Every morning we will meet for calendar time to work on number sense and building our math minds.
Calendar Activities this year will include, but are not limited to: days of the week, date, months, how many days we are in school, counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s to 100, practice with dot cards, dominoes, card games, dice games, ten frames, 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes, colors, money, scavenger hunts around the room, I have…who has.., addition and subtraction activities, greater than, less than, number recognition and much more.
One big focus this year will be in the area of social and emotional skills. It is important for my students to understand that it is ok to feel emotions, be able to identify how they are feeling and learn what to do with those feelings.
In our classroom, we will read picture books and practice scenarios of real life events that they might face. We will talk about different cultures and what makes each of us unique. It is my desire that our class is a family that takes care of each other and encourages one another.
We have a calm down spot in the classroom, where your child can go and sit, calm down, take a deep breath and prepare to rejoin or talk through something that bothers them. They will have cards that will give them ideas of what they can do to calm down. I believe that this is a safe way to work through their emotions and know what to do next time when they feel that way.
Other things that we do to calm ourselves and do our best at school are brain breaks, giving others words of affirmation/air fives etc. and directed drawing.
The Power of Yet- One of the qualities that we need as an adult is perseverance. That will obviously look a lot different for a 5 or 6 year old, but it is very possible. When faced with a new challenge or task you might hear your child say…
“I don’t get it” or “I’m not good at this” or other similar phrases. By adding “yet” on to the end of the phrase it opens them up to the possibility of learning how to do something. It allows them to make a mistake and try again. I am attaching a video for you to watch with your child.
“Secret Stories are the “secret” reasons WHY letters get together and make the many different sounds that they do. They offer logical explanations for letter sound behavior that learners’ brains crave!”
I used this program last year and I could not believe how much clearer and easier it was for my students as they started writing and reading new words. They love the fun stories that go with the letter sounds and they are able to apply it to a lot of different words, instead of just memorizing a list of words. We will start our secrets folders at the end of September, but you will hear me share a few of the secrets as we start our ABC Boot Camp.
ABC Boot Camp combines an introduction to the letters and sounds, fine motor skills and fun, as we learn and practice all 26 letters in the first 26 days of school.
By introducing my students to the letters in the first month, they will have seen and played with all of the letters and we can go deeper, much quicker. This is key as we start looking at cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, sight words and dive into the secret stories.
We will be using cutting, coloring, drawing, play dough activities, handwriting practice, scavenger hunts, songs, funny videos and repetition as I introduce all of the letters and their sounds at the beginning of the year.
As your child’s teacher, I face the challenge of preparing your learner to be a successful problem solver. STEM gives my students the opportunity to explore real-world problems through hands on activities. It encourages problem solving, perseverance, collaboration, sharing ideas, creativity, and flexibility.
My hope is that we will be back in the classroom very soon and we will start weekly STEM activities. Until then, I will provide STEM activities that can be done in your home with normal, household items.
Q: Will online learning start on August 26th? Will assessments be done online or in person?
A: Our meet and greet will take place on August 26th and 27th. Your child will receive a bag of goodies and a school provided tablet to be used only by your kindergarten student. The meet and greet is a time to meet your child in person, take a picture and give you their supplies to get started. I will send out a separate sign up genius for in person assessments (one on one and by appointment only).
Videos will be sent to you via email on the first two days of school and ABC Boot Camp will start on Friday, August 28th.
Q: What should I do with my child’s school supplies?
A: If possible, please bring your child’s supplies to the meet and greet. We will help you organize what they need for at home learning and store for you what they will need when they return to school. This makes it easier for everyone to keep track of everything and we will be prepared when we come back into the classroom.
Q: Will my child be asked to be on the computer at certain times of the day for a class zoom meeting and/or will they be asked to use technology all day long?
A: The answer to both of those questions is no. In kindergarten it is very important that they are growing their social and emotional skills and fine motor skills, which is not done best in a big group or only on the computer.
Each child will have their own set of language arts/math manipulatives, page protectors with handwriting, some worksheets and beginning readers. I plan on providing some instructional videos each day, which will give your child teacher instruction and directions, so that they can do activities on their “own” (with an adult’s guidance). As far as zoom meetings go, this year we will be using google meets for all online meetings. If we are able to come back in person using a hybrid model, I will be doing groups for math and reading at school. If we continue remote learning, we will be meeting in small groups (4 students) and I will find a convenient time that works for you once or twice a week.
Q: What online platforms will we be using for Kindergarten?
A: We are using google classroom to post instructional videos, provide checklists of daily activities and to communicate with parents.
The other main platform we will use is Seesaw. On Seesaw, students show what they know through a digital portfolio. This allows students to use tools to show what they know in the ways that work best for them (i.e. draw, voice record, video). I am so excited to use Seesaw, because it is very user friendly and age appropriate. I will provide instructional videos for parents on how to use Seesaw.
Students will also have access to Epic for additional books and Scholastic to order physical books for your home and/or our classroom:)