“Kindergartners learn a lot through play,” said Robert Gray teacher Jodi Hanson, who has been teaching kindergarten for the past 20 years. “They don’t even know they’re learning it.”
Today’s kindergarten classes include forays into reading, writing, counting to 100, counting by 10s, early addition and the beginnings of subtraction.
In Hanson’s class, students set personal goals each day and work in small groups to accomplish them. A goal can be anything from practicing listening skills to writing their names to exploring mathematics. Whatever it is, Hanson makes sure students enjoy the process.
“Kindergarten is the foundation for the rest, and it’s so important to build that love of learning,” she said.
In Longview, helping students achieve literacy early is the top academic priority, and kindergarten teachers are on the front line of that effort.
“I love when they learn to read, when they first realize they can read on their own,” said Tiffany Mejia, who is in her sixth year of teaching kindergarten at Columbia Valley Gardens. “The sparkle in their eyes—that’s my favorite.”
At Northlake Elementary, Alynn Huhta’s students’ favorite lessons include celebrating holidays and working with the animals they receive in science kits—goldfish, guppies, snails and worms.
Each morning, Huhta’s class begins with a routine of greetings, songs and dances. In her third year teaching kindergarten, she says her favorite thing is “the joy and excitement the kids have about school and learning, because it’s a brand-new thing. They learn so much and are excited about everything.”
Sometimes, though, kindergartners need an explanation of what it means to learn.
Mejia recalled the end of one school year, when she told her class to keep practicing their reading over the summer. One of her students replied, “I can’t actually do that. I’m going to Texas.”
Laughing, Mejia said, “I told her, ‘No, actually you’ve learned this skill. You will keep that forever.’”
That’s what kindergarten is all about: helping our students build the skills they will use in whatever future they find—skills they will keep forever.
Register your student for kindergarten today! Early registration gives you first chance at the classroom spots in your neighborhood school. In addition, the March into Kindergarten event on April 12 provides assistance in registration; helpful information on readiness for school; and a chance to meet teachers, the principal, and new friends. March into Kindergarten will be held at all neighborhood schools from 5-6:30 p.m.
Students will explore a variety of scientific concepts including physics, chemistry, biology, and more. High school students will run experiments and offer hands-on lab activities and demonstrations. This year’s focus is on Forensics with a “whodunnit” mystery. Students will learn to finger print and identify hair samples. Other science hands-on activities include stations for dinosaur digs, chemical reactions, circuits, lasers, rockets, Scratch coding, leaf identification, DNA models and more.
Please complete the registration form and return to R.A. Long High School ASB office during school hours. The cost for the event is $49, with proceeds benefiting the Science Olympiad Club. Students are to bring their own lunch; only light snacks will be provided for the day.
Schools will be operating on their regular schedules, but due to road conditions, the following bus routes will be following snow/lowland routes:
Elementary–5, 6, 13, 15
Middle- and high school–16
Families should use their discretion about the safety of getting their child from home to the bus pick-up or school. Please use caution and share safe walking tips with your children.
If you haven’t done so already, consider subscribing to FlashAlert notifications and download the FlashAlert Messenger app to your phone easy access to up-to-date information. Information will be also posted on www.longviewschools.com (families-school delays and cancellations), on Facebook, and on local media.