Frequently Asked Questions
Kindergarten Q & A
1. What should my child know before entering kindergarten at ARES?
Prior to entering kindergarten, children should be able to identify most letters, write their name, recognize numbers up to 20, and count 20 objects. Children should also be able to take care of basic self-help skills such as bathroom needs, putting on shoes, and zipping zippers on coats.
2. Do kindergarteners at ARES have a daily rest time or a daily snack?
Our day in kindergarten is very busy. Therefore, we do not have a daily rest time. However, we do provide time for a small snack every afternoon.
3. Can I eat lunch with my child and volunteer in my child’s classroom?
You are welcome to eat lunch with your child any day. We have special visitor tables located near the windows in the lunchroom where you may sit with your child. After completing the volunteer training course, you will be allowed to volunteer in your child’s classroom and in other places in the school.
4. How will my child’s teacher communicate with me?
Your child will be given an agenda at the beginning of the school year. We use this agenda to provide daily communication to parents about their child’s performance as well as to provide reminders of upcoming events. We also send home a weekly newsletter to inform parents of the activities we have completed during the week and of the upcoming standards for the next week. We also list upcoming events and provide other news to parents on the newsletter. Each teacher has a website as well that parents can assess. Our school provides monthly newsletters and calendars.
5. What assessments do kindergartners at ARES participate in?
Kindergartners at ARES are assessed using the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS) each quarter. They also are assessed through writing assessments, running records for reading, and AIMS. Your child’s teacher will explain each of these assessments to you during the fall conference.
6. Where can I find information about GKIDS and the kindergarten curriculum?
This information can be found on the website gastandards.org.
First Grade Q & A
1. Which sight words should my first grader know by the end of the year?
First graders will work on learning the first 200 sight words from the Fry List. These words can be accessed on http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com.
2. What are the first grade standards?
This information can be found on the website gastandards.org.
3. What are the requirements for the 25 Book club?
Our goal is for every first grader to enter the 25 Book Club. Due to the range of readers in our grade, there are three options:
1) Pass 25 Accelerated Reader tests (80% or higher)
2) Complete and return 25 Book Reviews
3) A combination of option 1 and 2
*There must be 7 Informational books included.
4. Does my first grader have homework?
Yes. First graders will have a packet with nightly assignments that reinforce the skills learned in class. Also, it is expected that all students will read each night. Research supports the correlation between increased reading and students’ reading comprehension, vocabulary growth, spelling facility, understanding of grammar, and knowledge of the world.
5. What strategies can I use with my first grader to help with mathematical understanding?
It is important for first graders to use concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations to solve a problem, eventually becoming fluent and flexible with mental math as a result of these experiences.
Second Grade Q & A
1. On what days do second grade students have homework?
Second grade students have homework on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Monday and Wednesday students receive math homework; Tuesday and Thursday students receive language arts homework. Students are responsible to read their weekly story on these evenings and also study their words of the week/spelling words. Every effort is made to have uniform grade-level homework sent home, however, there are exceptions. Individual teachers may see a need in the classroom for additional practice of a concept or a skill and may adjust the homework schedule to meet students' needs. Please refer to your child's agenda daily for homework assignments.
2. Can my child bring a snack to class?
For the 2013/2014 school year students do have a snack time at 10:35 AM. It is requested that only water and healthy snacks be brought into the classroom. Healthy snack suggestions are dry cereal, pretzels, crackers, grapes, strawberries, apples, bananas, popcorn, or granola. Please do not send a snack that requires a utensil. Chips and candy of any type are discouraged.
3. What strategies can I use at home to help my child become a better reader?
Research shows that students who read just ten minutes a day increase their reading skills. Second grade students should read at home at least twenty minutes a day. Students should read out loud to a parent or family member. To increase comprehension skills, parents or family members can ask students questions about the story.
4. What strategies can I use at home to help my child succeed in math?
Second grade math concepts can be practiced at home throughout daily living. Students learn about counting money and making change; have students count your change. Students also learn how to tell time to the nearest five minutes; using an analog clock, have students practice telling time. Students add and subtract; challenge students in mental math by asking basic addition and subtraction problems or use flash cards in addition and subtraction and create a game.
5. What does my child miss when I check him/her out early?
Because our school system is on a 160 day calendar, every day and every subject is important. New concepts are taught daily. Teachers understand there are times when students have appointments away from school and will reteach instruction missed. As an example, during the 2013/2014 school year if a student checks out at lunch, he/she will miss the entire reading block for the day; guided reading begins after lunch and is then followed by teacher directed reading.
Third Grade Q & A
1. When can I celebrate my child's birthday?
Birthdays will be celebrated during lunch time only. You may bring in cookies or cupcakes for your child to serve during their lunch time. Please check with the teacher to get an accurate head count of how many students are in your child's classroom.
2. Is there homework nightly even when it is not listed in the agenda?
Yes, there is always homework in 3rd grade. You child should be reading a book nightly that is on their AR level. This reading time should be at least 20 minutes each night.
3. Where can I locate the Lexile level of my child's book?
If you are interested in finding out the lexile level of a book your child is reading you can visit the website http://www.lexile.com/. In the top right hand corner there is a search bar and you can use this to find the lexile level of any book. Remember that by the end of 3rd grade we want our students to be reading books that are on a lexile level of 850.
4. Do they need to memorize their multiplication facts?
Yes, this is a 3rd grade standard. Students should know these facts fluently. This is very important in 3rd grade because the bulk of our math curriculum is centered around multiplication and division. Make sure you are studying these facts nightly.
5. How does my child get into the 25 book club? In 3rd grade, we require our students to read 25 books. However, one difference is that 10 of the 25 books must be nonfiction books. These books need to be on their current AR level. Please look in the agenda for this information. Also, these books should go home nightly and students can read these. In addition, these book must be returned the following day so that students can read these during non instructional times.
Fourth Grade Q & A
1. Will my 4th grader change classes? Yes, classes are divided into Lang. Arts/S. Studies and Science/Math.
2. How much homework will my child have each week? A weekly Reading log will be given – 20 minutes of reading is required nightly. Lang. and Math skill sheets are given as well.
3. Is my child allowed to bring a snack? Yes, and water bottles are allowed.
4. What is your test corrections policy? All graded papers scored below 70% must be signed. Students are not allowed to correct tests. If a student scores below 70% on other assignments, they must be corrected for partial credit.