I would like to welcome you and your child to my class. Soon your child will complete one of the most important milestones in his/her life - the first day of school! I am looking forward to a wonderful year full of learning together. Kindergarten is a special yet exciting time for your child as he or she embarks upon new adventures in the world of learning. I feel truly blessed to be given the opportunity to share this important time with your child. I understand that you and your child may have met this day with excitement or apprehension (or a little of both)
and I hope that this handbook will help you to know what to expect in kindergarten this year and answer any questions you may have. I am looking forward to a working with your child this year and helping him/her to achieve his/her full potential.
I believe that a good parent-teacher relationship is necessary for maximum school success. Throughout the year I will communicate with you through notes, telephone calls, weekly newsletters, quarterly reports and parent-teacher conferences. I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at any time. You can call me at school (549-3145), send me a note, or e-mail me at email@example.com. Your child's B.E.E. book will be our main source of communication. Please check this folder each night. As daunting as it may be, please try to sort through all the papers each night. The "important notes” side of the folder will contain notes, newsletters, and handouts. The "beautiful work" pocket will be full of class work. Lunch and snack money can be placed in the zipper pouch in this folder. All lunch money must be placed in a white envelope and labeled with your child's name, teacher, and lunch number. Lunch money can be paid on a weekly or monthly basis.
Throughout the school year there will be a variety of special classroom activities and celebrations. I encourage you to attend these functions when possible and to support them by sending needed supplies or treats. Your support of school activities makes your child feel important and sends the message that you value school.
Your child’s regular and prompt attendance at school is crucial to his/her success. I can’t emphasize this point enough!!! Most kindergarten learning activities are group oriented and involve interaction with classmates. Therefore, it is next to impossible to make up work at home. Please view school as a priority, and see to it that your child attends everyday except in cases of illness or emergency.
Changes in Transportation
If you plan to pick up a child that normally rides the bus or you wish for your child to ride a different bus than usual, you must send a written note. Do not rely on your child to tell me this information, because children often become confused and relay messages incorrectly. If no written note is received, your child will be sent home by his/her usual method of transportation.
The children will be going out for recess everyday unless it is raining or extremely cold. Please keep this is in mind when helping your child to select clothing for the day. Also, we are fortunate to have a variety of playground equipment, including several pieces for climbing. Please keep this in mind when selecting shoes. Cowboy boots and little girl’s dress shoes are less than ideal if your child chooses to play on this equipment. Also, these shoes can tend to be slippery on days when the blacktop is wet. For the most part, if your child is well enough to be at school, he/she is well enough to participate in outdoor recess, if properly dressed. In fact, the germs that cause colds thrive more readily in the heated indoor air and it is beneficial to go outside and get some fresh air. However, on those occasions when you feel it is best for your child to stay indoors, please send a written note and I will make arrangements for your child to do so.
Your child will be bringing home a form to order books about once a month. If you wish to order, simply fill out the form and send the correct amount of money or a check made out to the SHES in an envelope. These orders are provided as a convenient way for parents to buy quality books for their child at a low price. As an added bonus, for every dollar that is spent on books, I earn bonus points which are used to purchase books for classroom use. This is a win-win situation because you get quality literature at a low price and you are helping to provide quality literature for the classroom. Of course, you are never under any obligation to order.
Establishing good classroom discipline is essential to each child’s success, confidence and well-being. Every child should feel that the classroom environment is safe and secure; free from all threats of physical or emotional harm. In addition, it is important that each child learn to develop self-discipline and good work habits, to resolve conflicts peacefully, and to think independently. Everyday that your child does not get in trouble, he or she will receive a smiling face sticker or stamp on the calendar in the take-home folder. If your child breaks a rule that day, he or she will get a sad face in the folder with a message from me about what happened. This way you stayed informed of your child’s class behavior each day
At SHES we use several instruments to assess students in Kindergarten both formally and informally. The Brigance test is given prior to entering Kindergarten. This test allows the teacher to see the incoming students readiness for Kindergarten and their areas of strength and weakness. DIBELS reading assessment is given three times a year- first during the first month of school, after winter break, and at the end of the year. DIBELS will test the children on early phonemic and pre-reading skills. These tests help identify any children at-risk for reading difficulties. DIBELS results are used to guide learning objectives and develop instructional plans. Report Card assessments are also given every nine weeks over skills covered in class that grading period. Informal assessments are given routinely as needed to guide instruction.
Kindergarten students are eager and ready to learn! Kindergarten homework lays the foundation for good work habits in later years. Furthermore, positive homework helps establish the home-school connection and involves parents as partners in their child's daily learning experience. Homework is always an extension of what we are doing in class, and gives your child the opportunity to practice and reinforce the concepts and skills we are learning at home with you on a one-on-one basis. Young students benefit greatly from one-on-one practice and enjoy sharing the new skills they have learned with their parents. Kindergarten homework is not optional, and should be viewed as meaningful learning experiences. Please set aside a time each night to work with your child on homework. You are encouraged to help your child with his or her homework, but do not do it for him or her. Be very patient and celebrate your child's successes, no matter how small they may seem. This will help your child stay enthusiastic about learning and proud of his or her work.
All about Math
This year your child will have the opportunity to build mathematical concepts by manipulating objects and through real life experiences. Mathematics are incorporated into many everyday classroom routines. Concepts that your child will be learning include counting, patterning, organizational skills such as sorting, classifying, and graphing, making comparisons, number concepts and beginning addition and subtraction. Also, your child will learn to write and recognize the numerals 1 to 25 and beyond. Concepts will be introduced in whole group and small group lessons. Students will apply and extend what has been introduced through independent and cooperative work at a variety of math stations. After students have had ample opportunity to build a concept through manipulating objects, they will be encouraged to record their work by writing and drawing.
This year your child will be increasing his/her vocabulary, exercising his/her language skills and absorbing reading skills such as left to right progression, spacing between words, punctuation, capitalization, main idea, and identifying details. Each week a new letter is introduced using the Sing and Read program. This program introduces each letter in a truly child friendly way using a cute, interactive character for each letter of the alphabet. Each character has a catchy song, story, and interactive games that we will play using the projector. We will get to know all the characters and their personalities as we learn our letters. Our core reading program comes from Scott Foresman, the leader in research-based instruction. Through this program your child will be introduced to a new story and comprehension skills each week. Each story will feature sight words and the children and I will build a word wall using these sight words. I t is very important that each child master the weekly sight words. Several times weekly we will work with our words using game-like activities designed to reinforce letter/sound recognition, word recognition, sorting and classifying, identifying word patterns and more. The word wall will also serve as a resource for student writing as the year progresses. Starting the very first month of school, your child will start bringing home small leveled books. These books contain the sight words and phonics skills your child will be learning in class. Please read these books with your child each night. I would also recommend decorating a shoe box or purchasing a plastic shoe box to store all of the take-home readers in. You will want to go back and reread some books with your child to improve fluency. I would also suggest getting a set of index cards to write all of the sight words on. These make wonderful flash cards. It is my goal that all children leave my kindergarten class as little readers.
Items from Home
During the year, I may ask your child to bring items from home. Your child's name should be written on anything brought from home. However, I ask that you do not allow your child to bring toys to school.
I know how special birthdays are to you and your child. If you would like to send a special birthday treat to school on your child's birthday, please let me know ahead of time. Please limit the party treats to cupcakes, cookies, or treat bags. Do not send a birthday cake. All treats will be eaten during our snack time.
At SHES we have a wonderful Parent Teacher Organization, and I encourage you to attend the meetings and get involved with this wonderful group of parents and teachers. PTO does so much for our school and each classroom. This is one group you will not regret joining.