PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

First Weeks of Kindergarten!

September 19, 2019

Welcome to our K-002 Class Blog!  This blog is used to get updates on what your child is learning and how you can support the learning at home. 

We’ve had a wonderful first few weeks of kindergarten.  The beginning of the school year is all about learning the routines of the classroom.  For example, students learn how to pack and unpack their backpacks, where to put their lunches, snack and take-home folders and how to line up and walk in the halls. We also spend a lot of time building classroom community.  We learn names, sing songs and play together. We introduce our three classroom rules and we continue to spend time talking and reading about them, as well as drawing and practicing them. They are:

Be safe.

Take care of each other.

Take care of the classroom.

We listen to stories, read/look at books, draw pictures, explore three kinds of math materials (pattern blocks, unifix cubes and geoblocks) and play inside the classroom and out.

Here are some questions to ask your child about the first weeks of school:

  1. What do you do when the teacher rings the chime?
  2. What table do you sit at? Table 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6?
  3. Can you name someone else who sits at your table?
  4. How can you be safe when walking on the stairs?
  5. What did you play with during choice time?

Here are some highlights from Curriculum Night: 

  •  About me:  I’m teaching K-002 for Ms. Rita until she returns from maternity leave in middle October. Music and the arts are important to me.  I enjoy using them as often as I can in my teaching.
  • About Ms. Rita:  Ms. Rita has always wanted to teach Kindergarten. She has been teaching only Kindergarten for 13 years.  She believes deeply in fostering independence in young children and encourages them to try new things.  
  • In the classroom we teach reading, writing, math, science and social studies.  We often work with small groups of students who have similar needs. These groups are flexible and change throughout the year.  We have choice time every day where students choose from different centers such as art, blocks, dramatic play or puzzles, as play is the work of children.  
  • Every day students have a special 45 minute class taught by a different teacher.
    • Monday:  Gym (Wear Sneakers!!)
    • Tuesday: Dance  
    • Wednesday:  Dance 
    • Thursday:  Science and Chess
    • Friday:  Art
  • We focus on community and cooperation, not competitiveness.  Students can be gifted and talented in many different ways. We don’t want kids to compare themselves to each other but to celebrate their own unique gifts.  We only use the word “gifted” to say that everyone has gifts. 
  • How to Help At Home
    • No homework but…
    • Read to your child every day.   Stop during the book and ask “What do you notice?”  Let your child tell you what s/he is thinking.  
    • Encourage your child to draw and tell about the drawing. Encourage your child to add details to the drawing. 
    • When students are first learning to write spelling mistakes are okay.  We want kindergarteners to write the best they can without worrying about being perfect. We say stretch out the words and write the sounds you hear. 
    • Find fun ways to practice counting.  For example, count a group of toys or how many blocks in a tower or count how many steps from one place to another. 
    • Ask your child to help set the table, sort the laundry or write a grocery list.
    • Talk with your child about his/her day.  Have conversations with your child. Teach him/her to ask/answer questions.
    • Help foster independence by teaching your child how to put on and zip up coats.  Your child can pack his/her own backpack. Kindergarteners are old enough to do simple chores around the house. 
  • Lunch/Snack
    • We eat snack every day around 10:15am. 
    • Please pack snack separately from your child’s lunch and let him/her know where it is. We store lunch and snack in different places in the classroom. 
    • Please pack a healthy snack.  Here are some ideas:
      • Fruit, raw veggies, crackers, pretzels, cheese sticks, granola bars, yogurt
    • Students have 25 minutes to play outside at recess and 25 minutes to eat lunch.  Recess is at 12:30 and lunch is at 12:55.
    • Students are responsible for carrying down their lunches (4 flights of stairs) and carrying them back up so please pack lunch in a box/bag that is easy to carry. 
  • We have one monthly birthday celebration for all the birthdays in that month. Please refer to the Birthday document that was sent via email earlier this week.
  • Other Reminders: 
    • Toys, candy and gum are not allowed at school. 
    • Students should wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes every day for recess and gym. Sneakers are the number 1 choice!
    • Backpacks and Take-Home Folder should be sent in to school every day to help maintain routines in the classroom. 

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me directly at

Here are a few pictures from our classroom: