Mrs. Lockney

Graduated from Frostburg State University/Hood College
Teaching experience: 10 years
Years at Calvary: 10
Classroom Assistant: Gail Colby

 

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Kindergarten September 2019 Newsletter

 

Dear Parents,

 

Kindergarten is off to a fantastic start!  Everyone seems to be settling in and enjoying our time together.  Our first few weeks focused on establishing class routines & expectations.  The class has been very successful at both! This entire class is wonderful at listening to and following directions, respecting and caring for our materials and, more importantly, each other!  Friendships are being forged too! We are thrilled to have such wonderful children.

 

This month we begin our academics in earnest.  In Language Arts, we will be reviewing the alphabet (upper- and lowercase letters, correct letter formation, recognizing letters), letter sounds, the difference between letters and words.  We will be listening to the sounds that we hear in words, especially rhyming, syllables, and the initial sound of a word.  Phonological awareness is the foundation for reading and writing.

 

Writing is often the most difficult subject for kindergarteners, partially due to varying fine motor abilities & strength.  Coloring (with crayons) can help build strength (markers allow you to write without much pressure). Lots of activities can help with fine motor, like working with playdough, legos, beading/lacing, using tongs.  You can have your child tear tissue paper and roll small balls (pea-size) of it between the thumb, pointer & middle fingers of his writing hand, then glue down onto a picture or coloring page.  Those are the three fingers that grip a pencil.  Work with your child to ensure a proper pencil grip every time he writes. Also encourage him to start letters at the top.

 

In Math we are learning about the numbers 1-10.  Bear in mind that our math system is base-10, so the more fluent your child is with the numbers 1–10, the easier it will be to work with higher numbers.  If you know instantly that 3 & 7 make 10, you will know that 100 – 30 = 70 later on.  We will be practicing daily counting, one-to-one correspondence, recognizing and writing numerals, making sets, and subitizing quantities 1-10.  Subitizing is the ability to know a quantity without counting, and it will aid your child in higher grades.  We will be working on sorting by different attributes.  This month we will also learn shapes – 2D & 3D.  Math is pretty hands-on for us, using lots of manipulatives.  Keep counting at home in daily life.  “We have five people eating dinner tonight. How many napkins will we need?  Five! Five napkins and one more would be how many? Six!”

 

We have Science in September, and our unit is World of Animals.  We will learn about types of animals, animal body parts and how they are adapted to help animals survive,  animal needs, life cycles, and habitats.  Your “Wild Kratts” fans will probably teach me something too!

 

Word rings have begun.  Mrs. Colby assesses each child and determines whether to start on the alphabet, numbers or sight words.  The word rings come home in a baggie. Please work on the words each night, and point out sight words/letters as you see them in the environment or in books you read together.  Ask your child to use the words in a sentence, play a game with them, and praise them when they try hard.  Return the baggie and the word ring when you feel your child knows the words by sight. On average, children return them every other day or so.  We do not send them home on Fridays. We will test them on those words, give them new words, and send the ring back home again!  Guided reading groups for reading instruction also begin this month. These are small reading instruction groups. The children are grouped by reading level and skills needs.

 

Homework will start soon as well.  Homework for the week will go home in a folder, on the first day of the week, and it is to be returned completed on the last day of the week.  I would like all the work to be completed by the child.  You may read directions, but please let your child do all the work & writing.  All work should be completed in pencil.  Please remember to have your child spell a word as he hears it (inventive spelling).  Stretch out the word with him and let him write the sounds he hears.  For example, if he wants to write “apple” he should stretch the word out as he says it and try to write a letter for each sound he hears, “apl” is wonderful, but most children this age may only write the first letter. Please do not push “correct” spelling at this point (we will get there later).  Please do not stress over homework.  If you can’t get it done one night, then do it another night as it fits your schedule.

 

We do not have any field trips scheduled for September.

 

Thank you for your attention to the snack directions – snack is going very well!  Please remember to pack about two items, no more.  And to not bring in anything containing peanut butter,  peanuts or tree nuts.  Snacks processed in plants that process nuts are ok.

 

Arrival is also going well.  Thank you for following our “Kiss & Fly” policy so well.  Please continue to have your child use the restroom & wash hands before coming into the classroom. Also, please initial the attendance sheet on the clipboard each day and check for other notifications there.

 

We will go outside at the end of every day, unless the weather is bad.  Please make sure your child is bringing a sweater or jacket as it gets cooler.  If the weather is bad, we will go downstairs to the basement level activity room to play.  We will leave the doors to hall closed, please wait in the hall until we dismiss.

 

If your child is not feeling well, please keep him at home.  Not only will that help prevent others from getting sick, but your child does not want to be in school if he does not feel well.  Please call and let us know they are ill.  If your child gets the flu, strep or any other virus, please let us know, so we can take extra cleaning precautions, and let other parents know.  Flu shots are already available at some locations!

 

Both Mrs. Colby & I want to thank you for all of your donations and support.  Thanks for filling out all of the forms quickly, and most of all for supporting your child transitioning back to school!  We couldn’t do this without your support. We are both so pleased that the year has gotten off to such a great start.  Your children are a joy to teach! This class is particularly kind, patient, bright and friendly!  We feel very blessed to have them!

 

If you have any questions, concerns, please talk to me.  My home number is 301-371-6189, cell is 240-626-1896. E-mail is ericahelenblair@hotmail.com.

 

Fondly,

Erica Lockney