PCE First Grade Handbook
School begins at 7:40 a.m. Your child will be allowed to enter the classroom after 7:30. If he or she arrives earlier than 7:30 he or she will need to wait in the gym. Your child will be counted tardy after 7:40 and will be counted absent after 10:00a.m. Furthermore, if your child is absent it is imperative that you send a note with your child’s name, the date of absence, the reason for absence, a parent signature, and the teacher’s name.
FMNV Law (Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value)
Please be mindful of this law when providing snacks for your child and gifts for the class. You may provide the class with birthday treats such as cupcakes or cookies, but it is mandatory that you bring a treat for every child. Parents are welcome to attend parties and are always needed to help. By law, we are only allowed to provide foods of minimal nutritional value on three occasions. These designated occasions are “Winter celebration, Valentine’s Day celebrations, and End of the Year celebration. Typically foods of minimal nutritional value contain mostly sugar like marsh mellows, cotton candy, soda, and most hard candy. Remember to contact your child’s teacher to clear any dietary restrictions.
All medications (prescriptions and over -the -counter) must be sent to the school nurse in their original containers. Your child may not eat cough drops in class. All cough drops must be sent to the nurse.
Please provide the school with a doctor’s note if your child has a food allergy. The school nurse, cafeteria, and teacher will need to be knowledgeable of this information.
Toys are prohibited at school. There might be special occasions when your child’s teacher will allow various toys to be brought into the classroom. You will always be informed of these occasions on the website and in the newsletter. The following items are also prohibited in the classroom; purses, costume jewelry, hats/caps, and stuffed animals. Please do not allow your child to place any of these items in his/her backpack. If a child consistently brings a toy of any sort, the item will be taken up and kept until the last day of school. However, it is alright if your child brings a ball (no footballs) or a jump rope for recess as long as he/she is willing to share with others.
For the safety of the students, it is imperative that the school office or teacher knows how your child will get home each day. Once a routine is set, if your child is going home a different way, please call the school office/teacher before 2:00p.m. or send a note with your child that morning. If a call or note is not received by 2:00p.m., it is possible that your child’s teacher will not receive the change in transportation home. Keep in mind most teachers won’t check their email after 12:40.
Homework has a crucial place in the educational process. It is an extension of the learning experience children have during the instructional day. The homework correlates with what we are studying in class. Homework is designed to aid the students in achieving classroom and school goals, and it shouldn’t be used to keep the students busy. The students will be assigned 10-15 minutes of homework a night. Please keep homework in the daily folder. Homework will be checked on Fridays. Friday’s homework is always READ, READ, READ. Reading to and with your child every night is very important.
In Manor we are using the new Scott Foresman reading program. This program comes with big books, reading text books, reading work books, independent readers, poems, and intervention materials. Each week we have a specific phonics focus, reading stories and high frequency words that correspond. Your child will also be a part of guided reading. The reading groups will be in a small group setting and each child will be reading on his/her instructional level. Therefore, it is very important to practice the phonics reader every night. Small group reading instruction generally begins in late September after all appropriate assessments have been made. Your child is expected to be reading at a level 8-10 by the middle of the year and at a level 16 by the end of the year. Please keep in mind that after December/Christmas break we are no longer allowed to read the reading tests to the children. However, we can read all other subjects besides reading.
D’Nealian handwriting is the program used in Manor ISD. D’Nealian is slightly different that traditional block manuscript because it allows for an easier transition into cursive. Being able to write the complete alphabet, both upper and lower case, from memory is a first grade skill. Students have mastered this skill when all of the letters are written in the correct order without any reversals. Furthermore, each letter should be sitting correctly on the line. Please keep in mind that a lot of students are not developmentally ready for this skill. As the student matures, many reversals will be corrected.
Our spelling program is part of the Scott Foresman reading program. Each week we study specific spelling words that correspond with the phonics focus and grade level sight words. The goal is for students to learn to spell correctly in their everyday writing, not just on the Friday spelling tests. Your child will be working on spelling daily and will be expected to apply new information into their spelling. Although your child is allowed to use inventive spelling in his/her writing, he/she must become familiar with the conventional spelling of first grade sight words. These words must be spelled correctly in any form of writing across the curriculum. Ideas to practice this skill at home are by basic writing and saying them, flash cards, making them out of letter tiles (scrabble), tracing them in sand or with paint, highlighting them in text, reading texts and asking your child to point them out.
Macmillan /McGraw Hill is our primary math program that has been adopted by the district. In first grade we study patterning, number operations, basic addition and subtraction, geometry, graphing, fractions, place value, non standard measurement, probability, time, and money. Your child will be doing a variety of hands on projects and activities in Math. We have daily math journals that trigger high level thinking and we will explore concepts through a variety of math games.
We use Scott Foresman’s Social Studies program and explore concepts such as community, community helpers, jobs, goods and services, needs and wants, transportation, conservation, weather, families, customs, traditions, holidays, historical figures, timelines, and maps. We will also study patriotism (patriotic symbols and presidents), rules, laws, citizenship, voting, and Texas history. Each year we conduct a service project that ties in with the concept of citizenship and community. Also, we assign a timeline project that will allow your child to explore the events and sequence of their life.
Our Science curriculum is based around Harcourt Science and FOSS Science. Harcourt provides the background information of our topics of study and FOSS allows for direct hands on investigations and experiments on these topics. These topics include rocks and soil, energy and motion, weather, magnets, moon and sun, plants, animals, and elements of matter. Each year we conduct a rock project where the students collect and categorize rocks.
Book in a bag
These books will be going home once the beginning of the year reading assessments have been conducted and reading groups have been established. Please read the assigned reading with your child. It is very important your child returns the book after they complete his/her reading. Your child will not receive another book until the one prior has been returned. Your child is obligated to return these books and if lost they must pay the teacher for the book.
Each month a grade level newsletter will be sent home that will contain important dates and events for the school and grade level. It will also have grade level reminders of expectations and reminders of deadlines and events. Newsletters and calendars will be posted on the teacher’s web pages as well.
On Tuesdays, each teacher will send various documents such as home newsletters, report cards, progress reports, events, projects, graded work, and any other important forms sent by the school and teacher. It must be emptied and returned the following day. Some teachers have a designated folder other than the homework folder for this and others use one folder as both a homework folder and Tuesday folder. With the mass amount of papers that need to go home weekly, it is possible that the Tuesday folders won’t be sent home every Tuesday. However, the information will go home every week.
Daily Homework Folders
Daily homework folders will contain your child’s homework and assignment sheet. Some teachers may use this as a communication log so please check this daily for notes. Teacher’s check these folders daily and will communicate the child’s daily behavior, progress, and concerns. On Friday your child’s homework will be checked for completion. Please help your child be responsible for returning this folder daily. Some teachers may attach a consequence for folders that aren’t returned daily and for homework that is not completed.
At the end of every week your child will be assessed across the curriculum for mastery of the skills and concepts that we have learned and studied. These assessments are used not only for grading purposes but to help the teachers determine who is in need of more instruction on the skill and who have mastered it. As long as your child is paying attention in class, is doing their class work, practices their spelling words daily and completes their homework, they should receive awesome grades on these assessments.
Report Cards/Progress Reports
Our district is on a nine week grading period. This will allow more time for students to master and retain a skill. There are four nine weeks in the school year. Your child will receive a progress report in the middle of the nine weeks to inform you on their progress. Keep in mind that only half of the grades for the nine weeks are entered at that time so there is adequate time for improvement. Your child’s teacher will inform you of any concerns they may have at this time so together both of you can help your child be successful. Report cards will go home at the end of the nine weeks. Honor’s Assemblies will be conducted usually a week after the grading period ends. Please see the newsletters for these dates.
Each teacher has their own discipline management system, but the PCE first grade expectations and consequences are the same across the board. We run on a color system. Platinum is outstanding behavior. Green is good behavior. Yellow is acceptable behavior overall, but a rule was broken and the child was given a warning. Blue is unacceptable behavior for a portion of the day with a consequence attached such as time out. Red is unacceptable behavior where a trip to the office and a call home is applicable. Any behaviors that result in the child moving their clip to yellow more than once and blue will receive a minor incident report. The minor incidents are to inform you of what is going on, where it is happening, the frequency of the actions, and what actions were taken to help correct or manage the behavior. The minor incident reports are the steps taken between the parents and the teacher before a referral is necessary. However, referrals are automatically written for any behaviors and actions that threaten the safety of the students, themselves, and their learning environment.
Each first grade teacher’s conference time is the same. To schedule a conference please contact your child’s teacher via email, phone, or daily folder. Before the first report card can be released every parent is expected to have a parent/teacher conference. There will be an afternoon set aside for these conferences. This usually takes place after Curriculum night and a signup sheet will be available on Curriculum night. At this conference your teacher will visit with you about your child’s progress, goals, assessments, and report card format. It is possible to have another midyear conference that is required as well. All other conferences are on an as needed basis with your child’s teacher.
If you would like to volunteer for any classroom activities, projects, or field trips, etc. please make sure you fill out a Criminal History Background form online. Please remember: it takes Central Office at least a few days to process the form. Please fill out all necessary paperwork one week before volunteering. You will only need to do this once each year. Any help you can offer to your child’s teacher is always greatly appreciated and needed! The link will take you to the online form.
For a Successful Day…
- Pediatricians recommend that children ages 5-9 get 10 hours of sleep each night.
- Please make sure your child gets a healthy breakfast each morning. If your child is running late to school he/she will have an opportunity to eat breakfast in the cafeteria.
Teaching children requires a team effort between the teacher, school, and parents. Together we can ensure every child’s success. Here is to a wonderful year of hard work, knowledge, and team work!
Jennifer Cooper Gwendolyn Henson Claudia Phillips Lindsay Ellis
Jessica Saenz Nadia Synatschk