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Mrs. McElwain's First Graders

Welcome to our First Grade Class!  I am very excited for another wonderful year!  Please check back often for classroom updates and important information pertaining to our classroom.
Class Announcements
Five Senses Fall Harvest Party
First Grade will be celebrating the fall harvest with a Five Senses Rotation between classrooms on Friday, October 31st from 9:30-12:00. Our class will travel between the first grade teachers to learn about our five senses. If you agreed to send in an item for our activities, please be sure to send them in by Thursday, October 30th. If you are volunteering that morning, please be here by 9:30 AM. If you can't stay for the entire morning, you are more than welcome to come for any amount of time. Remember that is also "Dress as your favorite book character day". Students are welcome to dress up as a favorite character - but we ask that they bring the book with them. It is going to be a great day...thank you for making it possible.
PTA Basket Raffle
It's that time of year again! It is time for our annual basket raffle. This year, we are working with the other first grade classes to make two awesome baskets - Dinosaurs and Gift Cards! We are looking for donations from all of you to help us fill these baskets to raffle off at SES. We will be collecting anything that is dinosaur related (toys, clothes, books, arts and crafts, etc;) and Gift Cards (any place, any denomination). Please send any items to school with your child and I will collect them in the classroom. We are also looking for a classroom representative to help put the final baskets together. If you are interested in helping with this, please let me know. I greatly appreciate your help!
Important Reminders for October
10/7 - Interims- please sign and return these as soon as possible. I will make a copy and send it back to you.
10/10 - Reading Rally - 9:15 am - We will kick off our Medieval reading theme for the year!
10/10 - 1:10 Early Dismissal (lunch will also be moved up 30 minutes from 12:02-12:32)
10/13 - No School - Teacher Work Day
10/14 - Open Book Fair Night at SES 5-7 pm (The book fair will run through the week in the SES library.)
10/18 - PTA Yard Sale 7am
10/20 - PTA Cici's Spirit Night
10/28 - Fall Picture Day
10/31 - Favorite Book Character Day (Students will be asked to dress like their favorite book character.)

Blue and White Day
EVERY Friday is Blue and White Day at SES. We want our students to show their school spirit by wearing the school colors or their favorite Stafford Elementary shirt. The entire school is invited to do this. The class with the most participation every Friday will receive "Free Dessert" coupons from the cafeteria. Go Dolphins!
Scholastic Book Order
We had a wonderful response to our first Scholastic book order. The book order for the month of October went home last week and will be due Friday, October 10th. If you would like to order any books, please make sure your orders are sent to me or placed online. Don't forget to use the $5 coupon that Scholastic shared with us! Thank you again for supporting your child and their love of reading.

Our online code: GZMGG
Snack and Water Bottles
Please send a water bottle and a healthy snack with your child every day. Please make sure your child knows the difference between their snack and their lunch. Sometimes it is helpful to pack them separately. This way they don't accidentally eat their lunch during snack time. If you send a water bottle on Monday and would like your child to refill it through the week at school, I will be sure to send it home on Friday so that it can be washed. Thank you so much for your help with this!
Scholastic News
We will be using Scholastic News this year in our classroom. This is a wonderful classroom resource- it provides current event topics in newspaper/magazine format and covers our first grade standards. Along with the print copy, Scholastic News also provides interactive Activboard lessons and gameson the computer, which the students love! This is a resource that I have used for the past few years, and every year it gets better and better. Your child will be able to bring his/her own copy of Scholastic News home every week after we have used it in the classroom. We are asking that each student send in $8.00 to cover the cost of the subscription for the school year. This covers the cost of Scholastic News plus Science Spin, which is an extra supplement that focuses on science topics each month, as well as shipping and handling. Please place payments in an envelope labeled Scholastic News. You can make checks payable to Scholastic or send cash to cover the cost. Thank you so much for making this resource a possibility! If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Daily homework will begin for student in first grade. The first week of school, the homework will be mainly for the parents. The kids love the fact that you get to do it first! Starting next week, students will be getting their first assignments. In first grade, we compete most of our assignments in a homework journal. We will send the journals and directions home on Mondays. They will be due on Fridays. We like to give families flexibility to work on homework throughout the week. We know how hectic life can be with sports and family activities, so we understand if homework doesn't get completed one night. More detailed information will come home with the homework journals. If at anytime, your child is struggling with homework, please let me know and we can work out a plan.
Communication Folders
Your child will bring home two folders on the first day of school: a white folder which will contain all of the important information and paperwork that will need to be filled out as soon as possible, and a blue communication folder. Please fill out the paperwork in the white folder once you have read through it and send it back to me as soon as you can. The blue folder will be the daily communication folder that goes back and forth between school and home every day. It is important that you check this folder daily and empty it every night. If you have anything to send in to school, such as notes or lunch money, place them in the blue folder and return it in your child's book bag. Regardless if you are sending anything back, it is very important that the folder comes back to school every day. I appreciate your help with this!
Get a head start on next year's VA Young Readers
This is a list of this year's VA Young Readers. We will be working on reading these in class, but you are also encouraged to work on them at home. These books can be checked out from the school library, as well as the public library. I also have a copy of each in the classroom. More details will come home soon!
VRC 2014 – 2015 Primary Titles:

Again by Emily Gravett
Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger
Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore
My First Day by Steve Jenkins
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming
That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems
This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
Box Tops
Our school will again be collecting Box Tops for Education.  Over the past two years,  SES has raised over $6,000 by collecting them.  Every month, your child will bring home a sheet for collecting the box tops.  Just fill it up and send it back to school - it's that easy!  If you have any questions, please let me know!
Collecting Pop Tops
 The SES ambassadors are collecting Pop Tops for the Ronald McDonald House and will continue to collect them throughout the year.  Please save the tops of aluminum cans and send them to school.  The ambassadors will be around every month the collect and weigh them.  Thank you for taking the time to do this and help a good cause.
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