Welcome to a new school year at Philip E. Secret Elementary School. I hope the summer was filled with sunny days and fun. The purpose of this newsletter is to make a small introduction and to inform you of the subjects I will be teaching, along with the methods I will be using to help your child grasps course concepts. This is going to be the first of the monthly newsletters that I send out to inform you about the progress during the year. I find it very important to involve you in the process in your child's development and essential to their learning. When we work together there is nothing we can not accomplish.
Who is Your Child's Teacher?
My name is Eitteanne Keys And I will be your child's kindergarten teacher. This is my first year teaching kindergarten at Philip E. Secret Elementary. I became a teacher because I enjoy helping children build their knowledge and watch them apply their knowledge in everyday situations. I also view my students as teachers as well, they open my eyes to many views of the world and ways to apply their way of thinking to lesson plans. I believe that students are more open to new experiences if they contribute to the lesson rather than me solely taking over the lesson. I plan to engage the class not only in critical thinking but hands on exploration in lesson plans, doing so will help develop better concepts of the material and how the lesson is grasped. I am looking forward to a great school year and our collaboration in and outside the classroom to lead your child towards success.
Reading has many good affects on students and their development. Although books are fun to read, they can help children become aware of human options, which are our everyday decision making skills, such as wrong and right, consequences and rewards. When approaching reading in the classroom I like to ask the students what books they have read before. This method gives me an idea of what types of books they have been introduced to and what books I can bring that will broaden their horizon. At this age students are still more interested in the illustrations than the story line. To help move them into paying attention to the story line is to show them that the pictures come from the words on the page and without the words there would be no picture. As I point out how the words and pictures go together the students are grasping the concept of comparing two things together.
Science is about helping the students create inquiries that can be investigated through the five senses. Science also builds on problem solving, predictions, and observation skills. For example, exploring the ability to identify that air is all around us even though we can not see air. A question to get the students inquiring would be, "How do we know air is all around us?' The replies I expect to hear are " the wind is air" or "because I can breathe air". The students used their senses but I would need to take it a step further by giving them a visual of how air is all around us. An experiment would be the best way for the students to explore the idea of air being everywhere and have the students involved in exercising their ability to guess or predict what they might see or find. Science is a fun way for students to ask "why" and explore the answers first hand.
Social Studies: Our Past, Present, and Future
Social Studies is not what you may have in mind. Social studies for prekindergarten is about students being able to identify people in their communities. When I approach social studies or history, I ask about home life and what students do outside the classroom in their communities. All students stories are different, some may be similar. I bring these differences and similarities to the students attention, I do this to show them that people live a variety of lifestyles and that is okay. Social studies also brings attention to national holidays, Independence Day, President Day, etc, and we discuss why these days are important in our history and why they are celebrated. Also, students learn about historical figures such as George Washington or Martin Luther King Jr. and what these people represent in our history. When teaching history it is important for the teacher to bring it back to present day life. Being this young students can not relate to past life, simply because they are just beginning theirs. To help students understand why history is important I use a lot of visual media such as short animated movies that helps grasp the students attention of the piece of history we will learn, they are unconsciously learning about history while watching "cartoons" about history. Social studies is a great way for students to learn about the past and what they think might happen in the future.