I will be helping your child develop and grow socially, emotionally and cognitively. I am excited and honored to help your child enjoy learning.
About me: I have been teaching Kindergarten at Richland for 13 years. I have a Master’s in Education from DePaul University and my ESL (English as a Second Language) Endorsement from the University of St. Frances. I went to college at the University of Iowa and I attended high school at JCA (formerly St. Francis Academy). I grew up in Joliet and attended Troy Grade School and Montessori in Crest Hill for pre-school.
My family consists of my daughter, Sadie (11yrs) , and husband Tom. We have tons of family in the area since my husband is 1 of 7 children. We have 3 dogs (Boxer, Beagle and a Pug) and 2 guinea pigs which I sometimes bring to class. My family enjoys vacationing in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. My family loves outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, biking and skiing. My parents live in Joliet and Florida and my brother’s family just moved to Austin,Texas.
FOR THE LOVE OF KINDERGARTEN What is Kindergarten? Kindergarten is the beginning of your child’s educational journey at Richland. It is supposed to be fun and exciting. The journey begins here but also at home and we are the children’s cheerleaders. By keeping learning fun and exciting, we set the tone for the importance of school. This is the first formal experience your child will have with curriculum instruction and I will be helping your child through independent and guided instruction. We will become a learning community with all children helping one another grow and develop.
What to expect first quarter:
The first quarter is so important for a child’s self-confidence. Promoting positive social interactions and classroom behaviors will be our first goal. Modeling and practicing how to best work in a classroom environment will be our daily objective for the first quarter. You can support us by working on self-help skills and respectful language at home by using “please and thank you”. Keeping a consistent bedtime routine and making sure your child gets at least 10 hours of sleep will really help.
Because we will be focused on promoting positive behavior and we will be working on school behavior systems and classroom systems to start. We will also be reviewing and teaching letters and letters sounds through a new program called Zoo Phonics. We want to make sure all the children have a strong base with letter sounds and identification.
We understand students come to us at very diverse learning levels. We differentiate to accommodate to the students who are at various reading land math developmental levels.
Writing is proven to improve reading and we teach both skills together. Picture drawing, labeling and sentences developments will be integrated throughout the year. Journal writing allows for independent practice as well as it provides opportunities for instructions differentiation. Students will also be writing and drawing in reflection Objective By Reporting Periods First Quarter & Second Quarter · Positive Classroom Behaviors for optimal behavior to enhance learning · Fine motor skills – cutting and holding a pencil correctly · Writing- Creating details in pictures to tell or retell a story · Recognizing and writing all the letters in their first name using a capital letter followed by lowercase · Phonics: Letter names and letter sound production (short a and short i vowels) · Phonemic Awareness- Rhyme production, segmenting sounds of words, beginning sound manipulation to make new words · Concept of Print: book awareness and differentiating between letters, words and sentences. · Comprehension: Noting details in pictures, determining a character and setting. · Independent and partner reading. They will learn how to read a book by themselves or to a friend using pictures or words · Math Skills: Number recognition to 0-10, counting and matching objects, one to one correspondence directional words and shape names · Problem Solving: patterning to solve problems, adding and taking away of groups. · Geometry: putting shapes together to make new shapes.
Third and 4th Quarter · Mastery of the above skills and math facts up to 5 and beyond. Number recognition up to 30 and beyond. Counting up to 100 as well as skip counting and counting on from any number . Writing numbers and sequencing numbers up to 20. Composing and decomposing number place value.
· Full understanding how letter sounds move together to make a word and awareness that if the letters change the word can change and be manipulated.
· Decoding and using segmenting letter sounds to read and write three letter, c-v-c words ( cat, mat, jet, hit , etc) . *** Reading at their independent level as well as goal setting to advance them to their next level.
Homework: As I grow as a teacher I find that homework can be fun for some families and for some families a daunting burden. Sometimes family’s schedules don't allow for time to do homework and thus students are unable to completed homework and feel sad or embarrassed . We want to make sure that we discourage negative conversations about learning, homework, practice etc. Putting pressure on a student or parent for failure to complete homework is not at all productive.
This year : There will be some homework sent home as a resource for the parents to understand what is being taught in class. You can only do what you and your child feel comfortable with and if you feel like you don't need the resources or the extra practice please let me know. I can accommodate the student in class so they receive the additional practice during center time. I feel the best instruction for 5 and 6 year- old’s are experiences with their parents. Trips to libraries, museums or cultural events support language development. Children benefit from connecting with their parents by playing games, listening to stories, conversing about stories and drawing and reflecting about stories. It is this kindergarten teacher's belief that teachers serve to provide resources to parents if needed and to help educate parents on how to best help their child. I may send different resources home depending on your child's needs.
We have a new math series that does provide homework and we have sight words that will be sent home for parents to practice at home. Whatever practice work is not completed at home, just leave it in the child’s B.E.E. Book ( take home folders) and I will fit it in during our center time.
Read Every day: I highly encourage you to read daily with your chld. Reading 10-20 minutes a day is important. For some families, you may have to build up to this time as some children don't have focus and concentration. Here is a tip: involve tyour child in reading. Ask your child to tell you about the pictures before your read the words. Ask your child to point to the words as you read. Encourage your child to select the book to be read, turn the pages or draw a picture after you read. All these suggestions will build your child's love of reading. I also suggest you read the story the first time without stopping then go back and discuss important parts of the story. Many times, children want you to read the same story over and over again. That is wonderful because you have done a good job helping them to connect to the story. Go to the library together, order books from scholastic together, If you speak a different language in your home I encourage you to read to your child in whatever language you are most comfortable. Being in a bilingual home is a wonderful gift to your child.
Family Play-dates : We host family play-dates and we meet outside of school and sometimes at school. There is usually food and play involved and it is a great way to meet the parents and friends of your child's classmates. We have cook-outs, park play, library visits and picnics. Community building is one of my joys. I really enjoy getting to know the student’s families. They are usually on a Sunday but sometimes a weekday night. I will send out plenty of reminders and notices.
Nuts and Bolts of Mrs. Stengele’s Classroom (ABC order)
Attendance/Absences: If your child is absent for any reason, please call the school and leave a message or talk to the Richland office staff. If your child is absent for more than 3 days, please contact me so I know how to best support your child when they return. Call this number for all absences 815-744-6166
Bathroom Needs: We are asking that each child keep a change of pants, underwear and sock in a zip lock with their name on the bag and keep it in their backpack. It is very common for children who don’t normally have accidents to have an accident because this is a new environment. Sometimes they are so excited they forget to go. No worries – happens. Kids in my class don’t have to ask for permission to use the restroom in our class. I also teach them how to knock 3 times when the bathroom door is closed. We do a lot of practice with bathroom procedures the first weeks of school.
Behavior: All year we work on classroom expectation and training appropriate and expected behaviors. Especially at the start of the year. We role play, model and practice. I reward with “Soaring Eagle Tickets”. I also give our “fuzzies” for participation and appropriate behaviors I like to recognize. The children collect the fuzzies and spend them at the end of the week on special center activities. I try to ignore inappropriate behavior and only praise for desired behaviors. Sometimes negative behaviors can’t be ignored especially if they are repetitive and affecting other students. At this point a parent teacher conversation is needed. We also have social workers on staff to assist us form a plan to consult on topics of concern.
All the children will receive P.B.I.S (Positive Behavior Intervention System) training. Students will be given practice opportunities, training and support on school wide behavior expectations. All classrooms monitor student’s behavior through green, yellow, red system. In class, I use a stop light with clothes pins. They keep their clothes pin in their tool box. Green: Warning, Yellow: Minor, Red: Major. School Administration requires us to communicate behavior infractions with a pink note. It is sent home for you to read over, talk to your child about and return back. I keep all minor notes and any major notes go to the office. We have classroom celebrations as school celebrations to Family Fun Zone and special school assemblies.
Classroom Expectations: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty Respect - We listen when other people are talking - We raise our hands to share our thoughts - We are kind to others and help our friends - We use kind words and good manners - We use low voices so others can think
Responsibility - We are prepared for class and have our supplies ready - We put our personal items in our cubbies - We keep our room neat and clean - We are careful when working with classroom supplies - We always put classroom supplies back in their homes - We are in charge of ourselves not our friends - We work and play safe and we help others be safe
Honesty & Kindness - When asked a question we tell the truth - If something breaks we tell the teacher - If someone is going to hurt themselves we tell the teachers - We practice gentle honesty with our friends and we try not to hurt feelings - We practice the “Golden Rule”: we treat others how we want to be treated. - We say the truth, speak the truth and practice the truth in school, at home and on the bus.
Bus Transportation: If you have any changes to your child’s bus transportation needs, please contact the office. We have early release days which you will need to be aware of and adjust your schedules. Also some days only morning or afternoon kindergarten attends. Any bus issues is directed to our bus transportation department. Behaviors on the bus a monitored by the bus driver and directed to our Assistant Principal.
Computers: We have Chrome Books and I-pads to assist with student learning. Headphones are needed for kindergarten as we don't share headphones so please make sure your child’s name is written on the device.
Clothing: Please consult the school’s handbook. I would also suggest you pack a sweatshirt even on warm days. We have limited control of the temperature in our rooms and it can get cold. I instruct the children that they need to wear the coat the way it was worn when they came to school. Please practice putting on jackets and zipping at home. For P.E. you can pack shoes but it is easier if they wear their gym shoes. Reminder: Please no flip-flops. Many times, we go out on the playground and there is mulch that could stick their feet.
Field trips: We have several throughout the year. Our first one is the farm. More details will follow. Parents are selected by a lottery system.
Family Projects: we have monthly family projects that are fun and build self-esteem. You will receive more information about our projects. Students show their projects to the class and they tell how they made the projects. I encourage parents to refrain from making them “to fancy” and to involve the child as much as possible. Folders: B.E.E. (Bring Everything Every day). I will fill the folders you purchased with a school calendar, sight word list, and important information. Please check your child’s folder daily. There will be a zipper pouch for money and important notes from home that I will put in their folder. All money and important notes should be placed in this zipper pocket.
Learning Centers & Stations; We have various learning centers and stations for independent practice and partner practice.
Mistakes: I don’t’ expect my students or their parents to be perfect so please don’t expect perfection from me. We learn from mistakes and I teach the children to use mistakes as learning experiences.
Names: Please write your child’s name on jackets and coats. I also ask that you put names on items that could get lost : backpacks, sweatshirts. We are learning each other’s names. If I mispronounce your child’s name let me know or if your child prefers a nick name let me know.
Newsletter: I send home monthly newsletters electronically via email. I also email notes weekly and reminders so please make sure I have your email and your are receiving emails.
Parent (Grandparent) Classroom Helpers: We will be asking for room parent volunteers who work with the PTC on parties. If a parent would like to volunteer, please call me and we can set up a time you can assist in the classroom. You can always email me if you get a day off, just give me a day’s notice so I can let the office know.
Parent/Teach Conferences: We will have conferences at the end of October. We have sign up times at Curriculum night or I will contact your to make a reservation. I encourage both parents to attend conferences.
Pick and Drop Off – If your child is being driven to school, please make sure you park your car in the middle of the parking lot and walk your child to the Kindergarten door for drop off. For pick-up you will go to the school doors of the elementary offices by the big pillars. Your child will be walked down to the office and released to you. Morning kinder kids may be picked up by the kindergarten door by a known parent or caregiver. If we do not know you or the person picking up we may ask you to go to the office for an ID check.
Play-dates: We organize these and we hope you can attend. It is a great way to get to know the families.
PTC ( Parent Teacher Council): Without these wonderful parents we would truly not have the wonderful supplies in our classroom or the fun events for the children. They help host our parties and get parents to volunteer for room parents and helpers. Please support them, join them and go to their meetings. We need as much parent involvement as possible. Teachers and Parents have to work together for all children to learn and love school. – “It takes a Village”.
Report Card/ Progress Monitoring: I used various methods to assess children growth,: observations, quick assessment check, unit and chapter assessments. We also conduct EASY CBM progress monitoring three times per year to check growth and determine if their are any skills that need to be supported by our intervention staff : Mrs. Law for reading skills and Mrs. Ettema and Jones for math skills.
School Calendar and Handbook: Please make sure you read the school calendar and sync with your own personal calendar. The school handbook is very helpful regarding dress code and other items.
Tardiness: If your child is tardy for school please bring them directly to the office. For security reasons, teachers cannot open the kindergarten doors after we close our doors. You must sign your child in at the office.
Security: All volunteers at school will be asked to sign an office form that will be kept on file. This form will allow you to volunteer in the school and during field-trips. Also for your child protection, you will be asked to present and ID at the office anytime you enter the school and request to take your child from the premises. Please consult the handbook about the details when you ask others to pick-up your child.
Schedule: ELA ( Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Writing, Reading Comprehension) 60-90 min. Math ( Counting, Carnality, Problem Solving, Number Operations, Geometry 30-40 min. Practice and Application of taught skill : Station Rotation, Centers : 30 minutes Specials: A Days P.E. (30 min), C Chromebooks ( 20 min), D-Library (25 min), E- Music 25 min.
Speech: If your child is having difficulty being understood or pronouncing certain words, you can ask me to have your child screened. There is no charge. Some speech issues are developmental and the Speech Pathologist will determine if a full evaluation is needed. I may also see a need to have your child screened and will let you know prior so that I can obtain your permission.
Understanding: I check for understanding in various ways: thumbs up, thumbs down, smiles, cheers, or other various ways. If your child is shy, let me know. I will work them on a signal they can give me if they need help.
Working Together: I want to work with you. If you ever have a concern please do not hesitate to contact me. I accept all suggestions. If at any time you have a problem, please give me the opportunity to help, change or adapt. If you feel that I am not able to assist you, our Principal, Asst. Principal and office staff are very kind and will be glad to help.
I really look forward to an exciting 2017-2018 school year.
Respectfully, Mrs. Stengele
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