Supply List

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Click the  following link to download and print:         -Supply List- Pod 100- Grade 1

 Walt Disney Magnet School First Grade Supply List

  • Please write your child’s first and last name on the following items:      (These items may need to be replaced during the school year.)
  • 1- Red plastic two-pocket folder with 3 prongs
  • 1- Green plastic two-pocket folder with 3 prongs
  • 1-book bag
  • 1-iPad compatible child-size headphones (3.5mm connector) Note: Most first graders needed 2+ headphones during the school year. The children use headphones throughout the day and carry them to other classrooms for reading. The cords on most brands of children’s headphones did not hold up to this type of daily use. Earbuds are not recommended. Young children find them uncomfortable and their smaller size means that they are more easily lost in the pod.
  • Please DO NOT write names on the following items:
  • 2- boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons
  • 5- Large glue sticks
  • 40- pencils (sharpened)
  • 1- pair of scissors (blunt tip)
  • 2- pink pearl erasers
  • 2- boxes of tissues
  • 1- ream of white computer/copy paper
  • 1- package of dry erase markers
  • If your last name starts with A-M
  • 1- bottle of hand sanitizer
  • 1- package of disinfecting multi-surface wipes (no bleach)
  • If your last name starts with N-Z
  • 1- quart size or box of Ziploc bags or gallon size box of Ziploc bags
  • 2 – rolls of paper towels

Welcome

Welcome to first grade!  I am so excited for our new school year to begin.  Our first day of first grade will be Tuesday, September 4, 2018.  Join your new first grade friends in the CAC by 7:30 am.

All first graders will enter through the CAC and come to pod 100 together. Your teacher will lead you to your new classroom.  We are room 104.  After a little while, we will say goodbye to the grown-ups and begin our school day.  We will play games, read stories and do some fun projects.  I can’t wait to hear all about what you did this summer!

Don’t forget to plan a yummy lunch for the first day of school!  We will be eating in the cafeteria before recess.  You can bring your favorite foods from home or our cafeteria helpers serve delicious hot lunches too.  All school lunches are free. Don’t worry if this is new for you,  I’ll be in the lunchroom to help you and the cafeteria helpers are really nice people too.

Our classroom is a very special place to learn and grow.  I know we will have great fun playing games and reading stories together.  This year we will laugh a lot, explore, learn new things, sometimes get messy, and be very good friends.  See you soon!

-Mrs. Brannigan

Language Arts Instruction

WALKING READING CLASSES WILL BEGIN WEDNESDAY!

     One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of teaching first grade is creating a language arts program that meets the wide range of developmental abilities students bring to the classroom.  To best meet this challenge, first graders will participate in a variety of daily literacy experiences.

READING WORKSHOP    

    Time will be reserved daily for students to practice reading independently.  A wide range of reading materials will be provided to practice applying reading strategies, promote fluency and build confidence as readers.  Whole group lessons using large books, chart poems, and songs provide the opportunity for students to participate as a reader with the support of the group.  We will use this time to demonstrate early reading strategies, build vocabulary and discuss story elements.  The Journeys reading series will serve as our main source of materials for these lessons.

 

    GUIDED READING SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION

     Students will work in small groups with a teacher or specialist to practice skills appropriate for their current level of reading.  Small groups will be selected based on student scores using the NWEA MAP test scores, teacher observations, classroom performance and student interests.  Small groups are reformed at regular intervals throughout the school year to reflect reading progress. Working with leveled books our lessons will focus on decoding strategies, fluency, and comprehension.

WORD WORK

    In order to read and write effectively, first graders must learn to recognize and spell the most commonly written words in the English language quickly.  These “sight words” will be introduced in the classroom and then sent home for practice.  First graders are expected to master 100+ basic words by the end of the school year.  They must also develop the ability to manipulate letter sounds and recognize letter patterns to identify and spell unfamiliar words.  A combination of whole class activities and independent assignments will be used to develop this phonological awareness.

 

WRITING WORKSHOP 

  Just as in our reading program, our writing program continues to provide differentiated instruction for all learners by utilizing a variety of writing lesson formats.  Students will participate in interactive writing lessons, sharing the pen with the teacher, to compose messages and stories on chart paper.  Daily instruction in grammar, punctuation and story elements will guide students as they are provided the opportunity to independently write for different purposes.  Students will participate in the revision and editing process as their written work is prepared for publishing.  Our writing program is supplemented by Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum.

 PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHILD’S RED READING FOLDER FOR A LETTER FROM THE WALKING READING TEACHER. – THANK YOU! 

Attendance Policy

     I want to make school an exciting experience for your child, one that they will look forward to each day.  I plan to incorporate activities that will enrich your child’s life and motivate them to want to come to school.  It is important that your child attends school every day and I ask that you arrive on time. I have listed below highlights of our district attendance policy.  For more information visit the CPS home page on the sidebar.

  • ARRIVAL: Entry into CAC will begin at 7:30 am
  • LATE ARRIVAL: Students arriving before 9:30 will be marked morning tardy.  Students arriving after 9:30 will be marked as half-day absent.
  • DISMISSAL: The 2:30 bell signals general student dismissal.   Please send a note if your child will be going home with a friend for a play date.  Students that are not picked up at the dismissal door will be brought to the office to wait for you.  Please call the office if something unexpected has delayed your arrival.  First graders become very worried when their grown-up is not on time.
  • EXCUSED ABSENCE:  The district has 6 types of excused absences; illness, observance of a religious holiday, death in the family, or family emergency, circumstances which cause reasonable concern for child’s safety, other situations beyond the control of the student.  Your child must bring a signed note stating the date and reason for absence to be excused.
  • UNEXCUSED ABSENCE:  5 unexcused absences = truant; 9 unexcused absences = at risk of not being promoted to the next grade

.Should your child not want to come to school for any reason (anything from a problem with peers to anxiety about an activity or concern about routines), please contact me and I will see how we can make the situation more comfortable for your child.

Let’s Eat!

     Although the lunch period is one of the shortest time slots on our schedule, it is the area that I receive the most questions from parents and an area that many children feel anxious about.  Below I explain the lunch procedures, provide links to the school menu, and outline payment options.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.LUNCH OPTIONS  

  • You may choose the school “hot lunch” with a drink.  All school lunches are free of charge. I will give your child a “hot lunch ticket” to bring to the cafeteria at our lunch time.  Children join the “hot lunch line”, hand the ticket to the cafeteria helper, select a tray,  and choose from the different menu items on display.  The cafeteria staff will assist your child in choosing a well-balanced lunch if needed.  Students are also given the choice of white or chocolate milk.
  • You may choose to pack a lunch and drink at home.  Send the lunch to school in an insulated lunch box labeled with your child’s name.  These boxes are kept in our class cubbies and brought to the cafeteria at our lunch time.
  • You may choose to pack a lunch at home and purchase milk at school.    Upon entering the cafeteria, students join the milk line to retrieve a carton of their choice.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Where can I find the school lunch and breakfast menus?    Click the picture below for current menus at the Chartwells site

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  • What time is lunch?  Our class assigned lunch period is 12-12:30. It can be difficult for first graders to settle in and eat lunch in such a short period of time.  Please encourage your child to eat their sandwich first.  I will encourage the children to take home any unfinished food so that you can see just how much is being eaten at school.
  • Will you be in the lunchroom to help my child?  Reassure your child that a friendly adult will be there to help them and answer their questions.  During the first week of school, I try to stay in the lunchroom until all of my students are settled at a table.  However, this is also the only time I have to eat lunch and prepare for afternoon activities too.  We are very lucky to have great cafeteria employees who are happy to help all students!
  • What is Disney Fine Dining? Each week 2 students will be chosen by the lunch-recess monitors to be our classroom “Fine Diners”.  These students will each choose a friend to join them at their specially decorated table to eat lunch.
  • How does our school keep children with food allergies safe?  If your child has a food allergy, please contact the main office to arrange a meeting with the school nurse and support team.  An individualized 504 PLAN will be written stating your child’s allergies, emergency procedures and precautions.  For the safety of all students, we ask that children do not share food with friends.  Special cafeteria seating is available if needed.

 

Reading Together

     Help your child become a lifelong reader.  Research tells us that children learn to read by practicing.  Reading is the primary way a child gains a wide vocabulary and is highly related to success in every academic area.  I recommend that your child read aloud a minimum of 15 minutes per day.  In addition, please read to your child for at least another 10 minutes each day.  Hopefully, the time reading at home will be even more than this minimum.  Included below are some tips on how to make the most of your time reading together.

  • Pick a time when you can devote your full attention to your child.  It may be before dinner, during bath time, or at bedtime; these uninterrupted few minutes are important.
  • Take time to talk about the cover of the book before you start to read.  Point out the author and the illustrator and discuss what those terms mean.  Ask your child to predict what the story is about on the basis of the cover illustration and refer back to those predictions as you read.
  • Be dramatic!  The more enthusiasm you display, the more your child will enjoy the book.
  • Help your child connect print to speech by pointing to words in the text as you read.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions about the story and take time to ask questions as you read.
  • When you finish reading, talk about the story.  Then ask your child to tell the story in his or her own words.
  • Read your child’s favorite books over and over.  Studies show that each time a child listens to the same story, new kinds of learning take place.  When your child knows the book by heart, let him “read” it to you.
  • Most importantly, enjoy this special activity.  Reading together will become a happy, comfortable routine that will open the door to discussions about your child’s thoughts and concerns.

special thanks to CTP; I Can Read!  I Can Write! for these tips

 

Homework Policy

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Homework is an important part of your child’s school experience.  It provides extra practice and review for topics taught in the classroom.  Completing homework with your child will also provide an opportunity for you to see how your child is learning and what topics we are studying in the classroom. Students will have homework almost every night, sometimes in more than one subject. Good study habits are an important skill for success in school. Please support and encourage your child at home by checking their backpack every night. Homework in the red folder has been assigned by your child’s reading teacher.  Assignments in the blue folder will be from our homeroom subjects (social studies, science, math). Please contact me anytime a homework assignment has been too difficult for your child.

Homework Expectations:

  • Homework will be assigned every night – with some exceptions
  • Homework should be completed by the student, in their own handwriting.
  • Homework should be completed neatly.
  • Homework should be completed to the best of your child’s ability.
  • Homework will be collected every day and credit will be given for completion and general accuracy.

Thank you for supporting our classroom learning.

 Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding homework.

MATH IN OUR CLASSROOM

Parents-   I know you have been hearing a great deal about the Common Core State Standards and the changes we are making to meet these new challenging expectations.  The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education that nicely explains the changes you will see in Mathematics teaching as we switch from the Illinois State Standards to the Common Core State Standards.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  – Kate

Harvard Education Letter
Volume 28, Number 4
July/August 2012

Nine Ways the Common Core Will Change Classroom Practice

By ROBERT ROTHMAN

While the Common Core State Standards share many features and concepts with existing standards, the new standards also represent a substantial departure from current practice in a number of respects. Here are..important differences:

In Mathematics
1. Greater Focus. The Standards are notable not just for what they include but also for what they don’t include. Unlike many state standards, which include long lists of topics (often too many for teachers to address in a single year), the Common Core Standards are intended to focus on fewer topics and address them in greater depth. This is particularly true in elementary school mathematics, where the standards concentrate more on arithmetic and less on geometry. Some popular topics (like the calendar) are not included at all, and there are no standards for data and statistics until sixth grade—a controversial change. The reasoning is that teachers should concentrate on the most important topics, like number sense, in-depth so that students develop a real understanding of them and are able to move on to more advanced topics.

2. Coherence. One of the major criticisms of state standards is that they tend to include the same topics year after year. The Common Core Standards, by contrast, are designed to build on students’ understanding by introducing new topics from grade to grade. Students are expected to learn content and skills and move to more advanced topics. The Standards simultaneously build coherence within grades—that is, they suggest relationships between Standards. For example, in seventh grade, the Standards show that students’ understanding of ratio and proportion—used in applications such as calculating interest—is related to their understanding of equations.

3. Skills, Understanding, and Application. The Standards end one of the fiercest debates in mathematics education—the question of which aspect of mathematics knowledge is most important—by concluding that they all are equally central. Students will need to know procedures fluently, develop a deep conceptual understanding, and be able to apply their knowledge to solve problems.

4. Emphasis on Practices. The Standards have eight criteria for mathematical practices. These include making sense of problems and persevering to solve them, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, using appropriate tools strategically, and constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others. These practices are intended to be integrated with the standards for mathematical content. To provide students opportunities to demonstrate the standards of practice, then, teachers might allow students more time to work on problems rather than expect them to come up with solutions instantaneously. Or they might provide students with a variety of tools—rulers and calculators, for example—and ask them to choose the one that best fits the problem rather than requiring them to choose a tool in advance.

Click the picture above to read the full article from the Harvard Education Letter.

HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD WITH MATH AT HOME?

The following is an article from familyeducation.com

Top 10 Ways to Help Your Kids Do Well in Math

by Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Mastering Math
Mastering mathematics is absolutely essential for future opportunities in school and careers. Your children will need to reach a certain level of competency in math to take many advanced high-school courses, to be admitted to college, and to have a wide variety of career choices. Here’s how you can help them maximize their math-smarts.

1. Make sure your children understand mathematical concepts.
Otherwise, math becomes a meaningless mental exercise of just memorizing rules and doing rote drills. Have your children manipulate objects to figure out basic concepts. For addition, they could add one, two, or more blocks to a pile of blocks and then tell you how many blocks are in the pile.

2. Help them master the basic facts.
Mastery of a basic fact means that children can give an answer in less than three seconds. Considerable drill is required for children to give quick responses. Use flash cards to help your children learn the basic facts. When they don’t know an answer, have them lay out objects to solve the problem.

3. Teach them to write their numbers neatly.
Twenty-five percent of all errors in solving math problems can be traced back to sloppy number writing. Improve your children’s number-writing skills by having them trace over numbers that you have written. Suggest they use graph paper to keep the numbers in problems neatly aligned.

4. Provide help immediately when your children need it.
Math is one subject in which everything builds upon what has been previously learned. For example, a failure to understand the concept of percent leads to problems with decimals. If a teacher is unable to help your children, provide the help yourself or use a tutor or learning center.

5. Show them how to handle their math homework.
Doing math homework reinforces the skills your children are learning in class. Teach them to begin every assignment by studying the textbook or worksheet examples. Then have them redo the examples before beginning the assignment to make sure they understand the lesson.

6. Encourage your children to do more than the assigned
problems.

Considerable practice is necessary for your children to hone their math skills. If the teacher only assigns the even problems, having them do some of the odd ones will strengthen their skills. The more time your children spend practicing their skills, the sooner they will develop confidence in their abilities.

7. Explain how to solve word problems.
Mathematicians have an expression: To learn to solve problems, you must solve problems. Teach your children to read a word problem several times. Also, have them draw a picture or diagram to describe it. Make it easier for them to understand the steps in a problem by teaching them to substitute smaller numbers for larger ones.

8. Help your children learn the vocabulary of mathematics.
They will never get a real feeling for math or learn more advanced concepts without an understanding of its vocabulary. Check that your children can define new terms. If not, have them use models and simple problems to show you they understand how the term is used.

9.Teach them how to do math “in their head.”
One of the major ways to solve problems is by using mental math. Kids should use this method frequently instead of using pencil and paper or a calculator. When helping your children with a problem, help them determine when it would be appropriate to use mental math.

10. Make mathematics part of your children’s daily life.
Mathematics will become more meaningful when your kids see how important it is in so many real-life situations. Encourage them to use math in practical ways. For example, ask them to space new plants a certain distance apart, double a recipe, and pay bills in stores.