Ms. Sinness, Grade 1
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Welcome to first grade!

My name is Amy Sinness and I look forward to meeting you this year.  I love teaching first graders because they are so inquisitive and curious about the world.  I've been teaching for 14 years and most of my time has been spent in the grade I love-- 1st grade!  My teaching style is musical, kinesthetic, and customized to the needs of each learner.  I like to notice the "little things" about your child and I hope to see you at conferences to discuss these noticings with you!

We have a co-teaching model for our Math block in first grade. Ms. Keung will be joining our room for an hour every morning.  This means that your child will have two small math groups per day!  In each math group, we will target skills that your child needs.  Some of our first grade skills are:  numbers 1-120, addition, subtraction, time, money, shapes and measurement.

Our literacy blocks are a combination of whole group and small group lessons, with the goal of every first grader reading beginning-level chapter books by the end of the year.  In order to achieve this goal, we have partnered with the Minnesota Reading Corp, and have a full-time tutor assigned to our classroom.  Her name is Ms. Molly, and she will be tutoring 9 learners per day individually.  In addition to our partnership with Reading Corp, we will have two full-time teacher candidates from Concordia University until Winter Break.  (August 28-Nov. 3: Ms. Kubes; Nov. 6-Dec. 13: Ms. Wheeler)

Our homework in first grade is to read for 20 minutes each night.  Your child will bring home a book bag with 5 books at their level for the week.  Please initial the reading log inside of the folder and send back to school each Friday.

Classroom expecations are taught through interactive modeling.  We have many incentives for children including: brain breaks, clip chart, stickers, monthly awards, treasure box prizes, VIP tickets, choice time, lunch with the teacher, extra recess, extra iPad time, etc.  Logical consequences are applied for student misbehavior.  Before a consequence, all teachers in our classroom will try the following:  nonverbal redirection, proximity control, belief statement and verbal redirection.  If the behavior continues after three attempts at redirection, children will be required to take a break in our room or in a buddy classroom.  If the child cannot fix their behavior after a break, they will lose a privilege at school.

Please contact me if you would like to volunteer in our room or if you have any questions:  amy.sinness@mpls.k12.mn.us