What will your child learn in first grade language arts?
First grade is a very critical year in the development of reading and language skills. This year, we will be using a new county adopted reading series to help your child learn a variety of phonics skills, sight words, and strategies to help them learn new words. We will read a variety of books, and your child will be able to practice new skills in a variety of fun and interesting ways. By the end of the year, students are expected to read about 60 words per minute and be able to read grade level text independently. First graders will spend lots of time writing as well. Students will be able to write about topics that interest them and share their writings with others.
What will your child learn in social studies?
Students will learn about rules and their purpose as well as how to get along with others and work together. They will learn about holidays, events in history, famous Americans, and American symbols. They will also develop a working knowledge of timelines and maps.
What are the rules and expectations?
Classroom Rules --The Big Three--
- Do what’s right.
*We keep our hands and feet to ourselves.
*We treat our school supplies with care.
*We are responsible for our own actions.
- Do your best.
*We always try.
*We work hard to do quality work.
- Treat others like you would like to be treated.
*We use kind words.
*We are polite.
*We are good listeners.
*We are respectful to each other.
**All students and parents are responsible for the rules outlined in the Marion County Code of Student Conduct.
Students will bring home a folder every day with a newsletter showing that day's behavior. We will be using a color-coded card system in our classroom to keep track of student discipline. Each child will start every day with a green card. If a child breaks one of the rules listed above, he/she will change the card to yellow. This is considered a warning. If the child breaks another rule, he/she will be asked to change the card to red. At this time, I will change the color listed on the newsletter to yellow or red and will give a short explanation of the rule that was broken.
Just as students can receive consequences for misbehavior, students can earn positive rewards for positive behavior. Children can earn star cards throughout the day. At the end of the day, the students will trade in their star cards for coins to be used at the Cougar Cash Store. Here, the coins can be traded for special prizes. Star cards/coins can be earned for going above and beyond expected behavior, for setting a good example, for acts of kindness, etc.
As you are counting on me to give your child the best education I can, I would like to count on you to help when it comes to discipline. Even though there are rewards and consequences at school for their behavior, it’s worthless if there aren’t any rewards and consequences at home as well. In my experience with these newsletters, children seem to take them only as seriously as their parents do. So, I am pleading with you to be consistent about asking for their newsletters each day and spend a few minutes talking to them about it. Praise them for good reports and be diligent about the consequences for poor reports. A well-behaved student will get much more out of each day and will also allow others to get more out of their day. The newsletters need to be signed daily and returned on the following school day. These newsletters are great tools for communication. There is a place for parent comments, so feel free to write me a note in this area and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
What are the homework policies?
Homework will be listed underneath the date on your child’s newsletter. It will be placed in your child’s folder behind the newsletter. Language arts homework will be given on Mondays and Wednesdays. Math homework will be given on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The homework will not be busy work, but will give your child the chance to practice the skills learned in class that particular week.
In language arts, homework may be a short practice page, a reading practice sheet, or just a parent letter to keep you informed of the skills your child is learning in class. Please return the homework in your child’s folder. We will reward the children for completing the homework with Cougar Coins.
We would also like to see you spending time reading with your child each night. The best way to improve a child's reading skills is by reading. This can be your child reading to you, or you reading to your child. Reading to your child helps build vocabulary and helps your child hear examples of what a fluent reader sounds like. Giving your child time and opportunity to read to you, creates a special bonding time and helps build their confidence. If you need reading materials at home, please let me know.
In language arts, I will not be giving weekly spelling tests. I have found that memorizing words for a Friday spelling test does not always transfer to the students’ day-to-day writing in class. I will occasionally give spelling tests based on the phonics skills that we are learning in class to make sure that they understand the vowels and the sounds they make.
**Your child will have PE every day of the week from 9:45-10:15 AM. It is required that your child wear tennis shoes every day to PE.
** Your child will be attending art and music for one class period a week for the entire school year.
**We eat lunch at 10:20-10:50.
**We will be going to recess every day for 20 minutes. Please be sure your child wears tennis shoes each day.
Below is our elementary grading scale.
90-100 E (excellent)
80-89 S (satisfactory)
70-79 N (needs improvement)
69 and below U (unsatisfactory progress)
Student work will be graded promptly and will be sent home in their folders every Friday. We are not allowed to send home certain county assessments, but a note will go home explaining how your child performed on those tests. I will also post grades to my gradebook in a timely manner so you can access them on the Family Access portion of the website once that is available.