Degrees and Certifications:
Mrs. Lisa Gagner
Welcome to First Grade and the 2019 – 2020 school year. My name is Lisa Gagner. I have been part of Queen of Martyrs School for twenty- five years. I am a graduate of Queen of Martyrs. I’m married and have two sons that also graduated from Queen of Martyrs. Before teaching first grade, I was director of our Extended Day Program for nine years. While working on my Bachelors Degree at Trinity Christian College, I was also employed as an aide in various grades along with being our three and four year old Preschool Teacher. I completed my degree in 2008. My current certification is a type 03 K through 9 Certificate with endorsements in self-contained and Social Science.
Hopefully, the following information will be helpful for this school year.
TAKE HOME OR DAILY FOLDERS
Your child will be responsible for their folder. I will not be collecting their folder and checking it for notes or homework. Your child’s folder will be labeled home and school. The papers on the home side of the folder stay at home. Any papers on the school side need to be returned back to school, for example homework and any notes. Homework will be assigned to the children on a regular basis. When homework is assigned, please check for accuracy and neatness. It is important that vocabulary words, spelling words, flash cards and oral reading be done on a daily basis. This will help build self- confidence and a positive feeling about school. It is the parents responsibility to check the folder daily. If papers are left in the folder children often become confused on what to hand in, what is for homework, and you may miss important information.
The children will have a Tuesday folder with the papers from the previous week of work that needs to be corrected and returned. They are called “do over papers” on the right side of the folder. The tests from the previous week will be in a test packet on the left side. The folder, test packet (tests and letter for parents’ signature) and any do over papers are due Wednesday. If returned on Wednesday with the test packet signed and any do over papers returned, your child will receive a sticker for their good behavior chart.
The reading curriculum is Schoolwide for first grade. The children will be exposed to mentor/anchor and shared texts, along with interactive read aloud lessons, shared reading lessons and mini lessons.They will be assessed and assigned a book according to their ability. The book will challenge them, but not be too hard and should encourage them to read. The book will go home in a plastic envelope. Inside the envelope will be a reading log. You will be required to list the date, title of the book, number of minutes read and an adults initials. Please return the envelope and the book everyday. Since the book is geared for your child, I may not have an extra copy of the book in school. Remember, all children are different. If everyone was the same the world would be a very dull place. In reading your child will be asked to read the story and be able to answer questions about the story. We will work on setting, characters, problem and solution and main idea to name a few. Your child is required to read the leveled reader on a nightly basis. The more they read the more fluent and confident they will become and learn the love of reading. Your child will be assessed in several different ways. They will be required to answer questions on the story they are reading. The sight word lists will be sent home. They will need to have 90% mastery to move to the next sight word list. I use the dolch sight word lists starting with pre -primer, primer, and first grade will be part of first grade.
The phonics series this year will be Modern Press or as I call it Plaid Phonics. We will also be using Haggerty phonemic awareness. The children will strengthen their phonics skills so they will become super spellers and confident readers. The children will complete daily lessons in phonics. That is how I will create a spelling list and a few sight words. The list will go home on Mondays and the test will be on Friday. The best way for your child to learn the spelling words is to write them every night. The sight words will not have a spelling pattern like the words from the phonics we are working on. The children will also be assigned spelling sentences to strengthen their sentence writing skills along with the proper understanding of the spelling words. Your child’s spelling/phonics grade consists of spelling tests, phonics chapter tests 60% and class work/homework 40%.
The math curriculum this year is McGraw –Hill “My Math.” To reinforce the math lesson for the day, math homework will be assigned. The pages we complete in class will be sent home so you can review the lesson with your child if needed. Please check your child’s folder daily for math pages we completed in class. After a few concepts are taught a checkpoint will be given for understanding. At the end of the chapter a chapter test will be given. A test alert will be sent home with a study guide. This will help with the studying of the chapter test. Test alerts will go home for chapter tests only. The math book can be found on-line if needed. Please see the on-line book sheet for more information.
I can’t stress how important it is for your child to understand their math facts. To help your child understand their math facts and build fluency we will be using the Rocket Math program. The way the program works is everyday your child will work with a partner and review the facts they are working on for two to three minutes. Then they will switch roles. The children will say the math problem and the answer, if they answer incorrectly the partner will tell them the correct answer. Then your child will repeat the problem three times. After everyone practices they will take a one minute time test. Each child’s goal will be different and based on a timed writing assessment. The number of problems your child must answer to pass may be different than another student, thus meeting their individual needs. Goals may change throughout the year based on additional assessments as needed. If your child passes then they will move on to the next test. If your child does not pass the test will come home for you and your child to review and practice together. They will come to school and do the same routine over again until they pass. On Friday your child will take a two minute time test. Your child’s math grade consists of math chapter tests 50%, checkpoints 30%, and 2 minute time tests 20%.
The Religion textbook is Blest Are We. In order to reinforce our religious values, your child will receive a prayer sheet. Please assist your child in memorizing the prayers. They will be tested on the prayers during the school year. At the end of a Religion chapter a test will be given. A test alert will go home with a study guide. We will also attend Mass once a week on Tuesdays at 8:30am, as well as, all school Masses and Prayer Services. Proper church behavior is expected. Proper church behavior is sitting quietly, facing the altar and sitting, and standing or kneeling at the proper times during the Mass. If proper church behavior is not achieved, your child will move their name to the red light and a note will be sent home. Your child’s religion grade will consist of tests and knowledge of prayers at 100%.
The Social Studies curriculum is Pearson My World Social Studies Making Our Way. Homework/class work will be assigned for a grade. When a chapter is finished a chapter test will be given. A test alert will go home along with a study guide. Your child’s social studies will consist of chapter tests, projects for 60% class work/homework 40%.
The Science curriculum is Lablearner. It is science and stem all in one. Lablearner is a hands on curriculum. Homework/class work will be assigned for a grade. When a chapter is finished a chapter test will be given. A test alert will go home along with a study guide. Your child’s science grade will consist of chapter tests, stem activities, labs for 60% class work/homework 40%.
The English series is Voyages in English. It will enable students to master grammar through direct instruction, rigorous practice, written application and ongoing assessment. It will guide students to experience, explore, and improve their writing skills through an in-depth study of six writing genres. It will give students meaningful practice and enhance their confidence to communicate with clarity, accuracy and ease. This will be taught also with the Schoolwide curriculum. Your child’s english writing grade will consist for chapter tests, writing assignments for 60% of their grade, class work/homework 40%.
The handwriting book is Writing Our Catholic Faith. Handwriting will be taught once or twice per week. Proper letter formation, spacing, and size will be part of the grading.
Tests and quizzes are the major part of their grade. Written assignments will be assigned and graded. Projects will be assigned and graded. When this happens a note will be sent home with all the information. Please see the handbook for our school grading policy. I will update grades every Friday.
Children fall into a routine with very little difficulty. I believe in setting high goals. Adjustments can always be made if necessity arises.
If you child is absent the work we complete in class can be sent to the office for pick up by 2:45, sent home with a sibling or a trusted friend. The work is due by the date on the assignment sheet.
VACATIONS AND ABSENT WORK
If your child is absent due to a vacation the work will be waiting for them when they return with a due date on the assignment sheet when all the work is due. It is very hard to give the work before the vacation because my classroom plans may change.
The class will be expected to take the test when it is assigned. Study guides usually go home two days in advance, that way your child will have enough time to study for the test. If your child is absent the day of the test they are still required to take the test.
I want every child to feel safe and secure in the classroom. A stop light system is used. All children will start each morning on green light. Hopefully this is where everyone will stay. However, this may not always be the case. If a child is not following the expectations they will be given a warning and told how to correct their behavior. If asked again they will have to write their name on the board, if the behavior continues they will move their name to yellow light. If the behavior still continues, they will have to move their name to red light and a note will go home and a parent will have to sign and return the note. If the behavior improves they may be able to move their name back to green light. When a child’s name is on green at the end of the day a sticker will be placed on their behavior chart. When their behavior chart is filled they will be able to pick from the prize box. If the unacceptable behavior continues the child may lose certain privileges (such as lunch time activities, having a silent lunch with Mrs. Gagner, or a time out during recess). If the need arises, a parent teacher meeting will be arranged.
- No talking when the teacher or someone else is talking.
- Use inside voices. No yelling.
- Keep your hands to yourself.
- Walk in the room and hallways.
- Clean up your mess and desk.
- Be nice to each other.
- Students must stay in the room and in their seat.
- Use inside voices. NO yelling or screaming.
- No sharing/trading or throwing of food.
- Clean up after yourself.
- Student will listen/respect the lunchtime adults.
- Students will use proper manners.
Queen of Martyrs uses pawsome stamps for positive behavior. When a child is behaving, helping others or using proper manners a paw print will be added to their paw card. Once a paw card is filled, they will be able to turn it in for another card. When the trimester ends, a special treat will be given to those who have filled a card and students will also be entered into a raffle for prizes.
Homework will be assigned during the week and if needed on the weekend. Homework will increase as the year goes on. All homework is due the next day. If it is not returned the next day a missing homework slip will be handed out. The homework is still due the following day. Please remember do over papers are considered homework and due the next day. On occasion homework will require some cutting, gluing, and coloring. Please have the supplies on hand so your child can complete their homework. Please complete all homework in pencil.
I believe that recess is very important to a child. We will have recess outside everyday weather permitting. Otherwise, we will have indoor recess. So please make sure your child is dressed for the weather.
I will use class Dojo for communication only. No points will be given or taken away. I use a clip chart for behavior. I will use Class Dojo to inform you of important information, reminders and pictures. You can contact me through Class Dojo or email. My email address is email@example.com.
What we will be covering for the week can be found on the school website www.qmschool.com on my teacher page. This page will also show the spelling words tests for the week and any important information. Please keep in mind that the lesson plans and homework assignments are subject to a last minute change. If you wish to contact me you can do this by calling the school or sending an email through the school’s website. I will try to respond as quickly as possible. I usually check my email twice a day.
Children will not be allowed to call home for forgotten homework, gym clothes, library books or anything else. This will help build responsibility.
In first grade we celebrate birthdays and treats may be brought to school. Per the parent/student handbook and due to student allergies, treats must be store bought and have ingredients clearly labeled when possible. At the present time, 15 children are in Room One.
We will have field trips during the school year. Chaperones are chosen on a first come first serve basis. I will inform you if you are going to be a chaperone. To be able to chaperone for a field trip you must meet all the requirements set by the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is very unfair to chaperone for every field trip, so I will pick new chaperones for each field trip. If for some reason your child will not attend the field trip, please let me know ASAP. If your child does not attend the field trip they will not attend school that day and be marked absent.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I am looking forward to meeting you and I’m sure by working together, your child will have a very successful year. Please remember if you have any concerns or questions don’t hesitate to contact me through email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone or a note.
I __________________________________________________ have received and read Mrs. Gagner’s introduction letter and I have discussed classroom expectations with my child. I understand that I am required to check my child’s folder daily and remove any papers that need to be removed.