Welcome To First Grade at Zahnow Elementary School -Where You’ll Watch Your Child Grow!
Hi! My name is Kim Buettner. I will be your child’s first grade teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. I am looking forward to working with you and your child so he/she may have a successful and rewarding year.
I am a certified and highly qualified teacher with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education obtained from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Masters degree in Elementary Education received from SIU Edwardsville. This will be my 20th year teaching in the Waterloo school district. I have taught Early Childhood Special Education, Kindergarten, Pre First Grade and First grade for the past 25 years. I have been working to create a safe, fun, and comfortable learning environment for your child. The information on this page explains the guidelines for my classroom. I am so excited to get to know you and your child. With your help, I believe that together we can make this year both successful and enjoyable.
I am looking forward to an exciting and great year!
You will be amazed at just how much your child will grow this year. Most likely, your child has had the seeds of reading and writing planted, and during first grade, those seeds will grow and blossom, making your child an accomplished reader and writer! You will see changes in your child's thinking, as he/she becomes familiar with abstract concepts and symbols. The change will be dramatic -- just compare a tiny seed with a full-grown sunflower! That’s the kind of growth you will see this year!
Ways to Help Your Child Bloom
The loveliest flowers usually have the best gardener -- and that's you!
Staying involved in your child's education is the key to a successful year. Engage your child in conversation about his/her day, but know that children will not always give out much information. Each Friday I will send home a newsletter detailing our activities for the week. You can use this as a springboard for discussion. It is important that you read the weekly news to keep you involved in and updated on things going on in the classroom and at school.
I believe that a parent/teacher relationship is necessary for maximum school success. Throughout the year I will communicate with you through notes, email, phone calls, weekly newsletters, report cards and parent-teacher conferences.
Your child’s regular and prompt attendance at school is crucial to his/her success. I cannot emphasize this point enough. Many first grade learning activities are group and partner oriented and involve interaction with fellow classmates. Therefore, it is impractical to make this work up at home. Please view school as a priority, and see that your child attends everyday except in cases of illness or emergency.
Your child will bring his/her folder home every night. Please check your child’s folder every night for homework and finished work. I believe it is important for you and your child to discuss what he/she does at school every day. Please remove all finished work daily and return completed homework the following day. It is important that your child finishes his/her homework and returns it the following day. Many times the children will review and share their homework with each other for comparison and accuracy. This in turn will provide self-correction and conversations between the students on their answers.
For our classroom behavior plan I use an “I can manage myself!” card chart. Each child starts the day on a green card. Students get one warning for behavior then change their card to yellow if a second warning is needed. Students move cards to red after being warned a third time. The next step is a visit to the principal’s office. At the end of the day I check cards. Green means they had a great day, yellow is an OK day, and red means they will have a better day tomorrow. I will write a note or call notifying parents of the events leading to red cards.
Birthdays are a happy occasion in the lives of 1st graders. This is an occasion to share and celebrate with your friends. We currently have 22 students in our classroom. Due to new federal guidelines about child health and wellness, I encourage you to have your child bring in a healthy snack to share with classmates. These should be individually packaged and easy to pass out.
Healthy snacks include: Fruit snacks
Yogurt (please send spoons)
Packaged cheese and crackers
Crackers (Cheese-its, Goldfish, Animal crackers)
Granola bars (non-chocolate)
Children with severe food allergies will not be allowed to receive birthday treats unless it has been approved by their parent.
You may bring party invitations to pass out if boys bring one for every boy, or girls bring one for every girl, or every child in the class. You may not bring in 4 or 5 invitations to pass out in front of the other children. If you choose to limit the number of children that you are inviting please use the directory and mail them
Summer birthdays will be celebrated at the child's 1/2 birthday or as close as possible.
Books are the big cheese in our classroom! Almost everything we do centers around reading wonderful literature! There is no better way to build up both our classroom and your home libraries than with school book clubs! During the year we will use the Scholastic Book Clubs, which offer wonderful, current literature as well as a large selection of EASY and BEGINNING READER books which are sometimes difficult to find, but so appropriate for the first grade reader! Periodicly, I will send home book club ordering forms. better! PLEASE KNOW that participation in this is PURELY OPTIONAL! Because the books are so reasonably priced I feel it is worth offering them to those families who wish to participate!
I am asking that no toys be brought into school from home. Our classroom is filled with items to keep us busy, and lost or broken toys result in very sad feelings! Children often keep some "treasures" in their backpacks - these, too, can get lost, so try to keep them at home! Jewelry is beautiful but from past experience I have seen many necklaces, rings, earrings… get lost or broken resulting in tears or hurt feelings.
Please label all your child’s items and removable clothing with his/her name. Each year I see so many items of value in the lost and found that are never claimed. These items include, coats, sweatshirts, hoodies, lunchboxes, backpacks, umbrellas… anything they may be detached from throughout the day.
Lunch Money Please be sure you send all lunch money in the provided envelopes filled out completely.
Dismissal If your child is to go home a different way from the usual schedule please write me a note and/or call the office the morning of the change so I can make sure your child arrives home safely. If you choose to e-mail me and do not receive an OK back from me promptly it means it may have not come through and you need to call the office.
In closing, I would like to thank you for reading this lengthy page. I am looking forward to a great year working with your child and you. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to contact me. Thank you in advance for your support throughout the upcoming school year.
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