Miss Bohrer’s First Grade General Information Packet

Miss Bohrer’s First Grade General Information Packet
First grade is going to be an exciting academic year for your child. It is the most important year in your child’s academic growth. First grade will be the base of your child’s entire future learning. Your child will come into first grade barely able to read and leave a full-fledged reader. The students in my class will learn to not only write sentences, but how to complete a research report. This year you will be amazed and proud of the rapid progress your child will make. In order for this year to be a success, I need your help and constant support at home. In school, I have prepared an organized and structured environment to best promote your child’s academic growth. I hope the following information will help you to better understand how our classroom will be managed and make for a smooth and successful year. Dismissal Procedure Walkers: Walkers will be dismissed at 3:25 p.m. out the first wing door. Parents you must wave to me when you see your child. If someone other than you will be picking up your child, you MUST give me a note (in the morning) stating who has permission to pick up your child. I cannot release your child without this note. If another family member or friend will be picking up your child on a random or regular basis, please send me a note as soon as possible letting me know that you give your permission for your child to go home with this person in the event you are not at the dismissal door. *Please note: 1. Please try to be on time. In the event that you are running late, please meet us in the main office. 2. No walker is permitted to go on a bus. This is district policy. Busers: After dismissing the walkers, announcements will be made calling the busers, by bus number to the main corridor.

*Please note: If your child will NOT be taking the bus on a particular day and you will be picking up your child, a note must be sent in. See “walkers” for dismissal procedure. Lunch Please label all lunch boxes/paper bags with your child’s name and room number (115). If your child is buying lunch, please place the money in an envelope or zip-lock bag with your child’s name and ID number on it. I will hold the lunch money until lunchtime. Also, it is important that you let your child know what he/she should be ordering for lunch, so that he/she can move his/her lunch count clip to the proper spot. If you choose to pre-pay lunch, your child will still need to know his/her ID number. The first grade website has lunch slips forms that you can download and fill in using Microsoft Word at: www.dangr1.lindenhurstschools.site.eboard.com Snacks Please supply your child with one healthy snack and drink each day. Your child cannot buy snack during snack time; therefore, you must supply the snack and drink. The children will eat their snacks in the afternoon, since we have an early lunch. Please, give your child one small healthy child-size snack and one drink.

Healthy snacks are fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers, pretzels, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. Your child may share his/her fruit or vegetable snack with Molly, the guinea pig. I feel that it is important to instill healthy eating habits at a young age and that there are numerous benefits to eating healthy. Please, send your child’s snack in a labeled separate bag from his/her lunch. Absences If your child is absent, New York State requires you to send in an absent note stating the reason for your child’s absence. Please send in the note the day your child returns to school. A call to the office the day your child is absent is also necessary. If your child is absent, I suggest that you request your child’s missed work be sent to the office for you or another child to pick up at the end of the day. It is important that you child only miss school if her/she is ill. Student work cannot be prepared in advance for illegal absences such as vacations. Also, it is impossible for you to help your child make up all the work that he/she would be missing. We do not give busy work in first grade and therefore most of the learning is teacher directed. Lateness/Early Departures If your child is late for school, the Lindenhurst School District Attendance Policy requires that you write an excuse note stating the reason for the lateness. If your child has to leave school early for any reason, a note should be sent to school that morning, so that your child will be packed up in time. If the nurse is sending your child home sick, you do not need to send in a note. Lateness and early departures are recorded on your child’s permanent record cards. Labeling Please label everything your child brings to school. All items (jackets, backpacks, lunch boxes, snacks, notebooks, crayons, etc.) need to have your child’s name on them. Number System Your child will be assigned a number based on his/her place in alphabetical order on the first day of school. This number helps to keep things organized. Your child’s books, desk, mailbox, lunch count clip, and book baggie will all be labeled with this number. Classroom Plan The classroom plan is a set of rules for the classroom. The plan is reviewed the first day of school and a contract is sent home. To let you know how your child is doing in school, I will send home a daily incentive/star chart (explained below). If your child cannot follow the classroom plan on a regular basis, he/she will be put on a behavior chart. This chart system will be explained more clearly to you if your child’s behavior in school warrants a behavior chart. I review the rules with students each day in the beginning of the year. They are as follows: 1. Follow directions 2. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself 3. Respect the property and feelings of others However, if a student chooses to break a rule, the following steps will be taken:

First time a student chooses to break a rule: Second time: Third time: Fourth time: Fifth time: Severe disruption:

Warning 5 minutes off recess or snack 10 minutes off recess or snack Phone call or note home & no recess Send to principal Send to principal

To encourage students to follow the rules, I will support appropriate behavior with verbal recognition, tickets, prizes, positive notes home, and the daily incentive/star chart. Daily Star Charts This chart will go home each afternoon and should be returned to school every morning (keep it in the return to school side of the folder). The purpose of this chart is to help the children learn our classroom and school rules. It takes time for students to learn the rules. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and parent/teacher communication all help to support appropriate school behavior. Appropriate school behavior supports an optimal learning environment. I will complete the charts each afternoon. If a student follows the rules, he/she will receive a sticker or star in the box for that day. If not, I will put the following codes on the incentive chart: W = warning 5= broke the rules 2x & had 5 minutes off 10 = broke the rules 3x & had 5 minutes off N = broke the rules 4x & had no recess P = broke the rules 5x and was sent to the principal or severe disruption. Due to the time constraints associated with having twenty-plus students in a class, I will only give more detailed explanations of behaviors if I feel the situation warrants it or your child broke the rules four or more times. Your child will get a new chart every month. A special reward will be given to students who follow the rules for an entire month. Please, review this chart each night with your child. These charts are used as positive reinforcement for good behavior. They are only effective if parents check the chart each day and discuss the chart with their child. Classroom News I compile a weekly newsletter, which is sent home at the beginning of each week. It is very important that you read these. The “Classroom News” contains important information about projects, homework, tests, school events, volunteering, etc. Homework Policy Children will receive a homework packet on Monday and it needs to be completed and handed in by Friday. The “Classroom News” will list the homework for the week. Large projects will be detailed in a take-home notice and in the “Classroom News.” If a regular homework assignment is missed, the child must complete it during recess.

Take Home Folders The students in my class will use a “Take Home Folder” to keep track of all of the papers they need to keep at home, as well as those they need to return to school. Below is an explanation of how to help your child use his/her Take Home Folder to keep track of homework, tests, projects, and other papers. Please, check both pockets of the folder each night for important papers.

Guinea Pig Our classroom has a pet Guinea Pig named Molly. She is a very sweet and chubby Guinea Pig. A Guinea Pig rules contract will be reviewed in class and sent home for signatures. The contract should be signed and returned to school as soon as possible. Molly is around 8 years old. Guinea Pigs live 5-8 years. Therefore, she will not be sent home with students for weekends and holidays, as I have done in the past. I want her senior years to be as stress free as possible. Guinea Pig Rules 1. Do not bang or hit Molly’s cage. 2. Do not put food or objects into Molly’s cage without the teacher’s approval. 3. Do not pet or hold Molly, unless the teacher allows you to. Reading Logs Your child will be sent home a reading response form at the end of each week in a folder. The folder and response form must be sent back to school completed by the following Thursday. The district requires that your child read at least 25 books a year. The reading logs are an easy way to meet that goal and an opportunity for your child to build comprehension skills. Report Cards The first quarter report card will be handed to you during your Parent-Teacher Conference in November. The first grade report card differs from the report card utilized in Kindergarten. Our report card was created to be used for both first and second grade. A rubric grade is given instead of percentages, this rubric grade ranges from a 1-4. Each number grade correlates to and is followed by a brief description of the skills assigned to it. The numbers represent a range of skills that the students acquire as they progress through first and second grade. Students will be graded on a continuum in which you should see consistent progress throughout the year. This rubric system will be used for Language Arts, Writing,

Listening, Speaking, Math Operations, Math Problem Solving, Math Concepts/Applications. Each subject will have an effort grade next to it. These will be E,G,S,N,I, or U. Work Habits and Social Development will also have a letter grade. E - Excellent G - Good S - Satisfactory N - Needs Improvement I - Improving U – Unsatisfactory/ Failing Grade Tests Math, Spelling, and Reading tests will be sent home with a percentage grade on them. All tests must be signed and returned to school. Math This year your child’s math program will cover the following topics: number sense, addition, subtraction, skip counting, time, money, fractions, measurement, geometry, and probability. I supplement our core math program by Houghton Mifflin, with math centers and the Touch Math program. The touch math program is utilized in my classroom for addition, subtraction, and money. For more information about Touch Math, go to www.touchmath.com . Literacy At Daniel St. Elementary School, we follow the balanced literacy model and incorporate many programs into our literacy block of time. We use the basal Harcourt Reading Series as our scope and sequence. The stories in this series provide us with a theme, spelling words, and phonic elements for the week. We also utilize the Wilson Fundations program to reinforce phonics skills and follow the Fountas and Pinnell guided reading model to teach the students how to read in small flexible group settings. Guided reading and leveled books will be explained in further detail in this packet. The Writing Workshop model is used to model and guide student writing. Wilson Fundations: www.fundations.com Fountas and Pinnell: www.heinemann.com/fountasandpinnell/default.aspx Spelling Words/Tests There is not a spelling grade on the report cards. I give a grade on the test to motivate students to study with their parents. Many of these spelling words are taken from the 100 sight word list and are words your child should be able to spell and read. The spelling words will be sent home each week on cardstock paper. These words will need to be cut and placed on your child’s word ring. After winter break, I will begin giving students dictation sentences on their spelling tests. For the dictation sentence, I count the number of words and then add one for a capital and one for an end mark. This gives me the number of possible right answers and the point value for each. Capitals in the middle of a sentence count as a wrong answer. The point value can change each week depending on the number of words in the sentence. I do not record these grades, but it does give me an idea of how the students are doing in writing.

Book Baggies Your child’s book baggie will be a key component in your child’s reading progress. This book baggie will be used for at home reading and for D.E.A.R. time in school. A Zip-lock bag with five leveled mini books inside, your child’s word ring, and one Harcourt phonics reader will be sent home each night and will always be returned to school the next day. The same five books will go home with your child every night for a week. You must read all 5 books with your child. Try and read one a night. I will conference with your child once a week on a specific day to monitor your child’s progress and test him/her on the word ring. I can tell whether or not an adult reads with your child every night. It is very upsetting to the child and to me when he/she cannot read the books. Please, read with your child each night, it only takes 15 minutes and the rewards are immeasurable. As your child’s reading improves he/she will move up in book levels. Please, do not put pressure on your child to increase levels. It is not a race or a contest; each child will learn to read at his/her own rate. Reading Levels Here at Daniel Street Elementary School, we use the Fountas & Pinnell system of leveling books. Books are leveled from “A-Z” with “A” being the easiest. Students begin reading on level A in Kindergarten and should be able to read and comprehend a level Z book by the end of their elementary schooling. First grade is a formidable year in your child’s literacy acquisition because, the children are expected to progress through eight levels of books. Grade and Appropriate Reading Levels

Independent Reading Level Your child’s reading grade will be based in part on his/her independent reading level. This is the level of book that he/she has in his/her book baggie. The students’ “guided reading level” is one level higher than that of their book baggie level. This is because “guided reading” is for challenging and instructing students. Book baggies are for books that are “just right” for your child to read fluently by themselves. Guided Reading Guided reading is an instructional setting that enables the teacher to work with a small group of students to help them learn effective strategies for processing text with understanding. The purpose of guided reading is to meet the varying

instructional needs of all the students in the class, enabling them to greatly expand their reading powers. Guided reading is only one part of the literacy program. The entire program includes language/word study, writing, and guided reading. Guided reading gives students the opportunity to read at their instructional level, which means that the books provide them with a moderate challenge through which the teacher can scaffold each child’s learning. They are grouped with students who are similar in ability, needs, and strengths. Instruction is then finely tuned to the needs of those particular students. Centers Literacy Centers will take place five times a week. During centers, your child will be grouped in a group of four students of mixed academic ability. There will be 11 centers a week with each group completing all of the centers by the end of the week. The centers are usually created around the reading story for the week. While the students are at their respective centers, I will pull a guided reading group of students. After guided reading is over, the students will return to their center and try and do as much work as possible before the end of center time. Your child will not be penalized for unfinished center work, if they were pulled for a guided reading group. Center work is not busy work, but meaningful independent literature based activities that the children enjoy doing. If your child chooses not to spend his/her center time productively, he/she will have to stay in for recess to finish the work. Math Centers will take place in the afternoons about 2 times a week. The math specialist, Angela Marzocca pushes in for math centers and works with her A.I.S. math students. The math centers will follow our math curriculum and provide enrichment and hands-on math practice. Again the children will be in small groups and rotate through the various math centers. I will either be stationed at a particularly challenging math center, or float around helping students where needed. Handwriting The first grade utilizes the Handwriting Without Tears program to teach handwriting. This program is a developmentally based, flexible, engaging, and effective way for children to develop good handwriting skills. For more information about Handwriting Without Tears, go to www.hwtears.com . Take-Home Packs/Bags Below is a description of the five bags your child will bring home from school throughout the year. At “Meet the Teacher Night,” a distribution schedule will be provided. Please take care to keep these bags clean and organized. Many of them were hand-made by me. If you notice the stuffed animal in the bag needs to be cleaned, please feel free to do so. I hope you and your child will find these bags to be an enjoyable family experience. Star of the Week Each child will have a chance to be “Star of the Week” for one full week during the school year. I will be the first “Star of the Week,” the children will star according to alphabetical order. On the Wednesday preceding your child’s turn as “Star of the Week,” your child will be given a reminder notice, a “Star of the Week” bag, and an “All About Me” poster to complete. Please return the poster and bag by Monday. Also, please send in a few photos to be displayed on the “Star of the Week” bulletin board. These photos will be returned at the end of the

week. If you like, you may send in some sort of prize or snack item (pretzels, fruit snacks, etc.) for your child to give out to his/her classmates at the end of his/her week. Please, no cupcakes, candy, or munchkins. Mr. Moo the Class Mascot My classroom has a cow/farm theme. To celebrate the theme and encourage reading, I have a class mascot named Mr. Moo. Each child will have an opportunity to take Mr. Moo and his bag of books home for a weekend. Mr. Moo is a stuffed cow, he will be sent home on a Thursday with a cow print bag, a letter, and a few cow themed books. Please, read these books to/with your child. Your child will chronicle his/her adventures in Mr. Moo’s Travel Log. Any of Mr. Moo’s books can be used for the weekly reading log. I encourage you to take photos of Mr. Moo and your family. Get creative! On Monday, Mr. Moo and his belongings should be returned to school. Lost Tooth Bag First grade is a big year for loosing teeth. To celebrate your child’s first lost tooth in first grade, he/she will take home the “Lost Tooth Bag.” This bag contains books about the Tooth Fairy, the dentist, and loosing a tooth. Please choose one book to read with your child and then fill out a “Lost Tooth Log” in the “Lost Tooth Club” journal. It is important that you return everything to school the next day. We will share the journal after lunch. Dr. Seuss Bag Each child will have a chance to bring home the Dr. Seuss bag. This bag contains books written by Dr. Seuss, a Cat and the Hat doll, and a response activity. The Dr. Seuss bag is meant to provide you and your child with an enjoyable reading experience. The “Reading Response Activity” in this bag may be used in place of your child’s weekly reading log. Nursery Rhyme Bag Each child will have a chance to bring the Nursery Rhyme bag home. Nursery Rhymes help support phonemic awareness and are utilized throughout the school year during shared reading. This bag contains a book of Nursery Rhymes, a rhyming game, and response activities. The “Reading Response Activity” in this bag may be used in place of your child’s weekly reading log. Birthdays Your child is welcome to celebrate his/her birthday in class. Birthday parties are held during snack time. Please, drop off the birthday goodies (please do not send in candy, piñatas, or whole cakes) and all the necessary supplies in the main office before 2:00. If you want to send in a drink, I request that you send in juice boxes, large containers of juice are too messy and time-consuming. If you would rather not send in juice boxes, the children can get water from the fountain and or have the drink in their snack. Summer birthdays will be celebrated on your child’s half-birthday. I will send home a birthday celebration reminder letter the week before your child’s birthday/half-birthday. Students are not allowed to go around to other classrooms and hand out extra goodies, so you only need to supply enough for the class. Your child will take home the “Birthday Bag” on the day of his/her birthday/half birthday. The bag contains birthday themed books and a journal. Please, read one or more books with your child and complete the journal.

This bag must be returned to school the next day; we will then share the journal entry with the class. *Birthday invitations may not be handed out in class unless you are inviting the whole class. Smocks One smock will be needed for Art class and one white T-shirt is required for Gym. ART – Please use an old shirt and write your child’s name somewhere on the shirt. Please send it to school in a zip-lock bag labeled with your child’s name. GYM – Please use a white T-shirt with your child’s name written on the front with permanent marker. Please send it to school in a zip-lock bag labeled with your child’s name. This shirt will be sent home periodically to be washed. Please remember to return it to school promptly. Also, the students need to come to school wearing sneakers on gym days. Book Orders Scholastic book order forms are sent home about once a month on Mondays and are due back on or before Friday. Two to five different Scholastic order forms will be stapled together with a parent letter. The parent letter will explain how to order the books online. I encourage you to take advantage of these affordable books by quality authors. Through your orders, we receive free books for the classroom. In addition, if you decided to place your order online, we will automatically receive a free book. Please don’t feel obligated to order. Many book order forms will be sent home throughout the year. If you would like the books you order to be a surprise gift for your child, please send in a note along with the book order. I will be glad to leave the order for you in the office or send it home in a large sealed envelope. Field Trips All field trip money and permission slips are due on or before the due date listed on the permission slip. Field trips are paid for in advance, we do not bring cash to our destinations, and therefore it is pertinent that the due dates are adhered to. If there is a situation preventing you from obtaining the funds required in a timely matter, please, let me know as soon as possible. Please, note that students will not be reimbursed for field trips missed due to illness. Family Situations I would like to be informed of important experiences that may be affecting your child’s state of mind, such as: illness in the family, a best friend moving away, conflicts among family members, loss of a pet, etc. Although I am interested in anything that could be affecting your child, it is not necessary for you to reveal personal information. Please know that anything you do say will be kept in the strictest confidence. How to Contact Me The best way to contact me during the school day is to email me at ebohrer@lindenhurstschools.org, I try to check this email everyday at lunch time. Or you can call the Daniel Street School office and leave a message and phone number where I can reach you. The First Grade Website

The first grade website contains links and downloads pertinent to first grade. Please, check out the website at: www.dangr1.lindenhurstschools.site.eboard.com Class Photos I take numerous photos of the class throughout the school year. I will post these photos on Shutterfly.com and you will be able to view, print, or order prints from this web address: missbohrer.shutterfly.com . If you would like an email update when I add new photos to the site, please provide me with your email address on the contact information form or email. At the end of the school year, I will create a scrapbook through Shutterfly that you may order. Scrapbook Each month, the students will complete a scrap book entry. The monthly scrap book entry includes some brief writing, your child’s photo, a poem, and your child’s handprint. I hope your child’s completed scrapbook will become a cherished keepsake. Donations I will gladly accept any donations for room 115. I would also appreciate it if you could donate your time to sharpen pencils, make photocopies, pick up photos at Target (for the scrapbooks), and/or to cut out, sort, and assemble things at home. Class Schedule Our schedule is included in the “Important First Grade Information Folder” and is on the first grade website. Specials are the classes like gym and music. Class List Please save this in a safe place. You and your child can refer to the list for filling out holiday cards or birthday invitations. The list will have the students’ numbers on it. The number system will make it easier for your child to place cards in mailboxes. Class Directory Please save this in a safe place. Over the years I have found this to work out well for both the students and the parents. It makes it easier to set up play dates or inquire about an assignment or school function. Please, utilize this list for sending out birthday invitations. I look forward to working closely with you to insure a most enjoyable, successful year for your child. Thank you in advance for your support.

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