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KG1 Handbook

ACS

2010-2011

Dear Parents, I am pleased to welcome you and your child to our KG1 program and, if this is your first child enrolled at ACS, to our warm and supportive community. I am confident that you will enjoy the relationship between home and school that we work hard to develop and sustain. Your child's first ACS experience is very important to us. Our KG1 program is developmentally appropriate and designed to meet his/her needs. Our teachers are trained professionals in the field of early childhood education. The classrooms are attractive learning environments full of opportunities for academic, social, and behavioral development. Please enjoy your child's introduction to ACS and feel confident that we will work hard to meet his/her needs. To support your child in this learning adventure, you may participate as a helper in the classroom, attend school events, read to your child daily, play games together on a regular basis, and communicate questions/concerns to your child's teacher. I look forward to learning more about your child and your family. My door is (usually) open for chats or you may call/email the ES office to schedule an appointment.

Regards

Jane Shartzer ACS ES Principal

Dear Parents, It is a great honor to be your child's teacher and we are pleased that you have picked ACS to be the gateway to your child's education. We believe communications between parents and teacher are important aspects to a successful school experience. We will work in partnership this year to see that your child loves learning and enjoys a positive experience in KG1. KG1 is a time of wonder, excitement, and discovery. Important development and learning will occur this year. While our main focus is on socialization and language development, KG1 focuses on all areas of a four-year-old's development. Our program is based on developmentally appropriate practices set forth by the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC). Our curriculum encompasses many aspects of learning, including language and speech development, cognitive skills, fine arts, motor control, general knowledge and comprehension. It is important for your child's sense of security to know that he or she will be picked up at the appointed time. Those children who will finish at 12:30 must be picked up at that time. They will be assembled in the KG1 hall with their bags packed and ready to go. For those children staying the full day, we ask that parents arrive promptly at 3:10 and wait outside the KG1 classroom doors. We will release your child only to his or her parents unless you notify us in writing that your child will be picked up by someone else. Communication between home and school is important. We will have regularly scheduled conferences to talk about your child as an individual learner as well as a member of the class. Please feel free to make an appointment with us if you need to speak with us other than our scheduled conference times. There will be monthly newsletters as well as reminders of activities and special events emailed to you on a regular basis. We will be setting up our KG1 email account as soon as possible. Email is also an excellent way for you to communicate with us especially when a late night thought comes to mind. We are honored and excited to be a part of your child's education. We look forward to being a partner with you in your child's education. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our program. It is certain to be a great year! Sincerely, The KG1 Team Bobbi Stevens Doreen Waller Mary Hopkin

Early Childhood PhilosoPhy

KG1 is a time of wonder and excitement! The early childhood years are recognized as a vitally important period of human development in its own right, not as a time to grow before "real learning" begins in school. Early years are no longer considered precursors to formal schooling. Instead, it is now well established that important development and learning occur during these years in all areas of human functioning: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive (including language, perception, reasoning, memory, and other aspects of intellectual development). Our early childhood teachers, in collaboration with parents, are responsible for ensuring that the program promotes the development and enhances the learning of each individual child.

WE bEliEvE in:

Process and Power Everyone is capable of learning and understanding. Learning is a process and all children are at different stages of this process. We focus on children's strengths, develop their self-concept, and build confidence. We want children to trust themselves and walk away with the power to say, "I am a reader, builder, mathematician, scientist, author, artist, architect...."

active involvement and Meaningful learning At this developmental stage, learning occurs through playing, pretending, discovering, writing, reading, playing games, questioning, and talking. Learning is related to real world issues and interests and abilities. Children are exposed to topics with which they are familiar. Lessons are designed to extend what children already know in order to learn new concepts and procedures. Child Centered Children are engaged in learning when they have a voice and have choices in the classroom. Children's real questions provide invaluable teachable moments. Opportunities for children to make decisions and choices build a sense of personal competence. Collaboration Children learn best when they work together. They are encouraged to sit together, share, help each other, work in pairs, and play in small groups. When a question or problem arises, the children are encouraged to pursue, answer, and help solve it by working as a group. When children work with each other and adults, their learning potential or "zone of proximal development" is extended and this increases the amount of learning that takes place.

Classroom Expectations

When your child enters KG2, he/she needs to independently and willingly take care of personal needs: · Snack/lunch:openandclosecontainers,putfoodandutensils away; · Toilet:pulldownpants,puttoiletseatup/down,sitontoilet, usepaper,flush,pulluppants,washhands; · Classroomcleanup:cleantables,pickupitemsonthefloor, putmaterials,tools,bookswheretheybelong; · Clothing: button/unbutton shirts, change clothing for swimming,zippants,tieshoes.

our KG1 ProGraM

The ACS Early Childhood Program has developed a curriculum based on developmentally appropriate practices, which include the following: KG 1 CurriCuluM ­ GuidinG PrinCiPlEs The KG1 curriculum at ACS............ · Recognizes that the pre-kindergarten experience is the first formal school environment for children and creates the foundation for a successful educational experience. · Is based on and supportive of ACS learning standards and established school curricula. · Blends the current research and "best practices" that reflect how young children develop and learn in a school setting. · Implements appropriate instruction and interventions based upon on-going assessments of students' strengths and needs. · Promotes the development of language­filled, literacy-rich classroom communities where communication is encouraged. · Engages the learner in authentic acts of reading, writing, listening, and speaking for meaningful purposes through immersion in a language-rich, literate environment. · Ensures that students understand the variety of purposes of literacy in order to appreciate and reap the benefits to enhance their lives. · Ensures that children are given many opportunities and a variety of tools for inquiry, exploration, and discovery through an integrated curriculum. · Encourages students to think critically and utilize problem-solving skills in authentic situations. · Expects and allows for individual differences in students' interests, development, and learning styles. · Recognizes character development as a necessary component of early childhood development. · Is meaningful and relevant to students' personal experiences and lives. The KG1 teachers believe that children learn best through exploration and that all children develop at different rates. We believe that learning is fun and look forward to spending this year enjoying a partnership with you.

KG1 CurriCuluM ­ EndurinG undErstandinGs

literacy and language development: · I understand that print has meaning. · I communicate through language to read, write, listen, and speak. · I draw upon previous experiences to connect to new experiences. Mathematics: · I see patterns in the world around me. · I can solve problems in many ways. science: · I can investigate my world. · I can use my senses. · I can use many tools. · I can make predictions. · I can take care of my world. Creative arts: · I can communicate using the arts. · I have fun participating in creative arts. Physical health & development: · I know staying healthy is important. · I know moving around every day is a healthy habit. · I know following safety rules helps me avoid harm. · I know eating good foods makes us strong. social and Emotional development: · I can express feelings, needs, and thoughts in all situations. · I am beginning to understand how my actions affect others. · I take pride in my accomplishments. · I interact appropriately with other children and adults. approaches to learning: · I feel learning is fun! · I can learn in many ways. · I know the world is filled with exciting things to explore. · I know sticking to a job until it is done will help me learn. · I can ask many questions about life.

a tyPiCal day in KG 1

Children come into class and put things away in their cubbies.

arrival:

Welcome Circle (Social) Classroom jobs Calendar math (math, language development) Reading with books (oral language, reading and writing skills) reading/Writing and oral language Children are taught print has meaning. Children experience communication through language, using activities like reading, writing, listening and speaking. Children draw upon previous experiences to enhance opportunities for connecting to new experiences. Math Children are taught mathematical concepts in the world around them and to solve problems in many ways through the Everyday Math program.

snack (from home) and table discussions The teacher and community assistant eat with the children to facilitate discussions and increase language development. As children finish, they go to the classroom library and choose books or magazines to read quietly. recess The outside play area includes sand toys and large play equipment for large muscle motor development. Other outdoor activities can include water tables and tricycles. We extend our inside time when the weather is too hot to take the children out. This playtime includes directed activities and games to build motor skills. Music Movement

Choice time Children may choose from a variety of activities to explore and develop individual interests. Social interaction with others is promoted. A sample of activities for choice time: · Blocks (visual-spatial, gross and fine motor activities, social) · Table top toys (fine motor, social) · Art, (visual-perceptual, fine and gross motor, social) · Library (language development) · Listening center (literacy, social) · House corner, this could be a plant store one week, a grocery store another, and a house or office another week (social, language, math) · Sand and water table, rice table (math, fine motor, social) · Centers that are specific to our current theme* · Technology Closing circle and sharing (recall) Once a week, children will bring an item to share, show, or tell something of interest to the other children. "What was the best part of the day?" We talk about what to look forward to tomorrow. line up to go home (End of half day) Children sing a song with their teachers and share a special moment. Children say, "Good bye" to us. Parent pick-up. lunch (Full day continues) Children will eat lunch in the class with KG1 Staff. Quiet time Children engage in quiet activities after lunch. They may rest, look at books and play quiet games. recess Children may play outside or inside, depending on the weather. Choice time Children select centers to explore and develop individual inquiries. Closing Circle Children talk about today and discuss what tomorrow might bring. line up to Go home We say goodbye and release the children to their caregivers. * Sequence may vary according to class schedule.

hoW ParEnts Can hElP ChildrEn at hoME

Educators at ACS recognize that the parents, more than anyone else, are the closest observers of their child. Parents are a child's first teacher and they know their child in ways no one else does. The ability of the parents to assist in the educational development of their child enhances the child's progress towards reaching his or her fullest potential. Parents enjoy the "wonder of newness" exhibited in their children as they develop emotionally, physically, and intellectually. This section is provided to encourage parents to continue to participate in that process as the child begins the kindergarten experience. Research indicates that the most successful students have parents involved in their school lives.

the Parents' role

In helping the child learn at home, the parent's primary role is one of encouragement and reinforcement. Parents repeat and respond to what has been said in adult language. When your children are given lots of time and encouragement to practice the new things they learn about language they start to talk. Children learn to read and write in a manner similar to the way they learn to speak. They observe others reading books, directions and signs. They watch those around them write shopping lists and letters. Through watching others, they try these activities. By reading license plates, food labels or other objects around them, children learn that print is meaningful and useful. Whether scribbling on scraps of paper, writing a note to a parent with letter-like marks, or reading a book by looking at the pictures these attempts should be accepted and encouraged. In addition, children should be given time to practice and develop reading and writing skills. Your child will exhibit many beginning reading and writing behaviors throughout this year.

all ChildrEn arE rEadErs! There are four ways of reading texts in kindergarten. All of the following examples are developmentally appropriate ways for kindergartners to read. 1. "Picture read" by looking at the illustrations and talking about the things you see. 2. Chime along or "memorize read" by reading the words in familiar patterned books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear or Mrs. Wishy Washy). 3. "Pretend" read by telling your own story. 4. Read all the words conventionally.

EffEctivE Ways ParEnts can HElP cHildrEn BEcomE litEratE

· Recognize that play is the natural way children learn. · Read with your child every day. Read a variety of stories ­ folktales, fables, information books, and poetry. Read different written materials ­ cereal boxes, recipes, books, magazines, signs, and greeting cards. · Understand that young children require concrete, "hands-on" learning experiences. · Provide varied activities and experiences that contribute to learning. · Encourage the child to learn through discovery. · Provide a rich verbal environment. · Discuss experiences with the child. · Praise the child for strengths and be patient with regard to areas not yet developed. · Model reading and writing in your home. Involve your child in writing shopping lists, telephone messages or reading letters from relatives. Let your child see you reading books, instructions, newspapers and magazines. · Expose your child to wordless picture books. Such books encourage your child to

· · · · · · · · ·

· ·

use picture clues to make up his/her own stories. Encourage your child to take chances. Build the concept that learning means taking chances and not always being right. Take trips to the school library. Include your child in family discussions. Use questions that involve who, what, where, why, and when. Use family activities as a chance to explore new language. Visit and talk about the zoo, library, park, store, movies, or sports events. Play games that involve following directions. "Simon Says" is a good game that involves following directions. Sing and read simple songs and nursery rhymes (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Wheels on the Bus) and clap the rhythms. Read and follow recipe directions. This provides children with the opportunity to listen to and follow step-by-step directions. Reread favorite stories. Allow your child to choose the book for story time. Provide writing materials ­ pencils, pens, chalk, markers, crayons, different sizes and colors of paper, envelopes and tape. Allow your child to write messages to family members, book authors, or friends. Also leave notes on the refrigerator or in a lunch box from you to your child. Ask your child questions which require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. Example: "What do you think will happen to Goldilocks?" Look at books and magazines and ask questions about what was read. Listen to your child when he or she speaks. Show that you are interested in what is being said. This encourages good listening habits

. HElP your cHild dEvEloP musclE coordination By lEtting your cHild: · Draw letters or numbers in the sand or on the sidewalk with a paint brush and water. · Use puzzles · Use clay or dough · Use crayons, scissors, snaps, buttons, zippers · Run · Catch a ball · Hop on one foot and two feet · Help your child develop independence by letting him/her: · Make simple choices · Help choose his or her clothing · Perform simple household tasks · Dress himself or herself when possible · Have your child find letters of his or her name in books, magazines, or signs. · Help your child sort things by size, shape, and color (clothing, buttons, dishes) · Count seeds, pennies, stamps, M&M's or any other objects · Let your child locate food items in the grocery store by looking at the pictures and the labels ·

GEttinG rEady For thE sChool ExPEriEnCE

Parents often ask what they can do to ensure a smooth transition for each child from school to home. We have gathered together the following hints from developmental specialists with ideas for you to use. We hope you will find them helpful as you consider each in relation to your child. If English is not your child's first language, these can be helpful in the child's native language. If a child is competent in these areas, this competency will translate into English as the child becomes comfortable with this second language. Parents can: · Talk about the new school experience together or with a friend; determine the changes that it will cause to your family schedule. · Plan to visit a good friend on that first day rather staying home alone. It's okay if children know you will miss them; however, try to focus on your positive feelings about forthcoming school experiences. things to consider: · You may need to adjust your child's sleep schedule a month or so prior to school if they usually stay up late and sleep late in the morning. · Breakfast is important to maintain high energy and interest in learning. · Getting school items ready the night before will help ensure a calm household in the morning. · The home atmosphere will influence your child during the school day. · The family may need to allow additional time to get ready during the first week of school ­ until a family routine is established. · Provide a special place (closet, behind the door, box in his/her room) for your child to put backpack, swim bag, and library book so they are easily found on that special day.

help your Child With these Communication skills:

Make sure that your child can tell an adult if he/she: · Is sick · Didn't get something · Didn't have a turn · Needs help · Doesn't understand an activity · Needs to use the bathroom · Is allergic to some foods or should not have certain foods or activities Make sure your child can answer yes or no: Give your child an opportunity to answer questions from family members and unfamiliar persons. Encourage child to answer a clerk or nurse even if you have to whisper the response first. Practice make-believe situations that require an answer. Ask your child direct questions. Encourage your child to look at the person when speaking or being spoken to. Give your child the opportunity for making the choice of foods or activity. help your child learn how to complete a task: Give your child daily responsibilities such as feeding a pet, putting away toys and setting the table. Encourage "working". Be sure these tasks are simple and completed each day at a routine time. Give praise when tasks are done. Let your child hear you tell others about his/her good work. help increase your child's attention span: Have your child sit with the family at mealtime until excused. Read short stories and have child sit with you until finished. Play group games. Take your child to movies, plays, concerts, playground activities, or swim class.

Make sure your child:

Can wait for: · Teacher's attention · His/her turn · Getting a drink · Telling his story · Getting materials · Others in line Practice waiting for dinner to be served, for Mom to finish talking on the phone, for his/her turn in a game. Discourage interruptions when you are talking to others. Occasionally, while you are talking or doing a task, include your child by saying "Now, it's your turn".

Will try new foods, games, and/or toys: · Serve and try new foods yourself. · Make small samples of new foods. · Play with your child allowing time to experiment with new games and toys. · Demonstrate how to use the materials. · Praise him/her for trying new things. · · · · Isacceptingofpraiseandsocialrecognition: Talk about your child's talents and good behaviors to others in front of your child. Praise and reinforce often. State specific behaviors of which you approve: "You're hanging up your jacket. I like that." · Do not label/make value statements about the child: "You're a good boy." "You're a bad boy today." · Tries again after making mistakes. · Let your child know that you make mistakes, too.

· Show how you "try, try again" · Praise him/her for trying again. · Help your child to be successful by giving tasks that can be done easily and gradually increased in difficulty. Will stop activities when told and will participate in new activities although reluctant to stop previous task. · Several minutes before you want your child to stop say, "In five minutes you will stop playing (or stop watching TV) and get ready to go to the store." · Praise your child when he/she stops as told. · Follow through when you give directions to stop. · Talk about what will happen during the day so your child can anticipate changes · Praise your child when he/she stops an activity and starts a new one as directed. · Let your child know you understand that he/she doesn't want to stop. Tell child when he/she can again do the activity: later, tomorrow, after lunch, etc. · When possible, ignore your child if he/she pouts or throws tantrums when required to stop an activity. · Allow yourself sufficient time so you are not pressured when changing activities. Can take care of basic hygiene needs: · Wipe up own spills · If your child spills, have him/her wipe it up or provide help until he/she can wipe it up without help. Teach your child how to wring out the cloth, squeeze a sponge or blot with paper. · Practice toileting skills. · Help him/her use a public toilet (close door, flush handle, lift seat, paper roll). Give your child time and opportunities to practice pulling up underwear and pants. Encourage your child to wash and dry own hands, turn faucets on and off, use different soap and paper dispensers. Give the opportunity to use different faucets. Explain why it is necessary to wash hands after using the toilet. · Get tissue and wipe nose when dripping.

MOST IMPORTANT, MAKE THIS TIME YOU SPEND WITH YOUR CHILD FUN. NOTHING WILL HELP MORE TO DEVELOP A LIFELONG LOVE OF LEARNING.

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