The ABC’S of Kindergarten
Absences: If your child is absent, please call the office at 940-369-1800. A hand written or doctor’s note stating the reason for the absence must be brought to school upon your child’s return to avoid an unexcused absence. If your child must leave early for a doctor’s appointment, please make sure to sign them out at the front office. Appointments in the afternoon are best.
Attendance: Please take special note of the attendance policy in the student handbook. Attendance is crucial to the success of your kindergarten student. Please make all necessary arrangements to get your child to school each day.
Arrival: Your Kindergarten student should arrive at school between 7:35 and 7:50 am. School begins promptly at 7:50. The children begin learning as soon as the bell rings!
HAWK Folders: Hawk- Helping All Wonderful Kindergarteners Succeed, is a communication folder that will be sent home on a daily basis and returned to school the following morning. The Hawk Folder will help us keep organized! The three-prong pocket folder houses take home papers, and other school items that assist with communication between home and school
Backpack: Each child will need a backpack to carry home his/her personal items, school papers, HAWK folder and guided reading pockets. Please make sure the backpack is big enough to carry these items and possibly a jacket in the wintertime.
Birthdays: If you would like to send a birthday treat with your child to share with the class near or on their birthday, you are more than welcome to do so. These treats will be eaten during our regular snack time. We will recognize our summer birthdays at the end of the school year. Please do not send birthday party invitations to be distributed at school UNLESS ALL children (boys and girls) in the class receive an invitation.
Book Orders: Every month I will send home a Scholastic Book Club Catalog for you and your child to look over. Scholastic offers wonderful books at reduced prices. I will include directions on how to order on-line.
Background Checks: If you are planning to volunteer in the classroom or attend our field trips you are required to fill out a background check.
Car Riders: Car riders will be dismissed at 2:50 each day from the cafeteria.
Conferences: Parent/Teacher conferences will be held at the end of the first six weeks (Sept 30-Oct 4th). You will receive your child’s report card at this time and we will discuss your child’s accomplishments, strengths and overall progress. Please feel free to schedule any additional conferences at any time throughout the school year if the need arises. My conference period is 12:50-1:30 daily.
Communication: Communication is very important to me! Please feel free to call or email me at any time if you have any comments, questions or concerns. Our contact information is below;
Darla Arnold- 940-369-1817 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Christian 940-369-1815 email@example.com
Bonnie Miles 940-369-1814 firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Phillips 940-369-1816 email@example.com
Trisha Sims 940-369-1813 firstname.lastname@example.org
Discipline: The teachers at Hawk Elementary use a Love and Logic approach. I encourage the children to grow and learn from their own actions. To encourage appropriate behavior, learn self control, and build self-concept, they will be guided to respect themselves and their peers. We work hard as a class to make our classroom a positive safe loving environment. Our classroom is a small community where teamwork and good relationships are expected and encouraged. We will spend time learning and practicing class procedures. Our school follows district wide CHAMPS guidelines. If a student is having difficulties following these guidelines, I might:
*ask questions to promote thinking and responsibility
*encourage students to solve their own problems
*offer choices within limits
*model problem-solving skills
*apply consequences that best fit these situations
*Possible consequences might include change seating,
*Separation from group activity, partial loss of recess a phone call home, or a visit to the office.
*In the event that our child’s behavior is interfering with his or her learning or the learning of others, you will be notified in the HAWK folder, e-mail or by phone.
Email: A great way to keep in touch with me is through e-mail.
Folders: Check those HAWK folders nightly! Information from the school and/or PTA will go home on Fridays in the blue Maverick folder.
Field Trips: Information about field trips will come home in the Hawk Folder. I will also include this information in my newsletters and website. We will be taking a field trip to Elm Fork in Denton. If you plan on attending as a chaperone, you must have a Background Check on file prior to signing up.
Grading: Every six weeks your child will receive a report card. More information about the report card will be shared during our parent-teacher conferences in October.
Gym: Students will go to P.E. twice a week for a 50-minute period. The children are asked to wear tennis shoes on P.E. days and the girls might want to consider having a pair of shorts to slip under their dresses.
Guided Reading: I will begin doing guided reading with your child when they are developmentally ready. For the majority of the students this usually begins soon after parent conferences. I will work with students in small, homogenous groups using a variety of leveled fiction and nonfiction text that is at your child’s instructional reading level.
Homework: Guided Reading books: Once we begin guided reading, your child will bring home a book pocket with their guided reading book inside. They will need to read the book to you, log their reading time and return it the next school day. There will be a fee for lost books.
Sight words: As I introduce sight words, they will come home in the HAWK folder zipper pocket. Please remove these and keep for at home practice. I recommend you purchase an index card box to keep these in at home.
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. Please also keep in mind that a child must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have any questions please refer to the DISD student handbook or our school nurse.
Independence: Independence is a big goal in kindergarten. Independence builds self-esteem and self-confidence. I encourage the students to do as much for themselves in the classroom as possible and I would ask that you do so at home as well. So, let’s start practicing tying shoes! And, walking to the classroom by themselves is a huge step!
Journals: We will be writing in Kindergarten. In the beginning the students will combine their emerging writing skill with their drawing skills. As the students are exposed to phonics, sight words, reading experiences, shared reading, etc, they will begin to use “inventive” spelling and eventually move toward conventional spelling.
Kindness: Students in our classroom are encouraged and expected to treat all members of our class as well as others with kindness and respect. Hitting, fighting, name-calling, and making fun of others will not be permitted.
Lunch: The school will provide lunch and breakfast for the children who wish to purchase one. Breakfast is served from 7:20-7:50 every day. For convenience, you may pay online by going to the following website: https://www.parentonline.net. Please contact the office for your student ID in order to set up this account. I encourage you to create a lunch account for your child even though they may not always purchase, you never know when a sack lunch will be left at home on the kitchen counter. Checks can be made payable to Hawk Cafeteria. You are always welcome to come and eat lunch with your Kindergarten student and outside food is permitted. However, we ask that the first two weeks of school you refrain from eating with your child to help create independence. Please meet your child in the cafeteria.
Kindergarten Lunch Times
Mrs. Arnold- 10:55-11:25
Mrs. Christian- 10:55-11:25
Mrs. Miles- 10:55-11:25
Mrs. Phillips- 11:00-11:30
Mrs. Sims- 11:00-11:30
2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR:
Mathematics: The kindergarten mathematics curriculum provides students with mathematical experiences that help them develop number sense and a positive attitude towards mathematics. We employ a hands-on, problem solving approach. Many of our math concepts are covered through our daily calendar routine. Most often, during our Math Workshop, the students will be divided into groups and rotate through Math stations. While they are working at their stations, I will meet with small groups of children. These groups will be flexible, changing from week to week or day to day, based on the needs of the students. Most everything is hands-on. Therefore, you will not be receiving worksheets home. If you are interested in what we are learning please check out our newsletters or websites for our learning targets.
Materials: Being prepared makes everyone more successful. Please make sure your child brings his/her backpack to school every day along with their HAWK folders. Once I begin sending home guided reading and homework bags those need to be returned when specified.
Newsletter: A weekly newsletter will be sent home every Friday to keep you informed about what is happening in our class.
Nurse: Kathy Malmberg is our nurse. 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.
Open line of communication: Please let me know if you have ANY concerns or questions regarding your child throughout the year. I feel that it is our job to work together as partners to help your child have a successful first year. If you have an urgent message and you want to be sure that I get it before school is out, please call the office, 940-369-1800, and speak to one of our wonderful secretaries.
Parties: We will have three parties. We will have a Winter Party, Valentine’s Day Party, and an End of the Year party. The room coordinator will organize the food and activities for the parties. They will also coordinate volunteers. All are welcome to participate in the festivities! We will have some other celebrations that I will organize such as Thanksgiving and the 100th Day of School.
Questions: If you at any time have any questions please feel free to contact me. My conference period is from 12:50-1:30 daily. This will be the best time to reach me. If there is an emergency and you need to speak to me immediately, I urge you to call the front office at 369-1800 and they will contact me ASAP. You and your child are important to me and I think of us as a team.
Report Cards: Report cards are issued every six weeks. These reports reflect the progress your child has made toward various Kindergarten objectives.
Recess: The children will play outside each morning from 11:35-11:55. Please keep this in mind when helping your child select clothing for the day. Athletic shoes are always best!
Room Parents: The room parents’ job is to be available to help coordinate parties and activities, and to seek volunteers for field trips, events and the classroom. Being a room parent is a great way to be involved in your child’s school life.
Snacks: We will have snack time everyday during our break time. Being a teacher and parent, I have found that the best way to do snack is by letting each child bring their own. Please pack your child a non-sugary snack each day in their backpack.
Science: The focus of the kindergarten science curriculum is on developing an awareness of the world in which we live. Science concepts and skills will be explored utilizing a literacy based, hands-on approach.
Social Studies: The Kindergarten social studies curriculum focuses on the students and how they relate to others in their families, classroom, school, and community. Social Studies concepts will be explored using a literacy based, hands-on approach.
Shared Reading: Shared reading is an interactive process used with the whole class. As the teacher reads a story, children join in on phrases or words that they know. During subsequent re-readings, children read more and more of the text, until they are able to read the story independently. Shared reading is an opportunity for the teacher to model conventions of print and the use of reading strategies.
Student of the Week: Each week, I will randomly select a child to be our Student of the Week. Everyone will get a turn but it does take awhile! The children love this special attention! When your child is the Student of the Week, they will bring home a poster to decorate and bring back to school. This poster will be posted on the small bulletin board outside our classroom. I will return the poster the following week. I will also send home an All About Me bag. Please help your child fill it with five things that represent themselves. This will give them a chance to be the center of attention, and share more about themselves with the class. They may also bring a favorite book for me to read during our Read Aloud.
Sight Words: Each week we will be focusing in on a new sight word(s). Kindergarteners will be required to be able to read and write these words by the end of the school year. As the words are introduced, I will send home a copy of them in your child’s HAWK folders. Please remove these to keep at home for nightly practice. I recommend you get an index card box to keep them in.
Transportation: If your child has any changes in their transportation, please let me know by sending in a note or calling the office. Please understand that I cannot send a student home via another mode of transportation without a phone call or written note from an adult before 2:00pm.
Toys: Children are asked NOT to bring toys from home. They are very distracting. I cannot be responsible for broken toys or hurt feelings caused by them. The only exceptions are when your child is Student of the Week.
Unique: Kindergarten students learn they are special and unique. Kindergartners have opportunities to describe how they are alike, as well as how they are different from others. They share their culture, and learn about different cultures within the class.
Volunteer and Visit: Just do it! Just remember to check in at the front office for a visitor badge.
Walkers: Walkers are dismissed at 2:50. Kindergarten parents should be there to pick up their child and walk them home. The playground is off limits for students and siblings until we have assured that every student has been picked up.
X-tra clothes: It is very important that you send an extra set of clothes in a gallon bag with their name on it in case of a bathroom accident, messy spill or wet and muddy playgrounds. This way we do not have to bother you at work or home. These clothes can stay in your child’s backpack.
You: You are crucial to your child’s success!
Younger Siblings: It is in your child’s and the program’s best interest to have our parent volunteers available without younger children as much as possible (this includes any volunteer work, field trips, parties, etc). 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 ahead of time.
ZZZZZs: Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. A kindergarten room is a busy place and you will probably find your child exhausted at the end of the day. 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!