Getting Ready for Back to School Night?
Can you believe it? It's time for back to school! If you're a Kindergarten teacher you know that for some parents this may be their child's first time to enter school. With this huge experience they are about to embark comes a huge responsibility for the teacher. It is our job to reassure the parents that their kiddo is going to be just fine and we have to prepare them for the things that their child is going to be expected to be able to do. No need to panic. As you're preparing for your back to school night think about these five things:
1. Language: I include this topic first because language is vital to literacy learning (all learning, for that matter) By five, developmental expectations include; speaking in 5-6 word complete sentences, use of 2-3 simple sentences to describe events in order and with appropriate vocabulary, listening attentively, following multiple step directions, looking at the speaker, etc.
2. Social and Emotional Preparedness: This is important for preparing kids to be independent, responsible and able to get along with their peers. Include ideas that remind parents to give their child age-appropriate chores and responsibilities. Ideas about encouraging their kids to interact with other kids their age. Share ideas about encouraging independence with bathroom use, clothing issues and lunchroom independence.
3. Reading Readiness: Share ideas with parents about helping their child recognize their name in print and being able to write their name. There is some debate about whether or not kids should be writing in all caps or if they should encourage title case. I think it depends on the kids. It is developmentally appropriate for some to write in all caps and for some to be able to write both capital and lowercase.
Parents should be encouraged to read with their children and to discuss the book and how it's read. Talk about the cover, title and author. Show them that the letters make words and the words make sentences. Parents should show their children the front of the book and that we read left to right and how to turn the pages.
Kids should be familiar with the alphabet, nursery rhymes, and simple songs.
4. Writing Readiness: Encourage parents to allow their child to use a variety of writing utensils and scissors. Some activities to help develop fine motor include: playing with play dough, modeling clay, and games that use tweezers like operation.
Let parents know that playing activities that require the hands and arms to to cross over the body will help the brain with crossing over from the right side to left helping future learning endeavors. Some great activities can be found here: http://therapystreetforkids.com/CrossingMidline.html
|Image courtesy of Sense of Wonder|
5. Math Readiness: Kindergartners are expected to do a lot in math now. While you don't expect them to come to school knowing how to add and subtract you do have to have them doing these skills by the end of the year. So letting parents know the importance of counting 1-30 and recognizing patterns is a great way to have their kids started in the right direction. While money is not a Common Core standard I still think it's important that kids understand what it is and it's value.
|Image courtesy of Grappling Girl|
If you are looking for some resources to help you with your Kindergarten back to school night check out my Power Point Presentation and Literacy Pack that I use for my Kindergarten Back to School Night!
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