I am currently working on the furniture arrangement in the classroom and working out a theme for our classroom. We have been assigned the color yellow. I am thinking that means we need a little sunshine in our room. 🙂 Here are some images of our classroom
At Open House be sure to pick up my colorful policy pages to provide some insight into homework, behavior, and much more.
- School starts at 8:20 am. Students are usually in the classroom slightly before this time to allow them to unpack and get ready for the day. Please be sure to have your child to school on time so that they may have a chance to settle in and be ready for a great day. It’s always hard coming in a little late. I watch tardy students take a longer time to feel at ease and ready to begin their day.
- School ends at 3:00 pm. Although, we will release students closer to 2:55 pm. Nothing is worse than not knowing how a child is going home for the day. The sooner you know your plans have changed and the sooner you notify the office, the better. Send in notes at the beginning of the day or call into the office. If you are relying on email, please note that I may not be able to check my email after the lunch break so it’s better to let the secretaries know.
School policies can be found by looking through our district’s handbook.
There will be a behavior calendar in your child’s binder. Each child will begin on blue. Being on blue signifies that they are reaching for the sky. Students are coming to school with the goal of cooperating with others, trying their best to participate and complete any work, and being kind to themselves and others. If they end their day on blue, they will receive a stamp on that calendar day. They can only receive a stamp for being on blue. If there are concerns with minor behavior disruptions I will document on the calendar any concerns. If a pattern of disruptive behavior develops or if the behavior is severe, a phone call will be made and/or email will be sent.
Although birthday treats are great, they can also disrupt the flow of learning for as much as 20 minutes (getting ready for the treat, passing them out/singing, cleaning up, and settling down and refocusing on learning). Nonfood items can be a great alternative and can be handed out at the end of the day along with a a class round of singing Happy Birthday. Each year I have students with a variety of food allergies or diet restrictions that may complicate what treats can be brought in to share.
Classroom Learning ~ A day in the life of a first grader
First grade is an important step in your child’s education. School begins each morning with our morning routine. We take time to unpack, place our binder on our desk, and show we’re here by making our lunch choice. Most mornings there will be a set morning assignment which usually comprises of reading or writing.
During the morning, we will work on skills in grammar, phonics/spelling, phonemic awareness, vocabulary (both oral and high frequency words – word wall words), fluency and comprehension. These skills are mapped out in our reading series called Wonders from McGraw-Hill. Most days we will work on some form of writing whether it is practice with handwriting, working on short answers to comprehension questions, or a writing piece. Students really enjoy literacy workstation time where students rotate through independent reading, shared reading with a partner, listening to reading, ConnectEd or Raz Kids on the computer, writing, or a working with words station. At this time I will either work with individual students, with a small group, or I may be assessing individual progress in a variety of reading areas.
In the afternoon, some reading skills may be finished and then we work on math. Math consists of a whole group lesson using the My Math series which is also from McGraw-Hill. We then follow up our math lesson by completing our math workstations where students get additional practice on skills taught in class through a variety of activities and games.
In the afternoon, I also spend time with Scholastic News. This is a great magazine for kids that covers a variety of topics in social studies and science. We cover science and social studies through our reading series and there will be hands on activities and projects that are included beyond the reading series.
First graders will get a recess and lunch break in between reading in the morning and math in the afternoon. They also have special classes in physical education, library, computers, and music. A special’s schedule will be included with the open house colorful handout.
Unlike kindergarten, first grade does not have a daily snack time. We also do not have centers that are focused on play and social skills. Our workstations focus on cooperation, student time management, skills based work, building personal stamina for independent reading, and of course, social skills. We do have carpet time but we spend a lot of time with managing important seat work. I try my best to get kids moving often to help maintain focus and keep them from becoming too stationary.