Our First Grade Class of 2012-13Kat BranonAmruthaChallaGavin ConantShannon DeverellNathaniel HarrisBen HollingsheadSofia KantorJessica LuoJordan LuoCole MarsellaJoey MullenTeagan MurphyAlisePolselliReese RecklesSpencer RecklesOwen StensonHarper Weeks
Our GoalsIn First Grade, our personal growth goals are for each student to: 1. Feel valued, respected, safe and successful; 2. Learn from his or her own mistakes; 3. Develop successful problem-solving strategies.Our academic goals are for each student to: 1. Learn the importance of independence, organization and time management in the completion of daily assignments; 2. Develop learning habits that will support student achievement; 3. Experience the true joy of learning.Our goals for all students and their teachers are to: 1. Work together in a kind, respectful and harmonious way; 2. Support each other to always do our best; 3. Take pride in our accomplishments both large and small.
CommunicationIt is our sincere hope that your sons and daughters will have a wonderful experience infirst grade. Together, we will help your children achieve success on many differentlevels, during this exciting year of academic and personal growth. We know it takes aschool community, comprised of parents, students, classroom teachers and schooladministrators, working hand in hand, to create an optimum environment conducive tothe growth and development of each individual child. Please contact us with questions orconcerns you may have. In Person Mrs. Davis - before or after class time by appointment - drop-ins from 8:15 – 8:30 any day except Wednesday (morning yard duty – orange vest) *Please understand that I cannot answer questions or have a discussion with you during my yard duty according to school rules (our first priority is student safety on the yard) Mrs. Poyhonen- before school by appointment - drop-ins from 8:15 – 8:30 any day except Thursday (morning yard duty – orange vest) By Phone School Office – 858-481-5615 - messages received will be returned promptly, outside of class time By Note We check the homework sheet comment section and binder pocket daily. (If you really want me to remember an important date or time, make sure you give it to me in writing.) *There is a clipboard by the door to write down important dismissal messages for me. If you want me to remember the message that you whispered to me at the door while the children were trying to greet me, you will want to write it down. Via email – We will only be able to check email messages outside of class time, so be aware that you will not receive immediate responses. If you have emergency or time critical information to relate, the most effective way of reaching me is through the school office. Our school email addresses- email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Class Rules1. We practice to be positive and readyto learn.2. We keep our hands, feet, bodies andobjects to ourselves.3. We pay attention to the speaker anddo our best to follow directions.4. We raise our hands and wait for ourturn to speak.5. We respect and care for otherpeople, our learning tools, classroomand school (treat others as you wouldlike them to treat you.)
Rules for using the iPads1. Carry the iPad with two hands and always walk.2. Turn on iPad when you are seated at your clean desk.3. Treat the iPad with respect.4. Use only the iPad with your number.5. Use fingertips to touch lightly on the screen.6. Wait in line for your turn to take out your iPad.7. Use only the apps that your teacher has approved.
Homework, Binders and Backpacks… Oh My!Homework, for first grade students, serves the purpose of building strongindependent work habits and basic responsibility for tasks away from theclassroom environment. Homework assignments are designed to providestudents with reinforcement and practice of skills presented in class. They are notdesigned to teach new material. Therefore, your child should feel confident tocomplete written tasks based on the familiarity of the material. By now, we hopeyou have seen our binders that will carry homework and other important papersto and from school each day. Look inside, starting next week, and you will find asheet with the handwriting alphabet, a homework assignment sheet (new eachweek) and the zipper pouch that we requested in the supply list. These itemsALWAYS stay in the binder.The first homework assignments will be comprised of worksheets, which willhelp the student (and parents) establish the basic components of successfulhomework habits. Your child will need some help to set up a homework station,backpack drop-off location, homework schedule and routine. Once our in-classgroups begin, students will have regular assignments from reading, writing andmath. Most worksheet-type homework assignments are designed for students tocomplete independently. However, there will be some “Family Projects” (withspecial instructions) for family members to share in the fun.Throughout the year, students are given flash cards to carry in the zipper pouchfor additional sight word or math fact practice at home, supplementing theirwork at school. This is where we need parents to assist with flash card practiceby showing the cards, gently correcting errors and gradually increasing the paceto help build fluency. Please be certain flash cards are returned to the zipperpouch after practice at home each day during the week. Students may be askedto review their flash cards during in-class independent work times. At the end ofthe week, the cards should be removed if the student has been successful withthat level and the cards may be saved in the homework station at home. They canbe used periodically for review. Written assignments should be returned in thebinder the next day, unless otherwise stated on the assignment sheet.The homework assignment sheet has a specific place for parents to initial eachday. In addition to your initials, we ask you to note the amount of time yourchild spends on homework. Assignments should typically require about 20minutes to complete and your feedback will help us monitor the workload. You
will also notice a “Parent Comment” section at the bottom of the sheet. If youhave any questions or comments regarding any assignments, please feel free touse this space to communicate with us. In addition, please know you are alwayswelcome to contact us, outside of class time or to email us with questions.Graded papers, previously assigned as class work, are returned to students andcarried home in the pocket of the binder on Fridays. The pages should beremoved from the binder and reviewed by parents and student together. If thereis a notation to complete or correct any work, please ensure it is returned toschool after all corrections are made. Some important school notices will be senthome in your child’s binder. We ask that you read and keep all informationpapers at home. Most school notices sent home for parent signature, along withScholastic Book Orders, should come directly to the classroom teacher. Thebinder pockets should be clear of graded paperwork when returned to schooleach morning.It is critical that your child has his/her binder in class each day. Please help yourchild be organized and properly equipped.Finally, please enhance your child’s ability to attend to learning activities in classby limiting the number of distractions that your child carries with him/her. Makesure that items your child brings in the backpack only include school necessities.School rules indicate no toys from home (except for designated days, whenstudents and parents will be informed that they may bring a stuffed animal toclass, or items like Lego projects that may come to school for a sharing time.)Even under these circumstances, students do not take toys from home out to theyard for recesses. Even fancy headbands, barrettes and jewelry that look great atthe start of the day, usually come out and become distractions that have to becollected and saved for pack up time by the teachers. Please save us fromassuming the role of the “bad guy” who has to say “no” to toys in class and hasto put beloved things out of reach each day. We all have the same goal to makeour precious learning time the most effective time of the day.
Our ScheduleOur daily schedule for the morning remains the same each day. There arefour reading groups – two taught by Mrs. Davis and two taught by Mrs.Poyhonen. There is a recess break at 10:25, followed by Math instruction.We have four math groups – also taught by Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Poyhonen.Lunch and an additional recess are from 12:00 to 12:30.Our afternoon schedule varies somewhat to accommodate instruction inspecial subjects, including Physical Education, Library, Spanish, Art, Musicand Computers. P.E. takes place Monday and Wednesday. Spanish classesare held Tuesday through Thursday. We also have Art and Music onThursday. Technology class will take place in the classroom on Wednesday.Library is on Friday. Students will be able to check out books, to be returnedthe following week.In addition, we have handwriting instruction, spelling, social studies,language, learning centers and science activities as part of our dailyafternoon time. Friday afternoons include a “Fantastic Friday” period withan extra free-play time for students in order to celebrate theiraccomplishments for the week.Every day is busy and full of a variety of learning opportunities for yourchild. There are learning centers and special on-going activities that provideextra learning moments, enrichment and fun for each child. Please plan formedical/dental appointments, etc. to take place outside of school hours. Yourchild will miss important learning moments when he/she is not present.
First Grade SharingSharing is a time for our students to work on their speaking and listening skills. We wantour students to be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and to develop properlistening skills. These skills are: quiet attention, focus and the ability to ask appropriatequestions of the speaker.First grade sharing is a learning time and your child gets a chance to be the “teacher.”Although children often would like to bring in their favorite toys or pets, some itemsprove too exciting for the classroom environment or too valuable to risk carrying fromhome to school and back. Please help your child choose “appropriate” items for sharing,ideally with educational value. He/she might want to bring in a collection from nature, anitem representing a hobby, or it might be pictures or a memento from a trip. The choice isup to your child, as long as he/she is able to tell you what the class might learn from theitem. Each child will be given about three minutes for the presentation, so you may wishto help with the preparation to provide maximum effect. Sharing time is alwaysinteresting and I often learn so much from your children during this special activity.Students are placed on sharing teams for our sharing periods. Additionally, each studentwill create a personal poster showing his/her interests with an app on the iPad and willshare it with the class. Sharing TeamsOur sharing teams will have opportunities to present their interests to the class once permonth. The week will be designated on student homework sheets in the “Notes toParents” area and will be announced to the students in class. Your child may plan toshare on the day designated below: Tuesday Friday Harper Alise Sofia Shannon Amrutha Jessica Teagan Jordan Joey Nathaniel Reese Ben Spencer Kat Owen Gavin Cole
CelebrationsSeveral times during the school year we will share special celebration days in our class.Please see the sign-up sheets available during Open House Week and separately duringthe year, if you wish to volunteer in the classroom and/or provide refreshments for thesefestive events. BirthdaysWe would love to help your children celebrate their birthdays. Your gracious room parentvolunteer will work with Mrs. Davis to choose one day per month for celebrating all ofthe birthdays in that month. She will bring in a special treat for that day. The childrenwhose birthdays fall in August will be honored on the September day. The childrenwhose birthdays fall in July will be recognized in June. We will honor your child with anenthusiastic rendition of the birthday song. The birthday child will be given a distinctivebadge to wear for the day and he or she will visit the treasure chest for an extra birthdaysurprise. Family Traditions, Celebrations and Special InterestsIf you and your family would like to share any traditions or holiday celebrations with ourclass during the school year, please speak to Mrs. Davis regarding specific details andtimes. We would love to learn about the cultural and traditional celebrations observed bymembers of our classroom and school community. If you are interested in presentinginformation about a profession, hobby, craft or special interest to our class, we would bemost happy to arrange for a time after 12:30 P.M., as part of our science or social studiesperiods. Please email a message or see Mrs. Davis to make arrangements and we willconfirm a date on the class calendar. Classroom VolunteersAdult family members may sign up to assist with special classroom events. Our roomparent will be the contact and information person for that event. To assist with a specificevent or to join us on a field trip, please sign up on the volunteer sheets available in theclassroom during Open House Week. There may be times during the school year whenseparate sign-up sheets are posted for an event. We invite you to watch for notices aboutopportunities to join us in our exciting activities and outings. Information regarding fieldtrips and events will be available to all through the DMP website, email and/or notes senthome in student binders.