Fun in Grade One!

1st Grade News for the Month of September

Welcome!

Welcome to the first edition of our monthly newsletter! We are so excited to be transitioning from Kindergarten to 1st grade along with your child! Students succeed when families and teachers collaborate, so our hope is that this monthly letter will keep you connected to your child's learning and will make you aware of what to expect as you support your 1st grader in their academic endeavors each month! Check your child's classroom homework folder and Class Dojo App (more info to come) everyday for important daily or weekly news related to your child's specific classroom!

Meet the Team

Big picture

Ms. Porter (Room 106) is excited to be in her 3rd year at Chimborazo. She began her teaching journey as a Resident through VCU's Richmond Teacher Residency program as she earned her graduate degree in Elementary Ed. Ms. Porter loves sharks and when she's not in school, she loves seeing her favorite musicians in concert! Ms. Porter loves to spend her summer break relaxing with her family at the beach-- it's her favorite place to be!


Ms. Parham (Room 105) is in her 5th year at Chimborazo. She has an undergraduate degree from ODU in Occupational Studies. Ms. Parham is proud to announce she recently completed her graduate studies, earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Parham is also proud to announce she's expecting a baby girl in December! She's spent the summer buying too many adorable outfits for her little girl and is so excited to share the news with her students this year!


Ms. Edwards (Room 105) is currently in her final semester of study in VCU's Master of Teaching program. She will be working collaboratively with Ms. Parham as she completes her Student Teaching Internship. Mrs. Edwards is from Stafford Virginia. When she's not hitting the books, she enjoys relaxing while watching her favorite Netflix shows!


Mrs. Campbell (Room 104) is in her 7th year at Chimborazo. She has an undergraduate degree in Dance and Choreography from VCU. After teaching ballet for several years, she discovered her passion for working with young children and returned to VCU to earn a MT in Elementary Ed. When she's not at school, Mrs. Campbell is busy trying to match the boundless energy of her 2 little boys, Max (3 years) and Murray (7 Months)!


Ms. Pitera (Room 104) is in her final year of graduate school at VCU, studying Elementary Education. She is a Resident through VCU's Richmond Teacher Residency program, a program that is committed to training high-quality teachers to serve as teachers of record for Richmond Public Schools. She has lived in Church Hill and absolutely loves the community and neighborhood. This year, She will co-teach with Mrs. Campbell. When she's not in school, or studying for her VCU classes, shes busy planning her wedding scheduled in the Fall of 2019!


Ms. Ladd
(Room 103) is in her 7th year at Chimborazo and serves as the First Grade Team Lead Co-Lead with Ms. Parham. She studied Elementary Education at Longwood University. She's a learner, too! Mrs. Ladd's favorite subject is math-- she loves numbers and can't wait to share her enthusiasm with her students. Currently, Ms. Ladd is in graduate school working to earn an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education! When she's not in the classroom, she loves spending time with her little dog Charlee!

What to Expect In First Grade- An Overview

Language Arts- First grade is the year when students transition from emergent to early-fluent readers. The following assessments will provide teachers with information needed to work with your child at their instructional level in small guided-reading groups. We'll share your child's progress with you each time they complete an assessment!


  • PALS-Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening- Gives us information about students' spelling stages, fluency, reading levels, alphabetic knowledge, and decoding skills. This assessment is given 3 times a year (September, January, and May.)


  • DRA-Diagnostic Reading Assessment-This tool allows us to identify students' reading level to ensure they are working with text at their instructional level in guided reading groups (with books that stretch and challenge students to help them achieve growth as independent readers). This assessment also provides information about the leveled books that students can read independently and allows us to assess students' reading comprehension (students' understanding of text as they read). Students should be reading at a DRA level 14-18 (guided reading I-J) by the end of 1st grade!


Math- This year, we'll be taking a deeper dive into all of the skills introduced in Kindergarten. Some of the benchmark skills first graders should master before 2nd grade are: writing numerals, comparing numbers, counting and skip counting to 110, fact fluency to 10 (addition and subtraction), understanding magnitude, determining the value of a combination of coins to 100 cents, telling time to the half hour, solving story problems, fractions, and basic geometry. Here is some info about the formal assessment your child will take to give us insight into their learning.



  • MAP assessments (Measures of Academic Progress)-This is a computer adaptive achievement assessment. The computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered previous questions!



Social Science- Per the new VA Social Science Standards of Learning, First Graders will develop beginning knowledge of the history, geography, symbols, traditions and important historical figures of Virginia!


Science- Students will develop an understanding of the scientific method and will strengthen scientific reasoning as they participate in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) stations in first grade.


First grade marks the first year your child will receive letter grades for their work in the classroom. Interim reports will include the E,S,N,U grades you are familiar with from Kindergarten, but final grades, calculated from graded assignments will reflect the following grading scale:


A (90-100%)

B (80-89%)

C (70-79%)

D (60-69%)

F (50% and below)

Mark Your Calendars!

9/5/2018 PTA Meeting @ 5:15pm in Room 120


9/20/2018 Back to School Night @ 5:30-7:00pm


10/5/2018 1st Marking Period Interim Reports


10/8/2018 No School for Students (Teacher Professional Development Day)

Get Involved!

There are numerous ways you can help support your child's learning in school AND from home. Here are some suggestions:


  1. Join us for lunch! Come eat with the class. We'll be in the cafeteria from 11:30-11:55am.
  2. TALK with your child about their day. Check your child's weekly homework for some "Dinner-Table Talking Points" that will help your child USE some of the new vocabulary they're learning in school.
  3. Read WITH your child for 15 minutes EVERY night. Make reading each day an evening ritual. Listening to read alouds allows your child to interact with new vocabulary words and build prior knowledge. As your student develops new reading skills, let them show off their skills by reading to you!
  4. Come on field trips!
  5. Join the PTA!
  6. Review your child's completed work. Check Tuesday folders for graded work and completed work-station assignments. This will give you some insight into their academic progress.
  7. Fill out a volunteer form-- check your child's Tuesday folder next week for a quick survey that lets us know how you are able to support the classroom. Return the form ASAP! We love help in the classroom, but its best when we have notice. That way, we can be prepared and plan ways for you to be helpful while students are learning.
  8. Stay connected through Class Dojo. Your teacher will send you frequent messages, reminders, and updates on your child's academic progress and will share photos to give you a sneak peek into their school day!

Ready, Set...Go!

Here are the Standards of Learning we'll be focusing on this month.


Language Arts (On-going incorporation of SOL implemented into daily guided-reading and literacy workstations at students' varying instructional levels)

Students will:

  • identify the main theme of the story and supporting details.
  • review and build fluency in identifying, blending, and writing letters of the alphabet, including digraphs (ch, sh, and th).
  • review primer/pre-primer sight words and work towards mastery of 1st grade sight words.

  • establish a writing routine and practice sentence structure- beginning sentences with capital letters, spaces between words, and ending punctuation.


Math (SOL Math1.1, Math1.11, Math1.13)

Students will:

  • sort/resort objects based on multiple common attributes (characteristics).
  • identify, trace, and describe triangles, squares, rectangles, and circles.
  • know the number of sides, vertices (corners), and angles.
  • locate common shapes in the environment.
  • use a calendar to measure time- days, weeks, months, and year.


Science- (S1.1)

Students will:

  • understand and use the scientific method. (make predictions, observations, ask questions, experiment, analyze data, draw conclusions).


Social Science (SOL SS1.1, SS 1.10)

  • Students will review basic map skills, map features and related vocabulary. (land water, north, south, east, west, compass rose).
  • Students will practice comparing and contrasting people, places, and events in Virginia’s history.
  • Students will make connections between past and present.
  • Students will practice being good citizens in our classroom, school, and community.