While mini backpacks are cute and adorable, they are actually too small for how your child will use their backpack during the year. We have a standard sized folder that we use for Home/School communication and some art projects are on pretty big paper. If you will, please help your child to pick out a standard sized backpack. Though, it only really needs 1 zipper for class needs.
Your child will need a backup set of clothes to keep at the school. This is very important to have because accidents will happen. Accidents can be anything from a potty accident to a spill at snack or choice time. If your child has a need to change clothes at school, we will bag up the soiled clothing and send it home in their backpack. Please send back in whatever items were used out of the back up clothing so that we can continue to have a complete back up set of clothes.
Please place in a zip lock bag: 1 shirt, 1 bottom (long pants work well for the whole year), 1 pair of underpants and 1 pair of socks. Shoes are not necessary. Write your child's name, class (PreK & AM or PM) on the bag. These items should be sent in their backpacks within the first to second week.
Our days are structured and run pretty much the same everyday except for party days and special occasions. We have a new theme and new letter almost every week.
Our day starts at 8:30 am for the morning class at at 12:00 for the pm class. As soon as the children put their backpacks away, they move right to the tables for opening table work so having them here at the beginning of class is very important!
The children have the opportunity to go to the restroom then we begin circle time. At opening circle, the children have the chance to share/tell me something that they are excited about. We then we do calendar, talk about our theme, read a book relating to the theme, talk about our letter of the week then move to the tables for group time.
Group Table time can be anything from listening to our Alpha Tales book, writing in our Handwriting books, drawing a picture for our Wonder, Draw and Tell page to Bingo or something special like taste testing. It's a structured time to listen, follow instructions and learn new things.
We have a bible story after bathroom, snack and music. Snack is provided by our Share Bag Friend that day. AGC provides paper products, milk and water. They just bring snack. Providing a choice of snacks may seem like a wonderful idea, but really we would prefer the same thing for everyone. One choice helps to stop any arguing about who got what. We are a "nut free school" and try to encourage healthy snacks. Birthdays are "wild/anything goes" snack wise. Many students like to bring something special for their special day, and that is fine. We will only have juice on party days, or if it is your child's birthday and they want to bring juice as part of their birthday snack, that is fine too. Due to new restrictions, all snack must be store bought and sealed.
Choice Time is the time of day most of the class looks forward to. This is where I have 6-7 different stations set up around the room and the children get to choose where they go. I do explain that if there is a choice they really want to do, make sure they get there early so they have plenty of time at that station. Choice is a difficult concept for many at this age - we almost always give a 5 minute warning so they can squeeze in 1 more station before the end of the day.
Share Bag is at the end of the day. Each day, one student has the share bag and is able to bring in 1 toy and 1 favorite book to share with the class. They get to sit in the share chair, talk about their toy and let the class ask questions. The teacher will then read their book to the class. There is only 10-15 minutes for share bag and many times the class wants to ask a multitude of questions, so a book that is shorter can be better for this time. If their book is long, we will have to start taking classmates out for pick up before the story is over.
If I had a nickel every time I've heard the question, "When is it going to be my share bag day???"... Whew! I'd be set for life! Believe it or not, I schedule the whole year's snack days before the first day of school. All of the students will have at least 3 to 5 share bag days. With only 3 classes a week and 19/20 students in class, it can seem like forever for their snack /share bag day to come around, but I promise, it will!
On the rare occasion the share bag does not come home in your child's backpack:
I will try to let you know if I notice that the share bag didn't get into your child's backpack before they left for the day. I will text/email you to let you know. If you notice before I do, you can do the same. This is not a problem. Just put the toy and book in your child's backpack and we will slip it into the share bag when they get to school. Also, there have been times when the toy was too large for the share bag. You can either send it in a different bag or you can bring it for the last 15 minutes of class.
Also, this year our actual share bag is going to be a little different. Due to restrictions (I'm getting a little tired of that phrase too), we will be using a large, brown paper bag. This will, hopefully, help reduce any possible cross contamination from house to house. We will be sending home a fresh, never used "share bag" each class day.
Toys at any other time than Share Bag day:
Please keep all toys from home, at home, unless it is your child's share bag day. Toys get lost or broken when children bring them in "just for fun". We have plenty of fun activities in the classroom and we don't want them to miss out by playing with items from home.
That being said... if they have been on vacation, have something unique they just found or have pictures of a new brother or sister and would like to share with the class, that is fine!! Just shoot me a quick email or text to give me a heads up so I know. Thanks!!
Pick up time:
Pick up is at 11:00 am for the Morning class and 2:30 pm for the Afternoon class. As mentioned for drop off, these times are important as we need time to sanitize, clean up and reset after both classes. This is going to be a much bigger job than in years past. We will take a great deal of care in cleaning so our little ones stay as safe as possible.
Please write your child's name on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and place in the driver's side window. In the beginning of the year, it is very difficult to know which car the children ride in. Their name in the window is very helpful to speed pick up along. This is also helpful when there are substitutes in the classroom who do not know the parents/vehicles.
If you know you are going to be late, please call the school number or send me a text so we are aware that you are going to be late. It can be very upsetting to your child if they think, "I've been forgotten!". It is always easier to explain to your child why you are running late than having to track down who is picking up that day.
If someone other than the usual person is picking your child up after school, we need a written note from you. Please include the name of the person and what color and make their vehicle is. It makes pick up easier for us and there is less confusion as to who is going where. You might be surprised how many time we've been told by children that they are going home with another student that day and it is a shock to both parents that the plans had been made. On the flip side, there have been plans that are concrete and we were not informed so the one child was not ready to go and the parent had to wait. Communication is key to keeping a calm flow.
I am always willing to talk to you about your child! Fall is my crazy time of year, but you can always send me an email and I will respond as quickly as possible. My contact information is on this web site.