Preparing new students for school: Teacher recommends reading to help students excel

Published 8:55 pm Saturday, July 25, 2015

The freedom of summer will soon come to an end for area students.

Starting Aug. 5, Wesson Attendance Center will begin welcoming students back followed by schools in the Brookhaven School District starting classes Aug. 6. Students in the Lincoln County School District have a second week before classes begin the following Aug. 10.

With back-to-school shopping underway for some, getting children ready for school encompasses so much more than new clothes and fresh supplies.

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For a lot of young students this will be their first time away from their parents or guardians for an extended period of time.

Tiffany Gamble is entering her fourth year teaching kindergarten at Mamie Martin and said the first day can be very busy.

“I have kids who are leaving home for the first time and then I have kids who are eager and ready to go to big girl or big boy school,” Gamble said.

She said although it can be hectic, it doesn’t take too long for most kindergarteners to get comfortable with school. She said it can take students up to a week or two, but the key is routines. Once they learn those routines of having to wake up for school each day, spending time at school, then coming home, they transition very well.

Gamble said there are several things parents can do to make sure their kindergartener is ready for their first year at “big kid” school. She suggests sitting down with them for a talk explaining what school is and what it will be like.

“For kindergarteners it is totally different than when their parents were in kindergarten,” Gamble said. “They’re reading, they’re adding, and they’re subtracting.”

She said that Common Core really bumped things up a level. What kids were learning in first grade they are now learning in kindergarten.

Gamble said parents can invest in flashcards or apps on their phones to help their young students. She also advocates for more open communication between parents and teachers throughout the school year.

Lastly, she suggests reading for young students every day. She said if the child cannot read yet, read to them, and if they can make sure they’re reading at least 30 minutes a day.