Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tomorrow we begin!

Hello to all the families of Ocean, Aryav, Estelle, Liam, Cecilia,  Gavin, Jenna, Thyra, Isabella, Aragon,  Maia, Henry, Grace, Harper, Javon, Samantha, Leilae and Kaydence!

It was so nice to meet many of you last evening, and I am looking forward to tomorrow as our first day together!  We are beginning on a Wednesday so that we can take advantage of the short day as an easy way to get used to being at school.  Tomorrow's schedule is from 8:30-12.  Please feel free to come and stay as you'd like tomorrow.  You know your child, so will know what will work best for them and for you.  Then on Thursday will be our first longer day, and the day to say good bye for the school day.  Make sure to be talking with your child about how this will go and all the feelings you all will be having.

Also, I wanted to thank you so much for beginning to get your supplies in.  This helps our classroom have lots of goodies for the whole year.  I had lots of fun shopping for our class to get things started, and then your supplies will help us be set. 

Something to know about me is that I am not big on traditional homework, but I do use the word ( as you saw in my post about parent homework!)  The type of things I feel are great as "homework" are things like sharing with you discussion topics that we have been having so that you can join that discussion at home, or research and collections that friends want to continue at home.  Two collections we are starting are any animal images the children chose to bring in and seeds to investigate (they don't have to be new, we aren't germinating these ones, yet).  All "homework" is fun and supposed to be only done if it catches your child and your family's interest. 

There are so many things that I can't wait to tell you about but I won't overwhelm you and I should get to bed.  Having a good night's sleep is ALWAYS important! 

Sending you all my excitement and love, Jennifer

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Come to Our Open House!

Tomorrow's the day!  I am so excited to meet you at our Open House on Monday August 30th from 3-8pm.  Come when you can and wander around meeting people and sampling the great food from Chickpeas.

Thank you to many of you who began writing to me.  I just can't wait to get to know you all.

Enjoy your Sunday.  I will- we are headed to the yummy and decadent Azucar this morning to sample more of their amazing food and ofcourse a little cafe con leche.  I hope your day is yummy too.

See you soon, Jennifer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

As the staff gets the school together, it is so lovely to meet parents and see how involved they are.  I want to send out appreciations to the magic faries who came in on Saturday and put together the remaining Ikea furniture that I had.  My fingers were SO done with those turn keys, so thank you a million times.

And today Carrie, Ocean's mum, came in and wiped things down and did the MANY windows in our room.  I really appreciate each and everyone of you who is doing things, known or unknown, for us.  We love you.  And I can't wait to get to know you all more!

Peace to all, Jennifer

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hello families!

I was just at this great meeting with other educators in the community and am all inspired.  I can't wait to have this same feeling when I meet you guys!  In the mean time, I have some homework for you parents out there.

Please write to me!  I would love to begin to read emails (or regular mail- it feels so special now adays!) from you where you write to me describing your child.  If you want to attach photos, that would be great too.  It's just a beginning of us getting to know you.  I would love to hear who your child is through your eyes.

My email address is jenniferkt@innovationsacademy.org

Or write to me at our new site:
Jennifer Kirkby Tatro
6154 Mission Gorge Rd. Suite 100

San Diego, CA 92120

Thanks and enjoy your week, Jennifer

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things to Get before School!

I know you are all doing so much to get ready for school emotionally.  The transition from summer to school is often hard, and the transition into Kindergarten, for you as well as your child, is a big feat.  Here are things you can feel good about doing to get ready that (hopefully) require less emotions!  Thank you for your support!

Personal needs list:
Please do not label these (except for the last six items).
These will be used as community property by all friends.

1 composition book here is a link to help you see what I mean:
1 pack of lined paper
1 pack of index cards
2 reams of plain white printer paper
1 pack of large painting paper approximately 18" x13"
1 pair of child size scissors- fiscars are a good example of the type of strong blades, but any metal blade is great here's an example:
1 2-pack of paper mate flair medium tip felt point pens
1 box of 24 number 2 pencils plain
1 multi pack of crayons
1 multi pack of colored pencils
1 multi pack of colored thin pens
(the last three above, don't worry about getting the "right" one. The more diverse options the better!)
2 boxes kleenex
1 box of wet wipes
1 box of multi size bandaids

1 backpack that fits confortably and that will hold your child's lunch box and journal- please LABEL this INSIDE
1 hat if desired, LABELED INSIDE
1 lunch bag or box with FABRIC NAPKIN (for a place mat and napkin), LABELED
1 reusable waterbottle, LABELED
1 bag of extra clothes and shoes, LABELED
1 family photo or SMALL album of family photos

Please think about the environment when purchasing your lunch items. The more reusable containers we can use, the less waste our school will generate. I will do the best I can to help your child be accountable for their items, and ofcourse you will be working on this at home. Even though it can seem a bit of an explense at the beginning of the year to buy containers for them to use, it is rewarding to know that we are putting the least amount of zip lock bags, yogurt containers, and plastic wrappers as we can in the landfills.  Please contact me if you want to know more about places to find "reusable ware".

And finally, please HAVE YOUR CHILD CHOOSE A BOOK that is meanigful to them and consider donating a lightly used or new copy of this to our class library. I love books and feel that the more diverse liturature children can expeience the better. And, as children coming into a new school, it is nice to find a story that you connect with and feel the feeling that you contributed this to your friends' experience. The only request I make is to avoid books that are connected to movies or comercial ventures. These are prevelent in their lives, but in their classroom I like to offer other options than those they see in the media. Thank you each for all you are doing to prepare your child and support our classroom!

Wish list for the classroom:

plain brown clip boards
plastic bags
baby food jars (with labels washed off if possible)
yoga mats- to relax on at rest time!
Large pieces of fabric
Silky scarves
Any random plain envelopes, plain cards, and plain note pads you may have laying around the house, for our message area
A few large bags of potting soil
plain 12" or larger pots for planting or rectangle planters
1 jug of elmers white glue
20-30 glue sticks

I created an amazon wish list for you to look at below.
Please consider purchasing an item or two from this list:

*This is by no means suggesting that you go through amazon, I am just using them as a vehicle for you to see what items will work. You decide if amazon is easier, or if you have seen some of these things in your daily journey, then all the better. I often see many of these things at Stores like Ross, Tuesday Morning and Marshals, as well as the Thrift store.

I appreciate any contributions you make to your child's classroom. Together we are working to embelish and deepen thier experiences!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Images from the Rainforest

I just thought I would post a few photos from my summer road trip so that you can see what I look like and the kids can begin getting used to who they will be meeting soon.

These photos are from our trip to the rainforest area of the Olympic Penisula in Washington State.  There is one with a tree that fell behind me.  Can you believe how big the roots are?  And I was just boggled to see so many big and beautiful leaves.  What a lovely trip!

Enjoy your day, Jennifer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

As summer ends, I'm getting excited!

Welcome, I'm so glad you are here.

The movers are taking care to put all the furniture into our new rooms tomorrow.  I have been waiting for this so I can begin the fun.  There are so many ideas floating around my head, but the most important thing is to make this space inviting, inspiring and alive for you new children that are coming to Innovations Academy. 

As I put together the space as a provocation for our year together, I will also create a list of things you families can do to help.  This will come soon. 

But first, please begin talking to your child about what it will feel like to go to school, to say goodbye, to be in charge of your own stuff, to meet new friends.  All these things are big and abstract.  Having small and comfortable conversations, at home with the ones you love most, will help to make this idea of "going off to Kindergarten" seem do-able.  The very best we can do for our new Kindergarten friends is support them to feel confident and capable and to know that there are many people around cheering them on in this.

I am so happy to be one of those people.  Until then, please feel free to contact me.  I am looking forward to meeting you and your family.  Sending out happy summer memories to all of you until next post, Jennifer