Welcome to Kindergarten

There is a wonderful sense of home when you walk through the front doors of Samsula Academy. We deeply believe that your child will find our school to be a warm and friendly place. We are very proud to be a part of the Samsula Academy School family. Once you have opened those doors you are a member of our family too.

We wish to welcome you to Kindergarten. Kindergarten is a new and exciting time for you and your child. It’s a time of change… new beginnings, new friends, new challenges and exciting discoveries! We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for allowing us to be a part of your child’s life during this precious time of growth and discovery!

This is our honor to welcome you and your child into Kindergarten and into… our life. We will do our best to make this year in Kindergarten enjoyable but also filled with academics. Our motto is: “The seeds we plant today will blossom into a flower tomorrow.” It will be our pleasure and privilege to watch your child’s personality and learning abilities blossom and unfold day by day.

We run a very effective classroom which is well structured but allows for fun and growth. We hold high expectations for all my students. Furthermore, we strongly believe in differentiated instruction. Research reveals that all students learn differently. Therefore, we plan my lessons to meet the needs of all students. It will be our honor to expand the growing minds of tomorrow and encourage them to become the great leaders of the new generation.

You will find very useful information on this blog. I will update it with events that are happening in our classroom, student work, and other related events. If you have any questions, you may contact us at cgibbs@readingedgeacademy.org or sbowden@readingedgeacademy.org

-Mr. Christopher Gibbs, M.Ed
-Mrs. Shannon Bowden

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kindergarten Supply List

Samsula Academy Supply List 2010-2011 School Year

Grades K-5 MUST have a backpack: Soft sided * no rollers * keep it as plain as possible.
If your child plans on bringing a lunch from home, use a soft-sided lunch box* no characters. Shop wisely – Supplies will need to be replenished in January. Buy extra now and save money. Please buy enough for homework supplies and keep all extra supplies at home. Below is the supply list for kindergarten for the first semester (August to end of December). In January, the supplies will change. You will be updated at kindergarten orientation.

3 pkgs Crayola large(chunky)
8-count crayons
4 writing tablets-Learn to Letter w/ raised ruling (Primary Writing-Stage3)
3 Oxford Spiral Index Card Books (3 x 5 or 4 x 6)
1 pkg of small Index Cards
1 watercolor paint kit (w/brush)
2 plastic 3 prong/pocket folders
2 plastic pocket folders (w/o prongs)
MEAD/FIVESTAR- 1, 3, or 5 subject spiral notebook (plastic cover)
1 bottle of white glue
2 pink pearl erasers
20 glue sticks
1 Fiskar scissors(blunt tip)
1 Clorox wipes (family size)-
2 bottles of Germ-x (large w/pump)
1 box tissues (family size)
Boys: 1 pkg of gallon size baggies
Girls: 2 pkg of quart size baggies
2 plain white t-shirts(your child’s size-name can go inside on tag)

It must be a MEAD/FIVESTAR notebook. It must also have a plastic cover. (Walmart $2.50)

Writing tablets-Learn to Letter w/ raised ruling (MUST BE Primary Writing-Stage3) (Walmart)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Classroom Management and Rewards

How exactly do you run a structured, effective classroom?

Behavior Flip Chart (Individual Behavior):

We use a behavior management pocket chart in my classroom. It helps the students to take responsibility for their own behaviors. It works as follows:

• Each day, everyone starts with a green card showing. Green stands for good behavior and means “you are doing great!”

• Students who forget to follow the rules during the day will be told to move their green card to the back of the pockets, leaving a yellow card in the front. Yellow means “Warning! Pay more attention to your behavior!”

• A student who continues to forget the rules will be told to move the yellow card to the back of the pocket, revealing a red card. Red means that the student will incur a consequence such as losing a privilege.

At the end of the day, students will color in their day on the calendar. This allows students to be responsible for their actions and also allows parents to keep track of their child’s behavior.

Incentive Chart (Individual Rewards):

We also have a reward system in our classrooms for good behavior and quality work. In our classrooms, We have an incentive chart that has each child’s name on it. When a student is caught doing their personal best, they will be told to give themselves either a bee (Bowden) or a crayon (Gibbs). Children will place a picture of either a bee or crayon next to his/her name. Once a child has a total of 5, the child will remove them and receive a reward. Children will NEVER be asked to take an owl down. This is a reward system, not a behavior management plan.

Power Teaching

Andrea Schindler is a kindergarten teacher in California. Andrea Schindler is currently a consultant for Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). Mr. Gibbs and Mrs. Bowden will be using the WBT method in their kindergarten classes at Samsula Academy. They invite you to watch the short video demonstration of Andrea Schindler as she begins her day with her students.

Classroom Rules

Rule One: Follow directions quickly! (the gesture: make your hand shoot forward like a fish)

Rule Two: Raise your hand for permission to speak (the gesture: raise your hand, then pull it down next to your head and make a talking motion. This rule will be the most commonly violated. See below for how you stop this without criticism or negativity.)

Rule Three: Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. (the gesture: raise your and, and then make a little walking figure with your index and middle finger.)

Rule Four: Make smart choices! (the gesture: tap one finger to your temple as you say each word.

Rule Five: Keep your dear teacher happy! (the gesture: hold up each thumb and index finger out like an “L” framing your face; bob your head back and forth with each word and smile really big!)

Now, let's think briefly, about how these five classroom rules relate to brain structure. The brain learns in five ways, by seeing, saying, hearing, doing and feeling. When we teach the rules with the Whole Brain signs, our students' brains are maximally operative. They see the signs, hear the rules, say the rules and make the gestures. We are upbeat and entertaining in our presentation! Students will also have the lovely feeling of having fun.