“*Dr. Kenneth Zike has said that at least 50% of the children with learning problems referred to the neurological clinic at his hospital had had no traumas, no birth injuries, and no other physical deviations. Their trouble seemed to come from pressure - pressure to do a task that they did not have the maturity to do.”

~Borrowed from Robert Jackson on the world wide web.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Phonics Readers

I will be sending home phonics readers with your children. They have been told that they are to read them with you. When they have mastered the story, even if it is memorized, they may bring it back to me. Please sign your name to it and make sure their name is on it as well. Al and Max was sent home today.

Today we worked on picking just right books. We are learning a song to help us remember how to pick "just right" books. The classroom library is now open for business and the children are loving all the options. With so many options, they are getting a very good workout in picking the ones that are good fit books. We compared reading to learning to ride a bike. When you first begin to ride, you do not try it on a hill. It would be too difficult to go uphill and you would tip over. Likewise, a book that is an uphill book would be too difficult. It would be so dangerous to start down a hill and you would crash at a high rate of speed. Speeding through a book, would tell you it is to easy. But, if you learn to ride a bike on a flat surface, it is smooth sailing. A just right book is one in which you know almost all the words. I was overjoyed at the book choices the children were making. When I checked in on each one, I was able to see a conscious effort to pick the books that are just right for them.

Our day was filled with many more activities to many to count!  I suppose it is kind of like when you ask your child what they did at school today and they say, "Nothing."  To explain it, I would have to spend an entire day doing it!  I will simply say, I am very pleased with their work habits and abilities.  They are primed and ready for learning!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday!

I wish I took more pictures to share with you.  If I had an extra set of hands and eyes, I would have snapped a photo the moment:
*the children doubled over in gales of laughter as David, in the story No, David , had his finger stuck so far up his nose.  (Pure childhood bliss!)
*they had all passed me by walking in line with their hands behind their backs to perfection.
*the vice-principal walks into the classroom only to find 18 students with their book tubs at their seats reading to themselves...silently.
*they sat holding their breaths waiting for the next words out of my mouth as I read aloud a precious story they are able to connect to personally.
*when their eyes light up with joy as I say something clever to gather their attention because they just can not sit through one more math lesson on a Friday afternoon when all they want to do is play outside.
*with folders up and pencils gripped waiting for the next question on the reading test.
*18 students begin singing "What a Wonderful World" as we begin our day.
*when said students are asked to come to the carpet to meet the new guidance counselor first thing in the morning...without the song "What a Wonderful World". (habits are formed in less than 14 days...I can vouch for that!)  Everything was wrong with the world at that moment!  :o) 
*a child rushes over to help another student whose books went tumbling off the desk.
*the longest railroad track was completed and star wars lego spaceship was flying through the air.
*a child comes to me, wraps their arms around me, and tells me they love me.
YES!  That is why I do what I do!

We continue to build our reading community and are taking on reading responsibilities next week.  We are writing about things that are important to us.  I am focusing on comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary.  I am feeling very good about the new math curriculum and really enjoy how this series teaches the children step by step.  The children are getting the hang of it and will start the homework that goes along with each lesson next week.  They should have a very easy time getting through the math homework.  I have explained it in depth and they have had plenty of time to use manipulative and become very familiar with each lesson.  If they are struggling, please review the lesson with them.  We will start on lesson 1.6 on Monday.  Feel free to complete any of the homework pages prior to WB PP P15-P16.  Please do not rush ahead in the book.

A note about homework:  If it is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday your child has homework.  This is to be completed daily.  Please be sure your child completes their work AND returns it.  Thank you for your help in this matter.

As you may have noticed, I am not a big fan of worksheets.  It is my goal to find ways each day to complete the skills often found on worksheets by other means.  When I do have the children complete them, it is because I am working on the skill for a test.  It could also simply be for the fact I want to work on their handwriting.  We do work on the floor often in order to strengthen the muscles in their shoulders.  This will in turn build strength in their hands for fine motor skills.  It also strengthens their neck muscles to begin to work from the white board(which once used to be called the chalk board :o).  I have also begun using the "exercise tub" during centers of our small group time.  Everything in it is used to strengthen their fine motor muscles.  Ask your child about the tennis ball with a face that likes to eat marbles.  They should tell you the ball has a hard time saying no to the marbles and gets sick often. :o) 

Be watching for small readers to begin coming home.  The children should practice the book and only when it is mastered, return it to me.  They will then read the book to me and get a punch card punched.  I am keeping track of the books they read aloud to me and the AR tests they take.  It will be a fun way for them to keep track to!  Do not panic if they memorize the story.  Make sure your child tracks their reading with a finger under the word.   This way, even though it is memorized, they will see the word and say the word.  Also, the pictures are an excellent resource when children are just beginning to read.  These books  build confidence in the children.  They will actually see that they are readers very quickly.  For those children who are excellent readers already, this is an added bonus and easy way to fly higher on our reading chart.  The books will either go along with our weekly story or be based on phonics.  The children have access to such a wide range of books to read on a daily basis that the advanced readers will have plenty to read and time to do it on their particular level.  Please write or have your child write their name on the book and sign it so I know they have read it to you.  If you save these readers, the children will have a nice collection by the end of the year.

Thank you for making the start to the first grade year such a successful one!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Growing Strong Readers

*The following ideas all came from the website: Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading "FAIR"

Letter Names and Sounds
1. Use index cards to create two (2) sets of alphabet cards (letters A - Z). Play "Go Fish" or "Memory" with the alphabet cards. Have your child say the letter name when he/she makes a match.

2. Use index cards to create two (2) sets of alphabet cards (letters A - Z). Play "Go Fish" or "Memory" with the alphabet cards. Have your child say the sound the letter makes when he/she makes a match.

3. Use paper and crayons or markers to have your child make his/her own alphabet books. Help him/her write the letter on the top of the page and then draw items that begin with that letter. You can extend this activity by talking about the sound that letter makes.

4. After reading a book with your child you can play “I SPY” with letter names. Open to a page in the book and say “I spy the letter__”. Have your child find the letter.

5. Cut out letters from magazines, newspapers, or junk mail printed in different fonts. Have your child sort the letters to give him/her practice recognizing the key features of letters regardless of the font.

6. Use paper or plastic cups and label each cup with one letter of the alphabet. Cut out pictures from magazines or use objects from around your home to play a matching game. Have your child sort the objects/pictures into the cups based on the first letter sound that occurs in the name of the object (e.g. boat- match the object to the cup with the letter b on it).

Phonemic Awareness
1. Take turns thinking of two words that begin with the same sound. Examples: mom, moon; dog, door; fun, fast; paper, pet.

2. Play the "Say it quickly" game. You say a word, one sound at a time and then have your child say the word at the normal rate. For example, you say each sound in the word cat, "/k/ /a/ /t/." Then your child says the word at the normal speed, "cat." Play this game with five to ten short words (words like: am, is, it, in, on, sit, pan, sun, top, net, and fin) every day.

3. Play rhyming games. Say a two word rhyme (for example cat & sat) and ask your child to say a word that rhymes with your words. Take turns. Ask your child to say a word and then you respond with a rhyming word. For example, your child says, "run" and you say "fun"; he says "hair", you say "pair."

4. Play the "Say it slowly" game. Say a word at normal rate and then have your child say the same word slowly, one sound at a time. For example, say the word, "mat." Then your child will say that same word slowly, one sound at a time, "/m/ /a/ /t/." Play this game using about five (5) to ten (10) short words each day

5. Take turns thinking of two (2) words that end with the same sound. Examples: mom, some; dog, rug; fun, ran.

6. Play the “Change that word” game. Think of a one syllable word and have your child think of another word that is different by one sound. Take turns with each word. For example, sat, sit, sip, lip.

1. Take the plastic covers from milk jugs and write letters (include vowels and consonants) on them. Put them in a baggie for easy storage and use those letters to build various words your child has learned to read and spell in class or words found in your child’s homework. Highlight or underline words that you can sound out from the day's "junk mail." Ask your child to read these words.

2. Use paper or plastic cups and label each cup with one letter of the alphabet. Cut out pictures from magazines or use objects from around your home to play a matching game. Have your child sort the objects/pictures into the cups based on the final letter-sound that occurs in the name of the object (e.g., cat- match the object to the cup with the letter t on it).

3. Go over your child’s reading homework with him/her everyday. If your child has a book or reading assignment, have him/her practice reading it out loud to you making note of certain word patterns that might be tricky for your child.

4. Make letter cards using a pen and paper or index cards. Using words from books or homework your child has brought home, practice building the words with the letter cards. Swap out vowels or consonants to make other words. Have your child practice reading the words he/she builds.

5. Practice reading word families (e.g., words that end in –an, -op, -it) by creating groups of words that all have the same vowel and ending consonant(s). your child can write them on index cards or a piece of paper in categories.

6. Practice identifying letter-sounds in a story book. Open the book to a particular page and have your child count the number of letters that make a specific sound. For example, how many letters on the page make the /t/ sound or the /l/ sound?

1. Encourage reading fluency by having your child read and reread familiar books. It can also be helpful to have your child read a short passage over several times while you record the time it takes. Children often enjoy seeing if they can improve their time from one reading to the next, and the repeated reading helps to establish a habit of reading smoothly, with no mistakes, like natural conversation.

2. Schedule 15 minutes of special time every day to read with your child. Take turns reading a page at a time. Or, read a sentence and then have your child read that same sentence until you read through the whole book.

3. When your child brings home papers containing his/her completed work, let him explain what he/she did and have your child read the completed work (e.g., journal entries) to you.

4. Select a book that you know your child will be able to read with success and spend some time reading with him/her. To make the practice into a game, flip a coin to decide who will read each page or couple of pages.

5. Read a passage aloud for your child, modeling proper expression and rate. Read the same passage together with your child and then have him/her read the passage aloud on his/her own.

6. Encourage your child to read along while listening to a tape recording of a story. Many young adult novels can be found on audio-cassette or CDs in public libraries.

1. Pick out a new vocabulary word from one of the books you are reading with your child. Talk about what it means having your child put the definition into his/her own words. Then make up a sentence with the new word. Try to use the word again that week.

2. When you are riding around your neighborhood, take turns spotting items that fit within a specified category. For example, tell your child to look for and give the name of things that are in the category of transportation (e.g., car, bus, train, boat) or plants (e.g., roses, sunflowers, hydrangea).

3. Use a photo from an album and ask your child to retell what happened the day the picture was taken. Encourage the use of vocabulary associated with the setting (e.g. tractor, milking, crops, etc.) of the picture and the use of sequencing words such as first, next, and last to provide the proper order of events.

4. Make hand puppets out of old socks to practice retelling stories read in school or at home. The puppets can take on the role of characters from the story.

5. Have your child pick out a word from his reading. Help him/her make a “word map” with that word, making connections using examples, nonexamples, synonyms, and antonyms. For example, the selected word ‘pretty’ could be mapped with sunsets, cockroaches, gorgeous, and ugly.

6. Encourage frequent conversation with your child. The give and take of constant shared conversation builds vocabulary.

1. Go to the school library, public library, or local bookstore each week and read a book together. After reading each book, talk to your child about what happened at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.

2. Go to the school library, public library, or local bookstore once each week and read a new book together. After each story is read, ask your child to retell the story to you. Go back to the story to reread sections if your child needs help retelling the story in sequence.

3. Schedule 15 minutes of special time every day to read to your child. Before you read each book, read the title and look over the cover and pictures inside. Ask your child what he thinks the book may be about (prediction). After reading the book, review his/her prediction. Was the prediction right? If not, what happened?

4. Go to the school library, public library, or local bookstore once each week and read a new book together. Read the title then look at the cover and pictures inside. Ask your child to predict what the book is about. After reading the book, review his/her prediction then ask about the characters, setting, problem and solution.

5. Fact or Opinion Game: You say a sentence to your child then ask whether it is a fact or opinion. Example: The weather is nice (Opinion). A dog can bark. (Fact).

6. Fold a piece of paper into three parts. Let your child draw a picture of something he/she did in sequence. Then help your child write one sentence under each picture explaining what he/she did first, next and last.


Open House

*Thank you very much for the turnout at Open House on Tuesday.  Your support is greatly appreciated!
*PTA is wanting to change to a paperless newsletter. If you would like me to add your email to the list, please contact me and give me your email address you would prefer to receive it. If you signed the form at Open House, disregard this request.
*Please sign the discipline policy with your child and return to me.  It was in your orange owl folder at Open House.  THANKS!
*Your Donations from my wishlist help make this classroom run smoothly.  I appreciate your support in this area!
If you missed Open House or need a refresher(I know I can talk fast...and talk...and talk, here is the outline from the power point.
If you have any questions, contact me.

Welcome to Open House

Mrs. Carter’s 1st Grade Class
Daily Routine
8:35-8:45 Prepare for the Day
8:45-10:15 Reading Workshop
10:15-10:55 Small Groups/Guided Reading
10:55-11:25 Lunch
11:35-12:15 PAM- Music (Mon.) P.E. (T, Th, F) Art (Wed.)
12:15-1:00 Math
1:00-1:45 Writing/ Social Studies/Science
1:30-2:00 Recess and Teacher
directed PE
1:45-2:45 Choices
2:50-3:00 Dismissal

Class Rules
Keep hands and feet to yourself.
Raise your hand before speaking.
Remain in your seat while working.
Respect your friends and use good manners.
Listen while someone else is talking.

Behavior System
Clip Chart
Positive Reinforcement
Phone Calls and Notes to parents
* Administration will be involved as a last resort.

S’s and N’s assigned as grades.
S = 70% and up
N = 69% and below
Grade is recorded if noted as a number over a number (e.g. 10/10)
P.A.M gives S’s and N’s
% will go on all graded papers(I want you to be aware of where they are at on the % scale.)

Homework Sheet
Your child will place a new homework sheet in front of their green take home folder every Monday. Please check it daily.
The green folder is taken home everyday and needs
to be checked for notes and class assignments. Please return to school the next day. 

Once students finish AR books, they have the opportunity to test their comprehension of the book via the AR program.
Points from the AR quizzes are not a part of the student’s Reading grade.
AR tests can only be taken after all Kindergarten site words are memorized.
AR is currently out of order.

Field Trips
1 fall fieldtrip TBD
Must be a registered dividend through the SCPS website
to be considered as a chaperone.
1 spring fieldtrip TBD

Birthday treats for the class
Birthday book available through Mrs. Brown in the media center
Honored in the classroom

Dividend Support
Listen to children read: M-W 10:00 - 10:45 am
Book Checkout (time TBD)
Super Science (time TBD)
ART SEE program (time TBD)

Parents and How You Can Help
Activity Donation $10 (Scholastic News, end of year party)
Dividend Form
Encourage your child to READ
Study for Reading and Spelling Tests
Check take home folder every day for homework
Reinforce School Procedures and Attendance

Red Plate
It was a time honored tradition among American families that when someone deserved special praise or attention they were served dinner on the red plate. Watch for this!

More Information:
Water bottles acceptable in the classroom (no Gatorade or juices)
Snack after recess, please supply a snack for your child daily.
Scholastic Book Orders, coming home soon. 
Math Homework-book stays at home, rip out homework pages and return to school


Saturday, August 21, 2010


"Knowledge does not just sit there.  It functions richly in people's lives to help them understand and deal with the world."  ~David Perkins

As a teacher, I know exactly where I want my classroom of students to be by the end of the year. You will learn very early on that I care tremendously about your child and their education. It is my goal that each student reach their maximum potential in first grade. More importantly, I want to instill in each one of them a love for learning. After all, this is the most important lesson to be learned!

With that in mind, I am focusing on the following *literacy goals for the students over the year:

* participate in a reading community
* build reading habits, and responsibilities

* develop an awareness of their thinking as they read, listen, and view

* understand that their thinking matters

* leave tracks of their thinking by drawing and writing

* learn how to turn and talk to a partner about their thinking

* learn what a specialist is and what it means to have a passion

* recognize that they all come to school with lots of information and that they are all specialists in something

* use text and images to understand

* think and wonder about new learning

* jot down new learning on post it notes and sort them

* understand that misconceptions are normal and learners revise their thinking after reading and listening

* understand what it means to infer

* infer by merging the background knowledge with clues from the text

* grow to cherish the sound of words and the rhythm of language

* recognize what a detail is

* distinguish important information from interesting details

* understand that summarizing information about a topic helps us learn and remember important information

* use reading, thinking, and writing strategies to create a developmentally appropriate summary
* merge their thinking with information to write a summary that is interesting to read and written in their own voice

Things I keep in mind during our readers workshop:
Active literacy is when you READ-STOP-THINK.  Nothing is more important than each students thinking.  READ-WRITE-TALK.  Must get students talking about their thinking.  Active Learning allows for Responsive Teaching.  One size does not fit all students!  They each have their own needs.  Post it notes are terrific spots for documenting their thinking.  Drawing and writing are crucial to exploring, understanding, and learning about print.  It is important to stop and reflect often.  I show the children how we read, think out loud, and share thinking.  Turning and talking to their neighbor allows them to collaborate and increase purposeful student to student talk.  The children need social interaction in order to learn.  Initially, the children will respond to literature in a brief response and gradually the responses will be longer.  Comprehension strategies help children understand what they are reading in every context(math, science, social studies, history, etc.). 

As I assess, I am looking for understanding.  Is their learning authentic?  I eavesdrop on their conversations, read their work, observe them each day, document their success, and take note of what I must review with them.  This is necessary to gear effective instruction and know what I need to teach next.


*These goals are adapted from Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis~authors of The Primary Comprehension Toolkit

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Friday!

We not only survived our first full week of school; we completed it with top notch behavior, hard work, and much success.

The children are familiar with our class and have seen their math book and reading book for the first time today. They were so excited about the books. It was a perfect week as far as getting to know one another and getting the routine down pat! It will make for a very easy transition into our work week next week. It will be full of fun, learning, and exploration. 

Please review:
sight words
color words
number words

I have personally completed all sight word, letter, letter sound, number recognition, and a writing prompt for assessment this week. It is tricky swinging time to assess while also managing 17 other students. Yet, the children are respectful, on task, and worked hard to give me the opportunity to spend one on one time with each child this week.

Review number recognition through 31 and letter/sound recognition with your child if you think they may need some extra practice. These are things they should be fluent in upon entry into first grade.

Be watching for the homework sheet that comes out on Monday. It is your child's responsibility to get their homework done and returned to me the next day. Let them pack their homework back into their folder and have it ready to go for the next day. I will not accept, "My mom forgot to put it back in my bag." My answer will always immediately be, "Your mother has already completed and passed the first grade, it is your responsibility."

Also, please note the right side bar of the blog.  I will have next week highlights, homework schedule, and the spelling list.  Makes it easy if your child happens to forget their green folder.

Open House is on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 from 6:00-6:30 PM . I will post our Open House Outline on the blog after in case you are unable to attend. 

Have a great weekend!Photobucket

ABC's of Technology for grades PreK-3

When it comes to finding appropriate educational games online, this SIGHT is it. CLICK HERE!!!!
I hope you find some things for your child to enjoy.

I especially like:
Harcourt Reading Activities


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day three...

We continue to learn more and more about one another, become comfortable with our classmates, and classroom routine. 
I have begun our classroom behavior management system.  I am being quick to jump on the infractions so that they learn immediately what is expected and unaccepted.  I am using a plan that is positive more than negative.
The plan has them moving forward as well as backward.  If someone moves to "Be Wise" for their warning, they have the opportunity to move back to the ready to learn upon complying with the class expectations.  I love this plan because it provides the student with an opportunity to improve rather than give up.
I am all about creating a community of safety, order, and great learning opportunities.  When you have the consistency within the classroom, the extraordinary can happen when it comes to learning.

I am looking forward to meeting you all again at Open House on Tuesday evening.  I will go over our classroom procedures and expectations of your children this year.  There is a lot to cover so PLEASE arrive on time so I can begin promptly.  This is an evening for parents only.  Please make arrangements for your children to be looked after by someone else so that you are able to get all the information with as little distraction as possible.

We will start into our curriculum material next week.  Reading: The first few stories are very easy.  Fear not, as you noticed I have many books in my classroom and your children will be reading more than you will ever believe as we move through the year.  For those children who are not quite fluent or confident in their reading, this is a developmentally appropriate transition into the reading series.  Math: Our first Big Idea is addition and subtraction.  Social Studies: We are covering rules, self, community.  Science: The children will learn more about their world through the use of exploration.  Writing:  I will hold a writing workshop every day that focuses on all aspects of writing.  Handwriting:  My biggest focus currently is breaking bad habits of pencil grip and letter formation.  Please remind your child of correct formation and grip as they complete homework.  Those children who are not strong in pencil grip, get a three point griper for a place for each finger as they should grasp the pencil.

As I speak to the children each day, I can tell they feel so confident in themselves in school and have all faced a great deal of success this week.  I have been holding onto a lot of their classwork for their portfolios.  We are also creating bulletin boards with their work and creations for you to enjoy at Open House.

Thank you to all the parents for sending back your Name Interviews about your children.  They have truly enjoyed the opportunity to have me read how they were named.  More importantly, as each child stood before the class I told them how happy I was to have them in my class and noted something I had learned about them that makes them extra special.

I know their personalities so well already.  The most amazing thing is that each and every one is so very different.  I look forward to knowing more about them.  But more importantly, I look forward to learning from them.    We do a lot of talking with one another.  I know Travis has strong ties to Texas, Grace and Katie have a twin, Jackson can name every president on Mount Rushmore, Charles is a sports fanatic, Gretchen informed me she likes to "toc and toc", Katie's eyes light up from the moment she walks into the class until she leaves,  Izaiah has a strong belief in God, Ana Sophia knows way more than she will ever let anyone know...yet, Gabrielle loves double dip ice cream cones, Josh has so much to share and connects with almost everything we talk about(what an excellent comprehension skill), Pierce is so confident in what he can do in first grade, Bradley carries a sweet prayer book in his backpack and is a joy to be with everyday, I have two Graces in the class and their mothers both feel so blessed to have them, imagine Shane and Logan's disbelief when they found Star Wars books in my collection,  Brianna has a sister going off to college, Brynn found a book today in the class she has read before,  Jacob loves art,  and need I say anything about LEGOS???  Not a day goes by that a 5, 6, or 7 year old teaches me something new.  Maybe that is why I love teaching so very much!


Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day!

***If you click on the photos they will open in their own window to view with ease!
 The day flew by in a flash!  Or...make that a thunder and lightning flash!  Dismissal was wet for sure and the children handled it very well for the 1st day of school.

I must say how very proud I am of your child!  You would be so proud!  I have never had a smoother transition into school than we did this year!  I am sure it is going to be a wonderful year!

We read the story The Kissing Hand .  The children completed a hand/heart project just for you!  We talked a lot to one another and introduced our selves in several different ways.  Songs were sung, poems were recited, and the children showed me they learned a great deal last year as we reviewed.

After our school tour, we stopped in the bathrooms next to the cafeteria where every child washed their hands and used the restroom before lunch.

We listened to the stories Scat the Cat, I Like Myself!, and a few pages in the chapter book, Junie B. Jones, First Grader(at last!). 

Our math time consisted of calendar time, number review, prerequisite math skills assessments, and manipulative center time.

Below you will find samples from our writer's workshop time.
I totally love the artistic renditions of each child's work.  They just make me smile to look at...hopefully, the same goes for you!

We tried to get out for recess, but the storm was rolling in.  We played inside and spent some time exploring the room and activities.

It was an excellent day!  I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Boys and Girls,

The classroom is set up, the books are all waiting, the desks are all labeled, the bulletin boards up, I know how you are getting home the first day of school, the decorations all around, and everything is ready and waiting for you!

Thank you for coming to meet your teacher today! It was so nice to have a chance to meet you face to face. I get the feeling we are going to have a wonderful year!

I know just how you are feeling about 1st grade. Last year, I moved from many years in Kindergarten to teaching first grade...three days before school started! I was nervous, anxious, excited, and worried. Yes, I said worried. Just like you might be feeling! I was afraid I wouldn't know what to do in first grade. But, then the children all came into my classroom and were so ready to learn. It was easy. I think you will be surprised how easy the transition to First Grade from Kindergarten will actually be for you!

The first week we will get to know one another. It is so exciting to meet new friends. We will go over the letters and sounds, rhyming words, and sight words. We will review numbers and how to write them. Speaking of writing, I expect your best handwriting. We will learn the class routine and the importance of getting along with one another. A tour of the school will be in order for any of the new students to our school and to remind you where everything is in the school. We will read many fun books. Maybe even one or two you may have heard before! That's great. Do you know why? It's actually very good for your brain to read books over and over! I love books, and from being in my classroom~I am sure you can believe that! Speaking of books, I will teach you all about how to use our library in the classroom. We will have recess time in the afternoon followed by a "Choices" time where you are able to explore several activities I will have set out for you. The days will go by so very fast. I am really looking forward to the start of school and for us to get to know one another better!

At the end of the day when it is time to go home, you will go to another teachers classroom just like in Kindergarten. You will travel with several friends from our class plus an adult so you will not be alone or have anything to worry about at the end of the day.

The first week of school we will not have any homework, spelling words, or a reading story to study for on Friday. Next week, we will start homework. It will be so easy to do, you will feel like it's not even work!

I am sending one sheet home next week for you to explore how your family came up with your name. We will share these during the day. That's as far as it goes for homework!

So this weekend, relax and enjoy your last weekend of summer. Know that on Sunday night, I am having as hard a time as you are falling asleep. I am so excited to teach you!

This is my desk, our writing table, and where your computers are located.
This is our birthday train and the bulletin board with your name on it!
Our class motto is very important to our learning community.
This is where your books are stored and where you will store your book choices.
Inside of this cabinet is where we will store your backpack.
The reading castle.
Our circle time area.
Books and more books.
Did I already say more books? Well, here is some more.
Behavior chart.

Welcome to 1st grade!

I hope the following "ABC's of 1st grade"answers some questions you may have.


If your child is absent, please call me (407-746-3013) or the front office to let us know. A note stating the reason for the absence must be brought to school as soon as possible to avoid an unexcused absence.
If your child has any allergies, especially food-related, please let me know.
We have art on Wednesday.
If you would like to send a birthday treat with your child on or near his/her birthday, please feel free to do so. These treats will be eaten during our lunch time. Birthdays are recognized during our calendar routine as well. We will recognize summer birthdays at the end of the school year. Please do not send birthday party invitations to be distributed at school unless all children receive an invitation.
I will send home book order forms for you and your child to look over every month. Book clubs offer books at reduced prices. It's a great way to build your child's home library!
Our cafeteria serves breakfast each day for $1.50 .
Parent and Teacher conferences will be held after I have had an opportunity to assess and observe your child. Watch for information and reply accordingly. If you need to speak to me prior to the conference date, contact me.
Communication is important. Feel free to contact me whenever you have a question, comment, or concern. You can reach me by phone (407-746-3013), in person, by email (jessica_carter@scps.k12.fl.us), or by note.
Discipline is simple. We work hard as a class to make the classroom a positive and safe place for all.
My school email address is Jessica_carter@scps.k12.fl.us. I check email daily. If you have an email address that you’d like me to be aware of, please let me know.
Please complete and return the emergency card promptly. If your home or work phone number change, please inform the office and me.
Early Release Days will take place on Wednesdays. On Early Release days, students are dismissed at 2:00.
Information about field trips will come home in the green folder and will be detailed in the field trip permission slip and weekly newsletter.
Green Folders will come home each day. Please check your child’s folder daily and review all class work. Return your child’s folder each day.
The green folder you received at meet your teacher is the green folder your child will use all year. It will be used for communication, housing your child's homework sheet, and transporting notes or homework.
Students will have nightly homework in 1st grade. Please refer to the homework sheet in the front of their green folder. Homework assignments will be daily math, spelling, and reading. The math homework book will remain at home and your child will tear out and return that days assignment. Unless otherwise noted, please return the homework the following day. We will move slowly into this process.
Independence is a goal for students because it builds self-esteem and self-confidence. 1st graders are very capable of doing many things on their own and I encourage them to do as much as they can for themselves in the classroom. Please work on the following self-help skills at home with your child: zipping, tying, completion of chores, etc.
Writing takes place every day in 1st grade. One way we accomplish this is through writing stories in our journals during writer’s workshop. Encourage your child to write at home for a variety of purposes.
Keep updated by reading the classroom newsletter/homework sheet every week, checking the green folder every day for other notes and information, and viewing this website. I will update spelling and homework weekly in case your child forgets something.
Our class eats lunch at 10:50-11:20. If lunch money is sent to school, please send it in an envelope or ziploc. You are welcome to come eat lunch with your child, just check in with the office when you arrive. Lunch: $2.25
The children will have music class every Monday with Mrs. Shea.
The 1st Grade math curriculum provides students with mathematical experiences that help them develop number sense and a positive attitude towards mathematics that will continue throughout their school career and lives. Math concepts are covered through our daily calendar and math routine.
Our class will visit the media center once a week. Our media specialist is Mrs. Brown. Your child will check out a book when we visit the library and return it every Thursday. If your child forgets to return the book for two weeks, they will not be allowed to check out a new book until it is returned.
A weekly newsletter will be sent home on Mondays to keep you informed about what is happening in our class.
There will be no school on the following days: September: 6, 9; October 18 November: 24, 25, 26; December: 23-January: 9, 17; February 21; March: 18, 21-25; April: 26; and May: 30.
I will share more information with you at Open House on August 24.
Our class will have “PE” every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The children are asked to wear athletic shoes on PE days.
When picking up your child early, please sign your child out in the front office. They will call down to the room for your child.
Questions? Please feel free to call, email, or send a note.
• Jessica_carter@scps.k12.fl.us or jessicamae3@yahoo.com
• 407-746-3013
Report cards will be sent home 3 times during the year.
1st grade has recess from 1:45-2:00.
The focus of the 1st grade science curriculum is on developing an awareness of the world in which we live. Science concepts and skills will be explored utilizing a literacy based, hands-on approach.
Super Science is a PTA funded curriculum that provides small group, hands on science experiments one day a week that go along with our 1st grade curriculum.
The kindergarten social studies curriculum focuses on the students and how they relate to others in their families, classroom, school, and community. Social Studies concepts and skills will be explored utilizing a literacy based, hands-on approach.
We will have a daily snack time. Please pack a healthy snack for your child. Avoid “wet snacks” like fruit cups, jello, and puddings. Unfortunately, accidents happen and the carpet stains easily. Place snack in a separate Ziploc or bag than lunch or your child will eat it at lunch and have nothing for snack. No juice drinks/Gatorade. Please stick with water.
If your child has any changes in their transportation please let me know in writing prior to, or the day of, the transportation change. Calling the office is the best and only method for letting me know about last minute transportation changes.
U and V
VolUnteers and visitors must register in the office and pick up a badge.
Please pack a water bottle for your child to have water at their finger tips. No Gatorade or juices please.
Wet and/or dirty clothes can be uncomfortable. In the event of a spill or accident, your child will be provided with a set of clean clothing. Please wash and return the clothing as soon as possible for the next child to use. If your child has outgrown size 4, 5, or 6 shorts or t-shirts and they are in good condition...The clinic is always looking for these sizes to be donated.
Class Website: www.mrscarterscalling.blogspot.com
Parents and family members may eXit and enter via the main school entry. All gates are locked throughout the day.
You’re your child’s first teacher and know your child better than anyone. Please share with me any details that will enable me to best meet your child’s needs. We are a team!
Zzzzzzz - Make sure that your child gets plenty of rest. Setting and keeping a bedtime is a wonderful gift you can give your child .