Monday, May 29, 2017

1st Grade

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1st Grade
Class Schedule
Now That i Can Read
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A Message to First Graders and their Parents


First grade is an exciting year of growth and change for students.  The primary focus of first grade curriculum is literacy (reading, writing, and the use of language).  While we work on math, religion, social studies, science, physical education, art and music we are constantly developing our use of language and our abilities to read, write, speak and listen.

We will learn to love and care for each other in the way that Jesus taught us.  We will share our similarities and differences with an understanding that everyone is unique and special and has gifts to share.  Just as the rainbow fish shared his shining scales, we will share our many gifts with each other to build an even more beautiful and colorful community of peacebuilders.



1st Grade


Our Class Schedule


Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance/Opening Activiity

8:00-8:30 Morning Routine – Classroom prayer, Peacebuilder’s pledge, and Math Meeting
8:30-9:15 Math
9:15-10:10 Language Lab –Writing to Read/Scholastic Phonics
10:10-10:30 Snack and Recess
10:30-11:00 Language Arts

Classroom Literacy Centers and Guided Reading

12:00–12:40 Lunch
12:40-1:00 Read aloud – Shared reading experience
1:00-1:30 Spelling or Handwriting
1:30-1:50 Religion
1:50-2:35 Rotating Schedule: Science, Social Studies, and Art
2:35-2:45 Closing – Prayer, announcements, and dismissal

*Special Classes/Circumstances:

P.E. Monday and Wednesday 12:45-1:30
Music Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:00
1:45 Dismissal on Mondays

Now That I Can Read

I used to need somebody
To sit and read to me
I’d look at every page they read
And listen carefully.
But now that I am in first grade,
I’m filling up a shelf
With stories, poems, and other books
That I can read myself.

- Ruth Etkin

Our poetry program is an important part of the way that your children are learning to read and write.  Poetry helps the children to develop many valuable skills including: the ability to rhyme, read with rhythm and fluency, and to identify high frequency words.  I have also found that the flexible, fun format of poems helps students feel comfortable writing their own poems and stories.  Dive right in and have fun with the information on this site!

The Basics (What to Expect Each Week):

Each child will have a three ring binder that will contain all the poems they have worked with throughout the year and some of their own work.  Every week we will learn a new poem in the classroom.  I will present the poem in large format using sentence strips and a pocket chart.  The children and I will read the poem together and usually discuss an element of the poem (i.e. rhyming words, long vowel words, science words...etc).  I will sometimes rearrange the poem, having the children work together to put it back in the right order.

The children will then receive a copy of the poem for their poetry journal.  On the back of the poem, there will be an assignment that he/she needs to complete.  The assignments are usually my own creations and vary depending on the concepts and subject areas with which we are working.  For example: if we are working on weather and seasons in science, the children may have a poem that is about a certain type of weather (rainy) the assignment might be to think of as many describing words (adjectives) as they can for rainy weather.  This assignment ties together science (weather) with language arts (adjectives).

What you can do with your child:

  • Read the poem with your child - It helps to read it a couple times and then have your child try reading it to you.
  • Help your child to complete the assignment - These assignments are meant to have some kind of parent supervision.
  • If your child will be reciting the poem:  practice the poem with your child so that he or she will be ready to recite by Friday.

“Keep a Poem in Your Pocket”

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed

The little poem will sing to you
The little picture will bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed


Keep a poem in your pocket
Keep a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed

-Beatrice Schenk de Rogniers

Understanding Your First Grade Child

How Parents Can Help their First Grade Children

Please click on the following links:

Homework Expectations of First Grade Children

Students will be receiving homework four nights a week.  I believe that your students should look forward to homework, but that they need the time to relax and play on the weekends.  During the week, homework assignments should take no longer than 30 minutes.  Occasionally an assignment may take your child a little longer, and that is okay.  However, if you find that your child is struggling significantly, feel free to have him/her stop the assignment and send a note that explains the situation.

Every Tuesday your child will be bringing home his/her poetry binder with a new poem for that week and an assignment to go with it.  Please read the poem with your child and help him or her to complete the assignments.  Poetry helps the children to develop many valuable skills including: the ability to rhyme, read with rhythm and fluency, and to identify high frequency words.  (Please see the Poetry Page for First Grade on this website.)

I will try to return the previous week’s homework on Mondays.  Please be sure to check your child’s returned homework packet for any notes or incomplete/messy work.  Please make sure that your child completes the homework assignments each night.  It is your child’s responsibility to take home his/her homework folder each day and return homework to the classroom the following day.  Developing strong homework skills is essential to creating responsible habits, and mastering the skills we are learning in the classroom.

Reporting and Communication between First Grade Parents and Teacher

Parent-teacher communication is vital to helping your child have a successful year.  You are the primary educator of your child.  The work that I do in the classroom means very little without your help.  Please check your child’s folder each day when he or she comes home for any notes from me or the school as well as homework and returned papers.  I believe strongly in the power of positive interaction between parents and teachers.  Please feel free to send a note to me whenever you have questions or comments regarding your child.  I will try to get back to you by the next day or by phone the same day.  You can send notes in your child’s folder to school, or drop them in my box in the office.  You may also contact me through e-mail.  I may not be able to respond to your e-mail in detail, but I check it each day.  The address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Report Cards/Conferences

Report cards are sent home at the end of each trimester.  In between report cards, you will receive a progress report to update you on your child’s progress in school.  Please see the school calendar for days that progress reports and report cards will be sent home.  On report cards, your student will receive grades in the form of:

  • O = Outstanding

  • G = Good

  • S = Satisfactory

  • N = Needs Improvement

Parent conferences will be held at the beginning of November.  Please plan to sign up for a time at the PTO meeting prior to conferences.  I look forward to this time to talk about your child’s progress with you.


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