ABC's of First Grade

The ABC’s of First Grade


All About Me





It is my pleasure to welcome you and your child to First Grade. My name is Tricia Porter and I will be your first grade teacher! I grew up in Northern New York (basically Canada) and attended college there. I moved to Charleston 22 years ago and began teaching for Charleston County. I received my Master's in Reading from The Citadel and my National Board Certification in 2001. My husband and I have two daughters. Grace is a seventh grader at Orange Grove and Claire is in the fourth grade. I’ve taught at Orange Grove for 12 years. I feel so honored to be teaching at Orange Grove Elementary Charter School.


Behavior Policy




I strongly believe in praising children for a job well done. I always encourage them to put forth their best effort. In order for a child to succeed to their fullest potential, the school and family must work together. 

I stress the importance of Lifeskills and Classroom Guidelines.  These guidelines are expectations I have for my students. When guidelines are not followed, children face certain consequences.



  • Listen when others are talking

  • Follow directions the first time they are given

  • Treat others with kindness and respect

  • Work and play safely and quietly

  • Take care of our school and classroom

  • Put forth your personal best


    If a guideline is not followed, a student will receive a card. Below are our classroom consequences:


       1st ticket: (green) 5 minutes no recess

       2nd ticket: (yellow) 10 minutes no recess

       3rd ticket: (orange) no recess

       4th ticket: (red) phone call home and/or office referral


    In order to reinforce positive behavior I will hand out “stars” throughout the day.  At the end of the week the children can use those stars to participate in a drawing to win various classroom rewards.

    I will not tolerate hitting, bullying, or being disrespectful to an adult. These and other serious behaviors are immediate referrals to the office. 

    A monthly behavior log is placed in the back of your child’s homework folder. Please look it over and sign it nightly.







Communication andContactInfo




Email is the most convenient way to contact me. I check my email several times a day; however, please do not email me regarding an issue that pertains to the same day. Sometimes things get really busy and I may not get a chance to respond or read all of my emails.  I often send emails home as well. Please try to check your email daily too!


      Phone: 763-1520  

      School Address: 1225 Orange Branch Road  


Daily Schedule



Below is our flexible schedule:

      7:40-8:10 Morning Work/Review

      8:15-9:00 SRA

      9:00-10:45 Language Arts Block/Content Area

10:55 Lunch

         11:30-11:50 Silent Reading

        11:50- 1:00 Math

        1:50-2:15 Recess



Orange Grove runs on a 6 day rotation. Below is our Special Area Schedule. You can keep track of what day it is if you refer to your child’s behavior log/monthly calendar located in the back of their homework folder.


Day 1


Mrs. Flint

Day 2

Computer Lab

Mrs. Morris

Day 3


Mr. Mike

Day 4


Mr. Mike

Day 5

Media Center

Mrs. Owens

Day 6


Ms. Allen




Exiting andEntering the Building





All visitors must exit and enter the building through the front door and get a visitor’s pass. No one is allowed in the classroom without one (even though we will get to know each other well). 


Early Dismissal




The office must be notified of any early releases. If you know about your child's absence ahead of time, it is required that you send a note in that morning.  That will give me time to get their folder together and anything else they may need to take home.




Field Trips




 Field trips are some of the best memories students have of first grade. We have some great trips planned.   The best trip by far is our annual trip to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. We charter buses and head up there for the day! To make things easier for parents we collect payments for field trips in 2 installments.  Half of the payment will be due in the fall, the other half in January.  Information will be coming home after the start of the school year with details. 






Orange Grove is doing their part in the initiative to go green. We recycle by using paper that is already copied on one side and email whenever possible instead of using paper. 







Homework is assigned Monday through Thursday unless noted in your child’s newsletter. Homework is written daily on your child’s newsletter. It is very important this newsletter stay in your child’s folder. On the newsletter there will be a box with the days of the week written on it. Next to the day your child will write a number that represents a homework task. These homework tasks are located at the front of their homework folder. For example:


Monday__2__ and __4____

Tuesday ___1__ and _3_____

Wednesday ___5___ and __9____

Thursday____6__ and___2__




The descriptions of the corresponding numbers are located in the back of this packet and in the front of their homework folder. You would refer to this homework activity sheet to determine what activity goes with what number. For instance: #2 is Write a Sentence using each spelling word. 



Homework Folder



In addition to your homework activity list, this guide will be in your child's folder. Their behavior log/calendar will also be in the folder as well. Please keep all papers that are placed in the prongs, in the folder. This homework folder will go home with your child each day and should be returned each morning.





Ice cream



Ice cream is sold every Friday in the cafeteria after lunch. Ice cream is sold for $1.00. 






Journaling is a great tool to use at home to reinforce writing skills learned in the classroom. If your child keeps a journal, focus more on his or her written expression than on conventions like punctuation and spelling. It is important for first graders to develop a love of writing. Often children get so preoccupied with the conventions that they are not willing to express themselves like they could if they weren’t so apprehensive. Buying a cute journal from the dollar store is a great start to journaling at home.




Lunch andsnacks



We will eat lunch in the cafeteria daily at 10:55. Parents are always welcome to join us! This year students will be required to type in their own lunch number. Your child will come home with this number the first week of school. Please practice this number on the photocopied keyboard to help them get the hang of it. 

The lunch menu is available on the CCSD website which is You can access the lunch and breakfast menu and the cost for student meals. If you choose to send lunch money in with your child, it helps if you pay by the week and send money in on Mondays, as opposed to sending money in each day. 


We will have snack everyday at 2:20. Please pack a nutritious snack and drink. Please do not send in sodas and candy. We eat lunch early so the children get pretty hungry by the end of the day. 






 A lot of times parents are sending money in for lunch, field trips, book orders and ice cream. I ask that all money be placed in a LABELED envelope and placed in a pocket inside their homework folder. No money will be accepted if it is not in a labeled envelope. 












1B’s newsletter provides much of the information you will need for the week. The newsletter will be sent home on Monday. Your child’s spelling words, homework chart, goals for the week, and reminders are all on our weekly newsletter. This newsletter MUST be kept in your child’s folder and not on the refrigerator. Remember, children will be writing their homework assignment each afternoon on it. Once I get everyone’s email, I will email the newsletter as well.







Be on the look out regarding information on Orange Grove’s Welcome Back to School Night. This evening is a great time to answer any questions or clarify any procedures. I hope you all can make it!



Parties~ Birthdays and Holidays




I look forward to celebrating holidays and birthdays with your child!  A birthday celebration is always welcome! We can celebrate birthdays at the end of the day from 2:20-2:40. Cupcakes and/or individual ice cream cups are best because of time constraints.

Holiday parties will be celebrated in the classroom. A letter prior to the party will be sent home with details. Our Room Mom will be in contact with you regarding the party.










Not all questions will be answered in this information guide. Please feel free to email me or call me with any questions you will have. I want to make this an easy transition for all!






You will hear your child talk about SRA. SRA is a grade level reading program. First grade participates in the walk-to-read program. During SRA, your child may go to another class for reading. During these 45 minutes, your child will be immersed phonetic development and fluency based on their instructional level. 



South Carolina Standards



You can access the South Carolina standards for first grade at the Department of Education website.  






Orange Grove is fortunate to have two full time Spanish teachers on staff. First graders receive Spanish twice a week. Senora Pilgrim will be our Spanish teacher. 





Orange Grove takes attendance very seriously and enforces a strict tardy policy. Please make every effort to have your child here at 7:40, the start of the day.



Uniforms, Style Day, and Spirit Day




Orange Grove is a uniform school. Our school colors are light and navy blue, white and red and khaki. The best part of uniforms is STYLE DAY. Style Day takes place on Fridays (except the last Friday of the month). On Style Day, if your child brings in a dollar, he/she does not have to wear a uniform. This fundraiser supports grade levels and /or programs here at the school.

Spirit Day is different that style day. Spirit day takes place the last Friday of each month.   On Spirit Day, children are encouraged to wear an Orange Grove shirt to show their spirit!






One of the best things about Orange Grove are the wonderful volunteers. I appreciate all the help I get each year. To make the most of your time, just let me know 24 hours in advance if you want to help out. This gives me enough time to get things together. 




Wish List



What is a first grade class without a wish list? Below is a list of things that can really enhance our classroom.

Recess Balls- soccer, football, basketball

Astrobrights Paper in any color




Indoor Recess games




Go the eXtra mile



During the year there are many opportunities to support Orange Grove. Please help out in any way to support O.G.’s 9th Annual Silent Auction, our third Annual Tiger Tee Off, the pancake breakfast, and Bingo Night. More information about these events will be sent home in your child’s folder. These are great ways to get to know others that are a part of the Orange Grove Family!




Your ideas



Your ideas and feedback are always welcome.  Please don't hesitate to share! 





Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Setting AND keeping a bedtime is one of the best gifts you can give your child!


Here’s to a great year!

~ Mrs. Porter