Procedures are very important in Kindergarten and your child will learn many of them. The first procedure is the morning procedure. This procedure ensures a smooth transition from the playground to the classroom. The first step of the procedure is for me to blow the morning whistle. At this time, everyone on the playground freezes and puts their hands on their heads. On my cue, every student is to come to the classroom by walking, not running, taking off their jackets/bags, and hanging them on their designated hook. There will be a worksheet available by the door for them to get started on quietly.
A second and very important procedure during the Kindergarten day is transitioning to the carpet (rug). The rug will have rows of colors that correspond to the table they sit at. The students will be released to the carpet the color table where they sit. Upon arrival to the rug, they are to sit in their square crisscross applesauce, hands in lap, eyes on teacher, bubble in mouth, ready to learn.
As more procedures are introduced, I will be posting them here.
“Collaborative rule making promotes mutual respect, cooperation, self-discipline, and personal responsibility while also providing the structure and security students need" (Schimmel, 2003). By requiring children to follow classroom rules and then supporting them to appreciate the reasons behind them, all children will have the opportunity to learn.
There will be a “happy can” and a “sad can.” When a student misbehaves, their stick will be moved to the “sad sad.” If the child’s behavior improves, the stick can be moved back. If their stick is in the “sad can” at the end of the school day, the child will not receive a hand stamp like the rest of his classmates. All parents are encouraged to ask their child daily if they received a stamp on their hand.
Rules in the classroom are basic and the first two are perhaps the most important:
1. Keep your hands to yourself.
2. Raise your hand for permission to speak.
3. Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
4. Follow directions quickly.
5. Keep your dear teacher happy.
The consequences of breaking the classroom rules will of course increase with each offense. They are as follows:
1. Verbal Warning
2. Move stick to the “sad can”
3. Time Out
4. Phone call/Send a note home and
5. Principal/Official Student Report filed
The “Clip Chart” is a Reward System for endorsing constructive behavior created by Rick Morris (2009). The chart consists of 7 laminated pieces of colored construction paper that hang vertically in a line. At the start of each day, every student starts out with their individual clothespin clipped to the middle of the chart on the green sheet of paper titled, “Ready to Learn.” Above the “Ready to Learn” sheet is a yellow “Good Day” piece of paper followed by an orange “Great Job,” and a red “Outstanding” on the very top. Beneath the green sheet is a blue, “Think About it,” and below that, a purple “Teacher’s Choice” and finally, a pink paper that reads “Parent Contact.” This reward system hangs on the wall and is used throughout the day to communicate to the students whether their behavior is good or bad.
Classroom Dynamics-Expected Teacher and Student Interactions
Naturally, I intend to treat all of my students with respect and in return, I expect the same. In order for everyone to get the best experience out of their Kindergarten year, we will work together to establish a caring community of learners. In order to promote positive teacher and student relationships in the classroom, it is essential that the lines of communication are both clear and open. When rules, procedures, reward systems, and schedules are communicated to students and enforced consistently and fairly, students develop a sense of respect for the teacher and the classroom environment.
By using an agreed upon set of hand signals, my students will use sign language to communicate their needs to me easily and with the least amount of interruption. If a student needs to use the restroom, get a drink of water, make a comment, or sharpen their pencil, they can let me know with a simple hand gesture.
You will find our classroom to be well stocked with supplies available at every table and multiple learning centers. In a typical school day your child will rotate through various learning centers. There is a library stocked full of age appropriate books- the reading center, a technology center with Chromebooks, Ipads, a writing center, a pretend play center, and a center full of academic games and puzzles. Students are expected to take turns using the items in the classroom and be respectful of both the equipment and one another.
Academic Play, Classroom Schedule, and Transitions
1.Morning Arrival Transition (Pick up Daily Language Review worksheet by the door and get started)
2. Morning Routine-Calendar/Morning Activities
3. Interactive Writing
4. Word Pattern Board/Phonemic Awareness
5. Morning Snack/Playground Break Transition
6. Shared Reading
8. Transition from Carpet to Tables
9. Independent Math Practice
10. Put Away Materials/Line up for Lunch Transition
12. Small Group
13. Music Timer for Transition to Next Center
14. English Language Development
15. Sign Out
Classroom Elements that Support a Positive Learning Environment
Perhaps my most important job as your child's Kindergarten teacher is creating a classroom that includes elements that support a positive learning environment. When the daily schedule is well planned and includes both procedures and transitions that all of the classmates understand, there is little time for problems to arise. When designing the class' weekly schedule, it is important to take into consideration several aspects. It is important to balance the work and play in the room throughout the day to prevent possible fatigue. Carefully thought out transitions will make the day go as smoothly as possible. According to The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, “a good daily schedule has a balance of activities. There should be an equal mix of student directed and teacher directed activities, a healthy combination of inside and outside activities, and both active and quiet time" (2016).
Every month your child will participate in "Tasty Tuesday" which will add to the creation of a Cookbook. Once a month we will follow a recipe that we will put together as a class and I will photograph the end product. The result is a keepsake that you can have that features a picture of your son or daughter each month of Kindergarten. Please find below the volunteer sign up below. If you wish to volunteer to buy the supplies for the recipe of the month, just sign your name below and I will send home an ingredients list before the products are due. If you are interested in being the helper to come in on Tasty Tuesday, you may sign up for that below as well. Again, I will send home a note to remind you when you signed up to volunteer.
Thank you in advance!
September: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
October: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
November : 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
December: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
January: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
February: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
March: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
April: 1. Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
May: 1.Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
June: 1.Ingredients 2. Helper for the event
If by chance, you are unable to volunteer for this classroom cookbook, please do not worry...I will be sending home a weekly newsletter throughout the school year to keep you posted on our classroom needs as they materialize. If you have an idea of your own on how you can contribute to the classroom, please, please let me know right away so we can work it in. Examples of such contributions include but are not limited to: sharing your specific profession with us, volunteering to read a story to the class, helping with any fundraisers, donating tissue and other supplies as they run out, etc. Thank you in advance for your help. I could not do this without you!!
Managing Conflicts and Challenging Behaviors
When a conflict arises there is a 4 step process that students will be taught to follow.
1. Everyone Calm Down.
2. Each person involved will explain their perspective of what happened.
3. Both parties will suggest how to resolve the conflict.
4. Acknowledgement of some kind (for example: an apology or a handshake).
"In teaching others we teach ourselves" - Proverb