• Welcome to Mrs. Kaplan's First Grade!

    The Basics of First Grade

    1. School begins at 8:45 am and dismisses at 3:30 pm.
    2. Send in a yellow note for a dismissal change.
    3. Send in a green note after an absence. (Be sure to call the attendance line 610-565-7847 by 9:30 am on the morning of an absence.)  FOR AN ABSENCE TO BE EXCUSED, YOU MUST SEND IN A WRITTEN NOTE.  Emails do not take the place of a written note.
    4. Return all information, forms, etc. by their due dates.
    5. Every day, send in a healthy snack and lunch/lunch money.
    6. Please use the homework folder given for any special notes or mail.
    7. You will receive two parent/teacher conferences (November and March/April) and two written report cards (January and June).

    How you can help our classroom

    Many parents like to be as involved as they can within their child’s classroom.  Here are a few options:

    1. Volunteer to be a guest reader: scheduling is flexible and will begin after November conferences.
    2. Chaperone class field trips.
    3. Volunteer to be a guest speaker:  share a hobby, talent, or interest with the class.  Contact Mrs. Kaplan directly to schedule.

    Our Daily Schedule

    1. Unpack/Morning Meeting
    2. Reading
    3. Math
    4. Math Intervention/Extension Block
    5. Recess/Lunch
    6. Quiet Time
    7. Calendar
    8. Language Arts Intervention/Extension Block (guided reading groups, Daily 5)
    9. Special
    10. Writing
    11. Science/Social Studies
    12. Closing Circle
    13. Dismissal

          *Other activities include: health, guidance, technology, partner reading, and special projects.

    Homework

    Homework will be assigned Monday-Thursday and includes daily reading, math, and spelling assignments.

    • Please refer to the WES homework policy for homework guidelines.
    • Your first grader will take home and return his/her homework in his/her Homework Folder.
    • Homework is meant to provide practice or reinforcement of skills already learned.
    • A homework routine that works for your family helps provide a successful homework experience.

    First Grade Curriculum

    Responsive Classroom

         I strive to make our classroom a positive and fun place to learn.  We start each day with a morning meeting where children greet one another, share and listen to one another, and participate in songs, games, and other activities that focus them for the day's learning.  Similarly, we end each day with a closing circle to allow them to reflect on their learning and finish each day positively.  I encourage the children to work hard and take pride in their own work.  I run a structured classroom that is filled with opportunities for children to make choices, work cooperatively with others, and experience new and fun things.

        One philosophy I stress to my students is a growth mindset.  Mistakes are important opportunities to learn new skills.  Every day we will challenge ourselves to grow as learners and classroom citizens.  Every child has a special place within the classroom dynamic and everyone’s contributions are respected and appreciated. 

    Reading

         We use Reading Street for our whole class core and small group reading instruction.  The whole class core instruction focuses on all aspects of reading from phonics to reading comprehension strategies to grammar skills.  The small group instruction meets children's individual reading needs.  During small group instruction, other students engage in the Daily Five,  independent literacy activities that include reading to self, reading to a partner, listening to reading, word work, and writing.  Reading Street also provides spelling lists that connect with the skills being taught in class.  To give students exposure to high quality literature and to create a community of readers, I read many picturebooks and chapter books as part of our daily read aloud.

    Writing

         The first graders use a combination of writing lessons from the Reading Street curriculum as well as lessons from our district’s written curriculum and supplements from Lucy Calkin's Writing Units of Study program.  They experience narrative writing, descriptive writing, persuasive writing, letter writing, poetry, and writing a research report.  Throughout all of these genres of writing, the children work on handwriting and writing conventions.

    Math 

          Math in Focus is our math curriculum.  This program begins with skills that are built on throughout the year.  Children problem solve, talk about their thinking, and discover multiple strategies to understand math.  The program encourages students to persevere through Thinking Cap problems.  There are whole group lessons, small group lessons, independent work, and extra practice for math facts.  During calendar time, I use Every Day Counts, a supplemental math program that reinforces math concepts through the teaching of calendar, clock, money, and other skills.

    Science/Social Studies

          In science we study solids and liquids, weather, and living organisms.  In addition to the curriculum, we also study germs and nutrition.  Social Studies focuses on communities and learning about maps.  

    Birthday Treats

           Birthdays (and half-birthdays if your child has a summer birthday) are exciting days for children and they are one of my favorite things to celebrate throughout the year.  We will recognize birthdays during our morning meeting. Per school board policy, children can no longer bring in food for birthday treats; however, you are welcome (but not required) to celebrate your child's birthday by sending in a non-food birthday treat.  Please refer to the Birthday Suggestions page on my website.

    Box Tops

           Box tops help raise money for our school.  They can be found on certain products from the grocery store.  Please collect box tops and send them into school periodically with your child.

    ********************************

           I am so happy to be your child's teacher.  First grade is an exciting time in a child's life, and I hope to make it a meaningful and memorable year - one that will give your child a taste of the joy of learning.

           Please feel free to contact me by phone (610-892-3470 x4831) or email (jkaplan@wssd.org).  Thank you for your support in making first grade an important and enjoyable year for your child.