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!
School phone # 480-892-2801 (Extension 207)
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)
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
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.
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: http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/1971.cfm
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: http://dibels.org/dibels.html
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.
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.
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 www.mylunchmoney.com. 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: http://charactercounts.org/sixpillars.html
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.
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: www.gilbertschools.net . The school website is http://gilbertps.schoolwires.net/Domain/31 . Our class webpage is http://www.gilbertschools.net//Domain/3517 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.