Berenda Dillon » Back To School Packet

Back To School Packet

Room 2 - PM Kindergarten  

Back to School Packet

Welcome to Kindergarten! I am so excited for your child to be in my class. I am also looking forward to many wonderful firsts with your children as well as exploring, growing, and most importantly learning.


As you leave your child with me with all the feelings and emotions that go with the first day of school, know that they will be in great hands. I promise to foster their educational growth, keep them safe, and teach them about the love of school.


Even though I have been teaching in Redondo Beach since 1999, I am always excited to start a new year and meet new students.  Kindergarten is where my heart is and I love to see the growth in the students throughout the year.


My family includes Rob, my husband and best friend, Christina (a freshman at RUHS) and Grace (7th grader at Parras). You can find us on the soccer fields, on the strand, in the sand and in the water on our beautiful beaches. We also enjoy ATV riding in the California and Mexican desert, and gardening with my chickens. 


Communication is one of the most important parts of my classroom and I have an open door policy. You can contact me anytime at [email protected] or you can catch me before or after class if you need anything.


Thank you for all your support in your child’s education!



Mrs. Dillon

Room 2 

General Kindergarten Information and 

Alta Vista School Policies


Contact information:

I can be reached at [email protected], or by phone at (310) 798-8650 ext. 3171 or a note can be sent to school with your child. 


Kindergarten School Hours:

AM Session: 8:15-11:30

PM Session: 11:40-3:00*

*Every Wednesday and several Thursdays, PM Kindergarten will have a Double Day. This means PM kindergarten will come to school with the AM students from 8:15-11:35, instead of in the afternoon. This time allows all four kindergarten teachers to do grade level planning or school wide professional development. Look for reminders in the weekly newsletter. The first one is Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Here are the dates for the double days that are confirmed so far. There will be several more added later this year for the field trip and school wide assemblies. I will make sure to inform you as soon as I find out.


Double Days Kindergarten 2019-2020

Wednesday August 28th

Wednesday September 4th

Thursday September 5th- Back to School

Wednesday September 11th

Wednesday September 18th

Wednesday September 25th

Wednesday October 2nd

Wednesday October 16th

Wednesday October 23rd

Thursday October 17th Staff development

Thursday October 31st- Halloween Carnival

Wednesday November 6th

Wednesday November 13th

Wednesday November 20

Monday December 2nd

Tuesday December 3rd

Wednesday December 4th

Thursday December 5th

Friday December 6th

Wednesday December 11th

Wednesday December 18th

Friday December 20th-Winter Concert

Wednesday January 8th

? Wednesday January 15th-Field Trip (8:30-3:00pm)

Wednesday January 22nd

Wednesday January 29th

 Wednesday February 5th

Wednesday February 12th

Wednesday February 19th

Wednesday February 26th

Wednesday March 4th

Thursday March 5th-Staff development

Wednesday March 11th

Wednesday March 18th

Wednesday March 25th

Tuesday March 31st- Fun Run

Wednesday April 1st

Wednesday April 15th

Wednesday April 22nd

Wednesday April 29th

Wednesday May 6th

Thursday May 7th Open House

Wednesday May 13th

Wednesday May 20th

Wednesday May 27th

Thursday May 28th – Staff development

Wednesday June 3rd

Field Day ??not sure of date in June

Wednesday June 10th- Last Day of School

Drop off and Pick up:

Drop off  and Pick up for PM is at the Julia Gate north of the CDC office. Line up against the CDC building planter box. CDC teachers will pick up and drop off from their CDC classrooms.

Absences/ Tardies / Late Pick-up:

If your child is absent from school, it is necessary for you to notify school staff at [email protected] and myself. If you arrive late to school, please sign your child in at the Alta Vista School front office (not the CDC office). Please be on time when picking your child up at the end of school. If you are later than 11:45 or 3:10, your child may be waiting in the front office. 



If your child is feeling ill or has a high temperature, please help to reduce the spread of infections in the classroom by keeping your child at home. They must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. Please notify the school and myself if your child is sick.

Nutrition Break:

Please pack a small snack of one or two healthy items (fruit, yogurt, crackers, veggies or ½ sandwich) and a beverage (water, juice, or milk) for your child every school day. Put it in an insulated lunch box with your child’s name on it. Candy and soda will be sent back home so your child can enjoy them at home. CDC kiddos, please label Room 2 snacks so they don’t accidentally eat them at CDC.


Conferences/Report Cards:

Formal parent-teacher conferences will be held in the beginning of December. A Sign Up Genius email request will be emailed to you in advance. Your child’s first trimester report card will be distributed to you at the conference. Two more report cards will go home during the school year, one in March, and one in June. You will receive another Sign Up Genius email if a March conference is needed. 


Thursday Folders: 

Each Thursday, your child will come home with a Thursday Red Folder. There are two sides to the folder. One is a keep at home side and the other is a return to school side. Please remove all items on the keep at home side, return anything on the return to school side on Friday along with the folder.



Our school-wide policy does not allow food to be brought in on birthdays. Instead, we celebrate your child’s birthday all day long with a crown, a happy birthday song and a special celebration. As an option you can wrap a new or gently used book, board game, puzzle or playground balls and your child will open it in front of the class.  



Sitting cross legged or kneeling on the classroom carpet is where kindergartners spend a lot of their time learning. Please send your child in comfortable clothes and include shorts under skirts or dresses. They learn much better when they are comfortable and confident. Daily we do 10 minutes of morning exercises including, cardio, yoga and mindful breathing as well as recess activities, tricycle riding, basketball, hop scotch, and jump rope, etc. To keep your child’s toes safe, we ask you to send your child to school with closed toe shoes like tennis shoes.


Toys/ Personal Items:

Please do not allow your child to bring any toys to school unless your child is the “Star of the Week”. Please write your child’s name with a black sharpie on all of your child’s personal items: backpack, lunchbox, jackets, etc. 

Amazon Wish List:

We are constantly in need of school supplies like glue sticks, pencils or pens. We will send a note in the weekly printed/emailed newsletter requesting specific items. Feel free to donate items by purchasing them at stores, our by accessing our classroom Amazon Wish List. Simply log into Amazon, go to Account and Lists, drop down to Find a List or Registry, on Your Friends tab, type Berenda Dillon and look for Alta Vista Room 2. Thank you so much in advance for donating supplies.


Scholastic Book Orders:

Scholastic Book Orders are a great way to build a library at home and in the classroom.  Every book you purchase earns our classroom points to buy books. You can order online at (Dillon’s classroom code: FNGNN) or turn in an order form with a check to the classroom by the due date.


Parent Volunteers:

If you’d like to volunteer to help in class, you must have a recent TB vaccination on file in our front office. Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Hands on Art Docent and helpers
  • Nutrition Docent and helpers
  • Garden Docent and helpers
  • Room Parent to organize parties
  • Thursday folder stuffer from 2:30 - 3:00
  • Friday folder unstuffer from 11:40 - 12:00
  • Scholastic Book Order Helper
  • Weekly volunteers during class time 

 Even if you do not sign up for something in particular, you are always welcome to volunteer anytime, just let me know. Please fill out the Volunteer sheet if you are interested. We will have a volunteer meeting in the near future. Even if you do not sign up for something in particular, you are always welcome to volunteer anytime, just let me know.



Each student will need to bring in their own headphones that they will use with their classroom tablets. The earphones that cover the ears work much better than earbuds. We will return them at the end of the year. Make sure to write the student's name on the headphones with sharpie.


Monthly Weekly Homework will also be placed in the red folder on Thursday and will be due in two Fridays. This gives you time during the week and the weekend if need be to complete assignments. Your child’s first homework assignment will be sent home on Thursday, August 29th and will be due Friday, September 6th. 


Homework Calendars will also be placed in the Thursday red folder at the beginning of the month and will be due at the end of the month. All you need to do is initial each box that your child has completed. These are activities and skills we work on in class and a little extra practice at home with family members sure does strengthen their skills. They will receive a prize once they turn in their signed calendar in. The calendars can also be found on my website if you misplaced it or the dog ate it. Your child’s first homework calendar for September will be sent home on Thursday, August 29th and will be due Friday, September 6th. 



We use Shutterfly to share classroom pictures and to communicate with each other. The Shutterfly app makes sharing pictures that you take with your phone very easy. This link will be emailed to you:


Behavior Management:

In order to encourage smart choices, I use positive reinforcement with the students in/out of the classroom. When your child has been caught listening, following directions, or making good choices, they will be rewarded with a “Wild Cat Wow”. After students collect 10 WOW they can visit the treasure box and find a prize to take home. 

PTA membership:

If you are already a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) member, THANK YOU!     If not, please join the membership because our PTA is AMAZING here at Alta Vista and they make our school extra great. PTA  and your donations support the students and teachers in a variety of ways such as busses for field trips, classroom money for learning materials, assemblies, and many other school activities. I encourage you to join me and the PTA, get involved, and develop new friendships.


Invest in RBEF:

It is important to donate to both PTA and RBEF. The Redondo Beach Educational Foundation funds teachers and crucial programs that PTA can’t. For a suggested donation of $250 per child, RBEF is able to fund Vocal Teachers, Band, College Trips, Teacher Grants and money directly given to Alta Vista via Skechers Walk. Thanks to RBEF for making the kindergarten playground fresh and fun. Visit



Once a week, students go to the library to hear a story from our librarian and check out one book from the school library. Their library book will go home in a library folder on Wednesday.  Make sure to return the book to school by the following Tuesday, so they can check out a new one.


School Spirit:

  • Every Wednesday is Wildcat Wednesday. Wear an Alta Vista shirt or red and black clothes, which is our school colors.
  • Every Friday is College Friday. Wear college gear from colleges family members attended, colleges you visited or schools your child might want to attend. It might seem a bit early to get the kids interested in upper education, as you know, time flies and your kiddos will be going to collage in 13 years!
  • Monthly Spirit Day Calendar will be sent home in the near future, posted on the classroom website. Reminders will be emailed to you and printed in the weekly Thursday newsletter.

Special Kindergarten Assignments


Birthday Cake Book

It often takes kindergartners awhile to learn all their classmates’ names. Within the first few months of the school year, we will be sending home a binder labeled “The Birthday Cake Book”. Please have your child flip through the pages with you and try to memorize their classmate’s names as they go through the pictures in the book. Your child will try to name all of their friends in class (with my support) the next day. They should also practice reading the book that is inside the binder (The Birthday Cake). Please return the binder and all of its contents to school the day after you receive it, as it will be another child’s turn to take it home.



We LOVE Corduroy in our classroom! At some point between now and the end of the school year, your child will come home with Corduroy inside a special backpack. Your child’s job is to take good care of Corduroy and to record his/her weekend adventures with Corduroy in the binder. A parent may do the writing or you can assist your child with the writing. Just make sure I can read it out loud to the class during sharing time. Please include a photo of your child with Corduroy if possible. There are Corduroy books for you to read with your child and a movie to watch inside this special backpack.  Please remember to return the backpack and all of its contents to school on the Monday following your child’s special Corduroy weekend. Your child will share their adventures with the class, then it will be another child’s turn with Corduroy. 


Star of the Week

Each child will have a turn to be the “Star of the Week”. Your child will come home with a blank poster to fill out prior to his/her special week with a due date. During your child’s STAR week, s/he will have a special backpack that will go back and forth between school and home during the remainder of the week. Specific directions for what your child should bring to school each day will be included in the backpack. Please ask your child about what the STAR shares each day and help them write a letter to the STAR. This is also a great way to get to know the other children in the class and also ensure your child is listening as others are sharing.


         Shoe Box Library

Your child will decorate an empty shoebox for their own personal library that will be due within the first couple weeks of school. Adult sized shoe boxes work the best. It can be decorated with stickers, wall paper, wrapping paper, glitter, feathers, photos or anything that suits their style. They will use it to store the books that they make in class so they will be able to read these books to listeners. Please keep it nice and neat and in a safe place.

Kindergarten Academic Program

Math Goals:

  • Count 
  • Identify numerals 
  • Write numerals 
  • Solve problems in a variety of ways/think mathematically  (CGI explanation sheet)
  • Add and subtract 
  • Understand place value (ones and tens) and teen numbers
  • Describe and compare measurable attributes 
  • Identify and describe shapes
  • Sort objects
  • Analyze, compare, create and compose shapes

Language Arts Goals: 

  • Identify letters
  • Identify letter sounds (using alpha friends) explanation sheet attached and flash cards
  • Develop phonemic awareness (rhyming, blending, segmenting, syllables etc.)
  • Read all high frequency words with automaticity 
  • Read and comprehend Level D text or higher (indicate comprehension of questions related directly to the text as well as questions that require the reader to think beyond the text)
  • Write narrative, informational and opinion pieces (utilizing phonetic spelling,dictation, and illustrations)
  • Learn basic written language conventions (such as ending punctuation)

Computer Technology:

  • Reading Eggs, your child will receive an individual password
  • Raz Kids (will start later in the year) your child will receive an individual password
  • Classroom Tablets to record each other’s presentations, reciting poems
  • Scholastic News website
  • BrainPopJr website - username: AV1 password: wildcats
  • QR codes for listening to stories


We Also Teach:

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Nutrition – docent lead
  • Garden – docent lead
  • PE – daily morning exercises
  • Music/Motion
  • Public Speaking
  • Visual Art
  • Mind Up! (being mindful) breathing
  • Character Counts Education  - trustworthy, respectful, responsible, kindness (attached pledge)
  • Handwriting Without Tears (sheet attached)
  • Fine motor skills

Regular Daily Schedule

K - PM Room 2

  • 11:40 Meet teacher at the gate


  • 11:40 - 12:00 Hang backpack up, attendance, exercises, weekly poem, calendar, Pledge of Allegiance, Character Counts Pledge, Morning Message, Star of the Week 


  • 12:00 - 12:30 Science (lessons and investigations)


  • 12:30 - 1:15 Math (lesson, journal, games with partners)


  • 1:00 - 1:30 Snack and Recess


  • 1:30 - 2:15 Writing (printing practice, journal writing, write the room)
  • 2:15 - 2:50 Reading (small group with teacher, read to buddies, listen to stories on tablets)


  • 2:50 - 2:55 Prepare to go home


  • 3:00 Meet parents at the gate or meet CDC teacher at the benches


Similar break down of time increments for Double Days (early days).Double Day Daily Schedule

K - PM Room 2


  • 8:15 Meet teacher at the gate


  • 8:35 - 8:45 Hang backpack up, attendance, morning exercises, weekly poem, calendar, Pledge of Allegiance, Character Counts Pledge, Morning Message, Star of the Week 


  • 8:45 - 9:15 Science (lessons and investigations)


  • 9:15 - 9:45 Math (lesson, journal, games with partners)


  • 9:45 - 10:15 Writing (printing practice, journal writing, write the room)


  • 10:15 - 10:45 Snack and Recess 


  • 10:45 - 11:25 Library and read star book


  • 11:25 - 11:30 Prepare to go home


  • 11:30  Meet parents at the gate or meet CDC teacher at the benches

Kindergarten High Frequency Words

Trimester 1 Kindergarten High Frequency Words (taught September-November):


September: I, a, my, do, to, see, and, like  

October: is, no, go, me, she, will, it, sit, in

November: an, at, you, the, mom, by, dad, on


  • 25 words assessment in November


Trimester 2 Kindergarten High Frequency Words (taught December-February):


December: day, play, up, am, for, look, said, have

January: all, ball, how, now, put, of, boy, girl, if

February: are, not, got, or, his, her, eat, yes


  • 50 word assessment in February


Trimester 3 Kindergarten High Frequency Words (taught March-May):


March: as, has, can, this, that, then, they, with

April: here, saw, jump, out, does, your, come, from, went

May: was, read, what, where, why, who, when, little


  • 75 word assessment in May


Character Counts


Alta Vista as well as the Redondo Beach Unified School District participates in 

the Character Counts program. It is a great program that focuses on Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Below is the pledge we recite every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance.