Everything You Need to Know About Kindergarten!
Welcome to Kindergarten! Keep this packet, as it has lots of information you will need to know about Kindergarten! Here we go:
Routines and Schedules
Each morning when your child is dropped off at school (8 am or after, school begins at 8:10) he or she will have two choices: 1) sit in their predetermined class line or 2) drop their backpack off at the predetermined class line and join the running club. Running club is a program our PE teacher Mr. Nassif put together and is available to all students and all they have to do is run or walk laps on the blacktop; an adult will give them a running stick for each lap they complete and your child’s teacher will keep track of laps. Students will be told when running club is over and then meet back at their line to wait for their teacher. All running sticks must be turned in each morning to the teacher! Each day when the bell rings at 8:10 your teacher will come down to meet the classes and bring them up to the classroom*. If your child arrives late (class has already gone up to the classroom), he or she MUST go to the office and get a late slip from Ms. Jo’el.
*In order to build independence in your child as a student, we encourage all parents to support their child’s efforts by letting him or her walk up to the classroom with the teacher each morning; without parental assistance. We do understand however that the transition will be difficult for students and parents alike in the first few months of the school year, so our focus on this particular aspect of the morning routine will not begin until after the Winter Holiday break.
As you probably already know, throughout the year your child will rotate between spending a week in German Kindergarten and a week in English Kindergarten. In August you will receive a skeleton of what your child’s day will look like with each of his or her teachers.
Beginning in September, students will do a language switch in the afternoon. For 30 minutes to an hour several times each week, students in English Kindergarten will rotate to German Kindergarten, and vice versa. You’ll hear the students refer to this as Super Groups, which is what we call this switch.
For Kindergarteners school ends at 2:30 pm. Each day your child’s teacher will escort the class down to the purple playground. Please make sure that your child checks out with their teacher before you take them if you are going to the playground or waiting for an older child. Frau Cunniff will be by the gate for those parents who are picking up without leaving their vehicle. The first few weeks, it will take a little longer to get all the kinks out, but your child will walk with Frau Cunniff to the car. If you have an older child that gets dismissed at a later time, please be sure to still be at the school to pick up your kindergartener on time at 2:30. It is very important that if your child is to be picked up by someone other than the usual pickup person you either let the teacher know by writing it in your student’s planner or calling the office. We cannot release your child to someone we do not know or who is not on their emergency contact list.
Wednesdays are our minimum days this year and all Kindergarten classes leave school at 12:00 p.m. every Wednesday. Wednesday is typically our Enrichment Day, when we can do such things as, but not limited to: puppetry, music, art, skill teaching, crafts, dance, computers, health, etc.
Uniforms are REQUIRED. That means, only red or white tops, with embroidered patches, and blue bottoms (NO SWEATPANTS). With fall coming…PLEASE LABEL your child’s sweaters and jackets. Sweaters MUST be BLUE. Only winter Jackets (ski jacket thickness) may be another color. Name and K-A, K-B, K-C or K-D on the label. THEY WILL BE MISPLACING THEIR SWEATERS and this will help reroute them back to their owners. J
Please be aware that we ask each student to bring in an extra change of clothing. It will be kept in the classroom in case it is needed and returned at the end of the year. Please put the change of clothes (including, 1 top, 1 bottom, 1 pair of socks and 1 pair of underwear) in a ziplock baggie labeled with the student’s name. These don’t have to be a uniform but should be the colors of the uniform.
In order to achieve “perfect attendance” students must not be tardy or absent on any given school day nor leave early. Excused absences still count as absences. If your child is going to miss a school day, please call the office and inform them by 9am. If you do not call the office it will be an unexcused absence. After getting 5 unexcused absences, SARB will be notified.
Recess and Snack
In Kindergarten your child will have two recesses on the upper kindergarten playground 9:00am-9.30am and 1:30am-2:00pm. They will also have a recess before eating lunch. We ask that if you do not pack your child a snack to eat at the morning recess that you donate snacks every once in awhile that we can pass out to students without a snack. Popular snacks include cheese sticks (we have a refrigerator to store food), carrot packs, cut up fresh fruit, graham crackers, wheat thins and goldfish. If you donate snacks, please remember to mark your donation in the form of hours ($5= 1 hour) on your volunteer log (more about this below under volunteering)!
In an effort to make sure our students are getting the best water they can, Mrs. Jones and Frau Holt and Mr. H and Frau Cummings will have bottled water in the classroom. We feel strongly that it is important to have this to replenish our little student’s bodies (especially on HOT days!) and ask each family to donate $ towards our class fund (please see supply request sheet), which will pay for the entire year (don’t forget $5= 1volunteer hour). We use plastic cups to teach the kids the importance of recycling, with each student’s name on them that we wash at the end of each day. The cups then follow the students to both of their classrooms.
Kindergarteners will eat lunch together at 11:00 in the lunch arbor, a covered area with tables outside of the Multipurpose Room (MPR). Each day our kids will FIRST have recess and then go to lunch. Our recess/ lunch staff will walk the classes down to the lunch tables; those with lunchboxes will sit down and eat, while those who are buying hot lunch will walk with the teacher to the lunch line. During lunch the students are supervised by school aides and encouraged to finish their own meals. Please discuss with your child how important it is to eat their lunch and not waste it (this is very common J). We will send home a menu so your child can anticipate what days which meals will be served. In order for your child to buy lunch you must put money into their lunch account- this can be done in the office. They will be given a lunch number to punch in at the register. If they forget their number, one of the lunch ladies will help them! Also, kids are so very fond of the contents of other kids’ lunches so please encourage them to eat their own lunch and not take any portion of other students’ lunches.
Read and Rest
Full day Kindergarten can be quite an adjustment for some students. In order to facilitate this, each day we have a time in our classes we call rest and read. This is a time of the day where we slow down a little and our students are able to quietly reflect on their day, read from the classroom library and have a little down time. At the beginning of the year we rest for 45 minutes, this allows those who fall asleep to do so. Typically, by January (when we return from Christmas break) we decrease it to 30 minutes. The students have become adjusted to school and ready to work and learn for longer periods of time. Our rest time for the majority of the students is then spent finishing assignments, drawing, or reading books. However, there are some students that still require this quiet time and will have the opportunity to rest if needed. It differs from year to year, but usually by early spring rest and read has been replaced with the 1 hour language exchange.
We literally could not complete the school year without the help of the parents. Our school relies on parents to volunteer at least five hours per month. This can be done in the classroom, working on projects at home or donating materials and supplies to your child’s classroom. Every five dollars donated in supplies is worth one hour of volunteering.
If you’d like to volunteer in the classroom (or on field trips) you must have a current TB test that will be turned in to the office.
We will not be having volunteers in the classroom for the first month, as we need to get to know each class and work out all the kinks! We have a sign up sheet for volunteering to see what our parent’s availability is and you can commit to a certain time that works for you. Our request, if possible, is that we have volunteers who agree to come on the same day at the same time each week, although we know many of you are parents working outside the home and if you happen to have a day off, you are more than welcome to just drop in to volunteer.
*Please see the volunteer schedule attachment, fill it out with your preferred time slots and return it to us.
*Please note that attending any meetings or school committee work is all part of your 5 hours!!! We need parent involvement in whatever form works best for you and your family.
Specials- PE, Music, Library
Each week in both English and German, your child will participate in our specials including PE with Mr. Nassif, Art with Mrs. Heinselmann (every other week), Library time with Mrs. Julius and music. Music will be with Frau Claudia in the German weeks and is an interactive singing and instrumental lessons where students will continue to learn content through music.
As you may know Albert Einstein Academy is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school. This means that our curriculum and classroom environment is based on the following organizing themes:
Who We Are
How We Organize Ourselves
How We Express Ourselves
Where we are in Place and Time
How the World Works
Sharing the Planet
Each of the above themes is a six week unit. We also focus throughout the year on character development including the IB LEARNER PROFILE (inquireres, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgable, principled, caring, well-balanced, open minded, reflective) and ATTITUDES (committment, independence, integrity, creativity, empathy, tolerance, enthusiasm, cooperation, appreciation, confidence, respect and curiosity).
*Please see attachment that will discuss the main points of the IB program.
Your child will receive an Albert Einstein Academy Planner. They must bring their planner to school everyday. This is an essential tool that we will use on a daily basis. It will be used to send and receive homework as well as a communication tool between parents and teachers. Should anything out of the ordinary happen during the school day it will be marked in your child’s planner. There is a section where each day has a box for behavior and will receive a sticker or smiley face if everything went well. If there is not a sticker in the box your will see a note explaining what happened to warrant not having received a sticker. *Please note if there is NO sticker and NO note- most likely the planner was not turned in on that day. Please also check for special notes, stickers or reminders!
Homework will be sent home weekly. Every Monday you will get a “homework Menu” where you will be asked to choose one item from each of the 4 columns/sections that will be turned in on Friday. (*see example attached) We also require 20 minutes of reading each night. Our homework will always pertain to the current concepts being covered. It is our goal that the homework assigned to our students will be a fun and creative way to review what has been taught over a two week period. It will include independent as well as interactive activities that you can select with your child. At some point during the school year your child will begin bringing home books that he or she can read to you and this time can be logged at the 20 minutes.
*Please understand that homework is a time to reinforce what has been learned during the week, while establishing a routine for students that will help them in the future. Most importantly, we see this time as a chance for our parents to be a part of their child’s learning experience. This includes being aware of your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
Homework is reviewed by teachers and returned on Friday. Please attach samples to the homework packet and log all of your nightly reading. Each student’s reading grade will be reflected on their report card.
In Kindergarten we teach the students a lot about responsibility. It is a time that we will not just talk about it, but also give them the opportunity to practice being responsible students. They will take turns having classroom jobs (which they will love to do…) and they will learn that they also have two jobs that they are responsible for the entire year:
Kindergarten teachers will send a newsletter home every six weeks, as we change our IB units of inquiry. Please read this as it lets you know about upcoming events, current curriculum, upcoming units, special notices, things our classrooms need and California State Standards that we are focusing on. This information can also be found on our websites throughout the 6 weeks as well.
We will have several field trips/assemblies over the course of the school year. Our field trips are coordinated to work with our current IB units. We try to be as creative as possible to keep the cost down and the educational experience up! You will be asked to pay for the trips online and will be given more information to guide you at the beginning of the school year. For each fieldtrip we will need at least 4 to 5 volunteers per class. We will ask for volunteers prior to the excursion and will grant requests on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to join us, you MUST get approval from your teacher prior to the day of the field trip.
Before a field trip we will ask for chaperone volunteers. If you are asked to join us, you will be emailed a document that has all the information you need to help out on the trip.
We have very high expectations of our chaperones and ask that you take your job seriously and remember your purpose. Often times parents get engaged in enjoyable discussions with other parents and the kids are left to their own devices. School trips are different than personal trips where parents perhaps give the children more freedom…if you remember to ask yourself “would I let 20 kids be doing this right now” and if you say no, then it is not ok in that situation.
We also ask you to refrain from talking on your cell phones while on the field trip. Please understand that we need your full participation as a chaperone.
You will be given a “chaperone guideline letter” before each trip- Please read what is being asked of you before the field trip and come prepared to work! J
In all Kindergarten classes as well as throughout the entire school, we use POSITIVE CHILD DISCIPLINE to develop mutual respect, cooperation and responsibility in our classrooms. Its basic tenet is that it allows for individual decision-making through choices and risk-taking. When a child needs to be disciplined, we keep it POSITIVE. Our main purpose is to develop self-esteem within the child and higher order thinking, problem-solving skills through ENCOURAGEMENT.
Examples of Encouraging and Discouraging Responses
We want your child to look at school as a positive experience. Students do make poor choices from time to time and so we teach them to problem solve and be reflective about the choices they make.
At the beginning of the year the kids are given what we call a “reset.” When they have done something that is not ok and hear “reset” they take the time to count to 5 and then rethink what they should be doing. They then make the change immediately.
The reset is used as a reminder and if they have gotten multiple resets, a more directed talk might be warranted. The child would be asked to not just think about what they will do differently next time but to verbalize it with the teacher. If a child has been spoken to many times, a note will be written in the planner explaining what has happened. Otherwise, consider all issues to have been solved during the day and do not need further attention.
With that said they will also learn that any sort of hitting, biting, kicking, spitting or throwing of objects will result in an automatic thinking seat-reset. The thinking seat gives the student a chance to reflect on what rules they forgot to follow and think about what they would do the next time. They will be asked to illustrate what they did and what they will do next time…as well as create an apology letter/picture if appropriate. Severe behavior issues may be sent to the principal.
Allergies and Special Conditions
Please let us know about any special conditions or allergies that your child may have so that we can accommodate these things!
Throughout the year there will be several assemblies. This will include performances and awards presentations. Should an assembly be coming up we will notify you in your child’s planner and in our weekly newsletter.
Every Friday will be “sharing.” To guide this fun activity, we will follow our IB themes every 6 weeks. Students will have the chance to bring in a small bag containing the sharing and give three clues and ask for three guesses. We ask that you help your child stick to the theme and select an appropriate object to share with his/her class. We will share as many items as we have time for. Not all the kids might get a chance to go to the front of the class but if we are running out of time they will all be able to do a group share.
Birthday Celebrations at School
We love to celebrate birthdays! If you feel inclined to celebrate with your child’s class please let your teacher know ahead of time. We like to do this before our last recess at 1.30pm, as they have already had lunch and the school day is close to being over. Cookies are a great little afternoon treat!
Birthday Celebration Invitations
If your child is celebrating his/her birthday and would like to invite the ENTIRE class, please feel free to come in and distribute the invitations first thing in the morning.
If your child is not inviting the entire class, please distribute the invitations outside o f classtime.
Absences and Contracts
If your child will have a planned extended absence, be sure to let the office know and Mrs. Lewis will set up a contract for your child. A contract is school work given by the teacher for your child to complete and return. The back of the contract must be signed by both parent and student.
Communication between Teachers and Families
Communication is the key for us to have a positive working relationship with you! Please call, email or schedule an appointment with us to discuss anything (nothing too small!!). We also use the planner as a quick and easy communication tool. We check your child’s planner EVERY day so if you have a quick question please feel free to write in the planner. If you have a question or concern, please come to us with it, so that we can solve the issue together. We can be reached at 619.795.1190 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .
At AEACS we have many organizations that you might be interested in being a part of. To find a brief description, please access your AEACS handbook.
Friends of AEA
Friends of AEA is our fundraising entity and pays for many programs that are not normally funded with our assigned budget. It is VERY important that Friends makes possible what other schools are going without. Friends has many fundraisers throughout the year and it is not intended that each family participate with each fundraiser—rather see which ones call your name and focus on those. Friends does however ask that each family make a $30/donation per month that can be either paid in full or paid each month. This is a dollar a day and will help make your child’s education more complete and enriched. We cannot do it without your support for our programs. Please make it a point to donate what you can each month.
The Kindergarten term reserves the right to make any changes to any and all information included in this packet as deemed necessary throughout the year. All parties involved will be notified of any changes in a timely fashion.
We are about to become a family, sharing joint custody of your child and we are in this adventure together!
Here’s to a great year!
Mr. H * Frau Holt * Frau Cummings * Ms. Jones
IBO - International Baccalaureate Organization
Primary Years Programme
o Learner Profile:
o IB learners strive to be: Inquirers, Thinkers, Communicators and Knowledgeable by being… Risk-takers, Principled, Caring, Open-minded, Balanced, and Reflective.
o Positive attitudes towards people, environment and learning contributes to our internationally educated person.
o Knowledge: Program of Inquiry Organizing Themes:
These are the basics for what IB represents and what we focus on in our classrooms.
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have!
You will get one with updated times after school starts
Parent Volunteer Schedule
Parent Name ___________________
Student Name __________________
Please put an X in the box you would like to volunteer
I will be available for volunteer work to be sent home
Student Name _____________________________________
Parent Name _______________________________________
Home phone___________________ Work phone____________
My Mother’s heritage ______________ Father’s_____________
My profession is: ___________________________________
My hobbies are: ____________________________________
IB units are: All about me, How we organize ourselves, Times long ago, How we express ourselves, Plants, Animals.
I would be interested in sharing during the unit on _____________________.
Cathy Davies-Pentano, Ph.D. and Barbara Nogal--
“Kindergarten was originally a year of relatively informal education designed to prepare children for the rigors of first grade. With today’s heightened expectations, however, kindergarten has become an experience with demands well beyond socializing for future schooling. Today’s children need to be ready when they arrive.”
A) SOCIAL SKILLS
1. Share and take turns
2. Follow rules in a structured class or game
3. Show concern for others
4. Be able to play independently for periods of time
5. Show interest in group activities
B) READING READINESS
1. Visually discriminate between alike and different
2. Recite the alphabet with minimal errors
3. Name most upper-case (20) and some lower case letters (7-10)
4. Answer questions to a story read aloud
5. Demonstrate left to right eye movement on a page
C) MATH SKILLS
1. Discriminate different sizes, shapes & quantities
2. Have a one-to-one correspondence (count a collection of 5 to 10 objects)
3. Count using rote memory from 1 to 10
4. Demonstrate comprehension of first, second and third as well as opposites (little/big, small/large)
5. Recognize numerals out of sequence to 10
D.) WRITING SKILLS
1. Grasp pencil correctly in a natural, comfortable grip
2. Trace and copy simple designs
3. Write his/her name with proper capitals and lowercase letters
4. Copy upper case letters
Color within lines most of the time
Below is a list of supplies that we are requesting you donate to your teacher’s classroom on the first day of school. All donations will be shared among our students as we begin to function as a community together. Thank you in advance for your generosity and attention to this request. See you in the fall!
The Kindergarten Team
NOTE: Please label all sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts with your child’s name and class before the first day of school. Ex. A. Meyer K-D
Please bring in the following items:
*Washable thick and thin Crayola markers (all colors appreciated)
*small Glue Sticks
*Pencils (thick no erasers )
*Change of clothes (top, bottom, underware, socks) in a labeled ziplock baggie that will be kept at school.
*Reem of colored copy paper
Please pick at least one item:
*tongue depressors (large popsicle sticks)
*Wooden clothes pins
*dry erase markers
* Tempura paint (all colors)
*Model magic or modeling clay
*Reem of CARDSTOCK-basic WHITE cardstock nothing too fancy J (NOT regular paper J)
*Dry Snacks (box of graham crackers , gold fish or pretzels).
*If you’d like us to do your shopping for you…we’d be happy to! We love gift cards (example: TARGET, Michaels, Joanne Fabrics, lakeshore, Staples-- instead of the bag)
Classroom Discretionary Funds $20/child
~Classroom Water/sparkletts for the year
~1 t-shirt at the end of the year