Elementary School

Classroom Information
Welcome to Mrs. Lewis’ First Grade!       
Here are the basics about Mrs. Lewis’ first grade!

Times of school:  9:00 – 3:35 p.m.
Lunch time:  12:00 – 12:40 p.m. (Eat lunch at 12:00 - 12:20 p.m and outside noon recess from 12:20 – 12:40 p.m.)
Best time to reach me at school:  8:00 – 8:50 a.m. or after 3:35 p.m.  Folwell number:  328-3220
*You may always reach me at my e-mail address:

*My school website address is:
-    This has lots of information, so please check it out!

-My website has a lot of information that will be very helpful to you throughout the school year, so please check it out!
 First Grade Curriculum...

                                        *Reading/Language Arts*
-Language Arts skills and ELA standards are taught based on phonics and phonemic awareness activities, Action 100 (involves individual goal-setting, based on each child’s strengths and areas of weakness), and the Lucy Calkins Units of Study.   This is an effective and well-rounded reading program that is taught with whole group, small group reading, and one on one conferencing with all students.

-Guided Reading groups will begin for all students within the first few weeks of school.  These small groups of students will meet for instruction at their specific reading level or skill level, four to five times each week, for meeting individual needs – leveled reading books are used for instruction during this time, as well as making words activities, phonics skills, graphic organizers for comprehension, and journal writing.  This is in addition to our one-on-one conferencing and whole group instruction.

*Our spelling curriculum will be Words Their Way to support students in developing word knowledge. This approach replaces weekly spelling lists with word study. Word study includes phonics, spelling, and vocabulary. Studying words helps students master foundational skills and language standards.
Instead of having students focus on a single list of words, they will now be doing a word study that will be matched to each student’s developmental spelling stage. Word study supports both reading and writing.

How do students study words?
-Students engage in a variety of hands-on word study activities.
-They compare and contrast patterns in words by sorting words or pictures into categories by feature (words with similar sounds, patterns, or meaning).
-By sorting words, students discover patterns within words and make connections to other words.

*Students are more likely to spell words correctly in their own writing when they have internalized spelling patterns.

The overall goal of word study is for students to transfer their knowledge of words to their own writing. Word study leads to accurate spelling that supports students in producing high-quality writing for college and career readiness.

-Read at Home Monthly Bingo Card
*I am asking for your help at home in order to enhance what is taught in the classroom.  I feel it is so important for parents to take an active role and participate in their children’s schoolwork in order for students to reach their full learning potential.  It is essential that you read to your child every day and talk about what you read.  This will help foster a love for literature and learning.  My goal is that each and every child in this classroom will develop a love for books and a desire to read.

-The 6 Traits of Writing will be the focus of our writing program this year.  In first grade we will focus especially hard on the first three traits:  Ideas (writing a message to make a story and using details), Organization (using an appropriate title for the story and using logical sequencing when writing-including a beginning, middle, and an ending), and Conventions (capitals, proper punctuation, and correctly spelling high frequency words).  We will also focus on the other three traits, as well:  Voice (their writing is individual, personal, and expressive), Word Choice (they experiment with new and different words), and Sentence Fluency (writing has rhythm and flows along – it is easy to read out loud).

-Daily Oral Language skills, Spelling, Word Wall/Word Families, Making Words, Word Sorts, and Journaling will be a part of each week, as well.
                                                 *Everyday Math*
-“Spiraled” Curriculum - concepts come back throughout the series; skills are introduced, taught, and re-taught throughout the year.  This gives students, who perhaps didn’t fully grasp the concept the first time, many more chances to build a better understanding.  With Everyday Mathematics there is a big emphasis on problem solving and teaching the children to recognize that there can be many ways to solve the same problem.  

-MN math standards are shared in the report cards and student assessments will be shared at conference time.

-Home links are sent home frequently to review and reinforce classroom learning.   At the top of each Home Link, there is a note to parents explaining what their child is learning in school.  Please read each Home Link in order to keep you up to date on what we are doing in math.  After the Home Link is completed, please sign it and return it to school with your child for me to “OK”.  This is homework that your child is required to complete and return the next school day.

                                     *Science/Social Studies/Health*
-These lessons include hands-on activities, discussions, books, videos, smart board activities, and projects involving the children in topics.  

                                  *Reporting-Communication Methods*
-Report card will be sent home 4 times a year – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter.  
-Two face-to-face conferences are conducted in October and February.
-My classroom newsletters will go out weekly – every Friday *electronically unless you specify that you would like a paper copy
-Notes/e-mails/phone calls will also update you as necessary.

                                             *Behavior Expectations*
By implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS), we establish and maintain a positive culture and climate for learning.  The PBIS framework includes school-wide procedures and processes, intended for all students and all staff, in all settings. It is an approach to creating a safe and productive learning environment where teachers can teach and all students can learn. We have adopted a unified set of expectations that define behavior in our school:
At Folwell, we SOAR:
Act Safely, Own our Behavior, Are Always Learning, Act Respectfully

-This year the first grade team is suggesting that your child bring in a book for our classroom library in place of a birthday treat.  Due to students’ food allergies, we would like to strongly recommend this for all students.  Summer birthdays will be celebrated sometime during the last few weeks of school.  If your child’s birthday falls on a weekend or during school vacation, we will celebrate on the closest school day of his/her birthday.  I am requesting that you do not have your child pass out birthday invitations at school.  This often results in hurt feelings for those who don’t receive an invitation.  We always make each birthday a very special occasion in our classroom!
                                                *Dressing Your Child*
-Please label ALL of your child’s outdoor clothing with his/her name.  This is so helpful if something gets mixed up or lost.  The Lost and Found is near the front foyer door.  Please have your child prepared to go outside every day – if even for a brief time.  Your child will also need gym shoes available on gym days.  He/She may keep them at school in his/her locker.
-Each student will be responsible for bringing his/her own healthy snack each day.  We will take some time each morning for a short snack break.  This helps the students make it until lunchtime.

-Please notify the school office and me when you are planning to take a trip.  
-The most important homework your child can do each night is to READ and to be read to.  
-Everyday Math Home Links (math homework sheets) will be sent home typically two times a week. (These are back to back, so there are typically two separate math lessons on the front and back of these pages.)
-Word Sorts and Making Words activities will be going home for your child to read and sort.

              *Remember to check your child’s Take-Home folder EVERY night!*
-Organization is an important skill that we will be working on all year in first grade!!  Please help your child with the organization of his/her Take-Home Folder every night.  Papers will pile up very quickly, and it is important to check this daily.  Thank you for your help and support with this!

*I am sure that we will have a great year!  You will find that I am quite flexible and if something is not working, we will find a solution.  If there is a problem we will make every attempt to resolve it.  Please let me know if there is ever a question or concern, or if you would just like to visit about your child. I am looking forward to working with you and your child this year!  

Thank you for your support,
Mrs. Cindy Lewis                  


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