First Grade

May 23rd - June 2nd

Mark Your Calendar

Monday 5/23 Career day and WOW garden club

Wednesday 5/25 1st Grade Success Ceremony (8:00 in the cafeteria)

Thursday 5/26 Field day

Friday 5/27 NO SCHOOL Bad weather make up day

Monday 5/30 No School Memorial Day holiday

Thursday 6/2 Early dismissal at 11:45

Learning Topics for the Week

No homework

Reading/Language Arts: End of the year benchmarks

Math: Number Sense

Science: Plants

Social Studies: Celebrate Freedom Week

Please send your child's iPad fully charged everyday

Dress Code

As the weather turns warmer, we are starting to see students wearing more summer style clothing. As a reminder, our dress code states the following:
  • shorts or skirts must be long enough to extend mid-thigh and allow students to be able to stand, sit and/or bend with modesty
  • shirts must cover the midriff at all times
  • tank/tube tops with proper underclothing must be worn with an over blouse buttoned halfway up
  • sleeveless blouses/tops must have the outside edge of the sleeve touch the outside edge of the shoulder.

For more information, please refer page 13 in the GCISD Student-Parent Handbook and Code of Conduct for 2015-2016. Students who violate the dress code will be sent to Nurse Burwell for a clothing change


We finally have our Amazon Smile account set up! If you are an Amazon shopper, please use this link and check GES. Be sure to share with family and friends!


No charging will be allowed starting May 9th. Students must have a positive balance in order to purchase items in the school cafeteria. Any student without a positive balance will receive an alternative meal at lunch. Please visit to monitor account balances and set up low-balance email alerts. We appreciate your prompt attention in maintaining a positive meal balance. Additional information may also be found on the districts website and Child Nutrition Facebook page

School Supplies

Grapevine Elementary PTA is again offering convenient one-stop-shopping for your child’s 2016-2017 school supplies through our vendor EPI. Each grade supply list, K through 5th, is teacher-approved and custom packed for your student! We have made every effort to contain costs to provide this optional, cost effective school supply option. All you have to do is order online! You may start placing online orders on Tuesday, May 3. LAST DAY TO ORDER IS JUNE 10!

Online Orders Only:

To try and go green, Grapevine Elementary is offering secure online ordering only.

1. Go to

2. Enter school id GRA044

3. Follow the directions or steps to complete your order

4. Please remember to order your child’s grade for NEXT school year!

Packs will be in your child’s classroom on Meet the Teacher Night in August.


Kindergarten - $27.58

First Grade - $46.26

Second Grade - $34.65

Third Grade - $35.97

Fourth Grade - $40.61

Fifth Grade - $41.72

**Contact Leslie Nicholson at lesliednicholson@hotmail.comif you have any questions.


Please utilize the front & back car lines whenever possible.

If you are walking to meet your student(s):

  • Please meet your child at the designated walker stations
  • Please do not walk your dogs on campus. We have numerous issues with students petting dogs and not paying attention to their ride home. As friendly as your dogs may be, surrounding them with 20+ little people and attention can cause them to act in unpredictable ways. We don't want anyone to get hurt or bit. We also have many students with pet allergies and need to be mindful of their health while they are at school. Feel free to meet your children at the Hughes or Hall-Johnson crosswalks with your pet.
  • Utilize crosswalks when crossing campus driveways and surrounding streets
  • After school, the small playground is for KidzU use only after school. Feel free to play on the large playground instead.
If you are driving to pick up your student(s):
  • Please follow all traffic and school zone laws
  • Refrain from using your cell phone while in a school zone
  • Take turns when turning into the school driveways
  • Yield to pedestrians and buses
  • Load students quickly and carefully pull away from the curb when able

If you choose to drive and park to pick up your student:

  • Please cross the crosswalk and meet your child in the lines where they wait
  • As of Monday, 4/11, we will no longer allow any students to cross the front driveway, or the back loop to the parking lot without an adult accompanying them.
  • Students can safely cross the crosswalk with the adult who is picking them up
  • Park in designated spaces only. Please honor all PTA reserved parking signs.

We appreciate your support as we work to safely dismiss 520 students each day! If we all work together, we can make dismissal a safe and more efficient process.

Tips for Preventing the Summer Slide

Studies show that children who do not read or have access to books during the summer lose up to 2 months of reading performance. Those losses accumulate during the elementary school years so that by the time a child enters middle school he/she may be 2 1/2 years behind! All children, whether from low, middle or upper income families, may fall victim to the “summer slide” if not provided with summer reading opportunities. So how do we prevent the summer slide-or even accelerate reading growth? Here are a few ideas:

1. Visit your local library! Help your child find “right fit” books. Right fit books are books that are of high interest to your child and are not beyond their reading level. You can use the five finger test to determine if the book is too difficult for your child. Open the book to a page with many words. Have your child begin reading the text. Hold up a finger for each word he/she does not know. If you have 4 or 5 fingers up, the text may be too difficult for your child to read independently. Feel free to still check out the book! It just may be a book you want to read with your child.

2. Be sure your child reads at least 20 minutes a day. According to research, a child who reads only 1 minute a day outside of school will learn 8,000 words by the end of sixth grade where a student who reads 20 minutes outside of school will learn 1,800,000 words! That’s huge! If reading isn’t one of your child’s top priorities, you may need to set up an incentive program.

3. Set a good example. When your child sees you reading and enjoying a book or a newspaper article, you are sending a message that reading is important and valuable.

4. Read to your child. When you read to your child, he/she hears the rhythm of language. Be sure to read with expression! Changing your voice for different characters and increasing your volume during exciting parts are only a few ways to keep children engaged.

5. Read with your child –explore different types of reading such as poetry. For our little ones, poetry is a great way to improve phonemic awareness skills as poetry often incorporates rhyme. For our older children, poetry is a means of improving fluency.

6. Read for different purposes. Reading directions for a recipe or directions for assembling a toy are fun ways of incorporating reading into everyday activities.

7. Play games with words. Commercial games such as Apples to Apples improves vocabulary. You can easily turn a game of hopscotch or 4 square into a game that incorporates learning letters or sight words.

8. If you have access to an iPad, there are tons of interactive books and apps that address phonics and early reading skills. There are also many websites that offer free reading related games.

Have a happy and healthy summer! Be sure to read, read and read some more! Not only can we prevent the summer slide, we can accelerate reading growth.

Reading Fluency

What is Oral Reading Fluency?

Reading fluency is the ability to read quickly and easily. It means that a child can recognize and decode words accurately and automatically and understand the words as they are being read. Children who do not read fluently (choppy readers) have to work hard on the mechanics of reading that there’s no mental energy left to think about the meaning of what they are reading.

How do I know if my child is reading fluently?

A simple way to know if your child is reading fluently is to listen to him/her read grade level text aloud. Have your child read a paragraph from his/her social studies, science or reading book. As your child reads consider the following:

 How many words does he/she struggle with?

 How easily is he/she sounding out an unknown word?

 Is he/she reading with expression? (for example, pausing at commas, periods, etc.)

 Can he/she retell the story or summarize what the paragraph/story was about?

Many schools test students’ oral reading fluency skills as a way to screen for possible reading difficulties. Your child may be asked to read a grade level passage for one minute. The teacher will then calculate the “words correct per minute” (wcpm). Children who have strong word recognition skills and can quickly use word attack strategies when coming upon an unknown word are able to read grade level text at an appropriate rate for that grade.

How can I help my child read fluently?

To help your child develop reading fluency:

 Model fluent reading. Provide opportunities when your child can hear you read aloud. Be sure to read with expression pausing appropriately at punctuation marks and

changing voice for characters.

 Teach your child high frequency sight words. High frequency sight words are words

that readers are encouraged to recognize without having to sound them out. It is

estimated that the first 100 sight words account for approximately 50% of what we

read. Words such as “the”, “and” and “he” are considered high frequency sight words.

These words can be practiced on flashcards. As you and your child read, point out the sight words in the story. Some children are able to identify the words on flashcards;

however, this skill does not transfer to reading. Pointing them out as you read helps in transferring to reading the words in books.

 When having your child practice reading aloud, help your child choose books at

his/her independent reading level. Use the 5-finger rule as a guide. This means that a

child shouldn’t struggle with more than 5 words on a page.

 Repeated reading has proven to be one of the best strategies for developing reading

flu-ency. Children should be provided with many opportunities to read the same

passage (or story) orally several times. It is best if the adult reads the passage

(paragraph, story) first and then has the child read and re-read the same text. Typically reading the text 4 times is suggested when focusing on improving fluency skills.

Reading Comprehension

What is Reading Comprehension?

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand what is being read. Children must be able to read the words in the text and combine it with what they already know to “think” about what the author is trying to say. Reading comprehension is NOT just finding answers in the text. Children must be able to interact with the text, think deeper, analyze, predict and be able to summarize what is written.

How can I help my child with reading comprehension?

 Before reading, look through the book and find words that your child may not know

the meaning. Talk about the words with your child– discuss the meaning of the word

and give examples. For example, “I was looking through the book and found this word, ‘ecstatic’. Ecstatic means very, very happy and excited. I was ecstatic on the day you

were born. Can you think of a time when you were ecstatic?”

 Before reading a story with your child, look at the cover. Read the title and look at the picture if there is one. Talk about what you already know about the topic and try to

make a connection with what your child already knows. For example, before reading a book on “Desert Animals”, you can talk about what your child already knows about the desert and animals that live in different areas. Activating this “prior knowledge” helps

with reading comprehension.

 While reading, help your child make connections with the text. When you ask your

child a questions such as “how would you feel if that happened to you?” or “does this

part of the story remind you of our vacation on the beach?” you are having your child

make a “text-to-self” connection”.

 Encourage your child to make predictions while reading. (“What do you think will

happen next?” “Let’s keep reading and see”).

 Model thoughtful question asking while reading. Stay away from yes/no questions.

Questions such as “Why do you think the boy was afraid?” is preferable to “Was the boy afraid?”

 Model what good readers do when they don’t understand what they are reading.

“Think-aloud”, or verbalize, what you are doing. For example, “I’m not quite sure I what this means, I’m going to go back and re-read this part.”

 During and after reading, have your child retell or summarize the text.

 Encourage your child to “make a movie in his/her head” while reading. This strategy is known as mental imagery and helps with reading comprehension. If reading a chapter book with limited pictures on the pages, stop periodically in the story and share with

your child how you are picturing the scene and ask him/her to share with you.

 Read aloud to your child and read with your child everyday!