The ABCs of Room 111(2017-2018 school year)This page is dedicated to sharing the routines and procedures that occur in our level one classroom.Allergies- We have a few students in our room this year that have food related allergies and sensitivities. Due to this, we are going to avoid food celebrations and parties. See the birthday section below to see our new "food Free" birthday celebration policy.
Birthdays- Birthdays are an exciting time for students. We always celebrate birthdays whether they fall on a weekend, weekday, during a vacation, or during the summertime.
This year in lieu of sending in a birthday food treat, I invite you to have your child select a new or slightly used book to bring in and donate to the classroom library. On the day of their celebration, we will read the book to the class and then take a picture of the birthday student to be added to the front cover of the book. If your child's birthday falls on a weekend, please contact me to let me know whether you would like to have us celebrate on the Friday before or the Monday after.
We celebrate all summer birthdays in June. If your child's birthday falls during a time when we are out on summer break, I will be in touch to set up a date for them to celebrate in June.
Aside from a birthday book reading,we celebrate birthdays in a few more ways. On the day of celebration, your child will be greeted at the door by a birthday banner, be crowned with a birthday crown, and given a birthday bracelet. Also, they will receive the birthday bag which contains a birthday bottle, birthday pencil,certificate, a book to read and/or complete and return. Please be advised that when returning the birthday bag, all the contents are your child's to keep except the book and the bag.
Please do not send in birthday party invitations for distribution unless all classmates are being invited. This request is made so as not to hurt any students' feelings. A class directory will be provided in October/November which can be used for mailing student invitations if necessary. You can send in invites if you are inviting all the girls, all the boys, or the entire class.
Bucket Fillers- In an effort to build positive relationships among all the students and teachers in our class, we read the story, Have You Filled A Bucket Today? It focuses on being kind to others. The children then decorated their own “bucket”. I’ve displayed the buckets and have invited the students to fill others’ buckets (including the teachers') by completing a bucket filler sheet. This sheet simply says something nice about the other person. The children bring bucket filler sheets with them to specials, should the specials teacher notice that someone has been a positive role model and want to fill out a sheet. At the end of the week, the students get to read the messages in their bucket. The students are encouraged to check the buckets of others to make sure that everyone has at least one slip in their bucket each week.
Email -This is probably the quickest and easiest way to get a hold of me. I check my email often throughout the day and can therefore provide you with a quick response. My email address is email@example.com. If you would like to reach Mrs. Merritt, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note- If you would prefer a handwritten note, please feel free to place any notes in the front of your child's binder. We will respond and place the response back in their binder.
Telephone- If you need to contact either myself or Mrs. Merritt, you can contact us at 646-3280, between the hours of 7:50 and 3:20.
Daily Five- While Mrs. Merritt and I are working with small groups, the remainder of the class will be working on Daily Five activities. Those five activities are:1. Read to Self2. Read to Someone3. Listen to Reading4. Word Work5. Work on WritingWe will practice each of these five things individually, building our "stamina" to do each of them. Once we have built our stamina to 20-30 minutes, I will introduce the next Daily Five activity. For more information regarding the Daily Five, please visit the Daily Five website: Daily FiveFlexible Seating- In an effort to better meet the individual needs of out students, we are implementing flexible seating in our classroom this year. Through various grants, donations, and purchases, I've acquired different types of seating for the students, including exercise balls, wobble stools, crates, rainbow stools, sissle cushions, carpet squares, regular classroom chairs, and bookshelves for standing areas. Instead of an assigned desk, your child will be given the opportunity to select a seating area that best fits their needs for learning attentively. More information will come home regarding our flexible seating as the school year commences.F.R.O.G. Binders- Your child’s F.R.O.G. binder is a very important part of their school year. This binder serves as their take home folder. It is to be brought back and forth to school each day. Please see my website for more information regarding the F.R.O.G. binder.
Homework- Your child will have the following homework each week:1. Nightly Reading - starting early in the school year, your child will bring home a book each night to read.2. Spelling Packets- These packets are a collection of sort activities that your child will use to reinforce the phonetic rules they are practicing during Words Their Way sort time, in the classroom. Each packet is due every other Friday.3. Fact Fluency Practice- Your child will be bringing home an orange Fact Fluency folder to practice their math facts throughout the week.4. Sight Word Practice - Our district recently moved away from Scott Foresman sight words and began focusing solely on the Dolch sight words for our sight word curriculum. Kindergarten students will be working on mastering the Pre-Primer list, while first graders will be expected to learn the Primer and First Grade Dolch word lists. We will be assessing your child's ability to read the Dolch words at the beginning of the year. Then, based on the results, we will give your child five unknown Dolch words each Friday to take home to practice. Suggestions for sight word practice activities will also be sent home. While they practice their words at home, they will also be completing a variety of sight word activities at school each week. On the following Friday, we will assess your child's ability to read their five words. Any mastered words will be replaced with new unknown words for the following week. Any missed words will be sent home again for further practice."I Message" : Throughout the school year we are bound to encounter conflict between students. Oftentimes, we can resolve the conflict just by communicating with one another. When a situation like this arises between students, I teach them to communicate their thoughts through use of our "I Message". The "I Message" is a poster in the classroom that reads as follows: "I feel__________ when you ___________. I would like you to _____________." After teaching the class about the "I Message", the one child involved in the conflict, asks to take the other student(s) to the "I Message." They vocalize their feelings and their wishes. The other student then issues an apology and a promise to do as the first student wished.
Jobs- Each Friday I change our special jobs chart. Throughout the year, your child will be given the opportunity to hold the following jobs:
Coatroom Inspector- this person is responsible for checking the coatroom to make sure it is tidy once everyone arrives.Substitute- This person fills in for someone who has a job, yet is absent.
Caboose Master- this person is the last person in line. They have the special job of turning off the lights and shutting the door upon exiting the classroom.Hallway Helper- this person helps remove the cards from the daily lunch chart. They also remove the names from the Question of the Day board.
Line Leader- this person gets to lead the line for the week.
Attendance Helpers- this job requires two helpers. These two students get to take any notes to the office each morning.Lights- This person will be responsible for turning off the lights when the teacher needs them turned off.Tech Helper- This person will help by checking to make sure all of our technology is plugged in each day.Library Helpers- The library helpers will help to make sure that our library books are correctly put back in their bins. This is a job that will be completed only when all of their other work is completed.
I move the students through the jobs alphabetically, therefore, each student will have an opportunity to hold each job.Math Tubs- Each day after their math lesson (time permitting), the children are able to select from six different math tubs, each with an activity related to the current skill they are studying or one previously taught. The activities are usually fun games that they can play in partners or small groups. Some activities are independent practice as well.
Nightly Reader and Book Study Journals-
Nightly Reader- Starting in October, your child will be bringing home a book each night to read aloud in an effort to promote literacy development. Each book will be located in Section 3 of your child's take home binder. I request that they read the story aloud to an adult while the adult poses questions before, during, and after the story in an effort to promote comprehension. For tips, please see the documents provided in Section 3 of your child's binder. When your child has completed the story, please indicate any strengths or weaknesses you may have noted on their nightly reading log. Once your child reaches level N, they will be allowed to take home a chapter book. The expectation is that they read one chapter a night. If the chapters are long, please feel free to help them by alternating pages read. I ask that you still note their progress in their reading log.Prize Binder- When the students earn 25 Warm and Fuzzies ( see “Warm and Fuzzies” below) they get to make a trip to my Prize Binder. Inside the binder are a variety of “prizes” the students can select from as their reward. Among the prizes are items such as, homework passes, “Stinky Feet” – wear no shoes for the day, work at the teacher’s desk, switch spots with a classmate, invite a first grade friend from another classroom to have lunch with you, and many others. Your child will select their prize and be given a coupon that they will turn in when claiming their prize.
Requesting Homework- If your child will be missing school due to a vacation, please be aware that they will be responsible to make up any missed work upon return from their trip. I do not send work to be completed in advance in an effort to avoid the chance that the class may not have had an opportunity to complete all of the work that was sent home, therefore, causing your child to be ahead of the rest of the class. Instead, I ask that all students continue to read each day while out of school. If your child is missing school for an extended period of time, I also recommend (but do not require) them completing a short journal, detailing their trip.
- If your child becomes ill and is out of school for an extended period of time, I will gather any work that they have missed and have it available for you. I ask that you please contact the office to let them know whether you will be picking it up or whether you would prefer the work to be sent home with a sibling or friend. Please be aware that your child will have as many days as they were absent to complete the work and return it to me.
Star Student- Each Friday, I randomly select a student to be Star Student for the following week. Every student will have an opportunity to hold this title! When picked as Star Student, your child will bring home the Star Student bag, which contains a sheet outlining the upcoming week. In short,on Monday, the Star Student is asked to bring in the completed questionnaire(on the Star Student sheet), 5 items to share with the class, and any pictures they would like displayed on their Star Student chart (all pictures and items will be returned by the end of the week). On Tuesday, the Star Student is asked to bring in their favorite book to share with the class. Many times, they choose to read it to the class; otherwise, I will read it for them. Wednesdays are, "Confidential Letter Days." As explained on the Star Student sheet, parents are asked to write a letter, story, poem, or even create a short movie, about their son or daughter. On Wednesdays we share the Star Student's parents' special creation. On Thursdays, the Star Student is able to invite a special guest to join them for lunch in the cafeteria. Lastly, on Fridays, the class generates a list of compliments about the Star Student. The compliments are then placed on a star (one that contains a picture of the Star Student in the silly Star Student glasses), laminated, and placed in the hallway. All students get to bring their stars home at the end of the year.If we are approaching a short week, I may elect to hold off on choosing a new Star Student until we have a full week approaching."Twenty-Five Bookers"- In an effort to promote reading, Mrs. Peffer is continuing her "Twenty-Five Booker" program this year. Each child who reads 25 books will be invited to the office to receive a certificate, a special necklace, and a bookmark, celebrating their achievement. Each"Twenty-Five Booker" will have their name added to the wall in the hallway near the office as well. I calculate your child's achievement of this goal by looking at their nightly reading completion chart.
Vacations-Please be aware that if your child will be missing school for a family vacation, the school requires a form to be completed and signed prior to your departure. This form can be collected in the school office. If provided notice,I can send one home with your child.
Homeroom Parent- If you are interested in spearheading the planning of our holiday celebrations, being a homeroom parent is the job for you. As one of three homeroom parents, you will have an opportunity to plan approximately two holiday celebrations, including calling parents (in an effort to collect party treats) and planning party activities.Mystery Reader- If you would prefer to read a couple of stories (of your choice) to our class, then I would suggest signing up as a Mystery Reader. Our Mystery Reader is invited into the room on (TBD)
Chaperone- The need for chaperones usually depends on the trip(s) that we go on. If chaperones are needed, it will be indicated on the permission slip. If you are interested in chaperoning, please indicate so on the form. Depending on the number of volunteers, I then randomly select volunteer names.
Should more opportunities arise, requiring parental volunteers, I will be sure to notify you in our weekly newsletter!
Warm and Fuzzies – A “Warm and Fuzzy” is simply a craft pom pom that I use for positive reinforcement. Students can earn these by performing well on a test, in addition to various other ways. After earning 25 Warm and Fuzzies, your child earns a trip to our prize binder. There are two types of Warm and Fuzzies: small ones equal 1, while the larger ones equal 5!
Writing Journals-One of your child's three required binders was used as their writing binder. Each week your child completes various writing pieces, which are collected and placed in this binder. At the end of the year, your child will bring home this writing portfolio to share with you their growth throughout the year.Book Scavenger Hunt: