First Grade

Important Information

It is hard to believe that we are half way through the 2012-2013 school year. I am so excited to be back in the classroom with my students. It is unbelievable how much first graders change between Christmas Break and the end of January.

With that said, we are starting or 3rd Quarter of school. That means it is time to crack down and get busy. We have a lot to accomplish between now and May including preparing for SECOND GRADE.

After 86 days of school, I assume that all my students know and understand the rules of the classroom and of the school. I expect for my students to follow those rules. It is imperative that students stay in their seat during instructional time and that they not speak when I or another classmate is speaking. It is difficult for me to think that a child is ready for second grade when they can not follow simple classroom directions.

In preparing your child for second grade some of the standards and rubrics that I use to grade your child's work will change to reflect concepts that were taught during the first semester as well as adding concepts that will be learned.

During the first semester in writing I basically looked to see that your child could write a sentence with proper letter formation, use correct usage of capital letters and punctuation, and use appropriate spacing between words. When students spell words incorrectly, I would direct students to the word wall to correct words that were previously learned. In the past, first grade students struggled with writing 5 sentences. With the implication of Thinking Maps this year, this has not been the problem. I have been amazed at how easy it is for students to create 5 to 10 sentences without me having to give that extra push.

I talked with the students this week about the new expectations for writing.

I am now looking for the following things when grading your child's work.

1. The student maintains focus on the topic.

2. The student writes in a logical sequence.

3. The student includes descriptive details and/or elaboration.

4. The student writes content in complete sentences.

5. The student uses singular and plural forms of nouns correctly. (house/houses)

6. The students uses present and past tense verbs correctly. (ed and ing)

7. The student capitalizes the beginning of a sentence and all proper nouns.

8. The student spells previously learned spelling words and words from the word wall correctly.

9. The student uses correct punctuation.

10. The student uses correct spacing between letters and words.

11. The student writes the required number of sentences.


I explained to the students that if they hand in sloppy work that is difficult to read then they have opted to redo their assignment (as many times as needed) until it is legible.

We are working hard on knowing our addition and subtraction facts to 12. It is important that each student know these facts entering 2nd grade by memory. A student should be able to answer a math fact within 3 seconds.

We are taking 4 timed test a week. Each test has 20 to 24 problems. These will be graded at the end of each week. The test consist of a mixture of addition and subtraction problems. The students are currently given 2 minutes to complete each test, which is double the time. Please work with your child at home on memorizing these facts.

I have listed the link to FACT DASH below. The students play this every week in the library. They need to choose mixed problems and change the time to one minute.