Curriculum Night

  • Spanish Immersion

    Ms. Jeffer & Srta. Pacheco

    This is a brief outline of what was discussed at Curriculum Night.

    Spanish Immersion Program

    Your child is either in the green Orugas or  purple Tecolotes (caterpillars or owls) class.  Each class is shared 50/50 by each teacher; Ms. Jeffer teaches in English and Srta. Pacheco teaches in Spanish.  The kids will start each morning in the classroom where they ended the day before (watch for the owl or caterpillar hanging on our doors) that way they will get to learn the morning calendar routine in both languages!


    The Kindergarten team at Desert Willow Elementary School believes in a balanced approach to teach reading skills.  We offer a variety of phonics activities which incorporates the phonological and orthographical awareness processes.  We accomplish this in a variety of engaging activities that meets each student where they are at and helps them maximize their learning experience. .  We will study a letter a week to reinforce writing and phonetic skills. We will send some letter cards home soon to practice naming letters and the sounds the letters make.  It is essential that you practice these cards at home.  Please keep these cards in a safe place so they are not accidentally discarded.  The reading aide and teacher watch for a variety of cues from the children to know when they are ready to be worked with individually to read short phonics books.  Please do not compare your child with other children in their reading development. Learning to read should be like learning to talk. It should be an enjoyable process that develops over time.  Putting pressure on children can create reading problems in the future.

    Social Studies

    We will be learning Social studies in English! We will be learning about 6 different concepts throughout the year utilizing songs and have hands on activities that will further their understanding.

    The 6 concepts are:

    1. Being a Good Citizen; Learning about rules and why they are important
    2. My Country; Learning about their country and symbols
    3. Workers in our Community; what makes a community and who works in it
    4. Where we live; where and how do people live in other places of the world
    5. As time goes by; the passing of time, seasons, weather
    6. Stories of the past; History of our country, what happened long ago

    It’s a Small World

    We will be “traveling” to a different country each week to learn about the diversity of languages, food, games, and music around our world.  Learning about various cultures will help the children learn about our planets’ geography, how people live, how people are different and how they are the same.  This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to learn about diversity in a fun way. We will visit places like France, China, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Antarctica, Italy, Iran and Greece.  If you have been to a country and would like to share about your experience, please contact Ms. Jeffer or sign up at curriculum night.


    The Kindergarten team at Desert Willow believes in hands-on math experiences for young children.  We practice counting by ones, twos, fives, and tens. We encourage children to count to 50 and beyond.  You can help at home by counting frequently. The children need to recognize and write the numbers to 20 by the end of the year.  Most of them will recognize and write numbers to 50. We do not do a lot of worksheets in math. Most of the math instruction and activities will actively engage the students mentally and physically, we will use hands-on materials, or complete activities on the smartboard in class. It is a goal to also introduce some games from Mexico that involve counting. Our goal in math is to promote thinking and problem solving skills while preparing your children for learning the basic math facts in first grade!

    *Go Math and Dreambox*


    Science will be taught in Spanish. We will learn four main concepts through songs, stories, games, activities and hands-on experiments. Our four main units are:

    1. Life Science-Plants & animals; growing & changing
    2. Earth Science-Earth, water and air; weather
    3. Physical Science-Matter; heat and light; how do things move
    4. Space & Technology-Day and night; how things/objects work.

    Our curriculum also offers science FOSS kits. These are interactive experiments where we will get to explore and understand science concepts more in depth.

    *Pending- DiscoveryEducation in English and Spanish.*

    Special Classes

    The children visit the special area teachers for 40 minutes each afternoon.  The children really enjoy these new experiences. They will have the same specials for each day of the week.

    Purple Owls -         M-Music,     T- Art,   W- Computer,    Th- Library, F- PE

    Green Caterpillars-   M- Library,     T- PE,       W-Music,            Th- Art, F- Computers

    *PE Day:Please make sure your child wears appropriate shoes to play and run in everyday even if we don’t have P.E. that day.  Flip flops are not appropriate shoes!


    We will have the opportunity to go to the library once a week to check out books. The children are allowed to check out one book in the library each week.  They may keep the book as long as they want, but they must return it in order to check a new book out.

    Friday Folders

    We will send home a newsletter each week along with all the week’s important papers & homework in your child’s Friday Folder.  The Caterpillars will have green folders and the Owls will have purple folders. PLEASE be sure to check and empty these folders each weekend and RETURN folder with any notes, permission slips, etc. on MONDAY!


    We will have a quick snack every afternoon.  Each child may bring in one, healthy, small snack each day.  Sometimes our snack time is a break and other times it will be a working snack so please be aware of that when packing your child’s snack.  We will try to keep graham crackers and/or saltine crackers on hand in case anyone forgets their snack.


    Birthdays are important to young children.  On your child’s birthday we will make sure your child feels very special.  They will get to wear a special sticker/crown. The birthday child may bring a special treat on their birthday to share with the class.  (No cakes please). Please send a note or email a few days before the birthday to let us know we will be having a special treat for that day.  Parties will take place in the afternoon in whichever class he/she is in that day. Parents are welcome to join us or can leave the treat in the morning.

    Parent Pick-Up Schedule

    Please make sure we have your child’s permanent pick up schedule.  If this schedule must change, we must have it in writing.  It might be a good idea to pin this note on your child in the morning because sometimes Kindergarteners forget to give them to us!  Please try to maintain your routine as changes (and confusion) can upset small children.

    Also, if your routine changes last minute, please call Ms. Trish or Ms. Jill in the front office at 575-2800 so they can contact us directly.

    Star of the Week

    Each week one child will be the “Star of the Week.”  When it is your child’s turn, please help him/her make a special poster that has up to 10 pictures of his/her life so far!  They can bring their poster any time during the week, but most prefer to bring it on Monday. We will talk about their poster and display it for the week.  The Star of the week can also bring in a show and tell item to share each day during their special week.

    Literature Bags

    To promote a love of reading literature bags will be sent home with children occasionally.  The children look forward to having these bags! Often times the bags contain a special character that goes with the book or a fun activity to complete.  Please enjoy these bags with your child and remind him/her to return them the next day so that someone else can have a turn.

    Reading Log

    Each month a “Reading Log” will be sent home.  Please list the titles of the books that you have read to your child or that they have read themselves.   When the reading log is completed, please return it to school with your child. Your child will then have the opportunity to get a prize for completing their reading log.

    Classroom Volunteers

    We need classroom volunteers each week (in both rooms) to work at the various centers and to prepare materials for upcoming activities.  If you would like to volunteer, please let us know what day(s) you are available and how often you would like to volunteer. (Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly…)  Also, you will volunteer in the classroom where your child is (it may change from week to week). If you prefer to prepare materials at home, let us know that too!  If you have already signed up or informed us of your volunteer times you do not need to do it again! *Please note during the 1st quarter of school, we will be limited volunteers to the English side only, so that the kids can get immersed in learning in a Spanish speaking classroom environment.


    If you need to get a message to either of us please send a note with your child and we will write a note back to you.  For urgent messages you may call the front office (575-2800) or leave a message with Señorita Pacheco (575-2846) or Ms. Jeffer (575-2841).  Our voice mail system is sometimes delayed by a few hours so urgent messages should always go to the front office. We also respond to emails and would prefer you copy both of us on them (unless the content is specific to one of us directly).

    Srta. Pacheco- and Ms. Jeffer-


    If your child is ill please keep them at home!  We each have 50 children using pencils, crayons, scissors etc…each day.  To prevent a lot of kids from getting sick it is imperative that sick kids stay home.  We clean the tables and door handles weekly to prevent illness. If your child has a fever or is throwing up they MUST stay home for 24 hours after the fever breaks or the nausea stops.  If we can all do our part, we’ll have a super healthy environment here at school!


    Please let us know if your child will be absent from school in advance if possible.  We will not provide work to be done while the student is gone unless there is a special circumstance.  Please try to schedule doctor and dentist appointments before or after school hours.

    If your child is tardy, he/she will need to provide us with a late pass.  You must check in with the front office to get the late pass.


    Safety is a huge issue with 5 year olds.  Please have your child wear shoes that are safe to run and jump in.  All shoes should tie, Velcro, or buckle securely. Flip flops, high heels and cowboy boots are NOT safe to play in.  These shoes should be saved for special dress up occasions.  Clothes should be comfortable to play in also. We get messy in Kindergarten so please send clothes that can get dirty.  (We guarantee we will get dirty at times)!!  Parking lot safety is important also. Children always need to be escorted by an adult when crossing the parking lot.


    Star of the Week

    In our classroom, each child should always feel special!

    Every child will have one week this year to share his/her “special” self with the class. A parent will need to gather items and bring or send them to school on the Monday of your child’s special week and collect it again on Friday. There is a space available on a wall and a small counter area for a display of a few of your child’s special possessions.

    Your child may bring:

    •       Favorite stuffed animal or toy
    •       Favorite photos of family, friends, house, pets, vacations, etc.
    •       Favorite food or treat to share with the class on Friday

    Use your imagination and surprise the class! Arrangements can be made with me for parent and pet visits during your child’s special week.

    A note will be sent home to notify you when it is your child’s special week. There will also be a notification in the newsletter.

    Thank you,