Colleen Schultheis, Gretchen Pfeiffer
Welcome to First Grade!
The first grade children will be learning to do many wonderful things this year! I am looking forward to an exciting year with this happy group of students.
The first bell rings at 8:20am each morning. It is important for students to be here at school right away, so they may put away their belongings, get settled, greet each other, and be ready to begin the day when the second bell rings at 8:30am.
If your child will be absent or arriving late, it is extremely important to call the school office; please leave a message if no one answers the phone. A written note is required upon his or her return to school.
Please be sure your child eats a nutritious breakfast each day, in order to get a good start on the day. Also, it is fine to send a healthy snack to eat during morning recess at 10:15am.
Please write your child’s name on her or his belongings, especially sweatshirts, jackets, lunchboxes and backpacks. If your first grader does lose something, there is a lost and found located in the cafeteria that parents may check.
Girls must wear a pair of shorts under their jumpers, skirts and dresses if they are not wearing tights at school.
Pumpkin Patch Field Trip
It is a tradition at St. Ignatius for the first and eighth grade classes to go to the pumpkin patch together each October!
We celebrate Mass each month. The dates and times will be in the Ignatian Information and on the monthly calendar. If you are able to join us at Mass, please do so! Please understand that if you have younger children with you, it will be easier for the first graders to participate if you sit elsewhere in church with your younger ones.
We go to the Library twice a week, and Mrs. Tegethoff, our librarian, is excited to see the first graders’ enthusiasm for reading! Now that your child is in First Grade, he or she may check out two books at a time from our school library.
Three days a week, the children go to music class with Mr. MacKenzie, our Music Teacher. They love learning new songs and singing them throughout the day!
PE is three days a week with our P.E. teacher, Mr. Brobeck. Until your child is proficient in tying his or her own shoelaces, Velcro-fastening shoes must be worn for P.E. as well as for everyday school shoes.
We enjoy learning with the mobile computer lab with Mr. Auer twice each week. The children review computer skills learned last year and build their knowledge of how to use various functions. The programs we use will provide the children with additional opportunities to practice basic skills in math and reading, and also to supplement other subjects.
The most important homework I can ask you to help with every day is to READ TO AND WITH YOUR CHILD!!!
“It is the joy of reading that takes the child from the school primer into the endless world of other subjects and other lives. It is the joy of reading that needs to be reasserted each day by nurturing parents.” (Rosemary Wells, 2005)
Each week your 1st grader will bring home a folder with a Reading Record sheet inside. Please keep track of all your child reads to you as well as all you read to your child. It is essential that 1st graders are experiencing 10 or more minutes of reading aloud at home daily! These are some of the ways your child can read at home as well as at school: read the words; read the pictures; retell the story in your own words; listen to someone else read to you. This is the key to future learning!
In addition to daily reading at home, a monthly calendar will go home at the beginning of the month, with 3 to 5 different activities to choose each week. This is due back on the last school day of the month. Mark the activities your child chooses to do and if necessary, attach the completed activities to the calendar before returning it to school. On the back of the calendar is a student and parent reflection page to be completed at the end of the month.
Curriculum for First Grade
When we gather on the rug to begin our religion class, we sing. We end our Religion class with the same song. In first grade the main emphasis is learning about Jesus, building on what was presented in Kindergarten. We learn about Jesus’ life and His teachings, and how we can follow Jesus in our daily life as first graders. We learn about Mary and the Saints. We study the sacraments, we help plan and participate in all school liturgies, and we prepare weekly for Sunday Mass by listening to the readings and the Gospel. Fr. John Ridgway, SJ, will again be visiting in the primary grades once each month. The 1st graders love to hear him tell about saints, and holy days.
Our outreach service in first grade is to help keep the playground clean and litter-free. This helps reinforce our learning about God, and the world, and that all God created is good.
Reading and Language Arts
First graders experience formal and informal reading and writing opportunities everyday. We use the resources provided with our reading series to teach reading, writing, phonics, grammar, and handwriting. We also use children’s literature, creative writing, poetry, songs, magazine articles, games, drama and journals to develop our reading and writing skills, fluency, and comprehension.
We focus on developing an in-depth understanding of whole number relationships, including grouping in tens and ones. We work to develop understandings of addition and subtraction and strategies for basic addition and subtraction facts. Also, we learn about two and three dimensional shapes.
Social Studies and Science
In Social Studies, we study families and homes, people and communities, careers, and holidays. In science we study life cycles and habitats of animals, and forces. We continue exploring how to use our 5 senses while observing the natural world.
It is an honor and privilege to work at St. Ignatius School, and I look forward to our parent-teacher partnership this school year in supporting the faith, character, and academic growth of the children in 1st grade.
Ms. Colleen Schultheis