Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome to grade 1! My name is Dana Boucher (formerly Dana Smith) and I am so pleased to be your child’s teacher this year at Woodbridge Farms Elementary. This is going to be an exciting year filled with interesting and fun learning activities.
We all learn differently! Students are all at a variety of learning levels and all benefit from a mixture of learning strategies. Instruction will be focused on meeting the needs of all students, regardless of their learning level.
During the day our class will be integrated with the grade 1's in Mrs. Berg’s CSP class. This gives us a unique opportunity to provide a more enriched learning environment. I will be teaching all core subjects to our class along with the grade 1's from Mrs. Berg's classroom. During Art and Health the students will be split into smaller groups, I will be teaching art to both groups and Mrs. Berg will be teaching health. Every Friday afternoon for gym we have gym centers where all the grade 1's in our school participate in an hour of physical activity rotating through different centers: yoga, Just Dance, games and skill development.
Morning drop off and home time
If you bring your child to school please say your goodbyes in the boot room or outside. Then he/she can independently start their day at school. If you are picking up your child we ask that you wait in the boot room of your child. Our boot room is the main entrance near the office. If you need to pick up your child early you can indicate that in the agenda, by email or phone call and we make sure your child is ready to meet you early. We appreciate your efforts in this area as we try to keep our hallways a little less congested during the day.
Our class will be using “Daily Five” as the approach to language learning this year. This means that we will take the children from complete support to independence, as they become ready to attempt reading/writing tasks. During the morning the children will do a variety of activities which include word work, reading to someone, listening to reading, working on writing and reading to self in order to develop phonics skills, structural analysis, spelling skills, as well as instant recognition of frequently used words. There is a great deal of teacher modeling of reading and writing as well as shared reading and writing where the children, under the teacher’s guidance, read and write together. Most importantly, children are given daily opportunities to independently practice reading (at their appropriate level) and writing skills. In addition to Daily 5 I also incorporate "Empowering Writing", "Writers Workshop" and "Words Their Way" into their language arts routine.
A home reading program will be implemented in October, where your child will bring home books each night to read independently to you. This extra practice is essential to successful reading progress. Children need to be free to experiment and attempt tasks without fear of failure. Our role as teachers is to create an environment that is safe, where children feel comfortable enough to take risks with learning.
Library Book Exchange
Our Library day is: TBA
Students are asked to return their books to the school on that morning, and they will be able to take new ones home for the week. Please help your child to remember to return his or her book in good condition and on time so that we can make the most of book borrowing.
One of the best ways parents and guardians can help their children learn at the beginning of the year is by making sure they are well rested. Learning (and relearning) school routines are very tiring, and the school week seems so long at the beginning of the year. Please check the agenda DAILY for activities for homework updates. Reading and practicing sight words should be done on a nightly basis to help with regular school routines.
At Woodbridge Farms we have implemented the "Words Their Way" spelling program. This program helps students transfer their spelling pattern knowledge into their daily writing and reading. As such we will not be having weekly or monthly spelling tests. Your child’s spelling will be assessed and monitored during work on writing time, as part of their daily writing tasks. The spelling inventory assessment will be administered several times during the school year to help me monitor and assess the progress your child is making. The goal of the inventory is to help find your child's spelling patterns so that they can work with what they know to work on where they need to grow. In addition to Words Their Way we will be practicing high frequency words or sight words daily during word work. Sight words are words that appear most often in the English language and are crucial to the development of reading and writing.
Agendas and Communication
At the beginning of the week we will be writing in our Agendas our weekly reminders along with the sight words for that week. Please review what was written in it and take time to sign or initial the entry so I know that you saw what was written. This is an excellent way to keep informed with what is going on in our class, as the agenda is a way of communication between school and home. A weekly email will also be sent home to keep you up to date with all our learning in the classroom. The best way to contact me about any questions you may have is through email or a phone call.
Volunteers are always a huge part of our school community! A note will be sent home when volunteer opportunities arise!
Scholastic Book Club
Your child will be bringing home book order forms periodically (about every 4-6 weeks). Your participation in this program is entirely optional. When submitting an order, please put your child’s order form along with the payment (cheques made out to Scholastic Canada Ltd. NO CASH) in an envelope with the name clearly marked on the outside of the envelope, as well as on the order form itself. Please remember not to include other notes in the sealed envelope, as they remain unopened until the order is being submitted.
Many students find it a great help to have a water bottle in class with them as they work. Please consider sending a medium sized water bottle with your child each day. Water bottles will be sent home every Friday for a bubble bath!
Our mornings are quite long, especially for younger students, so a nutritious snack is recommended. It just gives that little boost of energy to get through to lunchtime. Children will have the opportunity to have a mid-morning snack. There will also be time for an optional snack in the afternoon. Some healthy snack choices could include: yogurt, fruits or vegetables. A good breakfast and early to bed also help to keep children alert and eager to learn.
Please check packaging carefully so that not even a trace of nuts are present in the food sent to school. One of our classroom friends has an allergy to nuts therefore we need to be extra cautious this year. This year we are also asking that you do not send Wow Butter as it can be hard to determine if it is in fact wow butter or peanut butter.
I am also very allergic to pineapple so I ask that you do not send it in your child's lunch.
Please report all absences to the office (780-464-3330). If possible, please send a note in the agenda to inform me as well. If your child is going to be absent for an extended period of time, some worksheets will be saved and sent home when your child returns to school.
The first Wednesday of every month the students will be dismissed at 2:13.
Be sure to visit the school website at http://woodbridgefarms.ca/ Please check it regularly as we will be continuously updating it with reminders and important information. You can also visit our classroom site by clicking on the E~teacher link. Here you will find information specifically geared to our classroom.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call the school (780-464-3330) or contact us via e-mail.
Thank- you for your commitment to your child’s education and I look forward to seeing you at our Meet the Staff BBQ on Thursday September 13th from 5:00-7:00pm.
Mrs. Dana Boucher
Grade One Teacher