Welcome to Ms. Piovarcsik’s First Grade
“Back to School Night”
Welcome back to a new school year. I am looking forward to an exciting year with your child. In this letter I will explain some important information about your child’s class and my expectations.
I have set the following goals for my class this year:
To teach the whole child (intellectual, emotional, physical, and social) by providing activities that target learning styles and multiple intelligences.
To encourage strong self-esteem in the students concerning themselves and their work. (I think I can!)
To build the love of learning through special projects and social interaction.
To build a strong network of communication and partnership between child, parent, and teacher.
To strengthen skills in all areas and help children strive to reach their potentials.
To encourage the love of reading.
To have a fantastic year in first grade!
Here is my mission statement:
My mission as a teacher is to teach the whole child. I will strive to meet the emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of every student. My tools for teaching will be empathy, compassion, kindness, active listening, positive encouragement, and respect. With these tools in hand, my goal is to empower students with courage to learn new things, believe in themselves, value learning, set and meet goals, and achieve their highest academic potential. I will value each student’s individuality and explore each student’s strengths and talents.
School starts at 8:45AM and ends at 3PM. We have early dismissal on Mondays at 2pm. Please make sure that your child brings a snack to school each day and a lunch. It is a long day for the little ones. Please make sure that your child’s lunch is labeled clearly with his/her name. If your child will be purchasing hot lunch, you may pay for it in advance in the cafeteria, or your child may pay for it that morning. Please make sure that your child knows if he/she is to purchase lunch that day. Even if your child is purchasing lunch, you should pack them a snack as we do not have lunch until 11:50AM. On minimum days, lunch from the cafeteria is served at morning recess.
On Friday’s we have an all school assembly in front of the MPR. Friday is also school spirit day, so you can have your child wear his/her Alta shirt or school colors. (blue, black, and white)
All curriculums are based on the grade level standards. This year we will start implementing the new Common Core Standards. If you go to the RCOE website you can find a lot of information on the new standards.
We use different programs to help your child meet the standards. Report cards are based on specific skills from these standards. This year we will have 4 reporting periods.
During the year I am asking you to be an active participant in your child’s education to help your child meet all grade level standards by the end of the year! Researchers have shown that success in first grade is critical to success in future grade levels. Invest your time now in your child’s education and it will pay off in the years to come.
Language Arts is a big part of our day. We will be using the Open Court program. It is a program that strongly emphasizes phonemic awareness and phonics. We will also study many sight words. These are words that are commonly used in print e.g. the, look, to, go. Many of these words are unable to be sounded out following the phonics rules that we will learn. Therefore, these words need to be learned by sight. It is a good idea to put them on flashcards and review them daily, To be at grade level by the end of the year your child is expected to know the 100 words on the back of your take home folder. When your child has learned all 100 your child can move on to the next 100. There are 1000 total. This year I will also be implementing a program called the Daily 5. This program is a literacy structure that teaches independence and gives children the skills need to create lifetime love of reading and writing. We will also be implementing the program called CAFÉ that goes along with Daily 5. This program will teach your child many different reading strategies. Students will also be using programs called IREAD, RAZ kids, Spelling City, and Moby Max to help teach the standards for first grade. These programs are great because your child works at his/her own level.
RAZ kids: Your child will be using this reading program at home and at school. Log on to RAZ kids.com. It is a free app on ipads and phones but sometimes you are not able to use all the features of the program on these devices. Once you log in you need to type in my user name: kpiovarcsik. Next you need to find your child’s name and then your child will need to type in his/her 9 digit number. This number is found on your take home folder.
Spelling City: This is a program your child will be using to help your child learn to spell using phonics and spelling rules,and to work on learning how to spell sight words. Log onto Spelling City. Your child’s username is the 9 digit number and the password is your child’s first name and the number 1.
Moby Max: This is a program we will using for enrichment. Your child’s password will be the 9 digit number.
IREAD: This program will be played only at school.
Writing: In first grade your child will be learning how to write a narrative or story, an opinion paragraph, and an expository descriptive paragraph. We will be using a brand new program called Traits of Writing. We will also be using Nancy Fetzer for the narrative and Step up to Writing for expository. You will be receiving homework soon to go along with these programs. It is important that you follow the directions and work one on one with your child for the program to be successful
Math – We will be using a program called: Go Math by Houghton Mifflin. These are the major areas of concentration. This program goes along with the new common core standards.
* Addition and Subtraction
* Place Value
* Number Sense
* Addition and Subtraction concepts
* Problem Solving
* Patterns and Relationships
We will also be using a computer program called Fast Math to help your child memorize addition and subtraction facts and a program called Think Central to help strengthen your child’s math skills.
Fast Math: This program can only be played at school.
Think Central: This is a program that goes along with our math program. Your child’s user name is the 9 digit number and the password is your child’s name and the number 1.
Social Studies – Scholastic News and Pearson Scott Foresman
Science – Scholastic News.
Investigation and Experimentation.
Music and Art are typically integrated into the units that we are studying at the time.
We will also be doing a play. We will most likely start in January and schedule the performance in spring.
We will be having P.E. on a weekly basis. Please have your child wear sneakers or similar shoes and comfortable clothing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We may be running!
I encourage all parents to volunteer in some way in your child’s class. When we work together as partners in education, the results are WONDERFUL! You can help in the mornings at our literacy centers, help with computer time, help with filing, copying, donating of supplies, or feel free to make suggestions on how you can help. I will help all parent volunteers with activities in the class. I need parents on Mondays at 11-(computers), Mon. 1:40-2pm Tues-Thurs 9-11:25 (centers and computers), Friday at 9am for homework check in and filling folders, and Friday at 1:45-2:20 for computers .
Homework and Spelling
I encourage all of my students to do the best work they possibly can. This includes completing assignments neatly and on time. Class assignments that are incomplete may be sent home as homework in addition to the regularly scheduled homework or your child will miss recess in order to complete their homework. Homework is generally given four nights a week. Your child will get the homework packet on Friday and the packet should be returned on the following Friday. Please work with your child to complete it, correct it, and return the next day .Students who do not return homework on time will not be able to go to Marvelous Monday or Friday Fun Day which will be free choice activity time on Monday afternoons from 1:35-2pm or Friday afternoons from 2:30-3. I will let the students know which one we will be doing.
Homework is sent home for three reasons, 1) to teach responsibility, 2) to build on skills that have already been taught in class, and 3) to help you gauge how well your child is doing in class. If your child is constantly struggling with homework, please let me know so that we can make some modifications. Please check your child’s homework folder daily as notices are sent home daily. On the cover page of the weekly homework is a short newsletter with important info. and dates. Please read this part of the homework!
Take Home Folder: We will be passing out homework on Fridays. All work and notices will also be sent home Friday. Go through your child’s folder and take out work and notices! Return the folder and homework the following Friday. You do not need to return the folder daily. If you want to see what is in your child’s mailbox you are welcome to do so. I will try to take pictures of any important notice on the Remind app.
One of the best ways to help your child with reading is to read, read, read to and with your child. Try to set aside a special time to have your child read to you, and for you to read to your child. When reading, make sure to check for reading comprehension. Discuss interesting parts of the story. Try to motivate your child to enjoy reading. I will provide your child with reading logs to write down books you read. You may reread books. When your child reads to you, try to pick books that are not frustrating or too difficult. At first, this may be difficult. You are welcome to check out some of the books in the class. I will be sending home lots of little readers for your student You need to listen to your child read them, sign the cover, and return to school. I will stamp it and then you can keep at home in a place that is easily accessible. I recommend a shoebox library. To keep track of your child’s reading at home, you will need to time how long your child reads and put the time on the appropriate day. If your child did not read on a particular day, leave the log blank for that day. It is important to be honest on the reading log. I will be keeping track of the minutes on a special chart. I recommend that your child reads at least 10 minutes a day. You may also log minutes you read to your child.
Reading Log rewards: Every student that reads 1500 minutes by the last week of school will get to attend a special party at the end of the year! The top two get to go with me to lunch or to Toys R Us and buy a prize for their hard work. I will also be having Lunch with the Teacher as rewards during the school year for students who are keeping up with their reading logs.
Spelling tests will be given every Friday. Students will practice the words in class during the week but should also study at home using the Spelling City program or any activities you think will help your child learn the spelling rules and words. Spelling is based on the phonics rules taught in class. Learning of the individual words is not as important as learning the spelling patterns and rules that are being taught. Your child may be taking tests on the new program called Spelling City. The program will let you know how your child did on the test.
Writing homework will begin in a couple of weeks. This is a step by step program that will require parent assistance all year long. The goal is for my students to write an expository paragraph, an opinion paragraph and a descriptive narrative with descriptive language and correct punctuation, grade level spelling and neat penmanship by the end of the year.
Birthdays: Birthdays are special days. The district has changed its policy about bringing food to share. You may bring a treat but please clear it with me first.
Field Trips - We would like to take one field trip this year. We still have not decided on this trip yet.
Web Site-https://www.murrieta.k12.ca.us/altaYou can get information about my class and the school by going to the Alta Website. Click on teachers, and then my name to access my website. There are games and activities for your child to use. Tons of games is great and so is Starfall! There is information on first grade standards, and list of supplies to help in the classroom. I am still in the process of updating the website! The Alta Website also has a lot of information. You can Like Alta on Facebook and Mr. Coley puts lots of cool reminders as well as the Coley Cast onto Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any concerns do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .My cell phone is:
951 541 3263. Please text first if you have a problem and you need to talk to me. I will call you back. You may also drop in before school or after school if you need to talk to me. Remember to check our email and remind regularly as I do send home notices and reminders often.
Discipline and Positive Reinforcement
My classroom has a very positive discipline plan. I always try to encourage the positive actions instead of the negative. Every child in my classroom has a pocket with their name on it. When your child is caught following the rules or doing something good they get to put a star in their pocket. Stars can be traded in for rewards such as Mustang Coupons, treasure box toys, free computer choice time, stickers, and candy. I will also be giving out Terrific Tallies when your child is caught doing something positive! When your child has 10 stars and tallies combined, he/she will get a chance to win one of the prizes. We will usually do this on Fridays. When a child does not follow rules, he/she needs to turn his/her card. Card turns have consequences. If any behavior becomes chronic I will contact you to develop a plan for more desirable behavior. I believe that any problem can be solved if we work together.
Description of pocket chart consequences:
Green- great job
Red- 10 minutes time out
Blue- 15 minute time out and note or phone call home.
Purple- referral to principal. 30 minute time out and phone call home
Here are the classroom rules:
1.Work hard and be nice and follow the golden rule!
2. Be an active listener
3. Treat classroom supplies like treasures.
4. Complete assignments on time.
5. Stay on Task
6. Ask for help if you need it.
7. KAHFOOTY(Keep all hands, feet, other objects to yourself)
8. Walk at all times in the classroom.
9. Keep all 4 chair legs on the floor, and push in your chair.
Other Rewards for great choices in behavior….
Marvelous Monday or Friday Fun Day:As a reward for everyone who follows rules all week and completes all school and home work, students are given a 15-20 minute free choice activity time. If students were absent they can also make up work during this time.
Character Counts Coupons:
Our school will be using the Character Counts program this year which is a program designed to build character. When your child is caught showing one or more of the six character traits (citizenship, caring, respect, fairness, responsibility, and trustworthiness) your child may receive a Character Counts coupon. These white coupons need to be put in the white mailbox located in the front office. Every Friday, our principal draws about 3 coupons. Students win a prize and free ice cream or popcorn.
Table Points and Class Party Points:
Students can also work together at their group table and as a whole class and earn points for rewards. When the class has earned enough points for a party, I will usually ask for some help with food or supplies for these parties. There will be a sign up available in the class or you can email or send me a note if you would like to donate time or supplies.
Our first party will be a Friendship party. I will notify you when I will need help with the party.!
If you are a parent volunteer and can not help please try to email me or text me the day before or early morning so I can rearrange my lesson plans.
Remind: This is an app I am using that will help you keep informed as to what is going on in class. Please subscribe by getting the app and then texting 81010. Then Text the message: @mspiov
When you are asked to put your name, please include your child’s name too. I will be sending out short texts to remind you of important info!
I will also be emailing out a lot of information. Please check your email daily.
A big thank you for everyone who has already donated class supplies and for attending tonight! Together we will all have a fantastic first grade year this year. Ms. Piovarcsik