Welcome to Kindergarten
"Be the change you wish to see!"
Kindergarten is the foundation of your child's education! We will work together as partners this year to ensure your child LOVES learning and is growing academically, emotionally, socially, and physically. I believe in teaching the WHOLE child. It is important that we communicate often to best meet your child's needs and interests. I know it will be a wonderful year of growth and JOY.
Academic Growth in Kindergarten
Reading: Your child will begin reading in kindergarten! We will use a balanced-literacy approach to reading instruction. They will develop phonemic awareness (how words sound), phonics (how written words work), learn to read sight words, build fluency, develop comprehension strategies and expand their vocabulary. Your child will be engrossed in a literature-rich environment in which they will be read-aloud to and also have the opportunity to read "just-right" books independently, with a partner, and in a small group. I will do my best to match books to your child's reading level as well as your child's interests. We will be reading daily in a " reader's workshop" format to allow your child to build independence and grow according to their specific needs. They will learn strategies to grow as a reader and then have the opportunity to have time to READ daily. I will be a model and a coach in the classroom and will share ideas and strategies you can do at home to support your child in becoming a SUPER READER!
***If you would like to be a "guest reader" please send me an email. Many parents like to come in and read to the class for their child's birthday! :)
Writing: Your child will become a writer in kindergarten! We will work on developing ideas for our writing and draw pictures to match our ideas. The students will be labeling their pictures to tell a story and then move into developing a story through the writing process. Your child will be encouraged to use their environment to write words they know and see often in our world and also "stretch out the sounds" they hear in words they do not know how to spell (this is called "inventive spelling"). We will work on developing sentences that flow into an organized story that can be shared. Your child will be writing many genres this school year; some examples: narrative stories, informative (non-fiction) writing and opinion/persuasive writing. We will have a daily "writer's workshop" time in our classroom where I will model what "good writers do" within my own writing and then allow your child to write and practice skills and strategies to build writing stamina and put their thoughts on paper. I will hold writing conferences with your child to check on them during the "writing process" to develop teaching points to best meet their individual needs. We will have writing CELEBRATIONS where they will publish their writing for the world to read!!
Math: In kindergarten, your child will begin to understand and build relationships with numbers, shapes, problem solving, explore and develop patterns, sort objects by multiple attributes, and use mathematical language. Your child will be encouraged to be a mathematical thinker and explore mathematics in the real-world using games and manipulatives. We want your child to use "math talk" to describe their thinking about mathematical reasoning. Number Corner will be a daily routine where they will develop numerical understanding and relationships. We will use questioning to challenge your child to think and discuss their ideas with others. Your child will have the opportunity to explore and problem solve in hands-on "math work places!"
*Please see the "Bridges Math Program" link for more about our Math program and how you can work with with your child at home.
Science: In science students will learn about weather, changes in our world, living and non-living things, and our five senses. Science instruction is hands-on and is inquiry based (driven by student's observations, discussions, findings and questioning). We will embark on exciting and hands-on explorative adventures in nature! Over the past few years, I have been bringing my students out in nature to explore and learn from our natural world at the McDowell Arbroetum as well as Bicentennial Woods! More information to come about our "Forest Fridays"
Social Studies: In Social Studies students will look closely at themselves (All About Me) learn about celebrating differences amongst others and also explore various traditions and cultures that make us all unique. We will also learn about maps and how to read and create them!
Project Based Learning ("PBL"): Your child will take part in a "project based learning" environment in our classroom. The learning will be based on open-ended driving questions that are targeted towards learning outcomes and allow for students to have voice and choice in developing and sharing "real world" projects. Please check out the "Buck Institute" website for more information on the PBL classroom. http://bie.org/about/what_pbl
Social/Emotional Growth in Kindergarten
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids: "The Leader in Me"
Habit 1- Be Proactive
You're in Charge
I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.
Habit 2 — Begin with the End in Mind
Have a Plan
I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.
Habit 3 — Put First Things First
Work First, Then Play
I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.
Habit 4 — Think Win-Win
Everyone Can Win
I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.
Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Listen Before You Talk
I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.
Habit 6 — Synergize
Together Is Better
I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different than me. I work well in groups. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with others we can create better solutions than anyone of us can alone. I am humble.
Habit 7 — Sharpen The Saw
Balance Feels Best
I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school. I find meaningful ways to help others.
Physical Growth in Kindergarten
It is important that your child gets a good night sleep and eats full balanced meals. This first year in school can be a big transition for many children. Please communicate any changes you see in your child at home. We will work together to come up with strategies to support your child's academic, physical, and emotional success.