This is my 18th year as an elementary school teacher. I graduated from San Diego State with a B.A. in Education (Liberal Studies), and a specialization in Child & Family Development. I completed my teaching credential immediately after graduation. Over the years, I have taught 1st-4th grade and worked with a wide range of teachers. I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up many great examples and teaching strategies over the last fifteen+ years. I am very familiar with the standards/expectations at each grade level, and will make sure your child gets everything they need to have a successful year! I am very familiar with the 1st- 4th grade curriculum. We will be sure your child is challenged throughout the year and prepped with the skills to excel in the following grade.
Mrs. Huerta and I look forward to our year together with your child. Our main goal is to teach your child to be an independent, lifelong learner. To reach this goal, we will take your child from where he/she is at and guide him/her as far as possible, planning very carefully so that your child can feel challenged without unnecessary frustration.
Again, we are absolutely thrilled to have your child in our class and hope that together we can make this a positive and worthwhile experience! Our sole purpose is to be here for your child and meet their individual needs as best we can!
Erika Huerta & Amy Schwender
The children write in a journal every morning. They are expected to copy the given topic off the board and write as much as they can about the topic. The children can share their journals to the class. Journals are checked daily. We are not looking for perfect spelling, but are checking for complete sentences and complete thoughts related to the topic.
Each morning, the children are given a Math Practice Page, to practice their addition and subtraction math facts. The children will complete the timed practice page each day. We move them up a level each week to enhance their skills, even if they are not completing the page in the given time. We encourage you to practice their facts with them at home regularly at home.
The children are given a page of homework to complete each week. We expect homework to be done neatly and checked by a parent. Parents are to sign the homework sheets showing completion. The main purpose of homework is to allow your child to review concepts learned at school, share knowledge with parents, and most importantly, to help your child develop a sense of responsibility.
Folders & Friday Envelopes:
Each student has a purple homework folder, which is to be brought to and from school everyday. Please be sure to check this folder daily for important notes. Every Friday we will send home the completed work for that week in the White Friday Envelope. Please take time over the weekend to sit down with your child and look over the work they have done. Ask them what they have learned and encourage them to share their classroom experiences with you. Please be sure to sign the Friday Envelope each week and return it to school on Monday.
The children must memorize one of the chosen monthly poems, and recite it to the class. Students will earn a prize from the prize box for reciting the poem to the class.
Student of the Week:
Each week we have a featured first grader grader. On Monday the student of the week must bring in their Me Board to class, then will be given a bag to fill with any artifacts that tell a little about themselves. The board will hang in class all week. On Friday the student will present their Me Board and then be our special guest reader and read us a book of their choice. We do not care what book the student of the week chooses as long as it can be read within a short period of time. If the student wants to bring in a special pet to share with the class during their week please make arrangements with us ahead of time.
During their special week each child will receive a special Warm Fuzzy book from the class. Please refer to the sheet sent home for your child’s special week. This is a tentative schedule and changes may occur. We will always send home a reminder note the week before your child’s special week.
Felix is our special classroom friend that will be traveling to your home during the year. He arrives in a special backpack along with several items needed to complete the project. Please make sure while Felix is visiting your home he is well take care of and free from any danger such as drooling pets or curious siblings. Felix will stay for two nights and be returned to school on the third day. The students must complete the project during the two nights and be ready to share their paper with the class.
The students will participate in a computer lab three days each week. During lab time the children will be working on a variety of typing skills and learning games. Our time is mostly spent on Lexia & Dreambox. Spending time on Lexia at home is also encouraged! Parent volunteers are used to oversee the lab instruction.
The district adopted Scott Foresman California Science series will be used to teach our first grade science standards.
First grade students will visit the science lab about every other week to participate in experiments that compliment a unit of study.
The district math program is called ORIGO Math. The units we will be covering are Addition and Subtraction Concepts, Addition and Subtraction Facts to 18, Numbers to 1000, Place Value, Time, Money, Measurement, Shapes, and Word Problems….to name a few.
The children will visit the library each week. They will be checking out 2 books each visit that will be shared with their family at home. We will closely monitor the books students are checking out to make sure they are appropriate selections for first grade.
The children will write daily in D-15. The children will participate regularly in writer’s workshop. During this time the children will create original stories through the writing process (brainstorming, rough draft, editing, final copy, and publishing). Students will peer edit each others stories and then do a final edit with us (teacher). Our classroom rule is “read to three before you read to me.” Students will produce a final copy with an illustration and will be invited to share their finished story to the class during Author’s Chair on Fridays. The students will receive a special pencil and treat for participating in Author’s Chair. Once the children have shared their stories they will type them up on the computer and the stories will be displayed in the class. The student’s typed stories will be kept at school until the end of the year.
Every Wednesday the second grade students participate in music. They sing, play the recorder, and learn a variety of musical skills and techniques.
On Mondays, our first grade classes will have P.E with Coach Kris. Other days of the week will be P.E with either Mrs. Huerta or Mrs. Schwender.
We would prefer that siblings not be brought to D-15 during scheduled parent volunteer times, as well as, classroom parties. We understand that this can be difficult at times so please chat with us in advance about specific situations you might be concerned with. We will try to be as accommodating as possible.
In D-15 we expect everyone to be responsible, use kind words, have friendly hands and feet, be a good listener, respect others, follow directions, keep our classroom neat and clean, and ALWAYS strive to do our personal best! Our classroom motto is . . . . . . . We’re a Team in D-15! (These are the words we live by!)
We will send home a parent letter once a month. If you need to get in touch with us here are a few options:
• Please call the school and leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. (535-6317)
• E-mail us at school (Regardless of the day, please email BOTH!)
(This is a GREAT way to keep in contact with us!)
• We are available before and after school. (Try to let us know ahead of time if you would like to meet. Thank you!)
• Send a written note to school with your child and one of us will respond back that same day.
We want all our parents to feel comfortable to come and talk with us regarding anything! Remember, it is best to talk about something as soon as it comes up rather than later. Also, if something happens within the family that you feel may affect your child (big or small), please give us a “heads-up” on the issue.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this D-15 Handbook. We think you will find it a useful resource throughout the school year. Please know that our door is always open and we are here for you and your child. We strive to give our students the BEST first grade experience we can.
Erika Huerta & Amy Schwender
School Fax: 323-1034 (Attn: Amy Schwender/Erika Huerta)
Click on link below:
Best way to contact is via email. I check email occasionally during the day, and will get back to you within 24 hours.
Mrs. Huerta teaches every Mon & Wed
Mrs. Schwender teaches every Thurs & Fri
We rotate every Tuesday (minimum day)