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It is wonderful to see the progress the children are making every day.  They are becoming much more familiar with our classroom routines and expectations for positive classroom participation.

I hope you have noticed a new sticker inside your child's red daily take-home folder.  This sticker gives you a summary of our first-grade grading policy.  Student work that is completed for a grade will have a letter:  E, M, P, or B.  These letters correspond to the following descriptions. 

E:  The student exceeds expectations for this standard at this time.
M:  The student is meeting expectations for this standard at this time.
P:  The student is making progress toward meeting this expectation.
B:  The student is performing below grade level expectations at this time.

Please note that these grades reflect the students' academic achievement for the specific standard;  they do not necessarily reflect student effort or work habits.  We will discuss these in more detail at our conferences in a few weeks.

Also, there is a fifth option for a "grade":  the smiley face!  There are many opportunities for the students to practice skills in various areas throughout the day independently.  Things like morning work and math practice sheets may come home with a smiley face. 

Finally, below you will find a slideshow of the children's most recent writing project.  We practiced each step of the writing process together for the first time.  We brainstormed words related to apples, we made a draft paragraph, we checked our paragraphs for upper-case letters at the start of each sentence, and we published our work on fancy apple-stamp paper.  Many of the students relied heavily on the examples that we composed as a group, which is absolutely fine at this point in the year.  Other students added personal flair, and in these pieces you are more likely to see creative spelling.  Phonetic spelling is an essential step in developing confident, fluent writers.  Enjoy!