Mrs. Ward - First Grade

Personal Background: I was born and raised in Orange County California. I’ve been in the valley for 13 years now. I am married with one daughter. I have been teaching for 14 years, most of that time has been working with primary students. I love dancing and have also taught children’s dance for a number of years. I also teach aerobics for fun. I speak some Spanish.

Teaching Style: I enjoy getting to know my students and developing a personal connection with each one. I want to make learning fun and therefore try to incorporate as much singing, dancing, painting and puppets as I can after we get the rountines and the rules established. I do run a pretty “tight ship” with high expectations of myself and of my students. I am continuously monitoring student progress so that I know when each child is ready for the next academic increment of learning. I tend to be pretty organized, structured and routine.

Curriculua: The Central Union School District and Akers School run a California State Standards Based Curriculum. Reading, Language Arts, Writing, Math, Science. Social Studies as well as Art and P.E. are knitted together to help students form a solid academic foundation at the highest level while encouraging students to become well-rounded individuals.  

Rewards and Consequences: My first line of defense is to catch a child behaving correctly and praise them for it, allowing them to be the example for other students to follow. Students have a chance to receive a daily reward of a sticker, a weekly classroom award and the opportunity to visit the treasure chest at the end of the month if their monthly behavior calendar has all stickers on it (one yellow day allowed). This sets children up for success and for achieving goals in different increments of time – daily, weekly and monthly.

I also use Lee Canter’s Assertive Discipline Policy, which is the commonly known card or clip pulling system:

  • Green means the child had a great day. They were respectful to adults and their classmates. They followed directions and got all of their work done neatly. They made good choices and will be rewarded with a sticker on their chart. 
  • Yellow means that they were warned several times and will have the sticker removed off their chart. 
  • Orange means they continued to struggle to make good choices and they will lose part of their recess or lose part of a fun event happening in the classroom that day. 
  • Red means that the child is having a very difficult day and parents will receive a phone call. 
  • Blue means the child has acted out in a serious manner such as biting, hitting, knocking over a chair, etc. and will be sent to the Principal’s Office.

I look forward to a wonderful year of getting to know your family and your child. I would be glad to meet with you any time during the school year if you have any questions or comments. Email is the best way to get in contact with me. Thank you for trusting me with your most prized possession.

jward@central.k12.ca.us