Parent Handbook - First Grade A-Z

  • Mrs. Carl's A-Z

    Important information about First Grade 



    Absences-If your child is absent, please send a note with the date and the reason for your child missing school.  Missed work will be sent home.

    Attendance-Many concepts are presented each day in first grade.  regularly attendance promotes school success. 

    Assessment-Assessments are formal or informal ways to gather information about your child.  The information gathered from the assessments will help me plan and strengthen  your child's learning.  Informal assessments are daily through classroom observation.  Formal assessments in math will be given after each topic.  Formal reading assessments will be given weekly, and quarterly.  In addition, the DRA will be given 2-3 times a year which will assess your child's reading level and growth.


    Book Nook Pocket-A book will be sent home Monday-Thursday in the back pocket of your child's homework binder.  Included with the book will be a log for you and your child to complete nightly.  Reading is a skill that needs to be practiced.  Reading nightly will strengthen your child's skills and as his/her skills increase so will the love of reading which is our ultimate goal. 

    Birthdays-Birthdays are very special times for your child and we would love to help celebrate it.  I will put your child's birthday on the monthly calendar.  You do not need to contact me.  Just send in a treat on or near your child's birthday.  There are 21 students in our class this year. 

    Book Orders-I will send home Scholastic Book orders throughout the year.  Please make checks payable to Scholastic.  After the order is placed, it usually takes two weeks for the books to arrive. 



    Clothing-We will try to go outside daily.  Please dress your child in clothing that is appropriate for the playground.  Also, your child should wear SNEAKERS for the playground.  An extra pair of sneakers may be kept in school.


    Communication- When the home and school work together, a child experiences success, and with success comes an excitement for learning that has a snowball effect. I will try my best to keep you informed through the nightly responsibility journal and weekly newsletter.

    Weekly Newsletter-sent home on Friday

    Email -



    Discipline-Respect and responsible are the two main rules we follow in first grade.  If we respect each other and are responsible for our actions we will promote learning and be outstanding citizens. 

    The daily agenda will be used as our behavior monitor.  Please check it nightly-Your child will be writing a short statement concerning his/her behavior for the day.  (Leader or Emerging Leader)

    Outstanding citizens will be able to earn lunch in the room.  Each child has a paper frog that will be moved for modeling outstanding behavior (respect and responsibility).  When the frog reaches the end of the line, your child will earned lunch in the room. 


    Email-West Seneca Central Schools is using a new email server.  Please note the change in all of our email addresses.

    Early Dismissal-When we have half days, early dismissal is at 12:00.   It will be on the monthly calendar.


    Field Trip-We will be going on one field trip this year.  You will be getting more information pertaining to the trip.  Chaperones are usually needed.


    Good Reading Strategies-Our goal in first grade is to have your child automatically use good reading strategies.  You can help them by reminding them to ask questions before, during and after reading a book.  Also making connections between the book and their personal experiences is important with comprehension.


    Homework-First grade has a homework routine that is hopefully easy to follow and should take 15 minutes in the beginning of the year building to 30 minutes by spring.  Homework has three parts.

    1. Book Nook Pocket will be sent home nightly Monday-Thursday
    2. Key Chain will be kept in the zippered pencil bag in the homework binder. Pease have your child read the yellow chain nightly and the orange chain weekly.  The yellow chain contain words your child is learning.  The orange chain contains words that your child has learned "Brain Words".
    3. Poems and Orton passages will be send home in the homework binder on Friday to enjoy throughout the following week.  Please initial when read
    4. Math journals are kept in the homework binder.  Usually your child will have a front and back to complete nightly. 
      Homework is a very important part of being a good student.  It reinforces skills taught in school giving the students extra practice.  It is also a routine that needs to be established early in a child's academic life.  Students will soar with good homework and study skills.


    Internet-First graders will be using the internet almost daily.  We have one classroom computer and will have the use of laptops.  Please use my web page to find good internet sites.  In addition, the library has wonderful sites for your child to use.


    Joy of Learning-It is my desire that the students in my classroom experience the joy of learning each and everyday they are in my classroom.  May they carry that joy throughout their education career.



    Key Components of Our Day-Morning Circle (focusing on phonics, writing and math skills), Writing Workshop, Everyday Math, Literacy Groups, Reading Workshop, Shared Reading, Author Studies, Science Units and Social Studies Units.


    Library-We will be having library every other  Wednesday.  Students will be able to borrow 2 library books.  All books need to be returned by Tuesday the following week.


    Math-Visions Math is a comprehensive Pre-K through 5th grade mathematic curriculum that focuses on real-life problem solving.  It balances whole class and self-directed learning.  There are 16 themes of studies in first grade.  Before each unit an overview sheet will be sent home explaining the theme.  The overview is a wonderful resource for parents. 


    Newsletters-A weekly newsletter will be sent home on Friday. It will contain upcoming information about the classroom, important dates,  and birthdays.    

    Notes-Notes from the office, PTL and from me will be placed in the take-home folder.  Please check your child's take-home folder nightly. 


    Outside-First Grade students will go outside whenever possible.  Please have your child bring or wear sneakers daily.  During the winter, we will plan special snow days for the children to enjoy the snow and physical activity. 


    Parent Involvement-There will be opportunities throughout the school year for parent involvement.  If you have the time, I need weekly volunteers to lead small groups during literacy or workshop time.  I also need volunteers monthly for special crafts, book reading and field trips.  If you are unable to come into the classroom, I always need volunteers to help supply the items for our parties.  Parent involvement is greatly appreciated and helps to make the home and school connection stronger.

    Parent-Teacher Conferences-Conferences have changed this year.  More information will be coming concerning the date and time.



    Parties-We will be having parties throughout the year-Fun Fun!  The room parent will be organizing these special times.  Parents will have the opportunity to volunteer during Open House. 

    PTL-The Parent Teacher League is committed to providing the best learning environment for your child.  The PTL organizes a great deal of activities, both fun and educational to students of Allendale every year. The PTL annual membership drive and various fundraisers throughout the year fund the activities that it provides.  I encourage everyone to join this amazing group of people.


    Quality Work-First Grade students will be asked to think about the quality of their work and to take pride in it. First Grade is a time to build and strengthen life long habits.

    Questions-Asking questions and making connections are important for comprehension.  Try to ask your child open ended questions.


    Rules-First Grade students follow one main rule,"We do not distract others from learning."  If we follow this rule, we will all be leaders and encouraging each other to be the best we can be.

    Room Parents-If you would like to be our Room Parent please sign the slip that will be in your child's take-home folder.  Room Parents are chosen by our PTL members. 



    Snacks-First grade has an optional snack time daily.  If you'd like your child to have a snack, please provide one healthy snack for your child such as fruit, veggies, crackers, fruit snacks.

    Sight Words-Your child will be assessed using the 300 word sight list used throughout the West Seneca School District.  Words that your child are learning will be put on a key chain that will be kept in their homework binder.  Part of the nightly homework routine will be to go over the words on your child's key chain.  Words that your child has learned will be placed on a brain word key chain.  It is amazing to see you quickly they "brain words" grow. 


    Transportation-If your child will be going home a different way than what I have in my files, you must call the school office or send me a note.  I can not allow any child to go home with another adult or a different way unless you have notified me.



    Toys-Toys from home are not allowed unless prior permission is given (For example: theme days, etc.)



    Units-There are many units we will be studying throughout this year-friends, trees, birds, fish, mammals, holidays, authors, and many more.


    Visitors-Visitors must sign in at the office before coming down to the classroom.  Thank you for your cooperation. 


    Water Bottles-Water bottles are encouraged and help the students stay hydrated throughout the day. 


    Xx & Yy

    Yearbooks-The PTL provides Allendales with wonderful yearbooks each year.  The order form will go home in the fall. 



    ZZZZZs-Please make sure your child gets plenty of rest.  First grade is a busy school day and students will learn best when they are well rested.