First Grade Newsletter

August 28-September 1, 2017

Welcome to First Grade

We are so excited to have you and your children joining us in first grade this year. Our first week of school got off to a great start! The students are working hard to learn the new classroom routines and getting to know their new classmates. We appreciate all you have done to help make the start of school a success. We will be sending this weekly newsletter to keep you informed about what is happening in first grade. You will receive this in your email on Mondays.


**Please note: The first bell rings at 7:35 and the second bell rings at 7:40. If your child is not in his/her classroom at 7:40, he/she is counted tardy. Please allow a few extra minutes at morning drop off to factor in your child's walk to the classroom.

Meet the Teachers

First grade has 4 sections this year. The teachers are Amy VanHook, Tricia Moore, Joy Fowler and Darla Helms. (l to r in picture below)

Our conference time is from 12:40-1:30 each day. Please feel free to contact us during this time if you have questions. Our email addresses are listed at the bottom of this newsletter. We will respond to emails within a 24 hour time period. We are not always able to access our emails during the class day so please contact the office if there is a dismissal change or emergency after 1:30.

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Important Information

1. Students may bring a water bottle to class. If possible, please send a bottle with a secure lid or pop top. This helps to avoid accidental spills in the classroom. Please label your child's water bottles.


2. Students may bring one HEALTHY snack to school each day. Our snack time is a short break in the afternoon so please send foods that can be eaten quickly and don't need a fork or spoon. Some great ideas are: cheese sticks, goldfish crackers, baby carrots or other vegetables, grapes or other fruit, popcorn, etc. Sugary snacks such as cookies, candy, cakes, chips, etc. are not allowed during snack time but can be sent for lunch time if your child brings his/her lunch. Please do not send any peanut or nut items for snack time.


3. Students will need to bring or wear tennis shoes daily for PE time. The children have a 25 minute PE time during their specials rotations each day. The other 25 minutes will be spent in music or art classes.


4. Due to district guidelines, you may not send in food items for birthday celebrations for your child this year. You may still send in a book donation for the class or school library, small trinkets like pencils, stickers, etc. to help honor your child's special day.


5. Please check your child's red take home folder each night. Your child's behavior color for the day will be marked along with any other important information or notes. Initial the calendar each night so that your child's teacher knows you have seen the folder. You can also place notes for the teacher in this folder since we check them each morning. Thanks!


6. Your child will need a pair of headphones or earbuds to use with his/her iPad in class each day. Please label the earphone and send these to class as soon as you can.

Classroom Clipcharts

Each first grade classroom has a clipchart that is used daily. The students start the day on green and can move up or down throughout the day according to their behavior choices. The colors are purple, turquoise, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Please check your child's calendar in the red behavior folder each night to see how he/she did. If your child clips to red, the teacher will contact you to let you know what happened that day.
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A Message from the Specials Teachers (Music, Art and PE)

ClassDojo for Specials

As parents of a GES student, you will receive a letter inviting you to join ClassDojo. This is a digital tool used by PE, music, and art to communicate with our students and parents. Each child receives a unique code created for them. This code is private and viewed only by you, your child, and their specials' teachers. We strongly encourage you to join, so that you can receive immediate feedback on your child's behaviors while attending our classes. While we do occasionally note positive behaviors we see during our classes, it is used mostly to communicate areas of concern. Our hopes are that you might check ClassDojo daily with your child to offer compliments on a job well done, or visit with them about noted behaviors, and provide counsel to them should this situation arise again in the future. This is by far the best tool we have found to use as a team to help redirect unproductive behaviors prior to them escalating. Thank you for your support in working with us to help your child succeed in this new year. If you have any questions, please contact our Learning Leader, Michelle Basil, for more information.

Learning Topics for the Week

Parents you can use this section of the newsletter to stay informed about the curriculum we are covering in class during this week. This will help you have conversations at home about what your child is learning at school.


Reading/Language Arts: Introduction to Reader's and Writer's Workshop

Spelling - Review of Kindergarten words

Handwriting - introduction and practice

Math: Collecting Data, Tally Charts, Picture and Bar Graphs

Science: Seasons/Summer

Social Studies: Citizenship and School Responsibilities

Mark Your Calendars

Thursday, August 31 - Parent Information Night 6:00-6:30 and 6:30-7:00 pm

Monday, September 4 - Labor Day Holiday (School holiday)

Thursday, September 21 - PTA Meeting 6:30-8:00 pm

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Volunteer Requirements


In order to volunteer at GES, or around GCISD, all volunteers must:


  1. read the Volunteer Handbook (this replaces the previous face to face volunteer trainings held on campus)
  2. watch the appropriate video included in the handbook
  3. electronically sign the verification Google form for each campus you plan to volunteer
  4. complete the volunteer background check. A link is included in the handbook.


The following link takes you to the online Volunteer Handbook and background check: http://www.gcisd-k12.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=474

When you are ready to volunteer at GES, feel free to call the front office at 817-251-5735 to verify that both of the required steps have been recorded as completed. We appreciate your support as you complete these steps and volunteer to work with our GES students.

Contact Us/Follow Us

Tricia Moore

patricia.moore@gcisd.net @GESMoore #gesshineon


Amy VanHook

amy.vanhook@gcisd.net @GESVanHook #gesshineon


Darla Helms

darla.helms@gcisd.net @GESHelms #gesshineon


Joy Fowler

joy.fowler@gcisd.net @GESFowler #gesshineon

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