The Nuts and Bolts of TK

 **Please read the following pages carefully and keep them to refer back to if you have questions as the year progresses. Thank you!!! 


Funky Kids Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures


     Welcome to Transitional Kindergarten

 

I am delighted that your child will be in my class!  I am starting my 34rd year of teaching and I am still filled with great enthusiasm for the chance to work with you children. I love to watch them grow, learn, think, show their grit and use their heart to navigate their world. With your encouragement, your child will be a part of many exciting and rewarding experiences this year. On the first day of school, your child will start one of the most important milestones in her/his life!  I understand that you and your child may meet this day with excitement or apprehension (or a little of both) and I hope that this letter will help you to know what to expect in Transitional Kindergarten and answer any questions you may have. You can also email me at anytime with questions or concerns at leah.fisher@smusd.org. Above all know that I will take great care of their beautiful hearts and minds.

       

                   What is Transitional Kindergarten?

 

Transitional Kindergarten bridges the path between preschool and kindergarten and gives students the gift of time that will help them build a strong foundation for future school success. It blends social and emotional experience with academic learning, so that students not only learn essential pre-literacy, pre-math, and other cognitive skills, but also develop social and self-regulation skills needed to succeed in school and life. It is rich in literature, problem solving and building a sense of number. Children who attend TK go into Kindergarten as strong confident students ready to read, write and use and discover the wonders of math. 

 

I am looking forward to a wonderful year working with you and your child. Together, we will help your child achieve their full potential.

A Positive Start

TK starts at 8:15 a.m.   I will pick the students up at the Cafeteria Doors. Have the students line up against the black gate facing the cafeteria doors. Please wait with them until I arrive to pick them up. For the first week or so, help them find their name and have them put it on. As you say GOOD-BYE be brave- they read your faces (Academy award performance time).  If you could then leave quickly so that we can establish a routine and lessen separation anxiety. The faster the better.  Don't worry, we’ll take good care of them. Students, with parents, who are late, must go to the office for a tardy slip and bring them back to room 23. Since your child is forming habits that last throughout his or her school years, please help your child learn the good habit of being on time. Being late can be unsettling for them and very distracting for the rest of the class as they enter the class. Please do your best to make it happen. I know it’s tough.


Dismissal

Please arrive on time to pick up your child at 11:50 pm. I will bring them to you at  the black gate next to the Cafe. If you are late picking up your child, you must contact me or the office.  PLEASE GIVE US A NOTE or TEXT ME, IF THERE ARE ANY CHANGES IN YOUR CHILD’S PICK UP SCHEDULE! If your child participates in one of our many After School Enrichment Programs, it will be your responsibility to confirm how they will get there and then let me know. 

I really appreciate you being on time as I have a short lunch break and have to teach again in kindergarten. Every year I see parents team up and take turns waiting for each other to get there. Get to know each other! It takes a village. 


MEET AND GREET for you and your child.

We hope to see you all at the MEET AND GREET on FRIDAY THE 16th. The classroom opens and welcomes you and your child starting at 4:00. It is informal.  Come by for a quick hello and a look around so your child is comfortable. There will be a TO DO list of activities to help your child build their confidence and learn what to expect on the first day. It will be emailed to you so you know what to expect.

You will also meet in the MPR room for more information from Mr. Pope and Mrs. Keeton.


BACK to School Night- NO STUDENTS (sorry-important to come)

I look forward to talking with you at Back to School Night. It is critical that you attend this night so you understand the details of the classroom and the learning ideas that take place here. I will be happy to address any questions or concerns you have. OUR BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT IS Sept 5th at 5:00 in room 23. PLEASE COME!

School Attendance

An excuse is required when your child is absent.  Please call the school, 290-2900 ext. 2929, whenever your child will be out.  If it is necessary to take your child out of class early, go to the office first and sign them out. The office will then call the classroom. Attendance and being ON TIME are very important. Every day missed….is a loss. I work hard to make every day meaningful and worth their time. 


****SNACK****

Please send a QUICK nutritious snack each day.  (No candy, sugar filled snacks, gum or soda are allowed) The students will have to take out their snack easily from their backpack and take it with them to recess. A small reusable bag or lunch box will be very helpful. Please don’t over pack, they only get 20 minutes to eat. 


********IMPORTANT- Backpacks, and Clipboards********

*PLEASE get your child a regular sized CLIPBOARD. Have your child decorate their clipboard so they can easily recognize it and have they practice using it.

*Your child also needs a regular sized  BACKPACK clearly labeled with his or her first and last name inside. NO rolling backpacks.  


**BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS- please have your child practice -

*putting papers on and off the clipboard

*putting clipboard, snack and jackets in and out of their backpack.

*opening and closing backpack. 

 

CLOTHING

Please come prepared to get stained! School can be a very messy place!! When you dress your child keep in mind that your child will be playing outside and may be getting dirty during the school day. 

Flip-flops or any slip on shoes without a back strap are not allowed. Shoes with straps on the back help avoid foot injuries on the playgroundIf your child cannot yet tie his or her shoes, please double knot the laces before school.  

Please write your last name in permanent marker on all clothing that will be taken off at school. The number of coats, jackets, and sweatshirts that end up lost each year is staggering!!  Missing any clothing, please check our Lost and Found, the school’s Lost and Found in the cafeteria and KOC, if they attend. 

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN- please send in a spare set of clothes for your child in a ziplock bag with their name clearly written on it! We will keep the spare in the restroom for them. Otherwise, you might be called to pick them up. Please make sure that your child wears clothes that allow him or her to use the restroom quickly and independently.  This avoids bathroom accidents. 


Money

On occasion it will be necessary for your child to bring money to school.  Always send money in a sealed envelope with the following information written on it:

          *Your child’s name

          *Amount of money

          *The purpose for the money (events, book order, etc.)

          *Teacher’s Name

With so many children to keep track of and several reasons to collect money, this helps us out tremendously and reduces the likelihood of errors.


Birthdays

Birthdays are special occasions for all of us, especially young children. We will do a small thing in class for your child. Please do not send in any food treats. NO FOOD ALLOWED. You may send in small items instead of food like pencils or small gift bags.


Medicine

If your child needs to take medicine for any reason you must check the medicine in with the school nurse.  Your child will then be sent to the nurse at the appropriate time to take his or her medication.

 

Parent Participation

We warmly welcome and drastically depend on volunteers in the classroom. All are welcomed that are over 18. We love grandparents!!!! If you would like to work with a small group of children, make materials, or be a room parent, etc., great! We will be providing sign up charts at the MEET AND GREET or e-mail if one of the positions described on my web page appeals to you.  

Please see volunteer page and email me at leah.fisher@smusd.org to sign up or sign up at our meet and greet. You will make a difference to be sure!!!!!


The more volunteers we get, the richer and more complex I can make the experiences for the children. Thank you in advance!

Parent /Teacher/School Communication

Informing you of your child’s progress is very important to us. You will receive progress reports and report cards throughout the year. We will be having our annual parent conferences in October. Open communication between school and home has a positive effect on your child’s education.

We will be keeping you informed of class and school activities through email mostly. Please get in the habit of checking your emails and our school website daily. We also require your child to have a regular sized clipboard that will go back and forth. Please look at it nightly and make sure they bring it to school each day. You can use this as a way to communicate to me as well with notes. I am always available quickly through text. I will give you my number at Back to School Night.


Supply List and WISH LIST

 Your donations help facilitate the excellent education your child will receive and make the classroom more fun.  Thanks so much in advance for donating items on the supply list. You can bring items on Meet and Greet Day.


Discipline Plan

In my classroom, I believe that the most effective discipline contains fairness, honesty, kindness, consistency, and follow through.  I want them to behave because they are working to be the best person they can be, not because they want a prize or fear consequences.  I strive to catch children meeting and or exceeding the classroom behavior expectations.  The classroom expectations are:

1.       Listen carefully and follow the instructions from all school adults.

2.       Be the Boss of your body and attitude. 

3.       Walk and use a softer voice in the classroom.

4.       Think WIN WIN

5.       Treat each other with kindness and respect. 

6.  Clean up after yourself and take care of classroom materials. 

 

During the first few weeks of school, I will review the classroom’s expectations and standards. Please take the time to read over the standards. Discuss the standards with your child and the importance of making the most of your learning time at school.  I want this to be a year of expanded self control and integrity. Tk has many social skill standards that we are always teaching. It is fun to watch them become leaders of themselves and others.

Reward System

We have a special reward system. Children will earn stickers for following directions well and quickly. They will be given tickets for working hard and completing work. Once they get 10 stickers on their WOW board, they go to a little treasure box. 

(I would greatly appreciate small toys for our treasure box-I’ll send AMAZON WISH LIST) 


 We also have a marble jar to act as a whole class motivator.  When the children as a class are behaving well or if they receive a compliment from another teacher, we add marbles to the jar.  When it is filled, the children get a “surprise” reward from us, such as extra recess, P.J. day or more free choice activities.


If your child needs more awareness of the standards, we will do a variety of things to help them understand. If we have to redirect your child often, I will call or email you to get some reinforcement or support from home. Every child responds differently so I adapt my responses to bring out the best possible outcome for growth.


Homework 

Homework will vary and will be mostly children choice. Reading and practicing letter and number recognition/writing will be on going. We will have an animal report due starting in January. It is amazing to watch them present them to the class.  We will keep you informed through emails and look for items on your child's clipboard.

 

Creating Memories-Memory Book

When your child’s work comes home, we are hoping that you will help us by putting together a wonderful keepsake for your child. Just get a 3 ring notebook and sheet protectors. No fancy stuff. We will also be posting pictures on a Shutterfly Website dedicated to our class. They love seeing their year in pictures and work samples. 

 

In closing, I would just like to say how much I am looking forward to working with you and your child this school year!  I know it will be successful one on many levels. It would be a good idea to save this letter for future reference.  Thank you in advance for your support throughout the year!!!

                                       


                                                                       Sincerely,

                                                                       Leah Fisher