Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ABCs of Kindergarten


Mrs. Denise Hundley

School Year: 2016-2017

Room 110

Hello and welcome to kindergarten!  I am sure you have many questions and I hope this guide will answer many of them.  Please hold on to this pamphlet, perhaps put it on your refrigerator or somewhere you will be able to refer to it often.  

A is for… Agenda
Your child will receive an agenda book courtesy of our school.  Each day I will draw a smiley face or a straight face to let you know what kind of day your child has had.  If you have a brief note or question to me you are welcome to write it in the agenda.  Any afternoon transportation changes or excuse notes should be written on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the agenda with the binder clip that is attached.  

B is for… Birthdays
Birthdays are celebrated as a class by singing a happy birthday song and recognizing the student’s special day.  Outside snacks are no longer allowed to be brought in for birthdays.  The school cafeteria does have snacks that can be purchased for the class if you so choose.  Please pick up a flyer from the office or look at the food service page on the IWCS website to order.  http://www.iwcs.k12.va.us/departments/child-nutrition/menus-and-meal-prices/ Other ways to honor your child on his/her birthday:

  • Allow him to bring in goody bags with no candy for friends.
  • Donate a book to the class in her name (we will read it together!)
  • Donate a ball or other recess toy that the class can play with.

C is for… Chorus
Mrs. Willard, our wonderful music teacher presents a chorus concert for each grade level during the school year.  Kindergarten’s chorus concert is usually in the springtime.  

D is for…  Donations
There will be times throughout the year I will ask for donations.  These will be items that will help our class as a whole and expand their hands-on experiences.  Supplies can become very expensive when I am purchasing them by myself so I am very grateful for your help.  

In the meantime, here are some supplies that we are always in need of.  If you happen to be out and about and pick up these items or have them around the house we would surely appreciate it!

  • toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  • new or gently used books
  • puzzles
  • paper, cards, notepads for our writing center
  • headphones
  • stickers
  • treasure box treats (small toys, pencils, candy, etc)
  • board games
  • sidewalk or chalkboard chalk
  • watercolor paints
  • playdough
  • highlighters
  • post it notes
  • band-aids

E is for…  Email
Email is the best way to get in touch with me.  I check my email often throughout the day and evening.  If you are unable to communicate this way, please let me know so I can send a weekly letter home to you instead.  My email address is: dhundley@iwcs.k12.va.us

We also have a classroom blog. I will send it to you as soon as it is complete. Each weekend I will send a weekly email with a reminder to check the blog.  There you will see a brief synopsis of what we’ve done the past week and what we plan to do the next week.  This is what I use instead of a weekly newsletter. If you are viewing the blog on a smart phone or tablet, please make sure you are seeing the desktop version since there is important information on the side that is not seen in the mobile version.  

F is for…  Field Trips
We take two field trips this year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.  Chaperones are welcomed and encouraged on field trips.  If chaperones are present, students have a more individualized and personal experience.  

G is for…  Gym/PE
Our class will attend Gym/PE about once a week.  This first week we will have PE on Thursday and the second week of school our PE will be on Friday.  There will be a reminder on the blog.  Please make sure your child wears tennis shoes or sneakers on these days.     

H is for… Homework
This year there will not be formal assigned homework.  Instead, I ask you to please make every effort to read to or with your child for at least 20 minutes every night.  Also, there will be suggestions listed on the weekly blog for ideas of things to work on with your child.  

I is for… Independence
I expect a certain amount of independence from students so please allow them to practice their independence at home too.  Kindergarten students should practice tying shoes, zipping zippers, buttoning buttons, bringing backpacks and agendas to and from school and completing homework once it begins.  As the year goes on, you will be amazed at the things your child can do on his own!  

J is for…  Journals
We will be creating writing, math and word study journals that will be used throughout the year.  Please encourage your child to write as much as possible at home to boost these skills they will be practicing at school.  Kindergarten students are not expected to spell words correctly, but to “write for sound.”  I had an exciting day may be written---I had an xiting da.  

K is for…  Kindergarten is Not What it Used to be
Although there will be opportunities for play and socializing, we also have a very rigorous academic day.  Kindergarten students will be learning to read and write as well as many math skills including counting to 100, adding and subtracting.  These are skills your child will need to ensure that they are ready for 1st grade.

L is for…  Lunch
Students will have the option of bringing a packed lunch or purchasing lunch from the cafeteria.  The students have many different options for lunch in the cafeteria, and more information, as well as menus can be found on our school website, http://caes.iwcs.k12.va.us.  While I encourage students to make healthy choices, and eat their lunch at lunch time, it is important for you to reinforce these concepts at home.  If you prefer your child eat his sandwich before his cookie, that is something you should be telling him before he goes to school.  I am eating lunch at this time also, and I am not always able to make sure that 24 students are doing what their parents have asked them to.  If your child will be buying lunch in the cafeteria, you have the option of paying for the lunch by using the website http://www.prepaylunch.com. This allows you to deposit money in your child’s lunch account using a check or credit/debit card.  There is a small convenience fee for the service.  With an upgraded account you can see what your child has spent money on and how much is left in his account.  

We eat lunch at 12:45 each day.  This is a long period between breakfast and lunch.  The children are allowed to have a snack halfway through the morning.  It is your responsibility to send the snack to school.  I do not keep extras in the classroom due to new federal food guidelines.  Please make sure the snack is ONE item (such as a pack of crackers) not SEVERAL (such as chips, grapes, candy and a drink).  It is best if they can eat the snack without needing a utensil (crackers, fruit snack, cheese sticks are preferred over a cup of fruit).  Also, please make sure it is a healthy snack and the child knows which is their morning snack.  

M is for…  Math
In math this year, your child will be exploring patterns, shapes and fractions.  He will learn to sort objects by various attributes.  She will be counting in many different ways, including backwards, forwards and skip counting.  He will be collecting data, creating graphs and tally charts.  She will be measuring and learning about the tools used to measure.  He will be learning to recognize and count coins. She will even be adding and subtracting.  Some of these concepts will be new for your child. And some may be reviews of concepts he already knows.  It is still important to make sure that each child has a firm grasp of the information presented and is able to show me that he or she understands what has been taught.  

N is for…  Nurse
We have a wonderful school nurse, Mrs. Stalls.  She will be your partner in making sure that your child is healthy and safe while at school.  If you have any questions or information for her, you can call her or email her (tstalls@iwcs.k12.va.us).  If there is any health-related information that I should know about your child, please let me know as well since I will be spending the majority of the day with your child.  No medications may be brought to school by the child (including cough drops, lotion, first aid cream, etc.).  If your child needs to receive medication while at school, please discuss this with Mrs. Stalls in advance.  

O is for…    Outside
We have a 20-30 minute recess time each day.  If at all possible, our recess time will be spent outside.  Unless temperatures are below 32 degrees or weather conditions are unsafe, we will be on the playground running, jumping, playing and learning to share and get along with others.  Please make sure that your child is appropriately dressed for the weather each day.  
P is for…  PALS
Carrollton students’ literacy skills are assessed 3 times a year using the University of Virginia’s PALS (Phonological Awareness and Literacy Screening).  Your child will be tested in October, January and May.  This assessment provides us with information about your child’s pre-reading skills.  We can then monitor their scores throughout the year to ensure that we are doing everything possible so that they will make a full years’ worth of growth in reading.  

Q is for…  Questions
I am here to help you and your child with the transition to kindergarten.  If you have any specific questions about your child, please feel free to ask.  If your question is a general one, please read through this pamphlet and check the classroom and school blog to make sure the question has not already been answered.  If it hasn’t I am happy to answer your question.  

R is for…  Red Folder
A red folder will come home with your child every Friday afternoon filled with your child’s classwork from the week.  These will be on the “KEEP AT HOME” side of the folder.  There may also be papers for you to read, review and sign.  These will be on the “RETURN TO SCHOOL” side of the folder.  Please make sure that your child brings the red folder back every Monday with any applicable “RETURN TO SCHOOL” papers.  If we are not in school on Friday, the red folder will come home Monday night and should be returned on Tuesday.   

S is for…  Surprises
Students can earn ‘surprises’ from the classroom treasure box.  They will be earning these for many things including being a good citizen in the classroom.   

T is for…  Teacher
That’s me!  My name is Denise Hundley and I will be your child’s teacher this year.  I have been teaching many years, most of my career I have taught kindergarten.  More recently, I taught second grade.  I can honestly say there is no where else I would rather be and no other job I would rather have.  I have two grown sons and two grandchildren!  I have lived in Smithfield all of my life.  I love to teach and spend time with my family.  In my free time I love to cook, bake, and spend time at the beach.  I look forward to working with you this year to help your child succeed.  I am confident that we can work as a team!  

U is for…  Unfinished work
Particularly at the beginning of the year, there will be lots of work that comes home unfinished.  If you are able to, please review the work with your child and help him/her finish it at home.  If you want, you can send it back to school after completion.  

V is for…  Volunteers
There will be times throughout the year when I am in need of parent volunteers.  I ask that parents refrain from joining us in the classroom for the first 6 weeks or so as students adjust to our classroom routines.  After that, I am happy to accept help, and will let you know when we are ready to start accepting volunteers.

W is for…  Water
Your child is allowed to bring a water bottle to school to keep at her table.  Please make sure your child knows how to open and close it independently.  Hydrated students retain knowledge more easily and are more focused and able to concentrate.

X is for…  entrance and eXit
Any time you visit the school, you must enter and exit through the main doors and you MUST visit the office to sign in and receive a visitors’ sticker.  

Y is for…  You
You are the most important person in your child’s life and in his education.  Don’t ever underestimate your importance.  Thank you for sharing your precious child with me this year.  

Z is for…  Zzzzzs
Kindergarten students need lots of sleep.  Please make sure your child goes to bed early enough that he will feel refreshed and ready for school in the morning. We no longer have a rest time built into our kindergarten schedule.

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