This site is designed for the first grade students in

Lourdes Regional School ,

Coal Township, PA. 


Its purpose is to share what we are doing in our class with our parents, guardians and many friends.

It will provide links to additional sites that will prove to be useful to the students' projects throughout the year.

Homework assignments and important information will be listed on a weekly basis.


My name is Mrs. Briana Howard and I will be working with your child(ren) until December 12, 2012.  I want to give you a little bit of background information about myself since I will be in your child’s classroom everyday for the next few weeks. 

During high school at Shamokin Area Junior/Senior High School, I completed two college courses at Luzerne County Community College.  I attended Shippensburg University as a freshman in Fall 2007 as a biology major.  Needless to say, I was not fully satisfied with my major and switched my major to my first love, elementary education.  At the moment, I am a visiting student at Bloomsburg University.  However, I will graduate in December with a B.S. in Elementary Education for K-6 and a minor in Reading from Shippensburg University.

I currently have had eight weeks of experience in fifth and sixth grade with Mrs. Picarelli.  In spring 2010, I tutored a third grade struggling reader for eight weeks.  Also, in fall 2010, I gained more experience in first grade at the Mount Rock Elementary School in Newville, PA with Mr. Andrew Pettit.  I helped out in his classroom at least 16 hours a week.  I have also had many other smaller teaching experiences within my coursework to complete my degree. 

Some of my favorite children’s book authors include Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, and Robert Munsch. 

If you have any questions for me or about me OR if you need to contact me for any reason you can email me at:


ABC’S of First Grade

Absence – Please call the school before 8:15 if your child will be absent.  If the school does not receive a call, you will be called.  This is for the protection of your child.  Students must also have a note the day they return to school after an absence.

BirthdaysYou are reminded of the policy for birthday treats because of our Nutritional Program.

Contact me – If you have any concerns, please contact me immediately. E-mail is the best way to reach me. My email address is                                                         Contact paper – Please cover all workbooks and copybooks with clear contact paper.

Drill - Math facts (once introduced) should be drilled on a daily basis, until the children have it memorized for quick recall.

Evaluations - I try to evaluate all work the children do and send home daily papers on a regular basis and test folders periodically.  Daily papers need not be returned.  If your child makes corrections on these daily papers with you and you would like for me to see them, that’s great!  Any test papers that should be signed and returned will be placed in a test folder.  I will let you know on the when test folders will be going home.

Folders – Please check your child’s folder each day to be certain that nothing needs immediate attention. 

Grades – The children do not receive letter or number grades in first grade.  You will note that papers are corrected with errors marked.  It would be a good idea to review daily papers with the children as they come home. 

Homework – Please be sure that your child completes homework routinely.  This is important in establishing good habits for the future.  I feel it is extremely important that they understand that “studying” is homework.

Independence -  Please allow your child to take responsibility for his/her folder and backpack.  It is hard to teach them to work independently in class, if this is not also encouraged at home.

Just Read It! – Nike can just do it – in first grade we can just read it!  Encourage children to read everything – cereal boxes, street signs, newspaper headlines, store signs, etc.  This way reading is occurring everywhere.  Encourage your child to sound out words whenever the opportunity arises.  You will be amazed at how quickly the children are doing this on their own.  Children should be reading at least 15 minutes each day.

Kindness is the main ingredient in first grade.  Our focus in religion is the two great commandments as we learn to love God and appreciate his goodness, and to love and respect our neighbor. 

Lunch money – Please help the office by turning this in on Fridays. If possible turning lunch money in by Thursday for the following week would be greatly appreciated.

Mass - I will be reminding your child of the importance of attending Mass every Sunday.  In fact this will consistently be the Friday homework assignment.

Notes -Keep in mind that I may not be able to respond to a note you send to school the same day.  I am not ignoring you, but rather that I find it difficult to compose a sensible answer to questions when students surround me.  I will respond to your questions and concerns as soon as possible.  My email address is listed on the website and I am always happy to meet with you if you wish to set up a conference time.

Organization -  This will be one of the children's most important lessons this year, as they learn to handle books, assignments, directions and materials.  Please help with this goal by having your child accept some additional responsibilities at home.

Pencil cases.  Please check your child’s school supplies on a regular basis.  Be sure your child always has sharpened pencils, glue, and crayons.  It might be a good idea to ask them to bring their pencil cases home on Fridays. 

Question your child each day about what happened in school.  Don’t ask, “How was your day?” or “What did you do?” The answers will probably be “ok” and “nothing”.  Be specific.  “Tell me a new word you learned.”  “Show me a problem that you learned in math.” “Tell me about a story you read or a picture you drew or a sentence you wrote.” This is the best way for the children to review what they have learned during the day.

Reminder Sheet - I will send home a reminder sheet on Monday each week.  This will give you a general idea of what we will be covering and any homework that is due.  Please refer to this throughout the week.

Snacks – Please limit this to one small nutritious snack each day.  If your child forgets his/her snack don’t panic. I always have something in the classroom.  Please provide your child with a napkin for the snack.

Transportation home – If your child is a walker please let me know who will be picking up your child. If your child normally rides a bus and will be picked up on a certain day, the child must have a note; otherwise he/she will be placed on the bus.  Once again this is for your child’s protection.

Uniforms – Please be sure that your child is dressed in the complete school uniform.  Please also be sure his/her name is written in all sweaters, sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc. 

Vacation - Please if at all possible avoid vacation days during the school year. Keep in mind that it is very difficult for children to make up all missed work.  Completing worksheets and workbook pages really does not make up the missed classroom discussion and activities.  If a vacation must be scheduled during the school year a note should be sent in to Sister Margaret before time for her approval.

Web page – Our classroom web address is   The reminder sheet will appear on this page.  I will also try to show you through pictures what is happening in our classroom. I will place links to sites that may be helpful as we cover our science and social studies projects this year.  You’ll also find links to sites of some of the authors and illustrators we have contacted in the past. Many of these sites have excellent activities for your children.

X – “eXtra special”.  I hope that everything we do this year in first grade will make the year an extra special one for your child, so your child understands that learning can be fun!

You  - You are your child’s most important teacher. If your child sees you pray, your child will pray.  If your child sees you read, your child will read.  If your child sees you volunteer,  your child will volunteer. ETC

Z’s – Be sure your child gets to sleep early!  First grade is an intensive year, with a long full day of activities.  (We do not have rest time.)  In order to have your child do his/her best it is extremely important that they come to school well rested. 







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