First Grade News

First Grade News

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) &

1-122 (Ms. Levine) 


First Grade News

March/April 2018


Never mind, March, we know

When you blow

You’re not really mad

Or angry, or bad;

You’re only blowing the winter away

To get the world ready for April and May.


Welcome to our “Mapril” newsletter,

where March + April = lots of springtime learning!


In writing, we have closed our “Scenes to Series” unit with our wonderful publishing party!   Next, we kicked off our newest writing unit, Writing Like Scientists, by integrating science into our writing.  Students will focus on writing science information books.  Like scientists, we are performing experiments about matter, with a focus on liquids and solids.  Students are applying the scientific method in order to write about what we learn. They will be using their lab observations and reports as research.  As a close to this unit, we will share our experiment conclusions with kindergarten classes!


In reading, we are making connections in the newest unit, Nonfiction Book Clubs, between our nonfiction texts and the world around us. We are sharing our wonderings about what we read, and let those curiosity questions keep coming!  In addition, we are revisiting all the special features found in our nonfiction books.


Our work as scientists in literacy has been directly linked to the work that the students have been doing with Mr. Moy. During the early part of the unit, students finish the study of small solids, reviewing how they behave like liquids when you put the small solids in bottles.  One highlight lesson…to try different strategies of separating mixtures of VERY small solids.  Later in the unit, it’s time to move into liquids, talking about their various properties (transparent/translucent, viscous, etc.).  As we head into April, students will design experiments in mixing liquid: Which liquids are miscible?  Which aren’t?



In math, students have been working in the newest unit, Problem Solving with Length, Money, and Data. Students are sorting, recording, drawing, and labeling data. This data work is represented in the form of bar graphs, picture graphs, and tables. In money, students will be problem solving with coins and bills, with activities to include making change, finding multiple ways to express the same quantity, using fewest number of coins for a value, and solving word problems. Students will also explore length in both customary and metric units. 


Social Studies

As the ground thaws, we will continue our walking trips for our community unit study. Stay tuned for dates of visits to even more spots in the neighborhood!  With that in mind…



We are looking to inspire all of the students in continuing to become independent in skills surrounding the tying of shoes. This will build up confidence for situations when shoes get untied, and it will also get things ready towards being independent in second grade. 



Let’s welcome the longer days of sunlight and embrace our future warmer weather to come! J



All the best,


First Grade Teaching Team


 February 2018

Dear families,


With our approach to 100 days under our belt, first grade is as busy as ever! This month we have many special celebrations.


February 14th is Valentine’s Day, and we will share valentines on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Each child should bring in valentines for every child in their class (due on or before February 13th) that includes at least one compliment about that child.  We will start February 14th with a publishing party (see details below) so it will be a day filled with love for writing as well! 


The Hundredth Day of School will be on February 13th.  Students should wear their 100th Day of School t-shirt on that day, and we will be celebrating in 100th day style! 


Important dates:

February 13th – Valentine’s Day cards due (the share will be on February 14th)

February 13th - 100th Day of School – Wear your 100th Day of School t-shirt

February 14thScenes to Series Publishing Party! (8:40 – 9:15)

February 16th- 25th - Mid-winter Recess


Now, here’s what the first grade has been working on and what we’ll be doing in the month to come:




We are encouraging the children to work hard in order to hand in homework reflecting their very best work.  Reinforcing the skills we learn in class and over the year has been very beneficial. Please remember to have your child fill out their reading log each night. It is very important to help them develop good homework habits early on.




In Word Study, we are working on spelling patterns and rules with our Words Their Way activities and exercises.  As the year progresses, the children are expected to write more in class and at home.  If your child is still working on mastering “sight words” it may be helpful to create a word wall at home, or use portable flash cards.  If this is something that you would like to do, please feel free to talk to us about it during parent-teacher conferences.  In addition, we continue to learn and reinforce grammar rules. We are learning about how to use an apostrophe when writing a contraction, and we are also discussing when to use an apostrophe with a proper noun. Finally, we are emphasizing the use of proper spacing between words.


In reading, we are working in our study of Meeting Characters and Learning Life Lessons: A Study of Story Elements.  This connects beautifully with our writing unit, From Scenes to Series – Fiction Writing.


In writing, we have been focusing on story elements.  Our work has centered on character development, stretching out the problem, and giving the reader a solution that leaves the reader feeling satisfied.  We are thrilled to invite you to our Scenes to Series publishing party on Wednesday, February 14th at 8:40!


Social Studies


We continue to study the Upper West Side community by visiting local places and learning about how they help to meet the needs and wants of the community.




For February, we will start our next unit, Solids and Liquids.  During the first few activities, the children will look at common objects to learn what makes a solid a solid.




This month we are continuing our unit on multiplication. Here, students learn to organize a set of objects into equal groups and then into rows and columns. Students will use the term “array” for items that are arranged into rows and columns.  We will compose and decompose arrays, and will match repeated addition to both the structure of the rows and columns (e.g., 5 + 5 + 5 can be 3 rows or columns of 5, or 3 fives).  As students create equal groups using objects, they will express the mathematical understanding that they are repeatedly adding the same number; for example, 3 groups of 4 bears can be expressed as 4 + 4 + 4. Students will work to prove their thinking using drawings, pictures, and equations to show their work.  For example:


“If I build an array with 3 columns of 4 objects, then I must have twelve objects because 4 + 4 + 4 = 12.  Likewise, if I partition my rectangle into twelve equally-sized tiles, I can make 3 equal groups of 4 tiles, or I can make 4 equal groups of 3 tiles.”


We will continue to work to differentiate for just right levels and to reinforce previously taught topics as well.



As always, thanks for your support, and please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.


Have a “love”ly February,

First Grade Teaching Team


January 2018

Once again, a thousand thank you hugs for your heartfelt cards and gifts!  On behalf of all of us, your tokens of appreciation were deeply appreciated!!!! Welcome back and happy 2018!!!!  We hope that you all feel as well rested as we do.  It was a wonderful time off, and we hope you were able to spend time with family and friends, as well as be able to get some rest and relaxation!

Important Upcoming Dates:

January 2nd  - School resumes

January 15th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school is closed

Coming up this month…

Social Studies

We continue to visit local facilities on the Upper West Side to help deepen our understanding of our community. We are learning how each place helps to provide for the needs and wants of our community. In addition, there will be discussion about Martin Luther King Jr. to honor his memory as the holiday approaches.


This month begins our newest reading unit, Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons: A Study of Story Elements.  Students will use storylines to make predictions, learn about characters by studying their actions, and discover life lessons that stories teach.  In addition, students will work on sharing opinions about books and giving numerous reasons for those opinions. When discussing books at home, ask your child for details from the text to support predictions and opinions.  You may wish to ask your child, “What in the story/chapter made you think that way?”

We will also launch our newest writing unit, From Scenes to Series – Fiction Writing.  In this unit, we will focus on story elements.  Our work will center on character development, stretching out the problem, and giving the reader a solution that leaves the reader feeling satisfied.  We will work to craft our scenes to series chapter books with realistic characters.  First, we will write about our characters facing a real-world problem.  Then, we will write about getting them out of trouble by providing a solution. We can’t wait to set our characters on a course for adventure!


We will spend a bit of time finishing up our unit involving addition and subtraction, with a focus on word problems. We have been working on explaining how problems were solved by using pictures, numbers, and/or words, along with how to explain the steps taken to solve the problem.  The students have grown so much in these areas, and we will continue to revisit problem solving throughout the year to keep this in motion. 

Once we wrap up this unit in the “formal” sense, we will begin to explore our next unit, Foundations of Multiplication and Division.  Let the grouping begin!

But wait, there’s more!

As we have learned to identify and count coins in our daily meetings, we would like to take our coins to the next level…at the “school store” within our very own classroom!  This will get the students comfortable with coins in a natural way and allow students to explore making change.  All of this will be part of our launch of our “classroom economy.” Children will earn stars for GOOD CITIZENSHIP. These “citizen stars” are earned for positive behavior, good deeds, being kind, following rules, working hard, and helping others in the classroom and school community.  The citizen stars will then be traded in as “earned” pennies. At the end of each month they will “trade” these pennies in for the least amount of coins. At the end of the month, we will open the “school store” where kids can “buy” items for the money they “earned.” Here, we will be practicing both adding coins, as well as making change. We will also have an embedded chance to decide to “save” the earnings for a future purchase.  This will help to reinforce the concept of savings.


In January students will begin our study of observing weather.  The activities will include:

v Identifying different weather conditions and recording temperature for several weeks to note changes and patterns.

v Making paper thermometers to practice reading temperature in Fahrenheit.

v Practicing reading real thermometers.

v Identifying several cloud types and how they indicate weather conditions.

All the best,


First Grade Teaching Team


December 2017


Wow, it is hard to believe that December is arriving already!  The holidays and vacation are quickly approaching, and we have lots to do before winter recess is here!  We would like to thank you for all of your help throughout November.  It was great to see all of you during Open School days and Parent-Teacher conferences.  The children truly enjoyed sharing their school lives with all of you.



Important Upcoming Dates:

December 25th-January 1st- No School- Winter Recess

January 2nd - Return to School


                 Coming up this month…

Social Studies

         We are excited to have further developed our understanding of needs verses wants during our trip to Fairway.  Students interviewed the store manager and took on-the-spot notes for the answers.  We are so proud of the first graders for completing this first interview, and we look forward to our next trip where we will continue to work on our interview/note taking skills.  As we venture out on our trips, we will make additional connections to the many needs and wants of the community. 



         We are continuing our nonfiction study. So much of reading is nonfiction, from newspapers to professional books, from train schedules to restaurant reviews, and the list goes on!  Nonfiction is all around us, and we are very excited to have our first graders grow in the reading/writing processes surrounding this genre!


In reading, our unit on Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction taps into the world of curiosity, all while learning comprehension strategies as we explore.  We are working on previewing the text, predicting, noticing the structure of text, and synthesizing information from many sources as we look at the print, pictures, and text boxes. 

In writing, we are exploring our unit on Nonfiction Chapter Books.  Through this study, we are learning about keeping the readers in mind while writing to answer their questions.  Students are also working on writing with details and helping readers picture the details by using comparisons.  The end of this writing unit will culminate in a celebration, and for this celebration, we will meet with kindergarten classes to teach what we are experts on!

As always, we continue to work on spelling, writing neatly, and properly using punctuation.    


       We continue to explore strategies for adding numbers up, from single digit on up!  Here are some examples of the strategies we use:


Open Number Line






37 + 21 = 58





Step 1.Draw a horizontal line with a ruler.

Step 2.  Put a circle at the left hand end like this.    

Step 3.Break 21 into 20 and 1 (2 tens and 1 unit).

Step 4. Draw two large jumps representing the two 10s and write

the numbers underneath as before.

Step 5. Draw 1 small unit jump and write the number underneath


Adding Tens and Ones – Partial Sums

 The entire Partials Algorithm is built on the premise of children

thinking of numbers in pieces.  We begin with children looking at

problems horizontally so that they are more concerned with

decomposing the number into its pieces than a procedure for solving

the problem.   Once children understand the process behind

adding numbers in parts, it is time to transition them from horizontal

problems to vertical problems.

17     +   25   =  ?

  Ù            Ù

10 + 7    20 + 5

o Add the 10s  10 + 20 = 30

o Add the 1s  7 + 5 = 12

o Add the partial sums  30 + 12 = 42

  So, 17 + 25 = 42

Helpful Website

Many families have asked for a list specific to the reading level.  There is a wonderful website that can help with a specific search by level as well as categories for that level.  If you would like to check it out:


1. Go to

2. Click on Level Books

3. Go to Select a Reading Level System

4. Select Guided Reading Search

5. Click Advanced Search

6. Enter the level(s) as well as any other specific parts to the search



Ms. Levine and Mrs. Giazitzoglou

November 2017

Dear First Grade Families,


Spirit Week at Anderson has been wonderful!  The children have had a blast! Storybook Character Day was super successful as it was great to see the children’s enthusiasm for their books and costumes!  Thank you for all of your help and support in making these events possible! 


Important Upcoming Dates:

Tuesday, November 7th – No School - Election Day

Open School Week- Please select only ONE of the offered periods due to space constraints:

Monday, November 13th  – Open School Visiting Hours (K-4):

·      Period 7, 1:40-2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 14th  – Open School Visiting Hours (K-3):

·      Period 1, 8:30-9:15 a.m.

Wednesday, November 15th  – Open School Visiting Hours (1-4):

·      Period 1, 8:30-9:15 a.m.

Friday, November 17th - Open School Visiting Hours (K-4):

·      Period 2, 9:17-10:05 a.m.

Thursday, November 16th – Parent-Teacher Conferences (Half Day, dismissal at 11:40)

Monday, November 20th – Publishing Party (Reviews) 8:45-9:20 a.m.

Thursday & Friday, November 23rd -24th - Thanksgiving Recess



A Few More Notes:   

      Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, November 16th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We will have a half-day of school.  Please send in a snack AND lunch on this date.  We will have a combined eating time.  We are looking forward to meeting with all of you to discuss your children’s academic and social progress.   Please be sure to have an appointment scheduled with your teacher. If you are unable to schedule a time on Nov. 16th please contact us as soon as possible.


Here is what we have been busy working on and what is to come in November: 





In writing, we are continuing our unit on reviews.  We have learned that writers write reviews to persuade others and to explain opinions in convincing ways.  We will have our “Reviews Publishing Party” on Monday, November 20th from 8:45 to 9:20 a.m. We hope to see you there!


In reading, we have been continuing in our unit, Readers Have Big Jobs to Do.  We have been learning to think about words that fit/make sense, and think about the story in order to problem solve words.


Our next venture in both reading and writing will be…NONFICTION!




In math, we have been working on addition and subtraction strategies.  Our focus has been on the open number line, partial sums, partial differences, split strategy, and the standard algorithm.  We have started to explore word problems.  Our next step will be to explain how we found our answer, using specific steps and math terminology.


Finally, we are practicing facts to develop automaticity.  Our focus is on fluently adding and subtracting within 20, using mental strategies. 


Social Studies 

We learned so much with Landmark West, on 77th Street!  We are continuing our discussion of the needs and wants of a community, as we prepare to take this learning to the Upper West Side. Stay tuned for future neighborhood trip dates!



We continue to explore air! Our focus this month will be "Wind Explorations."  We started with making simple kites and figuring out how we can make a wind indoors to fly our kites.  Next, we will make simple pinwheels, anemometers, and wind vanes to observe the speed and direction of wind outdoors. These creations will certainly bring the exploration to new heights!


A few housekeeping notes…



Please make sure to check your child’s RED folders nightly. We also send home all corrected homework in the BLUE homework folder for Mrs. Giazitzoglou, and the RED folder for Ms. Levine.  Please take a few minutes to look it over with your child and clean out BLUE folders, or RED for Ms. Levine.  (Sometimes folders are coming back with corrected homework still inside.)  


Grade Page

If you haven’t yet checked it out, we have a page on the school website.  Go to: and click on the class pages grade K-4, and then click on the name. 



Happy November to you all!




First Grade Teaching Team


Important Dates:

October 6thBig Writers Write Small Moments Publishing Party

October 9th - Columbus Day. School Closed.

October 19th – Picture Day

October 30th - Spirit Week

October 31st - Storybook Character Day

November 7th - Election Day.  School closed.

November 16th - Half day. Parent teacher conferences

It’s official --this is going to be a great year!  We love first grade, and this year’s first grade classes are off to a great running start!  For the past few weeks we have been busy getting ourselves organized while transitioning into 1st grade. 

Read on to find out what we did in September and our upcoming plans for October…

What is going on in the classroom?

Language Arts:

For Word Study we have started off the year with learning high frequency words that need to be committed to memory. After assessing all students, Word Study will be differentiated for students’ individual needs. Different groups will be working on rules that are appropriate for their learning needs.

During Reading Workshop, the kids have been eagerly exploring new books and finding “just right” books. We have also started our first unit on Building Good Reading Habits. We are reviewing a variety of decoding strategies that include: looking at the pictures to figure out a difficult word, skipping a word to read to the end of the sentence and then going back to figure out the word by using context clues, asking yourself, does this word look right, does this word sound right, and does this word make sense?, and looking for smaller words within a word, for example, small. Please encourage these strategies when reading with your child at home.

In Building Good Reading Habits, students are reading both individually during this time as well as in ability-based partnerships. By doing this they are able to tap into the positive effects of peer support to further promote skills for strategic reading.

One of the reading habits we are working on is to take a “sneak peek” at the book before reading.  At home, please ask your child to preview books before reading.  This will support students in their word work by tapping into their awareness of the entire story.  For example, if your child reads the title, looks at the cover picture, and reads the back-of-the-book blurb, this will help to set the stage in further comprehension of both vocabulary and storyline.


In Writing our first unit is on Small Moment; Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue.  Our mini-lessons for the first part in this unit include that our lives are full of stories to tell, writers can plan for writing with touch and tell, sketch, then write, stretching words to spell them as we hear and record all sounds, and zooming in on the small moments.  In our second portion, students will be bringing small moment stories to life, with a focus on character, with bringing what is on the inside of the character out, including what characters think and feel.

Our mini-lessons will continue to help us to stretch and grow as writers.  As we are generating ideas for writing, we are also working on remembering writing mechanics.  The children are reminded of when to use capital letters (at the beginning of words such as the days of the week, months, and names) and proper punctuation (periods, question marks, and exclamation marks).  Please reinforce these skills at home during all writing assignments. 


We will be working in our Handwriting practice by focusing on penmanship of published pieces during Writer’s Workshop. Please remind your children to hold their pencils properly and to start their letters from top to bottom.  It will be increasingly difficult to change their pencil grip and letter formation, as they get older.   In addition, please encourage neat handwriting at home, especially while doing homework.

Social Studies:

As we mentioned during “Meet the Teacher” night, we are exploring the theme of community.  We discussed the definition of community and came to a conclusion that our classroom is a community in itself.  As part of our social studies curriculum, we are creating a classroom map, discussing both cardinal and ordinal directions. In our field trips, we will venture outside of our room and into the larger Upper West Side community.

In addition, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a member from Landmark West.  Landmark West is a committee set up to preserve the Upper West Side. A Landmark West educator will come to our classroom and teach us about the architecture of the neighborhood.  In our first lesson, we will learn the differences between a cornice, arch, and dentils! Next stop, 77th Street, with history and architecture right outside of our school door!  For more information on Landmark West visit:


We reviewed consecutive numbers and discussed different ways to skip- count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, while we looked at patterns on the 100s chart. In addition, we have been going over four different strategies for adding numbers: counting on, making doubles, making 10, and adding both 9 and 10.  Please practice the addition games located on our class website.  This will help your child gain addition automaticity!

This month we are beginning our unit on place value. We will be exploring the concept of value for each digit. Place value is the basis of our entire number system. A place value system is one in which the position of a digit in a number determines its value. In the standard system, called base ten, each place represents ten times the value of the place to its right. You can think of this as making groups of ten of the smaller unit and combining them to make a new unit. Ten ones make up one of the next larger unit, tens. Ten of those units make up one of the next larger unit, hundreds. This pattern continues for greater values.  The same digit in different place-value positions has different meanings. For example, the "2" has a place value of 20 in the number 25, but the "2" has a place value of 200 in the number 253.  Our goal is for students to recognize that every place has a value, ultimately bringing us closer to a future understanding of our unit on money. Students will explore many ways to show a number. For example, 256 can be shown as 2 hundred, 5 tens and 6 ones. However, it can also be shown at 256 ones or 25 tens and 6 ones and even 24 tens and 16 ones. We have been looking at expanded form as another way of writing a number by separating that number into an addition of individual place values.  


It’s been an engaging kick-off to Science in first grade with our first unit, Air is There! Mr. Moy is so excited to share what first grade has been exploring in Science!  The first grade scientists are learning how they can control air by using plastic tubes and safe syringes (to see air compression); vials and water (to trap air underwater); and balloon rockets (to observe jet propulsion).

Please visit the Anderson main webpage, then go to “K-4 Pages” and use the dropdown to find Mr. Moy’s website. Please visit the site regularly for science updates and news!

Upcoming Activities and Important Reminders: 

Storybook Character Day is coming on Tuesday, October 31st.  For those who may not know, we have a wonderful tradition at Anderson: in lieu of coming to school in traditional Halloween costumes, the children are encouraged to think about a storybook character they would like to recreate and are asked to come dressed up on October 31st.  The purpose of this day is to encourage literacy and share our favorite books with others.  Please talk to your child about what character he/she might want to be.  Try to think of a character that your child really likes or enjoys.  You may also choose a sports figure or famous person-just remember that they will have to bring in a book about that person. 

Label all clothing!  As the weather gets a bit chillier, your child is coming to school with a few more articles of clothing.  Please make sure that everything that comes to school is labeled.  We want to make sure that if these items are accidently misplaced, there is a way for them to be returned.

Red Home Folder

Make sure to check red home folders when they come home.  Be sure to take out notices after they have been read. 


Please make sure your child writes his or her first and last name on the homework.  We want to establish this very important routine of writing the name, as this is a routine not only important for first grade, but in the years to come as well.

Thank you for your continued support.  Happy October to you!

Ms. Levine and Mrs. Giazitzoglou


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               September 2017

Dear First Grade Families,

    Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! We are so excited to work with your children and you.  We are looking forward to your children having an exciting and successful first-grade experience as we help them grow both socially and academically.

    As your child’s teachers, we’d love to get to know more about them.  Please tell us about their loves, fears, hobbies, and interests. We appreciate your input about your child, as it will enable us to best meet your child’s learning needs. It is also important that your child is aware of the home-school connection. We encourage you to speak with your child about the school day and what he or she learned to further support and enrich the experiences in school.

    Part of creating a positive parent-teacher relationship is communication. We will be creating a monthly newsletter informing you of what is going on in our class and in the school.  These newsletters will include important dates such as field trips, half days, no school days, and classroom/school events.  It is very important to read these newsletters carefully.


Important Dates in September:

September 7th - School begins

September 13th– Meet the Teacher Night

September 21st – No school – Rosh Hashanah

September 22nd – No school – Rosh Hashanah


    This newsletter contains important information that reflects both classroom and school-wide policies for this year.  Please keep this packet in a safe place so you can refer back to it throughout the year.

Thank you ahead of time for your support and cooperation. We look forward to a wonderful year together and getting to know you and your children!


                                                                                                                                                         Your First Grade Teaching Team

Classroom Procedures


We will have snack time each day. Please have your child bring a small, healthy, and yummy snack.  Examples are fruit, carrots, yogurt, pretzels, small sandwiches, or cheese and a small drink. PLEASE TRY AND REFRAIN FROM SENDING NUTS AS WE ARE BEING MINDFUL OF ALLERGIES. Please do not send in glass containers or soda cans. Paper napkins and any necessary plastic spoons or forks are also required. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S SNACK WITH THEIR NAME AND THE WORD “SNACK.” This helps to avoid confusion between lunch and snack.  Each class will determine the best timing for snacks based upon the schedule and individual class needs.



Each day your child will bring home his/her “RED FOLDER” labeled “Anderson News.”  In this folder, you will find notes from the teacher and the school. Your child should return this folder to class each school day containing any necessary responses to memos or dismissal notes.   Please be sure to remember to remove notices from the “Keep at Home” section of the folder every day. Place any school forms, permission slips, and/or notes to the teacher in the “Return to School” section of the folder.


In addition to the Red Folder, your child will also have a HOMEWORK FOLDER

(BLUE). Your child will take the Homework Folder each Monday and return the folder on Friday (for students who prefer no homework over the weekend) or the following Monday (for students who use the weekend to complete the homework).



We will be celebrating birthdays in class with students. We will celebrate birthdays by reading your child’s favorite story. You may come in to the class to do a read-aloud or you may send in the book with your child. PLEASE CONTACT US A WEEK IN ADVANCE TO SET UP A TIME FOR YOUR VISIT. We will celebrate with the whole class on your child’s birth date or in the event of no school, we will celebrate at a scheduled time close to that date. If you choose to send in something for your child’s birthday, it must be a non-food item. For example, children may donate a book to the class, give out pencils, stickers, bookmarks, etc.


Note that invitations to classmates/schoolmates to outside-of-school parties are not to be distributed on school premises or on the school bus. This is school policy. We wish to avoid having hurt feelings on the part of those children who don’t receive invitations or are unable to attend.


Health/Food Matters

If your child has a food allergy, please inform us immediately.


Even if the school has been previously informed of health issues, please be sure to inform us in writing if your child has any health issues (e.g. allergies, asthma, hearing/visual needs) or dietary restrictions that warrant attention from us and/or the school nurse.



All medication must first be cleared by the DOH on-site nurse, along with proper 504 documentation.  This helps to ensure the safety of all students.  At no time can medication be administered without DOE approved documentation.  This includes, but is not limited to: eye drops, cough/cold medications, aspirin, and topical creams.


Trip Volunteers

Parents volunteering to help chaperone class trips will be recruited in advance by the teacher.  Trip slips will have a section to indicate that you are hoping to chaperone, and after slips are collected, the teacher will inform parents if they are the specific chaperones for the trip. 



Anderson Homework Philosophy


The Anderson School assigns homework to correspond with what students are learning in their classrooms.  Homework is a support – not a substitute – for classroom instruction.  The amount of homework is grade-appropriate for Anderson students.  While homework is an important support for school learning, more is not necessarily better.  Too much homework can place inappropriate pressures on children and undermine intrinsic sources of motivation such as curiosity.


According to the philosophy of homework as defined by the Anderson School, the purpose of homework is:

·   to reinforce skills taught in class

·   to provide an opportunity for extended and independent learning based on content specifically addressed during class time

·   to provide the teacher with data to access the mastery of skills

·   to build stamina as a student

 Roles and Responsibilities of Parents

Parents are responsible for conveying to their children the importance of meeting expectations for homework tasks and deadlines, and helping their children learn to manage their time.

Parents should use their discretion when assisting their children with homework.  It is acceptable to help your child, but do not “do” the work for them.  If you have concerns about your role in homework you should write us a note or ask for clarification during “Meet the Teacher Night.”


                               First Grade Homework Policy


First grade students at the Anderson School will have weekly homework packets to help reinforce and review classwork or preview an upcoming learning unit. Homework will consist of literacy and math activities. At times, assignments in other areas will be given. Your child will bring home the Homework Folder each Monday and return the folder on Friday (for students who prefer no homework over the weekend) or the following Monday (for students who use the weekend to complete the homework).  In addition to the homework packet, there will be a word study quiz each Friday.

On average, students in the first grade will have 20 minutes of homework each night.  Each child's work pace differs, and varying levels of comfort with assigned materials will impact the time some assignments take. At the end of each packet, there is a “Homework Checklist” to help your child check over their work.

In addition, students are expected to do at least 20 minutes of independent reading each night.  Students are also expected to record their reading in their reading log. Reading logs will be handed in with the homework each week. In addition to these 20 minutes, we encourage shared reading and/or reading aloud to your child.


Nightly Routines


Students need to establish a routine that includes a time and place for homework. A parent or caregiver should be available at home to model responsibility and to provide the appropriate atmosphere for homework. If a child is spending more than thirty to forty-five minutes on one assignment on any given night, parents should step in, help their child pack up materials, and include a note to the teacher.  A note on the homework assignment explaining difficulties can go a long way in helping a teacher individualize instruction for each student. 





          Anderson School Procedures


School Arrival

It is imperative that your child arrives at school on time each morning. Even being a little late for school can cause anxiety in a child (and parent), in addition to missing morning routines and opening lessons. You and the Anderson staff want your child to profit by getting the most time at school. 


We will be picking the children up at 8:20 a.m.  Elementary students will walk in the entrance door closest to Amsterdam Avenue on 77th Street.  Students will enter the auditorium and wait for the teacher.  


Please note that if your child does not go to the classroom with the teacher, he or she must stop at the main office in room 102 to get a late pass.  If your child does not obtain a late pass, he or she may be marked absent for the day. If your child will be having school breakfast, please be sure to drop him or her off no later than 8:00 a.m. so there is adequate time for your child to complete his or her meal before school starts. 



Dismissal this year is at 2:35 p.m. In the red folder is a “Dismissal Notification Form” which we are requesting that you fill out and return once you are certain of your child’s day-to-day dismissal procedures.  In first grade, we will start to expect your child to take on more responsibility in their daily dismissal schedule.


Any change in dismissal procedure, whether it is for one day or longer-term, must be reported in writing immediately. This is especially important for the children who take the school bus home. If there is a change in the busing procedure for that child on a particular day, a note must be backpacked to us; otherwise we have to send the child home in his/her normal manner that day. In the event that a note is forgotten, you must call the office in a timely manner (212-595-7193) and fax  (212-496-2854) in a note stating the change. This is school policy and must be

adhered to strictly.  This policy was created for the safety of the children. 




In addition, if you and your bus child have invited a non-bus child to your home (for a play date, etc.) the non-bus child may not take the bus home with your child. A parent/guardian must pick up both children from school.



The school has requested that you call the Anderson office (212-595-7193) to inform them when your child will be absent. When the school’s voicemail picks up, there will be an option to report a child’s absence. Choose this option and leave a message with any pertinent information.


Once your child returns to school, please be sure to also write a note stating your child’s name, classroom number/teacher, date, and reason for absence.  Please also submit a doctor’s note if applicable.



Parents sometimes wish to take their children out of school for a week-or-more trip, or a few days before a school holiday. Please realize that your child will be missing lessons if this occurs and consider the message conveyed to your child—that school can be missed now and then in favor of a time away. School is obviously a priority for your child during the academic year; he/she should come to school every day (except during illness).


Blue Emergency Cards

Blue emergency cards will be sent home today to parents who did not fill them out during registration.  This needs to be filled out by you and returned as soon as possible. Please note that your child will only be released to those persons listed on this card.  Please inform the office and classroom teacher of any changes that must be made on the blue card throughout the year.