Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to welcome you and your child to First Grade! The classroom is a busy and vibrant learning environment. Every minute is scheduled with learning time.  From past experience, I know you will have a tired child by the end of the day for at least the first month of school. The children do adjust well to our busy first grade schedule and although we do not have the scheduled playtime and rest time as in kindergarten, we do have fun with our work.


I want to tell you a little about myself and some of the things that will be happening in first grade this year.  My name is Darci Rice and I grew up on a farm in Fennimore, Wisconsin.   I worked in Verona, Wisconsin, for a little over four years teaching preschool and kindergarten.  I also am a huge Packers fan.  I taught at Dover-Eyota seven years as a sixth grade teacher and then moved to teach first grade fifteen years ago.  I am looking forward to working with you and your child.  I live in Elgin with my husband, Sean, and soon to be college freshman at UW-LaCrosse, Noah and fifteen-year old daughter, Taylor.  It is easiest to contact me before school starts between 7:30-7:45, when the students are at specials from 11:05-11:55, after school or you can email me at ;

We started a new reading curriculum program two years ago by Fountas and Pinnell.  There are eight parts to this new curriculum:  Interactive Read-Aloud and Literature Discussion, Shared and Performance Reading, Writing About Reading, Writing, Oral and Visual Communication, Technological Communication, Phonics, Spelling and Word Study, and Guided Reading.  There will no longer be spelling tests on Friday if you have an older child in your family who has done first grade at Dover-Eyota.  At the end of the first grade, students should be able to read approximately seventy-one words per minute.  I am always amazed at the gains in reading that students make in first grade.  In math, students will learn a strong sense of a number’s size and relationships to each other with numbers to 120.  We will also focus on learning addition and subtraction facts, story problems, and counting pennies, nickels and dimes. In science, we will be studying insects and spiders, living organisms, engineering, and pebbles, sand and silt.  In social studies, students will learn about being a good citizen, how the president is elected, rules and why we have them, why people trade, map work, comparing local places to faraway places, timelines, asking historical questions, comparing and contrasting now and the past. 



*Dismissal change must be made with your child prior to his or her coming to school each day.  I don’t always get to my email during the day and problems have occurred for some families when a sub has been present for teachers in the building.  If emergency situations arise, please call the main office and speak with one of the secretaries.  We will always accommodate emergency situations, but on a daily basis, we are unable to accommodate dismissal changes that do not come with your child in the morning.  Therefore, please send a note to school in the morning with your child giving permission for the end of the day dismissal changes.  If the change involves a bus change, please make sure the note includes the new address where your child is to be dropped off. I will copy the note and give the note to the bus driver.  


*Every attempt should be made to schedule medical and dental appointments when school is not in session. If you need to make an appointment early in the morning 8:00-8:30 and at the end of the day 2:30- 3:00 works best with our schedule.


*If your child is planning an event (birthday party, end-of-the-year celebration etc.) and you would like other students to ride the bus home with your child, please check in advance with the bus driver to make sure there is enough room for additional passengers.



To help parents, and since teachers can buy things in bulk, we decided to charge parents $10 for school supplies plus $5 for party money. All students need to bring a container of anti-bacterial wipes, box of Kleenex, box of plain band-aids, headphones or earbuds in a ziplock bag with your child’s name on it, tennis shoes that your child can fasten independently and a durable backpack without wheels.  Boys bring the following items: one bottle of sanitizer and a box of quart, sandwich, or snack bags. Girls bring the following items:  a 3 oz. box of cups and napkins.  


Like kindergarten, your child will be assigned a day to bring a snack for 17 students(see snack calendar).  Milk will not be available for snack time this year. We are asking that all students bring a water bottle labeled with their name. These water bottles will need to go home each day for washing. All snacks need to be store bought and individually wrapped if possible. 


Show and Tell- Will begin September 14th

Show and tell is every week and we will work students in if it isn’t a full week.  Your child can bring one item or a couple of smaller items.  Please don’t send something valuable or breakable.  If a student forgets to bring a show and tell, he/she can just tell something to the class that he/she was going to bring or bring it the next day.


Students are required to wear masks at school. It is extremely helpful to label masks with your student’s name. If possible, keep a spare mask or two in your child’s backpack in case they get too wet or spilled on. The school is planning to provide one mask lanyard per student. 


Tennis Shoes/Dry Socks

In order to provide a safe and healthy environment for students and to maximize instructional time, all students will be required to wear tennis shoes to school. Students also have Phy Ed every day and need to wear tennis shoes.  Phy Ed will be spending a lot of time outside this year so this means wearing appropriate gear for warmth and having extra socks in your child’s backpack for morning PE where feet get wet from dewey grass.


Take Home Folders/Reading Logs

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOUR CHILD WILL HAVE TO DO EACH NIGHT IS READ! The take home folder will travel back and forth from school to home each day.  Please check it EVERY NIGHT for important papers, information, etc. and make sure it’s your child’s responsibility to have it in his /her book bag each morning. Your child will be responsible to take out any notes for me at attendance time. The monthly reading logs are also located in your child’s folder. 



Mrs. Rice