Welcome to Room 6! I am Mary Quinn and I am beginning my twenty-sixth year here at St. Michael. I have been teaching forty-five years and I have never gotten out of first grade! I think that children of this age are the most fun, exciting, challenging, and enjoyable of all levels. What we do here forms the basis for a lifetime of learning. Room 6 will be a very positive place and I hope that this is what you emphasize at home also. We will learn through a combination of hard work and fun-filled activities. I am very excited to welcome your child.
I would like to give you some scheduling information for our classroom. Our activities are as follows: Monday-P.E., Tuesday-Art, Wednesday-Computers, Thursday-Art, and Friday-Music.
Our entire first grade curriculum conforms to the Common Core Standards and Archdiocese of Chicago Benchmarks.
I am very excited about our reading program. We use the McGraw-Hill Wonders program. The first grade will be employing the “Daily Five” language arts model. It is a framework for reading instruction. A letter explaining it is being sent home. We will have traditional whole group instruction and small group/differentiated instruction. The children will have a large block of “language arts” time daily which will involve both large group and small group activities. This language arts curriculum involves reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and phonics. Our days will be very, very busy and we will all be learning!
Our Math series is the Envisions Program by Scott Foresman. It can be tricky (mostly for parents.) I will send home information on how to access activities and instruction on the internet. The online component can be used at home for reinforcement, review, or just practice. The children will have homework every night Mondays through Fridays unless it is a testing or review day. Please monitor and check your child’s work. We will also work on basic facts throughout the year. Get out those flashcards!
The entire school continues to work toward improving and mastering printing and handwriting skills. We will be practicing in our Zaner–Bloser workbooks.
Each week we will have a “Student of the Week.” A note will come home the week before to let you know. The student of the week brings in things to show the class to help us get to know one another better. Some examples are trophies, pictures, favorite books, toys, stuffed animals, etc. The children enjoy this time.
First graders have snack every day. Please send a healthy one. Also, only pack enough lunch food for your child to consume in the fifteen to twenty minutes we have for lunch. We don’t want to waste food!
Your child will choose one of his or her folders to be the “home folder.” I will label it. This is the folder that travels back and forth between school and home. It is our primary source of communication. Have your child show you what is in the folder each night. Notes, homework, and completed papers will be in there. It is each child’s duty to remember this, not yours! Encourage your child to develop responsibility for his or her work. This skill is important in life. You may be surprised to learn that when a child is missing something, he or she almost always blames YOU! We are going to work on that.
From time to time I may send home an offer from a book or magazine company. Please fill out the form, sign, and return it. You are under NO OBLIGATION to buy anything. These companies send us free school supplies just for filling out the forms!
I also send home Scholastic book orders. Once again there is NO OBLIGATION to buy anything.
I have my own lending library in the classroom. I have compiled an inventory of well over 1500 books which I encourage the children to borrow. We will use my library as a source for “good fit” books for the daily 5 book bins. It is a very popular site in our classroom. We have some fun choices!
In room 6, I use what is called assertive discipline. I am a very positive person with the children, and I do not believe that negativity accomplishes much. I compliment the good and discourage the bad. I encourage the children to be the best they can be and accept the differences in all of us. If a child is acting inappropriately, the first step will be to caution him/her against the action. If the behavior persists even after several cautions, the child will be asked to put his or her name on the board. In Room 6, this is a very serious thing. I rarely use this. It is so much more effective because it seldom happens. If the behavior still does not stop, a check mark will be placed next to the name and you will hear from me that night. I believe that behavior is a choice and most children really want to do the right thing. Sometimes they forget, and it is our job to help them start thinking about actions and their consequences so that they may make better choices.
I have four children. All my children attended St. Michael School. This is a highly academic environment that prepares children well for high school and college. I also know what it is like to have a busy home. There are sports, activities, work, and all kinds of other influences. However, I truly believe that school must be the priority. Education is for a lifetime. If you instill a sense of responsibility, good study habits, and a sense of value for school and learning, your child will have these skills forever.
As we all know, the world right now is a different place. I promise to keep your child as safe as possible. I am both a mother and grandmother and will never risk exposing children to an unhealthy situation. I trust that you will do the same. If your son or daughter doesn’t feel well, please keep him or her home. Let me know and I will deliver the homework to your door! Let’s keep each other healthy!!! I want to be in school more than anything and together we can do it!
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to write, email, or call me at school. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, I update and communicate on my webpage on the St. Michael site weekly. I am good at it! Please check it out. I communicate what we are doing in class and what you need to know for the upcoming week. There are even pictures! It is a great way to stay in touch with what’s happening in the classroom. I am looking forward to a wonderful year!