What's Up in First Grade?

Mrs. Schnell 2014-2015

Welcome to First Grade!

I am very excited to be teaching first grade again this year and getting to know you and your child. This will be my 16th year of teaching. My husband and I currently live in Waukee, and have 2 daughters. Our first daughter is Elin, age 2, and our 2nd daughter is Elle, 9 months.

For Your Information:

Homework/Daily Folder

Math homework will be sent home on a daily basis/every other day to practice skills that have been taught in class that day. Please complete these activities with your child at home and return the homework sheet to school the following day. Thanks!


Daily work: Daily work will be sent home if you your child had difficulties completing it throughout the day. Please work over the assignment with your child and return it the following day.







I will send classroom work/projects home on a daily basis along with any other important news. This will be sent home in a take-home folder and will need to be returned to school each day. Please take the time to go through the take-home folder with your child each night.

Words Their Way

Words Their Way is a phonics curriculum designed to enhance student's phonics and spelling skills. The great thing about this program is that it is geared toward your child's academic level. Each child is assessed at the beginning of the year, and then they are put in a group that meets their needs. The groups are small for small group instruction and meeting the needs of students more easily. Each child will progress at his or her level and assessments will be done weekly to check their progress.

Everyday Math

Earlham uses Everyday Math. In first grade, students begin bringing home "Home Links" to be completed 2-3 times a week. Any tools needed for home links will be included. Please read through the home links with your student and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Sight Words

Your child will learn 220 frequently occuring Dolch Sight words this year. We will work on sight words in class, and encourage you to do so at home as well. Flashcards will be sent home with each list.

Monthly Calendar

Each month I will send home a calendar to remind you of the specials we have for the day, any birthdays we need to celebrate, or special activities that may be going on. Please post it up on your fridge as a reference!

Birthday Parties

Your child will be allowed to bring treats to school to help celebrate their special day! Please make sure the treats are peanut free and that you have included enough for the entire class.



I have access to a fridge/freezer if you need me to store the treats for you before the party. We will celebrate birthdays in the afternoon if you would like to join in on the celebration!

Daily Behavior Chart/PBIS

In our room we have a daily clip chart to enhance positive student behaviors. Students will be rewarded by moving their color clip up to the next color when caught making good choices. Once your child has reached the top of the behavior chart, a note will be sent home to praise them for a job well done. Students who display inappropriate behaviors will be asked to move down a color. Once a child has reached the bottom of the behavior chart, a phone call or email will be made to discuss the choices your child has made.


We will also implement PBIS this year. Students will earn daily tickets based on their behavior following the PBIS expectations. If expectations are not followed, students will be give a minor or major note based on their action.