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Mr. Alessia's Bio: I grew up in Calumet City and Lansing, IL. I attended St. Victor Elementary School and Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing. Following high school, I studied elementary education at the University of Illinois @ Urbana/Champaign. In the fall of 2007, I completed my post graduate degree through Concordia University Chicago in Educational Leadership and Administration. I began my teaching career in 2001 at Jane Addams Elementary School in Palatine, IL, teaching sixth grade. In the fall of 2002, I became a long-term sub for the Enrichment/Project Arrow Program for grades K-3 at Spring Brook. The next year, I moved up to fourth grade, where I spent 14 amazing years. In the fall of 2017, I moved back to the primary grades and began my new journey as a first-grade teacher. I taught first-grade for two years before moving down to Kindergarten. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my five nephews. I also enjoy trying to golf, playing with my dog, attending White Sox and Illinois football/basketball games, reading and spending as much time as possible outside.

 

 

Mrs. Koebrich has loved every moment of her teaching career at Spring Brook. She began her career at Spring Brook as a teacher's aide in 1995 before getting her own fourth grade classroom the following school year. She taught fourth grade for ten years and second grade for thirteen years prior to moving to kindergarten. Mrs. Koebrich received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Illinois University in 1994 and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Aurora University in 2001. She lives in Plainfield with her husband Ken and daughter Kami. As a family, they enjoy taking bike rides in the neighborhood, reading and playing together, and cheering on the Cubs and Bears. In the classroom, Mrs. Koebrich believes every child has the potential to succeed. She values her students and loves providing them with an education that is motivating, achievable, and fun.  Mrs. Koebrich is very excited to be working with kindergartners this year!

 

Mrs. Smith begin her teaching career at Spring Brook in 2007. She taught first grade for one year but has enjoyed being in Kindergarten​! Mrs. Smith received both her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. She loves to sing and make her classroom come alive with children's laughter! She currently resides in Bolingbrook with her husband and two daughters. Mrs. Smith enjoys teaching and she is very grateful to work in a community with exceptional educators and supportive parents who promote and encourage each student to reach their fullest potential.

 

District Mission Statement: Our mission is to prepare all students to succeed in an ever-changing world through comprehensive programs and experiences in collaboration with family and community.

 

Language Arts
The following skills are covered in our reading readiness program:

  • a. recognize and identify letters
  • b. recognize rhyming words and language patterns
  • c. recognize and identify initial consonant sounds
  • d. predict outcomes
  • e. understand cause and effect relationships
  • f. compare and contrast stories
  • g. encounter a variety of quality literature
  • h. understand the importance of listening to others
  • i.   understand the connection between spoken and written language
  • j.   express themselves through print
  • k. verbally express self in context
  • l.   retell stories or experiences in sequence
  • m. recognize sight words

The reading readiness program also includes the integration of reading and writing. Each child begins at his/her own level and builds upon it.   Students are encouraged to write their own stories to share with the class. A rich variety of children’s literature expands the students’ vocabulary and understanding and hopefully, builds a love of reading. Students are expected to be an active participant and will be called on whether or not they raise their hand.

Mathematics

Counting and Cardinality

  • Know number names and the count sequence.
  • Count to tell the number of objects.
  • Compare numbers.

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

  • Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from.

Number and Operations in Base Ten

  • Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value.

Measurement and Data

  • Describe and compare measurable attributes.
  • Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category

Geometry

  • Identify and describe shapes.
  • Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.

Mathematical Practices

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

 

Handwriting

D’Nealian writing is a method of teaching numbers and letters. It makes the transition from printing to cursive much easier for the children. Cursive is taught in second grade. Children will be taught to write their name with a capital letter followed by lowercase letters (John, not JOHN). Reversals are common at the kindergarten level. Do not be concerned by this, as it tends to diminish as your child matures. 

Social Studies 
Some of the topics in social studies include: famous Americans, the flag, our school, community helpers, and responsibilities and rules. 

Science/Health 
Our science units include seeds to plants, seasons, water exploration, marvelous me, ecology, and magnets. 

Art
Children are encouraged to express themselves through various forms of art activities. Students will have two 25 minute periods of art per week. 

Music
Children will have two 25 minute periods per week in music class. Musical expression and rhythm are introduced. 

Physical Education
Students will have three 25 minute periods of P.E. Students will need to wear their athletic shoes. Plus there will be lots of exercises and activities in the classroom for students to stretch and exert their energy. 

Homework
At the kindergarten level, parents are encouraged to reinforce new concepts as they are introduced. Please go over your child’s papers each evening and talk about the concepts presented that day. Ask about the letter we’re learning and its sound. When D’Nealian letters are introduced, please encourage your child to practice the forms at home. This homework does not need to be returned to school.

To increase vocabulary and build listening skills, we ask that you read to your child every day. Your child should be bringing books home from the school library on a regular basis. This is an excellent routine to start with your child. Reading to your child in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere will help him/her come to value the reading experience. You will also be working on developing your child’s attention span. During and after a story, check your child’s listening comprehension by asking some basic questions: who, what, where, when, and why. Above all, have fun reading.

The last area of homework is personal care skills. If your child does not already know how to zip, button, and tie, please work on these skills at home. These skills are especially important in the cold weather months.           

Grading
Evaluation of each student is based on the teacher’s observations, daily classroom work, and report card checks each quarter.

Kindergarten students do not bring home a report card for the first quarter, however, they will get a math progress checklist. Instead, at the November conference, we will discuss your child as a learner and how they have adjusted to kindergarten. During the second, third, and fourth quarters, report cards will be issued that evaluate specific kindergarten objectives. 

Behavior Management
The four basic rules at Spring Brook are

  1. Be Responsible.
  2. Be respectful.
  3. Be there. Be Ready.
  4. Be safe.

Good behavior is constantly rewarded during the day with verbal praise, high fives, hugs, and extra free choice time. Students will receive a green smiley on their calendar to indicate that they had a great day. Occasionally, students might lose some of their free choice time if they make poor choices.    

I will also be contacting parents as needed.  Learning these behaviors is an ongoing process throughout the year. We learn that we all make mistakes and can learn from those mistakes. Parents can help by praising a good day. I appreciate your support as we work together to make this a successful year for your child.

Birthdays
When we celebrate a student’s birthday, we sing to them, they wear a birthday crown, and they get to open a wrapped book from a classmate.

Communication
Once a month, you will receive a newsletter explaining the current events and concepts that are being learned. Please read it to become acquainted with the subjects that will be introduced. I will be sending out emails to make other announcements. Please feel free to call me with questions or concerns you might have. Feel free to write a note or leave a message on my voice mail. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.

A Balanced Kindergartner

Our kindergarten program will focus on the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of each child.

Social Development
Social development involves the child’s perception and acceptance of his/her social roles and responsibilities with regard to others. Social experiences will be provided on a daily basis which will require exploration of materials and environment, and problem solving situations. Experiences include: expression of ideas, cooperation, sharing, sense of belonging to a group, acceptance of responsibility, manners, active participation, respect for rules and authority, appropriate decision making, development of independent behaviors, and respect for the rights of others.

Emotional Development
Emotional development involves the child’s perception and acceptance of his/her self. Experiences will be provided to allow individuals to effectively react to the environment. Experiences include: development of positive self-concept, appropriate expression of needs, adaptation to change, appropriate response to guidance, and development of secure relationships.

Physical Development
The program will include active physical experiences to enhance physical growth, coordination, and relief from stress. Experiences include: large motor activities, fine motor activities, and hand-eye coordination.

Intellectual Development
Children will be actively involved in direct experiences which arouse curiosity and interest, as well as promote individual cognitive growth. The process rather than the product will be emphasized. Experiences include: math, reading readiness, language, science, social studies, and creative arts.

 

Questions For Your Child

Listed below are some questions which you could ask your child so that you will find out more about what happened during the school day. We hope you find these useful. 
  • Were you a helper today?
  • Did you sort anything? What, and how?
  • Did you graph anything? What were the choices?
  • What story did your teacher read today? What happened?
  • What did you do at free choice time? Who did you play with?
  • What table do you sit at? Who sits next to/across from you?
  • Did anyone have a birthday today?
  • What letter are you studying?
  • What sound does the letter make?
  • What are some words that start with that letter?
  • What did you do in P.E., music, art, or computer lab?

 

Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics is a program that teaches the 42 sounds of English, not just the alphabet sounds. With this knowledge, students are taken through stages of blending sounds to form words and then to reading. At the same time they are taught to write by identifying the sounds in words and relating the letters to those sounds. One letter sound is introduced each day for 42 days. It is multisensory: they are using their eyes, ears, and hands. There are five basic skills of the program:

  • Learning the letter sounds
  • Learning the letter formation
  • Blending – for reading
  • Identifying the sounds in words – for writing
  • Tricky words – irregular words
     

Here are the 42 sounds, examples of the sounds in words, and the order in which they are taught:

  • s…sand, sun, twist
  • a…ant, sand, caravan  
  • t…top, tug, mat
  • i…ink, Indian, drink
  • p…pig, pet, step
  • n…nut, nip, spin
  • c…cat, clock, duck 
  • k…king, kind, kettle 
  • e…egg, end, shed
  • h…hop, hit, hill 
  • r….run, rabbit, barrel  
  • m…man, mill, shrimp
  • d…dog, dip, sudden 
  • g…goat, gap, digger
  • o…orange, on, spot
  • u…up, under, lung
  • l…leg, lost, shell  
  • f…fog, lift, fluff 
  • b…bat, bend, crab
  • ai…aim, aid, drain (long a)
  • j…jello, jet, jumper
  • oa…oak, oats, boat (long o)
  • ie…pie, tie, die (long i)
  • ee…eel, creep, tree (long e)
  • or…order, corn, storm
  • z…zoo, zebra, buzz
  • w…wind, went, swim
  • ng..song, bang, string
  • v…van, vet, give
  • little oo…look, good, foot
  • long oo…moon, spoon, shoot
  • y…yell, yes, yellow
  • x…x-ray, ox, flex
  • ch…chop, chick, much
  • sh…ship, shout, wish
  • voiced th…this, then, with
  • unvoiced th…thin, thick, thimble
  • qu…queen, quick, quiet
  • ou…out, cloud, found
  • oi…oil, ointment, spoil
  • ue…value, argue, cue (long u)
  • er…her, stern, sister
  • ar…art, arm, start                             
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