Valley Forge Elementary Kindergarten
The kindergarten program is designed to help each child develop physically, emotionally and socially by providing a rich variety of activities and experiences. The importance of meeting the individual needs and interests of children is emphasized through various components of the program. A setting is created that allows the child freedom to explore and discover, with many opportunities to respond to a varied program of cognitive and affective skills. Kindergarten should provide an environment that nurtures growth and fosters success. The goals of this program are to provide children with opportunities to develop an eagerness and independence for learning, a positive self-concept, creativity, as well as understanding and appreciation of the world about them.
The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District will be using the Literacy by Design and Wright Group Language Arts Programs for Kindergarten. Throughout the year we will plan many activities which are designed to develop those skills prerequisite for reading. Writing will also be a part of our language arts program. Children are eager to read and write, and the two skills are closely related. We encourage children to express themselves in writing, and many will discover the sound/letter relationship. The students are often asked to use "inventive spelling" which is writing using the sounds they hear in a word. Your child will often bring home stories using this technique. Have him/her read the story to you as it has been written. We are not concerned with correct spelling as much as that the child become comfortable with the writing process.
Activities are also planned which provide experiences in which the children practice speaking in front of their peers. This will help children learn to organize and express their thoughts orally, as well as become comfortable speaking in front of a group (This is very beneficial in preparing for oral reports later in school!)
During language arts time, the children will be exposed to various types of literature. We hope to help them develop a love of reading. We will also emphasize specific skills such as concept of print, sequencing, finding the main idea, character recall, and making predictions.
We will be working closely with our Reading Specialist throughout the year to ensure that we meet the needs of each individual child, from those just learning the alphabet to those already reading. Should your child need a little "boost" in the language arts area, we have an early intervention program, BRIDGE, which will be available for them. The BRIDGE Program meets in small groups five times during the six day cycle for a half-hour each day. The objectives of the program are to enhance language development, concepts about print and reading readiness skills. The evaluation for eligibility in the kindergarten program begins with the Fall Kindergarten Screening that is administered to all students. A team uses the results, in addition to a Language Evaluation and teacher recommendation, to select children for further assessment. The team is comprised of the classroom teachers, the Reading Specialist (Mrs. Laura Hobbins), the Speech/Language Therapists (Ms. Renee Vardouniotis) and the School Counselor (Mrs. Carolyn Swetkowski).
We will be implementing the Math in Focus series. Students will use the model of investigating, discovering, exploring and applying concepts such as recognition, representation and formation of numbers, sets, sorting, classifying, geometric shapes, measurement, estimating, addition, subtraction, patterns in numbers and money. Our Math Specialist (Linda Krause) will be working with the Kindergarten team throughout the year.
Our Social Studies Curriculum revolves around our monthly themes, with a special emphasis on holidays and famous people. The themes are:
1. September – Journeys
2. October – Amazing Autumn
3. November – Home Sweet Home
4. December – Winter Wonders
5. January - Sweet Dreams
6. February – Fantastic Friends
7. March - Spring Fling
8. April – Protect our Planet
9. May - Incredible Insects
10. June - Splash!
Our Science Curriculum also revolves around our monthly themes. The units will be: Senses; Properties; Landforms; Hot/Cold; Day/Night; Shadows; Animals/Habitats; Weather, Water and Insects.
The children will have the opportunity to enjoy music, art, physical education, and library during the six day cycle.
Social Skills/Work Habits
We will be learning to work and play with others, to accept responsibility, to listen while others talk, to show self-control, to be cooperative, and to develop a good self-concept. We will also be developing the ability to follow directions, listen attentively, work independently, use time wisely and complete tasks within an expected amount of time.
The elementary schools in Tredyfrrin/Easttown use an anti-bullying program called Olweus Prevention Program. Olweus promotes a structured approach to the prevention of bullying. In addition we use the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) curriculum as part of our pro-social program.
The PATHS Curriculum is a program designed to facilitate the development of self-control, positive self-esteem, emotional awareness and interpersonal problem-solving skills. The purposes of the PATHS Curriculum are to enhance social and emotional competence and understanding in children, as well as to develop a caring, pro-social context that facilitates educational processes in the classroom.
The children will be developing both their fine and large motor skills. We will be working with scissors, crayons, paint, playing games, learning new programs on the computer, practicing proper pencil grasp/letter formation, writing words and short sentences. Children will be encouraged to tie their own shoes and handle their coats, mittens, hats, etc. Large motor activities will be offered both in regular classroom activities, as well as in conjunction with our physical education program.
The District encourages students to celebrate birthdays in school with non-food items. Per District Regulation 5402 no food of any kind is permitted to be shared during the school day with students, by other students, teachers, staff or other persons. As a general practice for any occasion, please communicate with your child’s teacher before sending any items into the classroom or school. Stickers, pencils and erasers are nice things to share with their friends.
Conferences will be scheduled three times per year for kindergartners: once in September (Parent Interview), once in the Fall and once in the Spring. At the Fall Conference, the results of the kindergarten screening will be shared with you, as well as a sampling of the child’s work and information concerning your child’s progress. If at any time you have a concern, please call to schedule a conference and we will be happy to meet with you. Report cards will be sent home in November, March and June.
Each child is responsible for bringing in his/her own snacks. Please keep it simple, something that can be opened easily and eaten in a short period of time. Please refrain from sending any food that contains peanuts or tree nuts in the individual snacks.
Notes from Home
If your child is going home from school a different way than the normal mode of transportation, a note is required. If a child is going home to a friend’s house, notes are required from each child’s parents. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION ON THE TEACHER’S VOICEMAIL. CALL THE SCHOOL SECRETARY, WHO WILL SEND A MESSAGE TO THE ROOM. Please date all notes.
Parents are asked to send a note to school with the student on the first day the student returns from an absence. Travel Forms can be obtained in the office.
Two Hour Delay Kindergarten Modified Schedule
AM and PM Kindergarten sessions will follow a modified schedule on days when inclement weather results in a two-hour delayed opening. Each Kindergarten session will be reduced by one hour when there is a delayed opening to provide equal instructional time for both sessions.
AM Kindergarten classes will begin at 11:10 am and will conclude at the modified pick-up time of 1:05 pm. Parents of PM Kindergarten students should drop their children off at the modified start time of 1:50 pm. School dismissal time for PM Kindergarten students remains at 3:45 pm. As a result, AM Kindergarten students who use bus transportation to school will be picked up at their bus stops two hours later than usual and PM Kindergarten students will ride the bus home at their regularly scheduled time.
Parents are asked to make note of the change in the mid-day pick-up and drop-off times on days when there is a two-hour delayed opening.
We would like to solicit your help in teaching your child to:
1. Learn his/her complete address, telephone number, age and birth date.
2. Zip and button his/her coat.
3. Tie his/her shoes.
We believe that learning is a unique and personal experience. Our aim is to
stimulate each child to think, analyze, discover and explore. It is our desire to create a happy and warm atmosphere in which each child is filled with the excitement and wonder of learning!
We want your child to have a happy and successful experience in kindergarten this year. We are excited to be working as partners with you to make this year a terrific one!