Elementary School News


Posted on: July 29, 2020
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After the release of our “partial reopening plans” the district has received questions about the structure of the day for first graders.

  • First graders going to school for half days creates necessary social distancing balanced by their developmental needs.  It allows students to be in a face to face environment with their teacher 5 days a week.
  • We have a plan in place to get the most out of each day.
  • Since we will have smaller class sizes due to social distancing, we will be able to meet with every student to do a math group and reading group based on their individual needs.  We will also be able to do Writer’s Workshop each day and conference with them. 
  • The developmentally appropriate time for first graders to sit is 8-10 minutes at a time before a transition.
  • When we do the flipped classrooms in grades 2 - 5, those students will be sitting in another space for half of their day doing independent work with support by another Wayne Local staff member. They will either be practicing what they have learned or introduced to new concepts for their next direct instruction with their classroom teacher. This plan works for older kids.  It is developmentally appropriate for the older learners. They can work and sit for extended periods of time. There will be specifics developed for each grade level to meet their needs.  First graders have unique developmental needs. 
  • This plan will allow first graders to work in small groups or independently with their teacher for the entire time they are face to face. 
  • We will focus on using small groups, movement and creative play each day to engage first graders and get the most out of their direct instruction.
  • We will continue to do growth mindset activities, STEM activities, movement plans and crafts that we know help with brain development. 
  • We are also planning to bring “specials” to our rooms to supplement what we do each day.
  • When we send work home, it will not be like it was in the spring.  It will be an extension of what we did at school together.  Students will have books to read and activities to work on that are developmentally appropriate.
  • This plan was not developed in isolation.  The First Grade Team looked at the options available during a pandemic and determined it would be best for our youngest learners to come every day.  A half day schedule allows us to appropriately do that.
  • Note - no additional open enrollment students have been added to 1st grade enrollment numbers for 2020-21.


An Inside Look at the First Grade Schedule:

The half day schedule for first graders is a very structured use of time while students are face to face with their teacher.  The staff has already started to create a schedule that developmentally maximizes their time with each child.  It builds on seeing their students every day of the week as opposed to an alternating schedule being used by many other school districts.

  • Calendar and Morning Meeting 
  • Phonics 
  • Reading Groups and Daily Five Rotations 

        A small reading group with the teacher. Students read leveled books and work on comprehension strategies. 

        Word Work:  Students practice spelling words

        Read to Self:  Students read independently and respond to what they have read

        Read to Someone: Students read with a peer

        Work on Writing: Students write in journals and conference with the teacher at a later time

  • Math Small Groups 

        Math with the teacher- small math group at the teacher’s table to introduce and practice skills

        Independent Math- independent practice of skills

        STEM BINS - creative play and critical thinking

        Math games

  • Writing and Writer’s Workshop Conferences 

        Students share their journals directly with the teacher and receive feedback

  • Specials: We will do specials in our classrooms. They will do one “special” each day. We will do the following activities once a week that incorporate:





  • STEM Time: STEM Stations will be built into our math rotations. We will also do whole group STEM activities. 


FLIPPED INSTRUCTION is not students just watching videos during the other half of their day. They will have activities to complete at home that will be an extension of what they learned at school. Students will receive a calendar similar to the ones successfully used in our kindergarten. They will have books to read and activities to complete at home. Students will not be required to be logged in at certain times (unless the district goes remote). The instruction will be focused on each child’s level and needs.