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Classroom Newsletter



Welcome to First Grade!



I am so excited to meet everyone and start off a great year!  Below and attached is some helpful information about our classroom expectations and procedures.  The school day will start class at 8:00 and dismiss at 3:25.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email or call me.   Email: School – 532-3186  


A little bit about your teacher!

My husband, Justin, and I have lived in Kingman for 10 years.  We have 3 children in school here and love this wonderful community.  We enjoy coaching rec youth sports, staying involved in community activities, and spending time with family!  I am an assistant middle school track coach.  I love first grade and am very excited to be your child’s teacher this year.



I believe every child has the right to learn and no student should prevent another student from learning.  I am utilizing the following plan to allow optimum learning to occur. 

Our school-wide discipline program this year is called Responsibility-Centered Discipline.  When an inappropriate behavior occurs, the student will have a private discussion with the teacher where he/she discusses these five things: support, expectation, breakdown, benefit, and closure.  Discipline will be on an individual basis with consequences that promote responsibility. 



Our reading block in the morning will look different from last year.  Students will be in mixed groups that are labeled with a country.  Each child will be taught at their instructional level, not necessarily their grade level. Teachers will be looking at groups weekly and making changes as needed.  They will travel to all of the reading subject areas throughout each morning, so they will see many different teachers throughout the morning.  Students will spend 30 minutes in each of these subjects: Whole group reading, small group reading, phonics, handwriting/keyboarding, writing/grammar, and science/social studies.  This reading block will be done Monday through Thursday.  Fridays will be structured differently with a heavy focus on soft skills.  You have the choice for early dismissal on Fridays at 12:45.  If your child stays in school, we will have clubs that they will participate in throughout the afternoon.  Math will take place in the afternoons Mon.-Thurs. and students may travel between first grade teachers, but will only be with other first graders.  Please let me know if you have any questions about this new curriculum plan.  We are very excited to meet each child at the level they will learn best.



     Students will have class time to finish most of their assignments.  However, there may be occasional work sent home as needed. I will make a note if it should be completed as homework.  The homework that I believe is most important is reading at home and practicing sight words.  As the year progresses, I will have a place in their GO book for you to sign if a student read at home.  If your child reads at home that day, please sign this section and they will have a reward chart that I will mark.  You can read to them at first, and as the year progresses, I would like to have them reading to you part of the time.  I do not care what they read.  It can be a library book that they bring home, a book from home, a magazine, the newspaper, etc.  I just want them to enjoy reading.



Students are welcome to bring a water bottle to keep at their desk.  They are responsible for taking it to and from home to be cleaned.  We do have a water fountain in the room if they do not want to bring one.  It is a choice.



     I believe that we must form a “partnership” that will encourage and support your child’s learning.  There are several ways of communication that work well.  Each student will have a GO (Getting Organized) Book, which I mentioned in the behavior section above.  I will check these daily.  You may also send me an email at, call the school (532-3186), or send a note with your child.  I will answer as soon as possible.

     I will send student work and any notes home each day, so please check backpacks daily.  I also welcome any visits to our classroom, comments, questions, or volunteer help!  I look forward to working together in your child’s education.



Each student will have show and tell every Friday.  I will want everyone to participate, so if they forget to bring something they can always tell us about something.  This is a great opportunity to practice speaking in front of others.



         Attendance at school is very IMPORTANT!  If your child will be missing school, please call the school office and report the absence.  However, if your child is running a fever, keep in mind that they are to be fever free for 24 hours before coming back to school.  If your child will need to be excused during the school day for an appointment, please send me a note if possible and contact the office.  Students must be checked out through the school office.  This is for your child’s safety. 



         Your child is welcome to bring birthday treats to celebrate his/her birthday.  We will usually have treats around 3:00.  Children with summer birthdays may bring their treats anytime (ideas include August, May or on their ½ birthday.)  THE BRINGING OF BIRTHDAY TREATS IS OPTIONAL!  (The school policy states that treats must be store bought and not homemade.  Thanks!)


Classroom Website and Facebook

Please take time to bookmark our school’s website. We are paperless on many things and this is the place you can go to for updates, information, school calendar, lunch menu, etc.  You can also access our class website from here.  You go to Faculty, First Grade, and Joni Watkins.  This is a place for general classroom information, and you can access our facebook page from here as well.


I am happy to be your child’s 1st grade teacher and I am looking forward to a SUPER year!

Joni Watkins

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