Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Last week, our school held it's second annual Kindergarten, Here I Come! event for incoming kindergarten students and their families.  This evening is dedicated to meeting our new students and their families and providing them with readiness activities that they can do over the summer to help prepare for kindergarten.  We began the event last year as a way to build a bridge between students' preschool experience and Kindergarten.  We have found that the outreach has proven to be a successful way of welcoming our students and their families and making them feel comfortable with our school. 

Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. M. explains a fine-motor activity
the families will complete in her classroom

We begin the event by having a meal in the cafeteria.  Families are encouraged to buddy up and sit with each other to network and get to know others.  We feel this relationship-building time is a key to helping our families meet others and develop friendships.  We then send siblings to the daycare room--another bonus for our families!  After all siblings are out of the cafeteria, we then dismiss our families to the first of four rotations through each of our four kindergarten classrooms.  Each rotation lasts approximately fifteen minutes.

During their visits to each classroom, the families have the opportunity to learn about our curriculum and complete activities with their child.  Some of the things we introduce are Daily 5 and CAFE--our school-wide philosophy and structure for teaching reading, fine-motor activities, counting, letter naming, writing, and other expectations of what their child should be able to do upon entering kindergarten.  Families leave with a file folder full of activities and several books for their child.

Mrs. B. explains a counting activity parents
can do with their child

We end the evening by having our parents complete an exit survey so that we can improve the event from year to year.  The majority of parents request more time with each rotation--a good indicator they are enjoying each activity!

We were very proud to note that over 2/3 of our future kindergarteners were in attendance at this year's event.  Building strong partnerships with the families now will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the students and their academic success.  What a fun and productive night!

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