Morton District 709 Providing an education to last a life time.

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School Office

Phone: 1.309.266.6989

Fax: 1.309.284.4015

Absence: 1.309.284.4000



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2018-2019 Calendar revised



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My Class1st Grade

Welcome to First Grade!

During the beginning of the year, a significant amount of time is spent introducing school related responsibilities, learning classroom routines and procedures, and introducing the students to a full school day schedule including lunch and recess!

The students will learn about many different topics this year, but the majority of class time is devoted to reading and writing. Here is an example of what your child will be doing this year:

In spelling there will be a weekly list of 10 words. These spelling lists will consist of phonics patterns and sight words. Students will also write two dictation sentences using words and grammar skills from the week.

To ensure reading success and to foster a love for reading, leveled reading materials and the reading basal series will be used daily. Students will work in small-guided reading groups as well as whole group instruction. Students will also be expected to do 10 minutes of daily reading at home with the StoryTown reading basal or bag books.

In first grade, writing is done with the motivation to become better writers and readers. By the end of the school year, first graders are expected to write three sentences on one topic.

Much of our math time is spent introducing and learning the basic addition and subtraction facts. This year we will follow the Common Core State Standards and develop an in depth understanding of 1st grade math concepts.  Students will be encouraged to discuss and explain answers to gain a deeper understanding of these concepts versus rote memorization.

Some of the social studies and science units of study include: Communities, Presidents, Holidays, National Symbols, Contributions of Famous Americans, The First Thanksgiving, Native Americans, Magnets, Living Things, Weather and Seasons, Earth’s Land and Water and Keeping Fit and Healthy.

It is the teachers’ goal to make your child’s day both enjoyable and productive as they work and learn together!

Mrs. Brooks

E-mail:  [email protected]

Phone:  309-266-6989

About the Teacher

Mrs. Brooks has taught for more than ten years at Lincoln, spending her time in kindergarten and first grade.  She is originally from Morton and was a student at Lincoln Elementary from second through sixth grade. She graduated from Illinois State University in December of 2002 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education.  Mrs. Brooks also has her Master's Degree in Reading and loves the energy and enthusiasm of young learners. Mrs. Brooks and her husband live in Morton with their three children.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, decorating, gardening, and reading.

Mission for the Class

Mrs. Brooks’ mission for her class is to establish a safe classroom environment where all students feel comfortable to take risks in their learning. She will also help students to appreciate themselves as individuals while teaching them to work together as a team.  Mrs. Brooks teaches using a variety activities so that each student’s needs are met to help them feel successful and develop a love of learning.  

Mrs. Essert

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  309-266-6989

About the Teacher

Mrs. Essert began teaching at Lincoln in 2015.  She came to us with 9 years of previous teaching experience.  She taught Kindergarten for 5 years, first grade for 3 and was a Literacy Leader for 1 year.  She graduated from Illinois State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education.   She later earned a Master of Science Degree in Reading from Illinois State University in 2010.   She is originally from Orland Park, a south suburb of Chicago, but now resides in East Peoria with her family.   In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, spending time outdoors, exercising and watching movies. 

Mission for the Class

Mrs. Essert’s mission is to establish a safe, positive, and successful learning environment for all students.  Her goal is to meet the needs of each individual student by differentiating instruction through a variety of strategies.  She strongly believes in setting high expectations while promoting creativity, positive outcomes and a desire for lifelong learning.


Mrs. Vastine

E-mail:  [email protected]

Phone:  309-266-6989

About the Teacher

Mrs. Vastine is thrilled to be a part of the first grade team!  Mrs. Vastine is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and her Master’s Degree in Administration.  She has endorsements in science, social science, language arts, and music.  She began her teaching career at Lincoln School in 1995 as a fourth grade teacher.  She taught fourth, second, and spent 13 years in third grade.  In 2011, the Vastines were transferred to Brussels, Belgium where they lived for nearly four years. When they returned to the US, Mrs. Vastine returned to Lincoln School as a long-term sub and then taught kindergarten for the 2016-2017 school year!  Mrs. Vastine is married to Chris who works for Caterpillar, Inc.  She also has two great kids Allison (Junior at MHS) and Thomas (freshman at MHS).  In her free time, she loves photography, travel, watching her kids participate in their activities, and spending time with family and friends.

Mission for the Class

In my classroom, we never say we CAN’T do something.  I always tell the kids they CAN do anything!! My classroom is a safe environment where kids are encouraged to be creative, sing, dance, and find the fun in learning. 



Ms. Julie Albers, Principal




Mrs. Michelle Peterson, Assistant Principal



Mrs. Sueann Spinder, Secretary




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