The Kindergarten year is quickly coming to a close and your child will soon be receiving his/her final progress report of the year. Hopefully, you have seen your child improve and grow with each progress report that he/she has received this year and you see before you a child ready for first grade. I want you to take a good look at the final progress report and if there are areas that your child did not master, or reach benchmark, you should be very concerned! These benchmarks are put into place to ensure that your child will be ready for the challenges that lay ahead in first grade. Your child is already behind his/her peers before even stepping foot into the door of first grade and you have to work hard now, to help teach your child the missing skills. If there are areas that your child has not mastered or reached benchmark in, practice those skills every day over the summer. Many skills needed for first grade are developmental, however, we do need to continue to reinforce these skills until we are certain that rising first grade children know them and know how to use them once they reach first grade. If your child has mastered or met all of his/her benchmarks, you too, have to practice these skills with your child over the summer to be certain that they are not quickly forgotten while your child is not in school. The first month of first grade will be mostly review work as the children refresh their memories and get ready for another year of school. What you don’t want is to send your child to first grade without the proper skills because then it won’t be a month of review, it will be a very challenging month to try and catch up to others.
Monthly Archives: May 2010
Math, language arts, fine motor, mouse control skills …you will find them all here. Check out this site that has lots of fun computer activities for your rising first grader:
I teach 2 sessions of ½ day Kindergarten every day and these children do not eat lunch at school. This past Friday, all of our Kindergartners had a chance to ‘try out’ the cafeteria, buy lunch and then eat it in the allotted time…just like a first grader. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Starting with choosing white or chocolate milk to choosing 2 sides to go with the pizza, the walk through the cafeteria line took much longer than it should have. Then, once the children got to their assigned tables, the fun really began. Most of the children did not know how to open a small carton of milk, what to do with straw with paper on it, open their ice cream, or eat without managing to get some of it on the floor. Yikes! It seems to be that some practice for these soon to be first graders who will be eating lunch at school in the fall is in order. Parents, try offering your child choices with your meals at home. I don’t mean a choice of the main course, but maybe a choice of a drink, or choice of a vegetable, or even a choice of a dessert. There won’t be enough adults in the cafeteria to help all of these first graders if they don’t do some practicing at home to get ready. The other part of eating in the cafeteria is time management. Many schools schedule 30 minutes per class to enter the cafeteria, go through the line, eat, clean up and get in line to wait for your teacher, so time management skills are of the utmost importance. Many children on Friday wanted to start their lunch with their ice cream…they’re children so that seemed like a good idea to them. However, ice cream alone would not give them the protein or energy needed to get through an afternoon of math, social studies and science. Teach your child to eat the main course first and then attack that dessert..if there is time. I don’t want your child to get an ulcer worrying about eating in the school cafeteria, but try showing a clock to your own child before a meal and teaching them about using time properly while eating and visiting in the school cafeteria. It will be a smooth transition for your child eating lunch in the school cafeteria if some time is spent between now and September going over Cafeteria 101 with your child.
I came across this list of 26 tips for parents and thought you would enjoy it.
ABC’s for Parents
Ask your child about the school day.
Begin your child’s day with a nourishing breakfast.
Congratulate you child for doing well.
Discuss homework with your child.
Encourage your child to read.
Find a quiet place for your child to study.
Give your child responsibility.
Hug your child to build self worth.
Include your child in making simple family decisions.
Join a library with your child.
Keep your child on a schedule that includes exercise and sleep.
Limit TV viewing by selecting programs with your child.
Make the time you spend with your child special.
Notice and discuss changes in your child’s behavior.
Offer to help your child organize school papers.
Provide your child with good role models.
Question the activities your child shares with friends.
Respect your child’s right to have opinions different from yours.
Share an interest or a hobby with your child.
Take time to listen to your child.
Urge your child to say “NO!” to unwanted touching.
Visit places of interest with your child.
Work with your child to set up rules of behavior.
Xerox and save records or articles that benefit your child.
Yield results by encouraging your child to do better.
Zoom through these ABCs again and again!
I have just finished assessing my Kindergarten students in all Reading Readiness skills and I am happy to report that there has been major progress since the start of the school year. One area of importance that I cannot stress enough RHYMING!! If your child is able to rhyme, keep reading poetry, rhyming books and playing rhyming games with your child, however…. If your child is not able to be successful with rhyming, learning to read is going to be difficult and it is time to pick up the pace with rhyming activities at home. I have written about rhyming 3 other times in my blog so you can only begin to imagine how important I feel that mastering this skill BEFORE first grade really is. Parents you know if your child can or cannot rhyme, there is no middle of the road, either he/she can, or he/she can’t. Please check out these blogs of mine that contain valuable websites with (free!) downloadable materials for you to continue practicing rhyming with your soon to be first grader.
Your child has made many new friends this year in Kindergarten. It comes as quite a shock to many 5 and 6 year olds once school stops and they cannot see their friends on a regular basis. Even more of a surprise is learning that many of these friends will be in different classrooms once first grade begins in the fall. Our school PTO sells a parent directory which contains phone numbers and e-mail addresses of parents who wish to share that information with other parents. If you do not have phone numbers and e-mail addresses for the parents of your child’s friends, you might want to look into doing that now. Summer can be long for a child and having friends to have play dates with will help when you hear ‘there’s nothing to do!’ from your child. As a teacher, I cannot share phone numbers and email addresses but all you have to do is ask the parents yourself. You could write a quick note asking for this information and address it to “Mary’s Mom/Dad” and ask your child’s teacher to give it to Mary to take home. In the note you should share your name, your child’s name, your phone number or e-mail address and ask for the same from them so that you could set up summer time play dates. Believe me, having this information now, will really be beneficial once school is out and you no longer have the ability to get the note to the other child.
Your child will be heading to first grade before too long and you assume that he/she will be well prepared. Here is a readiness checklist of skills needed for first grade listing many, but not all of the main skills needed for first grade. Please take a moment to look at it, evaluate if your child is or is not successful with these skills and then continue to practice them over the summer with your child.
Kindergarten children love to write and as they prepare to enter first grade now is a good time to work on editing skills. Here is a checklist that your child can use to check his/her writing for capitalization, punctuation marks, full sentences, clear ideas etc. Print one out and keep it near your child’s work station as it will really come in handy as they begin to learn to edit their own work.