Monthly Archives: August 2012

First Day of School

Well you have prepared and prepared and you think that there can’t possibly be anything left to do to get ready for the first day of school for your child.  You have shopped for supplies, bought a new backpack, bought new school clothes, gave your child a new haircut and now you are ready.  So you think, ..  but are you? Are you really ready?  Have you thought about how your child will get to school?  Will you allow your child to ride the bus to school?  I hope the answer is yes.  The best way to start the school year is with the bus, because I speak from years of observing parental behavior, once you become a taxi for your child, it is almost impossible to switch him/her to the bus. School buses are a safe way to travel to and from school and many of your child’s friends will be on the bus as well.  IF, and that is a big IF, if you decide to drive your child and deliver him/her to his/her classroom on the first day, your job is to give a hug, then give a kiss and then say good bye and leave.  When you hover and watch and wait for possible reactions from your child, he/she will get the message that you anticipate him/her needing you.  Look around, most of the other parents will not be there and your child will be just fine with the teachers.  Your child will either walk in very confidently, or be a little emotionally needy.  Believe me, those first day jitters are mostly a show for Mom and Dad, and the minute that Mom or Dad walk away, the children usually settle right in.  Get ready, your child AND you are in for a wonderful year together in school, let those wings start to grow on the very first day.

 

Re-posted from August 2009

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Clothing for Kindergarten and First Grade

Dress for Success.  We all know what that means, but what does it mean for a Kindergarten child.  Children coming to ‘work’ in the Kindergarten classroom should come ready to work and play.  Now that parents are shopping for back to school clothes, please keep in mind the comfort of your child.  As tempting as it may be to buy that perfect outfit for a photo opportunity of the first day of school, please think carefully before dressing your child for that special first day.  Your child will be experiencing many firsts on that first day of Kindergarten:

  • First ride on a school bus
  • First day in a new school
  • First day with a new teacher
  • First day with unfamiliar children
  • First day of all day school (depending upon your school system)
  • First day of not eating lunch at home(again depends on school)
  • First day of new school rules…..and the list goes on and on

Children need to be dressed in comfortable, familiar clothing for this monumental day.  Children should dress comfortably every day of Kindergarten and come ready to sit on the floor, paint, move constantly, play on the playground and get dirty.  Kindergarten classrooms are full of bustling activities.  Please save the special clothing and photo op for a few weeks after school starts when your child has become familiar with his/her daily routine.  Remember, if you want your child to do well in Kindergarten, he/she needs to “Dress for Success.”

This also applies for children coming to first grade or any other grade level.  Children need to be comfortable in order to be ready to learn.  If your child tells you his/her clothing is itchy at home, or too small at the neck, you can be sure that the classroom teacher will hear the same complaint every few minutes. Your child will not be at his/her best to learn when the only thing he/she can concentrate on his how uncomfortable his/her clothing is.   Listen to your child, and ensure that he/she is coming to school wearing comfortable clothing.

Re-posted from August 2009

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Open House – What It Isn’t

By now you and your child have marked your family calendar and are anxiously awaiting Open House/Orientation at school.  Keep in mind that teachers are just as excited about meeting you as you are about meeting them.  I just want to remind you about what Open House isn’t.  It isn’t the time to have a parent teacher conference about your child.  Your child’s teacher will be introduced to many children and many family members during this short time, so when it is your turn to say ‘hello’ please keep in mind that others in the room may hear what you are saying.  This is the time to briefly have your child say hello to the teacher, but if you as the parent have specific issues about your child that need to be discussed in detail, please schedule a private conference for a time that works for both teacher and parents in the very near future. Private conversations would include: anxieties that your child has about new situations, bathroom issues that might affect him/her during the school day, medication that needs to be taken daily, or if an allergic reaction occurs at school, family troubles at home that might impact your student’s learning at school, how you feel your child learns best, academic preparations that you have given your child prior to Kindergarten, etc.  Your child’s teacher will be assessing him/her during the first quarter to get a baseline of his/her readiness skills and you will be told at the first parent conference the goals that have been made for your child.  Have fun at Open House, but if you need to schedule a separate conference, do it.

Re-Posted from August 2009

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Open House

Schools are preparing to open their doors for another school year.  Many teachers are now in their classrooms making it look perfect to welcome this year’s group of children. Open House is coming and this is your time to take your child into school and walk around and get familiar with the building.  You should take the same path into the building and down to the classroom that your child will take every day. You and your child will be able to go and meet his/her new teacher and you will be able to explore a little in the new classroom.    This Open House is a MUST attend for both students and parents.  There really are no good excuses for not going.  Children and parents who are unable to attend Open House truly miss out on a very worthwhile event.  The sole purpose of Open House is to help calm the first day of school jitters, for both children and parentsJ  Coming into the classroom for a brief visit will help to relax your child (and you) when the first day of school arrives. On the first day, you will be able to remind him/her about what his/her new teacher looks like, about the wonderful and exciting materials and toys that you saw in the classroom, and about new and old friends that he/she will be seeing at school.  Please find out when your child’s school is having Open House and mark your calendar to be there!

Re-Posted from August 2009

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Parents are Child’s Primary Teachers

Your child will encounter many teachers in his/her lifetime. Not only will there be teachers in the classroom, but there will be just as many outside of the classroom.  He/she will have teachers in sports, after school activities, music lessons, girl/boy scouts etc.  Your child will have to listen and learn from many adults but the most important teacher for your child is YOU! Yes, you! Your child’s learning is ongoing and he/she will be learning many new activities throughout his/her day, but he/she will depend upon you to help keep the learning going when he/she gets home. How to do this? During dinnertime conversation, or at bedtime:

  • Ask your child to tell you about his/her day
  • Ask your child to tell you about one new thing that he/she learned that day
  • Find ways to extend what your child is learning about school
  • If he/she is learning about a new artist in Art class, visit a local art museum
  • Play board games that reinforce math skills that are being taught
  • When your child is learning about animals, visit a local zoo or animal habitat where your child can see and learn first hand
  • When your child is learning about an important person in history, find out where local museums, or local neighborhoods are celebrating the life of that person…and then go there
  • Take your child to the local library to check out books to explore the topic
  • Look online for games, activities, lessons, videos that will reinforce what is being taught in the classroom

Remember parents, your child and your child’s teachers will be expecting your help in your child’s learning process. Please don’t let them down!

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Filed under First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Library, Math, Parents, Reading, Science, Social Skills, Writing

Proper Methods of Handwashing

School will be starting soon and more than likely your child will be using the school toilets.  More and more Kindergarten and First Grade children are arriving at school without the basic knowledge of how to wash their own hands.  Teachers know that most parents are assisting their children with hand washing at home, but at school, your child will be washing his or her own hands.  Now is the time to practice this skill at home each and every time your child uses the restroom and encourage your child to wash without adult assistance.  Keep in mind at school your child will be using a paper towel dispenser so you might want to practice using that as well.  Your child’s Kindergarten or First Grade teacher will be forever thankful.

http://www.washinghands.net/proper-methods-procedures.php

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents, Responsibility

Dress-up

Does your child have a dress up corner?  It’s time to give them one.  Playing ‘dress up’ gives children an opportunity to dream, stretch imagination and stimulate creativity.  Children work hard at this type of play because they have to make it up themselves and they learn a great deal while having fun.  There are many stores and online sites that will sell you beautiful dress up clothing but you have dress up clothing already, right there in your own house.  Go look in your closet and before you send your old clothes to charity, check them out through the eyes of a child.  Your old clothes, (prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, sequined clothing, ties, jackets etc.), old shoes, hats, costume jewelry, glamorous items may be just the ticket for ‘dress-up’ items for your child.  When young children have the opportunity to role play and dress up they develop:

 

  • Improved communication skills that help to develop vocabulary
    • They learn to express themselves.
    • They have a chance to try out more grown up words
    • Improve interpersonal skills as they play dress up
      • Practice speaking to others in a very comfortable setting.
      • Improved self confidence
      • Improved social skills
      • Improved creativity
      • Improved leadership qualities

 

Clean out your closet and let the fun and games begin! (Be sure to have a camera  ready because there will be MANY Kodak moments to capture!)

 

Re-posted from August 2009

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Filed under Behavior, First Grade, Kindergarten, Maturity, Parents, Play, Social Skills