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Jocelyn Ritz

First Grade


It’s the beginning of a brand new school year, and we are SO excited! 


The first few weeks we will be learning our new procedures and routines, such as how to walk in line correctly, raising our hand to ask to get a drink or use the restroom, and how to use centers correctly.


Your child will be bringing home a Guided Reading book every night. This is for your child to read to people in his/her family. This is a book on your child's reading level that they have read with the teacher. They should already be aware of the patterns in the book and most of the words. If they don't know a word, you can help prompt them by saying:

"Look at the picture."

"Make the first sound."

"Does it match?"

"Does that make sense?"


Remember that it's important for your child to understand what they read, so ask them questions after reading like:

"What does this story remind you of?"

"Who were the main characters in this story?"

"What was the story mostly about?"

"What was your favorite part, and why?"


Every week we will have 4-5 new sight words to learn. These often can not be sounded out--they just have to be memorized so your child knows them "by sight." You can help them with this by practicing with two new words at a time, holding up flashcards and having them say the correct word. Each day, add a new word. Keep reviewing old words so they don't forget them. 


Research shows that up to 75% of all words in print consist of these sight words, so you can imagine how much your child's reading will improve as they learn these words. If your child has mastered the current sight word list, you are welcome to work ahead on the rest of the sight words so your child will be "ahead of the game." They had the first 100 sight words to learn in Kindergarten, we have the second 100 words to learn in  First Grade, and each year they will have a list with new words to learn. It's always a good idea to review the list from previous years. On another page on this site is a link to the Fry Sight Word List.


In Math, you can help your child at home by having them count items as you add or take away. We often use a number line to add or subtract, so you are welcome to practice with that as well. You can also practice with Math facts flashcards. We start out with the zero facts (0+1=1, 0+2=2, etc.) and progress to the one facts (1+1=2, 1+2=3, etc.), then the twos, and so on. Just put the problem on the front of the card and the answer on the back. The goal is for the child to know the fact without having to count. One fun way to practice this is to "race," and the first one to answer the problem gets a point.


As your child practices writing at home, stress the importance of them writing a letter for every sound they hear in the word. This will be a phonetic spelling so that if you look at their writing, you should be able to sound out the word (even if it's spelled incorrectly). As the year progresses, the students learn more and more phonics rules like silent e, when to use k and c, etc. and this will improve their spelling as the year goes on. We also focus on beginning every sentence with a capital letter (as well as names) and ending every sentence with correct end punctuation. It is also important for students to put spacing between words.


You may hear your child excitedly telling you about different science experiments we have done at school. About once a month, we will have SOS (Seriously Outrageous Science) Day. During this time, students will travel from classroom to classroom performing different science experiments. The kids love it!


Be sure to check your child's behavior calendar and sign your initials on each day so you can reinforce good behavior at home. When students pay attention in class, it really improves their performance!


Thank you for sending your child to school every day! There will be many weeks when we will have the Perfect Attendance sign on our door as a reward and to let the entire school know we think school is important, so we come every day!


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me through writing a note on your child's behavior calendar, or emailing me at

Thank you for sharing your child with me. It is a joy to partner with you in your child's education!










Jocelyn Ritz

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School Phone:
830-634-2257 ext 2