Thursday, May 17, 2012

Looking Ahead to Next Year

Today was our Kindergarten Orientation.  Yes, we already met some of our little cuties for next year!

I know what you're thinking...this school year isn't over yet.  We still have 15 days left with our current little ones.  But every year, around this time, we begin our early kindergarten registration for the next school year and we take a day and invite our newbies to come check out our classrooms.

I have to say...I'm really impressed with what I saw today.  They were REALLY awesome little students for the short time that they were in my room.  They fit in with my current class like they had been there all year.  I truly hope that is an indication as to what we can expect for the next school year.

On a side note, we also have one set of triplets and three sets of identical twins coming next year.  What was in the water that year?  That is a large number for our little community school.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you some images of what we provide for the parents of our newbies.  Quite a few years back we created a Kindergarten Readiness Pack.

Over the years, it has changed and evolved and now includes the following:
1.  An alphabet coloring book-this is a little half page coloring book that I discovered years ago.  Each page has one letter of the alphabet (capital/lowercase) and includes a picture that begins with that letter for the child to color.
2.  A coloring book of common nursery rhymes-this is another full sheet book that my grade level put together that includes about a dozen of the most popular nursery rhymes.  We encourage the parent's to have their child color the images and practice modeling tracking the print as they choral read the rhymes with their child.
3.  An emergent reader book-in each packet we include an emergent level text (these are provided through our Waterford Early Reading Program and most stories are either nursery rhymes or popular children's songs).  Again, we encourage the parent to read to and with their child.
4.  A writing journal-this is a journal that my grade level created that includes pages for the child to practice tracing and writing their uppercase and lowercase alphabet as well as their name.  We also encourage the parent to help their child try to write sentences.  Here are a few more images of the inside of this journal.

5.  Sight Word Flashcards-we include a set of our 31 sight words in flashcard format.  We encourage the parent to go ahead and cut them out and begin using them with their child.  We suggest several different games that they can play with their child using these flashcards.

6.  Cutting Skills Practice Sheets-We believe that our job is so much easier if a child can come in with the ability to cut correctly.  That is why we added these worksheets a few years ago.  We encourage the parents to practice this skill prior to kindergarten and, again, even give them other fun suggestions of ways their child can practice their cutting skills.

7.  Number Identification coloring sheet-We explain to the parent that their child will need to learn to count and recognize numbers to 100 by the end of the school year.  Therefore, if they can come to kindergarten able to count and recognize numbers to 10, we are already on the path to success!

7.  Color Word Worksheet-Most children come to school now recognizing all their colors; therefore, we encourage them to learn to read those color words as well.  This worksheet explains to the parent to begin to help their child notice color words around them (in print, on labels, etc).  

8.  School Supplies-Not all children have the necessary supplies to practice their skills prior to coming to kindergarten; therefore, we make sure that we include a sharpened pencil, a box of crayons, and a pair of safety scissors in their packet.  

My team believes that these readiness packets are very helpful not only in better preparing the children for kindergarten, but to make parents more aware of what will be taught and expected of their incoming kindergartner.  

We all know that times have changed in kindergarten, but most often parents do not.  We need to educate them.

So that is our Kindergarten Readiness Pack.  What does your school do to better prepare your incoming kindergarten students?  Do you have a Kindergarten Orientation?  If so, what does it look like/what does it entail?  

I would love to hear what you do.

Happy Blogging!


  1. What a good idea! I love that Kindergarten readiness pack! We had Kindergarten orientation in April - we split the kids up into 3 groups (so that there are 2 teacher/group). We each have an "activity" that we do with the group that lasts about 15 minutes and then we rotate to the next teacher's class so that they're meeting everyone and getting to experience some of the things we do in school. I'm going to have to make up a little pack like yours and send to our K coordinator for our district!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  2. Thank you for sharing your readiness pack. It is a such great idea! We will have our orientation this Wednesday for our new kindergarten parents. We will have a meet and greet and overview of our school/curriculum just for parents. We also have a "buddy day" during the school day where the new kindergarteners come to our classes and buddy with a current kindergarteners. We take them on a tour of the campus and hang out in our classrooms with our current kindergarteners as tour guides. It is VERY exciting! We get to see the kids & the parents and it gives us a better idea of what to expect. We also have all kindergarteners come in over the summer to assess their current skills. PHEW! I'm overwhelmed thinking/typing that. Getting close to the end!
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks Vanessa and Nicole for replying. I love to hear what other schools do.

    Happy Blogging!

  4. I LOVE this packet! Unfortunately, we don't see our kinders until enrollment which is just a week before school starts. I will definitely bring up this idea though - giving the parents a heads up of what to come in kindergarten would be great! By the way, I'm your newest follower :)

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  5. I'm glad you found me, Jennifer.

    :) Ann

  6. Dear Ms. Green,

    Do you have the journal and orientation packets for download? I would love to have them for the beginning of school.


  7. Unfortunately, no I do not but I will be working on something this summer and hope to have it available for a download. I will keep you posted.

    :) Ann