Article

Welcome to Jennifer's 1st Grade Classroom

  • Grades: 1–2

In my 1st grade classroom at Metz Elementary, you will find a place that we refer to as our home away from home. Our classmates are our school family and we express love and appreciation for each other on a daily basis. You will see lots of hugs and encouragement. You will hear spontaneous singing and joke telling. You will see moments of total foolishness that leaves us all reduced to giggles. You will hear music and you will see us dance! 

What a great way for 1st graders to work out their wiggles and for us to end our day on a high note!  Shaking, rocking, rolling and singing at the top of our lungs. What is anybody doing teaching if they are not having fun!  Learning encompasses all areas of emotion and experience and I have an exceptional balance of joyfulness and work ethic in my classroom.

I teach in a school where 94% of the students live below poverty level. As you can imagine, we are unable to have high dollar fundraisers, so I have had to get creative when looking for funding to purchase classroom items. 

I have been very successful with writing grants. I have been awarded national grants, such as the Save Our History grant, which allowed our entire campus to study, celebrate and preserve the rich history of Metz Elementary. I also won local grants from A+ Federal Credit Union Education Foundation and Junior League.  With these grants I have been able to implement programs for learning in my classroom and take my students on some incredible educational journeys over the past several years. For example, we studied U.S. geography through the eyes of our Travel Pals that were mailed from state to state, visiting more then 25 states! Planning these special projects makes each year I teach new and stimulating.

My classroom is chock full of quality learning materials to support many different learning experiences and styles. My students have been well trained on how to use and care for these materials so they can be responsible for accelerating their own academic learning. 

Our room has to be very organized so my students and I can work together successfully to reach our highest level of academic success. The walls are covered with student work, thematic and weekly word wall words, book studies, poems, reference charts and more. Nothing is displayed for show. Everything is utilized and is built upon as my students grow in their educational potential.

In our classroom there is much student collaboration, and a teacher who endeavors to blend in, as she facilitates. You will see students as teachers and a teacher who is always open to be taught. 

The student's desks are filled with notebooks that chronicle their learning throughout the year. All bursting with glued in sheets of paper that illustrate some of the great work we have done together in first grade. These notebooks are cherished by their authors and are crucial tools of reference when my students begin to cross over that bridge into second grade.

Technology in the form of computers with Internet access, and a projector for whole class instruction and discovery, is used on a daily basis.

There is reading and writing that occurs throughout the day and spans all of the core areas of learning; language arts, science, social studies and math. There are many books that are available for my students to access. Thematic books are set out, student made and illustrated class books are available for enjoyment, the library is visited on a weekly basis and guided reading is completed in small groups each day. We engage in shared reading, journal writing, science experiments, numerical fluency activities and so much more.

I hope you will enjoy taking a rocking and rolling ride with us this school year!  I look forward to learning from each other.

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