Dear Parents, 

              Welcome to first grade!  My name is Ms. Denise Wampler.  I am pleased to have your child in my class this year and I’m excited to be your child’s teacher.    I hope he or she is ready to begin an exciting year of learning, sharing and growing. I will try very hard to see that each child gets a good start in school and has a rewarding year.  I am very excited to have the opportunity to educate your child and I know that with your help we will see enormous progress.  This is going to be a TERRIFIC year!


              The following information should answer many of your initial questions.  Watch for more information to come home each week in my newsletter.  I look forward to being an important part of your child’s life this year!



    The first bell rings at 8:00. The students should enter the classroom at this time. The tardy bell rings at 8:15. If a student arrives before the first bell, he/she may go to the Commons to wait. Lunch is from 11:50 – 12:20.


    • Students arriving before 8:00 must wait in the Commons.
    • The first bell rings at 8:00.
    • School begins at 8:15.
    • School is dismissed at 2:37.
    • Your child will always follow his/her regular dismissal schedule unless I receive a note from you stating otherwise.  If your child has a different dismissal procedure for the day, please let me know by sending a note, or by calling the school office in plenty of time for secretaries to send me the message.



    We have a drinking fountain near our room, however I encourage the children to bring in a water bottle that they may keep at their desks at all times. Please label it with your child’s name.


    V.I.P. FOLDERS (Very Important Papers)

    I will give each child a special yellow V.I.P. folder. This folder is to go back and forth with him/her each day.  Please put any notes to me, lunch money, homework, etc. in your child’s V.I.P folder. Please also empty the folder and return it with your child daily. 



    Please send all money to school in a sealed envelope with your child’s name and teacher’s name on it.  Please also identify the purpose for the money on the envelope.  Correct change is greatly appreciated.  Checks should be written to Southside Elementary.



    Please label all of your child’s personal items – backpack, scissors, jackets, lunch box, etc.



    Please dress your child for the weather and gym class. We will be going out for recess daily. Gym shoes are the safest for outdoor play.  Sometimes the building is chilly, so you may want to have your child keep a sweater or a sweatshirt in his or her locker.  Please label all of your child’s removable clothing.



    You will need to contact the school office at 376-4423 each morning of your child’s absence.  Remember that attendance is extremely important in school success.




    We will not have a snack time in first grade. Please make sure your child has breakfast at home or at school, so he/she will be comfortable until lunchtime.  We will eat lunch from 11:50 – 12:20.

    • Lunch and STAR time is from 11:50  - 12:20
    • Lunch money is $2.45 per day or $12.25 for the week.
    • Breakfast is $1.25 per day or $6.25 for the week.
    • Milk is available for children who bring their lunch or would like an extra carton.  Milk is forty-five cents a carton.
    • Parents are welcome to eat lunch with their child.  An adult lunch is $3.10.  For the convenience of the cooks, please let me know in advance if you plan to eat lunch with your child.



    • We will recognize your child’s birthday or half-birthday in our class.  If you wish to send treats, please send the appropriate number of purchased treats in baggies or wrapped form.  We are not allowed to serve homemade treats.  Your child will pass his/her treats out at some point during the day.  Drinks are not necessary, but if you choose to send them, juice bags or boxes work best.  Due to food allergies, please do not send any foods to school containing nuts or nut products. It is helpful if you let me know by note or email that your child will be bringing treats, so that I make sure to allow a special time in our schedule.



    Please do not send party invitations to school for your child to pass out unless all students in the class (or all of the boys/all of the girls) are invited.



    • Very Important Parents - I would like to welcome parents and relatives to visit and to help in our classroom.  Volunteers are needed to help with the following activities:

    - reading to children
    - listening to children read
    - assisting students with AR tests
    - assisting with STAR reading and math tests at the computer
    - helping students with math games and manipulatives
    - bulletin boards and arranging displays of children's work
    - supervising small group activities
    - making copies and laminating
    - grading papers
    - preparing VIP folders to go home
    - helping with language arts activities
    - cutting out materials
    - chaperone field trips

    In order to provide the one-on-one help so important to young children, I would like to have a volunteer every day.  If you can spare an hour or more each week, please consider helping in our classroom.  Perhaps there is someone else in your child's family, such as a grandparent, aunt, cousin, etc., who would be willing to volunteer as well.  If you, or someone you know, would be able to help in our classroom this year, please inform me of days and times preferred.  If you are unable to volunteer in our classroom, perhaps you would be able to help prepare materials at home.  The children and I thank you!
     Please complete the volunteer paper and return it as soon as possible if you would like to help in the classroom.  All volunteers will need to have a criminal history check on file.



    We have security policies in place for every person entering our building.  Everyone must first check in at the office and wear a visitor ID label.  Thanks for your cooperation.



    After the first day of school, it is a good idea to say good-bye to your child in the car or Commons instead of walking him/her to the classroom.  This helps your child to learn responsibility and independence.



    Your child will write in a monthly journal on a daily basis.  We will also have an instructional writing block each day.  Children will learn about the traits of good writing (ideas, voice, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions). Students make amazing progress as writers during their first few years of school!  J



    All Southside teachers have a webpage.  You may access our webpages by going to the Southside homepage and clicking on classrooms.  The current newsletter, spelling list, reading homework, etc. will be found here.



    Please have your child begin reading about twenty minutes each day.  It is also important to continue to read to your child to increase knowledge and expand vocabulary.  Children enjoy and look forward to spending time reading together as a family.  Please try to expose your child to as many books, magazines, brochures, maps, menus, etc. as possible.



    We will use the Accelerated Reader program in our classroom to encourage reading and monitor comprehension. More information will come home soon in upcoming newsletters.



    Books from our classroom library may be checked out on a daily basis.  Many of these books are AR - Accelerated Reader books.  The books from our room will be sent home in a large ziploc bag with your child's name on it.  The books may be kept at home for a day or two and then need to be returned to school in the bag provided.

    Please read with your child every night!



    Students will be completing homework Monday – Thursday. For homework, the children are expected to take their reading books home each evening and read aloud to someone for at least 20 minutes.  They will also have a math lesson which they will be expected to complete and return the following day.  Spelling tests will begin in two weeks, so the children will also be receiving spelling lists to study beginning Friday.  Spelling tests will be given on Fridays, as well as a reading test over the week’s stories and a grammar test over the week’s English lessons.







      • Handwriting - We use D'Nealian style handwriting.  Students practice handwriting daily, learning to form letters correctly, and practice writing words and sentences in correct form.  I have included a sample of the D’Nealian alphabet.


      • Writing - Students write every day in their monthly journal, notebooks, composing stories and reports.


      • Math - Students have an hour of math daily.  Homework in math is given Mondays - Thursdays, due the following days, Tuesdays - Fridays.  Math facts need to be practiced on a daily basis.  First graders should be able to complete 50 addition/subtraction problems in 5 minutes by the end of the year. 


      • Reading - The students read daily.  Please see the weekly newsletter and your child's assignment/homework notebook for the specific stories and pages your child should be practicing for homework.  Reading books are to go home each evening with the children, and returned each day to school.  Please have your child begin reading about twenty minutes each day.  This should be from your child's reading book, library book, classroom library book, or materials at home.  A test is given on Friday over the current reading selection in your child's reading book.  The children are encouraged to read as many AR (Accelerated Reader) books as possible and take tests on the computer over the books.




      • Spelling - Students practice spelling words daily.  Spelling lists are sent home in your child's VIP folder on Mondays.  Tests are given on Fridays.  Spelling lists will also be posted on the webpage. 


      • English - The children study grammar daily.  A grammar test is given over the skills and concepts taught for the week on Fridays.



    Your child may have another first grade teacher (Mrs. Blasdel, Mrs. Bodart, Mrs. Olson, or Mrs. Rushton) for math this year. We are grouping our first graders to best meet their academic needs in this core subject area. Beginning of the year placement tests given the first week will help us determine groupings and letters will be sent home notifying you of your child’s placement.



    We will cluster group for Reading within our homeroom class instead of switching teachers. We have a new language arts adoption this year and are excited to explore its many options.



    • Recess is from 11:25 - 11:45.  We will be going outside every day.  Please make sure your child wears tennis shoes and is dressed for the weather.



          P. E. –  Monday from 1:40 – 2:30 with Mrs. Rebber (wear tennis shoes!)


         MUSIC  – Tuesday from 1:40 – 2:30 with Mrs. Eikenbary


         ART – Wednesday from 1:40 – 2:30 with Mrs. Hass

         LIBRARY - Thursday from 2:10 – 2:35 with Mrs. Noblitt   

          (PLEASE send your child’s library books back every Thursday!)



    Our class will be having four parties this year to celebrate the holidays - Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and End-of-the-Year.  Your help in making these parties fun and enjoyable by helping with decorations, games, and food items will be greatly appreciated.  If you can help at parties or call parents to organize items sent in for treats, please let me know.  The number of students in our classroom is currently 22 students.



    Feel free to contact me anytime you have questions or concerns.  I can be reached at school (376-4423 ext. 114), by note, or by email.  My email address is wamplerd@bcsc.k12.in.us.  Please also read the school’s monthly newsletter and my weekly newsletter.


    Thank you in advance for all of your support.  I look forward to a great year!J

Last Modified on August 7, 2015