Parent Information

In first grade, we build self-responsibility. Here are some things you can do at home to help your child learn self-responsibility.
1. Your child should pack his/her backpack and have it ready by the door before he/she goes to bed the night before. Here are some things that should be in it:
• Blue Star Folder with any notes for the teacher in the Return to School side of folder
• Money for lunch or milk, if necessary, with your child’s first and last name as well as the teacher’s name.
• Sneakers, if a gym day OR library book, if a book exchange day
2. Have your child unload his/her Blue Star Folder every night. Have a special place, such as a special bin, in which he/she puts the contents so that you can look over them that evening.

Four-Day Cycle
The school days run on a four day cycle. We will be operating on Letter Days such as: A,B,C,D. Our specials for each cycle day are listed below.
Day A – Gym
Day B – Music
Day C – Applied Engineering
Day D – Art
*We will also have book exchange this semester. During the second semester, we will have Library instruction instead of Applied Engineering.

This year, we will be using Seesaw, which is an online learning platform. I will use Seesaw to send announcements and reminders. Adults should download the family app for SeeSaw. Your child will need to use a different app. Through the parent app, you will be able to view your child’s work. We will also be able to communicate through messaging. Please be sure to check Seesaw weekly for practice assignments. As of now, these assignments are not graded and are for you to become familiar with the program. Please make every effort to download and use Seesaw. We will be using this program throughout the school year.

ELA – Fundations, Heggerty
Students will learn to read in first grade through various types of reading experiences! We will be learning focus skills such as identifying characters, setting, plot, compare and contrast, and other skills when reading literature in class. We will also have daily five literacy stations where we will practice phonics and meet in small leveled guided reading groups. During our class read alouds I am modeling reading strategies and skills to help the students become independent, confident readers! 

Our writing curriculum is divided into month long units of study. Many of the units help students learn to write within a particular genre. Writing time begins with a mini lesson. We will also be writing to a lot of writing prompts (narrative, informative, and opinion). Students are expected to be writing three sentences by the end of first grade with capital and punctuation appropriately placed. Students will also be working on handwriting encouraging neatness and correct letter formation. We encourage first graders to sound out all words in writing, except they should correctly spell all word wall words and spelling words that they have already been introduced to in their writing.

Our school uses Eureka Math. First graders will be doing a lot of addition and subtraction in first grade, especially the first marking period. Please practice math facts at home. Please also encourage manipulatives, drawing pictures, number line, etc. This year in math, your first grader will learn addition and subtraction concepts such as sums and differences, place value, measurement, geometry, and time.

Content (Science & Social Studies) 
First graders will be learning some of our social studies and science units throughout the year in the classroom. We will be having content daily in the classroom and I will teach one social studies unit and then one science unit each marking period. First marking period we will be learning about Citizenship and Earth Science. The second semester we will focus on Community Helpers and Physics with the concepts of speed, light, and motion. The third semester we will be learning all about Economics and Chemistry concepts with properties of matter. In the last marking period, first graders will be learning about the Five Themes of Geography and Biology of plant and animal structures. Throughout our units, we will be doing hands on science experiments!

Looking Over Your Child’s Schoolwork
Showing interest in your child’s daily work and helping with practice at home are essential ways for parents to support learning. Please go through your child’s Blue Star Folder DAILY. Be sure to take time to go over your child’s work. Do not expect your child’s work to be perfect! Making errors
is part of learning. Guide your child in making any corrections. This is an important way for you to be informed about your child’s progress.

We encourage first graders to be reading 10 to 15 minutes every night. You may read to your child or they can read to you. Students can also use any reading homework books to count towards that reading time. Please also note that although spelling words are practiced in class, students should practice their words daily at home too.

Communicating With School/Home
In November we will have formal parent/teacher conferences. At that time we will be able to go over your child’s progress together and how they are performing academically. If you have any questions or concerns I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience. Just e-mail me at school, or write me a note.

I predominantly use Seesaw to send quick reminders and updates.  You can also subscribe to my blog to check out updates and pictures from our class events.

Behavior, Respect and Responsibility
I encourage all children to take care of property, be neat and organized, follow rules, care and share with others and complete tasks in a timely manner. I also feel it is important for your child to be able to come to me with any problems or concerns. Please encourage your child to do so.

Whole Class Incentive
Throughout the day, the class will have the opportunity to earn tally marks by listening and following directions, working hard, etc. However, if most of the class is not ready or not following directions or too noisy in the hallways, the class can also lose points. Students work together to earn 25 points to choose a class prize for our class reward!

Individual – Tickets
Students will earn tickets in class for making good leader choices. On Fridays, we will count up our tickets. Students can then exchange for prizes. 

Attendance Policies
If your child is out of school due to an illness, please send a completed excuse form to school when he/she returns. The school has provided excuse forms, if you need more, I can send more home. An excuse form should also be sent with your child if he/she arrives late or has to leave early for an appointment. If you plan to take your child out of school for a trip, please contact the office for an “educational trip form” that must be completed and returned to school prior to your trip. Your child will have the missed work to complete. Remember, notes are needed for everything – when a child will get picked up, or has an early dismissal, etc. Notes are to be put on my desk in the morning.

Breakfast and Lunch
Please be sure your child eats an adequate breakfast every morning. Breakfast is offered at school starting at 8:45AM. Review the monthly menu for choices and prices. This year our lunch/recess is 12:41-1:21. Please review the menu each day so that your child is ready to make their lunch choice upon arrival. They may:
• Pack lunch
• Pack lunch and buy milk
• Buy A or B Lunch (as stated on the menu)
• Buy C Lunch – peanut butter and jelly
• Buy D Lunch – string cheese and yogurt
• A la carte items – ice cream is also available for $0.75
**If you choose to prepay lunches, which I strongly encourage you to do if possible because it is easier for first graders to manage, there are directions for doing so are on the menus and the District website and listed under Departments: Food Services.

If you would like to send in a small treat for your child’s birthday you can. Please make sure the treat is small and easy to clean up. There are 21 students in the classroom.  Children with summer birthdays can choose any date throughout the school year. I would suggest 6 months after your child’s birthday. For example, if your child’s birthday is July 12th, their “un-birthday” can be January 12th. We will celebrate everyone’s birthday! 🙂

Parents often ask, “Is there anything I can donate to the classroom?” I appreciate any donations! Thank you!
– Snacks!!!
– Dry Erase Markers
– Yellow Pencils
– Boxes of tissues (we use lots of these!)
– Lysol Wipes
– Bottles of hand sanitizer
*Please remember your child may need to have their supplies in tool boxes updated throughout the year, especially pencils and glue sticks.

I am very excited to work with your child this school year to watch them grow and flourish in all their academic and social areas! As always, please feel free to contact me with any issues, questions, comments, or concerns! It will take a partnership between us to help your child reach his/her full potential.