Welcome to Kindergarten! It is a wonderful, exciting year of watching your child learn and grow. The purpose of this handbook is to give you an overview of our programs and to provide information for everyday classroom procedures. If you have any questions, please contact me at school at 428-7125 to leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible. Email is also an excellent way for us to communicate; you may reach me at email@example.com. Please consult my blog for important and current information: http://hicks-thealphabetgarden.blogspot.com/.
You may also include any notes/information/concerns for me in your child’s BEE notebook that will be sent back to school daily. It is my intent to provide open lines of communication between home and school to insure that your child receives the best education suitable for their needs. Thank you for your support.
You may walk your child into class the first three days of school. After that, please allow your child to enter class on their own. It is very important that they experience this form of independence early on and are made to feel capable of handling this procedure on their own. It also allows class to start on time in order to allow maximum instruction time.
We are very fortunate to have in place as our reading program, Reading Street. It is designed to encourage your children to become independent readers through whole group lessons, independent center work and small group time. Kindergarteners are expected to be able to identify letter names and sounds. They are also expected to be able to distinguish sounds in different positions in a word and they are expected to be able to blend sounds into words. Our reading program is very efficient in helping them accomplish these skills. Absolutely nothing, however, is more valuable to a child’s reading comprehension and ability than time spent being read to each day. Take every opportunity to read with your child and watch them excel!
We will be learning many math concepts every day during calendar time. I will also utilize manipulatives, games, activities and center work to help your child learn and explore Kindergarten math concepts. Some of these concepts are: patterning, classification, counting one to one correspondence, number recognition to 20, counting to 100, simple addition and subtraction to 10, more or less, positional concepts, money identification, telling time, and shape recognition.
Social Studies and Science
Social Studies and Science are taught primarily as units. We will learn about ourselves, plants, insects, matter, other countries/cultures, famous Americans, etc. through our morning reading program and time spent on various activities to help better understand our world and its’ living creatures.
Parents are a welcome part of our classroom. However, I ask that you wait until mid September. This allows me time to establish our classroom routine. Second, I must ask that young children not be brought to the room when helping. The children tend to get distracted by younger siblings in the room. Volunteers will be needed in the following areas:
Listening to students read
Assisting with special projects
Preparing, tracing and cutting classroom materials
Chaperoning Field Trips
It is very important that your child be at school on time and every day that they are well. If your child is ill, they may return to school after they have not had a fever for over 24 hours or they have been on medication (i.e. antibiotics) for a temporary sickness for at least 24 hours. The day that your child returns to school, they must have a note from a parent or doctor explaining their reason for being absent.
The note must include:
1. The child’s first and last name.
2. The date(s) of the child’s absence.
3. The reason for the absence. (Missing the bus is not considered a valid reason if repeated.)
4. A parent/guardian signature.
Children who have more than 5 unexcused tardies or absences are turned over to Pupil Services according to HCS District policy. This being said, we must all use our own judgment when it comes to keeping our children home if they could still pass the illness on to others. If they are not feeling well, they do not perform as well at school or learn and retain information as they would otherwise, so they are better off remaining at home until they feel well.
If there is any change in the mode of transportation that your child normally uses to get home, you MUST notify the school in writing. If there is an emergency and you are unable to provided written notice, please contact the front office (428-7125) and they will notify me. Without parental notification, students will be sent home using their usual mode of transportation.
If your child is a bus rider, please have them at the bus stop ten minutes earlier than the time the bus is expected to arrive. No one likes to miss the bus or have to run for it!
If your child is a car rider, then you MUST have the yellow identification card on the dashboard when you come to the school. All teachers take turns with afternoon car duty and may or may not know you and your child to safely identify you as a designated person allowed to pick up your child. For safety reasons and a well paced dismissal you will be asked to park and sign your child out from the front office where you will need to present a photo ID if you do not have a yellow card.
A yellow card will be sent home the first few days of school.
The cost of a child’s lunch for 2010-2011 is $1.75. Milk and ice cream are 60 cents each and ice cream may be purchased only on Thursdays. Money for your child’s lunch can be deposited into their lunch account. Money for an entire week or month can be put into their account at one time. This helps prevent students from misplacing their money. Any money sent to school must be placed in the pouch provided in the BEE notebook along with a note explaining what the money is to be used for.
Lunch boxes should contain a healthy and well balanced lunch. Please do not fill it with sweet items. Sodas or glass bottles are not allowed. Please practice opening Capri Suns, pudding/fruit cups, Lunchables, etc. with your child-this is very helpful for both your child and myself!
Please join us for lunch when you are able but no more than once a week, please. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to bring food from an outside establishment to the cafeteria. i.e. McDonald’s, Chik-fil-a, Subway, etc.
Birthdays are special!! You are welcome to send in a small treat for each child but it must be sugar free (please, no cupcakes or cookies!). For the sake of other’s feelings, do not send party invitations to school (no matter how discreet) unless all students from the class are going to be invited. Presently, we have 20 students. Sending invitations to school for ALL boys or ALL girls is fine. Otherwise, invitations will need to be mailed or distributed outside of the school. Thank you for your understanding.
I know what a hot topic clothing/shoe issues can be; feel free to blame me if your child has strong feelings about wearing something that is inappropriate for the weather. I have been there and done that!
1. Please read the Huntsville City Schools Dress Code Policy in the HCS Handbook that will be sent home the first day of school. This dress code must be followed.
2. Please make sure that your child can easily manage their clothing, including buttons, zippers, snaps and belts on their own.
3. Please dress your child in casual clothing (other than Picture Day, of course!). We are Kindergarten and we get messy! We don’t want nice church clothes getting ruined.
4. We will go outside every day weather permitting. Please make sure that once the weather cools that your child comes to school with jacket/coat, mittens/gloves, hat and whole shoes. Please do not allow your child to wear flip flops or sandals once it starts to get cool.
5. Children must have tennis shoes every day for PE. Girls must wear shorts under their dresses or skirts.
6. Also, please make sure that your child has a full change of clothes at school to leave in their locker in case of an emergency/accident. This should include underwear and weather appropriate clothing. Place the clothing in a plastic grocery bag or freezer bag with your child’s name on it.
We will have a snack daily. If you would like to donate a snack in bulk, it would be much appreciated. Also, I do allow the children to keep a water bottle at their desk. It is much less distracting to have the children take a sip quietly at their desk rather than make trips to the water fountain down the hall while I am teaching a lesson. No other drinks, please.
As a class, procedures and appropriate Kindergarten behavior will be discussed and practiced. We will have an established set of rules in order for our classroom to run smoothly. It is my intention to spend every possible minute on educating your child. With that said, it is best if all toys, games, special items be left at home unless it is your child’s turn as our Star Student of the week. More information about Star Student will follow at a later time.
My classroom rules are:
Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself.
Always use an inside voice.
Listen and follow directions.
Obey all teachers.
Show respect to adults and other students alike.
Put forth the best effort possible in all assigned work.
Complete all assignments in a timely manner.
Follow all Providence K-8 and HCS rules and procedures.
Treat others as you would like to be treated!
If any student is having difficulty remembering our classroom rules then the following system is in effect:
Color Card System
Green–Good Behavior (we all start on Green each day)
One Verbal Warning
Yellow-1st Violation- 5 minute timeout
Blue- 2nd Violation – 10 minute timeout
Red – 3rd Violation –loss of all play time and a Call to Parents
Hitting, Fighting and Name Calling will NOT be tolerated. If the incident is serious enough, then a parent is called immediately and the child will be sent to the administration. If a child has repeated incidents, then a conference will be scheduled to discuss possible steps that need to be taken to eliminate negative behaviors. I feel very strongly about the rights of all children to have a peaceful, thriving and exciting classroom experience. I will not allow negative behavior to repeatedly disrupt this process. Making sure that your child gets plenty of sleep (8-9 hours at this age) and a good breakfast will eliminate many factors that can often lead to negative behavior.
Children receive a sticker on their behavior chart for every day that they remain on green. When this chart is filled, your child will be able to choose a prize from the Treasure Tub. Let’s fill those charts! It is important that you sign your child’s chart every night and have your child return the BEE notebook to class every day.
The age of the children is taken into account but it is important to establish good classroom behavior early on as we all want to be good citizens in any environment we find ourselves.
I will be sending home homework every week. The purpose will be to reinforce what your child is learning in class and to provide you with the opportunity to learn from them what they are discovering. Homework will be very simple and limited to app. 10-15 minutes nightly. Weekly assignments will go home on Monday in your child’s BEE notebook and will need to be returned by the following Friday. A complete Dolce Sight Word List, a sample of Handwriting and a Letter Sound sheet is provided in the BEE notebook for your reference. We will study Sight Words in groups of three-five words each week. Studying Sight Words nightly is important; a test will be given after each reading unit.
I will send home a weekly newsletter to keep you informed about what we are learning in the classroom. Please make sure you read it carefully. It will also include homework information.
If you have any questions, concerning any of this information, feel free to contact me and we can discuss any concerns you may have. I am looking forward to an exciting, productive and fun year with your children!
Please sign this page and return in your child’s BEE notebook once school has started.
I have received and read a copy of Mrs. Hicks’ Handbook on classroom procedures.