Ready, Set, Go... Kindergarten

Is your child going to kindergarten in the fall? Celebrate this milestone for you and your child at Ready, Set, Go...Kindergarten! At this free family event designed specifically for you and your soon-to-be kindergartner you can: Create fun arts and crafts, sit on a real school bus, meet PBS characters and community helpers! You'll also be able to ask questions and connect with resources to help your child be successful in school! For more information call 717-910-2806.

  • Simple ideas to begin your kindergartner's learning at home

    Written by Debbie Riek, Education Coordinator

    Simple ideas to begin your kindergartner's learning at home Sometimes, we could all use some ideas to extend our kindergartner's learning at home. Check out this information regarding "Environmental Print":

    Environmental Print

    You might hear this phrase when talking to your child's teacher about print that regularly occurs in your child's environment, like the brand name on cereal boxes or the logo on a store you commonly visit. Recognizing this familiar print can make your child feel more confident in his or her ability to "read".

    Ideas To Try

    • Take your child with you to the grocery store and have her match a coupon to the item on the shelf you are buying.

    • Look for the first letter of your child's first name on billboards or store signs and point the letter out. "I see your letter!"

    • Make a book of environmental print that your child can "read" by saving the front of cereal boxes, labels, tags or logos that your child can recognize. Glue them to sheets of paper and staple the paper together. Listen to your child "read" his book to you.

    • Include real items in your child's play like grocery ads, empty food boxes, and menus.

    • Point out things like Stop Signs that your child can read while you drive.

    This information is available on an Idea Card families can pick up at Ready, Set, Go...Kindergarten on August 13 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Idea Cards can be collected from various booths at the event.

    Pick up 7 more idea cards with suggestions related to math, science, the arts, fine and gross motor skills, and others.

    Come celebrate this milestone for you and your child at Ready, Set, Go...Kindergarten!

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    witf
    Public Media Center
    4801 Lindle Road
    Harrisburg, PA 17111

    At this free family event designed specifically for you and your soon-to-be kindergartner you can:

    - Create fun arts and crafts
    - sit on a real school bus
    - meet PBS characters and community helpers

    You'll also be able to ask questions and connect with resources to help your child be successful in school!

    Be sure to RSVP and register your soon-to-be kindergartner

    SEE THE FULL ACTIVITY SCHEDULE

    Published in Ready, Set, Go... Kindergarten

    Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011 17:09

  • 8 great stories for the big transition to Kindergarten

    Written by Debbie Riek, Education Coordinator

    8 great stories for the big transition to Kindergarten

    Getting ready for the big transition to Kindergarten can be exciting and a little scary for some children. Sharing stories with children can be a great way to start conversations, think about questions and connect with your child.

    Tips for Reading Together:

    As you start reading, look at the cover with your child and ask her what she thinks the story may be about based on the picture.

    Pause periodically as you read to ask your child what he thinks might happen next.

    Ask your child if they have ever felt the way the character in the story is feeling.

    Follow your child’s lead if he has questions or points things out in the book.  The side stories that develop from reading together can help you connect with what your child cares about and is thinking about.

    As you finish reading, ask your child for her opinion of the book.  Did she like it?  What was her favorite part?

    Great Books to Help Your Child Start Thinking About Kindergarten:

    book_thebusforus

    The Bus For Us by Suzanne Bloom

    Tess and Gus wait for the right vehicle to take them to school.

    book_franklingoestoschool

    Franklin Goes To School by Paulette Bourgeois

    Franklin is nervous about going to school but his teacher knows just what to do.

    book_lookoutkinder

    Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come by Nancy Carlson

    Henry can’t wait to go to school but gets a little nervous once he gets there.

    book_willihavea

    Will I Have A Friend? by Miriam Cohen

    Jim is nervous but making a friend makes things a little better.

    book_tiptoeintok

    Tiptoe Into Kindergarten by Jacqueline Rogers

    When a younger child goes with her big brother to visit kindergarten, she finds it to be a great place!

    book_wembleyworried

    Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

    Wemberly is worried about the first day but feels better with a new friend.

    book_missbindergarten

    Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten by Joseph Slate

    A fun alphabet book follows a teacher as she prepares her classroom for kindergarten.

    book_thekissinghand

    The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

    Chester is worried that he will miss his mom on his first day of school but his mom teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

    Enjoy sharing some of these books from your local library and come to Ready, Set, Go….Kindergarten on  August 13 to pick up a free book for your family while supplies last.

    Come celebrate this milestone for you and your child at Ready, Set, Go...Kindergarten!

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    witf
    Public Media Center
    4801 Lindle Road
    Harrisburg, PA 17111

    At this free family event designed specifically for you and your soon-to-be kindergartner you can:

    - Create fun arts and crafts
    - sit on a real school bus
    - meet PBS characters and community helpers

    You'll also be able to ask questions and connect with resources to help your child be successful in school!

    Be sure to RSVP and register your soon-to-be kindergartner

    SEE THE FULL ACTIVITY SCHEDULE

    Published in Ready, Set, Go... Kindergarten

    Monday, 18 Jul 2011 21:51

  • Helping Your Child Get Ready For The Big Day

    Written by Debbie Riek, Education Coordinator

    Helping Your Child Get Ready For The Big Day

    There are moments that stay with you as a parent. I clearly remember waking each of my daughters up for their very first day of kindergarten. Looking at their sweet, sleeping faces, thinking of the adventure that is ahead for them and wondering, "How did this happen? Weren't they just babies?" Then the rush of new back-to-school clothes and a backpack, breakfast and photographs and then out the door to "big school" as my daughter Olivia called it. For many of us, it all seems to happen too soon and we want our child, who looks so small climbing on the school bus, to be ready. But what does kindergarten readiness mean and are there really things we can do as families to prepare our little one for this transition?

    School readiness has to do with a child's ability to learn and cope with the school environment without undue stress. A child's intelligence plays only a minor role in their ability to make this transition successfully. "We all have a responsibility to respect this transition and to give our children every opportunity to approach this transition with confidence," says Randi Payne, principal at Mount Wolf Elementary School in Northeastern School District. Mrs. Payne says she shares several tips with parents every year about preparing their children for kindergarten including encouraging self-help skills and providing lots of opportunities for children to interact in structured and non-structured ways with their peers. When families read together, share experiences, and talk about those experiences, Payne says that they equip children with a background of experiences that children can then read, write, and share about in a school setting.

    Payne highlights the value of routines to help children get ready for the kindergarten experience. As children begin to understand what to expect during the course of their day at home or at a preschool, they can begin to reflect on what comes next and start to understand how to prepare themselves for the next activity or part of their day.

    Professionals in the early childhood field echo Payne's thoughts. Lisa Young, the School Age Coordinator at the York YWCA's Manchester Early Learning Center, stresses the idea that this transition process differs for every child based on the child's personality and temperament. "I think what helps is for families to encourage children to ask questions and to be curious," she says. She also stresses the importance of sharing books together and taking advantage of community events that may be free or of low cost to provide fun and interesting experiences for children. Pay attention to what interests your child and try plugging them in to real life experiences where they can learn more.

    Begin talking now with your child about what they think kindergarten will be like, what they are excited about and what they are nervous about, too. Consider checking books out of your local library about kindergarten and read them together. Talk with your child and model good listening when they talk to you.

    What should you do if you feel like your child may not be ready for kindergarten? Both Mrs. Payne and Ms. Young say take a deep breath and have the conversation with a school representative. Payne says, "I will invite families to come in and visit a kindergarten class and spend some time with their child." "If you aren't sure if your child is ready," says Young, "have the conversation. Don't be afraid. This is a brand new experience and they may not know all the academic parts of it yet but that is what kindergarten is for."

    Mrs. Payne encourages families to take advantage of all the transition events that their school district may be having. She suggests that families contact their school districts and ask about the events and then go together. "Children need to hear from us that this is an exciting time and that we all think it is important and special," Payne says. These kinds of positive experiences help children associate school with good feelings and begin to trust the adults there.

    So when it comes down to getting ready, what can you do? Read and talk with your child. Arrange some play dates with children in your neighborhood. Play a game together as a family. Enjoy the warmer weather with your child by visiting a local park, museum or zoo. You are helping your child be ready!

    If your child will be going to kindergarten this fall, join us at the Public Media Center on August 13, 2011 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM to celebrate this exciting transition for your family at Ready, Set, Go ...Kindergarten! The event which features fun activities for your child and useful information for you is free! Please visit witf.org or call 717-910-2806 for more details.

    SEE THE FULL ACTIVITY SCHEDULE

    Published in Ready, Set, Go... Kindergarten

    Tagged under Education

    Tuesday, 12 Jul 2011 19:21

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