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After School Pick Up

color book

All students are picked up from the blue benches in the parking lot after school, unless they are signed up for Rec, or after school programs like Brainstorm. If your child has a mixed pick up schedule throughout the week, (for example: picked up in the parking lot Mondays and Wednesdays, but goes to an after school club Tuesdays, and then Rec Thursday and Friday), a great tip is to attach a travel luggage tag to their backpack with their schedule written on it. This way, if they don’t remember where to go on which day, it’s easy to check!

How can I help my child SUCCEED in SCHOOL?

1.  Read to or with your child EVERY night.

2.  Help your child with his/her homework EVERY night.

3.  Do not talk negatively about school.

4.  Make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep and is ready for school each day.

5.  Teach your child to be responsible for their actions and their school work.

6.  Stay involved and feel free to contact your child's teacher with any questions or concerns.

7.  Ask your child about school EVERYDAY and ENCOURAGE them to discuss the day.

Understanding Your First Graders Mental Development

Your child is interested in concrete learning experiences such as dramatizations and rhythms.  They have a limited concept of time and space; and are interested in the present but not the past or future.  They yearn for competence in developing skills.

Ways to support your First Grader

Read and talk about books together every day.


Play number games and counting games.


Notice and talk about possible stories or writing ideas.


Talk about learning and school in a positive light.


Discuss or role play social scenarios that may be difficult.

First Grade

Academic Programs

All the programs implemented in our classrooms have an ultimate goal of student independence, responsibility and choice. It takes time to build responsibility and independence in these programs, so the first Trimester may look a lot different from Second and Third Trimester. You will be amazed at how much your child grows this year! It is one of the reasons we find this grade level so rewarding to teach!


Reading and Writing are taught in the Workshop format. The teacher explains and models a teaching point for 5 minutes, then the students discuss or practice the lesson briefly for 5 minutes, and then work independently on writing or reading for 25-30 minutes. During this independent work time, teachers meet with students individually or in small groups to work on more personalized lessons with each.


Our Math curriculum is Investigations by Pearson, supplemented with activities and strategies from the Silicon Valley Math Institute. In this math program, students explore and practice skills through many activities and games, as well as group discussions, making Math fun and engaging for all students.


Our Social Emotional curriculum is a collaboration of Harmony, as well as Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies and GLAD strategies. We work hard to build a positive and compassionate community in our classrooms.


This is a big year of growth in all areas, academically, socially, emotionally. Please support your child by helping them eat healthfully and get plenty of sleep!

It's Homework Time


Homework is due in the homework folder by Thursday morning each week.  Homework can be turned in early Monday-Wednesday as well. The Friday Folder (white envelope) will contain school-wide notices and the homework folder. The homework folder will contain your child’s homework for the week, graded schoolwork for you to look over, and letters/notices from the teacher. It is recommended that your child spend about 15 minutes per night on homework.


fruitThis is a new routine for First Graders as the school day is now six hours long! It is very important that your child comes to school each day with a hearty, healthy snack and lunch. Foods high in sugar are not recommended as the children burn this energy too quickly.  In addition, please make sure your child knows what food to eat for snack in order to prevent your child from eating all of his/her lunch at snack time. It’s also good to note on Wednesdays our school block following snack time is much longer and the children tend to get very hungry if they didn’t eat enough healthy food at snack recess.  


If your child is having hot lunch, please remind him/her that morning that they will need to order hot lunch.  Students will still need to bring a snack from home on days that they order hot lunch, or they will need to purchase school snack as well.

If you can, please send your child to school with a water bottle for them to keep in class and refill. Staying well hydrated is very important for brain function!

Birthdays - What can you Bring?

Happy BirthdayVine Hill will be enforcing a strict healthy food policy for birthdays and class parties. No candy, cookies, cupcakes, etc. will be acceptable. You may bring a healthy treat for the class on your child’s birthday. Please notify your teacher if your child has any special dietary needs. We do have students allergic to peanuts, so please do not provide treats that contain peanuts. Also, please do not send party invitations for distribution at school unless every student in class is invited, as feelings could get hurt. Thanks!


1st Word Art

  Joseph Castillo Teacher
  Julie Ross Teacher
  Natalie Serigstad Teacher
  Kelly Shulman Teacher
Pail of plants
Field Trips

Field Trips

All consistent classroom volunteers, and all drivers or chaperones for field trips must complete the Volunteer Packet and Field Trip forms.  Please visit our school website for more information on the volunteering and field trip requirements.  If you are a returning volunteering there is additional information you will need to supply.


We will be going on two field trips this year:

  1. Yesterday’s Farm at the S.C. Fairgrounds in the fall
  2. Monterey Bay Aquarium in May.

Permission slips will be sent home in advance for each field trip outlining the activities, costs, dates, and times.  

Emotional Development
  • Express feelings with physical action.
  • Crave individual attention and affirmation.
  • Are self centered; each child wants to be first.
  • Feeling capable is directly related to self esteem.
  • Want everything to be fair; have a black and white sense of justice.
Social Development
  • Usually prefer to stick to same sex friendships.
  • Thrive on organized games and group activities.
  • Want to please teachers but are beginning to recognize their role in the relation to their peers.
  • Want to win and always be first; have a strong sense of competition with others.
Physical Development
  • High energy levels demand a lot of physical activity such as jumping and running
  • Industrious; like to make things and complete projects
  • The finished product becomes more important than the process
  • Develop small muscle coordination; begin to write.