Mrs. Wendling’s Class – Information
Absence Procedures – A lot goes on in a day of school. It is critical that your child attends school so that s/he does not miss important instruction. When your child misses a day of school, please send him/her to school with a written excuse note the day s/he returns.
PickingUp Work/Sending Work Home – If your child misses school, it is best if s/he gets his/her homework the same night. If you live near a student in our school, I will be happy to send any missed workhome with him/her. If not, if you areable to come to school to pick up your child’s missed classwork, that will keephim/her on track with the rest of the class. If neither of these are an option, I will send home work with your childwhen s/he returns to school.
Studentscan only stay in for recess with a doctor’s note for a health concern. With a note they will spend the recess period in the office.
Birthday Celebrations – We love to celebrate birthdays. Due to the increasing number of students with food allergies, I am asking that you not send in food to celebrate yourchild’s birthday. This is for the protection of each of the children in the class. If you would like to send something for the class, you could send something small, like stickers or pencils for each student. If you prefer you could donate a book to our classroom library in honor of your child’s birthday
Important: If you are hosting a party for your child and plan to invite children from the class, please do not send in invitations to school unless you are inviting the entire class. Please mail or pass out invitations in another way if you are not inviting the entire class. Refer to the Student Directory (which will besent home later) for addresses and phone numbers. This will keep children from having hurt feelings.
Book Orders – I will send home a book order formmonthly. You may order online at www.scholastic.com/parent ordering. Ourclass code is H7H72. You may also send an order in to school. If you do, please send a check back with theorder form within a week. Please consider ordering from the monthly bookorder. The children love to get booksand it encourages them to read. We alsoget free books for the classroom this way.
Buying Lunch – Our school uses PIN numbers for eachchild. Each child must type in his/herpin number to purchase lunch. Pleasepractice your child’s PIN number with him/her until s/he can type it quickly.Typing PIN numbers quickly speeds up the lunch lines and allows the children tohave more time eating lunch. PIN numbers were sent home. If you’ve lost your PIN number, please let me know and I will send you another. The PIN numbers allow you to have an account at school. You can send in a check/moneywith your child, or pay online, so that you do not have to send exact money each day. When you send in money/checks,please put the money in an envelope withyour child’s first and last name.
Students who donot have a lunch for some reason will be given a lunch from the cafeteria and their account will be billed. Please payoff lunch accounts as report cards can be held at the end of the year for non-payment.
Lower South participates in the free and reduced lunch program. There are forms in the office for this. Please consider applying for free and reducedlunch programs as qualifying for Title I reading depends on this number. Free and reduced lunch information is kept confidential.
Class Directory – I will compile a class directory withnames, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Please let me know if you would like to beincluded in the class directory by filling out the form at Back to School Night.
Clothing Information - Students should be dressed for gym on the day that gym is scheduled.Please don’t send in a change of clothes as there is no time for the childrento change. This includes a change of shoes.
As each of the students in the class hasdifferent room temperature needs please dress your child in layers.
Please help your child learn to tie their shoes as it is difficult to tie 24 pairs of shoes throughout the day and it is unsafe for the children to try and walk with untied laces. Double knotting laces is a good idea.
Please help your child learn to zipper and button their coat. Again, itis difficult to button and zip 24 coats throughout the day.
Communicating with the Teacher – There are 4 ways tocommunicate with me.
1. By writing a note.
2. E-mailing me at SWendling@Nesahminy.k12.pa.us(This is the most efficient way to contact me. I check email at least twice a day.)
3. Calling the school at 215-809-6350. The best times to call are: 8:15 - 8:30 ambetween 11:25 am – 12:15 pm, or between 3:15 -3:45 pm.
4. Asking me to call you at night. (Write a note.) Please write a time that would be good for meto contact you. I will do my best to contact you on the day requested, but often I will need more than a day as I have evening commitments.
Discipline – We have a responsive classroom. The class and I have talked extensively about their reason for attending school: to learn. First grade students are still learning how to be good students. I remind the students often of what isexpected of them. However, if a child is interfering with his/her own ability to learn, or another’s ability to learn,there is a problem. **Ideally a LogicalConsequence will be available (i.e. knock over a friend’s pencil box, clean itup.) Individual students will be asked to practice class rules during recess or break times, if necessary. When a student continually has trouble with a rule, s/he will bring a paper home for you to sign. Please discuss the rules with him/her and return the signed note, the very next day so that your child does not have to practice the rule again during recess/break.
Dismissal – You filled out the white dismissal form whichexplains how your child should get home from school each day. If this plan will change for any reason,please send a signed note to school. Without a note, I must send your child home the way you haveexplained. If your child is going home with another child, for childcare reasons, the school needs a note from BOTHparents. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping your children safe.
Early Dismissal Information - Please check the Neshaminywebsite or news for early dismissal information during inclement weather.Inclement weather could mean hurricanes, snow, or heat. The last 3 days ofschool are usually planned half days. Students will be given lunch before beingdismissed so please don’t forget to send lunch money or a packed lunch. You filled out a green form which explainshow your child will be going home on early dismissal days.
Foss Science Program: A Hands-OnApproach to Science
Students will work incooperative learning groups and handle materials to conduct experiments. Thiscurriculum fosters critical thinking as they have to make the connections to the concepts being taught with the experiments.
v Air and Weather
v Solids and Liquids
Guided Reading – Your child will be tested todetermine his/her “reading level.” The children will be broken up into small groups based on this level so they may be instructed at their level. This is inaddition to the whole group instruction, which happens every day.
Grading – I follow the district requirements forgrading. The district uses Standards BasedGrading which means that I will give you information about how your child isprogressing toward a goal. I will not be giving A, B, C, D, F grades. Children are given tests at the ends of units. Please sign the test, have students fix all errors on tests, and return it the next day.
Homework – Since many children have after schoolcommitments, I send home a Weekly Homework packet to give you and your childsome leeway in completely assignments on any given night. I will list your child’s homework for each night on the packet. The entire packet should be worked on at home and returned to school on Friday. Also, if your childdoes not finish his/her classwork, s/he may have an additional page.
Homeworkassignments should take a total of approximately 15-30 minutes. The children should be able to complete theirhomework with minimal assistance. They will need assistance with the “spelling test” portion of the homework. Please check homework and help your child correct any mistakes s/he has made. We don’t have a lot of time to practice handwriting in school so please pay particular attention to how your child forms his letters and numbers. Proper formation is very important. Go to www.superkidsreading.org to see a letter formation chart.
Please let me knowif the homework is exceptionally difficult for your child, by writing a note onthe homework. I will work with him/herduring a free time period so that s/he understands the concept.
Yourchild’s responsibility –
1. To remember todo his/her homework.
2. To do it onhis/her own, then have it checked by an adult.
3. To put the homework inside his/her book bag and bring it to the teacher on Friday (or lastday of school in the week).
Waysto help your child –
1. Please go over your child’s homework eachnight. Help him/her to correct any mistakes, and verify that it has been completed. When you sign your child’s homework, you are telling me that you did this. It is veryimportant that your child complete his/her homework every night.
2. Please review test papers that are your childbrings home. Help your child correcthis/her mistakes. Please return tests toschool, signed.
3. Encourage your child’s independence by requiring your child to packhis/her own book bag for school. By allmeans check that it is done correctly.
Completingmissed work after an absence - afteryour child returns to school after missing a day of school, s/he will be givenany missed work. Please have your childcomplete the missed work as soon as possible and then return it to school. Please do not take more than 2 days (permissed school day) to have your child complete missed work as we are learning new information every day!
Grading homework - Homework is for practice at home. I will check that homework is completed, butI do not grade it, in the traditional sense. In the beginning of the year I check over each paper, mainly to keep aneye on your child’s letter and number formation. Later, I will simply check to see that homework is complete.
If your childdoesn’t return or complete homework packets, I may have your child work onhis/her homework during recess. Recessis an important break for your child. Please be sure to help him/her avoid missing recess, by helping him/her with his/her homework.
Internet – I am attempting to “go green” this year and passmost of my information on by email or via my website. Please let me know if your email addresschanges.
Internet Games/Assignments – DreamBox,
Math Fact Fluency – Fact fluency is being able to give the answer to a basic fact problem without spending much time thinking about it. When I was in school, it was referred to as “memorizing your facts.” First grade students will be expected to develop fact fluency; however numbersense will be developed first. Whenstudents are tested, they will be given a timed 2 minute test. Below is an explanation from the districtalong with Neshaminy’s expectation for first graders.
Q - Can you explain math fact fluency?
A - It is very important for studentsto learn their basic math facts so they become automatic. Two seconds would be enough time to give an answer. According to brain research, when a childknows facts fluently, he/she will be able to concentrate on learning new and moredifficult math concepts because the math facts are in his/her long term memory.
However,what we have learned in our new program is that before a child can learn theirfacts automatically, they need to understand what the facts mean. We will beusing concrete objects such as ten frames and snap cubes so that students canlearn strategies and visualize combinations. Students will be able to usedifferent strategies such as making tens, doubles plus or minus one or two tofigure out answers. The more they do this, the more automatic it becomes,tapping into their visual memory to help them along.
Understandingthe connection between addition and subtraction allows a child to be successfulin subtraction. They should think of 10 minus 3 as 3 plus what gives you 10?
These are the expectations by the end ofthe grade level:
1stgrade - Addition and Subtraction within 10 - thirty problems in twominutes
Here are the expectations at the end ofeach marking period:
addition to5 30 in 2 minutes
addition to5 30 in 2 minutes
subtraction within 5 30 in 2 minutes
addition to10 30 in 2 minutes
subtraction within 5 30 in 2 minutes
addition to10 30 in 2 minutes
subtraction within 10 30 in 2 minutes
Math in Focus- This is our math curriculum. It is based on the “Singapore Math Method.” The way math is taught in theirprogram is probably much different from how you learned math. In this program, new concepts are presentedin this order: concrete, pictorial and then abstract. First the information is presented concretely, meaning the children will usemanipulatives (cubes, counters, etc.) to touch and move. Next, the information will be represented,pictorially (in a picture). For example,the children will see a picture of 5 dogs. Last, the children will be shown the abstract version of theconcept. For example, they will be given the math problem 5 + 1 = 6 to explain the picture of 5 dogs with one morejoining.
The program focuses on children truly understanding what is behind the “rules” in math and expects them to explain their thinking both orally and in writing. The way the program goes about developing this understanding may seem strange to you, but please do not disregard it andattempt to explain “an easier way to do the problem.” Once you get to the end of the year, you will have a better understanding of why the program presents material the way it does.
The program recommends mastery of atopic, before pencil and paper homework is sent home. Therefore, the first grade team will send home a calendar of activities for your child to complete with you eachmonth. Please be diligent in completing these activities. Your child’s success in math depends on it.
Topics we will study:
v Identifying Numbers
v Number Bonds
v Writing Numbers
v Addition and Subtraction
v Patterns and Shapes
v Ordinal Numbers
v Money andTime
v Mental Math Strategies.
Memory Book – The ½ inch binder that you sent in will be used to makea memory book of your child’s first grade year.
Parent Visitors – You are welcome to visit ourclassroom. Due to security and safetyconcerns, please let me know ahead of time (at least a day) when you plan tovisit. I will then let the office knowwhen to expect you. When you arrive,please sign in at the office. Thank youfor your cooperation.
Parent Volunteers- I would appreciate any help you wouldlike to provide. Please fill out theappropriate section on the information sheet. I will need help in the following areas:
1. Parents who are able to come into the classroomoccasionally to help with projects. Times vary.
2. Parents who are able to come in once a week, in themorning, to help with Kid Writing. I canbe flexible with the time.
3. Parents who would like to work with a child who needsextra help. Times vary.
1. Projects to be announced.
2. “Room Parent” may involve calling the parents who haverequested to be called during early dismissal. Involves requesting donations and putting together our themed basket toraffle off at the Spring Fair. The “RoomParent” may also help plan special activities.
Have another idea? Let me know.
School Store – The children may make purchases from theschool store on a particular day each week, during lunch. In the past it has been on Thursday.
School Supplies – Please see website.
Services Available – Reading Specialist – Mrs. Reichert
TitleI Reading - Mrs. Brooks
GuidanceCounselor – Mrs. Gill
SchoolNurse – Mrs. Alexis
HealthAide – Mrs. Stumpo
Academic Enrichment – Mrs. McNickel– The children’s scores are used from the
Standardized test to identify children for AE.
Sharing – The children will all be given a chance to shareitems or ideas with the class. Please write a note if your child would like to share a large item or pet so that Imay make proper arrangements.
Social Studies Topics:
v Heroesin History
v Caringfor our Planet
Superkids- This is our reading program. Visit their website at www.superkidsreading.org. Youwill find an excelled description of the program on this site.
Specials – Our school uses a rotation system for specials. This way if we have off from school thechildren do not miss a special class. Pleaserefer to the school calendar for the Day #. I will write the specials at the top of the Weekly Homework Sheet. Ourspecials from 12:45 – 1:30 on Days 1-4 and from 2:30 – 3:10 on Day 5. Our specials are:
Day1 – Music
Day2 – Art
Day3 - Library
Day4 - Gym
Day5 - Computer
Standardized Testing – First graders will take two standardizedtests this year: DIBELS, which tests beginning reading skills and MAP, whichwill be completed on the computer and will give us instant scoring results.
Student of the Week – Everyone has special qualities andtalents. So that our class gets to know each other well, roughly each week a different member of the class will be highlighted as a student of the week. The student of the week will fill out “scrap book pages” which willbecome our “Student of the Week” poster. The student of the week may also bring in favorite items to share. Please do not send items that could be broken. We’ll also write letters to thestudent of the week which will be placed in his/her memory book.
Tapping Words– You will see your child using their fingersto “tap out” unknown words. Tapping is encouraged in this program to helpstudents use their decoding skills to sound out a word. They will also usetapping to spell words.
Thereare specific sounds that go with each letter and pictures to remember thesounds.
Example: a --- apple --- /a/; sh--- ship --- /sh/
Please encourage your child toTAP!
Tests- When a test comes home, please sign the test and haveyour child CORRECT the mistakes in the test and then return it to school.
Toys – Toys should not be brought to school. If a child has a toy at his/her desk, I willplace it in the “June Box.” Toys in the“June Box” may not be taken home until the end of the school year, UNLESS a PARENT comes to pick up the toy.
Websites - Math in Focus- This isthe website that goes with our math curriculum. On occasion, I will assign optional practice tests to complete for homework. Access it fromthis link:
http://www-k6.thinkcentral.com. Your username is your child's first initial and last name with no space inbetween. The password for everyone is room4.
DreamBoxLearning - This is a program the district has purchased to enhance ourmath program. We use it at school, but you can use it at home too. You will receive a letter, with a personal code, explaining how to access it from thislink: https://play.dreambox.com/login/yztw/lowerses.Your child's username is his/her first name. Your child's password ishis/her last name.
Superkids(our reading program) Site - This website will give you information aboutour reading program, including our current spelling lists and stories your child can read! Goto the Online Fun section and click Interactive Libraryto have your child read (or listen to) the stories. When I set up the site, you should have received an email stating that the Parent Portal was now available to you. Access the site at: www.superkidsreading.org. Youset up your own password using your email as your username.
Theabove sites as well as many other educational sites can be found at www.portaportal.com/uawendling.If homework is easy for your child, please visit this site to find more challenging work.
Handwriting – Weare using Manuscript Handwriting for our letter formation. *****Please make sure your child is using correct letter formation*****
Kid writing- This program asks students write daily. They will draw pictures and write sentences about their drawing. Mini-lessons by the teacher will work targetskills, the class needs to improve their writing. Students are expected toeventually write a paragraph on a single topic using complete sentences, basic capitalization, and punctuation. Please consider volunteering to be a Kid Writing volunteer. We would love your help.
Writing Workshop - In addition to writing short pieces, the children will be encouraged to write books during our writing workshop.
We will also be working onwriting skills doing daily edits. Students will need to correct sentences withspecific mistakes.
Water bottles – The children are encouraged to drink water only from their sport bottles (pop-up, no spill lid) kept at their desk. It saves time for getting drinks and it’s healthy too! Students will not be permitted to keep juice at their tables, or water bottles without a no-spill lid. Juice encourages ants and lids without the protection of no-spill lids present a hazard due to being spilled.
Thank you!!! If you have any questions which were notanswered here, please email me!
J Susan Wendling