early pre-k teacher at Primrose Schools in Franklin, TN (Dec. 2007)
Teaching Kindergarten at Smith since August 2009.
It is my goal to provide a safe and loving learning environment for every student that walks into my classroom. Literacy is our main focus. If a child can read, they can succeed in all areas. I believe that a parent is a child's first and life-long teacher. I am looking forward to another great year at Smith and getting to know you and your child.
The first 2 weeks of Kindergarten Your child will be assigned a day per week to attend school for the first 2 weeks. We will be doing beginning of the year assessments to help us know where to begin with your child. The 3rd week of school will be your child’s first full week of school.
Absences/ Attendance If your child is absent, send in an note within 2 days of their return to school or it will be counted as “unexcused.” Your child’s regular and prompt attendance at school is CRUCIAL to his/her success. 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 priority, and see to it that our child attends every day except in cases of illness or emergency.
Arrival/ Dismissal Arrival times The school doors open at 8:20 for breakfast. School begins at 8:45 am. Children will be marked tardy after this time. Dismissal times The school day ends at 3:45. Please do not dismiss your child early on a regular basis. You should only dismiss early for family emergencies and medical appointments.
Backpacks To help your child carry messages and information to and from school, you are asked to provide a backpack. Students will be given a ____________ notebook xaforme to send notes and information to you and for you to send notes to me. Please have your child remove the notes and papers each day from the backpack and the GIRAFFES Notebook to share with you.
Birthdays Please contact me a few days in advance if you are planning to bring or send in a “special snack” to our class for your child’s birthday. This will take place during our snack time. Snack is at 2:30.
Scholastic Book Orders Book orders will be sent home periodically. This is optional. When you place a book club order, please make the checks out to scholastic. This is a great way to build you chid’s home library. Having books at home will instill a love of reading early on for your child. When you place your order online, you earn a new book for the classroom each time.
Breakfast Breakfast Full Pay: $1.00 Breakfast Reduced: $0.30 A school breakfast is served every morning from 8:20-8:40 AM. The breakfast menu generally consists of cereal or sausage and biscuits with juice and milk. Students who want to eat breakfast should enter from the front door promptly at 8:20.
Bumble Bee Promises “Bee”lieve in yourself. “Bee” a good listener. “Bee” a hard worker. “Bee” responsible. “Bee” kind.
Change of Information Please notify me IMMEDIATELY if any information changes during the year. (pick-ups, phone #s, addresses, etc.) I MUST have a current emergency contact number at all times.
Computers We are fortunate enough to have four 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.
Conferences Parent/Teacher conferences are held after school in mid September and October. We will discuss your child’s accomplishments, strengths and overall progress. Please feel free to schedule additional conferences at anytime through the year if the need arises. My planning time is from 10:35-11:05 each day if you’d like to meet during the day.
Email You can contact me via my email address: Jessica.email@example.com I will check my email on a daily basis. If you need to discuss something urgently, please call me at school instead.
Field Trips/ Special events If you attend a field trip or special event at school (i.e. “field day”) and you want to take your child home with you at the end of the day, you must go to the office and sign out your child before your child will be dismissed from the classroom. (Even if I know you well.) -It is school policy.
Gym Our class will have a 40 minute gym classes each week. The children are asked to wear sneakers for gym class and girls might consider wearing pants or having a pair of shorts to slip on under their uniform skirts or jumpers.
Hands on Learning I feel that the best way to help children learn is to make learning fun. Important concepts can be learned by doing meaningful hands-on activities. There are times when seatwork is required and necessary, but for the most part, our classroom will be an active learning environment.
Health 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: Full name Address Telephone number Parents’/Guardian names Basic colors Counting to 10 Printing first name beginning with a capital letter and the rest in lower case When time permits, work on these skills also: Reciting the alphabet Shape names Birthday (month & date) Identifying numbers to 10 Identifying letter names Tying shoes Your extra help at home really makes a difference!
Home Reading Program Beginning their first full week of school, the children will begin taking home paper copies of the books we will learn to read in our small groups. This is wonderful practice to build reading fluency and to reinforce the vocabulary words they’ve learned. After you’ve read it together, return the book to school, they will read to me and I will put stamp/sticker on their book when they read it to me successfully. This is your child’s chance to “show-off” their developing reading skills to parents, relatives and friends! Plus it helps build your child’s very own library at home! Please keep their books in a safe place and teach them how to be responsible for their books!
Homework You child will have homework for the month placed in their daily binders at the beginning of each new month. Your child should complete this work by him or herself, under your supervision, and return it the next school day! Completing and returning homework helps build a sense of responsibility and prepares him for the homework he will have to complete in later school years. Homework should be your child’s best work. Returning neatly completed work ON TIME will help your child earn stickers on a their homework chart. Once they fill their monthly chart, they may receive a prize from the treasure chest. Each month, I’ll ask your help in completing “family home projects”—it’s called that because the whole family is encouraged to get involved in doing it. For example, in November I will send home a turkey for you and your child use to "disguise" so it won't get eaten for Thanksgiving. Extra time will be given to complete these special family homework projects.
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
Journals 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.
Library The children go to the library once every other week for 40 minutes. In the library Mrs. Wainwright will entertain them with a story , teach them nursery rhymes and songs, teach them how to treat books responsibly and how to check out books. Later in the year the children will have a chance to select a book to borrow for a week.
Literacy Centers During literacy centers, children practice reading and writing skills while the teacher works with individual children or small guided reading groups. The center activities are designed to strengthen letter/sound knowledge, listening skills, oral language expression, rhyme, letter formation and cooperation. If you are interested in volunteering during this time, please let me know by filling out the volunteer form and returning it ASAP.
Lunch procedures Lunch Full Pay: $2.00 Lunch Reduced: $0.40 LUNCH: Send money in an envelope labeled: “LUNCH” With your child’s name, teacher name, amt. of money Place envelope in the pencil pouch located in your communication binder. Or you may pay online
MATH The kindergarten mathematics curriculum provides students with mathematical experiences that help them develop number sense and a positive attitude towards mathematics that will continue through their school career and their lives. We employ a hands-on, problem solving approach.
MUSIC Our music teacher, Mrs. Jones, will be teaching the children the basics of music education and will be sharing many wonderful songs! We are scheduled to have music for one 45 minute period weekly. Of course, I will be singing and enjoying music with the children daily as well!
Medication You must clear all medication given throughout the day at school with our nurse. Our school nurse is responsible for all medications. Please let me know if your child will need medication while at school so I can take special note. Also if your child has any food allergies or health concerns, I would like to be aware of this also.
Money/ Fees You may pay your school fees anytime after labor day. These fees help provide our classroom with the essential materials needed in kindergarten such as writing paper, construction paper, chart paper for our easel, books and materials to help teach our science and social studies standards.
Newsletter Look for a weekly newsletter at the beginning of each week in your child’s daily binder. This will include our vocabulary words, spelling words, high frequency words, skills being taught and any important announcements. Please post them in a safe place for daily reference. (ex. Your fridge!)
Nurse We are fortunate to have Nurse Debra here at Norman Smith. 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.
Parent/Teacher Communication Please look at your child’s behavior calendar located in his/her daily binder EVERY night and initial the square. This will let you know how your child’s behavior was each day. Parent-teacher conferences can be scheduled at any point in the year by parent or teacher request. continued on next slide…
Parent Involvement Your support of school activities makes your child feel important and sends the message that you value school! We are always happy to have your help for special activities in the classroom. I will try to let you know at least a week ahead of time if I need help. Requests for help will be published in our newsletter. I hope that you can come and join in the fun!
Parties & Celebrations There are two main parties each year--- The Holiday Party and Valentine’s Day. I’m looking for room parents who can help organize these events and coordinate volunteers and donations. All are welcome to participate in the festivities! We will have some other small celebrations that I will organize such as the 100th Day of School, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and our End of the Year Celebration.
Questions Since plenty of you are new to Norman Smith this year, I am sure that you may still have some unanswered questions. Please feel free to call me at school (between 10:30-11:10 a.m. or between 4:00-4:15p.m.). Or you can always write a note or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recess The children will play outdoors for 20 minutes after lunch each day (unless it is raining or the wind chill is below 30 degrees). Please keep this in mind when helping your child to select clothing for the day. In the cooler months, always send your child in with a jacket/coat. If your child is in need of one, please let me know- as we have plenty donated throughout the year to our school guidance counselor!
Report Cards Report cards are issued every nine weeks. These reports reflect the progress your child has made toward various kindergarten objectives and uses a grading system that reflects the developmental nature of kindergarten learning.
Restrooms As you can see, we are fortunate enough to have 2 restrooms located right here in our classroom. I allow the children to use the bathroom when needed during centers and work time. However, I ask that they raise their hand if it’s an emergency when I am teaching so we don’t have kids playing in the bathrooms during instructional time.
Room Parents The room parents' job is to be available for any number of things: to help coordinate parties and activities; to seek volunteers for field trips and events; and to help with fundraisers for field trip transportation. Being a room parent is a great way to be involved in your child’s school life. You may sign up to become a room parent TODAY!
Science The focus of the kindergarten science curriculum is on developing an awareness of the world in which we live. Through scientific inquiry, concepts will be presented in the life and earth sciences, including the study of animals and plants, the five senses. general health and the four seasons. These areas will be explored utilizing a literacy based, hands-on approach.
Snack procedures We ask that each student brings in enough snack for the class once a month. (Usually the 1st week of the month.) Drinks are encouraged, but not required. Examples: pretzels, crackers, golden grahams, teddy grahams, goldfish, animal crackers, vanilla wafers, cheeze-its, applesauce, jello/pudding, string cheese, gummy snacks, 100% fruit juice, etc. (please no food containing peanuts.)
Social Studies The kindergarten social studies curriculum focuses on the students and how they relate to others in their families, classroom, school, and community. Holiday celebrations will also be highlighted. Activities will help the children engage their natural curiosity for the world around them.
Please send supplies in by the end of the first full week of school. If this is a problem, please let me know. Make sure your child has a towel for resting and an extra change of clothes in a ziploc baggie. This includes: shirt, pants, socks and underwear. (Please no rest mats- we do not have room to store them.)
Toys Bringing toys to school is discouraged because they distract the children from learning. If a toy is accidentally lost or broken, feelings will be hurt. Students may bring in books that are clearly marked with your child's name.
Transportation If you need to change your child’s transportation any time during the year, a new transportation form must be filled out in the office. (along with the emergency dismissal form) If your child is going to go home different from normal (temporarily), please send in a note each day (signed by you) to let me and the office know. Your child will be sent home the normal way unless a note is sent in. I need to know how your child will be getting home the first 2 weeks of school and also how they will go home the first full week of school and after.
Visitors Clarskville-Montgomery Schools have a policy that ALL GUESTS (including familiar faces) are required to check in (AND OUT) at the school office. Norman Smith welcomes and encourages family involvement. It is important to remember that while this may seem inconvenient to frequent visitors, it is the goal and responsibility of the school to create a safe learning environment.
Website Our class has a website which can be accessed at ___________________ Check in regularly to find information about curriculum, special events and school news. I will be featuring photos of our weekly activities--it's the next best thing to being in our classroom each day! Please promptly return the web permission form, which permits me to include your child's photo and first name on our website.
What do we do all day in kindergarten? Math Number sense Graphs Measurement Time Money Addition/Subtraction Shapes Sorting & classifying Patterns Calendar skills Science/Social Studies Reading Alphabet/sounds Phonemic awareness Sight words Simple sentences Simple books Writing Name Words Sentences Stories & letters *This is a general list of the skills we will be learning this year.
WISH FISH If you wish to donate items needed in our classroom, please select a “wish fish” off of the board before leaving. You may also send any of these items throughout the year. Your help and donations are greatly appreciated.
Word Rings Word Rings consist of word, letter and number cards on a metal ring that give students an opportunity to practice learning at home. I’ll add about 10 cards at once for daily practice of skills we are working on at school. The Word Rings will be stored in the zipper case of the daily binders please remember to return them to the case after each practice because they can’t be replaced if they’re lost.
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.
eXtra Special Kindergartners learn that they are eXtra special and unique. Kindergartners have opportunities to describe how they are alike as well as different from others. They share their culture and learn about different cultures within the class.
Younger Siblings It is in your child’s and the school’s best interest to have our parent volunteers available WITHOUT younger children. This not only allows your full attention to be focused on the class, but also allows for some special time between you and your kindergartner. Thank you for making childcare arrangements for younger siblings.
Zzzzzzzs Make sure that your child gets plenty of rest. Setting and keeping a bedtime is a wonderful gift you can give to your child. It will help them to be alert and ready to learn each day!
How Can I Help? PTO- We Need You Classroom Volunteer Field Trips Room Parent
My Contact Info Email: email@example.com Phone: 931-648-5660 (ext: 2119) Website: http://underthealphabettree.wikispaces.com/Home