siblings: We understand that volunteering is difficult to do when you have younger siblings to take care of. I'm sorry to say that when you come in to volunteer, younger siblings are not allowed. Volunteering with a group of 5 or 6 kindergarteners is tough enough, but then to add another child... it could get crazy. Thanks in advance for following this rule.
Z-z-z-zs: Please make sure your kindergartner gets a good night’s sleep and has a good breakfast before coming to school! This will help your child have the best day possible!