Welcome to the wonderful world of kindergarten! I look forward to getting to know your child and starting a great year together!
Here is some important information about our kindergarten class:
Classroom Expectations and Management: A major goal of mine is to create a positive learning environment where your child can be a happy learner. It is my hope that as the year progresses, our community of learners will grow to be one built on kindness, trust and respect.
Our classroom rules are:
- Show Respect
- Make Good Choices
- Solve Problems
Student Learning Expectations (SLE’s)
These expectations are the goal for a graduate of St. John School. Primary grades focus on the three main headings: active learners, empowered disciples, and Christ-centered people. We will refer to these expectations throughout all of our lessons. We will evaluate these expectations each trimester, through student reflection and teacher evaluation. Please familiarize yourself with the SLE’s.
Mindfulness: In our classroom, we will teach and practice mindfulness to help with emotion regulation, lessen stress, and reduce impulsiveness. Students will learn and practice using self-regulation strategies (breathing exercises for example) to help students restore the mental focus and emotional control needed for efficient learning. In our classroom, we have a designated “Calm Spot” where students can go for a short amount of time that rewards them for using pre-taught strategies to calm themselves so that a good choice can be made, rather than an impulsive reaction, or to restore mental focus.
Class Marble Jar: In our classroom we must work together as a community of learners. When our whole class makes a good choice, they will earn a marble in our marble jar. When the jar is full, the class earns a fun marble party (a celebration of their choice)!
Homework: In kindergarten, homework is optional. We do, however believe some homework is valuable because it allows for an opportunity to connect and transfer learning between school and home. We recommend 10 minutes of reading a night as well as math practice that we will send home. We will also send home monthly reading logs. Every night that your child reads, they may color in a shape on the reading log. At the end of the month, they may turn in the filled log for a trip to our classroom coupon chest!
Book Bags: Every Friday, students will bring home their book bag. Inside, will be one book at their reading level that we read in class during small reading groups, the other is a book of their choice. You keep this at home until the following Friday.
Friday Folders: Every Friday, students will bring home their Friday folder. Inside will be completed work, homework and news from the school. Please keep this at home and return the following Friday.
Before and After School: When children arrive in the morning, they wait in line at our class spot on the playground. We will walk in as a class at 8:15 am. Please try your best to get to the line by 8:15am. Parents say their good-byes on the playground to empower your students to walk in independently. The first day of school is an exception. After school, we will wait on the fence in the playpit to be released to a parent or specified caregiver. Dismissal is at 3:00pm.
Birthdays: We love to celebrate birthdays in our classroom! On each student’s birthday (or half birthday if they have a summer birthday) they may bring in their favorite book from home to share with the class as well as a poster of special photos to share.
Clothing and Personal Belongings: Please write your child’s name with a dark, permanent marker on your child’s clothes, especially sweatshirts and jackets. Please leave an extra set of clothes (pants, underwear, socks and uniform shirt) in a labeled zip lock bag in your child’s backpack. They will stay in their backpack unless they are needed. We ask that your children wear shoes that they can manage – Velcro works great unless they can tie laces! Please refer to the family handbook for details on school uniform policy.
Lunch and Snack: Please pack a healthy snack for your child everyday. It helps if their snack is packed separately from their lunch, this way they eat their snack at snack time and lunch at lunchtime. Students are welcome to bring a water bottle to school. Also, please make sure your child can open everything in their snack and lunch. Our classroom is peanut and kiwi free.
Report Cards: These will be distributed three times per school year. We will have parent-teacher conferences in October. You will also be able to see your child’s progress from our corrected in-class work that will be in Friday folders. St. John school follows the Common Core State Standards and the Archdiocesan curriculum guidelines. To learn more about the Common Core, go to http://www.corestandards.org/
Scholastic Book Orders: This is a monthly order. We are looking for a parent volunteer to lead this job. All orders are done online.
Scrip: Please help our school by becoming involved in our scrip program! You will receive a list of all the company partners soon. Scrip orders will be taken throughout the week and received on Fridays. You may contact the wonderful ladies of St. John scrip at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendance: Consistent attendance is essential for your child to obtain the maximum benefit from our carefully planned program. If your child is running a temperature, vomiting, or has diarrhea, please keep him/her at home until they are free of their ailment for 24 hours. If your child is going to be absent from school, please call the school office. If you arrive after 8:15, please bring your child to the office for a slip, and then walk them over to our classroom.
Supplies: Thank you for contributing supplies to our classroom! You are free to bring them in anytime during the first two weeks. There is no need to label things like scissors, pencils and markers. We share all supplies. The only thing to label is their water bottle, lunchbox and clothing.
Volunteers: We love parent volunteers! Beginning in October, we encourage parents to volunteer in the classroom. All of our classroom volunteer opportunities will be on our class Sign Up Genius (an online signup schedule). Volunteer opportunities include: Literacy center volunteers, library, parent art and scholastic book coordinator. Please visit our “Volunteer Sign Up” page to sign up!
Communication: The best way to contact me is by e-mail, Dbarry@stjohnsea.org. I strongly value consistent communication with my students’ families. If you have any questions and/or concerns about your child, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to talk with you! I will post a weekly newsletter with what we’ve been learning in class as well as important dates every Friday to our classroom page.
I am very excited to be your child’s teacher. I look forward to our fun year together!