First Grade Team

An overview of first grade at Nottingham is below, or click here to learn more about the grade 1 teachers!

Welcome to the wonderful world of First Grade!  This will be an exciting and fun-filled year for your child and we appreciate your support and trust as we begin this adventure.  We value every child and will work hard to make this year memorable and very special.

We are committed to helping each student become a successful and independent learner.  We are dedicated to the education of the whole child–intellectually, socially, emotionally, culturally, and physically.  We believe that First Grade lays the foundation for a lifetime of enthusiastic learning.  We are committed to providing classrooms that are welcoming, exciting, and safe.  Our students should want to come to school each day ready to learn and our goal is to make this happen.

At Nottingham, students in kindergarten and first grade have shared personalized learning Apple iPads assigned to their classroom. Through this integration, and in conjunction with staff training as part of the APS Personalized Learning Program, there are many student benefits of personalized learning, such as:

– Students are challenged to think critically and use higher order level skills.
– Students are more engaged in learning when they are given more opportunities to take control of their learning.
– Teachers are able to offer immediate feedback so that students can make adjustments to their thinking and improve their work.
– Students are exploring more creative ways to solve problems, express their ideas, generate new learning and develop skills to work as part of a team in the classroom and virtually.

Grade 1 Teachers

Mrs. Costa
Twitter: …

Hello. My name is Maryanne Costa and I am delighted to be teaching another year of first grade. I have an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and my Masters in Education from Marymount University. Teaching is my second career after working many years as a writer/editor for nonprofits. My hobbies include reading, cooking and trying new restaurants, walking and dancing (to work off all that eating!). Fun fact: my two grown-up children, Alex and Shanley, are Nottingham alums.

Mrs. Jensen
Twitter: …

Hello Everyone! My name is Donna Jensen and I teach the Jolly Rogers. I’ve been teaching for 30 years and I especially enjoy teaching 1st graders. Seeing the amount of growth students make in one year is especially satisfying! I received my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and my Master’s degree from George Mason University. I have two of the best grandkids and I enjoy doing “Grammy” projects with them. In the summer, I love to go back home to Maine and spend time with family and friends.

Mrs. Whitley
Twitter: @whitleystarfish

My name is Kylie, I am a JMU Duke at heart, where I got my undergraduate and masters degrees in Elementary Education. I later attended UVA to obtain my Reading Specialist degree. I am a Jersey Girl born and raised, but currently live in Arlington with my husband, Nathan, our adorable 18 month old daughter, Bree & our lovable dog Diesel. We enjoy exploring the world through our daughter, trying new restaurants & spending time with family and friends. This will be my 8th year teaching & my 4th year at Nottingham Elementary & I am excited to make this the best year yet!