Highlights of Kindergarten:
- 4th Grade Buddies
- Field Trips
- Student of the Week
About Ms. Carlsen
Ms. Carlsen grew up in Petaluma, California, where she attended St. Vincent de Paul Elementary and High Schools. She graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in creative writing. After graduating from Baylor, Ms. Carlsen worked as an instructional aide in kindergarten at St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School, taught first and second grade catechism at St. James Catholic Church in Petaluma, and nannied. In 2018 she received her Master of Arts in Teaching and multiple-subject teaching credential from the University of San Francisco. Before joining the St. Francis Solano community as Mrs. Fulton’s long-term substitute this year, Ms. Carlsen taught kindergarten for five years at St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School in Ukiah.
Ms. Carlsen believes in partnering with parents to create a safe, nurturing, and engaging learning environment for children to grow in. She is passionate about teaching reading, providing structure, and fostering a lifelong love of learning.
In her free time, Ms. Carlsen enjoys cooking, reading Harry Potter, and spending time with her family.
Our biggest focus in Kindergarten is learning letter recognition (both upper and lower case) and letter sounds. Our students enjoy using the alpha-friend system for learning these concepts. For example when learning the sounds of the letter Aa, we depend on our friend Andy Apple to help us with our exploration of this letter sound. Kindergarten students also begin blending simple words that begin with a consonant, followed by a short vowel and end with a consonant; words such as cat, tan, sit, bug, and bed (just to name a few). Kinders learn to read, write and make sentences with sight words through the use of music and movement. We also focus a lot of our time on handwriting using both upper and lower case letters. Kinders enjoy reading and being read to many beautiful books, both classic and new releases. One of the greatest benefits to a full-day Kindergarten is being able to use literature to accompany many lessons throughout the day. Our motto is “books are our friends and we love spending time with them”.
Kindergarteners begin their journey with math by learning shapes. We then begin patterning, recognizing numbers and their quantities. Mid-year we challenge our students with addition sentences and towards Spring subtraction. We use the text book “Into Math”, and we reinforce math concepts with hands on games. Our vocabulary includes terms like “greater” “less” fewer” “equal” and that we learn to read and work with the hundreds chart.
Kindergarten Science is such a time of discovery. The series twig Science is NGSS based and teaches students the science standards through hands-on experiments. We also incorporate a lot of family and in-class S.T.E.A.M. projects. Science is a fun subject where we see the Kinders flourish.
We begin to explore the community around us and how we contribute to this community. We start with the study of our classroom, then we turn our efforts to the school, neighborhood and then the town community. We also learn about the many Americans whom have made this Country great. We use the Studies Weekly to help us incorporate social studies standards.
In Kindergarten we begin with the study of God’s love; how he is the loving creator of all things and we are all members of God’s family. A beautiful foundation that will grow as the student progresses in his/her religious life.