Blast-Off to Kindergarten
Ensuring that kids are ready for their first day of school, Blast Off to Kindergarten events partner schools and families with activities to practice a typical kindergarten day.
At each school children will particiapte in activities representing language, reading, math and riding the bus.
Community volunteers play an integral part of the Blast Off to kindergarten experience as they help students and families navigate the new school.
Opportunitites to volunteer exisit in Anderson, Muncie and Pendleton elementary schools. Each school needs between 10-12 volunteers. Please use the form to sign up to volunteer.
Blast Off activities include
Writing – Tables are set-up in the classroom with a dry erase board, marker and eraser for each child. Children use them during session then take home for continued practice over the summer. Teachers have made this session their own by using activities they would use during the first few weeks of school. Session can cover everything from how to hold a pencil, practice writing letters in the air, practice writing names on dry erase boards, singing and dancing to letter songs, etc.
Math – Tables are set-up in the classroom with a bag of skittles and dot boards for each child. The session begins with the children sitting in a circle while the teacher reads “Freight Train”. (Heart of Indiana has a Big Book of this title that teachers may use. Some teachers have a favorite book about counting and patterns that they have chosen to read.) After reading story and talking about different colors and patterns, the children go to the tables. Each child sorts their Skittles on the dot cards. After sorting, the teacher asks questions: “How many yellow skittles do you have?” “Which color do you have the most of?” “Which color do you have the least of?” etc., using new and different words. Encourage children to count and compare the amounts of different colors. Children take the bag of Skittles and the dot card home to practice over summer.
Reading – Children sit on a rug while the teacher reads “Going on A Lion Hunt.” (Some teachers have chosen one of their favorite stories.) The title was selected due to the hand motions that can be done along with the story. This reading time is expanded by using the PEER Sequence while reading. (See note below) This session is also used to model to parents how reading is more than just the story. It can include conversations, hand motions, etc. The children receive a safari animal finger puppet. Some teachers wait and hand-out at the end of the session, while others give to the children at the beginning so that they can use them as a manipulative during the story.
Bus – Children watch video about bus safety. Teacher talks about bus safety and gives an overview of how to ride the bus. Each school has their own topics they want to cover. Then the children and parents (if room) take a short bus ride around the school. Parents are given the Bus Safety Packet (coloring book style).