The ABC's of First Grade

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1 The ABC's of First Grade A Attendance is very important. Children line up at the Northwest Entrance (small blacktop) before school. Playground supervision begins at 8:25AM. School begins at 8:43AM and ends at 3:00PM. Students will be dismissed at the Northwest Entrance (small blacktop) after school. Please notify me or the office if your child will be picked up by someone other than the person(s) indicated on the release form. This is very important to us! If your child will be absent please notify the school. The absence line phone number is (847) If you call after 8AM, please call the office phone number (847) The first graders go to Art class, on Thursdays, for one hour with Mrs. Viola. The first graders need an art shirt with their name on it. They will be kept in the classroom for the entire year and returned at the end of the year. B Please check your child's backpack daily for any important information as well as homework. Book Order Forms will be sent home once a month. This is an opportunity to order inexpensive books from Scholastic Book Club. This is only optional. More information will come as the year progresses. Birthdays are very special days. Unfortunately, it has been decided as a school to NOT send in treats on your child's birthday. Instead, your child will receive a special book from the principal. Summer birthdays will be celebrated in May. C Parent-teacher conferences are held once a year in November. You may schedule a time to talk about your child's progress as needed at any other time as well. Communication is very important. Please feel free to contact me whenever you have a

2 question, comment, or concern. You can reach me at (847) , by at or by a handwritten note sent in your child's home folder. We will go to the computer lab on Fridays for a class with Ms. Hwang and once more during the week for either reading or math practice. D Discipline/Behavior is important for a safe learning environment. Students are taught the 3R's at North School. These are: Respect, Self, Respect Others, and Respect Property. Each month we will learn about and practice a different character trait such as respect, responsibility, caring, and self-discipline. All students at North School will participate in a learning program about these traits and try to earn bracelets for good behavior. Students also earn Rising Stars when they follow the 3R's. Twice a year we will hold an auction and school store for items to be purchased with the Rising Stars. Behavior clips are on a five level system and students will record their behavior daily, for parents to see. E As stated earlier, my school address is This year I would like to create an group with everyone's to be able to send out mass s for important information or reminders. F The children will bring home a Daily Folder. Please make sure that the papers to be LEFT home are done as such and the papers that come RIGHT back to school are returned. We will go on at least one field trip in first grade. You will receive advance notice of any trips. We use the Fundations program to learn about letters, spelling, and letter patterns. We take weekly spelling tests and explore many new words in first grade. I will periodically send home letters from the Fundations program detailing the new concepts being learned.

3 G The first graders will be going to gym class, or p.e.. this year on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with Mr. S. Please make sure they have gym shoes on those days or they will not be allowed to play. They may keep a pair of gym shoes at school, too. Grading is done in a variety of ways. Some papers are done together as a class and will not have a mark from me on them. Others will have a smile, star, or some kind of mark from me meaning that I have looked at the work and it is ok. Some are graded on how many problems are correct out of the total given. Some work is graded on a scoring guide. All grades will be taken into consideration when it is time for me to complete the report cards. H The first graders will have many opportunities for hands-on activities to stimulate their thinking. Students will have homework four days a week in first grade. Homework is always a review/practice of skills that were taught that day in school. This is a great opportunity to begin teaching your child the importance of completing homework and returning it to school. Homework assignments will come home in the daily folders and should be returned to school the very next day. I It is very importan to keep Parent/Guardian information updated. Please inform the school if you move, get a new home phone number, cell number, change jobs, or obtain new emergency contacts. Independence is a goal for students in first grade because it is something that they will need in the future. I will be encouraging students to do as much as they can for themselves in the classroom and hope that you will be doing the same at home. I want your child to feel responsible and independent from the first day of school.

4 Illness. The district policy is that a child must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. Please don't send a child if s/he has been vomiting that morning, etc. We want to make every effort to not spread germs. J I will be working with your child to choose just right books in first grade. A just right book is one that your child can read % of the words accurately. These books may seem easy, especially at first, but it is crucial that beginning readers spend lots of time reading just right books to help them grow as strong readers. Please considering joining the PTA. They are always looking for volunteers. K Good communication between home and school, a positive attitude, and good attendance are the keys to a successful year. Keep updated by reading the classroom newsletters that come home weekly in your child's home folder, as well as, checking our classroom website. L Lunch is from 11:25-11:45 in the lunchroom. Lunches must be packed and will be kept in a bin in the classroom. Please make sure your child's name is on the lunch box. First graders who are buying lunch should bring their money to school in an envelope with their name on it. They will be issued lunch tickets if you pay for multiple days at a time. Lunch menus will be sent home at the beginning of each month. First graders will go to recess after lunch from 11:45-12:15. The children love to visit the library. They may borrow up to 2 books at a time. Mrs. Pacer helps us check out library books.

5 M The children enjoy Music class with Mrs. Pausa. They go to Music on Mondays and Wednesdays. We are using a new math series this year called, Envision Math, to help reinforce the concepts of the Common Core. Some of the topics we will cover are: addition, subtraction, counting to 120, graphing, telling time, measurement, geometry, and place value. The new series involves group activities, hands-on learning, problem solving, logical thinking, and decision making lessons. Letters will be sent home periodically to keep you informed. Prescription and non-prescription medicines need to be checked in at the office. This includes cough drops. N I will send home weekly newsletters to keep you informed on what is happening in our classroom and at our school. It is a means of communication of what we are learning each week as well as upcoming events. I will also post them on my website. O Please open your child's daily folder every day. There is important information from the school and me being sent home regularly. Please dress your child appropriately for outdoor recess. It can get very cold and windy during recess and the other extreme of being very hot. P You, parents, are a child's first teacher. I will need your help to continue their education. We need to communicate often so there are no surprises about skills or behavior. Your

6 support of school is SO important. When picking up your child early, please check in at the office first. Also, please send a note that morning with your child so that I am able to make plans accordingly. Q Questions? Please feel free to call, , or send a note at any time. Enjoy this time in your child's lives. They grow up so quickly! R Reading for meaning is the goal of our class. Students are taught different ways to figure out unknown words and understand what they are reading. Three words we use when checking a student's ability to read are: accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Accuracy is the ability to read words correctly 90% of the time in a passage. Having fluency means the reader sounds like s/he is talking smoothly. There is no stopping to sound out words or taking time to think what the word is. Having comprehension means understanding what the story is about that you read. Reading is not taking place if you can say the words correctly but have no idea what the story is about. Reading stamina refers to how long students can read independently. We start with three minutes and work our way up to 30 minutes. Report cards come home four times a year in October, January, March, and May. S The first grade science curriculum will be explored using a literacy based, hands on approach. We will explore life cycles, magnets, day and night, and much more. The first grade social studies curriculum explores learning about homes, families, working together, celebrations, America, etc. This is also explored using a literacy based approach that encourages students to pull from their everyday experiences. We have a Star Student of the Week throughout the year to learn more about the

7 students in our classroom. A note will go home when your child has been chosen as the Star Student of the Week. During that week your child will be asked to send in photographs and other special things that will help our class learn more about him/her. Star students will also enjoy a dessert with the principal! To strengthen all areas of reading, students are expected to read at least 10 minutes a night. It is OK for parents to do the reading in the beginning of the year. It is OK to read small, paper books. It is OK to read the same book over and over and over. It is one way students see and hear the relationship between the printed and the spoken word. Please refer to the student handbook for all other school district policies and procedures if you ever have questions. T It is very important that you inform the school of any transportation changes ASAP. Thank you in advance for sharing your child with me and allowing me to help him/her grow!! U Every child is unique. Please remind your child how everyone is unique and special in their own way and that they will meet lots of new friends in first grade. Unfinished work will be sent home to be finished and returned the next day. If your child is absent, s/he will need to complete the work that they missed. V If you plan on taking a family vacation, please let me know ahead of time so that I can make arrangements for your child.

8 W Please check out my website, you will find a lot of information that will be helpful during the school year. For example, the weekly spelling words as well as the weekly newsletters are all posted. Water is important for making our brains work. Students may bring a small water bottle to keep at their desk to use, unless problems are caused by it. Please do not send fruit drinks in the bottle. Students are responsible for filling the bottle in the morning and keeping the lid tight. In the winter, your child must have the appropriate outdoor clothing to play on the playground. Students must have boots, snow pants, coats, gloves, and hats for the snow. Please be sure that your child has everything labeled with their name or initials. X First grade is an extremely important year. I look forward to working together with you to help your child feel special and successful. Y Your ideas and suggestions are welcome! Z Zoom! Sit back and watch your child's skills take off! You will be amazed at the skills your child will develop this year! Zzzzz... Please set a reasonable bed time for your child. Young kids need plenty of sleep in order for them to be successful in school. Welcome to First Grade! Mrs. Figueroa

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