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Welcome to Mrs. Harris’ Kindergarten Class!. Student Name: ___________________________. Dear Parents and Students,

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Welcome to Mrs. Harris’

Kindergarten Class!

Student Name:___________________________


Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to our 2014-2015 kindergarten class! I am looking forward to another fabulous school year. The growth your child will make this year will be remarkable. It so exciting!

I’d like to start off by telling you a little about myself. I have been a teacher for 15 years in both the primary and intermediate grades. Teaching is my passion. Watching students grow in their learning and as individuals is so rewarding. I can’t imagine anything better than that!

I know there is anxiety involved in sending your little ones to school for the first time. Together we can make the transition a happy milestone in their lives. I am always happy to answer your questions and discuss any concerns. Just e-mail, text, or call me any time!

Mrs. Harris

School phone # 480-892-2801 (Extension 207)


Text: 623-330-8827


All About Mrs. Harris

Back Ground

Hometown:: Chicago

College: North Park University

Years taught: 15

Schools I Have worked at: Wilson Primary School (Phoenix),

Greenfield Elementary School

Grades taught: K, 1st, 5th

Degrees:: B.A., M.A, PhD (all but dissertation)

Home :life

Husband: Howard

Children: Sophia (19), Hollye (3)

Grand child: Jack (1)

Pets: A LOT! 7 dogs, 1 hamster, 2 fish, 3 birds,

1 miniature horse)

Currently live in: Glendale


Color:: Green

Animals: Horses/Zebras

Food::Rosati’s Pizza

Book:Black Beauty

Activity: Reading


The ABC’s


Mrs. Harris’



Absence: When your child is absent please call the front office.

Arrival and Dismissal: Students are not allowed on campus before 8:10. Before school students are to be outside on the playground unless it is raining. Students can be dropped off at the parent pickup/drop off area on the side of the school (just follow the signs). Dismissal is at 3:25 except on Wednesdays that we dismiss an hour early. Parents that are picking up students in their vehicle wait in the parent pick up/drop off area. Please place a piece of paper with your child’s first and last name on it in your window to expedite pick up. Parents that are walking or who would like to park in the parking lot and then pick up their student(s), can meet their child under the Ramada behind where we line up in the morning. Students that are meeting older brothers or sisters that attend Greenfield after school can meet them at the Ramada as well. At dismissal time, students will stack their chairs, color their gators, and stand in designated lines in the classroom. Students will be walked out by a teacher to their dismissal area.

Art Masterpiece: Art masterpiece is taught by parent volunteers once a month throughout the school year. Students will observe and discuss famous art work and artists and complete their own works of art!

Asking for Assistance: Students can ask for help in class by raising their hand. If they need to use the restroom while the teacher is teaching or working with another student, they raise one finger and Mrs. Harris will motion for them to use the restroom.



  • Baggie Books: Each week students will get to choose 5 little emergent reader books at a time to take home and exchange for new ones whenever they are finished with them. A list of suggested activities for baggie books will be included in the bag the first time they are sent home. A copy of this letter can also be found on our class website. Please put the books in your child’s folder so I know they need new ones.
  • Behavior Log: A monthly behavior log will be sent home each day in student folders. Please look at it each day and sign on the back if there is a red gator in the behavior log. An explanation of the red gator will be written there. A green gator means that all the Gator Goals were met for the day. A red Gator means that one or more of the Gator Goals were not followed.
  • Buddies: Our class pairs up with Mr. Butler’s 6th grade class to do an activity once a month. It’s a lot of fun!
  • Birthdays: Birthdays are special! Students may bring in a treat to share with the class. I will be happy to place birthday party invitations in student folders. Just let me know when you are sending them.
  • Breakfast: Students that are eating breakfast at school in the cafeteria must proceed to the cafeteria as soon as they come to school.
  • C
  • CAFÉ:CAFÉ stands for four reading strategies that students work on. The strategies are comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary. You can learn more about these strategies at:
  • Calendar: A monthly calendar with special days, homework assignments, parent volunteers, and a schedule of specials will be in student folders and on our class website.
  • Class Meeting: We begin and end each day with a class meeting to create an optimal learning community in the classroom. Our agenda for the class meeting is first a morning song, then a review of the Gator Goals, reading of the morning message, and a story and/or class discussion of a good character trait.
  • Common Core Standards: Common Core Standards are the skills students will achieve through classroom instruction. Want to read more about the standards? Go to…
  • Conferences: Parent teacher conferences are in October. I will send out a sign up for conferences closer to that date. I am flexible with conferences! If you are unable to attend, I can have a phone conference, or send you an e-mail summary of your child’s progress.
  • Curriculum: Curriculum is determined by the district and is based on the Common Core standards. You can find more information about our curriculum at.…


Daily Five: Daily Five is our literacy block time. We will move through 5 rotations of literacy based activities with mini lessons in between each rotation. The rotations are “Read to Self”, “Read With the Teacher”, “Work on Writing”, “Word Work”, and “Listen to Reading”. Click here to learn more about the daily five:

DIBELS: DIBELS is an assessment that is used school wide and is done three times a year. The purpose of DIBELS is to identify literacy skills that students need extra support with. Here is an overview of DIBELS:

Discipline: In order to make our classroom a fun, safe place to learn here are our school wide rules, a.k.a. the “Gator Goals”. 1. Be prepared for class, 2. Speak when it’s appropriate, 3. Stay in your seat. 4. Follow directions. 5. Be respectful with your words and actions. Our consequences are: 1st time=warning, 2nd time=loss privilege, 3rd time= Parent conversation/email, 4th time=referral to the office. Students receive a red gator on their behavior chart for any misbehavior that follows the warning.

Serious offenses will be sent immediately to the office


E-mail: Mrs. Harris’ school e-mail address is .

  • I do check my e-mail frequently!
  • F
  • Field Trip: We usually have a field trip in the spring to the Phoenix Zoo. We will ask for parent chaperones close to that time. Parents that are not chaperones are welcome to meet us at the zoo and join our chaperoned groups!
  • Fundations: Fundations is a program that combines handwriting instruction, phonemic awareness, and phonics. We do Fundations every day! Check out our class website link, under files, for a parent packet of ways you can help your child at home with these skills.

Folders: Students will have a daily “Gator” folder that will contain their class work, notes, and their behavior log. Please check folders each night and return them the next day.

  • G
  • Gator Bite: The Gator Bite is the weekly newsletter that our principal, sends out each week. It is also available on the school website.
  • Goals: My overall goals for your child this year are:
  • -To learn age appropriate self-management skills for lifelong success
  • -To create a solid foundation of learning in language arts, math, social studies, and science
  • -To develop age appropriate social skills and good citizenship
  • Grades: As per district policy, no ABCDF grades are given for kindergarten. Instead, level of performance for reading, math, social studies, and writing are given. 4=Exceeds the standards, 3=Meets the standards, 2=Progressing toward meeting the standards, 1=Having difficulty meeting the standards. Please keep in mind that some standards are not expected to be mastered until the end of the school year. Grades are not given for the first quarter. For the other quarters parents can view grades online through Infinite Campus. Directions are on the school and class websites on how to access this. I update grades weekly.
  • Green Days and other school spirit days: Fridays are “green days” students are encourage to wear green or Greenfield Gator gear on that day. There is also a school spirit day each month. Each spirit day has a theme, these will be listed in the school “ Gator Bite” once they are chosen by student council. I will also add them to the class online calendar.


Homework: Homework will be given beginning in September. Students will be given a homework packet containing a month of homework. I know families are busy, this allows you to make homework fit into your family’s schedule. The purpose of homework is two-fold. I want to reinforce the skills we are working in the classroom and create good study habits. Everyone completes the homework at a different pace. If your child breezes through the homework, I recommend sight word memorization as well as reading practice. The more sight words your child knows, the better! I also have some book report forms on our class website that can be completed as well.

Half days: Half day dismissal is at 12:25. We have lunch very early on that day, so students do not need to bring in a snack. If your child is eating at home on a half day and not at school, I will need a note or e-mail telling me or they will have to purchase a lunch.

Hours: School hours are from 8:33-3:25, (except on Wednesdays when dismissal is an hour early). I am at school usually from 7:30-4:00 if you need to get a hold of me.


  • Illness: School attendance is very important! However, if your child is ill, use your best judgment about keeping them home. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school nurse. If your child has something highly contagious such as strep, pink eye, etc., please let the nurse know as well. If you would like to pick up work for extended absences let me know. Otherwise I will work with students in class on things that they missed.
  • K
  • Kindergator: Each student will have an opportunity to be the “Kindergator of the week”. On Fridays until each student has had a turn, one student is chosen to be the Kindergator. He or she will receive the Kindergator bag to take home for the weekend. Over the weekend the “All About Me” pennant will need to be completed. Every day there will be a different activity to spotlight the Kindergator. A parent letter with list of activities will be sent home in the Kindergator bag.


Lunch:Students can either buy lunch or bring their own. Lunch choices at school are either a hot lunch, cold lunch, yogurt, or peanut butter and jelly. If you are sending in lunch money, please send it in an envelope or baggie with their first, last name, and class on it. This should be placed in their gator folder. I check folders each morning. If you could let your child know it’s in there as well that would be great! You also have the option of paying online at You will need your child’s student id number to pay online. I have it if you need it!


Math: Our district uses the Math Expressions program. It is a wonderful program based on the State Standards that includes many hands on activities.

Morning Procedure:Students are picked up on the playground in our lines near the Ramada after the first bell. We then walk in line to the classroom. Students sit on the carpet, and listen to announcements. Students then make a lunch choice, put their gator folder in the gator basket, unpack their back packs, and complete their daily warm ups.


Nurse: Students love to go to the nurse! Often it comes as a chain reaction, one student goes and then everyone wants to go. I am pretty good at telling the difference between students that are ill and students that want a little break from the classroom. However, at lunch recess students may go up there without my knowledge. If you feel that your child is making too many trips to the nurse, just let me know.


Parental Involvement: Parental involvement with school can take place both in the home or in the classroom and it is vital to student academic success. Helping your child with homework, practicing sight words, reading together, and even your own literacy habits are important. For parents that can help out


at school, I provide different opportunities such as: being a guest reader, monitoring students while I am working with small groups, attending or helping with parties, and other essential classroom duties. I will pass out an interest form for helping out in the classroom, will set up a schedule, and let you know what to expect when you are assisting in the classroom.

Parties: We have four parties during the school year: Halloween, a Gingerbread house making party, Valentine’s Day, and an end of the year party. I will send out information about the parties and what is needed a couple of weeks before the party. Parties are usually from 2:00-3:00. Parents are always welcome to attend!

Pencils: Students are expected to write in pencil unless otherwise directed. If they need a new pencil, they may get up at any time during independent work to get a pencil. Mrs. Harris sharpens the pencils for the class to minimize disruption.

Phone Numbers: School Phone number: 480-892-2801, my extension is 207,

Pillars of Character: The Character Counts program teaches students six pillars of good character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Citizenship, and Caring. We will discuss and model these behaviors throughout the school year. Here is amore detailed explanation of Character Counts:

Playground Procedures: Students are expected to follow the Gator Goals out on the playground. Snack is eaten at morning recess. Students are able to use the restroom and get drinks at recess time. Otherwise, they are to remain out on the playground. Students that need to go to the nurse must first ask one of the teachers or aides on the playground. Students need to line up at the first whistle.


Questions: If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail, call, or put a note in your child’s daily folder. E-mail is usually the easiest way to contact me, particularly during school hours since the phones automatically go to voice mail. I am always happy to talk to parents and work with you about any concerns you may have or if you need some ideas of things to work on at home.



Rainy Days: Rainy days are rare but do happen. If we are on rainy day schedule before school, students will go directly to the classroom. At lunch time, they will come back to class after they eat and watch a short movie so they can have a little time to relax. After school, dismissal lines are held inside the building. Parent walk up students will be waiting inside the doors near the flag pole area.

Reading Groups: After students have been assessed, they will be placed in flexible reading groups. Reading groups are teacher led and take place in our classroom during our Daily Five time. During reading group time, the students not in the group complete independent work quietly so as not to disturb the group. If students have a question, they may sit in the “question chair” until Mrs. Harris can speak with them. Only one student at a time can be in the question chair.

Report Cards: Report cards are available to view online through Infinite Campus online. Directions for Infinite Campus will be sent home at the beginning of the school year and can also be found on the class website.

Restrooms: Students are able to use the restroom whenever they need to during school hours. I try to have students wait if I am teaching a lesson but know that emergencies do arise. The restrooms are located at the end of the hallway, which is quite exciting for students at the beginning of the school year! If I feel that they are using the restroom too frequently, I may contact you to make sure everything is okay. Students need to ask before using the restroom unless it is an emergency. Our signal for needing to use the bathroom is to raise up one finger.


Rewards: Following the Gator Goals is rewarded! We use the class dojo program online where students earn or lose points for behavior. Every Friday students can choose to either use their points in our class store or save them up. I will send home a note on how to access class dojo at home if your child would like to change their avatar or if you would like to see how they are doing.

  • S
  • Science and Social Studies: Science and Social studies instruction is embedded in writing, reading, and math. Our main science units are paper, fabric, wood, and ladybugs but other things such as the human body, plants, and life cycles are explored as well. Our main units for social studies are: the community, explorers, and the United States.
  • Show and Tell: We have show and tell on Fridays. Students can bring in one item to talk about with the class. Please don’t send any weapon-type toys or electronics.
  • Sight Words: There are 70 sight words required for kindergarten. However, I will teach 100 or more sight words for those that are ready. Sight words and phrases can be found on our class website for students that are ready to move more quickly with their memorization
  • Snack: We have snack every day during recess time except on half days. On half days our lunch is during our regular snack time. Please try to send in healthy snacks. Snack time is meant to not only keep students from being hungry but to boost their brain power for maximum learning! Since snack is eaten at recess time, it must be in a disposable container. Students are not allowed back in the classroom at recess time unsupervised. Students need to bring in their own snack and not share with others because of potential food allergies. The school does not provide the students with snack.
  • Supplies: Please review our kindergarten supply list to see what is required. We can always use the following supplies: Crayons, markers, composition notebooks, expo markers, pencils, erasers, glue sticks, and coloring books. I will let you know in my newsletter if we need extra supplies. Your donations are always appreciated!


  • Tardy:Students that are tardy must be signed in by their parents at the office. Students will come to class, give the teacher their tardy pass, hang up their backpack, turn in their homework folder, and follow teacher directions.
  • Teacher Absence: I really don’t like missing school but trainings and sickness does arise! I will always send you an e-mail if I am going to be absent so that you can inform the office if there is any change in your child’s transportation home.
  • Technology: Students will spend time in the computer lab for 45 minutes every other week. We also have a document camera and a Smart Board in the classroom that we use every day. We have a mobile computer lab that we use sometimes too!
  • Toys: Toys may only be brought to school on for special days as determined by the teacher. Books and outside recess equipment are always allowed!
  • Transportation: I will have you fill out a form on meet the teacher night about how your child is getting home and verify it with you on the first day of school. If at any time there are changes to how your child is going home, please notify me. You can leave a message up at the office, e-mail, write me a note, call me, or all of the above! At this age, I cannot take the word of a student that they are going home a different way. I will always send them home they way that you have told me unless otherwise notified. This is for the safety of your child. 
  • Tutoring: I want all students to be successful in kindergarten! If I feel that students need additional help, I am happy to tutor students. Of course, tutoring is free of charge 
  • V
  • Visitors: Visitors to the school must sign in at the office and wear a name badge at all times. There is an adult restroom up in the nurse’s office.


Water Bottles: We have a drinking fountain in the classroom but students are welcome to bring water bottles to school as well. Please write your child’s name on the water bottle. We keep water bottles on a table by the door to keep our tables dry.

Website: The Gilbert Public Schools website is: . The school website is . Our class webpage is or can be found on the school website under “Teacher Pages”. If you click “subscribe” at the top of the page, you will be notified automatically when I add new information to the site.