Welcome to First Grade!


    I am very excited you’re here and am looking forward to an exciting and productive year.  I have a very full schedule planned for your student this year.  By working together as a team, we can accomplish a lot together.  Students that have a strong home-school connection achieve at a higher level.  To insure a positive, productive learning environment for every student in room 17, the following school-wide expectations have been put into place:

    1. Be kind: Show kindness in everything you do and say.

    2. Be safe: Be aware of your own personal space and your actions.

    3. Be productive: Do what needs to be done without being told, take risks and challenge yourself.

    Opportunities for success, celebration, positive reinforcement, rewards and incentives are an integral part of our classroom community. Self-regulation and self-management is the ultimate goal.  My goal is to provide all students with strategies and opportunities to successfully make choices that benefit themselves and others in a positive way.

    Our choices in Room 17 are reinforced with a clip chart.  This is a visual reminder for each student to reflect on how his/her day is going.  Students have the opportunity to move up and down on this chart depending on the choices they make throughout the day.  Each student begins each day at “Ready to Learn” (green).  As students make positive learning choices, they will move up the clip chart.   If a student needs reminders to make better choices, the clip may move down the chart. This chart is very fluid and allows the students to reflect on their choices and make more positive learning choices throughout the day.

    The clip chart is as follows:

    Amazing Day! (MAGENTA)

    Role Model (PINK)

    Great Choices (BLUE)

    Ready to Learn (GREEN)

    Think About It (YELLOW)

    Uh Oh! (ORANGE)

    Consequence (RED)





    NEW this year, free breakfast will be offered to all students before school at the lunch tables from 7:45-7:55am.  Students are also welcome to bring a small snack to enjoy at our recess break time.  This is optional.  Please encourage healthy snack choices.  Our district will continue to offer free lunches each day for all students at Fuerte.  Your student is allowed to enjoy a school lunch or bring a lunch from home.  All lunches and snacks from home will be stored in each student’s individual backpack.


    I will provide each child with a yellow two pocket folder to use as a Homework Folder.   It is very important that this folder accompany them to school every day. This will be the primary way of bringing things to and from school.  Please make sure your student brings this folder with them daily

    Eventually, your student will be taking their Chromebook to and from school each day this year. Once this procedure starts, please make sure to charge your student’s Chromebook each night.  Please store the charge cord in your student’s backpack.  For now, your child’s Chromebook can remain at home.  I will let you know when to start sending it to school.


    Homework in 1st grade consists of reading.  There will be a pink Weekly Reading Log sent home each Monday.  Please record how many minutes you read each week.  The more your student is exposed to reading, the better reader they become.  The expectation is a minimum of 60 minutes per week..  Weekly Reading Logs are due each Monday.  There will be a few special projects sent home throughout the year that will have specific instructions included.  

    What should my 1st grader be reading?  Reading can take many forms.  Students can read books that are appropriate for their reading level, re-read a favorite book….again, listen to audio books or stories, read recipes or shopping lists, etc….  Most importantly, PLEASE do not hesitate to read to your first grader every chance you get.  This all counts as reading.  Need ideas?  Please ask.

    Check out this great resource....EPIC!


    School begins at 8:00 am.  Morning drop off begins at 7:45 am in the traffic circle. The first few weeks of school will be busy and may take extra time as we all learn our new routines and procedures.  Thank you for your extra patience.  We are doing our best to keep everyone safe.


    School dismissal is at 2:00pm. (Monday dismissal is 1:00pm) You may pick your child on campus or in the traffic circle.  First grade students will wait in the grass area closest to the crosswalk.  Students will wait with their teacher and will watch for their cars.  Again, the first few weeks/months of school will be busy and may take extra time as we all learn our new routines and procedures.  Thank you for your extra patience. We are doing our best to keep everyone safe.


    I will be using the program Bloomz as our main form of classroom communication.  Please make sure to sign up for Bloomz.  You can download the free app and get notifications right on your phone.  Keep up to date on classroom information as well as current happenings throughout our school days.  If you prefer not to have the app, all posts can go directly to your email.  Please see attached flyer.  Bloomz Flyer


    We will always celebrate birthdays in class.  If you would like to send something in for your student to share with their friends, feel free to do so.  Please make sure to contact me ahead of time to arrange a day/time.  I highly recommend a small healthy treat or novelty item/gift that everyone can enjoy (please limit sweets & try for a healthier alternative).  Birthdays are usually celebrated at the end of the day.

    If you have any questions or any specific information about your child that I need to know, please feel free to email or leave me a message at school. 


    Dawn Himaka 

    (619) 588-3134