A newsletter will be sent home at the end of each week via email.
Beginning Monday, September 30th, extended days begin for kindergarten. Extended day is a small group instruction time in the afternoon from 12:50- 2:10. During this time, I work with groups of about 9-10 students on Language Arts or on other subject matter based on the needs of the students. The students are divided into two groups based on social and academic strengths and needs. I assess each student prior to dividing up the groups. The kindergarten teachers will do everything possible to make sure siblings are placed on similar days to make pick up easier. We can not always meet the request of parents, but parents are welcome to make suggestions.
Please make sure your student has a lunch and/or lunch money on their specified extended days. You may put money on your student’s lunch card in the office and/or online through the district’s website. Also, please make sure drivers of after school care know the schedule of our kindergarten dismissal. They may wait in their car for the students in the kindergarten pick up area. Please make sure they follow the same pick up procedures as you do. Dismissal for kindergarten extended day is at 2:10. Thanks in advance!
Homework is sent home each Friday in a red book bag. It is due the following Friday morning unless stated. It is up you and your student’s discretion how you allot the time to get each part of the homework done. District policy states that a kindergartner should spend no more than 20 focused minutes on homework per night. I realize that all students work at different rates and abilities. I prefer to see a student doing their best on what they are able to accomplish and not rushing through anything to get it done. Quality of work is very important to me. If a student is struggling to get work done, please let me know so that we can develop a plan where they can be successful.
Book envelopes go home each day. The intent of the book envelope is to send home important flyers from the school, community, district, and any classroom work that is ready to come home. Please empty the envelope each evening and send it back the next day.
In addition, if parents have any notes and/or information to return to the office and/or to the teacher, this envelope is the place to do so.
Sharing is a way kindergarteners work on their self-confidence and public speaking skills. Each student is assigned a day to share and it will be consistent all year long. The sharing schedule will be on our classroom website. The sharing will be based on concepts taught in class and sometimes will be free choice. I will let you know as the year progresses.
Due to many different types of allergies in our class, I am asking each student to bring their own snack each day. Please do not forget to help your student pack their snack. Students are really hungry by our 10:15 recess time.
We do have students with allergies. The most severe is a peanut allergy. I realize that treats are very popular with students and they are very convenient for parents to provide. I do not object to parents and students bringing in treats for their birthday celebration, but please choose a healthy snack or even opt to bring in non-food items such as pencils or stickers. Some good treat ideas are fruit roll-ups or juice popsicles. The class celebrates a fellow student’s birthday by singing a song and sharing a treat at snack time (around 10:15 each day).
Super Star/Birthday Celebrations-
Every student celebrates their birthday during their SUPER STAR week. I ask each student to bring an “about me” poster. I will provide directions as each super star date approaches. I have assigned each student two weeks of being our class SUPER STAR and have tried to match up birthday dates as best as I could. Summer birthday have been included in the schedule and the class will celebrate on their given super star week. The SUPER STAR schedule can be found on our classroom website and I will send out reminders.
Off-Site Field Trips-
We will be going on approximately 4
field trips this year.
Permission slips will be sent about 2 weeks before our departure date. Please return them as soon as possible. They have driver information on them which allows me to plan for drivers and recruit classroom parent drivers if there is a shortage. It is advisable for children to always wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for safety purposes on all field trips. Car seats must be sent to school if necessary. Children will always be placed in a car with the proper restraint systems for car seats. Students will never be allowed to ride in the front passenger seat of any vehicle.
Each day your student will write in their Writer’s Workshop Journal. I developed our Writer’s Workshop lessons from an educational series for teachers by Lucy Calkins, author of The Art of Teaching Writing. I ask the students to focus on writing/and drawing about experiences from their lives and to write/draw them with great detail and clarity. I do not expect students to spell everything correctly. In Kindergarten, we love to see kindergarten writing, which is writing down what you hear. I always tell the students that I am testing their ears. If students are unable to put sounds down, I take dictation. I would ask that parents also take dictation at home when working on writing, if needed. In kindergarten we also work on labeling pictures they draw. Labeling looks different for each student. Some may only write beginning sounds to pictures, while others write beginning and ending sounds. Every “author” looks different in kindergarten and it is ok.
I would rather see a well thought out story that is spelled inventively over a poorly developed story that is spelled perfectly. I refer to the students as writers and authors and celebrate their accomplishments in writing. My goal is to have every child enjoy the act of writing, do it well and understand how important writing is to the world and their lives.
Our class centers are called math workshops. I do have occasional literacy centers throughout the year but mostly our centers focus on kindergarten math concepts. We have math workshops Monday through Thursday. Workshops allow students to develop responsibility and independence while working on hands on activities that appeal to different types of learners. Math centers are very popular with students since they learn while interacting with their peers. Many students love the engaging math games and hands on manipulatives that are offered week after week.
More Daily Math Activities/Routines: Problem of the Month and Number Talks-
Problem of the Month: Students in our class will be working on our Problem of the Month. This problem will be a word problem that has been carefully selected based on what we are learning in our curriculum. The Problem of the Month is geared to allow students to see “the task as problematic, as something they need to think about rather than as a prescription they need to follow”. We want the students to be able to use what they know to come up with strategies, reflect, and communicate with peers when working through the task. Our overall focus of the Problem of the Month is process not product and for students to be intrigued by the mathematics.
Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding Published by Heinemann
Number Talks: In kindergarten, we discuss the number of the day, which corresponds to how many days we have been in school. Our number talks include building the number using ten frames. “A ten-frame is a hands-on and pictorial model that teaches number sense and mental math. Young children need to see quantities when they work with numbers. When children have mental images for numbers, they have more flexible strategies to apply to computation.” The ten frames also help students see quantity-number relationships, compose and decompose numbers, illustrate basic fact strategies, predict when and how to regroup.” http://tenframesystem.com/home.html)
During our number talks students make connections between the number of the day and how it pertains to them.
Classroom Volunteers are essential to the kindergarten program. Throughout the year, I send out a message through my newsletter, to ask for help in the classroom. The volunteer jobs that need consistency are the red book bag and homework parents each week. I ask that I have two or three parents in a rotation on Friday mornings to help.
Our reward system in our classroom is our dinosaur jar. We collect dinosaurs each day as a team in order to fill up one entire jar. Once we have filled up our jar, the class gets to go to the big kid’s playground for recess. The way students earn dinosaurs are by following directions, doing good deeds for peers, helping a friend, doing something in class without being asked, extraordinary behavior, and much more.
Choice time is our free play time inside the classroom. Students have a choice of coloring, building with blocks, playing in the playhouse, puzzles, play dough, etc. Socialization is a major skill that kindergarteners work on in the classroom on a regular basis. Developing social skills is one of the key foundations for learning and learning how to learn on your own. During choice time, students are learning how to communicate their thoughts, how to share, how to resolve problems, how to make friends, how to find help if needed, and in doing so are building fine motor skills and gross motor skills.
SEF Funded Activities/Schedule-
P.E. - Our P.E. time is Monday from 9:45-10:15. Mr. Telles is our P.E. instructor.
Please make sure you student is wearing a short sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt (if needed). Students wearing too many layers over heat from running around at PE. Please make sure all students wear good tennis shoes for running. We do not want anyone running in flip flops, sandals, or party shoes. Also remember to bring a water bottle to re-hydrate.
Music- We attend music class on Wednesday from 9:45-10:15. Mr. Chisler is the music instructor.
Please feel free to contact us any time with questions, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com We check emails in the morning before school or in the afternoon and make it a habit to respond to emails within 24 hours. We can also be reached in my room at 867-4773 x214.