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2012/13

 

Dear Parents,

 

    I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Holy Family Kindergarten. I hope your children were able to relax this summer and get refreshed for the busy coming up year.  Mrs. Bender and I have many fun-filled activities planned to keep them busy and actively involved in their learning this year.

Classroom Rules

 Love Jesus

Love Ourselves

Love Others

   We will be busy in the first weeks establishing the classroom rules and routines.  We will have many activities to involve the children in interaction with each other.  At this time we will be working on learning each other’s names, and we will be involved in special interactive activities to learn about each other’s unique God given personalities. Hopefully, these activities will help to develop a community of friends for this year and many years to come.

Classroom Website

     We are very fortunate to have classroom websites at our school.  We will do much of our communication via the site.  If you do not have access to a computer on a weekly basis, please let me know so that I can send communication to you by a paper newsletter.

 

What’s Happening?

Monthly Newsletter

http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/

     I would like to introduce you to the Kindergarten Website and our Curriculum at this time.  Hopefully, this site will be a great learning tool for your family.  First of all, it can be a great communication tool for the family.  A wonderful way to use the site as a tool is to sit with your child at the computer and discuss the various learning activities they are doing at school.  This is important because it develops their language communication skills and it also is another way to recall what they have learned so far or you will be able to see what areas your child needs a little help with at home.   Please make sure you check our site weekly. Important news will be posted weekly at:   http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/lesson%20plans/whatshappeningpage.htm, and monthly at:  http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/monthly%20newsletter/monthly_newsletter.htm

  

Computer Class

     Your child will go to computer class in our lab two times weekly.  The children will learn how to use computers properly.  They will also learn basic skills such as using the mouse, logging on and off, using a variety of educational sites and at the end of the year we will begin working on word processing.  We will play many learning games on the Kindergarten Website.  These will include:  http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/kid%20sites/favorite_kid_sites.htm, http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/cool%20catholic/Cool%20Catholic%20Kids%20Links.htm, http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/kid%20sites/literacy%20online%20games.htm, and http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/math%20sites/math%20online%20games.htm.  These are excellent learning games to play at home as well.

Guided Reading and Literacy Centers

      Four days a week, the children will meet in small groups with me to read a book to practice their decoding and letter-sound application. Each day or every other day (I am not sure which way is going to work best this year), a book will be sent home for the child to read to you.  They may keep these books to practice with you at home.  I would encourage you to make a special box or use a basket to keep all of your child’s books in. Each week the children will also be introduced to new sight words (words that usually cannot be sounded out but are used frequently). At the middle of the year, your child may also use these books for their independent reading logs.  At the beginning, the reading process may be difficult, but you will be amazed at your child’s progress by the end of the year.  Just keep practicing……

     While I am working with my groups of three students, the other small groups of three will be working on independent activities. Mrs. Bender always works with one of the groups.   The literacy centers will always be focused on the 5 key areas of literacy; phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.  Examples of these activities are shown at: http://home.comcast.net/~teacherprehfs/literacy%20centers/literacy%20center%20photos.htm.  Other activities are pictured under the theme topics such as Christmas Literacy and Math Photos.  Right now, the Kindergartener’s First Grade friends are pictured on the website.  As we progress through the year, this year’s Kindergarten will replace the other photos.  Teachers come to our site to look to see what we are doing so I do not want to eliminate all the photos at the beginning of the year. An EMPHASIS will be placed on beginning sounds, blending, sight words, and rhyming at the beginning of the year.

SHARED Reading

     A "Reading Street" selected book will be read each week at the rug.  I will engage children in a conversation about the book. There is a nice blend of fiction and non-fiction books for the children to listen to.   Listening comprehension and concept building will take place at this time. 

Physical Education     Mrs. Duttlinger will conduct physical education on Wednesday and Friday afternoons   Please remember to have appropriate gym shoes on those days.  The children will learn a variety of basic skills.  They love these classes!

Writing and Journal time

      In writing, we journal each morning.  The children draw a picture from a daily topic.  They then label their topic.  We are modeling writing for them right now.  As the year progresses, they will begin writing on their own.  We do many shared writing activities also each week. 

     Each week the children will be introduced to several different types of writing.  The teacher will model writing and skills by thinking aloud as I write.  We will also do shared writing in which the children will tell the teacher what they want to write.  The teacher will write this getting input and help from the children.  The children will work together with the teacher to write an interactive writing about a shared experience. 

     At the beginning of the year, the children will be practicing making their capital and lower case letters on lined paper correctly.  They will receive homework in printing their letters. When they return their homework, they will receive a ticket.  When your child receives five tickets, he/she may pick a prize from the prize box.  Here is a site with cute rhymes for letter formation: http://www.gkestner.com/Letterform.htm

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness Activities

     Phonological Awareness activities include manipulating words, syllables, and onsets and rimes which are units of oral language.  Phonemic Awareness activities concentrate on manipulating individual sounds in the spoken word.  Beginning in unit 5, every lesson will begin with a phonemic awareness activity which will focus on target sounds.  The children will connect the sounds to letters.  The children will hear and see the letters, and then apply the letter sounds to their reading.  We will supplement these activities with the Zoo Phonics Program. See....http://www.zoophonics.com/index2.html  We will supplement and enrich these skills using Knowledge Box, Literacy Center activities, computer games, Phonics Songs and Rhymes Flip Chart, CD activities, DVD’s and videos, Reading Street Practice Book pages, beginning sounds art activities, books, and the Morning Message. 

Calendar Math

     Every day the children will do activities involving the calendar:  finding the current date, working on the concepts yesterday, today, and tomorrow, learning the months of the year and days of the week, and other fun Math activities. 

Guided Math and Math Tubs

          At Guided Math, the students will work in groups of  three with me.  We will concentrate on numbers 1-20 to begin with.   We will be working on recognizing the numerals, writing the numerals correctly, counting objects, learning number names and ordinals.  We will also be working on the concept of greater than and less than and equal to.

          Children will work in small groups with plastic tubs containing hands-on manipulatives and games and by participating in “Jumpin Numbers” to reinforce these skills. “Jumpin Numbers” is a system developed by Heidi Butkus to learn numeral and shape recognition through movement music and flash cards.  The program uses nearly all learning modalities and styles.  See http://www.heidisongs.net/numbersvol12.html

Religion

     In Religion, we will be learning about Mass, proper behavior in Church, and praying the Rosary.  Extra practice at home with the Rosary will help your child become more comfortable and familiar with the prayers.  I will be sending a little prayer booklet home with your child in the first few weeks of school.   We will also be learning about Creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s Ark.   We welcome you to Mass also.  The children love when their parents attend the Masses.   When the weather is nice, we meet at church.  Otherwise, we will be at school in the gym.

Science

      This month we will be concentrating on “The Five Senses” and “Scientific Inquiry” (exploration, observation, collecting, describing, comparing and recording).  Many science topics are also incorporated into our Reading Street Program.

Music

        Mrs. Knapp will have music with the Kindergarten once a week.   

                                                   Art

            Mrs. Christine Kasprowicz will have art with the Kindergarten once a week.  You will be able to see some of the art work and even purchase items at http://www.artsonia.com/.

Social Studies

        We will begin learning about the reasons for rules, “ME”, our community, and the American flag.  Many social studies topics are also incorporated into our Reading Street Program.   

Snacks

      We will have snacks between 10 and 10:30 each day. We will have our morning milk at this time.   I would encourage you to send healthy "brain food" snacks at this time.  Fruits, yogurt, vegetables or protein foods are recommended to give your child the mid morning burst of energy they will need to get them to lunch. 

     If you wish to send a water bottle with your child with a non-spill able lid, we are going to try that this year.  I realize some children need lots of water.  We go to the fountain, but perhaps some children might need more water than those visits. 

Library

     Mrs. Sandy Shan will have library with the children each week for 20 minutes.  Please make sure you return your books promptly.  Your child will receive a new book the following week, if he/she has returned the checked out book. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

                                                                  Have a blessed month,

                                                                   Mrs. Cindy Steele

                                                                   School:  (before or after, not during)

                                                                                   815-883-8916 ext.16

                                                                   Home:    815-339-6853

                                                                    Email:  bsteelaway@yahoo.com