Welcome to the First Grade ESOL Webpage!

Hello parents, guardians, students--cardinals, and members of the Kerrydale community,

We are saddened that we will not be able to see your child at Kerrydale Elementary School for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year due to the national, Coronavirus health emergency. I will personally miss interacting and teaching your child at Kerrydale. We are concerned that you stay safe and healthy during this health emergency. We are are concerned for your child's ongoing emotional, academic, social, and language development. Please e-mail me with any concerns that you have regarding your child's emotional, academic, social, or language development, and I will get back to you with suggestions, useful resources, engaging activities, and feedback. My e-mail is courtnjj@pwcs.edu.

I will be providing ongoing suggestions and links for materials and resources to support curriculum-aligned reviews of previously taught Standards of Learning.  Click on
Useful Links. In other words, learning materials and resources will be provided to support what your child has already been taught.  Your child will not be responsible for learning, or working on, standards of learning that have not yet been taught.

I also am recommending and providing a link to the Home Learning page of Prince William County's found under Academics and Programs. Click on Useful LinksHome Learning includes an outstanding, practical, and flexible Optional Daily Schedule, along with Optional Academics: Activities by Content Area. It is most important to establish a learning schedule with your children, our students. A regular and fun schedule of learning activities will keep the children motivated and growing in their education for rest of the school year, and into the summer. 

For DreamBox Learning: Math outside the classroom, click on Files and Documents and then click on Home Use Guide for Parents or Home Use Guide_Spanish.

I would like to share with you that I am a parent of a child and a young adult in Fairfax Public Schools. My daughter, Liana is in the 11th grade, and my son, Flynn is a vocational student. Flynn's and Liana's mother, Lalin and I are establishing a learning schedule at home and are seeking to keep our son and daughter engaged in their learning during this national health emergency.

A summary of the goals of the ESOL program for the first grade students for their literacy and language development, as well the support given for mathematics, is provided below:

We have been seeking to develop your child's speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through the use of a variety of fiction and non-fiction books.  As we have read each text, students have been given opportunities to make connections to their own experiences and knowledge. We have been choosing very interesting texts to motivate each learner to participate in the lessons.

During the first grade, we are developing foundation skills in literacy and writing, such as discovering a text's themes, setting, and sequence of events. We are also learning to ask and answer "WH" questions, such as Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.  We also seek to discover what the author of a text does when he or she writes, so that the student will learn how to think and plan as a writer when he or she writes.

We are focusing on students writing short and, when ready, longer sentences.  We are also guiding students in speaking in short sentences and, when ready, longer (expanded) sentences.

In math, students are becoming mathematicians, as they use problem solving, mathematical communication, mathematical reasoning, connections, and representations to count forward and backward, solve single-step story problems, explore part-whole relationships, add and subtract, and create and order sets by magnitude. They also are learning to work with collections of like coins and read and interpret a calendar. Supports that we have provided through ESOL have included simplifying the language, giving learners sentence starters, breaking math relationships and mathematical problems into shorter steps.

In literacy, I have been supporting our ESOL students through our Press-In model of instruction.  I have been providing guided reading and guided writing to small groups of students.  We have been focusing on phonics instruction through the use of both fiction and non-fiction texts. Students have been guided with reading strategies, such as rereading a sentence, stretching out the sounds of a word, and breaking a word apart, or covering up the ending of a word (covering "ing" in the word, "fishing") to find a known part of the word.  Students have been taught comprehension strategies, such as understanding the sequence of events or learning how to use an illustration to describe the problem or solution in a story, as they increase their reading levels (i.e., become better readers and writers).

Mr. J. Courtney
ESOL Teacher
Kerrydale Elementary School



** Back To School Night: September 24th, from 6:00 until 7:00: Please consider coming to the kindergarten to second grade Back To School Night. I will be in the first grade classes, and look forward to talking with you about what we are doing during Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.  I will also show you how I am giving your child language support in the classroom.

**Tuesday, November 5, 2019:
parent teacher conference, beginning at 1:00 until 8:00.  Please make an appointment with the first grade classroom teacher, or with Ms. D. Jones (third grade).  I will attempt to sit in on the conference for each ESOL student.