Gideon First Grade Newsletter!

October Edition

The First Grade Team!

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Boo... this newsletter got done a little late!

October snuck on up on us and kept on going before we knew it! Sorry for the delay in getting you the First Grade October newsletter! You may use this link to access our grade level newsletter all year long, it is updated monthly.

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

- 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.

Gator Creed

We recite this daily in class, it is a great thing to practice at school as well! :)
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What are we currently learning?

First 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!

*This information is covered during the first instructional period which is from August 16th-November 10th

Language Arts/Reading/Social Studies: ELAR and Social Studies are integrated but we have broken them up here for your reference. *(Ongoing - Fiction, Expository); Fairytales/Folktales/Fables; Sensory Language; Story Writing; Phonics (Short Vowels)*(Ongoing - Fiction, Expository); Procedural Reading and Writing; Author's Purpose; Phonics (Long Vowels)

Math: Team Building MathUnit 1: Number Sense Within 20 and DataUnit 2: Introduction to Addition Strategies & Properties and Revisiting CoinsUnit 3: Measurements of Length and TimeUnit 4: Introducing Doubles Addition and Revisiting Subtraction Concepts

Science: Properties of Matter: Size, Mass, Shape, Color, and Texture, Sound, and HeatPush, Pull, and Magnets

Social Studies: Government--Rules/Laws, Community Roles, Public Officials, Citizenship--Constitution Day, Culture--Folktales, Legends, FablesGeography--Cardinal Directions, Locations, Maps/Globes, Economics--Family/Human Needs, Goods/Services, Needs/Wants, Jobs

More specific for the 2nd grading period, although our grading periods do not match those of the upper grades. :)

Math: Apply counting on strategy to problem solving, represent joining and part/part/whole, Investigate lengths with non-standard measurement, tell time to the hour, Use the doubles addition strategy, various subtraction strategies

Science: Light, Sound, Thermal (Heat) Energy, Magnets, Patterns of Movement

Social Studies: Geography-locate places using 4 cardinal directions, describe the location of self and objects, create and use simple maps, locate community, Texas, and U.S. on maps & globes-Economics-describe ways families meet basic needs, describe similarities and difference in how families meet basic needs, roles of markets, identify examples of goods and services, identify examples of wants, understand the value of work

English Language Arts: Distinguish between long & short vowel sounds, decode words with spelling patterns, identify words that name person, place, or things (nouns), identify the topic of reading and author’s purpose, write brief compositions over topic of interest,

Important Dates!

- Picture Re-Take Day: Tuesday, October 30th

- Monster Bash Donations Due: Wednesday, October 17th (1st grade is being asked to bring: 12 pack of Coke, Sprite, or Dr. Pepper (cans)

- PM Parent Conferences: Thursday, October 25th *Must have a time scheduled with your child's teacher

- No School/ AM Parent Conference Day: Friday, October 26th *Must have a time scheduled with your child's teacher

- Monster Bash: Friday, October 19th (6:00PM-7:30PM)

- 50th Day of School: Monday, October 29th (wear 50's attire)

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!