Dear Sky Class Parents,
Welcome to the new school year in Sky Class! We are excited to have your child and you in our Sky Class community. We are also delighted to welcome Katie MacTaggart to the Sky Class team!
The first two weeks we will be doing activities designed to build a sense of community among the children, to give them an opportunity to get to know one another and us, and to orient them to the school, classroom, and program. We will also launch into the Lower School 2016-2017 theme of Water. As we work on fostering the sharing of school supplies in our classroom, we will provide the necessary materials. Students do not need to bring personal art materials, notebooks, etc. We will also be administering language and math diagnostics. We work to create a relaxed and supportive atmosphere for the diagnostics. As we tell the children, we need to get a sense of what they already know and what they are ready to learn, so that we can plan good activities for them. We will begin our Writing Workshop with the whole class during the first two weeks as well. Once Language Groups are formed, we will move into Writing Workshop within Language Group time.
Initially your child may be confused or anxious about some of the classroom routines and other goings-on. Some children may be reluctant to share all their questions and concerns with new teachers (or teachers they have not seen all summer.) Please let us know about things they may have found confusing or worrisome. You can write down their questions and concerns and send them in. They need not be signed. We will read these questions out loud and do our best to answer them clearly. It is likely that if your child is confused about something, there may be others confused as well.
We invite children to bring items and stories to our “show and tell” time, which we call “Sharing.” Beginning the second week of school, we will have a sign-up available and up to four children may sign up on a given day, Tuesday through Friday. We ask that a child not sign up more than once in a two week period. We focus this sharing time on certain items. Unless a child has special permission from a teacher, a sharing should be 1) something the child has made, 2) a book the child enjoys, 3) an item from nature, 4) a “telling” about a current event in the child’s life, or 5) a musical performance (a song, a dance, playing an instrument.) As always, the Star of the Week (more on that later!) can share every day, including Monday. The Star can share whatever he/she chooses. Pets may be shared if parents make prior arrangements with the teachers. For logistics, we need to have just one pet sharing on a given day.
We work to create a child-centered space in our classroom. Our students are at an age where it is increasingly important for them to have their own space away from home and parents. That means parents’ roles in the classroom may be different than in Early School or Kindergarten. We still love to have you involved. There are many ways for you to participate that enrich our program while supporting your child’s growth into independence.
We will share more information about Sky Class in the weeks to come, especially at Back to School Night, Thursday September 22. We will be sending out regular information, often by email; so be sure the school has an up-to-date email address for your family. For now, please read the attached list of needs, requests, and pertinent information. Save this and other information that you receive from us for future reference. Creating a “Lower School” file to keep such information is helpful. We are looking forward to the year ahead!
Tom, Natasha, and Katie