Welcome to Pre-K
Preschool is an important place for children to learn social and academic skills in a fun and relaxed environment. While at preschool your child will have a variety of experiences to aid with a smooth transition into elementary school. This will be an eventful year and the children will learn many things about science, social studies, reading, math, computers, art, music, Spanish, and Sign Language in an age appropriate manner.
Before entering Pre-K children should be able to say or sing their ABC's in order, name basic colors, count to at least 10, work a 12 piece puzzle, and recognize their written name. Children must be able to use the bathroom by themselves (number one and two). Children must be able to put on their shoes and socks by themselves. Please have your child wear shoes that velcro, zip, or slip on because they take their shoes on and off for gym time. Shoes that tie take too long and are frustrating to the children. We do not recommend flip flops or sandles because the mulch on the playground can poke the the children’s feet. Cowboy boots are adorable, but dangerous for pre-k. Children get kicked (accidentally while walking under the monkey bars), stepped on, or have their fingers smashed by them all the time. We play outside and do messy art projects so please have your child wear play clothes to school. Elastic waistbands are preferred because children have accidents trying to unfasten difficult snaps and buttons. Please keep an extra pair of clothes in your child's backpack just in case of an accident or messy spill.
I teach using themes. Every week we will learn about a different subject. I have a wide variety of thematic units ranging from dinosaurs to dolphins that are engaging and keep the children very interested. I will be posting a "Letter of the Week" every Monday on our school website. The letter will contain information about weekly themes, vocabulary words, parties, field trips, and class events. Please check our class website every Monday to stay informed.
We will be learning and talking about the alphabet this year. Please go over the letter of the week with your child. They need to visually recognize the letter, do the Sign Language, and make the sound. Pre-K children are still very young, but should be able to identify the letter and its sound by the end of the school year.
We will also be learning rhyming sounds. For example, we will learn the "at" sound and practice saying rhyming words like cat, hat, bat, and rat. Research has shown that learning rhyming words and phrases can be very beneficial in helping children learn how to read. Studies have shown that children who learn Mother Goose Rhymes learn to read much faster and easier than children who do not. Reading to children is also extremely important in helping them learn how to read. In over 1,000 studies conducted about "how children learn to read" the results indicated the number one way children learn to read is by being continually read to by an adult.
Pre-K will be participating in the Accelerated Reading program. Accelerated Reading, or AR is a wonderful computer reading program that helps children learn to read and improve their reading comprehension skills. Students will check out a book from my class and will need someone at home to read them the book two or three times. Please write down the name of the book on the student's AR log so we know you read the book to them. I recommend that you read a book together two or three times. Then, the student will turn in the book with their log and be able to take an AR test. The Pre-K assistant, Ms. Cayla, will read them questions off the computer about the book. Students receive points for questions answered correctly. I know it sounds confusing now, but it is really quite simple and students love taking the tests! They usually can't wait to check out another book. We will also be taking class AR tests. I will read a book to the class a few times and then each child in the class will take a test about the book. Please check your “home connect” to see your child’s score.
The children will also learn some Spanish and Sign Language in Pre-K. It's incredible how quickly they pick it up and are always eager to learn. We also love doing fun and messy art projects and science experiments.
Because the students are interested in what they are doing and having such a great time, I rarely ever have any discipline problems. However, they do come up occasionally and I start out using positive messages, but if those do not work students may have to go to time out for a few minutes. Once students become familiar with our routine and know what is expected of them they usually act in an appropriate manner. Students have a lot of freedom and choices in our class and that also helps with behavior. The rules are: 1. Stay with your teacher. 2. Follow directions. 3. Be kind.
There are many things you can do to help your child become a great student and life long learner. Please have your child watch engaging learning shows like Word World, Super Why, Cat in the Hat, Sid the Science Kid, and Wild Kratts on PBS. PBS Kids also has excellent learning games on the computer. There are many great learning sites on youtube. I have several listed on my “Learning Shows” page. It is so important to read to your child every day. Please check the school website and read our class "Letter of the Week" so you can talk to your child about all the amazing things they are learning.
It is incredible how much the children can learn! We have a great time in Pre-K and I eagerly anticipate meeting you and your child and having a fantastic year!
THE MAIN THING WE DO IN PRE-K IS HAVE A GREAT TIME!