The rules for our classroom are as follows:
- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
- Follow directions.
- Walk quietly in the hallway.
- Respect yourself, your classmates, teacher, and school property.
- Listen when others are talking.
- Always do your best work!
Behavior is one of the most important elements of the school day. If behavior is out of control, then learning is not possible. I use a 3-step color card method in my classroom. Each child will have his or her own pocket with 3 different color cards in it. The colors are green, yellow, and red.
- Green - Great day!!!
- Yellow - Slow down and think! This is when a child is misbehaving or breaking some rules and he or she really needs to think about his or her behavior and change it.
- Red - Stop! This is the last resort. This is when a child repeatedly breaks the rules and refuses to correct his or her behavior. This will result in a letter home, timeout, or maybe a trip to the principal’s office. (Depending on the severity of the misbehavior)
Each day the children will start with the color green showing. If a child breaks a class rule or misbehaves, he or she will have to change their card to yellow or red, depending on the severity of the misbehavior. If a child is reaches their red card, consequences will occur. However, I don not believe in a child's day being "over" because of poor choices, so I allow students to move up and down during the day. For example, if a student makes poor choices in the morning and gets moved to their yellow card, but tries his or her best in the afternoon, they can "redeem" themselves and move back to their green card and end the day with green on their behavior sheet. I will send home a behavior calendar everyday, showing which color your child got for the day in his or her folder. If your child is on green at the end of the day, they will get a raffle ticket to redeem at the prize box.
Behavior Incentives/Prize Box
In order to motivate students to always do their best and to be caring and helpful classmates, I hand out "Great Behavior" tickets for staying on the green card each day and periodically throughout the day for exceptional behavior. Students keep their tickets in a baggie in their desk and must keep track of their own tickets. Every Friday, students can exchange 10 tickets for one prize in the prize box. The students love getting these tickets and this system really motivates them to have "great" behavior all day long!
Please remember that your child must wear his/her uniform to school everyday, unless notified. The uniform is khaki pants/skirt/jumper and a navy shirt. Colored tights for girls ARE allowed. Also, please dress your child for the weather. We will go outside every day, weather permitting. If your child still has bathroom accidents, please provide a change of clothes to be kept in their locker.
If your child is ill or absent from school for another reason, please send a note to me on their return stating the dates and reason for the absence. This note will be kept on file in the Elementary Office with Mrs. Scott, and will be used as documentation to show if the absence is excused or unexcused. In the event of a long absence from school, please contact me before hand so you can receive any schoolwork your child will miss. If that is not possible, your child will receive their missed work when they get back.
Late Arrival to School
The school doors open at 8:00 a.m. Children have until 8:10 a.m. to get to school before the doors close and to be considered on time. I submit attendance electronically at 8:10 a.m. and any students not in the classroom will be marked absent. If your child gets to school late, he or she MUST sign in at the Elementary Office in order for Mrs. Scott, the Elementary Office Secretary, to change your child's status from absent to tardy.
If you need to sign your child out early from school, please write a note in the morning in their folder alerting me of the time they will be signed out. That way I can prepare the material for the subjects that they will miss so they will not get behind. Then, when you come to school to pick up your child, please sign them out in the Elementary Office and Mrs. Scott will call for your child to come and meet you in the office.
Conferences are held from 12:30 - 3:00 for 10 minute intervals on each of the 2 half days set by Baltimore City Schools. Baltimore City also has two evening conference days this year. Additional conferences can be scheduled as needed throughout the school year. I am available for conferences on most days from 7:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. or after school from 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Every child needs a take-home folder. Folders will be checked daily and sent home. Please check your child's folder nightly for homework, important information and graded work so you stay up-to-date on how your child is doing in school. These folders are our main communication to home and are a vital part of our classroom. Your child also has an Unfinished Folder that will go home every Friday if him/her has any unfinished work from this week. Please make sure he/she completes any work in that folder and return the folder and the completed work the following Monday.
Students will be required to complete homework nightly. Your child’s homework will be review of concepts learned in school. Homework is due in the morning and is checked for correct completion. No homework on Fridays! Parents will be notified if homework is not completed on a regular basis. In addition to the nightly homework that goes home in folders, children in first grade are also expected to read for atleast 15 minutes each night. A reading log will be sent home for each month to help your children track their reading. At the end of the month, the reading logs are to be turned in to the teacher. If your child completes eight reading logs, they will be invited to a special pizza party at the end of the year!
Math Facts and Spelling Lists
Your child will be responsible for learning math facts and spelling words this year. The math facts and spelling words are meant to be memorized. Memorization of math facts will aid your child when completing more complicated two digit addition and subtraction problems. Memorization of spelling words will make it easier for your child to write longer passages and easier for you and I to read them!
Star Student of the Week
Each Friday, I will randomly pick one student to be the Star Student for the following week. The student will bring home a packet of papers about themselves to fill out over the weekend. On Monday, their responses and picture will be posted on the Star Student bulletin board. The student will get to have the job of their choice for the week and will also get to have "Froggy the First Grader" sit on their desk all week. He or she will take Froggy home over the weekend and write in "Froggy's Weekend Adventures" Journal to tell what they did together over the weekend!
Each week, children will be picked randomly to have a classroom job. If your child is not picked one week, they are given priority the next week. Our classroom jobs are: Line Leader, Door Holder, Caboose, Teacher Helpers (2), Weather Helper, Calendar Helper, 100th Day Helper, Messenger, Behavior Cards, and Attendance Cards.
Each day, if your child finishes their assigned work, they must participate in center activities that are changed weekly. I set up a handwriting center, literacy centers: comprehension, fluency and word study, and games/art center each week to provide extra practice in these important areas. Center work is not graded per say, but is checked for correct completion. These activities are intended to give your child an educational activity to engage in when they complete their assigned daily work.
Birthdays will be celebrated in the classroom but we do not have parties in first grade. Your child will receive a birthday hat, certificate, and pencil provided as a gift from the teacher. Feel free to send in a special show-and-tell or favorite story to share at our morning meeting to make your child feel extra special on their birthday. If your child has a summer birthday, we will celebrate his or her birthday in June before school is let out for the year.
We will hopefully have four field trips this year. The dates and details will be announced at a later date. Chaperones will be requested and signup sheets will be available before the field trip. Parents must sign and return field trip permission slips for your child to be able to attend. If you are unable to financially pay for the trip fee, please let me know and we will try to work with your situation.
We will go outside everyday that weather permits. We have our first recess at 10:00 a.m. on the front bricks/playground, supervised by me. The second recess will be on the playground in the back of the school before lunch, supervised by Ms. Haberak. Please make sure your child is equipped for outside activities and has the appropriate clothing for the weather!
Students may purchase or bring a lunch from home. Lunch currently costs $2.25. Unlike Kindergarten, in First grade your child is responsible for taking care of their own money and buying their own lunch. Those students who purchase lunch on a consistent basis may open a lunch account where money is deposited on a regular basis to cover the cost of lunch. If you have any questions about this process you may contact the lunchroom for further details. If your child forgets their lunch or lunch money, they are provided a simple, free lunch from the school.
We do not have a set snack time in First grade like there was in Kindergarten. However, because many students still get hungry stomachs in the morning, I allow students to eat a small snack during our morning break at 10:00 a.m. Students will be allowed to get their small snack from their locker and eat before playing at first recess. Please do not send in drinks, snacks that need utensils, and snacks that your child is unable to open by themself. Pretzels, granola bars, and goldfish are perfect snacks. Peanut products are not allowed in our classroom due to food allergies.
Drinking water in is allowed in our classroom. It is especially important during hot weather. With this in mind, your child is allowed to bring his/her own water bottle into class and leave it at his/her desk. Please do not supply your child with a water bottle that is frozen (water will condense on the outside and get his/her desk very wet) or a water bottle that can spill. If your child does not have a water bottle, children are allowed to take water breaks periodically at the water cooler in the second grade hallway (outside of Mrs. Crystal's room).
Each year, we usually have one class parent for each classroom. The class parents acts as a liaison between the teacher and the parents when coordinating class parties, class supply needs, etc. and also helps out with class contact lists for email and play dates. If you would like to be a class parent, please let me know at Back-to-School night. Class parent duties can be spread between parents, but it is usually easier if there are no more than two.
I will be teaching my students about their world, including the culture and diversity around them. All holidays will be discussed in the classroom as a part of our Social Studies curriculum. We will be studying the holidays to learn more about our diverse American culture. Historical holidays, such as Thanksgiving, will be celebrated as a part of our American history. We will be studying the themes centered around the holidays and celebrating our learning. For example, in the fall we will be learning about pumpkins, scarecrows, and harvesting and in the winter we will be learning about reindeer, pine trees, snow, etc.
We will, of course, be having many celebrations in our classroom to celebrate all we have learned!! Notes telling you about the exciting events in our classroom will come home throughout the year and will be posted on my website. In previous years, the class parent circulates a list of all the class parties at the beginning of the year and each parent signs up to help "host" one party. Usually 2-4 parents sign up for each party and coordinate and supply the food, drinks, etc. That way, parents only have to worry about contributing one time per year and there is less difficulty in coordinating food and supplies, leading to less uneaten food,etc.
Feel free to volunteer any day at lunchtime in the cafeteria! Just sign in at the main office, go to the lunch room at 11:25 a.m. for first grade lunch, and help with opening food items, clean up, etc. The PTA also offers many other volunteer opportunities related to main school events.
Scholastic Book Orders
Every month we will send home book order forms for you and your child to look over. Scholastic offer wonderful books at reduced prices—what a great way to build your child’s home library! If you choose to order, you can order online at http://www.scholasticbookorders.com or make the check payable to Scholastic Books for the exact amount and send into school in your child's folder. The password and ID for online orders is: msharkersclass and rm142. And remember, your orders help to purchase books for our our classroom library!
If your child needs to take a medication during the school day, please take it to the nurse, who will administer when needed. If your child has asthma, please take their inhaler to the nurse instead of keeping in your child's locker.
Please feel free to email me, call me at school, or write me a note in the folder: