Linking Education and Parents
WHAT IS IT?
The LEAP binder is a way to successfully communicate with parents and teach children organizational skills within the classroom. I believe in strong communication between home and school, and I also believe that organization is the foundation of study and a lifetime skill that can be taught at an early age. This system will help children to become more responsible for them and more productive in the classroom. Please go through your LEAP binder EACH NIGHT with your child. It takes only a couple of minutes to check for notes and other important bits of information. I go through each binder every morning as the children come in the classroom, so I will be sure to see your notes and other items. THANKS!
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS?
· One 3-ring binder
· I will send home a weekly newsletter via e-mail containing important information. You may print it out if you choose and place it in the LEAP Binder. The newsletter will contain reminders as well as the curriculums begin taught each week. Check with your child to see if he/she can assess their own knowledge by answering the “I can…” target skills each week.
· Plastic zip-lock container to hold or transport $ or any other important items.
· A monthly calendar that will include birthdays, special events, field trips, holidays, Star Students, etc. Your child will receive a star on each day that they remember to bring in their LEAP binder.
· The communication notebook. This notebook is for any written note between you and me. I find this an exceptional way to keep on top of things that are going on at home or at school. I ask that you date your note, and I will respond that day to you. This is helpful for notes about behavior, illness, injury, lunch money, going home with a friend, etc. I will initial when I have read your note, and I ask that you do the same. Just think, NO MORE LOST NOTES IN THE BACKPACK! J
· Folder- Any notes coming home from the office, PTO, the classroom, field trip information, and many other items, will come in this folder. If you are returning something to school, please place it in this folder. You will also see your child’s Super-Duper Work. Keep any papers that are in the folder and have your child make corrections and return them to school if indicated.
At the beginning of 1st grade, it is perfectly acceptable for the children to simply draw a picture. The children then tell me what they wrote or drew in their journals. When children are ready to start writing words, I encourage “phonetic spelling”. The child spells the word the best he/she can. This allows the students to write all they can without worrying how to spell each word correctly. Journal writing allows children to organize their thoughts, and to express themselves through print. No matter what stage of writing your child is at in the beginning of first grade, you will see a tremendous amount of growth during the year in your child’s journal. Spelling and Spelling Tests start near the end of October, beginning of November. You may notice that your child scores 100% on all their post-tests; however, has a difficulty applying their spelling to their daily writing. This is very common.
The learning calendar is a part of our science curriculum. The children are responsible for recording data on the weather each day. By the end of the year your child will have had the chance to be our meteorologist and report out the weather to our class. The data your child will help to record consists of: date, moon phase, weather, wind, temperature, and any special events that may be happening on that particular day.
Prime Time is our science and social studies time. We learn many concepts such as the weather, national symbols, plants, matter, communities, and living and non-living to name just a few! I encourage you to have fun with science experiments at home. We will work with the Scientific Inquiry Process throughout the year.
Seasonal Journals with Review
Seasonal Journals with Review are a great way to review not only reading, language arts concepts and grammar skills, but math, science, and social studies as well. The children will complete one journaling page, they will be asked to free write or use the given journal topic to write on as well as one review page (math, grammar, social studies…) as morning work at their desk.
Individual Literature – IL BAG BOOKS
Beginning in the middle to end of October, the students will participate in an individualized literature program. This program is designed to meet each child’s specific reading needs by increasing fluency and comprehension. Your child will bring home a new book each week and will need to read it 3-4 times over the week. By reading their book 3-4 times, they are able to build fluency and understand what they are reading much better than simply reading the book once. (The exception to this rule would be if your child were reading a chapter book.) Your child will also need to work on the take home questions or the fluency sheet (timed reading sheet) that is assigned for the book he/she read. The take home questions work on reading skills, comprehension and writing skills, while the timed reading sheets focus on fluency. Your child will need to return the book to school, and write a summary about the book he/she read in their journal. Please help your child to start their reading on ASAP and not leave it until the last minute. Always feel free to substitute a book I sent home with a book you may have at home (library, book order book…) regardless of level. The ultimate goal is to have you child develop a love and passion for reading!!! Remember to give your child credit for reading these books at home and sign off on their turquoise United We Read sheets.
United We Read
Keep track of all the books your child reads on the turquoise sheets and turn them in whenever they are fully filled or at the end of each month. I will send new ones home each month or as needed. Each paper book we send home and IL book may be added to theses sheets. If your child reads the book 3 times to work on fluency, keep track of it by marking your signature with a (x3) on the sheet. Also, when your child is reading a chapter book each chapter can be counted as one book. Your child will get credit for each thing that he or she reads. We will be keeping track of how many books your child reads each month. Your child needs to read a minimum of 20 books or more each month and they will be invited to a monthly party.
Spelling tests will begin in mid to late October. Each child takes the same pre-test of SIX words on MONDAY. The children do not know what the words are ahead of time. The lists will be checked and for each word your child has CORRECT – they will receive a new word to be tested upon. Your child will bring home their list of spelling words on Monday to study for the post-test on Friday. We will be working on spelling concepts in the classroom, but it is also necessary for you to help your child learn his/her words. Each child will have their own spelling list to study, so theoretically, if there are 21 children in the class, there will be 21 different spelling tests. Before our spelling program begins, you will receive a letter home thoroughly explaining how this will all work.
Some ways to study spelling at home
· Write each word on a note card, and practice reading and spelling each one
· Write each word 5 times saying each letter as you write it
· Spell each word orally
· Take a practice test and copy any missed words
· Use magnetized letters on the refrigerator to practice your words
- Make a memory game on note cards
Fun Ways to Practice Spelling, Vocabulary & Math
All of the games listed below can be slightly changed in order to practice many skills. The key is to make learning fun!!!
Vocabulary Match – Turn over all of the vocabulary cards face down. Take turns flipping over a card, reading the card, and putting the word in a complete sentence. Whoever ends up with the most cards wins the game.
Leap Frog – Lay the vocabulary word cards on the floor. Make sure they are all faced in the same direction and about a step apart. Say the word and put the word into a complete sentence and take a leap to land on that word. Continue until you have reached the final card.
Fan-n-Pick – Hand out the vocabulary cards evenly between the players. The players are to fan the cards in their hands facing them. Take turns picking a card from your partner’s hand. Then say the word and put it into a complete sentence. Whoever can take the most cards from their partner wins the game.
Sentence Strips – Use the taught vocabulary cards to create sentences. You may have to add words to make it a complete sentence. Write down as many sentences as you can possibly create with the words.
Mother May I – Have one person stand across the room from the players. Each player gets a turn to read and put the word into a complete sentence. If he or she successfully puts the words into a complete sentence he or she may ask Mother to take 2 steps forward or 1 giant hop forward (etc…). Make the desired move ahead a reasonable one.
What to say instead of,
“Sound it out”.
· Look at the picture.
· Get your mouth ready to say the word.
· Does that make sense?
· Does that look right to you?
· Start the sentence again.
· Skip that word and go on… Now, what do you think it is?
· Where have you seen that word before?
· Think about a word you know that has the samesound.
· Put in a word that makes sense and go on…now does it fit?
· Is that right? Check that again.
· If that word were _____, what would you expect to see at the beginning? The end? What do you see here?
· What can you do to help yourself?
· Divide the word into chunks, say the parts you know.
· What do you know about the word?
Every morning as the children enter the room, they use their movable nametags to answer a feelings question on the graph. Then, during calendar we discuss the graph that the children have created. We talk about how many more or less and how this information can be useful, etc. This activity helps the children learn how to make, read and interpret graphs.
Whole Group Lesson
Each day there is a whole group lesson. Our math series uses the concept of a “spiraling curriculum”. The children are introduced to new concepts and consistently review the previously taught concepts. We use literature, manipulatives, and other problem solving activities to teach many mathematical concepts such as number sense, addition, subtraction, fractions, measurement, time, place value, money and geometry.
Using the estimation jar that the star student brings to school is a fun way for the students to practice estimation, greater than and less than and place value. We will make guesses and count the actual amounts together as a class each Friday. We will evenly divide up the estimation jar items amongst the students, so please do not send items that you would like returned to you. Some suggestions for the jar include: pencils, candy (no UNWRAPPED candies please), stickers, marbles, pennies, erasers etc. (BE CREATIVE!) Many children tie what they put into the jar with something they really enjoy. (It can be a hobby, interest, favorite treat, etc.)
PLEASE, NO MORE THAN 100 ITEMS
In order to ensure that your child is in an environment that is conducive to learning, the following behavior plan is being implemented in your child’s first grade classroom. In my classroom, I feel that it is very important to reward students for following the rules and displaying positive, expected behaviors. I have two ways of doing this. First, I use a “strawberry” jar for whole-class behavior. Whenever the class is displaying positive behaviors, a student helper will drop a “strawberry” into the jar. This includes, walking quietly in the hallway, lining up quietly, receiving a compliment from another teacher, being respectful listeners, etc. When the jar fills up, the class will earn their “strawberry” party. This is our way of celebrating excellent behaviors.
For individual behavior, we have “Caught You Bee-ing Good” cards. Every child has the opportunity of receiving “Bee” punches. When a child is displaying inappropriate behavior, they will receive a warning. If they choose not to correct the behavior their “Bee” card is turned in to me, so they can THINK about the undesirable behavior. When the behavior is corrected their “Bee” card is returned back to them and they may begin receiving “Bee” punches again. If a child chooses not to correct the undesired behavior the child will not have the freedom of playing games at recess, however will be asked to walk around the black top for a few minutes and reflect. If the undesired behavior is still not corrected the child will be asked to reflect the whole recess as well as to fill out a “Think Sheet” to reflect and write an action plan of how they plan to improve their behavior. This plan will be sent home to share with his/her parents, and will need to be signed and returned to school. If a student reaches this point, I will also make a call home to you.
I have very high expectations for my students, and have found in the past that when I expect good things from children, they will rise to meet these expectations. They learn from their mistakes, and try very hard to do the right thing. Thank you for your support in making our classroom a positive and safe learning environment for everyone. J
Birthdays are special
And this is how we celebrate:
Happy ½ birthdays for summer birthdays…we celebrate on the ½ birthday. (Example: July 18 will be celebrated on January 18th).
For weekend birthdays and birthdays that land on closed school days, I choose a date that was the closest to your child’s actual b-day.
You may send individually wrapped treats (no drinks) with your child and I will pass them out to the children during lunch time. Feel free to join you child during lunch time to pass out the treats on your own. It is an LVE policy to celebrate Birthdays in the cafeteria. Thanks for your understanding!!!
If you are having a birthday party outside of school, DO NOT send invitations OR thank you notes to school to distribute UNLESS you are inviting or thanking EVERYONE in the whole class!!! Thank you for your support to make sure no child has hurt feelings over birthdays.
I have scheduled your child’s birthday for the following date. I scheduled them according to the days we would be in school (the actual day we celebrate your child’s b-day may not necessarily land on their exact b-day or ½ b-day). If the date that I have listed does not work for you and your child, please contact me to make other arrangements.
Esha – Aug. 18
Ryan - Aug. 19
Samuel S. – Oct. 5
Luke – Oct. 10
Kya and Adam – Oct. 12
Camdyn – Oct. 25
Kaylene ½ b-day – Dec. 8
Jonathan ½ b-day - Dec. 12
Jet ½ b-day - Dec. 19
Regan - Jan. 4
Daniel – Jan. 5
Samuel M. – Jan. 6
Claire ½ b-day – Jan. 17
Naveen – Feb. 3
Deeya – March 20
Drew- April 4
Kristen – April 13
Charlie – April 17
Ethan – April 30
Please be aware that we have many friends at LVE with PEANUT/NUT allergies.
· RECESSWe will go outside for recess unless extreme rain, snow or cold would prevent us from playing safely. Please have your child dress appropriately for outdoor recess. All children are expected to go outside unless a health condition prevents him/her from doing so. If your child needs to stay inside, please send a note. (But, fresh air does us a lot of good!) Many times the weather warms up during the day, and children aren’t dressed for going outside. Even if you don’t think we will go outside, please have your child wear or pack a warm coat, hat, and gloves/mittens during the winter.
· Please pack a sweatshirt in your child’s backpack each day as it is chilly in the classroom.
· LUNCHFirst grade eats lunch from 11:15-11:45. Many parents enjoy having lunch with their child at school. You are welcome to do so at any time, just meet us in the front entrance. Please do remember that all children invited to eat with a friend’s parent must have a signed noted indicating they are allowed to.
· LIBRARY Your child will have the opportunity to go to the library two times a week. Our class will be visiting the library once a week for a lesson and to check out books and then if they choose 1 extra time independently each week. Our Library day is Friday.
· ROOM PARTIESRoom parent(s) and their helpers will plan three parties each year: Fall, winter and Valentine’s Day.
· VOICE MAIL I will check my voicemail before and after school, as well as throughout the day. Urgent messages will be given to me through the office, so please do call the office if it is an emergency.
· STAR STUDENT Please sign up for a week that your child will be our star student. I will send home a packet the week before your child is our “star”, so that you can prepare. The packet will tell about the poster, estimation jar and the items they may bring in to share with the class. I’m excited to get to know each of your children!
· MR. BEARMr. Bear will come home with your child when they are our ‘Star Student’. Please help your child to do their ‘homework’ and write about their adventures with Mr. Bear. Please keep in mind that this bear will go home with each child in the classroom, so help your 1st grader take extra special care of Mr. Bear while he is visiting your family. Please feel free to give Mr. Bear a gentle bath in your washing machine during his stay with you. J
· LVE Virtues
Here at Liberty View, we feel that it is important to help children incorporate important virtues into their everyday lives. Those virtues include: perseverance, compassion, honesty, responsibility, respect, self-discipline and courage.
· HOMEWORKYour child will not normally have homework every night. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be studying spelling, sight words, math concepts, or reading every night. It means that I do not always send home an assignment. If your child does seem to have trouble with a homework sheet that comes home, please let me know. It will be very helpful to me to know, so that I may work a little extra with your child on that particular area. Thanks!
· WATER BOTTLESChildren are allowed to bring in their water bottles. Make sure that they come to school EMPTY. This will help to keep water off of the library books, or other papers that will be in his/her backpack.
· SNACKSYour child may bring in two HEALTHYsnacks each day. We will have our snacks sometime during the morning as well as another one in the afternoon (I’ll be having mine at that time, too!) Please help your child make good choices for snacks. Some great ideas are: applesauce, crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, fruit, or veggies. Please be aware that we have many friends at LVE with PEANUT/NUT allergies.
8:35-9:00 – Announcements and Morning Journals
9:00-9:20 – Calendar/Weather and Star Student
9:20-9:40 – Whole Group Reading (snacks)
9:40-11:15 - Guided Reading/Centers
11:15-11:45 – Lunch
11:45-12:00 – Recess
12:00-12:10 – Bathroom/Drinks/Wash and D.E.A.R Time
12:10-1:00 - Math
1:00-2:00 - Specials
2:00-2:30 – Discovery Time (Social Studies/Science)
2:30-2:45 – Recess
2:45-2:55 – Bathroom/Drinks/Wash and D.E.A.R Time (snack)
2:55-3:30 – Writer’s Workshop
3:30-3:35 - Cleanup/Read Aloud and Announcements
Dismissal starts at 3:40
I know that we will have a SUCCESSFUL year in 1st Grade!!! Thank you in advance for all that you do and all of your support!!!