Mrs. Cohen's 1st Grade News

September 2015

Welcome to First Grade!

I am pleased to be your child's First Grade Teacher! Each month, I will send home an electronic newsletter similar to this one informing you of special events and academic guidelines. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please email me at - I will be happy to get back to you as soon as possible.

Important Dates:

9/10 Open House Night @ 6:30

9/11 Scholastic Book Orders* DUE

9/ Picture Day (Info to follow)

9/11 Pretzel money and order form DUE (order form to be sent home on 9/1)

9/11 Smencil Pencil money and order form DUE (order form went home on 9/1)

9/14 NO School - Rosh Hashanah

9/23 NO School - Yom Kippur

*Scholastic Book Orders went home on the first day in your child's orange Homework Folder. Orders can be placed on-line (see handout) or made through me by sending in your order forms along with CASH or a check made payable to SCHOLASTIC BOOKS.

I'm looking forward to working with you and your child this year!



The first few weeks of school will be spent reviewing some of the basic skills and concepts that may have been "lost" over the summer.

Spelling will begin on Monday with Lesson 1. The children will have daily homework and their first spelling test on Friday, September 11th.

On Monday, you will receive a green "High Frequency and Robust Vocabulary Folder." This folder is to be kept in a safe place at home and used daily. There will also be a paper explaining the folder. We will discuss this further at Open House.


Our district uses the Everyday Mathematics program to teach math in the elementary schools. It is a lot of fun and very hands-on. At the start of each unit, I will send home a "Home Link" letter attached to a packet of Home Links (aka homework pages). A different Home Link will be assigned each night, however; the packet does NOT come back to school until the test day. We will talk about this further at Open House Night.


The first few weeks of school will be filled with a lot of getting to know you activities (thank you for sending in your family photos) as well as kindergarten sight word assessments.

We will also be working on some fine motor skill practice - like cutting and tracing to get us warmed up. We will practice correct letter formation in our handwriting packet as well.


Homework will begin in stages. Each Monday, you will receive a Weekly Homework Checklist. This will explain what your child should be working on at home each night. Spelling will begin on Monday. It will be explained in class and a letter will go home as well. Math will begin a week or so later. PLEASE make sure that your child is reading (or being read to) for at least 10-15 minutes each night. This will continue throughout the year as a Home Reader Program (which will begin in October once I have all of the students' reading levels assessed).

Your child was given an orange homework folder. This is the folder that should be used throughout the school year. You may wish to take the homework OUT as spelling will always be a week-long assignment and the math packet may take several weeks to complete. On the back side of the homework folder is a number grid and a sample of expected letter formation.

If you have not already done so, please have your child put his/her art smock inside his/her backpack. These will be kept in your child's backpack (for we sometimes need them in our classroom as well as the art room) throughout the year and washed at your discretion.


If your child will be purchasing lunch, I ask that you do two things:

1. Please be sure that your child knows what he/she should buy for lunch each day. As the children enter the room, they will need to sign up for lunch or indicate that they are a packer. Whatever your child signs up for is what he/she needs to take - they cannot change their mind once in the cafeteria.

2. Please set up a POS account for your child so that he/she does not need to carry money to school. Your child will be assigned a number that he/she must enter on a keypad in the cafeteria. Please practice the number with your child.

Information about the lunch program and menus are available on the district website.


Your child is encouraged to bring a water bottle to school each day. Please do NOT freeze the water bottle as this results in the condensation leaking onto the desks and ruining books, papers, etc. Also, only regular water should be in the bottle - no fruit flavored water, juices, teas, etc. as they are very sticky when spilled... and, trust me, there are always spills! Also, please make sure your child knows how to open/close the water bottle - as often times they will be emptied and can be refilled at the water fountain.

We will be having a daily snack each afternoon. Please send in a HEALTHY snack with your child every day. The snack should be something that your child can eat with their fingers - no liquid-type snacks like yogurt or fruit cups packed in juice as they are hard to get out of the carpet when spilled. Make sure your child knows where his/her snack is located in the school bag (some students in the past have eaten their snack at lunch because it was in their lunch box and they thought it was part of their lunch - that usually results in tears and a hungry first grader). Please keep in mind that we have students in our classroom with peanut and tree nut allergies. Therefore, I ask that you NOT send in a daily snack for your child that contains peanuts or tree nuts. Thank you for keeping our classroom safe for all of the children!

Looking forward to meeting you at Open House Night!

Stephanie Cohen