Nuts and Bolts

Newsletters:
Each Monday you will receive a newsletter from me. This newsletter will contain important items relevant to our 1st grade program and will allow you to preview the upcoming week. This way you can be involved in what we are learning at school and incorporate this in your home learning. This will be posted to our class website on the blog section.  You will receive an email each week when the most recent newsletter has been posted.

Absences and Tardiness:
If your child will be absent, please call the attendance line at 729-0219 ext. 333 and leave a message in the evening or in the morning. If your child is tardy (later than 8:40) they need to check in at the main office and obtain a tardy slip. Although I always understand the occasional morning emergency, it is extremely important for your child to be on time to school. Our morning routines start at 8:30 and your child is missing independent writing time if they are continuously tardy. Please be aware that many activities we do in 1st grade are hands-on, discovery based, in-class activities that cannot be made up if your child is absent.

If your child will be absent for any reason other than illness, you need to complete a leave of absence form. This form can be found on the Villa website, or in the main office.

Communication:
Telephone calls, notes or preferably emails are terrific ways to contact me. Please feel free to come by anytime. After school is usually the best time for me to talk, but I can be available in the morning as well with some advanced notice. Once the morning bell rings at 8:20am, I am usually greeting students and helping them get their day started.

Field Trips:
We will have field trips during the year. If you would like to be a field trip driver, please be sure that you have submitted the insurance information needed to the main office. For most field trips we will have 5-6 drivers/ chaperones and the teacher. You will be given a small group of students to be in charge of and all the necessary directions and information on the day of the trip. Unfortunately younger children are not allowed on our field trips, as all your attention will be needed to ensure the safety of the excited 1st graders in your care.

Washington Law Regarding Booster Seats:
Please also note that Washington State Law requires that children under than 8 years, or under 4’9″ tall (whichever comes first), ride in a booster or car seat. Please ensure that your child brings these to school on the day of our field trip. Students without booster seats will not be allowed to join us on our excursion!

Snack:
Please send in a healthy snack of your choice with your child each day. Snack time is at 10:15 after first recess.

PLEASE NOTE: All snacks need to be nut-free! Please use the Safe Snack List as a guide; however ALWAYS double check packaging as products change.

Please note the following requests for snack time:
• No juice bottles or boxes—we have water for snack time.
• No sweets, cookies or candy snacks. (Your child will not be allowed to eat
these, as it is unfair to the other children and not appropriate for snack time).
• No yogurts or applesauce, as they are difficult to clean up if spilled on the
carpet.

Good choices for snack are:
• Cereal bar
• Granola bar
• Fruit
• Dry snack in a small zip-lock or container

Lunch:

Lunchtime is at 11:50. You may prepay for lunches in the main office, or you may send a lunch from home. If you are joining your child for lunch, please remember that you need to sign in at the main office before joining us for lunch. This process is to ensure your safety in the event of an emergency.

Online Book Club Orders
Periodically the children will have the opportunity to order from a book club. This is not an obligatory activity, simply a service that many schools often provide to their parent body. Scholastic or Trumpet books are a great way to obtain inexpensive books to supplement your own home libraries and keep up with increasing abilities.

To make ordering even easier I have set up an account at Scholastic.com. You can now shop online and pay via credit card. This site is so easy to use and makes sorting through papers a thing of the past. The books will still be shipped to school and distributed in the normal way.

For Online Ordering:
Log onto: www.scholastic.com/bookclubs
Enter Class Activation Code: G27RM
Please note that there will be a due date highlighted in my weekly newsletter when you receive the book order forms. Unfortunately, late orders cannot be included once the order is placed.

Homework:
The purpose of 1st grade homework at Villa is to:

  1. Promote good study habits from an early age and give you the invaluable opportunity to model these behaviors to your child.
  2. To reinforce topics learned in school
  3. To teach responsibility
  4. To promote good reading habits that allow for success in reading

Reading Logs:
Whenever your child reads (or you read with your child), please write the title of the book read as well as the amount of time read down on the Reading Log. Once 100 minutes is reached, please tally up the minutes and sign the bottom of the log. Then send it in with your child in their Red Folder so they can receive a new Reading Log and a sticker! I use the format instead of asking you to track each night as I realize that things come up and sometimes circumstances may limit the amount of time you have to work on homework.  However, the recommended amount of time for your students to be reading is 20 minutes each night.  Therefore, aim to turn in one reading log each week.

In addition to reading homework, your child will be sent home a packet of math worksheets that correlate the lessons that we have been working on in class. I recommend completing one worksheet per night, but understand that extra-curricular activities make it necessary to plan homework accordingly. For all homework (both reading and math), please do not exceed 30 minutes per night. If you reach this time limit and are not finished with the work, simply stop, write me a little note to let me know of the situation, or complete the unfinished work the next day.

Homework should stay within the daily time limits to ensure that it is age-appropriate and
productive. Homework will be assigned for Monday to Thursday and is due on Friday; however, should you need to catch up on Friday afternoon, your child may bring in their homework on Monday. Your child will be rewarded for their responsibility with a weekly homework sticker when their completed homework package is returned on time.

Some tips for homework:

• Choose a regular time or routine to complete homework.
• Choose a quiet place—this models good study habits for your child.
• Instill in your child that homework is important school work.
• Try to complete homework when your child is not tired.

Thank you for your help in creating a vital link from home to school. Research shows that children who read, or are read to everyday, are more successful in reading. I hope that this homework program will be beneficial to your child and instill in them good study habits that will aid them in the years to come.