Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Resources to Support Your Dual Language Learner

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Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Resources to Support Your Dual Language Learner A Toolkit for Parents/Caregivers

LICM Toolkit Series

This publication made possible with the support of the Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Resources for Dual Language Learners/ A Toolkit for Parents Š2017 Long Island Children’s Museum 11 Davis Avenue Garden City, NY 11530

Table of Contents Together To Kindergarten Program Handouts ………………………………...…..................……


Getting Ready for the Kindergarten Curriculum (in New York) ……………………........………… 1 Supporting Your Child in Kindergarten ………………………………………………………………


LICM’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Activities for Children & Parents....…


Supporting & Extending Learning at Home ……………….…………………………………………


Supporting & Extending Learning in other Places …………...……………………..………………


Questions to Ask at a Parent-Teacher Conference for your Kindergartner ……………………….


Contact Us ...................................................................................................................


This toolkit has been prepared for parents and caregivers who are participating, or who have participated, in LICM’s Together to Kindergarten parent/caregiver sessions or others who have children entering or enrolled in kindergarten. Information found here can support what you are doing with your child/children. Resource sites have varying degrees of translation available.

Together to Kindergarten Program Handouts • Effective Ways to Read to Your Child • Four Priorities for Approaching Kindergarten • Helping Your Child Learn & Enjoy Mathematics • Mealtime Memo • Tips for Parents of Kindergarteners

Getting Ready for Kindergarten Curriculum Information about what the state of New York believes is important for Pre-Kindergarteners to know before entering Kindergarten is provided below: New York State Pre-Kindergarten Foundation for the Common Core

Parents often receive conflicting messages about which subjects are most important for their children to learn. It is important to remember that each subject is important on its own, but together, they strengthen and build learning for one another. For example, Math, Science, Music, and Art all connect with one another and help children learn each individual topic more deeply. It is important to provide your children with well-rounded educational experiences as much as possible and support their interests in learning.


Supporting Your Child in Kindergarten The following resources have been developed by various organizations to help your child thrive in school: • Immigrant Parents: How to Help Your Child Succeed in School • Dual Language Learners: 5 Tips for Parents • ¡Colorín Colorado! A Bilingual Site for Educators and Families of English Language Learners Be sure to ask about the resources available at your child’s school. The samples provided below address resources available in the New York City area. Inquire about similar programs in your districts. • Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (New York City Department of Education) ( Different Languages Translation ) • Parents’ Bill of Rights for English Language Learners ( Different Languages Translation ) • BOCES – Eastern Suffolk County (NY) Multiple Resources for ELL Parents – provided in multiple languages (including orientation videos, assessment information, guides for parents of ELL students, etc.)

LICM’s STEM Activities for Children & Parents (Resources designed for children 8 and younger) Super STEM: Fun Experiments for Children and Parents Developed by Long Island Children’s Museum, this bilingual (English/Spanish) activity book offers at-home Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) experiments. Designed as family activities, the experiments keep children active and engaged and promote curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Supporting & Extending Learning at Home Hands-on Learning Resources and Activities CHISPA (CHildren Investigating Science with Parents and Afterschool) • ECHOS activity cards in Spanish and English: Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS) is a preschool science curriculum developed by the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science with funding from the U. S. Department of Education. ECHOS introduces basic science concepts to preschoolers through the use of a curriculum based on experimentation. ECHOS Integration Cards (iCards) contain short language/literacy, mathematics, and creative arts activities related to ECHOS science and math lessons. iCards activities can be used by parents to extend learning at home.

Boston Children’s Museum • STEM Sprouts Materials in Spanish and English: The STEM Sprouts Teaching Guide and Parent Tip Sheets began as products of collaboration among National Grid, Boston Children’s Museum, and WGBH. The goal of this guide is to assist educators in focusing and refining the naturally inquisitive behaviors of three to five-year-olds on science, technology, engineering, and math. It includes general information on how young children explore science topics as well as specific activity suggestions that align with the Massachusetts state guidelines for STEM teaching in early childhood. The STEM Sprouts Parent Tip Sheets are intended to be paired with an activity on the same topic. For example, if you are exploring leaves outside on a windy day, or reading Leaves by David Ezra Stein, you might talk about how air moves things.

Sesame Street – Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More • Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Activities + Topic Videos with Elmo, Abby & others Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More, is a digital destination featuring videos, games, and activities to inspire preschoolers and the adults in their lives to incorporate STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math—concepts and skills into everyday moments. Access this site on your mobile device for new Sesame Street STEM mobile games.


Supporting & Extending Learning in Other Places Parents are important teachers and advocates for their children’s education. Parents can create learning opportunities all kinds of ways.

Recognize the Value of the Public Library Libraries are invaluable resources that provide (free!) public access to a large collection of books and archives. Libraries offer information on a large number of fascinating topics -- all just waiting to be gathered and shared with your child. Helpful professionals are available to guide and encourage your child’s quest for knowledge.

Explore the World at Every Opportunity When you travel with your kids -- whether it’s a day trip or visiting family -- they can learn so much about the world. You can teach children about history, geography, and the diversity of cultures, traditions and customs. How your family travels can spark curiosity and conversations.

Embrace “Everyday Education” Everyday activities can open the door to exciting new lessons. For example, baking a batch of cookies can illustrate the practical applications of math, science and nutrition; watching a baseball game can show statistics, history and teamwork.

Get a Dose of Culture Expose your children to as many artistic and social highlights as possible. Museums, zoos, historical sites, and cultural events such as theater performances, dance or music concerts are great ways to teach and entertain kids. Often, kids will find these adventures more fun than sitting at a desk in school. Plus, they can broaden their horizons and possibly excite lifelong interests, hobbies, and passions. Check with your local library about whether family passes are available for nearby cultural organizations, or whether a museum hosts a monthly free day or evening.

Have Some Faith If your family belongs to a religious community, get your kids involved in classes, camps, retreats, fellowships and youth groups. Children will learn about faith and ancestry in the context of history, as well as religious and spiritual concepts.

Take Every Opportunity to Answer “Why?” Even the most ordinary moments can become teachable, milestone events. Accompanying Mom or Dad to work or on an errand to the bank or store can spark a conversation about money and business; looking at the night sky can inspire questions about celestial objects in the vast universe; buying groceries provides opportunities to talk about planning, estimating and budgeting. Look for everyday opportunities to learn as a family -- and remember to embrace the natural curiosity and wonder of your kids.

Get Plugged In -- But Do It Wisely Technology is an important part of today’s modern world and improvements are being made every day. This means that your kids have the ability to access information and satisfy their curiosity instantly! Encourage your children to search on the web for answers to their questions or watch credible how-to or news videos. Make sure to explain the importance of filtering information so it is accurate, current and reputable. Also, make sure to monitor your children’s activities to keep them smart and safe. SOURCE:


Questions to Ask at a Parent-Teacher Conference for your Kindergartener Sample Questions and Suggestions If you’re not sure what to ask at your first parent-teacher conference, these questions can help get you started: • What do the grades on my child’s report card mean? • Is my child doing the type of work that is expected? • How do I know if my child understands what I am reading to them? • What sorts of questions should I ask my child as we read together? • How can I help my child if they are struggling with math homework? • What are some math learning activities I can do at home? • Does my child get along with the other students in school? • Does my child have difficulty following directions or doing what is asked of them? • What can you tell me about how my child learns? • Are there any additional services during school or after school that could help my child? If so, how can we get that extra help for my child? • What are some things I can do at home to help my child do their best in school? • What can I do at home to reinforce what you are teaching in the classroom? • What is the best way to get in touch with you if I have questions or concerns? • How do I know what homework/projects you have assigned? • What goals do you have for my child? Sources Parent Teach Conference Questions – Kindergarten (PDF) (Adapted from the New York City Department of Education) Dos and Don’ts for Kindergarten Parent Teacher Conferences

Contact Us Have a question about LICM’s Together to Kindergarten program? Contact us at


Long Island Children’s Museum 11 Davis Ave, Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 224-5800 •

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