Mrs. Bonnie Barksdale First Grade 2009-2010 McCall Elementary School 817-441-4500 400 Scenic Trail Willow Park, TX 76087 Email: email@example.com Dear Parents, It is with great pleasure that I welcome you and your child to first grade at McCall Elementary School. This should be an exciting and growing year for them. Your child’s learning and well being are most important to me. I look forward to establishing a close relationship with you and your child during this school year. 1. SCHEDULE Daily Class Schedule (Subject to change at any time to accommodate student academic services) 7:45-8:30 Morning Message / Making Words 8:30-9:20 Language Arts Mon-Fri: 9:00 Snack 9:20-9:25 Bathroom Break 9:25-10:15 PE / Music (Conference period) 10:15-10:20 Bathroom Break 10:20-11:25 Guided Reading Groups / Centers 11:25-11:30 Get Ready for Lunch 11:30-12:00 Lunch 12:00-12:05 Bathroom Break 12:05-12:45 Math Fridays: 12:10-12:40 Computer lab 12:45-1:30 Social Studies / Science Wednesdays: 12:45-1:20 Science Lab 1:30-1:45 Recess 1:45-2:30 Writing Thursdays: 1:45-2:20 Library 2:30-2:40 Get Ready to go home 2:40 -2:45 Dismissal School hours are 7:45 A.M. to 2:45 P.M. Students are tardy at 7:50. Lunch is from 11:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Parents are welcome to eat lunch with their children. If you plan on eating a school lunch, please send a note with your child so your lunch can be ordered. Please meet your child at the entrance to the cafeteria. 2. CURRICULUM Spelling- practice spelling and writing words each night; please practice on lined tablet paper; students will receive a spelling and handwriting grade Handwriting – remind students that there are no letters that start at the bottom line, grades will be given on neatness and ability to write letters between the correct lines Phonics – combination of workbook and classroom activities (consonants, vowels, blends, diagraphs, etc.) Language – combination of worksheets and classroom activities (nouns, verbs, adjectives, antonyms, capitalization, punctuation, etc.) Reading – combination of basal reader and children’s literature (vocabulary, comprehension, character traits, cause and effect, predicting, compare/contrast, etc.) Writing – students will be taken through the entire writing process using journals, stories, descriptions, etc.; students will be allowed to use invented spelling, but expected to spell words correctly once they have learned them; writing will take place in all subject areas. Math – consists of calendar, manipulative activities, number practice, and guided practice Science/Soc. Studies – approx. 3 weeks of each during a six-week period; activities will include textbook, non-fiction book and magazines, experiments, comparing/contrasting, research, etc. 3. HOMEWORK It is your child’s responsibility to get their assignments and place them in their homework pocket of their notebook, or backpack. If a child returns to school without homework completed, recess time will be spent to complete the assignment. Reading – Your child needs to read orally for 15 minutes every night. Read to your child and have your child read to you. Please record the time you spend reading on their reading log in their red “Take Home Reader” folder. Spelling – A list of spelling words will come home on the homework calendar and on the first day of the week. Your child needs to study these words every night to prepare for Friday’s spelling test (writing them each night). We will also be dictating sentences to the students using the spelling words after the winter break. The dictated sentences will be a practical application of the spelling words and will be used as an assessment tool. Challenge Spelling lists are given when a student shows mastery on the regular spelling tests. The challenge spelling list will not be used for grades, but just a harder “challenge” for the student to continue their language development. Math – The Saxon math program is a very intensive program that builds upon itself. Daily math homework will be send home unless the lesson is in the multiple of a 5 (starting at 10). At that point, not all the lessons will have homework. Please see the weekly homework calendar for more specific information on homework for that week. 4. DISCIPLINE Each day, on your child’s calendar, there will be a stamp indicating how your child’s day went. A blue smiley face (with teeth showing) means your child went above and beyond without bragging on themselves. A green smiley face means “Great Day” (this is where everyone starts fresh everyday). A yellow straight face means “OK Day, Needed Reminders”. A red frown face means “Had some issues, and signed the book”. A behavior FYI or “Ticket” will be in their folder with information on the issues if a red frown face is brought home. Any severe incidences will be directly handled through the office. Discipline Guideline First Time: Verbal Warning (clip remains on green) Second Time: Move clip to yellow straight face. Third Time: Move clip from yellow straight face to red frown face. Behavior FYI Slip or “ticket” home to parents to sign and return. Fourth Time: Bring clip to Mrs. Barksdale and have a visit to the office. Behavior FYI Slip or “ticket” home to parents and a phone call. Severe Infractions will be handled through the office. 5. REPORT CARD/PROGRESS REPORTS/GRADED PAPERS Report cards are sent home every six weeks. If you are concerned about your child’s progress, a conference can be arranged at any point in the year with prior notice. The only assignments that are used for report cards or assessment will have a grade on it. If the paper does not have a number on it, it was looked over and checked. First grade will not start receiving grades until the 2nd six weeks. A letter grade will be given in handwriting, science, and social studies. A numerical grade will be given in all other subjects Grades coming home will be on a 100 point scale. [All papers that did not master at least 70% of the concept, should be corrected and re-submitted.] Some papers will have just a check. Those are the papers I checked in class to see if they were on the right track. Much of the assessment done in first grade is teacher observation and oral assessment. 6. TAKE HOME NOTEBOOK Daily Notebook – This notebook will come home daily and should contain any homework, incomplete work, graded work, notes, and a 6 weeks behavior record. The inside pocket should be filled with papers that are graded, checked or reviewed. Those should remain at home. Next you will find a 6 weeks behavior calendar. Your child’s daily behavior face will be on that date. See section 4 for more information on discipline. The first pocket is for notes (to me or from me). The second is for items to return to school and the third is for homework. The students stuff their own folders, so not everything will get in the right spot every time. 7. REWARDS My main goal is to provide a positive atmosphere for your child. There will be verbal praise, stickers, positive notes home, phone calls and free time given for good behavior. 8. CONFERENCES If you have any questions or concerns, you may e-mail me (best way) firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (817) 441-4500. If I am not available, I will return your call as soon as possible. I am also available to meet with you before or after school and during my conference period which is from 9:25am to 10:15am. Please let me know ahead of time so I can schedule enough time to discuss the issues. 9. WEBSITE / PARENT EMAIL Our class does have its own website. I am really trying to keep that updated and current for you. www.firstgrademccall.com . The website will contain a great deal of information that is happening in our classroom as well as future events. Please check the website or the most current information. Please make sure I have your email address. Sometimes I might have a homework change last minute that I need to let you know about. The website hosted at my personal home, so I don’t have access to it except in the evenings. 10. BIRTHDAYS Birthday party invitations may NOT be passed out during school unless ALL the children in the class have been invited. Our class capacity is 22 students. We will not be able to have birthday celebrations in the classroom or at lunch. 11. ATTENDANCE Please send a separate note with your child when he/she returns from being absent. The note should include the child’s name, the days absent, and the reason for the absence (even if you called the school on the day of the absence). Students will be counted absent if they are not in class at 10:00 A.M. unless they have a doctor’s note. Your child will be counted tardy by 7:50 A.M. Multiple tardies will result in your child not participating in Fun Fridays. 12. SNACK AND WATER BOTTLES We will have a short snack time every day at 9:00am. Your child may bring a healthy snack that is not messy or time consuming. I would encourage you to send a water bottle with your child each day. Please make sure the water bottle has a nozzle top to minimize spills. No soft drinks or juice please. 13. BOOK ORDERS I will be sending home various book orders this year. Ordering books from the book order form helps our class earn free books. Please remember to fill out the order form completely. Please pay close attention to the name of the company when you write a check. Please do not send cash. 14. VOLUNTEERS If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know. Volunteers are welcomed and needed at any point in the year. Please see the volunteer sign up sheet. 15. MEDICINE Only the nurse can give medication to your child with written permission. Please let the nurse know about any medications your child will need at school. 16. STUDENT’S PERSONAL ITEMS Please make sure your child’s name is on their lunchbox, jackets, coats and backpacks. Please: NO TOYS (of any kind) or POKEMON CARDS at school. If your child brings a toy to school, I will place it in my desk drawer until the end of the week. Please, no backpack key-chains. In the past, these have become a distraction in the classroom and have been lost easily. Thank you for your cooperation. 17. DROP OFFS/ DISMISSAL During drop off and dismissal, please follow the McCall Elementary Traffic Guidelines. At 7:15 AM the music room is open to receive your child for morning drop off. Your child will be asked to stay in that area until the 7:35 bell rings. If your child will be going home a different way than normal, please send a note to let me know or call the front office by 2pm (817-441-4500). I am not permitted to release your child from campus without written notification. This is for the safety of your child. During dismissal, the older students need to come down to the first grade area and sit with their sibling. 18. PTO Please be sure to join our PTO during the membership drive. They do an incredible job! 19. TRANSPORTATION Please direct all transportation questions (bus) or concerns to the transportation department (817-441-5141). 20. BOX TOPS Keep saving those box tops and watch for notes concerning turn in dates. Last year, the students that brought in the most from each class, got to throw water balloons at different teachers (including me). I am not sure what they will think up this year, but it should be good! 21. ITS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR! I am looking forward to this exciting year. I know that we are going to have a great year and make great strides in learning!