Mrs. Burris' Grade 1 Class

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Hello and welcome!

My name is Terri Burris and I live in Calgary with my husband and three grown children. Although I live in the city, I was raised in the country and I love my drive each morning out to our rural school. I have taught all the primary grades as well as English as a second language and after teaching Kindergarten for many years at Indus, I am very excited to be teaching Grade 1! My concentration at the University of British Columbia was Reading and it is such an fascinating process to observe children acquire the skills to become lifelong readers!

Below is information regarding activities that will run throughout the year.

Our Grade 1 Reading Program- As an educator I believe the most valuable way you can support your child's literary development is by providing a daily reading experience in your home. Enjoy rhymes, stories, poems and literary works together. Family literacy experiences will make a real difference to your child's ongoing success in learning to read and write. To facilitate this, your child will select books from a school collection suited to his/her reading ability. Plan a short pleasant session of reading for 20 minutes each evening. Have your child read as independently as possible and then ask natural questions that grow from the story. To develop his/her comprehension skills, ask questions such as Why do you think...? I wonder what...? Do you suppose...? Reading the book several times will build your child's confidence and reading fluency. Have your child return the books to school and new books will be sent home. Praise your child's efforts and remain loving and supportive. We want to foster a love for lifelong reading.

Classroom Management- The Grade 1 program is structured and designed for young children.  Positive reinforcement is used to encourage appropriate behavior combined with a fun, active, engaging program that keeps inappropriate behavior to a minimum.  Students are involved in quiet activities upon entering the classroom, providing students with the opportunity to calm down and make the transition from outdoor to indoor activities.  After academically oriented tasks, the children are ready for more robust activities and we move our large muscles through dancing, marching and singing action songs or we go to the gym for games and skill development.  The children quickly learn the routines and gentle reminders are used when necessary to guide students back on task.  Occasionally children will be asked to sit at their seat if they are having difficulty focusing on the carpet.  On rare occasions, when a child resorts to hitting or kicking, the individual will be removed from the group for a few minutes.  They will be given strategies regarding more appropriate behavior before being introduced back into the group and monitored in that setting.

Agendas – I check the agendas for communication from home each day and will use email and the agenda to notify you of any important dates or events.  Please use the agendas to inform me of any upcoming absences, questions or concerns. In the event that your child is sick, please notify the school before 8:30 am. Please look at your child’s agenda each night, check the front pocket for important notices and sign the appropriate date. We want to establish the habit of using a planner not only as a means of communication but for recording homework and keepng your child organized in future years.

Book Orders – Throughout the year I will be sending home Scholastic book orders.  If you wish to order, please pay online.  No cash please.

Library – The Grade 1 children will be signing out two books to take home each Wednesday.  Please have them return their books the following Wednesday.

Volunteers- Volunteers will be needed for our reading program as well as making booklets, cutting and helping with special events. If you would like to assist with our program, our volunteer coordinator will be posting a online sign-up to schedule dates and times for volunteering in the classroom. All volunteers must have a criminal check (valid for 3 years) before volunteering in the classroom or on field trips. The Strathmore detachment provides criminal checks Monday through Friday between 9:00 -4:00 pm. Thank you ever so much in advance.

Snacks – Please send a nutritious snack and lunch with your child every day and please remember Indus is a “Nut Aware” school. We have a child with severe nut and cherry allergies in our classroom so it is imperative that no products containing nuts or peanuts are sent to school.

I hope this information has answered some of your questions. Please bring to my attention any concerns you may have regarding your child. You can reach me at the school at 403-936-5855, write a note in the agenda, or email me at tburris@rockyview.ab.ca

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