Parent Information Night
Welcome to Parent Information Night! We are off to an exciting and busy start in Kindergarten at Rosa Parks! I am so impressed with the children and I look forward to a wonderful and productive year!
Every child in my classroom is extremely important to me. I am committed to creating a learning environment that is supportive and nurturing. I strive to make my classroom a place where children are encouraged to achieve to their fullest potential, to be problem solvers, and to be creative thinkers.
In this packet you will find important information about your child’s kindergarten experience. There is information on what we are going to be learning in kindergarten as well as information on how parents can help at home to support that learning. Following is our daily schedule. We accomplish a lot in a day so it is very important for your child to be on time and to attend school every day!
Ms. Karr’s Schedule
1055-11:15: Student Lunch
11:15-11:45 AM/PM Overlap:ELD/Acceleration/Intervention/Science/Social Stud.
11:45-12:00 Opening:Good morning songs, Flag salute; calendar; phonemic awareness; number sense
12:00-12:15 Interactive Read Aloud: The students and I interact conversationally during a story while working on reading comprehension skills such as prediction,clarification, retell and monitoring as well as author, illustrator, and parts of a book. I teach reading behaviors/strategies I expect to see them using independent reading.
12:15-12:30 Shared Reading: Reading instruction where my voice is present in the reading along with theirs. I teach reading behaviors/strategies I expect to see them using in independent reading.
12:30-12:45 Independent Reading: Students read independently. They may choose to read around the room, our shared reading charts, our interactive writing, from the library or from their book boxes.
12:45-1:00 InteractiveWriting: The students and I negotiate text and share the pen in writing. Our walls in the classroom are filled with student generated,negotiated, and written text. This writing is then used as a resource in their independent writing. I teach writing behaviors/strategies I expect to see them using in independent writing.
1:00-1:15 Independent Writing: Students write independently in their journals. I expect them to write sentences with sight words they know and to phonetically spell words they don’t know. I expect them to use words in the room that we have read or written.
1:25-2:15 Literacy Centers/Guided Reading/Intervention: The students work independently on center activities that practice skills and standards already taught. During this time I pull leveled reading and intervention groups.
2:15-2:40 Math:Math concepts are taught through read aloud, interactive writing and shared reading using the adopted curriculum. The students are given time for hands-on practice.
2:40-2:43 Clean-up and go home!
~Order of elements is subject to change according to purpose
I have classroom expectations that include being kind and respectful to others,being a good listener, following directions the first time, keeping hands and feet to yourself, walking in line with hands behind back and voices off,cleaning up after oneself, trying your personal best every day, being responsible and returning work on time, being helpful to others, and taking care of our classroom. As you can see, these are a lot of expectations. So our class decided that rather than listing each individual expectation, our class rule should be, BE A FRIEND. This simple rule covers all of the things mentioned above and any others that may arise.
I also talk to the students about rules for behavior on the rug:
1. Sit criss-cross, applesauce
2. Ears are listening when someone is speaking
3. Eyes on the teacher or anyone else who is speaking
4. Hands in your lap
I like to approach classroom management in a positive way. I believe in reinforcing positive behavior. Positive behavior will be reinforced with incentives such as:
1. Oral praise and encouragement
2. Special notes and Sunshine phone calls home
3. Magic dots or cheers are used to have the class recognize outstanding behavior.
My style of teaching is very engaging so I rarely have behavior issues. I am very clear as far as my expectations of the students. I constantly tell them what I expect. I can usually handle inappropriate behavior with non-verbal and verbal cues. I also use proximity as a way of heading off behavior. I will remove a student from a situation and redirect them to something else. If we are in whole group, I will place that child in a chair behind the group but facing the teaching so they can continue to learn and participate. This usually does the trick. My last resort is to take their free time which is recess. The student will sit on the bench for 1 minute at a time rather than play. I always tell them that in order to get free time, they MUST work for me first in the classroom. Extreme cases will be put on a daily behavior contract. I have only had to do this twice in 15 years.
At Rosa Parks we encourage living the Life skills. Following is a list of some of the Life skills we will be practicing and living each day at Rosa Parks.
Perseverance: To keep at it!
Effort: To do your best
Responsibility: To respond when appropriate, to be accountable for your actions
Friendship: To make and keep a friend through mutual trust and caring
Cooperation: To work together toward a common goal or purpose
Caring: To feel and show concern for others
A letter formation guide is available on my website and we will learn an activity at Family Learning Friday.Please pay close attention to the direction of the arrows and the order your child should make each letter. This is extremely important! Another important thing to pay attention to is whether your child starts writing from the bottom or the top. PLEASE make sure they start from the top and go down. if your child gets in the habit of proper letter formation now, they will be more successful in writing (especially when they learn cursive in later grades). The letters a,b, d, g ,p, and q do have a circle as one of the steps. Make sure your child is making the circle in the correct direction as indicated. The letters g, j, p, q, and y all go “down below” the bottom line. Make sure the “tails” of these letters do not sit on the bottom line but go “down below” the bottom line. We write mostly in lowercase letters in the classroom. We do use and talk about uppercase or capitals in proper nouns such as their names and the beginning of a sentence.
Sight words are so essential for reading and writing. These are the 50 words your child needs to know by the end of kindergarten. The must know these words by sight. Many do not lend well to using sounds to figure them out. When I test your child on sight words, I expect them to read each word to me in 3 seconds or less and show no indication that they are trying to use sounds. If they are not able to do this then they do not pass that word or list. Keep this in mind.As we get underway, I will be sending home sight word contracts. You may test your child at home and then when you think they are ready to be tested and pass a list, you can send back the signed parent note. Many times I get this note back but when I test the child, he does not read the words in 3 seconds or less.
Following is a list of activities you can do with your child when practicing sight words.
Fun Ways to Practice Your Sight Words
1. Read a story. Count how many sight words you can find. Record the name of the book and number of sight words found.
2. Use yarnor string to form your words.
3. See how many times you can write your sight words in 5 minutes.
4. Write one sentence using each sight word.
5. Tape yourself saying and spelling your sight words.
6. Make flash cards. How many words can you read in 3 minutes?
7. Print the words on someone’s back. Can the person guess the word?
8. Write words on sticky notes? Match to words you find in your story books.
9. Use colored chalk to write your sight words on the sidewalk.
10. Rainbow-write your words using crayons,markers, gel pens….
11. Paint your words using watercolors or finger-paint.
12. Find words in a newspaper or magazine or junk mail, cut out.
13. Use beans, pasta, rice, or other small objects to form your words.
14. Fold a sheet of paper in fourths. Write your words 2 times in each square and decorate the squares with art supplies.
15. Sing a song to memorize your sight words. Try using the tunes to Frere Jacques or 99 bottles or jingle bells for 3 letter words; Hi-Ho Did You Know for 4 letter words; BINGO for 5 letter words; Happy Birthday or If you’re Happy and You Know It for 6 letter words.
16. Write a message to someone using your words.
17. Draw and write a story using your words. Read your story to someone.
18. Play a game such as Go Fish using your sight words.
19. Look for your words in magazines and newspapers and use a highlighter to circle the words.
20. Pour a thin layer of powdered Jell-O on a paper plate. Practice writing the words in the Jell-O. Use this for name practice and letter formation too.
21. Use magnetic letters and spell your words on cookie sheet.
22. Can you think of more to add to our list?Reading
Please read with your child every night for 15-20 minutes. They are learning to read and will love reading to you. Make sure they are reading books that are at their reading level. You can get this information from me as they learn to read in the next several months. You reading to them is just as important. They need to hear what fluent reading sounds like every day. The more text and vocabulary your child is exposed to, the more successful they will be in reading and writing. If you have time for nothing else in your day, please find the time to read together!
Here are some ways to keep a single story fresh ALL DAY!
1. Mom or dad reads the story first
2. Discuss: What is the title? Who is the author? Who is the illustrator? What do each of these people do?
3. Have your child point to each word as they read.
4. Find the letter of the week in the story.
5. Find the sight word of the week in the story.
6. Draw a picture of your favorite part of the story.
7. Choose a word that repeats in the story to clap on.
8. Take turns reading (mom reads a page then you read a page).
9. Change the pitch and tone of your voice to fit the different characters in the story.
10. Act out the story with your family.
11. Help your child find the spaces between the words.
12. Count the words in the sentences.
13. Retell the story to the person who is reading to you. Remember beginning, middle, and end.
14. Can you think of more to add to our list?
Miscellaneous Classroom Information:
It is difficult to buy lunch in kindergarten because of the time allowed for lunch. Please pack a nutritious sack lunch for your child. Your child should have a sandwich, some fruit, and water etc. No candy or soda.
I love and welcome as many volunteers that want to help. Two I need for sure area Tuesday homework volunteer and a room parent. These two jobs take total commitment so make sure that you can devote this time before signing up! Any other help can be a regular day of the week, take home work, helping with projects and special days, or any other way you’d like to participate. There are no siblings allowed at school when you are volunteering. Sign in at the office when you arrive and come on back!
Homework is sent home on Tuesday and is to be returned the following Tuesday. The homework packet will have enough work for your student to complete about 2 pages a night. Please do not allow your child to complete all the work in a day or two. I would like them to be practicing skills all week. The sight word star is for your child to cut out and keep at home and use for practice. Please keep these stars together and in a safe place. Practice them EVERY night along with the sound flash cards. Please practice the Alpha friend songs and keep them at home as well.
Make sure your child uses pencil for writing and crayons for drawing. No markers please. Also make sure your child writes their name on the packet; not you! J
Please read with your child for at least 15-20 minutes each night. The extra practice will make a big difference in their progress in kindergarten.
We recognize birthdays in kindergarten as something very special. Each birthday child gets a crown and sort of birthday pencil/stickers etc. There will be no other recognition such as cupcakes, parties, etc per the administration and the district.
Remember that there are no flip flops allowed in school. All shoes must have a back on them. Sandals with open toe are OK, they just must have a back buckle. However,tennis shoes are the best choice. Try to put a pair of shorts under girls’dresses. Hats and sunglasses can be worn to school but will not be worn in the classroom.
Drop Off/Pick Up
The PM teachers will be on duty at the flag pole at 10:45 am for arrival. Please do not drop your child before 10:45.Keep pulling forward and stay in your car. Wednesday is early release and we come to school in the morning at 8:25. Pick up is on Harrison at 2:50 PM on Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., and 11:19 on Wednesdays. Please teach your child to buckle themselves in their seats upon pick-up. The time it takes for you to turn and do it for them holds up traffic. Please practice each day at home. We will not load and unload in the street at the curb. You must walk up or drive through the line. Please remember your signs in the front window; not the dashboard or the passenger window. Thank you for your help and being patient in keeping the children safe.
If you are walking to school remember to wait at the Harrison gate until a teacher comes to duty. Please do not wait in the kinder yard unless you are volunteering that day.
Make sure that anyone you want to be able to transport your child MUST be on the emergency card. The office or I will not release a child to anyone that is not on the emergency card.
Please feel free to send your child with an umbrella on both rainy and hot days. Make sure they know howto use it safely. They will not be permitted to open the umbrella until we are outside at dismissal.
Early Release Days
Every Wednesday is an early release day for Rosa Parks. ALL kinder comes to school in the morning. They must be here at 8:25 am. All of kinder will release one hour early at 11:19. On these days we visit the computer lab and the library.
Mrs. Sarlea and Ms. Karr
We will talk to the kids about the importance of going to college one day. The college we have adopted is Yale University.
We will learn this school wide chant:
When I say work you say hard. WORK!
When I say college you say bound. COLLEGE!
When I say no you say excuses. NO!
Learn to read. Learn to write. We are college
Bound alright, alright
Learn to read. Learn to write. We are college
Bound alright, alrightGO BULLDOGS!!!
Thank you very much for taking the time to come to our Parent Information Night. Your child’s success at school begins with you at home. They notice your concern and support about their school experience by the way you become involved in their education. If it is important to you then it will be important to them.
You can contact me at the school at anytime. The office will get me a message but they will not interrupt instruction. I will call you back at the end of the day. I am also in the classroom until 3:15 PM each day. You may also send me notes with your child if you need to contact me. Email is the fastest and best way to get me. I check often and even when we are off-track. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I am here for you and your child and their success is my most important priority.
Email and my website are going to be our main form of communication. Please check both OFTEN.
If you need to conference with me before the October conferences, please let me know.
Ms.Karr’s email is email@example.com
Ms.Karr’s website is firstname.lastname@example.org/rpesclick “teacher sites” Find “Karr, Ms.”
On a side note, my style of teaching does not lend to a lot of seat work. You will not see lots of worksheets coming home unless they are math practice,letter practice, and some center work. My centers are designed in a way that the activities are practice of skills already taught. They are able to work in the centers with complete independence. This allows me the opportunity to work with small groups uninterrupted.
My style of teaching is called Comprehensive Early Literacy Learning(CELL). I am fully trained in CELL and it is important to know that the purpose of CELL is to teach students to work effectively in independence. Everything I teach in whole group is directly connected to what I expect to see in independence. CELL teaches students to critically think and problem solve independently. In order for your child to come to this way of learning,everything I teach is very interactive. I encourage a lot of talking and we do this without raising our hands. I teach them conversational learning which requires them to have conversations in whole group rather than waiting to be called upon. I teach them everything that goes with a conversation including looking at the person who is speaking, waiting for someone to stop talking before speaking, etc. Please take a moment to visit this website to familiarize yourself with CELL strategies.
Thank you so much for coming tonight.