Monday, May 12, 2014

Video series offers tips for what kindergarten students can expect in school

A new series of videos produced by the Manchester School District and Manchester Public Television will help ensure the youngest students are prepared when the new school year starts in September. “Ready, Set…Kindergarten!” covers a variety of topics that parents can view for tips and advice on some of the expectations of children in a classroom.

“Every child coming to school should feel comfortable and already possess certain skills to ease the transition to a new classroom,” said superintendent of schools Debra Livingston. “It’s especially important for parents and children to know what to expect if they haven’t been in an educational environment before kindergarten.”

Each of the videos is narrated by kindergarten teachers from schools across the city. They cover academic subjects, such as reading and writing, as well as themes around fine motor skills, social behavior and independence.

“Encouraging self-help skills is a critical step to preparing children for kindergarten,” said Jessica Huard, a kindergarten teacher at Weston Elementary School who helped brainstorm the ideas to be featured in the videos. “That can be something as simple as knowing how to hang up a jacket or being able to follow instructions from a teacher.”

One “Ready, Set…Kindergarten!” video focuses on Writer’s Workshop, a curriculum followed throughout Manchester schools at all elementary grade levels.

“One of our biggest priorities as a district is to expose students to writing early on and to build their skills as writers year to year,” said Bakersville School teacher Shauna Webber. “Many parents are surprised to find out that the process begins in kindergarten.” 

The videos can be viewed at www.mansd.org and on each elementary school’s web site. Dr. Livingston hopes parents will watch them for ideas on ways they can work with their children in the months before the new school year starts. Five videos are available now; additional videos will be added as they’re produced.

“We want to provide helpful information and resources for every aspect of education in Manchester,” said Dr. Livingston. “The video series is just one tool we can offer to reach that goal.” 

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