Jennifer LoPresti

jlopresti@my.bdms.org

 

 

Welcome to the 2024-2025 school year!  I'm Jennifer LoPresti, the first grade teacher at Bishop Dunn Memorial School.  I've been teaching first grade for 16 years, and look forward to working with my incoming students!  I have a Master's in Science for Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities.  I am excited to begin the new school year and having a wonderful partnership with the students and parents. 

Welcome to First Grade

Coming Soon!

We are very excited about continuing with the Super Kids reading program that the children worked with in Kindergarten! The program includes a brief review of skills learned during the previous school year to help students recall information presented in the past. This review program also gives children who are new to our school a chance to meet the wonderful characters who help the students stay motivated and make real life connections to their learning.

This year, the students will be working on exciting new spelling patterns and developing comprehension, fluency, and grammar skills. They will be learning more about the Super Kids in our first grade units: Adventures of the Super Kids and More Adventures of the Super Kids. Another fantastic feature to this program is a new writing program that will help students connect to the characters and their experiences.

Students will be given various opportunities to work in a whole group setting as well as small groups so that individual learning needs and styles are addressed. Core curriculum will be presented in a large or whole group setting so that all students are able to enjoy the stories, activities, and lessons together. After core curriculum is presented, students will be given opportunities to work in smaller groups with guidance from the teachers to review presented sounds and skills in ways that help the students learn.

Small reading groups will be used to provide more individualized instruction to children using the Super Kids decodable readers. These mini lessons will focus on the Science of Reading components, needed to help students become successful independent readers.   Students will have opportunities to practice reading a text with expression independently as well as in groups. Small groups work with the teachers, while the other groups complete a series of tasks that involve reinforcement and enrichment of previously taught skills.  Other small groups will be focusing on writing instruction.  Students in neither group will be enjoying play time with motivating enrichment activities, centers, and games.  At this age play is very important to the learning process.  

The great thing about the reading program is that students are exposed to fiction and nonfiction literature. We will be incorporating the SUPER DUPER magazines into the curriculum to further develop reading skills as well as social studies and science. Students will discuss ways to identify differences between fiction and nonfiction text. These magazines are a great way to meet New York State Core Curriculum requirements involving expository text! Students will often be given writing assignments to reflect on information learned from SUPER DUPER magazines.

Writing is a huge part of the first grade curriculum. Everyday we will develop our writing skills, as they are so closely related to reading skills. Students will be writing daily through the use of handwriting practice, creative, and expository writing. We use journals to allow them to share what they have done on the weekends, for a nice warm up to each week. Students are also given a variety of expository writing assignments, based on current science, social studies, religion, or math topics. The class works as a team to complete graphic organizers to assist with getting ideas generated.   Topic and closing sentences are also discussed throughout the year.

We will also use the Picturing Writing program in the classroom as time allows and based on content in the classroom.  This allows for a great connection between our habitat study and literacy through writing informational texts and poetry.

Grammar becomes a big focus this year. We will learn the various parts of speech such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Use of apostrophe for contractions and to show possession is also focused on throughout the year. Students will practice editing sentences for basic things such as beginning capitalization, ending punctuation, and eventually move onto more complex corrections such as use of subject verb agreement.

Our approach to Math is "hands-on." We will use manipulatives to explore math concepts whenever possible. Some manipulatives we will use are unifix cubes, base 10 blocks, counters, and many other objects to count, estimate, problem solve, and develop math skills. Advanced skills in money and time will be covered as well as two digit addition and subtraction.  We have a strong focus in problem solving and complete "Problem of the Day" and "How Do You Solve It?" story problem activities that review skills worked on in class and help with enrichment in already mastered skills.

Our Science lessons involve the use of hands on activities whenever possible. We will study the various areas of science within the disciplines of life, earth, and physical science. Some specific topics covered: Human body systems, habitats, and plant growth.

First grade will be participating in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)   Students will participate in STEAM weekly as part of the specials.  

In Religion, we get to know God through Bible stories and lessons. Our curriculum follows the textbook series Alive in Christ. To supplement these texts, bible stories will be read to students as they "take notes" to develop listening skills. Children will be drawing pictures as they listen to a bible story. These drawings will serve as notes to help students practice writing and describing what they drew. As the year progresses, students will begin to write sequenced responses to the bible stories before drawing pictures.

Our Social Studies curriculum involves topics such as getting ready for school, families, communities, our country, work, and our world. Scholastic news publications will also supplement our Discovery Education curriculum.  Focus on geography, holidays, and other appropriate topics will be part of the curriculum this year.  

 

October Newsletter

First Grade News 

October 2023

 

Thank you to all families for sending payments for the Scholastic News and Science Spin subscriptions.  We are putting them to good use already!  For families who would like to use Scholastic at home there is a website:  https://sn1.scholastic.com/  

 

  1.  Go to login (top right corner)

  2. Choose “I am a student”

  3. Enter password:  oceanmap2

 

Students will have access to issues of Scholastic and games that we use in the classroom.  Please note that no skill sheets or assignments should be completed at home, as we complete some together in class as a group or independently.  This is meant for the children to have fun with the content, games, and video clips.  

 

Snack truck:  The snack truck will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during lunch.  Students are expected to eat their food before having a snack.  If you are sending money in for the snack truck, please send it in their lunch box.  Please also discuss with students that they are not allowed to purchase snacks for other students and they are not to give money to other students for purchasing snacks.  This is to avoid issues with allergies, as the classroom policy is also that we do not share snacks.  

 

Please remember to send students with clothing appropriate for the weather.  We will have outdoor recess as long as possible until the weather is too cold.  

 

Dates to remember:  

October 9, 2023:  No School

October 10, 2023:  Spelling homework begins 

October 11, 2023:  Book orders due (Scholastic, class code LHLN3)

October 13, 2023:  Harlem Wizards game in the evening:  Get your tickets soon!  

October 19, 2023:  First spelling test

October 31, 2023:  Half day for students

 

Reading/ELA

Math

Science

Social Studies


-Spelling patterns -sh, -ch, -tch


-Review of punctuation marks


-Small reading/writing groups and centers begin

-Continued work on Addition strategies


-Counting on Strategies


-Story problem solving 

-Plant study:


-plant parts

-ways we use plants

-differences between fruits and vegetables 

-Family

-Continued review of being good citizens in school

-Fire safety



Happy Birthday:

Religion


None this month


School Prayers 


God’s Gifts for Us:


-Jesus

-the world


Vocabulary:  

praise

thanksgiving (being grateful for what we have)




Here is a list of information for parents to keep in mind about the school year. It will be edited/updated if needed throughout the year.  These are topics that will be discussed at Open House in the event that someone is unable to attend.

School Day: Children must be in school on time to avoid being marked late and miss out on class activities as we start with academics right away.  Running late occasionally happens, but please have students here on time.

End of the day: Dismissal will begin at approximately 2:25 pm.  We do work right up until the end of the day, so please try to schedule appointments after the school day is over. Any work missed because of an early pick up will be sent home the next day with a due date noted, and needs to be completed and returned.

Snack time: We will have a morning snack around 8:40 am, depending on our daily schedule. It is important that the children have a nutritious snack. Cookies, cakes, potato chips, etc. are not healthy snacks, especially at that time of day. Please choose fruit, yogurt, crackers, and other appropriate morning choices. Juice, water, or milk are allowed. Glass containers and soda are not allowed.

Dismissal changes: Please make sure information is up to date with School Dismissal Manager.  This is where all dismissal changes must be entered.  

Lunch Time: We eat lunch from 11:10-11:30. It is extremely important that you remind children at home to eat in a timely manner. We will have recess after the children eat lunch, so when they get into the lunchroom they have approximately 20 minutes to eat.  Reminder:  We do not microwave lunches.   

Birthdays: Treats sent in must be store bought and have an ingredients list.   Pizza may be sent in for lunch, but must be here for 11:10.  Please let me know in advance when you plan to send pizza.  Families do not get a refund for lunches ordered on these days.  Please do not send in candles, as we can not accommodate this.  No juice, napkins, plates, etc. is needed because of the time we serve the treats.  No additional items such as goody bags, balloons, or entertainment can be sent in or take place at school, as our focus is learning. School is not the place for parties.  For students with July and August birthdays, a note will go home in June to schedule a time when you can send treats in for your child. Please note: birthday treats are optional. If you choose not to send anything, that is fine also.

Absence from school: If your child must be absent for any reason, please call to notify the office in the morning. A note must also be sent in with your child explaining the reason for absence and the date(s). If a note is not sent in explaining the absence, it will be considered illegal. Only reasons such as sickness, death in family, and others noted in the Parent-Student Handbook are considered legal. Vacation is not a legal absence. If your child must be absent for an extended period of time, any class work missed must be made up after the child has returned to school, as stated in the Parent-Student handbook. Please do not ask us to send it home in advance.    Some of it will be worked on in school; assignments that can be completed at home once the child has returned will be sent home with a due date for completion and return. Please keep this information in mind for your planning purposes.

Newsletters: A newsletter will be sent home monthly with information on events coming up, academics being covered, and other important information. This information will also be posted online. They will usually be sent home by the 5th of a month. Occasionally if there are special events or changes, an additional note will be sent home when necessary.

Folders: Each child will have a folder for all papers, communication, etc. between home and school. All graded/completed assignments will be sent home in this folder. Homework packets will be sent in this folder. Any notes to school should also be included in the child's folder so that they are easy to find. General notes regarding dismissal, absence can be sent in without an envelope. If you are writing me a note about a specific question or concern regarding your child, please send it in a sealed envelope addressed to me for confidentiality reasons.

Homework: Homework will be sent home in a packet format.  Packets will include reading/language arts, math, and spelling homework weekly. Some weeks may also include social studies or science review work.  The cover page will include all details about the assignments within the packet. These assignments will begin going home on Monday, September 18.  Please note I'm not perfect, if there are errors in the homework I'll send home notification regarding changes as needed.

Please do not have children complete the whole packet in one night, that is not what they are designed for. They are set up as a packet so that a little work is done each night. Homework assignments will cover material that has already been presented in class, so they are used as a review and should mostly be completed independently by children after directions have been read/explained.  Occasionally an assignment will go home that will require a little more help from an adult due to project/assignment themes. No textbooks will need to go home for homework.

Behavior Management: Our classroom is set up with simple rules that provide students the guidance they need for acceptable behaviors. They are as follows:

Listen carefully. Follow directions the first time. Keep hands and feet to yourself at all times. Raise your hand and wait to be called on before speaking. Be respectful. Use kind words and actions with friends and adults.

The rules are posted in the classroom and we will discuss them in the beginning of the year, and other times as needed. To track behaviors, we use a few systems.

To encourage appropriate behaviors and manners, we have two positive reinforcement systems in use. One is a short-term behavior system, our "Good Behavior Lottery." If a student is "caught" being good, he or she will be told to get a ticket and write his or her name/number on the ticket. It will go into the lottery basket. At the end of the day, one lucky winner gets a small prize! Children who have pulled 2 or more strips (see strip chart information below) are not able to win the lottery. Students have to be caught by a teacher, rather than telling the teacher what they have done to earn a ticket.

For long term behavior monitoring, we also have sticker charts in the classroom. For each day that a student is present in school and stays on yellow or green, he or she will earn a sticker on a chart. When the chart is full, the student will be able to choose a prize. The chart will be sent home with the student the day he or she chooses a prize.

Overall, the short and long term systems work to help students monitor behavior actively and therefore encourages them to own up to good or bad choices. It allows them to see there can be positive and negative consequences.

I truly look forward to forming a lovely class community with the children this year!

Suggested books:

The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
First Grade Here I Come by Nancy Carlson
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Most of these texts are suggested as ways to help the children as we adjust to changes from Kindergarten to first grade as they will be able to make connections to the literature. Please do NOT feel the need to purchase these books. Simply borrowing them from a local library or reading them at the bookstore is sufficient.

2024-2025 First Grade Supply List

Please label the following supplies with your child’s name:

2 plastic two pocket folders. Plastic is more sturdy for daily use. (Pockets across the bottom rather than right to left sides please.

2 Primary Composition Notebooks K-2. There should be a top, middle, and bottom line to aid in letter formation and spacing.  Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, Amazon.com, etc. carry these items. Notebooks should open with pages left to right, please no writing tablets (these open top to bottom) they fall apart very easily.   See below for examples:  

Notebook Examples: 

1-1 inch binder (hard cover, will be sent home at the end of the year)

Binder dividers (Please insert them into the binder).  

1 pair of student scissors

Headphones (sent in a ziplock bag for storage)  Please no ear buds.  

1 activity book with mazes, word searches, dot to dots, etc that students can complete independently

1 coloring book 

2 containers of play dough 

1 set of BDMS gym clothes (for extra set of clothes) in a ziplock bag

The following items do not need to be labeled: 

2 packs of 24 count Crayola crayons 

1 pack of bar erasers

4 Glue sticks (Elmer’s purple disappearing sticks preferred)

2 Expo Markers (FINE TIP POINT/Skinny; similar thickness of beginner pencils)

1 pack of napkins

1 box of tissues

1 container of disinfecting wipes

1 container of Wet Ones or baby wipes 

*Notice will be sent home if any of the above items need to be replenished during the year.  

**In addition to the supplies listed we ask that each family send in $8.00 for our Scholastic News and Science Spin magazines.  Please send cash rather than checks.   

Things suggested for home:  

crayons

beginner pencils

scissors

glue sticks

dry erase markers & small dry erase board