The ABC’s of Kindergarten 2009-2010
AMSTI – Calera Elementary is an Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative school. During the summer of 2009, we participated in an updated Investigations Math training. With our new knowledge you will see your child doing more investigative type activities in math and science. You will not see as many paper and pencil type activities.
Art – The children will attend a 30 minute Art class once a week with our art teacher, Ms. Boyett. She is wonderful and will bring out the artist in every child.
Attendance & Absences – A successful school experience is the responsibility of the child, the parent, and the school. Your child’s progress, both academically and socially, is influenced to a great extent by daily participation. Regular attendance without tardiness is a key. Excessive absences hinder a child’s progress. If your child is absent, you must send a note to the school when he/she returns. Please include your child’s name, teacher’s name, date of absence, and the reason for the absence.
Book bags – Your child’s book bag should be big enough to hold a notebook and/or standard-size folder. Book bags help your child carry folders, notes, projects, and books to and from school. Please check your child’s book bag DAILY. Rolling book bags will not be allowed.
Book Orders – Every month I will send home a Scholastic Book Club Catalog for you and your child to look over. These clubs offer wonderful books at reduced prices—what a great way to build your home library! Our class also earns bonus points which allow me to purchase books for our classroom library. If you choose to order, please make the check payable to Scholastic Books. You can also order online. For each online order, our class will recieve a free teacher’s pick book!
Celebrations & Birthdays – The only celebrations allowed in the school are Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Year-end and birthday celebrations are not permitted in the school. However, you may make special arrangements with administration to provide a special snack for the whole class. In accordance with state regulations cupcakes, cookies, candy, and other sweets will not be allowed. Also, invitations to parties may not be handed out in the classroom unless the whole class is invited. Valentine cards may be handed out (please only sign and do not address to individuals).
Computers – We are fortunate enough to have numerous computers in our classroom. We use a variety of age-appropriate programs that reinforce math readiness and reading skills. Children will work on the computers during center time.
Computer Lab – The children will attend a 30 minute Computer Lab class once a week with our computer teacher, Mrs. Powers. She is great and the children love her.
Conferences – We are required to have at least one conference with each parent at some point during the school year. Please call or e-mail me to set up a conference. I will be available Monday through Friday from 12:30-1:00. Please look for reminders in the weekly newsletters to schedule your conference.
Discipline – Our classroom is a small community where teamwork and good relationships are expected. We will spend time learning class procedures and practicing them. Each student is expected to act within our standards of behavior. To establish good order and help the children learn self-control, they will be guided to respect themselves and their companions through specific directions, positive reinforcement, suggested new activities, and responsible actions. Our classroom discipline system includes a colored traffic light system. The first time a child breaks a rule, he will be given a verbal reminder. Nothing further will happen as he reflects on whether that behavior was a good “choice”. Every child will begin the day with their picture/stick on the green circle of the traffic light. If the child chooses to break a rule after a verbal reminder, his picture will be moved to the yellow circle of the traffic light and will loose 1/2 of his recess. Continued misbehavior will result in the picture moving to red and loosing all of his recess. The rewards for following our rules are listed below.Rewards: Green light=happy face Yellow light=straight face Red light=sad face
Donations – Your 25.00 donation at the beginning of the year is encouraged and much appreciated! Donations of money can be made to the classroom at anytime throughout the school year. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Drills – Fire drills are held on a monthly basis throughout the year. All students will participate and are expected to walk quickly and quietly to their designated exit. We will practice and become familiar with procedures before our first scheduled drill. We will also practice tornado and intruder drill procedures.
Email – You can contact me via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will check my email on a daily basis.
Extra Clothes – Please keep an extra pair of clothes and underwear in your child’s book bag at all times. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and I want to be able to help the child feel better with a new set of their own clothes. Please store these extra clothes in a Ziploc bag labeled with your child’s name. Remember to change out the extra clothes with the seasons.
Field Trips – We plan 2-3 field trips that are both fun and educational for the children. All children must travel on a school bus and parents can follow behind the buses in their own transportation. We often need parent volunteers on the trips and chaperones will be chosen on a first come, first served basis. Please return permission slips with payment as soon as possible after they are sent home. Younger siblings are not allowed on our field trips.
Folders – There will be a monthly calendar in the daily folder marked daily with your child’s behavior. Please initial each day and talk with your child if needed. Also, you will use this folder to send money or notes to school.
Guidance – The children will attend a 30 minute Guidance class once every two weeks with our guidance counselor, Ms. Minor. The kids always enjoy her company!
Health & Allergies – Please let me know of special circumstances which may affect your child. These could include medication that may make him sleepy, a death in the family, etc. Also, please let me know of any allergies your child may have, especially food allergies. We sometimes cook or do food activities to complement lessons in kindergarten and it would be helpful to know when I plan our recipes.
Help at Home – Your child is expected to know these readiness skills. Please work on them continuously throughout the school year. Your extra help at home really makes a difference!
*Printing first and last name beginning with a capital letter and the rest in lower case
*Identifying numbers to 20
*Identifying letter names and their sounds
Illness – The question of when to keep your child home from school is often a difficult one, especially when decisions must be made first thing in the morning. It is important, however, to keep your child home if he/she is ill. This helps to make them more comfortable and prevents others from becoming ill. Children function more effectively in the classroom when they are healthy. Please make sure children are fever free for 24 hours before they return to school.
Journals & Writing -One strategy that will be used to help convey the vital concept that “print conveys meaning” is the frequent use of journal writing. In these journals the kindergartners combine their emerging writing skills with their drawing skills. As the children are exposed to a variety of phonics and reading experiences, journal entries will move from drawings and “inventive” spellings towards more conventional writing. Our writing program builds on what each child already knows. Writing begins with scribbles and proceeds to lines and circles, random strings of letters, words and spaces, and eventually sentences. Your children will be encouraged and praised for all attempts and accomplishments in writing. Providing a risk-free environment is paramount to your child’s progress in writing. If possible, please provide your child with writing tools, such as pencils, crayons, markers and paper at home.
Kindergarten – Kindergarten is a special time for your child. I want to make this experience the best possible.
Library – The children will attend a 30 minute Library class once a week with our librarian, Mrs. Kaylor. In the library Mrs. Kaylor will entertain them with a story or a video. Later in the year the children will have a chance to select a book to borrow for a week.
Lunch – The cost of lunch is $1.75 and $0.40 for reduced lunch. If you would like to purchase a lunch and eat with your child, the cost is $4.00. Our lunchtime is 10:41-11:01. You are welcome to come and eat with your child. Please sign in at the office and wait for us in the cafeteria.
Medication – Teachers are not allowed to administer medicine. Please do not send any medicine of any kind(including chapstick, sunscreen, bug spray, and cough drops) to school with your child. All medicines must be brought in by the parent and left with the nurse to administer.
Money – Money is difficult for a child to keep track of. Please send in any money in a sealed, labeled envelope or a labeled Ziploc bag. Please make sure that the money is labeled with your child’s name, my name, and what the money is for.
Music – The children will attend a 30 minute Music class once a week with our music teacher, Mrs. Smith. Our music teacher will be teaching the children the basics of music education and will be sharing many wonderful songs! Of course, I will be singing and enjoying music with the children daily.
Newsletters – A weekly newsletter will come home in the daily folder each Monday and will be posted on our blog. It will contain information about our thematic unit, classroom activities, announcements, and upcoming school events.
Nurse – Our school nurse is on staff to take care of any emergencies and needed medications. She will tend to minor scratches and scrapes, as well as sudden illnesses. For more serious injuries, she will contact you. Please be sure to send in any change of contact numbers in case she needs to get in touch with you.
Office – Please keep the office notified of any information that changes. If you move or change a telephone number, please let someone in the office know. You may wish to stop by the office or call them. Also, you may send a note to me and I will forward it to the office.
PE – The children will attend a 30 minute Physical Education class once a day with our PE teachers, Ms. Ryan and Mr. Scharding. Please make sure that your child wears proper footwear for PE activities. Also, please make sure that in all seasons, your child is dressed appropriately for a PE class that could be held outside as well as inside.
Questions – Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s education. I will make every effort to meet with you and discuss your concerns. You may write a note and place it in your child’s daily folder. You may email me (email@example.com). You may call and leave a message in the school office
Recess – The children will play outdoors for 10 minutes after lunch each day (unless it is raining or too cold). Please keep this in mind when helping your child to select clothing for the day. Once our playground is completed, we will discuss playground rules. Please talk to your child about going down the slide and not up the slide. Also, children younger than 3rd grade will not be allowed to use the monkey bars. Please help your child remember these important rules for a more fun and safe recess time.
Rules – When we say “Keep personal space” this includes hands, feet, and belongings. When we say “Talk quietly with permission” we mean especially in the classroom and hallways.When we say “Walk inside the building and on the sidewalk” it’s because we want safety for every child. When we say “Stop, look, and listen when others speak” it’s all about respect for others which is very important. This also includes following directions from any adult the first time they are asked.
Snack – Your child will need a snack DAILY. Please make sure to send the snack in a lunch box or bag labeled with your child’s name.
Transportation – If for some reason the way your child is to leave school changes, please write me a note and have your child bring it to school. If I do not receive a note about a change in transportation, your child will continue home in the usual manner.
Units, Themes, & Lesson Plans – Check out the newsletter to find out what we are learning each week.
Volunteers – We love parent Volunteers. If you have some time to offer–either in the classroom or at home, please let me know that you would like to help and in what capacity. Help is always needed and appreciated. If you aren’t able to come for any reason, please give as much notice as possible. We count and plan on you!! You must always sign in at the office and get a Visitor’s pass. Strangers on campus cause concern and will be asked to report to the office.
Welcome -You are welcome to visit our school as long as you sign in at the office first!
Extra Snack – Every child will need a snack every day. However, sometimes snacks are forgotten at home or in the car. If you are willing to help us out for situations like these, please purchase healthy extra snacks for our class. You may send it in your child’s book bag or drop it off in the office labeled for our class. Some child’s tummy will appreciate the extra snack soon.
Extra Supplies – There will be times that I will request specific supplies that we have run out of. These requests will be included in the weekly newsletter. If you can help by sending extra supplies it would be so very helpful and appreciated. Thank you in advance for this!
You – You are very important to me. You are very important to your child. You are needed to help your child succeed in kindergarten. Please remember that you are your child’s first and most important teacher. No one can influence your child’s life in the way that you can!
Your Child is my main priority. I will see that your child learns to their potential in kindergarten.
ZZZ’s – Your child should get plenty of rest each night. Kindergarten students (5-6 years old) require 10-12 hours of sleep a day. It is so important for your child to be alert and ready to learn each day. Set a bedtime and be consistent. Also, we do not have naptime in kindergarten. However, after lunch and recess, we will have a quiet time with a story book or quiet time music. If your child falls asleep during this time, I will let them continue to sleep for a few minutes.