Classroom Links And...



The "ABCs" of First Grade


A

Absences: Please call the office if your child will be absent that

day at 303-387- 6725. In an effort to keep our children as healthy as possible, we ask that you

keep your child home until he/she has been symptom-free for 24 hours (fever, vomiting,

diarrhea). THANK YOU for your cooperation! Please don’t worry about any work your child

missed while absent. For extensive amounts of days off, I will send home any missed work.

Arrival: School starts at 8:35 a.m. Students may start arriving at 8:25 a.m. and line up at the

front door near the flagpole. Please try to have your child to school on time so we can start

learning right away!


Assessment Days: This year your child will participate in two Assessment Days. The first

assessment day is Friday September 8th. More information will be on the way.

B

Backpacks: Your child should bring their backpack to school every day. They will have things to bring home daily in their SAFARI binders.


Birthdays: Birthdays are VERY special in first grade! Your child may bring in a birthday treat on the day of their birthday if they would like. Treats need to be easy to pick up, eat, and clean up. Some ideas are doughnuts, fruit kabobs, or individually wrapped snacks. Please no huge birthday cakes! You can send the treats in with your child in the morning or bring them to school before noon. If your child has a summer birthday, we will celebrate it in May! If your child is having a birthday party and would like to invite the whole class, or ALL the girls or ALL the boys they may bring the invitations to school. Otherwise, please invite children during non-school hours to avoid hurt feelings!

C

Conferences: You will have the opportunity to participate in two parent/teacher conferences during the school year. Of course, if any concerns arise, we can schedule a meeting at your convenience.

4Cs: At Heritage we teach with the 4Cs in mind - Communication, Critical Thinking, Cooperation, and Communication. These 4Cs will be intertwined into the everyday curriculum.

D

Dismissal: School doesn't actually get out until 3:30 I'll dismiss bussed student a few minutes early (around 3:25) to avoid getting trampled by those big kiddos running out of school! These students will be walked out by me or other teacher so that they are put onto the bus safely. If you'll be picking your child up, please meet me at the flagpole at the front door. If your child will be attending Base Camp, someone from Base will come and walk them to the cafeteria at the end of the day.

Discipline: We believe in using several positive behavior support and praise as our main discipline tool. We strive to encourage good behavior! Included in the SAFARI binder is a behavior calendar. Your child will be in charge of their calendar and will share their daily good news with you.


E

E-mail: E-mail is the quickest and easiest way to contact me. I am able to check email throughout the school day and will respond as soon as possible to questions or concerns! My email is mkhastings@dcsdk12.org

F

Field trips: First graders have some opportunities for field trips throughout the year. Permission slips will be sent home when dates and times are determined.

Fine motor practice: Fine motor activities help develop hand muscles. Working with Play-Doh, using markers, crayons, pencils, pens, and scissors will strengthen your child’s hand muscles. Stronger hand muscles will help your child’s writing skills and encourage proper letter formation throughout the year.

G

Green or Blue Folders: These are in your child's SAFARI binders. These will be sent home everyday and will primarily include homework. At times I may be sending home and notes from the office or me as well as finished work. These folders are to be sent back to school daily in your child's Safari Binder.



H

Homework: Your child will be sent home with an optional homework calendar. These Calendars will be sent home at the beginning of each month. This calendar will be reviewed at the end of each month. If your child does their optional homework for the month they will get a reward from me. Math homework will be sent home as lessons are taught. Every once now and then students may have an occasional project, please make sure you are having your child read to you and you are reading to your child everyday. Book bags and books will be sent home once we begin reading groups. Please make sure your child reads the book that is sent home with them to you every night.

I

I-Pads - We are incredibly lucky here at Heritage because we have one-to-one devices for every child in the school. In first grade, every child will have his/her own I-Pad to use at school. I do have specific times and assignments students will be using their IPAD.

Independence: First grade is a big transition for children and families! We encourage the children to be as independent as possible. We are focusing on how to be kind, helpful and responsible! Be sure to encourage your child to continue these behaviors at home.

J

Journals: The first graders will have a variety of journals to work on throughout the year. Writing journals will be composed of children’s writing on specific or free choice topics. We will be using these journals for writing, science, and responding to literature.

K

Kind: Although academics are important, they are not the sole focus of our program. We aim to support and develop your child’s social, emotional, and physical development as well. We want your child to become the best first grader they can be!

L

Label all of your child’s items: This includes jackets, backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles (and in the winter -boots, mittens, and hats). This cuts down greatly on lost items! Also, check throughout the lost and found throughout the year for any missing items!

Lunch: Your child has a choice of bringing their lunch or buying lunch from school. There are always 2 hot lunch choices and you can view the lunch menu online on the Heritage website. Purchasing milk daily is also an option. You can put money into your child's lunch account by sending in a check (made out to Heritage Elementary - in an envelope labeled "Lunch Money") with your child or paying online. Lunch is $2.85 and milk alone is $.75. If you'd like to join your child in the cafeteria for lunch, please do so! We eat lunch at 11:35 everyday The children LOVE it when a parent surprises them for lunch. You may just sit and chat, bring your own lunch, or pick up something extra special for the two of you at a restaurant.

Lunch Number: Your child will have a student ID number which they will be using all through their Douglas County schooling. It is also their lunch number, which they will eventually need to memorize. I'll be sending their numbers home the first week of school. Some might have their numbers memorized in days while others may not have them memorized until second grade. Rest assured they can definitely still get lunch! We have clips for them with their numbers on that they can use all year!

Love: I promise to love your child and my hopes are that they will LOVE first grade, LOVE Heritage, and LOVE coming to school each and everyday!

M

Math: In first grade students will be involved in the My Math curriculum concepts are covered daily. Encourage your child to explain what they are learning in math throughout the week. You can always expand your child’s math knowledge by using everyday objects to count and add. Show your child how you use math every day as well!

N

Newsletter: A weekly newsletter will be emailed to you every week. Be sure to read it for important updates, what we have been learning about, and other special news.

O

Outdoors: Recess is outdoors everyday, weather permitting. If the weather is rainy or too cold, children will have indoor recess. Please put sunscreen on your child before school on these hot sunny days. Please send your child in with weather appropriate clothing and extra warm clothes in the winter months!

P

Progress Reports: These will be sent home twice per year - in December and in May.

Parties: First graders love to celebrate holidays and other events. We will be having parties throughout the year which I will let you know about ahead of time in my newsletters. Volunteers and donations are greatly appreciated – so be on the lookout for upcoming events! Three parties we always have are the Halloween Party and Parade, Winter Party, and the Valentine's Day Party. All parents are invited to parties so mark your calendars!

Parent Portal: You should have received instructions when you registered on how to set up your Parent Portal account online. If you cannot figure it out, please contact the front office. You will access field trip payments, progress reports and lunch balances all on Parent Portal so please get it set up soon. Thank you!

Phone Calls: Feel free to contact me through phone calls whenever needed. However, during the school day, I am actively engaged with students. Hence, I do not answer my phone. Phone calls interrupt the education time throughout the day but I will return your call within 24 hours.

Q

Questions: Please don’t hesitate with questions or concerns! Feel free to write me a note and send it inside your child’s folder, email me, or give me a call!

R

Reading: We will start, establish, and expand reading skills in first grade! Please read with your child every day. Also, allow your child to read to you! In first grade, we have three ways to read: read the words, read the pictures, or retell the story. All these forms of reading help your child develop reading skills and an excitement for reading! Encourage any and all reading your child may do!

S

Specials: Everyday from 2:35-3:20 your child will participate in "Specials" which consist of Art, Music, PE, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). They will have each special for 5 days in a row before moving onto a new special. During the PE rotation your child will need to wear tennis shoes to school.

Science and Social Studies: We integrate our science and social studies instruction within our World Class Outcomes. We will be exploring a variety of topics throughout the year!

Snacks: We will have one snack each day so please send your child with healthy snacks everyday. PLEASE do not put the snacks in your child's lunch box. Just put them right into his/her backpack. Healthy snacks could be fruit, vegetables, pretzels, cheese sticks, etc. (not cookies, candy or brownies).

Shoe Tying: Please work on shoe tying with your child.

T

Technology: Your child will be learning how to use an I-Pad, I-Pad Apps, and how to code on I-Pads twice per week for 40 minutes each day.

Transportation: It is very important that we safely get your child to their proper form of transportation each day! In order to keep everyone updated on how your child will get home, please let me know your child's schedule on how they are to get home each day. If there is a change in the way your child will be getting home, send me an email by 11:30 that day (or call the office and they can get the message too me). Unless we hear otherwise from a parent/guardian, your child will be sent home the way that’s normal for him/her on any given day!

U

Unique: Each child comes to us with gifts and needs that are unique to him/her. We rejoice in each child’s uniqueness and will do our best to teach him/her according to his/her individual needs. We strive to differentiate our teaching so that each child can be the best first grader he/she can be!

V

Visitors: When visiting the school, please sign in at the office and you’ll receive a “visitor” sticker. You'll need to bring your Driver's License in with you the very first time you come to the school during the school day. When leaving, please remember to sign out!

Volunteers: There will be many opportunities for parents to assist us this year. Volunteers are greatly appreciated throughout the year to keep our classroom running smoothly. Be sure to check your emails as I'll be setting up a volunteer schedule in the weeks to come.

W

Water Bottles: Please send your child with a reusable water bottle each day. This water bottle should contain water only.

Web Page: The school website is a great place to keep updated with current school events. I will be posting my newsletter weekly and optional homework monthly.

Writing: First graders are beginning to learn so many new things and writing is one of them! Your child’s writing will develop tremendously throughout the year. As a first grader we will be working on letter formation, and writing in complete sentences. Encourage your child to write about what they draw at home. If you don’t know what it says, you can ask your child, “Can you read this to me?” or “Wow! Tell me what you are writing about. That looks interesting!” These are ways to encourage your child to excitedly continue writing!

X

“X-tra” Time: First grade students are notorious for learning at different speeds. Some might come in not knowing a single letter or sound while others may already be reading. Because of this, I will take each child from where he/she is and teach accordingly. In other words, if a child doesn't know letters and sounds, we'll start there. If a child can read, we will move on from where they are. There's no sense in boring children - or teaching over their heads. Some just need "x-tra" time...

Y

Younger Siblings: We understand that volunteering is difficult to do when you have younger siblings to take care of. I'm sorry to say that when you come in to volunteer, younger siblings are not allowed. Volunteering with a group of 5 or 6first graders is tough enough, but then to add another child... it could get crazy. Thanks in advance for following this rule.

Z

Zippers: Something else your child can work on at home - zipping jackets!

Z-z-z-zs: Please make sure your first grader gets a good night’s sleep and has a good breakfast before coming to school! This will help your child have the best day possible!