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Kindergarten and Pre-K Teachers

Dear Families,                                         
 
We would like to welcome you to our Kindergarten Program at New Market Elementary School. The Kindergarten team is very excited about this year and are working together to make it a successful one for everyone. We have included some information that you may find useful as the year progresses.
 
We hope that you will find time to join us in the classroom whenever possible. It is as much yours as ours. Again we welcome you and your children to Kindergarten and look forward to a successful year! If you should have any further comments or questions, please contact us at your convenience.
 
Take Home Folders
This folder can be a special one that your child chooses. It does not have to be a certain color but we ask that it does not have the prongs. Your child will be bringing home this folder daily. School wide communication will be sent home on Thursdays. Classroom specific papers will be sent home as needed. If you should have to send something to school, please send it in this folder. We will check it daily. These communication folders can be purchased at the school store.
 
Snack
Snack will only be offered at the discretion of the teachers, not on a daily basis. 
 
Family Involvement
We encourage family involvement to enhance the children’s learning experience. Volunteers help to make this possible through being visible and active in our learning environment. A questionnaire form will be sent home. Volunteer activities would include a variety of things like making copies, sorting papers, reading to our friends, coloring, cutting, additional one-on-one instruction, small group assistance, etc.  This begins in October. 
 
Homework
Homework is not meant to be a difficult time for either child or parent. It is meant as a time to share what your child is doing in school and how you can help them. A kindergarten child is only to spend 5–10 minutes a night on homework. Homework will include activities that support your child learning to read, write, and engage in mathematical thinking. S/he will be expected to read daily, practice his/her sight words, and complete occasional math activities. More detailed information will be included when homework is sent home. 
 

Writing
When writing with your child, LET THEM WRITE!!!! We can’t stress the importance of their work. When writing the children will use “Inventive Spelling.” This is a method used in early childhood classrooms to enforce letter sounds. SAYING the word, HEARING what you say then WRITING what you hear. A list of sight words that we are learning will also be sent home. The children are expected to spell these words correctly. Continuously correcting a child while writing can hinder their motivation to want to write. At this level the children are still learning phonics rules and can be expected to make mistakes. They need to know that it is okay to make mistakes and that we learn from them. 

Reading
Their homework will often include reading a book. If your child brings home a book we have worked on in school have him/her read it to you. Don’t jump to tell them the correct word. Let them sound out and blend the sounds together. Have the child tell you the letters in the word then the sounds of each letter. Your child can then blend the sounds together. Cover all letters except the first one. Say the sound. Uncover the next letter and blend those sounds - /c/ and /a/ = ca then blend each letter after that adding to the blend your child has already said – ca /t/ = cat. Encourage your child to use the pictures and the text to decode a word. Ask if it makes sense after they read it. Have them reread the sentence until it is fluent. Fluent means the child is able to read it with minimal breaks from beginning of sentence to end. This will increase their comprehension skills, understanding what the story is about.
 
Parents often ask how often they should read to their child versus their child reading to them. Books are meant to be the door to imagination and fun. Not all experiences are meant to be a teaching one. Our response is to have a family story time and read a book together. Discuss the story and include the characters and events. Other times include pointing out words at restaurants or street signs. This exposure shows children that print is EVERYWHERE! Read to them when it is bedtime and enjoy the story. Don’t ask about the details, ask for their personal response. Did you like the story? What was your favorite part? Share what yours was with them. Relate the story to your lives if possible. Make it a real experience for them. 
 
Absences
If your child is absent, please send an excuse note on the day your child returns. We will make sure it is given to the attendance secretary.
  
 
Contact Information
Mrs. Heller – jennifer.heller@fcps.org
Mrs. Simmel – amanda.simmel@fcps.org
Mrs. Devan - kristin.devan@fcps.org
Ms. Neubauer - amy.neubauer@fcps.org
 
 
 
Sincerely,
The Kindergarten Team
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