Zilker Kindergarten Orientation

May 2020

We are so excited to see you next year!

Welcome to Zilker Elementary School! We so wish we could be meeting in person, but until then, hopefully this helps share some information and allows you to virtually meet our fabulous kindergarten teachers!

If you would like your name and email address added to the Kindergarten group email, please complete this short form.

Also, if you haven't registered yet, click here to login to the Parent Cloud to create an account and select AISD Student Registration.

Ideas and Activities to Prepare for Kindergarten

Letter/Sounds and Writing
  • Encourage your child to listen for rhyming words or produce new words that rhyme with the words you say — fan, pan, ran, can, tan.
  • Sing Mother Goose rhymes, read nursery rhyme books, and use finger plays to act out a rhyme, then name the rhyming words.
  • Look for letters in environmental print (signs, packages, labels, book titles, etc)
  • Model how to write the letters in your child’s name and encourage him/her to copy the letters
  • Build letters out of Play Doh or modeling clay.
  • Read alphabet books aloud with your child. Ask them to find letters in the book.


  • Play math games. Ex. “I Spy” with numbers, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Hopscotch, Uno
  • Practice counting in songs.
  • Read number books and ask your child to name the numbers and count the items on each page.
  • Practice counting a set of objects with one-to-one correspondence, ie. match each object they’re counting to each number they’re saying.
  • Ask problem-solving questions and have kids explain their thinking.
  • Practice counting in real-life situations: Count flowers in a garden, forks for the dinner table, dogs on a walk, cars on a train, etc.
  • Have fun sorting toys as you clean up after playtime. Have your child explain how they sorted.
  • Create patterns using toys like toy cars or lego bricks.
  • Play fun games that use dice. Ask your child to count the number on the die and number of spaces.

Social Skills:

  • Help your child identify feelings they are experiencing. When they are feeling angry, help them say, "I am feeling angry" and take belly breaths to calm down.
  • Practice sharing, taking turns and playing fairly.
  • When you are reading a story, ask your child how the characters are feeling to help develop empathy. "How do you think he felt when that happened?"
  • Encourage whole body listening and following 1-2 step directions.
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Would You Like More Ideas?

Check out these resources below to learn about the top 10 things you can do this summer to prepare for Kindergarten!


Sample Kindergarten Schedule

7:45: Journals

8:00: Morning Meeting

8:20: Word Work

8:40: Read-Aloud (Integrated Language Arts and Social Studies)

9:00: Writing

9:30: WOW Outside (Working Out for Wellness)

9:50: Math

11:07: Lunch

11:37: Reading

12:20: Special Areas

1:05: Science/Social Studies

1:45: Recess

2:15: Centers: All content areas

2:45: Closing Meeting

3:02: Dismissal

Other activities include Library, Computer/STEAM lab, Reading and Math Buddies, PEAS Garden Class, Gardening with Mr. Jabo, SEL lessons, and Counselor visits.

Meet Our Teachers!

Ms. Wolden

Name: Renee Wolden

Favorite Food: Thai and Sushi

Favorite Book: Owen by Kevin Henkes, Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson, Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

Favorite Color: Navy Blue and green

What I am looking forward to this summer: Being outside in nature, running, hiking, dog walks, yoga, spending time with friends, and catching up on sleep!

Favorite thing about Zilker: The wonderful community we have here. It really is a special place. The students, their families, and the staff all make it so special!

Ms. Wolden

Ms. Cubillos

Name: Elizabeth Cubillos

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Book: Waiting Is Not Easy! by Mo Willems, Green Eggs and Ham by Dr.Seuss

Favorite Color:Purple

What I am looking forward to this summer: Going on hikes and exploring the outdoors with my family.

Favorite thing about Zilker: Our school community is strong.

Ms Cubillos

Ms. McCumber

Name: Karen McCumber

Favorite Food: Tex-Mex

Favorite Book :Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

Favorite Color: Blue and Green

What I am looking forward to this summer: Getting in shape to lose the Covid-10

Favorite thing about Zilker: We have the sweetest students and a tight-knit community.

Ms. McCumber

Ms. Aretz

Name: Amelia Aretz

Favorite Food: Thai food

Favorite Book: Strega Nona series by Tomie DePaolo

Favorite Color: Navy blue and lavender

What I am looking forward to this summer: I look forward to knitting, going swimming and visiting my family in Philly.

Favorite thing about Zilker: My favorite thing about Zilker is the students! I love walking through the halls to see the beautiful student artwork on the walls and hear all the learning going on in the rooms.

Ms. Aretz
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