About First Grade
I’m Mrs. Walton, your child’s teacher. I’ve been teaching first graders since 1983 here at Walls Elementary. I have found first graders to be some of the most enthusiastic, energetic, inquisitive people in the world. Their love of learning is such a powerful tool. My goal is to make sure all that energy is channeled into a busy, productive day of school and that we don’t waste a minute of learning time. As a result, your child might be tired after a long day!
Please take a minute to click this link and read the common core standards brochure published by the National PTA. It gives a good overview of the first grade curriculum and shows how you can incorporate these learning goals into reinforcing activities at home.
One of the most important goals in first grade is that all children learn to read and comprehend to the best of their ability. You are a very important part of this process. Reading with your child EVERY DAY is extremely important. The reading log should be completed each night and returned to school each morning in the FIDO book. The Kent Free Library is a great place to visit each week. Try to make it part of your routine. In our classroom, we do the Daily 5 to make the most of our reading time every morning. To learn more about what this means, click the link to go to the informational letter explaining the program. (Daily 5 Parent Letter)
In a few weeks, spelling homework will come home in the FIDO book. Practice the spelling words daily in the car, with magnetic letters on the refrigerator, in shaving cream on the side of the bathtub, whatever motivates your child. On Fridays, we will have a spelling test and the words will be written down as dictated.
Kent City Schools has adopted Investigations as our math program. Children use lots of manipulatives and develop problem solving skills and thinking skills along the way. Interpreting graphs is a large part of our math curriculum. We make and read lots of graphs throughout the school year including our bulletin board graph in the hallway. Other goals in math include addition and subtraction with story problems (showing how we found the answer), measurement, telling time to the hour and half-hour, fractions, and geometry (shapes). When math homework comes home, please complete the activity that night and send it back to school the next day.
All children write in journals as part of writing workshop. We will learn to write at least three sentences about a given topic using capitals, periods and age-appropriate spelling by the end of the year.
Science and social studies are also important parts of our day. I will keep you informed as to our topics of study in parent letters or on our website. Topics range from living things to natural resources to states of matter.
We have three rules in our classroom.
1. Be respectful.
2. Be responsible.
3. Be safe.
At the beginning of the year, as we learn classroom routines, we use a behavior system to help us focus on following the classroom rules. Children earn pennies when they exhibit positive classroom behaviors. They lose pennies when their behavior is inappropriate or distracting to others or causing them to waste learning time. We will be trading pennies for nickels, etc. and I’m hoping it helps us learn to count money as the year progresses. The money they earn can be spent in our classroom store.
Please remember that we have snack time every day. Only send healthy snacks. Birthday treats are welcome – at this time, 22 students are in our class. We might go on two field trips. More info to follow. Email me or write a note if you have questions!
It is such an exciting year filled with so many learning opportunities for all of us. Please know that I feel we need to be partners, working together to make this a wonderful year. Communication is the key. Whenever you may have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call or write a note. I want to hear from you. I am looking forward to working with you. I think you will find first grade to be a happy and enjoyable experience.
Mrs. Walton (firstname.lastname@example.org)