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Class Syllabus 2015-2016

July 28, 2015


My name is Kathy Cooper and I would like to welcome you and your child to Kindergarten and Menlo School. I am excited about the new school year and looking forward to exploring with your child throughout the year. I know that we are going to have a great year. Mrs. Diane Venable is our classroom paraprofessional. I would like to tell you a little about our classroom.  Parents, please discuss the class information enclosed in this letter and the school student handbook (which is online) with your child so they know what to expect and do.  Families that do not have internet access may go to the school office and will be assisted in using a computer at school.

I will use your child’s folder to communicate with you. Please check it daily. In the folder you will find a calendar that I will use to notify you of your child’s behavior and any important events or special dates. Please initial it each day. I will send completed daily work home and this should be taken out and left at home. You should also check for any homework, letters, or announcements that may be sent. Please use the folder to return all assignments and any information that I need to see (such as changes in transportation, sick excuses, etc.)

Breakfast, Lunch and Snack
You may send lunch money however is best for you. The Cafeteria has a computer system that will keep up with how much money your child has in their account. So you may send it daily, weekly, or monthly whatever works best for you. Just remember to have it in a sealed envelope with their first and last name, and lunch money written on the outside. I will not keep a record in our classroom for lunch and breakfast payments. If your child brings lunch from home please note that no commercial advertised food packaging is aloud in the Cafeteria (such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, etc). We will have a snack time daily. You may either send your child a snack from home or they may purchase one at school. The cost of snack will be $1.00 per day for ice cream.   Snack money needs to be kept separately from lunch money. I strongly recommend that they have some sort of change purse/ billfold they can leave in their backpack to keep snack money. Please do not put snack money in their folder. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

School will begin each day at 7:35 a.m. Please be prompt. The tardy bell will ring at 7:40. Please refer to the student handbook for the school wide tardy rule. Any student who arrives after the tardy bell rings must go by the office and get a tardy slip. If your child arrives before 7:30 a.m. they will need to go to the gym and wait to be picked up. If your child intends on eating breakfast at school please have them at school no later than 7:30. Kindergarten will go to breakfast together as a group at 7:35 each day.

School policy requires all visitors stop by the office and get a visitor’s pass.  This is for the safety of the students and staff. This is required of all parents, even if you are just walking your child to class.  It is our hope that all students arrive on time, happy, healthy, and prepared to have a great day of learning, exploration, work, and fun.

Should your child need to ride home a different way other than what they normally do we must have a written note signed and dated by their parent. Transportation changes may not be made over the phone.

Each day I will be sending home the “Letter Bag” with a different student. The student’s job will be to find some items at home that begin with the letter we are studying that week. Please return the bag the next day. The student will give clues to the class about each item in the bag and see if

anyone can guess it. We will return all items. This is a great way to help reinforce letter and sound recognition.  

****Your child will need to keep an extra change of clothes in their book bag.

I will send a separate paper home on the first day about our classroom discipline and behavior management.

Please review with your child our classroom rules:

1.    Listen to and follow directions the first time they are given.
2.    Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself.
3.    Raise your hand and wait to be called upon before you speak.
4.    Stay in your seat unless you have permission to get up.
5.    Use “indoor voices” when speaking.
6.    Listen when others are talking.
7.    Work quietly and do not disturb others.
8.    Show respect for school and personal property.
9.    Work and play in a safe manner.
10.    Be a good friend.  (Treat others kindly and politely, etc.)
11.    Stay on task and complete work on time.

Any severe disruption and the student will be sent to the principal immediately.  

Homework assignments will be listed in the weekly parent letter. Please help your child by reminding them of the directions and checking the completed work.  Please have your child do his or her homework and corrections themselves. Homework assignments should be turned in by the end of each week unless otherwise specified.  

Class Syllabus

    First 9 weeks    Second 9 weeks    Third 9 weeks    Fourth 9 weeks
Language Arts    Practice of all letters & sounds through songs, flash cards, & games. A weekly focus on one letter, writing the letter, words that begin with the letter.  The focus letters are L, O, G, H, T, P, A, N, M.
First name, sight word and reading practice.
*Writing assignments across the curriculum in response to literature and personal experience.    Practice of all letters & sounds through songs, flash cards, & games. A weekly focus on one letter, writing the letter, words that begin with the letter.  The focus letters are I, S, F, R, K, B, U, and Z.
First name, sight word and reading practice.
*Writing assignments.    Practice of all letters & sounds through songs, flash cards, & games. A weekly focus on one letter, writing the letter, words that begin with the letter.  The focus letters are C, E, Y, D, V, J, X, W.
Last name, sight word and reading practice.
*Writing assignments.    Practice of all letters & sounds through songs, flash cards, & games. A weekly focus on one letter, writing the letter, words that begin with the letter.  The focus letters are Q (qu), long vowels, spelling rules, digraphs, & letter combinations.
Last name, sight word and reading practice.
*Writing assignments.
Social Studies

Social studies continued    Rules, Rituals & routines, our location, character - (loyalty, honesty, pride, patriotism, accomplishment, moderation & truth), goods & services, (community) helpers, Labor Day, Grandparent’s Day, needs & wants, & maps

     Columbus Day, Native Americans (Indians), Character - (self control, respect), firemen / fire safety, Election Day, U.S. & U.S. symbols, Veteran’s Day,
Thanksgiving    Christmas, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s  (family celebrations), Character – (courtesy), jobs – wages & use of money, wants & needs, white house     U.S. presidents / symbols, & quarter, past & present transportation, Easter, Summer safety rules

Science    Living & non-living, ocean life, gravity, plants, seasons, pets, night & day, motion    Item properties, Five senses, sun, soils, sorting materials of different compositions / classifying common objects, Fall season, rocks, comparing parents to babies, animals    Earth, environment, extinct, dental health, exercise & the human body, Winter season    Transportation / movement, Kites & gravity,
Zoo animals, Earth day – reuse & recycle, extinct, summer & sun safety
Math    Counting numbers to 10    Two and Three Dimensional shapes
Comparison of length, weight, capacity, & numbers to 10    Number pairs, addition, & subtraction to 10    Numbers 10-20, counting to 100, & Analyzing, comparing, & composing shapes

Grading & the Report Card
               Understanding Our Kindergarten Report Card       

Kindergarten Common Core State Standards determine what students are taught and expected to learn.  These common core performance standards can be found online at:  URL -

What your child is learning now in kindergarten may well have been what you learned in first grade.

In order to determine if your child has met the standards required for kindergarten by the State of Georgia, your child’s teacher administers, throughout the year, assessments developed to measure your child’s progress for each of those standards.  The State Department of Education provides us with materials called the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS) for assessing your child’s progress. Through answering questions, performing tasks, or demonstrating through the use of manipulatives, your child will demonstrate what they do know, do not know, or even ‘sort of know.’  This lets us know what your child needs in terms of lessons to bring them to a level of at least minimally meeting standards, and, hopefully, exceeding standards.  Our goal is that every child meets, and/or exceeds the standards.  

Your child has numerous opportunities throughout the year to demonstrate mastery of a given standard. By mastery, we mean they have met or exceeded the standard. Kindergarten is very different from other grade levels in that we work on most standards all year long or from when we introduce them until they are mastered or the end of the year.  In upper grades, standards might be addressed in the first nine weeks, then not again all year.  This is not the case in kindergarten.  Your child will have till the end of the year to meet the standards required for promotion to the first grade.  

Our report card is a template designed by the State of Georgia to correlate with the required kindergarten standards. Some standards may not have been introduced in a certain time period.  If this is the case, this will be marked “NA," meaning “not assessed at this time.”

We are including a key for understanding the meaning for each acronym listed on your child’s report card:

EX    -    Exceeds the expectations of the standard
ME    -    Meets the standard
PR    -    The student is progressing towards meeting the
        standard, but, hasn’t yet met the standard.
EM    -    The student is emerging into what is expected in
        the standard; but, he or she still does not have a
        clear grasp on what is expected.
ND    -    The student does not demonstrate any knowledge
        or understanding of the standard.
NA      -    The material for this standard has not been introduced; therefore, it has not been assessed.
AC      -           Area of Concern
DE       -          Developing
CD        -         Consistently Demonstrating

Some standards only receive not demonstrated or met standard grading.  All of the decisions as to what assessment categories (for example, EX, ME, PR, EM) are used for each standard are determined at the Georgia state level.  If the column is grayed for a standard on the report card it is not an option.
If your child's scores are a mixture of progressing and meeting or better, in a given grading period, they are on track or doing well and working toward meeting the standard(s).  If your child's scores are mostly progressing and / or lower there is need to be concerned.

Remember!!! We are working on standards when introduced till the end of the year!  Scores are due to be submitted to the state usually in April, but we continue to work and assess for report card purposes till the end of the year / final 9 weeks report card.  The final scores and the kindergarten rubric (see below) will determine promotion to first grade.
We want to emphasize that your child will have numerous opportunities to demonstrate mastery of a standard.

Please remember to review the school handbook with your child. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me or the school (862-2323). I will be available most days during my planning 8:30-9:00 a.m. and after school 4:15- 5:00 p.m. You may also contact me via email-  or by note through your child’s folder. Any time throughout the year that you would like a conference please let me know.

Again let me say that I am looking forward to a great year of learning and exploring with your child! Thank you in advance for this opportunity.

Kathy Cooper