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September 2016 - June 2017

Grade 1
Dear Parents / Guardians of Division 11:
We have successfully completed our first week and a half in Room 213! The class consists of 16 children,
and everyone is settling in nicely and is becoming more familiar with all the daily routines and expectations.
Each child has his/her own desk. The desks are arranged in small groups to allow for material-based instruction as well as cooperative group work. The groups reflect a balance in gender, sociability, and level
of ability. I will be rearranging the groups throughout the school year.
The classroom is equipped with basic school supplies. A request for school fees will soon be coming home
to you. We share the pencils, erasers, crayons, rulers, scissors, and glue. The children are welcome to bring
their own special supplies if they wish (please send along a pencil box/case and keep it to a reasonable
number of things). The only rule is as follows: If a child decides to share his/her felts, pencil crayons,
crayons, etc. with another child in his/her group, s/he must also share with the other children in the same
group. Sharing within groups, rather than the entire class, is encouraged for 2 reasons: first, to prevent too
much movement in the classroom and secondly, we all know how long a single felt pen would last if 16
children used it on a daily basis!
Social responsibility is a part of the CAREER EDUCATION curriculum. It is developed,
practiced, and reinforced on a daily basis. The children come together as a community of
learners to set goals, to work and play with each other, to respect limits, and to adhere to behavioural expectations that enable everyone to learn, to be happy, and to have a sense of belonging. All the children are expected to learn and practice our school expectations, BE
SAFE, BE FAIR, BE KIND. Through teacher modeling, the children are encouraged to use
appropriate language to interact positively. Direct instruction provide the children with guidance, feedback, and support to enable them to make effective choices about their behaviour
and help them move from an egocentric view of the world to consider others, the community,
and the world. As a school wide effort to encourage social responsibility, Stars of the Week
will be recognized at our weekly assemblies.
The children are expected to come to school on time. Classes begin promptly at 9:00 in the morning (with
a warning bell at 8:55) and 1:00 in the afternoon (with a warning bell at 12:55). If your child is not in the
classroom at that time, s/he is considered late and this will be recorded on your childs report card. Frequent lates do affect your childs learning, so please help your child develop an important life skill of punctuality. If your child is going to be absent, please call and inform the school. Please try to schedule your
childs dentist / doctor / and other appointments for after school but if you have to take your child out of
school early for an appointment, you must remember to sign him/her out from the office after picking him/
her up from the classroom. Dismissal from school is at 3:00.
You will be receiving your childs first assessment report in December. However, if there are any
concerns that I feel should be discussed and shared, I will contact you. Similarly, if you have a concern, please contact me at school to make an appointment. I am usually very busy in the mornings
getting ready for the day, so the best time to come in to talk to me would be after school. My feelings are that report cards should not be a surprise; they should be a summary of what you already
know or expect. In the report, you will find an evaluation of how well your child is meeting the
grade expectations for different areas of the curriculum, and you will find a summary of their
strengths and achievements. You will also be informed of my concerns for your childs development or goals for the next term. You may also be given some specific suggestions on how you can support your child at
home. Scheduled Parent / Teacher goal setting conferences will be on October 18 (2:00 to 5:00) and 19 (2:00 to 6:00).
That is when we will have an opportunity to meet and discuss your childs learning goals. There will be another scheduled goal setting conference period (January 18 & 19) at the beginning of the second term.
The following is intended to familiarize you with some of the daily activities that occur in our class. For a comprehensive
list of Curriculum Goals and Teaching / Learning Strategies, please refer to the Provincial Performance Standards and
IRPs on the following web site:

1. Calendar: Each day, we complete our class calendar. The calendar is used to teach many math
concepts such as the name and sequence of the days of the week, counting, number ordering, numeral recognition, and patterning. We also take the opportunity to discuss upcoming special days,
and the weather and classroom temperature. As the children become familiar with the routine, a
weekly special helper will be assigned to keep the class calendar up-to-date. Each child also has
his/her own calendar which is used to record and keep track of the daily weather. At the end of each
month, this information is translated into a simple bar graph.
2. In the Spotlight: This is our Show & Tell program that has been developed to extend the childrens
speaking, listening, and predicting skills. We will begin this program sometime in late October. /
early November. Be on the lookout for an upcoming newsletter for more details.
3. English Language Arts: Language Arts activities vary, and Reading and Writing are often integrated in our thematic studies. We work on our Journals every Monday morning where the children
are encouraged to write about their personal experiences, thoughts, and / or feelings. The children will
also be involved in many Writing lessons where they will have opportunities to develop their writing
skills through story writing, songs, poems, reports, and letters. The children will learn how to spell
through sound and sequence of letters and through word patterns (eg. er in sister, never, teacher /
ar as in car, tar, far). The children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of phonics to sound
out to spell unfamiliar words, but correct spelling of basic sight words (eg. was) will be taught and
reinforced on a regular basis. The children have Printing books to help them develop and practise the
correct formation of upper and lower case letters, as well as to develop neat penmanship. We will also
have Poetry books which will hold a collection of all the theme related poems that we will be learning
this year. Reading plays a major role in the Language Arts program. Reading instruction / practise
takes form in several different ways: D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read), where the children are
encouraged to read with others; Quiet Reading where the children are provided with opportunities to
read books that are appropriate to their instructional reading level; Guided Reading which involves small group or individual instruction around effective reading strategies; Storytime , a whole group listening experience where fluent reading
is modelled and the children are exposed to a wide variety of reading genres and story structures. Shared Reading
(Wednesday mornings @ 9:00) is an extension of D.E.A.R. which includes parent participation--a newsletter will come
home to let you know when Shared Reading will begin.
4. Math: The Math programs consists of small and large group lessons, worksheets, and handson activities (ie. manipulatives and simple games). The children will have an opportunity to work
independently and cooperatively. New concepts will be introduced while the children are reviewing / applying previously acquired skills. Concepts include numeration (printing of numerals
and rote counting), number operations (addition and subtraction), patterns, measurement,
shapes, and simple data collection/analysis.
5. Physical & Health Education: We have P.E. every Mondays (first thing in the morning @ 9:00),
Tuesdays (at 11:00), and Wednesdays (at 1:50). The children will work with Ms. Hinds, our P.E. specialist. Please remind your child to wear runners and loose clothing on these days. It might also be a
good idea to leave an extra pair of runners at school for impromptu outdoor fitness / play sessions. We
have also begun our OFF TO A RUNNING START fitness program which is a part of the Daily
Physical Activity (DPA) Ministry requirement. OTARS will occur every Tuesday
and Thursday mornings and will continue into the late Fall. Proper footwear and
attire is very important. Health Education will focus on healthy and active living, social and community
health, and mental well-being. Formal programs will include Heart Smart, Zones of Regulation, Second Step, Fun
Friends, Be Safe! (formerly called the c.a.r.e kit) and The Incredible Flexible You.
6. Home Reading Program: Each day the children will take a book home to practice his/her
oral reading. I will be sending more details about this program in late October / early November. All the children will be encouraged to participate.
7. Library: Our teacher-librarian is Ms. Whitelaw. We will have a weekly
book exchange; day and time TBA. Please help your children develop
responsibility for returning his/her library books on time every week. Books can be kept for a
maximum of 2 weeks, but most children at this age, are ready for new books after a week.

8. Thematic Work: Through thematic work, many Science and Social Studies concepts are developed and the children are involved in many integrated activities, including Visual Arts, Dance & Movement, and Music. Instruction includes developing
higher level thinking skills, group discussions, hands-on activities, and written work.
9. Cooking: Be on the lookout for a newsletter re: cooking. I will be asking
for your financial support to help provide each child with the chance to cook at least 1X/month.
10. Field Trips: Each term, you can expect your child to be going on at
least one field trip. The field trips are usually theme related and occur at
the end of a theme. Some field trips will be a component of the Physical
Education program, such as ice skating while others are an extension of
what the children are learning in the classroom. A week before an actual
field trip, I will send home a newsletter outlining the details (when, where,
how much, etc.). I greatly depend on parents to help me transport and supervise the children on the
trips. Please make sure that you read these newsletters carefully, and return the request forms and
money, if any, on time. I am unable to take your child on a field trip without a signed request form.
Field trips play an important role in my program, and it is very important that all the children be encouraged to participate.
It is the policy of the Board that no student shall be denied attendance on an educational field study for financial
reasons. If you are finding it difficult to meet the financial costs incurred in a particular field study, please contact me.
Please rest assure that your situation will remain confidential. I am working on booking our first field trip to VanDusen
Garden for early November. You will receive info once the booking and details have has been confirmed.
12. Parent Volunteers: I will soon be sending out a request inviting you to sign up and volunteer in the
classroom. If you are interested in becoming a parent volunteer, please make sure you reply to this request
when you receive it.
13. Other Teachers / Support Staff: Currently, Ms. Paula is a full time School and Student Support Worker who has
been assigned to assist in the classroom. Ms. Lee & Ms. Medina are the Resource Teachers supporting children who need
extra assistance in their learning as well as English Language Learners. Our Big Buddy class will be
Ms. Montaganos Grades 5s and 6s (Div. 3)
14. Newsletters / Class Blog: I will post a weekly newsletter on the class blog. In order for me to notify you when the
newsletter has been posted, please make sure you have signed up to be on the e-list; you can email me your request.
These newsletters are usually about what is currently happening in the classroom and upcoming events such as field trips,
special visitors, and the beginning of new themes. Please make sure that you read these newsletters carefully. I know that
with everyones busy schedules, it gets a bit overwhelming but its very important that we establish clear lines of homeschool communication. I find that the best way to achieve this is through my blog postings.
Some of you may be wondering why the children have not been bringing home their daily work. First, much of their
work is put up on the walls for display. Secondly, much of the work is completed in workbooks and notebooks that will
be sent home at the end of June. And thirdly, any theme related work is kept and filed. At the end of the unit, the work is
collated and the children bring home a nice little package to share with you. However if you are interested in seeing
your childs work before that, please do drop by the classroom afterschool to take a peek! ps. Some children may be
bringing home colouring sheets - these are not a part of my daily program; they are just funsheets that some children
want to do when they have some free time.
Finally, I would like to say a special thank you to all those who have generously donated classroom materials, supplies,
and equipment. Your extra efforts have helped us have a smooth start.
I am looking forward to having a wonderful year working with your child and you!

How Can I Help My

Child Be successful in school?
1. Read EVERY DAY! You can read to your child or
have your child read to you either way . . READ!
2. Create a consistent after-school routine.
3. Be POSITIVE! Always speak positively about
school, learning, and your childs teacher.
4. Encourage! Give your child the opportunity to
excel in all areas of their academics.
5. Be sure that your child is getting plenty of rest
each night and is ready for school each day.
6. Teach your child to be responsible for their
actions and to take pride in all they do!
7. Stay INVOLVED! Make it a point to ask your
child about their day.
8. Communicate ... Please know you can contact
me with any questions or concerns.