For the month of September...
Here we go!!! We are at the beginning of your child's educational journey. This can be an emotional time. Yes, your child is ready to embark on this new adventure and yes, you are ready to let them spread their wings. Today your child enters a world that, for the first time, does not include you in the same way that it did before. Yesterday there was daycare, and Pre-K. Those were tiny steps. Today, your child leaps! Kindergarten is the first marker on the walk towards independence, the walk that will soon turn into a trot...and then a run. Get yourself a good pair of sneakers so that you can keep up as the journey begins!! Give me your little learners and, together, we will turn them into students with all the skills they need to progress forward.
I realize that September is a busy month. A new school year can be a bit hectic. There are notes to read (so many notes!), fees to be collected, questions to ask and schedules to put into place. As you read through the packets given to you, take comfort knowing that once these technicalities have been taken care of, the confusion will ease up and we will fall into a warm, nurturing, organized routine.
Let's start out with important dates to be aware of......
This month, homework will be handed out on Wednesday (W) the 12th, Friday (F) the 14th, Monday (M) the 17th, Tuesday (T) the 18th, Thursday (TH) the 20th, F the 21st, M the 24th, T the 25th, W the 26th, TH the 27th and F the 28th.
On Thursday, Sept., 13th, we will have our Open House Night for Kindergarten at 6pm. All Parents are asked to attend as valuable information will be discussed. A note will be sent home with more specific details.
On Friday, Sept., 14th, we will have our first school N.U.T. day. This stands for No Uniform Today. This is one of our simple monthly fund raisers. Children may come to school out of uniform, if you choose to participate, by donating the required fee (usually one or two dollars).
On Friday, Sept., 14th, the Kindergarten supply fee of $55 is due. Please do not drop it off at the office or combine it with other school fees. This should be placed in your child's folder in an envelope with your child's name and class on it.
On Tuesday, Sept., 18th, the "Let's Find Out" magazine fee of $11 is due. This fee should also be place in a envelope with your child's name and grade on it and placed in the folder.
By Monday, Sept., 24th, all required K supplies (paper towels tissues etc) should be in. All of the supplies should have your child's name on it so that we can keep track of who we need to collect from.
Our September objectives are as follows....
**Our monthly theme will be apples and aspects of the Fall season.
In reading, we will focus on oral expression. It is very important that children get into the habit of speaking in full sentences and communicating their needs, wants, and responses in clear ways. The ability to listen and follow directions will be a constant goal as these tools are required as the basic skills for all learning. Aural comprehension of a story is also valuable to develop early in a child's development. Your child should be able to listen to a story and answer, not only simple question but also those requiring critical thinking. For example....Why do you think this made the boy sad? Have you ever felt this way? What else could the girl have done to solve the problem? What do you think will happen next? As you can see, this requires a deeper thought process than....Where did the boy go? What color was his car? These questions are more literal and do not require much more than memory.
We will review the proper way to hold a book/paper and how to work from left to right when following along with a lesson. I will introduce our problem solving technique of.....Listen, STOP, Think and the DO. (A more detailed explanation is further down on this page).
We will hold off using our Superkids reading series books for the first week or so so that I can gather information on what your child already knows and what is new to them but we will begin identifying pictures with initial sounds using the first 5 letters of our series (c, o, g, a and d).
In math, we will use various worksheets and manipulatives to evaluate what the class has knowledge of and what is new to them. We will be sorting by size and color, using patterns and reviewing the numbers 1 thru 5. Sequential order will be tested through the use of art.
In science, we will be focusing on our monthly theme of apples (parts of and the sequential growth)
In social studies, we will talk about the world around us.
In writing/fine motor skills, we will learn how to hold a pencil/crayon/scissor correctly. We will be using glue and glue sticks for projects. We will practice wrting our names with ONLY THE FIRST LETTER AS A CAPITAL LETTER as well as practice proper sizing of letters and writing on a given line. Handwriting is a skill that needs constant practice and review at home.
Let me make you aware of our homework schedule. I do not list the actual homework and directions because this is a way to strengthen and test the children's ability to retain information/instructions given to them with a time lapse. It also makes the homework THEIR responsibility and forces them to rely less on their parents. (Please refer to the homework page on this website).
***Remember that you need to decide the best time for homework to be done. Some children need to do it right away when they get home or else they loose momentum. Other children require a bit of a break when they get home from school and do not have a problem getting back into work mode without a struggle later on. You will need to determine what will work best for your child. Please avoid doing homework in front of the T.V. This takes focus away from the task and sends the message that homework is not that important. Please do not write your child's name on their paper for them or do any of their coloring for them. Homework is their responsibility and these tasks provide further practice for them.
As you read the subject objectives above, you will see that much is expected of our children as per the common core curriculum. Proper classroom behavior can enhance or distract us from our goal. That is why our folder's behavior chart that we will discuss on Open House night is so valuable. You can help us keep our children on track and participating in good classroom management by reinforcing our needs to give your children the best learning environment possible!
We will be focusing on following the classroom rules for both safety and learning. Children are encouraged to LOOK at the person speaking and to take turns when talking.
****WORTH REPEATING.....Listening with purpose and developing aural expression is important. When children begin answering questions posed to them from a story such as "Was the boy happy?", they should be able to reply and supply specific reasons for their answer from the story read to them to back up their response. This is an important skill that will be built upon every year.
The emphasis will continue to be on listening and following directions. All learning stems from developing listening skills. Oral expression will be encouraged. They need to speak using full sentences...producing and expanding complete thoughts in shared language experiences. It is important that children speak in complete, clear sentences. We will be focusing on answering question words...who, what, when, where, why and how.
******* The learning technique that I call..."Listen, STOP, Think and then Do" will be continued in class. Young children sometimes listen to only bits of what someone says and then rush ahead to complete a task. This often results in careless mistakes. I tell the class that before they pick up a pencil or raise their hand to reply to a question, they should listen carefully to what is being said and then STOP. They need a chance to process the information/request before they charge forward. When they stop themselves, at that point they are asked to THINK about what they need to do next. Only after they take the time to formulate the information should they begin to DO. This technique forces the children to slow down their actions until they have a clear understanding of the task at hand.
Aural comprehension of a story is tested. Questions that require critical analysis is a valuable way to evaluate whether a child understands information read to them and helps them often a deeper awareness of the material. Literal questions such as, "Where did the boy in the story live?" or "What color was the room?" are fine but it is also important to delve into a more substantial thought process such as, "How do you think the boy felt when that happened? Why did he feel that way? Have you every felt that way and why?" This requires the child to internalize the story and look for content in the story to support their answer. These are little steps that will prepare their ability to process information in general not only in Kindergarten but in grades to come!
Art in my class, aside from work done in art class with their art teacher, has many different purposes. I use art to develop their ability to follow directions, specific sequencing to get a finished result, practice their fine motor skills etc.
In religion will will focus on the Our Father. We are a "class family" is stressed. Showing kindness to each other makes God happy. Religion is not treated as a subject in our class. It is a part of our lives all the time in what we do and how we act and how we treat others. We have been talking about how we are a "class family". Even though we go home to different houses and have different parents, we are still all God's children and are all brothers and sisters of Jesus. We know no child in our room is better than another because God made us all special and loves us all the same. We are learning the Our Father through song because singing is a way to pray too. The children have been taught to make the sign of the cross whenever they hear a police, ambulance or fire truck siren. This means that somewhere someone is in trouble and needs our prayers to keep them safe. As we make the sign of the cross and move our hands, we say (either out loud or inside our heads) Father, watch, over, them. The children have been encouraged to share with you/teach to do it too. Part of our mission as Christians is to be ready to offer our prayers for others.
Please be aware that we are also working on the LURES program (please look on my website for more specific information) which will be discussing what types of affection if okay and what is not. Beginning in April thru June, the social worker/psychologist will be coming to the K classes to talk about personal safety in various scenarios.