Kindergarten is a bustling place full of new energy and enthusiasm. Watching the academic, social, and personal growth of children from the beginning of kindergarten through the end of the year is more rewarding than I can describe. I can promise you that this year of kindergarten will be an exciting journey...not only for your child, but also for you as a parent, and for me! I will work hard to provide a warm, caring classroom environment and quality instruction. I will have high expectations of your child, and I will welcome your active involvement and participation in your child's education. Please feel encouraged to contact me at any time, for any reason. We are partners in your child's education, and together we can help your child to reach his or her fullest potential.
A Glimpse into our Day:
Our class will begin each day with morning routines, gradually allowing your child to learn to be organized and self-sufficient. Please make sure your child brings his or her folder and backpack to school each day. Be certain to check and sort through the folder with your child each night to remain aware of classroom happenings, to check in for homework, and to keep the contents of the folder manageable for your child.
Morning Math Routines:
We will engage in calendar routines, graphing activities, and counting school days. These activities will be designed to help your child with counting, number recognition, analyzing patterns in numbers, understanding place value, and analyzing data.
Students will engage in age appropriate math explorations that are hands-on, partner based, and designed to help students develop a deep understanding of basic math concepts. Daily fluency activities will encourage students to develop a number sense that becomes automatic over time. A few of our overall math goals will include counting to 100, counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s, counting up to 20 objects with accurate one to one correspondence, learning 2D and 3D shapes, comparing quantities, problem solving, data collection and analysis, and adding and subtracting.
New ELA/Phonics Curiculum
This year we are beginning a new ELA curriculum (Open Court). The curriculum includes detailed and systematic phonics lessons each day to ensure that students are learning all the basic skills needed to be solid readers in a way that is sequential and consistent. The curriculum comes with student copies of books that are 100% correlated with the specific phonics skills that have been taught to that point. Your child will get to keep those books as we move onto new units. Seasoned CASD parents may notice that the books may seem "easier" than what students have traditionally read. However, the curriculum is very intentional about slowing down to promote a strong understanding and to support mastery. The idea is to go deeper instead of faster. In fact, I have encountered some rules of reading that I never learned before. Did you know there is a rule for when to use "c" and when to use "k" in spelling? I was 45 years old, and had taught students to read for 15 years before I learned that! I am very excited to have a program that will help students learn how and why words work the way they do, instead of racing to read "harder" books as fast as we can! I believe we will see more fluent readers, better spelling, and stronger writing over the coming years.
Students will listen to stories every day, hearing what fluent reading sounds like, learning increasingly sophisticated vocabulary, and engaging in interactive conversations to increase analysis and comprehension of both informational text and literature.
Science and Social Studies:
Students will receive Science and Social Studies instruction, alternating between the two throughout the year. A combination of content read alouds, videos, and hands-on activites will be provided to explore their world.
Students will have art, library, music, gym, on alternating days of the week. Please remember library books on library day and comfortable sneakers on gym days. We will have a "no special" day one day per week. Those days will be free for us to participate in extra classroom activities to support current learning and/or provide some free choice activities and stations.
Social and Emotional Learning
I am very excited to announce that, for the first time, since I began teaching in 2007, we are making social and emotional learning an official part of the school day. It is every teacher's goal to teach children to be self-aware, kind, confident, healthy, and to have meaningful friendships in the classroom and in the community. Still, always knowing it was important, it often seemed to be the thing we did not have time for. Now, there is an official time in the schedule every day, and a daily program to ensure that we are giving the development of social skills in children the attention it deserves.
Technology in the Classroom
Kindergarten students have been exploring technology in the classroom since the beginning of my career. However, with the impact of COVID during the 2020-21 school year and the acquisition of Chromebooks for all students, blended learning has become an attainable goal like never before. While our reliance on technology will not drive our day as it did during 2020-21, our class will aim to use technology daily to support classroom lessons and ensure that students are using technology fluently and independently in ways that are relevant and engaging and that support our learning our goals.
As you can see, our day is full of activity from start to finish. It is my intention to provide engaging tasks that children will enjoy each day. Students will spend a great many hours with me, and with each other during which time they will be expected to learn an incredible amount of new things. I want every child to leave kindergarten, not only having met all of our learning goals, but also with a lifetime of wonderful memories and positive feelings about school.