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Welcome to First Grade

A short introduction to our classroom.

Dona Black

on 31 July 2018

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Transcript of Welcome to First Grade

Oh, the places we'll go!
First Grade is an exciting adventure. We have so
much to do and learn. Our challenges build on the
skills and habits Kindergarten teachers have tried so hard to nurture in your child. Some of the big steps in first grade include reading for comprehension and to gain new knowledge. We'll continue to stretch decoding skills, but the real joy we want readers to experience is the feeling that comes from exploring the story for yourself. We learn to love our characters and the language the authors use to breathe life into them. These are some of my favorites:
Our Classroom Community and Environment
At the beginning of the year we start to consider how the real world works. Why are there rules? Who makes the rules? What will working hard really accomplish? Why is it important to set goals and stay on task? We ask a lot of questions to dig into the theme of respect and responsibility. Ultimately, I want my students to understand what they contribute, during the good days and the bad, has an affect on their education and the education of their classmates. We grow the independent skills we'll need to accomplish great things within a group. We learn to support each other during the process to maintain a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment.
Some may believe grades are a necessary evil, I believe they are an opportunity for students to help create the map that guides them through the learning experience. We keep and use data in the classroom to chart that journey. Homework, daily grades, and end of the unit tests, help us imagine a path to success by showing what we know and what we need to revisit. First Grade is harder than kindergarten. Second grade will be even more challenging. Keep your expectations high and remember: until we can put it on the map everything is an adventure because it is uncharted territory.
First Grade is
Children in the primary grades develop at different rates. Early in the first quarter, and at strategic points throughout the year, students will be assessed in reading and math to determine their educational needs.
The curriculum and materials used are adapted to suit your child's abilities and designed to challenge, but not overwhelm. If you find your student is struggling it's important to meet with me so we can work on strategies that support their learning at home and in school.
Optimism is awesome, but progress will require effort and problems that aren't addressed can not be solved.
Continuous School Improvement at
Murray Elementary
Murray Elementary School will have its own School Improvement Team. The Team consists of teachers, administrators, and parents. It’s mission is to continually review and recommend activities necessary for school improvement. The Team writes a yearly School Improvement Plan to address the goals and outcomes of our Department of Defense Education Activity’s Community Strategic Plan.
Ms. Black
Math Goal
Grade Level
Problem Solving
Language Arts
100% Proficient by
third grade
Reading: We use
Reading Streets
, published by Pearson, to introduce and practice skills in a whole group setting. Guided Reading and writing workshops with small groups allow us to individualize and differentiate learning experiences.
is the practice of producing lessons that are accessible to all skill levels. Our efforts in the classroom are supported by a teaching specialists for struggling and advanced students.
Pearson offers
online learning resources
. We begin to use these in the classroom near the end of the first quarter. I encourage parents and students to explore the site at home. Participating in online activities will build basic 21rst century learning skills. View our current standards at

Curriculum: Language Arts
Curriculum: Math
Math: Our program,
Go Math
is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Again, the material is introduced in a whole group setting. Small groups focus on individual needs. This program is interactive and comes with many resources. A variety of exercises (games, workbooks, homework, and group explorations) help us practice what we learn. There will be drills to build number fluency, but these drills are a small part of the big picture. We practice math communication (explaining our ideas) through the
4 step problem solving
process. This program is challenging and requires children to really stretch their collective and independent problem solving skills. View the current standards at

DoDEA Mission
Educate, Engage, and Empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world.

Recognition at the quarterly awards ceremony for academic merit, good citizenship, and participation in the 20/20 reading program
Classroom privileges and rewards for great behavior and exceptional effort
Praise, increased independence, and self confidence knowing a job has been well done
Good job! Your efforts to raise a brilliant humanitarian who will go on to do great things for the human race should be acknowledged. You've nurtured them, instilled a sense of justice and fair play. You've encouraged them to be brave, persistent, forgiving, friendly, honest, hard working and tidy. You've planted, watered, and pruned a unique flower that is sensitive and beautiful. I am absolutely certain your child will try to make you proud when he or she ventures out into the world to make their mark... most of the time.
Some of the time.. we make bad choice and learn from misadventure. Every student is unique and their personality makes a significant contribution to the group as a whole. We want to make certain that contribution is helping, not hurting our classroom community. I promise to help your student succeed. As part of that promise, we'll examine our mistakes and try to find solutions that work. If there is a problem you will be the first to know. I will endeavor to model the behavior I expect to see reflected in my students. Please help me demonstrate fair and open partnerships by coming to me with your concerns.
Reading is fundamental.
Literacy is our basic tool for success.
Read every night. Show your child you believe education is important. Explore the library.
Talk about what you read and encourage your student to write. Basic communication skills are the foundations for great accomplishments.
Show your student how math makes a difference in your daily routine. Involve them in schedules and budgets. Make measuring the ingredients for a recipe, or the supplies for a home improvement project, a performance. Help them check their homework so they understand accuracy is important.
How can
you help
at home?
How can you help at home?
Did you know schools take tests too?
It is a
and minds-on experiential
Reserve your ticket now.
Cooperative, Committed, and

Welcome to Ms. Black's
First Grade Class Room C13
(912) 369-1576


School Pledge
We will practice reading
in the classroom and at home.

These assignments are easy to do and have a dramatic affect on reading skills. This practice is important because
fluent readers understand more of what they read
External Motivation
Internal Motivation
"New Math" is a misnomer.
The basic algorithm does not help
everyone understand a problem or
solve it efficiently.
We learn and practice many strategies
for a type of problem so we have many tools in our tool box.
Please be very clear how your
child will be released. I have duty at the gym supervising the walking pick up each day.
Createing a consistent, predictable daily routine will help you avoid inconvenience. I will update on changes to our
current practices as they become available.
Drop Off and Dismissal
I arrive early and have duty in the afternoons. Morning conferences are the best for me, but I will do what I can to meet your schedule when given advanced notice
Special Events
Take Home
Please take
care of the
Full transcript