Welcome to First Grade
am looking forward to working with and getting to know you and your child this
year. First grade is a year of tremendous growth academically, socially
and emotionally. By working together, I am confident we will succeed in
all aspects of your child’s development. I encourage you not to compare
your first grader to an older sibling or another first grader. Just as in
physical growth, individual academic, social and emotional growth varies as
my 15th year teaching at Middleton. I taught kindergarten for
5 years, fifth for 1 year, and this is my 10th year teaching first
received my undergraduate degree at Angelo State University in San
Angelo, Texas. I completed a master’s program
through Portland State University.
have two children and two grandchildren.
Room 12 News
can always be reached by e-mail, phone or in person. I do not always
answer my phone during the school hours, so please always call the
office if there is an emergency or change in your child’s destination. I
do check my voice mail and e-mail before and after school. If you would
like to meet in person, send me an e-mail so we can schedule a time which works
best for both of us.
are working on becoming a ‘greener’ school district by cutting down on paper
usage. I will use email as my main
source of communication with families.
Nothing fancy – and I will keep it short for easy reading.
Getting to the
classroom and dismissal
begins at 7:55 AM. Children are allowed in the room as early as
7:45. If your child arrives prior to that time they will need to wait in
the cafeteria until a monitor releases them. Informally assigning a
sibling or neighbor to the job is fine. Teachers will walk students out
to designated pickup areas at 2:15. Please do not come to the classroom
to collect your child. If you need to pick your child up early – we will
send him/her to the office to meet you.
provide a written note or call the office. If your child has an
alternative destination, the office must be notified no later than 1:30.
Please do not call the classroom or e-mail me as I may not receive the message
before dismissal. As the year progresses, the children will start having
more play dates and going home with friends, so this is especially
important. We do not want any tears because we do not have a note.
I cannot take a child’s word as an official change.
Since we have students with a
nut allergy, all snacks must be nut free.
are encouraged to bring a small, healthy snack each day such as a granola bar,
sliced fruit, crackers with cheese, etc. We have 10 minutes for snack, so
it is best to send something that can be consumed in that time frame.
Friday is a school fundraiser provided by the Middleton PAC. Each Friday
kids receive a bag of popcorn for .25 cents. You may pay in advance or
send a quarter with your child every Friday.
you have invitations to pass out for your child’s party, please send them
through the postal mail or deliver them outside of school. This will
prevent hurt feelings if not all kids are invited. The district has
encouraged us not to be mail service for outside invitations.
Please complete the volunteer and
screening forms ASAP. These need to be returned to the office for
processing. It takes about 3 weeks for the paperwork to be completed.
Volunteers must complete the screening every year. I will bring in
classroom volunteers starting in mid-October. This is a vital part of my
child will bring home a yellow Friday Folder every Friday. This folder
will contain completed student work, school and district news, and weekly
homework. Friday Folders are due back to school Wednesday of the
child will also bring home a reading folder DAILY. This folder is red and
will contain a monthly reading log and daily reading homework. The folder
has a calendar which needs to be filled out daily with your child’s reading for
that day. The recommended reading ‘homework’ for a first grader is 15 minutes per day. This includes the child reading or being read to.
Ways to help with
reading at home
are some tips for you to use at home as you support your child’s efforts in
regards to his/her reading development…
1. Read aloud to your child at and above
his/her level. Children need to hear
with strong readers sound like long after they have learned to read. In regards to academic success, parents are
the most important role model.
2. Listen to your child read on a regular
basis. Praise their growth and offer suggestions for improving skills as a
3. Join your child as they read 15 minutes
each night. Keep reading time enjoyable
4. Talk about what you are reading. Language and thinking skills develop when
children talk and analyze literature.
5. Encourage your child to read to others.
6. Our life is surrounded by text of all
sorts. Provide your child with a variety
of texts to read and interact with.
Board game directions, signs, letters, student magazines, newspapers,
lists, food cartons, etc.
7. Make sure that your child owns some
books. Encourage others to give books as
Responding to error in
reading / Use of Reading strategies:
on the way most of us were taught to read, we tell children to ‘sound it out’
when coming to an unknown word. Phonics
is definitely an important part of the reading process, which beginning readers
use frequently. However, as a child
moves toward more independent reading, the primary goal is to read for
meaning. To produce independent readers
who monitor and correct themselves as they read, the following prompts are
recommended in addition to sounding out the word.
your child WAIT TIME of 5 to 10 seconds.
See what she/he attempts to do on her/his own.
at how that word begins, add the other sounds.”
would make sense that begins like that word?”
the picture to help you figure out what it could be.”
the word apart. Say the small words that
you know and add the sounds.”
read that word on another page. See if
you can find it.”
back to the beginning of the sentence and try again. Did that make sense?”
over it and read to the end of the sentence (or paragraph). Now what do you think it is?”
in a word that would make sense there.”
A word that has never been
encountered or experienced will be extremely difficult to impossible for a
young reader to decode. Give your child
the word with an explanation of word meaning and/or a way to figure it out in
the future. Focus on what your child is
doing well and attempting to do. Daily
reading practice is very important for your child’s reading development and
of all, trust your instincts, take time with your child, and appreciate your
child as a unique individual.
to Self (Independent Reading)
read a book… building stamina!)
can practice and improve your reading skills.
in your head can be easier than reading aloud.
can choose a book that is at your level.
can do your best thinking when it is quiet.
become more involved (feel like they’re there) when they choose what they read
and read more books.
will learn about different topics.
will become a better writer.
What does our best independent
reading LOOK like?
started right away.
your eyes on your book (your eyes will follow the text).
bookmark or your fingers to follow along, if it helps you.
your fingers to ‘chunk’ difficult words and find words within words.
body and hands will be still, and you will stay in your seat the whole time.
eyes will grow large at suspenseful or surprising parts.
will ‘get lost’ in your book.
will hardly notice that anyone is near you.
will read the whole time.
What does our best independent
reading SOUND like?
reader is silent.
will only hear pages turning.
you will whisper a difficult word to sound it out.
your mind, you will hear a ‘movie’ of what you’re reading.
may giggle a tiny bit at funny parts.
What will the teacher do during independent reading
with groups of kids.
with one student.