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First Grade Orientation. 2014-2015 School Year Ms. Cohn, Ms. Mariela , Ms. McCormick. Welcome & Contact Information. Welcome, Families! We’re looking forward to working with you to make sure your children succeed in 1 st grade ! You may email us or send a note with your child.

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first grade orientation

First Grade Orientation

2014-2015 School Year

Ms. Cohn, Ms. Mariela, Ms. McCormick

welcome contact information
Welcome & Contact Information

Welcome, Families! We’re looking forward to working with you to make sure your children succeed in 1st grade!

You may email us or send a note with your child.

Ms. Cohn:

Ms. Mariela:

Ms. McCormick:

arrival dismissal
Arrival & Dismissal
  • Arrival: Please be inside by 8:15 a.m.
  • Students may read a book in the morning.
  • Dismissal: 2:40 p.m.
  • 1st grade dismisses at the Security Desk entrance
  • During inclement weather, we dismiss from the lunchroom (enter through the morning drop-off door)
daily schedule may include
Daily Schedule May Include:
  • Morning Meeting
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Snack & Lunch
  • Math
  • Read Aloud
  • Word Work Program: FUNdations
  • Social Studies
  • Mid-morning
  • Healthy
  • Please label all items with initials (including water bottles/juice boxes)
  • Please send a water bottle every day!
how to support your child s reading
How to support your child’s reading

True reading is more than just saying the words. It is UNDERSTANDING what you read. Please talk to your child about his/her reading and check for understanding.

Some simple questions that apply to many fiction books include:

  • Who is the main character?
  • What does he want?
  • If you were that character, what would you do?
  • What is the problem in the story?
  • How does it get solved?
  • How would you solve the problem yourself?
  • Did you like the story? Why or why not?
  • How would you change the ending?

Read nonfiction texts at home as well!

  • In addition to reading nonfiction books, share the newspaper and magazines. Discuss the format and talk about the purpose of each type of nonfiction.
literacy curriculum
Literacy Curriculum
  • We design our units based on Common Core State Standards.
  • Students practice skills such as:
  • identifying fiction v. nonfiction
  • retelling
  • describing characters and settings
  • identifying problem and solution
  • identifying text features
  • organizing writing into fact webs, Venn diagrams, and notes
  • sequencing events
  • writing to inform, persuade, or entertain
  • sentence structure and punctuation
  • In our literacy units, students read texts independently and with partners and participate in read alouds.
  • We hold class discussions about critical thinking topics. Our discussions are run by the students. Discussions may be whole-class or in smaller groups.
writing portfolio pieces
Writing Portfolio Pieces
  • Nonfiction Question & Answer
  • Informational (Families)
  • Personal Narrative (About a short event)
  • Procedural (How To)
  • Opinion (Persuasive)
math curriculum
Math Curriculum

GO Math! program

  • School-Home Letters
  • Letters to families introducing each unit of study
  • Work includes Journal (workbook work), games, and use of manipulatives(hands-on tools)
  • Unit assessment following each unit.
  • Smaller, informal assessments throughout the unit.
  • Performance Tasks follow each unit. They assess the skills from that unit.
math skills
Math Skills
  • Daily “real world” word problems challenge students’ critical thinking ability.
  • Adding and subtracting up to 20 automatically
  • "Adding on" with larger numbers
  • Addition and subtraction relationships (10 + 4 = 14; 14 – 4 = 10)
  • Two-digit addition and subtraction
  • Place value (ones, tens, hundreds)
  • Skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s to 100 and back down to 0
  • Comparing numbers with symbols (<, >, =)
  • Measurement
  • Data and Graphing
  • Shapes
  • Time to the hour and half hour
  • Please note: Identifying and counting coins is not addressed by the GO Math! Program. We will work on this skill separately.
social studies curriculum
Social Studies Curriculum

Families and Communities

Four Themes:

1. Families are Important

2. Families Now and Long Ago

3. Families in Communities

4. The Community

curriculum resources
Curriculum Resources
  • GO Math! Think Central: (Receive your personalized log in from the school)
  • i-Ready (literacy and math): (Receive your personalized log in from the school)
  • Scholastic News Weekly Reader:
  • 1st grade student sign-in code: crazyeggs943
  • Discovery Education:
  • PBS Kids (spelling and reading games):
  • SchoolTube (educational videos):
  • Storyline Online (celebrities read children’s books):
homework policy
Homework Policy

1 page of Reading/Writing Monday through Thursday (from a packet or workbook)

  • Students must color their Reading/Writing homework every night. This helps with fine motor skills and allows them to take pride in their work.

1 page of Math on most nights (from the GO Math! curriculum)

  • Students should show their work with a picture or a number sentence (4+5=9)
  • Please sign the homework sheets after you have reviewed them with your child. It is a time for you to work with your child on his/her learning.
  • Homework completion counts toward a portion of your child’s grade.
grading policy
Grading Policy


  • Formal Assessments (Fountas & Pinnell, Diagnostic Tests): 65%
  • Classwork, Participation & Discussion: 25%
  • Homework: 10%


  • Published Portfolio Pieces: 65%
  • Classwork, Participation & Discussion: 25%
  • Homework: 10%


  • Unit Assessments: 45%
  • Performance Tasks: 20%
  • Classwork, Participation & Discussion: 25%
  • Homework: 10%
cluster teachers
Cluster Teachers
  • Mr. Jennings: Music
  • Mr. Diaz: Physical Education
  • Ms. Neidish: Library
  • Ms. Ruiz: Science
additional student services
Additional Student Services
  • English as a Second Language (ESL): Ms. Burley
  • Early Intervention Pull-Out Reading: Ms. Hirsch
  • Service Providers:
    • Speech Services: Ms. Rose, Mr. Reid
    • SETSS: Ms. Brown
    • Counseling: Ms. McCullough, Dr. Oscar
    • Occupational Therapy: Ms. Pinkerton
    • Physical Therapy: Ms. Daar
  • We will have Donetta Riley return for Art Masters.
  • Schedules to be determined
  • We also do seasonal art activities, as well as Literacy and Social Studies enrichment
formal assessments
Formal Assessments
  • ECLAS-2: Decoding (sounding out) Real and Made-Up Words and Spelling)
  • Fountas& Pinnell Reading Level Assessments (read a text, then answer comprehension questions)
  • Go Math! Unit Tests
  • Math Performance Tasks
  • Writing Portfolio Pieces
  • i-Ready: Literacy and Math assessments and instruction
  • We will post some assessment scores on Engrade, as well as notify you in writing.
i ready
  • Students will complete a diagnostic assessment at the beginning of the year. The assessment provides teachers with information regarding the students’ current levels of achievement in math and literacy. It helps teachers plan their instruction and form small groups for enrichment and extra practice.
  • i-Ready uses the results of the diagnostic assessments to create personalized lessons for students based on their levels of achievement.
  • Students have the opportunity to log in to i-Ready in school for extra practice lessons, as well as at home.
field trips
Field Trips
  • Lehman Center for the Performing Arts: Spring 2015
  • Additional field trips enrich our Literacy and Social Studies curriculums and take place in the spring. They vary from year to year.
  • Examples of past trips: Cloisters, Police Station, Little Red Lighthouse, American Museum of Natural History
  • First Grade Picnic: June 2015

Scholastic Book Clubs: Seesaw & Lucky magazines

  • Online access code for our classes:
  • Ms. McCormick: JGT6L
  • Ms. Mariela: MGQLR

Scholastic News Weekly Reader:

  • $5 per subscription
  • Check it out at home:
  • Student sign-in code: crazyeggs943
  • Thank you!
  • Most important: 1 notebook, 5 folders, scissors, markers, and a box of crayons
  • Make sure your child’s belongings are labeled (water bottle, lunch box, backpack, jacket, sweatshirts)
  • Please check folders daily for any notes, bulletins, or forms from the school.
birthday parties
Birthday Parties
  • Please send a note or an email at least one week in advance so we can plan accordingly.
  • Typically after Lunch
  • Snacks should be easy to pass out (Cupcakes, brownies, etc.) Please, no cakes.
  • Drinks should be spill-proof (juice boxes or water bottles). No soda, please.
  • No nut products!
special events
Special Events
  • Families are welcomed into our classrooms to share about their cultures
  • Mystery Readers (Family members read a book to the class)
  • Cultural Potluck
  • Publishing Celebrations
  • Making Gingerbread Houses (December)
  • First Grade Picnic (June)
  • Science Day
  • Other celebrations throughout the year