September 7, 2021 e-mail

First Day Done!

Good afternoon parents,

We made it! Thank you for helping the first day of kindergarten go as smoothly as possible for your child. Of course they are still learning how to listen to, understand, and follow directions, but they seemed to be ready to try and learn and practice the procedures necessary to keep our school time as safe as possible. Considering how challenging the first day of kindergarten is under normal circumstances, the children did very well. Read below to see some of the things we accomplished today.
Routines
The start of kindergarten is a lot of learning routines while at the same time having activities that they can do that are fun and helping them to continue to learn. The children are anxious to do “everything”. I am reminding them that we have hundreds of things to learn in kindergarten but we can’t do them all on the first day! The establishment of routines in the classroom is vital in helping to make learning optimal for all students. We learned 5 simple steps to help maximize our own learning as well as that of everyone else in the room. I call it “Give Me 5”
1. Eyes are watching - We need to always be looking in the direction of where the learning is happening
2. Ears are listening - We need to be paying attention and thinking about what we are hearing as we learn.
3. Mouths are quiet - If we are talking while being taught, we can’t hear and learn, and maybe even others will be distracted!
4. Hands are to myself - Touching or bumping other people distracts my own learning and theirs
5. Hearts are caring - every person is a masterpiece of God’s creation. We show respect for others by caring about them so that we do nothing to interrupt their learning.
The overarching simple rule in our class is this:  we can do anything we like as long as we are not interfering with anyone’s learning. “Give Me 5” gives them a simple way to remember how to do that.
Inside Shoes/Outside Shoes
The children learned how to come inside, take off their outside shoes, put on their inside shoes, sanitize their hands (if wanted), and line up to be ready to go down to the classroom. Some children had very difficult shoes to put on and take off for their outside shoes. Please remember that although the outside shoes can be any kind that is appropriate for the weather, they also have to be shoes that your child can take off and put on by themselves. It simply takes too much time away from learning or recess time for me to get to helping every child with their shoes. The same is true for inside shoes. Please remember that inside shoes should be runners that follow the school uniform policy and that your child can take off and put on by themselves.
Safety
We learned how to keep each other safe as well as ourselves by following good healthy practices. Sneezing/coughing into our elbows, keeping our hands away from our faces and each other, not crowing together with others, etc. We also went through the Hour-Zero safety situations to help them be familiar with those procedures right from day one. Following directions is also something we will work on every day.
Literacy
Even on the very first day, we have started to develop literacy skills. We sang songs, read each other’s names, and watched and listened to how I write a message on the board each day. All of this build oral language skills, listening, following print from right to left and top to bottom, and so on.
7 Habits
We learned Habit #1 of the Leader in Me program:  Be Proactive. The children learned through listening and participating in an action song how we are in charge of our attitude and actions. We saw how being proactive is the best way to deal with things as they come up. In awhile, I will be sharing with you a “Charts and Songs” book in which you will see many of the charts and songs we will be doing in kindergarten this year, as well as each of the 7 Habits.
Headband Craft
Each child made a headband today that they will leave at school. It has their name on it, along with their own decorations and stickers. We use these headbands for whenever the children may be with a different teacher or activity in which it would be handy for everyone to know your child’s name. In a short while I will be sending each of you a picture of your child working on their headband.
Thank you once again for your partnership in helping your child’s learning experiences to be the best that they can be! Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 


Sincerely,

Wayne Miller
Teacher, Prince of Peace Lutheran School
Rocky View Schools
403-285-2288

 

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