Gideon First Grade Newsletter!

February Edition

The First Grade Team!

Big picture

Welcome to February... just a few days early :)

We can't believe that the school year is going so quickly! Your babies are well on their way to becoming big 2nd graders!!! Ahh....

Hopefully this edition will help you keep organized with some of the upcoming events and things that happen this time of year. We know there are so many things that come home, need to be signed, etc., so hopefully this helps just a bit. In this newsletter, you will find some of the themes your first graders will be studying. This will help give you as parents/guardians a topic for discussion when you want to know what your child is doing in school! Also included will be important events and other important reminders. At the bottom of this newsletter you will find a quick introduction to all the teachers on the 1st grade team. Included in their introduction, will be a link to access their personal information page as well as their e-mail address. Their personal page will contain information that is relevant to their specific classroom.


The First Grade Team

Gideon Elementary School

Important 1st Grade Information!

Please always read all the way through this section even if you think information has not changed as some information is updated and added throughout the year!

-Take-Home Folders: Students will bring home a "Take-Home Folder" daily. This needs to be checked for notes or comments, and signed nightly as it also serves as their behavior chart. This is also where you will put anything, notes, money, etc., that needs to be given to the teacher. Please also use this to note if there is a change in transportation!

-Reading Logs: The "Take-Home Folder" will also include a "Weekly Reading Log". The expectation is that each student is to be reading 100 minutes per week. This log needs to be kept in the folder and signed by the parent/guardian. Please remember, all forms of reading are acceptable; shared reading with a parent, sibling etc., reading to self, parent reading. The reading log is considered the reading homework for the week.


-Mandatory homework due back to your child’s teacher – Reading Log with 100 minutes read.

Weekly reading Log: Your child is expected to read 100 minutes per week. They will log minutes nightly in their folder. Any form of reading counts: parent reading to child, child reading to someone, listening to an audiobook on tape, or tablet, etc.

-Homework Suggestions: Spelling – a word list will be sent home weekly with suggestions on how to practice words. As a reminder, 5 words will come from this list of suggested words and 5 words will be "mystery" words that follow the spelling/phonics pattern for the week. All students will need to know the sight words for the week. Nothing is due back to your child’s teacher for spelling. The intention of spelling is to help students master the spelling skill to aid them in both reading and writing, especially as they learn to decode new words. Math suggestions – practice addition and subtraction facts.

- Spelling tests are on Fridays, unless noted by the teacher.

Lunch: 1st grade lunch is at 11:10AM

Conference: 1st grade conference time is from 10:05-11:05, daily. We have team planning on Wednesdays, so if at all possible we try not to schedule conferences on those days.

Important School Notes

School Safety

- With safety being our number one priority, please make sure you have added the correct people and most current phone numbers to your child's emergency information in Skyward. Also.... this came out in January and is running very smoothly, but just as a reminder. :)

Beginning January 7th, all visitors must press the doorbell (to the right of the door), and present a valid identification card prior to being admitted into the building. Thank you for your ongoing support & commitment to providing a safe learning environment at Gideon!

*Letters have gone home and been emailed with further information.

Comenzando el 7 de enero, cada visitante debe ultilice el intercomunicador a su derecha para ingreser al edificio.

All Campus Visitors Must:

· ring doorbell to enter the building

· check in & out with the front office

All Breakfast/ Lunch Visitors Must:

· ring doorbell to enter the building

· check in & out with the front office

· be listed under the student's skyward account

· wear the school provided visitor badge in a visible location on top of clothing

All Classroom Visitors & Field Trip Chaperones Must

· ring doorbell to enter the building

· check in & out with the front office

· have a cleared MISD criminal background check on file, and

· wear the school provided visitor badge in a visible location on top of clothing

Want to help support your child's classroom?

Attention Gator Families:

If you are going to shop online, try using Shopping through this website raises funds for our classes. That's right, a portion of your shopping expenditures will be donated to your child's class for school supplies. It's awesome!

To shop online: Visit the link provided below, look for your favorite store and start shopping. The prices are no higher. You can even get your child's teacher a gift card for extra classroom supplies. Feel free to share this link with friends and family and have them enter Imogene Gideon when they search schools. Thanks for your support!

Yearbook Sales

Order online:


Make payments to: Imogene Gideon Elementary School

Order deadline: April 1, 2019

Basic soft cover yearbook starts at $20.

Gator Creed

We recite this daily in class, it is a great thing to practice at school as well! :)
Big picture

What are we currently learning?

Second Instructional Period Topics

This is just a glimpse of a day in the life of your Gideon Gator, hopefully you will find this information helpful and insightful as you talk with your child about their day at school!

Language Arts/Reading/Social Studies:

  • 3 letter blends
  • writing short letters
  • taking apart both fiction and nonfiction text
  • identifying story elements such as plot, setting and characters
  • time order transition words
  • exploring timelines- past, present and future
  • ending blends
  • writing brief stories with a beginning, middle and end
  • understanding customs and celebrations/holidays
  • adverbs


  • Classify and sort regular and irregular shapes based on their attributes (language can be informal, ie. curvy, straight, corners, etc…)

  • Decide what attributes define a shape

  • Introduce rhombus and hexagon (review other 2D shapes learned in Kinder)

  • Use formal language (ie. vertex, side) when describing attributes of 2D shapes

  • Create a 2D shapes by joining other 2D shapes

  • Introduce triangular prism (review other 3D shapes learned in Kinder

  • Use formal language (ie. vertex, edge, face) when describing attributes of 3D shape

  • Decide what attributes define a shapeDescribe the faces of 3D shapes as 2D shapes (a triangular prism has 2 triangular faces and 3 rectangular faces)

  • Partition circles and rectangles into 2 and 4 fair shares.

  • Use words like “halves”, “fourths”, “quarters” and “half of” to describe the partitioned shapes

  • Identify shapes that are non-examples of halves and fourths because they do not have equal parts or fair shares

  • Students are not writing fractions numerically

  • Connect partitioning a circle in half to telling time to the half hour


  • weather
  • seasons
  • objects in the sky (day/night)
  • size, texture and color of soil
  • natural sources of water
  • rocks, soil and water/ useful products

Social Studies:

embedded in ELA

Important Dates!

Chocolate Sales Kick Off

Tuesday, Jan. 29th, 12am

1201 Mansfield Webb Road

Arlington, TX

We need every family to commit to one box. Gideon will receive 50% of the sales, which will then go towards purchasing more resources for the students. We need your help!

Packets will go home with students and you can sign and send back the permission slip right away.

100th Day of School

Friday, Feb. 1st, 12am

1201 Mansfield Webb Road

Arlington, TX

Dress up like you are 100 years old or decorate a shirt with 100 things on it!

Open House... We Hope To See You There!

Thursday, Jan. 31st, 5:30-7pm

1201 Mansfield Webb Road

Arlington, TX

Gideon First Grade Teacher Bio's!

Please click on your child's specific teacher's website for information regarding their personal classroom.

Thelma Vega- Lead

Hello, my name is Thelma Vega. I have 2 wonderful daughters and 3 beautiful grandchildren. This is my 19th year in education and my 18th year in 1st grade here at Gideon. Teaching 1st graders is my passion and is so very rewarding. It's great to be a "Gideon Gator".

Whitney Nelson

My name is Whitney Nelson and this year marks my 12th year in education. I have taught 1st, 3rd, 4th, and even 7th grade! Each part of my journey has taught me amazing lessons, but my heart is truly in the elementary classroom with my first grade babies. I attended Texas Christian University where I met my husband Brian. We have been married going on 12 years. We have been blessed beyond measure with two wonderful children. Zane is 8 and Addison is 6! They both attend Nancy Neal Elementary. They constantly keep me on my toes. When I am not working on school related things I enjoy running and spending time with my family. This is my 5th year here at Gideon, and I love being a Gideon Gator!

Rhonda Brittain

My name is Rhonda Brittain. I enjoy reading, sewing, quilting, and spending time with my somewhat crazy family. I received my teaching certificate in 2001 and I've been teaching at the elementary level ever since. I received my dyslexia therapist certificate from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in 2008. I began teaching at Gideon in 2009. My husband and I have three wonderful daughters, all of whom are Gideon Gators. I am blessed to have the privilege of teaching children how to read.

Melissa Jones

Hello! My name is Melissa Jones and I am so excited to be joining the 1st grade team at Gideon! This is my 19th year of teaching and my 18th year at Gideon. I am originally from Houston and a graduate of Texas Tech University. In the past I have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. When I'm not teaching I enjoy reading, running, and outdoor activities. It will be an amazing year!